Thorvald

1500 Pickupís and Towing - The REAL numbers with example

Rating: 2 votes, 5.00 average.
This is a post I originally made to the Ram Truck forums but would be of great information here as well.

To sum it up, before buying have a good look at the door jamb stickers!

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Well after buying a brand new Ram 1500 fully setup for towing and planning to upgrade to a larger travel trailer I finally had reality set in (well "legal" reality).

I had been reading threads all over the Interwebs and listened to debates from the "Weight Police" as others call them but still felt fairly comfortable after spreadsheeting my new truck with expected cargo and hitch weights.

Still something was bugging me and everyone said just go get the truck weighed then you know for sure. We only have a few CAT scales here in Southern Ontario but I found one not too far away and went and weighed the new truck this morning.

See the CAT ticket below, this is with a 100% full tank of gas (regular tank, not the extended) and zero cargo and passengers, just the truck which is a:

2017 Ram 1500 Big Horn Crewcab 6' 4" box
Hemi with 8 speed 3.92 Axle
Rambox
Bedliner (linex)
Bakflip G2 tonneau cover
No cargo at all, no driver, not even a "jacket" left in the truck when weighed. Full load of fuel.



So as you can see its:

Gross weight: 5880 lbs
Front axle: 3300 lbs
Rear axle: 2580

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Now is where things get interesting...

FCA (RAM) indicates my truck should be capable of the following (based upon features):

Crew Cab - 6' 4" box 4x4
GVWR: 6900
Payload: 1450
Base Weight: 5451.56
Front: 3223.72
Rear: 2227.84
GAWR: 3900 and 3900
Max Trailer Weight (SAE J2807): 9830

Payload is abysmal but I can work with 1450... I thought!

Data taken from Ram Towing Chart, 2017 for my config of truck:

https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ramtrucks.com%2Fassets%2Ftowing_ guide%2Fpdf%2F2017_ram_1500_towing_charts.pdf
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Now take the stickers on my truck, first the door jamb. Same basic numbers as above.



The the nasty tire sticker (because FCA put Passenger tires on a Truck and itís suspension is basically a car):



Max load: 1116 lbs ... no where near the 1450 they claimed.

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So all that being said now comes the worst part, the TRUE math, no marketing spin or uninformed dealers/FCA (Fiat Chrysler America):

GVWR: 6900 lbs
Weight of truck empty but with full fuel: 5880 lbs
6900 - 5880 = 1020 lbs

This leaves us with 1020 lbs of "legal" payload. My god my Jeep Rubicon Unlimited almost as much payload as this (850lbs on it). However it sure as heck isn't listed as being cable to tow 9000+ pounds, it's rated for 3500 lbs since in North America itís classified as a convertible. In Europe I can tow 4400 lbs... go figure.

So with only 1020 lbs lets add driver and family:

Driver: 150 lbs (Yes I'm Mr. Joe Average as per SAE J2807)
Wife: 130 lbs (approximation, I'm not dumb enough to post a real womens weight on the net! lol).
Child 1: 120 lbs
Child 2: 70 lbs
Kids Friend: 70 lbs (they always bring one camping)
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Total Passengers: 550 lbs

Remaining weight for anything else INCLUDING tongue weight:

1020 lbs - 550 lbs = 470 lbs!!!!!!



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You gotta be kidding me... if I weighted as much as most normal North Americans (see what I did there... lol), our available payload would be more like 300 lbs!

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I can't believe FCA thinks the Ram can tow 9830 lbs, that would be a tongue weight of 983 lbs (assuming 10% which is on the low end of the 10 to 15% rule):

1020 - 983 lbs = 37 lbs of cargo before even the driver is added!

Now lets go by the tire payload sticker of my truck:

1116 - 983 lbs = 133 lbs of cargo before driver

So I canít even be in the truck and Iím a light weight lol.

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Just for fun, lets go by what they said was my original base (before options, Rambox, tonneau, Linex), they indicated it was 5451.56 lbs.

(as per "2017 RAM 1500 Trailer Towing Chart - SAE J2807 Compliant")

6900 GVWR - 5451.56 base = 1448.44 lbs of cargo

9830 Max Trailer with 10% tongue weight = 983 lbs

1448.44 - 983 = 465.44 lbs

Passenger Weight 300 lbs (SAE J2807)

465.44 - 300 = 165.44 lbs remaining Payload

Hitch 65 lbs (SAE J2807)

165.44 - 65 = 100.44 lbs remaining Payload

Good lord, yes they didn't lie, their chart is accurate but your truck is maxed and cannot have ANY other options and only 100 lbs of cargo... Disgusting.

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So as you can see, putting a full family in a 1500 and expecting to "legally" tow a Travel Trailer is darn close to impossible (F150 Max Towing/HD Payload aside lol). Don't forget this is with NO cargo in the front passthrough storage of the trailer such as oh I don't know, lawn chairs lol. Very disgusted by all this and I hope this post helps anyone in the future even considering a 1500 for towing a large trailer. Get a 2500 or bigger.

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To add more fuel to the fire, my previous travel trailer (which we traded in on a 2018 Imagine 2800BH), a tiny little Jayco 17z hybrid (3500 max GVWR) has a dry (read: WAY underrated in the brochure) weight of 340 lbs. Add battery and two propane tanks:

340 + 50lbs Battery + 37 lbs LP + 37lbs LP = 464 lbs calculated and that is with weight in the front storage.

So my truck with family in it (and no jackets, food, video games, iPhones lol) has just 470 lbs of payload left.

470 - 464 lbs = 6 lbs of Cargo left!!!!

So my brand new ďSetup for TowingĒ pickup cannot legally tow my little tiny 17z trailer (with full family). And this is without a real hitch weight... I have a sherline scale so I'm going to go out and weight the 17z in a few minutes just to see what the REAL tongue weight is.

EDIT: Just weighed the Jayco 17z with unknown qty of propane but most other junk in trailer.... 550 lbs on Sherline scale. I can't legally tow this tiny trailer lol!

Insanity.

With the 2800BH we would be over the Payload with full family and friends so we have to take that into account when travelling and likely add Timbergrove air bags etc.

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Now yes, I see Ram Hemi's every day (Laramies with full air suspension) pulling 37 foot Starcraft monsters loaded to the gills... The truck "can" do it, just not legally and likely with ďwhite knucklesĒ in the mountains or after a few steep grades.

Hopefully this information helps someone in the future from making a mistake. Make sure you look at the stickers first and then get the truck weighed before buying a trailer!

Cheers
Tim
Tags: 1500, maximum, payload, tow
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Comments

  1. TucsonJim's Avatar
    What a comprehensive write up Tim. This should be mandatory reading for everyone matching a tow vehicle to a trailer.

    Jim
  2. Cate&Rob's Avatar
    Great detail Tim . . . thanks for taking the time to write this up.
    Most appreciated!

    Rob
  3. kevinpo's Avatar
    Excellent! I'm sure this will help someone choose the correct tow vehicle without having to compromise or buy a second truck.

    Regards,
    Kevin
  4. Thorvald's Avatar
    We picked up the trailer yesterday and with a Sherline scale tongue weight of around 690 (700 lbs) and a Centerline TS WDH, it towed like a dream. No hint of being "overloaded" ... yet! Lol (Still have to load it up and load up the family, then we will see).



    However one interesting point brought up over at the Ram forums was axle ratings vs GVWR. Here is a copy of the table from the post someone made (GVWR on sticker, Axles and then total Axle capacity):

    Toyota 7,200 4,000 4,150 8,150
    GM. 7,200. 3,950 3,950 7,900
    Ram. 6,950. 3,900 3,900 7,800
    Ford. 7,000. 3,600 3,800 7,400
    Nissan 7,100. 3,500 3,800 7,300

    As you can see only Ram and Toyota really "de-rate" the GVWR but Nissan is very close to the max axle. Interesting info.


    So with my truck:


    3900 lbs Steering
    3900 lbs Drive
    7800 lbs Max total on axles
    5880 lbs Wet Curb Weight


    Leaves 2000lbs of capacity before exceeding the axle ratings.

    Now this doesn't take into account all the other factors but does at least make me feel a little better on my investment. I'm hoping once I get her all setup and loaded then then take her to a scale I'll be within specs.


    Cheers!
    Tim
  5. Outdoorsman's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Thorvald
    We picked up the trailer yesterday and with a Sherline scale tongue weight of around 690 (700 lbs) and a Centerline TS WDH, it towed like a dream. No hint of being "overloaded" ... yet! Lol (Still have to load it up and load up the family, then we will see).



    However one interesting point brought up over at the Ram forums was axle ratings vs GVWR. Here is a copy of the table from the post someone made (GVWR on sticker, Axles and then total Axle capacity):

    Toyota 7,200 4,000 4,150 8,150
    GM. 7,200. 3,950 3,950 7,900
    Ram. 6,950. 3,900 3,900 7,800
    Ford. 7,000. 3,600 3,800 7,400
    Nissan 7,100. 3,500 3,800 7,300

    As you can see only Ram and Toyota really "de-rate" the GVWR but Nissan is very close to the max axle. Interesting info.


    So with my truck:


    3900 lbs Steering
    3900 lbs Drive
    7800 lbs Max total on axles
    5880 lbs Wet Curb Weight


    Leaves 2000lbs of capacity before exceeding the axle ratings.

    Now this doesn't take into account all the other factors but does at least make me feel a little better on my investment. I'm hoping once I get her all setup and loaded then then take her to a scale I'll be within specs.


    Cheers!
    Tim
    Thanks for the great post! I was bummed reading my payload capacity for the Ram 1500. Good thing we donít usually travel too far. We got the 2800BH as well. I still need to buy a WD hitch. I towed it the short drive home without one. I have until spring to decide on one I guess.
  6. Cate&Rob's Avatar
    Outdoorsman - So, the truck sitting more-or-less level hooked to the Imagine (in the picture) does not currently have a weight distributing hitch? Despite all the number crunching, if it pulls well and brakes well, I think you are good to go once you get your new hitch figured out.

    Rob
  7. Ed and Cathy K's Avatar
    Chalk it up to marketing, they got another one, hook line and sinker. Trade it on a real truck, after you do your homework first.
  8. fmartinmn's Avatar
    Another thank you for a great post. I wish I had read it before I got my new RAM 1500 Big Horn. I have the same issue here, 1040# gross payload before passengers & cargo. 640# after passengers, no cargo and WDH. I am considering removing the sidesteps during camping season, moving the truck spare to the TT and looking for a lighter tire/wheel combination. If I understand it correctly the 20" tire and chrome clad aluminum wheel combination that the truck came with ate into my payload by 23# per wheel. If that is true, I will be switching out to something better.
  9. klenger's Avatar
    And ten there are the P rated tires.
  10. fmartinmn's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by klenger
    And ten there are the P rated tires.
    Yep, you got that right. Another issue. LT tires are going to weigh more than the passenger tires but hopefully there will be a positive net benefit combination somewhere.
  11. Katmix's Avatar
    Ugh! So confusing....why can’t I he auto industry just state that you can’t pull above a certain weight without the customers having to do all this math!? ��
  12. Katmix's Avatar
    I have the 2150RB Imagine and a 2014 GMC Yukon Denali with a sway/weight distribution hitch and I tow trailer just fine:-)

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