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Weight Distribution Recommendation for a 2011 Dodge Ram 1500 and Rockwood Roo Trailer

Question:

vehicle: 2011 Ram 1500 Need some expertise on towing and weight distribution. I have a 2011 Dodge Ram 1500 with a 3.55 rear end. GVWR: 6700 Payload: 1380 Max Trailer: 8500 Base Weight F/R: 3093/2199 GAWR F/R: 3900/3900 Stock Class IV Receiver I want to know if I can tow, and what I would need to do it: Rockwood Roo Model 21SSL Dry Hitch Weight 322 Unloaded Vehicle Weight 4,883 GVWR 7,322 Cargo Carrying Capacity 2,401 This is a front tray toy camper that has an 8 x 8 cargo area FORWARD of the trailer axle. I want to put 2 ATVs on there total weight 1400lb plus fuel and mud. Not to mention the stuff well need to put in the trailer I assume, loaded as far AFT as possible. Driver, Passenger and Dog total about 500lbs. So thats coming out of my cargo capacity on the truck, I know. I know that this configuration is going to transfer a LOT of that ATV weight to the hitch because the load is so far forward of the trailer axle. Can I safely do this with my Ram, and what do I need to do it? Can a weight distribution hitch get that weight moved back onto the trailer axle effectively and safely?

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Expert Reply:

So it looks like you will be towing about 7,200 pounds if the trailer was loaded to the maximum. That is within the capabilities of the truck as you have described it. The tongue weight on the trailer will probably be closer to 20 percent rather than the typical 10 to 15 percent. That would put the tongue weight of the trailer at 1,440 pounds.

You will need to move some of the weight back to lower the tongue weight of the trailer unless the vehicle and hitch have a tongue weight capacity that exceeds 1,440 pounds (not likely but there should be a sticker on the hitch that lists the capacities or the info will be in the owners manual).

The factory Dodge hitch is welded in place and cannot be removed so an alternate hitch cannot be installed. You will need to get the tongue weight down to a weight that is within the capabilities of the truck and hitch. Anything loaded behind the rear axle of the truck should also be added to the tongue weight of the trailer.

After you have achieved the desired tongue weight, you will choose a system that has a tongue weight capacity range that encompasses the tongue weight of the trailer plus cargo behind the rear axle when loaded and ready to tow.

If you can get the tongue weight between 600 and 1,200 pounds, I recommend a Reese Strait-Line system, # RP66084. You will also need a ball like # A-90 for a 2 inch or # 19286 for a 2-5/16 inch. I have included some instruction links for you.

I have also included a link to our FAQ article on weight distribution and sway control for you. Please note that adding a weight distribution system does not decrease the tongue weight of the trailer. What it does is more evenly distributive the weight of the trailer to the vehicle and trailer axles.

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