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Ram 5500

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Has anyone here used or have heard of anyone using a later model Ram 5500 for towing a 5thwheel and what are peoples impressions?

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I like the Ram 5500 but depending on what you are towing, would rather spend my money on MDT or HDT.  Much better price point, safer for towing heavier trailer.  I am in construction and find that those trucks are pretty good at what they are designed for, but when you see one towing a big 5er, and then consider the old adage of the tail wagging the dog, well that isnt what I would choose.  My 5er is 18K#+ dry so right now I have an MDT, rated to tow 26K#.  Am looking for the opportunity to step up to an HDT, but not for everyone.  The 5500 might seem to have similar tow capacity as the MDT, but not the weight nor the size nor the brakes.  

But we each make our own choice based on our own circumstances.

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14 hours ago, rpsinc said:

I like the Ram 5500 but depending on what you are towing, would rather spend my money on MDT or HDT.  Much better price point, safer for towing heavier trailer.  I am in construction and find that those trucks are pretty good at what they are designed for, but when you see one towing a big 5er, and then consider the old adage of the tail wagging the dog, well that isnt what I would choose.  My 5er is 18K#+ dry so right now I have an MDT, rated to tow 26K#.  Am looking for the opportunity to step up to an HDT, but not for everyone.  The 5500 might seem to have similar tow capacity as the MDT, but not the weight nor the size nor the brakes.  

But we each make our own choice based on our own circumstances.

Pardon my ignorance but I thought the Ram 5500 is a MDT like the F550?  Or am I mistaken?

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Some might consider it as an MDT by its tow capacity BUT, when I put my IH 4700 next to the 5500 or F550( which are built on the manufacturers pickup line), they are really not the same.  Although this is my own opinion.  

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One of my reasons for not moving to the 550/5500 was that they had the same seats in my RAM..and to get better, you really have to change out of a large pick up to a "industrial" truck so to speak.... 

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Bill Napier on Http://www.rv-dreams.com uses a 5500 to pull his New Horizons and put quite a lot of research and thought into his choice.  He has a spreadsheet to plug all weights into and incorporates a safety factor into all calculations.  He will share his thoughts on the truck freely.

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What bothers me with these super pickups is if everything goes south, you are at the mercy of that 5th wheel with those weights. The truck just hasn't the mass to hold it. Hopefully it never happens to them, but it does happen.

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On 7/21/2018 at 12:59 PM, rpsinc said:

Although this is my own opinion.

I say again.

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I had a 2012  Dodge Ram 5500 CC with a Knapheide 11' KUV utility body on it. I had a tuner and all deletes. Got it up to 350HP. I had to install a second generation 465 turbo and several other parts along with a BD Exhaust brake to get it to tow without problems. All these upgrades cost me about $12K and that was with me doing the work. It towed my 16K Excel TT like a dream after all the mods. I went to Alaska towing it all through the Canadian  and US Rockies on a real long 20K mile trip and it did great. I then purchased a 24K New Horizons TT with a tongue weight of 3,300 lbs. and it also towed it very good on the flats and smaller mountain grades, however, I was down to 2nd gear and a few times 1st gear going up steep mountains. I went through 3 BD exhaust brake actuators so I figured the 24K weight was just too much for the Dodge 5500. I now have a Freightliner M2 112 with a 450 HP DD13 Engine. It is rated to tow 72K and there is absolutely no comparison in the two vehicles. There is "No replacement for Displacement". You can only get so much HP out of that 6.7 engine so if you keep the weight down then the Dodge is OK. If you tow heavy and value your life then get an HDT.

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On 8/8/2018 at 6:48 PM, MoSKP9 said:

I had a 2012  Dodge Ram 5500 CC with a Knapheide 11' KUV utility body on it. I had a tuner and all deletes. Got it up to 350HP. I had to install a second generation 465 turbo and several other parts along with a BD Exhaust brake to get it to tow without problems. All these upgrades cost me about $12K and that was with me doing the work. It towed my 16K Excel TT like a dream after all the mods. I went to Alaska towing it all through the Canadian  and US Rockies on a real long 20K mile trip and it did great. I then purchased a 24K New Horizons TT with a tongue weight of 3,300 lbs. and it also towed it very good on the flats and smaller mountain grades, however, I was down to 2nd gear and a few times 1st gear going up steep mountains. I went through 3 BD exhaust brake actuators so I figured the 24K weight was just too much for the Dodge 5500. I now have a Freightliner M2 112 with a 450 HP DD13 Engine. It is rated to tow 72K and there is absolutely no comparison in the two vehicles. There is "No replacement for Displacement". You can only get so much HP out of that 6.7 engine so if you keep the weight down then the Dodge is OK. If you tow heavy and value your life then get an HDT.

I like  "No replacement for Displacement".  You can boost HP but most transmissions were not designed  for the higher power.

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6 hours ago, Dan Johnson said:

I like  "No replacement for Displacement".  You can boost HP but most transmissions were not designed  for the higher power.

You are absolutely correct on this point. When I had the Dodge 5500 I  felt like I really needed about 100 HP more power. Since I had already done all deletes and most all other improvemen's I was left with only one realistic option and that was twin turbos , larger injectors, and a ReMax HD transmission.  All this was going to cost me about $20K and would only help me pull the heavier weight up grades, but did nothing to help me STOP. I decided to permanently solve the problem and get an HDT. I really thint that there is way too much attention put on the truck manufacturers pulling capacities and not enough on stopping power, especially in an emergency situation. There are several other advantages of the HDT, however,  I don't want to get off topic.

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I had a 3500 Ram with a 5.9 in it.  I had everything you could do... twin turbo, dual CP3 pumps with Air Dog feeding, 50% over injectors, Hamilton cam,  Sun Coast trans with Garmon Input and torque converter, EFI Live tuning, Powerslot front, and rear Rotors with EBC Green Stuff pads all the way around.  Horse power was around the 600 mark, and torque was in the 1000ftlb range depending on the tuning. It ran great, pulled great, and was a fast truck.  I swapped the rearend to a 4500 setup for the heavier springs and still added AirLift to level the truck.  I ran a Pacbrake on the downpipe (5inch exhaust split to duals) off the turbo- All this and the truck still couldn't control our Carriage 5th wheel that lost its brakes during a wreck happening around us.  Our 18500lb RV shoved us down the highway about 3/8 of a mile.  Truck did exactly what it was supposed to, Pac brake braking, trans downshifting, anti-lock brakes braking but the sheer momentum of the rig shoved us down the road.  It bent the rear rail of the Pullright Superglide up from the force. 

So we moved up to the Volvo.  Little less HP, more torque, but the weight ratio of RV and Truck is greatly improved.  We have been in several hard braking instances where the RV didn't push the truck at all. 

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That must have been one Bad Ass Dodge! I know that you had to have had a ton of $$ in that truck. The Dodge 5500 that I had weighed in at 17K with the steel utility body and all my tools. It was perfect for the 33' Excel TT that only weighed 16K. The 8K more with the NH put me at 41K+ which was over the capacity of my Dodge. It could tow it and it could even stop it in ideal mostly flat conditions.  I only had to hook up and tow it once to know that I never wanted to be in a bad braking situation. It took me about 6 months to get the FL built and on the road. I definitely think you need a heavy truck weight wise when towing these heavy trailers. I personally prefer the TT's over the 5ers so that I can have all my truck stuff, however,  it takes more truck to handle the  TT than an equal weight 5er. My TT tongue weight is 3,300 lbs.

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