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Old 01-01-2021, 10:03 PM   #1
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Ram 1500 - FC28 Towing Opinion and Question

I have bought a new FC 28 for delivery this coming summer in or about. Trying to satisfy my curiosity about the matching of my Ram 1500 to the trailer. Here are the specs.

-2019 Ram 1500 5.7L Hemi - 3.92 axle - 1,585 yellow sticker payload capacity -4 x 4 drivetrain
-2021 FC 28 - 7,600 GVWR, tongue weight 897, 1,621 carrying capacity and 5,971 net weight with tanks and batteries.

What issues will I face, if anything? Or am i good to go?

Thanks for your thoughts.
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Old 01-01-2021, 10:15 PM   #2
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Incoming!!!!
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Old 01-01-2021, 10:35 PM   #3
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Sorry, I couldn't resist. You will likely receive a large amount of feedback on this question and the opinions will range from "sure, no problem", to "absolutely not!". From your post I can see you have already run the numbers and you are aware that your payload after subtracting the tongue weight will be around 600 lbs for your passengers, camping gear, cover or topper, etc. You will need to be thinking about your payload every time you travel. Many people do this successfully. Many people don't want to have to think about it and go with a bugger truck. It is a personal choice. My only advice is to fully educate yourself on towing an Airstream. There are a dizzying array of factors that come into play. Closely read the comments you receive in this thread and search for others (there are many), and check out youtube, research hitches, read up on trailer sway. The biggest factor in towing failures tends to be the driver, especially when new to towing. Congratulation and welcome to the club. It is an exciting lifestyle. I'm sure you will enjoy it.
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Old 01-02-2021, 12:00 AM   #4
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What to expect

Congrats on your new Airstream!

I towed both a 25 and a 30 ft Airstream with My Ram 1500. It was like yours except 2wd.

As previous author said: You will have to watch your payload.

Some things I did to make towing easier were:
- I used a Sway control and weight distributing hitch
- I moved the heavy things in the bed of your truck up to the cab wall.
- I added a pair of airbags in the rear to correct sag
- I learned how to set up the WD hitch and airbag combination properly
- I got a set of tow mirrors
- I always used the Tow/Haul feature when towing
- I rarely drove over 62MPH when towing
- I watched my truck/trailer tire pressures and truck gauges
- I visited the scales every trip until I figured out what had to stay home.

My RAM 1500 towed my trailer without issues except I was always at or just above max payload. So I upgraded to a RAM 2500 Cummins last year.
Better fuel economy and no more worries about payload. Now I worry about running out of DEF.
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Old 01-02-2021, 08:17 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim J View Post
Congrats on your new Airstream!

I towed both a 25 and a 30 ft Airstream with My Ram 1500. It was like yours except 2wd.

As previous author said: You will have to watch your payload.

Some things I did to make towing easier were:
- I used a Sway control and weight distributing hitch
- I moved the heavy things in the bed of your truck up to the cab wall.
- I added a pair of airbags in the rear to correct sag
- I learned how to set up the WD hitch and airbag combination properly
- I got a set of tow mirrors
- I always used the Tow/Haul feature when towing
- I rarely drove over 62MPH when towing
- I watched my truck/trailer tire pressures and truck gauges
- I visited the scales every trip until I figured out what had to stay home.

My RAM 1500 towed my trailer without issues except I was always at or just above max payload. So I upgraded to a RAM 2500 Cummins last year.
Better fuel economy and no more worries about payload. Now I worry about running out of DEF.
Thanks Jim J. I appreciate your response. My strategy is to get the best advice on this matter, set up the truck properly, use the 1500 to see how it copes with the trailer and then assess if i need to go to either a 1500 Ecodiesel or a 2500 gasser or Cummins. Interestingly, the 2500 gasser has a much larger payload capacity than the Cummins version, likely a result of the increased weight of the Cummins engine. I am more concerned about mountains as I intend to spend much time in the Rockies and Appalachians. Any thoughts on the 1500 in the mountains?
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Old 01-02-2021, 08:32 AM   #6
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Congrats on your new Airstream! Very exciting! As you run the numbers for your rig, keep in mind that the tongue weight of your trailer when loaded for camping will exceed 897 lbs. In all likelihood, it will be well over 1,000 lbs. I suggest a visit to the scales once you’ve got it loaded and connected to the truck so that you know your actual numbers.
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Old 01-02-2021, 08:49 AM   #7
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As others indicated and you acknowledged, payload will be your only issue. In reviews and owner reports the 3.92 geared Hemi does well on grades, sure it revs just a bit to get the horsepower to maintain speed but does nicely at maintaining speed. Some 1/2 tons will have other issues towing a 28'. Yours does not.

I have a 2500 for the payload, I like bringing a lot of gear. Most 3/4 tons have the GVWR artifically capped at 10,000 to encourage sales to short distance commercial haulers who want to stay away from DOT journaling regulations. For anyone with a 10,000 GVWR, If you exceed 10,000 and your GCW exceeds TV GVWR + TT GVWR then you run afoul letter of the laws in about 13 states, though everyone asked acknowledges it is not enforced for recreational use. Still consider that.
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Old 01-02-2021, 09:43 AM   #8
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Welcome and congrats.
We tow a 25í with an F150 properly equipped, so I cannot comment on the Dodge product but I know they are great vehicles and very capable. One thing I would stress is the importance of a properly adjusted WD hitch with sway control. Itís crucial for managing tongue weight and dampening sway which is critical to safe travel. Also pay attention to trailer and truck tire psi. Adding a few psi to the rear truck tires will help improve your stability and ride quality. Thanks to BayouBiker for pointing that out to me a while back. Your payload is manageable. Just be careful how you load and remember, you have a lot of storage capacity in that trailer.
Good luck.
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Old 01-02-2021, 09:59 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis C View Post
Congrats on your new Airstream! Very exciting! As you run the numbers for your rig, keep in mind that the tongue weight of your trailer when loaded for camping will exceed 897 lbs. In all likelihood, it will be well over 1,000 lbs. I suggest a visit to the scales once you’ve got it loaded and connected to the truck so that you know your actual numbers.
Brian, thanks for your response. I must say that the reading on the issue of towing is at best choppy. The dealer I bought from is an renowned expert if setting out clients for towing. When i received some writing on their overall approach, I learned much but the writing and organization of the various towing considerations caused me to have to read this several times before i got the drift of this. I found that much of the online material is scattered with techno babble that approaches that of the solar power discussions. But I think I have it sorted out and accept I will make mistakes.

With the tongue weight likely going to exceed 890 as you suggest, with my lowered payload capacity of 1,585, I calculate the following:

1,585 - 1,000 tongue weight - 370 people weight = 215 lbs of excess payload capacity for additional materiel of 215 lbs. Not much to play with.

Therefore, i need to push back weight to the trailer without compromising the overall balance between truck and trailer. I need to have a weight distribution system that best accomplishes this. Is there anything that I need to consider when choosing a system considering how close i am to payload capacity?

Thanks for your thoughts.
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Old 01-02-2021, 10:06 AM   #10
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I tow a 28’ with an F150 Ecoboost (2020). The Dodge Hemi does a pretty good job on the gauntlet test. I did consider getting it, but for me the Dodge payload just wasn’t there. F150 had about 200lbs more. The biggest issue will most likley be stability during side winds and with passing trucks. I do have a propride hitch which greatly increases the ability of my 1/2 ton to tow comfortably. I have no sway, no bow affect, and I drive very comfortably. Your hitch set up will be as important if not more important in a 1/2 ton.

As to payload:
1) I load all the light bulky stuff in the bed of the pickup, and the heavier stuff in the trailer.
2) We only do shorter trips so really don’t take lots of stuff. We travel light.

You do not need a diesel to tow your 28’. If you need a 3/4 ton because of payload, then a gas will do fine. UNLESS you are going to be towing lots of miles, then a diesel may pay off. But you have to pull quite a bit to pay for the $9500 up charge on the diesel. You will not overcome the payload issue with the Ecodiesel. But that engine is pretty nice and gets great mileage. And it will pull your 28’ fine.

So here was my reasoning:
1) I don’t go on long extended trips that I have to carry lots of stuff. My wife and I travel light and I pack all the light stuff in the truck bed.
2) The 1/2 ton F150 Ecoboost has plenty of power to tow my AS.
3) I like the 1/2 ton as a daily driver and it is easier to get in and out of.
4) My propride hitch makes towing comfortable.

You may come to a different conclusion based upon your needs, and you will hear on this forum that you HAVE to have a 3/4 ton. Just to let you know that there are many many of us towing 28’ AS with 1/2 tons.

By the way your tongue weight loaded will be more than your tongue weight emtpy. UNLESS you have a rear bedroom. Front bedrooms generally increase tongue weight with all the storage in the front. I have a rear bedroom, and mine pretty much stays the same.
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Old 01-02-2021, 10:34 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim J View Post
Congrats on your new Airstream!

I towed both a 25 and a 30 ft Airstream with My Ram 1500. It was like yours except 2wd.

As previous author said: You will have to watch your payload.

Some things I did to make towing easier were:
- I used a Sway control and weight distributing hitch
- I moved the heavy things in the bed of your truck up to the cab wall.
- I added a pair of airbags in the rear to correct sag
- I learned how to set up the WD hitch and airbag combination properly
- I got a set of tow mirrors
- I always used the Tow/Haul feature when towing
- I rarely drove over 62MPH when towing
- I watched my truck/trailer tire pressures and truck gauges
- I visited the scales every trip until I figured out what had to stay home.

My RAM 1500 towed my trailer without issues except I was always at or just above max payload. So I upgraded to a RAM 2500 Cummins last year.
Better fuel economy and no more worries about payload. Now I worry about running out of DEF.
I also use a Ram 1500 (2020 5.7L Hemi, 2WD, 22" rims with fairly thin tires) as a tow vehicle. We have a 25' 2021 International. We also use a hefty hitch with sway control bars. It pulls OK, but I find that I really feel like I'm towing something heavy. The Airstream makes the truck jerk around a bit. Not enough to cause concern, but it doesn't feel as solid as when we tow the Airstream with my wife's Yukon (which has air ride suspension). It feels more "solid" when towing with the Yukon. If I had to do it all over again, I would have bought a heavy-duty truck, but for now, I will continue to tow with the Ram 1500 for at least a few more years until I'm ready to trade it in.
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Old 01-02-2021, 10:45 AM   #12
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You'll want a hitch with 800-1000 lb "bars" which means bars sized to distribute torque generated by that much tongue weight. Lighter and more flexible is better as it is easier on the trailer so avoid oversized bars and look for a hitch with tapered solid bars as they too are more compliant. A hitch with excellent sway damping is also the way to go. With WD applied you will be transferring about 20% of the tongue weight back to the trailer so 150-200 lb the actual amount is based on tow vehicle and hitch geometry and tension applied.
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Old 01-02-2021, 10:50 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Danishgod View Post
I have bought a new FC 28 for delivery this coming summer in or about. Trying to satisfy my curiosity about the matching of my Ram 1500 to the trailer. Here are the specs.

-2019 Ram 1500 5.7L Hemi - 3.92 axle - 1,585 yellow sticker payload capacity -4 x 4 drivetrain
-2021 FC 28 - 7,600 GVWR, tongue weight 897, 1,621 carrying capacity and 5,971 net weight with tanks and batteries.

What issues will I face, if anything? Or am i good to go?

Thanks for your thoughts.
Just tell the wife that everyone on this forum recommended that you got the newest latest model with all the bells and whistles! In the 2500 with a diesel.
I promise you, you wonít be sorry .
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Old 01-02-2021, 10:52 AM   #14
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Go bigger

Having watched these posts for a while, it is clear that this is, and will be, a never ending discussion The one thing I rarely see come up though, is the fact that the diesel trucks (most of them) come with an exhaust brake. If you do any traveling in the mountains this feature simply can not be beat. I can come down a major mountain pass, in haul mode, with the exhaust brake on, and hardly need to touch the brakes. How often do you smell the brakes of other campers heading down the big hills? All the time!

I love the security, stability and power of my 2015 Chevy Silverado 2500 HD Duramax. Best truck I've owned so far.
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Old 01-02-2021, 10:52 AM   #15
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Donít learn the hard way (like I did)!

1500 vs 2500

Hi
Congrats on your AS purchase, you have made a great choice. I purchased a Ram 1500 v8 with 3.92 rear Axle in Nov 2019. The payload was marketed at 1800 but the door sticker stared 1,440. At the time I had a 23ft AS, but within 6 months I upgraded to a 25ft AS twin with a tongue weight of 839lbs. I also have a Blue Ox WD and set it on the 9th link (any less and I felt some sway). I loved the truck, invested in an ARE Canopy and bed rug. However, I was always nervous about the Payload and had to load nearly everyday in the AS. Most of the time there are 2-3 people traveling in the truck on trips. I do a lot of long weekend trips but I plan on longer trips over mountain passes etc. So, here I am just over 1 year later and I have traded my beloved truck for a Ram 2500 6.7L Diesel Cummins. While itís not the ideal around town drive, for me piece of mind, extra power, no worry on payload, extra towing technology with surround cameras and the exhaust break all played into my decision. If Iím honest for the weekend trips the 1500 was just fine. But when you invest in your truck make sure you anticipate that you may get Ď2ftitusí and want to upgrade! You already know that mountain passes are in your future, so having added safety and security is a bonus. Also, whatís the point of having all the space in the truck for generators, bbq, tools, air compressor etc. if you donít have the payload to support it. Please also consider that if you add a full canopy that adds approx. 200lbs to your numbers too. In my humble opinion if Iíd thought about Ďallí these elements before I pulled the trigger on my 1500 I would have saved myself some time and money on trades! Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but knowing Iím fully equipped saves me worrying. Finally, I also just installed the ĎDeckedí system to organize my truck bed storage....a great addition and well worth the investment. Enjoy the journey, the experiences are well worth it!
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Old 01-02-2021, 11:00 AM   #16
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F 150

I started out pulling a1985 excels, probably 7000 llbs loaded with F 150, plenty of power, brakes good but when wind in wrong direction felt like trucks were pulling me under them , went to pro pride, much better but not gone. From my 15 years with different trucks and trailers bigger trucks are better. Now have f 250
David Lewis

Thanks for your thoughts.[/QUOTE]
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Old 01-02-2021, 11:15 AM   #17
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I missed that you plan on spending lots of time in the mountains. Even though I tow with an F150 and it works for me (I don’t tow in the mountains) if I was spending time in the mountains I would get a diesel with an exhaust brake. And if you are going to get a 3/4 ton I would just get a 1 ton. Not much extra cost, and the payload increase is worth it. It’s getting expensive now
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Old 01-02-2021, 11:23 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Danishgod View Post
I have bought a new FC 28 for delivery this coming summer in or about. Trying to satisfy my curiosity about the matching of my Ram 1500 to the trailer. Here are the specs.

-2019 Ram 1500 5.7L Hemi - 3.92 axle - 1,585 yellow sticker payload capacity -4 x 4 drivetrain
-2021 FC 28 - 7,600 GVWR, tongue weight 897, 1,621 carrying capacity and 5,971 net weight with tanks and batteries.

What issues will I face, if anything? Or am i good to go?

Thanks for your thoughts.
Your 28' tongue weight is likely 1100lbs or perhaps a bit more...fyi. Your 1/2T is at it's limit for sure for towing that size AS...3/4T or 1T would be my recommendation...having had both 1/2T with 25' AS's, and now a 3/4T with my 28'. Get it right up front and you will enjoy towing much more with a larger TV for stability, braking, and of course "more payload". The diesel as mentioned here, is a great choice with the exhaust brake by far, a great feature when towing in the mountains...you will learn to appreciate it when you have your cruise control set, engine brake engaged, in tow haul mode, I guarantee! BTW, the layout for the 28' AS is a great choice.
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Old 01-02-2021, 11:23 AM   #19
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Payload, Payload, Payload.
A tow vehicle over payload handles like a tow vehicle over payload. I think you may find that your actual tongue weight will be higher than advertised. I have towed with both 1500 & 2500 series trucks. I will stay with 2500 for larger Airstreams. Diesel or gas is a personal preference. I chose diesel and have never been sorry. I spend a lot of time in the Sierras and Rockies. Diesel pays dividends pulling mountain passes.
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Old 01-02-2021, 11:32 AM   #20
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I'm with Jay Ohhbee on this one. The forums can be a confusing place where you'll hear opinions ranging from Cadillac sedans pulling airstreams with a canam setup to individuals claiming you'll need a military 5-ton three-axle to pull a 23. I'm being a bit sarcastic, but after you immerse yourself in the forums for a while you'll see I'm not that far off.

I have a 2015 28FC and I've successfully towed it multiple trips with a 2017 and 2019 Toyota Tundra (5.7L, 4.3 gear, 1560 payload). As you appropriately mentioned, payload is the limiting factor with power not an issue in my experience. The Tundra 5.7 and Hemi are very similar in power output with the Tundra having the gearing advantage. I've had zero issues towing the airstream including trips in the Appalachians with 6-7% grades. I drive like an old man never exceeding 60-65, but I'm confident the setup could handle it. When I'm on vacation...I'm just not in a hurry. The larger fuel tank and towing mirrors are the only required upgrades I recommend. Would a Cummins tow it better, sure but new diesels approach 75-90k...when a decent trim Toyo or Ram can be had for under 40k. Keep the difference and buy Thor industries stock or another toy. Happy travels. Don't read too much or you'll drive yourself insane on here. Safe travels.
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