Towing -- How big a boat or trailer?

Hi there --
I have a 2003 Dodge RAM 1500 4x4 quad cab six foot bed with the 5.9 liter non-hemi V8 engine. (Which I love.)
I've only towed things with the truck 2 or 3 times, but now I am going to
move to another state and when I get there I'm going to buy a boat.
So how much of my move to another state can my truck handle? How big a U- Haul van can I reasonably rent and use with almost no experience towing a trailer (or parking a truck that has one attached)? (The drive is 1200 miles and some of it is mountain driving).
And to extend the question to later on, after the move, how big a boat can I tow with this truck? I want to get one of those solid aluminum jet boats for river fishing, the thing runs in six inches of water at fifty miles an hour. But the sizes range from 30-32 feet to under 20. I think I want 26 feet, but maybe I need another truck for that...?
What are your experiences with these vehicles?
The truck BTW has been excellently maintained and has something like 38,000 miles on it.
Thanks for your perspectives.
FA
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

About 7,300 lb max, will vary based on what is also loaded in the truck, and hitch limits. Personally, I'd keep it under 5,000 for a 1200 mile trip...
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I would say let the U-Haul do as much of the work as possible; less wear and tear on your vehicle that way. It sounds like you're planning on towing your pickup behind the U-Haul, which I think is a good idea. I've never done this personally, so I'm not sure what all is involved, but I know people do it all the time. I would only load up the pickup with "small" items and put the rest in the moving van/ truck. As far as towing a boat in the future, I think your truck should be fine. The 5.9's not as powerful as the Hemi, but it has almost as much torque, which is what really matters for towing. Do you know if you have the 3.5 rear gearing; gear ratios make a big difference too. Depending on the size/weight of the boat, you might want to consider adding helper springs or air bags for your rear suspension if it looks like it sags too much. The only other thing I would worry about is the transmission. If I'm not mistaken (and it has happened before), the 5.9L was only available with the Automatic in 1/2 tons. I would check to see if yours has a separate trans cooler. If not, it would be worthwhile (and fairly inexpensive) upgrade. Hope this helps, and good luck! Oh, btw, if you were looking for an excuse to get a new truck, then there's no way yours could handle a boat, much less a jet ski; tell the wife a 3/4 ton or bigger & diesel is the way to go! ;-)
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
if you have the AUTO trans, rent the car trailer to haul the truck on! or else you have to unhook the driveline yet keep the front part of it in its place in the back of the trans, so the trans wont lose all fluids. The car dollies won't do for rear wheel AT cars. The trailer aint that much more than the dolly anywho. but if you have manual trans, you can dolly or even rig up one of those tow hitches on the truck, they come in handy later on sometimes...
When you get there and start towing, you will FIND, that the biggest problem with towing, is GETTING STOPPED! I mean that is the #1 problem, sure power seems like a problem... it isn't really, unless you start at the bottom of huge hills EVERYTIME you go somewhere... Really! We used to (back in the early 70's)... pull a pretty heavy old boat behind our VW beetle. You just couldn't drive like people do nowdays (drive like you think you can go back in time, when you left too late to get there), and you watched and knew to start stopping earlier, stuff like that. (most people forget they are pulling a lot more weight).
I can pull an even heavier boat to the lake (60 miles) with my 2.6L dodge D50 I had, boat and trailer weighs in at probably more than 6000lbs... my ONLY 2 problems with my d50 is, it would NOT work well in a panic stop situation (high traffic / freeways interstates etc) AND that I couldn't tug the wet boat up the boatramps here at the end of the day, usually had to use the RV for that, and that is a PITA... so I finally upgraded to the Dakota. again I take less traveled ways to lake and take my time getting there!
Since most likely, you will be in more populated areas pulling that boat, I say consider trailer brakes, (at least check out surge brakes for the boat trailer) worth the weight of the controller in GOLD imho! The truck SHOULD be given a Trans cooler if it is AT and doesn't have one! you will be working an AT trans much more, so maintenance will be a lot more critical, no more "the trans fluid gets changed when the next owner gets it" like most people, so keep it clean and serviced.
wrote:

I would say let the U-Haul do as much of the work as possible; less wear and tear on your vehicle that way. It sounds like you're planning on towing your pickup behind the U-Haul, which I think is a good idea. I've never done this personally, so I'm not sure what all is involved, but I know people do it all the time. I would only load up the pickup with "small" items and put the rest in the moving van/ truck. As far as towing a boat in the future, I think your truck should be fine. The 5.9's not as powerful as the Hemi, but it has almost as much torque, which is what really matters for towing. Do you know if you have the 3.5 rear gearing; gear ratios make a big difference too. Depending on the size/weight of the boat, you might want to consider adding helper springs or air bags for your rear suspension if it looks like it sags too much. The only other thing I would worry about is the transmission. If I'm not mistaken (and it has happened before), the 5.9L was only available with the Automatic in 1/2 tons. I would check to see if yours has a separate trans cooler. If not, it would be worthwhile (and fairly inexpensive) upgrade. Hope this helps, and good luck! Oh, btw, if you were looking for an excuse to get a new truck, then there's no way yours could handle a boat, much less a jet ski; tell the wife a 3/4 ton or bigger & diesel is the way to go! ;-)
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Motorsforum.com is a website by car enthusiasts for car enthusiasts. It is not affiliated with any of the car or spare part manufacturers or car dealers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.