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Maximum Towing Capacity of 2004 Dodge Ram 1500 Quad Cab 4x4 Short Bed w/ 5.7L Engine

Question:

I have a 2004 dodge ram 1500, quad cab sb 4x4 with the 5.7 hemi. Im looking at a tow behind camper with a dry weight of 6040 lbs and a gvwr of 7500 lbs, will my truck be able to tow this without any problems?

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Expert Reply:

From what I found in the 2004 Dodge Towing Guide online, a 2004 Dodge Ram 1500 Short Bed 4x4 Quad Cab with the 5.7 engine's tow ratings will vary a little according to which rear end it has in it and the wheel size.

The A5 transmission with the 3.55 rear end can tow up to 7600 lbs, or up to 8600 lbs with the 3.92 rear end. With the 3.92 rear end and 20 inch wheels, that's reduced a bit to 8550 lbs. Keep in mind these values were listed for a vehicle straight off the showroom floor, and would only be for a vehicle in top condition.

If you're loaded to the max GVWR of the trailer, you could potentially be right up against the max tow capacity of the vehicle which will be hard on your drivetrain. If you don't already have one, I'd highly recommend a transmission cooler like the Derale # D13504. The best place to install the cooler is directly behind the grille right in front of the radiator. The cooler would install inline on the transmission return line from the radiator back to the transmission. A transmission cooler is an inexpensive component that will go a long way in protecting your transmission. I've linked you to some helpful articles that go into more detail about transmission coolers and how they work.

The Reese Select Plus fifth wheel hitch you'd looked at, part # RP30081 would be a great choice, but for a short bed you'd want the sliding version, part # RP30083 which would prevent the front corners of the 5th wheel from colliding with the rear of the cab during turns. The single wrap-around jaw ensures a smooth ride without a lot of the banging and crashing folks experience with entry-level hitches. For an installation bracket/bed rail kit, for a custom kit that wouldn't require drilling into the frame, use # RP50040-58 or for a semi-custom kit that would involve some drilling, use # RP30035-023. You might also need an in-bed trailer connector, part # 51-97-411.

I've linked you to some install videos for the bracket kit and the trailer wring harness.

expert reply by:
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Mike L

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