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Old 01-29-2018, 12:51 PM   #1
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New mini lite 2503s! Now which towing vehicle

We just purchased a new rock wood mini lite 2503S after about a year and a half looking! We are brand new to rv camping. We take delivery in April, so now we are looking at buying a used truck. We are considering a Ram 1500 diesel, either a big horn or a Laramie, does anyone have any advice on the diesel over regular gas or Rams in general?
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Old 01-29-2018, 01:25 PM   #2
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Welcome to the forum and congrats on your new 2503S!

For that size of trailer you definitely don't need a diesel. Buy one if you "want" one, but its not a "need" for any Rockwood Mini Lite.

There are a ton of threads here about truck brands. Be sure to use the "Search" feature at the top of the web page.

Regardless of truck brand, my caution is that you need to pay attention to payload capacity, not tow ratings. There are tons of threads here on that topic, too. The payload is the amount of weight your vehicle can carry and includes the passengers, all cargo and the weight of your hitch and tongue weight. It adds up very fast. A half ton will do fine for your trailer but do look for a truck with a payload capacity above what you'll be asking it to carry.

RAMs tend to have lower payload capacities but you'd have to look at the drivers door sticker to confirm. A RAM 1500 with a diesel will definitely have a lower payload capacity because of the weight of the diesel engine. Also, the higher the trim level, the more goodies and the lower the payload rating.

Maybe other members can let you know what the tongue weight is on their 2503S trailers. Don't believe the brochures because their "unloaded" numbers aren't real world numbers. If you want to be conservative, assume the tongue weight will be 12% of the trailer's GVWR.
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Old 01-29-2018, 02:28 PM   #3
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I'm not a brand loyal person. My last truck was a Chevy Avalanche that was a great truck but strained towing our new TT.
For me, it's most bang for the buck.

I spent 2 years researching and shopping all the major brands.
I needed a 4x4 crew cab short bed with a payload as close to 2000lbs as possible. All tow vehicles will run out of payload way before coming close to their towing capacities.

I finally ended up choosing a Ford 3.5 Ecoboost for a number of reasons.

The Ecoboost is a towing monster and I live out West where I have to tow through real mountains all the time.
It tows like a diesel. The engine has been around for some time now and most owners love it.

The F150 has the best payload/towing capacities available in the 1/2 ton market. Mine has a payload capacity of over 1800lbs and also has the Max Tow Package, which gives me over 11,000lbs of towing capacity.

I found 1/2 ton Rams and Tundras had disappointing payload numbers.
But a member here uses a Ram Ecodiesel for his towing business and is quite happy.

But any 3/4 ton diesel will be more than capable towing that trailer and give you room to upgrade in the future.
If we even thought we would upgrade bigger in the future, I would've bought a diesel.
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Old 01-30-2018, 02:18 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by lynny View Post
We just purchased a new rock wood mini lite 2503S after about a year and a half looking! We are brand new to rv camping. We take delivery in April, so now we are looking at buying a used truck. We are considering a Ram 1500 diesel, either a big horn or a Laramie, does anyone have any advice on the diesel over regular gas or Rams in general?
The DW and I have a 2017 Rockwood 2504s and I pull it w/2016 Ram 1500 4x4 Big horn eco-diesel. I love my truck. I get 29mpg's at 70 mph when not towing. Towed the trailer on 2800 mile round trip to Yellowstone this last June and got 15 mpg while towing at 65mph. The laramie would be nice for the automatic airride load adjusters. The one thing my truck doesn't have that I wish I would have got is factory tow mirrors. The thing to remember w/the a truck like 1500 diesel is that you can not be in a hurry. Climbing good hills I would go down to about 45mph sometimes to keep engine temps in check. The half diesels are not the same as 3/4 ton diesels. Anymore questions let me know.
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Old 01-30-2018, 02:17 PM   #5
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I have pulled a 2015 2503S about 15,000 miles with a 2011 Ford F150 with the tow package and LT (load range E) tires all around on the tow vehicle. Engine is the 5.0 Liter V8.
Trailer is fairly light with empty weight just below 4500 pounds and it pulled quite nicely with my truck and a Q1000 equalizer hitch.
With trailer payload on a half ton should not be a problem.
I got between 10.5 and 11.0 mpg overall.
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Old 01-30-2018, 02:19 PM   #6
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ram ecodiesel

I tow a 2016 2503S minlite with a 2015 Ram ecodeisel tradesman with all its options available at that time. It does have the 3.55 rear with towing capability of 7950lbs. My payload is 1580lbs. the trailer weight form the factory is 4500lbs. I have it at approximately 5500 full loaded. Use an E4 1000 sway bar hitch. Tows perfectly. Mileage ranges 14-16 mpg towing whil cruising at 60mph. not towing 28-30 highway. It is true the higher trims and options lower your payload. I have seem some high end models with a payload of 1350lbs. The payload is something to be aware of. This truck tows effortlessly. In my opinion it could tow much more than they say it can. Go to the Ram 1500 diesel forum and you will see all you want about that truck.
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Old 01-30-2018, 02:27 PM   #7
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Just buy something that gives you about 800-1000 lbs of wiggle room when it comes to Payload .Also don't fall for the advertised weight of the trailer its bogus it always is have it weighed fully loaded at the scales. Don't be close to the limit or at the limit . It makes for white knuckle driving and restrictions on toys and people .
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Old 01-30-2018, 10:05 PM   #8
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Thank you all for your very helpful replies, my husband and I both appreciate your insight. We did purchase the Ram Big Horn 1500 Diesel, I really enjoyed the way it rides and it has the trailer brake and can tow 3000 more pounds than my GVWR so I think we'll be ok. Again I am happy to find such a welcoming and friendly forum especially when asking extreme newbie questions! Now I am so excited for April to actually try out RV living!
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Old 01-30-2018, 10:19 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by lynny View Post
We just purchased a new rock wood mini lite 2503S after about a year and a half looking! ...........
congrats on your new trailer, ... we have a 2015 Micro Lite 25KS, the Flagstaff twin of your Mini Lite 2503S, .... we consider it the ideal couples trailer, and love it, .... a world of mod opportunities await you both if you're into modding, .... happy trailering and safe travels ........
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Old 01-31-2018, 10:33 AM   #10
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Our Tow Vehicle

We have a new 2509S and we pull it with a 1999 Dodge 2500 Cummins longbed. Great combination but they stopped making the truck 19 years ago.

You can never have too much power or payload to the point that your kidneys can stand the ride. You will love the trailer. Ours is snowed in right now but spring is only a month or too away.
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Old 01-31-2018, 01:19 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by lynny View Post
Thank you all for your very helpful replies, my husband and I both appreciate your insight. We did purchase the Ram Big Horn 1500 Diesel, I really enjoyed the way it rides and it has the trailer brake and can tow 3000 more pounds than my GVWR so I think we'll be ok. Again I am happy to find such a welcoming and friendly forum especially when asking extreme newbie questions! Now I am so excited for April to actually try out RV living!
lynny, just curious, what is the GVWR and payload capacity on your RAM 1500 diesel? The numbers will be on stickers on the pillar in the drivers door.

Did you get a regular cab, quad cab or crew cab - 4x2 or 4x4?

I found a chart online but they really don't account for the trim packages on those published charts. They only give you the highest numbers to make them look better than reality. Especially for trucks with a higher trim level like the Big Horn.
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