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Old 05-01-2014, 04:21 PM   #1
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2014 Ram Longhorn 4X4 towing serenity 28

Hi. I know this topic has been lightly discussed but I haven't seen anything definitive.

The truck does have the air suspension.

The Ram Truck site tells me I have about 1100 lbs of payload.

I'm looking at a Intl Serenity 28'. I imagine that loaded I'm looking at 1100-1200 pounds of tongue weight. Between me, my wife and the golden retriever that's another 380. Lets call the payload 1600 lbs.

I'm WELL within the towing capacity. Does going over the payload capacity by 500 lbs present a real problem or am I being overly concerned?

Thanks! Given Ram's sales increases I know I'm not the only one thinking about this problem.
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Old 05-01-2014, 04:51 PM   #2
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Some of your tongue weight will be transferred back to the trailer wheels, typically around 20%. That buys you some room.

With a payload that low, why not get a SUV instead?
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Old 05-01-2014, 05:01 PM   #3
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Unfortunately, I already bought the truck. :-)
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Old 05-01-2014, 05:26 PM   #4
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My F-150 has a low payload number as well. I believe some of that is driven by the P metric tires specified by Ford for the Platinum model. We only tow a little 16' Serenity Bambi and we can get the truck right to the limit of capacity. I have always wondered if I might be better switching to an LT rated tire for the additional load carrying capacity but the fact is that I truly love the Michelin LTX-2 tires in so many ways I simply don't want to experiment....


People often suggest an SUV instead of a truck but for my use it is not an option (I can't imagine wanting to put a "port a tote" or a stinky grill in the back of my nice SUV....).


There is no question you will be "overloaded" with a Serenity 28, the question is what impact that will have.


The guru of the "towing with an unconventional vehicle" is Andy Thompson of CanAm fame. He is a very bright guy. Perhaps a pm to him might shed some light on the situation. He has answered quick questions I have a number of times and I respect his advice even if I do not personally want to tow with a small vehicle.
Good luck!
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Old 05-01-2014, 05:43 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by jayoco View Post
Unfortunately, I already bought the truck. :-)
Nice looking truck too.
I am looking for an oder crew cab for our planned trans-Canada trip. I've been fairly set on a F150, but recently have been looking at older, and cheaper, 250 diesel trucks. Great mileage and the engines seem pretty indestructable.

Talking to Andy is a good idea. I just beefed up the tires of our van from a 17/60 99 Michelin to a 17/60 103 Yokohama to get stiffer sidewalls and a higher load capacity.

Andy suggested going from a 60 to a 55, but I didn't want to confuse the onboard electronics by changing the tire size.

Your other option might be buying an older, lighter Airstream. Our 1984 34' weighs in at about 7000lbs camp ready and about 720lbs on the tongue. The triple axles carry a lot of their weight on their own wheels, with the WD our van only carries about 550lbs, which leaves us 850lbs to play with.
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Old 05-01-2014, 05:54 PM   #6
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Jayoco don't trust the published 'marketing' numbers on weight. Load the wife and dog in the truck and drive to a CAT scale and pay $10 to get your real numbers. That will give you a good starting point as you work on deciding what to buy.
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Old 05-01-2014, 06:08 PM   #7
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Somewhere on your truck, usually in the driver door area, will be a sticker listing the exact payload for your truck. The Internet is just a guide.

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Old 05-01-2014, 07:39 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jayoco View Post

The Ram Truck site tells me I have about 1100 lbs of payload.

I'm looking at a Intl Serenity 28'. I imagine that loaded I'm looking at 1100-1200 pounds of tongue weight. Between me, my wife and the golden retriever that's another 380. Lets call the payload 1600 lbs.

I'm WELL within the towing capacity. Does going over the payload capacity by 500 lbs present a real problem or am I being overly concerned?
I consider towing capacity a pretty meaningless number. My Tundra has a towing capacity of over 10,000 lbs. However I am within 300 lbs of my Trucks GVWR and also the rear axle rate rating. My 66 Tradewind only weighs about 5,000 lbs.

I don't think you want to be 500 lbs over the payload rating. However I don't like really looking at the payload rating, except when buying a truck, as you can't really measure it. I would go to a CAT scale and see where you are relative to the truck GVWR and the truck Rear Axle Weight Rating (RAWR).

I agree, talk to the towing guru, Andy.

Good Luck, Dan
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Old 06-23-2014, 04:22 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TouringDan View Post
I consider towing capacity a pretty meaningless number. My Tundra has a towing capacity of over 10,000 lbs. However I am within 300 lbs of my Trucks GVWR and also the rear axle rate rating. My 66 Tradewind only weighs about 5,000 lbs.

I don't think you want to be 500 lbs over the payload rating. However I don't like really looking at the payload rating, except when buying a truck, as you can't really measure it. I would go to a CAT scale and see where you are relative to the truck GVWR and the truck Rear Axle Weight Rating (RAWR).

I agree, talk to the towing guru, Andy.

Good Luck, Dan
We are buying a 2010 Dodge Ram Laramie 4x4 ourselves. It's currently being shipped from Salt Lake City, Utah.

I thought long and hard and have been researching for two months now about going to a 2500 Dodge or GMC Sierra. At the end of the day, with some number crunching, we're still coming out ahead with a lower payload, usually breathing room of 400lbs. (This includes gas tank full, 1000lbs hitch weight in my calculation, myself, my wife and child.)

Ultimately the scales will tell the truth. I know a lot of folks around here think you can't tow over 23ft with anything less than a half ton truck without being a test pilot. I'm not sure.

There seems to be a number of folks towing with "Hey you can't tow with that" vehicles like Honda Odyssey pulling 31 ft Airstreams. About several of the folks Airstreamers whose blogs and instagram accounts I follow are towing with Tundra's or Ford Platinum F150's.

Anyhow, I just didn't want a larger truck, and I wanted to avoid Diesel for a number of reasons. Plus we wanted some of the luxury items, leather, sunroof, heated seats. And that put 1/2 tons out of our price range, and the ones that were in our price range either didn't have the luxury items or where too old/high in milage.

Hopefully this will all work out.

Just do the math, and talk to the guys at Andy. I think you'll do fine. We're looking to tow either a 25 or 27 FB. Just depends what we find that we like in our price range when ready.
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Old 06-23-2014, 06:24 PM   #10
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I am towing a 2012 28' Intl CCD....quite similar to what you are pulling. You didn't get specific on WHICH truck you bought, but I opted for the 2014 Ram Laramie 2500 4x4 with the 6.7L Cummins to make sure I had adequate guts for what's in the bed AND what's behind me. This is the first year that Ram has had coil springs in the rear of the 2500, with air suspension as an option. I've got about 8,000 miles on my truck -- almost all towing -- and it has proven to be an exceptional TV -- just did 2,000 miles and averaged 14.2 MPG. My neighbor at Alumapalooza was pulling a 30' Intl with his Ford 150 and got around 10 MPG on his gasser. And, with my fierce torque and exhaust brake I was in good shape in the mountains. Truck is awesome!
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Old 06-23-2014, 06:59 PM   #11
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We have a 25 FC FB and pull with a 2014 Ram Bighorn Hemi with the 3.91 rear axle. Our tongue weight is only about 125 lbs less than the 28 Serenity so we are pretty close. We have no problems pulling or handling with this setup, as far as total cargo weight the truck does not sag or ride like it is setting on its springs and we apparently weigh more than you and your wife. I plan on hauling our two Vespas to Florida next year and that will add another 700 lbs.

Gary
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Old 06-24-2014, 09:39 AM   #12
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Buying new is probably the better bet if you want to be assured of your payload capacity.

I have been all over searching to find a Ram with a higher payload. I did a lot of reading on several Ram truck sites. A lot of guys who do have sag issues have added Airlift bags and the other thing that works really well is replacing the rear springs, Tuf truck makes two varities that are stock ride hieght but increase payload capacity: Heavy Duty Front and Rear Coil Springs for Dodge Ram 1500 ? 5500 and D250/350 Pickups

Combine that with heavy duty shocks and you should be good to go.

Hey, I'll have to come back to this thread and post pictures of ours once it arrives.
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Old 07-01-2014, 12:04 AM   #13
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You can add air springs or install stiffer springs that will reduce the amount that the truck squats when you weigh it down, but you can not increase the truck payload rating; this is set by the manufacturer.

Dan
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Old 07-01-2014, 07:13 AM   #14
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You can add air springs or install stiffer springs that will reduce the amount that the truck squats when you weigh it down, but you can not increase the truck payload rating; this is set by the manufacturer.

Dan
I'm only arguing this for the sake of arguing it, but...

That is HALF correct, you can increase the payload thru reduction but you can't increase payload thru GVW. I think you are thinking about the LEGALITY, which is what I think most people mean when they say you CANNOT.

Legally when a car is built it's stamped with a payload rating that is based on it's Curb Weight minus it's GVW. This GVW has been approved by DOT.

For example, all Dodge Ram 1500's have a GVW of 6800lbs. But each has a different payload based on options. One with cloth seats has a different payload from a vehicle with leather seats.

If your leather seats weight 300lbs and the cloth weight 180lbs and you switch, you've technically just increased payload by 120lbs.

So YES, you CAN increase payload, but you CANNOT exceed the GVW rating as that is what has been DOT approved for that vehicle. You CANNOT add a modification and increase payload. So YES, you're right that I cannot add springs and add 500lbs of payload because that would mean the GVW is now 7300lbs. Doesn't work that way.

So yes, legally if I rip out the interior of my truck it'd get lighter and I could fill that with cargo. Would you actually do that? Probably not, that's silly.

I suggested springs with an increased spring rate over stock that actually can carry more. Doesn't mean payload is increased, just it's ability to handle the weight.

Wanted to clarify that.

On another note of weight reduction, while I don't think most here would do it, when we built our overland rig, I removed the rear seats and the rear carpeting and sound deadening material. The weight was about 220lbs. It was nice because it offset the weight of our camping gear nicely.

I wouldn't do this to my Tow Vehicle, but you get the point.
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