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Old 10-27-2020, 03:02 AM   #1
BigFatFifthWheel
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Ram 3500 or 5500?

Hope everyone is doing well. We are looking to purchase a 5th wheel, in the 33-37foot range. New to towing/RVing, but as with many people, our work lives have changed drastically, and now's the time to hit the road for a while.



I have spec'd out 2 different builds on a 2020 Ram diesel, both coming in at a price I am comfortable with.



A few questions -- I don't need the additional payload capacity of a 5500, but I do like the significantly tighter steering, and tighter turning radius.


How much will this come into play for maneuverability in and around camp grounds/boondocking? I like the idea of the cab & chassis, to be a flat bed with gravity tank on the back, and not have to worry about the tailgate, bed rails, etc.



I don't like what the beefed up suspension will do to the ride (since we won't be using the payload capacity as it's intended) and will likely add air bags to the rear.



That being said, a nicely spec'd 3500 is another option, with or without rear air.



Will the tighter turning radius make that much of a noticeable difference?


Any real world experience from driver's who have had both trucks or driving experience with both would be awesome.
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Old 10-27-2020, 09:15 AM   #2
Notanlines
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I can only speak about the Ford F350/F450 and the difference in radius. It was the selling point that made my DW come to the F450, and she loves it over or older F350. It is considerably easier to maneuver everywhere.
You might also keep in mind that most truck manufacturers de-tune the 4504500/5500 commercial diesels (those with no bed) for product longevity. Don't talk to your salesman about this: He/she simply won't know. Do your own investigating. Your Cummins in the 5500 is probably a 800 torque/360 HP engine.
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Old 10-27-2020, 11:15 AM   #3
wingnut60
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Adding air bags to a suspension that is already too stiff for the load doesn't make sense to me. Or did I mis-understand what you are saying?
As Jim said, the C/C units of RAM and Ford are de-rated to keep multiple drivers from flogging the units...you will be disappointed with the performance of the de-tuned vs the regular models. Friend of mine with commercial units has gone to getting the pickups and pulling the beds to put flatbeds on them to get the more powerful engines.
And you definitely don't need the 5500 to pull a 37' fiver...
Another thought--most C/C units don't get the highest trim levels if that is what you would be wanting.
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Old 11-02-2020, 04:44 PM   #4
Goose_NC
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Remember when doing your truck builds, that the higher trims have less payload capacity. My 2020 RAM 3500 Tradesman 3500 crew cab long bed dually with the high oupt diesel and Aisin tranny has a payload of 5485. The Limited and Laramie trims were 1200 and 800 less than my Tradesman payloads. Still good.



Your trailers are in the range of 18k gross weight, probably around 3960 pin weight.
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Old 11-02-2020, 05:39 PM   #5
Notanlines
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I'm curious what options would add up to 800 pounds, let alone 1200 pounds. Man, that's a lot of moon roofs and Bose speakers...
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Old 11-02-2020, 05:45 PM   #6
Phil
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You only need the 3500. If you want to spend the extra money go for a 4500, but
you don't need that.
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Old 11-02-2020, 10:22 PM   #7
lionheart.fsa@gmail.com
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RAM 3500 Turbo Diesel Long Bed

I have a 2018 Montana 3790RD 5th Wheel and a 2017 RAM 3500 Turbo Diesel. My RAM has NO difficulty pulling my 40ft 5th Wheel up over Monarch pass in southern Colorado (11,000 ft+). The speed limit is 45 mph and I have to watch my speed! Going downhill, I set the transmission into 4th gear and engine braking and let the truck do the work. I hardly have to use the brakes unless there are vehicles in front of my rig. The tow package is awesome. The ride is very smooth compared to RAM trucks of years ago. Good luck and happy trails.
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Old 11-03-2020, 03:21 AM   #8
Goose_NC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Notanlines View Post
I'm curious what options would add up to 800 pounds, let alone 1200 pounds. Man, that's a lot of moon roofs and Bose speakers...

I know. I looked at the door sti let's for the actual truck on the dealers lot back in Oct-Nov 2019.
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Old 11-03-2020, 07:35 AM   #9
rorr1821
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Ram 3500 dually with high output Cummins and aisin transmission and 410 rear is rated to tow at about 33,000 CGVW. I would get the factory air suspension and puk system for the 5th wheel hitch. I had this truck configuration pulling a DRV which weighted over 20,000 pounds. It had power to spare. You want a truck you can drive to the store other places and pull your trailer. These people with these semi-truck cabs pulling 5th wheel is over kill and a big inconvenience for every day use.
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Old 11-03-2020, 10:27 AM   #10
Dave A
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Cool Not wild about tight turning radius!

Hope I don't get blasted for this! I try to avoid making really tight turns in campgrounds or anywhere else for that matter. I would rather pull up and back up a time or two and avoid putting a lot of stress on the RV. It's got to be hard on the springs, shackles, axels and tires when you are twisting them around in a sharp turn.
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Old 11-04-2020, 03:45 AM   #11
Goose_NC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave A View Post
Hope I don't get blasted for this! I try to avoid making really tight turns in campgrounds or anywhere else for that matter. I would rather pull up and back up a time or two and avoid putting a lot of stress on the RV. It's got to be hard on the springs, shackles, axels and tires when you are twisting them around in a sharp turn.

Try to avoid, yes. But unavoidable at times. Especially in some rural filing stations.
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