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Dodge Ram Pickup 1500, Dodge Ram Pickup 2500, Dodge Ram Pickup 3500, Exterior, Engine, Interior, Truck
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#827 of 856 Factory Tow Package
Jun 11, 2003 (10:01 am)
Does anyone know what the actual rating for the factory "Class IV" tow hitch for the '03 Rams? Dodge has been completely useless in getting this information. The best guess I have gotten from local dealers is that it is 5,000 lbs weight carrying, which is the same that they claim for the bumper, so why bother with the hitch. Class III hitches are good up to 5,000 lbs, but Class IV is unspecified. It can be anything over 5,000 lbs.
I e-mailed Dodge directly and the only thing they could tell me was "350 lbs tongue weight" which would be absurd if true. I asked if there was someone they could pass me on to who might have a better idea, and was told there was not anyone else and that 350 lbs was the correct answer to my question.
If anyone has the information, I would like to find out what the actual rating is. If you can, also provide where this information came from because the dealers have let me look through the technical manuals for the truck and it only specifies the towing capacity of the truck itself. It never mentions the capacity of the hitch. I have crawled around under the trucks looking for a sticker or stamp on the hitch that might give the capacity (which I thought was a requirement), but it doesn't seem to exist.
Any help would be appreciated!
Jun 11, 2003 (11:25 am)
According to my owners manual (2003 1-ton) concerning a class IV hitch:
A frame mounted hitch of up to Class IV rating, as rated by the hitch manufacturer, is supplied as a part of the trailer tow prep package. With a class IV hitch, you can tow a trailer with a gross trailer weight (GTW) of up to 10,000lbs maximum depending on your vehicle equipment. Tongue weight must be equal to at least 10% of the GTW, but no more than 15% of the GTW.
Jun 12, 2003 (6:19 am)
The towing section of our training manual is both thick, and comprehensive. If you tell me the engine, trans, trim level, and tire size of your '03, I will be happy to jot down all of your specific specs for you.
#830 of 856 RE: Towing Package
Jun 12, 2003 (7:27 am)
sebring95 - thanks for the information. I appreciate you looking that up for me, however since it doesn't specify if that is weight carrying or weight distributing, I'll have to assume that is the weight distributing value. It still does not give a good number for the weight carrying value. Thanks again for taking the time to look it up.
jglackin - I'll provide the information for the truck, however it should not be necessary to get the rating for the hitch itself. I have the tow rating for the vehicle (it can be calculated on Dodge's web site), but I can't find the information on the hitch itself.
The truck is a 2003 SLT short bed with the 5.7L engine, 5 sp auto, 4x4, 3.92 axle, and 20" wheels. The Dodge site shows 7500 lbs for the Max tow rating.
There are several after market hitches available that will work for me, but it would be nice to find out if it is necessary to spend the extra $$$ to upgrade the hitch.
Jun 12, 2003 (9:43 pm)
The Dodge towing guide is still online for 2002 and 2003. If you have an older truck you will have to get the info from the dealer. Just go to the main Dodge webpage and look in "shop & buy" for "towing guide" A pop-up will appear and pick "by vehicle" Click on Ram truck and put in all the info. It should give two listings depending on what gears you have, and it has all the info from curb weights to trailer weight, to GCVR, GVWR, and even weight distribution front and rear. Pretty cool to have all that info online, my owners manual lists the online address as well or says get the info from the dealer.
#832 of 856 Tow Hitch Rating
Jun 13, 2003 (11:02 am)
hersbird - I agree that it is quite nice for Dodge to put the towing information on the website, however they give the capacities for the truck and not the hitch. I am concerned about this because Dodge does not seem to want to put this information out. I guess to be safe I should just opt out of the factory tow package and put an aftermarket on.
Thanks to everyone for their help.
#833 of 856 hitch ratings
Jun 13, 2003 (11:27 am)
Hitches are rated by their class. ALL class IV hitches are rated for 10,000 pounds weather or not on a Ford, U-haul, Chevy, Dodge, whatever. So the truck is probably not rated for as much as towing capacity as the hitch. At least not in my 1500's case. In the owners manual it talks about how much toung weight is allowed, and when a load equalizing hitch should be used. So a new 1500 Dodge with the tow package is limited by the tow rating on the website. If it didn't have the tow package and used the built in one on the bumper it would be limited to the 5000 pound rating printed on the bumper.
#834 of 856 re: hitch ratings
Jun 13, 2003 (1:08 pm)
Actually, Class IV is specified as 5,000 to 10,000 lbs. This does not mean that it is actually rated for 10k lbs., just that it is somewhere between 5k and 10k. Also, a hitch can be classified as a Class IV and be capable of supporting 10k lbs, but it might require weight distribution to get to that load. An example is the Draw-Tite hitch for the 2002 Ram 1500. It is a Class IV hitch but is only rated for 5k lbs if used in a weight carrying situation. Here's a link:
http://www.draw-tite.com/fitguides/fitguides/hitchsel_results.asp- - ?class=CLASS+IV&year=2002&make=Dodge&model=Pickup%2C+- - Ram%2C+Full+Size&style=1500+Only&x=47&y=0
I am using the Ram to pull a boat that weighed in at 5250 lbs with 530 lbs tounge weight on a CAT Scale. Since the trailer has surge breaks, weight distribution is not recommended. The upgrade to electric breaks is not something that I want to do right now, so I just need to find a Class IV hitch that supports about 7,000 lbs or more in a weight carrying capacity. I know these hitches are available as an aftermarket, but the factory hitch is there and it sure would be nice to be able to find the actual rating for it. I'm going up to another Dodge dealer tonight to see if they might be able to help out. I'll post any info I get from them.
I apologize for being such a pain about this, but it has become somewhat of a sore spot for me since I can't get the answer I am looking for.
Jun 14, 2003 (6:09 pm)
Wow, that price is $8300 below MSRP. It seems from what I recall that the spread between MSRP and invoice price is about $3000-$3500 for that price of truck. With the FB $500 rebate and $2500 rebate that means paying invoice price you'd be paying about $6500 off MSRP. So, by my rough estimate, you got your truck for about $1800 below invoice price, plus the various rebates. I wonder if we can expect similar pricing if we look hard enough here in Georgia? Any other reason why you may have got such a great deal? (unpopular color choice, demo, etc?) I can get one at invoice price here, but I'd sure like to do better if the market is that slow. I realize it varies by market, but that's a fantastic price.
#836 of 856 brucec35 - rebates
Jun 14, 2003 (6:44 pm)
You forgot 1 rebate, also had an additional $1000 rebate I received in the mail. Total rebates was $4000. There was a Memorial day sale and all "loaded" Rams were $3500 off MSRP. I had been looking and negotiating for a month or so. I wanted a Ram 1500 with a 4.7l v8, 5 speed auto, limited slip, 4 wheel anti-lock brakes and 2 wheel drive. These items were non negotiable. The closest the dealer could come was was a 5.7 hemi, 5 speed auto, limited slip, 4 wheel anti-lock brakes and 2 wheel drive. Unfortunately it had a 3.92 rear end and 20" wheels. I was hoping to get reasonable gas mileage and also did not want to pay $800+ for 20" wheels. The dealer finally knocked off the price of the wheels and I compromised & "forced" myself to take the Hemi. The $1000 coupon I got in the mail and the dealer knocking off the price of the 20" wheels is what made the fantastic price. Mileage is not too bad, first tank was 14.3mpg but that was breaking in the motor, my second tank is looking to be in the 13 range as I get on it more. Good luck in your search for your truck. Don't ever buy a truck on the first day you deal on it and don't ever let the saleperson know how bad you really want the truck. Do your research and play dealers off against one another. In the Omaha, Nebraska area there are 8 5 star dealers. 2 are major players and don't care to lose sales to the other. It works......