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Hey Guys!

Here's my Heavy Duty Towing report for a 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel.

My journey began in beautiful Western Wyoming.

Picked up an empty Kaufman Trailers custom made full tilt bed 20FT 10000 lb rated trailer in Nebraska and hooked it up to my 2014 Ecodiesel. Here's the photo:
Tow1.JPG

Then we kept on driving heading east on the well know i-80. What a fun drive with a Ecodiesel pulling an empty Gooseneck. It's so nice when you have no sway and just cruise on the highway doing 80.:cool::cool::cool:

Stopped at a Home Depot and thought I should snap another photo. It just looked so good! ;););) No rear sagging! And there's a reason for that! Truck has Airlift 1000 ( @15 psi since we're empty) and Tuftruck 35% Variable Rate rear coil springs. Ride quality is great! I also installed Bilstein 5100 Heavy Duty Rear Shocks along with the airlift

Tow2.JPG

And we kept on going ... After 3 days on i80 and some crazy narrow i-476 Turnpike in Pensylvania (by the way, trucks must use left lane for multiple sections of construction - fun times), we made it to the Marvelous State of NJ. Boy oh boy..... Marvelous NJ.... That's all I'm gonna say about NJ.... Or maybe not - if you ever want to make a left turn, you have to drive all the way to Philadelphia, where you can make a Uey and then go back to NJ and reach your destination. :confused::confused::confused::confused::confused: I am sure the NJ guys hear it all the time. Oh yeah, one last :cool::cool: good NJ street sign. Left turns use Right Lane !!! :confused::confused::confused: Y - Only in NJ !!!!

As we reached our destination, we determined truck had an average of 14 - 15 MPG towing the empty trailer about 1700 miles at highway speed limit +5. Not bad at all! Did not use Tow/haul mode until I got to Pennsylvania and went up and down some nice hills! Transmission temps never went pass 195 F. Ambient temperature in daytime was no more than 70 F at most.

Spent a couple of days in NJ and then got the trailer loaded. Here's what we towed back to beautiful Wyoming.

Tow4.JPG

Truck sitting level! Airlift 1000 @ 25 psi; BFGoodrich 8 Ply D rated. Front @ 40 psi cold, Rear @ 50 psi cold. Had to load the Tractor backwards in order to put some weight on the rear axle. Estimated weight was no 1300 to 1500 lbs in the bed of the truck.

And we started on out trip back, I was a little nervous about the rig and had the genius idea of buying a truck app and follow the directions for a semi!!! Boy was that a bad idea. It took me across NJ on these little highways, crossed a bridge and ended up in Wilmington around 4:15 PM on US 30 in stop and go traffic. Little tank (the EcoDiesel) was working hard. Found out the hard way that although I have an integrated trailer brake controller, the truck can still side on all 4 wheels when someone cuts in front of you. There's a slight delay when you break between the truck and the trailer, especially when slamming on the brakes! once this happened, I remembered what a good friend with a Ram 3500 told me: keep your right hand on the trailer brake controller while in town and don't be afraid to squeeze it! Yes! It does make a HUUUUGE difference!

Once I passed Wilmington and the crazy rush hour traffic, I decided to ditch the truck app directions and use my built it NAV along with Google Maps for traffic alerts! If you put your destination in G Maps, it will tell you about accidents, construction and delays on your route! Got on i76 Penna Pike. Took 222 from Harrisburg towards i80, It was night time and I was reading signs. Suddenly, I see a sing: use flashers under 50 MPH. And I was thinking - "Man, that must be for semis only". A minute later and sure enough I slowed down to about 40 going uphill. Guess it was a fairly steep grade. Had signs to keep it in low gear and so I did! It wasn't too bad.

I finally made it to i80 and start driving west. I thought Pennsylvania would be difficult on i80 due to the Appalachians. I only had to slow down to about 55 mph a couple of times. Overall truck had no problem with the ups and downs.

After 3 and a half days of towing, I learned that the Tow/Haul mode helps a lot! It keep transmission temps down. Also, the speed paired with the right gear will keep your transmission temps down. My goal was to never exceed 200 F for transmission. The only time it got to 199 and 201 was in Illinois when I had a really strong head wind - you could definitely feel it. I ended up slowing to to around 62-65 mph in 6th gear. Noticed that the transmission stays cooler as the engine RPMs are higher. For example doing 65-68 in 7th at around 2300 RPM has a tranny temp of 195 to 197 vs running in 6th gear at about 2750 RPMs with a tranny temp of 190 or 188.

The engine temp stayed at an average of 235 F for oil and 220 F coolant. It did get up to 245 F oil on some hills but nothing alarming. I did not use cruise control unless I was on flat good roads with no head wind. The cruise control scared me once when it downshifted from 6th to 5th. For whatever reason, it was a fairly violent shift. After that, I decided to use it with caution. if I was in 7th and i saw the gearbox downshift to 6th I would disengage the cruise control.

Very Important Lesson Learned: When towing a heavy load uphill, I would try to keep as much momentum as possible. If I had to downshift from 6th to 5th, I would lift my foot of the accelerator, downshift to 5th from the Gear - button and then push the accelerator as the transmission got into 5th. You lose momentum just for about a second and half, but the downshift is smooth - not violent like it would be under full throttle load.

Overall truck ran in 6th or 7th gear. Kept RPMs at no more than 2800. I did not use 8th at all. Had it limited to 7th. I did get to 75 MPH (3000 RPMs) on the better roads of Nebraska and Wyoming, but only when I had to pass some semis. I would say my speed was mostly between 65 and 70 mph. On the way back, after 2400 miles, the truck got between 11.7 and 12.5 MPG depending on driving conditions. Not bad at all for towing 10000 lbs loaded trailer. (My 2012 Tundra V8 4.6 got no more than 15 mpg empty). Engine braking from GDE works quite well, especially around 3000 to 3200 RPM. Even going down a 6% grade on Elk Mountain in Wyoming, I only had to use the brakes normally. Truck was under control.

Lastly, once you pull a Gooseneck, you don't want to go back to a bumper pull. Gooseneck is sooo much nicer. I installed a B&W Gooseneck hitch on my RAM 1500 Ecodiesel. The only downside is that you cannot turn over the ball because it does not clear the exhaust pipe which is just a couple inches below the main plate. I've seen some guys asking about a fifth wheel hitch - B&W offers an adapter that can be used with this gooseneck.

Hope you enjoyed reading my story and learned a couple of things!

Have a great day!


Edit 1: Truck has 3.92 Gears and Hawk LTS Brake pads on front and back! What a difference they make!

Thanks everyone for all your likes!
 

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WycEco3d great post , I've been waiting for a post like yours, because I'm getting ready to install a gooseneck and yes a gooseneck is the only way to pull , turning and backing up is great advantage with a gooseneck . Very informative post , what gears do you have ? And I'm Florida very flat no hills what's your opinion I have a couple of folks who would like me to deliver hay them about 20 miles one way straight roads very few other vehicles on these roads, now I've been pulling heavy loads most of my life so I'm not new to this at all . I'm looking at pulling about 14000 -16000 lbs now I've got access to multiple goosenecks to try out before I make a purchase not to make any costly mistakes . I've been working numbers very hard on HP/ torque (power bands )on comparison with all my other trucks and from past experiences for short hauls I'm inclined to believe this truck should be a good hauler and myself I've never towed over 55 mph. Your opinion is greatly appreciated!!!!
 

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Good lord that's a huge load for a 1500. The report and ideas are precious to many who would want to try it. Then to find out it worked and worked well. Miraculous.

As for transmission temperatures, mine would probably run 240 degrees and up hills with that load, shut down at the 260 temperature limit. You have quite a good combination.
 

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Thanks for a great post, very very informative. Thanks for taking the time for writing:cool: it.
 

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If I had to downshift from 6th to 5th, I would lift my foot of the accelerator, downshift to 5th from the Gear - button and then push the accelerator as the transmission got into 5th. You lose momentum just for about a second and half, but the downshift is smooth - not violent like it would be under full throttle load.
Have had the same experience as you (in Wyoming no less, out in the eastern flats) with the tranny having some violent shifts while towning, 6-5 like you mentioned, and my load was nowhere near what yours was, and not full throttle either. Interested to see how this plays out in the long run with those towing more frequently.

Great write up!
 

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Thanks for the post, it was a good read on the capabilities of this truck. Two questions though, what gears are you running? 3.55 or 3.92? and do you have a GDE Hot Tune?
 

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Any truck can pull in excess of its rated weight. How good it is for the longevity of the mechanicals is not something I wish to test. My personal preference is to " camp out" about 1k under my rated capacity. Time will tell but it may happen after the warranty has expired.

Nonetheless....it was a good story.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
WycEco3d great post , I've been waiting for a post like yours, because I'm getting ready to install a gooseneck and yes a gooseneck is the only way to pull , turning and backing up is great advantage with a gooseneck . Very informative post , what gears do you have ? And I'm Florida very flat no hills what's your opinion I have a couple of folks who would like me to deliver hay them about 20 miles one way straight roads very few other vehicles on these roads, now I've been pulling heavy loads most of my life so I'm not new to this at all . I'm looking at pulling about 14000 -16000 lbs now I've got access to multiple goosenecks to try out before I make a purchase not to make any costly mistakes . I've been working numbers very hard on HP/ torque (power bands )on comparison with all my other trucks and from past experiences for short hauls I'm inclined to believe this truck should be a good hauler and myself I've never towed over 55 mph. Your opinion is greatly appreciated!!!!
Hey Haul N Grass!

My truck has the 3.92 gears and the G D E Hot Tune. I think the tune helps a lot. You can definitely feel more torque and power after 3000 RPM if you need it. I also changed the brake pads to the Hawk LTS. Big difference. They bite much quicker and even better when they're hot

Light Truck and SUV Brake Pads | Hawk LTS | Hawk Performance

My advice regarding towing a gooseneck is first get airbags and better springs. I like my custom made gooseneck trailer because compared to other GN trailers out there, mine has the axles centered. That is the KEY to success. Centered axles on the gooseneck allow you to put all the weight on the trailer and center it. For a short distance like yours I wouldn't worry to much. Just don't do it when there's traffic and drive safe. Your truck axles are rated for 3950 lbs. An empty truck with just you driving, allows for about 1500 lbs on the rear axle and keep it under 3950 lbs.

I did a ton of research before purchasing my trailer. I ended up ordering a full tilt bed car hauler from Kaufman Trailers and paid additional $700 to have a gooseneck on it.
I was wanter a trailer which was between 2500 and 3000 lbs empty. I did not want to go over 10000 lbs when loaded. Total cost less than $4500. Pay with a cashier check and they will give you a discount. You can go for a drive to North Carolina and pick it up right at their factory. PM me for more info.
This is the trailer I custom ordered:
10,000 GVWR / 20 ft. Wood Floor Tilt Car Trailer - DELUXE - Kaufman Trailers

They do make a 15000 Lbs one:
15,000 GVWR / 20 ft. Wood Floor Tilt Car Trailer - DELUXE - Kaufman Trailers
There's a big red warning: Due to its heavy duty running gear, this model does not ride as smoothly as lighter GVWR models when hauling cars. So it will ride rougher, but for 20 miles I wouldn't worry. It will cost you a little more, but it's still a good deal.

14000 lbs is quite a bit of weight, but as long as you have good trailer brakes, and distribute the weight properly you will be ok

I just looked on their website and I think the only trailers that have centered axles are the full tilt ones. it might be the only way to go. But let me tell you, the full tilt bed is NICEEE !! ;););) It's actually 22 ft long. Don't forget about the "tail" when you're turning !!!

Thinking about the rider smoothness, I would stay with the 10000 lbs one like mine and just make two trips. 20 miles one way with a loaded trailer won't take you more than 30 to 35 minutes. Just make two trips and you'll be able to deliver 15000 lbs. Plus you can use the trailer to tow haul cars and other things!

One last thing: Make sure you warm up your truck good before towing. Take it for a drive to get over 175 F oil and then you should be good.

Let me know how it goes!
 

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The engine braking feature is a must have for the loads you are running at. It virtually prevents a run away situation down grades and helps save your brakes/rotors. Nothing can touch your fuel economy numbers!
 

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What was the total weight of the whole outfit going down the road, Just curious. Thanks.. I'm going to weigh my outfit the next time I haul the tractor. DSCN0209.JPG
 

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Thanks for taking the time & great write up WYOECO3D. The max Ram rated the 1500 to tow in 2014 was 10,700 with the literature & door stickers I have being 3,900 on the axels. Aside from lesser cooling capacities the ED should be safe & at least relatively reliable to that. Naturally a trailer brake controller would be needed & GDE or other engine/turbo brake would make it safer & more reliable. Having done lots of heavier & big drag camper towing with the 1500 ED & a big fan of the truck I would still have to say for the safety & reliability of it if it were used to move such loads more frequently that anything above say 9,000 lbs that you would find the 2500 CTD a better tool for the job. Sure lots us here know that but some coming here may not.

Also food for thought. I suspect even Airlift makers of in coil air bags would recommend their axel to frame bag set ups over the in coil bag & stronger spring set up for this kind load & or especially a heavy bumper pull load. The main reason being the axel to frame bags do a better & direct job of weight transfer to the front axels which improves everything related to safety control & overall truck component reliability. Much like a WDH on a bumper pull only it even works for GN setups. Although the in coil bags are cheaper

Thanks for the brake pad link. I've heard good first hand experience reports on their brakes. When I replace mine I'll upgrade. Although my buddy Steve who also delivers campers for the manufacturers now has 190,000 on his ED & says he still has his original pads. Lol I suspect he uses his trailer brake controller to stop when possible.
 

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Any updates on this guy's truck worth of adding to the '100k mile Ecodiesel' thread? That's some high mileage! How heavy are the campers?
He must not be using any of Shawn's contraptions or additives ;)
 

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Short answer no. Which is good news. 😄. Heaviest current regular production Airstreams 30.5' Classics normally about 7,700 which already come with propane tanks & batteries. The outfit I contract with also has contracts with Forest River & Gulstream which pretty much have the gammet.
 

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This is a classic case of "just because you can, doesn't mean you should". To encourage towing well in excess of the ratings is doing a dis-service to the less experienced owners on the forum. I have no doubt that the truck is capable of towing this load, but for how long and how safely? To make a trip like this calls for a 3/4 ton truck which will have a much stronger chassis and suspension as well as the brakes. As well as my Ram ED I have a GMC 2500 Duramax and there is NO COMPARISON as to their towing ability. While I am impressed with the Ram, it feels more like an SUV with a box compared to the GMC which feels like a REAL truck. I use the 80% rule when determining how much to safely tow for the long term, which puts the Ram around 6500lbs,plus or minus, depending on how its outfitted. Now, if your going to trade up every 3 years you're probably not concerned about long term reliability, but for those of you who plan to keep your truck for 150-200K, you should probably not abuse it in the manner described by the original poster.
 

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There is a reflash and a TSB out there on the harsh/violent 6-5 downshift. Dealer will reflash the TCM for free if you mention it to them.

Mike
 
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