Just need to confirm my findings - Weights - DodgeTalk : Dodge Car Forums, Dodge Truck Forums and Ram Forums
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post #1 of 3 Old 05-13-2019, 11:21 AM Thread Starter
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Just need to confirm my findings - Weights

First off - I'm a lurker. I hang around and usually find the answers I need easily. This one however - has me stumped as I'm finding conflicting information and the local dealer I typically visit (and have to turn down from them purchasing my truck every time I pull in) gave me a canned answer of 'check the door'. Jokes on them - checking the door it only shows front/rear axle max weights and the truck weight - no gross combined weight as they keep telling me (service adviser even came and checked and said that's odd). I'm not new to towing - but the heaviest thing I pulled was in the 6500lb range (loaded StarCraft pop-up trailer) and hauled about 5500lbs in the bed of the truck on a separate occasion (oops..guy told me the boxes were 20lbs each when they were really 20kgs).

Anyway - I have a 2003 Ram 2500, single cab, 8' bed, 5.7 Hemi, NV4500 with 4.10 gears. The magic of the internet tells me the GCVW is 17k, curb weight of 5500 which leaves max tow of 11.5k.

Door sticker shows GVWR at 8650. Loading the truck up to the max means I could only pull 8300lbs. Knowing I would never had the truck loaded to the gills I could potentially move that weight to the trailer to balance out again to around 10-11k towing (family of 4 means need a chase vehicle anyway).

The trailer we're considering has an unloaded weight of 8800 with cargo capacity of 4400 - maxes out at 13200 (+/- 15lbs, rounded numbers down for easier calculations). Going straight off GVWR of the trailer, I'm over by about a ton (ballparking 6k truck, I've had it weight at a facilty before with me +1 in it and it was just under 6k).

Now that's a full load. 1900lbs in water (220 gal), 1700lb toy, 200lbs gas and 600lbs of 'crap'. Do I tow full? No, not that stupid. I know I can tow nearly empty and fill up when we get to (or closer to) the destination. I think the most I really would be carrying would be about 2000lbs if I brought the toy with which leaves me with a couple hundred lbs breathing room (16.8k).

Trailer GVWR 13264lbs, 4467 of that is cargo. UVW is 8797, 1264 hitch weight.

Internet tells me I can do 11,400lbs behind my truck.

Logic tells me I can tow it empty no problem. Camping trips are fine. Off-Grid camping with the toy would be pushing it.

I'm talking with the dealer of the camper to see if they have one of those fancy scales there that I can get front/rear/tounge/trailer weights and really get some solid evidence to make this purchase sound. If not (and I'd hate to do it) I would have to use my inlaw's truck to haul this thing anywhere which sucks (well, until my new truck comes in).
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post #2 of 3 Old 05-14-2019, 06:50 PM
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Look in the Yellow Pages for the nearest CAT scale. They charge where I live about $13 for the first weighing of your rig. Your truck's GVWR is based on how it was configured when it left the factory, including the load capacity of the tires that were provided. It includes a 150 lb passenger for each available seat whether it is occupied or not. It includes whatever is in the bed or the load from the trailer tongue.

The GCWR is a measure of the capabilities of your truck to tow a given load and it takes into consideration the engine, transmission, gears, frame strength, brakes, springs, and the rear axle and wheel bearings. You can do things to increase the GVWR of a truck by changing wheels and tires or adding springs but not the GCWR.

In terms of a tow load I want the trailer weight to be at a level where the truck can pull it up a 8% grade at 55 mph and not overheat the engine. I want to be able to go down a 8% grade and maintain control of the truck and the trailer, including emergency maneuvers should a tire blow or someone pulls out in front of you on the highway.

Fortunately the trailer industry has been building lightweight trailers for many years in response to people owning smaller cars and trucks. Lots of RV websites where you can learn from current owners of the different trailers and not be relying on a salesperson on a trailer lot to be honest and to know what they are talking about.
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post #3 of 3 Old 05-21-2019, 05:41 PM
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Food for Thought

Go to:

dodgeram [dot] info [slash] 2003 [slash] load-tow [slash] 2500 [dot] htm

for your weight limits. Sorry I couldn't put the link in, they wouldn't let me.

However, I experienced the same dilemma with my 2007 Dodge Ram when I purchased a fifth wheel RV. I remained within the weight limits, however, it sure overworked my transmission,... to the tune of $4400. You would be MUCH happier with a diesel. Also on the weight, you may be able to pull when you're overloaded, however if you ever have a wreck, that puts a great deal of liability on you whether or not you were at fault. Also, you always run the risk of getting a citation if you're pulled over by the wrong cop. Just food for thought.
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