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Old 05-20-2022, 09:58 PM   #1
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2004 Dodge RAM 3500, 5.7L Gas Engine

I'm interested in a couple of 5th wheel trailers in my area and I will be needing a bigger truck. Sadly the truck market has been crazy the past couple years and I would like to spend less than $20k if that is possible. Not much out there that can pull a 5th wheel in the range of 10k-15k lbs for that price. I found this ad for a 2004 Ram 3500 ST dually 4wd with the 5.7l gas engine. I'll post the link below for the truck, not sure if it will be allowed though. The dealer doesn't know what its tow rating would be for a 5th wheel. Any advice on how to get that number, plus any other advice that might be useful like a better option for a truck under $25k or some other advice from an experienced RVer would be appreciated regarding getting a truck to pull a 5th wheel. Thanks


https://www.fuelinfineautosales.biz/...-3500/84368270
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Old 05-20-2022, 10:03 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattdude View Post
I'm interested in a couple of 5th wheel trailers in my area and I will be needing a bigger truck. Sadly the truck market has been crazy the past couple years and I would like to spend less than $20k if that is possible. Not much out there that can pull a 5th wheel in the range of 10k-15k lbs for that price. I found this ad for a 2004 Ram 3500 ST dually 4wd with the 5.7l gas engine. I'll post the link below for the truck, not sure if it will be allowed though. The dealer doesn't know what its tow rating would be for a 5th wheel. Any advice on how to get that number, plus any other advice that might be useful like a better option for a truck under $25k or some other advice from an experienced RVer would be appreciated regarding getting a truck to pull a 5th wheel. Thanks


https://www.fuelinfineautosales.biz/...-3500/84368270
Cummins.
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Old 05-21-2022, 04:59 AM   #3
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According to these specs the SRW can haul 15k, so the DRW should be fine. Would be nice to know what gearing it has. It has a small tank though and you'll be stopping a lot for gas:

https://www.edmunds.com/dodge/ram-pi...eatures-specs/
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Old 05-21-2022, 05:22 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by mattdude View Post
I'm interested in a couple of 5th wheel trailers in my area and I will be needing a bigger truck. Sadly the truck market has been crazy the past couple years and I would like to spend less than $20k if that is possible. Not much out there that can pull a 5th wheel in the range of 10k-15k lbs for that price. I found this ad for a 2004 Ram 3500 ST dually 4wd with the 5.7l gas engine. I'll post the link below for the truck, not sure if it will be allowed though. The dealer doesn't know what its tow rating would be for a 5th wheel. Any advice on how to get that number, plus any other advice that might be useful like a better option for a truck under $25k or some other advice from an experienced RVer would be appreciated regarding getting a truck to pull a 5th wheel. Thanks


https://www.fuelinfineautosales.biz/...-3500/84368270
Without knowing the gearing and such, may be hard to tell. Most important is do you know what size, length and weight 5th wheel interests you? I pull a 5er with a gas dually and does ok, but wouldn't be pulling a 16 000lb 38' one through the Rockies.
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Old 05-21-2022, 10:22 AM   #5
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My truck is a 2004 Ram dually except 2WD. As I recall, the gross combined weight on my truck is 21,000# with a 3.73 rear end. I believe it goes up to 23,000# with the 4.10 axle. My fifth wheel weighs probably 10,500# now and the truck ready to tow weighs 8,000#. From a chassis standpoint, the truck handles the trailer wonderfully, stable and tracks perfectly straight.

I have the Cummins with 325 HP and 600 ft-lbs. Sometimes it struggles on the hills and grades in the northwest. The 4-speed auto isn't real flexible. I would worry about the power performance of the hemi unless you tow on the flats. The rest of the truck works 100% and is in good shape even though it is 18 years old. The Cummins is flawless.

I wouldn't tow a 15K fiver with my truck even with the diesel. I would be way over the numbers and suspect the transmission might be the weak point. Hope this helps.
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Old 05-21-2022, 06:50 PM   #6
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Without knowing the gearing and such, may be hard to tell. Most important is do you know what size, length and weight 5th wheel interests you? I pull a 5er with a gas dually and does ok, but wouldn't be pulling a 16 000lb 38' one through the Rockies.



Yes I was thinking the same. Do you think a Ram dealer would be able to tell me the gearing based on VIN? I tried google searching the VIN but didn't find the gear ratio. The two 5th wheels I am looking at are about 12k lbs at 34' and 14k lbs at 39' fully loaded. What gas motor does your truck have and what kind of weight do you pull with it? I assume the 5.7l in the truck I posted would pull the weight but as you mention could be problematic on hills. Im also thinking could be an issue on acceleration and maybe would wear out the motor and drivetrain, not sure.
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Old 05-21-2022, 06:55 PM   #7
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My truck is a 2004 Ram dually except 2WD. As I recall, the gross combined weight on my truck is 21,000# with a 3.73 rear end. I believe it goes up to 23,000# with the 4.10 axle. My fifth wheel weighs probably 10,500# now and the truck ready to tow weighs 8,000#. From a chassis standpoint, the truck handles the trailer wonderfully, stable and tracks perfectly straight.

I have the Cummins with 325 HP and 600 ft-lbs. Sometimes it struggles on the hills and grades in the northwest. The 4-speed auto isn't real flexible. I would worry about the power performance of the hemi unless you tow on the flats. The rest of the truck works 100% and is in good shape even though it is 18 years old. The Cummins is flawless.

I wouldn't tow a 15K fiver with my truck even with the diesel. I would be way over the numbers and suspect the transmission might be the weak point. Hope this helps.

Interesting thanks for your input. I'm probably going to hold out a while longer for a 5.9L diesel. They are few and far between plus being in the northeast the older trucks usually have rust and rot but I think it will be worth the wait if I can get one. I'd be more willing to take a flyer on that 5.7L if they weren't asking $17k for it. Maybe prices will come down finally for trucks in the coming months with the fuel prices continuing to climb.
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Old 05-22-2022, 05:45 AM   #8
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When I was considering a Ram 2500 to replace my V-10 Excursion I was looking for a 6.4 Hemi specifically. You should be able to find one cheap as everyone wants a Cummins. I think the 6.4 in the HD trucks started around 2015. So I would think you should be able to find one with decent miles for less than $25k.
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Old 05-22-2022, 06:08 AM   #9
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Yes I was thinking the same. Do you think a Ram dealer would be able to tell me the gearing based on VIN? I tried google searching the VIN but didn't find the gear ratio. The two 5th wheels I am looking at are about 12k lbs at 34' and 14k lbs at 39' fully loaded. What gas motor does your truck have and what kind of weight do you pull with it? I assume the 5.7l in the truck I posted would pull the weight but as you mention could be problematic on hills. Im also thinking could be an issue on acceleration and maybe would wear out the motor and drivetrain, not sure.
They absolutely can tell you the gearing by VIN unless it was modified.

My truck has a gas 6.0 and 3:73 gearing. HP/Torque not that far off from the RAM you're looking at, BUT, I have a 6 speed, and I believe the RAM only has a 4 speed in that vintage.

I pull 13k lbs loaded 90% of the time. It's 32' end to end 5th wheel, lots of pin weight. I'm pretty sure the RAm would handle it too, no racing uphill but who cares about that? I wouldn't get a 38' trailer nor anything 15k or more, the 4 speed is the limiting factor on that one.
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Old 05-22-2022, 10:00 AM   #10
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If it was me, I'd be looking for a 2001.5 - 2004 CTD HO 6 spd.

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Old 05-22-2022, 06:56 PM   #11
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Back in 2011 I test drove a Ram 2500 with the 5.7 but I don't remember the axle ratio. Anyway I thought the truck needed more power. This was when I knew very little about trucks. I was driving a 2011 F-150 5.0 litre truck at the time. I ended up with a 2012 F-450 6.7 powerstroke. I liked that truck towing my 5th wheel. It towed it easily.

If you could swing a 2011 or newer GM had a new heavier duty frame. Ford had new Engines and Ram also had a nice truck.
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Old 05-24-2022, 09:45 AM   #12
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Last week I found a 2015 Ram 2500 with the 6.4 Hemi, 6 spd and 4.10 gears.....I was thinking of picking it up for the fleet but when I saw the TFL truck "Ike Gauntlet" test of the truck, I noticed it was down to 30mph in first gear on a 7% grade pulling 12,500 lbs. .....that's just not enough power for towing a 10,000+ lb trailer IMO. ....now, keep in mind that the 6.4 offers a fair chunk more power than a 5.7 (I have had three 5.7's and still have one) and I can't help but think you'd be VERY unhappy with a 3500 with a 5.7 towing a large 5th wheel.

.....which brings me back to a more modern/capable gasser - a 2019+ ram with the 6.4 and 8spd tranny or a Ford Superduty with the 10 speed and either the 6.2, or better yet, the 7.3.....if those trucks aren't in the budget, I go back to early pre-emissions diesels.


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Old 05-26-2022, 09:46 PM   #13
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For rear axle ratio, just open the glove box and look at the sticker in there. Both GM and Chrysler put the axle ratio along with the paint codes in the glove box on the inside of the door.

Otherwise the dealers parts department can run you a build sheet by using the VIN number, or you can do it online, but the online version does not seem to be as complete.

Charles
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