Determining Towing Capacity from Online listings

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Tulecreeper

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Thanks for the generous reply's. I think what I'm hearing is that towing a 7100 lb / 720 lb tongue weight trailer with a 1500 is a stretch, mostly due to payload capacities, and that to tow this setup comfortably I'm going to need the margin of a 2500 (same caveats apply). Sound correct?
Actually, 7100# is quite doable with a 1500 but to get max capacity and still leave yourself a 20% margin for safety (not towing or loading more than 80% of your max capacities) you're going to need to go with a regular cab, long bed, 3.92 rear end, and minimum options. Every option you add to the trim level will deduct from your cargo capacity, which eventually starts eating into your towing capacity because you also have a Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR) you have to stay below (the total weight that both your loaded truck and trailer together can weigh).

For example: My truck can tow 15,500# as it sits right now, and my truck without much of any cargo in it weighs 6000#. That's 21,500#, and my GCWR is 22,000#. That means that although my cargo capacity is 4000#, I can only load another 500# into my truck and still be at or below my GCWR. So, for every 100# extra I add to my cargo above 500# I have to deduct 100# from my towing cap because I can't go above 22,000# GCWR.

The GVWR of my truck is 10,000#, but if I load 4000# into it to bring it up to that weight then I can only tow 12,000# to stay within my GCWR, even though the actual towing capacity is still 15,500#.

Confused yet? :oops:
 
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ramffml

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Thanks for the generous reply's. I think what I'm hearing is that towing a 7100 lb / 720 lb tongue weight trailer with a 1500 is a stretch, mostly due to payload capacities, and that to tow this setup comfortably I'm going to need the margin of a 2500 (same caveats apply). Sound correct?

You can tow that. But keep in mind most trailers are at 13% tongue weight, so you're looking at 923 pounds, then add the weight of the weight distributing hitch (which you absolutely need at this trailer weight) and so you're basically at 1000 pounds.

Now add your own weight, 200 pounds?

Just connecting your trailer to an empty truck and sitting in it by yourself requires 1200 pounds of payload.

Now add the weight of your wife, kids, dog, cargo, all that adds up to say 1500 pounds. Many Ram half tons are at that limit or less.

You need to look at big horn or tradesmans to get above that, and keep the heavy features like sun roofs and ram boxes off of them.

Bottom line, you're correct. If you're by yourself with an empty truck, a 1500 will tow that comfortably. If you plan on adding lots of cargo to your truck (firewood in the back like me), well yes the 2500 is a better option especially if you tow often.
 
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OBSteve

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Clear as mud - though I get the general principle of the calcs, my frustration is that when you look at the Stellantis charts there appears to be versions of a few 1500 models that could get the job done such as this 4.2 Crew 6'4" box where the last number represents the tow capacity.

RAM 1500 4X2 CREW ST 6'4" BOX Trailer Towing Chart - U Market
5.7L V8 HEMI MDS VVT 8-SPD AUTO 8HP70 3.92 6900 1710 5194 3015 2178 3700 3900 15975 10390
But finding this needle in a haystack online where details are scarce is near impossible. My original question (now seemingly not relevant) was how to find the particular configuration(s) that would satisfy the towing requirements. I was hoping to hear, "Just find a 1500 with a 6'4" bed, crew cab, tow and trailer options and a 3.92 gear and you'll be good to go. That I can search for online...
 

Tulecreeper

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Clear as mud - though I get the general principle of the calcs, my frustration is that when you look at the Stellantis charts there appears to be versions of a few 1500 models that could get the job done such as this 4.2 Crew 6'4" box where the last number represents the tow capacity.

RAM 1500 4X2 CREW ST 6'4" BOX Trailer Towing Chart - U Market
5.7L V8 HEMI MDS VVT 8-SPD AUTO 8HP70 3.92 6900 1710 5194 3015 2178 3700 3900 15975 10390
But finding this needle in a haystack online where details are scarce is near impossible. My original question (now seemingly not relevant) was how to find the particular configuration(s) that would satisfy the towing requirements. I was hoping to hear, "Just find a 1500 with a 6'4" bed, crew cab, tow and trailer options and a 3.92 gear and you'll be good to go. That I can search for online...
The problem with those charts I posted is that those numbers are for the basic vehicle as it comes off the line and don't take into account any optional packages that are added to the truck. On my truck (below) the only options I got were tow hooks, a brake controller, the spray-in bedliner, and the 5th-wheel prep package (puck system). The original payload capacity of 4010# listed on the chart hilighted in yellow is for my truck with zero options coming off the assembly line, but the payload cap listed on the sticker on my pillar says 3913# because apparently the brake controller, tow hooks, bedliner, and pucks weigh 97 pounds.

So for all intents and purposes the tow capacities should not be affected by any options on the truck, only the payload capacity is affected. But trailer tongue weight is also part of your payload capacity so the more options you add to the truck the less the tongue weight can be, which means your trailer has to be smaller and lighter.
 

ramffml

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Clear as mud - though I get the general principle of the calcs, my frustration is that when you look at the Stellantis charts there appears to be versions of a few 1500 models that could get the job done such as this 4.2 Crew 6'4" box where the last number represents the tow capacity.

RAM 1500 4X2 CREW ST 6'4" BOX Trailer Towing Chart - U Market
5.7L V8 HEMI MDS VVT 8-SPD AUTO 8HP70 3.92 6900 1710 5194 3015 2178 3700 3900 15975 10390
But finding this needle in a haystack online where details are scarce is near impossible. My original question (now seemingly not relevant) was how to find the particular configuration(s) that would satisfy the towing requirements. I was hoping to hear, "Just find a 1500 with a 6'4" bed, crew cab, tow and trailer options and a 3.92 gear and you'll be good to go. That I can search for online...

You're still looking at "tow capacity", numbers like 8000 to 11,000 pounds. Ignore all those values, they're meaningless, every Ram 1500 with a v8 can pull that 7100 lb trailer.

What you need to focus on is the "payload". These values range from 980 to 1700 pounds, and its the weight you can put onto the truck before you are now overloaded/too heavy. This is the limit you will almost always hit first pulling an RV, NOT the tow capacity number.

Payload varies widely by trim and options. The more luxurious and features your truck is/has, the less weight you can carry. And remember that hooking your 7100 lb trailer means you're putting about 1000 pounds on your truck right off the top.
 

Tulecreeper

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You're still looking at "tow capacity", numbers like 8000 to 11,000 pounds. Ignore all those values, they're meaningless, every Ram 1500 with a v8 can pull that 7100 lb trailer.

What you need to focus on is the "payload". These values range from 980 to 1700 pounds, and its the weight you can put onto the truck before you are now overloaded/too heavy. This is the limit you will almost always hit first pulling an RV, NOT the tow capacity number.

Payload varies widely by trim and options. The more luxurious and features your truck is/has, the less weight you can carry. And remember that hooking your 7100 lb trailer means you're putting about 1000 pounds on your truck right off the top.
^^^ That ^^^

Start with the payload cap on your door pillar, then subtract 1000# from that for projected tongue weight. What is left is you, the wife and kids, the dog, and a cooler full of beer. If by adding those to the tongue weight take you over your pillar payload cap, you need a bigger truck or smaller trailer.
 

rzr6-4

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Hook it on, get the weight distribution correct, and don't think about it again. 7000lb is a warm up.
 
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OBSteve

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Well, I'm towing the thing with an '06 LR3 which gets the job done, but only with sweaty palms, white knuckles and an occasional 'code brown'. Just to look at a Ram 1500 I cant believe that it would have any problem - just want to check the math before making a decision...
 

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Thanks for the generous reply's. I think what I'm hearing is that towing a 7100 lb / 720 lb tongue weight trailer with a 1500 is a stretch, mostly due to payload capacities, and that to tow this setup comfortably I'm going to need the margin of a 2500 (same caveats apply). Sound correct?
I think you are dialed in but here are some other considerations to ponder. Where and how often are you going to be towing the Airstream? If you plan local area outings that is one thing and something the 1500 can handle. If you plan to travel our country and travel for hours on highways (think cross winds) you would feel safer in a 2500. If you are planning a lot of mountain towing, then that puts you into a diesel that offers a much-needed engine exhaust brake for those long down-the-grade travels.

Getting into a diesel has a stiff upfront cost but the diesel offers a very relaxed towing experience, particularly in mountain towing, both going up and coming down. This thread is full of good advice and experiences and you should have no trouble deciding once you apply the knowledge here to your traveling plans and budget.

I went through this back in 2014 and my wife and I decided to take a summer, the summer of 2014, and visit campgrounds all over our state (Michigan) and talk to campers about not only their campers and camper dealers (that was interesting) but also their tow vehicles and how they came to the decisions of matching camper to tow vehicle and what assumptions and mistakes were made. It was an eye-opening experience.
 

crash68

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I'm towing the thing with an '06 LR3 which gets the job done, but only with sweaty palms, white knuckles and an occasional 'code brown'.
How the trailer pulls comes down to the weight distribution set up and tuning of the trailer with the truck.
Ideally to set up the truck/trailer by weighing it on a CAT scale. Weight the truck and trailer fully load ready for traveling, then drop the trailer and weigh just the truck. With those numbers you can determine tongue weight percentage and how much weight is retuned back to the front axle.
7K lbs is completely doable with a 1500, it's getting close to the limits but those numbers already have a safety factor added (no need to add more). I tow an 8K lbs 32' overall length enclosed trailer behind my 1500, properly adjusted I go down the road with one hand on the wheel with the cruise control set
 
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