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Old 06-27-2022, 07:23 AM   #1
Chief Brown
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Towing capacity and Payload Question

We have a 2020 Ram 2500 Big Horn Crew Cab with the Cummins diesel. We did have a 2014 Crusader Fifth wheel with a dry weight of 10,070. Last year we decided to upgrade to a 2021 MHC 331RL. I looked at the dry weight of the Montana and it was around 11,500. I then researched the towing capacity of my Ram and it is around 17,800. So I figured I am good to go. I was recently talking with a friend and he said you need to check the payload of your truck. I looked on the placard and the payload is 2115#.
Here's my question, why would Ram build a truck that will tow 17,800# but put the payload capacity so low? This payload would only allow me to tow a 10,000# fifth wheel after I added hitch, passengers, etc. and stay below payload capacity.
Thoughts?
 
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Old 06-27-2022, 07:31 AM   #2
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Very simple, your payload capacity is exactly 12% of the towing capacity and typical tongue weight of a Travel Trailer is 10% to 12%, so you're Golden with a Travel Trailer, not so for a Fifth Wheel.
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Old 06-27-2022, 07:45 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by mhs4771 View Post
Very simple, your payload capacity is exactly 12% of the towing capacity and typical tongue weight of a Travel Trailer is 10% to 12%, so you're Golden with a Travel Trailer, not so for a Fifth Wheel.
Very well said too. I doubt there are any 3/4 ton pickups powered with a diesel engine that can haul a Montana FW IF pin weight exceeds 2600#'s legally.
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Old 06-27-2022, 08:18 AM   #4
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Marketing numbers. But most people do not look fully into those numbers and only see the one that appears to meet their needs. You could tow a large heavy bumper pull construction trailer and stay within that payload. And no doubt many work trucks do just that. But start putting some of that weight in the bed with a 5th wheel or gooseneck and it all goes out the door.

To make matters worse, the payload rating of say an F350 SRW can vary from around 3,000 lbs to well over 4,000 lbs depending on the configuration of the truck. Similar variations in the lower ratings of F250s.
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Old 06-27-2022, 10:11 AM   #5
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Sadly, your 3/4 ton truck doesnít have the payload capacity for that new trailer. Thatís a great floor plan, by the way. But the GVWR of that trailer is over 14k lbs so your loaded pin weight will be over 3000 lbs. And that doesnít account for the added weight of people, hitch, and other gear. Pulling the trailer wonít be a problem. Carrying the added weight will overload you.
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Old 06-27-2022, 10:43 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by jsb5717 View Post
Sadly, your 3/4 ton truck doesnít have the payload capacity for that new trailer. Thatís a great floor plan, by the way. But the GVWR of that trailer is over 14k lbs so your loaded pin weight will be over 3000 lbs. And that doesnít account for the added weight of people, hitch, and other gear. Pulling the trailer wonít be a problem. Carrying the added weight will overload you.
I thought I had done my homework, but unfortunately, I had only done part of it. It just never occurred to me to check payload capacity. As I stated earlier, I assumed if it was rated to tow 17,860# it would have the payload capacity to match that.
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Old 06-27-2022, 11:15 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Chief Brown View Post
We have a 2020 Ram 2500 Big Horn Crew Cab with the Cummins diesel. We did have a 2014 Crusader Fifth wheel with a dry weight of 10,070. Last year we decided to upgrade to a 2021 MHC 331RL. I looked at the dry weight of the Montana and it was around 11,500. I then researched the towing capacity of my Ram and it is around 17,800. So I figured I am good to go. I was recently talking with a friend and he said you need to check the payload of your truck. I looked on the placard and the payload is 2115#.
Here's my question, why would Ram build a truck that will tow 17,800# but put the payload capacity so low? This payload would only allow me to tow a 10,000# fifth wheel after I added hitch, passengers, etc. and stay below payload capacity.
Thoughts?
It's not just RAM or something they made up. The issue is with the truck classifications and the max weight limits of each... see here for a list - https://www.thebalancesmb.com/commer...cation-2221025
In this case, a "2500" is a "Class 2" pickup which has a maximum GVWR of 10,000lbs (in some areas actually 9,900lbs). Since you have the Cummins diesel, your truck weighs several hundred pounds more than one with a gas engine.

So, do the math; your truck, empty as from factory, weighs 7,885lbs, leaving you with the 2,115lbs payload to meet the upper weight limit of a Class 2 truck. (you can verify the max GVWR on your door sticker)

It's an interesting dilemma; with the Cummins you have a much stronger engine with a much stronger drivetrain, so you can tow much more weight than the gas models. But, because your truck weighs more you have reduced payload.

But, again, it is not a problem created by RAM; it is imposed on all truck manufacturers.

Brad
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Old 06-27-2022, 01:50 PM   #8
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I sure avoided a lot of these issues on my old truck, no yellow sticker.
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Old 06-27-2022, 01:59 PM   #9
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If I had a nice 2020 Ram I would try pulling your camper to see how it pulled. You certainly have enough power and the only difference between your truck and a 3500 SRW is the rear springs. If you need to put the extra spring on it.
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Old 06-27-2022, 06:18 PM   #10
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Your 3/4 diesel will "pull'' any Montana....but can't carry the pin weight. 250/2500 trucks are great for virtually any pull behind, not so for a 5th wheel and the pin weight.
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Old 06-27-2022, 06:24 PM   #11
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IMO if you have reserve weight left on the tires, no issues.
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Old 06-27-2022, 07:44 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by mlh View Post
If I had a nice 2020 Ram I would try pulling your camper to see how it pulled. You certainly have enough power and the only difference between your truck and a 3500 SRW is the rear springs. If you need to put the extra spring on it.
Lynwood

On the RAM 2500 they use coil springs but leaf springs on the 3500.
One other note on the RAM 2500, the coil springs are mounted inboard from where the leaf springs are mounted on the 3500s. This makes for a fantastic ride, but does create some challenges when towing, such as sway.

Our last rig was a RAM 2500 with the factory air suspension, towing a 11,000lb Jayco and it did good overall. However, when the conditions were "wrong", there could be some sway. It was usually good with winds, but rutted up 2 lane highways could be a handful. I never felt that the truck had issues pulling or stopping, but be aware of the potential for sway. Once we knew we were upgrading to a Montana 3790RD (~16,600 loaded), we immediately ordered a new RAM 3500 truck. Now, even with an extra 5000+ lbs of trailer, the rig is much more solid.

Chief Brown, your MHC will put you overweight on the payload of your truck. Some are comfortable towing a bit over payload, due to either having the factory air suspension or adding aftermarket air bags for extra support. I sure don't want you to think that I am giving any advice to you here, but I will say that I am also not in the camp of being the "weight police". There are times that I would have been overweight on my payload on my past rig, but I did my research and knew that I was not over on my rear axle, nor on my tires.

Here's some math, in case it's helpful...
-payload is restricted as noted, due to an arbitrary weight classification
-your tires are likely the same as on the 3500s (likely load rating 125, or 3640lbs each, or over 7200lbs for each axle for a combined total of over 14,000lbs)
-your front and rear axle ratings are ~6000lbs each, so your total "combined axle weight" max is more like ~12,000lbs
-let's round up the truck weight to 8000lbs. The weight with no load in the box and with the Cummins is very front end heavy; likely ~5000lbs on the front axle and ~3000lbs on the rear.
-that means your rear axle might have as much as 3000lbs of capacity and your front axle ~1000lbs of capacity. (and your tires on each axle have more than an extra 1000lbs of safety beyond that)

Next, you can add up the weight that will go in the truck and the actual hitch weight of your trailer when loaded the way you want to load it up. It's always a good idea to load up and find a CAT scale that will weigh both the total weights and also each axle, so you know exactly where you are at, and where you might be pushing it.
Only you can decide if the risk is something you are willing to deal with. At least the above math may give you some data to help with your decision.

All the best with your decision; you have an amazing truck and a great trailer. If you can trade up to a 3500 that would be ideal, but perhaps your 2500 may work if you load your MHC lightly.

Brad
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Old 06-28-2022, 08:42 AM   #13
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I don't want to rattle the weight police but To simplify this, the newer 2500 HD diesel trucks can pull a house off a foundation but the tongue weight isn't rated for a fully loaded fifth wheel. In many of the newer trucks like my GMC the only difference between 2500 and a 3500 is the spring packs. Axles, frame and brakes all the same. Chances are the truck will perform just fine if you are a conciseness driver and not a speed demon. If something were to happen legally you would be screwed. Dually's are popular because they are so much more stable with all that meat on the ground. My trailer is 11697 lbs empty and with the gen and all the other crap it's probably close to 13500 lbs. I'm not going to suggest that you do anything dangerous or illegal but I'm comfortable in my rig at reasonable speeds and avoiding hard stops. At the end of the day....as long as you're not the cause, being involved in a catastrophic situation isn't going to mater if it's a 2500 or a 3500. My 2 cents...
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Old 06-28-2022, 09:20 AM   #14
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Thankfully the WP aren't as aggressive here as the other sight.
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Old 06-28-2022, 09:23 AM   #15
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you're gonna need a bigger truck, sorry
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Old 06-28-2022, 11:20 AM   #16
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My F350 has a payload of 2860#. By the numbers, I'm close. But the CAT scales say otherwise.
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Old 06-28-2022, 11:22 AM   #17
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My F350 has a payload of 2860#. By the numbers, I'm close. But the CAT scales say otherwise.
Now I'm curious - what do the CAT scales say?

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Old 06-28-2022, 11:50 AM   #18
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Sorry, my loaded weight is 2860. Payload is 3074. Im not touching the helper brackets. I have airbags but 20lbs. of pressure. I'm not home so I don't have the scale slips with me. That 2860 was everything except my wife (140lbs). Can't remember exact axle weights.
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Old 06-28-2022, 12:15 PM   #19
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Here's my weigh in with my 2020 Silverado 2500HD CC, standard bed Duramax. My trailer has a GVWR of 16,600lbs. Empty it's 13,052. Fully loaded truck and trailer at the CAT scale, my trailer had a weight of 15,160lbs. The weight of the trailer on the back of my truck was 3,520lbs. My truck's factory max payload weight rating is 3182lbs. So I'm over by 338lbs. on my rear axle. Bought the truck before the trailer. Am I worried....no. My truck's max gooseneck tow rating is 18,500, so I know my brakes are up to the task of stopping my 15,160lb trailer.
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Old 06-28-2022, 01:56 PM   #20
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Your truck brakes stop the truck and your trailer brakes stop the trailer. Either can do both but not very well or safely.
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