How much better is a 2500 for towing?

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Big Red1

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I had a 2021 limited 1500 with a payload of 1197lbs, 3.92, 33 gallon tank etc. The truck was loaded with nearly all the bells and whistles they could put on it. It was a dream to drive, very comfortable etc. We pulled a 23' Airstream with it. Took many trips and just loved the trailer/truck combination. We were probably over payload with the dog, the wife and me and the generator and other associated camping gear in the bed. The truck had plenty of power, hemi etorque etc.

Well, last winter, we decided that the trailer wasn't big enough so we traded for a 27' AS which weighed about 2000 lbs more, much higher tongue weight etc. I knew before we bought the new AS, I needed to upgrade to a 2500. I towed the trailer home with the 1500. It handled it fine but given the fact that I was way over payload i started hunting for the 2500. I wanted gas for the same reasons stated above, fuel price, weight etc. I got a 2500 with a payload of 3000lbs, gas engine, some of the bells and whistles but no adaptive cruise control, or lane monitoring etc. I wish I had those. Bottom line, the truck tows the trailer like a dream. I do know it is back there but no worry about stopping or power when I need it. Mileage is about the same as the 1500 when towing-between 10 and 12, same as the 1500. About 17 or 18 when empty. Bottom line, we are very happy with our 2500. Good luck on the hunt.
 

pjtj2k

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I was in the same situation, towing my camper with a 1500 and it was squishy. I upgraded to 2500 and it was night and day difference. With the 1500 I was "white knuckle" with the 2500 it's a dream!
 

jmc921

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Just a side note. I have a 2014 1500 Express and rarely tow anything with it so it is perfect for me. I do occasionally rent a trailer to take my Kubota BX23S to the dealer for service (probably total weight of 4,500 to 5,000 lbs) so, when I upgraded my shocks, I installled Falcon Tow/Haul shocks. I raised the front end about 1.5” to level the truck but the neat feature of these is that you can adjust the stiffness of the rear shocks (3 settings). When I tow the trailer with tractor or when I pick up 20 bags of mulch, I just change to the stiffest settting and it makes all the difference in ride, handling and control. Just thought I’d put that out there as an option for people reading this post who are only occasionally going to be towing with there 1500.
 

nickheaps819

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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.
I’ve guu in t a 2019 1500 warlock. I’m towing a 6500lb empty unit, right now I think I’m about 7200 with shat I have in it. I’ve got a SwayPro WDH and uncoil airbags (airlift 1000 bags). I just finished a 15 day trip through the west coast from BC to Vegas and back. I’m running 3.21 gears with a 5.7l. I was checking the temps for oil, water, and trans all the way and the temps when not towing are about 89 degrees. While towing it was mid 90’s. We ere going through mountains and passes without any issues. Kept the speed to 60-65mph. I had trucks pass me and no sway at all. Apart from the mileage hit, I went from 12.7l/100kms (18.5mpg) down to 22l/100kms. (10.5mpg)
It really didn’t feel like the trailer was there at all. I am going to install some secondary airlift bags to put a bit more weight on the front but the truck drove great.
The truck states the empty weight is 6900lbs but I was at the dump a while ago and I weighed in empty at 6150. I’m going to be going to a CAT scale soon to verify the weights but I think it’s probably very close. I have a betterweight ODB unit that states I’m at a total of 13500 with both truck and trailer. That puts the trailer at 7350.
 

Jas34

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The truck states the empty weight is 6900lbs but I was at the dump a while ago and I weighed in empty at 6150. I’m going to be going to a CAT scale soon to verify the weights but I think it’s probably very close. I have a betterweight ODB unit that states I’m at a total of 13500 with both truck and trailer. That puts the trailer at 7350.
6900 sounds like a gvwr not a base weight empty. If that's true, then you only have about 750 lbs available for any payload. So definitely double check your weight you measured against the gvwr listed on the sticker.

Concerning the Betterweigh. It is a neat idea. I have a Haul Guage, which is the same thing with a different badge on it.

What I found with mine when I compared what it measure vs reality of a cat scale was this...The truck weight alone came close, within about 2% of measured. The truck and trailer together was not as accurate and came in around 6% off. Unfortunately, the errors were in different directions, so when you subtracted the truck weight from the total, the trailer weight was off about 15%, so not real close to reality. The trailer tongue weight feature wasn't even close. It read way under the actual tongue weight. This was probably due to the fact that I have a set of Timbrens on the truck. What I did to fix this was calibrate it using my trailer (since I weighed everything I knew the actual tongue weight). Now it's right on the money, and I can accurately measure tongue weight when I rebalance things around in the trailer.

So definitely take your truck and trailer down to a cat scale. It may be an eye opener.
 

Capt Derek

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"Better" is in the eye of the beholder. More capable, absolutely by default.

For ME a 3500 dually is absolutely a better tow vehicle than any 1500 or 2500. I've owned them all. But, is it necessary for every load? Not at all and it's why I no longer have one. Don't need it. If your trailer fits within the specs of your 1500 and it tows well, that's all you need so for that specific purpose that might be the better and balanced option for you.

Bigger does cost more to buy, but if you find yourself in the middle of upgrading trailers it hurts to upgrade again. I did that. If that's not in your plans, then of course no need. Typical normal maintenance costs really aren't much more than a gasser. It when you have to spend the money that makes it appear that way. Sure... oil changes cost more, but they're half as often. It's a wash. Fuel filters are an added expense, but there are no spark plugs, no coil packs, etc.. ends up being a wash too (or close to it) It only gets more expensive with catastrophic events (like emissions systems). My 2500 and 3500 were as easy for me to daily drive than my 1500. Honestly, I had more problems with the 1500 because I was used to the bigger trucks. That's all in preference and what you're accustomed to.

End of the day, there's a truck thats suited for every task. As long as you do the research and properly spec the truck, no truck is the wrong answer.
 

Capt Derek

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"Better" is in the eye of the beholder. More capable, absolutely by default.

For ME a 3500 dually is absolutely a better tow vehicle than any 1500 or 2500. I've owned them all. But, is it necessary for every load? Not at all and it's why I no longer have one. Don't need it. If your trailer fits within the specs of your 1500 and it tows well, that's all you need so for that specific purpose that might be the better and balanced option for you.

Bigger does cost more to buy, but if you find yourself in the middle of upgrading trailers it hurts to upgrade again. I did that. If that's not in your plans, then of course no need. Typical normal maintenance costs really aren't much more than a gasser. It when you have to spend the money that makes it appear that way. Sure... oil changes cost more, but they're half as often. It's a wash. Fuel filters are an added expense, but there are no spark plugs, no coil packs, etc.. ends up being a wash too (or close to it) It only gets more expensive with catastrophic events (like emissions systems). My 2500 and 3500 were as easy for me to daily drive than my 1500. Honestly, I had more problems with the 1500 because I was used to the bigger trucks. That's all in preference and what you're accustomed to.

End of the day, there's a truck thats suited for every task. As long as you do the research and properly spec the truck, no truck is the wrong answer.
Had 2500, went to 3500 for how much better towing
 

joesstripclub

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Do you use a WDH? That would be my preference over airbags and/or other helpers. Doesn't matter if there is a little sag even with the WDH, that's just a visual/pride thing. My truck has a tiny bit of sag but handles far better with my Anderson than it did with sumo springs and air bags (not both at the same time).
I have an Anderson WDH and it does make a big difference. I don't need air bags but it would be nice to level the truck a bit more.
 
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miketx

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I didn't switch from a rebel, but I did switch from a 1500 Laramie with 3.92 gears. And my trailer is in the same ballpark as yours. The 2500 CTD is night and day difference, especially the exhaust break. I also daily drive the 2500. Don't exclude 3500s if you're looking for a 2500. Unloaded ride is a little harsher, stock, but they are otherwise very similar trucks and will give you more headroom for future unknowns.

Significantly less floaty/bouncy, much more sure footed *feeling*. It doesn't get blown around as much, and sway less even in high winds and semi wake. Gas milage is actually better when unloaded. I will not go back to a 1500 as long as I need to tow anything more than a small utility trailer, the 2500 is just that much better for towing anything north of 5000 lbs. that being said, as a daily driver on stock suspension, the 1500 is a much more comfortable ride.

When I was shopping for my upgrade, I looked at both and ended up in a 2500 because it's still enough and that was the only inventory at the time that hit my price point and feature mix.
I'm actually considering the 2500 and 3500. I'm looking at used and new.....we'll see. I'm in discussion with multiple dealers to find what I want (or worsecase, order a new truck with the exact options I want).
 

groove1797

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Good morning guys,

I was in a 2020 Rebel with the air suspension and moved to the Rebel 2500. It is night and day difference. The Rebel HD is a great mix for heavier loads but still retains struts versus leafs for a better ride. Had 5 sleds, bunch of gear, 75 gallons of fuel on board in sub-zero temps. It did not miss a beat and as a reminder, this is at 10k feet.

TK
 

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runamuck

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6900 sounds like a gvwr not a base weight empty. If that's true, then you only have about 750 lbs available for any payload. So definitely double check your weight you measured against the gvwr listed on the sticker.

Concerning the Betterweigh. It is a neat idea. I have a Haul Guage, which is the same thing with a different badge on it.

What I found with mine when I compared what it measure vs reality of a cat scale was this...The truck weight alone came close, within about 2% of measured. The truck and trailer together was not as accurate and came in around 6% off. Unfortunately, the errors were in different directions, so when you subtracted the truck weight from the total, the trailer weight was off about 15%, so not real close to reality. The trailer tongue weight feature wasn't even close. It read way under the actual tongue weight. This was probably due to the fact that I have a set of Timbrens on the truck. What I did to fix this was calibrate it using my trailer (since I weighed everything I knew the actual tongue weight). Now it's right on the money, and I can accurately measure tongue weight when I rebalance things around in the trailer.

So definitely take your truck and trailer down to a cat scale. It may be an eye opener.
yas the 6900# would not be empty truck wt. my '19 laramie ccsb 4x4 5.7 weighed 5960# with me and a 1/2 tank (33gal tank) of gas. the GVWR was 7100#
 

mtofell

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1500 v. 2500? Night and day difference. My 2500 has 3040# payload - 3X what a buddy had in his 1500. Bigger brakes, stiffer suspension and just an all around better/safer experience. The marketing of 1500s is borderline fraudulent these days. Splashing all kinds of big towing (pulling) numbers and not mentioning payload (carrying) or the fact that you will only achieve that "Max Towing" number sitting in the truck alone with maybe a cup of coffee.
 

Snowchief

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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.
Yes much more solid.Had a 2019 Rebel now a 2022 2500 4x4 crew/ gasser and Rebel was too soft when towing 9000-10000 pounds.Have run 1/2 tons before with rear air bags but front end suspension,frame,brakes all make much heavier duty on the 2500 a better pull.
 

RickyJ108

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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.
I went from V8 Dakota to a 1500 Ram to a 2500 Ram with the 6.4 Hemi, I haven't towed yet but I went with the gas after doing some simple math. If we get out 10x this year with the camper 8,000 lbs that would be 20 days of using the diesel for what is is made for, that said it would leave 345 days I'm paying for the diesel fuel, filters, not working it hard enough to keep it clean. compared to the gas engine with plenty of power and the normal maintenance. But in the end it is your preference as to what and how you drive that will help make up your mind.
 

Motoman501

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I had a 2015 2500 with the Cummins which I sold and bought my 2019 2500 with the 6.4 Hemi. I had several emission sensor failures which luckily were repaired under warranty but it made me nervous as I only towed my 8000lb travel trailer about 5 times per year. A few diesel repair shops in my town stated emission issues are common when the truck isn't worked or driven on the highway enough. As a daily driver, I prefer the Hemi and the 8 speed transmission is fantastic. Towing was effortless with the diesel though, not going deny it, but if you don't tow heavy or often, the Hemi is a good option. We have since upgraded to a 5th wheel which is around 9000lb loaded. I wouldn't want to go much heavier at my elevation with the mountains but the truck does a good job and is very stable.

260RD.jpg
 

HEMIMANN

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I had the identical scenario you have. I went 2500 and never looked back. Perfect.

@Tulecreeper gives you sound advice. Ask if you have specific quesitons. I have 6.4L Hemi, but old 66RFE transmission. Stock came with 3.73 gears. I might have gone with 4.10's if they'd had them but they were not common.
 

2003F350

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I had the identical scenario you have. I went 2500 and never looked back. Perfect.

@Tulecreeper gives you sound advice. Ask if you have specific quesitons. I have 6.4L Hemi, but old 66RFE transmission. Stock came with 3.73 gears. I might have gone with 4.10's if they'd had them but they were not common.
I had the same driveline with 4.10's in my '17 Wagon. Was a good truck, pulled just fine, but was limited due to the softer suspension. And, you know, had a MAP sensor die that didn't throw a code. Ended up in my '22 now, would have gone 6.4 in a minute but needed a truck right away, dealer only had diesels, and I didn't have much time to shop around. They gave me over bluebook on my broken truck due to having the Maxxcare warranty because they were going to fix it, gave me a good deal on my new truck, and I had a supplier discount code. Came out of it pretty good.
 

HEMIMANN

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I had the same driveline with 4.10's in my '17 Wagon. Was a good truck, pulled just fine, but was limited due to the softer suspension. And, you know, had a MAP sensor die that didn't throw a code. Ended up in my '22 now, would have gone 6.4 in a minute but needed a truck right away, dealer only had diesels, and I didn't have much time to shop around. They gave me over bluebook on my broken truck due to having the Maxxcare warranty because they were going to fix it, gave me a good deal on my new truck, and I had a supplier discount code. Came out of it pretty good.

Yeah, I wasn't gonna wait around for who knows for how long for a 4.10 gear order they might never get around to building while they were pushing 3.73's standard. 3.73 is ok, just not ideal for a heavy duty tow package in gas.
 

2003F350

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Yeah, I wasn't gonna wait around for who knows for how long for a 4.10 gear order they might never get around to building while they were pushing 3.73's standard. 3.73 is ok, just not ideal for a heavy duty tow package in gas.
Absolutely right, it's a decent enough gear ratio and is a good compromise between towing and daily driving mileage, but if you really want to pull heavy you need more gear.

My parents had 3.73's in a 1990 Suburban half ton years ago (350, 700R4, 4x4). It would throw down about 18mpg empty, but with their camper for them and us kids it dropped to about 8. It did the job pretty well, but it definitely knew it was back there.
 
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