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Old 08-23-2015, 08:17 AM   #1
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Wink Advice on Tow Vehicle for Hybrid

Hi there!

We are new to camping. We are really green - so assume we just don't know much about campers and tow vehicles. About us: We have 5 kids and love to tent camp, but I am tired of the hassle. Have an opportunity to purchase a tow vehicle now, and camper sometime in the next 6 months.... but I don't want to make a bad decision/purchase on the tow vehicle.

Looking to purchase a Jayco Jay Feather 23B' to use for next year, but need a vehicle now and want to get something decent.

Don't need anything new, we have found a 2003 Dodge Ram SLT with very low miles in great condition. Would like some advice.


  • It has a plug and hitch on it (is that what they mean by towing package)?;
  • Is there anything else we will need to tow this type of camper?;
  • Tow capacity confuses me a bit - I would think this v8 engine could easily tow this - is that reasonable?
    We will only be driving 2-3 hours from our home. Short camping trips.
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Old 08-23-2015, 10:28 AM   #2
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Read the following Link


https://www.jaycoowners.com/forums/f3...html#post24549


Do not go by what your owners manual what the Dodge Ram can tow. Those figures can be misleading. But do not exceed those figures.


You need to determine what your axel rating is.


Depends on which V8 you have


Doesn't make a difference if you are driving short trips or long trips Safety is #1


You will also need a WD hitch with equalizing bars and sway bar. Also a electric brake control unit.


Although you can find the dry weight and the Unloaded tongue weight by checking Jayco's web site for owner information for the TT you are looking for it would be best to know the actual loaded weights.


Check to see if it has a trans cooler. which should be part of a towing package.


Do a search here on the forum for towing information and I am sure others will chime to offer advice


Also read and search the section, Towing, Hitching and Tow Vehicles
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Old 08-23-2015, 02:42 PM   #3
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Take the vehicle VIN into the local dodge parts counter and they can look it up and tell you what the rear ratio is if it has a tow package and how often it was serviced.. and best of all they do it for FREE...
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Old 08-23-2015, 05:52 PM   #4
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With 5 kids in tow, I'm guessing you'll have a lot of gear/clothes/food along for the ride as well. This extra weight adds up fast and will use up you gross vehicle weight rating quicker than you will realize. You may be well served to find a nice used F250, or 2500 series Chevy/Dodge/GMC. I don't have one, but a close friend has the GMC 2500, and that Duramax has made a believer of me. And I believe GMC/Chevy went to a six speed transmission in 06, so that would help a little with MPG's. The Ford F-250 can be found with the v10, which would offer plenty of GVWR, but not have to deal with a diesel. That V10 is a solid piece, but it's thirsty so don't plan on using for a daily driver. Also, the 7.3l diesel can be found in later F250's and is considered one of the best diesel engines ever. Find one that has been taken care of and it would serve you well.

In any event, I don't think a 1/2 ton will offer enough capacity for your whole family, unless you go really lite! Otherwise, too much precious cargo on board to make it worth the risk!

Personally, I have an 2008 f150 with 5.4L 3V engine to pull my X18D, and though I've only had the trailer for a few weeks, the F150 handles this trailer with ease. It's a bit smaller and lighter than the trailer you're looking at. It offers 3 full queens, so you might check it out as well due to the size of your family. Lighter triailer will help you save on GVWR if you really need to stick with a 1/2 ton. That is a large part of my trailer choice. I wasn't about to buy more trailer than my current truck could handle. Believe me, a lot of people do, and the dealers don't do much to dissuade this either. Sales and not safety is their priority.

Good luck!
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Old 08-23-2015, 06:17 PM   #5
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Wait 5 kids, and you're looking at trucks?? Wow, I'd never consider one. I would go with an Excursion (hard to come by one now unfortunately in good shape and relatively low miles) or a 2500 Suburban. Otherwise if you like the full size vans, go with a E-350.
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Old 08-23-2015, 06:19 PM   #6
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With 5 kids in tow, I'm guessing you'll have a lot of gear/clothes/food along for the ride as well. This extra weight adds up fast and will use up you gross vehicle weight rating quicker than you will realize. You may be well served to find a nice used F250, or 2500 series Chevy/Dodge/GMC. I don't have one, but a close friend has the GMC 2500, and that Duramax has made a believer of me. And I believe GMC/Chevy went to a six speed transmission in 06, so that would help a little with MPG's. The Ford F-250 can be found with the v10, which would offer plenty of GVWR, but not have to deal with a diesel. That V10 is a solid piece, but it's thirsty so don't plan on using for a daily driver. Also, the 7.3l diesel can be found in later F250's and is considered one of the best diesel engines ever. Find one that has been taken care of and it would serve you well.

In any event, I don't think a 1/2 ton will offer enough capacity for your whole family, unless you go really lite! Otherwise, too much precious cargo on board to make it worth the risk!

Personally, I have an 2008 f150 with 5.4L 3V engine to pull my X18D, and though I've only had the trailer for a few weeks, the F150 handles this trailer with ease. It's a bit smaller and lighter than the trailer you're looking at. It offers 3 full queens, so you might check it out as well due to the size of your family. Lighter triailer will help you save on GVWR if you really need to stick with a 1/2 ton. That is a large part of my trailer choice. I wasn't about to buy more trailer than my current truck could handle. Believe me, a lot of people do, and the dealers don't do much to dissuade this either. Sales and not safety is their priority.

Good luck!
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Old 08-24-2015, 08:33 AM   #7
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I'll also suggest you look at 2500/250 series trucks or large SUVs. Kids grow fast and so does their need for toys and "stuff". Even if you can make the 1500 work you'll outgrow it before you get comfortable towing and setting up the trailer.
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Old 08-24-2015, 08:35 AM   #8
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I can't imagine you plan to put 5 kids and 2 adults in the truck...so I'm guessing you're planning on taking two vehicles?

That being the case, you might be able to make it work. But as you can see from here:
2003 RAM Pickup Payload and Towing Charts

Towing capacity ranges from 3,150# to 8,600#...
Payload from 1,220# to 2,665#

Thing to think about is that the 23B has a GVWR of 4950 (call it 5k). At at the 10-15% GVWR on the tongue, you're looking at 500# - 750# tongue weight which has to be counted as payload. Note payload numbers include a 150# driver only. So bigger drivers and additional passengers also take up payload numbers.

With a v8 and automatic transmission, the TV should be able to handle the 5K of a fully loaded 23B. Payload is where you'll have an issue.

How much can/will you carry in the 2nd vehicle and the HTT itself vs the TV?
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Old 08-24-2015, 10:20 AM   #9
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5 kids and one pickup, which is a load in itself. One thing to remember is that as the kids get older they eat more which means weight more themselves, so keep that in mind too.

I always recommend calling the manufacture (RAM) with the VIN number, they can tell you all the build information, such as if there is an OEM transmission cooler, prewired for a brake controller, tow capacity, and how it is calculated. For example, usually the tow capacity is figured with a full tank of fuel, and an average size driver (~170 lbs). no passengers, cargo or anything else in the vehicle. Tow capacity has a lot to do with the gear ratios, and suspension capacities.

If it was not for the 5 kids, and their cargo, I would not be concerned too much about towing any of the hybrids with a Ĺ ton V8 RAM truck unless it was geared for highway mileage verse towing. Not sure what year RAM started adding a TOW/HAUL button. But if it has one, that will be a good indicator if the truck has a tow package, with a good gear ratio. On my Dakota, it is located on the end of the shift lever.

As for campers I really like my 23B. But with 7 in the trailer, I would consider Jayco’s X23F, as it has an additional bunk. The downside, it weights a bit more.
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Old 08-24-2015, 01:16 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jasoncw View Post
Wait 5 kids, and you're looking at trucks?? Wow, I'd never consider one. I would go with an Excursion (hard to come by one now unfortunately in good shape and relatively low miles) or a 2500 Suburban. Otherwise if you like the full size vans, go with a E-350.
OP never mentions that it is a truck, if you search 2003 Dodge Ram SLT and add the word Van, it pulls up multiple full size vans, could be 1500, 2500, or it could be a pickup truck,

Until he adds more information, there is not much more we can add than to use caution of trailer weights, cargo weights, and by all means, do not use published dry weights in any of your calculations, and if a dealer (auto or trailer) tells you that it'll pull it without any problem, RUN>>>
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