Moving to 2500.....My Experience
I wanted to post something that highlights my experience moving to a heavier truck to tow our 7K Travel trailer and attempt to keep brand preference and fuel type as a secondary topic…..so here we go.
After many, many months of research and investigation I finally stepped up to the ¾ ton truck and boy I am glad I did. Here are my experiences moving from the light duty 1500 to the 2500HD.
For 5 years my previous 1500 Ram was tasked with dragging our heavy Travel trailer around the Midwest and some longer trips as well. Although we never did have an issue or breakdown there was always something a little unsettling about pulling this load with the kids in the back along with all the stuff that is brought along on a trip. Early on I struggled with the WD Hitch set up, ultimately choosing an entirely new hitch that better matched my towing combo. Still, it was not as settled as I would have liked it to have been. The reason why can be found in the scale numbers coupled with a little math. These results indicated what the ultimate reason for my concern with the combo was. The particular truck I had was a 2011 with a 10.5K towing capacity and a 1,400lb payload. After spending 5 years towing with this truck, I have found that these numbers are very deceiving. No Doubt that the truck would handle 10K as the power was never the problem. The issue lies within the numbers. If you are pulling 10K on a properly loaded travel trailer, the payload capacity of 1400# is gone the minute you hook up. This was my problem. Our trailer tongue weighs between 900-950 LBs. I weigh 230#, combined kids weigh 100#, 32 gallon fuel tank, firewood, bikes and obviously you see where this is going. We were overloaded EVERY. SINGLE. TRIP. Keep in mind my trailer was 3,000lbs from my trucks towing capacity.
I know that there are others on this forum that do the same and are confident with the setup, for whatever reason my truck didn’t like being pushed to the limit. On paper, my Trailer is well within the specs, but the real-world told a different story as indicated on the above paragraph. Without the WD bars hooked up the receiver was literally in the dirt. Not a comfortable feeling knowing my truck without the WD could not have towed my trailer any distance. I think that most of the ½ tons out there are similar; most are within a few hundred lbs Of payload and towing numbers so my situation likely has been experienced by others as well. All in all I loved the truck and it never failed us but for me personally, I asked too much of it. Traded it off with 133K and of those miles, 12-15K were towing miles.
That was the Old….this is the NEW!
15K towing cap, 3K payload are the specs on the ¾ ton. That’s roughly 25% more towing weight and nearly 56% increased payload capacity compared to the 1500. Wow! As stated before, the numbers on paper and specs don’t really tell the whole story, the real world does. Using the phrase night and day does not seem even appropriate as it’s a shockingly different experience. Right away upon hooking up the trailer you will notice a difference. The heavier truck gave up only about 1.5” of ride height with the full load of the trailer on ball. The initial towing experience felt much more stable. There was zero Side to side motion, little bounce and unlike my previous rig, it felt as if the truck was in command. Due to the higher ride height of the ¾ ton, the equalizer hitch was putting very little pressure back on the truck. As a result the hitch was offering much less sway control and you wouldn’t know it. Loading up with all our gear, firewood, coolers and what not are a non-issue now. I don’t need to think “Can I bring it?” I put roughly 200 miles while towing last weekend and I must say I like this combo much better. The only thing I don’t like about the new truck is that my pocket book will likely become a little lighter due to the fact that our RV options open up dramatically for the next trailer!
If you are debating on moving up a class on your towing rig, without a doubt the ¾ or 1 ton truck makes all the difference in the world. At the cost of todays ½ ton optioned out rigs, the pricing on a mid-optioned ¾ ton truck might just be within your grasp. You won’t regret it.