1/2 Ton Towing Question...


Junior Member
I am 'newer' to the towing world and hope those who are pros can give me a few tips. Right now, I have a 2013 Ram 1500 w/ Class IV Hitch, Airbags and 3.92 gears. According to RAMs website my truck is rated at around 11,000lbs when properly equipped. I also have a 10K rated WDH so I'm assuming with all of this I should be rated at 10K from the bumper - is this right? I currently have a 4,800lb Aerolite and I'm looking to get a larger Dutchman that is around 37' and has a dry weight of around 8,500 lbs. Hopefully I don't need a new truck to get the job done! Thoughts?

C Nash

Senior Member
37 foot and dry weight of 7500? Mighty long to just weigh that. I dont know about a 37 ft with a 1/2 ton but not familar with the 1/2 ton Ram. Maybe some Ram owners will give an answer.


Senior Member
The WDH should be ok. But remember, you need to add the total weight of everything you are carrying. You have the Hemi I assume? You should be ok, but you might be getting close to the limit.


Total weight.....all combined weight of passengers in the truck, full tank of fuel, batteries in the trailer, full LP tanks, water in the trailer, all of your gear, etc. You probably don't want to run at or close to your maximum....just wear the truck out prematurely. But a 37' trailer that has a dry weight of only 7,752 lbs.....look closely at the construction of that trailer. 37' on a half ton truck.....sounds like it'll be the tail wagging the dog.

All of the half ton trucks (and the 3/4 and 1 ton) are capable of pulling more weight than they're rated at. It's a matter of what you can tow and more importantly, stop, safely in an emergency situation (like when all the cars in front of you on the freeway suddenly start slamming on their brakes (trying to avoid a cardboard box or some other debris).


Junior Member
The 11,000# is a MAXIMUM for the truck based on a base model truck, no passenger (only a 150# driver), no cargo, no hitch. So for every pound you add to the base truck, you reduce the towing rating by the same amount. To know what you can truly haul/pull within ratings, you need to load up the truck with family, cargo, hitch, full fuel, etc and get weights on the front and rear axles as well as total weight. Now the owners manual will have a GCWR (gross combined weight rating) for your cab/engine and axle combination. On the drivers door you will have a sticker giving the front and rear axle GAWR. There will also be a GWVR (gross vehicle weight rating).

GVWR - loaded truck = Max loaded trailer hitch weight.

GCWR - loaded truck = Max loaded total trailer weight.

You can pretty much forget the brochure dry weight and hitch weight. A bumper pull travel trailer will have a loaded hitch weight of 10 to 15% of the trailer GVWR.
Any item in the brochure listed as option needs to be added to the dry weight. Things like awnings, microwave, A/C, batteries are not include, but are options. Now you add some water, two 30# propane tanks, food, clothing, camping chairs, fishing tackle, kids bikes and suddenly your trailer is 1000# plus over the dry weight.

Your weight sounds light for a 37' trailer. Next, I would not try pulling a 37' trailer with a 1/2 ton truck. You will truly have the tail wagging the dog.

And Yes, you can always pull more than the truck is rated to pull, but should you. You see people doing it every day. Are they having fun...probably not. It is a lot more work to pull with too little truck than an adequately sized truck. We have been the route of too small of a vehicle for the trailer we had. Not fun and longer trips were tiring.

We have a 2012 F350 Dually and a 36' Cameo trailer and they do well together. The truck is well within ratings fro this trailer.


Grandview Trailer Sa

Senior Member
I feel I must correct or restate for clarity, some things stated in the last post...sorry.

GVWR means Gross Vehicle Weight Rating. That is the rated weight the truck OR trailer can weight or better understood.....what their axles and tires can carry down the road.
GCWR means Gross COMBINED Weight Rating. That is the maximum weight the COMBINATION of truck and trailer are rated for....
Awnings, Microwaves, AC are included in brochure weights. Every company I sell for weigh their trailers and the weights on the title are accurate, but brochures are usually 300-400 less.

Everyone overloads a 1/2 ton truck during its life....being able to pull a trailer is GREAT, but being able to STOP a trailer is BETTER!!!! 1/2 ton trucks have 1/2 ton brakes and 1/2 ton springs...a better tow experience will be with a 3/4 ton.