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Old 04-12-2005, 04:28 PM   #1
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Unhappy Hemi-Powered Ram 1500 versus 30' Classic

My father just purchased a 2005 AS 30' Classic and a 2005 Dodge Ram 1500 Quad Cab 4x4 (yeah, it's got the Hemi). Question is: Airstream's Web site says a fully loaded 30' Classic can top 10,000 lbs. Dodge's Web site says this particular truck can yank around 8,700 lbs.

Here's what I think:

Airstream's gross weight rating is the maximum figure, and I told my dad that he probably wouldn't put 2,500 lbs worth of cargo, clothes, fluids and vacation items within the trailer.

Second, because the Airstream is slightly aerodynamic, I told my father that that would increase his truck's ability to tow by 2,000 lbs or so... many trucks can tow heavier loads than advertised if towing a boat, for instance, due to the reduced drag.

Third, with that Hemi engine, he'd have to tow up a severe incline all the way to Myrtle Beach in order to overheat it and cause a major breakdown. (Hmm... when he was little he walked uphill to school, both ways, in the desert heat... so maybe this IS a problem!

What can you guys tell me? What do you think?

Thanks in advance!!

(NOTE: REPOSTED DUE TO POSSIBLE WEB ERROR... SORRY FOR THE DUPE)
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Old 04-12-2005, 05:06 PM   #2
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LittleRadio,

Did he get the new disc brakes on the trailer? I'd be more worried about how fast he could stop than how aeorodynamic the trailer is.

Your 2000 lb 'bonus' might be true if the trailer were in front of the truck, but with the trailer behind the truck the benefit is a lot less, due to turbulance off the truck.

You have at best 1800 lbs load capacity. That included the total weight of dad and anything he puts in the truck. GCWR for the Ram is 14,000 lbs. Your dad's dry weight is already 12,164 lbs.
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Old 04-12-2005, 05:49 PM   #3
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Question

Personally I think he going to be under trucked by quite a bit. Those new classics are heavy. My PERSONAL opinon is to get a truck that is rated to tow the GVW of the trailer, that way there are no questions or liability involved. If you get in an accident and are overloaded in any way shape or form you open yourself up for contributory negilence. That being said...I do tow my lighter weight vintage unit with a F150 with the smaller V-8(BTW it is a hemi too ) but I also am well aware of my weights and limitations...I won't tow in the mountains with it, the tanks are always empty and I keep an eye on what my wife loads in it

Aaron
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Old 04-12-2005, 08:20 PM   #4
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I tow a 30' classic with a 2500 Quad cab w/HEMI. I ordered the towing package which has the transmission cooler, larger electrical and a welded on receiver. I also went with the two wheel drive w/posi-traction instead of 4wd. This gave more GVW and towing capability. I have changed the air intake system to the K&M.

Anything less, I would be concerned about the life expectancy of the transmission, the strength of the receiver and trucks ability to support the weight. Broken suspension is bad thing coming down a mountain.

If the 1500 has the large 20" tires, that is another problem. If the trailer pushes on these tires in turn coming down a mountain or under breaking, they can come off the rim. They are not recommended for towing.

Good luck
dale
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Old 04-12-2005, 08:30 PM   #5
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Is it enough truck for that much trailer, maybe not. Maybe cancel the truck order, and if he wants to stay with Dodge, he should/could get the 3/4 ton with the Hemi or the CTD.

The 1/2 ton pickup with that TT would probably not be too much fun in hilly terrain .
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Old 04-12-2005, 08:45 PM   #6
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Ford Excusrsion Diesel

What about using an Excursion with the Diesel?
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Old 04-13-2005, 10:28 AM   #7
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Just thought I would let you know my experiences.

I have a 1500 Ram/Hemi Quad Cab 4x4 and a 28ft International CCD(7300lbs dry). I personally would not tow anything larger. I am probably pretty close to the limits of the truck when the trailer is loaded. If I could, I would get a 3/4 ton with the CTD. I stick with shorter trips(gas mileage is not too good towing!!!lol)

I currently have a reese wt dist hitch with friction type sway control and dispise the friction sway control. Also, I don't like my reese brake controller. I think it is the Electronic "ramp" style. I guess these low end products are what you can expect when dealers are paying for them(and you are a newbie).

I dont think I could stop any more weight with my truck.

I have also added a K&N air filter to help with mileage and a hypertech programmer for power. If you want a Hemi, I would go with the 3/4 ton because of the larger brakes and better gear ratios. It has power, but I don't like the "hunting" for gears on hills.

I would seriously reconsider this combo if possible. Best of luck!! Let me know if you have any questions and I'll try to answer.

Scott
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Old 04-13-2005, 02:05 PM   #8
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I agree with most of what's already been said here, you will clearly be under trucked with a 1500, hemi or not, you are breathing air that 3/4 ton (2500) breathes. In reality, the Classic will most likely not use all of its NCC, however, just the base and hitch weight alone you're already at or beyond what you list for the trucks tow rating, not taking any cargo, people or fuel added to the equation.
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Old 04-13-2005, 05:24 PM   #9
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I'm an RV salesman. I represent the largest Airstream dealership in my state. I tell people what will and won't tow what every day. I wouldn't advise towing that trailer with that truck. Get the 2500 with the Cummins. Then you can pull it sideways, upside down or any other way...and get good fuel economy at the same time! My dealership wouldn't even let you take delivery unless you signed an affidavit saying you were advised that your truck shouldn't be towing the trailer. Your brakes and transmission are what's going to suffer the most. Dodge is notorious for transmission problems. Good Luck!

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Old 04-14-2005, 04:33 AM   #10
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Unhappy Hmm...

Ok... so I'm not sure what all you guys are saying. (Phhhbt!). Seriously, it sounds like it'd be better if my father had gotten the Ram 2500 Cummins. I agree. But that truck would've increased his monthly payment by more than $300!

It sounds like most of the comments I've read have to do with concern over the longevity of the 1500's tranny and brakes... not to sound too cold, but those are simply "wear items" when you're leasing a new truck.

The 1500 may have slightly smaller braking surfaces and lower capacity springs, but it's essentially the same truck. Are your concerns really merited? (I guess we'll find out, because he picked up his truck yesterday, picks up his Classic on Friday, and heads out into Northern Michigan for test weekend this Saturday).

BTW, I did send him my Prodigy brake controller. He asked why this unit was better than the low-end unit the dealer wanted to install and all I could tell him was "I dunno... it's digital?" Anyone else know why? I bought it because of all the info I read on this site (thanks, Airstreamforums.com!).

I'll be sure to report back on how everything went.

Tony
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Old 04-14-2005, 08:35 AM   #11
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The Cummins was not the ONLY option that would have made it more safe.

Brakes are a normal wear and tear item, but the trans isn't a normal wear and tear item, or at least I don't consider that a normal wear and tear item. The combo you have, I wouldn't do, though I did try a simialr feat, it was not the best idea I've ever had...... In the end, you gotta do what you gotta do. I think most here would agree, it's clearly not the best choice and that your truck is clearly overloaded. If your trans burns up on a vacation (not to mention that the lower end Dogde trannies do self destruct more than Ford and Chevy as has been pointed out already), sure it would be covered under warranty, but you will have lost the remainder of or a good chunk of your vacation.

Will it move the coach? Sure. Seem good on the flatlands? Most likely. Would I do a Rocky Mountain trip with it or to an area with grades? Most likely not.

As for the Prodigy, I have two, great units. Very smooth braking compared to the "cheaper" units. You get what you pay for, plain and simple. But I am unsure if it will work if your new Airstream has the new disc brakes...others might know though........
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Old 04-14-2005, 08:52 AM   #12
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Also with the 3:55 rear end that truck comes standard with means if he does try to pull up hills, he's going to be moving about 35 or 40mph. Mostly I agree with Silvertwinkie about everything he said. It'll pull it but I wouldn't do it.

The Dude.
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Old 04-14-2005, 09:05 AM   #13
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I think what most are agreeing on here is that it's more of a safety concern for your father and those on the road around him. Excessive wear on an engine & tranny are secondary. That big of a trailer will be wagging the dog on quick stops & maneuvers, which we all have to be prepared for. When I moved to a 28' CCD I sold my Chevy Suburban 1500 & got a Suburban 2500, 3/4 ton.
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Old 04-14-2005, 10:04 AM   #14
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You know, this is not a hit directed toward anyone here, any one particular type truck, etc. However, one can clearly break down this type of subject in to three camps:

1) Those who white knuckled it, learned, moved up and on, have been there, done that, wrote the book and refuse to return (I've finally done this and now understand what folks that have been there were talking about).

2) Those that listened and did the right thing from the start and never white knuckled it. (These folks were ususally good at math, geometry and physics too).

3) Those who still need to learn for themselves what a differnce a proper tow vehicle can do (like I did).

Ben (The Dude) prob saw me pull into his dealership with my Impala SS with the Bambi in tow that I traded for a 25' Safari SS. I had fully planned on leaving with our 25' Safari from there with it too and did take that combo around last summer to the tune of 3000 miles (approx). Now that I've upgraded to the 3/4 ton Suburban, I still am amazed what a night and day difference it is, even though the Impala SS (as I modified it) had equal to greater horsepower and torque as my current 6.0L Suburban.

I suspect that I won't be feeling as if I drove 24 hours straight anymore after a simple 6 hour drive.

Live and learn.

P.S.- Dude, tell Jerry that I'm still waiting for that $50 referral he promised me when Jonathan aka:crazylev bought his 19' CCD from him based on my referral.
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