How much better is a 2500 for towing?

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.

miketx

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 10, 2018
Posts
221
Reaction score
186
Location
Allen, Texas
Ram Year
2016
Engine
5.7
My scenario: We currently have a '16 Rebel with 5.7 and 3.92 gears, and is fully loaded with ALL options that year. We just upgraded to a new camper, which is 5500 lbs dry....probably 6500+ loaded. But.....it's heavy on tongue weight (probably close to 900 lbs loaded). So I'm at the limit on payload.....more than likely I'm above payload with a 900 lb trailer tongue weight, and then factoring stuff in the bed (firewood, tools) and 2 people, plus a dog in the cab. Since our Rebel is loaded with options, the payload rating is a horrible 983 lbs.

So, my main question is: how much better does it feel to tow with a 2500? I'd like to hear from people who have switched. I just towed the camper on a 700 mile round trip, and the 5.7 has plenty of power, but the Rebel does feel a little "floaty" on the road, which I'm pretty sure is due to the heavy tongue weight. Heavy side winds get a little concerning. I do have a great weight distribution setup and it is configured as good as it gets, plus the Rebel has E-rated tires (OEM)....so there is nothing more to do to the truck to improve it.

Will a 2500 feel more "solid"? I'd like to know before I plunk down $50-80k on a new/used 2500. Also...diesel versus gasser? I know it's a toss up (mpg versus price of diesel, etc). So it's back to "how does it feel" question. And please, no statements about stopping power/safety...I know the 2500 will do a better job of that.
 
Last edited:

Tulecreeper

Senior Member
Military
Joined
May 27, 2023
Posts
1,685
Reaction score
1,812
Location
Wstrn AR
Ram Year
2023
Engine
6.4 Hemi
My scenario: We currently have a '16 Rebel with 5.7 and 3.92 gears, and is fully loaded with ALL options that year. We just upgraded to a new camper, which is 5500 lbs dry....probably 6500+ loaded. But.....it's heavy on tongue weight (probably close to 900 lbs loaded). So I'm at the limit on payload.....more than likely I'm above payload with a 900 lb trailer tongue weight, and then factoring stuff in the bed (firewood, tools) and 2 people, plus a dog in the cab. Since our Rebel is loaded with options, the payload rating is a horrible 983 lbs.

So, my main question is: how much better does it feel to tow with a 2500? I'd like to hear from people who have switched. I just towed the camper on a 700 mile round trip, and the 5.7 has plenty of power, but the Rebel does feel a little "floaty" on the road, which I'm pretty sure is due to the heavy tongue weight. Heavy side winds get a little concerning. I do have a great weight distribution setup and it is configured properly, plus the Rebel has E-rated tires (OEM)....so there is nothing more to do to the truck to improve it.

Will a 2500 feel more "solid"? I'd like to know before I plunk down $50-80k on a new/used 2500. Also...diesel versus gasser? I know it's a toss up (mpg versus price of diesel, etc). So it's back to "how does it feel" question. And please, no statements about stopping power/safety...I know the 2500 will do a better job of that.
You are correct, you're feeling "floaty" because of the excessive tongue weight and your front tires aren't getting the traction they need. And at 900#, you're probably a little heavier than you should be on the tongue weight also. You should be somewhere in the 12% range of your actual loaded trailer weight, so less than 800# would be better. I think you should probably say that your weight distribution setup is configured as good as it is going to get, rather than to say it's configured properly. If you are that much above payload there isn't much it can do to help you out.

That said, towing with the 2500 will be a night and day comparison, especially concerning cargo capacity. Of course, that will also depend on how many options you pile on the truck. Just as with the 1500, the more options the lower your payload cap. I have towed trailers heavier than 6500 with mine with minimal effort, and at 6500# the truck would barely know it's back there. But it is still important to have the proper WDH.

As for gas vs diesel, it's your choice. I have a gasser, but that is because I wanted max cargo capacity and a diesel would have knocked 900# off what I currently have. The only consideration I had when buying this truck was the towing and payload cap; everything else was secondary. That's why the only options I got were tow hooks, the brake controller, and the 5th-wheel prep pkg. I didn't even get carpet or cloth seats...or power windows and doors.

I also use the 2500 as my daily driver, too, so having to decide on a separate tow vehicle wasn't something I was concerned about.
 

chaosh1

Member
Joined
Dec 13, 2022
Posts
84
Reaction score
86
Location
90731
Ram Year
2018
Engine
6.7 Cummins
I cant say i have towed with the Rebel and to compare it to a tacoma wouldn't be the same. But my experience going from a tacoma to the 2500 is similar. Towing with the tacoma I was floaty, bouncy and felt white knuckle in winds or when passing big rigs (At the time it was more like being passed by big rigs). I did re-setup the WDH a few times to try to make it better but it just wouldn't smooth out. With the 2500 6.7 Turbo-diesel I gotta say night and day, after getting the 2500 we changed our 3800lb trailer for a 28ft 10k GVWW trailer and the truck doesn't even feel it.

We took a trip not too long ago and the santa ana winds were blasting at 25 mph with 40 mph gusts. It was the last day of our trip and even with stabilizer jacks down the wind was rocking the trailer( in camp) so it had me worried about towing in that condition. I looked at options of leaving the trailer there and a few other things. We decided to take it slow and just drag it home. I expected white knuckle stressed out towing. That 2500 was so stable in those conditions it was unbelievable. the stability gains and ease of towing with the 2500 in my opinion is completely worth it. Having that extra for less than ideal conditions or for the stupid people on the road cutting you off and just doing stupid stuff is also worth it.

I prefer the Diesel for the power and exhaust brake. makes coming down a lot of the hills very very simple. i can drop down the Sepulveda pass without ever touching the brakes, the exhaust brake just maintains the speed all the way down

I know my scenario is not the same as yours but i figured I would share
 
Last edited:
OP
OP
miketx

miketx

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 10, 2018
Posts
221
Reaction score
186
Location
Allen, Texas
Ram Year
2016
Engine
5.7
You are correct, you're feeling "floaty" because of the excessive tongue weight and your front tires aren't getting the traction they need. And at 900#, you're probably a little heavier than you should be on the tongue weight also. You should be somewhere in the 12% range of your actual loaded trailer weight, so less than 800# would be better. I think you should probably say that your weight distribution setup is configured as good as it is going to get, rather than to say it's configured properly. If you are that much above payload there isn't much it can do to help you out.

That said, towing with the 2500 will be a night and day comparison, especially concerning cargo capacity. Of course, that will also depend on how many options you pile on the truck. Just as with the 1500, the more options the lower your payload cap. I have towed trailers heavier than 6500 with mine with minimal effort, and at 6500# the truck would barely know it's back there. But it is still important to have the proper WDH.

As for gas vs diesel, it's your choice. I have a gasser, but that is because I wanted max cargo capacity and a diesel would have knocked 900# off what I currently have. The only consideration I had when buying this truck was the towing and payload cap; everything else was secondary. That's why the only options I got were tow hooks, the brake controller, and the 5th-wheel prep pkg. I didn't even get carpet or cloth seats...or power windows and doors.

I also use the 2500 as my daily driver, too, so having to decide on a separate tow vehicle wasn't something I was concerned about.
Totally agree with everything you said, but I can't fix the tongue weight.....it's just a factor of the trailer we bought. It's 680 dry, and the main storage compartment is in the front. It is what it is, but we love it so far. And I fixed my WDH statement :)
 
OP
OP
miketx

miketx

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 10, 2018
Posts
221
Reaction score
186
Location
Allen, Texas
Ram Year
2016
Engine
5.7
I cant say i have towed with the Rebel and to compare it to a tacoma wouldn't be the same. But my experience going from a tacoma to the 2500 is similar. Towing with the tacoma I was floaty, bouncy and felt white knuckle in winds or when passing big rigs (At the time it was more like being passed by big rigs). I did re-setup the WDH a few times to try to make it better but it just wouldn't smooth out. With the 2500 6.7 Turbo-diesel I gotta say night and day, after getting the 2500 we changed our 3800lb trailer for a 28ft 10k GVWW trailer and the truck doesn't even feel it.

We took a trip not too long ago and the santa ana winds were blasting at 25 mph with 40 mph gusts. It was the last day of our trip and even with stabilizer jacks down the wind was rocking the trailer( in camp) so it had me worried about towing in that condition. I looked at options of leaving the trailer there and a few other things. We decided to take it slow and just drag it home. I expected white knuckle stressed out towing. That 2500 was so stable in those conditions it was unbelievable. the stability gains and ease of towing with the 2500 in my opinion is completely worth it. Having that extra for less than ideal conditions or for the stupid people on the road cutting you off and just doing stupid stuff is also worth it.

I prefer the Diesel for the power and exhaust brake. makes coming down a lot of the hills very very simple. i can drop down the Sepulveda pass without ever touching the brakes, the exhaust brake just maintains the speed all the way down

I know my scenario is not the same as yours but i figured I would share
Thanks for sharing...good info!
 

Tulecreeper

Senior Member
Military
Joined
May 27, 2023
Posts
1,685
Reaction score
1,812
Location
Wstrn AR
Ram Year
2023
Engine
6.4 Hemi
Totally agree with everything you said, but I can't fix the tongue weight.....it's just a factor of the trailer we bought. It's 680 dry, and the main storage compartment is in the front. It is what it is, but we love it so far. And I fixed my WDH statement :)
You could somewhat fix your tongue weight by moving some of the stuff in the front storage to the back, even if you have to put it in a box inside, but that still isn't going to fix your total cargo capacity issue. I'm thinking you're just going to have to bite the bullet and upsize your tow vehicle.
 

tron67j

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 14, 2019
Posts
2,871
Reaction score
2,907
Location
Maryland
Ram Year
2018
Engine
6.4 Hemi
Good advice above. I have had two 2500s after a 1500, so much better for towing in the 2500. And it will let you upgrade to larger if you want. With my 2500 I have 3k payload capacity. With my additions of a bed cover and steps I would still be able to tow your trailer and carry a golf cart in my bed and still have the family in the cab.

Good luck.
 

kirk35

Member
Military
Joined
Feb 15, 2023
Posts
54
Reaction score
112
Location
Ocean Springs, MS
Ram Year
2024
Engine
6.7 CTD Tradesman
I've pulled the trailer in my sig with our 1500 and the 2500.
One trip in the 1500 and my wife said never again, she was getting seasick. This was after I spent the morning making sure I had the WDH dialed in. I think the biggest issue is the wheelbase (5'-7" bed) on the 1500. The 2500 is so much more comfortable, it's like the trailer isn't even there.
 

pacofortacos

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 18, 2017
Posts
3,565
Reaction score
4,343
Ram Year
2016
Engine
5.7
The Rebel has about the poorest setup for towing that you could ask for.
It can be improved but that still won't help the payload issue.
A 2500 will definitely be a huge improvement - towing, empty not so much.
 

ThinkMud

Junior Member
Joined
Oct 5, 2021
Posts
13
Reaction score
8
Location
Buchanan VA
Ram Year
2022
Engine
5.7 Hemi
Have you tried a weight distribution hitch? and/or airbags in the coil springs in the rear? I've had both 1500s, and a 2500 and a 3500 and yes they HD rigs tow way better, but their stiff suspensions helps with that. So either stiffing up the 1500's suspension with airbags or adding a weight distribution hitch may make it work for you. Towing with a HD is one thing, but daily driving is another beast... My back couldn't handle daily driving my 2500 or 3500.
 

nlambert182

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 28, 2022
Posts
854
Reaction score
1,147
Location
Huntsville, AL
Ram Year
2018
Engine
6.7 Cummins
A WDH hitch nor airbags are going to solve the OPs problem. Airbags don't add capacity and even with a WDH hitch that only removes 12-20% of the weight off the tongue.


The reality is... a lot of 1500s now have extremely poor payloads. They are advertised as haulers and then loaded up with all the bells and whistles that eliminate payload to the point that they aren't rated to tow very much.


OP, you need to do two things. Actually take the truck and trailer to a CAT scale and don't guess at the weight. At a mininum if you can't get to a scale, find the GVWR of the trailer and do the math based on that. Never plan a truck around what you think the trailer might weigh. Always assume you will load it to the max because it will happen over time.

Your hitch is rated at 1,100 lbs. If your trailer only maxes capacity at 6,500 lbs you already have 975 lbs on the hitch. My guess is that it might be slightly more than that and you're probably at capacity on the hitch. You won't know until you weigh it.


Considering your starting payload of 983 lbs.... you're at the max at 6500 lbs so really likely that you're overloaded before you add in anything else. Even if you could manage to shift 20% of the weight back to the trailer axle with a WDH, that's only going to remove 195 lbs from the hitch and you're still right at capacity. By the time you add firewood, people, etc.. you're back over. There's a decent chance that if you do set up your WDH to move 20% off the hitch that you're going to add weight to the front end. You don't want to add much.

My opinion... get the 2500. I've owned a 1500, 2 2500s, and a 3500 dually. The 2500 & 3500 are a night and day difference. You won't know it's back there. I also daily drive mine and it's no more difficult (for me) to drive/park than my 1500. It's something you get used to and I never pay attention to it. If you ever intend to go to a fifth wheel though... skip the 2500 and go directly to the 3500 or you'll run into the same payload issues you have now. Because of the coil sprung suspension, payloads on the 2500 are marginal.

Diesel vs gas is your decision. Do you need a diesel for your trailer? Not at all. But towing mpg will likely be better on the diesel than the gasser. Empty is a toss up. My 18 Ram 1500 got about 19 mpg on the interstate empty. My 2500 gets 22 mpg on the interstate (bone stock) but I also have 3.42 gearing. That's not the same for everyone.
 
Last edited:

JayLeonard

Senior Member
Military
Joined
Oct 5, 2019
Posts
738
Reaction score
825
Location
Florida
Ram Year
2021
Engine
6.7 L Cummins
I am towing a TT that weighs just under 7000 lbs. Originally had a 2017 1500 Bighorn. I was definitely overloaded.
Switched to my current 2500/ Cummins Bighorn and like stated above, it’s night and day. I rarely feel anything when a big rig passes me, the frame is stiffer, suspension stiffer, etc.
All in all a much better towing experience.
 
OP
OP
miketx

miketx

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 10, 2018
Posts
221
Reaction score
186
Location
Allen, Texas
Ram Year
2016
Engine
5.7
You could somewhat fix your tongue weight by moving some of the stuff in the front storage to the back, even if you have to put it in a box inside, but that still isn't going to fix your total cargo capacity issue. I'm thinking you're just going to have to bite the bullet and upsize your tow vehicle.
Yeah, I considered that, but there really isn't much room for a box/etc rear of the dual axles. It tows fine so far, so the weight distribution doesn't seem to be an issue. But for sure....cargo capacity on the truck is a big issue that has no solution other than a bigger truck.
 
OP
OP
miketx

miketx

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 10, 2018
Posts
221
Reaction score
186
Location
Allen, Texas
Ram Year
2016
Engine
5.7
Have you tried a weight distribution hitch? and/or airbags in the coil springs in the rear? I've had both 1500s, and a 2500 and a 3500 and yes they HD rigs tow way better, but their stiff suspensions helps with that. So either stiffing up the 1500's suspension with airbags or adding a weight distribution hitch may make it work for you. Towing with a HD is one thing, but daily driving is another beast... My back couldn't handle daily driving my 2500 or 3500.
I'm using a WDH, and the truck already has air suspension. I have zero sag in the rear...the air suspension takes care of that, and the ride is fine.
 

tron67j

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 14, 2019
Posts
2,871
Reaction score
2,907
Location
Maryland
Ram Year
2018
Engine
6.4 Hemi
The Rebel has about the poorest setup for towing that you could ask for.
It can be improved but that still won't help the payload issue.
A 2500 will definitely be a huge improvement - towing, empty not so much.
Also avoid the PW package on the 2500 if looking to tow, basically makes it a 1500.

I have to say I don't find my 2500 uncomfortable when empty, but I came out of a 2003 2500 that never had springs or shocks replaced so I probably don't know any better. :)
 

Dean2

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 17, 2021
Posts
2,757
Reaction score
4,044
Location
Near Edmonton
Ram Year
2021 2500
Engine
6.4
2500 longbox crew cab and all your current towing issues disappear. I LIKE the ride in my 2021 2500 with the Off Road package and factory Bilstiens. Like Tron says, my previous was a 1996 Ram 2500 long box, extra cab, with leaf springs, but it did have Bilstien shocks which helped the ride a whole bunch. So does running 45 psi rear and 50 front, which is way below the door sticker but plenty according to the Tire inflation charts.

Do the 1500s ride more like a car, yes they do, but that is exactly the problem when trying to tow with one. Even with air bags, my brother's 1500 sucks if you add any amount of weight to it, in the bed or on a trailer.
 
Last edited:
OP
OP
miketx

miketx

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 10, 2018
Posts
221
Reaction score
186
Location
Allen, Texas
Ram Year
2016
Engine
5.7
Also avoid the PW package on the 2500 if looking to tow, basically makes it a 1500.

I have to say I don't find my 2500 uncomfortable when empty, but I came out of a 2003 2500 that never had springs or shocks replaced so I probably don't know any better. :)
Yup....I figured that out when I was shopping for my Rebel....the PW is just a slight upgrade. The Rebel is pretty stiff with E-rated offroad tires, so I don't think a 2500 is going to be a big change in ride.
 
Top