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Old 06-24-2014, 06:55 PM   #1
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Why is it so complicated?

I have a 2014 Dodge Quad Cab 4x2, with 6'4" bed, 5.7L Hemi, 5-speed transmission, and 3.92 axle. I weigh 180 pounds and my wife weighs 150 pounds and the 5th wheel hitch installed in the bed weighs 120 pounds. The door sticker specifies FGAWR 3700, RGAWR 3900, and GVWR 6800. If anyone knows how to figure out what I can tow in a 5th wheel and what the maximum pin weight can be, I surely would appreciate the help.
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Old 06-24-2014, 07:24 PM   #2
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Ram Trucks - Towing Capacity Chart

You can tow a 10,400 lb 5th wheel. You need total weight of truck with you wife and hitch then deduct that from the GvWR and that is your pin weight. Technically i believe this is correct
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Old 06-24-2014, 07:40 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Chillbilly View Post
I have a 2014 Dodge Quad Cab 4x2, with 6'4" bed, 5.7L Hemi, 5-speed transmission, and 3.92 axle. I weigh 180 pounds and my wife weighs 150 pounds and the 5th wheel hitch installed in the bed weighs 120 pounds. The door sticker specifies FGAWR 3700, RGAWR 3900, and GVWR 6800. If anyone knows how to figure out what I can tow in a 5th wheel and what the maximum pin weight can be, I surely would appreciate the help.

Go to the scales at a scrap yard, grain silo, or truck stop with your truck, wife hitch and anything else that you plan on being in the truck (tools, dog, whatever) and weigh it with a FULL tank of fuel. Take that number, and subtract it from the GVWR of 6800lbs and that equals what is left for pin weight. It won't be much on a 1/2 ton truck. Figure 15% for pin weight on a 5th wheel loaded. So a 10,000lb 5th wheel should have a 1500lb pin weight.

6800lbs minus 1500lbs equals 5300lbs left for your truck, you, your wife, anything else, and a full tank to weigh. Numbers are not good on a 1/2 ton.
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Old 06-24-2014, 10:17 PM   #4
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Typically a empty 1/2 ton truck will weigh 5,700lbs. By the time you add yourself and wife and hitch you can see you will not have much left for pin weight.

Note - even 5th wheels advertised as 1/2 ton towable really push the capability of the 1/2 ton trucks. Many actually will overload most 1/2 ton trucks. The Ford F-150 has heavy duty towing options that add a bunch of stuff. These beefed up F-150's can tow small 5th wheels.

Look at some of the smallest 5th wheels and see what their pin weights are.

Good luck
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Old 06-25-2014, 06:09 AM   #5
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12 to 15% for tongue weight on a tt, 18 to 22% for pin weight on a 5er. With a GVWR of 6800#, there won't be much capacity available to use for pin weight. As said above, take the truck to the scales an weigh the front and rear axles and total weight of the truck. This will tell you how much capacity that you have left. I believe that you will be better served with a tt than a 5er. I use 15% of tt GVWR for tongue weight and 20% of 5er GVWR for pin weight.
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Old 06-25-2014, 06:42 AM   #6
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As stated, weigh it. You can't use "towing guides" or anything really. Weigh it, then we can do some easy math and figure out your biggest trailer.
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Old 06-25-2014, 06:45 AM   #7
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I would rather tow a heavy 5th wheel then a TT half the weight.
As a rule I keep the GCW withing the truck rating and do not overload the truck tires.
All trucks setup today ride on the overloads anyway. It includes the duellies. If not the ride is to soft for proper stability and could create axle wrap.
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Old 06-25-2014, 08:35 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Chillbilly View Post
I have a 2014 Dodge Quad Cab 4x2, with 6'4" bed, 5.7L Hemi, 5-speed transmission, and 3.92 axle. I weigh 180 pounds and my wife weighs 150 pounds and the 5th wheel hitch installed in the bed weighs 120 pounds. The door sticker specifies FGAWR 3700, RGAWR 3900, and GVWR 6800. If anyone knows how to figure out what I can tow in a 5th wheel and what the maximum pin weight can be, I surely would appreciate the help.
What is the transmission model number, and what trim level of truck? These all affect what you can tow with out going over the GCWR of the axles and truck. The maximum trailer weights for towing with a 1/2 ton gas truck are around 10,200 LBS with the 65RFE/8HP70 transmissions. As stated before weight the truck as you will pull a camper such as you, your DW and any gear along with fuel. Than subtract this total weight from the gross vehicle combined weight of 15,650 LBS and this is the maximum weight that your 1/2 ton truck can tow.

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Old 06-27-2014, 12:34 PM   #9
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The way you answer that question is to know what your truck can tow. Read the fifth wheel or trailer towing specs for your truck. If you don't have the specs get them from your truck manufacturer. Once you know what your truck can tow then you read the specs for the trailer you want. If your truck can haul the weight of the fifth wheel or travel trailer and can handle the pin weight or tounge weight then that is the fifth wheel or travel trailer your truck is capable of handling. Go with the facts not personal opinions. There is not enough information about your truck for anyone to make an intelligent decision. You are legally responsible for having an adequate tow vehicle.
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Old 06-27-2014, 01:57 PM   #10
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If i were an insurance adjuster and saw a half-ton towing a fifth wheel. I'd just assume you were overloaded. The 2014 ram 1500's don't have enough payload capacity to run a fifth wheel.
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Old 06-28-2014, 07:48 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Chillbilly View Post
I have a 2014 Dodge Quad Cab 4x2, with 6'4" bed, 5.7L Hemi, 5-speed transmission, and 3.92 axle. I weigh 180 pounds and my wife weighs 150 pounds and the 5th wheel hitch installed in the bed weighs 120 pounds. The door sticker specifies FGAWR 3700, RGAWR 3900, and GVWR 6800. If anyone knows how to figure out what I can tow in a 5th wheel and what the maximum pin weight can be, I surely would appreciate the help.
It's not that complicated if you ignore all the hype Dodge publishes, and all the misinformation posted on IRV2 and other internet sources, and go by real-world numbers.

First you must know the actual weight of your wet and loaded truck, with driver, passengers, hitch, tools, full tank of gas and anything that might be in the truck when towing. Subtract that weight from the GVWR of the truck and the answer is the maximum hitch weight you can have without being overloaded. That's not very complicated, but you won't find the answer in anything Dodge publishes

For a small 5er that can maybe towed by half-ton pickups without overloading the pickup, divide that max hitch weight by 17% (0.17) and the answer is the max trailer weight you can plan on having without being overloaded. But that's wet and loaded trailer weight, not dry trailer weight, so use the GVWR of the trailer as your estimate of wet and loaded trailer weight.

Those that suggest using 20% as the probable hitch weight of a 5er are thinking of a normal medium-sized 5er that has 18% to 20% hitch weight. But you cannot consider one of those because your truck has only 6,800 GVWR.

You cannot simply use the tow rating Ram assigned to your truck. That tow rating assumes nothing in the truck but a skinny driver, and ignores hitch weight. But if you weigh the truck and subtract that weight from the GCWR of the truck you will get your real-world tow rating.

The real-world tow rating tells you the max weight of any trailer you can pull without overheating anything in the drivetrain and without being the slowpoke holding up traffic on hills and mountain passes. But it ignores hitch weight, so it does not tell you the max trailer weight you can tow without being overloaded over the weight-hauling capacity of your truck.

GCWR and tow rating are rarely the limiter for pickups with single rear wheels (SRW). GVWR and payload capacity are almost always the limiter if you don't want to be overloaded. Subtract the weight of your wet and loaded truck from the 6,800 pounds GVWR of your truck and the answer is the max hitch weight you can have without being overloaded. But that real-world number results in showing that you cannot tow a 5er of any size, so most folks look for some other rule that will allow them to tow a heavier trailer - and then they wind up overloaded when on the road with their RV rig.
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Old 06-29-2014, 06:40 AM   #12
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Thanks, SmokeyWren, for the input. I can't believe we as consumers allow RV and truck manufacturers to put our lives at stake with their overstated specs and understated weights. I notice the Jayco Eagle HT Fifth-Wheel brochure even includes what trucks are required to tow their trailer. They specify for a Dodge RAM 1500 with 4.7L V-8, regular cab short bed, and 3.73 axle and 5-speed auto. Their lightest unit has a UVW of 6220, dry hitch weight of 1235 and a CCC of 3730, for a GVW of 9950.
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Old 06-29-2014, 07:08 AM   #13
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Just yesterday I saw a huge hay wagon being pulled by a 3/4 ton truck. When I saw it I thought that the truck manufactures do not lie about their trucks 'towing' capability.

The person hitching up the full hay wagon picks up the tongue and connects it to the truck.

I am sure the trucks can pull the weights as advertised.

But in this case there is only 70lbs of tongue weight on the truck. Three huge farm boys get into the truck and it is still not overloaded.

Us campers tow a different type of trailer with 100's if not a few 1000 lbs. of tongue weight. So we need to look at what the truck can carry. 'How much weight can I put into the truck'.

So the truck manufactures don't lie but they are not telling you everything. Truck and trailer sales people do tell huge fibs which combines for the problem.

So for me I remember a 1/2 ton truck tows small TT, a 3/4 ton truck large TT and really small 5th wheels, a 1 ton single rear wheel large TT and mid sized 5th wheels and dual rear wheels large TT and large 5th wheels.
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Old 06-29-2014, 06:37 PM   #14
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Thanks, SmokeyWren, for the input. I can't believe we as consumers allow RV and truck manufacturers to put our lives at stake with their overstated specs and understated weights. I notice the Jayco Eagle HT Fifth-Wheel brochure even includes what trucks are required to tow their trailer. They specify for a Dodge RAM 1500 with 4.7L V-8, regular cab short bed, and 3.73 axle and 5-speed auto. Their lightest unit has a UVW of 6220, dry hitch weight of 1235 and a CCC of 3730, for a GVW of 9950.
Unfortunately, the obfuscating practices of the RV and truck builders will probably continue until several fatalities from a motor vehicle accident occur and major law suits ensue. Limitations on both trucks and trailers are likely in the fine print of specifications, the fine print stuff that consumers frequently don't read closely, and the same fine print the company lawyers will stick in your face during a dispute.

Caveat Emptor, and I'm glad this forum is around to help educate folks.
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