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Discussion Starter #1
I haven’t given payload much attention during the selection and purchasing process of acquiring my Ecodiesel. It is a 4 x 4 Limited with air suspension. Got 16k miles, it’s the daily driver, towing a Lund Tyee on weekends.

Thought it would be nice to stay overnight at the lakes on weekends and get me a composite popup truck camper (yes I know they are pretty small) However, this trucks payload rating is all but 960 lbs. That‘s good for a cooler with a few beers, a change of cloth, limited camping gear and a few things I throw in the back for fishing. Forget any kind of truck camper, or fifth-wheel. Towing capacity is halfway decent though by the time a travel trailer is wet, choices of what the truck will pull are limited.

Yes crew cab, 4x4, air suspension and such limit payload . However, for the Ecodiesel to be a viable truck it must get into the 1500 lbs payload range, even 4x4 and loaded with options.

As for this guy, I love the diesel, the ride and the luxurious, quiet cab. Though this won’t be a keeper.
 

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The air suspension will hold a solid ton without going into overload protection.

Don't bat an eye, load er up and forget about it.
A literal ton as in 2000 lbs or figurative? I know there is an overload warning or something that will go off if severely overloaded. Don't know what that amount is though or what the resultant warning is
 

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Discussion Starter #4
The air suspension will hold a solid ton without going into overload protection.

Don't bat an eye, load er up and forget about it.

..............well, the GAWR specs for my truck are 3,900/3,900 front and rear axles that is 7,800 total so we should have a max payload of which equals 1,820 lbs, 7,800 minus the base curb weight of 5,980 lbs, equally distributed.

Again, my trucks payload is only given as 960 lbs. Is it because we have an unproven, very expensive suspension system, where Chrysler does not want to take chances on too many warranty issues? Or is it a suspension that can't handle more? The later case renders payload that of the average four passenger SUV, with an open bed in the back for your lawn chairs.

Now how may times did you carry a payload greater than 1,400 lbs? how far did you travel? how were the roads?
 

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I don't even have a new RAM, my point was that a few here have tested the air suspension to it's limits, and after exceeding 1 ton (2,000lbs) it activated the load protection which simply disengages load leveling. The truck is still perfectly driveable.

In essence, If you're scared to use your truck... don't be, it's going to take it. If you're scared of the DOT rolling you over scales, get a different (HD) truck.
 

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i think there's plenty of owners, myself included, that have demonstrated this truck is capable of handling travel trailers, someone has a 5th wheel (not air suspension of course), and the truck is doing an amazing job. i have a lance 2285 trailer and my CC Laramie with air suspension is pulling that trailer absolutely just fine (for grins you can read my 2 tow reports). while i can't say why the payload rating is so low (mine is listed as 1060 lbs) i can say from first hand experience i have nothing but faith in the ability to load up and tow my trailer, with my wife and daughter and all our gear, trailer 'wet', and have no problems. there is a trick to towing with the air suspension, which is when hooking up your hitch put the suspension in "tire/jack mode" with the engine running and while in park. get your trailer hooked up, hitch level, etc. then when you shift into drive the air suspension will engage and level out the truck. when you are done and read to unhitch, again put in the tire/jack mode, unhook your trailer and when you are ready to "drop the hitch" the air suspension once again has a nice trick - go into 'entry mode' and let the truck drop down, which will lower the ball out of trailer tonque and away you go. no more bouncing on the trailer tongue or hitch to get that sucker to drop :)
 

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I did a lot of research and none of the 1500s are great candidates for a well equipped pop-up truck camper (using placard capacity as a guide). The only light duty with the bed capacity to do it with room to spare is the Chevy/GMC and there is not much room to spare. If you already bought the ED go with a travel trailer since everyone seems to think they tow well (3.55 and 3.92).

People have strong opinions on this sort of stuff, but in my opinion truck campers are best suited to heavy duty pickups.
 

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I i ask the dealer where i bought my tradesmans, they told me the payload was 1760lbs on my truck. With a 7800lb tw or combine 13,500lb
 

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The Ram 1500 is marketed as a light-duty pickup with class leading fuel economy. To achieve that Ram has done many things including the use of P-rated street tires. To make it more attractive to consumers they offer luxury options not seen in work trucks. Ram is also more conservative in their light-duty payload rating compared to other brands. This all adds up to an unrealistically low payload rating. For example, we could put our entire "rated" payload on the rear axle and still be hundreds of pounds below the rear GAWR. If we balance the load properly, pay attention to tire pressure, perhaps get heavy-duty LT tires, and drive like we have a load, it is reasonable to carry 1500 or more pounds. With a simpler work model such as the Tradesman that is properly equipped, 2000 or more pounds is easily within reach.

There are several brands of popup truck campers which have models where the wet payload can be kept in the 1500 to 1800 pound range and the COG is low. That is a weight most Ram 1500 models have proven they can carry safely. Of course, fuel economy will drop somewhat although the diesel likes to work. That also means no hard-sided or large popup campers for which a HD truck is needed.
 

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The Ram 1500 is marketed as a light-duty pickup with class leading fuel economy. To achieve that Ram has done many things including the use of P-rated street tires. To make it more attractive to consumers they offer luxury options not seen in work trucks. Ram is also more conservative in their light-duty payload rating compared to other brands. This all adds up to an unrealistically low payload rating. For example, we could put our entire "rated" payload on the rear axle and still be hundreds of pounds below the rear GAWR. If we balance the load properly, pay attention to tire pressure, perhaps get heavy-duty LT tires, and drive like we have a load, it is reasonable to carry 1500 or more pounds. With a simpler work model such as the Tradesman that is properly equipped, 2000 or more pounds is easily within reach.

There are several brands of popup truck campers which have models where the wet payload can be kept in the 1500 to 1800 pound range and the COG is low. That is a weight most Ram 1500 models have proven they can carry safely. Of course, fuel economy will drop somewhat although the diesel likes to work. That also means no hard-sided or large popup campers for which a HD truck is needed.
I agree with Bigfoot but note that the standard GOODYEAR 20" tires are rated at 2601 lbs of capacity at 44 psi. If half of the empty truck weight is on the rear axle, (and I doubt if it is that much), that leaves at least 3000# of capacity on the rear tires for bed payload and trailer hitch load(note that without a load leveling hitch the trailer tongue weight adds more to the rear tires than the actual tongue weight). I think the trucks are capable of hauling quite a reasonable load with a sensible driver. I'd put a ton in mine with no problems but wouldn't be going 85 mph on the freeway with it. Those of us that use half ton trucks to do real work have all hauled well over a ton on past trucks without breaking anything and I am confident this one will do so too, as long as the driver has some sense.
 

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There's always the "Don't sue us" payload rating and then the actual practical payload rating with 1/2 ton trucks. Payload and towing figures seem to be figured out using worst case scenario calculations just to build in a huge safety margin for idiots that will try to load a 900lb pallet behind the rear axle or not properly distribute the tongue weight of their trailer. My Ecoboost that I'm currently trying to sell to get an ED only has an 800lb or so payload but it's easily hauled around 1500lbs of flagstone, quads, turf, etc.. Just requires a level of responsible loading, maintenance, and driving that auto manufacturers can't assume all of their buyers will have.
 

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There's always the "Don't sue us" payload rating and then the actual practical payload rating with 1/2 ton trucks. Payload and towing figures seem to be figured out using worst case scenario calculations just to build in a huge safety margin for idiots that will try to load a 900lb pallet behind the rear axle or not properly distribute the tongue weight of their trailer. My Ecoboost that I'm currently trying to sell to get an ED only has an 800lb or so payload but it's easily hauled around 1500lbs of flagstone, quads, turf, etc.. Just requires a level of responsible loading, maintenance, and driving that auto manufacturers can't assume all of their buyers will have.
I agree that the truck can handle more than placard capacity, but I consider placard the "don't sue me" payload rating. If I am over and something bad happens, its a big fat target to get sued or to have my insurance drop me. Just a reality of modern life...
 

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I've always been worried about this myself. Never could quite figure out the load issues. I carry at any given time:

1.) A leer truck cap with win doors (weight maybe 250lbs?)
2.) A truck vault (weight maybe 350lbs?)
3.) 20 cases of shotgun shells. (400 lbs?)
4.) boxes made of 4 sheets of azek (250 lbs?)
5.) two sets of drawer slides (100 lbs?)
6.) 100 lbs of random cargo.

That seems like about 1400 lbs of cargo sustained over the life of the rig. On my 2011 ram the rear springs were low from the weight so I installed air bags in the coils of the rears. Do I have an issue with the air suspension on my 2014 eco with this consistent load or am I good to go?
 

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I agree with Bigfoot but note that the standard GOODYEAR 20" tires are rated at 2601 lbs of capacity at 44 psi. If half of the empty truck weight is on the rear axle, (and I doubt if it is that much), that leaves at least 3000# of capacity on the rear tires for bed payload and trailer hitch load(note that without a load leveling hitch the trailer tongue weight adds more to the rear tires than the actual tongue weight). I think the trucks are capable of hauling quite a reasonable load with a sensible driver. I'd put a ton in mine with no problems but wouldn't be going 85 mph on the freeway with it. Those of us that use half ton trucks to do real work have all hauled well over a ton on past trucks without breaking anything and I am confident this one will do so too, as long as the driver has some sense.
That's the rated tire load at 44. I wonder what the limit is when filled to whatever it says on door jam? Would it still be the same?
 

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"P"assenger tires used on a pickup truck must have their load rating derated by 10% when used on a "Light Truck" per guidance from the Tire and Rim Manufacturers Association (TRA). The truck manufacturer is responsible for ensuring the tires can safely carry the rated axle capacity at the specified cold inflation pressure on the placard (3,900lbs-39 psi). There are "Load Inflation Tables" for LT tires, but I've never seen any for "P" tires.
 

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Oh they can definitely take more than they are rated for. Back in the day I had a 2004 Ram 1500 lifted (rear had additional leafs added) and BFG's (rated at 3,300lbs each) and had a 4,000 lb load in the bed. It was a 2 mile trip from Lowes to the house and it did just fine. Of course I would never recommend that on a stock truck or for long distances. I'll have to post a picture of it when I get home tonight.
 

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Four Wheel Campers | Low Profile, Light Weight, Pop-up Truck Campers
These guys have some very low weight units available. I have an older one. They are built right. Not cheap, but light and well made.
Is your camper on a 1500?

Four Wheel Campers are popular and a good choice for those who want an aluminum frame, aluminum siding and basic wood interior. They try to keep the options down to streamline manufacturing, so a few things offered elsewhere (powered roof lift, high-capacity solar panels, etc.) are unavailable. The weight with comparable options is similar to other brands.
 

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Yes my camper is on a 2010 1500. I installed airbags in the rear to help with the load. Does very well. Not sure what the weight is but with all of our stuff, wife and two kids we must be well over 1200lbs. Sits a bit nose high but it's manageable. Ill put a pic up when I get in.
 
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