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11,000lb camper towing with 2019 big horn

Joshuablake48

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So I just bought a used 2019 ram bighorn recently and I just discovered the max towing is only around 9,000 lbs since I have the 3.21 gear ratio. Would I need to upgrade to 3.92 gear to get the towing capacity of the laramies? I think they tow close to 13k? This is my first ram ever and I bought it because I loved the look of the truck, as far as towing I didn’t even think about it at the time.
 

Joshuablake48

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Should have went with a 3/4 ton pick up in all honesty. You can have the gears swapped but it won't be cheap. Check out the towing section for more info.
Yeah I honestly should have but at the time I seen this truck all I was thinking about was the price I was getting it for, we travel for work and right now we’re living in a house so the camper has been on the back of my mind, now we could be leaving this project any time now and I am really regretting not looking into this truck a little more....I was hoping that maybe adding airbags would help me enough to pull it wherever I need but then I found out the max towing is only 9k, airbags won’t help that much.....
 

Cueva del Osos

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This is all covered in the towing thread, but an 11k trailer will put 1,100 lb tongue weight against your payload (1,650 lb if it's a 5thW). Given that the only way to get the full 1,700 lb payload is to buy a base tradesman, your Bighorn probably has about 1,400 lb payload (check the door sticker). Unless you and your family/possessions weigh less than 300 lb total, you're not exactly in the safety zone.
 

DavidNJ

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This is all covered in the towing thread, but an 11k trailer will put 1,100 lb tongue weight against your payload (1,650 lb if it's a 5thW). Given that the only way to get the full 1,700 lb payload is to buy a base tradesman, your Bighorn probably has about 1,400 lb payload (check the door sticker). Unless you and your family/possessions weigh less than 300 lb total, you're not exactly in the safety zone.

It might be possible, but probably not. The axle ratio is out there in the specs, but really makes no sense. The 8-speed transmission has a 4.71 first gear, so having enough torque to get moving should never be an issue. I'm not sure what prompted FCA to make such a big distinction based on axle ratio. Ford drops capacity 1/2 as much.

However, even the 3.92 tested with the J2807 specs has a 17,000 lb GCVW. That would mean your truck, passengers, cargo, and the hitch would need to be under 6000. It is possible to achieve that, but it means a truck with few options and limited cargo. An 8000 lb-10,000 lb trailer is a more practical maximum weight. In most Ram 1500s that could still challenge GAWR and GVWR, requiring some of the mods below.

There are a couple of long threads about how GVWR and GAWR are determined and if they can be modified. There are also discussions on tongue weight. This is one: https://5thgenrams.com/community/th...etermine-max-payload-and-towing-weight.13097/. There are both engineering and legal issues, the legal issues varying by jurisdiction. My call would be yes, you can raise the rear GAWR and de facto GVWR (which is just a SWAG anyway). However, you are looking at a combination of an increase in spring rate (supplemental air springs, stiffer coil springs, and/or Timbren rubber springs), wheels with higher capacity, and LT tires with higher capacity. Note that a truck used commercially or in some jurisdictions (including most of Canada) would be judged by the GVWR on the door jam and possibly subject to a significant fine.

If it is a bumper-pull trailer it will need a WD hitch. That alone reduces the tongue weight, transferring weight to the trailer axle. However, I believe and at least one WD hitch manufacturer has told me that the tongue weight should be 4.5%-5.5% after WD adjustment, which probably means about 6% before adjustment. So, if it is a bumper-pull, you will probably be ok from a payload standpoint without increasing GAWR or GVWR. But the GCWR could still be a concern. Note that some trailers are designed for 10% or greater tongue weight and don't have enough flexibility to reduce it.

The advertised towing and payload numbers are for the lightest model with no options. It is less in the real world.

Is the trailer really 11,000 lb or is that it's GVWR?
 
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silver billet

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This is all covered in the towing thread, but an 11k trailer will put 1,100 lb tongue weight against your payload (1,650 lb if it's a 5thW). Given that the only way to get the full 1,700 lb payload is to buy a base tradesman, your Bighorn probably has about 1,400 lb payload (check the door sticker). Unless you and your family/possessions weigh less than 300 lb total, you're not exactly in the safety zone.

You may be surprised yet; my bighorn has 1750 pounds of payload, according to the sticker. It's well equipped (level 2) but I purposely avoided heavy stuff that I didn't really want or need; sunroof, ram boxes, OG/skid plates etc.
 

Joshuablake48

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It might be possible, but probably not. The axle ratio is out there in the specs, but really makes no sense. The 8-speed transmission has a 4.71 first gear, so having enough torque to get moving should never be an issue. I'm not sure what prompted FCA to make such a big distinction based on axle ratio. Ford drops capacity 1/2 as much.

However, even the 3.92 tested with the J2807 specs has a 17,000 lb GCVW. That would mean your truck, passengers, cargo, and the hitch would need to be under 6000. It is possible to achieve that, but it means a truck with few options and limited cargo. An 8000 lb-10,000 lb trailer is a more practical maximum weight. In most Ram 1500s that could still challenge GAWR and GVWR, requiring some of the mods below.

There are a couple of long threads about how GVWR and GAWR are determined and if they can be modified. There are also discussions on tongue weight. This is one: https://5thgenrams.com/community/th...etermine-max-payload-and-towing-weight.13097/. There are both engineering and legal issues, the legal issues varying by jurisdiction. My call would be yes, you can raise the rear GAWR and de facto GVWR (which is just a SWAG anyway). However, you are looking at a combination of an increase in spring rate (supplemental air springs, stiffer coil springs, and/or Timbren rubber springs), wheels with higher capacity, and LT tires with higher capacity. Note that a truck used commercially or in some jurisdictions (including most of Canada) would be judged by the GVWR on the door jam and possibly subject to a significant fine.

If it is a bumper-pull trailer it will need a WD hitch. That alone reduces the tongue weight, transferring weight to the trailer axle. However, I believe and at least one WD hitch manufacturer has told me that the tongue weight should be 4.5%-5.5% after WD adjustment, which probably means about 6% before adjustment. So, if it is a bumper-pull, you will probably be ok from a payload standpoint without increasing GAWR or GVWR. But the GCWR could still be a concern. Note that some trailers are designed for 10% or greater tongue weight and don't have enough flexibility to reduce it.

The advertised towing and payload numbers are for the lightest model with no options. It is less in the real world.

Is the trailer really 11,000 lb or is that it's GVWR?
Thank you for the information, I definitely use a weight distribution hitch. The camper dry weighs about 9500, I just say 11000 because idk the weight when it’s loaded with all of our stuff. I guess I just assumed since I pulled the camper with a 2015 Sierra that was pretty much a base model, I would have no problem with a brand new ram. I’m kicking myself for not doing any investigating before I bought it. I will do some more research but I was hoping I could switch to 3.92 gears, add airbags in the rear that would help out. Thanks again for all the information!
 

Birdman_2000

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How far and how frequent do you pull it? That Sierra had a max tow of 9,400. You are probably going to get a similar tow experience. From what i have read you will want airbags to help with handling.
 

Cr250Ram

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Please don't tow that camper with a half ton truck. Legally speaking you will be illegal no matter what you do as your truck isn't rated for that amount. Look at this site and plug in your trucks specific numbers to see what you can safely and/or legally tow: Towing Calculator. This calculator taught me a lot about towing. #1: that "max tow" rating we all see, yeah no way our truck can tow that unless every perfect situation is aligned and that takes a ton of work on our part, and honestly isn't obtainable.
For example my truck can only tow (at max, no safety margin) 8,000 lbs, but I personally can't even do that because that gives me a tongue weight of 1,200 lbs (at 15% of trailer weight, which is common with travel trailers). This is where things get interesting as my payload is only 1,500 (it is a half ton after all). That leaves me 300 lbs for my hitch, gear, accessories I've added, PASSENGERS... Just saying once I account for my passengers I am closer to a 7,000 trailer due to payload.
 
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foneguy

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Thank you for the information, I definitely use a weight distribution hitch. The camper dry weighs about 9500, I just say 11000 because idk the weight when it’s loaded with all of our stuff. I guess I just assumed since I pulled the camper with a 2015 Sierra that was pretty much a base model, I would have no problem with a brand new ram. I’m kicking myself for not doing any investigating before I bought it. I will do some more research but I was hoping I could switch to 3.92 gears, add airbags in the rear that would help out. Thanks again for all the information!
NEVER use dry weight for towing calculations, you will have more weight with ac, awning, and personal items.
ill tell you the truth and bad news.....you will overload that truck regardless of air bags and new gears. its a half ton truck and the drive train really isnt meant for 11K lbs
ive been towing campers for 25 years id upgrade to a 2500 with 6.4 minimum
me i am in the process of getting a 3600 tradesman with the 6.7 ho diesel for my fiver that only weighs 12K gross
just my 2 cents sir i mean no disrespect. just an honest discussion
 

Konrad

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You may be surprised yet; my bighorn has 1750 pounds of payload, according to the sticker. It's well equipped (level 2) but I purposely avoided heavy stuff that I didn't really want or need; sunroof, ram boxes, OG/skid plates etc.

Yep, mine has 1771# payload on the sticker. Well equipped(L2) BigHorn Quad Cab with eTorque.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

riccnick

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Please post your payload capacity listed on the driver's door loading sticker, and if your truck is a 4x4 or 4x2 truck. Either way, your towing capacity is actually way less than 9,000 lbs for a crew cab 3.21 truck. You need to post your numbers so we can tell you what the actual payload and towing capacity of your truck is, seeing how you aren't on the right track with it so far with any number you've posted. Not trying to be mean, but it's a serious thing, and you're off quite a bit. Don't be that guy that overloads his truck, has problems (or worse), and then comes back on the forum saying he's disappointed with his new Ram.

For reference, MAX towing capacity for any trim 4x4 crew with the Hemi and 3.21 gears is 8,150lbs. Depending on the weight of your truck (which can be determined from the payload sticker number) you could have less capacity than that. Higher optioned trucks weight more, and therefore, can carry (and tow) less.

Also, what's the GVWR on your trailer? If you're dry at 9,000-ish lbs (you really should know exact numbers) then it's very possible you're running down the road much higher than that, just like you're estimating. If you can post the year, make, and model of the trailer, I can look up that info for you as well.
 

raven_DT

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You are deep into 3/4 ton territory. Can you pull 11K? Sure. Can you stop it? Hopefully. Can you control it? Maybe most of the time. Will you be over payload? Almost certainly. If weather, road and traffic conditions are all perfect when youre towing you shouldn't have an issue...
 

NDanecker

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I agree with others you are near and possibly over the caps. If you really plan to tow frequently with lots of gear you may want to consider a 2500 or 3500. Once you tow with a heavy diesel that has the stiffer suspension, tires and more torque you'll see the difference first hand, and be happy you upgraded. Good luck!

EDIT: Best move you can do IMO is to load up the trailer & truck with gear, people and whatever else you think you'll bring and get to the scales. Only true way to know. A few pounds over GVWR won't kill you but stay under tire, axle, and hitch limits. Be prepared to tune the WD also.
 
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StuartV

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I agree with the other posters. The best, safest thing to do is trade the 1500 in on a 2500.

But, assuming that is not an option, at least it is cheap to put air bags on the 1500. I towed a 28' bumper pull trailer with my '09 1500 up and down the East Coast. I had put air bags in it. Installed them myself and I think the kit was around $80 (with a discount code). Gotta love coil spring rear suspension!

Concerns about possibly getting a ticket have already been mentioned. But, one thing that has not is insurance.

I suspect that it varies by insurance company and probably also by state. But, I have read elsewhere that if you are towing over your vehicle's weight rating and you have an at-fault accident, your insurance does not have to cover you.

Imagine towing over weight, getting a little out of control and plowing another vehicle. You put someone in a wheel chair for life. And now your insurance adjuster comes along and says you are not covered because you were way over your weight rating. That is a lot to take on... And it is why I have high limits on my insurance plus an umbrella liability policy on top of that. It only takes one tiny slip-up added on top of one little helping of bad luck and you can accidentally completely ruin someone else's life and your own in the process.
 

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