Options for towing

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cubsfan

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2019
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Hey gang,

I currently own a Ram 1500 with the 5.7 Hemi. I bought it to be a daily driver with 4wd for mountain offroading, road trips and driving in the snow.

After having it for a bit, we bought a camper trailer which loaded up weighs about 6k lbs. My truck can pull it with its 3.21 gearing - the transmission doesn't overheat - but the gas mileage is terrible and it just feels like a dog. Up a mountain pass, its going up over 4.5k RPM and the mileage drops to 5-6 MPG. I've come to really hate towing with the truck.

I'm considering a few options:

1. Upgrade to a 6.4 with 3.71 gears (can't seem to find a used 2500 with 4.10s)
2. Change rear end on my current truck to 4.10 or 3.92 gears
3. Screw it - just keep towing with what I've got
4. Long shot - consider a Cummins

I've seen some amazing charts on topics similar to this on the boards, but hoping for a recommendation more tailored to my "issue". Would simply swapping out gears on my current truck make a enough of a difference to make up for the torque difference in the 6.4?

Sincere thanks in advance for any suggestions/thoughts.

C.
 

danielmid

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Hemi 5.7
The Hemi powerband is high up and there's no issue with wringing it out. Only downside is mileage which is unavoidable especially when towing an airbrake trailer like a camper.

1. Sure a new truck would make towing easier, probably cost more for the trade and payment than the gas cost unless you're towing constantly.
2. Won't make enough of a difference to have any return on the investment, especially since it's a 4x4 and the front end is costly to swap.
3. Yup
4. See #1

Watch oil and transmission temps and send it. Make sure your weights are correct and scale as needed.
 
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cubsfan

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when towing - is there a noticeable difference between the 5.7 and the 6.4?
 

joesstripclub

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Lees Summit, MO
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2021 2500 PW
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Hemi 6.4
I can tell you that a 6.4 will still rev pretty high when pushing it. Base gas mileage will be worse due to the heavier truck so it will probably be about the same, you just wont notice the camper as much behind you with a 2500.
 

ppine

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I would consider a lighter trailer. "I really hate towing with this truck."
It is supposed to be fun. If it isn't it is worth it to change something. Changing trailers is the easiest and least expensive option.
I got a 2022 Ram with the diesel last year. Towing is now like a nice dream.
 
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cubsfan

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Thanks to you all for the conversation. Ppine, what does your camper weigh? Have you had any issues with your after-treatment equipment with your diesel? That's a big concern of mine with a 6.7.
 

Travelin Ram

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The main reason to upgrade to a heavy duty truck is for better control of the load. Bigger brakes, stronger chassis. A gas HD will not pull uphill significantly different.

Changing axle gears to tow (unless full time) is a big waste of money. The 8 speed has plenty of gears and after spending thousands regearing you’ll find yourself still climbing uphill at 4K RPM; just in 5th gear rather than 4th. And it won’t change the fuel economy.

Buying a diesel will give you a more relaxed towing experience, because it’ll hold power at altitude, and run lower revs. It will not save you any money, because the increased fuel economy is eaten up by higher fuel prices.

I recommend option 3, and just adjust your expectations. Lots of people new to towing expect to drive up and down mountains at the same pace as a car. Which *is* possible in many cases with modern trucks. And expensive.
 
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cubsfan

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Believe it or not, I'm not super new to towing - just used to a commercial (pre-emissions) diesel vehicle. Surprised what a bummer it is to tow with a gas engine.
 
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