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Old 09-24-2019, 06:44 AM   #1
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2004 Dodge Ram 1500 5.7 hemi as tow vehicle

Anyone use such for their tow vehicle? I had a Flagstaff 19FD that I am to pick up this coming Saturday when my wife can be off work and come with me for the new owner orientation at the dealership in Jolly, Texas. My Dodge is an automatic with low mileage to it. The dealer says not to purchase an anti-sway setup until i have driven the truck a bit, as he feels it is not necessary with this trailer. Will be seeing how it all pulls this Saturday, but just wondering if anyone else has the same truck in use for them? That truck has a tow/haul lever on it, but I am not familiar with its use. I have read that some folk do not use it when towing a trailer. Any thoughts?
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Old 09-24-2019, 06:57 AM   #2
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Take the "Long Way Home" from the dealer and see how it tows. In town, Hwy, Interstate if possible. If it gives you trouble, invest in a WDH. Loaded, you look to be around 4000 lbs with that particular TT. That would be if you "Maxed" it out with gear and stuff.
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Old 09-24-2019, 07:11 AM   #3
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I have a 2004 ram 1500 5.7 hemi 4 speed auto crew cab short box. I tow a Flagstaff 26fkws. Pro-series 10000# WD. I do not use the anti sway addition. With the trailer correctly loaded I get no sway and the truck tows it easilly. I always tow in the tow/haul mode as it changes the shift points and is easier on the transmission and engine. Perhaps uses more gas but that is what it costs to have the lifestyle. 16000km in four years.
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Old 09-24-2019, 08:18 AM   #4
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I had a 2005 Dodge and currently own a 2017 Ram and I always use tow/haul when towing. It optimizes the transmission characteristics for towing and should always be used, IMHO.
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Old 09-24-2019, 10:20 AM   #5
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I have a 2004 ram 1500 5.7 hemi 4 speed auto crew cab short box. I tow a Flagstaff 26fkws. Pro-series 10000# WD. I do not use the anti sway addition. With the trailer correctly loaded I get no sway and the truck tows it easilly. I always tow in the tow/haul mode as it changes the shift points and is easier on the transmission and engine. Perhaps uses more gas but that is what it costs to have the lifestyle. 16000km in four years.
I'm not aware of a 4 speed on that generation Dodge. It should be a 5-45RFE transmission.
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Old 09-24-2019, 10:48 AM   #6
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My bad. it is a 5speed auto with OD.
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Old 09-24-2019, 11:02 AM   #7
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'04 Ram questions

Thanks for the info. Dug out my owner's manual, but the pages are mostly unglued in the book so I had to do some searching. Found it and will use the Tow/Haul as suggested. The dealership is a good 10-14 miles out of town, so I get to play with it for a bit when bringing it back home. The Rams are not known for good gas mileage, anyway, so no surprises that it would drop with a trailer in tow. I appreciate the information provided by all.
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Old 09-24-2019, 11:16 AM   #8
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Humorous note added about my Ram 1500 and trailer

Guess I should have read more into the detail when I ordered this camper and pickup on Ebay. I thought I was getting the deal of the century for a full-sized setup and not a model. Have to give it some Super Beets or steroids now to make it full-sized. :-)
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Old 09-24-2019, 02:18 PM   #9
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Guess I should have read more into the detail when I ordered this camper and pickup on Ebay. I thought I was getting the deal of the century for a full-sized setup and not a model. Have to give it some Super Beets or steroids now to make it full-sized. :-)
Good luck!
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Old 09-24-2019, 02:51 PM   #10
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Guess I should have read more into the detail when I ordered this camper and pickup on Ebay. I thought I was getting the deal of the century for a full-sized setup and not a model. Have to give it some Super Beets or steroids now to make it full-sized. :-)
Why? I don’t see anything wrong with either rig. Use it and have fun!
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Old 09-24-2019, 03:00 PM   #11
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Im towing a similar size and weight trailer with a similar truck ('09 F150 CC 6.5 box, 6 speed). we use tow/haul every trip. its there for a reason. we do not use or need a WDH hitch. we use a friction sway sway bar. we had to flip our hitch over to make it a riser, and that puts the sway on the driver side instead of passenger side.

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Old 09-24-2019, 05:16 PM   #12
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Congratulations on the rig! We always use the Tow/Haul mode when pulling our TT. I am a big fan of eliminating sway (and use a Hensley Arrow to address that for our purposes; but I suspect your truck will be more than enough for your TT, whereas we are near the top end of what we can safely tow. TheWolfPaq82 has it right - test it on the way back from the dealer. Then load it like you would for travel, and test it again. A trip to the scales might be a good idea, too; but as noted, I suspect your truck is very capable of handling the TT. Safe travels!!
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Old 09-24-2019, 05:56 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by IsleDog View Post
Im towing a similar size and weight trailer with a similar truck ('09 F150 CC 6.5 box, 6 speed). we use tow/haul every trip. its there for a reason. we do not use or need a WDH hitch. we use a friction sway sway bar. we had to flip our hitch over to make it a riser, and that puts the sway on the driver side instead of passenger side.
With the sway bar though, don't you have to unhook it to back the trailer into place? I believe that is what my dealership service manager told me, if I am remembering him correctly.
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Old 09-24-2019, 11:42 PM   #14
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I have a 2006 Ram 1500 4X4 crew cab with short box. 5.7 liter. It has what's laughingly called a 4 speed OD transmission. It's really a three speed with an electric OD as 4th gear. It's a Laramie with 20 inch wheels.

It's tow rating is 7700 pounds. It also has a max hitch load. It has the tow package (signified in part by having a tow-haul mode and factory hitch receiver).

My truck tows 4000# and is loaded with at least another 1000# in the bed, and it tows through the Rocky Mountains - over 12,500 ft. mountain passes - with ease. I'm trading up to a rig that can max out to about 5500# loaded, and I know my truck will handle it with ease

Your truck's owner's manual should give you the tow rating. Go by that.
2004 RAM Pickup Payload and Towing Charts
If in doubt, get your VIN and contact Dodge.

Tow/haul is just a more aggressive shift algorithm. It works well on the flat. If you are in the mountains, shift manually and hold a lower gear. In my truck, 2nd gear will cruise all day at 65 mph. When climbing, it's much easier on the transmission to hold 2nd gear when climbing, because you don't have to force a downshift under load when you need more power. If your truck has a tachometer with no redline (as mine does), you can find redline simply by starting (unladen) from a stop. Floor the throttle and watch the speed and RPM where the transmission shifts from 1st to 2nd. It will startle you how high the engine revs. My truck is nowhere near redline at 65 mph in 2nd gear!! And, by the way, if you're climbing mountains at 65 mph towing your trailer, you need to slow down. Your RV tires max speed is 65 mph....on a straight, flat road.

I added air bags to my rear suspension. This made a HUGE difference in setting ride height (rear sag), and eliminating the wallow and porpoising that was there even with a 2000# little Viking PUP. Dodges ride smoothly in part because they are softly sprung. They handle the loads but they are prone to wallow and sag. Air bags solve that problem with infinite adjustability.

A set of Bilstein shocks also made a huge difference in the ride...much more taut. Corners on rails as they say.

I also needed a brake job, so I swapped out the factory rotors and pads for this kit. Fronts only. https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/...?ie=UTF8&psc=1 A DIY job in my driveway. Unbelievable improvement.

Assuming your truck's tow rating is up to snuff, as others suggest, if you are unsure about a WDH, carefully take your new rig out for a test drive....especially on highways where trucks can buffet your rig. If you get any sense of the tail wagging the dog, get a WDH with sway control.
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Old 09-25-2019, 07:28 AM   #15
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[QUOTE=coupe1942;2190839]
Quote:
Originally Posted by IsleDog View Post
Im towing a similar size and weight trailer with a similar truck ('09 F150 CC 6.5 box, 6 speed). we use tow/haul every trip. its there for a reason. we do not use or need a WDH hitch. we use a friction sway sway bar. we had to flip our hitch over to make it a riser, and that puts the sway on the driver side instead of passenger side.

With the sway bar though, don't you have to unhook it to back the trailer into place? I believe that is what my dealership service manager told me, if I am remembering him correctly.
yes, you would need to take it off to back up. we take it off when we get to the campground and check in. just release the pressure on the lever, pull the pins and its off. weighs maybe 5-10 lbs. and the draw bar about the same.
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Old 09-25-2019, 07:57 AM   #16
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[QUOTE=IsleDog;2191067]
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Originally Posted by coupe1942 View Post

yes, you would need to take it off to back up. we take it off when we get to the campground and check in. just release the pressure on the lever, pull the pins and its off. weighs maybe 5-10 lbs. and the draw bar about the same.
Why must you take the sway bar off to back up? As long as you do not pivot the trailer beyond the limits of the sway bar it does not hurt a thing to back up. Rarely should one ever have to back with a trailer at an extreme pivot relative to the tow vehicle. Alot of misinformation being communicated here.
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Old 09-25-2019, 08:19 AM   #17
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[QUOTE=My17Ram;2191079]
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Why must you take the sway bar off to back up? As long as you do not pivot the trailer beyond the limits of the sway bar it does not hurt a thing to back up. Rarely should one ever have to back with a trailer at an extreme pivot relative to the tow vehicle. Alot of misinformation being communicated here.
they are not designed to back up and turn.

https://www.etrailer.com/question-193109.html

EDIT: we are both kind of correct. the friction sway control can bottom out in some instances when backing up and turning.

I usually find myself all sorts of jackknifed when parking my trailer. for piece of mind, i just remove it when checking in or when backing up, when im going slow enough that i probably dont need it.

Directions for setting up and backing up with a friction sway control bar.

https://www.towingproducts.net/Appli...ons/N83660.pdf
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Old 09-25-2019, 05:52 PM   #18
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The transmission actually has 6 speeds although it never will go through 1-6 through the gears, it skips 3rd gear and only will use 3rd gear on certain downshifts. There are 6 possible forward gears in there none the less. Basically it's a 3 speed with a gear splitter, pretty good design.

https://www.allpar.com/mopar/transmissions/545RFE.html
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