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Old 06-28-2019, 09:12 AM   #1
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Increase payload capacity with air bags

We're looking for our next truck, have been in an F350 for 15 years. Planning for retirement truck and big 5er. Sitting on a great deal on a barely used 2018 Dodge 2500, but payload capacity is weak at about 2400 pounds, not really enough for a 36 or 38' 5er. Are air bags a viable solution, or keep shopping for a 1 ton?
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Old 06-28-2019, 09:16 AM   #2
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Air bags wont change the 2400 lbs. Keep looking !
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Old 06-28-2019, 09:36 AM   #3
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We just got an F250 and a small 5th wheel, and we will be right at the payload limit when it's fully loaded. You won't want to pull a big 5th wheel with a 250. You will bust through your payload, and nothing you do to the truck can increase the payload. We're probably too old to think about our next 5th wheel, but if we were thinking about going bigger, a 1 ton dually would be the minimum for us.
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Old 06-28-2019, 09:55 AM   #4
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I know how you feel. Our daily driver has been a Ram 3500 for about 15 years. An '04 Ram and now a 2014 Ram. Payload is about 4000lbs. If you're going to a large 5th wheel, IMO you should decide on a SRW or DRW based on loaded pin weight.
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Old 06-28-2019, 10:43 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by 33 RLDS View Post
Air bags wont change the 2400 lbs. Keep looking !
That is always a point of discussion.

As far as GM is concerned a 2500 and 3500 have exactly the same front and rear axles, brakes, and drive train the only differences are the rear springs and tire size. If you pull up all the GM build codes you can see that. So if you add a rear leaf and buy a higher load range tire you can increase the pay load. .
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Old 06-28-2019, 10:52 AM   #6
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Your Ram 2500 will be on coils springs with that multi-link rear suspension where as a 3500 SRW will still be on traditional leaf springs. With that said, other than the rear suspension, there is absolutely no difference in the rest of your truck vs. a 3500 SRW. Brakes, axles, wheels, tires, etc. are identical.

On my generation of Ram the 2500 and 3500 were both on leaf springs and the only difference was the aux leaf in the back between the two trucks. That results in a huge grey area of capacity between the manufacturers listed GVWR and the actual vehicle axle capacity. I am certainly not telling you to tow/haul above manufacturers ratings, but know that the rest of the truck is certainly overbuilt for those numbers and capable of handling far more that the advertised payload.
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Old 06-28-2019, 11:33 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Grumpy View Post
That is always a point of discussion.

As far as GM is concerned a 2500 and 3500 have exactly the same front and rear axles, brakes, and drive train the only differences are the rear springs and tire size. If you pull up all the GM build codes you can see that. So if you add a rear leaf and buy a higher load range tire you can increase the pay load. .
Hes looking at a Dodge, not a GM
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Old 06-28-2019, 12:24 PM   #8
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OP, you've just opened a can of worms here...

There are 2 schools of thought. There is one side that says the little yellow sticker is the bible and you cannot exceed those weight ratings or your truck will explode and kill a bus full of nuns. There is another side that will point out that a 3/4 ton truck is arbitrarily limited to 10,000 lbs GVWR to keep in as a class 2B vehicle for registration purposes only.

I won't tell you what to think, but I will remind you that your 2018 Ram 2500 is the EXACT SAME TRUCK as a 2018 Ram 3500, with the exception of coil springs instead of leaf springs and minor frame differences to mount the coil springs. Engine, transmission, brakes, axles, wheels/tires (assuming 18" rims on your 2500), bolts, exhaust, seats, etc are EXACTLY THE SAME. The rear coil springs are rated to carry 500 lbs less than the leaf springs. Think about this... if you bought the 6.4 gas engine, magically your rear springs could hold 800 lbs MORE than you can since you have the Cummins. That should let you know that your truck is far more capable then 10,000 lbs, but it is limited simply because it was originally meant to be a class 2B truck, limited to 10,000 lbs.

In most every state in the union, you can register your truck for higher than 10,000 lbs if you want to pay the extra fees, and you will be perfectly legal to exceed the arbitrary 10,000 lbs number. There is virtually no mechanical difference between a 2500 and a single rear wheel (SRW) 3500... other than a 500 lbs difference in rear springs and slightly different frame (because of the different spring mount).
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Old 06-28-2019, 12:31 PM   #9
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OP, you've just opened a can of worms here...

There are 2 schools of thought. There is one side that says the little yellow sticker is the bible and you cannot exceed those weight ratings or your truck will explode and kill a bus full of nuns. There is another side that will point out that a 3/4 ton truck is arbitrarily limited to 10,000 lbs GVWR to keep in as a class 2B vehicle for registration purposes only.

I won't tell you what to think, but I will remind you that your 2018 Ram 2500 is the EXACT SAME TRUCK as a 2018 Ram 3500, with the exception of coil springs instead of leaf springs and minor frame differences to mount the coil springs. Engine, transmission, brakes, axles, wheels/tires (assuming 18" rims on your 2500), bolts, exhaust, seats, etc are EXACTLY THE SAME. The rear coil springs are rated to carry 500 lbs less than the leaf springs. Think about this... if you bought the 6.4 gas engine, magically your rear springs could hold 800 lbs MORE than you can since you have the Cummins. That should let you know that your truck is far more capable then 10,000 lbs, but it is limited simply because it was originally meant to be a class 2B truck, limited to 10,000 lbs.

In most every state in the union, you can register your truck for higher than 10,000 lbs if you want to pay the extra fees, and you will be perfectly legal to exceed the arbitrary 10,000 lbs number. There is virtually no mechanical difference between a 2500 and a single rear wheel (SRW) 3500... other than a 500 lbs difference in rear springs and slightly different frame (because of the different spring mount).
Those nuns would rap your knuckles with a leaf spring for suggesting exceeding the posted numbers.
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Old 06-28-2019, 12:39 PM   #10
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Those nuns would rap your knuckles with a leaf spring for suggesting exceeding the posted numbers.
They can't. They're all dead.
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