Truck Trend Garage: Cash For Clunkers 2009 Ram 1500 Upgrade

Expert Advice

Alex Steele
Dec 11, 2009
Q: I have a new 2009 Ram 1500 standard-cab longbed. I purchased this truck with my 1991 GMC 2500 clunker. I could not get a 2500 truck of any make using the Cash for Clunkers program. What suspension items do I need to add to my Ram to enable it to haul my 2000-pound, eight-foot camper?
A: The new Ram platform was a big step up for Dodge. You're in good shape as far as towing the camper. The lowest standard towing capacity for the regular cab Ram 1500 ST long bed is about 3650 pounds. That means you can safely tow up to that weight the way it sits—factory suspension and trailer hitch. Look up the specifications in your owner's manual. Your capacities may be higher depending on the engine, transmission, and rear axle ratio. If you wanted to go all out with a fifth-wheel add-on, that would bring the lowest numbers up to almost a 9000-pound maximum towing capacity. Just be sure not to surpass the Gross Combined Weight Rating. That's the grand total weight of the truck, trailer, and everything on board (including passengers and cargo). Again, look all of this up in your owner's manual and apply your truck specifics. You caught the "clunker" deal just in time.
How To Reach Alex
If you have a technical question regarding your pickup, SUV, or van, feel free to contact Alex, a master technician with the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence. Send a letter to him in care of Truck Trend Garage, 831 S. Douglas Street, El Segundo, CA 90245, or e-mail us at trucktrend@sourceinterlink.com. Please include the VIN with your question. Due to the volume of questions received every month, we cannot guarantee that everyone's question will be personally answered or will appear in the magazine.

Can't wait for help with a problem you're having with your Truck or SUV? Ask the expert we trust here at Truck Trend Garage—visit Alex Steele at www.RealWorldAutomotive.com.

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