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Old 12-05-2019, 01:39 PM   #1
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Towing with Isata 5

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I am looking to tow my Ram 2500 behind my Isata 5. It has the Cummins, Crew Cab, long bed so it clocks in at 7,500 lbs. I'm looking for anyone who has experience towing a similar vehicle (if anyone). I know the Isata 5 is rated to 10,000 but I'm thinking this may be a bit much for it. I'd like to make a decision BEFORE spending the $1,200 on the Blue Ox plate as well as the $1,500 supplemental brake controller to only find out that it is miserable or worse, dangerous.

Thanks,
Todd
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Old 12-05-2019, 05:19 PM   #2
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I have not towed anything heavy with the Ram, so I will not comment on that side. I will note however, that the Ram 5500 has the exact same engine that they use in the S2RV..

The Ram GVWR is rated at 19,500 lbs and the S2RV is rated at 29,000 lbs.
GCWR on the Ram is 37,500 lbs. So Ram certainly thinks it can tow it with no issues.

It is an Aisin HD transmission versus an Allison, so there is a difference there, but from what I understand, that Aisin was designed for commercial loads.
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Old 12-05-2019, 08:11 PM   #3
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There may be some confusion. I am wondering about towing my Ram 2500 behind the Isata 5 (4 down). Obviously, the Isata 5 has the exact same motor as the Ram 2500 but the transmissions are very different...as you mentioned-- the Aisin is a heavy duty transmission. I just wonder about towing a 7,500 lb pickup behind the already loaded Isata 5 and how wise or not wise that may be.

Thank you for your prompt reply. And again, the service team at Dynamax is top-notch, particularly CJ.

Todd
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Old 12-05-2019, 09:16 PM   #4
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Yes, I get that you are towing a Ram 2500. My point was that the Ram 5500 engine....is the same engine that is in a Freightliner S2RV chassis that powers a 40' motorhome (think Seneca) rated for 29,0000 lbs GVWR

An Isata 5, fully loaded (19,500) PLUS your Ram 2500 is only 27,000 lbs (Total). That's 2,000 lbs less than just the GVWR of the Seneca and the Seneca is still rated to tow a vehicle on top of that.

Plus the Isata 5 is rated at 37,500 lbs Gross Combined. Your 27k is well beneath the rated weight. So on paper, it should pull it with no problem.
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Old 12-05-2019, 10:23 PM   #5
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Right...same exact engine as my Ram 2500 is same engine in Isata 5 is the same engine in the Freightliner S2RV...the 6.7. Torque is dictated by what transmission is in the rig (Aisin, 68RFE, Etc), Eg; they de-tune the motor by rougly 200 ft lbs for the manual transmission. Also, rear axle gearing varies greatly between manufacturer.

I'm guessing the S2RV has a different transmission and rear end than the Isata 5???

Also, most folks pulling a full sized truck seem to be Class A owners. Which, will pull very different (different axles, weight distribution, CG, etc).

Put simply, I'm looking for anyone with experience pulling a heavy pickup behind their Isata 5.

I agree, on paper, it's good. However, in practical application, what's the perspective of someone who's done it? Also wondering about supplemental braking which is not only legally required in most, if not all, states but a very good idea. I don't mind taking my truck out behind the Isata 5 but I don't want to spend $1,200 on base plate, wiring, etc. only to find out it's miserable or dangerous.

I guess if I don't hear any specific testimonial, I'll just bite the bullet, buy the base plate and see what happens. I'll report back if anyone is interested.

Thanks for the replies,
Todd
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Old 12-06-2019, 09:09 AM   #6
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Plus the Isata 5 is rated at 37,500 lbs Gross Combined. Your 27k is well beneath the rated weight. So on paper, it should pull it with no problem.

We tow our Ram 2500 which weighs 7100 lbs with no problems.

We use the 10k lb blue ox hitch. Since we are near the 19500 lbs on the RV I put as much heavy stuff in the bed the truck as I can; probably a few hundred lbs.

Mileage will suffer vs a lighter toad. We get between 8 and 9 mpg towing the 2500 and between 9 and 10 with pulling a Cherokee which weighs around 4500 lbs.

I do notice that the extra weight will slow you down more when you are climbing very long steep grades.
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Old 12-06-2019, 12:06 PM   #7
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Thank you both for the replies. I'll get the Ram rigged up!

Any words on supplemental braking?
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Old 12-06-2019, 02:38 PM   #8
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Thank you both for the replies. I'll get the Ram rigged up!

Any words on supplemental braking?
Buy the best system you can afford that provides the best braking and reliability. Your vehicles chassis will handle and pull the 2500 just fine. That's a heavy toad and a heavy chassis, you want to make sure if you have a panic braking scenario you can get it stopped as quickly as possible. Some folks on here have tried towing pickups like yours without supplemental systems or marginal ones. Some of them ended up with the toad jumping the tow bar and caving in the rear cap on the MH.
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Old 12-06-2019, 02:58 PM   #9
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Some of them ended up with the toad jumping the tow bar and caving in the rear cap on the MH.
LOL.

FWIW, I've used the RVibrake3 since day one, and it was in the Ram the day all that BS ensued.
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Old 12-06-2019, 06:00 PM   #10
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Mookie-
I've been eye balling the proportional brake systems, specifically the RVI3.

What type of problems did you have?
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Old 12-06-2019, 08:16 PM   #11
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Take a look at the NSA ReadyBrute bar hooked to the Blue Ox baseplate. Much simpler install when compared to an interior mounted brake setup.
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Old 12-07-2019, 08:35 AM   #12
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Any words on supplemental braking?
We use the portable blue ox system because we switch between two toads. No real problems with it but need to make sure it is positioned correctly. Had it slide out of position once. Our wireless rearview camera interferes with the signal sometimes. Towing the 2500 I can see its mirrors in the RV side mirrors so do not use the camera.

After your baseplate is installed check the the height WRT to your hitch height. I think I use a 6" riser to make it level. Do not want to have the hitch pulling down on the front of the truck.
I think Blue Ox says with in 3 " difference is ok. I want to be level if not an inch higher on the hitch.
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Old 12-07-2019, 08:52 AM   #13
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LOL.

FWIW, I've used the RVibrake3 since day one, and it was in the Ram the day all that BS ensued.
What BS? I must have missed that.
Thinking about starting to tow my F250, I also use a RVI brake
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Old 12-07-2019, 10:14 AM   #14
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To clarify, improper hitch height that David discusses above was almost certainly the cause of my issues. The very first time I flat towed, in a rush, I made a very bad decision to roll out with a setup that had the Ram end of the tow bar 8-9Ē higher than the DX3 hitch. The exit from the campground was a long steep downhill that ended in a fairly drastic uphill transition at the main road. As the rear of the coach made it through the transition, it created a situation where the tow bar could not possibly resist the downhill force of the Ram. The Ram essentially pole vaulted about the pivot in the tow bar and punched through the rear cap.

As I mentioned, I had the RVibrake in the Ram, but Iím not sure it even actuated. This all happened very slowly, and given itís inertia based design, it makes sense that it wouldnít.

That first night at the campground I ordered a 10Ē riser hitch from blue ox, and thatís what Iíve used ever since. Iíve not had any other issues, although, with the M2 hitch, it makes for a very awkward/clunky setup. Thereís a reducer sleeve, then the riser, then the connection to the tow bar. To me, itís too many connection points, too much play/movement, and too many points for failure. Iíve made several attempts to reduce/remove the play, but thereís a lot of non-linear forces in the setup...thereís only so much that can be done.

As a total aside, my Ram has hydro boost brakes, and Iím not convinced RVibrake understands or has the system dialed in for that setup. I have to set mine up for a vacuum assisted setup at the highest setting (large SUV) to make it work at all in the Ram. Just FYI...
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Old 12-07-2019, 11:11 AM   #15
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Yes Mookie, now I remember you posting that a while back.
At the rally I was towing a F150, with no problem, but there was only 1"
difference on the bar. Most manufactures say 3" plus or minus.
The F250 will be about the same as the RAM, about 8 or 9" difference.
I have already purchased a 8" riser so I should be good.
Towing a Ford Explorer as well, but only a 1" difference there.
Thanks for your recap

Joe
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Old 12-10-2019, 11:44 PM   #16
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LOL.

FWIW, I've used the RVibrake3 since day one, and it was in the Ram the day all that BS ensued.
Hey, I wasn't trying to throw you under the bus But, like you say, you're not 100% sure of the brake setup, though I agree it was mostly due to the hitch misalignment.

If I was towing a big pickup with an 8" riser, I would get a 3" tongue. That way you lose the spacer and get rid of some play, and it's much stronger.
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