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2006 2500 CTD - Max Tow Limit


freestoneangler

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The 2006 Trailer Life Towing Guide shows my trucks "tow limit" as 13,100 lbs. I don't see a explanation of what that heading is specifically. We're looking at smaller 5th wheels, a couple at around 10,000 lbs dry (or as shipped) weight. If I use 2500 lbs for the two of us, our stuff and Ruby the yellow lab that seems to be about the right dry weight limit for me to be considering for this truck, leaving a little margin... yes?... no?

 

Thanks

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Get the factory towing guide, check your exact truck and options package for the weights.

 

Read the towing guide with a magnifying glass, seriously. Many of the critical details are buried in the tiny footnotes, things like:

 

  • Only a 150 pound driver, no other cargo.
  • Hitch is considered cargo.
  • Only 1/8 tank of fuel (if dual tanks then just 1/8th of one of them.)
  • Trailer used has a 60 square foot frontal area (think single horse trailer.) - A fiver is usually 100 or a bit more.

I was within a few hundred pounds of my max weight and I was not happy, I'd suggest you stay well under it particularly if you are going to be in the mountains any.

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Well, I found this from the Dodge website and it shows 13,000 lbs (vs. 13,100 in RV Tow Guide). No other asterisk or footnotes that seem to lower this number. Our planned travels will take us all over the US and certainly in the Rocky Mountains.

 

ram_2500_results.gif

CC06_DH7H41_2TG_PR4_APA_XXX_XXX.jpg
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start_over_off.gif
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print.gif 2006 dodge ram pickup 2500 2500 SLT, QUAD CAB, 4WD, 6.25 Ft Bed, 4-Speed Automatic Transmission, 5.9-Liter HO Cummins Turbo Diesel Engine:
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With 3.73 Axle Ratio Axle Ratio You Can Tow 13000 lbs dot_gif.gifGross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) = 9000 lbs
dot_gif.gifPayload = 2138 lbs
dot_gif.gifCurb Weight = 6862 lbs
dot_gif.gifCurb Weight Front/Rear = 4194 lbs/4194 lbs
dot_gif.gifGAWR Front/Rear = 5200 lbs/6010 lbs
dot_gif.gifGross Combination Weight Rating (GCWR) = 20000 lbs spacer.gif
With 4.10 Axle Ratio Axle Ratio You Can Tow 13000 lbs dot_gif.gifGross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) = 9000 lbs
dot_gif.gifPayload = 2138 lbs
dot_gif.gifCurb Weight = 6862 lbs
dot_gif.gifCurb Weight Front/Rear = 4194 lbs/4194 lbs
dot_gif.gifGAWR Front/Rear = 5200 lbs/6010 lbs
dot_gif.gifGross Combination Weight Rating (GCWR) = 20000 lbs
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We're looking at smaller 5th wheels, a couple at around 10,000 lbs dry (or as shipped) weight. If I use 2500 lbs for the two of us, our stuff and Ruby the yellow lab that seems to be about the right dry weight limit for me to be considering for this truck, leaving a little margin... yes?... no?

Don't trust the dry weight or shipping weight on most 5th wheel weight stickers. Very few manufacturers actually weigh each trailer as it comes off the line to get an exact weight. Most of them weigh a base model trailer and use that weight for all subsequent trailers of the same model or take an average weight of that model trailer and use that number for all those trailers. In other words, they don't account for the weight of optional equipment from the factory (in the case of new trailers) and they definitely don't account for aftermarket add-ons (in the case of used trailers). The only way to know for sure how much a trailer weighs is to put it on a scale.

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Two things that would concern my are, the short bed box, and the four speed transmission. You may well need a slider hitch to avoid damage to the truck and/or rig and you may spend a lot of time in third gear in the hills going slow. A lot of gear searching between third and fourth will heat the tranny up really fast going up hills. You may have to lock it in third and go slow to avoid overheating. Best Wishes, Jay

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...Turbo Diesel Engine:

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With 3.73 Axle Ratio Axle Ratio You Can Tow 13000 lbs dot_gif.gifGross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) = 9000 lbs

dot_gif.gifPayload = 2138 lbs

dot_gif.gifGAWR Rear = 6010 lbs

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With 4.10 Axle Ratio Axle Ratio You Can Tow 13000 lbs dot_gif.gifGross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) = 9000 lbs

dot_gif.gifPayload = 2138 lbs

dot_gif.gifGAWR Rear = 6010 lbs

These are the numbers I think you need to give close scrutiny to. A 10,000# plus 5th will likely put 2,000-2500# of pin weight in the truck.

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Since you already have your truck, it's a pretty simple matter of determining the MAXIMUM it should be pulling:

 

1. Load up the truck like it would be for a trip with you, all passengers, pets and gear you'll be carrying both in the cab and in the bed. Be sure you have a full tank of fuel.

 

2. Take the loaded truck down to your local scales and get it weighed. If you don't already have a fifth wheel hitch installed, add 200# - 300# to the weight you've just gotten (you might actually use 300# since I think a sliding hitch probably weighs more than a regular hitch).

 

3. Now that you have the "real life" weight of your loaded truck, subtract that number from the truck's GCWR...this will give you the MAXIMUM weight of any fifth wheel you should be towing (NOT dry weight, but actual loaded weight of the fifth wheel).

 

4. Now subtract your truck's weight from its GVWR...this will give you the MAXIMUM pin weight your truck can handle. For purposes of this exercise, assume the pin weight will be 20% of the fifth wheel's GVWR (actual may be more or less, but this will get you in the ballpark).

 

As Chad says, don't trust the published dry weight of any fifth wheel...always use its GVWR when determining whether or not your truck can pull it without going over any of the truck's weight ratings.

 

If you do as suggested above, I think you'll find that the MAXIMUM your truck should be handling is less that the 13,000# published tow rating, perhaps significantly so. And keep in mind that you don't want to be towing at maximum.

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... I think you'll find that the MAXIMUM your truck should be handling is less that the 13,000# published tow rating, perhaps significantly so...

To take Linda's thought one step further, the numbers you gave list a payload of 2138#. If a 5th wheel hitch weighed 200# and you, your wife and lab weigh 300#, that leaves a payload of 1638#(2138-200-300). Using a pin weight of 20%, a 5th wheel actually weighing 8190# (8190 x 0.2=1638) would put the truck at its payload capacity.

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So based on these replies, a very high percentage of 3/4 and 1 ton trucks I see hauling 5th wheels are overloaded and illegal? Just looking at the forums threads such as "name your 5ver" and the trucks listed as their hauler, that would seem to be the case. Not too many of the 5th wheels we've considered, and again we're looking at smaller length units, weigh in at 8200 lbs.

 

The only option I've been considering is a 2007 or newer Dodge 3500 single axle, LB (don't want a dually for other reasons) for the slightly higher torque & HP and the factory installed exhaust brake. I'd also like to get the Laramie package for some interior features such as heated leather seats. That means moving to the DEF requirement, which I don't really like, but seems everything has tradeoffs. It does not appreciably increase any of the towing weight capabilities... but I see tons of them hauling much bigger 5vers than we're looking for. While some may simply be oblivious to any of these weight considerations, I have to believe the majority are not.

 

The wife just belly laughed when I suggested the PeterBuilt or Western Star option... so now what... just join the ranks and go for it?

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I am amazed at how many LDTs with SRW can be seen pulling large, often tri-axle, 5ers down the road. Many of them are surely over loaded. Often the RAWR on SRWs is the limiting factor. Just my personal preference but the only LDT I would use to pull a 5er in the 10K to 14K weight range would be a diesel crew cab long bed dually. When that wasn't enough truck to safely do the job we went to an MDT. Regarding DEF, our new truck uses it and our fuel economy actually improved compared to the old truck which used the regeneration stuff. All the new LDTs now have the muscle to pull very heavy loads, some advertise as much as 30K, but the issue is safely controlling that load under all conditions. You haven't had fun RVing until you make a panic stop and realize the 5er is pushing you into the intersection, or you can't slow the rig down on a 7% grade. Better to have too much truck than too much trailer, Best Wishes, Jay

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I saw the same thing, little trucks and big fivers. Talking with the owners they all pulled like a dream, hills were no problem up or down and they all got 20 MPG. Plunked down a big chunk of money on an F-250 single wheel with a Powerstroke 7.3 and discovered MY truck had issues. After a lot of experience I think possible folks were not quite truthful about how well things were for them with their setup.

 

If you are at less than 100% of your axle and tire weights you aren't too likely to pop a tire unless you stress them a lot, low pressure or a summer trip in AZ for example. The truck will pull and stop your trailer at what the factory has decided is the minimum acceptable level, the larger frontal area will put you below the factory minimums at speed, further in a headwind or on a hill. You may see fueling issues that require downshifting if you have a diesel in these conditions. Going down hill may well require 1st gear and very low speeds but it can be done.

 

Where the difference in a moderately loaded truck and a maximum weight truck comes into play is driver stress, you will have longer stopping distances (disk brakes and a great controller are a big help there) and your acceleration will be low enough that merging and passing will be white knuckle times.

 

For me it was simple, driving with our heavier, but within limits fiver was no longer fun for me, the wife refused to drive most of the time it as it scared her.

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So based on these replies, a very high percentage of 3/4 and 1 ton trucks I see hauling 5th wheels are overloaded and illegal?

 

Illegal? I'm not sure you'll get thrown in jail for driving over your truck's limit. But, yes, I've seen LOTS of trucks pulling fivers that I'd be willing to bet money on that they were over one or more (maybe all) of the truck's weight limits. In fact, at the SKP park in Deming, NM, I once saw a 3/4-ton truck come in pulling a large toy hauler...the rear end of the truck was practically dragging the ground, it was so overweight!

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...So based on these replies, a very high percentage of 3/4 and 1 ton trucks I see hauling 5th wheels are overloaded and illegal?,,,

Whether folks have ever been stopped, weighed, and fined or ordered off the road for a truly recreational vehicle has been discussed a number of times and as I recall no verifiable cases were mentioned. However, in a somewhat related situation, criminal charges are being considered against the operator of a vehicle towing a trailer that exceeded the hitch rating and did not have the proper safety equipment.

 

The Dodge site was hard for me to navigate and get exact information on the various models, but there appear to be 3500 models(not sure if they are SRW or DRW) with a GVWR of 11,000# and a payload capacity of 4,000# which is considerably more than that of the truck you listed.

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So based on these replies, a very high percentage of 3/4 and 1 ton trucks I see hauling 5th wheels are overloaded and illegal? ... so now what... just join the ranks and go for it?

Yes, more than 55% of all tow vehicles and trailers exceed a safety vehicle rating. And most have a much greater frequency of mechanical issues because the components are having to work at their max or exceeding their max.

Many pickups have a higher percentage of overloading especially when towing fifth wheels.

 

To answer the second question, it depends on the risk you want to take.

Legal is definitely a concern but safety is the greater concern - personal/family, property, and consideration of the safety of others driving as well.

 

The folks above have given really good advice.

The more stuff(options) you put on the truck the less you can tow. The "other reasons" limit you to what kind of trailer you can safely tow.

RVing is great but there are choices and concessions that will have to be made.

So, one has to decide what they are willing to live with, within their capabilities, to do what they want to do.

 

Without exceeding safety ratings, the truck you currently have/consider will have limited fifth wheel options.(once loaded)

 

The article trailertraveler mentioned above ends with the quote "regardless of who connected or built the trailer, it is incumbent on the vehicle’s driver to assure his vehicle is in safe working condition."

 

As Jay stated above pay careful attention to the Rear GAWR. Tires and Brakes are the two most important safety components when considering loading.

 

None of us mean to be harsh, nagging or deflating to your dreams. We want y'all to be safe and enjoy the time you have traveling, fishing, and seeing this beautiful country with less stress, and less worry or maintenance issues. (maybe a little self-interest is mixed in with regard to our own safety - we all drive down the roads together)

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Well, I don't mean to stir-up a hornets nest... just trying to get a read from the forum as to what my current truck can legally tow.

 

We have seen some of the 3/4 profile models (i.e. Cougar series and High Country) that are marketed as "1/2 ton truck" design/weight. These come in at under 10K ship weight (high 8's, low 9's). No doubt, we're giving up cross-section area in the frame, walls, roof, etc., compromising on ceiling height (only an issue in the bedroom), and overall coach durability, but that would seem to keep me within the legal limits and further from the "white knuckle" scenarios.

 

If there are any forum members who are hauling 5vers with my current truck, I'd sure like to hear from you on what you haul and how your experience has been. PM me if you would rather not discuss on this thread.

 

The one thing my current truck does not have is the exhaust brake, which came stock on the 2007 model year and the 6.7L Cummins. I've read folks really like that feature and it is a big saver on disc brake pad replacement. I looked into getting the stock unit installed on my model year, but it runs about $1800 and adds a clunky looking switch unit on the shift lever... yuck.

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What you can legally, or within the truck's rating tow is a bit different that the issue I was addressing which was more "what will you be happy towing" it cost me dearly to learn the two weren't the same.

 

Look at after-market exhaust brake setups, I haven't looked for a while but the Pac-Brake unit on my 7.3 was an easy install and the throttle and hand switches were very unobtrusive. I ended up adding a couple LEDs so I could see just what was happening.

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2 of our friends drove down from Grand Mesa pulling 5ers that were at or slightly over the truck capacity. Neither had an exhaust brake. Both burned up the brakes and caught on fire. The fires were luckily contained to the axle. I won't tow without an exhaust brake. It is the first thing I added on a truck that didn't have it before I towed with it. One time on a mountain pass could be all it takes.

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