Ask TFL: Should I Buy a Used Ram 1500 or Ram HD to Full-time Tow my 6,000 Lbs Airstream Trailer?

The total truck budget is under $30,000.

2014 ram 2500 hd laramie longhorn

Which used Ram truck would be best for full-time #RVlife ? Is it a used Ram 1500 or a Ram HD? The trailer weight is under 6,000 lbs, and the truck budget is under $30,000. The question comes from S. MacGregor.

MacGregor writes:

“I am going full time towing a 23-foot Airstream, and I’m going back and forth between the Ram 1500 and 2500.  (both diesels) The hitch weight is 470 lbs, the trailer dry weight is 4700 lbs, and the maximum trailer weight is 6000 lbs. I’m a novice RVer. I’ll mainly be in the Southwest. Would like four wheel drive, but it decreases the payload in the 1500. The Ram 2500 is a no brainer, but I have a budget between $25-30. So I can afford a 2016-17 1500 or a 2500 with over 100,000.”

I would recommend a used heavy duty truck, even though the trailer weight is not very high. When looking at purchase a used Ram HD diesel – pay close attention to the transmission choices. The Aisin HD transmission that is offered in the Ram 3500 HD single-rear-wheel trucks has a better reliability record. If looking at a Ram 2500 HD diesel truck, ask if the transmission has had any issues or if it has been updated or rebuilt.

Here is a TFLtruck “classic” Ike Gauntlet review of a 2015 Ram 2500 HD with the Cummins diesel engine. Most other Ram HD diesel trucks we have tested over the years were duallies.