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Dodge 1500 Towing Capacity (2002)

ineedatruck1ineedatruck1 Posts: 8
edited March 2014 in Dodge
I am in the market to buy a truck, mainly for carrying light loads aproximately 60 miles. I will also use it from time to time to haul a 16' trailer (@2000 lbs.) and small tractor (@2500 lbs.) I went to a trailer/tow hitch installation shop to ask their opinion on this truck, and they could not have been more negative. They said that the trailer harness for this truck bolts on the frame in a manner that was no better than using a bumper hitch. They suggested Ford or Chevy. I like the styling of the Dodge most, but I do not want to make a mistake. I was thinking of buying one of the 4.7l with automatic trans. models currently on sale and adding a stock hitch and transmission cooler.

Another thing I have heard is that I do not want to tow this kind of load with a 1/2 ton truck.

Any guidance given will be greatly appreciated.


  • sebring95sebring95 Posts: 3,238
    5500# isn't that much and a 1/2 ton can surely do it without problems. I wouldn't pick the 4.7L myself, but if it's occassional, then it wouldn't be a big deal. Are you going to pick the 4.6L if you buy a Ford? It's worse. I've towed that much weight with a 4.7L grand cherokee and it was fine. Could've used more power on the hills, but did the job. Pulled the same load with a 4.6L F-150 and was scared for my life the power was so bad.

    As far as the hitch thing, I dunno. I haven't seen an '02 mounted up and I wonder how many the hitch shop has seen? Sounds a bit like BS to me. I've had 13,000# on the receiver hitch on my 01' Ram and nothing fell off:) The trucks didn't change that much this year and I can't imagine they removed the rear frame. Take a look at one with a factory hitch and see how it's mounted.

    I'd buy one with the factory towing package anyway as it's usually cheaper/better IMHO. It's usually only a couple hundred bucks for the package and includes the hitch, wiring, adapters, tranny cooling, and sometimes some other heavy duty items that would cost alot more to add yourself.
  • ryanbabryanbab Posts: 7,240
    i would get the factory towing pkg. Tranny cooler is already there and you get the factory warranty on it.
  • It can be done safely and easily with a half ton dodge. I wouldn't do it without (working) trailer brakes. Also make sure you position the tractor on the trailer where you have a few hundred pounds of tongue weight. Too little and you can't keep it on the road. Too much and your headlights will blind low flying aircraft. I've got the 4.7L in a 4X4 crew cab dakota and pull a 5000# boat quite a bit. Handles it fairly easily with the standard rear (3.55 I think). Agree with the others that the factory towing package is a must. I you have a bunch of hills to navigate, you might consider the 3.92 rear end. It will cost you some fuel economy every time you drive it though.
  • Will you don't want the 5.9 it is still the old
    engine. Kcram wrote #318 in Dodge Ram {2000) unveiled about the newer engine. I get the 4x2
    in the new 4.7 OHC V8 270/325 if it is out next year. With 24G,DG4,DSA,,DMH,AHC,WF5 and M9**.
    Could try 4.7 240/300 this year engine with that
    stuff. I would have to agree working trailer bakes too on trailer.
  • 1/2 ton is no problem, I don't know about dodge but the Silverado can tow up to around 8000 safely. but if you are going to go for the 4.7 get the lowest gears you can, you wont regret it.

    I also say get the stock towing package, if it breaks while your towing well you can tell dodge its their fault because the truck was rated for that trailer.
  • My question is this: 2002 Ram Quad Cab 4x2 SB 4.7l 3.92 rear has tow rating of 7400# and the same truck with 5.9l and 3.55 rear has a tow rating of 7350# ...basically the same.
    I will be towing a 27' TT that is 5500# loaded about 10 times a year.
    What would be the difference in towing with the 5.9 or 4.7 when they rated almost the same.
  • Guys,
    Stop busting on the 5.9:(
    It's a low end grunt motor. It peaks power BELOW 3000rpm. I've loaded my truck to the spring stops and it pulled fine (just didn't handle real well). C'mon at least test drive it.
  • I can't seem to easily find the towing capacity on the Dodge website. The 5.9l sounds great, but it only seems to add 10-15 horsepower. Is it worth it? The 4.7 is newer and seems to be recognized as a good engine. Perhaps the torque is higher; is that what I should be paying attention to?

    I was thinking of trying to buy one of those base 4.7l models advertised cheaply and adding on accessories. Can one add the 3.92 gear ratio option?
  • lariat1lariat1 Posts: 461
    Purplehaze99 well the answer to your question is simple, the max tow rating is based on the capacity of the truck not the engine, for the 1/2 ton Rams the axle is the weakest link thus the tow rating is lower for the 360 because of the extra weight. My personal thought is that if you are anywhere near the max buy a 3/4 ton and have lots of extra capability.

    Ineedatruck you situation is a little different, if you plan on towing frequently or driving in hilly areas go for the 5.9 if it is a commuter truck go for the 4.7 with both of them I recommend the 3.56 rear end for fuel economy, if you are towing and feel the need for the 3.92 rear end you should be looking at the 3/4 ton trucks. My experience is that the 360 gets around 18mpg on the highway 15 mixed and 11-12 towing a 5000# trailer,this is with a 2001 ram quad w/360, if you go by the sticker expect 1-2 mpg better with the 4.7. Hope this helps.
    SEE YA and good luck on the new truck
  • xyz71xyz71 Posts: 179
    A friend of mine just bought a 2002 Ram quad cab. He wanted the factory platform hitch. The dealer had 50+ trucks on the lot - not one had the hitch. He got the truck anyway - took the platform hitch off of his 1998 before he traded - thought it would fit. To his surprise there is no frame to bolt it to. The after market shop told him he would love to order him one but they are not available yet. I looked under his truck and it looks to me like one of those "bolt on to a step bumper" type receivers is all that is going to fit. The rear bumper on the new Ram has a tube that looks like the factory platform receiver on GM trucks.

    It is a nice truck. I have never owned a Dodge, but if I was looking for a new truck I would put the 2002 Ram on the test drive list.
  • Xyz71 -
    That is basically what the after-market shop told me. When I spoke to a dealer, he said that they can install the towing package on a 1500, which would include a hitch, receptacle and transmission cooler. He added that the only thing you would miss out on is a larger oil cooler than the one that comes with the truck.

    This makes no sense to me because a 4.7l w/ 3.92 axle ratio is rated at something like 8400 lbs. How can you tow that with a bumper hitch?
  • lariat1lariat1 Posts: 461
    xyz71 the new Rams have a hitch built into the Bumper I am not to sure if it is a class III or IV I would have to check.

    ineedatruck you can tow up to 10,000# with a class IV hitch if you use sway control bars and electric brakes.........SUPPOSEDLY I would not attach a 10,000# trailer to a reciever hitch if I have that much I would go for a gooseneck
  • So the Dodge 1500 with factory towing package come with a hitch attached to the bumper?

    If so, this should not concern me? The after-market guy behaved as though though someone insulted his mother in describing this as a defective design -- he really discouraged me from the Dodge.

    Thanks in advance to everyone who answers. I really need advice on this so I do not screw up.
  • jcmdiejcmdie Posts: 595
    There is nothing wrong with the Dodge towing ability or the factory tow package. All receiver hitches bolt to the frame.
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    doesn't have trailer brakes, the tow limit is 2000 pounds for full-size GM and Dodge pickups. This clearly stated in the Silverado brochure, and is a footnote in the Dodge Ram 1500 brochure.

    I know it sounds nuts, but GM and Dodge are covering their tails here.

  • ..they are trying to make sure your tail is around to buy another truck when the time comes. Have you ever had to stop a truck in a hurry on a wet road with a trailer behind w/o trailer brakes. It can get ugly quick. 2000# seems like 2000 too much in this situation. Dragging a brakeless trailer around with a half ton PU is an invitation to disaster. These rigs ought to have a yellow strobe light on top and be limited to 40 mph.
  • My experience in hauling travel trailers included going over mountain passes in Colorado. Without the trailer brakes, I would not have been able to keep my descending speed at around 40 MPH on some of those grades. The tow vehicle alone would have faded brakes that would result in a very scary ride. Trailer brakes allow for balanced braking of your rig which can also be critical on a slippery road. I think Dodge did a great job with the factory installed hitch which includes class IV receiver, 750 amp battery, auxiliary transmission oil cooler, heavy duty engine cooling, and 7 pin wire harness and connector plug. This is a solid value at $465 MSRP and I am surprised that more of the 1/2 ton 2002 Quad Cabs do not come with the factory installed hitch.
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    the 2000 pound unbraked trailer restriction, for both GM and Dodge trucks, is for *all* their full-size trucks, including those with dual rear wheels. It's not just for 1/2 tons. Sorry if I wasn't clear here.

    Don't get me wrong, I don't dispute the value of trailer brakes. The issue I have really is with state laws that say over a certain weight you must have brakes, below that weight there is no need for trailer brakes. Here in Maryland that limit is 3000 pounds, which is also a common figure used in most states. Trying to find a trailer in this state that is rated under 3000 pounds, and with brakes, is next to impossible to find.

    The other point I was trying to make is that some truck manufacturers suggest that these vehicles can tow great loads—which is true—if the trailer has brakes. However, as far as I know, Ford makes no reference whatsoever to having trailer brakes restrictions on any of their trucks. Does that mean Fords are better at towing? No, not at all. It does, however, *suggest* to customers that Fords may be better, because they are *implying* that trailer brakes are not an issue with their vehicles. Do I agree with that? Absolutely not.

This discussion has been closed.