Skip to Content

What Is The Dodge Ram 5500 Towing Capacity?

What Is The Dodge Ram 5500 Towing Capacity?

The Dodge Ram 5500 towing capacity can get the job done! While it may seem like an unusual choice, it’s an excellent option for towing big RVs. This thing can pull nearly any fifth wheel or tow behind out there. Keep reading to learn why this beast might be the smart choice for you.

ram 5500 towing capacity
2021 Ram 5500 Chassis Cab Limited

About the Dodge/Ram 5500

The Dodge Ram 5500 is a 4×4 workhorse truck in four different trim packages, including Tradesman®, SLT, Laramie®, and Limited. All come in a crew cab with four doors. The Tradesman and SLT also have the option of a regular two-door cab.

The Ram 5500 is available with and without an upfit. An upfit is optional storage space on the back of the truck’s chassis that’s typically used for commercial trucks to haul equipment and more. 

You can order the Ram 5500 with upfits, including landscaper body, gooseneck body, contractor body, mechanics body, notched body, or service body. But for RV towing, the best option is no upfit. 

Other options on the Ram 5500 include the cab-to-axle length, which has four options: 60, 84, 108, or 120 inches. This is something to consider depending on what you’ll tow or carry with the truck.

ram 5500 badge

Dodge/Ram 5500 Towing Capacity

One of the best features of the Dodge Ram 5500 is how much weight it can pull. The Ram 5500 towing capacity ranges from 34,290 to 34,800 pounds, depending on the options you choose. It’s very appealing for RVers who want a truck that can pull nearly any fifth wheel or travel trailer they choose.

If you were to purchase an SLT crew cab, 60” cab-to-axle with no upfit, the towing capacity would be 34,290 pounds. This same configuration with a regular cab has a towing capacity of 34,800 pounds.

ram 5500 flatbed
2021 Ram 5500 Limited Chassis Cab with Rancher Upfit

What Is the Payload Capacity of the Ram 5500? 

Without an upfit, the payload capacity ranges from 10,700 to 11,450 pounds, depending on the configuration. That’s a significant amount of weight that the truck can carry. You’d be hard-pressed to max out the payload capacity. 

What Is The GVWR of the Ram 5500?

The GVWR (gross vehicle weight rating) of the Ram 5500 without an upfit is 19,500 pounds. Add the GVWR to the truck’s payload capacity to get the GCWR (gross combined weight rating). GCWR of the 5500 is up to 43,000 lbs!

How Much Horsepower Does the Ram 5500 Have?

The Ram 5500 has a 6.7L Cummins® Turbo Diesel 16 engine with 360-max horsepower and a max torque of 800 LB-FT. Consequently, the truck is a fantastic option for towing and hauling.

Cummins ram 5500 horsepower
2021 Ram Heavy Duty – 6.7-liter I-6

The 6.7 Cummins is a legendary engine for power and longevity. When properly maintained, these are easily million-mile engines.

Differences Between Ram 3500, 4500, and Ram 5500

While towing capacity is improved, the major differences are in the axles and springs that give it such a high payload capacity. The 5500 has a much larger axle, bearings, and differential with a much steeper gearing for big loads.

The Ram 5500 also boasts bigger brakes for stopping heavy loads. The front axle of the 5500 is also much wider than a 3500 and it has a much better turning radius.

ram 5500 chassis

It might seem crazy, but the engine in the 5500 is actually detuned from the 3500 although it’s the same engine. The Ram 3500 puts out over 400 HP, while the 5500 is only 360. Much of this is because the truck is built for longevity.

Higher HP and torques will move a load faster, but not necessarily better. While it might not be as quick, the Ram 5500 will last even longer than a 3500.

The Dodge Ram 3500 has a towing capacity of up to 25,650 pounds, while the Ram 4500 has a towing capacity of up to 29,370 pounds. The Ram 5500 towing capacity outmatches the Ram 3500 and 4500 by over 5,000 pounds.

2021 Ram 5500 Chassis Cab rear axle
2021 Ram 5500 Chassis Cab rear axle

The Ram 5500 also has a much greater payload capacity, GVWR (gross vehicle weight rating), and GCWR (gross combined weight rating). These factors make the Ram 5500 the most powerful of the three Rams in towing and cargo-carrying capacities.

Who Needs A Ram 5500? 

If you’re planning to tow a heavy fifth wheel, toy hauler, or horse trailer, the Dodge Ram 5500 towing capacity is hard to beat. If your planning to haul heavy on the truck then its an even better choice.

Most RV’s these days can be hauled by a Ram 3500 or similar class truck. But if you are going to exceed 20,000lbs, it’s not a bad idea to step up to a bigger truck. With the extra springs, sway bars, wider axles, and bigger brakes the Ram 5500 will handle the loads better and be safer on the road.

Do your research and take it for a test drive first. If you’re making long-haul trips, you’ll want to know first-hand if you’re comfortable in the cab. Comfort is always a strong indicator of a good match.

2021 Ram 5500 Chassis Cab SLT
2021 Ram 5500 Chassis Cab SLT

How Much Does the Ram 5500 Cost? 

The Dodge Ram 5500 starts at $40,860 MSRP as a base price. Each upgrade and additional feature will increase the price. 

You could spend up to $69,000 on a fully loaded Dodge Ram 5500 Tradesman with a crew cab on the higher end of the spectrum.

Is the Dodge Ram 5500 Worth It? 

We think the Dodge Ram 5500 is worth it for those towing or carrying heavy loads and want a truck that will last a long time. With a towing capacity of upwards of 34,000 pounds, it certainly covers the bases. It can handle the most in the Dodge/Ram family. 

Ram 5500
2021 Ram 5500 Chassis Cab SLT

If you need a powerful towing machine, the Ram 5500 is a reliable choice. With the serious torque, towing capacity, and Dodge’s good reputation, we give it our stamp of approval.

Become A Mortons On The Move Insider

Join 10,000+ other adventurers to receive educating, entertaining, and inspiring articles about RV Travel Destinations, RV Gear, and Off-Grid Living to jump-start your adventures today!

About Mortons on the Move

Tom & Caitlin Morton of Mortons on the Move gave up the stationary life for one where they are constantly on the move. They are full-time travelers, television hosts, and digital media producers.
They left their jobs, sold their house and possessions, and hit the road in September 2015 in their full-time “home on wheels”. Since then they have traveled the US, Canada, and even internationally by RV.
Now, they are Discovery Channel & PBS TV Co-stars of “Go North” on Amazon Prime Video, co-founders and instructors of RV Masterclass, and contributing authors for and an Arizona travel guide.

About Us

Sharing is caring!

carl newton

Tuesday 6th of July 2021

So NO the ford f-550? Would have thought after the Go North with the Ford you would switch. What was the thinking on that. Inquiring minds want to know!!

Sorry for your loss. It can be tough for a while.?

Mortons on the Move

Wednesday 25th of August 2021

Thank you. One of the main reasons is because we are already so familiar with Dodge Rams. Our tow vehicle for our fifth wheel is a Ram, and Tom is very comfortable servicing these engines and other components when we have a problem.


Saturday 26th of June 2021

Great article comparing the Ram 5500 to 3500 and 4500. One comment on your current Ram 5500 article that is a pet peeve of mine is people still calling them Dodge Ram trucks. Dodge has not manufactured trucks since 2009. At that time the Ram truck line was spun off to it's own division, named Ram. No more Dodge name here. You will not see the Dodge name anywhere on the Ram truck. The only place you see the Dodge and Ram name in one place is usually on the dealers street sign for those that handle Dodge autos and Ram trucks. Maybe that is why people still call them Dodge Ram trucks. It has been 12 years since the Dodge name went away from the trucks and some still use the Dodge Ram name... Change is hard but really? even after 12 years.


Thursday 28th of April 2022

Not true as far as the dodge name . I own a Ram 2012 3500 and as clear as day thete is a sign on the middle of the dashboard above radio that clearly reads Dodge. Just saying, cheers oaul

Mortons on the Move

Sunday 27th of June 2021

Very good point!