A Comprehensive Guide to Towing with the 2019 RAM 1500 - Everything You Need to Know!

Cltremblay

New Member
Messages
2
Reaction score
28
Points
3
Hi all at 5thgenrams.com!

If you are having a hard time understanding or calculating your truck's Payload or Max Trailer Tow capacity based on your specific vehicle's configuration, look no further!
I have put together a comprehensive guide to help everyone understand how FCA has determined and specified this information for the all new 2019 RAM 1500.
There is a lot of information in this post, I felt it was important to provide as much information as possible in all aspects of this discussion.

1) INTRODUCTION

A little bit about myself to help put at ease any doubts about my qualifications in presenting this information. I am a licensed Journeyman Mechanic by trade in Canada and work for a large organization with one of the largest self-owned and self-maintained fleets in Canada. I work in the Engineering and Capital Fleet Procurement side of the organization where we write all of our own required specifications, ensuring that all applicable laws and regulations are followed, for our fleet vehicles and equipment before sending them out to tender. Therefore, acquiring, interpreting and understanding this information is a routine part of what I do for a living.

I decided to put this guide together is because I found that on my own quest to source this information, it was not all in one place for owners, making it more difficult to find from FCA, compared to other vehicle manufacturers.
I stumbled onto this forum where I found that in many of the posts/threads, there seemed to be a lot of confusion from owners about the MAX AVAILABLE TOWING Vs. the ACTUAL TOWING capabilities of the trucks they actually bought. There are so many configurations, trim levels and available options. It's important to understand how they all impact available available Payload, Gross Vehicle Weight and Rating, and the Gross Combined Vehicle Weight and Rating.


2) DISCUSSION

I can't stress this enough! Know what you want and know what you need! Know what the final product can do before you buy it! Know what trim, configuration and options you want/need and understand how they will affect your truck's capabilities!

DO YOUR HOMEWORK.

'THE RAM DEALER TOLD ME IT COULD!'
You would be surprised to know just how inaccurate some of the information provided by a dealership or salesperson can be.
Of course, this isn't always the case, you may be getting accurate information from a dealership who has also done their homework. Knowing for sure is very important before you embark on your truck hunt!
You're about to (or already have) spend a lot of money on a truck that suits your needs for many years to come! Make sure the final product can do what you need it to!

Now, this isn't to say that sales people are lying to you or are trying to trick you! That's not the point I'm trying to make here.
In all likelihood, they'll provide you with the same information that has been provided to them, or as they understand or interpret it, and may believe it to be accurate!
In some cases, the information they're providing to you is of the same information from the manufacturer's literature which, until seeing or searching for this post today, is probably the same information you've all already seen in the brochure.
Not all sales people, or truck owners for that matter, have a deep understanding or knowledge of how towing capacity specifications are calculated or determined for the product they sell and that must be taken into consideration.

"But wait a minute! The dealer told me my truck could tow 5,783 kg/12,750 lbs and that it has a payload of 1,043 kg/2,300 lbs! I already went out and bought a trailer, tried to buy a trailer and the RV Dealer wouldn't sell it to me, or I already own a trailer and can't tow it! What the hell!"

Naturally, you may be a little confused or upset when you take delivery of your sparkling new 2019 RAM 1500 Limited, or other trim level/configuration, loaded with all the options you want/need, and find that on your 'TIRE AND LOADING LABEL' your payload specification is only 549 kg/1,210 lbs and you can only tow a Max trailer weight of 3,052 kg/6,730 lbs!

'THE RV DEALER NEVER TOLD ME IT COULDN'T!'
Again of course, this is not always true! Again, consider that the RV dealer may not fully understand the towing capabilities of your vehicle either!
Some will flat out refuse to sell you the unit you want due to the restrictions of your tow vehicle's capabilities, where others may not realize they've sold you a unit above your limits, using the information that's been made available to them!
DO YOUR HOMEWORK! Not doing the research now to determine the specific towing capabilities of your truck could land you in hot water.

I've seen it all too often, half tons driving down the road on a long weekend to go to their favorite camping spot, seriously overweight with all of their gear, toys and travel trailer, some even towing a boat behind it all! These are half ton trucks!
It poses a huge safety risk to you, your occupants and everyone else on the road should something happen where you need to make a sudden or evasive maneuver, stop or when weather takes a turn.
Obviously, DOT officers have a lot more knowledge, information and understanding of your truck's weight limits. Should you be subjected to a stop.. things can get real expensive, real fast, or worse.

"But officer, the RAM dealer told me it could and the RV dealer never told me it couldn't!"

As an operator of a vehicle, whether you own it or not, if you are operating it, the responsibility is YOURS to know and understand whether you are operating it within the safe confines of the manufacturer-specified operating limits of that vehicle.
If you are stopped by an officer and he or she determines that you are operating outside of those limits, you are likely going to have a bad day.


3) INCREASING PAYLOAD OR TOWING CAPACITY

I have seen this question in one or two posts on this forum, "How Can I increase the Payload or Max Towing Capabilities of my truck? What are the limiting factors? What parts can I upgrade so they don't break?"
The short answer is NO, you CAN'T! Not Legally, anyway (if this is a false statement for some of the states, please correct me).
Parts are not the only the limiting factor! Vehicle handling, structural design, crash and occupant protection characteristics, to name a few, all play important factors in calculating these specifications as well.
It stands to reason, if you're hauling more weight behind you than the vehicle can safely handle and you get into a collision, the vehicle's structural elements and features designed to protect you and your occupants in a crash could become overwhelmed.

Generally speaking, vehicles and the parts which comprise them are purposefully engineered to be stronger than needed to allow for emergency situations, unexpected loads, maneuvering and even misuse or degradation over time.
Sure, you can add air bags, heavier springs, a heavier class hitch with 'better' weight distribution and sway control, change gear ratios, brakes, wheels, tires and so on! Can it possibly change what your truck could pull or carry? Sure, Possibly.
But can that vehicle still operate safely? Can it still maneuver and stop sufficiently? Does it still handle the way it's supposed to, as determined by the manufacturer? With the added weight, can the vehicles safety systems and crumple zones still provide the same level of protection to the occupants in a collision? Does the added weight make you a risk to other drivers on the road? These are the only questions that matter!

As far as the law is concerned, it changes nothing. Your trucks capabilities are specified by the vehicle manufacturer when it is built, how it was built, and those are the only numbers that matter. In some states, it's even specified on your Vehicle Registration. So Beware. If you are told by a truck upfitter or choose to take it upon yourself to 'upgrade your vehicle' to haul or carry more weight than specified and something were to happen, you're opening yourself up to a world of liability that you may not be aware of. Officer's have the resources and capabilities to determine your vehicle's specifications with your VIN number should they feel inclined. If you cause an accident with or without injury or death and it's found to be even partially related to operating outside of your vehicle's max operating limits, you're going to have some explaining to do to the police, court or families affected. Not to mention with your insurance company, who can deny you coverage for negligence. Don't put yourself in that position! If you need a truck that can carry or tow more, buy a bigger truck! Period, end.

Okay, shut up already, right? So here it is, everything you need to know. There is A LOT of information here.
I have sourced and compiled all of the information directly from FCA with the hope that it helps everyone understand how and what FCA uses to calculate the towing capacity specifications for the 2019 RAM 1500 in all configurations, trim levels and available options w/ weights for both US and Canada markets and the direct correlation they have with available Payload, GVW and GCW ratings. See all of the attached documents from FCA.
 

Attachments

Last edited:

Cltremblay

New Member
Messages
2
Reaction score
28
Points
3
4) EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW:
*Disclaimer - The following information was sourced and provided directly from FCA using the RAM Body Builder Guide and has not been modified or altered in any way. It is verbatim, as specified by FCA engineers and can be found on the FCA Fleet Body Builder Website. IF you still have any questions, contact FCA directly or contact your local RAM dealer.

TO GET THE MAXIMUM ADVERTISED TOWING CAPACITY of 12,750 lbs:
You can only achieve the Max Tow as advertised in one specific configuration
TRADESMAN 1500 4X2 Quad Cab 6'4" box with STANDARD Options (When properly configured which translates to)
A) Trailer Tow Package
B) 3.92 Axle Ratio
C) 5.7 Hemi w/ MDS w/ ETorque and 8 Speed Trans
Leaving you with a Payload of 1,830 lbs.
You cannot get the MAX Tow and MAX payload in the same configuration. It's one or the other.
See the "Master Tow Chart" attachment for reference.

TO GET THE MAXIMUM ADVERTISED PAYLOAD of 2,300lbs:
TRADESMAN 1500 4X2 Quad Cab 6'4" Box with STANDARD Options
A) 3.6L Pentastar V6 W/ ETorque and 8 Speed Transmission
B) 3.21, 3.55 OR 3.92 Axle Ratio
Leaving you with a Max Tow of 6,730 to 7,730 lbs.
See the "Master Tow Chart" attachment for reference.

Again, you can not get Max tow and Max payload in the same configuration.

TO ACHIEVE THE MAXIMUM TOWING CAPACITY OUT OF ANY CONFIGURATION OR TRIM LEVEL W/ ADDITIONAL OPTIONS:
*This does not mean you will get the maximum advertised Tow Capacity or Payload of 12,750 lbs / 2,300 lbs with every model, it simply means to say that you need to add the following options to get the maximum available REMAINING Tow Capacity and Payload depending on the powertrain, options, body style (configuration) and trim level you choose!
Every option you add, both production options or aftermarket accessories, will increase your vehicle's base weight thereby reducing the available payload capacity and Max Trailer Weight Rating.
See the attachment 'Optional Equipment Weights' to see how much each production option will affect this calculation.
You need to have:
A) Trailer Tow Package w/ Electronic Trailer Brake Controller
B) 3.92 Axle Ratio
C) 5.7 Hemi w/ MDS and 8 Speed Transmission (Some MAX Tow ratings improve with ETorque and others decline, the 'Master Tow Chart' specifies which)
This will give you a Gross Combined Weight Rating of between 17,000 lbs and 18,200 lbs, depending on your configuration.

INTERPRETING THE INFORMATION
The BASE weights on the "Master Towing Chart" attachment for each configuration are calculated using the lowest trim model in that configuration equipped with STANDARD options and includes the weight of fluids w/ full tank of fuel. It is then further broken down by each available power train and gear ratio option in that configuration. This means that for every option you add, the BASE WEIGHT goes up, eating into the remaining Gross Vehicle Weight Rating, Gross Combined Weight Rating and therefore the Max Trailer Weight Rating (TWR) and Payload capacity go down.

TERMS AND DEFINITIONS

BASE WEIGHT (As defined by FCA)
THE WEIGHT OF A STANDARD EQUIPPED SALES UNIT (VEHICLE LINE, BODY STYLE, GVWR, ENGINE, TRANSMISSION & ELECTRIFICATION) WITH FULL QUANTITIES OF FUEL, LUBRICANT & COOLANT
BASE WEIGHT = GVWR - PAYLOAD
E.g. GVWR 7,100 lbs - 1,380 lbs Rated Payload Capacity = 5,720 lbs Base Weight.

PAYLOAD (As defined by FCA)
THE COMBINED MAXIMUM ALLOWABLE WEIGHT OF OPTIONS, CARGO AND PASSENGERS THAT THE TRUCK IS DESIGNED TO CARRY.
PAYLOAD = GVWR - Base Weight

Your Vehicle's Payload specification can be found on the 'TIRE AND LOADING LABEL' on the B pillar behind the driver's door. The number next to 'THE COMBINED WEIGHT OF OCCUPANTS AND CARGO SHOULD NEVER EXCEED' in x,xxx lbs is your payload.
IMG_6820.jpg
This 2019 RAM Limited has a payload of 1,380 lbs.
Anything you put into the vehicle including the driver, passengers, cargo, accessories, tools, junk, anything really, must be subtracted from this number!
So, if you have a driver and a passenger (300 lbs), snacks and water for a trip (5 lbs), your dogs (150 lbs) tools/stuff/junk under the seats or in the storage bins (40 lbs), or maybe a family friend (150 lbs) - 65 lbs trailer hitch = 710 lbs
Available payload = 1,380 lbs - 710 lbs = Your remaining available payload is now 670 lbs.

The tongue weight of a trailer must ALSO be subtracted from the available payload (Using a Weight Distributing Hitch, or not! Don't Confuse what a weight distributing hitch does. It simply allows you to distribute more weight toward the front axle of the vehicle. The full 1,250 lbs tongue weight is still fully applied to the tow vehicle, period.)

So now, if you're going camping and plan to hook up to your travel trailer with a tongue weight of 1,250 lbs and you only have 670 lbs of remaining payload, you're now exceeding the Payload AND Gross Vehicle Weight rating of this vehicle.
670 lbs - 1,250 lbs = -580
Therefore, you're 580 lbs over payload capacity.

This Scenario is purely for argument's sake showing the simple math involved.
IMG_6821.jpg
This Vehicle's GVWR is 7,100 lbs.
Remember, GVWR is the MAXIMUM allowable weight of a fully loaded vehicle (See Definitions)
Also remember, Base Weight = GVWR - Rated Payload Capacity.
If GVWR = 7,100 lbs and Rated Payload is 1,380 lbs = 5,720 lbs
Base Weight is 5,720 lbs
So if the, GVWR is 7,100 lbs - 5,720 lbs Base Weight - 710 lbs passengers, driver, snacks, dogs, tools/stuff and family friend - 1,250 lbs tongue weight - 65 lbs Trailer Hitch = 645 lbs over payload,
Then GVWR of 7,100 lbs + 645 lbs = 7,745 lbs. You're now not only over the maximum rated payload capacity but also over the maximum allowable weight (GVWR) of this vehicle.
You're likely over the CCWR Also! See The Gross Combined Weight Rating Definition for a further breakdown and explanation.

This Scenario is purely for argument's sake showing the simple math involved.

GROSS AXLE WEIGHT RATING - GAWR (As define by FCA)
THE MAXIMUM WEIGHT TO BE CARRIED BY A SINGLE AXLE (FRONT OR REAR).

GROSS COMBINED WEIGHT RATING - GCWR (As defined by FCA)
THE MAXIMUM ALLOWABLE WEIGHT OF THE TOWING VEHICLE AND THE LOADED TRAILER – INCLUDING ALL CARGO AND PASSENGERS – THAT THE VEHICLE CAN HANDLE WITHOUT RISKING DAMAGE.
Continuing the scenario from above:
If the Gross Combined Weight Rating is 17,000 lbs for the 2019 RAM 1500 Limited above, ALL cargo, occupants, dogs, snacks, toys, extra fuel, clothes, food, dishes, camping chairs, gear, Weight Distribution Hitch, potable water, generator, basically ANY and everything inside the trailer or the truck, must be subtracted from this number!
If the truck is already 7,745 lbs
then 17,000 - 7,745 lbs = 9,255 lbs GCWR remaining.
The weight of the trailer is roughly 10% of 12,500 lbs!
9,255 lbs remaining GCWR - 12,500 lbs = -3,245 lbs
You are now 3,245 lbs over the GCWR and should not be on the road.

This scenario is purely for argument's sake. Just showing the quick simple math involved to figure this all out for those who were not sure.

GROSS VEHICLE WEIGHT RATING - GVWR (As defined by FCA)
THE MAXIMUM ALLOWABLE WEIGHT OF THE FULLY LOADED VEHICLE.


TONGUE WEIGHT (As defined by FCA)
THE WEIGHT A CONVENTIONAL TRAILER PUTS ON THE BACK OF A TOW VEHICLE. 10 PERCENT OF THE TRAILER WEIGHT RECOMMENDED FOR A CONVENTIONAL HITCH TRAILER AND 15 PERCENT RECOMMENDED FOR A GOOSNECK OR FIFTH WHEEL TRAILER.

TRAILER WEIGHT RATING - TWR (As defined by FCA)
THE MAXIMUM ALLOWABLE WEIGHT OF A TRAILER PLUS CARGO THAT A VEHICLE CONFIGURATION CAN HANDLE.
Trailer Weight Rating in the charts is calculated as specified in SAE J2807 and as follows:

TWR = GCWR - Base Weight - (minus) the following:
Occupant Weight = 300lbs
Options weight is option content above 33% sales volume. (Simply for the calculation of this chart, your truck will be based on the options you ACTUALLY have)
Trailer equipment weight = Class IV receiver hitch is 11.1 lb (if not already included in options weight).
Trailer Hitch weight is 10 lb if TWR is less or equal to 5,000 lb
Trailer Hitch weight is 65 lb if TWR is greater than 5,000 lb.

Let's do a quick calculation using the information in the attachments!
Let's use a RAM 1500 4X4 Crew CAB 5'7" Configuration with:
A) 5.7L V8 w/MDS and 8 Speed Trans
B) 3.92 Rear Axle Ratio
C) Tow Package

That gives us:
Base Weight = 5,260 lbs
GCWR = 17,000 lbs
Max Trailer Weight Rating with Standard Options = 11,340 lbs.
So,
If TWR = GCWR - BASE WEIGHT (Including ALL options you actually have) - ACTUAL OCCUPANTS WEIGHT - TRAILER TOW EQUIPMENT WEIGHT (if not already included in options) - HITCH WEIGHT
Then,
GCWR = 17,000 lbs - 300 lbs (Occupants weight) - 5,260 lbs (Base Weight) - 33.17 lbs (Panoramic Power Sunroof) - 60.14 lbs (Wheel-to-wheel sidesteps) - 43.3 lbs (Hard Tri-Fold Tonneau cover) - 43.2 lbs (overhead console) - 33.17 lbs (Power Fold away heated mirrors) - 65 lbs (Trailer Hitch)= 11,152.02 lbs

Max. Trailer Weight Rating for this specific configuration is roughly 11,152 lbs.

I hope all of this information is helpful! If you have any questions/comments/issues with anything I've written here, please let me know and I'll try to get back to you as soon as I can!
 
Last edited:

devildodge

Moderator
Staff member
Site Supporter
Messages
2,965
Reaction score
2,069
Points
113
Location
Central Pennsylvania
Thank you for that. I have tried to explain this in a more, real world way, in my thread about will the 1500 meet my towing a d hauling needs.

Everyone has their own opinion. But these are the cold hard truth.

Thanks again

I have said many times...max payload and max towing are never had with the same truck. Even after spending lots of time with other members working on the payloads of the trucks, people still are getting bamboozled by the Ram site and the misinformation.

Wish the manufacturers had to be a lot more closer with their numbers...but they don't because their are so many variations and it is just simple math.
 
Last edited:

devildodge

Moderator
Staff member
Site Supporter
Messages
2,965
Reaction score
2,069
Points
113
Location
Central Pennsylvania

MacDuff

Site Supporter and Tracking
Site Supporter & Order Tracking
Messages
24
Reaction score
18
Points
3
Outstanding job putting this all together for us, much appreciated!
 

MacDuff

Site Supporter and Tracking
Site Supporter & Order Tracking
Messages
24
Reaction score
18
Points
3
This is inaccurate for a specific truck and what is causing everyone's belief they have 1840 and 11340 of payload and towing.
See other threads for an explanation as to why.
To be clear, is there an error in the information provided using the Ram link when you input your specific VIN?
 

devildodge

Moderator
Staff member
Site Supporter
Messages
2,965
Reaction score
2,069
Points
113
Location
Central Pennsylvania
To be clear, is there an error in the information provided using the Ram link when you input your specific VIN?
If you look at info here it explains in great detail why and how it is wrong.

But to get to the jist of it...the numbers are for the configuration..example crew cab 6'4 bed v8 4x4.

It is not for a Rebel or a Laramie with every option you have.

That number is provided on the tire and loading sticker on drivers door jamb.

And the towing is by taking truck weight and payload from 139000 or 17000 depending on how the truck is equiped.

And the way the site figures it is with 300 lbs for passenger and driver. I for one weigh near that myself.

Hope I understood your question right, I have been batting a thousand misunderstanding questions lately.

Hope that explained it.
 

devildodge

Moderator
Staff member
Site Supporter
Messages
2,965
Reaction score
2,069
Points
113
Location
Central Pennsylvania
So the answer is NO. It seems when you enter your VIN it would be specific...but it is still just the configuration. It does not take into account your build sheet...which it should...it just gets the info like a VIN decoder in a parts magazine does...THE CONFIGURATION.
 

MacDuff

Site Supporter and Tracking
Site Supporter & Order Tracking
Messages
24
Reaction score
18
Points
3
So the answer is NO. It seems when you enter your VIN it would be specific...but it is still just the configuration. It does not take into account your build sheet...which it should...it just gets the info like a VIN decoder in a parts magazine does...THE CONFIGURATION.
Thanks for the clarification, much appreciated!
 

Johnvan

Active Member
Messages
97
Reaction score
84
Points
18
I belong to the group that got a fully loaded RAM and didn’t look at the payload sticker until it was sitting in my driveway. It’s too cost prohibitive to trade in a one month old vehicle and we like our trailer.
I spent a lot of time trying to determine why the GVWR is 7100 lbs when the combined axle limits are higher. I wasn’t able to find anything obvious. The manufacturer can under rate a vehicle if they choose. The only thing I was able to find were people posting weights where they would be loading the bed of the truck with cargo and seemed to always hit the GVW at the same time as the rear axle limit. I think that’s how RAM came up with the 7100 number.
It doesn’t really apply to a travel trailer with a weight distribution hitch. We can transfer weight to the front.
I found this article that has me feeling a lot better about the 1500 and it makes a lot of sense. I intend to stay within the axle weights and disregard the 7100.
https://rvlifemag.com/towing-half-ton-three-quarter-ton/
 

Johnvan

Active Member
Messages
97
Reaction score
84
Points
18
Just to add, the payload door sticker is quite useful if my wife and I jump in the truck and run to Home depot or a garden center. I can quickly take my 1350 payload and subtract our 350lb combined weight and know that I can safely throw 1000lbs (half ton by coincidence) in the bed without exceeding the RAWR.
Towing my travel trailer with WD hitch, that number seems useless. The RAWR is what I'll pay attention to.
 

Chris

Active Member
Messages
188
Reaction score
131
Points
43
Location
Southern NH
I belong to the group that got a fully loaded RAM and didn’t look at the payload sticker until it was sitting in my driveway. It’s too cost prohibitive to trade in a one month old vehicle and we like our trailer.
I spent a lot of time trying to determine why the GVWR is 7100 lbs when the combined axle limits are higher. I wasn’t able to find anything obvious. The manufacturer can under rate a vehicle if they choose. The only thing I was able to find were people posting weights where they would be loading the bed of the truck with cargo and seemed to always hit the GVW at the same time as the rear axle limit. I think that’s how RAM came up with the 7100 number.
It doesn’t really apply to a travel trailer with a weight distribution hitch. We can transfer weight to the front.
I found this article that has me feeling a lot better about the 1500 and it makes a lot of sense. I intend to stay within the axle weights and disregard the 7100.
https://rvlifemag.com/towing-half-ton-three-quarter-ton/
You sure can, but you are just as liable in doing so as someone who overloads their bed and exceeds their payload with a pallet of cement from Home Depot. No one can stop you from doing it, but good luck fighting it in court using your personal justification.
 

devildodge

Moderator
Staff member
Site Supporter
Messages
2,965
Reaction score
2,069
Points
113
Location
Central Pennsylvania
I spent a lot of time trying to determine why the GVWR is 7100 lbs when the combined axle limits are higher.
I am not getting in tothe specifics, we do that in many other threads.

But look at it like this. You have a 13000 lb reciever, a 10000lb weight distribution hitch, you only bought a 7500lb ball and you bought the 3.21, so all you can really tow is 6250 lbs.

Note:all numbers and options are hypothetical, not actual or expressed.

It isn't the best number or part...it is your lowest rating...

You can by a Ram 4500...but it if you only buy a 3500lb ball, that's all ya got.
 

riccnick

Ram Guru
Messages
1,075
Reaction score
879
Points
113
Location
Southwest Florida
I am not getting in tothe specifics, we do that in many other threads.

But look at it like this. You have a 13000 lb reciever, a 10000lb weight distribution hitch, you only bought a 7500lb ball and you bought the 3.21, so all you can really tow is 6250 lbs.

Note:all numbers and options are hypothetical, not actual or expressed.

It isn't the best number or part...it is your lowest rating...

You can by a Ram 4500...but it if you only buy a 3500lb ball, that's all ya got.

SOMEONE NEEDS TO SCREAM THIS FROM THE HIGHEST MOUNTAIN IN THE WORLD
 

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Users: 0, Guests: 2)

Top