Are you a current or recent car shopper who bought an EV and then installed solar – or who had solar already, making the decision to go electric easier?
Are you a recent EV buyer (past 3 months) as a result of manufacturer incentives and dealer discounts on these vehicles, including year-end deals? Were you convinced to buy an EV after finding a good end-of-year deal, or due to uncertainty around which EVs will no longer qualify for full/partial EV tax credits in 2024? A national business reporter is interested in speaking with you. Please reach out to [email protected] by 12/15 if interested in sharing your story.

Towing w/ 2500

neaudineaudi Member Posts: 21
edited March 2014 in Dodge
I currently have a 6000 lb travel trailer and am looking for a new tow vehicle. Am considering Dodge Ram 2500 Quad Cab short bed w/ Hemi. I want to get a truck that will allow me to tow a 5th wheel in future. I know any 2500 will handle my current trailer, but what about the 5'er.

Here is some more info:

unloaded 5'er weight is 7500 lbs
GTW of 5'er is 9900 lbs
pin weight is 1450 lbs

Considering the HO Turbo Diesel is not available in Massachusetts, it is either the SO TD or the Hemi. Test drove the SO TD and hated the lack of power from the get go. Thought the hemi would be fun to drive.

Here are my questions:

Can I tow a 5'er with the short bed?

The Hemi 4.10 axle ratio tows 10800 lbs. Am I pushing it?

Any gas mileage results for Hemi w/ 4.10?

Thanks in advance for the help.


  • mullins87mullins87 Member Posts: 959
    The pin weight you stated is probably the dry pin weight as it is 19.3% of the dry weight listed. I'd bet the pin weight of the fully loaded camper will be closer to 1,980 lbs. That is based on a 20% pin weight ratio. However, as long as the pin weight is between 15% and 25% of the gross trailer weight, you should be fine.

    We need to know three things. What is the actual wet weight of the truck, not the dry weight of the base model truck. What are the GVWR and GCWR for this truck? Once we know those numbers, then we can decide if this 5'er is within the manufacturer ratings.
  • neaudineaudi Member Posts: 21
    Thank you for the help. Here is the information that I have:

    Dodge Ram 2500 Quad (Hemi 4.10):

    GVWR - 8,800
    Curb weight - 6,073
    Curb weight F/R - 3,380/2,693
    Payload - 2,730
    GAWR F/R - 5,200/6,150
    GCWR - 17,000
    Max trailer weight - 10,800


    Dry weight - 7218
    Carrying capacity - 2701
    hitch weight - 1460

    So, it looks like I am w/in spec for all weights. Correct?

    But, is the short bed enough to tow a 5'er?
  • mullins87mullins87 Member Posts: 959
    The only number in your list that I suspect as being off is the curb weight of the truck. Is this the curb weight of the actual truck you plan to buy? Or is it the curb weight of a base model regular cab truck with no options on it?

    For the sake of arguement, I'll assume the curb weight is for the truck you are looking at, with all options installed. The curb weight, I believe, is its dry weight before any fluids are added. In order to run a "real world" calculation" we'll need to add for all fluids, passengers, gear, hitch, coolers full of your favorite beverage, etc.... Let's assume two adults, 150 lbs each, and two children, 75 lbs each - there's 450 lbs allready. A full load of fuel, oil, battery, etc... can easily go 250 lbs. If you have a crossbox, like myself, full of all the necessities, jack, tools, chains, extra oil, extra coolant, etc... lets use 200 lbs for the box and everything in it. We need to add for the 5th wheel hitch and all its attaching hardware - approximately 200 lbs. Well stop there, but I'll bet you'll also have some firewood in the truck bed, at least 150 lbs. But we won't count that.

    So, before any firewood, the total weight of the truck should be approximately 7,173 lbs. That leaves you only 1,627 lbs of pin weight capacity. Now, you've listed a pin weight of 1,460 lbs, which is almost exactly 20% of the dry weight of the 5'er. If you are very careful how the 5'er is loaded, then you can squeek by with only 16% on the pin. However, I'd bet your pin weight will most likely go into the 1,900 lb range. You will probably go over the manufacturers stated limits on this truck.

    Now, will that truck pull it? I know it would if it were the Cummins and I'd bet that Hemi will do just fine, maybe struggle a little in the mountains. I see 3/4 tons pulling larger 5'ers than that all the time. Would I do it? Probably not. Especially since you haven't bought the truck yet. Look at a similar 1 ton. Or does Dodge even offer a SRW 1 ton? I know Ford does, but Chevy doesn't. The Ford is rated at 9,900 lbs and would handle that 5'er just fine. If Dodge offers a SRW 1 ton, I go that route. The price probably isn't much more and the extra safety margin will make your towing more relaxed and enjoyable.

    Can you tow a 5'er with a shortbed? Sure you can. However, there are a few things to keep in mind. First off, get a slider for the hitch. With one of these devices, you can literally slide the hitch back to gain camper to cab clearance when tight parking manuevers are needed. The hitch slides up and locks in the towing position for all other times. The main thing to watch out for are those times when the truck and 5'er are approaching a 90 degree angle. The problem with the shortbed truck is not that it can't pull the 5'er, but that the "cab to camper" distance is less than the "center of the hitch pin to the side of the camper" distance". Measure the distance from the center of the pin to the edge of the camper. Then measure the distance from the back of the truck cab to the centerline of the rear axle. If the truck measurement is less than the camper measurement, then the two will contact each other when making tight turns where the truck and camper relationship exceeds roughly 60 degrees. The slider effectively increases the distance from the cab to the axle centerline, making the near 90 degree manuevers possible. An extended pin box may help some, but it will not offer the same benefits of the slider.
  • doneildoneil Member Posts: 11
    I posted this in another list (Dodge v. Ford), but it is better placed here.

    I am looking to buy a bigger truck to replace my '99 GMC Sierra 1500. I need a truck large enough to pull a 38' travel trailer with a dry weight of about 8,700lbs., a GVW of about 11,300lbs and a hitch weight of about 1,200lbs.. Since I never plan to pull it with the tanks full, I'd estimate the maximum weight that I would be pulling would be about 9,700lbs, including passengers.

    I love my GMC, but the new GM's and Ford's seem to be priced much higher than the Dodge Ram trucks. I've only owned one Chrysler product in my life, and that was a lemon. I really like the looks of the Ram 2500, but I'm gun-shy. Are these newer Dodge trucks reliable? Can I pull this trailer with a 3/4 ton 2500, or am I going to need a 3500 instead? I'm looking for 4WD with a crew cab and a gas-powered engine. Any thoughts?
  • firetektoofiretektoo Member Posts: 15
    Purchased an 03 2500 Quad Cab with the HO turbo cummins diesel and automatic. IMHO if you intend to try pulling 6000# with that hemi, you're out of your mind. We traded in a F-150 SCrew with 5.7 because the gas engine just doesn't do it. I'm pulling a 6200# taildragger and the Cummins doesn't even know it's there. Just did a 500 mi trip, loaded for camping with my 4-wheeler in the bed of the truck, 4 adults on board, generator, gas cans, etc. from Tulsa to western OK. Got an honest 13.3 mpg towing at an average 62mph. Never once did the truck hesitate or even slow down on hills. Virtually no downshifting. No sway. BTW, at just over 7K on the odometer, we're averaging 22-23mpg during average driving. Got 17 with the Screw.

    Did the exact same trip last March with the Ford. The engine just did not have the power to pull. Constant shifting up and down, 7mpg, and the always present feel of "are we gonna make it..."

    Yes, the 2500 should handle your load fine with the Hemi but if you intend to do any serious towing, I'd strongly recommend the diesel.
  • alz5alz5 Member Posts: 4
    Does anyone have any experience towing a 13,000 5th wheel with thw HO diesel and the 48RE auto tranny? Will I need to add any aftermarket equipment to give me control on downhill grades?

  • mullins87mullins87 Member Posts: 959
    I'm not familiar with the Dodge setup. However, I am familiar with what's needed in the Ford setup. First off you'll need an exhaust brake. This is a device that uses a valve to close the exhaust pipe and turns the engine into a huge air compressor. This compressor effect creates a lot of backpressure on the pistons and therefore you have better engine braking. You can opt for a Jake Brake. This device is more effective but costs considerably more. The next thing you'll need is a torque convertor lock-up switch. This is included in most exhaust brakes that I know of. This device keeps the torque convertor locked-up even though you have your foot off the accelerator. I would highly suggest a good tranny cooler with a built-in thermostat and its own fan. You can use one without a fan, they work quite well also, but an attached fan gives you more mounting options should the traditional behind the grill spot not be practical or possible. The last thing I suggest is a good tranny temp. gauge. With the gauge you will know when your tranny is in trouble before any damage is done. The last suggestion I have is to just make sure you change the tranny fluid often. Fresh clean fluid that is not allowed to overheat is the key to long tranny life.

    Now, for my experience. I have a '99 F-350 Powerstroke with the 6-speed. While I don't have to worry about tranny temps as much as guys with automatics, I do change my fluid every 30k miles. I have a Western Diesel Turbo Brake. This exhaust brake is a real brake saver on long downhills. I can really feel the brake engage when engine rpm's are over 2k.
  • dustykdustyk Member Posts: 2,926
    Begining in 2003 the Dodge RAM 3500 was available with a single rear wheel axle.

This discussion has been closed.