Glad I bought a Ram Hemi, added Timbren load assists
Wow, reading all of this I am so glad as a newbee I bought a Ram 1500 with the 5.7 Hemi and tow package to pull our previous 8000 lb Rockwood 29' 5th wheel ultralight. Moved up to a new Flagstaff 33' ultrallight 5th wheel (about 10,000 loaded) and traded for our new (in 2014) Ram 1500 Hemi with a 3.83 AR (vs. previous 3.55) to max my tow rating at 10,500. Been to Florida twice with the new package and just like the previous 2011 Ram I still get 8.5 - 9.0 mpg at 70 mph average over the entire trip to Florida and back from Michigan thanks to the seamless ZF 8 Speed with lots of power and torque to spare. I love this truck and the styling, ride, and comfort are fabulous. My goal was to try to stay just within the limits of a 1/2 ton truck and this Ram is awesome. Prior to these 2 trucks I had always driven Ford or GM products but now I am a convert and didn't break the bank like with a Ford or GM for which I could get a discount. The only add to the truck other than the 5th wheel hitch was a set of Timbren's which really evens out the level when trailer weight is on. These Timbren's in my opinion are better than the much more expensive after market add-on air lifts (air lift stabilizers available from factory on Ram 2500). They are like a little "Michelin" or doughboy man as they have two stacked rubber pods and snap into where the frame bottom-out bumpers are as supplied by the factory. You simply by hand pull the stock bumpers out and put the new Timbren bumpers in using some soap solution and then jacking up the wheel one side at a time to seat them into the vacated cup holder on the body above the frame. This leaves about an inch clearance so the truck still rides smoothly on the variable coil suspension (Ram 1500 does not use leaf springs like Ford 150 or GM 1500) until a load is applied and then the Timbren's supplement the load capability. I was actually put onto these when at a water fill/dump station in western Michigan when a Ford F150 6 cylinder Ecoboost pulled in hooked to a 36 ft. 14,000 lb. 5th wheel and he was sitting perfectly level. He told me about adding the Timbren's. However, this was his first trip from Ludington, MI to Ludington State Park and although he was sitting perfectly level I could not believe he would ever make it to Florida and back with that tow package! I think he had a lot more than he should tackle with his rig! The ecoboost may make horsepower but there is no substitute for the torque of a good V8 either gas or diesel and apparently the Ford V6 Ecoboost does not get any better gas mileage at that! BTW the new Ram V6 diesel can't match the 5.7 hemi for towing power so it is limited to smaller trailers although a nice package if you want a small diesel.