1500 vs 2500 for towing travel trailer (downhill)

Disclaimer: Links on this page pointing to Amazon, eBay and other sites may include affiliate code. If you click them and make a purchase, we may earn a small commission.

1 MEAN66

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 20, 2022
Posts
285
Reaction score
291
Location
Waterford NY
Ram Year
2016
Engine
Hemi 5.7 VVT-MDS
In my opinion: the 2500 Is a much better "mule" especially with a diesel. But if you are not buying a truck to carry huge payloads and tow "stuff" the majority of the time , why drag all the extra weight around ALL the time you are not towing or carrying? Everything about the diesel will make it's curb weight higher (how much ???) a 2500 and a 1500 with a 5.7 probably pretty close to one another. I tried to find an answer to that on the computer but gave up looking. I would base my decision. (never mind I already did) on what the main purpose of what you will do with the truck. I'm an odd ball I got a Gen 4, reg. cab. long box 5.7, 6spd. auto, 3.55's to tow what I tow and to get acceptable fuel mileage when not towing. My only suggestion is to weigh your entire "package" on a scale ( loaded as it will be towed) BEFORE you head out. Lots of threads in here and the Gen 4 section on how and where to do that.
 

crash68

ACME product engineer
Staff member
Administrator
Supporting Member
Joined
Mar 20, 2016
Posts
10,860
Reaction score
17,073
Ram Year
2015
Engine
3.0 EcoDiesel
He said the 1500 was "screaming" when he had it in 3rd going downhill, which I take to mean the RPM's are really up there.
That read wrong.. I was attempting to point out that it doesn't have anything to do with the truck being a 1500 or 2500 why the engine is screaming. It comes down to the final drive ratio and vehicle speed.
Have to wonder about the "screaming" part, depending on the axle ratio in 3rd gear if it's 3.92 the truck is about 4K which puts the speed about 45-50 mph with the 1500. In a 2500 the equivalent would be 2nd gear at similar rpms and speed.
 

Tulecreeper

Senior Member
Military
Joined
May 27, 2023
Posts
1,799
Reaction score
2,011
Location
Sthrn AZ
Ram Year
2023
Engine
6.4 Hemi
In my opinion: the 2500 Is a much better "mule" especially with a diesel. But if you are not buying a truck to carry huge payloads and tow "stuff" the majority of the time , why drag all the extra weight around ALL the time you are not towing or carrying? Everything about the diesel will make it's curb weight higher (how much ???) a 2500 and a 1500 with a 5.7 probably pretty close to one another. I tried to find an answer to that on the computer but gave up looking. I would base my decision. (never mind I already did) on what the main purpose of what you will do with the truck. I'm an odd ball I got a Gen 4, reg. cab. long box 5.7, 6spd. auto, 3.55's to tow what I tow and to get acceptable fuel mileage when not towing. My only suggestion is to weigh your entire "package" on a scale ( loaded as it will be towed) BEFORE you head out. Lots of threads in here and the Gen 4 section on how and where to do that.
The difference in Base Weight between the 1500 and the 2500, both with Reg Cab, LB is right at 1300#.
 

Ckidd_21

Junior Member
Joined
Jun 26, 2023
Posts
19
Reaction score
17
Location
Colorado
Ram Year
2016
Engine
5.7
He said the 1500 was "screaming" when he had it in 3rd going downhill, which I take to mean the RPM's are really up there.
Yeah that’s what happens when I try to post something at 3am after a 12 hour shift, I was too tired to be on trying to post haha. I did mean that the RPMS are up there when gearing down. Long story short I’m advocating for a 2500 due to it just being a better tool for the job. My apologies for the confusion.
 

jr27236

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 11, 2019
Posts
429
Reaction score
326
Location
New York
Ram Year
2016
Engine
5.7 Hemi
Bottom line with a truck purchase is "your better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it".
 

David James

Senior Member
Joined
May 1, 2020
Posts
125
Reaction score
101
Location
Fredericksburg, VA
Ram Year
2016
Engine
5.7
I plan on purchasing a 1500 5.7 Hemi with tow package to tow a 28’ travel trailer with GVW 6,000. Know the 1500 has plenty of performance to tow, but have been told by some that a 1500 will get pushed around downhill and I should buy a 2500 instead.

With the tow package and conservative driving, any feedback on a 1500 being pushed downhill by a trailer?
If you can afford it, get the HD truck. I know the paper capabilities of a 1500 will allow you to pull what you suggest. I wonder if that 6k weight doesn’t amp up beyond that figure with full water, propane, and food stores particularly if you’re going off the grid so to speak. As background, I own a 16 Big Horn 4x4, Hemi, 3.21, and am not in possession of anything like you. It’s perfect to pull an Aliner Classic in most any situation. But, loaded you’re only talking 3k+. It also has a low profile.

I’m all in favor of bigger is better when it comes to overkill on capabilities.
 

leroys73

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 28, 2018
Posts
123
Reaction score
98
Location
Dallas Area
Ram Year
2018
Engine
6.4
I have towed with 1500. I went to 2500 and would never go back unless I was towing a pop up trailer. As a mater of fact I did tow a large pop up but had a 2500.

I you are buying a new truck go the little extra for the 2500. You will not be sorry. People towing trailers often times end up with a bigger one at some point.
 

MMiller

Junior Member
Joined
Apr 1, 2021
Posts
22
Reaction score
32
Location
Harrisburg, PA
Ram Year
2021
Engine
6.4 Hemi
I have a 32' travel trailer with a 6500 lbs dry weight... even though your trailer will be slightly smaller, you will have a 100% better towing experience with a 2500 vs a 1500. Even just driving down a flat straight stretch of highway, you'll feel a difference as soon as the wind starts blowing. The 2500 won't have any problem while the 1500's front end will want to wander on you. If it's something you'll be towing once or twice a year, maybe it won't be a deal breaker for you. But if you'll be towing regularly or any big distance, you will not regret going with the 2500.
 

man n black

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 26, 2011
Posts
341
Reaction score
58
Ram Year
2013
Engine
Cummins
if it's a Cummins under the hood it's not even a mentionable comparison. The Cummins has an exhaust brake that's capable of holding back trailers in excess of 20K lbs.
^^^^^^THIS^^^^^
a 28ft TT is nothing to sneeze at. Cummins with the Exh Brake all day long for the win.

FWIW - When we lived in high mountains Colorado and had family in Cali, I towed alot of those passes out west, particularly NorCal Sierras and Continental Divide (all the way up to BC and across Canada land too) pulling a 31ft TT..For those long and/or steep passes (Donner, Eisenhower, Kooteneys, Grapevine, Grant's); the big block Cummins and exhaust brake worth it's weight in unobtanium and relaxed towing. I think even better than the the 3 stage Jacobs we have in the current CAT powered Motorcoach which can be sketch in the wet/rain.

also see this post here: https://www.ramforum.com/threads/ra...-trailer-with-7500lb-gvwr.202738/post-2832261

Good luck OP
Ch
 
Last edited:

StMapleBury

Junior Member
Joined
Sep 21, 2019
Posts
8
Reaction score
14
Location
Minnesota
Ram Year
2019
Engine
6.4
I have driven close to 100,000 miles towing three different trailers with three tow vehicles, through mountains, etc. I went back and forth to Alaska from MN once. I have a degree in Engineering Mechanics (think modeling mechanical systems). Here is my conservative opinion developed from having a too small first tow vehicle.

Go with the 2500. I decided having 1/3 MORE truck than trailer is a very good idea - rule of thumb. I had a 2003 HD diesel. Now I have the gasser 2019 6.4 because diesel is just too much hassle to maintain in my ‘old’ age.

Invest in a good hitch. I use a Pro-Pride after using the earlier Hensley version. Both are good, Pro-Pride better because braking impact will not cause it to go out of adjustment, like the earlier Hensley.

The above two recommendations will give you a greater margin of safety on the highway.

If you are insecure driving your fun is left behind and your fear is on the way.

I have two horror stories where each of the above recommendations kept us from serious harm on the highway.

Drive safe.
 

Panduh

Member
Joined
Mar 14, 2022
Posts
39
Reaction score
21
Location
Saint Augustine, FL
Engine
5.7 hemi
I tow a 29 ft. 6500 lb. tt with my 1500 hemi w no issues at all - no sway, lots of power, plenty of brakes. I have everything loaded and set up correctly, including my WDH and brake controller. If you are within payload and rear axle gross weight and do everything else right, you should be fine. Your final check will be CAT scale reads, truck only vs. fully loaded and hooked up to tt.
 

1STRAM2500

Member
Joined
Dec 29, 2021
Posts
46
Reaction score
73
Location
Virginia
Ram Year
2022
Engine
Hemi 6.4
Most RVers I know eventually end up with larger RVs, sometimes with mutlitple upgrades. I am on my 5th and hopefully last. Yes, your vehicle properly set up is probably fine. My last TV was a 5.7 Tundra that handled up to GVWR tts at 8500 very well, even though I eventually became concerned about that pesky payload issue. The wife decided she had to have one last new RV that GVWR was 11.2K, TW around 1250! Enter the new HD truck. The '22 2500 6.4 8 spd has been awesome. I agree with StMapleBury, for the best overall combo of safety, performance, cost, and ease of driving, the 2500 with a ProPride hitch is a nice overall compromise for most of what you would want tt wise. Yeah, the TOP tv would be a 3500 DRW with HO Cummins, but that wasn't practical for me. My tt is 36ft long and is quite the sail, but the ProPride hitch eliminated any instability I had even with the 2500. The 6.4 pulls my 10-11K tt nicely thru the mountains of VA & TN. I now look forward to the journey, not just the destination.
 

RickyJ108

Junior Member
Joined
Jul 8, 2023
Posts
24
Reaction score
25
Location
NY
Ram Year
2007
Engine
5.7
I started towing my 30' TT with a v-8 Dakota someone said to me "just because you can doesn't mean you should" I moved to a 1500 Ram 2wd 5.7 then my wife wanted to upgrade with a golf cart there goes my payload. I now have a 2500 mega cab and can't wait to hook up and go the driving experience between the 1500 and the 2500 without a trailer on it makes me feel like it was absolutely worth the upgrade to the bigger truck.
 

Cruze418

Junior Member
Joined
Feb 3, 2024
Posts
4
Reaction score
9
Location
Rock Island
Ram Year
2021
Engine
Hemi 5.7
You just have to use your head. Being a retired truck driver, guess what, big trucks get knocked around by other big trucks. When stopping, think ahead, don't try stopping like your in a car. Look around, look ahead, always be thinking about what is going on around you, stay out of trouble or trouble will find you.
 

Tulecreeper

Senior Member
Military
Joined
May 27, 2023
Posts
1,799
Reaction score
2,011
Location
Sthrn AZ
Ram Year
2023
Engine
6.4 Hemi
I plan on purchasing a 1500 5.7 Hemi with tow package to tow a 28’ travel trailer with GVW 6,000. Know the 1500 has plenty of performance to tow, but have been told by some that a 1500 will get pushed around downhill and I should buy a 2500 instead.

With the tow package and conservative driving, any feedback on a 1500 being pushed downhill by a trailer?
If you can afford it, get the HD truck. I know the paper capabilities of a 1500 will allow you to pull what you suggest. I wonder if that 6k weight doesn’t amp up beyond that figure with full water, propane, and food stores particularly if you’re going off the grid so to speak. As background, I own a 16 Big Horn 4x4, Hemi, 3.21, and am not in possession of anything like you. It’s perfect to pull an Aliner Classic in most any situation. But, loaded you’re only talking 3k+. It also has a low profile.

I’m all in favor of bigger is better when it comes to overkill on capabilities.
@rchaze4 said the GVW is 6000, which would include the cargo/payload. But you are correct in that bigger is better in this case. I bought the truck I did because I know that I would never have a trailer behind me that would even come close to my towing cap. I've hooked up my friend's horse trailer that goes right at 10,000# with two horses and some hay bales and towed it on a couple occasions and I didn't even know it was back there. Even a large travel trailer I might tow would never top 11k# GVWR so I'll always be well within my 20% safety margin. And with the cargo cap I have, tongue/pin weight will never be an issue either.
 

rvance

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 18, 2013
Posts
363
Reaction score
369
Location
Texas
Ram Year
2013
Engine
Pent 3.6
If you get a 1500, use a weigh balancing hitch, 10 ply tires and Airlift bags, you will be fine as long as you are sure to not overload the trailer. Anything else get the 2500. I learned this the hard way.
 

Danny Phillips

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 23, 2021
Posts
102
Reaction score
56
Location
Payson AZ
Ram Year
2015
Engine
6.7 Cummins
I love the diesel 2500. The engine brake is indispensable, I drive it in manual mode all the time, but I only get 14 miles to the gallon. I see diesel is down to $3.999 now here in Payson, AZ. It makes a huge difference in climbing hills.
 

reek

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 23, 2014
Posts
1,592
Reaction score
733
Location
Sacramento
Ram Year
2015 RAM 2500 CC 4x4, 72 D100, 73 D100, 01 RAM 2500 field truck
Engine
6.4 Hemi
I went through a similar situation as the OP in 2014. Started with a 2014 1500 5.7 hemi for a little 19 ft TT and a 8000-9000lb of utility trailer. within a year after trying to 'upgrade' the 1500 to work better at towing, I went to a 2500 6.4. got tired of white knuckling it (mostly with the utility trailer) it was definitely safer overall.

Having a heavier truck for towing is so much nicer. It was an expensive lesson for me but with the amount of towing I do now, cost was worth the education. If you frequently tow, I'd side with the majority, get the 2500. Its worth the extra daily fuel.

PS. I have the factory air suspension. it's actually pretty decent. recommend that too.
 

CaptOchs

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 20, 2019
Posts
142
Reaction score
117
Location
Rochester
Ram Year
2013
Engine
5.7
I have a '13 big horn w/ 6 spd & 3.92. My camper is a 35ft Heartland 303bh that weighs in around 7000. I have the Reese dual-cam WD. I am in NY. I don't have problems with hills. The truck shifts on its own to the right gear with tow-haul. I noticed when you start going downhill as you start gaining speed the truck will downshift for you to try and maintain speed. It was noticeable difference in towing compared with my '03 Expedition. The Expedition would upshift (making you go faster) as the camper pushed the rig downhill. You had to brake to slow down. My RAM does the exact opposite. Same hills, less braking. It's a smarter towing vehicle.

My trips are typically in the 200 mile range a few times a year as I have my own camp. If I were to tow more frequently or at a greater distance, I would have considered the 2500. Most of the time my truck is just used for driving around town or towing my boat to the lake. I normally keep it around 62-65 MPH on the expressway. If I wanted to go faster than 65, then that would have been another consideration for a 2500.
 

1 MEAN66

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 20, 2022
Posts
285
Reaction score
291
Location
Waterford NY
Ram Year
2016
Engine
Hemi 5.7 VVT-MDS
Are those weights that gas vs gas? How much more weight would basic diesel Add? Most of the guys I know, who bought diesels also got dually's. But they earn their money with them and drag around large fifth wheels when they vacation with them, truly a great truck that can usually do even more than it is advertised to do.
 
Last edited:
Top