Help with max towing capacity

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Joined
Jan 13, 2021
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Hello all,

I have a Ram 1500 Big Horn that has a max towing capacity of 8,300 lbs.

I’m looking at buying at 32.5 ft travel trailer that weigh6,700 lbs empty.

Is this too much trailer for my truck? I was also going to purchase a E4 four point distribution hitch.

Manager of dealership says I should be fine especially with the distribution hitch.

Please let me know your thoughts.
Thanks!
 
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Of course the dealer says your ok, they want the sale. General rule is to stay within 80% of the maximum capacity, at 6700# dry you just over (6640). After adding water, propane, supplies and belongings I would suspect you will be right at or over the 8300#. Distribution hitch improves the weight on the tongue but does not increase capacity.
 
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Yeah, I'm aware of the 80% rule, which happens to be the exact weight with the trailer empty. I rounded up to 6,700 lbs. In addition, I would not be traveling with the liquids (Fresh/Grey/Black) to help alleviate the extra weight. Propane, folding chairs, food, clothes and a small grill would be my add ons. I know it adds up quickly. We may have to look at other trailers, but this one has all our wants. Ugh!
 
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What is the intended use? If you are running on flat interstates I would be ok with going up to the limit. If running in mountains, then considerabley less.

My F150 is rated at 2040 payload and 9100 towing.

You lose 3% power for every 1000' of elevation. I intend to go into 11,000' elevations with as much as 7% grades so Im thinking that I need to be at 6,500 max.
 
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Oh darn, I took the name on this thread as someone that was willing to haul my extra weight:LOL:. Wow the extra trim package sure must add a lot of extra weight, oh maybe the year my 1500 5.7/8 speed says 10500#. Funny how weight adds up while your not watching.
 
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First of all, how much payload do you have. Check the yellow sticker on the B piller of your truck. It should read something something like this " Weight of all occupants and load not to be more than xxxx lbs. Take that number and subtract weight of you,wife, kids,dogs and any thing else you will be cayying in the truck. That will be what is left of your payload. Subtract another 100 lbs. for the weight of the WDH and that is how much tongue weight you can carry with out going over the numbers. You will be either at that number or probably over.
 
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Ok, all. I'm considering upgrading my truck to a 2021 Ram 1500 that can max tow 11,627 lbs. The truck payload increases to 1,727 lbs. Surely this would get me where I need to be?
80% tow capacity would be 9,301 lbs. My trailer is 6,640 lbs empty. That gives me 2,661 lbs of play at 80%.
 
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Are you getting that payload number off of the truckor are you using the RAM web site information? Regardless of where the number is coming from you still have to deduct the weight of youand anything you carry in the truck from that number.

Based on the weight of 9301, yoyu will have a tongue weight of Between 1209 and 1395 lbs, This leaves a a balance of about 5 to 600 lbs. Is that enough weight remaining to carry you, wife, kids and dog. Not mention the approx. weight of the hitch at about 100 lbs.

I am not trying in any way to talk you out of this, just be absolutely sure your numbers are good. Try running your numbers in the attached linc. Be sure they are actual numbers and not from a web site.

Travel Trailer Weight Calculator
 
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I wouldn’t do it. Get a bigger truck or a lighter trailer. Never trust what a dealer says. Once you’re off the lot it’s not their problem. The only way a dealer might care at all is if they were selling a truck and trailer package. Even then. They’d probably only care that the truck could pull the trailer off the lot.

Alternatively, just fedex all your stuff to the campsite in advance, tow the trailer dry and empty and you’ll be golden :D
 
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I will add a little here. The way you can tow a heavy trailer with a truck with a small payload is to use an equalizing hitch. By design part of the weight is forced onto the front axle and trailer axles. Put the extra equipment you planed to put in the truck into the trailer. Pay attention to GCVW GVW of both vehicles not dry weight. If you pay attention to the manufacturers numbers and keep the 80% rule in sight then the equipment in the truck will not be over stressed. and use the right equipment for the job like equalizer hitch you are good to go.

Now on the other side of the fence. If you choose to upgrade trailer, and It is above the limit of your new truck then you will need to once again buy new. I tell you the reason to buy small, or bigger, both have there strong points. I have been doing this RV life for a long time, I know what I need and look for. I am mindful of weight and safety. I consider economy when not towing as well as enough truck to do the job. My fifth has a GVW of 6800# My cargo has a GVW of 7000#. My truck, well my truck I have already mentioned. 4 years into the truck I have had "0" issues. I travel the west with it in the rockies. and other western mountain ranges without any overheating or lack of power.

I hear that the 6 speed in the 2600 and above will result in lower over all gas mileage than the 8 speed in the 1500. Both transmissions are considered bullet proof, but the mileage is much much better with the 8 speed. In the end you will live with your choices. If your purchase of trailer is a solid future plan then the 1500 should serve you well if you remember to run the trailer over the scales every now and again.
 
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Are you getting that payload number off of the truckor are you using the RAM web site information?
General info on the RAM website is suspicious as most manufacturers sites are. However when at the dealer have him show you the "as built" data on your future truck that is also on the website for RAM trucks according to VIN.
 
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I sure wouldnt go from a 1/2T to a 1/2T to increase tow capacity.

A 2021 f250 XLT 4x4 with the 7.3 has a msrp of 55k.

Not sure what a comparable equiped 2500 Ram lists for, but if you are getting a new truck speciffically to tow with, go big.
 
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Also, no one has mentioned the fact that a 32 1/2 ft. travel trailer is awful long for a 1/2 ton to handle.
 
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I don't care what the numbers are I wouldn't use a 1500 to pull a 33' long trailer. No way. If you've ever blown a tire or have ever had a trailer start "wagging the dog" you wouldn't consider it either. As long as everything stays perfect and the sun is shining and the wind isn't blowing and you never get above 55 mph you'll be OK. If you can admit that any of those things may not happen then you need a bigger truck.
 
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I don't care what the numbers are I wouldn't use a 1500 to pull a 33' long trailer. No way. If you've ever blown a tire or have ever had a trailer start "wagging the dog" you wouldn't consider it either. As long as everything stays perfect and the sun is shining and the wind isn't blowing and you never get above 55 mph you'll be OK. If you can admit that any of those things may not happen then you need a bigger truck.
Hey @"EZ" I'm not arguing with you here but. How much weight does it take to stop a wagging tail? Blow a tire on what? The truck or trailer.

Last but not least. when does the 80% rule not apply?

I think it is easy to think bigger is better, or at least that is what our society tells us. It is kind of like The person that says they wouldn't take a 30 ft boat on a blue water cruise. In the pond it seems that a 100 ft yacht is to small. But then we see many 32 ft West sails out there all the time.

I am kind of a safety guy. I have been towing things for, well,48 or so years. I have had all the above happen while behind the wheel. What I have learned is it is not the size that matters. It is the proper loading that makes the difference. The wagging tail taught me that. The truck size couldn't stop that unless your using a tractor to pull a 32 foot pull trailer. Even that comment might give me pause depending on how poorly loaded it was. Every year that I have paid attention more than one Tractor trailer rig has been blown over when the Santa Anna winds howl even if the truck was big enough. Commercial trucks go on scales every day and are checked for loading, that is why you don't see them swaying all over the road.

I too have given my view on larger trucks. I am just saying let's not push larger trucks using fear tactics. Let's stick to the merits of the case.

I will add this to my post

Also, no one has mentioned the fact that a 32 1/2 ft. travel trailer is awful long for a 1/2 ton to handle.
Just a note my 1500 has the same wheel base as a 2500. Only difference that might be noted is weight. all other tow characteristics would be the same. And the as built spec on the truck he is looking at the manufacture said will handle the load with 20% to spare. As long as he realistically considered his extras then all should be good.
 
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Are you getting that payload number off of the truckor are you using the RAM web site information? Regardless of where the number is coming from you still have to deduct the weight of youand anything you carry in the truck from that number.

Based on the weight of 9301, yoyu will have a tongue weight of Between 1209 and 1395 lbs, This leaves a a balance of about 5 to 600 lbs. Is that enough weight remaining to carry you, wife, kids and dog. Not mention the approx. weight of the hitch at about 100 lbs.

I am not trying in any way to talk you out of this, just be absolutely sure your numbers are good. Try running your numbers in the attached linc. Be sure they are actual numbers and not from a web site.

Travel Trailer Weight Calculator
If the tongue weight does end up between 1209 and 1395 that will exceed the hitch rating on every 1/2 truck I have checked. Ram 1/2 tons has a sticker on the hitch with two ratings, one With WD and one Without WD. I had the same problem with my Airstream finding a hitch that would except the tongue weight and even a lot 3/4 ton and 1 ton have a 1250 pound limit unless they have the heavy duty towing package and 3" hitch.
 
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Hey it's your life and your family and your equipment. Tow what you want with your half ton pickup. If you'll watch the following video and do the math correctly and honestly and weigh your fully loaded truck and trailer with all the people and stuff you actually take with you on vacation and the numbers say your half ton pickup will properly tow a 33' travel trailer and all the stuff then I'll agree that it's OK. I'll even admit I was wrong. But without even knowing what your weights are the video will tell you that from the data they've collected over 30 years that over 50% of all pickup truck and over 50% of all travel trailers are over the legal limit. And the longer the trailer is the more extra weight seems to creep in over the years because there is room to store more stuff.

Matching Trucks To Trailers - Matching Trucks To Trailers (rvacademy.com)
 
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