Towing Question 2017 Dodge Ram 1500 (Going to start shopping for a TT soon)

The friendliest place on the web for anyone with an RV or an interest in RVing!
If you have answers, please help by responding to the unanswered posts.

mpolsue1

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 14, 2018
Posts
100
Location
Spring Branch, TX
I see a couple questions recently asked that are similar to mine, but some of the numbers are different, plus I haven't even started shopping for a TT yet (that is tomorrow LOL!)
So, I'm asking you folks that have been around the block a few times how much of a TT GVWR my truck might will handle. Plus, if there is anything else I haven't thought to ask, I am ready to listen. I do have minimal towing experience with a light cattle trailer and a fifth wheel used for trailer rides.

2017 RAM 1500 Lone Star Silver Edition w/ 5.7L V8 HEMI, Trans A8 8HP70, Axle Ratio of 3.21.
GVWR (from sticker: 6900 lbs.
Payload: sticker Combined weight of passengers and cargo should never exceed 1475 lbs.
GAWR: sticker Front 3700 lbs/ Rear 3900 lbs.
GCVWR: This was not listed on the sticker to my knowledge. I got this number from the 2017 RAM 1500 Trailer Towing Chart - SAE J2807 Compliant and came up with 13,800 GCWR. I have to admit that I do not understand what this number means very well and how it equates to how heavy my trailer can be.
Max. Trailer Weight Rating is 8070 (from chart).

We will be looking at travel trailers starting tomorrow (not in a tremendous hurry, but want to start looking around), so what would some ballpark figures regarding how much (TT GVWR) I could pull without getting blown off the highway in my 1500. I am going to try to keep the TT under 25 feet in length. THat is the plan anyway lol. Opinions welcome too lol.

Thank you very much and I do appreciate this forum!

Mark & Sandy   
 

kdbgoat

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 16, 2014
Posts
6,313
Here's my take. Load the truck with you, passengers, whatever else you would normally load in the truck, then head to a set of scales and get weighed. Subtract that weight from the GCWR. What's left over is the max weight of a trailer you can tow. Most here recommend using the GVWR of the trailer to do your math. Many salesmen will spout off about using the dry weight. Nobody goes camping with an empty trailer. The only concern they have is making a sale. Once you have your actual weight, the other thing you need to figure out is how much real payload you have left. Subtract the scaled weight from the 6900# you got from your sticker. You know how heavy of a trailer you can pull, now figure how much trailer you can carry. Using a minimum of 10% of the trailer's GVWR and see if you have the payload left to carry it. Personally, I would use at least 12 1/2% for the tongue weight.
 

mpolsue1

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 14, 2018
Posts
100
Location
Spring Branch, TX
kdbgoat said:
Here's my take. Load the truck with you, passengers, whatever else you would normally load in the truck, then head to a set of scales and get weighed. Subtract that weight from the GCWR. What's left over is the max weight of a trailer you can tow. Most here recommend using the GVWR of the trailer to do your math. Many salesmen will spout off about using the dry weight. Nobody goes camping with an empty trailer. The only concern they have is making a sale. Once you have your actual weight, the other thing you need to figure out is how much real payload you have left. Subtract the scaled weight from the 6900# you got from your sticker. You know how heavy of a trailer you can pull, now figure how much trailer you can carry. Using a minimum of 10% of the trailer's GVWR and see if you have the payload left to carry it. Personally, I would use at least 12 1/2% for the tongue weight.

Thank you very much for taking the time to help us out!

We will get our truck weighed tomorrow probably at one of the local truckstops on I-20. Things are looking brighter than I thought.

For now, just guessing, using chart's base weight of 5218 adding 400 for the wife and I plus dogs and current junk in the truck bed will give us roughly 5760 which I will call (tonight) 5800 lbs.
With GCWR  of 13,800 subtracting 5800 = 8000 lbs as max weight of the trailer we can tow.

Again this is a guess, but subtracting 5800 from 6900 gives us 1100 lbs. 12 1/2% of 1100 is 137.5 lb, so there are 962.5 lbs that my truck can carry. Do my figures look about right without actually going to the scale (yet)? 

Thanks again!


Mark & Sandy
 

kdbgoat

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 16, 2014
Posts
6,313
I had similar numbers when I had a 2013 Ram 1500. I have access to scales and the patience to add, remove and move around weight to get to my max. I pulled around 8000#, and was right at the raggedy edge of my weight limits and maybe a touch over. I had no issues, but I really wouldn't recommend being that close to anyone else. I also towed in an area that the only grade change I ran into was an overpass. I did tow about 7000# in the west side of Virginia and east side of West Virginia. Had no real issues there, but I was also very intimate with the area. I would advise that you stay closer to 7000# max from the numbers I'm seeing.
 

mpolsue1

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 14, 2018
Posts
100
Location
Spring Branch, TX
kdbgoat said:
I had similar numbers when I had a 2013 Ram 1500. I have access to scales and the patience to add, remove and move around weight to get to my max. I pulled around 8000#, and was right at the raggedy edge of my weight limits and maybe a touch over. I had no issues, but I really wouldn't recommend being that close to anyone else. I also towed in an area that the only grade change I ran into was an overpass. I did tow about 7000# in the west side of Virginia and east side of West Virginia. Had no real issues there, but I was also very intimate with the area. I would advise that you stay closer to 7000# max from the numbers I'm seeing.

Outstanding! Again, thank you for taking the time! We are going to look for TT GVWRs from 5k to 7k then. After reading this, I say 5 and Sandy says 7 lol. Maybe we can settle on 6K.

I am originally from Kanawha County in West Virginia (near Charleston). Ended up in Texas when I retired from the service. Eastern WV and western VA is gorgeous scenery! 

Mark & Sandy
 

Gary RV_Wizard

Site Team
Joined
Feb 2, 2005
Posts
74,628
Location
At our Silver Springs FL home
Your 8000 lb estimate sounds realistic.  I would deduct an additional 10% from that to cover unknowns and to stay well within capacity. Sandy's 7k limit works for me, but you have to be comfortable with it too.  Up to 24 ft and 7000 lb GVWR should give you an ample choice of travel trailers.  I don't favor the ultra-light types because they tend to sacrifice construction quality to save weight, so don't be afraid to use the capacity you do have.
 

Ernie n Tara

Well-known member
Joined
May 16, 2009
Posts
4,147
Location
Ft Myers, FL
I'm not  sure what the 135LB you mentioned is but the tongue weight will be about 7, 000 times 10-% minimum or 700 lbs to 875. Still, ok!, but closer to your limits.

Ernie
 

grashley

Well-known member
Joined
May 7, 2015
Posts
6,586
Location
Western Kentucky
THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR ASKING!

Assuming your 1100# remaining payload is correct, multiply this by 10 to the get the max GVWR assuming 10% tongue wt, or 11,000 GVWR.  Assuming 12.5% tongue wt, multiply remaining payload by 8 which is 8800 max GVWR.

This may be within the GVWR, but clearly exceeds your GCWR.

Stay with the 7K range GVWR  TT and you will be fine!
 

mpolsue1

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 14, 2018
Posts
100
Location
Spring Branch, TX
Gary RV_Wizard said:
Your 8000 lb estimate sounds realistic.  I would deduct an additional 10% from that to cover unknowns and to stay well within capacity. Sandy's 7k limit works for me, but you have to be comfortable with it too.  Up to 24 ft and 7000 lb GVWR should give you an ample choice of travel trailers.  I don't favor the ultra-light types because they tend to sacrifice construction quality to save weight, so don't be afraid to use the capacity you do have.

I tend to worry more than Sandy does lol. 7k would be fine, I'm sure. We looked at some trailers today and saw some nice ones. We ended up deciding that one deal was too good to pass up and bought one. 2018 Rockwood Mini Lite. This might be one of the ultra lites you mentioned, I'm not sure. The dry weight is 5170 and that gives us a ton, pretty much, to hit 7200 (covering your additional 10% to cover unknowns.)

Thank you Gary!

Mark & Sandy
 

mpolsue1

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 14, 2018
Posts
100
Location
Spring Branch, TX
Ernie n Tara said:
I'm not  sure what the 135LB you mentioned is but the tongue weight will be about 7, 000 times 10-% minimum or 700 lbs to 875. Still, ok!, but closer to your limits.

Ernie

Hi Ernie!

      The 137.5 was me doing my math lol! That was 12 1/2% of 1100 which I subtracted to end up with 962.5 that I could carry rather than pull. Thanks for your help :)

Mark & Sandy
 

mpolsue1

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 14, 2018
Posts
100
Location
Spring Branch, TX
grashley said:
THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR ASKING!

Assuming your 1100# remaining payload is correct, multiply this by 10 to the get the max GVWR assuming 10% tongue wt, or 11,000 GVWR.  Assuming 12.5% tongue wt, multiply remaining payload by 8 which is 8800 max GVWR.

This may be within the GVWR, but clearly exceeds your GCWR.

Stay with the 7K range GVWR  TT and you will be fine!

Yes, 7K seems a lot safer to me too. Thank you for your help and interest!

Mark & Sandy 
 

Gary RV_Wizard

Site Team
Joined
Feb 2, 2005
Posts
74,628
Location
At our Silver Springs FL home
2018 Rockwood Mini Lite. This might be one of the ultra lites you mentioned, I'm not sure.
Congrats on the new trailer - hope it works well for you.
The word LITE is badly overworked by the RV marketing people, so it's hard to make any conclusions from a label.  Some trailers are lighter than others of a similar length and equipment, whether either or both carry LITE in their name or not.  Lighter weight is not better unless you desperately need to keep the weight down to stay within the tow vehicle limits.
 

moisheh

Well-known member
Joined
May 22, 2013
Posts
202
Why the numerically low axle ratio. I thought Dodge gave you ahigher towing weight with a higher axle ratio?
Moisheh





 

mpolsue1

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 14, 2018
Posts
100
Location
Spring Branch, TX
Gary RV_Wizard said:
Congrats on the new trailer - hope it works well for you.
The word LITE is badly overworked by the RV marketing people, so it's hard to make any conclusions from a label.  Some trailers are lighter than others of a similar length and equipment, whether either or both carry LITE in their name or not.  Lighter weight is not better unless you desperately need to keep the weight down to stay within the tow vehicle limits.

Hi Gary! Thank you! We are very excited about the new trailer!

I get you regarding the labels lol. It seems like we got some decent bells and whistles plus a nice looking trailer that gives us some weight to work with before we are maxed out. I guess being first timers, time will tell.

Mark & Sandy 
 

mpolsue1

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 14, 2018
Posts
100
Location
Spring Branch, TX
moisheh said:
Why the numerically low axle ratio. I thought Dodge gave you ahigher towing weight with a higher axle ratio?
Moisheh

Hi Moisheh!

      I am not anyone's technician, so I have no idea as to why the ratios are what they are lol. Looking at the chart I referred to above, three different axle ratios were used for the 2017 RAM 1500's. When I bought the truck, I wasn't really thinking about towing or what axle ratios were for lol. I actually went to the dealership looking for a Jeep Wrangler LOL!!! I couldn't get the Wrangler because I didn't qualify for the sales rebates (2018's were coming out and they wanted to move the '17's). I did qualify for sales rebates on the 2017 trucks, so when I was looking at the truck I now own, (only had 2 to choose from), my wife asked the saleslady if we could tow a trailer with it and she said yes. Well, that was good enough at the time lol. And... she was right, with some limitations.

Here's the URL for that chart:  https://www.ramtrucks.com/content/dam/fca-brands/na/ramtrucks/en_us/towing/2017%20Ram%201500.pdf 

Mark & Sandy
 

mpolsue1

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 14, 2018
Posts
100
Location
Spring Branch, TX
grashley said:
Congrats!  A good choice for your truck!

We want pictures!!

Go have some fun!

Thank you for the congratulations and agreeing with our choice!

We probably won't get the trailer for a week or two as we aren't quite ready at the house yet and will be modifying the truck, but when we get the trailer, I will be pumped and will definitely post pictures LOL!

Thanks again!

Mark & Sandy
 

moisheh

Well-known member
Joined
May 22, 2013
Posts
202
Mark. Congrats on your your Ram. I only noticed the different axle ratios when I was shopping for aRam. I asked the salesman why one of the truck had a 3.71 ratio. He replied it was for people towing trilers. He then showed me some sort of list that showed the various weight of trailers that can be pulled by different models. He also stated that when they order atruck to sell to those that they spec that 3.71. Does your truck have the factory trailer brake? There is a website where you can punch in your VIN and get not only the windowsticjer but the build sheet as well. Sometimes the ratio is listed 3.2x but later in the list itshows the optional 3.71. Did you get the Hemiorthe ecodiesel?
Moisheh
 

Forum statistics

Threads
120,624
Posts
1,212,051
Members
125,720
Latest member
Jatozano
Top Bottom