Towing with a Ram 1500 - Page 14 - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 04-20-2015, 04:22 PM   #131
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GerriJ View Post
One thing that you may have to look into is potential interference between the 5.0TA hitch box and the top of the box sides when turning. The hitch of the TA extends forward from the trailer at a relatively shallow (almost horizontal) angle. The 5.0 hitch drops down at about 45 degrees. The ram box is about 48" wide so you only have about 24" on each side (to make a 90 degree turn).
By "hitch box" I assume that you're talking about the pin box. Good point - the rear part of an unfortunately shaped pin box could run into the inside box walls, due to the wide storage boxes of the Rambox.

There have been at least two pin boxes used by Escape:
  1. Many 5.0 were built with a 34-degree (that is, adjusts outward and downward along a line 34 degrees below horizontal) pin box - this is the Atwood AB34. It is hard to imagine a fifth-wheel hitch so far down in the truck box that this pin box would hit the sides, even in a 48" wide truck box.
  2. The last of the 5.0 had a pin box which adjusts vertically, with the lower portion extending almost horizontally - this appears to be the design in use on the 5.0TA, and would presumably get closer to the inside of the truck box in a turn. Measure from the pin to the furthest corner of the pin box to see if it is near 24 inches and thus risks hitting the inside of a Rambox, stepside pickup box, or narrow compact truck box.
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Old 04-20-2015, 04:41 PM   #132
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Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
There was a member here with the Rambox and the 5.0 TA, sold it recently. RSCovell If my memory serves me. No issue with the box but a big no for the air suspension, it interferes with the hitch bolt pattern.
The air suspension hardware makes the installation more difficult, but another member found that it was not impossible:
Quote:
Originally Posted by jhardie View Post
For those that may be thinking that the Dodge Ram 1500 EcoDiesel may be for them... I just had a B&W Turnoverball hitch put into mine last friday and will put B&W's Campanion in the bed to pull the 5.0TA...I think a lot of the installers say it can't be done because it's a very complicated space to put in a hitch and the fellow who did mine did have one tough job...it took him almost 4 hours to finish. I do have air suspension and it's really one great truck. I'll be picking up a 5.0 TA in late November.
The B&W Turnover Ball hitch will not have the same under-floor structure as the brackets for typical fifth-wheel hitch rails, so it's not quite the same situation, but it is possible to properly install a fifth-wheel hitch in a Ram 1500 with air suspension.
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Old 04-20-2015, 04:47 PM   #133
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Originally Posted by GerriJ View Post
The third thing is not related to the trailer but to the Ram box (and possibly other Ram's). No 5th wheel hitch manufacturer makes a bracket (or at least admit to it) for attaching the hitch to the Ram box frame. The new owner of our trailer had custom brackets manufactured that attach the hitch to the Dodge frame without drilling holes.
All valid and good to know... but if anyone is considering the heavier Ram trucks, keep in mind that this is only about the Ram 1500. At the other extreme, the (excessively) heavy Ram 3500 has an available package of built-in fifth-wheel mounts and "gooseneck" (floor-mounted towball). Too bad they don't do this for the lighter trucks... and watch for which Ram a hitch package is listed.
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Old 04-20-2015, 06:52 PM   #134
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
By "hitch box" I assume that you're talking about the pin box. Good point - the rear part of an unfortunately shaped pin box could run into the inside box walls, due to the wide storage boxes of the Rambox.

There have been at least two pin boxes used by Escape:
  1. Many 5.0 were built with a 34-degree (that is, adjusts outward and downward along a line 34 degrees below horizontal) pin box - this is the Atwood AB34. It is hard to imagine a fifth-wheel hitch so far down in the truck box that this pin box would hit the sides, even in a 48" wide truck box.
  2. The last of the 5.0 had a pin box which adjusts vertically, with the lower portion extending almost horizontally - this appears to be the design in use on the 5.0TA, and would presumably get closer to the inside of the truck box in a turn. Measure from the pin to the furthest corner of the pin box to see if it is near 24 inches and thus risks hitting the inside of a Rambox, stepside pickup box, or narrow compact truck box.
Yes Brian, I think I should have said "pin-box". I was trying to go by memory without logging out of the forum to check the proper terminology.
I was also just guessing at the angle of the 5.0 pin box. The one on our 2010 5.0 was the angled version(Atwood AB34 I presume) and it presented no problem for the Ram box with the hitch set at 47". I asked Reace why there had been a change and he said the angled version was no longer being manufactured, although they appear to be available on line. Perhaps not in the quantities that Escape requires or perhaps not for long.

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Old 04-20-2015, 07:00 PM   #135
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Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
All valid and good to know... but if anyone is considering the heavier Ram trucks, keep in mind that this is only about the Ram 1500. At the other extreme, the (excessively) heavy Ram 3500 has an available package of built-in fifth-wheel mounts and "gooseneck" (floor-mounted towball). Too bad they don't do this for the lighter trucks... and watch for which Ram a hitch package is listed.
Yes I was referring only to the 1500 Ram box with the 5.5' box. According to the buyer of our trailer every time he contacted a hitch manufacturers they replied 'not available' for a Ram box. There are several reports on line where Ram box owners have successfully installed 5th wheel hitches with some modification and our buyer certainly did that. He also contacted Trademasters in Chilliwack who advised that they could do that installation.

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Old 04-20-2015, 07:38 PM   #136
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Originally Posted by GerriJ View Post
I asked Reace why there had been a change and he said the angled version was no longer being manufactured, although they appear to be available on line. Perhaps not in the quantities that Escape requires or perhaps not for long.
I wondered about that - thanks for the info.
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Old 04-21-2015, 08:47 AM   #137
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A little update on the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel .... So far I'm still very impressed with this truck pulling the 5.0TA and I'm getting in the 18-20 mpg towing and have gotten over 31mpg not towing mostly 60-65 on freeways. As far as the B & W turnover ball hitch I had installed I'd say it was overkill for pulling the TA as it's rated at 20,000 ibs... The reason I put it in was so I could remove the hitch completely and use the bed without any rails etc and I felt it was well made. I have the 6'4" bed and I can get a close to 90deg turn if I needed to but hope I don't and I haven't had any issues with the Escape hitch set up. About the air suspension... As I mentioned in an earlier post the install was a B...H especially with the routing of the airlines but I would still choose it as an option... The ride is great and the truck self levels with the trailer attached. Overall I'm very happy with this truck.
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Old 04-28-2015, 05:44 PM   #138
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Originally Posted by jhardie View Post
As far as the B & W turnover ball hitch I had installed I'd say it was overkill for pulling the TA as it's rated at 20,000 ibs... The reason I put it in was so I could remove the hitch completely and use the bed without any rails etc...
All common fifth-wheel hitch systems are in a sense "overkill" for any Escape, because their capacity generally starts at 15,000 pounds and none of the trailers have a gross vehicle weight rating more than about one-third of that. There's no sense in picking a 20,000 pound hitch when a lighter 16,000 pound version of the same design is available, but that B&W setup only comes in one rating, so if you want the B&W that's the size you get.

The other way to get a bed free of rails is to use one of the four-pad systems, as introduced by Ford as factory equipment in their SuperDuty trucks a few years ago and offered by Ram in the 3500 recently. Some aftermarket manufacturers now sell versions of their hitches which work with the systems from Ford and Ram, and in some cases their own underbed mount as well. Mount kits of this type don't exist from the factory and are rare in the aftermarket for the Ram 1500 (or other light-duty pickups); for instance, Demco has it for the Ram 1500, but only 2002-2008. These aftermarket systems are the Elite from Reese (compatible with Ford factory) and the UMS from Demco Hijacker.
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Old 06-17-2015, 09:25 PM   #139
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Summary of trip out and back to Escape Rally via Oklahoma,Texas,New Mexico,Arizona and California. I have a 2014 Ram Sport with the 5.7 Hemi, 3:21 rear and 8 speed. My Escape 21' trailer weighs 500 t/w and 3900 on axles. I just made a 7500 mile trip across country and here are my numbers. Original mileage was 2900 miles as the truck is brand new. Now with 10,500 miles it is considered broken in. This is my second Ram Hemi as I traded a 2009 in on the 2014. With that set up and 3:55 rear end I got 12 mpg, towing or not with the the same trailer.
Going across Texas and Oklahoma I had to dodge tornado and thunderstorms and the on board internet came in handy. I averaged 13.5 mpg at 70-75 mpg out to California, using midrange gas or gas with ethanol. This was for about 3500 miles. Then up the coast thru Oregon and Washington and on to British Columbia where the gas has ethanol, I switched to premium without ethanol and slowed down to 62 mph. My average started to rise and when I returned home it was 14.5 over the entire 7500 miles, so I was getting close to 15.5 on the return to bring the first 13.5 up to 14.5 average. My RPM's in the tow mode stayed around 1900 which seemed to make the engine happy, I was even able to put it in cruise across the prairies. Up across the mountains I would occasionally hit 3500 on downshifts and the engine braking while in the tow mode is exceptional.
It gets better, I just drove, unhitched another 100 miles today and now I'm getting 22.5 average, unhitched. It felt strange without the trailer since I was towing for 3 weeks, but the difference with non-ethanol as well as breaking in the engine really loosened up the engine. I'm a happy camper.
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Old 09-26-2015, 10:47 PM   #140
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Towed 500 miles so far (97, I84 and smaller byways) into southern Idahos Snake River country. Reg fuel, with ethanol as Jim points out above. Very pleased to run for long periods in cruise control, unlike home turf.

12.5mpg hand calculated so far. Generally run about 2100rpm to compare to Jim.
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