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Old 07-11-2020, 02:01 PM   #1
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Should I trade my half ton for a three quarter ton?

I know this is a hot button issue and I'm sure I will get a lot of different opinions so I hope everyone will bear with me and let me explain my current setup and what I'm considering doing.

First, my current setup. I have a 2019 Ram 1500 Laramie Hemi V8 with 3.92 rear axle, towing capacity of 11,300 and payload of 1439. It is loaded with lots of goodies so the payload is the limiting factor. I recently purchased a Salem Cruise Lite 263BHXL. Dry weight is 5885, dry hitch is 682 and loaded the camper is around 7000 pounds so I'm assuming a hitch weight of perhaps 800 to 850. I have not been to a CAT scale to weigh and don't have one nearby. I realize I don't have my exact numbers but these are pretty conservative guesses. I'm about 240 pounds, my wife about 140, and a young son who is 50. Right now I'm basically putting practically nothing in the bed of the truck when we tow out of fear of going over payload. I'm probably at or close to over already. I use an equalizer 4 point hitch. I know the camper is back there, but it doesn't seem to be straining it too much as far as I can tell. In high winds, I can feel it getting pushed around a little and it will bounce slightly when I hit dips, but not to the point where I feel unsafe.

I'm looking at trading for a used 2019 Ram 2500 Hemi with a towing capacity of 14,500, payload of 3k and axle ratio of 3.73. It only has 5k miles on it. This will essentially work out to be an even trade with the exception that I'm going to have to add side steps and a tonneau cover. This 2500 is a Bighorn so it has far less features--no sunroof, no leather seats, no 12 inch screen, etc. It is not a Tradesman, but is pretty bare bones. This trade would be strictly for towing peace of mind--specifically the ability to load up the truck with whatever I want because of the high payload. I tow mainly in a 300 mile radius of Southern Illinois but would like to tow into Wisconsin one day, which would be about 600 miles one way.

Realistically I spend about 10 to 15 percent of my driving miles towing. I've never owned a 3/4 ton truck and when I test drove it the ride was noticeably less smooth. Just getting my dog, wife and son in and out of it may be a chore. What does everyone think? Should I make the trade? Or do you think my current setup is close enough?
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Old 07-11-2020, 02:16 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by FrankH35 View Post
I know this is a hot button issue and I'm sure I will get a lot of different opinions so I hope everyone will bear with me and let me explain my current setup and what I'm considering doing.

First, my current setup. I have a 2019 Ram 1500 Laramie Hemi V8 with 3.92 rear axle, towing capacity of 11,300 and payload of 1439. It is loaded with lots of goodies so the payload is the limiting factor. I recently purchased a Salem Cruise Lite 263BHXL. Dry weight is 5885, dry hitch is 682 and loaded the camper is around 7000 pounds so I'm assuming a hitch weight of perhaps 800 to 850. I have not been to a CAT scale to weigh and don't have one nearby. I realize I don't have my exact numbers but these are pretty conservative guesses. I'm about 240 pounds, my wife about 140, and a young son who is 50. Right now I'm basically putting practically nothing in the bed of the truck when we tow out of fear of going over payload. I'm probably at or close to over already. I use an equalizer 4 point hitch. I know the camper is back there, but it doesn't seem to be straining it too much as far as I can tell. In high winds, I can feel it getting pushed around a little and it will bounce slightly when I hit dips, but not to the point where I feel unsafe.

I'm looking at trading for a used 2019 Ram 2500 Hemi with a towing capacity of 14,500, payload of 3k and axle ratio of 3.73. It only has 5k miles on it. This will essentially work out to be an even trade with the exception that I'm going to have to add side steps and a tonneau cover. This 2500 is a Bighorn so it has far less features--no sunroof, no leather seats, no 12 inch screen, etc. It is not a Tradesman, but is pretty bare bones. This trade would be strictly for towing peace of mind--specifically the ability to load up the truck with whatever I want because of the high payload. I tow mainly in a 300 mile radius of Southern Illinois but would like to tow into Wisconsin one day, which would be about 600 miles one way.

Realistically I spend about 10 to 15 percent of my driving miles towing. I've never owned a 3/4 ton truck and when I test drove it the ride was noticeably less smooth. Just getting my dog, wife and son in and out of it may be a chore. What does everyone think? Should I make the trade? Or do you think my current setup is close enough?


Tongue weight? If that's a concern (it wouldn't be to me with your setup) but if it is a concern, simply put your gear in the rear. Just don't put too much back there.

If you want the 2500, go for it. But I don't think you need it. Personally, I wouldn't do it but ultimately, it's your call.

And I drive a Ram 2500 CTD.

To me, the only reason I'd go to a HD with your rig would be if you want an Exhaust Brake. And the gasser don't have one. So I'm not sure I see the point...... At this point.
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Old 07-11-2020, 02:18 PM   #3
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Yes I said hitch weight I meant my tongue weight would be in the neighborhood of 800 to 850.
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Old 07-11-2020, 02:20 PM   #4
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First of all, forget about the max tow rating. It is a useless and meaningless number. You're correct in looking at payload capacity. That's what you'll run out of long before you reach that fairytale max tow number. Because of all the extras on my 2016 Silverado, I was exceeding payload capacity when I towed my 19' trailer. And the 5.3L engine struggled in the mountains. I went with a half ton that has the 6.2L engine, 10 speed transmission and Max Trailering package. My original payload capacity was 1910 lbs, but that went down to 1850 lbs once I added steps and a tonneau cover. But still plenty for towing a 5000 lb trailer. Since you're only towing 10-15 percent of the time, a half ton with a Max Tow package should be enough. In the past, Ram was notorious for low payload capacity. I don't know what a newer one with a max tow package would have, but Silverado/Sierra with the 6.2L and Max Trailering package can be had with over 1900 lbs of payload, and that's in the LTZ/SLT trim, which is the second highest trim level. Even with 1910 lbs of factory payload, my truck still has leather seats and a sunroof.
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Old 07-11-2020, 02:41 PM   #5
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What your doing is just fine for the trailer you have. Pretty much the same as I have weight wise. The 2500 is great for heavier trailers and constant towing. Don’t discount comfort a stripped 2500 can’t compare to what you have now. When you start towing heavier then consider the 2500. Go used if you have to and get the comfort options. Just keep an eye on your payload.
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Old 07-11-2020, 03:48 PM   #6
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You will miss the smooth ride , better mpg and daily driver convenience of your present Ram 1500 .
I'd keep it.
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Old 07-11-2020, 04:12 PM   #7
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Keep in mind your Ram 1500 has rear coil spring suspension so it will have a bit more bounce ans squirm, more so with 'P' rated tires. I'm not 100% sure but I believe the Ram 2500 and 3500 also have rear coil spring suspensions but you will get 'LT' tires off the bat.
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Old 07-11-2020, 04:12 PM   #8
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I see no problem with your current set up.
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Old 07-11-2020, 05:03 PM   #9
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Yes. Yes is always the answer to this question. I’ve had a 3/4 ton since 2007 and the only way I could change is if I got a 1 ton. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve loaded up and thanked god I had a 3/4. Not just for camping, but for runs to Home Depot, ikea even. Seriously, being able to go get materials with out thinking twice about it has been priceless for us.
Just this month I loaded with landscape supplies that a 1/2 ton could not handle...and I’ve done this many many times.

Plus, after RVing for a couple years, I realize via firsthand experience that 3/4 is the way to go
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Old 07-11-2020, 05:43 PM   #10
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Yes. Yes is always the answer to this question. Iíve had a 3/4 ton since 2007 and the only way I could change is if I got a 1 ton. I cannot tell you how many times Iíve loaded up and thanked god I had a 3/4. Not just for camping, but for runs to Home Depot, ikea even. Seriously, being able to go get materials with out thinking twice about it has been priceless for us.
Just this month I loaded with landscape supplies that a 1/2 ton could not handle...and Iíve done this many many times.

Plus, after RVing for a couple years, I realize via firsthand experience that 3/4 is the way to go
I see your travel trailer is about 5 feet longer and quite a bit heavier I assume as well. At that length and weight I'd for sure go 3/4 ton, but I'm guessing I'm quite a bit less. As far as other materials, I rarely load anything heavy enough to worry about it. My main concern is over towing this particular trailer. Next time I upgrade campers (probably 3 to 4 years) I'll probably go bigger and heavier and then there won't be an issue--I'll go 3/4 ton for sure.
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Old 07-11-2020, 05:45 PM   #11
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If the TT GVWR is 7000 lbs then the tongue weight could be 1050 lbs. Add WDH at 100 lbs and you are at 1150 before anyone gets in the truck. With 430 lbs of occupants, your total is 1580 so you are slightly overweight. Better hope your son doesn't grow much. If it were me, I'd be looking for a 3/4 ton. Especially with family involved, I want a safety margin.
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Old 07-11-2020, 05:45 PM   #12
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Keep in mind your Ram 1500 has rear coil spring suspension so it will have a bit more bounce ans squirm, more so with 'P' rated tires. I'm not 100% sure but I believe the Ram 2500 and 3500 also have rear coil spring suspensions but you will get 'LT' tires off the bat.
Thanks for the input on this. These are the kind of things I don't know much about. Not something I had really considered.
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Old 07-11-2020, 05:52 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Scrapper View Post
Keep in mind your Ram 1500 has rear coil spring suspension so it will have a bit more bounce ans squirm, more so with 'P' rated tires. I'm not 100% sure but I believe the Ram 2500 and 3500 also have rear coil spring suspensions but you will get 'LT' tires off the bat.
3500 has front coils and rear leaf springs
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Old 07-11-2020, 06:07 PM   #14
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IMO, you’re right at or above the threshold for needing a 3/4 ton. Like you, 80-90% of my mileage is as an empty daily driver. My position is that if I want a bigger TT, I have to get the right truck to tow it. I won’t compromise with a borderline truck to get a cushier ride 80-90% of the time. The mpg is not much worse with a 3/4 ton and the power to pull and stop are much better.

If I were in your position, I’d find a scale that I can weigh my setup with the TT attached, loaded ready to go camping, and see if I’m over its GVWR. I can live with being a couple hundred pounds over but beyond that the benefits of a bigger truck outweigh the cushier ride. Think about how many miles a year you’re towing on the highway with a borderline truck for your TT and decide whether you need to upgrade. No one can make that decision for you, but I encourage you to base your decision on real numbers.

Frankly, I probably wouldn’t own a truck if I didn’t pull an RV. When I went to a 7300# TT, I upgraded to my 3/4 ton gasser because my F-150 was at its limit - actually 600# over by the scale numbers, and the F-250 works fine for my 11,000# 5er now (since I don’t tow in mountains).
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Old 07-11-2020, 06:16 PM   #15
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If the TT GVWR is 7000 lbs then the tongue weight could be 1050 lbs. Add WDH at 100 lbs and you are at 1150 before anyone gets in the truck. With 430 lbs of occupants, your total is 1580 so you are slightly overweight. Better hope your son doesn't grow much. If it were me, I'd be looking for a 3/4 ton. Especially with family involved, I want a safety margin.
X2
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Old 07-11-2020, 06:59 PM   #16
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I know they say around 10 percent of the GVWR is tongue weight and maybe even as high as 15 percent. It just seems hard for me to comprehend that this thing could have a dry tongue weight of 682 and by adding 1k more pounds of cargo that I could surpass a tongue weight of 1k. I figured maybe 850 or 900 tops. Does anybody own this (or something similar) that can share an actual measured loaded tongue weight?
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Old 07-11-2020, 07:07 PM   #17
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My 32’ TT was 7300# loaded and had a similar floorplan with the kitchen over the axles and a rear bathroom. The tongue weight was around 900# (a little over 12%).
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Old 07-11-2020, 07:16 PM   #18
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As long as you aren't over your GAWR then I wouldn't be concerned. The only reason I would change up is to pay off the truck before getting a bigger TT.
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Old 07-11-2020, 07:38 PM   #19
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I have basically the same camper as you. I traded my half ton Chevy for a 3/4 ton Chevy with an 8 foot bed and it made a world of difference. If you want stability while towing without all of the bouncing and swaying, go with the 3/4 ton truck. Otherwise, stay with the half ton.
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Old 07-11-2020, 07:39 PM   #20
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I know they say around 10 percent of the GVWR is tongue weight and maybe even as high as 15 percent. It just seems hard for me to comprehend that this thing could have a dry tongue weight of 682 and by adding 1k more pounds of cargo that I could surpass a tongue weight of 1k. I figured maybe 850 or 900 tops. Does anybody own this (or something similar) that can share an actual measured loaded tongue weight?
That depends entirely on how you load the camper.
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