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

Trooper4

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I can’t see towing much of any TT (other than a pop up) and getting 8-12 mpg as being poor mileage. I dont know of any gasser that would do appreciably better. You could always waste I mean spend $10K more on a diesel to get 5 more mpg.
With my '05 Duramax I averaged about 10, same an what I get now with my 1500. It isn't all about the weight, but mostly the wind resistance. Look at all the square footage of the front of a towable. A TT has a frontal area of about 8' x 7'. That figures out to about a 56 sq.ft. vertical surface you are trying to drag through the air. Then when you look at varying air currents, side and head winds, and turbulence from other traffic, 10 mpg +/- is a damn good number. If you look at the big diesel coaches, they run 6 mpg+/- with some of the newer ones getting very little better. So, don't feel bad, you aint doing bad.
 
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Cueva del Osos

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Thanks for the input! I tried 2 different non-ethanol gases today (both 89 octane) and didn't get any boost in mileage, so I went back to 10% ethanol mid-grade at Phillips 66 this evening. Drove 490 miles today with cross winds 15-25mph and averaged 9 mpg...but Iowa is so damned hilly that I didn't expect much better. Nebraska & Colorado tomorrow...oh boy! <G> At least towing with the RAM makes going up long grades near effortless. Now I'm just a "little bit" sorry I didn't think more seriously about the 33-gal fuel tank.
 

Cueva del Osos

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Well, the 12 day, 2,750 mile trip is over and I'm SO happy to be back where I can get Speedway mid grade gas. I had some additional 'not great' gas options thru NE & CO and decided to give Sam's Club a try on the final leg from CO to NM. Sadly, they only offered 85 and 91 octane. As I was about to tow over the Raton pass, I opted for the 91 octane (based on hope, not any intellectual effort:geek:) and the Ram took the pass with so little effort it was truly amazing! Then came the 25 mph headwind down the front range in NM...watched my mileage drop to 7...yep, that's right...7 mpg. Trooper4 totally called it on the wind resistance. We unloaded about 300 lb of stuff at the house before taking the trailer back to storage and burning the same gas with NO headwind, we jumped up to 11 mpg. I suppose I should just resign to 85 octane when 87-88 isn't available.

Additional note, now that I'm driving without the trailer, my mpg has jumped from the previous 18.5-19 to 20-20.5. I've seen threads about a mileage jump at 6k miles or so and I'm at 5,600 currently. Going in for first oil change shortly...anyone think a diff flush is valid at this point too? Total towing to date is just over 3,000 miles.
 

Nomoretruck

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Nice to have an owner report to dispel ideas that a gasser towing a travel trailer or 5th wheel will get anything more than 10-12. Maybe the ecodiesel would have gotten better mileage (in order to keep yourself in a 1500) but if you don't want one then this is as good as it gets, save for the 33 gallon tank.
So thanks for the report. As a sidenote, my brother’s 2001 Chev 8.1 4x2 2500 pulling a 33’ fiver got as low as 5 mpg in Co and Ks with headwinds.
 

SpeedyV

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As a sidenote, my brother’s 2001 Chev 8.1 4x2 2500 pulling a 33’ fiver got as low as 5 mpg in Co and Ks with headwinds.
I had one of those...that year, too! The key difference between that truck and our modern 1/2-tons being that we have luxurious cabins, while that truck (with its 8 grapefruit-sized cylinders) could pull a car carrier load of our trucks down the road...
 

Nomoretruck

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I had one of those...that year, too! The key difference between that truck and our modern 1/2-tons being that we have luxurious cabins, while that truck (with its 8 grapefruit-sized cylinders) could pull a car carrier load of our trucks down the road...
Yes, the 8.1 and Allison were a powerful drivetrain, he just couldn't afford to tow with it. He has a 14’ Duramax 2500 now and likes it alot.
8/2020 edit: its a 2015 with a 10K gvw and it rides horribly... Also he’s been having clogged dpf issues (less than 70k on truck) which is going to cause him to trade it off as the ext warranty is almost up. The last warranty repair was $2900 at the dealer.
I think he’s going to get a 2019 or 2020 RAM 3500 6.7 for the next truck.
 
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tomilee78

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My wife’s SUV (GL450) has 1312 payload and it can surely pull our travel trailer (GVWR 7500).
we were well over our payload. Tongue weight 1100lbs + passenger 500lbs + carseat/personal items 50lbs : 1312lbs - 1650lbs = -338lbs. I could hit emergency brake and stopped the vehicle no problem. However, I could feel the weight of my trailer and I didn’t want to fall into legal issues.
So, I ended up purchasing my Ram 2500 (1850lbs payload). I didn’t go for 1500 because even 1500 comes with 1300 payload fully loaded.
My towing experience before and after is night and day. It pulls nicely when going uphill and my truck is no longer pushed or pulled by my trailer. if I bought 1500, i would have regretted. The truck weight also has a lot to do with trailer weight. Your truck weight has to be somewhat close to your trailer’s to be safe.
The safety always has to go first.
 

Nomoretruck

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My wife’s SUV (GL450) has 1312 payload and it can surely pull our travel trailer (GVWR 7500).
we were well over our payload. Tongue weight 1100lbs + passenger 500lbs + carseat/personal items 50lbs : 1312lbs - 1650lbs = -338lbs. I could hit emergency brake and stopped the vehicle no problem. However, I could feel the weight of my trailer and I didn’t want to fall into legal issues.
So, I ended up purchasing my Ram 2500 (1850lbs payload). I didn’t go for 1500 because even 1500 comes with 1300 payload fully loaded.
My towing experience before and after is night and day. It pulls nicely when going uphill and my truck is no longer pushed or pulled by my trailer. if I bought 1500, i would have regretted. The truck weight also has a lot to do with trailer weight. Your truck weight has to be somewhat close to your trailer’s to be safe.
The safety always has to go first.
True, people often “let the tail wag the dog” for whatever reasons.
 

Cueva del Osos

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Your GL450 experience is much the same as I had with my Acura MDX (prior to going to the 1500) - though stopping wasn't half as bad as going up multi-mile 6-7% grades! :oops:

I'm no 'master' of the trailer brake controller, but I've been perplexed by the 1500. When I operate the brake controller manually, 35% will fully lock up my trailer brakes (my storage facility wasn't thrilled with the streaks devoid of gravel by the time I got done playing!) but anything less than +10 on the controller for truck brake operation results in my really having to push the brake pedal hard. I'm a pretty cautious driver and leave plenty of room between me and those ahead, plus my father taught me decades ago that you coast to a stop light/sign, you don't approach under power - so I've been able to stop comfortably without putting undo pressure on the truck brakes. Anyone have thoughts? Am I just normal or should I be concerned at all about having to keep the controller maxed out? There was one campground on our last trip where I had to quick-stop and there was no question that the trailer brakes were locked as the truck slowed quickly, so I know the controller is doing something - but I'm just not sure they're doing enough under 'cautious driving'.
 

JJRamTX

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Your GL450 experience is much the same as I had with my Acura MDX (prior to going to the 1500) - though stopping wasn't half as bad as going up multi-mile 6-7% grades! :oops:

I'm no 'master' of the trailer brake controller, but I've been perplexed by the 1500. When I operate the brake controller manually, 35% will fully lock up my trailer brakes (my storage facility wasn't thrilled with the streaks devoid of gravel by the time I got done playing!) but anything less than +10 on the controller for truck brake operation results in my really having to push the brake pedal hard. I'm a pretty cautious driver and leave plenty of room between me and those ahead, plus my father taught me decades ago that you coast to a stop light/sign, you don't approach under power - so I've been able to stop comfortably without putting undo pressure on the truck brakes. Anyone have thoughts? Am I just normal or should I be concerned at all about having to keep the controller maxed out? There was one campground on our last trip where I had to quick-stop and there was no question that the trailer brakes were locked as the truck slowed quickly, so I know the controller is doing something - but I'm just not sure they're doing enough under 'cautious driving'.

Been over Raton pass too many times to count.... I am looking to downsize from my Motorhome to a TT Toy Hauler and wondered what your TT weight is? Sounds like it has fairly easy to trailer so far.
 

Cueva del Osos

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Been over Raton pass too many times to count.... I am looking to downsize from my Motorhome to a TT Toy Hauler and wondered what your TT weight is? Sounds like it has fairly easy to trailer so far.
We've got a 22' Keystone Passport ML199...3950# dry and about 4700# when we tow (max GVWR is 5,600). The day we towed over the pass we had about 50gal combined in our black/grey/fresh tanks (unusual for us but we'd just camped at a state park in CO and I didn't want to deal with the dump station 5 miles away at the ranger station), so add 400# to the 4700# that day. The two of us plus the dog are 550#, 26 gal gas is 156# and then 510# tongue weight. That leaves us about 150# of our max payload per door sticker. If you've got a 1500, I'm guessing you'd be hard pressed to find a toy hauler with a wt rating that won't overstep the 'technical' payload.
 

Cueva del Osos

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Well, the 12 day, 2,750 mile trip is over and I'm SO happy to be back where I can get Speedway mid grade gas. I had some additional 'not great' gas options thru NE & CO and decided to give Sam's Club a try on the final leg from CO to NM. Sadly, they only offered 85 and 91 octane. As I was about to tow over the Raton pass, I opted for the 91 octane (based on hope, not any intellectual effort:geek:) and the Ram took the pass with so little effort it was truly amazing! Then came the 25 mph headwind down the front range in NM...watched my mileage drop to 7...yep, that's right...7 mpg. Trooper4 totally called it on the wind resistance. We unloaded about 300 lb of stuff at the house before taking the trailer back to storage and burning the same gas with NO headwind, we jumped up to 11 mpg. I suppose I should just resign to 85 octane when 87-88 isn't available.

Additional note, now that I'm driving without the trailer, my mpg has jumped from the previous 18.5-19 to 20-20.5. I've seen threads about a mileage jump at 6k miles or so and I'm at 5,600 currently. Going in for first oil change shortly...anyone think a diff flush is valid at this point too? Total towing to date is just over 3,000 miles.

Had my first oil change (& tire rotation) today at 6,050 on odometer (3k of that is towing). Asked service to look at both front & rear diff for a flush if needed and they said both looked fine and not to bother until at least the next oil change. We're planning a 6-week tow trip for spring (across I-10 to CA, up the east side of CA into Washington and maybe on into Vancouver before heading back via Yellowstone and UT). Given the fast oil life burn when towing, I'm sure I'll need to get service about 4 weeks into this trip - even if I get service just before leaving.
 

Trooper4

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Had my first oil change (& tire rotation) today at 6,050 on odometer (3k of that is towing). Asked service to look at both front & rear diff for a flush if needed and they said both looked fine and not to bother until at least the next oil change. We're planning a 6-week tow trip for spring (across I-10 to CA, up the east side of CA into Washington and maybe on into Vancouver before heading back via Yellowstone and UT). Given the fast oil life burn when towing, I'm sure I'll need to get service about 4 weeks into this trip - even if I get service just before leaving.
Where are you starting from? You really aren't going to be working it that hard until you turn east out of Washington. I pull #9000 with a Limited and 5.7, and don't worry about changing until about 5000-7000 when towing. A piece of advice, stay off of the I-5 as long as you can. We usually turn north at Bakersfield and don't hit the 5 until just north of Sacramento. That way we don't have to pull over the Grapevine Hill. That is a grade I won't pull unless it is a have-to. Only other bit of a pull is over the Sisque pass(4000') in Oregon.
 

bennekm

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Sorry if this is redundant but isn’t the methodology utilized in this post flawed, as the payload being calculated is based on tire weight capacity not chassis capacity? If you replaces the tires with a higher ply tire, the capacity could be increased to chassis capacity? The math doesn’t seem to work id you subtract three 7100 from true weight does it?
 

SpeedyV

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Sorry if this is redundant but isn’t the methodology utilized in this post flawed, as the payload being calculated is based on tire weight capacity not chassis capacity? If you replaces the tires with a higher ply tire, the capacity could be increased to chassis capacity? The math doesn’t seem to work id you subtract three 7100 from true weight does it?
Go back to the very first post in this thread (5 pages ago) for accurate information. There’s no way to (legally) increase anything from the sticker on the door.
 

devildodge

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Sorry if this is redundant but isn’t the methodology utilized in this post flawed, as the payload being calculated is based on tire weight capacity not chassis capacity? If you replaces the tires with a higher ply tire, the capacity could be increased to chassis capacity? The math doesn’t seem to work id you subtract three 7100 from true weight does it?
Elaborate on this.

The GAWR do add up to more than 7100. But this isn't the sum of your maxes. It is the weakest link.

For instance with reciever, hitch and ball.

If your reciever is rated 12000/1200 your hitch is rated 10000/1000 and your ball is rated 7500. 7500 is all that you can tow.

Upgrading tires will help with stability but will not increase your GVWR. The tires can and usually are rated more than the axles.
 

runamuck

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I have been looking at toy haulers and seems like anything with a slide-out will max out my 1500 and be longer than I want to pull. our freedom express 246rks is 28' and is at about 6000# when we tow. I only have 1324# cargo cap. and dont see many toy haulers that wont be over my max. if I want anything nice and with a slide. good to know raton pass was no problem. we plan to make several trips up that way and have been looking at other roads to bypass it.
 

bennekm

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Elaborate on this.

The GAWR do add up to more than 7100. But this isn't the sum of your maxes. It is the weakest link.

For instance with reciever, hitch and ball.

If your reciever is rated 12000/1200 your hitch is rated 10000/1000 and your ball is rated 7500. 7500 is all that you can tow.

Upgrading tires will help with stability but will not increase your GVWR. The tires can and usually are rated more than the axles.

Yes I agree...maybe I wasn’t be clear but that was my point. If you start the calculation using the tire capacity aren’t you already degrading your payload as the tires are the weak link? I understand the technical nature of this and don’t admit to fully appreciate all the details, but I find it hard to believe in the US, Ram could advertise a payload of 1830 on their website for a 4x4 limited (that comes with all the options this post is suggesting you have to deduct) and based on this post it’s actually something far less. Sounds like a lawsuit waiting to happen....
 

devildodge

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The online configurator and all the configurator and all the commercials and all the charts and graphs and all the everything about towing papers say....for a configuration and when properly equipped.

There are pages and pages of discussions here on the inaccuracy of the whole thing.

Yes, the manufacturer (all of them) should come up with a way to make them more specific. But in the end they do, and it is on your trucks door jamb.

The truck is rated for 6900 GVWR for 2wd and 7100 for 4wd. (Yes I know the HFE is a different GVWR also) You subtract the base weight from that to get payload.

Tires do not matter, what the other capacities are do not matter.

The truck has been certified at either 7100 or 6900. Subtract base weight for payload.

Upgrade your tires they will give better control. Upgrade your shocks and springs they will give you better control...but they will not increase your payload.
 

bbbeeennnjjjeee

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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.
Damn, just in general the difference between my truck and a Cummins 2500 isn't that much. I understand it's only paper but I feel good about myself right now.
 

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