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Old 12-23-2020, 11:00 AM   #1
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Adding payload capacity to RAM 1500?

Has anyone added payload capacity to a RAM 1500? Is it possible to modify the suspension to get, say, 500 lbs. additional capacity? The RAM 1500 has a rated payload capacity of about 1,100 lbs. Rather than moving up to a 2500 is there an alternative?
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Old 12-23-2020, 11:07 AM   #2
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Load to your axle & tire ratings, you'll likely find the 500lb there.

Load the AS & TV for camping and weigh at the CAT Scales. Stay under said ratings and go Camping

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Old 12-23-2020, 11:24 AM   #3
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There are products that you can buy to increase your load capacity. Some people upgrade the leaf springs on the rear axle to accomplish this objective. There are a few other products out there that I've seen, but I don't know much about them. These products DO NOT increase your axle rating, but they do give you some additional load capacity. I agree with Bob's comments that you should go to the scales to determine exactly how much capacity you've really got.
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Old 12-23-2020, 11:24 AM   #4
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There's two parts to this that may be useful to separate out for discussion.

There's the regulatory part of this where one cannot increase the stickered capacity of the vehicle/chassis. That's where many get caught up and will argue in circles. To their point, this is going to be do at your own risk for potential liabilities.

That said, technically, absolutely you can modify the vehicle to increase capacity. There are many potential limiting functions including engine, cooling capacity, brakes, structure, etc. However, you're correct that it's almost always suspension that is the first bottleneck as OEMs try to maintain ride quality for the designed payload. You'll see this evidenced in many models that may have options greater payload capacity with simple changes to increase spring rates.

That said, the most direct modifications will be those that increase spring rates, particularly spring rates at the rear axle. Many ways to do this. Perhaps one of the easiest would be airbags, as it gives you the duality of ensuring ride comfort when unladen, and additional support when towing. You may do well to consider additional upgrades - dampers, sway bars, etc. to also help handle the additional weight.

I can already tell you that others will quickly chime in here saying airbags don't increase capacity. They're right, it won't do a thing to increase "stickered" capacity, but technically speaking as an engineer, it absolutely will help handle increase payloads.
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Old 12-23-2020, 11:37 AM   #5
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This could get ugly. There’s a huge number of threads on tow vehicles (TVs) on this forum. They are dominated by the “Big Truck” guys. I’ve not heard of a single way you can legally change a weight rating on a light truck. You can change things that will make the towing situation “feel” better, but I don’t think you can get anything changed on the all important sticker inside your drivers door.
I went with load range E tires, and 20” wheels for stiffer sidewalls, a upgraded shocks to Bilsteins, then I added a Roadmaster Active Suspension. All have improved the solid feeling when towing. I “think” I’ve improved the towing characteristics, but there’s no way to actually prove it. I just didn’t want to go to a 3/4 ton truck. Plus I’m a pretty loyal Toyota driver, and they don’t make a 3/4 ton.
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Old 12-23-2020, 12:35 PM   #6
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Truthfully, no. As said, you can do things that 'feel' better, but, the truck's payload is its payload, and, you're supposed to load by the payload. You can move more stuff to the trailer itself, reducing your used payload for the TV, but, maybe that can help.
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Old 12-23-2020, 02:31 PM   #7
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What they said ^. You can increase the comfortable, stable and safe load carrying capacity of many 1/2 tons by addressing tire, shock, and/or spring rate limits. It is rare that the limit is structural or axle related. As others have suggested don't exceed axle limits.

In some states it is theoretically possible to change the GVWR and thus payload, but in practice it is not a successful enterprise. In most states, the relevant regulatory limits apply to the sum of the combination's GVWR, so payload only figures in directly when not towing. This is distinct from the point where liability could be an issue which is when either the vehicle or the trailer exceeds its GVWR or the combination exceeds the GCWR.
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Old 12-23-2020, 07:51 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rrauch View Post
Has anyone added payload capacity to a RAM 1500? Is it possible to modify the suspension to get, say, 500 lbs. additional capacity? The RAM 1500 has a rated payload capacity of about 1,100 lbs. Rather than moving up to a 2500 is there an alternative?
The payload is going to vary with what you buy. My 2019 Longhorn short box crew cab, 4wd, has a payload of 1747lb.
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Old 12-23-2020, 08:04 PM   #9
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Insurance companies would unequivocally say no you canít change it.
Truck payload is also the measure of whether you can stop it, not tow it.
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Old 12-24-2020, 08:34 AM   #10
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Towing puts more load on the brakes than does max payload. Payload is most often limited by suspension travel criteria driven mostly by passenger comfort objectives, except when it is capped to limit GVWR to 10,000 lb. DOT regulations kick in for commercial use at 10,001. Some states also have increased license fees and other requirements over 10,000 GVRW. Other payload limits are due to rear axle or tires. Sometimes structural limits. It is uncommon for performance or safety to drive payload restrictions.
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Old 12-24-2020, 08:49 AM   #11
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I like Bob Cross's advise. I have no idea how much load a 23' puts on the TV. Look at the total of the axle ratings and compare that with the payload and let us know the difference so we can speculate. You can certainly increase the ability of the truck to carry more load and to stop better. But you cannot change the manufacturers ratings.

Alternative: You can buy a 1/2 ton with higher payload and axle ratings.

I would think you could stay under 1100 with a 23'. Unless you want to carry some heavy stuff too.
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Old 12-24-2020, 09:31 AM   #12
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Our f-150 with max tow has a sticker rating of 1600lb but the axle rate is 1900lb. Weight distribution system allows the load to be spread to all axles on truck and trailer. We add Simo springs to assist in ride.
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Old 12-24-2020, 09:37 AM   #13
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I have a 23fb and my last tow vehicle was a Ram 1500 with the Eco diesel. I donít think I was overweight but with the Tongue weight and gear I was never comfortable with how much the truck sagged. I talked to someone who delivered Airstreams with a truck identical to mine and he recommended Timber Grove Airbags. I highly recommend them, easy install and solved all my problems.
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Old 12-24-2020, 09:44 AM   #14
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I'm so frustrated with my 2020 Ram. Website says payload 1840 lbs for Limited 1500. Thats what i based my purchasing decision. Actual sticker says 1086 lbs. No relief from Ram. They are straight up dishonest on their website.

New Ford F-250 coming in February.
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Old 12-24-2020, 09:45 AM   #15
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Thinking about this thread, I believe that 1,100 lbs. is the lowest payload rating that I’ve heard for a 1/2 ton truck. My Denali 1500 is pretty heavily optioned, and it still has a payload rating of 1,479 lbs. and an axle rating of 3,950 lbs. I have no sag at all with my 23FB and Blue Ox WDH.
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Old 12-24-2020, 09:49 AM   #16
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Similarly, my 1500 Sierra is an AT4, and its payload is 1547lb, rear axle is 3800, tongue weight is listed at 980lbs to equal 10% of its trailer rating of 9800lbs.
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Old 12-24-2020, 09:52 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rrauch View Post
Has anyone added payload capacity to a RAM 1500? Is it possible to modify the suspension to get, say, 500 lbs. additional capacity? The RAM 1500 has a rated payload capacity of about 1,100 lbs. Rather than moving up to a 2500 is there an alternative?
Not really.
I've been through the gyrations you are considering. People that sell add-on equipment advertise the increase capacity, but not one of them will provide a document that says your truck is now rated for ___?___.
I even bought a 2500 truck that I was not happy with.
What I've learned to do is remove payload from the 1500 tow vehicle and stow it inside the trailer while towing. Then, as other's have said, I pay attention to axle/tire load ratings and don't exceed them.
When I have towed my prior 30'ers and my present 34' Airstream trailers it is not unusual to be over the tow vehicle's max payload rating by 100 lb, or slightly more, with the truck bed empty.
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Old 12-24-2020, 10:04 AM   #18
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2020 Ram 1500 Limited Hemi
12,050 towing capacity
1045 tongue weight
Air suspension amazing.
It tows effortlessly, lots of power our 2018 25 FT FBT International serenity.
Interior comparable to any luxury SUVs. I guess that’s why it won vehicle of the year for 2-years .
Also I can enter and exit easily. And that’s important from a woman’s point of view. Can’t believe that I’m a truck girl now.
Merry Christmas !!! & Happy New Year !!!
Sheltering in place in an Airsteam has never been so good. We are so very grateful to travel in our Airstream.
Safe travels all . See you down the road.
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Old 12-24-2020, 10:13 AM   #19
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"Actual sticker says 1086 lbs."

That does not sound "Ram Tough" to me.
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Old 12-24-2020, 10:38 AM   #20
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Quote:
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Thinking about this thread, I believe that 1,100 lbs. is the lowest payload rating that Iíve heard for a 1/2 ton truck. My Denali 1500 is pretty heavily optioned, and it still has a payload rating of 1,479 lbs. and an axle rating of 3,950 lbs. I have no sag at all with my 23FB and Blue Ox WDH.
A friend's RAM 1500 Ecodiesel had 910 lbs on the door jamb sticker.
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