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Old 04-14-2018, 12:14 AM   #1
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Ram 2500 vs 3500

Not sure where to get factual information so Iíll come here and get opinions from folks that know the demands of towing.

Letís say we donít know how heavy of a 5th wheel we are going to be towing FULL TIME on the road. But we do want a Dodge Ram. We were sold on the 3500 because of its, in the right set up, ability to tow 30,000lbs all day and all night without batting an eye. Now Iím a realist and I understand there are variables, but know Iíve heard a few times that the 2500 is much under that capacity.

So hereís what Iíd like. Please share with me what you know about the differences between the two and their abilities.

Tired of tales so I come here to you all.

Thanks!
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Old 04-14-2018, 01:24 AM   #2
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This is a case where putting the cart before the horse, is the way to go .
Looking for a fifth wheel for full timing , may have you getting into a size of RV that even a 3500 can't handle .

Look into the fiver first , when you find the RV you're interested in then; get all the info you need; weights of the unit are paramount . Then you have the info you need to got shopping for a truck fully capable of comfortably towing it around.

Note : Just about any fiver large enough for full timing will be beyond the capability of a 2500.

For now some reading .

http://www.irv2.com/forums/f45/tow-v...ors-89375.html
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Old 04-14-2018, 05:36 AM   #3
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Your are asking the wrong question. Your only decision is SRW or DRW. One ton for sure. No reason to go 3/4 ton in todays market regardless of brand. Your concern is pin weight, depending on trailer you may need DRW to handle the weight. Look at the CCC on the truck and then deduct all the weight you plan to put in the cab and the bed. What's left over will be your maximum pin weight.
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Old 04-14-2018, 06:14 AM   #4
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We have been in the same position. We found the 5th wheel we wanted to buy and then went truck shopping. Trailer has GVW of 16k and pin weight of 3k ballpark empty. We wound up with a 3500 Ram Aisin trans with 3.73 gears. 5400 load capacity and 24.5 tow. A safety margin no doubt.
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Old 04-14-2018, 07:36 AM   #5
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We have been in the same position. We found the 5th wheel we wanted to buy and then went truck shopping. Trailer has GVW of 16k and pin weight of 3k ballpark empty. We wound up with a 3500 Ram Aisin trans with 3.73 gears. 5400 load capacity and 24.5 tow. A safety margin no doubt.
To the OP this person is wise. He used the word "safety margin". A DRW is the way to go also. If you can pull a fifth wheel you can learn to drive a DRW truck.
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Old 04-14-2018, 08:10 AM   #6
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Good advice. A 3500 is a no brainer and the real choice is srw or drw. A word of caution: be aware that advertised weights of the fifth wheels you are considering may not account for options and the stuff you add. When we sold our motorhome in 2012 we ordered our Excel and a new truck at the same time. I got a 3500 srw GMC based on the weights of the fifth wheel listed by the manufacturer. I should have known better but the advertised hitch weight of close to 2700 pounds turned into 3100 when we added a Splendide washer/dryer and all our stuff. I towed with it for 2 years but was never very comfortable knowing I was at the limit of the truck's capacity. In 2014 we got a GMC 3500 dually and last year the Ford. Now I don't worry about it.
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Old 04-14-2018, 08:19 AM   #7
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To the OP this person is wise. He used the word "safety margin". A DRW is the way to go also. If you can pull a fifth wheel you can learn to drive a DRW truck.
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Originally Posted by JRS950 View Post
We have been in the same position. We found the 5th wheel we wanted to buy and then went truck shopping. Trailer has GVW of 16k and pin weight of 3k ballpark empty. We wound up with a 3500 Ram Aisin trans with 3.73 gears. 5400 load capacity and 24.5 tow. A safety margin no doubt.
I have this setup as well as factory rear air suspension. The 2500 I had prior to this truck handled our 5er but was at the limits for tires and over on GVWR and RAWR. While some full time in the same trailer we have if I were going FT I'd be pulling a heavier rig. BTW the dually is my grocery getter too.

I now have room to grow if I choose.
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Old 04-14-2018, 08:59 PM   #8
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Letís say we donít know how heavy of a 5th wheel we are going to be towing FULL TIME on the road. But we do want a Dodge Ram. We were sold on the 3500 because of its, in the right set up, ability to tow 30,000lbs all day and all night without batting an eye. Now Iím a realist and I understand there are variables, but know Iíve heard a few times that the 2500 is much under that capacity.

So hereís what Iíd like. Please share with me what you know about the differences between the two and their abilities.

Tired of tales so I come here to you all.
A 3500 DRW vs a 2500 is like apples vs oranges and doesn't compare well at all.
The only Ram that has a 30000 lb tow rating is the 3500 DRW truck with a 14000 GVWR and 9750 RAWR. This truck is good for around 6000 lb payload in the bed.

The 2500 truck is much smaller in weight specs at 10000 gvwr and 6200-6500 rawr good for around 3100-3300 lb payload in the bed. This limits the 2500 up to the 12k-13k range depending on trailers selected.
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Old 04-14-2018, 09:09 PM   #9
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Putting cart before the horse. Need to know the 5ther weights before you buy truck. You may be good with a 2500. I personally hated a dually for a daily commute.
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Old 04-15-2018, 02:29 PM   #10
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Thanks for all the replies. I understand that knowing what we are going to tow before hand is best. However, we want to be able to possibly move to a bigger 5er after some time and don’t want to be concerned with our trucks ability. Pretty sure we will go 3500 drw, but was interested in the 2500’s actually ability.
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Old 04-15-2018, 04:13 PM   #11
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2500 and 3500 SRW trucks are built with the same axles, brakes, tires, engines, transmissions (exception being the 3500 Ram can be had with the Aisin), transfer case, driveshafts and “U-joints”. Springs, shock calibration and maybe sway bars vary between them. Add air bags to the rear of a 2500 and you boost it to, for all practical purposes, 3500 carrying capabilities. Towing will not be the same as not all 3500 gear ratios are available in the 2500. From a mechanical standpoint they are really close to each other. Quite a different story from a legal standpoint. No matter how you slice it a 2500 will still be rated at up to 10,000# GVWR. A diesel crew cab short bed (most common configuration) with a nice interior will weigh in (empty) around 8000# before you add people, hitch, cargo and pin. A 2500 runs out of legal capabilities real quick...long before mechanical capability.

Food for thought!
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Old 04-15-2018, 04:49 PM   #12
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One can overload a dually also. Did mine reason I got rid of it.
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Old 04-15-2018, 09:31 PM   #13
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The rating difference between the two is obvious if you know where to look for it. The 2500 is rated using the 6.7/68RFE/3.42 powertrain. In order to get to the higher tow capacities you have to change the entire powertrain to the 6.7HO/Aisin/4.10

The Aisin is, from the factory, the stronger transmission of the two. In order to get the 4.10 gears I believe you have to go DRW.

Comparing the two transmissions the 68 makes a better light load daily driver. FCA has the engine tuned down alot in the lower gears for running around and such. The extended service intervals are a benefit as well. The Aisin prefers to be under load. It is absolutely installed and tuned to pull heavy. Plus you get the 6.7HO with it's 15 HP and 130 lb-ft tq over the standard 6.7.

I know you asked for opinions, however, opinions need to be based on the correct facts.
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Old 04-15-2018, 09:45 PM   #14
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2500 and 3500 SRW trucks are built with the same axles, brakes, tires, engines, transmissions (exception being the 3500 Ram can be had with the Aisin), transfer case, driveshafts and ďU-jointsĒ. Springs, shock calibration and maybe sway bars vary between them.
Ram uses 100% different suspensions. The 2500 is a coil spring rear while the 3500 is leaf that can be had with self leveling airbags. See my above post about the powertrain options. Depending on some of the body options there are 3 different driveshafts and a half dozen different U-joints are possible too.
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