Can My Ram 3500 HD Single Rear Wheel Handle a 20,000 Lbs Trailer? (Ask TFL)

These are the things to watch out for.

2019 ram hd
2019 Ram HD

Can my new Ram HD 3500 single rear wheel safely tow a huge fifth-wheel camping trailer that is over 43-feet long and has a maximum weight rating of 20,000 lbs?

We recently got a question from Tim.K. Here is what Tim writes.

Most say I will have no trouble just keep speed down and stay up on inspections. I would prefer not to get a dually. Ideas?
My rig: 
RAM 3500 Mega 6.7 cummins HO
Air bags
3640 lb. Index E tires
Max cargo 4,150 lbs (Is this considered PIN weight max?)
Max tow 24,500 lbs

Trailer I want:
GD Momentum 397TH 5th Wheel
Hitch (pin weight 3,375 lbs)
Dry weight: 15,500 lbs
Max: 20,000 lbs

First of all, the truck you have is already setup pretty well for towing, but there are still two important things to watch out for. Let’s break it down.


You have enough power! The high-output 6.7-liter Cummins I6 turbo-diesel has plenty of power and torque, and the 6-speed Aisin automatic transmission is heavy duty enough for this job. We have tested this on the Ike Gauntlet™ plenty of times with great success.


The 3500 series 1-ton truck has plenty of strength and the springs are setup for heavier payload. The 4,150 lbs is your total payload capacity. This means the pin weight of the trailer plus the people and other cargo in your truck.

Things to Watch Out For…

You have a Mega cab, which mean you have a truck with a shorter bed (not an 8-foot bed). This means when you make tight turns with the giant Momentum trailer behind you, you need to make sure the trailer does not touch the back of the cab. Test this before you buy the trailer. If there is an issue, there may be a hitch adapter/extension that can help get more clearance.

You said you want to avoid buying a dually. I assume it’s because a dually is more difficult to drive as a daily driver, although a Ram HD mega cab is already a long a big truck. When you are reaching near the limit of your towing capacity with such a large 43-foot camping trailer – your rig will susceptible to cross winds on the highway. Having a wider and heavier rear end on a dually helps deal with some sway from the high winds. You should still be able to handle this trail with a SRW, but be very mindful when traveling in high wind areas.

Treat your rig and trailer as a CDL commercial driver would. Check all components and connections before every trip, and perform regular maintenance. Some states require a special driver license endorsement for a heavy and big rig like this.

Here is a new 2019 Ram 3500 HD with a high-output Cummins turbo-diesel engine towing a 5th-wheel camping trailer that weighs around 12,500 lbs.

Here is a new 2019 Ram HD dually towing about 18,000 lbs on the Ike Gauntlet™ – world’s toughest towing test.