Towing Question - 2016 Ram 1500

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BradleyS

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My wife and I recently sold our old pop up and our looking to buy our first travel trailer. I have some towing experience but, not a ton so, I figured I'd ask the experts  :).

I have a 2016 Ram 1500 Laramie with 8 speed transmission, 3.21 axle ratio, 5.7L Hemi, Crew cab, 4x4. Online I see that my truck has a GVWR of  6,900, GCWR 13,800, Max trailer weight rating 8,010 and payload of 1,520 pounds.

We're between two trailers, the Open Range 2802BH and the North Trail 24BHS. The 2802BH has a dry weight of 5,765, hitch weight of 580, GVWR of 7,450, and the total length is 31'9". I would also get the Equalizer WDH system, electronic brake control, and look into adding rear air bags that it seems many Ram owners use.

Do you think my truck is capable of pulling the 2802BH safely, without adding unnecessary stress, or should I stick to the shorter/lighter 24BHS? The 24BHS is 5,350 dry, 550 lbs hitch weight, and 27'11".

Thank you for any input!
 

Lowell

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Figure on adding about 1000 lbs by the time you load it with cook ware, food, linens, folding chairs, etc, etc, etc.  Or just use the the TT gross weight rating< not the dry weight.
 

RVRAC

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What you find online is not that important? The question is what does the sticker on the door jam reads.
I had a 1500 truck with HD package pulling a 24 foot.  That was plenty. I wouldn?t suggest any more than 24 foot.
 

SpencerPJ

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BradleyS said:
Do you think my truck is capable of pulling the 2802BH safely, without adding unnecessary stress, or should I stick to the shorter/lighter 24BHS?

You might pull the 28BH on flat land without a wind, but add even a small hill or slight wind, and you will be buying a bigger truck, I guarantee it.  You load that 24BH with water, wood, and soft drinks, and you will struggle with big hills.
 

Gods Country

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You need the specs on your vehicle, yellow sticker on the driver side door frame.
You need to assume the trailer will be at max weight, not the dry weight.
You need to assume about 12-13% tongue weight of the max trailer weight.

Review these items and report back.
 

grashley

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Welcome to the Forum!

Thank you for the specs on your truck!  One question - Where did the 1520 # Payload come from?  Is it the yellow placard on the driver door latch post?  If not, please find and report that number.

The max tow rating means the actual weight being towed, not the dry wt.  Use a TT  GVWR as a much better number for checking capacity.  If it is not loaded quite that heavy, the difference is a safety factor.  Other weights on the TT are similarly inaccurate.

As Country said, the hitch wt MUST be at least 10% of the actual TT weight.  12%- 13% is better.

The yellow placard payload must be sufficient to carry that 12% hitch wt, weight of the WD hitch (80#) plus the weight of all passengers, pets, tools, firewood, etc carried in the truck.

Adding air bags may help keep the truck level and ride better, but it will not change payload or max tow capacity.

With that low rear end ratio, you get good mileage, but torque for towing may be lacking.  Within the weight limits, it should work for shorter trips in generally flat land, but I doubt you will be happy pulling a camper up or down any serious hills.
 

BradleyS

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Thanks for the information everyone. I got the original 1520 payload from the internet but, the sticker on my truck actually says "The combined weight of occupants and cargo should never exceed 1348 lbs." So my specific truck's payload is 1348, right?

The GVWR for the 24BHS is 6,900 lbs. The GVWR for the 28BH is 7,450.

As for cargo in the truck, it would just be the wife and I and our food/clothes for the trip (which could go in the trailer also). Bringing firewood would be nice but, we could always make other arrangements, if necessary. I don't see us taking the camper outside of the Ohio, Michigan, Indiana area so, I'm not too worried about hills but, I am concerned with the winds in the area.

So, at 12% the 24BHS would be 828 lbs, plus 400 lbs for us, and 80 lbs for the hitch, we're already at 1,308. Does that mean we would only have 40 pounds remaining for any cargo? I never thought I'd need to upgrade the truck before even getting into the 24BHS lol.
 

Frizlefrak

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This is just my personal opinion.....others may disagree....but the bigger trailer is too much trailer for your truck.  Let's disregard weight for a moment, shall we?  That trailer is 32' long....that's a BIG trailer....with a lot of surface area.  What does that mean?  Well, it's a giant sail.  Any wind you encounter is going to move it around.  Whether that is actual wind blowing or a passing semi, it's going to be subjected to wind loads.  Can a 1500 control the trailer should you encounter a sudden heavy crosswind, or will the tail be wagging the dog? 

Since we're discussing which vehicle will be controlling which....let's talk about unusual circumstances that may arise.  Can your 1500 control the trailer if it blows a tire?  Can it stop the trailer if someone runs a stop light in front of you?  What if you lose your trailer brakes coming down a steep grade (a blown fuse from reality)?  You get the picture.

Now let's revisit weight.  You're approaching the weight limitations of your truck.  The closer you get to those limitations, the less fun towing is.  Imagine getting to your campsite a nervous wreck because you fought the rig tooth and nail the whole way up there....now spending 5 days dreading the trip home instead of enjoying yourself.  See where I'm going here?  My humble opinion is that your trailer is firmly in 2500 territory.  CAN you pull it?  Of course.  Will you enjoy doing it?  I doubt it.

A 2500/3500 is going to have more robust suspension, steering, and braking components.... and will be a joy to tow with.  I pull a 30' travel trailer with a gross weight just shy of 8000 lbs....mostly in the mountains, up and down grades up to 12% and elevations of 9500'.  My 2014 Ram 2500 Cummins crew cab doesn't bat an eye.  I barely know the trailer is back there.  The truck manhandles the trailer....not the other way around.  Passing semis don't bother me in the least, nor do moderate crosswinds.  But since you already have the truck....you know the answer.

Sooooo.....since you asked.....there you have it.  Bigger truck or smaller trailer. 
 

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kdbgoat

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I'm not one of those people that think a person has to have a 1 ton dually just to get a 20# bag of dog food from the store, but looking at the numbers you provided, the bigger trailer is too much trailer for your truck.
 

Gods Country

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My opinion is the longer trailer is too much.  The smaller one is still marginal based on the numbers you provided.
A truck with a 1350 pound payload doesn't leave much room.  Your gear ratio is good for gas mileage, but not towing.
I'm sure some will roll their eyes, and say you can easily tow either, but if we're going strictly by numbers, you need more truck.
 

SpencerPJ

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BradleyS : You are doing the right think.  So often people come here after they make a purchase.  I chose a 20' TT, I have a Yukon XL 4WD, can pull 8100#.  Loaded, I would 'guess' I'm at 6800 lbs tops.  Even in Indiana hills (little), I know it's back there.  I was up around the Dunes, and it was very windy, and I slowed way down, because I was getting jerked around way too much.  A neighbor had similar set up, with 25' TT, took out West, came home and bought a Ram 2500.  My opinion, and weight discussion aside, you are close to the edge with that 24BH with what will feel comfortable to drive with a 1500, your 4x4 will definitely help with it's rigidity.  You can make it work, you might have to slow down in big winds, and your Hemi probably is a bit stronger than my 5.3L.
 

BradleyS

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Thanks everyone, we've ruled out the larger trailer for this truck. Now I'm hoping that the truck is capable of pulling the 24BH, hopefully we can take it for a test drive soon.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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"Capable of pulling" is a value judgment, not a black & white question. The wheels don't fall off just because you pass some magic weight or length threshold, and your perception of adequate performance and handling (safety) may well differ from others. As weight and length increase, the vulnerability to poor road & weather conditions goes up, and wear & tear on the tow vehicle increases.  The advice we are giving here is probably conservative, intended to keep you and your truck well within yours and its capabilities. We don't know your driving skills or what sort of things you may encounter on the road. Nor do we know how long you expect the truck to last and how it will be maintained.  The main thing is that a half ton truck like your 1500 is much more capable than a car and most SUVs, but not infinitely capable. The ratings from the truck manufacturer are not conservative - they are maximums rather than best practice. Nor are they specific to RV type towing, where the trailer has high frontal wind resistance, a high center of gravity, and is highly vulnerable to side winds.
 

Lowell

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I've towed a 28 ft lightweight TT with both a 2005 and 2009 Dodge Ram 1500.  My TT weighs 6300 lbs as we have it loaded. I've towed in high wind, snow and ice, monsoon rains and mountains. Maybe I have a lucky combination but I have never had a towing problem in the 13 years we have been traveling with it. 
 

solarman

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kdbgoat said:
I'm not one of those people that think a person has to have a 1 ton dually just to get a 20# bag of dog food from the store, but looking at the numbers you provided, the bigger trailer is too much trailer for your truck.

I have my old Peterbilt 389 in the yard that we used to tow our pop-up.. I could make a good deal on it if your interested..  ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D
 

SpencerPJ

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Lowell said:
I've towed a 28 ft lightweight TT ,  My TT weighs 6300 lbs as we have it loaded.

That is a lightweight 28' TT.  My 20' loaded weighs a bit more than that.  And the 'winds', I agree, all depends on the direction and how many semi's you are passing or being passed by  :))
 

grashley

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Brad,

To respond directly to your last question, that 1348 IS the payload for your truck.  Your calculations DO indicate 40# remaining cargo in the TRUCK.  However, you are using the GVWR of the camper in this calculation, so these weights ALREADY include the weight of the stuff in the camper up to the GVWR.

While I do not suggest intentionally overloading the truck, it will not fall apart if you are 100 pounds over GVWR.  It appears you will be UNDER GVWR anyway.  For the area you plan to travel, you should be okay.  You already have the truck, so give it a try!

I would check the tire load limit to make sure they will carry the load, and their inflation.
 

Dcm1379

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I currently tow a StarCraft 26bhs 31' ball to bumper, gross weight is 7500# with a 2017 Ram 1500 5.7 hemi with 3:55 gears tires aired up to spec as well as trailer tires. I also run with the airlift 1000 bags for a smoother stable ride and they do help.
As everyone on here says should have asked before buying but too late so make the best of it so I did yes the truck pulls the trailer no problems those hemis have balls but there is more to it then Pullin on the road the trailer does move around a bit no where near as much as it did but it is very doable now as for mountains I don't have to worry about them as there is none in my area would I try them probably. However if I ever get in a situation such as high winds I just slow down. If I had it to do all over again I probably would have bought a trailer in the gvwr of 6000# but who knows it might not have been any better. I do know this much it always feels better to be in control of the trailer then the other way around.
 

Logger Joe

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I suppose I'll chime in with my 2 cents.

  I haul a Coleman 244bh, its 5500lbs dry, 7600GVWR and about 6400lbs loaded for camping, its 27'7" bumper to ball hitch.  I tow this rig with my 2017 Ram 1500 with the max tow package, truck says 10'140lbs max towing(this number is total bs, might be legal with that if I weighed less than 200lbs and had an empty tank of fuel and zero gear), my door sticker is 1494lbs and it has the 3.92 gear ratio.  Complete with heavy duty rear springs.

The truck is legally maxed out on its weight limits when we're loaded for camping and full of my family(100lbs to spare).  It tows nicely with the eq2 8000lb hitch, its hard on fuel and the ass sags quite a bit, but the truck and the trailer are both level.  I keep my speed at or below 100km/h(62mph).  I drive a truck for a living and have a fairly extensive amount of experience with heavy haul set ups. 


I feel that your trucks gear ratio is too low for towing in any hilly type of terrain, but out side of that the smaller of those two trailers would be ok if you drove it according to your set up and werent in any kind of hurry to get anywhere. 

Personally, I enjoy hauling my trailer even when we encounter heavy traffic, crosswinds and any other conditions that challenge my abilities.  Its not for everyone, as some of the people in the forum will say that you need to upgrade your truck to pull either of those trailers.  The smaller of the two will max you out and the larger is over weight, legally speaking.  Ultimately, you know your ability to drive better than anyone here, make sure your legal on your axle and gross vehicle weights, your loaded properly and you drive it according to conditions and your ability.

I'll add a link to a weight calculator that I found helpful to figure out your set ups weight and just how close you really are.  Good luck with your purchase, and dont let the excitement or the salesperson talk you into a trailer that your truck has no business towing :)

Here is the trailer set up calculator link

https://www.ajdesigner.com/apptrailertow/weightdistributionhitch.php
 
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