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Old 01-17-2022, 06:22 PM   #1
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New to towing a camper (sorta)

A few years ago we made a life changing purchase and acquired a decent used camper and have since upgraded last year to a much nicer (and larger) camper cause kids grow. I'm no mechanic but I know a bit to make things work. With that being said I do have some basic questions that have been kicking around between my ears that I've been wanting to hammer out. Mainly rpms while towing. My tow vehicle is a 2013 ram 1500 6sp 4x4 with a 3.92 diff. The camper is a 29ft salem weighing in at 5145 lbs dry. So that being said what rpms are safe to maintain for miles at a time without over doing it. Idaho has a wide variety of terrain from plains to mountians.
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Old 01-17-2022, 07:49 PM   #2
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Peak HP is at 5600 RPM
Peak Torque is at 3950 RPM
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Old 01-17-2022, 08:03 PM   #3
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With my GMC 1500, I try to stay under 3500 rpm at highway speed. It will downshift and pop up to maybe 4200 for a hill. But I would never my truck drive up north constantly above 4200 rpm if possible. But then again I keep my vehicles for the long haul and want to make them last.

Will your truck do higher rpms and be fine, most likely. But I'm not doing over 70mph towing heavy for my truck for 4 hours straight like other crazy people lol

My truck is a 6 speed 3.42 gear. So slightly different, but close
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Old 01-17-2022, 08:13 PM   #4
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A bigger worry to me would be if the transmission was hunting for a gear. If your transmission is not constantly shifting I wouldn't worry about RPMs. It's doubtful you could over rev it to the point of damage.
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Old 01-18-2022, 03:10 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Duster73 View Post
With my GMC 1500, I try to stay under 3500 rpm at highway speed. It will downshift and pop up to maybe 4200 for a hill. But I would never my truck drive up north constantly above 4200 rpm if possible. But then again I keep my vehicles for the long haul and want to make them last.

Will your truck do higher rpms and be fine, most likely. But I'm not doing over 70mph towing heavy for my truck for 4 hours straight like other crazy people lol

My truck is a 6 speed 3.42 gear. So slightly different, but close
Haha heard. Cruising while towing my truck holds 2300 rpms. I don't rev over 4k if I can absolutely avoid it. The primary reason I'm asking this is I'm getting rdy to dial in a bully dog tuner and want to set my shift points
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Old 01-18-2022, 06:14 PM   #6
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Mine's a GM and I've had to hold it at 5000 to 5500RPM for up to 7-8 minutes at a time. Might be stressful for some, but it never blew up, and still consumes practically no oil under load or not.

Most modern gas engines will have no issue holding 4000RPM for hours on end.

I know I'm going to get bashed and called the weight police, but my concern would be the payload and rear axle weight on that vintage of RAM. Many 1500s had weakly payload limits in the 1300lb range. I am guessing trailer GVWR at 7500lbs or close, which can easily mean 1000lbs of tongue weight with the weight of the WDH. Not much left for passengers or carrying junk in the truck bed.
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Old 01-18-2022, 06:26 PM   #7
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Mine's a GM and I've had to hold it at 5000 to 5500RPM for up to 7-8 minutes at a time. Might be stressful for some, but it never blew up, and still consumes practically no oil under load or not.

Most modern gas engines will have no issue holding 4000RPM for hours on end.

I know I'm going to get bashed and called the weight police, but my concern would be the payload and rear axle weight on that vintage of RAM. Many 1500s had weakly payload limits in the 1300lb range. I am guessing trailer GVWR at 7500lbs or close, which can easily mean 1000lbs of tongue weight with the weight of the WDH. Not much left for passengers or carrying junk in the truck bed.

2013 ram 1500 will have a RAWR of 3900#
Payload....only 1400/1600# (trim dependent)

https://www.ramtrucks.com/assets/tow...wing.Specs.pdf

Trip across CAT Scales will tell the tale
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Old 01-19-2022, 08:00 AM   #8
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2013 ram 1500 will have a RAWR of 3900#
Payload....only 1400/1600# (trim dependent)

https://www.ramtrucks.com/assets/tow...wing.Specs.pdf

Trip across CAT Scales will tell the tale
Thanks for the response. This is the area I know very little about. Before I purchased the camper I spent some time looking at weights vs capability for my truck and found that the camper was under the tongue with limit for my truck at 550lbs dry.. but from what I can tell is I'll be ok with my set up. So thanks
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Old 01-19-2022, 10:54 AM   #9
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You cannot go by the brochure tongue weight. Once loaded your tongue weight will be around 10 to 12% of the trailer gvwr...some as high as 15%.

For your other "calculation", use the trailer GVWR, not brochure or dry weight unless you plan to never add any personal items to the RV.

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