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Ram 1500 or GMC Sierra to tow 2-horse trailer?

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Ram 1500 or GMC Sierra to tow 2-horse trailer?

tpup tpup
New User | Posts: 4 | Joined: 11/09
Posted: 11/24/09
06:27 PM

Need advice - I've posted on other boards and threads, both here and elsewhere and trying to get as many opinions and as much knowledge so I can go in with my eyes wide open Smile

I am evaluating the above 2 trucks (primarily)as my new family vehicle (Mom with 2 kids ages 4 & 7). I will be driving some days 60 miles RT to and from my barn, mostly highway - and the rest very local around town, to schools, etc. The other use for the truck is to tow a 2-horse trailer (not a gooseneck trailer). The trailer and max. of 2 horses would weigh in the neighborhood of 5-6,000 lbs. It is live, moving weight. I would only be towing perhaps 2-3 times per month, on flat roads - 20 minutes each way, approx.

I drove both of the above trucks - (and Ford F150 and Toyota Tundra - have ruled those out for now...but may again re-visit the Ford....) The RAM would be the 1500, 5.7L engine with tow package, class IV hitch and I am considering the higher differential ratio of 3.92 vs. 3.73. The Sierra is the 1500 also but might be a 2009 vs. 2010, 5.4L engine with tow package and side airbags added as option. BOTH trucks would be crew-cab 4-door with 4-wheel drive.

My questions are:

Do I need the higher rear differential?? People tow these trailers with SUV's, but some of the feedback I have gotten is that I really need MORE truck even though these trucks have a tow capacity of over 9,000 lbs - this kind of shocks me! I thought I was going over and beyond in choosing these trucks for the weight of my trailer. In many cases I'll only tow one horse, which drops the weight by 1200 lbs. - so add the question, "Are these trucks sufficient to handle the job??"

My other questions are: can the integrated brake controller be added as an aftermarket purchase? The Rams I am looking at did not come with them factory installed. Is this a problem or issue?

Finally, any opinions on these trucks?? (or the Ford F150) - I just read the post about the Ram service "needs" - replacing spark plugs more frequently and having the transmission serviced more frequently. I am willing to do this if the truck is sufficient for my needs, as I am heavily leaning toward the Ram for the way it drove. 90% of it's use will be every day driving - I felt it drove the best, smoothest and quietest - had the nicest interior and the Hemi was just amazing IMO. I also like the look of it.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!!!  

bkong bkong
Administrator | Posts: 599 | Joined: 07/08
Posted: 11/25/09
03:22 PM

Are you looking at a 2009/2010 Ram? I don't believe they offer a 3.73 rearend (that's a distinctive Ford number though).

If you're towing a maximum of 6000 pounds, there shouldn't be a problem with the 3.55 rear axle for the Ram (rated to 7400 pounds). The 3.92 is rated to almost 10,000 pounds, but you'll be eating a bit more fuel. However, the Hemi does have MDS.

The Sierra, equipped with the 5.3-liter V-8 and a 3.42 rearend, is rated to tow 9500 pounds.

Aftermarket brake controllers are available, many drivers have installed them.

Opinion-wise, you should get what gives you the most satisfaction. If you enjoyed everything about the Ram -- driving feel, build quality, etc. -- I think you have found your truck.  

tpup tpup
New User | Posts: 4 | Joined: 11/09
Posted: 11/25/09
05:37 PM

Thanks bkong - I am looking at the 2010 Ram. The Sierra might be an 09, but I just learned that the one they have that I test drove doesn't have side airbags - deal-breaker for me. The GMC dealer has other trucks for me to look at this weekend with the side airbags but I think they are 2010.

Will I be eating more fuel with the 3.92 ALL the time? Or just when I tow?? I really prefer the higher towing capacity to be safe.  

bkong bkong
Administrator | Posts: 599 | Joined: 07/08
Posted: 11/26/09
02:24 AM

A 3.92 rearend-equipped Ram will be revving 10.4-percent higher (re: more fuel needed) at any given road speed compared to a 3.55, assuming the trucks are identical except for the different axles. Not a huge change, considering the difference in engine speed will be in 100-rpm increments, but I wanted to draw your attention to the fuel economy factor because the mpg variation tends to be more noticeable (if noticed at all) during highway driving.  

05chevytahoe5.3L 05chevytahoe5.3L
New User | Posts: 1 | Joined: 11/09
Posted: 11/26/09
01:20 PM

You will burn more gas with the Ram loaded or unloaded than the Sierra especially if the ram has 3.92 gears. The sierra has 3.42 gears giving it better fuel economy and it also has the 6 spd auto and you get 21 mpg with the 4WD and 9500 LB tow rate. You wont have to change the sierra's spark plugs until 150K miles and the intergrated trailer brake is an option . Also the 2010 Sierra comes standard with side passenger airbags  
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tpup tpup
New User | Posts: 4 | Joined: 11/09
Posted: 11/28/09
05:01 PM

Thank you everyone - after taking both vehicles home for a few hours to test drive, I decided on the Sierra and purchased it today! We got the SLT - it's loaded, heavy duty tow package and it turns out my husband has a discount through his company for GMC vehicles which saved us some additional monies. I am SO pleased.

One of the big deciding factors was the size - the Ram just felt huge to me. It felt colossal - everything felt overly big - had a tougher time strapping in my kids seats, it was harder to see out of - and the Sierra just "fit me" - it's still a big truck but it was more proportionate to my size (I am only 5'3" and petite). It also had EVERYTHING - included the factory installed integrated brake controller, rear back up camera, remote start. Drives beautifully, kids and hubby love it as do I - thanks for all your help!  

bkong bkong
Administrator | Posts: 599 | Joined: 07/08
Posted: 11/29/09
01:51 AM


Truck Trend Truck Trend
Administrator | Posts: 4666 | Joined: 02/07
Posted: 11/30/09
11:38 AM

Congrats on ur new truck!  post some pics and let us see it!!!  

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