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Old 02-22-2016, 12:00 PM   #1
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RAM 1500 EcoDiesel, payload, weight distribution

Hey everyone,

I just bought a 2016 25' Eddie Bauer Airstream (woo-hoo!). I am looking to buy a RAM 1500 EcoDiesel and am just trying to make sure I understand the tolerances and constraints.

If I had the option I'd custom order a 4x4 Quad Cab Big Horn with a 6'4" bed and 3.92 and wait for delivery. For various reasons I can't wait that long, so I am trying to understand what inventory I can select from that will not bring me too close to any of the weight limits. Frankly I'm not seeing many trucks in the Los Angeles area that have most of those features (looks like I can get away with 3.55), but that's a different issue.

My main concern is payload capacity. AS owners generally say get a 2000lb payload. Is that because AS tend to have heavier tongue weights than box trailers, or because they have to put more gear in the truck because AS under storage is non-existent, or something else?

The 25' EB numbers are:

Trailer Dry weight: 5750 lbs
Trailer GVWR: 7300 lbs
Hitch weight: 734 lbs unloaded (folks here say 12-15% is more common, which at 7300 lbs would be 1100 lbs). Does this sound about right?

I don't expect to hit the trailer GVWR. I'll probably be somewhere between 6500-7000 lb, so I see no issue with towing capacity. I'm concerned about payload. I don't plan to put any toys in the back, but I do want to understand what buffer I've got. From initial research I think I'd need anywhere from 100-500 lbs in the bed (generator, water, generator gas, diesel jerry can, backup small propane tank, small toolbox). I also might want to use a cap eventually. There won't be much inside the truck (300lbs of humans).

So, looking at the RAM tow chart (https://www.ramtrucks.com/assets/tow...ing_charts.pdf), a Big Horn Quad Cab 4x4 ED has a payload of 1390 lbs. If you run these options on the RAM Towing Guide site (http://www.ramtrucks.com/en/towing_guide/) it is even a bit less.

Is the math as simple as 1390 - 1100 = 290 lbs of payload? That's not going to be enough. I know a WD hitch will reduce the load on the payload, but I don't understand how much.

Your wisdom is greatly appreciated.

Thanks!
Matt
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Old 02-22-2016, 02:20 PM   #2
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Congratulations on your new trailer.

I just wanted to relate my experience with payload/cargo capacity of a couple of current RAMs.

Make sure that you check the actual cargo capacity printed on the driver's side door jamb. We towed our 23D with a 2013 RAM 1500 Outdoorsman Crew Cab 2WD short bed (5'7"). The cargo capacity published on RAM's web site/brochures was approximately 250 pounds more than the door jamb (actual) capacity. With a 180 pound bed cap and minimal cargo, people, dogs and full fuel we were right on the limit of 1044 pounds (door jamb).

Our current 2016 RAM 2500 6.7 Diesel 4x4 has a claimed payload of 2380 pounds but an actual (door jamb) cargo capacity of 2088 pounds. Our normal cargo, bigger fuel tank, people, dogs, bed cap with racks for kayaks, generator and spares for an extended trip to Alaska adds up to around 1200, a very comfortable margin for this truck. We are enjoying the heavier 2500 diesel as it's handling is less affected by cargo weight, it has the amazing exhaust brake feature, and the effortless power of the 6.7 diesel. It even gets 20mpg on the highway and 16 towing, and at 2000 miles it is a long way from being broken in, when it should get much better mileage.

RAM also equipped out 2013 RAM 1500 with a temporary spare tire mounted on a smaller wheel (17 vs 20) to save weight. Our 2016 2500 utilizes a steel wheel spare with a full size HT tire, but not an alloy wheel with an AT tire like the other four, but still much better than 1500, especially for towing. This is another reason that we went to a 2500.
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Old 02-22-2016, 02:36 PM   #3
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1390# is going to be really tight. The 25' Airstreams are tongue heavy, as you know, so hook up the trailer, install your significant other, and you are almost out of payload.

The F150 has better payload numbers in general and the Ecoboost 3.5 will give you diesel-like low end torque.

The Silverado has better payload as well.

As noted above, a 3/4 ton vehicle makes all these problems go away.

But, if you don't want to go That big, the Nissan Titan XD in SV trim will give you 12000# pounds of towing and about a ton of payload with a 5.0 liter Cummins diesel. The big fly in the Nissan ointment is that the trucks have not been delivered in great numbers yet and most dealers are asking (and getting) MSRP. If you scope out the Titan forums, the folks who actually own and drive one love them.

I think you need to keep looking.

Mike
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Old 02-22-2016, 03:02 PM   #4
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We have a Ram 1500 Hemi and FC 25 and love it as a tow vehicle, chore truck around home, and daily driver when on our annual six months travel away from home.

Based on our experience here's how I would set up A Ram Ecodiesel and 25 EB.

Find EcoDiesel with 1300# on the door sticker and 3.92 axle (if possible).
Put a light weight vinyl tonneau cover on it.
Put a ProPride hitch on the Airstream.
Put on 200 watts of solar and locate 2 Group 27 Lifeline batteries under the bed.
Carry a propane Honda 2000i generator for backup.

Travel light in the truck and heavy as needed in the Airstream. You'll have a smooth riding setup that won't damage your Airstream or your back that has safe handling and excellent braking in all driving conditions, with or without the Airstream.
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Old 02-22-2016, 03:24 PM   #5
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Since I've already told you what I think on the RAM1500diesel.com site, I'll just leave you with this-
Have fun!
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Old 02-22-2016, 03:27 PM   #6
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Congratulations & welcome to the forum. Our trailers are the same year & size & the specs are close if not the same. My RAM ecodiesel is equipped with a hard bed cover, Bed Rug and some tools in the Ram Boxes. I plan to purchase a 2000i Yamaha generator weighing 44lbs & it will be in the truck bed along with just a few other item used for camping like two folding lawn chairs and a small grill. The truck has air bag suspension as its standard equipment on the Laramie Limited model, I use a Equalizer WD hitch with sway control & so far have towed just over 3000 miles with absolutely no problems. Including the bed cover I can't imagine the total weight exceeding 600 lbs in the bed. The combination works perfectly for me & it will for you also.
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Old 02-22-2016, 05:12 PM   #7
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The question is how it will handle towing the mountains and heat out west where the OP lives.

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Old 02-22-2016, 05:25 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by KJRitchie View Post
The question is how it will handle towing the mountains and heat out west where the OP lives.

Kelvin
We spend much of our year with our Ram 1500 Hemi/FC 25 "out west", have towed through every state here several times. It handles the mountains (maybe 5% of the roadways) nicely using the transmission and brakes as needed. I would expect the Ecodiesel to be a little better with it's low RPM torque, would love to have one.
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Old 02-22-2016, 05:37 PM   #9
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I'm planning to get a new truck this fall. I've found the Ram line to be light in payload capacity compared to the rest of the pack. I also came to conclude I'd need about 1000 lbs for trailer and about 500 lbs for passengers and stuff in truck. Give it take 100 lbs either way, both ends. With those thoughts in mind 1,500 lbs of payload capacity is my bottom limit.
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Old 02-22-2016, 06:23 PM   #10
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I really have a hard time understanding some people's obsession with the payload as if the truck will fall apart or you'll be jailed if you exceed the number printed on the sticker by one pound.
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Old 02-23-2016, 03:32 AM   #11
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I don't have a Ram Ecodiesel.

Hi, I don't have a Ram Ecodiesel, but my point is that I gave the dealer a list of all of my must haves and deal breakers. They found my truck in Nevada and trailered it to Oregon for me. You don't have to buy what the dealer has on the lot. Good Luck finding the truck of your dreams.
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Old 02-23-2016, 10:26 AM   #12
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Upon closer inspection of the door plate, you will also see the load limits for the axles. Add those together and compare to the GVW and you will most likely find the two axles have a greater load capacity than the GVW.

Now check the owners manual/tire sidewall load ratings. There may even be a load versus tire pressure chart for that sized tire. Set tire pressures to exceed the axle ratings. Now the weak link in the support chain is actually the axles. If you exceed the door GVW by a few pounds (your definition) the truck will not suddenly fall apart like in some cartoons. The major issues in my opinion for vehicle longevity would include never exceeding the axle load ratings.

In the commercial world, the various DOT folks are weighing to see if any axle or tire exceeds their respective ratings or the total weight exceeds the license plate weight or the load limits on the road in question.

I have a 11,000 pound license plate with both axles together have 11,510 pound capacity. The truck has never scaled more than 10,200 pounds with a door sticker of 9,600 pounds. The 3500 series with an additional rear spring has a 10,100 pound rating. I have two 5,000 pound rated air bags as the rear suspension so the weak link is the axle rating of 6,010 pounds with the tires at 70 psi. I carry 80 (maximum) psi when towing on both front and rear tires and the truck seems to handle better with the stiffer tire sidewalls.

These maximum axle load ratings could be carried all day every day without voiding the warranty. There is a safety margin built into those numbers before an overload condition would cause failure.

With most pickup/trailer combinations, the load issue is to not overload the rear axles and unload the front axles to the point of lighting the tree tops at night with the headlights. Thus the use of weight distribution hitches. The scales will report your actual numbers.

Another important thing to check is the weight rating of the factory hitch and whether it can handle weight distribution hitches. Our 2012 Ram 2500HD had a 1,200 pound hitch rating and there was chatter about weld failures. I removed the factory hitch and replaced it with a Curt 15049 rated 2,550 pounds and a 17,000 pound trailer. That was adequate capacity for the Airstream world.

One would be wise to take the proposed truck in question across some CAT scales (or grain elevator) to find out the as built axle loads with a driver and a full fuel tank.

The literature tongue weight of the 25FB series is 833 pounds. With the Hensley Arrow hitch head installed, full propane and fresh water tanks, street and rear awnings installed and the dealer supplied starter package including a power cord under the front bed, the Shureline scale reported a tongue weight of 1,150 pounds. With a lot of moving stuff around inside the trailer, we were at 1,175 pounds on that scale when loaded for camping.
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Old 02-23-2016, 11:51 AM   #13
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Welcome to the Forum. I looked at the 2014 Ram 1500 Eco diesel for our 2014 25' FC.
Didn't like the numbers. Purchased a 2014 Ram 2500 Hvy Duty short bed.
10/14 mp/g towing, 18/20 solo.
ALL my concerns disappeared with the 3/4 TV.
Good Luck
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Old 02-23-2016, 12:15 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spelunkus View Post

Frankly I'm not seeing many trucks in the Los Angeles area that have most of those features (looks like I can get away with 3.55), but that's a different issue.

Matt
When it comes to finding and buying a truck, the internet is your friend. I bought my last truck without setting foot in the dealership until I took possession.

In your situation, I would start looking on-line at dealerships in San Diego, Las Vegas, Bakersfield, etc. They all have their inventory on-line. An email will get you more specific model info. You can get them to send you a photo of the door jamb sticker to confirm actual payload. If more than one truck fits your bill, you can even start a bidding war on-line.

Just decide how far of a round-trip drive you want to make to pick it up and expand your search radius to that.
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