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2500 vs 3500 for towing fifth wheel

joaniesjoanies Posts: 1
edited March 2014 in Dodge
What is the difference between these two engine sizes when towing a 32 to 37 foot 5th wheel? Is 2500 adequate or would 3500 be a requirement? Also, would like some input into the pros and cons of whether to buy a 4WD or 2WD.

Comments

  • mullins87mullins87 Posts: 959
    I'm not a Dodge owner, but I do know the engines are the same and the GCWR should be the same also. The only big difference I can think of, as far as weight ratings go, is the amount of weight that can be placed in the bed. You need to find out how much weight is on the pin of the fifth wheel. You may think just because it is a 2500, that you can really load the bed, but I'd bet the amount of weight that can be legally placed in the bed of a 2500 will surprise you. Heck you might even discover that you need a DRW. I have a Ford F-350 DRW with a legal rating of 11,200lbs, the legal bed capacity is just a little over 3,500lbs with the truck weighing around 7,500lbs. The GCWR of my truck, and most likely the Dodge 2500 and 3500, is 20,000lbs. That means that I can pull up to a 12,500lb 5th wheel with up to 3,500lbs on the pin. NOT a very big 5th wheel as I am sure your's will approach that weight.

    The point of all this, find out how much the 2500 and 3500 weigh, then subtract that from the GVWR to find out how much weight you can haul, ie.. pin weight. Then find out what the GCWR is, probably 20k. Then find out what the 5th wheel weighs and how much weight is on the pin. If the 5th wheel weight exceeds the load capacity of the 2500, then look to the 3500 SRW, if that is too light, then look to the 3500 DRW.

    As far as 2wd vs. 4wd, your needs dictates that decision. I can tell you the extra hardware needed for the 4wd system will decrease your load capacity by a few hundred pounds on any truck you choose.
  • I can tell you from experience that the 3500 series has larger brakes, heavier drive line components and some frame features that the 2500 series does not have. I suggest the 3500 be seriously considered for what you intend to tow. Look out for the potential failure of the automatic transmission. The torque these new B series Cummins engines put out is more than the automatic can stand in tough pulling situations.
  • KCRamKCRam Mt. Arlington NJPosts: 3,516
    gm, that was mostly true of the 1994-2002 body. The 2003 HD Ram 2500 and 3500s sit on essentially the same chassis, and all the driveline components are identical based on engine, not weight class (not unlike the Ford SD F250 and 350). The loss of payload is simply from the tire capacity.


    Joanie, for a 5th that long, you will be much better off with the DRW 3500. The "training wheels" will keep the whole rig a little more stable in windy conditions, and it spreads the pin load over more tire patch to reduce tire wear. The top hauler for the new 2003 Ram 3500 DRW is a regular cab 2wd with the HO Cummins, 6 speed manual, and 4.10 axle. That will give you a GCWR of 23,000 pounds, which should be plenty. Unless you live and/or tow in wintry conditions, you probably can get away with just a limited slip rear axle. The 4WD weighs more, has less payload and towing capacity, and would just put unnecessary wear on front end components (and your wallet, mpg will be less due to the weight and a higher wind profile).


    If you REALLY do need more grunt than that, wait til early 2003. Ford will be offering the F450 Crew Cab with a standard DRW pickup bed for the first time, a GVWR of 15K, and a GCWR of 30K with the new 6.0L Powerstroke diesel. If THAT can't do the job, then you need to be shopping at Freightliner dealers :)


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  • bigfurbigfur Posts: 649
    Why would you want to buy a freightshaker??? oh well lets not open up THAT whole can of beans now. lol
  • KCRamKCRam Mt. Arlington NJPosts: 3,516
    Because Kenworth doesn't make a class 5 medium LOL


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  • bigfurbigfur Posts: 649
    sure you shouldnt change it so sarcam (sarcasm). BUT once again, we wont go there. course...could go international too!!! (but im not a fan of them either)
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