#1

how much truck do you need?+

Capability is the key. Whether you're towing 5 tons or 15, there's a Ram truck that meets your needs and then some. So before you head out to the dealership, it's important to know how much capability is right for you.

Ram 2500 - 3/4 view

light duty

Don't let the term "light duty" fool you. A Ram 1500 can handle quite a bit. It offers the perfect combination of power and efficiency. If you'll be towing boats, ATVs or trailers, this is the truck for you.

heavy duty

Generally speaking, a heavy-duty truck is best suited for towing construction equipment and other heavy commercial loads. But if your recreational towing needs include a horse trailer or an RV, you too may need the extra capability of a Ram 2500 or 3500.

+ Best-in-class towing badge
  • 1,900lbs max
    payload+
  • 10,650lbs max
    towing+
  • 7,390lbs max
    payload+
  • 31,210lbs max
    towing+
#2

what does everything weigh?

Knowing your Gross Combined Vehicle Weight (GCVW) will give you an idea of how much capability you'll need. You've got to account for each piece of the puzzle – passengers, cargo and everything in tow. Add up those weights to find your GCVW.

curb weight+ cargo weight+ passenger weight+ trailer cargo+ trailer weight+
GCVW equation
gross vehicle weight (gvw)+
gross trailer weight (gtw)+
  • gvw
    gross vehicle weight

    The total weight of a fully loaded vehicle, including passengers and payload – but excluding all towing.

  • gtw
    gross trailer weight

    The total weight of the trailer plus all the cargo in it.

  • gcvw
    gross combined vehicle weight

    The total combined weight of a fully loaded vehicle, including passengers, payload and everything in tow.

#3

max payload or max towing?

One thing that often surprises first-time truck buyers is that towing and payload weights affect each other. If you're carrying a heavy payload, make sure to lighten your trailer weight and vice versa.

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Profile view of truck and trailer
#4

which features affect towing?

The way your truck is built affects what it can do. Features like cab size, box length, wheel drive and transmission all influence how much your truck can tow and haul.

#5

how do you choose
an axle ratio?+

Finding your ideal axle ratio will be a compromise. In general, a higher axle ratio offers more towing power and quicker acceleration, while a lower axle ratio offers better engine efficiency and quieter vehicle operation. Ram trucks come in a variety of axle ratios. Find the balance of power and efficiency that works best for you.

Axle ratio scale

recap: find the truck you need

  • cab and box size+

    A smaller cab means your truck has a lighter curb weight, so you can tow and haul a little bit extra. On the other hand, a larger cab or box will allow you to carry more passengers or larger loads.

  • towing and
    payload capability

    If you're going to be towing and hauling at the same time, don't rely on the max payload and max towing numbers alone. It's important to look at the truck's GCVW to determine the total weight your truck can handle.

  • engine and transmission

    After you've picked the features you want in a truck, it's time to think about your powertrain. The engine and transmission are the backbone of your truck's towing and payload capacity. Visit the Ram towing guide to find the truck you need.

  • axle ratio+

    Look for an axle ratio that will give you good towing power without compromising your non-towing performance too severely. By determining how much weight you'll be towing and how often you'll be towing it, you'll be able to find a ratio that will maximize both power and engine efficiency.

  • wheel drive+

    The curb weight of a 4x2 vehicle is generally lighter than a comparable 4x4, which translates to slightly higher towing and payload capability. However, 4x4 vehicles offer greater control while driving on slick or uneven surfaces.

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