Update 1: 2010 Dodge Ram 1500 Towing Rating Increases

2010 Dodge Ram 1500 Towing Rating Increases

Update #1 July-28-2009 19:27 PDT:
The 2010 Dodge Ram 1500 adds a new 3.21 rear axle option for all three cab configurations equipped with a 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 and two-wheel drive only. The taller (numerically lower) final drive ratio is similar to the rear axle size that GM and Ford offer in their XFE (3.08) and former SFE (3.15) fuel efficiency pickups.

Adding a new rear axle is a relatively easy way to help improve fuel economy however Dodge (for now) has restated last year's 14/20 mpg city/highway EPA gas mileage ratings for two-wheel drive 5.7-liter half-ton Rams. Could we see a slight fuel economy bump later in the year? Stay tuned.

A regular cab Ram 1500 with a 3.21 rear axle is rated to tow up to 6,100 pounds with 17-inch wheels or up to 5,900 pounds with 20-inch wheels. The Crew Cab can pull up to 5,700 pounds and a Quad Cab can tow up to 5,800 pounds. A 17-inch wheel is the only wheel option for the Quad Cab and Crew Cab configurations.

All Ram 1500 trucks with 3.21 axles have an 11,000 pound GCWR.


Following last year’s top-to-bottom redesign of the Dodge Ram 1500 pickup truck, the upgrades continue in 2010, including a significant bump in maximum trailer towing and a marginal increase in payload.

To achieve the higher numbers, Dodge has increased the half-ton Ram’s maximum gross combined weight rating by 1,500 pounds, to 15,500 pounds. GCWR is the maximum allowable weight, including cargo and passengers, that a pickup pulling a trailer can handle without risking damage.

The increased GCWR gives the Ram a new 10,450-pound maximum towing capacity for the regular cab, long-bed, two-wheel-drive model with a 5.7-liter Hemi V-8. It also requires a 3.92 rear axle and 17-inch wheels.

Last year’s Ram with an identical configuration was only rated to tow up to 9,100 pounds, a figure that drew some criticism from serious light-duty towers and smack talk from other manufactures because the new Ram had the lowest rating in the segment.

Chrysler’s response was that the Ram’s exclusive coil-spring rear suspension gave the Ram much improved ride quality versus the competition (something we wholeheartedly agree with), and that truck buyers who need to tow more than 10,000 pounds should look to the heavy-duty segment to find the right truck to meet their needs. At its introduction last year, Scott Kunselman, then Chrysler’s vice president of body-on-frame products, told PickupTrucks.com that Chrysler’s research during Ram 1500 development showed that 80 percent of light-duty owners towed trailers weighing less than 6,000 pounds. Chrysler didn’t see the need to chase seemingly endless increases in maximum towing figures in the half-ton segment.

Interestingly, Dodge achieved the towing increase without any hardware changes, such as the introduction of heavier-duty springs and shocks, or an upgraded transmission cooler. So, how did the rating change occur?

“When developing the all-new 2009 Dodge Ram, the goal was to match the previous-generation Dodge Ram tow capabilities. These goals were achieved and delivered on the all-new 2009 Dodge Ram 1500,” Dodge truck spokesman Roger Benvenuti told PickupTrucks.com. “For 2010, engineers determined the Dodge Ram was capable of towing much more than previously tested. Subsequently, the tow ratings were reassessed and the 2010 Dodge Ram increased its gross combined weight rating by 1,500 pounds without any component or calibration changes to the vehicle.”

Benvenuti also said Dodge truck engineers followed new testing protocols established by the Society of Automotive Engineers and a group of truck manufacturers to standardize tow testing, which we covered in late 2007.

“While all manufacturers use a slightly different tow-rating criteria when evaluating their vehicles, several common factors must be maintained by all when determining tow ratings,” Benvenuti said. “These include design requirements such as engine, transmission and axle cooling, while still ensuring a durable vehicle when towing. Our engineers performed both simulation and real-world tests to ensure that all of our internal targets and all the guidelines set by the new proposed SAE tow standard were achieved. The 2010 Dodge Ram 1500’s towing capability was re-rated without sacrificing performance, quality or reliability, and now exceeds both Ford and Chevy on comparably equipped vehicles.”

Dodge isn’t the first manufacturer to magically increase the tow rating of its half-ton pickup without changing hardware. Ford pulled a similar move when it upped the 2008 Ford F-150's max tow rating to 11,000 pounds from 9,900 pounds the year before, after the 2007 Toyota Tundra arrived with a 10,800-pound tow rating. The Ram’s new 10,450-pound rating is likely to wind up as a bragging point in Dodge’s 2010 marketing efforts.

In addition to the towing increase, the Ram’s maximum payload has increased by 50 pounds, to 1,900 pounds, for a regular cab two-wheel-drive truck when equipped with the standard 3.7-liter V-6.

Other welcome changes for 2010 include optional manual or power-folding trailer-towing mirrors – so you can tow that bigger trailer – an optional integrated trailer-brake controller, and an 18-mm (.7-inch) deepening of the front air dam to improve aerodynamics. An added fuel shutoff feature during deceleration should marginally improve fuel efficiency.

Smaller changes include a fuel-saver indicator light for the 3.7-liter V-6 model, iPod integration -- so the music player can be controlled through the stereo controls or steering-wheel buttons -- new passive head restraints, and new 22-inch wheels for the Ram R/T.


So, if nothing has changed, does that mean the 2009's already sold will be given a new sticker indicating the revised capacity??

So nothing change on Crew Cab Towing? Only on Regular Cab Version...Good improvement!!!

Please add to your list:
-SXT trim package
-Standard Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)

to bad it will still take all day to get to the top of a hill with an engine meant for racing not pulling.

@A.J. Thanks!! You're correct about the Tire Pressure Monitoring System but there's no sign of an SXT trim package returning for 2010. Only the ST, SLT, TRX, Sport, Sport R/T and Laramie trims are listed.

at least if not going to get to the top of the hill with a wimpy shitty engine in the Silverado, F-150, Tundra, Titan

How many reg cab trucks do you see. Its crews or bust for the most part. Yet is the lack of payload ever addressed on a crew cab. Hard to pull the family camper in a reg cab. Just not cool anymore to throw the kids in the bed.

@Terry: Max towing is respectable for the other cab configurations too.

A 5.7-L V-8 2WD Ram with 17-inch wheels and a 3.92 rear axle is rated at 10,200 pounds for the Crew Cab and Quad Cab models. It's 10,150 for the same setup with 20-inch wheels.

@Dan, you may want to reevaluate your comment. There is a nice comparison on edmunds that shines a little light onto how trucks perform pulling some weight up a hill. I invite you to venture on over and check it out. If that doesn't work then just think with logic, 390hp 400lbs torque.


Sorry for being OFF TOPIC, but I was wondering when You're going to post the "UPDATE" about the Turbo 4-cyl Ford F-150 that you promised last week?

I've been checking your site everyday just to read something about it but I don't know if you forgot about it or something. : (

I'll be waiting for your reply.


@Frank-Perez: Please see the comments I added to the 2010 Ford F-150 story. I decided to add the details there instead of make a big deal about it (for now).


Near the bottom of the comments.

@ Mike. My ref is more towards how tow rating is nearly totally useless stat if you want to tow legally. Take a new F150 4wd SCrew for example: the payload sticker in a patinum may only be 750lbs depending how you equip it. (in fairnss not too may options on a plat) now you add fuel, wife, kids some cargo in box, and weight of whatever accesories you may have bought and youd be left with room for tnge weight of under 200 lbs. While the rule of thumb is tnge @ 10 - 15% of total trailer... thats rarely true, more likely +. But even if we use 15%... what kind of trailer can you pull? Really unless you have a specialised trailer with no tounge weight.... meaningless real world data. Can they pull it. Yes just don't get checked by DOT.

Does that make sense. It wasn't a shot at Ram. More shot at Ram, F150, Toyota.

@Terry: Gotcha! I see your point.

SXT package will return for 2010. Bright front and rear bumpers (vs. dark grey), 17-inch Chrome-clad steel wheels, cloth 40/20/40-split front bench seat (vs. vinyl), carpet floor covering (vs. vinyl), floor mats, speed control and SIRIUS Satellite Radio.

Get a 2010 Tundra 5.7L Crew Max you cant go wrong. Now it looks like towing capacity will be the main line of the compitition.

How about a 6-Speed Transmission.

How about ZF's 8 speed automatic?
1-7 in tow/haul, 2-8 when just driving.

For crying out loud, Honda now has a 6 speed automatic, that has over 6:1 ratio spread.

@Mike: Welcome.

@Rick M.: Difference b/w SXT and SLT?

@Michael S: Id love a 6-speed as well but from what Ive heard it is several years away.

@AJ: I would just like to see some word from Dodge on the 6-Speed. I have looked everywhere and their is nothing to be found. All of the other competitiors are building 6-Speeds. My first truck was an '05 Laramie. I have a special place in my heart for Dodge Trucks, but a 6-Speed would be the sticking point when buying a new truck hopefully next year. Maybe a 3500 SRW is my future if Dodge won't do a half ton 6-Speed.

uh o......not what can Ford brag about? Now the Ram is better in every way possible. The Ram had it's foot on the F-150's throat last year and now this.....i think u get the picture.

@RAMMAN, this tow rating garbage has always been the Ford Fanboi's battle cry that is for sure! I still like reading the Edmunds tow comparison of Chevy, Ford, Dodge, & Toy of the 6500lbs trailer. You can build a tank but you still need an engine to move it.

@Mike Levine, hey man I just wanted to say thank you for all that you do here on these articles. You have a tough crowd here and I applaud you. I also thank you for taking the time to reply to these comments and questions.

@jrod82: very true man, Somehow the Ford's tow alot, but with that weak excuse for a v8 you will find 10,000+ pounds pulling you backwards down a hill. Now the Ram can tow 10,000+ pounds and does it with HEMI V8 authority. The Ram is the most powerful(390hp 407ib-ft torque), best looking(is there any ? to this?), best interior(awards prove it), best quality(awards prove it), best ride(tests prove it), biggest cab(mega cab on HD's) and now is right there with the competition with towing and payload. To all you Ford guys, I will list these awards if u want to get technical, but do us Dodge guys a favor and save it because the Ram has grabbed the truck market by the horns for sure.

The only reason I like the Ford is because it has more room inside, both front and rear, other then that the Dodge is the better truck.

Mike, three questions for you.

1.) Does the Ram GVWR change?
2.) How does this affect the Ram's payload on a 4x2 Crew?
3.) When will Dodge publish these numbers?

1.) GVWR has *not changed* according to the specs although interestingly payload is up by approximately 10 pounds to 75 pounds depending on model.
2.) Payload for a 2010 4x2 Ram CC is 1650 pounds. Last year it was 1640 pounds.
3.) I don't know when Dodge will publish the numbers. I'm guessing in the next month or so.

@Mike Levine: Mike what has Dodge said about a 6-Speed Transmission? Also, any more news on the 1/2 Ton Cummins Diesel?


You can only get a real bed on a Ram if you buy a regular cab right? So if you want an 8 footer, you have to get the Titan, Tundra, F-150 or Silverado, and if youre interested in something to put groceries in, you get the Dodge. Its a great looking truck, but as they always do, Chrysler misses the boat again, this time by way of offering only a novelty bed with extended cab models.

Dodge-best quality??? Has that EVER happened? I used to be a Chrysler nutswinger, but my 17 yrs of experience driving their products tells me otherwise. As of 2001 (the last of their junk that I owned) they still had not figured out how to get clear coat to stick to a car. Ill keep my Titan, FJ, and Mustang, thank you. LOVE the new Challenger, but based on past experience, I will never buy any Chrysler product new.

Dodge needs:
1. 6.5' bed on crew cab
2. 6 speed auto

Ford needs
1. 6.2L Boss V8 available across the range

But I think they are both at the top of the game. To say one is good and the other sucks is really narrow minded.

6.4 L Hemi, 6-Speed with 3.42 gears would curry a lot of favor!

We can all drive more fuel efficient cars starting today without spending a dime – it’s a matter of adjusting our driving habits. I learned a ton at an eco-driving workshop at this summer’s Midwest Renewable Energy Fair. Check out the top ten tips at http://digginginthedriftless.wordpress.com/2009/06/23/10-ways-to-cut-gas-costs-and-save-the-planet/

Happy gas savings,
Denise Thornton

I have seen it personaly. a friend has a dodge with the hemi and with the same amount of weight behind him and my truck i have to wait for him. like i said its a great engine just not meant for farm truck work. it cant handle it. real world is alot different than paper.

The 2010 1500 also includes a trailer brake controller as an optional peice.

This is posted at Allpar:

Reintroduction of SXT appearance package, new TRX/TRX4 packages, optional factory trailer tow mirrors (power heated with signal and puddle lamps), active head restraints, and trailer brake control integrated with sway control. A 700 amp battery will be standard. A Challenger style hood will be available on Sport models. Tire pressure monitor display with readouts for all 5-tires will be standard on all SXT and up models.

@ Ramman Perhaps you should read a comparo or two w the f150 & ram. The 5,4L may be the weakling of the bunch, but its 6 speed allows it to out pull the might hemi. Until the ram gets a better tranny, its the least capable as far as towing goes in half tons.... LEAST. I guess if you buy your ram to smke empty F150s at the lights... then you should be happy.

How come Toyota and ford Have 6sp autos but still get worse mpg than my 09 ram with 5sp. I here alot about how 6sp is so much better but it does not pan out in real world can someone show me a test were mpg get better with extra speed in tranny?? thanks

when car and driver tested Tundra and towed 7,500 lb camper they said the Toyota could barely handle that wieght and would not reccomend towing more on trips. I think half ton trucks would not hold up towing 10,000 or more on a regular basis??

You guys that keep bashing the HEMI have never driven one have you? Believe me, my 08 HEMI runs circles around my buddies 09 F-150 Lariate. 6 speed tranny and all.

BTW, We both pull 27ft travel trailers.

i would have to agree, that dodge needs a good 6sp tranny, and maybe a real man. tran. 6sp?, the hemi is a great motor, the gm line has good motors, ford has the best made truck overall, just needs more power for bragging rights for 10% of the time, unless you plan on towing a lot, but then your should have bought a 3/4, 1 ton truck, dodge is the way to go there 09 or the new 2010, cummins rules, hands down.

@fordsux Not up the same hill starting at the same time. Especially an 08 Ram.

@Terry This report says otherwise!


why are ford guys always so mad?

Terry I hoped you read and wept at that link that TNEW posted. Yes my 08 HEMI out performs my friends 09 up hills and on level ground.

His truck might have more options, but mine is way better looking and outperforms his in every catigory. Fuel milage is close tank to tank. Sometimes he gets better, sometimes I get better, depend on how we drive.

@fordsux & @TNEW Ya the Hemi will beat a ford in a hillclimb but thats not really anything to brag about because it still finishes in 4th place behind three other trucks. (Chevy, Toyota, GMC.) Not only that, But the only truck the Hemi could beat in the Quarter Mile Drag with a 6500 lbs. Trailer was the Ford. The Titan even beat the Hemi.

i whats the big deal about towing on a 1500? if your really worried about towing then get a 3/4 ton...anyways...i like dodge but a better tranny would be nice

why is Dodge boys always complaining N Crying...

I have a 1997 F-150 ext cab with 247,000 miles on her, when it came time to replace that truck because it was no longer reliable I went with the 09 RAM. Why? because it is the truck that meets my needs the best.

I'm not trying to say Ford, Chevy, or whom ever is junk or one is better than the other. It all depends on what works for you. It is my opinion the Ford is being asked to do too much with an underpowered engine. The tow rating is high and the trucks rides like it.

The RAM I bought meets my needs and rides better than any truck available. I use it as an everyday commute vehicle and I love the ride, power (passing power HEMI), looks of the truck, interior layout, and did I say power. I tow a boat occationally which is a 24ft Tri-toon Pontoon that weighs around 3000lbs including trailer. My trucks meets my needs better than any of the ones I shopped which were chevy and ford. I pull that boat up some steap ramps into Lake Cumberland in KY.

It just always seems the Ford Fanboi's are so angry and quick to ridicule. Now I will admit that all fanboi's do it no matter their brand loyalty, but I see more Ford Fanboi's act in this manner. I love my truck and I am a truck enthusiast not a Dodge enthusiast. I love and admire all trucks for what they are regardless of the badge that is on them. That means I recognize both the pros and cons of each one. I can sit here any type out the pros and cons that each truck has over the other, but quite frankly I'm getting tired of typing.

The main point that us "Dodge Guys" are trying to make here (at least I think) is the Ford Fanboi's will always bring tow rating out of the bag when Ford is compared to any brand. This new increase is good for the new ram and will help against the competition that brags all about towing power. Considering the majority of half-ton owners 1. Don't haul much more than 5000lbs on a regular basis. 2. Starting to buy larger cab (i.e. CrewCabs) which have lower tow ratings anyway.

Regarless of who is better than who, lets just all hope that we are able to keep our trucks well into the future. As gas prices rise and the gov't trying more and more to dictate what we drive, the threat to our trucks and powerful V8s becomes greater.

I like the 2010 RAM 1500, what I would like to see in the very near future :) though,

1 - Small block diesel (cummins of course)
2 - 6.5 ft bed with optional rambox. (keep dimensions
of the current rambox however). This would allow room
for an over-the-rail diamond plate toolbox at the front
without impinging on the rambox functionality and still
have loads of room in the bed.
3 - The longer dimensions of the truck also lends itself to a
an even better ride, keeping the spring coils in the back
of course. ( Kind of like a cadillac, haha)
4 - If Dodge has time, look into a partnership with
http://www.rasertech.com The technology looks
promising. The more room under the chassis might just
accomodate this tech a little better. Useful for the urban
warrior I suppose.

Just dreamin' anyway.

My dad has a 2003 Ram 1500 5.7 Liter Hemi Quad cab with 8 foot bed. Got it tested at the dyno and it has 383hp and 404lb/ft of torque. Incredible! The thing does 0-60 in 5.3 seconds and is the most comfortable vehicle i have ever ridden in. Payload is 1750lbs and max towing is 8500lbs. I love the thing and hope he will give it to me when he is done with it. We used to have a 1993 Ford F-150 XLT 4.9 Liter Straight 6 cylinder. Got that tested too and it has 150hp and 168lb/ft of torque. LOL. I love the ram and hate the Tundra and the Titan because they are foreign tin cans with big engines but little capability. Raced a tundra last week in my dad's truck and flew past him no problem. Ford has improved some, but the 5.4L and 4.6L are old and outdated. Ford really needs to improve on their engines if they want title of top truck and dodge need's to improve slightly on suspension. Yeah, I like the comfort of coil springs, but I like the towing and payload of leaf springs. Just my opinion but all foreign cars, trucks, and suv's suck!

I have a 2007 Ram 1500 Sport Quad Cab 5.7 L Hemi, 2WD with limited slip diff. and traction control. I also ordered the towing package. My truck came with 20" wheels/tires, part of the Sport package. The OE tires are not E load rated and I pull trailers, the heaviest is a 7,000 lb travel trailer, conventional rear hitch. My truck really settles down in back when the trailer is connected. The truck seems to pull it fine, the towing package comes with a 3.92 ratio. The 20" tires offer poor Winter traction. I am going to add 275 65 R20E tires to the rear wheels. I bought Goodyear Wrangler OWL to match the front with an aggresive tread for better traction too. I also plan on adding an extra leaf the the rear springs. I didn't want to trade and take a beating on trade in, my truck only has 21K miles on it. I really like my truck, I special ordered it with options I wanted, like heated leather seats and power reear window. I don't know if I should change the front tires too. The new tires are 1" taller, but I can correct my spedometer with my Flash Paq tuner. Anyone have similar experience?

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