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Towing with Dodge Ram


CobraBlue

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howdy! Looking at a 1 owner 2003 Dodge Ram 3500 XLT 4 door LB DRW with 5.9 Cummins diesel. I currently have a 1996 Travel Supreme 5th wheel triple axle. The TS weighs in between 12,500 and 15,000 max. Interested to hear from any of you that have been pulling a heavy weight 5ver for a while with a similar Dodge and what are your feelings, experiences, etc. with this weight trailer. I would note that the 2003 has the bigger brakes. This particular truck has an exhaust brake and 6-speed manual transmission.

 

One last question..I have heard the Dodge is tough on the front ends due to the weight of the engine. This truck has 122K miles and been very well taken care of. Owned by a senior couple who had to sell due to health issues. Any concerns about front hubs and front end. Maybe adding Moog heavy duty coil springs. I do plan on adding Bilstein shock on all 4 corner and heavy duty air bags on the rear for starters.

 

Look forward to hearing from everyone.

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Travel Supreme's tend to be heavy. Don't know your length. 3 axles is a dead giveaway. Why 3 axles if only 15k max? 7k axles X3 is 21k with correct tires. 2 would be 14k and your pin would handle it fine with 3k on pin which would be 20%. That would leave only 11K on axles. Sticker on my Teton states 19K max with D rated tires. tires are my limint. Same coach with G rated tires is 24k max. I upgraded ours. We weigh just shy of 21k.

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Check it out here for yourself. http://www.trailerlife.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/Trailer-Life-Towing-Guide-2003.pdf. Looks like that isnt enough truck. I have a 07 GMC DRW CC with a 6.6 and I wont tow my 2004 Newmar Kountry Aire with it. Not enough truck. Even if the weight ratings worked, I wouldnt do it, not enough truck.

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thanks everyone for the input.

 

I, too, had my doubts. Even if the numbers were to work out it would be pushing everything to the max and that is not my intentions. I like overkill with room to spare. Doesn't sound like that is what I would have. Bottom line either smaller trailer or bigger truck. thanks again for the input.

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Glenn

 

you are preaching to the choir my friend. I like older units that have been well maintained. You can have new. $32k for your tractor....I with you. My TS I bought from a senior couple. He is a retired engineer and took exceptional care of it. It is definitely a time capsule. My problem is a still chase storms (I'm an adjuster for 27 years). medium duty truck is the best, but I then have consider a daily driver. I see you satisfied that with the small car on the back of your semi..but I need something bigger. I have a little Ford Ranger single cab short bed standard shift my dad left me when he died. I guess I could pull behind the 5ver but then I'm a train. just a lot of head scratching which way to go. I know there is no perfect scenario.

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Some on here have a Jeep mounted on a 45% ramp on their HDT. The Smart has it's pro and cons. Some have carried a car length wise on their"s. Lots is possible with an HDT. Length gets to be a problem though. You could get a day cab and register as a private truck. Put a long bed on. Lots of possibility.

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Cobra, the Dodges of that era were bad on ball joints. My son had replaced his a couple of times and they were not cheap to do. He had 4wd.

 

Dave

DynaTrak ball joints are the best replacements available. Not Cheap but they will last 200k plus.

I abused the crap out of them on the last 2 Dodges I owned. Never had an issue.

https://www.dynatrac.com/rebuildable-ball-joints/balljoints.html

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Kudos to all of you for your input. I'm back on track with buying a Freightliner FL60 or 70. I luv my TS and don't want to go smaller. By the way, its a 38 footer. One super slide and a bedroom slide. Rear Kitchen....luv it luv it. Best to have too much truck than not enough. 2 tom will definitely get the job done. C ya on the road.

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Cobra,

I had a 12000 pound GVWR 36 foot fiver and pulled it all over the Western US, Canada, and Alaska, with a 1 ton 92 Dodge Diesel dually from 1997-2002 with pac brakes installed after the insufficient 92 brakes failed me on the Grapevine 6% downgrade on the North end. I think that your decision to go HDT is the smart way to go. I am part time now and have a little 28.5 foot trailer I am about to downsize or just sell and fly and rent a room and vehicle when I need an RV.

 

I sold my dually to my mechanic and it is still on the road doing great with over 700k miles on it. I downsized to a 2002 Cummins/Ram 3/4 ton. Then I got a 2009 Ford Ranger but that was just too small to tow my 16 foot dual axle utility car hauler trailer, never mind and RV which I did not have again until after I bought a short bed 2006 3/4 ton Diesel RAM. I hated the ride of a short bed and finally found my current used 2004 Long bed Ram 3/4 ton diesel.

 

I would not tow anything larger than my 28 footer current fiver with a 3/4 ton and even with a 1 ton dually would go HDT for anything bigger and heavier than the average GVWR of a 30/32 footer.

 

I can tow a fiver with a 1500 on level ground, but stopping going downhill or in an emergency stop, or emergency avoidance of an obstacle in the road at speed is iffy at best.

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Cobra,

 

I have been down a similar road that you are on. 2003 Ram dually. Set up to tow and stop. Chipped, Pacbrake, all the good stuff. We then decided we wanted a fifth wheel instead of the Class A. Our 5er is at 15,500 and we are at the max capacity of the truck. I looked for along time at MDTs. For the price, they are not worth it. Sold the dually and bought the Volvo. Now we have the room and the capacity to tow anything we want and it's less expensive in the long run. Good luck on your choice.

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