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Moon Lake Refuge

Towing Capacity question

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Hey all,

I bought a camper last fall and was curious about towing it.  I brought it up to the cabin where it will sit most of its life so straining my truck isnt a huge concern but I find myself wondering how often I could/should tow with it.  I have a 2014 Ram 1500 showing a towing capacity of 8000 lbs and a 34 foot travel trailer with a dry weight of 6500 lbs.  With the sway bar it tracks great behind the truck even though its a bit of a pig on the gas peddle.  When towing it will likely never have full tanks as we would usually be staying at campgrounds with utilities.  Assuming I put bring 500-1000 lbs of gear with  that puts me 500-1000lbs below my total capacity.  Is that enough within my capacity to safely pull it 1-2 trips a year ranging from a couple hundred to 1000 miles?  I'm really withing I opted for the heavier gears on my truck now for the extra 2k in towing capacity.  200 bucks up front sure beats the 2-4k to put them in now.

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What do you mean by "heavier gears?" I take it you're implying changing your axle ratio, right?  Ie; going from a 3:55 to a 3:92....Do you have the Hemi?

Edited by RebelSS

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yeah I have the hemi with 3.22 gears.  Wishing I would've done the 3.92's.  I may be looking into some 4.10's for a future b-day gift to myself.  Thought about trading the truck out but as it would be my 3rd new vehicle that didn't last more than 1-2 years I think my wife may do away with me in my sleep if I bring that up.

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The only time you want 4:10's is if you're headed to the racetrack.....4:10's/4:13's are nice race gears. :lol: Just kidding. I think the 3:92 would easily be plenty with that trailer. But, figure in your hitch weight, is it a crew cab, trailer weight disbursement, air shocks, etc.  Remember, that taller gearing will also give you some really lousy mileage, too. Maybe checking this chart can give you some ideas. It is too bad you didn't opt for the 3:55 gears. I went with those in mine for all around "drivability". Satisfied with what I pull so far. Good luck..let us know what you decide.

http://www.rambodybuilder.com/2014/docs/ram/rammlup1500.pdf

Edited by RebelSS

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1 minute ago, RebelSS said:

The only time you want 4:10's is if you're headed to the racetrack.....4:10's/4:13's are nice race gears. :lol:  Remember, that taller gearing will give you some really lousy mileage, too. Maybe checking this chart can give you some ideas. It is too bad you didn't opt for the 3:55 gears. I went with those in mine for all around "drivability". Satisfied with what I pull so far. Good luck..let us know what you decide.

http://www.rambodybuilder.com/2014/docs/ram/rammlup1500.pdf

Yeah I looked at that one already and a fully loaded trailer with 3k lbs of cargo and just me in the truck puts me over weight by about 400lbs but I will never be anywhere near fully loaded.  I talked to a guy with 4:10's and he said he lost a mile and a half on his average.  Turning 30 next week so if I can ever justify the gift could be now! :eek:  I'm just hesitant.  I usually like to do my own work and ive been through a whole engine swap with my dad before but I heard gears can be tricky to get them shimmed out right.  And if I'm bringing it in to be done it wont be anytime soon as labor is pricey on a 4x4...  May just wait it out and keep this as a 'Cabin only' camper for awhile just to be on the safe side.

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10 minutes ago, Moon Lake Refuge said:

Yeah I looked at that one already and a fully loaded trailer with 3k lbs of cargo and just me in the truck puts me over weight by about 400lbs but I will never be anywhere near fully loaded.  I talked to a guy with 4:10's and he said he lost a mile and a half on his average.  Turning 30 next week so if I can ever justify the gift could be now! :eek:  I'm just hesitant.  I usually like to do my own work and ive been through a whole engine swap with my dad before but I heard gears can be tricky to get them shimmed out right.  And if I'm bringing it in to be done it wont be anytime soon as labor is pricey on a 4x4...  May just wait it out and keep this as a 'Cabin only' camper for awhile just to be on the safe side.

Hoo boy, gear work can be a real blast. I'm also thinking that proper reflashing of your tranny 'puter, etc might be necessary with theses electronic tranny's. ... not sure. I'm the old school race car engine build'em guy, usually had others do my gear work, as I hated it. Don't feel bad; when I ordered my new truck, I had my list made out of the gears and tow pkg, tranny cooler, alternator,  I wanted, etc. Forgot to order the Detroit locker rear axle.  :mad:   DOH!!!!!

Edited by RebelSS

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Just now, RebelSS said:

Hoo boy, gear work can be a real blast. I'm also thing that proper reflashing of your tranny 'puter might be necessary, not sure. I'm the old school race car engine build'em guy, usually had others do my gear work, as I hated it. Don't feel bad; when I ordered my new truck, I had my list made out of the gears and tow pkg, tranny cooler, alternator,  I wanted, etc. Forgot to order the Detroit locker real axle.  :mad:   DOH!!!!!

Bummer... Yeah I had never planned on the TT.  We have 3-4 trailers and at most its an alum with a couple harleys in it that any 1/2 ton can town now a days... Throw in a big travel trailer and it puts a wrench in everything.

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1 minute ago, RebelSS said:

Maybe there's a custom K Whopper in yer future. :grin:

 

truck%20pic5.jpg

Does that come with car seats???  I could see it as my daily driver but think I would need something a little beefier for the weekends!

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You also need to pay attention to this.  This is going to include the truck, gas, passengers and anything else you are carrying.

That being said you should be good if you don't load up the trailer too much.  And I would make sure to take the tranny out of OD when towing if you want your tranny to live long

 

Gross Combined Weight Rating

(GCWR)

This is the maximum combined weight of both the towing vehicle (including cargo & passengers) as well as the trailer (including all trailer cargo)

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Yep I take out od when towing it and I looked into my GCWR and it actually gave me a larger margin then my towing capacity.  I think I'll just let er fly.  Should only be out on maybe 1-2 trips a year because its mostly just a second home at the cabin... I've just had the itch to head out to the black hills with it at some point for a little get away.

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Unless you've weighed your truck, you have no idea if you've got a greater margin within the GCVWR. The problem is trucks only display "curb weight" which means a truck with gas and a 150 lb driver. Sounds like you plan on taking your family along as well as lots of other stuff for your trip. Your camper is about as heavy as I would comfortably tow. 

I would double check the weight of the truck and camper. Take it to a truck stop or another truck scale and find out what your real life weights are. A dry camper doesn't count batteries, propane, water, waste, food, linens, etc Once you know those weights, you will have all the answers you need. 

I've gone through the same trouble of buying several vehicles and my wife was not happy either, but I settled on a vehicle that can tow what we wanted comfortably and we are happy now, even if we upgrade. 

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