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The Ram 1500 is a powerful truck that comes with impressive towing capabilities. To help you figure out how much you can safely tow with your current Ram, or maybe choose the next model of Ram 1500 that will fit your needs, we researched how much a Ram 1500 can tow.
The towing capabilities of each model of Ram 1500 depend on the engine’s size. Here are the maximum towing capacities based on the engine:
- 5.7L HEMI® V8 Engine with eTorque – 12,750lbs
- 3.0L EcoDiesel V6 Engine – 12,560lbs
- 5.7L HEMI® V8 Engine – 11,610lbs
- 3.6L PENTASTAR® V6 Engine with eTorque – 7,730lbs
That’s a lot of power. Below, we created a detailed guide that is designed to teach you everything Ram 1500 towing related. We will talk about the towing packages, tow/haul mode, and what a Ram 1500 can haul comfortably.
How Much Can You Tow With A Ram 1500?
To determine how much each model of Ram 1500 can tow, looking under the hood will tell you everything you need. What type of engine your truck has will decide its estimated pulling power on the road.
The second factor is the type of towing package your RAM 1500 has and how much weight can be placed on the hitch. To give you an idea of how much a Ram 1500 can pull, we included the four primary engine and towing choices and their pulling capabilities.
3.0L EcoDiesel V6 Engine
With more than half a ton of pulling power, the Ram 1500 with the EcoDiesel engine has the second-highest-rated towing capacity of any model at 12,560lbs. This 3.0L diesel engine is known for both power and excellent fuel economy.
The EcoDiesel engine has an 8-speed transmission, so it pulls heavy trailers with ease. This engine can be dropped into any Ram 1500 trim type, but it does come at the highest price tag for any Ram truck.
To match this powerful engine, the RAM 1500’s with the diesel engine has a more durable hitch receiver rated a Class 5. Class 5 hitches are estimated to hold a maximum weight capacity of 12,000lbs. With most towing situations requiring less than 12,000lbs, the RAM 1500 can handle whatever thrown it’s way.
If you plan on exceeding the 12,000lbs, it would be better to switch to a more powerful truck such as the RAM 2500 or bigger.
5.7L HEMI® V8 Engine with eTorque
The second most powerful option that Dodge offers is the 5.7L HEMI V8 engine with eTorque. The HEMI engine is one of the most robust engines available that are gasoline-powered, and it receives a helping hand with the added eTorque feature. This engine is rated to have a maximum towing capacity of 12,750lbs, similar to the EcoDiesel option mentioned earlier.
While these engines have similar towing capabilities, many of the RAM 1500 options with this motor style have towing capabilities of 12,750lbs.
The smaller towing power is due to the other options that you can choose between models. If you select all of the additional features, you can reach the full potential. The engine may become overheated more easily with heavier loads with an engine that does not include the added heavy engine-cooling features.
However, the main difference between the diesel and gasoline engines is the fuel economy. We will go more in-depth about this fuel efficiency difference in a section down below.
5.7L HEMI® V8 ENGINE
Without the help of the eTorque technology, this model of the engine has a slight dropoff in power. The base 5.7L HEMI V8 engine has a maximum towing capacity of 11,610lbs. The engine does possess all of the same specifications of the eTorque style engine.
It produces 395 horsepower and 410 lb-foot of torque, but this power is not as easily transferrable than with the help of eTorque. The eTorque frees up the engine from needing to do any additional work, focusing strictly on producing the most power possible.
3.6L PENTASTAR® V6 ENGINE WITH eTORQUE
If you are looking for efficiency from your RAM 1500, this is the engine for you. This V6 provides both the excellent fuel economy from V6s and delivers the best-in-class engine power from a V6 engine.
The V6 option is standard in all trim levels and is for the driver who doesn’t need to pull extremely heavy trailers. This engine is rated to have a maximum towing capacity of 7,730lbs and can add a trailer-tow package for more comfortable hauling.
What Kind of Hitch Does the Ram 1500 Have?
Depending on which model or towing package you purchase, each hitch will have a different weight rating. In standard Ram 1500 models, the hitch will be a Class 3 with a capacity of 8,000 pounds.
These hitch receivers can be modified or replaced with a higher-capacity hitch to fit your needs. These hitches can be removed with only a few handheld tools and don’t require any specialized knowledge.
In a section below, we cover the towing packages that Dodge offers for their Ram 1500’s that include heavy-duty hitches that are Class 5. If you plan on using your Ram 1500 for heavy-duty trailers, a towing package may be a good idea to include in your purchase.
Is the 5.7L HEMI Good for Towing?
The 5.7L HEMI v8 is one of the best-in-class engines for its towing capabilities. The Hemi engine delivers 395-horsepower and 410 lb-foot of torque. It is rated to pull 12,750 pounds, giving you the ability to pull whatever you want, wherever you want. If you opt for the HEMI engine with eTorque, you will increase the already powerful engine’s performance.
The eTorque feature available for the Ram 1500 replaces the standard alternator with a robust 48-volt electric motor that builds up energy while driving. While the eTorque system builds with braking energy, it will take over the alternator and cooling fans’ power, applying your Ram’s engine torque directly to the wheels.
Does Diesel Get Better Gas Mileage for Towing?
Both gas and diesel trucks have the capabilities to tow; however, diesel fuel does a better job in the fuel economy department while towing. Due to the heavy-duty diesel engine’s torque, diesel fuel typically can pull more weight than most gas-powered trucks.
With easier towing, this results in better gas mileage for diesel trucks. There is a small increase for light-towing, but the diesel truck starts to shine most when hauling heavy loads. Drivers can expect upwards of 2X better gas mileage with their diesel trucks compared to gasoline.
The best fuel economy is in the Ram 1500 with the v6 EcoDiesel engine. The Ram 1500 has shown to have gas mileage of 22 mpg city/32 mpg highway/26 mpg combined. These figures are the average ratings and may be more or less depending on the driver.
When driving a more powerful version of the Ram 1500 like the model with the v8 Hemi 5.7 engine, you can expect to get 17 mpg city and 23 mpg on the highway when towing. With lower mpg comes higher towing capabilities with the HEMI engine rated up to 12,750 pounds.
What is Included in a Dodge RAM Tow Package?
For easier towing, Dodge offers towing packages that increase the efficiency of your truck. RAM offers two tow packages for their vehicles, the Max Tow Package, and the Trailer-Tow package.
The Trailer-Tow package for the Ram 1500 offers a multitude of features that help in towing heavy-duty trailers. For starters, the Trailer-Tow package offers extended side-mirrors that reach out further to see your surroundings easier. However, in some models, this will remove the auto-folding side mirrors.
The Trailer-Tow package offers all of the necessary electrical components needed to attach a trailer. With a Class IV trailer hitch that can hold up to 20,000lbs. The trailer package also offers all of the necessary electrical components to power the brakes and brake lights of a hitch trailer.
The Ram 1500 with the Trailer-Tow package will also have heavy-duty engine cooling that keeps your engine from overheating, even with a load that’s thousands of pounds.
Max Tow Package
Along with all of the Trailer-Tow package features, the Max Tow package offers more heavy-duty towing features. The Max Tow package gives the Ram 1500 bigger wheels at 18″x 8″ with a full-size spare tire.
For added torque, the Max Tow package has a 3.92:1 rear axle ratio. This ratio allows for more torque to the back wheels of the truck. When pulling a heavy trailer, the more torque applied on the rear wheels, the better.
What is Tow/Haul Mode on RAM 1500?
In modern trucks like the Ram 1500, a tow/haul mode helps the vehicle handle heavier loads placed on the truck when towing a trailer. The tow/haul mode button changes the shift patterns of the Ram 1500 and reduces the number of gear shifts your truck makes during the haul.
When a truck is under heavy strain, stress and heat will build up quicker in the vehicle’s transmission. An excessively strained transmission typically has a short lifespan. Tow/haul mode is also beneficial when driving through hilly areas, even without towing a trailer.
Additionally, with the reduction of gear shifts, the truck’s engine will maintain peak horsepower and torque for longer durations. The tow/haul mode will also downshift earlier to help with better braking capabilities.
Can a Dodge RAM 1500 Tow a Camper?
With a towing capacity up to 12,750lbs, you can tow most camper trailers around with you on your Ram 1500. The average camper trailer weight is 5,200, giving even the lowest Ram 1500 model with a towing capacity of 6,000lbs the ability to haul a camper.
To give you an idea of the base weights of campers, below are seven examples of camper trailers and their weight in pounds. Be aware that these estimated weights do not include the gear or food you keep inside the camper.
7 Camper Weight Examples
2020 Coleman Light LX 1605FB – A base weight of 3,794 LBS
2021 Forest River Wildwood 37BHSS2Q – A base weight of 7,659 LBS
2020 Keystone Cougar 26RBS – A base weight of 6,604 LBS
2020 Forest River Flagstaff Micro Lite 21FBRS – A base weight of 4,171 LBS
2021 Forest River Salem FSX 167RBK – A base weight of 3,324 LBS
2018 Coleman Lantern LT 16FB – A base weight of 3,141 LBS
2020 Keystone Premier 29BH – A base weight of 6,000 LBS
As you can see, the RAM 1500 can handle all of these different types of camper sizes with ease. The base model with a v6 engine can handle the smaller sized campers. You will need to upgrade to the v8 version if you want to haul a large camper.
Can a Dodge RAM 1500 Tow an ATV?
With the average weight of an ATV being 520lbs, it is safe to say that the Ram 1500 will easily tow an ATV. You must also take into consideration the trailer’s weight, which is labeled on the trailer. With a securely fastened trailer, you can tow numerous ATV’s without a problem.
In some cases, if you own a Ram 1500 with a long truck bed, you can carry the ATV on the back. The only problem you may face when placing an ATV in the truck bed is it can be overloaded easier if you have a trailer pulling something else as well.
Ram 1500s are built tough, and depending on the model of Ram, you can haul upwards of 12,750 pounds. The added features such as tow/haul mode, towing packages, and the powerful HEMI 5.7 engine give a tremendous overall towing experience.
Be mindful of your Ram’s towing capabilities and never attempt to exceed those limits. Exceeding the towing capacity can cause catastrophic damage to your vehicle’s transmission system.