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Old 07-01-2019, 01:23 PM   #1
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RAM 1500 towing question

So, we've upgraded from a Minivan pulling a pop-up to this Ram 1500, 5.7L pulling a 24ft Wildwood. For info, I weighted the truck and trailer at a local scale today, 5040 for the truck, 4820 for the trailer. Per all the truck data I researched, towing capacity is rated at 8900 lbs. GCVR is 13,000.

So, here is what I'm experiencing. Towing in towing/haul mode.
Once the truck gets to highway speed, say 60 mph. It's into 4th gear, almost 2000 rpm. At this point, it feels like something is holding me back. Pushing down the accelerator pedal more does not illicit any more "noise" from the engine. I can maintain 60 on the level, but just any slight incline and she looses speed. At some point, I can punch the accelerator pedal down to get it to down-shift. When I do, it goes to 2nd gear, winds up and eventually gets me back up to speed.

The question I have to you other Ram 5.7L engine owners is, does this sound normal? I guess I was anticipating that even at 60 mph, she'd still have some power left to increase speed or climb a small incline. She seems to be at the wall.
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Old 07-01-2019, 01:32 PM   #2
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I'm not a Ram owner, but with that engine, your truck, and your trailer, you should be able to maintain 60-65 mph relatively easily, unless you're bucking some serious headwind. Maybe you need to look at the rear end gear ratio? I know that each truck / trailer combination is different, but I"m pulling a heavier trailer, with a comparable truck / power plant, and I can maintain 65 with relative ease. I don't often get into 6th gear though either, and I've programmed my truck to stay in gear longer (higher rpm's) before shifting, which helps.
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Old 07-01-2019, 01:34 PM   #3
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That is the wall you are towing. Does the truck have the tow package. Sounds like you could use some more rear gearing. Higher number, lower ratio. 2000 rpm at 60 is good cruising but I think a little low for towing with a gas engine. Just my thoughts.
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Old 07-01-2019, 01:45 PM   #4
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What rear end gear ratio do you have?
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Old 07-01-2019, 02:01 PM   #5
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This truck has the 3.55 rear gear ratio and the tow package. I realize that might help, but that's $'s I'm not ready to spend. Any thoughts on the engine? Some comments on a Ram 1500 truck site talked about a dirty Throttle Body or possibly low fuel pressure.
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Old 07-01-2019, 02:43 PM   #6
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I had the same engine and gearing with factory tow package in my 2013 Ram Laramie , I pulled a 32 foot 7500 lb Cherokee TT for a few trips,the truck never had any problem pulling it as fast as I wanted to go a few times at 75 mph . I traded up to a new Ram 6.4 2500 due to being over about 400 lbs on payload and not enjoying the overall towing experience with the 1/2 ton . Your 5.7 hemi makes peak torque around 4400 rpm and a lot of folks don't like to hear the engine working that hard but that's what they are designed to do . Just mash the gas and let that hemi work
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Old 07-01-2019, 02:53 PM   #7
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So, what rear axle ratio is your truck running?

I'm not a Ram owner, but with that engine, your truck, and your trailer, you should be able to maintain 60-65 mph relatively easily, unless you're bucking some serious headwind. Maybe you need to look at the rear end gear ratio? I know that each truck / trailer combination is different, but I"m pulling a heavier trailer, with a comparable truck / power plant, and I can maintain 65 with relative ease. I don't often get into 6th gear though either, and I've programmed my truck to stay in gear longer (higher rpm's) before shifting, which helps.[/QUOTE]
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Old 07-01-2019, 03:08 PM   #8
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You have probably seen this chart but in case you haven't:

2004 RAM Pickup Payload and Towing Charts
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Old 07-02-2019, 08:23 AM   #9
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Given the age of your truck and the fact you just bought it a tuneup might be needed. That said I will agree he 3:55 not the best ratio in my opinion for towing. I didnít like it on my Eco Boost or my power stroke. Thatís strictly my opinion manufacturers trying to find ratio between mileage and towing.
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Old 07-02-2019, 10:14 AM   #10
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Just cleaned the throttle body. It was very dirty. May help on the idle and low end RPM, but I'm not expecting a change on the higher end. Also checked the plugs and wires. These appear to be relatively new. Plugs are Autolite Platinum 5263's. The one I pulled looks real clean.
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Old 07-02-2019, 12:26 PM   #11
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Do you have your trailer brakes set properly? I have a 2018 5.7 Ram 1500 CC with 8 speed and 3.92 rear end. I set the brake up at light electric braking with 6% gain. I tow at 65 mph with 2100 rpm in 7th gear. I have lots of power to spare.
My trailer is 4900 pound dry weight.
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Old 07-02-2019, 03:29 PM   #12
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Ram 1500 towing

I have a 2019 5.7 Ram 1500 CC with 8 speed and 3.92 rear end. I have lots of power to spare. My trailer is 5500 pound dry weight. I don't even notice the trailer there unless I look in my mirrors.
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Old 07-02-2019, 03:44 PM   #13
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How many miles on the engine, how's the compression? Are you using tow/haul mode? The older 5.7s are actually a bit gutless and it's not a very torquey engine, they need to rev quite a bit to make power. The posts comparing 2013 and 2019 models is not a fair comparison whatsoever. Your trailer isn't heavy, but the front surface area might just be what's holding back your 15 year old truck. Our previous truck was a 2002 1500 with the 4.7 with quite a few power adders and, with 3.55s, it needed to be in a lower gear quite often to get moving and stay there occasionally.

Edit: looking at the specs for a NEW 2004 hemi, it made 375 hp at 5400rpm and 375 lb ft at 4200 rpm. That's A LOT higher than the 2000 rpm in your example.
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Old 07-02-2019, 05:50 PM   #14
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2004 Dodge RAM 1500

My 2004 Dodge RAM 1500SLT 2 wd 4 door truck is the 5.7 liter Hemi with the 3.55 axle. I own a 2017 Wildwood X-Lite 201BHXL. Dry trailer weight is about 3400, I carry about 1500 in the trailer and 700 in the truck.
I don't like to go much faster than 60 because my mileage drops but when I need to I can. I usually set cruise at about 60 and still have power if I need to pass someone going slower. The hills will take the RPM up but my power never drops.
I've put 140,000 miles on my truck since I bought it in 2007 (it had about 24,000 then). Of course I keep up on all my maintenance.
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Old 07-02-2019, 07:52 PM   #15
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She's got 126,291 on her as of today, so not really a high mileage truck. I am towing in Tow/Haul mode, and have confirmed that the trailer wheels spin freely. The way azkquinn describes his 04 is what I'm expecting out of mine. Is there any kind of torque limiter that can be checked out?
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Old 07-03-2019, 10:27 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dopplebock View Post
She's got 126,291 on her as of today, so not really a high mileage truck. I am towing in Tow/Haul mode, and have confirmed that the trailer wheels spin freely. The way azkquinn describes his 04 is what I'm expecting out of mine. Is there any kind of torque limiter that can be checked out?
Torque limiter?
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Old 07-03-2019, 10:44 AM   #17
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So, I've been reading about the 5.7L's Torque Management system. Seems that it mainly affects the motor torque just prior go a gear change. Didn't know if if could also limit torque in other situations.
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Old 07-03-2019, 11:06 AM   #18
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Your description sounds a like transmission/torque converter and or in need of a better ECM tune. Sounds sluggish and slow to respond instead of crisp and ready to do a moderate downshift to 3rd and pull instead of 2nd and scream. At 60 mph pulling the drag more so than the weight of a TT itís going to need between the engine & transmission tunes / torque converter to use that 2,500 to 4,200 rpm torque to do the work of accelerate like it could & should Plus what horsepower starts coming in to do the work faster.

A good aftermarket engine tune could do wonders and an upgraded torque converter would really compliment that. The stock transmission & torque converter in these sucked by comparison to the 8 speed. But a converter & tune can improve what you have dramatically. Then when you are really happy with your truck and enjoy driving towing with it you will put another 125,000 on it and say it was money well spent & a good investment.
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The answer to what can my 1/2 ton tow; Generically whatever TT has a GVWR less than TVís max tow rating. Specifically is found on CAT scale via weight distribution with TV TT & WDH. Best motor & gearing all 5 Mfgs within specs IE safe & stable normally to 8k but passengers & bedload reduce this. RAM 1500 ED max tow 9,200, max axle ratings 3,900, max 09-18 CVWR 15,950, axle weights me & gear 3,240 steer 2,560 drive
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Old 07-03-2019, 12:47 PM   #19
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Your geared to high to tow in any rolling terrain.
It would work better with 3.55 even better 3.91

Won't to really to great by a cummins

Just my .02
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Old 07-25-2019, 07:25 PM   #20
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Has anyone had and ECM tune done on a 5.7L and what difference did it make? I've talked to three companies that can do the EMC tune for my 2004 truck, but none of them felt that they would be able to produce a noticeable improvement.
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