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How Much can a Ram 3500 Tow with a Gooseneck

How Much can a Ram 3500 Tow with a Gooseneck
iStock.com/Bruce W Smith

When it comes to towing heavy loads across the rugged Canadian landscape, one truck stands tall above the rest – the formidable RAM 3500. This heavy-duty pickup has earned a well-deserved reputation as a workhorse, capable of hauling even the most massive trailers with confidence and ease.


At the heart of the RAM 3500’s towing prowess lies a range of potent engine options, headlined by the legendary 6.7L Cummins Turbo Diesel. This powerplant delivers an astonishing 1,075 lb-ft of torque, allowing the 3500 to effortlessly pull mountains of cargo. Complementing the brawny diesel is the robust 6.4L HEMI V8, a gasoline-powered behemoth that offers impressive towing capabilities in its own right.


But the RAM 3500 is more than just brute force; it’s a meticulously engineered platform designed to handle the most demanding towing tasks. Its high-strength steel frame and heavy-duty suspensions provide a rock-solid foundation, while advanced towing technologies like trailer sway control and integrated gooseneck hitch receivers ensure a smooth and stable ride, even when hauling the heaviest of loads.


It’s this combination of raw power and intelligent engineering that has made the RAM 3500 a favorite among Canadian drivers who need to tow substantial weights. And when it comes to gooseneck towing, a popular choice for hauling large RVs, horse trailers, and other oversized cargo, the 3500 truly shines. With its impressive gooseneck towing capacity, this pickup empowers Canadians to tackle even the most daunting hauling tasks with confidence and ease.

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What is a Gooseneck Trailer and When to Use One

A gooseneck trailer is a type of towable trailer that features an extended front section with a hitch connection point that sits above and slightly ahead of the truck’s rear axle. This unique design provides several key advantages over conventional trailer hitches:

 

First, the gooseneck hitch distributes the trailer’s tongue weight more evenly across the truck’s axles, improving stability and control when towing very heavy loads. Second, since the trailer’s hitch point is closer to the truck’s rear axle pivot point, the rig has improved turning radius and maneuverability compared to a bumper-pull trailer.

For these reasons, RAM recommends only using a gooseneck trailer and hitch setup when towing trailers with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) over 30,000 lbs. Conventional hitches are rated for up to 23,000 lbs, so anything heavier calls for the added stability and control of a gooseneck.

On RAM’s heavy duty 3500 series trucks, gooseneck towing is enabled by an in-bed hitch receiver that can be installed from the factory or as an aftermarket accessory. The hitch ball securely mounts in this receiver, and the gooseneck trailer tongue extends over the truck bed to connect to it. This optimized hitch geometry gives the RAM 3500 its immense maximum towing capacities when equipped for gooseneck towing.

 

Critical Factors That Impact Gooseneck Tow Ratings

When it comes to determining how much a RAM 3500 can tow with a gooseneck trailer, there are several key factors that come into play. These factors include the engine choice, drivetrain configuration, cab style, and bed length. Understanding how each of these elements influences the truck’s towing capacity is crucial for ensuring safe and efficient hauling.

 

Engine Options: Gas vs. Diesel

The engine under the hood plays a significant role in determining the RAM 3500’s gooseneck towing capacity. RAM offers two engine options for the 3500 series: a gasoline-powered 6.4-liter HEMI V8 and a 6.7-liter Cummins Turbo Diesel inline-six.

The 6.4-liter HEMI V8 engine is a powerful gasoline option, delivering 410 horsepower and 429 lb-ft of torque. While capable, this engine is better suited for lighter towing duties compared to its diesel counterpart. When properly equipped, a RAM 3500 with the HEMI V8 can tow up to 18,210 pounds with a conventional trailer hitch and up to 23,000 pounds with a gooseneck hitch.

For those seeking maximum towing power, the 6.7-liter Cummins Turbo Diesel is the clear choice. This robust inline-six diesel engine is available in two variants: the standard output model produces 370 horsepower and 850 lb-ft of torque, while the High Output version cranks out an impressive 400 horsepower and a staggering 1,075 lb-ft of torque. With the High Output Cummins diesel, a properly equipped RAM 3500 can tow up to 37,100 pounds with a gooseneck trailer, making it one of the most capable pickups in its class.

 

Drivetrain Configurations: 2WD vs. 4WD, SRW vs. DRW

Another crucial factor affecting gooseneck towing capacity is the drivetrain configuration. RAM offers the 3500 in both two-wheel-drive (2WD) and four-wheel-drive (4WD) variants, as well as with either a single rear wheel (SRW) or dual rear wheel (DRW) setup.

Generally, 4WD models have a slightly lower towing capacity compared to their 2WD counterparts due to the added weight of the four-wheel-drive system. However, 4WD trucks offer improved traction and stability, which can be beneficial when towing on slippery or off-road surfaces.

The choice between SRW and DRW configurations also plays a role in towing capacity. DRW (dual rear wheel) models are designed to handle heavier loads and offer greater stability when towing. As a result, DRW RAM 3500 trucks typically have higher gooseneck towing ratings compared to their SRW (single rear wheel) counterparts.

 

Cab Style and Bed Length

The cab style and bed length of the RAM 3500 also contribute to its overall towing capacity. RAM offers the 3500 in three cab configurations: Regular Cab, Crew Cab, and Mega Cab. Additionally, there are two bed length options: 6’4″ and 8′.

Typically, the shorter Regular Cab models with the 6’4″ bed have the highest gooseneck towing ratings, as they have a lower overall weight and better weight distribution. Crew Cab and Mega Cab models, with their larger cabin sizes and longer wheelbases, tend to have slightly lower towing capacities due to their increased weight and different weight distribution characteristics.

Similarly, the shorter 6’4″ bed length generally allows for higher towing capacities compared to the longer 8′ bed option. This is because the shorter bed results in a more favorable weight distribution and a lower overall vehicle weight, both of which contribute to increased towing capability.

 

Best-Case Scenario: 2019 RAM 3500 Dually With Cummins Diesel

For Canadian drivers needing maximum towing muscle from their RAM 3500, the top configuration is the 2019 model equipped with the following specs:

 

  • 6.7L I6 Cummins High Output Turbo Diesel engine
  • AISIN 6-speed automatic transmission
  • Dual rear wheel (dually) 4×4 drivetrain
  • Crew cab with 8′ bed length
  • Maximum tow package with integrated gooseneck hitch

 

With this ultimate heavy-duty setup, the 2019 RAM 3500 can tow an immense 35,100 pounds using a gooseneck trailer. This staggering capability allows it to handle the largest fifth wheel RVs, triple-axle horse trailers, massive equipment haulers and more. Very few personal use vehicles can match this incredible towing performance. It’s a true workhorse for those that need to pull extremely heavy loads.

 

Real-World Example Towing Setup

To illustrate the impressive gooseneck towing capabilities of the RAM 3500, let’s outline a realistic towing scenario for Canadian drivers:

 

The truck is a 2019 RAM 3500 crew cab long bed 4×4 pickup, equipped with the powerful 6.7L Cummins turbo diesel engine. This particular configuration has the maximum tow package installed, including an integrated gooseneck hitch ball in the truck bed.

The trailer being towed is a 32-foot triple axle gooseneck horse trailer. When fully loaded with horses, tack, and supplies, this trailer has a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 29,000 pounds.

According to RAM’s published towing guides, the 2019 3500 crew cab long bed 4×4 with the 6.7L Cummins diesel and max tow package can safely pull up to 35,100 pounds with a gooseneck trailer. The 29,000 pound loaded horse trailer falls well within this rated capacity, providing a substantial safety buffer.

This real-world example demonstrates how the beefy RAM 3500, when properly configured, can handle even the largest and heaviest gooseneck trailers with ease. Its robust chassis, brawny Cummins diesel power, and integrated towing equipment make it an ideal choice for Canadian drivers who need to pull massive loads.

 

Tips For Towing Heavy Gooseneck Trailers

When hauling a large gooseneck trailer behind your RAM 3500, there are some important considerations to keep in mind beyond just the truck’s max tow rating. Ensuring you have sufficient payload capacity is critical for safe, stable towing. Be sure to calculate the total weight of passengers, cargo, trailer tongue weight, and any accessories when determining if you are remaining within your payload limits.

To help manage heavy trailer tongue weights, many owners opt to install supplemental air bag suspension kits or overload air bag helpers. These can provide a boost in load-leveling capacity and improve ride quality when towing a large 5th wheel or gooseneck trailer. Upgraded suspension components like airbags allow you to better utilize more of your truck’s maximum tow ratings.

For regularly towing at or near your RAM 3500’s upper tow limits, the automatic transmission is the preferred choice over a manual. The 6-speed AISIN automatic provides smoother, easier shifting and operation when lugging around a 30,000+ pound trailer. It reduces driver effort and strain, especially when frequently starting and stopping a heavy load.

Driving and maneuvering with a large trailer requires practice and caution. Get comfortable backing up and making turns in an open area before hitting the road. When underway, accelerate and brake smoothly, leave extra following distance, and be aware of your increased stopping distances. Monitor engine temperatures and transmission temps closely when towing under strenuous conditions. Proper maintenance like frequent fluid changes is also essential for heavy towing.

 

The RAM 3500: A Powerhouse for Canadian Towing Needs

In the vast and rugged landscapes of Canada, having a capable tow vehicle is more than just a luxury – it’s a necessity. From the winding mountain roads to the remote wilderness trails, Canadians rely on their trucks to haul heavy loads with confidence and reliability. Enter the RAM 3500, a heavy-duty pickup truck that has become a go-to choice for those who demand unwavering towing prowess.

Whether you’re an avid RVer seeking to explore the country’s breathtaking national parks, a horse owner transporting your equine companions to shows and events, or a contractor hauling heavy equipment to job sites, the RAM 3500 is built to handle it all. With its robust construction and impressive towing capabilities, this truck is a true workhorse, ready to tackle any challenge the Canadian terrain throws its way.

Versatility is the name of the game when it comes to the RAM 3500. Its ability to tow gooseneck trailers with ease makes it an ideal companion for those who need to haul substantial loads. From massive fifth-wheel RVs to triple-axle horse trailers, this truck can handle it all, ensuring a smooth and safe journey, no matter the distance.

 

The RAM 3500 – Canada’s Gooseneck Towing Powerhouse

When it comes to hauling the biggest, heaviest gooseneck trailers, the RAM 3500 stands tall as Canada’s undisputed towing champion. This brawny pickup is purpose-built to handle the most demanding jobs, offering a level of towing prowess that leaves the competition in the dust.

At its maximum, a properly equipped RAM 3500 can tow an astonishing 35,100 lbs with a gooseneck trailer. This earth-shattering tow rating is achieved when the truck is configured as a Crew Cab, long bed, 4×4 dually with the legendary 6.7L Cummins High Output Turbo Diesel engine and max tow package.

To put that number into perspective, the RAM 3500’s max gooseneck rating allows it to pull the heaviest 5th wheel RVs, massive equipment haulers, multi-car trailers, and just about any other type of oversized cargo you can imagine. For Canadian pickup owners that need to move serious weight, the RAM 3500 is the uncompromising choice.

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Questions About Ram 3500 Towing

The 2023 Ram 3500 with the available 6.7L Cummins High Output Turbo Diesel engine can tow up to 21,000 lbs (9,525 kg) with a gooseneck hitch when properly equipped. When paired with the Aisin heavy-duty 6-speed automatic transmission, GCWR is increased to 43,000 lbs (19,505 kg) for optimum towing performance.

The maximum conventional towing capacity for the properly equipped 2023 Ram 3500 is 22,750 lbs (10,325 kg). This is when paired with the 6.7L Cummins High Output Turbo Diesel engine, Aisin heavy-duty 6-speed automatic transmission and dual rear wheel 4×4 drivetrain configuration.

The Ram 3500 has best-in-class towing capacity in Canada. When properly equipped with the 6.7L Cummins High Output Turbo Diesel engine, it has a maximum towing capacity of up to 35,100 lbs (15,895 kg), which is over 5,000 lbs more than its closest competitor, the Ford F-350 Super Duty.

The Ram 3500 offers several features to help improve towing performance including an optional integrated trailer brake controller, auto-level rear air suspension to help control trailer movement, supplemental front suspension air bags to maintain axle height, and an available in-vehicle camera monitoring system to give the driver better visibility of connected trailers.

The Ram 3500 offers an optional gooseneck/fifth wheel prep package that includes a hitch receiver in the truck bed, 7-pin wiring harness as well as standard pucks in the bed to accommodate gooseneck and fifth wheel hitches from various manufacturers like B&W, Reese and Curt.

The curb weight of the 2023 Ram 3500 ranges from approximately 7,000 lbs (3,175 kg) to over 8,600 lbs (3,900 kg) depending on the model, box size, cab configuration and drivetrain. Dual rear wheel models have a higher curb weight capacity to handle heavier gooseneck and fifth wheel trailers.

Payload capacity refers to the maximum carrying weight a truck can safely transport including occupants, equipment, bed cargo and hitch weight. When properly equipped, the 2023 Ram 3500 has a maximum payload capacity ranging from 5,450 lbs (2,470 kg) for single rear wheel models up to 7,680 lbs (3,485 kg) for dual rear wheel trucks.

The maximum gross combined weight rating (GCWR) is 43,000 lbs (19,505 kg) on 2023 Ram 3500 models equipped with the High Output Cummins diesel engine and Aisin heavy-duty 6-speed automatic transmission. This refers to the maximum allowable combined weight of the truck, passengers, payload and connected trailer.

The best Ram 3500 configuration for heavy fifth wheel and gooseneck towing is the Laramie, Laramie Longhorn or Limited trim with the 6.7L High Output Cummins diesel engine, Aisin 6-speed automatic transmission, 4×4 drivetrain, dual rear wheels, max tow package and gooseneck/fifth wheel prep package.

The turning radius on a dual rear wheel 2023 Ram 3500 ranges from approximately 20.8 ft (6.3 m) to 22 ft (6.7 m) depending on variables like cab configuration and wheelbase length. Models without dual rear wheels have a tighter turning radius between 17.5-20.2 ft (5.3-6.2 m).

In Canada, pricing for the 2023 Ram 3500 starts around $65,000 CAD for a base Tradesman trim and extends over $100,000 for higher Laramie and Limited models when equipped with premium features and packages. Adding the High Output diesel engine, stronger transmission and 4×4 drivetrain increases cost as well.

The 2023 Ram 3500 with the 6.7L Cummins High Output Turbo Diesel engine has a fuel consumption rating of 14.8 L/100 km (city), 10.8 L/100 km (highway) and 12.5 L/100 km (combined) according to Natural Resources Canada guidelines. Actual fuel economy depends on configuration, driving habits and hauling/towing demands.

On the 2023 Ram 3500, the 6.7L Cummins High Output Turbo Diesel engine produces 400 horsepower at 2,800 RPM and a massive 1,075 lb-ft of torque at 1,800 RPM. This high torque output allows the Ram 3500 to tow very heavy loads with less effort.

The largest diesel fuel tank available on Ram 3500 dual rear wheel models has a 98-liter (26 gallon) capacity, allowing for extended driving range while towing heavy loads before needing to refuel. More common tank sizes include 79 liters (21 gallons) or 68 liters (18 gallons).

On the 2023 Ram 3500, the approach angle is 18 degrees, the departure angle is 15.2 degrees, and the breakover angle is 15.8 degrees when equipped with the optional off-road suspension package. This allows the Ram 3500 to clear obstacles and terrain when traversing uneven roads or work sites.

The maximum allowable trailer length for fifth wheel and gooseneck trailers towed by the Ram 3500 dual rear wheel pickup is 82 ft (25 m) in Canada. This meets provincial regulations for maximum trailer length while ensuring stable handling for long trailers.

Ram 3500 trucks optimized for towing heavy loads often have a rear axle ratio ranging from 3.42 to 4.10. This produces greater torque multiplication to improve acceleration and towing performance. Lower numerical ratios provide faster acceleration while higher ratios support heavier loads.

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