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Old 07-13-2019, 05:23 PM   #1
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Towing heavy trailer with a 3/4 ton

We have a 2008 Ram 2500 diesel. In great shape with ow mileage. It tows our 34 footer 9900# easy. Dodge says the towing capacity of the Ram is 12,800#. We are thinking about a 5th wheel SOB for full timing. Looking for advice on towing above the 12,800 factory spec. Any modifications to increase towing capacity? Air suspension?
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Old 07-13-2019, 05:40 PM   #2
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Time for a new 1 ton.
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Old 07-13-2019, 05:46 PM   #3
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Suspension is only part of the equation. You still have to be able to stop that rig. Axle bearings might seize. Tires or rims can fail. All sorts of parts are “rated” for capacity.
It’s my opinion that air suspension does exactly nothing to increase towing capacity. It will, however, help you level an overloaded truck.
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Old 07-13-2019, 06:02 PM   #4
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[...] Looking for advice on towing above the 12,800 factory spec. Any modifications to increase towing capacity? Air suspension?
I have faced this situation a couple of times. IMO there is no good answer to this question. Time to have "the talk" with DW about upgrading the tow vehicle.
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Old 07-13-2019, 06:19 PM   #5
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i have faced this situation a couple of times. Imo there is no good answer to this question. Time to have "the talk" with dw about upgrading the tow vehicle.
"dw"?
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Old 07-13-2019, 06:20 PM   #6
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Towing heavy trailer with a 3/4 ton

Overload is overloaded.. 1 ton is the answer
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Old 07-13-2019, 06:21 PM   #7
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Old 07-13-2019, 06:23 PM   #8
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We have a 2008 Ram 2500 diesel. In great shape with ow mileage. It tows our 34 footer 9900# easy. Dodge says the towing capacity of the Ram is 12,800#. We are thinking about a 5th wheel SOB for full timing. Looking for advice on towing above the 12,800 factory spec. Any modifications to increase towing capacity? Air suspension?
There are ways to do it. This is probably not the best place to ask.
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Old 07-13-2019, 06:46 PM   #9
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This is probably not the best place to ask.

Spot on. The Ram Cummins forum would be a good place to start.



For my year/model, '06 3500 SRW Quad Auto, my tow capacity is 14,400#. In that year the only difference between a 2500 and a 3500 is one leaf spring. I towed a 15,000# fifth wheel from Florida to Alaska and back, 17,000 tow miles total, without as much as a hick-up.


I'd be interested to hear what your setup in truck wise to see where it ended up with that tow rating but again, this probably isn't the best forum to has that out.
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Old 07-13-2019, 06:51 PM   #10
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There are ways to do it. This is probably not the best place to ask.
I would not do something stupid like going way over the 12,800 pound capacity as quoted by Dodge, but might like to push it a thousand pounds or so. I wonder if the manufacturers recommended tow capacity is somewhat arbitrary.
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Old 07-13-2019, 09:05 PM   #11
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The penny pinches for the manufacturers have a lot of say in tow rating. Take a '93 Dodge 250 with Cummins & a 3.55 rear axle.
With the 4 speed automatic transmission the GCWR rating is 12,000 lbs
Add a auxiliary transmission cooler and the rating goes up to 14,000 lbs
If it has a manual 5 speed the rating is 16,000 lbs
One of their biggest concerns is if the truck will get through the warranty period without breaking.
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Old 07-13-2019, 09:15 PM   #12
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Old 07-13-2019, 09:55 PM   #13
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The Dodge diesel forum that I used to frequent has a forum for towing. I think you are going to have to study up and see what limits your model.
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Old 07-13-2019, 11:02 PM   #14
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Suspension is a small part of the equation when considering towing capacity. Another issue not mentioned is going to be your cargo capacity and rear axle weight ratings. This takes into account driveline capacities, braking, frame strength, suspension, tires, etc. When you get into the larger 5th wheels they can have heavy pin weights, that by themselves, will exceed payload capacities of a 3/4 ton. Our former Mobile Suites had a loaded pin weight around 4000#s. Had to go straight to a 1 ton dually. And don't pay any attention to published pin weights or cargo capacities in the brochures. Know your specific trucks specs and weigh the trailer at the scales for an accurate pin weight so you know what you are working with in determining if your 3/4 ton is up for the task.
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Old 07-14-2019, 06:00 AM   #15
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"dw"?
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Old 07-14-2019, 06:17 AM   #16
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I would not do something stupid like going way over the 12,800 pound capacity as quoted by Dodge, but might like to push it a thousand pounds or so. I wonder if the manufacturers recommended tow capacity is somewhat arbitrary.
It’s definitely not arbitrary. Running at or over tow limits (weight or payload) will give marginal performance and cause accelerated wear of some components. There are modifications possible but again this is not the forum to ask about it. Some one ton trucks have only an additional leaf spring; others have differences in frame or axle configuration. In these days of spreadsheet engineering not many people actually know how to do modifications properly.

I’ve made really short trips overloaded (bought a ton truck at an auction once and trailered it home with my 1500, got a load of dirt that was a bit heavy, etc) in my younger days. The difference was dramatic. No way would I tow a marginally or overweight TT cross country in traffic in a stock truck.
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Old 07-14-2019, 11:12 AM   #17
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Safety first - not only for you but everyone else on the road... time for a new truck that meets the requirements of the trailer or buy a trailer that is with in the towing/payload of your Ram... really, there is no compromise or turning a sows ear into a silk condition
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Old 07-14-2019, 01:34 PM   #18
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We have a 2018 diesel that will pull it but . . . why downgrade to a 5th wheel. We live in ours full time with 3 large dogs and love it. Perhaps we can't store as much stuff as you'd like but everything fits or it's gone.
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Old 07-14-2019, 02:10 PM   #19
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We have a 2018 diesel that will pull it but . . . why downgrade to a 5th wheel. We live in ours full time with 3 large dogs and love it. Perhaps we can't store as much stuff as you'd like but everything fits or it's gone.
We have not made up our minds yet but our thinking is a large 5th wheel with slide outs has a more open feel and more amenities, but I am interested in other's thinking. My 26 year old 34 triple is big but no place for a big tv, no built in jenny, no dishwasher, no washer dryer, no central vac etc. I could make some upgrades for some of the above and some not. The big reason for the "downgrade" though is an Airstream is just not a 4 season trailer and if we do the full time thing would be forced to snowbird, which we may end up doing anyway. We also could not afford a newer large Airstream.
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Old 07-14-2019, 02:46 PM   #20
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Don't be fooled. No trailer is built for all seasons unless you snow bank the sides and ends under the bottom outside edge. A more permanent fix is to make insulated sides to fit around the perimeter. If you do that and add a large propane tank(s) with automatic refill from the distributor you can do four season in any TT. I have done it many times down Into the lower single digits.
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