Originally Posted by JustB_Rad
The biggest issue trying to pull a hard sided camper with a unibody SUV is that the wind profile KILLS you.
Whether its 16ft long or 23ft long really makes no difference.
I had a 23ft R-Vision Crossover that we bought specifically because it only weighted 3300 lbs dry and was "SUV Towable". It was only 90" wide and it was under 9' off the ground in height. I tried towing it with a 2011 Ford Explorer with the 3.5L V6 (5K towing capacity). We bought an Equal-I-Zer 4 point hitch. We took it on 2 trips and I traded the Explorer in. Honestly, I was afraid I would have ended up blowing up the motor at some point. Trying to stay at 60-65MPH was a chore for it....and then add a 20MPH head wind, and on our longest trip with it, it never dropped under 3500 RPM on a 4 hour drive. 2 weeks later, my wife agreed to getting a new truck. Unfortunately, we purchased an "SUV Towable" Camper....not the size camper we REALLY wanted....so after 1 year of camping in that, and after getting a bigger truck, we had to take a 15% hit on our camper to get what we really wanted.
Ultimately, I think it depends how far from home you are planning on going as well. If they're shorter trips, you can make it work. You might not enjoy the ride, but you can make it work. If longer trips are what you're planning....you will be highly disappointed.
You went from a non-turbo V6 Explorer to a Ram pickup.
I think there is a lot more benefit than just unibody vs full-frame!
1. non-turbo V6 vs V8 (I assume)
2. larger frontal area (which is a big deal to your wind-resistance concern)
3. drivetrain final drive ratios
I think the comparison the OP was really looking at here was a similar type of vehicle architecture, with either type of structure.
The Durango and Explorer are great examples.
Both used to be full-frame, but are now unibody.
Ford wimped out, and limited things to 5000 lbs on the V6. Even the Ecoboost is limited to 5000 lbs, which means the structure can't handle any more.
The Durango used to be full frame, like the older Explorer. But the new unibody Durango gets 5000 lbs in it's most basic V6 trim, even without the HD tow package. V6 with tow package gets 6500! Hemi V8 with tow package is around 7400. My point is that the new Durango's unibody structure (regardless of drivetrain) is beefy, and good for 7400 lbs (or more). The rating is limited by the drivetrain, just like most trucks.
So it's not just a simply question of full frame or unibody. It's about how it's designed. Take a full frame truck, and use thinner gage steel, and you will need to reduce the ratings, right?