Can I Tow A Pop Up Camper w/ 2008 3.7L QC Ram ????

Discussion in 'Tow Vehicles, Hitch & Towing' started by TX_F2, Mar 30, 2008.

  1. TX_F2

    TX_F2 New Member

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    I just bought a brand new 2008 Ram 1500 Quad Cab with 3.21 rear end, 6 spd manual tranny, and the 3.7L engine.

    The Tow Rating on this thing is horrendous, a darn Dodge Nitro is LITERALLY rated to tow more. I bought this thinking that it would be suitable for a weekend camping trip maybe every other month for myself, wife, and 2 kids.

    The pop up campers we are looking at range anywhere from 1500 to 1900 lbs empty (UVW) and their GVWR's range from 2000 to 2700 lbs

    Would I be able to safely tow pop up camper's like these..................

    the $%#! Tow Rating on my truck is only 2950 lbs !!!
     
  2. Digger

    Digger Foothills of Central Virginia

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    Welcome to the Portal!

    First of all, I'd check to see if the truck has a tow package installed...you may be able to goose that tow rating a bit with a tranny cooler and a decent hitch....If you go toward the lower end of PUP weight you should be fine...

    ~Cheers~

    Ðigger
    2004 Fleetwood Westlake - StonyBlue
    2002 Econoline E-150
     
  3. kmh1596

    kmh1596 Wilbraham, MA

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    You have a 6spd man trans, so I don't <i>think</i> you can put a cooler on those, but I'm not 110% sure on that. As for towing, if it says 2950lbs, I'd say you're good. As for the rating of the nitro, the v6 probably has the same motor right? BUT, a LOT less weight to pull around. I think you'll be good to tow, just don't get a pup with a $2500lb dry weight! <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_blackeye.gif border=0 align=middle alt="Black Eye">

    *Kevin*
    <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_pu.gif border=0 align=middle alt="PopUp"> 2004 Rockwood 1940 LTD, <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_suv.gif border=0 align=middle alt="Tow Vehicle"> 96 Cherokee 2dr 4x4 5spd, <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_canoe.gif border=0 align=middle alt="Canoe"> ~16' Old Town Canoe
    Nights Booked 08: 19, Camped so far: 2
     
  4. mercman

    mercman Go Ahead, Be That Happy Camper!

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    Welcome to the portal.

    Yes you can tow a pop-up, just not the biggest(nor the smallest). Your tow rating is being hurt by the low rearend gear and the std. tranny and somewhat by the 6 cyl, I'll admit that I didn't think that combo was available in Quad cab. I tow with a f-150 v6 (4.2L) witha 5 spd std and 3:55 gears. I have a rockwood freeedom 1980 (10 ft box) that weighs 2700 fully loaded. It tows fine but you know if you going up a big hill. Plus side is your mileage is better than most full size Pick ups.

    Just keep an eye on the loaded weights of your trailer. Don't go for the biggest one and you shouldn't be disapointed. My PuP is well optioned and weighs around 1700 empty, so there out there.

    Good luck in your shopping and feel free to ask more questions.

    Chris

    01 f-150 <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_suv.gif border=0 align=middle alt="Tow Vehicle"> 07 Rockwood 1980, <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_pu.gif border=0 align=middle alt="PopUp">
    Nights Camped 2007 ~ 19
     
  5. Digger

    Digger Foothills of Central Virginia

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    I should know better'n to get into a towing discussion....I still have a lot to learn! thanks Steve and Kevin.....

    ~Cheers~

    Ðigger
    2004 Fleetwood Westlake - StonyBlue
    2002 Econoline E-150
     
  6. TX_F2

    TX_F2 New Member

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    Thanks for the replies, I just left the dealership last night at 9:30 pm and was planning on being at the dealership tomorrow morning before they even opened up (they are closed today since it's Sunday) to return it.

    I posted the same thing at another pop up site and a few RV sites, and they all said that I should return it, out of about 20 other replies I only had ONE that said I would be alright............. but he also said that he would tow up to a 24ft trailer with my truck and that his brother in law tows a 31ft 5th wheel with a Ford F-150. <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_shock.gif border=0 align=middle alt="Shock">

    I am still a little nervous about keeping it as you guys are saying the opposite of what all the other sites are saying.

    Here is an idea of the type of pop up we are thinking of getting, not necessarily this model, but ones similar :

    Look At Model Specs For 2102

    We would also want an AC w/ Heat Strip, but that's it.

    So now at a Tow Rating of 2950 lbs, and the fact that we would be going camping only about once a month for a weekend trip, you guys think I would be OK ? No blown motor, ruined tranny, going 30 mph with the pedal to the floor ? ect.

    I would like to keep the truck, but I won't let my emotions get in the way of returning it if it will always be at the upper limit of it's Tow Rating for even the smallest of pop ups. There would be my wife and two kids plus all our camping supplies also to consider adding to the weight.

    So do you guys still think it would be OK (READ: SAFELY TOW) a pop up as the one I described ????

    Edited by - TX_F2 on March 30 2008 21:41:00
     
  7. binky

    binky New Member

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    Does it have a regular receiver style hitch? or a ball on the bumper? I would have thought the tow rating would have been higher. Let us know what the outcome is.
     
  8. TX_F2

    TX_F2 New Member

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    <BLOCKQUOTE id=quote><font size=1 face="Verdana,Arial,Helvetica" id=quote>quote:<hr height=1 noshade id=quote> Does it have a regular receiver style hitch? or a ball on the bumper? I would have thought the tow rating would have been higher. Let us know what the outcome is.<hr height=1 noshade id=quote></BLOCKQUOTE id=quote></font id=quote><font face="Verdana,Arial,Helvetica" size=2 id=quote>

    It has a reciever hitch with a 4 pin connector and a 7 pin connector, although it does not have a tow package hence the standard 3.21 rear end.

    The hitch was not installed from the factory, but the dealer is installing the factory reciever hitch and 7 pin connector (the 4 pin comes on all Dodge trucks standard).
     
  9. kmh1596

    kmh1596 Wilbraham, MA

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    Well that is a pretty small motor for a full sized truck, but they did rate it for 2950lbs, so it should be able to tow it. I don't know that you will just be able to <i>return</i> the truck either, but thats a whole separate issue I guess. I'm not saying it will be a powerhouse, but I can say from first experience having a V6 and ~2400lbs loaded up, that you will know its there when going up steep hills, but its not going to blow it up. IF you can get out of the truck and get something with a little more power and tow capacity, I wouldn't say thats a dumb move, but the truck isn't going to self destruct towing a ~2000lb pup, IMO.
    Carl, you're definitely not dumb lol, I just have been around a privately owned hitch/truck accessory dealership all my life, doing transmission coolers, hitches, etc..etc.. <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_big.gif border=0 align=middle alt="Big Smile"> I'm 99.9% sure a trans cooler can not be had for a manual trans, but with technology these days, there could be such a thing out there.
    My <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_twocents.gif border=0 align=middle alt="My 2 Cents"> of course, but honestly if you're doubting it, you don't want to be angry later that you didn't get a truck with more power and towing capacity. Better to have to much than not enough!

    *Kevin*
    <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_pu.gif border=0 align=middle alt="PopUp"> 2004 Rockwood 1940 LTD, <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_suv.gif border=0 align=middle alt="Tow Vehicle"> 96 Cherokee 2dr 4x4 5spd, <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_canoe.gif border=0 align=middle alt="Canoe"> ~16' Old Town Canoe
    Nights Booked 08: 19, Camped so far: 2

    Edited by - kmh1596 on March 30 2008 21:58:11

    Edited by - kmh1596 on March 30 2008 21:58:53
     
  10. kreich

    kreich Member

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    I tow a 2900 lbs dry pup with a 6cyl. Nissian Frontier 4x4. Welcome from Hale Center.

    2007 Rockwood Premier 2302
    2006 Nissian Frontier
    2007 Pelican Raider 8E
    http://community.webshots.com/user/kreich123
     
  11. TX_F2

    TX_F2 New Member

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    <BLOCKQUOTE id=quote><font size=1 face="Verdana,Arial,Helvetica" id=quote>quote:<hr height=1 noshade id=quote> Well that is a pretty small motor for a full sized truck, but they did rate it for 2950lbs, so it should be able to tow it. I don't know that you will just be able to return the truck either, but thats a whole separate issue I guess. I'm not saying it will be a powerhouse, but I can say from first experience having a V6 and ~2400lbs loaded up, that you will know its there when going up steep hills, but its not going to blow it up. IF you can get out of the truck and get something with a little more power and tow capacity, I wouldn't say thats a dumb move, but the truck isn't going to self destruct towing a ~2000lb pup, IMO.
    Carl, you're definitely not dumb lol, I just have been around a privately owned hitch/truck accessory dealership all my life, doing transmission coolers, hitches, etc..etc.. Big Smile I'm 99.9% sure a trans cooler can not be had for a manual trans, but with technology these days, there could be such a thing out there.
    My My 2 Cents of course, but honestly if you're doubting it, you don't want to be angry later that you didn't get a truck with more power and towing capacity. Better to have to much than not enough<hr height=1 noshade id=quote></BLOCKQUOTE id=quote></font id=quote><font face="Verdana,Arial,Helvetica" size=2 id=quote>

    My biggest concern was that the engine wouldn't be able to pull the weight, or the brakes wouldn't be able to stop it. I would only be towing MAYBE once a month for a weekend of camping.

    I know I won't be winning any races while towing, and getting a more powerful truck right now really is not financially viable as moving up to a V8 would increase what we are willing to pay per month.

    I can return it, it's a dealership policy, I have 3 days and can return it as long as it does not have over 500 miles on it. Will I have to pay some kind of "return fee" ?....... probably, but if I do return it the fee would be better than being stuck with a truck that won't pull a pop up.
     
  12. ktn

    ktn New Member

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    TX_F2 - if you like the truck, you would be fine to tow a pup within the weight limits. I happen to be a huge fan of manual transmissions in trucks and while a 3.21 axle is definitely weak, it is most likely a Dana 44 axle and that is a great strong sturdy axle. Same with your brakes, they are the same brakes Dodge puts on every other half ton truck.

    That 3.7 V6 has to put out at least 160 horsepower and I am old enough to remember when V8's only put out 160 horsepower.

    Look, the first new car I ever bought was a 1982 half ton Dodge pick up, stripped, no power steering, no power brakes, no radio, no A/C. It had a 225 cubic inch six with a one barrel carb putting out a stunning 95 horsepower. 95!!!

    THAT was in a full size half ton truck.

    I towed small trailers with it all over the west.

    Stay within the manufacturers limits, drive a tad conservative as far as what gear you are in and you will be just fine.

    Keith and Claire
    2006 Tacoma
    2007 Palomino P283
    "History is not just cruel. It is witty."

    Edited by - ktn on March 30 2008 23:27:25
     
  13. ktn

    ktn New Member

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    It looks like you are in Texas; probably relatively flat to tow. IF down the road that 3.21 really becomes a problem, for about $900 you can have the gears changed out to 3.55's, 3.73's, 4.10's, 4.56's...what ever you want. Maybe not optimum but it really does not sound like you will tow much.

    Keith and Claire
    2006 Tacoma
    2007 Palomino P283
    "History is not just cruel. It is witty."
     
  14. hanson1522

    hanson1522 Belleville, IL

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    Oh yeah If I can do it with a Caravan you are good to go

    Nate
     
  15. TX_F2

    TX_F2 New Member

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    Thanks again for the replies, I'm actually feeling a little better about my purchase decision.

    ktn - The truck has 215 HP and 235 TQ

    hanson1522 - Yeah, but your Caravan actually has a higher Tow Rating. <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_blackeye.gif border=0 align=middle alt="Black Eye">
     
  16. ktn

    ktn New Member

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    215 horsepower! WOW! I had a 1990 F250 with a 351 that I bought new and just traded in two years ago, it only had 210 out of a decent sized V8.

    You will be fine! If you ever come up here to Colorado then you will regret the 3.21 but otherwise you probably won't regret it at all.

    Keith and Claire
    2006 Tacoma
    2007 Palomino P283
    "History is not just cruel. It is witty."
     
  17. TX_F2

    TX_F2 New Member

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    Thanks again for the replies, maybe it won't be so bad for towing a 2000 lb pop up about one weekend every other month or so. The rest of the time it won't be towing anything.

    The highest elevation here in TX that we would possibly travel to is about 2300 ft above sea level....... that's the "mountains" for us Texans. This region is known as the <i>Hill Country</i> in Texas.

    The highest point in TX is Guadalupe Peak at 8,749 ft, and the highest campground in TX is 1 mile below that at 3,469 ft above sea level.

    Edited by - TX_F2 on March 31 2008 00:08:58

    Edited by - TX_F2 on March 31 2008 00:09:32
     
  18. banjorules

    banjorules Member

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    I towed a 4500 lb (verified) hybrid with a v6 Quad Cab Dakota. Truck had 175 hp and a 4500 lb tow rating. With 4 adults in the truck. Almost 3000 miles, to NY then to MI then home to MD. Over the PA mountains and eastern OH. Towed fine, maintained highway speeds, was stable as could be. Prior to the hybrid, I used to tow a 3000 lb popup. I don't see any reason your truck won't be fine with a popup of that weight since you are within your limits, just don't plan on upgrading the trailer.

    <center><h6>'02 Starcraft Travelstar 21CK & Pinky- '06 Ram 1500 MegaCab 4x2
    <i>Camping nights 2007 -</i><font color=blue>41</font id=blue><i> - 2008 - </i><font color=blue>4</font id=blue>
    <font color=blue>MidAtlantic Campers:<i>Camp tnereffiD</i></font id=blue>
    </h6></center>
     
  19. becasunshine

    becasunshine New Member

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    I am ammending this post, because, after much number crunching and consideration, we traded our 2.7 liter 4 cylinder Tacoma for a 4.0 liter 6 cylinder 4Runner.

    We made a fully loaded trip to the CAT scales before we made that decision. We loaded heavy on purpose- we loaded for an extended trip.

    We were under our weight limits for the the tow vehicle, for the PUP and for the combined weight.

    Our GCW was 6300 lbs, 1100 lbs. below the Tacoma's 7400 lbs. GCWR.

    I just didn't like the way it felt when the Tacoma was towing that weight. I wasn't comfortable with it, and it's as simple as that.

    I don't want anyone to run into this thread and think that we continued to tow with a 4 cylinder Tacoma!

    Edited by - becasunshine on April 12 2008 00:05:14
     
  20. TX_F2

    TX_F2 New Member

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    Thank you very much for your post.

    We decided to keep the Ram V6 and we're hoping that it will do just fine.

    We are not set on any one particular brand, the link to the Starcraft model was just an example of what we are looking for. We would rather have a couch/guacho and / or some storage in place of a toilet and shower though.

    It's my wife, 8 yr old daughter, 11 yr old son, myself, and our guard dog....... a 5 to 7 lb Chihuahua.

    We decided that having an AC w/ Heat Strip is a must. And we are hoping to find a pup that has what we're looking for with a fairly low dry weight yet a good amount of CCC while still coming in at under 2500 lbs GVWR.

    We need some decent CCC because just the 4 of us (wife, two kids, myself) come in at about 450 lbs alone without any gear.

    2008 Dodge Ram 1500 QC
    2007 Magellan Dome Tent....For Now
     

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