5 Things You Should Know About Your RAM’s Towing Capacity

March 1st, 2017 by

RAM 1500 boasts many features that have earned it’s Consumer Guide Best Buy Award for 5 years in a row.  Aside from its class-exclusive coil suspension which provides a smooth unloaded ride, the RAM 1500 packs a powerful punch that makes the light-duty truck more than capable of every-day recreational and industrial towing.  Here are 5 Things You Should Know About Your RAM’s Towing Capacity, and how to determine which configuration will best-suit your needs.

Something to Consider

You’ve probably heard about tow capacity and other maximum weight limits for new trucks. Most of the time, people associate this with the power of the engine and whether or not the truck can haul a certain weight load. While hauling is obviously an important component of towing, manufacturers have safety in mind too.  It’s very important to consider your brakes, especially for newer truck drivers unfamiliar with towing.  Overloading may strain your engine, but far more important is your brakes’ ability to handle and stopping the extra weight.

Despite a truck’s ability to haul more than what a manufacturer might recommend, you may find yourself rolling through red lights or unable to stop suddenly in traffic. Be careful to follow manufacturer recommendations in order to avoid damage to your truck, yourself, or other drivers on the road.

Engine Size and Horsepower

That being said, engine size, and therefore power and torque are perhaps the main components dictating the tow capacity of the truck. The RAM 1500 Tradesman has 3 different engine sizes; 3.0 EcoDiesel, 3.6L V6, and 5.7L V8.  Since the Diesel engines have higher torque, the engine is able to provide significantly higher towing capacity than the others, despite its smaller size.

The 3.0 EcoDiesel provides best-in-class fuel economy, while the 5.7L hemi comes equipped with MDS mode, a fuel-saving technology that shuts down 4 cylinders seamlessly at cruising RPMs.

The Regular Cab RAM 1500 Tradesman equipped with the 8′ bed can tow the following maximum weights when properly equipped: 3.6L V6 7,270lbs, 3.0L EcoDiesel 9,210lbs, 5.7L V8 10,620lbs.

Cab Size

The more a truck weighs, the less it can tow, assuming all other things remain constant. For example, a 5.7L V8 RAM 1500 Crew Cab will have a lesser tow capacity than that of a regular or quad cab 1500.  That’s because the truck is pulling its own weight in addition to hauling your trailer (or boat, camper, etc.)  The added weight takes away from the capability of the truck in return for added comfort. The same goes for items hauled in the bed of the truck. Consider the weight of items in the bed before maxing-out your truck’s tow capacity.

The RAM 1500 Tradesman comes in a regular 2-door cab, a 4-door quad cab, and a longer 4-door crew cab. A properly equipped regular cab is capable of towing 10,640lbs, the quad cab 10,390lbs and the crew cab 10,360lbs.

Trim Level and Equipment

Trim level plays into the same idea as cab size, where the added equipment brings the weight of the truck up, therefore affecting tow capacity.  With standard options, the RAM 1500 Tradesman V8  Crew Cab can tow up to 8,240, the Limited 8,170, the Rebel 10,140 (Limited and Rebel are Crew Cab only).   Your RAM dealer  can run a VIN-specific check on every truck to give you its exact tow capacity with all options installed from the factory.

Axle Ratio

There are three available axle ratios for the RAM 1500, which means there are 3 different gear sizes available in the rear differential.  The differential is what takes the power from the engine and rotates the axle holding the rear wheels. The higher the gear ratio, the more the engine can rotate the wheels with less effort. Because of these differences, a higher gear ratio means a higher tow capacity.

The RAM 1500 Tradesman comes with a standard 3.21 axle ratio and available 3.55 or 3.92.  As these are all combined with cab size, trim/equipment, and engine size, the tow capacity may vary. As mentioned before, the higher the ratio, the more your truck can tow.


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