Please help

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New member
Nov 19, 2018
OK All,

I am not a engineer by any means, not a car genius either. I have a RAM 1500 hemi, 5.7 v8, 3.21. I need a toy hauler to take boys dirt bike racing. I am thoroughly confused on weight, from hitch weight to tongue weight,  payload capacity, etc...According to RAM. MAX towing is 8270#.  What I want to know is the heaviest i can go on a dry weight trailer, is there a certain length I want to stay away from? Any other info you want to share, I will take. Thanks for your help
Not an expert but one,dry weight is irrelevant.  All the bikes and their gear matters,as do clothes,food,water,etc,etc.  you don't say how many boys and their approximate weights,but that all figures in too.  I doubt a 1500 will be heavy enough for most toy haulers. 

What is the weight for YOUR truck,not A random RAM.  Look on the drivers side door post for a sticker with weights.  List those here and someone will be happy to help.
Look for a toy hauler with dry weight about 5000# dry weight.  Then you can add boys, bikes, and beer I mean soda, and travel around somewhat safely.  Hate to bust your bubble, but you are soon to find out that 1500 anything just don't realistically pull a great deal. The 8200# towing is a flat bed trailer with optimum weight distribution.  Reality is, put any more than 7200 behind your truck in a Toy Hauler, it will be a nightmare.  The payload (or lack of) will hurt on a 1500 as well.  What is your payload?  Should be a little yellow sticker in the drivers door. 
Welcome to the Forum!

The Glossary has a great list of definitions for GVWR,  GCWR, etc.

Briefly, GVWR for ANY vehicle is themes it can weigh fully loaded.
Dry wt is empty weight and is meaningless.  Nobody goes out with an empty TH!!!!
Payload = GVWR  minus  empty wt.  This is the most stuff it can carry.  There is a yellow border placard on the driver door latch post with the Payload, or Cargo Carrying Capacity for YOUR truck as it left the factory.
Hitch weight, as published, is useless.  For reasonable control, the hitch weight MUST be at least 10% of the loaded trailer wt.

Usually, the limiting factor is payload.  The truck will carry 10% - 12% of the TH  GVWR s tongue wt.  Add 80# for WD hitch.  Add the weight of all passengers, cargo, tools, firewood, and snacks.  The weight of all of this must be less than the truck max payload.

If you really want to use camper dry wt, as the salesman suggests, add to this weight everything you will carry in the TH.  This includes bikes, fuel, tools, clothes, food, water, pots and pans, sheets and blankets, towels, shampoo and soap, meds and First Aid kit.  You will be close to GVWR.  This is what it will weigh when you go camping.

I hope this clarifies more than confuses.
That is a good starting payload, better than I expected from a 1500.  :)

As asked above, what do you expect to have in truck, boys, gear etc.  (everything that adds weight to what the truck rolled off the assembly line goes into the Payload formula.

What and how many bikes / gear in the toyhauler do you expect?

Ignore trailer dry weight and look at the trailer GVWR (max loaded weight). You will likely be near that max after loading the bikes and related gear onto the trailer.

Presumably the boys (how many & what size?) will ride in the Ram too, and any extra weight in the truck decreases its tow capacity by a similar amount.  At a guess, you should be looking at trailers with a GVWR of 7000-7500 lbs. Probably not many towhaulers in that bracket that can both sleep enough people and carry the gear, but hunt around.

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