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Old 10-16-2019, 03:34 PM   #1
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Question How Big for RAM 1500 Diesel

Here's a new twist for all you trailer towing guru's. Instead of the usual "Can I tow this with a half ton pickup" question, for which the answer is usually no, I ask What's the biggest Airstream I can tow with a 2020 RAM 1500 Diesel? Let's assume:
  • I'll have two chunky passengers, a dog, a generator, lawn chairs and assorted other cargo
  • I don't want to be on the edge of the envelope. I want to be able to tow safely with a decent margin.
  • It will have a tow rating of at least 9500 lbs - maybe more.

Why not just buy a 2500 you ask? The answer is I had a 2017 RAM 3500 diesel that I used to tow my 5th wheel. Great vehicle. Towed like a dream. Loved it when I was traveling. But, when not on a trip, it was a pain. Not a good daily driver. I'm only 5'7" and I had to carry a small step ladder around to get things in and out of the bed. The side rails were about chest high. Is a 2500 or bigger out of the question? No - If the answer to the initial question is an Airstream smaller than I want. So, what say ye? What can I comfortably tow with a 2020 RAM 1500 Diesel?
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Old 10-16-2019, 05:06 PM   #2
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Love my 2019 Ram 1500 with eTorque, 3.92 axle ratio. Daily driver, and very comfortable. Plenty of power for towing. But, not enough PAYLOAD! How is Ram rating the payload for a 1500 with a heavier engine? I certainly feel that I was misled by the website, which seems to have a much higher payload than the sticker on the my door. I'd want to see a door sticker before making the decision.
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Old 10-16-2019, 05:17 PM   #3
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I tow a 28' with my Ford F150 XLT Ecoboost. I have 1840lbs of payload. I take everything you mentioned. I use a pro pride hitch and I do have a roadmaster suspension system. I easily tow my 28' AS. I see no reason you couldn't do so with the 2020 Ecodiesel. Based upon what I've read the new ecodeisel has more horsepower and torque than last year's model due to upgrades.

Not sure I'd go to a 30' though. But I haven't towed a 30' with mine, and there are some on this forum that have. I just know what I've done.

Just remember the more options like sun roof etc the less payload. When buying a 1/2 ton that's where you might have a problem. But the new RAM trucks get really high ratings for interior finish.

I've actually been thinking about test driving one to see how it drives. I really like my Ecoboost, but I do like the mileage of the eco diesel.
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Old 10-16-2019, 06:30 PM   #4
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Hi

Are we talking about a generic 1500 (150) / 2500 (250) sort of thing or specifically about the RAM?

Indeed the F250 / F150 "divide" is pretty blurry these days. They have more in common than there are differences. On the F250 much of the "I can't get in it" stuff comes from the 4x4 package that everybody seems to think they need ( yes I have a 4x4 F250).

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Old 10-16-2019, 06:58 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikey254 View Post
Here's a new twist for all you trailer towing guru's. Instead of the usual "Can I tow this with a half ton pickup" question, for which the answer is usually no, I ask What's the biggest Airstream I can tow with a 2020 RAM 1500 Diesel? Let's assume:
  • I'll have two chunky passengers, a dog, a generator, lawn chairs and assorted other cargo
  • I don't want to be on the edge of the envelope. I want to be able to tow safely with a decent margin.
  • It will have a tow rating of at least 9500 lbs - maybe more.

Why not just buy a 2500 you ask? The answer is I had a 2017 RAM 3500 diesel that I used to tow my 5th wheel. Great vehicle. Towed like a dream. Loved it when I was traveling. But, when not on a trip, it was a pain. Not a good daily driver. I'm only 5'7" and I had to carry a small step ladder around to get things in and out of the bed. The side rails were about chest high. Is a 2500 or bigger out of the question? No - If the answer to the initial question is an Airstream smaller than I want. So, what say ye? What can I comfortably tow with a 2020 RAM 1500 Diesel?
Mikey254, head on over to Fast Lane Trucks to see them tow with a 2020 Ram 1500 Diesel in the Ike Gauntlet:

https://www.tfltruck.com/2019/10/can...auntlet-video/

They do state the payload which I think was close to 2000 lbs - BUT the truck is 2WD.

Enjoy!
Jeff
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Old 10-16-2019, 07:10 PM   #6
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How Big for RAM 1500 Diesel

Look carefully at combined gross vehicle weight rating. A lot of “it can tow xxxx thousand pounds” is based on just a driver and nothing else in the vehicle.

If you max out payload with all your gear, passengers and tongue weight then you may quickly bump up against / exceed combined weight rating.

Understanding if something can tow and stop and not bottom out suspension requires a careful look at axle ratings, gross vehicle weight rating, max tongue weight, and trailer weight to name a few.

Bottom line a small engine is going to struggle pulling along a 15 or 16,000 lb train especially in the mountains. There is simply little to no margin left for acceleration or engine braking. You may be fine living at the threshold… when I moved from a 25 foot to a 30 foot, I towed my 30 foot with a half ton set up for three or 4000 miles… But I got tired of being at the limit of the suspension, tires, brakes and drivetrain. After that I upgraded to a three-quarter ton and have not looked back.

I am at 18,000lbs Combined weight with TV and trailer loaded - 54’ long. A turbo 6 cylinder engine with 300-400hp and ~400ft pds of torque struggles some.

Let’s just say the big duramax in the 3/4 ton with 900+ lbs of torque doesn’t struggle with this Train weight and I now keep pace with other highway traffic going up 6, 7 and 8% grades in the Rocky Mountains no problem. I like that the drivetrain is designed to pull ~23,000 pounds total and I’m comfortably at 18,000. Plus I’m still 1000 pounds under my axle ratings.
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Old 10-16-2019, 08:52 PM   #7
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I would suggest talking to people who actually tow 27/28 footers with the EcoDiesel. I've heard mixed reports ie reliability, lack of power on grades.
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Old 10-16-2019, 10:34 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverWind View Post
I would suggest talking to people who actually tow 27/28 footers with the EcoDiesel. I've heard mixed reports ie reliability, lack of power on grades.
I have heard the same on the old ecodiesel. The 2020 is an upgrade in torque and hp. So it’s hard to know. Personally if I was going with a Dodge Ram I’d get the V8 with etorque. I talked to one of the sales guys at our local Dodge dealer and he said he really didn’t understand why Dodge even made the ecodiesel since the Hemi is such great engine. They really don’t sell many ecodiesels.

There is a YouTube video out there with a guy pulling a 27’ AS with a Dodge Ram and V8 Hemi. I don’t think it was the etorque though. He didn’t seem to have too much trouble on the grades. If you search 2019 Dodge RAM pulling Airstream you will find it. I’d put the link here, but can’t seem to copy it.
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Old 10-17-2019, 10:49 AM   #9
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Door Sticker

Yep, Doug. I agree. Towing is one thing and cargo another. Diesel + 4WD plus other premium model add-on's is an issue for cargo capacity. Until the RAM 1500 2020 diesels hit the dealers next year, all I can do is make an educated guess. Thanks for replying.
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Old 10-17-2019, 10:53 AM   #10
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Well, as you see and will find "opinions very" - IMHO it is aways best to do the analysis and research "personally".

The following link is an example of the "due diligence" I when through to answer that question.

how-to-determine-if-your-tow-vehicle-is-right-for-your-trailer

Choosing the right marriage between TV and AS is very specific and I highly recommend that you go through the process. The correct information you require is available from the manufacturer of your TV and AS.
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Old 10-17-2019, 11:08 AM   #11
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FC23FB would be a good match maybe even a perfect match. FC25FB are heavy on the hitch and would probably be probably over your capacity. I do not think you will have any issue with the towing capacity.
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Old 10-17-2019, 11:45 AM   #12
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I started w a 25’ FC pulled by a 5.8 Tundra. I wouldn’t have gone any bigger w that TV.

Then worked our way up to 30’ Classic pulled w 2500 Duramax. The TV easily pulled the 30.

We have now graduated back to a 23 FB (small is the new big) and once again have a Tundra as a TV.

I’d go no more than 25’ and watch your tongue wt
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Old 10-17-2019, 02:10 PM   #13
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EcoDiesel

Well, coincidentally, my current vehicle is a 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee with the ecoDiesel. I love it. It gets great mileage, the range is great and I haven't had a single issue with it in the 6 years I've driven it. Before the 5th wheel, I had a 24' Passport that I towed with the JGC. No issues whatsoever with power. It didn't care about hills. Ultimately, I was unhappy with the JGC as a tow vehicle because of its short wheelbase, but not because of the ecoDiesel. That's why I haven't purchased a 2019 RAM 1500. I'm waiting for the ecoDiesel in 2020.
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Old 10-17-2019, 02:13 PM   #14
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I'm a RAM fan. I had the 2017 RAM 3500 and I currently have a Jeep Grand Cherokee with the ecoDiesel. I'm happy with the engine and want another.
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Old 10-17-2019, 06:36 PM   #15
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I don't have opinions. I traded my 3/4 Ton GMC for a new 2016 RAM ECO Diesel. I tow a 30' Airstream. I could tow it fine but I could not control it driving down a twisty mountain road. I40 east of Asheville, going down Black Mountain, forget it. I traded it for a Nissan Titan XD Turbo Diesel. Love it.
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Old 10-17-2019, 09:56 PM   #16
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ram ecodiesel 1500

I had the truck. crew cab. 4 wheel drive. 6'6" bed. I started towing a 23ft front bed. Towed like a dream and really liked the truck. Then someone in the family decided we needed a bigger trailer and we went to the 27FB. GVWR went from 6,000 to 7,800. I could still tow the new trailer but the payload was only 1,250. The tonque weight was about 950 and the wife and I were about 300. Ergo, we couldn't take anything else in the truck. As I recall I weighed the combination and I was over the axel ratings. If the 2020 specs are improved it might work. But you might be pushing the limits. I traded up to the 2500 and have no problems towing or with payload. Good luck.
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Old 10-23-2019, 11:05 AM   #17
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It's not so much about what you can tow .
It's about what you can control while towing AND STOP .
The suspension & brakes are what do that .
The engine & drivetrain get it moving .
If can not control or stop it - do not tow it !!!
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Old 10-23-2019, 12:23 PM   #18
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My experience with that engine

I have a 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee diesel that has the same engine you will be getting in the 2020 Ram 1500. The engine itself has a long history in Europe and is highly thought of. I also have a 22FB Bambi Sport that I pull with it.

The stock engine in the Jeep had issues in the high mountains of Colorado and even when I slowed way down I had overheating problems by the time I reached the top of Monarch Pass. There were other small things that the car did (not the engine's fault by the way) that were mildly annoying. Doing research I found Green Diesel Engineering who sell a re-programmed PCM which took care of all the little problems I had, kept the engine cooler the next time I went through the pass, and added engine braking on the downhill runs. The difference was amazing and worth every penny I spent.

Rumor has it that the diesel engine in the 2020 Ram has these modifications done to it, which is why it is much more highly rated that previous models. Like you I am waiting to see what reality is once the EPA releases it for sale.

I have loaded the back of the Jeep with luggage, boxes of books and had 4 people in the car, each around 150-180 pounds. The engine does fine with the Bambi in tow and all that payload.

Hope this helps. Reach out if I can answer anything specific about the engine.

Cheers,

Jim
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Old 10-24-2019, 10:35 PM   #19
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How Big for 1500 Ram Ecodiesel

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikey254 View Post
Here's a new twist for all you trailer towing guru's. Instead of the usual "Can I tow this with a half ton pickup" question, for which the answer is usually no, I ask What's the biggest Airstream I can tow with a 2020 RAM 1500 Diesel? Let's assume:
  • I'll have two chunky passengers, a dog, a generator, lawn chairs and assorted other cargo
  • I don't want to be on the edge of the envelope. I want to be able to tow safely with a decent margin.
  • It will have a tow rating of at least 9500 lbs - maybe more.

Why not just buy a 2500 you ask? The answer is I had a 2017 RAM 3500 diesel that I used to tow my 5th wheel. Great vehicle. Towed like a dream. Loved it when I was traveling. But, when not on a trip, it was a pain. Not a good daily driver. I'm only 5'7" and I had to carry a small step ladder around to get things in and out of the bed. The side rails were about chest high. Is a 2500 or bigger out of the question? No - If the answer to the initial question is an Airstream smaller than I want. So, what say ye? What can I comfortably tow with a 2020 RAM 1500 Diesel?
2015 Ram 1500 Quad cab 6'4"bed with cargo mgmt. boxes, 2wd 3:92 rear axle ratio, 8speed ZF8HP70 transmission,my tow vehicle. 1998 31ft Airstream Classic T.T. Payload 1650, Towing capacity 8,950. Fuel mileage towing 15 to 16 mpg over 40 states and Eastern Canada. I try to load the wagon heavy because of my payload and tongue weight 1,000 lbs typically. That leaves 650lbs for myself, DW & 🐕 and minimum else. I'm a retired OTR truck driver. For a weekend rally or outing I don't worry about the weight much. Since starting our journey in Feb 2014 we typically travel 65 to 80 days at a time. I ALWAYS after weighing my tongue (Sherline scales) go to truck stop and scale out. Cost $11.50 first then $2.00 each additional weighs. I will weigh 3 times. Weigh the fully loaded rig. Drop trailer out of harm's way, then weigh truck. Then hook back up. The 3rd weigh takes a little timing. I pull onto scales drop the trailer tongue on 1st scale so as the 2 axles are on the second scale. Then hook up and pull off and get the 3 tickets. To do this 3rd weigh you need to be READY , just have the trailer on the ball hitch. Safety chains unhooked, power cord unplugged, etc. Scales are perfectly level. Then you power down your jack, pull forward enough for truck to be off scales, press button to weigh, hook up and get off scales. THINK ABOUT THIS. Surely as you drop that trailer, an 18 wheeler going to pull up next to be weighed. He might get upset you holding him up. He'll get over it. LOL Tale a broom handle to reach and tap the speaker button about 7--8 feet off the ground. BTW This is my daily driver I get 20 plus in town and 30 on trips on the cruise at the SPEED LIMIT or 65 mph. I order this truck to my specs. Previous TV was 98 Ram 2500 w/Cummins 2,950 payload. I gave up a lot of payload, am considering 2020 Ram 1500 Ecodiesel. 2300 payload and 12,750 towing capacity specially equipped. Sorry this so long but you mentioned the next vehicle I'm considering 2020 1500 Ecodiesel. Good luck.
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