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Old 05-24-2021, 04:00 PM   #1
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What can I really tow???

So I have already purchased the truck, thinking it should be able to handle almost anything we planned on purchasing, but now not so sure. Trying to make sense of everything, but driving myself crazy trying to find an answer.

I just bought a 2021 Ram 2500 4x4 diesel with a short box. Payload is 2,188lbs, tow capacity is 21k, GCVWR is close to 28k, and RAWR is 6k.

Going to use a lighter Andersen hitch (80lbs) and wife and I combined are 400lbs. If I go off payload alone, this knocks us out of almost every fifth wheel we really would like to purchase. All the ones we have considered have a dry weight of 11-12k lbs but the pin weight is at 2.1k or slightly above.

Can I safely pull something this size? We arent going to be close on tow capacity of GCVWR, but obviously we exceed payload capacity (not even figuring in cargo in the truck).

So is it RAWR I really need to consider or should I absolutely not exceed payload capacity?

Met a guy in parking lot that was a former trucker. Similar truck and he was pulling 17k lb rig and said he has no problems. Really would like to stay with a fifth wheel, since it is much safer to pull and my wife has no experience pulling a trailer.
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Old 05-24-2021, 05:09 PM   #2
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Old 05-24-2021, 05:19 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NorthGA View Post
So I have already purchased the truck, thinking it should be able to handle almost anything we planned on purchasing, but now not so sure. Trying to make sense of everything, but driving myself crazy trying to find an answer.

I just bought a 2021 Ram 2500 4x4 diesel with a short box. Payload is 2,188lbs, tow capacity is 21k, GCVWR is close to 28k, and RAWR is 6k.

Going to use a lighter Andersen hitch (80lbs) and wife and I combined are 400lbs. If I go off payload alone, this knocks us out of almost every fifth wheel we really would like to purchase. All the ones we have considered have a dry weight of 11-12k lbs but the pin weight is at 2.1k or slightly above.

Can I safely pull something this size? We arent going to be close on tow capacity of GCVWR, but obviously we exceed payload capacity (not even figuring in cargo in the truck).

So is it RAWR I really need to consider or should I absolutely not exceed payload capacity?

Met a guy in parking lot that was a former trucker. Similar truck and he was pulling 17k lb rig and said he has no problems. Really would like to stay with a fifth wheel, since it is much safer to pull and my wife has no experience pulling a trailer.
I go by you can't pick and choose which ratings to follow. You are either within the safety parameters on all specifications or you are not.

So, having said that....Payload 2188 minus 400 for people minus 80 for hitch and let's say minus 100 for tools and miscellaneous = 1608 pounds remaining.

At 22%, the likely pin weight on a 11k GVWR 5th wheel is 2420, so you've already busted payload by 812 pounds.

Just my .02

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Old 05-24-2021, 05:44 PM   #4
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You can tow anything that doesn't break the truck in half when you load it on the hitch. Now, for how long, how far, how fast and how safely you can do that is a completely different story. From what you have posted you either need more truck or less trailer. It's a hard and probably expensive decision to make but one that must be made. My advice is keep the better half happy and life will be better in the long run. Good luck.
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Old 05-24-2021, 06:27 PM   #5
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The heavy diesel engine and emmision system take a lot of the payload. I have seen 150/1500 series trucks with that much payload. 2,188 lbs. is not really enough payload for many 5th wheels.

But if you look at travel trailers that is where your 2500 can shine. Here is a Youtube video of a Flagstaff 29RSWS. It is kinda like a 5th wheel with opposing slides.


https://youtu.be/gKDXOy2fW7g
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Old 05-25-2021, 06:05 AM   #6
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I do not look at the rv dry weights, but would go by the gross weight rating. Your pin weight weight will be 20 to 25 % of that number, so check your tire, and axle ratings.
Sorry, but I would not want to go over a 12k gross weight 5th wheel with a 3/4 ton.
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Old 05-25-2021, 08:19 AM   #7
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So this is where I am struggling. At 12k lbs and using 20%, thatís a pin weight of 2400lbs. Iím now over my payload by 200 lbs and havenít even put myself and wife in the truck.

Rough math 2200 payload less 400lbs passenger less 80 for hitch less eat 150lbs cargo in truck, leaves me with 1570lbs. Divide by .2 that means I can only have a gross trailer weight of 7850.

Seems insane to me I can only haul something that has the same weight of the truck.

Again Iím not trying to haul anything crazy. Would have thought that I could pull a fifth wheel that tops out at 12k no problem.

Guess I am landing here: at that weight I donít exceed my GCVWR, so I shouldnít get a fine if I am stopped. My real risk is if there is an accident or damage to the truck I am open to the liability and Ram may not cover repairs under the warranty.
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Old 05-25-2021, 08:37 AM   #8
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You want to be concerned with the axle weight limits on the truck. Use the trailer GVWR and 20 to 22% of the GVWR for the estimated loaded pin weight. As long as the axle is not over loaded, that should be good.

A typical 3/4 ton truck will reach the rear axle limits long before it reaches the towing capacity.

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Old 05-25-2021, 09:04 AM   #9
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This is the reality of a 3/4-ton diesel. It also exemplifies the importance of the words ďUp ToĒ.

Payload is your weak link. It will tow a 10K TT all day and night. If you want to tow a 12K 5er, take the truck back and get a 1-ton.

As configured, the truck cannot tow a 21K TT or 5er without exceeding the rated payload capacity. Yes, itís hard to believe, but youíre looking at a sub-8K 5er or a 10-12K TT, if you want to be within the manufacturerís rates capacities for your vehicle.
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Old 05-25-2021, 09:05 AM   #10
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I am sorry you are learning this after buying the truck but, 3/4 tons are great for bumper pull trailers, but not for 5th wheel.

Yes I have seen 40', 21k, triple axle 5th wheels being towed by 3/4 tons, however that does not make it a good idea.
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Old 05-25-2021, 10:02 AM   #11
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You want to be concerned with the axle weight limits on the truck. Use the trailer GVWR and 20 to 22% of the GVWR for the estimated loaded pin weight. As long as the axle is not over loaded, that should be good.

A typical 3/4 ton truck will reach the rear axle limits long before it reaches the towing capacity.

Ken
Are you sure about that?

My 3/4-ton 4x2, extended cab, long bed, V-8 gas pickup has been to the scales. It has ~3K payload and ~3400lbs of available rear axle capacity. If I max out rear axle capacity, Iíll be over both Payload and GVWR. In my book, Iíve exceeded 2 limits while remaining within one.

Letís follow your theory of rear axle limits and towing capacities. 3400 lbs of rear axle capacity would suggest that I could hitch up a ~30K TT or 15K 5er. Well, my little old truck only has an 8900lb towing capacity. So now, Iím over on Towing capacity, GCVWR, Payload and GVWR. But, Iím still under the RAWR, so all is good, right?

Guess my truck isnít typically.
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Old 05-25-2021, 10:39 AM   #12
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Swap it for the hemi. Problem solved. Gain 1000lb if payload. Otherwise if you want to be within the published numbers, you’re kinda stuck. That being said I saw a 2500 Cummins pulling a Reflection 303 a few weeks ago and the guy said he has been doing it for a while. Also saw a big Forest River with multiple slides with an f250 power stroke. The word on the street is that these trucks can take much more than their yellow sticker shows. Just how yolo do you want to be? I looked for either a 1 ton diesel or a 3/4 gasser so I could move up. Times are tough right now as far as finding 1 ton trucks. But you could absolutely sell yours at a potential profit and then upgrade if you tried.
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Old 05-25-2021, 11:58 AM   #13
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My truck empty is 4880 front, 3540 rear.
Here we go again, look at the axle, and tire limits, the payload is a number that is left over from the truck weight subtracted from the 10,000 lb rating.
The 10k rating is for licensing purposes, and is not enforced by DOT.
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Old 05-25-2021, 12:25 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Garyp4951 View Post

My truck empty is 4880 front, 3540 rear.
Here we go again, look at the axle, and tire limits, the payload is a number that is left over from the truck weight subtracted from the 10,000 lb rating.
The 10k rating is for licensing purposes, and is not enforced by DOT.
Here we go again on our own?
Going down the only road weíve ever known?
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