Dodge Ram Towing Questions

bigriverbigriver Member Posts: 1
I very recently purchased a 2006 3500 dually Mega Cab and I'm very happy with the truck so far. I've driven Chevy's for over 20 years, but with all things being considered, the Dodge won the contest in my mind with the inovation of the Mega Cab.
My question is I'm having difficulty finding the weight capacity while ingaged in 5th wheel towing. The Dodge web site indicated the weight being 13,550 lbs. ( with my 3.73 ) gear ratio. Checking out the Gm and Ford web sites, their stats show that the capacity increases while towing with a 5th wheel over conventional towing.
I spoke with someone from customer service with Dodge and they replied that 5th wheel towing doesn't add any benifit to weight capacities.
I dissagree with that due to the fact that the weight of the trailer is distributed a greater percentage over the truck with the front suspension sharing some weight.
So......, any thoughts on the subject? I'm now in the market of a very large 5th wheel travel trailer, and I hate to have to needlessly cut back on my selection due to a too consevative estimate of 5th wheel towing capacities from the manufacter. Thanks for help and opinions !!!


  • KCRamKCRam Mt. Arlington NJMember Posts: 3,516
    Since the Mega Cab dually is a shortbox, your fifth is very likely directly over or slightly rearward of the axle centerline. This means your front suspension is not picking up any of the pin weight. As such, the tow rating difference between a fifth and a receiver is insignificant.

    kcram - Pickups Host
  • kevin9984kevin9984 Member Posts: 2
    hey guys i just bought a 1998 ram 2500 p/u 4x4 5.9L with 3.55 axle ratio 4speed auto trans.i do not see any external oil or trans. coolers. i will occasionally be towing a 29 foot travel trailer gvw is 6300lbs. will this or not thanks for your help
  • dustykdustyk Member Posts: 2,926
    I'm not sure what the maximum towing rating is for your configuration. If this truck is going to be towing 6300 pounds for any distances, I would full maintenance the transmission and differential, and install an auxilary transmission oil cooler.

  • kevin9984kevin9984 Member Posts: 2
    hey dusty thanks for the response and info. my truck does have a factory combination oil & trans. cooler,they did a real good job of hiding it between the rad.and a/c cond.i have talked to several people and they feel i am not overworking the truck. i live in ma. and only plan on going to upstate new york about 1000 miles round trip once.i did plan on flushing the trans. & diff. dodge says max. towing cap. is 8600lbs. thanks again ,kevin
  • tent2tttent2tt Member Posts: 46
    I am trying to find a reliable truck with as good gas mileage as possible that can tow a maximum 5,500 lbs hard sided (not fold-down) travel trailer (that's the GVWR fully loaded up + 2 passengers) without overtaxing the engine going up hill and while still getting decent gas mileage towing and around town (particularly around town). Decent gas mileage to me is at least 20 mpg when not towing. I have now heard from two people who use a Tacoma to tow up to 5,000 lbs. and feel that it works quite well while still getting 12-17 mpg. Can anyone give me a reason why I should get a Dodge Ram 2500 with Cummins Turbocharged diesel instead? I have seen numerous posts on travel trailer sites by people saying that they can get 20mpg empty and 11-15 mpg towing (heavier weights than my prospective TT)and I am impressed with the fact that these are being manufactured now to comply with 2010 clean emission standards (while the Tacomas air pollution rating sucks), but the overall reliablility ratings and the postings by current Dodge owners about the problems they are having getting Dodge to fix things under warranty make me lean toward Toyota. Are there particular Dodge Ram years, models and engines that I should look for or avoid? Are their enough 2007 owners of Crew Cab 6.7L TCD Cummins to share their experiences? Any input from Dodge owners would be appreciated! I want the best truck for the job.
  • titanium29titanium29 Member Posts: 38
    Good question. I have actually done both. I used to have a PreRunner Taco with the 6 cylinder engine and an auto tranny. I pulled a "ultra light" travel trailer that weighed in the 5300lbs area. While the engine would pull it, it really couldn't do so on cruise with even the slightest hills without kicking up and down. But the bigger issue I felt was stability. I had a anti-sway and leveling control on the hitch. Even with that, I was usually "white knuckled" pulling it. It just felt like the trailer was going to come past me at any moment. With my family in the truck, it just unnerved me. Then I went to the Tundra with the 4.7. Better stability, but not enough power for the fifth wheel I traded the TT in on. So, finally I arrive at the Ram with the Cummins diesel, an auto and the mega cab. I too was concerned about the quality difference. But I have to tell you, I REALLY Like this truck. The torque pulls on cruise at 70, and your biggest worry is forgetting the big thing is back there. I have about 8500 miles on it, and haven't had any issues to date with the truck. My family loves the room too. If it were a Chrysler engine, I wouldn't have considered it. But Cummins knows Diesel engines. Someday, when Toyota puts a diesel in their new Tundra, I may go back. But for now, I like this Ram. Oh, and my mileage doing 70 miles per hour is about 14, but does go as high at 16. But, diesel is a bit cheaper than unleaded these days too. Hope this helps.
  • tent2tttent2tt Member Posts: 46
    Thanks for your response, titanium29, you got right to the heart of my concern--and it's all the more helpful to hear from someone who has owned both. I still have a few questions, if you don't mind sharing more of your experience:

    Is that 14-16 mpg empty or towing with the Dodge Ram 2500? I read somewhere that the older 12 valve Cummins diesels actually got better gas milage than the newer 24 valve ones, but I am not sure what year they changed over to the 24 and wouldn't want to get too old of one used (plus buying used is more of a gamble, so I do lean toward new unless there's a particular prior year that shines).

    In the 07 models, I was looking at the 2500 SLT Quad cab with either of the Cummins engines. Which Cummins engine did you get--the 5.9L HO or the 6.7L? Do you know if there a difference in quality and/or fuel efficiency between the two?

    I have heard that a long bed increases stability, but would I notice it towing a 5000 lb TT?

    Did you go with 2 x 4 or 4 x 4? I am going on dirt roads with washboards and some sand (i.e Southern Utah backroads), but am concerned about losing even more fuel economy with a 4 x 4 (although if I were getting a Tacoma, I would go with the 4WD because it probably would really help a smaller truck to have that extra traction to tow a 5K lb. load on rougher dirt roads) But is a 4 x 4 is really necessary in this big a truck?

    Aside from the tow package, are there specific options that you would recommend for travel trailer towing?

    Thanks for any/all additional input you can provide! It's really a stretch for me to imagine owning a diesel, but there is a first time for everything.
  • titanium29titanium29 Member Posts: 38
    Glad to offer any insight I can, tent2tt. I meant to address some of what you ask in your second post, but forgot to get it all. So here goes...I have a '06 3500 with the 5.7HO. Since I have the mega cab, it has the chassis of the long bed (they just put a short box on a long bed chassis to make room for the mega cab over the quad cab). So that may play into stability a little. But since I am towing a fifth wheel, I have less behind me in trailer. If you went with the LB chassis, the back of your trailer is going to back there a bit. Just something to think about. I have 24 feet behind the truck, but I haven't really seen any issues moving it around. It is a 4x4. Sometimes, backing a loaded trailer into a gravel slot with a slight grade, it is good to lock up all four wheels for traction. So I would go 4x4. It also helps with resale down the road. My understanding of the differences between the 06 5.7 CID and the '07 6.7L, is the newer one has some aluminum component in the engine to "benefit" from the new Ultra low sulphur diesel. A good dealer could probably tell you more, but I wouldn't shy away from either. Both these engines are quieter than their predecesors, and way more quiet than the Chevy and Ford Diesels. I also prefer the in-line 6 from cummins over the v8's in those brands. It is SAID to be a more reliable configuration offering better torque. The torgue numbers prove it, and I have a brotherinlaw who has a CID with 185000 on it, and it still growls like new.
    I wondered about a one-ton diesel myself. They're not cheap. But if you are going to tow any significant amount, I personally wouldn't go gasoline engines now that I've done both. I have also been told here and from owners that my "real" gas mileage won't occur for 30,000 miles or so on this engine. It takes CID engines a good while to fully break in. If I had it to do all over again, I'd do the same thing. The 2500 would probably be sufficient, but I didn't want any more capacity issues, so I went one-ton. If you have the means, I highly recommend picking one up. If you can find a 5 star dealer, I would recommend that too. Some of the others just want to make a quick sale. Thanks...T29
  • tent2tttent2tt Member Posts: 46
    Thank you, Titanium29, I am getting quite an education.

    I think I have been doing myself a disservice reading some of the Dodge forums, because of course they are discussing problems, not how reliable these trucks are. But when I talk with people out and about, I hear time and again that you can't go wrong with the Dodge Ram Cummins TCD.

    I will definitely heed your advice and go with a reputable 5 star dealer, because some of the Dodge dealers I have read about in the forums sound terrible. Support and service are vital, especially for a newbie like me.

    I am psyched to get the Dodge Ram and TT and get out into the world in a whole new way! Thanks again and Happy Trails!
  • tent2tttent2tt Member Posts: 46
  • araber89araber89 Member Posts: 1
    I have a Dodge 1500 and need to know a little about the towing power it has. I will be pulling a horse trailer this weekend and wanted to know if this truck will work. It easyily pulls our boat but I don't know the weight on the horse trailer. The truck has the 5.9 liter and is the quad cab. The reason I'm thinking the trailer is big is because it takes the biggest ball possible for a hitch and it needs the round light plug on the truck not the flat four. Also whats the difference between the flat four plug and the round one? Also will the truck do the job?
  • dgomandgoman Member Posts: 1
    I want to tow a 3 car wedge hauler (3 Axles) for which the just the trailer weight will be up to 23,000 lbs (Not including the weight of the truck).

    I do not know what truck I need to buy. I have seen pictures of people hauling this type of trailers using a Ram 3500, F 350 and Sierra 3500.

    I would appreciate any advise. Thnxs.
  • bobm11bobm11 Member Posts: 2
    Hi: My wife and I are about to buy a slide on and we are having a hard time with the right vehicle to haul it with. I have always heard Dodge with the cummings was the best. I dont want the new Ford 350/450 because all I read about is TROUBLE with the engine. I dont know that much about the Duramax. The camper we will be placing in the truck bed is about 5200lbs when everything is said and done. My question is; will a 3500 be enough truock for us? We plan to go out for about 2-3 months at a time, come home for about 2 months and go out again for 2-3 months and continue that cycle. Any help would be appreaciated. Thanks Bob M
  • lgordolgordo Member Posts: 3
    I have a 2008 Dodge Ram 1500 Quad cab with a tow package and can't find the plug for the brake controller, my 2005 had it right next to the steering column on the left side near firewall and it was blue. Can't see it anywhere, any help.
  • marker2marker2 Member Posts: 5
    I had the same problem with my '08 1500 Ram as well. First of all the dealer removed the controller plug that is supplied in the golve box on all RAMs with a towing package and had it in their parts department for sale. After a conversation with them, they gave it to me and said it was a mistake by the guy that prepares the truck for delivery...Yeah right!

    Anyway, I went to hook it up and I could not find the plug under the dash. After a friend told me where it was it was still hard to find as when they assembled the truck it was tucked in behind the electronic module. The module has a bunch of wires coming into/out of it up under the drivers dash between the side wall and the steering column. If you can't see it, reach behind for a loose connector and pull it out in front. Again, You may not have it if you did not purchase the manufacturer's towing package.

    Good luck. If you still can't find it I can get a picture to you if you ping me offline at [email protected]

  • marker2marker2 Member Posts: 5
  • marker2marker2 Member Posts: 5
  • lgordolgordo Member Posts: 3
    Funny you should say that because there was no harness in my truck either, when I asked about it they said that was funny and proceeded to get me one. I have the same manufacturers tow package that I had on my 05. Will have a look in the a.m. and let you know, thanks for the help.
  • lgordolgordo Member Posts: 3
    Well to say it was hid was putting it mildly, they must of handed out maps at the plant to put that away, never the less end result is I now have my brake control harness plug and I appreciate all your help. Thanks again.
  • marker2marker2 Member Posts: 5
    Glad to help. Just passing on a favour as someone else had to tell me where it was.
  • gdog6gdog6 Member Posts: 17
    i was looking at the towing and payload ratings for the ram 3500! Dodge only gave it a 10100 GVWR. the payload for a quad cab- a lousy 2995lbs how does this truck tow any heavy duty load. I hope the 09's have more payload
  • KCRamKCRam Mt. Arlington NJMember Posts: 3,516
    That's the 3500 single rear wheel, which is not much more than a 2500 with a beefier spring pack. The 3500 dual rear wheel is much higher in payload. As far as towing, it depends on what kind of hitch. If you have a heavy fifth wheel, you need the DRW. If you're using a receiver, either one will do, since that's more a consideration of frame and power than payload.

    kcram - Pickups Host
  • vetjtvetjt Member Posts: 1
  • gdog6gdog6 Member Posts: 17
    It showed dual rear wheels

    2008 RAM 3500
    SLT, 4x4, Quad Cab, 8 Ft, 6.7-Liter Cummins® Turbo Diesel Engine, 6-Speed Automatic 68RFE Transmission

    With 4.10 Axle Ratio You Can Tow 16700 lbs
    Gross Vehicle Weight Rating(GVWR)[i]=10100
    Curb Weight[i]=7135
    Curb WeightFront/Rear=4412/2723
    Gross Combination Weight Rating(GCWR)[i]=24000

    also the GAWR of the front and rear axle don't add up to the GVWR">
  • KCRamKCRam Mt. Arlington NJMember Posts: 3,516
    That's a single rear wheel... the dually's GVWR is 12,200 (I have one). The GAWRs will always add to more than the GVWR as a margin of safety, but as far as legal weight, you are governed by the GVWR.

    kcram - Pickups Host
  • gdog6gdog6 Member Posts: 17
    I looked up the info on the regular cab/long bed and it does have a 12,200lbs GVWR
    I guess Dodge has messed it up! this is not the first time. they still have 2006 pics on the towing guide

    Thanks for your help
  • KCRamKCRam Mt. Arlington NJMember Posts: 3,516
    No prob. The confusion comes from the fact that the Quad Cab SRW short bed is a standalone model, but the Quad Cab SRW long bed is an option of the dually, so sometimes it will appear as if the SRW s a dually.

    kcram - Pickups Host
  • gdog6gdog6 Member Posts: 17
    A 30ft! that all depends on what is going to be put in the trailer. Can you give me more info on this 5th wheel
  • bad99rambad99ram Member Posts: 1
    I just purchased a used 2006 Quad Cab , Cummins with the tow package.  The previous owner did not leave the Brake Controller Plug.  I have one from my 99 Dodge 2500 ( new) that looks the same.  Is the female end of the plug on that module box that is to the left of the steering shaft next to the sidewall.  It sort of feels that there is one but it is behind the module and I cannot see it.?  Any help you could give would be appreciated                                                                   Robert
  • palmbrzpalmbrz Member Posts: 1
    I purchased a2003 dodge 3500 SLT Laramie quad-cab 4wheel dr.dually.It has no owners trying to find the capacity of the factory reciever hitch.
  • bclarkflbclarkfl Member Posts: 2
    I am having some difficulty finding the correct answer to this question. I have a 2004 4 door, 4x4 diesel dually and I am considering purchasing a 42 foot gooseneck horse trailer that weighs about 14,000 lbs. empty and approaching 18 - 19,000 lbs loaded. The dealer says "no problem" but other dealers say this is too much for the 3500. I even considered upgrading to the 2008 dually but see that the towing capacity is 16,350 based on Curb weight. Can someone enlighten me as to the real story here? Will the 3500 be enough truck to pull a 42 foot 18,000 lb trailer up and down the hills? Or is the dealer just trying to sell me a trailer? I can go smaller trailer, but I am not going to a bigger truck.

  • KCRamKCRam Mt. Arlington NJMember Posts: 3,516
    You are legally overweight when loaded. If you have the 325/600 engine, your GCWR (Gross Combined Weight Rating) is 21,000 with the 3.73 axle and 23,000 with the 4.10. You can not use the base curb weight as your guide because it does not include options, higher trim levels, or most importantly, people and luggage that would be in the cab. I have the exact same truck you do, just a 2005. Its normal running weight is close to 8000 pounds with just me in it. That leaves you with no more than 15,000 pounds for trailer, horses, gear, passengers, luggage, and even the weight of the gooseneck coupling in the bed. If the trailer weighs 14 by itself, that leaves you with just 1000 pounds for everything else - certainly not enough capacity.

    The 2008 has a higher rating because of the more powerful engine (350/650), but it still would not be enough to drag a 19K loaded trailer. If you have an early 2004 with the 305/555 engine, you have even less to work with.

    kcram - Pickups Host
  • bclarkflbclarkfl Member Posts: 2
    Well, that was incredibly helpful. Sounds like the sales pitch was too good to be true - "oh that dually will pull it no problem, they do it all the time." Even the Dodge dealer guy said the 08 would be more than enough truck. I thought the weight sounded to much for my 04 and even the 08, but wanted to get some validation. I really appreciate the input here and will be looking at smaller, lighter trailers! Thanks kcram....really do appreciate a voice of reason.

  • KCRamKCRam Mt. Arlington NJMember Posts: 3,516
    No prob! :)

    kcram - Pickups Host
  • 07megacab07megacab Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2007 Dodge 2500 with the factory towing pkg. The trailer brake controller connector is attached to the electronics module beneath the dash. I am unable to connect the wiring harness from the brake controller to this connector due to the wire loom that is directly in front of it. I have tried unhooking the connector from the electronics module, but it seems to have some retaining clip and I am afraid I might damage the wiring if i force it loose. Is there something that I am missing or doing wrong here???
  • ant73ant73 Member Posts: 1
    Thinking to purchase 3500 dodge dually 6.7 cummings to tow a 4 car trailer stacker 2 on top and bottom app. 38 ft long not sure on weight of trailer. has three axles 7000 lbs. each with goose neck. owner pulls same trailer with 2008 ford f450 6.4 deisel which ford rates tow capacity 24500. Is this to much weight for the dodge 3500 or do i need to go to 4500? or go ford because with 4 cars on trailer thats alot of weight.
  • jchanneyjchanney Member Posts: 1
    I have the same problem as others in finding the blue brake controller connector.
    I have a flat 4 prong trailer connector. Did not get the towing pkg. with the truck did all trucks come with the brake controller connector? I have a 2004 dodge 1500 quad cab.
  • yorktownrickyorktownrick Member Posts: 1
    I am looking at a Raptor 3712TS fifth wheel. The spec sheet lists a weight of about 12600. According to trailer life ratings this truck has a tow rating of 14650 (5.9L HO, 4.10 axel, 4wd, LB, dually).

    My question is along the same lines of others I have seen but cannot really figure out. First, it looks like I have about 2K of people and stuff I can add before being overweight. Is that right? Secondly, is the rating listed for off the back towing and the real capacity with fiver towing is higher? Like in the previous post the GM and Ford websites show diffferent ratings for each.

    Thanks for any input!!!
  • KCRamKCRam Mt. Arlington NJMember Posts: 3,516
    First question... While your trailer is within the limit of the available trailer weight, your passenger/cargo payload is calculated a little differently. To determine that, you need the weight of the truck and the bed load created by the fifth wheel when connected. (Only way to get that reading accurately is at a truck scale with the trailer connected... the weight you need is the sum of the truck's two axle readings on the scale.) You then subtract that total weight from the truck's GVWR to determine your available payload of passengers and cargo.

    Second question... That 14,650 is for fifth-wheels. By law, you can not tow more than 10,000 pounds from a rear hitch, regardless of the truck's rated capacity.

    kcram - Pickups/Wagons Host
  • brumdaddybrumdaddy Member Posts: 1
    I have a 97 Dodge Ram 1500 4x4, Can anyone tell me If it would be safe to pull a 5th wheel camper weighing 8800 lbs. The owners manual says about 7300, what would anyone think about that. Thanx
  • KCRamKCRam Mt. Arlington NJMember Posts: 3,516
    Don't do it. Even if the truck is capable of the excess weight, you're in serious legal trouble if you travel somewhere that your combo must be weighed at a truck scale.

    kcram - Pickups/Wagons Host
  • jcarr56506jcarr56506 Member Posts: 1
    hello all,

    i have a 2001 ram 1500 2wd quad cab short box with towing package. i also have a travel trailer that has a weight of about 5000 lbs. i have pulled this trailer a few times with no problem but i was hoping to get some feedback to know if im killing my truck or not. everything that ive read says that i can pull up to 7550 lbs. i dont know if i worry too much or im just severely anal. also does anyone know what the proper operating temp for my trans ?

    thanks for any advice you might have :)
  • bobduncanbobduncan Member Posts: 1
    would it be safe to tow an 8000 pound travel trailer with a 97 dodge ram wagon 3500 15 passenger? just curious.
  • 2008dram15002008dram1500 Member Posts: 1
    I need to tap into someones knowledge bank and see if my truck can tow a new trailer I'm thinking of purchasing.

    I have a 2008 Ram 1500 quad cab 4x4 with the Hemi, the factory trailer tow package and I think it has the auxillary transmission cooler on it. The trailer is 6600lbs dry weight and has a 3k lb load limit. I highly doubt I would put that much weight on it but IF by chance I did, would this truck handle that weight or would I need air bags?
  • KCRamKCRam Mt. Arlington NJMember Posts: 3,516
    The maximum trailer weight for a 2008 Ram 1500 Quad 4x4 short bed with the Hemi, standard 17-inch footwear, Laramie package (heaviest option set), and 3.55 axles is about 8350. That also implies an empty truck, so that 8350 is reduced by people and cargo in the truck itself. Two adults and some gear could knock about 500 pounds off the payload, leaving you with a 6600 pound trailer that could only carry 1200 pounds of stuff.

    Air bags are not the issue... it's your total weight that can get you into legal issues if an officer thinks you're too heavy and sends you to a scale.

    kcram - Pickups/Wagons Host
  • spajospajo Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2004 Ram 1500, 4.7 engine.
    I am towing a 6200 pound trailer with no problems until I reach 50 mph, then the temp. gauge starts climbing. It will go about 2/3 of the way to the red zone and stops, if I drop to 45 mph the gauge returns to normal.
    I am not loosing any fluids, and there is no cross contanmination of fluids.
    Does any one have an idea of the cause of this over heating?
  • heyblanchheyblanch Member Posts: 1
    i bought my 2006 ram 3500 xlt used, it came without an owners manual , i'll be using it for a 3 car hauler...can someone give me the specs on this trucks tow capacity, i know the trucks gvwr is about 11,500....need to understand the maximum amount of weight i can have on truck's front and rear axles (i dont want any problems with dot/scales)....basically i need to know what this truck is really capable of.....thanks
  • magras60magras60 Member Posts: 3
    My wife and I are looking to purchase a used dually with a diesel engine. We are hoping that some of the wise diesel truck owners might offer some advice. We will be towing a 30-35 foot fifth wheel trailer in the northern united states for a few months at a time. We would like and would greatly appreciate input on truck, dually, hitch, best mileage and so forth. We thank you for reading this.
  • jhayesjhayes Member Posts: 10
    I had a 2004 Ram 1500 5.9 Hemi until about a month ago and then i brought a 2006 Ram 3500 5.9 diesel. I have a TT that has a GVWR of 7000 and then you add myself and 4 family members. My Ram 1500 always sounded like it was begging for mercy, constant gear searching, it never overheated though, has the tow package and etc. I too was told, no problem towing the TT, that wasn't the case. Obviously the 2006 Ram 3500 doesn't have any issues and never gear searches, smooth ride. Shouldn't brought a diesel in the first place, expensive lesson.
  • heatsheats Member Posts: 1

    I have a 2008 Dodge Megacab with the short box. When I bought the truck, all the paperwork list the truck as a 1500, but the Dealership told me that the Megacabs were only built on a solid axle 2500 chassis. Is this true? I do have solid axles and I'm trying to determine my towing capacity?

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