Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 11-20-2019, 03:57 PM   #1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 371
What to expect with this much weight

I have a 2003 Dodge RAM 3500 Cummins 5.9 Automatic.
This truck is great when towing my about 13,000# fifth wheel on flat ground. I have no trouble getting up to speed and maintaining the flow of traffic.

However, I am unsure what would happen on mountain roads, like I-40 in western NC. There is one grade that is pretty tough and even truckers go slow up that hill.

Some people here have newer trucks with even more weight and I don't hear much complaining about towing up hills like this.

So my question is two parts. First, does anyone here tow with roughly the same tow package and if so, have you tried going up steep grades?
Secondly, does anyone here have experience towing with a newer truck up hills, and if so, what kind of performance are you getting and what truck do you have? What kind of weight are you pulling? I'm just trying to determine if I NEED a new truck, or if mine will do the job.

Thanks.
__________________

MOODMAN is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-20-2019, 08:21 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: Middle Ga
Posts: 291
How often do you think you will tow up that hill on I-40? Unless I experienced it on enough of a routine to make a difference, I wouldn't upgrade. That is unless you are looking for an excuse, then, by all means, it will not work and drive you crazy.


Who cares if you go slower than traffic up a long hill, every now and then.



Just a thought


Mike
__________________

__________________
TV = 2017 Ram 3500 (aka FRAM)
5er = SOB (2019 Grand Design Reflection 367BHS)
walaby is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-20-2019, 09:30 PM   #3
Brake is on left
 
The Evil Twin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2019
Posts: 324
9% grades I go 35-40 or so. No complaints. No reason to wring the truck out hauling 14k. Often, I'll just tuck in behind a truck even though I could easily pass them. No reason to.
The Evil Twin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-21-2019, 06:40 AM   #4
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 371
Thanks for the responses so far, but I guess I am worried about even making it up the hill! Based on experiences, does anyone know what I might expect?
MOODMAN is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-21-2019, 06:41 AM   #5
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 371
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Evil Twin View Post
9% grades I go 35-40 or so. No complaints. No reason to wring the truck out hauling 14k. Often, I'll just tuck in behind a truck even though I could easily pass them. No reason to.
What kind of rig do you have and how much weight do you haul?
MOODMAN is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-21-2019, 08:03 AM   #6
Brake is on left
 
The Evil Twin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2019
Posts: 324
Quote:
Originally Posted by MOODMAN View Post
What kind of rig do you have and how much weight do you haul?
Tuned but emissions intact 6.7 Powerstroke hauling 11-14,000 pounds depending on how many bikes I take and water. Totally different animal than your rig. I didnt mean to imply I had the same. My comment was more directed at going slower in a lower gear. It isn't a big deal and better than overworking the truck for no reason.
A friend hauls about 10k with his 5.4l gas up the same grade. You will be fine. Just feel out the sweet spot. The truck will let you know where it is happy. The motor may rev to 4 or 5k but that is where the power is at.
The Evil Twin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-21-2019, 08:11 AM   #7
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Greensboro NC
Posts: 993
Similar

If you are talking the long run up towards Asheville, My previous 2016 Hemi 2500 6.4 would often gear down to 3rd with absolutely no load going up that long hill. Just accept that you will slow down.
I have a 2018 6.7 G56 Manual 6 speed. I tow about the same weight as you and rarely need to shift out of 6th gear unless it gets very steep and long. I have never had to shift below 5th no matter where I went unless I was just going to slow for that gear.
I anticipate on that long stretch (if thats where you are talking about) up 40 I would probably be in 4th at about 50 ish or so..

I went through there to pick up an ATV 6 weeks or so ago with the new Diesel and I was able to stay in 6th at about 1750 RPMS and still accelerate empty vs 3rd and 4K RPMS with the Hemi 6.4
__________________
Ron and Kathy
2019 Cougar 369BHS 5'VR
2018 Cherokee Limited 304 BH (Traded)
Joyfully Towed with a 2018 RAM 3500 6.7 G56
ronheater70 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-21-2019, 08:17 AM   #8
Senior Member
 
5er_tom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Durham, NC
Posts: 2,023
I have towed up that grade many times. First times in a Class C on a Chevy chassis. It was 40-45 mph up the hill. Now with the Ford 6.7 diesel and 13,000 # fiver I easily maintain 55mph in 5th gear all the way up.
__________________
Tom & Renée
Durham, NC

2015 Wildcat 295RSX
2018 Ford F-350, 4x4, Diesel, CC, Long Bed
5er_tom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-21-2019, 08:17 AM   #9
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 120
My 5th wheel weighs 13k empty and 15k + when loaded. I towed it for years with a 2006 Ram 3500 basically same engine and trans as yours and I never had any trouble going up steep grades. Yeah it might drag you down to 45 or so until trans downshifts and then it will actually start to pick up speed again. I now tow the same trailer with a 2016 ram 3500 and the 2 biggest differences are going down hill because the 2016 has the exhaust brake so a much nicer experience and also the 2016 has an easier time backing the trailer up my steep driveway because it has a lower reverse gear in the trans, I would have to put the 2006 in 4wd low to back up the driveway and the 2016 will just do it in 2wd reverse. My 2006 did fine pulling the trailer but I was pushing the payload limits because my trucks are SWR.
inspectorgf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-21-2019, 08:51 AM   #10
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2019
Posts: 249
your 2003 Ram with 5.9 Cummins Auto will be fine pulling hills anywhere. maybe you might have to slow down on some hills, but that Cummins will never give you problems. I used to pull the speed limit on that 4.5% grade "1500 ft in 6 miles" hill on 77 in Fancy Gap South VA. Just remember don't lug it. if you can hold WOT and not gain speed, you are lugging it and need to downshift.
__________________
2019 Forest River Forester MBS 2401R
TowPro is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-21-2019, 08:55 AM   #11
Member
 
Join Date: May 2019
Location: Atlanta
Posts: 35
If your concerned about the weight you could always pick up a tuner for the truck and get lots of extra power. I wouldn’t think you would need anything and will be just fine. Those motors are work horses and have enough power
ChrisRR is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-21-2019, 01:25 PM   #12
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 43
Pulling Mountains

I pull an 11k trailer with my 2011 Ram 3500 diesel. Don't lug up steep long inclines. Watch your temp gauge and remember to down shift as your mechanical fan needs RPM to keep temperatures under control. I don't worry about speed even though I cam pull most at 55 plus MPH. I just keep the engine / trans temp under control.
rdolan5 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-21-2019, 01:29 PM   #13
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Carlyss, Louisiana
Posts: 405
I drive a 2015 Chevrolet 2500HD Crew Cab, 8 ft. bed, 4 x 4 with the 6.6 Duramax diesel engine. I tow a 2016 Prime Time 5th wheel travel trailer that loaded weighs in around 9500 lbs. In Sept. 2019, I towed my 5th wheel TT from Old Fort to Black Mountain, NC via I-40. I first got in the outside lane, but soon realized that I was going much faster than the large trucks, so I switched to the center lane. Without really pushing my truck, I maintained 40 mph going up that grade. I do not recall that the transmission downshifted at all, I was in "Drive" with Tow/Haul engaged.
Walholler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-21-2019, 02:34 PM   #14
Senior Member
 
CaptnJohn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Eastern NC
Posts: 3,654
I run that hill often near Ashville. Doubt you will have a problem in the truck lane. Until this year I pulled 16,000 with a F350 4x4 6.7. I started at the bottom around 65-68 and still made the top at 60. Last 2 trips was with the new Ford dually, same experience.
__________________
2019 Montana 3761 FL
2019 F350 6.7 4X4 LB Dually
Edgewater 205 EX 150 Yamaha
CaptnJohn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-21-2019, 07:40 PM   #15
New to FR. Old to TT
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: SW MI.
Posts: 153
We have a 2018 gmc with a Duramax and our CC 5th wheel is right around 14,000 lb have driven rt40 through the mountain and just put in cruise at 60mph or what speed limit was, with the exhaust break on and in tow/haul then let the truck do it's thing. Never felt we were over working the truck watched temps on coolant and trans never moved past normal.
Tall frog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-21-2019, 07:58 PM   #16
Senior Member
 
Villagerjjm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 419
I have a Chevy Colorado rowing a Rockwood Ultra Lite 2604WS that weighs a little over 6500 lbs loaded with the gear we travel with. I have driven I-40 from Statesville to Asheville the past three years.... and continue from Asheville to Macon, Ga on the “backroads” to avoid Atlanta. The Colorado will maintain 50mph but it does struggle. I would never try to take it into the Rockies pulling a trailer like the Rockwood.
Villagerjjm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-22-2019, 06:49 PM   #17
Junior Member
 
wayne272's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Posts: 23
I have a 2001 ram 3500 drw with the edge juice with attitude and tow a 40' cedar creek fifth wheel with a gvwr of 16,500. I drove from ny and picked up the camper at couchs in ohio. Truck tows fine but hit a long steep grade on the way back (cant recall where) and 45mph was all i could get while keeping egt's under 1200*. We plan on going cross country so I plan on getting a newer 6.7 drw for the extra power and the safety of an exhaust brake. Whatever goes up must come down.
wayne272 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-22-2019, 08:58 PM   #18
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2019
Posts: 249
I would leave it stock. From the factory you should not have to worry about EGT.
Plus any added power to your 2003 comes at an expense, and that would be the auto trans.

I think stock you have 305Hp and 555 ft lbs of torque.
A 2019 4500/5500 Ram has 370Hp, 429 Ft lbs of torque.
I think your truck can do the job stock and keep the longevity.


__________________
2019 Forest River Forester MBS 2401R
TowPro is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-22-2019, 09:58 PM   #19
Senior Member
 
rracer5's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Full Timing It
Posts: 2,597
Quote:
Originally Posted by TowPro View Post
I would leave it stock. From the factory you should not have to worry about EGT.
Plus any added power to your 2003 comes at an expense, and that would be the auto trans.

I think stock you have 305Hp and 555 ft lbs of torque.
A 2019 4500/5500 Ram has 370Hp, 429 Ft lbs of torque.
I think your truck can do the job stock and keep the longevity.


X2 Unless the trans. has been bulletproofed!
__________________

__________________
"PT Crew Members Since 9/2010"
2011 RAM 2500 HD 6.7L CTD Crew
2014 Sanibel 3250
rracer5 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
weight

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Forest River, Inc. or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:02 PM.


×