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Old 09-05-2020, 11:35 AM   #1
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Smile Ideal RAM 1500 configurations for towing Escape 5.0TA

Hi all,

I have been reading the forum for weeks, you all helped my decision to purchase an Escape! Just put down deposit for an Escape 5.0TA last month, now in the market for a new RAM 1500 truck with Crew cab. I'd appreciate your feedback on truck configuration, what are the must have and good to have? Here are my questions:

1) Will 5'7" bed work well with 5.0TA? What turning degree can I get with that? and what kind of hitch should I get? Should I get 6'4" bed instead? (with crew cab it's a bit longer than I prefer)

2) Other than towing capacity and payload, I'm looking at a few other options of the truck: 1) air suspension for 4 corners; 2) Air Lift 1000. Do you think I need them for towing 5.0TA? How much will they make the driving experience better?

3) I'm getting 5.7-Liter V8 HEMI® MDS VVT engine, 3.92 axle ratio, 33 gallon tank, trailer brake control, 4X4. Anything else essential I should be getting? Anything nice to have you would recommend?

Thanks!
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Old 09-05-2020, 11:50 AM   #2
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You didn't mention factory tow mirrors, I highly recommend them. I love the 33 gallon tank, never have to worry about gas. My Ram has the 3.21axle ratio and I find that it has plenty of power for towing, and is probably a little better on gas mileage when not towing. With the 8 speed transmission and a fairly light trailer like the 5.0TA, I don't think a 3.92 axle is needed.

Depending on whether you use a rail mount or gooseneck ball mount hitch, the air suspension may affect being able to have that mounted - I know I have heard that it interferes with some mounting brackets, so you may want to check with your hitch installation shop about that in advance. The back end squats very little when we hitch up the trailer and the standard suspension handles its weight easily.

I have a basic 2019 Ram 1500 2WD and it is the smoothest riding vehicle I have ever owned. It pulls the 5.0TA effortlessly and I can't imagine the air suspension would add noticeably to the ride.

One thing to watch for on any new truck is the payload capacity. The brochures tend to list generic "no options" max payloads, but every option adds weight and reduces the payload. You can find similarly equipped trucks on the dealer's lot and look at the payload sticker on the driver door frame to get a ballpark idea of what the payload would be with the options you plan to get.

We have a quad cab - I wanted the longer 6-4" bed to have room for a toolbox in front of the hitch, and we find that the back seat is still plenty adequate and provides lots of storage space. The quad cab is also lighter than the crew cab, and I ordered my truck specifically to get the towing options I wanted and to get a nice high payload weight so I never had to split hairs and worry about how much I was carrying. Our payload capacity is 1804 pounds.

If you have trouble finding a truck on a dealer's lot equipped the way you want, we found it was no trouble at all to special order one and got the same discount we would have from a dealer inventory truck. That may vary dealer by dealer, of course.
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Old 09-05-2020, 12:01 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by dragontale View Post
Hi all,

I have been reading the forum for weeks, you all helped my decision to purchase an Escape! Just put down deposit for an Escape 5.0TA last month, now in the market for a new RAM 1500 truck with Crew cab. I'd appreciate your feedback on truck configuration, what are the must have and good to have? Here are my questions:

1) Will 5'7" bed work well with 5.0TA? What turning degree can I get with that? and what kind of hitch should I get? Should I get 6'4" bed instead? (with crew cab it's a bit longer than I prefer)

2) Other than towing capacity and payload, I'm looking at a few other options of the truck: 1) air suspension for 4 corners; 2) Air Lift 1000. Do you think I need them for towing 5.0TA? How much will they make the driving experience better?

3) I'm getting 5.7-Liter V8 HEMI® MDS VVT engine, 3.92 axle ratio, 33 gallon tank, trailer brake control, 4X4. Anything else essential I should be getting? Anything nice to have you would recommend?

Thanks!
We own a 2019 Ram 1500 Laramie Quad cab 4x 4 with the 5.7 liter Hemi V8 - 3.92 anti slip rear end - integrated brake controller, 33 gallon fuel tank , factory class 4 receiver hitch
, Zap add on towing mirrors and after market air lift manual air bags .
Payload is approx 1600 lbs
The 1500 has no problems towing our Escape 21 C
Be aware that the factory self leveling air suspension requires some additional modifications to install the 5th wheel hitch
I don’t know how the 5’ 7” bed will work with an Escape 5.0
My buddy has a Ram 2500 crew cab with a nice dent / crease in the drivers side rear pillar caused by backing up his 5th wheeler so be cautious
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Old 09-05-2020, 12:04 PM   #4
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Thanks for your quick response David! I read your post on towing with RAM 1500 multiple times and it's very helpful.
The reason I insist on crew cab is that I will be using the truck 95% of the time of regular commute/trips without towing, and I like the roomy backseats to fit all family members.
Is the factory towing mirror default? I don't see such option to choose from.
You're absolutely right on the comfortableness of RAM ride, that's one of the things I really liked over other popular trucks.
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Old 09-05-2020, 12:16 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dragontale View Post
Thanks for your quick response David! I read your post on towing with RAM 1500 multiple times and it's very helpful.
The reason I insist on crew cab is that I will be using the truck 95% of the time of regular commute/trips without towing, and I like the roomy backseats to fit all family members.
Is the factory towing mirror default? I don't see such option to choose from.
You're absolutely right on the comfortableness of RAM ride, that's one of the things I really liked over other popular trucks.
The factory towing mirrors are not default, they are an option you have to select. I have seen them as a standalone option and also as part of a tow package option that bundled the tow mirrors and brake controller. On some trim levels I think they also offer what they call a "max tow package" that has the brake controller, tow mirrors, and a special heavy duty 3.92 axle.

Another thing to be aware of is that the Ram comes with a limited use temporary spare tire that is not suitable for towing. The wheel it comes on is also different than your standard wheels. I chose to replace that with a matching standard size tire and wheel when I bought the truck.
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Old 09-05-2020, 12:25 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by dragontale View Post
Thanks for your quick response David! I read your post on towing with RAM 1500 multiple times and it's very helpful.
The reason I insist on crew cab is that I will be using the truck 95% of the time of regular commute/trips without towing, and I like the roomy backseats to fit all family members.
Is the factory towing mirror default? I don't see such option to choose from.
You're absolutely right on the comfortableness of RAM ride, that's one of the things I really liked over other popular trucks.
My wife and I are retired and the only one who rides in the back seat of our Ram Quad Cab is our dog , or a few bags of groceries and occasionally our grandkids
The back seat of the Quad Cab is a little tight for a larger adult especially on longer trips but it’s plenty roomy for the grandkids
If I remember correctly if you choose the towing mirrors , there are other mirror features which are deleted . The standard mirrors have the power folding feature which I believe is not available on the towing mirrors.
I like the power folding mirrors for going through the car wash or pulling through a narrow garage door opening .
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Old 09-05-2020, 08:35 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by dragontale View Post
Hi all,

I have been reading the forum for weeks, you all helped my decision to purchase an Escape! Just put down deposit for an Escape 5.0TA last month, now in the market for a new RAM 1500 truck with Crew cab. I'd appreciate your feedback on truck configuration, what are the must have and good to have? Here are my questions:

1) Will 5'7" bed work well with 5.0TA? What turning degree can I get with that? and what kind of hitch should I get? Should I get 6'4" bed instead? (with crew cab it's a bit longer than I prefer)

2) Other than towing capacity and payload, I'm looking at a few other options of the truck: 1) air suspension for 4 corners; 2) Air Lift 1000. Do you think I need them for towing 5.0TA? How much will they make the driving experience better?

3) I'm getting 5.7-Liter V8 HEMI® MDS VVT engine, 3.92 axle ratio, 33 gallon tank, trailer brake control, 4X4. Anything else essential I should be getting? Anything nice to have you would recommend?

Thanks!
Heated seats were a must have on our list. Didn’t think I’d like the running boards so much but they’re so necessary now.

The dealer wanted full retail $295 for the brake controlleron my Ram. I opted for the Tekonsha P3 for $120. Super easy to install and I can take it with me to my next truck.

Spray in bed liner is highly recommended too.
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Old 09-05-2020, 08:52 PM   #8
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The Ram extended trailer mirrors cannot be had with power fold at any trim level it seems.

FYI I've got power/heated extended trailer mirrors on my F150 but no power fold ... a cut-to-length broomhandle with a foam-padded standard 3" L-bracket from Lowes bolted to the end lets me easily fold / unfold the passenger mirror from the driver's seat (do have power windows). Low tech but it works and I love the view with the extended mirrors when towing.

Interesting to note that the RAM MAX trailer tow package includes a full size spare - but only available with certain engine combinations.

Happy shopping!
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Old 09-06-2020, 06:08 AM   #9
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Yes, the spare tire is the Ram's achilles heel, putting a temp spare on a truck set up for towing is ridiculous
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Old 09-06-2020, 06:24 AM   #10
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Yes, the spare tire is the Ram's achilles heel, putting a temp spare on a truck set up for towing is ridiculous
Hi: cpaharley2008... IDK about "Achilles heal" but I've never had to use "Shanks pony" due to a flat!!! BTW glad to see yer back.
Last year at Niagara Wine Escape there were 4 Ram pickups as TV's. Folks thought it was a Ram fest!!! Alf
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Old 09-06-2020, 09:41 AM   #11
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Heated seats were a must have on our list. Didn’t think I’d like the running boards so much but they’re so necessary now.

The dealer wanted full retail $295 for the brake controlleron my Ram. I opted for the Tekonsha P3 for $120. Super easy to install and I can take it with me to my next truck.

Spray in bed liner is highly recommended too.
Have to agree heated seats and a heated steering wheel are really nice in the Winter as is remote start .
We have the Linex spray in bed liner plus a rubber mat bed liner
I bought the Laverne step bars which have an open grating of aluminum
They don’t collect ice , slush or snow in the Winter so less chance of slipping when you step up on the bar .
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Old 09-06-2020, 07:51 PM   #12
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I'm mostly looking at Laramie trim which has heated seat. Thanks for the spare tire suggestion, I've get one full tire. I'd definitely need a step for the truck, my wife finds it too hard to climb up and down. I can also get the spray-in bed line at the dealer after purchase.

The towing mirror is hard to find, I found a few trucks with tow package, but they don't have many other things I wanted, or the truck has much lower payload, especially for the ones with a lot of options (Limited edition), the payload drops pretty quickly to 1100-1200 lbs range. The one I found with most of the options I want and still has 1550 lbs payload and 11,445 lbs towing, should be plenty for 5.0 TA.

Ram has a nice website which can help check payload & towing for any truck with a VIN, very useful: https://www.ramtrucks.com/towing-guide.html
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Old 09-08-2020, 01:01 PM   #13
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I checked out the truck I wanted at the dealership and it only has 1,450 lbs of payload, is that going to be a problem for towing Escape 5.0TA?

From reading the instruction it shows Escape 5.0TA has 670 lbs of pin weight, could go up to 900 lbs if loaded, that leaves only 550-780 lbs for all passengers & other things. We have a family of 4 so passenger weight itself could be 600 lbs, not factor into the hitch, luggage, etc.

Do you think it's going to be a problem with payload in this case?
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Old 09-08-2020, 01:50 PM   #14
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When we were looking at purchasing a new 2019 Ram 1500 and after making reasonable assumptions based on the weights listed in “ Trailer weights in the real world “ I came to two conclusions ( Assuming one wished to stay within the published limits )

I ) If we wanted to tow an Escape 5.0 TA , we would have to buy a stripped down truck without the options we wanted and highly limit the weight we carried in the trailer and the truck
2) Order the truck with the options we wanted , place reasonable limits on the cargo we carry and stick with our Escape 21 C

We decided to buy a 2019 Ram 1500 Laramie Quad Cab with the options we wanted and stay with our 21C
I admit that I don’t feel comfortable towing at or over my vehicles limits and prefer having a little margin
Others have made your payload limit work and are happy with their choice .
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Old 09-08-2020, 04:23 PM   #15
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Hi Steve, thanks for sharing your experience. I'm facing the same dilemma as you faced: getting the truck I want and/or getting the RV I want.

Is 5.0TA easier to handle than 21C & other travel trailers? I didn't look at any of the towing trailers because I wanted to minimize the total length of my towing setup, and I'm concerned about potential sway issues.

Has anyone used RAM 2500 or Ford 250 to tow Escape 5.0TA? Are those trucks comfortable/suitable for daily commute/regular use? I'm not in any business like construction which needs a lot of hauling.
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Old 09-08-2020, 04:59 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by dragontale View Post
Hi Steve, thanks for sharing your experience. I'm facing the same dilemma as you faced: getting the truck I want and/or getting the RV I want.

Is 5.0TA easier to handle than 21C & other travel trailers? I didn't look at any of the towing trailers because I wanted to minimize the total length of my towing setup, and I'm concerned about potential sway issues.

Has anyone used RAM 2500 or Ford 250 to tow Escape 5.0TA? Are those trucks comfortable/suitable for daily commute/regular use? I'm not in any business like construction which needs a lot of hauling.
Hi: dragontale... IMHO a 3/4 ton truck would be too much truck for towing and not as comfortable riding either. Our Ram 1500 Ecodiesel does a great job for both riding and towing. With 2 of us and not much in the box It's quite capable. We do have the red airbags in the rear coils at 30psi. Alf
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Old 09-08-2020, 05:37 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by dragontale View Post
Hi Steve, thanks for sharing your experience. I'm facing the same dilemma as you faced: getting the truck I want and/or getting the RV I want.

Is 5.0TA easier to handle than 21C & other travel trailers? I didn't look at any of the towing trailers because I wanted to minimize the total length of my towing setup, and I'm concerned about potential sway issues.

Has anyone used RAM 2500 or Ford 250 to tow Escape 5.0TA? Are those trucks comfortable/suitable for daily commute/regular use? I'm not in any business like construction which needs a lot of hauling.
My fishing / hunting partner owns a Ram 2500 diesel . I have driven / towed with his vehicle on several long trips . To be honest I did not notice much difference in the ride or handling between his 2500 and my 1500
There was a noticeable difference between his Cummins diesel and my gas hemi V8 especially when towing up / down a steep grade
In reality ,as much as I like the 2500 it seem to be a bit of an overkill for an Escape 5.0 TA
If we were in the market for a 5.0 it would be a tough decision on which vehicle I would choose . Towing performance vs Vehicle cost - At this time , I can’t justify a 3/4 ton diesel truck
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Old 09-12-2020, 12:06 PM   #18
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Thank you all for the suggestions, here is the Ram 1500 configuration I have: https://www.ramtrucks.com/bmo.ram_15...HC,MRA,UAM,25H

This gives me all the options I need, and most of the options I want, and still has 1760 lbs of payload. I have to let go of some of the options because they either drop my payload too much, or I don't feel really need to have them.

The problem is I couldn't locate a truck like this anywhere, I will have to custom order it. My dealer tells me all custom order now will be 2021 model, they can only sell at MSRP to me. When will be a good time to custom order and get a good deal on RAM truck?

My Escape 5.0TA is scheduled to deliver in April 2021, RAM custom order usually takes 8-12 weeks. I can wait a few months to order the truck.
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Old 09-12-2020, 12:49 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by dragontale View Post
Thank you all for the suggestions, here is the Ram 1500 configuration I have: https://www.ramtrucks.com/bmo.ram_15...HC,MRA,UAM,25H

The problem is I couldn't locate a truck like this anywhere, I will have to custom order it. My dealer tells me all custom order now will be 2021 model, they can only sell at MSRP to me. When will be a good time to custom order and get a good deal on RAM truck?

My Escape 5.0TA is scheduled to deliver in April 2021, RAM custom order usually takes 8-12 weeks. I can wait a few months to order the truck.
When I ordered my truck they gave me a comparable discount to what they were discounting trucks on the lot. On the Ram boards I have seen people in some areas complain that their dealer would only do a custom order for full MSRP. I would recommend you check around for other dealers in your area / region that would order the truck for you at a decent discount - worth the substantial savings even if you have to travel a bit to get it.
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Old 09-12-2020, 12:52 PM   #20
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Check the owners manual , Ram requires a 1000 mile break in period before towing anything so you want to pick up your truck and put some miles on it before you head to Chiliwack
My truck is very similar MSRP of $52,800 and it seem to work as advertised . Dave Murphy makes a good point with getting pricing from different dealers . I was able to buy my truck for under $38,000 by shopping around - Closest price I got from other dealers was over $43,000
I did not get the factory step bars on my 2019 Ram because the factory bars on my 2014 Ram had problems with the chrome peeling off so I went with aftermarket Laverne step bars —Less cost - easy to install - Ram would not cover the step bars under warranty - claimed the damage was my fault
I also did not get the factory tow mirrors cause I wanted the power folding mirrors but that’s just a personal choice
I added aftermarket air bags on my 2014 Ram and they worked great for 5 years so I went that route again . Airlift makes two styles of air bags for the Ram ( Standard and Heavy Duty )
I went with the heavy duty because the price to upgrade was only $30 more
I also did not get the factory GPS based on advice from the dealer . If you have a smartphone you can plug it into the truck and google maps will display on your truck’s EVIC screen
and you don’t need to pay Ram to update the GPS
I quess we were lucky cause our dealer had about 10 trucks on the lot equipped similar to what I wanted / needed for towing our Escape 21

Good luck
Steve D
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