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Old 11-01-2015, 08:10 AM   #1
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Dodge Ram 1500 Hemi and a Bunkhouse? Is it a Bad Idea?

Hello All! We are new to the Forum and New to the Camping World,

We are currently on the hunt for our camper and luckily we have a ton of great camping experienced people in our lives so we aren't going at this completely blind. So here is our deal.

The Questions: We are wondering if we are over extending ourself with getting a TT with a Bunkhouse? (Pertaining to the Truck most importantly). If you have little kids, We would love any input you have also on what you find works and what you are towing. Is the Bunkhouse over kill?


Who: Family of Four : Tall Husband / Tall Wife/ Tall 5 year old Son/ itty bity spider monkey 2 yr old daughter and a huge dog.

What: We are looking for a TT on the larger side, but obviously don't want to get a piece of junk. We aren't sure if we get a TT with a bunkhouse ( not just the bunks) or we get a TT with the bathroom between the living area and the bedroom and make the kids bunk it out in the living area. Not big on the TT that have the entertainment center butted up right at the foot of the bed and then has the curtains on the side. I think my husband might be to tall for that.

Where: We will be weekend warriors with the occasional week away. Our intention is not to be traveling long long distances.

Additional Info:
Currently we have a 2016 Dodge Ram 1500 Hemi 5.7L 8 speed and since we just bought it, my husband has no interest in getting something new ( the thought to buy a camper came months after the purchase of the truck , unfortunately) We have no problem with adjusting our ride with air ride etc. to make the towing journey better.

Thanks so much for any help, I have been researching for a month now and I feel like i barely scratched the surface of all the information. It is so helpful!
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Old 11-01-2015, 08:19 AM   #2
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I have towed a few TT's with the newer Hemi 5.7 v-8, 1/2 ton. Plenty of power but the rear axle is it's weak point. An oversized cooling MagHytec diff. cover is a must. Try to tow something 7000lb or less and about 25' long.
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Old 11-01-2015, 01:00 PM   #3
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I think the size and weight of the trailer will be the issue facing you. If you go too big on the trailer you will be looking down the road later at getting a bigger truck or smaller trailer. Like said above 7000 lbs and 25 feet would probably be a good max.
Another aspect to think about is you may be able to tow it but is your braking power enough to stop it?
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Old 11-01-2015, 01:03 PM   #4
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Limiting factor is the truck. We had a 3/4 ton that we used to tow our TT with bunks. TT was 32' long and heavy. We used an equalizing hitch. It pulled fine except in the mountains where it struggled. Another factor was that we were blown all over the road when an 18 Wheeler went by. Stay with a shorter trailer that isn't real heavy.
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Old 11-01-2015, 01:27 PM   #5
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I towed a 27', 8,000 lb. trailer with a Hemi Durango when they first came out. It was terrible. I hated to move the thing because of sway and how high the RPM had to get to find the power. We used sway bars and and added air bags to the rear springs, but it was just bad. Please do yourself a favor and get ar least a 2500 diesel if you want to tow a trailer. It almost soured me on RVing all together. It took 8 years for me to come back around and find my happy place with a Class A.
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Old 11-01-2015, 02:43 PM   #6
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Have a 28 ft 6,500 lb TT with bunks. HAD a 2013 Ram 1500 CC w big v8. In my opinion, it lacked power even for flat Midwest towing, and the rear coil springs were horrible with lots of porpoising and rough ride.
It was bad enough for us that we swallowed our pride, dumped out more $$, and traded in the Dam for a 3/4 ton diesel (happens to be a Ford, but IMHO brand is totally personal preference.

All of that to say, if your driving style/preferences are anything like mine, you'll either be trading in your truck, staying very close to home, or trading down to a smaller trailer.

Please note there are tons of people who say you'll be fine. They may be right. After reading hundreds of posts on this topic I've come to learn it is a matter of personal Comfort and driving style.

Good luck!!!
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Old 11-01-2015, 03:46 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jmills1975 View Post
I towed a 27', 8,000 lb. trailer with a Hemi Durango when they first came out. It was terrible. I hated to move the thing because of sway and how high the RPM had to get to find the power. We used sway bars and and added air bags to the rear springs, but it was just bad. Please do yourself a favor and get ar least a 2500 diesel if you want to tow a trailer. It almost soured me on RVing all together. It took 8 years for me to come back around and find my happy place with a Class A.
So you had a 8 year old Dodge Durango? No comparison.
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Old 11-01-2015, 03:48 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by purduepete97 View Post
Have a 28 ft 6,500 lb TT with bunks. HAD a 2013 Ram 1500 CC w big v8. In my opinion, it lacked power even for flat Midwest towing, and the rear coil springs were horrible with lots of porpoising and rough ride.
It was bad enough for us that we swallowed our pride, dumped out more $$, and traded in the Dam for a 3/4 ton diesel (happens to be a Ford, but IMHO brand is totally personal preference.

All of that to say, if your driving style/preferences are anything like mine, you'll either be trading in your truck, staying very close to home, or trading down to a smaller trailer.

Please note there are tons of people who say you'll be fine. They may be right. After reading hundreds of posts on this topic I've come to learn it is a matter of personal Comfort and driving style.

Good luck!!!
So you are comparing a 1/2 ton Ram to a 3/4 ton Ford? No compairson
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Old 11-01-2015, 04:46 PM   #9
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I used to tow a 6k trailer (25 foot) with a MX bike, tools, water, gen etc in my back with my RAM 1500 hemi. I had air bags. 8 ply tires.

Power wasn't a problem in the hilly area where we live. Could have gone bigger but not much more. You need a safety margin.

What I didn't like was the wind. Yes, I had load bearing hitch and 2 sway bars aas well.

I think a bunkhouse and the kids with all the associated stuff...you may want to rethink you tv however, forget what we say and do the math to see if the tv works..it doesn't lie...
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Old 11-01-2015, 06:49 PM   #10
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So you are comparing a 1/2 ton Ram to a 3/4 ton Ford? No compairson
I think you missed my point. The size of TT the OP is asking about is borderline for a 1/2 ton. I have no dog in the fight as to whether they proceed as planned, go smaller on TT, or go bigger on TV. Simply relating my recent experience with a very similar situation.

Nowhere did I try to even imply that 1/2 ton is same as 3/4 ton.
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Old 11-02-2015, 05:07 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by IdahoSRT10 View Post
So you had a 8 year old Dodge Durango? No comparison.
Other than the engine, transmission, rear end gears, and towing capacity. Troll!
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Old 11-02-2015, 08:17 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Jmills1975 View Post
Other than the engine, transmission, rear end gears, and towing capacity. Troll!
Your comparing a completely different year and model tow vehicle. The OP asked about a new Hemi pick-up. Your experience's towing with an older Durango have little merit here. I'm sure the OP knows a 3/4 ton pick-up will tow better. (he's keeping his current 1/2 ton)
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Old 11-02-2015, 11:42 AM   #13
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I tow a Coachmen Freedom Express 292BHDS (bunkhouse) with a 2015 RAM 5.7L hemi V8. Dry weight of trailer as stated on the sticker by the factory is 6104. It is 33.5" long including tongue and bumper.

Our 1500 has no trouble with it, but we do not live near mountains. Lots of Texas Hill Country though. We did almost immediately upgrade to a Blue Ox sway pro WDH, which helped a great deal with the push and pull of passing semi-trucks. While the 1500 says it tows 10,500, the payload limits us to about 8K. We are well under that, but I absolutely would not go longer without upgrading the truck. Controlling sway on a 33" unit with a 1500 is the limiting factor for me. 33" is a lot of wind sail.

I feel comfortable and confident towing our setup once we made adjustments to get the tongue weight at 12% while still not exceeding the payload limit of the truck (see sig for details).
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