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Old 01-21-2019, 02:00 PM   #1
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Tow Advice Please

Looking to pick up a 2019 Coachmen Spirit 2963 bunkhouse next week but wanted some confirmation that my truck is plenty. The camper has a dry weight of 6455 lb and a gross weight of 7600 lb. My tow vehicle is a 2015 Ram 1500 5.7 Hemi crew cab 5'7 bed 4 x 4 with a 3.92 rear end. It rolls in at 5900 lb with a full tank of gas and me. I believe the GVWR is 6900 lb and our travels usually consist of my wife, an 11 year old daughter and a small friend. The gcwr of my truck is listed at 15950lbs with a tow capacity of 10150lbs although other publications listed it as 10800 lbs. Just want some experienced advice to confirm that this is plenty of tow vehicle 4 this camper. I learned my lesson on the last camper when I listened to the salesman. Ended up buying a camper and a Truck in one weekend.
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Old 01-21-2019, 03:28 PM   #2
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Tow Advice Please

Take a picture of your payload sticker and post. It will be on the door jamb of the driver door on your tow vehicle. You will likely exceed payload rating and GVWR with the travel trailer hooked up. Itís up to you if you feel comfortable exceeding these specs. Some do and some donít. You will have varying opinions on the forum. Some saying hook up and go and others telling you that you need a bigger tow vehicle. From experience the Ramís can pull well because of the 5.7L and 8 speed ZF trans combo. Again up to you on what you want to do, are you a stick under the numbers guy/girl or are you ok going over a bit as long as the setup feels stable and safe? I would suggest adding some sort of spring helpers in the rear if you do not have air suspension if you are going to run with it.
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Old 01-21-2019, 03:36 PM   #3
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Payload capacity is more important than towing capacity, since you'll run out of payload capacity WAY before getting close to towing capacity.
And Ram 1500 truck's are well known to have poor payload capacities.
What's the fictional dry tongue weight of the trailer?
As was stated by billy, post a pic of the driver's door sticker.
It'll say something like "Occupants and cargo should not exceed xxxxlbs".
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Old 01-21-2019, 03:58 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Camper402 View Post
Looking to pick up a 2019 Coachmen Spirit 2963 bunkhouse next week but wanted some confirmation that my truck is plenty. The camper has a dry weight of 6455 lb and a gross weight of 7600 lb. My tow vehicle is a 2015 Ram 1500 5.7 Hemi crew cab 5'7 bed 4 x 4 with a 3.92 rear end. It rolls in at 5900 lb with a full tank of gas and me. I believe the GVWR is 6900 lb and our travels usually consist of my wife, an 11 year old daughter and a small friend. The gcwr of my truck is listed at 15950lbs with a tow capacity of 10150lbs although other publications listed it as 10800 lbs.
To break it down:
Trailer GVW = 7600
Ram Truck GVW = 6900
Ram Truck current weight with fuel and driver = 5900 (scale verified?)
Ram Truck anticipated additional cargo = Wife daughter small friend = Let's say 300 (to not offend anyone)

6900-5900-300 = 700 available payload

700 - 760 (Listed hitch weight, not including the dual batteries and propane tanks) - 100 (WDH) = -160........-360 adding batteries, propane and misc. cargo in the front pass-through

From what you're telling us, your truck will be overloaded by quite a bit. These figures also don't add any weight in the bed of the truck.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Camper402 View Post
....Just want some experienced advice to confirm that this is plenty of tow vehicle 4 this camper. I learned my lesson on the last camper when I listened to the salesman. Ended up buying a camper and a Truck in one weekend.
I hate to sound like a jerk but you:
1. Don't have plenty of tow vehicle
2. Did not learn any lessons from the last camper

Can your current truck pull the new travel trailer?....Yes.
Can it do it well with confidence and stability on the road?....Likely not.

Again, I'm not saying this stuff to be a jerk. From my own experience, an F150 towing a 30'(total), 7500 lbs trailer was never a solid feeling. A 3/4 ton with over 2700 lbs of payload made the drive much more enjoyable and safer.
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Old 01-21-2019, 04:02 PM   #5
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Yup, need payload capacity number to know. If you don't overload the trailer, your tongue weight may be in the 950-1140# range...
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Old 01-21-2019, 04:07 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Camper402 View Post
Looking to pick up a 2019 Coachmen Spirit 2963 bunkhouse next week but wanted some confirmation that my truck is plenty. The camper has a dry weight of 6455 lb and a gross weight of 7600 lb. My tow vehicle is a 2015 Ram 1500 5.7 Hemi crew cab 5'7 bed 4 x 4 with a 3.92 rear end. It rolls in at 5900 lb with a full tank of gas and me. I believe the GVWR is 6900 lb and our travels usually consist of my wife, an 11 year old daughter and a small friend. The gcwr of my truck is listed at 15950lbs with a tow capacity of 10150lbs although other publications listed it as 10800 lbs. Just want some experienced advice to confirm that this is plenty of tow vehicle 4 this camper. I learned my lesson on the last camper when I listened to the salesman. Ended up buying a camper and a Truck in one weekend.
In my opinion only you will be at or close to the payload on your truck . but i wouldn't think twice about towing the TT you have listed with a good WDH hook up and enjoy . I know others won't agree but that's what opinions are for . your ram has enough to do the job quite well even though i hate rams
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Old 01-21-2019, 04:41 PM   #7
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You should have more truck.

If it was me I would try it slowly and carefully, check your WDH setup at a scale to be sure it is as good as it can be as you don't have any margin. And be prepared to buy a heavier truck if it doesn't feel "right". You trailer is just slightly lighter and shorter then mine and I was hoping to keep my F150, after a few local trips I had to replace the truck, no sway just never felt safe.

If this is your 1st TT I would discourage you from even trying it without a heavier truck.
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Old 01-21-2019, 05:22 PM   #8
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Here's some stuff i typically have in the bed of my truck when camping.
A few bags of charcoal (3 20 pound bags for 60 pounds total)
Wood to level trailer and support stabilizers (maybe another 80 pounds)
Charcoal grill ( 20 pounds)
Fire Pit (20 pounds)
a few bundles of firewood (60 pounds)
Floor Jack, Jack stands, tool kit, traffic cones (100 pounds)
Extension cords (20 pounds)
Honda 2000 Generator and 5 gallon gas can (80 pounds)

That's nearly 440 pounds and i didn't include any coolers, bikes, camping chairs, food, luggage, etc. I do have a bed cover that probably adds another 50 or 60 pounds that gets me right around 500 pounds in the bed.
I think 300 pounds for 1 adult and 2 children and their personal effects is probably about right, if not a little conservative.

So if you bring anywhere near what i do, and you have a 1000 pounds of payload, based on your description of GVWR of 6900 and weight with driver of 5900, you have about 200 to 300 pounds of payload left.
With nothing in the bed and just the 3 passengers it sounds like you'd have about 700 pounds of payload available.

These are all theoretical numbers but it sounds like you'd be pushing it, since you'd be looking at at least 750 pounds of tongue weight from the trailer.

I'm sure many have done it without issue but i'd feel more comfortable with a little less trailer or a little more truck.
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Old 01-21-2019, 05:23 PM   #9
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well the weight police and number guys are jumping all over you, So I will say that you are almost 4k under your max tow rating and I towed much heavier with my old ram 1500 5.7 with nothing but timbrens to take the sag out. I wouldn't pay much attention to guys towing 3k pound campers with hd diesel trucks. It all comes down to you and what and were you are going with the camper.
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Old 01-21-2019, 05:58 PM   #10
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The thing(s) I was interested in are your weight calculations and it appears you have had plenty of help with that. Another thing was "what type of TT is the 2963". Well it appears that it is very close to my 310BHDS Coachmen, weight, length and especially the fact that the axles are mounted below the springs. Why that? My previous TT had the torsion axles, was similar in weight, and was two (2) feet shorter. This 310BHDS sits higher, can you think wind blowing on a larger sail? Your unit is also at 11' tall, as is mine--again a larger sail. I tow with a '14 GMC Sierra CC short bed, 5.2 with 3.42 gearing. With all that we put in the camper, and all in the back of the truck am I overweight? Probably so but I am one of those that IF it pulls good, no swaying, no bucking--let's go camping. I did add a set of helper springs to the rear of the truck as there seemed to be a bit more bounce on the road than I liked. I don't travel the U.S., prefer to stay within a days travel of SW Ga. My biggest complaint would be trailer trucks passing, they tend to "suck us up" just as they begin to pass. I keep an eye out for them and pay extra attention. Winds can seem to make the unit sway a bit also. Heck, buy the unit, hook it up and go for a long drive. Go back and load all of the "stuff" in the TT and truck you think you would normally take and go for the same drive and see IF and how much difference there may be.
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Old 01-21-2019, 06:04 PM   #11
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well the weight police and number guys are jumping all over you, So I will say that you are almost 4k under your max tow rating and I towed much heavier with my old ram 1500 5.7 with nothing but timbrens to take the sag out. I wouldn't pay much attention to guys towing 3k pound campers with hd diesel trucks. It all comes down to you and what and were you are going with the camper.
Since you like calling those that like to do this right 'The Weight Police'...

Perhaps we should come up with a moniker for those that like to be under and take risks with their families and anyone else on the road with them.

How about 'The Slim Shadies'?

To the OP...

One big factor you need to consider in all of this is...

What can you STOP?

That is the most important answer that you must feel comfortable with...
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Old 01-21-2019, 06:10 PM   #12
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The thing(s) I was interested in are your weight calculations and it appears you have had plenty of help with that.......
....
My biggest complaint would be trailer trucks passing, they tend to "suck us up" just as they begin to pass. I keep an eye out for them and pay extra attention. Winds can seem to make the unit sway a bit also. Heck, buy the unit, hook it up and go for a long drive. Go back and load all of the "stuff" in the TT and truck you think you would normally take and go for the same drive and see IF and how much difference there may be.
On that note maybe ask for a test drive with your tow vehicle. Tell them you are almost ready to pull the trigger but you want to see how your truck handles it. Put about 500 pounds of stuff in the truck, take the time to properly set up a WDH (maybe the dealer has scales, or at least a tongue weight scale, but you should be able to set up the WDH without it, but adding some weight to the trailer would make it closer to real world conditions. Take it out on the highway and see how it feels.
In the end you're not likely to be put on the scales by the DOT but you will feel uncomfortable and stressed if it doesn't feel right. Unless you're ready to upgrade your truck right away if the 1500 doesn't do the job then this might be your best bet to prevent you from being stuck with something you're not comfortable with.
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Old 01-21-2019, 06:11 PM   #13
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Since you like calling those that like to do this right 'The Weight Police'...

Perhaps we should come up with a moniker for those that like to be under and take risks with their families and anyone else on the road with them.

How about 'The Slim Shadies'?

To the OP...

One big factor you need to consider in all of this is...

What can you STOP?

That is the most important answer that you must feel comfortable with...
Surely, if any of the Slim Shady's family members were maimed in a vehicle accident caused by an overloaded truck/trailer combo, they wouldn't hesitate to hire an attorney for an easy case.....
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Old 01-21-2019, 06:29 PM   #14
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Well dang! Really thought that truck would pull that camper. Heck by these numbers I shouldn't even be pulling my 4500lb camper! Pretty scary. Thanks for the help.
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Old 01-21-2019, 06:48 PM   #15
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Well dang! Really thought that truck would pull that camper. Heck by these numbers I shouldn't even be pulling my 4500lb camper! Pretty scary. Thanks for the help.
Yep, pretty typical of Ram 1500s, when I was shopping for a used truck.
1218lbs is less than a lot of minivans have for payload capacity.
The 2014 F150 I found, has 610lbs more payload than your truck. So a 1/3 more.
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Old 01-21-2019, 07:20 PM   #16
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Well dang! Really thought that truck would pull that camper. Heck by these numbers I shouldn't even be pulling my 4500lb camper! Pretty scary. Thanks for the help.
Your Ram is a nice truck. Its just not set up to "load"/pull a large camper. If you do decide to go truck shopping, you'll find that certain trim and/or equipment packages from Chevy, Ford, Ram provide much higher payload & towing capacity than other trim/equipment packages... ie, some trucks are specifically built for towing, some are designed more for grocery getters.
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Old 01-21-2019, 07:41 PM   #17
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Overall, the variety of trucks in the same class is very deceiving too. A "half-ton" truck isn't the 1000 lbs carrying capacity truck of yesteryear. Looking at F150's, a 4x2 standard cab can have a payload over 2500 pounds. That's a basic, stripped down XL model. A crewcab, platinum, 4x4 may have a payload of only 1100 lbs. So, there can easily be a 1500 lbs payload range on the same model of trucks.

It's also like that with 3/4 and 1 ton diesel vs gas. Identically equipped trucks powered by different fuels have much different payload ratings. Generally, the gas trucks will have a higher payload; however, the diesels will always be able to tow more.

And truck and trailer salesmen tend to be the absolute least educated on the subject of matching tow vehicles and trailers!!!
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Old 01-21-2019, 07:44 PM   #18
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Your Ram is a nice truck. Its just not set up to "load"/pull a large camper. If you do decide to go truck shopping, you'll find that certain trim and/or equipment packages from Chevy, Ford, Ram provide much higher payload & towing capacity than other trim/equipment packages... ie, some trucks are specifically built for towing, some are designed more for grocery getters.
I was always shocked at that. I have a 2013 Ram SSV (special service vehicle) I drive for work. It is a 1500 variant, 4 door with the short bed and rambox bed boxes. Thing only has 1100lbs of payload and sucks towing just a small 500 pound trailer.
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Old 01-21-2019, 07:51 PM   #19
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Seems odd to me to have LT tires and that low of payload
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Old 01-24-2019, 07:51 AM   #20
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I believe your truck will pull the camper ok, but after you climb a hill, remember, you must come down. I would much rather feel comfortable on the downside of the hill. I haven't heard from anyone having too much truck. I absolutely understand the financial aspects. But you carry some priceless cargo. Wife and children. I would error on the side of safety. Probably not what you wanted to hear, but the fact that you are asking for advice makes me think you may feel the same, but are hoping advice will sway you into thinking otherwise. Go with your gut feeling. Of course this is my opinion only.
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