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Old 01-05-2017, 03:58 PM   #1
Stephen Pepper
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My wife and I are looking at a new Montana HM305RL

I have several questions that maybe this forum might be able to answer. Thank you in advance for your help. We have a 2016 Dodge Ram 2500 extended cab 2 x 4. The numbers seem to say that I can pull a 16,100 pound trailer which is well over the 10,120 pound shipping weight of the 305. Am I missing something or do I have that right. As you can see, I'm new to this. There is an old saying that we sailors have. It goes like this: Sailboat, motorboat, motor home, rest home. We've lived on board our sailboat for 13 years and covered a lot of water. The switch to a 5th wheel and full time living won't be much of a change but the truck/trailer combination is totally new to us. My Jeep is under powered, my sailboat is under powered and I don't want to make the mistake of getting a trailer that is to much for the truck. I believe the 305RL would work but would like your opinions. Secondly, is the 305, based on your experience, to large to get into most of the state parks around the country? We won't mind staying in commercial parks but would like the up close and personal experience that only state parks can offer. Again, thanks for your help.
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Old 01-06-2017, 01:14 AM   #2
trustymopars
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You didn't say what power train is in your truck, but if it is a Cummins, you should be fine. Your loaded weight will probably be in the 13,500 range, depending what you haul around with you. It seems the longer we are out, the more stuff we haul. As far as campgrounds, you just need to plan ahead. We mainly stay in State, Federal, and COE parks and normally have no problems, and our 3611 is 2 feet longer than the 305. If we are heading to a park we haven't been to before, I'll check their site online, as most have pretty good descriptions of site size, and may call the office to be sure that it is as described. Once we arrive, if we think we would stay again, we will walk the campground and mark all of the sites that will work for us.
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Old 01-06-2017, 02:43 AM   #3
DQDick
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Welcome to the forum ! We are very much like Trustymopars. If we can't check the sites on line, and sometimes even if we can, we call ahead and ask but seldom find places we can't go and we also are longer than you will be.
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Old 01-06-2017, 03:02 AM   #4
richfaa
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We have a 2016 Dodge Ram 2500 extended cab 2 x 4. The numbers seem to say that I can pull a 16,100 pound trailer which is well over the 10,120 pound shipping weight of the 305.... Just as you did not sail around in a empty sailboat you will not Pull around a empty RV.

However it looks as if you are OK with the 3/4 ton as long as you do not plan to ever go bigger and heavier.
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Old 01-06-2017, 10:04 AM   #5
jlb27537
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First, what power train do you have? Diesel or gas? Gears?

The problem is not so much what you can tow, it is what can you carry. Weigh the truck, with it loaded with people, fuel, gear, hitch. Now take the trucks loaded weight from the GVWR sticker on the door. That is what you can carry. Now take the rear axle GVWR and subtract the loaded rear axle weight. That is the most you can put on the rear axle. Remembering you can not go over the GVWR rating of the truck.

Lets say your 10,200lb shipping weight is correct, now add batteries, LP, water and you have real dry weight, now add 3,000lbs of "stuff" both you and your wife will add to it and that is what it is going to weigh.

Lets say around 14,000lbs loaded for travel. Figure 20-23% for pin weight, that is 3,220lbs of pin weight. Does your 2500 have that kind of capacity?

Will it tow it, probably, but that is not the question you need to be asking. Going fulltime is different than going to the lake 4 times a year with the kids.

You will read that you just need to add air bags to level it up, yup, now you are a level overloaded truck.
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2012 Ram Laramie 3500 DRW 4x4 3.73 Tow Max Pkg B&W Companion 60 gal RDS aux fuel tank. 2014 Montana 3150RL, 2 A/C's, Leather, 6 Point Jacks, Splendede WD2100XC, Mor/ryde X-Factor, Duravis 250 tires with TST 507RV monitors.
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Old 01-06-2017, 11:07 AM   #6
richfaa
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According to the specs the GVR of the 305RL is 14,270 lbs Experience tells me that you may pull close to that number. It happens.
I would figure the pin weight on the worst case 14,270 number or 20% of 14,270 or 2854 Lbs. Both our Montana's a 3400 and a 3402 came in at 18% of GVR and we are long timers and travel heavy. I do not know the specs of your truck but it would be wise to make sure it is within specs...There is a big difference between pulling 16K and pulling it within the specs of the truck.
My guess is you will be OK but if it were My RV I would not guess.
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Old 01-06-2017, 11:20 AM   #7
Stephen Pepper
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The truck, indeed, does have Cummins power train. I will be looking into how much pin weight the truck will accommodate. What about the fact that it is a 2x4 and not a 4x4? I made the decision to go with the 2 wheel drive version based on the fact that I didn't want to drag around at that gear if I didn't need it. I was told that it was fine for what I was planning which was no winter and very little foul weather traveling. I did my share of that in my sailboat. I see the majority of you guys seem to have 4x4 units. Also, I was told to only go a with Super Glide hitch. There seems to be some issues with the weight relative to a newer light weight brand. Generally speaking, is it one of the better hitches on the market and is the weight an issue if you are not going to remove it. It most likely will never be removed. Thanks again.
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Old 01-06-2017, 11:53 AM   #8
mlh
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I really like the 305 HC. Great floor plan and plenty big enough. Perfect.
You will have no problem with your Dodge truck. enjoy.
Lynwood
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Old 01-06-2017, 12:09 PM   #9
richfaa
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It will be easy to do the numbers on pin weight and well worth it.
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Old 01-07-2017, 04:28 AM   #10
Mark N.
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I can tell you this about a Ram 2500 SRW: I had a brand new 2013 2500 Cummins. When I bought my new 2013 Montana 3400RL, the pin weight of the EMPTY trailer came within 150 lbs of maxing out my rated cargo capacity. That was BEFORE adding any other cargo to the trailer or truck, fuel, or even my wife to my truck. I now have a 3500.
It isn't just about your towing capacity. Look carefully at your cargo capacity.
If you don't need or want 4-wheel drive, don't get it. It is more money and more weight.
I absolutely LOVE my Andersen Ultimate Hitch, and it saves me a BUNCH of cargo weight in my truck. It weighs 75 lbs. and I'd rather be able to carry the difference in weight as additional stuff I want, not as additional hitch weight.
Besides, because it takes me 5 minutes to put in and out, all by myself, I can have my truck bed clean and empty for hauling things.
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Old 01-07-2017, 12:49 PM   #11
waynemoore
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Ok this is just MHO but you need a 4X4. It's not all that much weight and only a few $ more. And you will get that back when you sell it. The guy who is telling you why "haul around all that exter weight" is the salesmen who wants to sell you what he has on the lot or the guy trying to sell you his used truck. All that EXTER weight costs you 1mpg not all that much. But the first time you get into wet grass in a RV park or a soft shoulder you will be glad you have it. For instance I will be going to the Quartzsite show in Az where the over flow parking is in a stream bed. Nothing but deep lose gravel. Without 4 wheel drive one is being towed out by someone with a 4X4. I just can't tell you how many times I have been glad I have that extra pulling power. You can always leave the 4X4 off but with a 2X4 you can't turn it into a 4X4 when needed and I guarantee you will at some point need it.
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Old 01-07-2017, 01:33 PM   #12
mlh
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The only time I need a four wheel drive is when I go up a high mountain gravel road, 9000 feet. I put the truck in 4 low to cool the transmission. That works great. I do a lot of off road camping miles from no where and no one with no cell service. The only time I've got stuck I was in 4 inch deep mud in Wyoming and my 4WD wouldn't get me out. The only thing I could was wait 3 days for it to dry up.
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Old 01-09-2017, 05:39 PM   #13
kenneth e holman
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I had a 2012 ram 2500 with another brand of trailer and knew i was going to buy a heavier trailer so i bought this 2013 ram 3500 dually 4x4. The power train is very little difference on the 2500 and 3500 so sure you have plenty of power for the mountains. The question is will your rear tires have enough capacity to tow your RV safely. You only have about 6,000 pounds of weight capacity on the rear so i would suspect your rear tires would be overloaded. I have 3480 pounds of hitch weight on my truck per cat scales and if that was a 2500 then that would leave me with about 2520 pounds empty. These trucks certainly weigh more than 2520 pounds empty on the rear. My hitch weight is 21.5 percent of my trailer which is 16,200 pounds loaded. If your trailer weighs 15,000 pounds loaded then with the 21.5 percent factor for hitch weight which is certainly reasonable to expect then you would be at 3,225 pounds which puts you to close to the edge.The lack of rear tire capacity is what excludes a lot of 2500's when towing these RV's. As for buying 4x4 or not, These diesels are way to heavy in the front to be out in soft areas but i did have to use mine twice when pulling in and out of a rv spot in Gillete Wyoming because of snow and once in Branson when i needed low range to back in to a spot that was very steep. I never thought i would need 4 wheel drive but you never know. If it wasn't for this RV i would have a 2 wheel drive 1/2 ton truck. Safe Travels.
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Old 01-09-2017, 06:18 PM   #14
Bama Camper
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I have a 3500 and a HC305RL. We love the floor plan, by the way!

I agree with jlb27537, you need to carefully calculate your pin weight. That's where you'll max out first. You're going to be real close, if not over your pin weight. Figure in your tools, fuel, firewood, people, pets, bikes, generator, anything you would carry in the truck along with the trailer.

As far as getting into parks, we do the same type of camping you do. We prefer a more "rustic" campsite, and rarely go to private CGs unless necessary. There are only a few times we have been shut out of a campground because the sites are not long enough, however, sometimes we have to settle for a less desirable site. This happens more often in certain parts of the country. Of ALL the sites in a CG, at 34' long, we can get into 90% of the sites in the South, 70% of them in the North and mid-West, 30% in the North Atlantic States, and about 40-50% in the West. We stay mostly in Corp of Engineers Parks and National Forest Service Parks. When we do have to stay in private CGs, it's about 95%.

As far as 4wd, it's a personal choice. If you have it, you'll be less afraid to travel down that grassy slope or gravel hill pulling your trailer! I've had both 2WD and 4WD, and won't have another truck without 4WD, but that's just me. By the way, 4WD will reduce your pin weight and tow capacity because of the additional weight of the 4WD.
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