Newbie Fears

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pafoster3

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Sep 18, 2021
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49424
We are new to travel trailer life. We have a 2017 Ram Big Horn 1500 3.6L truck. Not sure of axle ratio. We bought the TT at Verinck in Grand Haven, MI. Verinck looked up the weight we could tow and said our C191MBSE KZ Connect would be fine. We can tow 10,000 lbs. Well, we drove home with the TT, it was fine. But we are nervous as we plan to visit Colorado. The truck websites base the tow weight on axle size and I fear we have the lowest. 4200lbs. Should we consider increasing the axle size from 3.21 to 3.55? That gives us 7200 lbs... Everyone says it will be fine but we do not want to cause damage to our truck or to others on the road.... signed, Living in Fear (Paul's wife)
 

pafoster3

New member
Joined
Sep 18, 2021
Posts
2
Location
49424
We are new to travel trailer life. We have a 2017 Ram Big Horn 1500 3.6L truck. Not sure of axle ratio. We bought the TT at Verinck in Grand Haven, MI. Verinck looked up the weight we could tow and said our C191MBSE KZ Connect would be fine. We can tow 10,000 lbs. Well, we drove home with the TT, it was fine. But we are nervous as we plan to visit Colorado. The truck websites base the tow weight on axle size and I fear we have the lowest. 4200lbs. Should we consider increasing the axle size from 3.21 to 3.55? That gives us 7200 lbs... Everyone says it will be fine but we do not want to cause damage to our truck or to others on the road.... signed, Living in Fear (Paul's wife)
BTW TT weights 4500 dry plus 500 for tongue...
 

jackiemac

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You need to check the sticker on the driver's door or door jamb, it will show you the Cargo Carrying Capacity which is also a factor in towing.

You need to know the trailer Gross Weight GVWR as you won't be towing it empty.

Come back with that info and the gang can help.

Welcome to the forum!
 

grashley

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May 7, 2015
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Western Kentucky
Welcome to the Forum.

First, you should be okay, but you will set no land speed records in the mountains.

Second, forget all about dry wt or published tongue wt. The ONLY time it will weigh 4500 lbs is when you pulled it home from Verinck. Nobody goes camping in an empty trailer. What is the trailer GVWR? It is a better estimate of what the camper will really weigh.

The tongue wt MUST be at least 10% of the actual loaded weight of the TT. 12% is better.

Read other posts about camper / truck weights and ask lots of questions. We re here to help.
 

Isaac-1

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Dec 3, 2016
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SW Louisiana
I agree with Jackie, RV dealers are notorious for selling you anything that your truck can physically tow off their property.
 

MN Blue Skies

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Minnesota
Hello Paul's Wife. Welcome to the RV Forum. There are many weight experts here. Post as much info as you can regarding the TT and the Truck. There are people here that you can trust to help you to figure it all out. I joined the Forum before we bought our first TT. Their help has been invaluable. It won't take you long to figure out who the experts are.

Safe Travels and hope to see you on the road.

Eric's wife Maxine, aka Max.
 

steveblonde

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Jan 8, 2015
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4,080
Location
calgary alberta
According to the stats your trailer has a gvwr of 6500lbs that will translate to about 780 lbs of pin weight
Check yellow decal on drivers side b piller mine is attatched
 

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donn

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Nov 8, 2009
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With that dinky motor your not going to be happy towing for very long. Realistically once loaded with all your stuff your going to be hard pressed to maintain highway speeds. Changing RE ratio might help some, but you honestly need more motor first and foremost.
 

IBTripping

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Sep 19, 2018
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Virginia
The 3.6 L is a durable engine with 305 hp and 269 ft. lbs. of torque. I'd be comfortable towing a 6500 lb trailer especially if you upgrade the gear ratio to 3.55. Just make sure you get a good weight distribution hitch with anti-sway system.
 

Carbonation

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May 30, 2021
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92
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Midwest
WHAT?
Ram 3.6 for the 2017 model year shows a max of 4950 towing, and goes down for 4x4, and various cab versions.
Look at the door sticker as recommended, and do some math.
The naturally aspirated RAM V6 is not a good choice for mountains.
8k with my 1999 F250 5.4 Triton was iffy in some situations, screaming in lower gears to climb small grades at 35-40.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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At my Silver Springs FL home
Here is a link to the 2017 Ram 1500 tow guide. Don't see any 1500 configurations with the 3.6L engine that are rated to tow more than 7600 lbs, but the max is well above the 4950 that Carbonation cited.


Bignorn is a trim package, so a Bighorn 1500 can be different cab types, bed lengths, 4x2 or 4x4, etc. Need to be more definitive about the configuration, but with the 3.6K engine it won't have a 10,000 lb tow rating.

The C191MBSE KZ Connect is spec'ed at 6500 lb GVWR, so it may exceed the tow capacity of some 1500 V6 configuations and will be near the top limit on others. Check carefully.
 
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Carbonation

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Here is a link to the 2017 Ram 1500 tow guide. Don't see any 1500 configurations with the 3.6L engine that are rated to tow more than 7600 lbs, but the max is well above the 4950 that Carbonation cited.


Bignorn is a trim package, so a Bighorn 1500 can be different cab types, bed lengths, 4x2 or 4x4, etc. Need to be more definitive about the configuration, but with the 3.6K engine it won't have a 10,000 lb tow rating.

The C191MBSE KZ Connect is spec'ed at 6500 lb GVWR, so it may exceed the tow capacity of some 1500 V6 configuations and will be near the top limit on others. Check carefully.
Agree to disagree.
OP says they have 3.21 gears.
Your chart posted shows 2 RAM configurations with V6 and 3.21 gears, standard cab tows 4970.
Standard cab 4x4 tows 4750.
I stand by what I said.
 

CharlesinGA

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Oct 6, 2017
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Location
50 miles south of Atlanta, GA
We are new to travel trailer life. We have a 2017 Ram Big Horn 1500 3.6L truck. Not sure of axle ratio..........

Agree to disagree.
OP says they have 3.21 gears.
Your chart posted shows 2 RAM configurations with V6 and 3.21 gears, standard cab tows 4970.
Standard cab 4x4 tows 4750.
I stand by what I said.
The OP said they did not know what axle ratio they had. The OP can first look inside the glove box door for a sticker with the axle ratio on it. Both GM and RAM used to post the axle ratios inside the glove box door (along with the paint code). If it is not found there, go to a dealer parts department, give them your ViN number (take a picture thru the windshield or show them your insurance card) and have them run a BUILD SHEET for your vehicle. The axle ratio will be on it. They should be happy to do this for you.

You can do this online also, but are somewhat limited in the information you get...... FCA RAM (NOTE: Alpha characters in the VIN MUST be typed in upper case, the database will not find the vehicle if you use lowercase alpha characters.) Axle ratio will show up about half way down the first page, mine was four pages. The dealer print out will include certain codes that this does not.

Frankly, changing axle ratios is not like changing oil, it is a "black art" to remove a rear axle, pull it apart and SET THE MESH AND ADJUSTMENT of the gears properly so it doesn't whine, drone, growl or simply fail. There are not a lot of people who can do this well....... At this point, a truck with a 3.21 rear axle and a V6 would be a good trade in on a RAM 2500 Heavy Duty. I'm not going to get into the diesel vs gas argument, I just don't think that Chrysler makes a good gasoline truck engine. That is something only Ford seems to do well.

Charles
 
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oldryder

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Nov 8, 2017
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388
Location
Avon MN
It's no fun to tow with a marginally capable tow vehicle. Years ago I bumper towed a 28' trailer with a 1/2 ton van and 351c.i. engine. Technically I was under the max allowed by a fair margin. However, even with an equalizer hitch and anti sway bar it swayed when I was passed by big rigs and felt squirrely at any speed much above 60 mph. Replaced the van with a crew cab 3/4 ton 4WD diesel. No sway, equalizer hitch not required, and I could go as fast as I wanted and it always felt rock steady.
 

Ex-Calif

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May 15, 2020
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OP made 2 posts and disappeared but...

I have a 2012 Liberty with the 3.7L and 5,000# hitch. I tow close to 5k frequently over short distances. I moved my kid from Ohio to Co one year and drove a trailer loaded near to 5k on that trip.

No way would I tow close to 5k as a routine exercise with a V6. Climbing into the rockies we were at 45-50 mph most of the way,

Best counsel on this thread is for OP to find out the real capacity of their vehicle and act accordingly.

It's all fun and games until someone blows up a transmission - LOL...
 

John From Detroit

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Apr 12, 2005
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25,401
Location
Davison Michigan
I agree with Jackie, RV dealers are notorious for selling you anything that your truck can physically tow off their property.

To an RV sales man when you ask the question "Can my truck tow it" the answer is always the same "NO PROBLEM"

There used to be a line of tow vehicles called "Trail Haulers" by a conpany called Wil-Ro as I recall, these were for people who did not want to ask that question (Peterbuilt Semi Tractors converted to RV tow vehicles)

But the reason it's NO PROBLEM for the sales man is this: For a salesman there is only one problem:

Buyer's Signature:_________________________________________________

Notice the line is blank
 

Ex-Calif

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Joined
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Posts
1,822
To an RV sales man when you ask the question "Can my truck tow it" the answer is always the same "NO PROBLEM"

There used to be a line of tow vehicles called "Trail Haulers" by a conpany called Wil-Ro as I recall, these were for people who did not want to ask that question (Peterbuilt Semi Tractors converted to RV tow vehicles)

But the reason it's NO PROBLEM for the sales man is this: For a salesman there is only one problem:

Buyer's Signature:_________________________________________________

Notice the line is blank
My brother (against my counsel) bought a 26' TT with GVWR over 5k. Planned to tow it "empty" with a 1996 V6 S10. I told him not to.

Dealer must have had a shred of integrity - Offered to deeply discount a tow (~120 miles) to his (actually my) house if my brother had "concerns" and wanted time to get used to it towing it. After arrival he did a "practice" tow around the neighborhood. He finally got the clue.

"Transmission makes hella noise when I am towing." - Duh...

He rented a u-Haul pickup truck to move it to the RV park and got weighed on the way. TT weighed 4800# empty.

Brother is now saving up for a bigger truck - LOL...
 

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