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2016 RAM 1500 - Towing at the mimits

I have a RAM eco-diesel and want to know what damage I can do to it if I tow an Airstream from OK to GA that is right at the towing weight limit of 9,000#

Is 9000 lb the book weight of the trailer with everything in it? Have you put it on a truck scale? How much experience have you had with towing?

If you are going to di it, make sure you have enough tongue we[ght on the pickup. I have seen newbees load everything heavy in the trailer at the rear and it makes the whole rig wander all over the road like a drunken sailor.

Is you hitch rated for that much weight? If either the pickup or the trailer has dual wheels, make sure you check for a flat at every stop.


I would prefer a higher margin, ie say a 12,000 lb towing capacity.
But what you have is what you have. If you are staying in the flat lands you will probably get away with this rig. I would stay away from the mountains in northwest Georgia.

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If I read the post correctly the Airstream is just being moved and not used for camping on that trip. There are firms that move RV’s to almost anywhere and the cost is reasonable. Consider if you have a wreck the cost to repair both vehicles even with insurance , motel fees and possible fines that is what I would do. You are just to close to the limit of your truck .

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There will be extra wear on the truck if you do this. But it won’t be a big deal. I towed a trailer just a bit over my truck’s limits many more miles than you are towing and it currently has 137,500 miles and running fine.

To the other posters comments…Agree!

If you’ve never towed anything before or nothing this heavy, I’d suggest having a pro tow it down unless you have help setting up the trailer AND the load-equalizing hitch (if you don’t know what that is, stop right there and have it shipped). You also need to drive it around and get comfortable driving it, stopping it, turning a 45 foot rig around corners and backing it up. YES, backing it up because stuff happens and you might have to back to back it up.


As long as you have a weight distributing hitch, towing mirrors, proper maintenance on the truck (especially transmission servicing), properly working brakes on the trailer, and take it slow, you and your truck should be okay. I agree that you should avoid mountains.

Check the tires and wheel bearings on the trailer before you leave.

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Need to know the specifics of the truck involved. 2WD or 4WD. Long bed or Short Bed. Regular cab, Quad cab (supercarb) or Crew Cab? HD trailering package or standard tow package, and the axle ratio.

The actual towing rating of the truck is determined by each of these things. Consequently the actual rating can be as little as 7500 pounds or as much as 9200 pounds. With a truck with a 7500 pound rating chances are you’ll be over the limit significantly. But with one configured for max towing, you’ll probably be okay. Assuming the trailer weighs what you think it does.

As others have pointed out, experience while towing something of significant size is important as well. This isn’t a trip that you’d want to attempt for your first go at towing.

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I towed 6500 pounds a short distance with a 5000 lb rated capacity, all was ok except braking, so be aware your stopping ability may be impacted. I think I do have the option of enabling electronic trailer brakes, a cable by the fusebox needs to be attached, One time 24 mile round trip with a skidsteer rental. I was not aware how badly the brakes would be affected.

As others have said, you won’t
believe how long it will take to stop. Always leave plenty of room in front of you because everything on the road can stop faster than you. In my state, any trailer over 1000 lb needs brakes.

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My boat and trailer are well over that, only a 2 wheel trailer no brakes, as are most of the boats and trailers I see on the road. I will have to avoid your state I guess, only in MN and WI, and have not heard of this.

In most states including Wisconsin trailer brakes are required on trailers over 3000 lbs. Trailer brakes are required on trailers over 1500 lbs in my state and 4 others.


Well the rental company did not care, I did not know better, I guess it is only on paper or if you have an accident. I estimated my boat and trailer to be 25oo lbs, but really unenforceable as far as I see, what state do you live in, maybe I will tow my boat there just for fun and see if I get pulled over.
911 what is your emergency, I see a guy towing a boat over 1500 pounds and there are no trailer brakes. Heck in WI we don’t even need license plates for a trailer.

That 1500 pounds unladen trailer weight, I think my boat trailer is 750 lbs.

I’m in OK and we don’t have to register trailers either.

The 9000 is from the tongue of the Airstream RV. The tow limit I cited is from the truck’s owner manual.

The truck is 4WD, crew cab, short bed, standard tow package. I don’t know the axle ratio. I have sway bars, heavy duty hitch and trailer brakes on both truck and RV. The truck also has settings for trailering, which makes other adjustments to the truck’s transmission.

I’m sure the weight specification on the tongue of the Airstream is baseline and doesn’t include whatever I may have packed in the RV.

I’ve concluded that I will rent or borrow someone’s truck to pull it to the East Coast. I will use my truck for short moves only.

I greatly appreciate all of the excellent feedback I’ve received. I towed the trailer when I first bought it—from the center of Kansas to southeastern Oklahoma. It couldn’t have been much flatter. It was about a 300 mile trip but I had no issues. I just didn’t want to ruin my truck by extending the trip by 500 miles.

Great feedback regarding the tires and trailer’s wheel bearings. Thanks!!

If you check I think you will find that having it delivered will be about the same price as renting or close. And borrowing some ones truck is not a good idea . If you wreck it say goodbye to that friendship.

Looks like the towing capacity is 7610 pounds per FCA towing guide for the 2016 model year

I would not recommend towing that trailer with that truck.