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This Friday will be my first time towing my new 28' toy hauler, 8200lbs loaded.

2009, 2500 5.7, 3.75rear, Afe cold air, Flowmaster, and TB spacer

Have to say I have not towed this much with a gas truck and a little concerned about the hills.

Any thoughts...
 

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I'm guessing that a number of guys will be along to say that you need to just let the Hemi rev and everything will be fine. I'm sure the Hemi will indeed do the job, but I am one of those guys that hates the idea of driving around at 4000 RPM. They will argue that the Hemi is "made to rev". I agree that the Hemi makes it's power in the higher RPM range, but I still object to having to run in that range a good part of the time while towing.

I still lament the death of the V-10 because it was a gasser that was truly capable of towing a real load. And those are my thoughts.

If you want suggestions . . . 4:56 gears will make a world of difference.
 

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You didn't say what part of the country you were from, but here in the NW, we have some decent hills. My combined weight was about 15,500, and I had no problem getting over Snoqualmie Pass, about 3000 ft, and I think a 5.5% grade at the worst. With my 06 2500 QC 4x4 Hemi, I could run it right up to 60 mph, if I wanted to. Let the automatic select the gear, and just hold the pedal down. I did that to see if it would, and it did. However, that is not my normal style of driving. I watched the tach, and as the RPM dropped as I approached the steeper parts of the grade, I eased out of the gas, and selected a lower gear. Finally found a gear where it would hold 35 to 40 mph, and about 2500 RPM. Didn't have to push a lot of gas thru it, and was a less stressful run. Mileage would hold steady at about 7.+ mpg, no matter how fast or slow I went.

I finally upgraded to my current truck, almost the same, except 3500 6.7 CTD. I wanted the higher CGVWR.
 

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IMHO the most important thing towing is to leave a lot of distance between you and the car in front of you.
I agree with RamL, don't just bury your foot in it, find a gear that the truck will pull at 2500 to 3500 RPM that holds the speed with ~3/4 throttle and watch the temp gauge.
My $.02
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks

I will let you all know after I get back, oh Im in Cali and hitting the 14 at around 12pm tomorrow.
 

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Did Great

Back from the trip and the truck worked like its ment to. Never below 50 ... never doubt a Hemi I guess looking farward to this comeing weekend and one more trip.
 

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The 5.7 is a great tow motor. Mine loves ~3000 rpm's.
My response to this will no doubt draw ire. However, I disagree. The old 8 liter V-10 was a great tow motor. The Cummins is a great tow motor. The 6.8 liter Ford V-10 was a great tow motor. The Hemi is merely adequate. Great engine no doubt. But Dodge was really stupid in getting rid of the 8 liter and forcing the Hemi onto anyone that wanted to run a gasser. Consequently, if you want a Dodge with a great tow motor, you only have one choice. Now Ferd has done the same stupid thing in getting rid of their V-10. The difference between the afore mentioned engines and the Hemi are night and day. Yes, the Hemi will do it. But, although it's just about our only choice, it certainly isn't the best choice.
 

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My response to this will no doubt draw ire. However, I disagree. The old 8 liter V-10 was a great tow motor. The Cummins is a great tow motor. The 6.8 liter Ford V-10 was a great tow motor. The Hemi is merely adequate. Great engine no doubt. But Dodge was really stupid in getting rid of the 8 liter and forcing the Hemi onto anyone that wanted to run a gasser. Consequently, if you want a Dodge with a great tow motor, you only have one choice. Now Ferd has done the same stupid thing in getting rid of their V-10. The difference between the afore mentioned engines and the Hemi are night and day. Yes, the Hemi will do it. But, although it's just about our only choice, it certainly isn't the best choice.
I have to qualify my statement.....the Hemi was a great tow motor for me. Did everything I asked of it, in a low stress sort of way. I travel and RV to relax, and I only hit up the 6.7 because I was bumping up against the weight limits. If I went back to a smaller trailer, I would seriously look at the Hemi again. I jeep trail my truck, and that heavy front end with the diesel has created a few problems. Never had an issue with the Hemi. Now if Dodge/Ram/Fiat was listening to me, they would put one of those SRT 6.1 or 6.4 small block motors in a Heavy Duty rated Power Wagon, with some sort of overdrive in the trans or transfer case.
 

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My response to this will no doubt draw ire. However, I disagree. The old 8 liter V-10 was a great tow motor. The Cummins is a great tow motor. The 6.8 liter Ford V-10 was a great tow motor. The Hemi is merely adequate. Great engine no doubt. But Dodge was really stupid in getting rid of the 8 liter and forcing the Hemi onto anyone that wanted to run a gasser. Consequently, if you want a Dodge with a great tow motor, you only have one choice. Now Ferd has done the same stupid thing in getting rid of their V-10. The difference between the afore mentioned engines and the Hemi are night and day. Yes, the Hemi will do it. But, although it's just about our only choice, it certainly isn't the best choice.
I don't think you will draw ire but I do disagree with your reasoning. Sure, the larger displacement motors might seem better but for the most part they are simply making up for the weaknesses inherent to the trucks they are in.
A 350 engine (ok, 345 in this case) is a fine, well balanced engine for doing whatever is needed but you mate it to the (I know I have said this many times before) weak and tempermental 545RFE or even the 45RFE and then run it though the wrong rearend gearing and now it seems the 5.7 is just average. I've often wondered how much better at towing the manual gasser with the 3.73's are in comparison to the auto gassers with 3.73's.
The 545RFE could be made worlds better by simply being able to lock it 1:1 and the TC locking in 2nd and it would make the Ram very formidable instead of, as you said, adequate. I would think that is simple computer programming but if it were that easy, I'm sure it would have been done by now.
I think the V-10's going away was inevitable. Who wants a 5 MPG truck? Not beefing up the rest of the driveline was the fallacy.
 

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I don't think you will draw ire but I do disagree with your reasoning. Sure, the larger displacement motors might seem better but for the most part they are simply making up for the weaknesses inherent to the trucks they are in.
A 350 engine (ok, 345 in this case) is a fine, well balanced engine for doing whatever is needed but you mate it to the (I know I have said this many times before) weak and tempermental 545RFE or even the 45RFE and then run it though the wrong rearend gearing and now it seems the 5.7 is just average. I've often wondered how much better at towing the manual gasser with the 3.73's are in comparison to the auto gassers with 3.73's.
The 545RFE could be made worlds better by simply being able to lock it 1:1 and the TC locking in 2nd and it would make the Ram very formidable instead of, as you said, adequate. I would think that is simple computer programming but if it were that easy, I'm sure it would have been done by now.
I think the V-10's going away was inevitable. Who wants a 5 MPG truck? Not beefing up the rest of the driveline was the fallacy.
My objection to the Hemi as a tow platform is not an issue of power. It is rather an issue of the RPM range in which the power is made. Traditionally, cubic inches means torque, the real measure of the capability of a tow engine. And usually, the larger displacement engines make their power at a lower RPM. Yes, the Dodge V-10 got about 10-11 MPG - loaded or empty. But it made it's power in a more usable RPM range than does the Hemi. So does the Cummins and now more recently the Ford EcoBoost. For me personally, having to run an engine at 4000-4800 RPM in order to have adequate power is not particularly relaxing. Nor is the transmission constantly 'hunting'. Powerplants with big torque numbers at lower RPMs (including the smaller displacement EcoBoost) are indeed a better towing experience.

Not trying to be argumentative, but my experiences have taught me that I never want to go back to a high revving engine for towing, even if they are (in some cases) not as fuel efficient.
 

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rpounds, I am not trying to argumentative either and actually like your posts, but I can't agree with some of your statements either because it depends on what people are trying to pull. I don't know why, but some people think they can pull a toy hauler full of toys including the bed with the HEMI, I totally disagree and way too much weight or they can pull an 8,000lb TT. If you can afford toy hauler full of toys, you should afford a diesel(now this will bring some ire).
I pull a 24ft TT that weighs about 4200lbs. With me, wife, 2 kids, bed full of firewood. When I pull, I barely ever see past 3,000 rpm, even up a fairly good grade of hills, and beleive me, in PA we have our share of hills. This summer I went up north and was coming home, it was a fairly steep grade for about 3 miles and I was going about 60 without very much issue at all. In fact, I rarely have any problems getting up to 60-70 without even trying or pushing the truck at all.
I think that I would like to upgrade to 4.56 gears and wonder many times, do I really need them? For me, I am very impressed with the power and don't feel I need a gas guzzle v-10 or the expense of diesel. Now if the weight of my TT was more, this would no doubt change my thinking. It all goes to pulling no more than you should with the engine you have. I feel the HEMI isn't qualified to pull a toy hauler or something in that weight range, just like my old 5.2 wasn't qualified to pull my TT, no matter what dealer says. My old 5.2 had to be done with high RPM's and did not like that at all, this is why I traded up. I think what I use is a good combo, anything heavier would have me going to diesel.
 

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rpounds, I am not trying to argumentative either and actually like your posts, but I can't agree with some of your statements either because it depends on what people are trying to pull. I don't know why, but some people think they can pull a toy hauler full of toys including the bed with the HEMI, I totally disagree and way too much weight or they can pull an 8,000lb TT. If you can afford toy hauler full of toys, you should afford a diesel(now this will bring some ire).
I pull a 24ft TT that weighs about 4200lbs. With me, wife, 2 kids, bed full of firewood. When I pull, I barely ever see past 3,000 rpm, even up a fairly good grade of hills, and beleive me, in PA we have our share of hills. This summer I went up north and was coming home, it was a fairly steep grade for about 3 miles and I was going about 60 without very much issue at all. In fact, I rarely have any problems getting up to 60-70 without even trying or pushing the truck at all.
I think that I would like to upgrade to 4.56 gears and wonder many times, do I really need them? For me, I am very impressed with the power and don't feel I need a gas guzzle v-10 or the expense of diesel. Now if the weight of my TT was more, this would no doubt change my thinking. It all goes to pulling no more than you should with the engine you have. I feel the HEMI isn't qualified to pull a toy hauler or something in that weight range, just like my old 5.2 wasn't qualified to pull my TT, no matter what dealer says. My old 5.2 had to be done with high RPM's and did not like that at all, this is why I traded up. I think what I use is a good combo, anything heavier would have me going to diesel.
I agree completely with your post. And with a 4200 pounds, the Hemi is much more than adequate. My responses actually started because of the statement "the 5.7 is a great tow motor".

I guess my thoughts have to do with common misconceptions that costs a lot of guys a lot of money. I would love to help people avoid the scenario that so many go through when purchasing tow vehicles and trailers/fifth wheels. Before I go on, I have to say that there are some pulling pretty good size 5er's with the Hemi and they are plenty satisfied. Different strokes for different folks - as long as the prospective buyer goes into it with his eyes open.

When I first purchased a travel trailer back in '94, I was driving a 3 liter Ford Ranger, extended cab 4x4. I was naive enough to believe that I could pull a 20 ft. travel trailer with a GVWR of 5800#. Of course that didn't work, so I bought a new Chevy with a 350. Now THAT was an expensive mistake. I ruined the transmission in about 50k miles from driving up and back to the California Sierras. Finally I got smart and bought a Dodge V-10.

You would think I would have learned my lesson, right? Nope. Years later, after being without a camper for quite a while, I bought a Dodge 4.7 4x4 to pull a new Fun Finder with a GVWR of around 4200#. Another mistake. I ended up going with 4:56 gears and that made it tolerable. Of course, it was about that time that momma decided she wanted a bigger trailer :ugh So it was back to shopping for a bigger truck. This time I really went overboard and bought a diesel. Not my first choice I guess, but it sure pulls nicely.

Then I watched as a neighbor of mine around the corner and down the street went through the same thing. I don't know the guy, but I drive past his house every morning on my way to work. A really nice smallish toy hauler showed up in his driveway one Monday morning, along with a brand new Chevy 1/2 ton gasser - can't remember for sure but I think it was a 4.6 or 4.8 - whatever the smaller v-8 is in the chebbys these days. Anyhow, I thought "there's no way". About 6 months later a Duramax showed up in his driveway. Sounds like he made an expensive mistake too. We've all seen it happen over and over and some of us have gone through the same ritual.

So when I see things like "the 5.7 is a great tow motor", it needs to be clarified so that somebody doesn't come along and take that statement as gospel. Conclusion - you're absolutely right. 4200# with a Hemi is a piece of cake. As long as guys realize realistic limits and realistic expectations, they can save a lot of money in the long run.

So it seems we're on the same page.
 

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Well, I'm still going to disagree on the 5.7 not being a good tow motor, even at weights up to 8-10k and pin the blame on the weak driveline.
BTW, I have had a 2006 Duramax and a 1997 F250 7.3, both of which are considered top of the line diesels. I still prefer my 2500 4wd gasser to them but then I no longer tow anything over 10k lbs. Running 3000-4000 rpm's does not make me uncomfortable at all nor does the motor seem to mind. The tranny on the other hand can be a little stinker, shifting up and down through the gears and in and out of TCL. This is the problem area and once again I reiterate that a larger engine simply masks the weak point.
If you guys are limiting the 5.7 to 4200 lbs, that is just being deliberately unfair. You are correct in one aspect thought, people need to understand a trucks limitations and respect that. I see too many folks who think their truck alone was sprinkled with magic pixie dust from the factory and can tow anything and go anywhere.
I understand the diesel fan base as I use to be a fan myself- and still am in the right circumstances - but not giving the 5.7 powerplant its proper credit is a bit short sighted.
BTW, I had a 2000 Silverado with the 5.3 and a 2005 Dodge 1500 with the 4.7. Hated those trucks. I also had a 2008 Titan which towed like a mule but traded it because it was 2WD and base.
 

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Well, I'm still going to disagree on the 5.7 not being a good tow motor, even at weights up to 8-10k and pin the blame on the weak driveline.
BTW, I have had a 2006 Duramax and a 1997 F250 7.3, both of which are considered top of the line diesels. I still prefer my 2500 4wd gasser to them but then I no longer tow anything over 10k lbs. Running 3000-4000 rpm's does not make me uncomfortable at all nor does the motor seem to mind. The tranny on the other hand can be a little stinker, shifting up and down through the gears and in and out of TCL. This is the problem area and once again I reiterate that a larger engine simply masks the weak point.
If you guys are limiting the 5.7 to 4200 lbs, that is just being deliberately unfair. You are correct in one aspect thought, people need to understand a trucks limitations and respect that. I see too many folks who think their truck alone was sprinkled with magic pixie dust from the factory and can tow anything and go anywhere.
I understand the diesel fan base as I use to be a fan myself- and still am in the right circumstances - but not giving the 5.7 powerplant its proper credit is a bit short sighted.
BTW, I had a 2000 Silverado with the 5.3 and a 2005 Dodge 1500 with the 4.7. Hated those trucks. I also had a 2008 Titan which towed like a mule but traded it because it was 2WD and base.
You can certainly disagree if you'd like. I don't mind you being wrong ;)

You continue to come back to the transmission as being the problem with it shifting up and down. Of course it shifts up and down. The Hemi has such a narrow power band that the transmission has to shift up and down in order to compensate for that lack of power. And yes, the V-10 has a larger displacement - but the EcoBoost doesn't. It's actually a much smaller displacement engine. Of course, they use turbos to boost it's power, but regardless it points out that it is not simply displacement that makes the difference. The difference is the RPM band in which an engine makes it's power and how flat the torque curve is. The Hemi does not have a wide band of power relatively speaking, which is what actually makes an engine a good tow motor. The Hemi is mediocre in this regard.

Remember the old dump trucks and chassis cabs that had the Chevy 409 in them? Big displacement. But they sucked big time because of the weight they were asked to pull. In an Impala, the 409 was one hot setup. But not as a tow platform.
 

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I like my hemi but would love a desiel! My 03 2 wd quad can towing with OD off and running around 70 is just about 3000 rpms and gets about 9-11 mpg towing a combined weight 6200# I hate driving in town though!
 

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You can certainly disagree if you'd like. I don't mind you being wrong ;)

You continue to come back to the transmission as being the problem with it shifting up and down. Of course it shifts up and down. The Hemi has such a narrow power band that the transmission has to shift up and down in order to compensate for that lack of power. And yes, the V-10 has a larger displacement - but the EcoBoost doesn't. It's actually a much smaller displacement engine. Of course, they use turbos to boost it's power, but regardless it points out that it is not simply displacement that makes the difference. The difference is the RPM band in which an engine makes it's power and how flat the torque curve is. The Hemi does not have a wide band of power relatively speaking, which is what actually makes an engine a good tow motor. The Hemi is mediocre in this regard.

Remember the old dump trucks and chassis cabs that had the Chevy 409 in them? Big displacement. But they sucked big time because of the weight they were asked to pull. In an Impala, the 409 was one hot setup. But not as a tow platform.


I wont continue on the 5.7 because it's obvious neither one of us are going to give. I will say this, I have had a lot of tow experience in construction and I will still continue to disagree, on the 5.7. BTW, it's not the narrow power band that causes the tranny to shift constantly, it's the crappy gearing. Fist gear is 3.00:1 and second is 1.67:1 with a final drive of 3.73:1assuming one could stay 1:1 since the truck forces a shift into .75 OD. Yawn.
Even my Kia Soul has a final drive ratio of 4.37:1 and allows the driver to hold it there. My truck is more of a car than my car! :ugh
Enjoy your diesel. My buddy has an 03 2WD that gets close to 30mpg HWY. Makes me sick.....
 
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