Join Date: Jan 2014
Thanked 23 Times in 17 Posts
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I would point out that things always work until something goes wrong - or as my military phrase goes, a plan is only good until first contact with the enemy.
putting 3500lbs into the bed of a ram 2500 which has a max payload of 2250 is just a bad idea. Will it work? sure. can you do short trips? absolutely. but that extra 1000lbs in the bed is going to make for an awful rough ride on your truck and your trailer, and can potentially cause catastrophic failure - which, if they decide to investigate - you will wind up being responsible for because you grossly exceeded the capacity of your tow vehicle.
for some examples on current toy haulers, the Heartland Cyclone comes in a variety of packages - from a 30' to about 42'.
- the CY2812 is 31', has a 12' garage, and weighs 9k empty - well within the ~11k you could handle with a new 2500. you could load about 2k into it and still be within limits - so that could be a couple bikes and camping gear, etc. you would be close - but I think the truck would pull it fine, because again - you're fighting max payload, not max towing capacity.
- the CY3110 is 38', has a 10' garage, and weighs 13k empty - already outside of the max payload capacity of a 2500 - before putting anything in it.
another option would be to look at a tow trailer instead of a 5th wheel. The trade-off is you can pull 17k, and tongue weight isn't anywhere close to the weight you put on the truck with a 5th wheel, but you wind up with more 'swaying' because it isn't centered over that rear axle but instead on the back of the truck.
- the Torque TQ290 is 36', 10ft garage and weighs 8400. so while you would wind up with more sway (which can be mitigated by sway bars) you wouldn't have the payload capacity issues of the 2500.
so really, like others have mentioned it depends on what trailer you have - newer ones are lighter. If you don't have one yet you can - by scaling your expectations - find one that will most likely meet your needs and still be manageable by a 2500. IF you have a trailer already, or have a very specific one in mind - you have to adjust your truck to the trailer, and will mean replacing with a 3500 if it's too much weight. you either adjust the truck to the trailer, or the trailer to the truck - but with 5th wheels, the payload capacity of the tow vehicle really does limit your max weight of the trailer.
I also agree with one of the above posters - a DRW, while not required (a SRW 3500 is rated right about the same as the DRW), is nice for anything over 14-15k because of the stability it provides. Many experienced 5th wheelers have posted their experience when moving to a DRW is night and day. The trade-off with that is you then end up with a much more bulky truck, and if it's your daily driver it can get in the way of drive-ins, etc.
so as many others have asked - what is the trailer you have? if you don't have one, and do have the 2500, I would recommend looking for trailers under 10k lbs so you don't overload your rig - even if it means giving up about 5 feet of trailer and 'settling' for a 30-34 footer. That extra 6' of trailer is worth the peace of mind you would get having a trailer within the capacity of your truck.
btw - I only use heartland for basic analysis because their info is easily available on the web site. YMMV with other vendors, and you may find other manufacturers are lighter or heavier.
one thing I do know - glad I did the research ahead of time and figured out I needed a 3500. Had I gone into a dealer prior to reading here and irv2.com, I would have chosen a 2500 because of the upgrades with the springs etc. I try to warn others to do the same - if you THINK you will need more truck, it's a pretty safe bet to get the next size up. the price difference is pretty marginal when you are talking even the basic models of ~30k
2014 3500 Laramie Longhorn 4x4, CTD, SRW