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Ram 1500 Towing Capacity

jyakobosky
Explorer II
Explorer II

I have a 2020 Ram 1500 Laramie Crew Cab with the 5.7L Hemi with a 3.92 ratio. I am starting to look at different towables, but before moving forward I want to make sure that I don't exceed my towing capacity and remain safe. I see different maximum towing numbers when I try researching it, so I don't know what I'm doing wrong. My questions to the group as follows:

1) What is the maximum towing capacity of this setup?

2) What would people actually recommend as the maximum towable trailer dry weight when shopping?

3) Is there a recommended maximum length (back of trailer to hitch) for towing? I read some people saying that they wouldn't tow longer than 30' with a 1500 or similar vehicle, but don't know why length of the trailer would play into the calculation as opposed to trailer weight.

Thanks for your guidance!

Jay

2 ACCEPTED SOLUTIONS

When I say overall length, many abbreviate OAL, I mean from end of rear bumper to trailer coupler. 

I will add, that my number recommendations are generalized, so if you find a TT, with a GVWR of 7,500,  you and yours fall in love with, it may still work for you. I have towed a lot of trailers of all types, and I might be okay with a TT of 8K GVWR and a length of 30' OAL using your truck. Many would say "I wouldn't do it" .

Have you towed many trailers, to know what to expect, as you near your truck payload max. or approaching your truck GVWR max? Your experience, and confidence play a part in what is safe or unsafe

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QCMan
Nomad III
Nomad III

One thing missing here is payload capacity. Depending on your trim level that can vary widely. That is my reason for ordering a more basic yet very comfortable truck. We tow a 26' tip to tip trailer that weighs in around 6700 pounds loaded and ready. With about 700 pounds of tongue weight and my tool box and assorted trailer related items in the bed there is about 450 pounds of payload left. DW never collects that many rocks so we are good to go. The setup does very well on local roads and on highways. About ten thousand miles on the setup so far. 
 I will say that I am sure a bigger trailer would not play as nice for a 1500. Learned that moving a trailer for a friend. 32' OAL but very empty so well within weight limits but a minor 10 mph crosswind off the forward quarter made the hundred miles seem like three hundred. Safe trip but very tiring even with good sway control.

 

 


2020 Keystone Cougar 22RBS, Ram 1500, two Jacks and plenty of time to roam!
The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits. A.E.
Good Sam Life Member

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11 REPLIES 11

packpe1989
Explorer II
Explorer II

Agree with MFL, 28' total length due to wind.  If only traveling shorts distances in flat areas, may go to 30'.  

Grit_dog
Nomad III
Nomad III

Power wise, it’ll pull basically as well as any gasser truck, even the HD pickups. 
Suspension and real tires are needed to shore up a squishy half ton rear end, especially a coil spring Dodge. 
E load tires, airbags and it’ll tug a 30 ish ft TT in the 7-8klb range pretty well. 
The bigger question is how prepared you are for handling the rig personally. 
These types of questions are great for getting a general feel for it, but admittedly usually asked by folks who have little to no experience towing and skills and expectations need to be on par with the vehicle and task. 
if you fall into that category it would be really good if you could find someone you know who has a big enclosed trailer and be able to drive it and gauge your comfort level. 

2016 Ram 2500, MotorOps.ca EFIlive tuned, 5” turbo back, 6" lift on 37s
2017 Heartland Torque T29 - Sold.
Couple of Arctic Fox TCs - Sold

nickthehunter
Nomad II
Nomad II

There are several ratings which are important for determining how much you can tow. Those rating are different for every particular vehicle, both trailer and truck. Those ratings include payload rating, tongue weight, gross vehicle weight rating(s) (GVWR), and more.

You first need to determine what those ratings mean, what they are for your particular setup, and why they matter. Once having determined all that, you can then safely tow up to 100% of “your” ratings, without exceeding any rating. That is after all what the ratings are all about; determining what the maximum capabilities are for your particular combination of vehicles.

You can learn all about these ratings, how they are calculated, what they mean, how they inter-relate, and what they are for your particular setup at the link below.

Sorry creating a link to this site seems to not be working for me today – you’ll have to access the site the old fashion way.

Google: Changing Gears dot com (the description will be about buy, sell and tow a RV)

Then click on the button on the right for “Towing & Misc. Calculators”. This should give you all the info you need.

Here is the link that @nickthehunter was talking about! 

https://changingears.com/weight-calculators/

Thanks, Nick! 

blt2ski
Moderator
Moderator

Another BIG issue with any truck mind you, but a bigger issue with smaller gvw trucks is payload. A typical 15 series truck has 1200-2000 lbs of payload. Dodge is usually on the lower end for a given truck model. Ford has the highest options, but many are on the lower end too. Unlike Ford and Dodge with multiple GVW options, have one basic gvwr and one set of axel ratings getting you in the 1800-2000 lbs. relm with ALL of there models. 
If like me at one point in my life, I had 6 adult size people getting in the cab. IE spouse, 4 teenagers and myself at 1200 lbs. or so. For some 15 series rigs, I had it at gvw, giving my 0 lbs. of trailer capacity! As I have no place for the HW. 
Payload availability is the how you know how big a trailer you can tow. If you have 1000 lbs of payload, 10% HW, you get 1000/.10 = 10,000 lbs.  15% nets you 6666 lbs. 

A trailer with 2 3500 lbs. axels, or 7000 lbs. should have a max gvwr of around 7700-8000 lbs. axle capacity plus 10-15% HW.  If you want to carry 20%, then you 8400 lbs. of total trailer wt. 

I've pulled an 8500 lbs. trailer with my 4.3 V6 GM. It pulled better than I thought speed wise etc. Especially considering it was a cement mixer trailer with 5000 lbs. of wet concrete turning in a drum behind me! I've done a number of 6-7000 lb. equipment style trailers without issues. On the other hand, I've pulled some 8500 lbs. trailers with my 12000 lb. empty dump flatbed and moved all over the road because it was loaded incorrectly! ie no HW! A bigger TV is not all it is cracked up to be either!  One needs a properly loaded trailer to be safe too!
You don't say where you are towing etc. For me, I would not go bigger than a dual 3500 lb capacity trailer. Especially an RV. An equipment or lower profile less windage trailer up to a dual 5K axle trailer. This trailer would not have a lot of toys or stuff in the bed, max out with 6 passengers etc to handle the upwards of 1500 lbs of HW! 
BIG blocky trailers like RVs, use a LOT of HP moving the frontal area of the trailer. A 15K lbs trailer with 70 sq ft of frontal area needs around 105 HP to go 60 mph on a level. A 90 sq ft version, 135HP! I'm still at 15K lbs. Adding 3000 lbs alone, or 10 ft of frontal area, you need an extra 10HP.  A 25K lb rig at 70 sq ft, needs 135HP. YEP, a 15K lbs rig, or 25K lbs rig depending upon frontal area need the same HP.
I know lots of figures to take in, but, the REAL max trailer capacity of a given rig, can be from 0 lbs to who knows. I have not gotten into the amount of torque, or HP for speed on grades, max steepness of grade before you stall out! gearing.......it can be quite the science trying to figure out if a given truck is capable of towing what you want, at your performance levels vs mine!

 

Marty

92 Navistar dump truck, 7.3L 7 sp, 4.33 gears with a Detroit no spin
2014 Chevy 1500 Dual cab 4x4
92 Red-e-haul 12K equipment trailer

QCMan
Nomad III
Nomad III

One thing missing here is payload capacity. Depending on your trim level that can vary widely. That is my reason for ordering a more basic yet very comfortable truck. We tow a 26' tip to tip trailer that weighs in around 6700 pounds loaded and ready. With about 700 pounds of tongue weight and my tool box and assorted trailer related items in the bed there is about 450 pounds of payload left. DW never collects that many rocks so we are good to go. The setup does very well on local roads and on highways. About ten thousand miles on the setup so far. 
 I will say that I am sure a bigger trailer would not play as nice for a 1500. Learned that moving a trailer for a friend. 32' OAL but very empty so well within weight limits but a minor 10 mph crosswind off the forward quarter made the hundred miles seem like three hundred. Safe trip but very tiring even with good sway control.

 

 


2020 Keystone Cougar 22RBS, Ram 1500, two Jacks and plenty of time to roam!
The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits. A.E.
Good Sam Life Member

Thanks for your explanation, I totally get what you're talking about. I'm not going to push the setup!

Jay

MFL
Nomad II
Nomad II

Hi Jay, 

I'll answer your questions, but truck capability, and even driver's capability varies, from one person to next. Your truck driveline is likely rated to tow a trailer over 10K, just not a TT weighing that much. Large frontal area, tall sides, and heavy tongue wt the reason.

Maximum dry wt is not the best choice, but looking at trailer placard GVWR works pretty well. Most 1/2 ton trucks work well for a TT GVWR of about 7 thousand lbs or less, and an overall length of around 28 ft or less.

Length does matter, especially with a lighter wt truck, as they are not as stable in the wind, or as forgiving in an emergency maneuver, as a HD truck.

Hope this helps, but as mentioned, all drivers are not equal, in experience, or feeling confident, when trailer sways, gets pushed by other vehicles. Where you tow makes a difference too, such as busy freeways, mountains, or just quiet, flat state roads.

Thanks for the great explanation. My only remaining question is this - when you state 28 ft or less, would you be talking length of the TT to the hitch, or length of the TT being 28' + ~4' to the hitch?

Much appreciated!

When I say overall length, many abbreviate OAL, I mean from end of rear bumper to trailer coupler. 

I will add, that my number recommendations are generalized, so if you find a TT, with a GVWR of 7,500,  you and yours fall in love with, it may still work for you. I have towed a lot of trailers of all types, and I might be okay with a TT of 8K GVWR and a length of 30' OAL using your truck. Many would say "I wouldn't do it" .

Have you towed many trailers, to know what to expect, as you near your truck payload max. or approaching your truck GVWR max? Your experience, and confidence play a part in what is safe or unsafe

Thanks for the very good explanation, I appreciate it. Only remaining question, when you say 28 feet or less, are you referring to the total length of the TT to the hitch? For example, I see something like a Model 28 (TT28' long) with an overall length of 32'.  Just want to make sure I am looking at it properly as I'm sure that there are some TT dealers who will say "sure, no problem for your truck"!