• Will It Tow That? Ram 1500 V8 HEMI vs. 30-foot Double Decker Race Car Trailer?


    2017 ram 1500 hemi stacker race car trailer
    Ram 1500 HEMI vs. Double Decker / Car Stacker Trailer?

    Will my truck safely tow that trailer? We get this question nearly every day. This time on “Will It Tow That?” segment, it’s a Ram 1500 V8 HEMI that needs to move a 30-foot double-decker race car “stacker” trailer. This one is fairly obvious, but it’s a great illustration for safe towing.

    Can a Ram 1500 safely pull a trailer that is 8.5 feet wide, 13.4 feet high, 30 feet long, and could be loaded up to a GVWR of 21,000 lbs?  The quick answer is – no.

    The driver needs to understand the size and weight of the trailer, how the trailer is loaded (tongue load), and the weight ratings of the tow vehicle. This particular trailer is meant to be towed by Class A motor homes, medium duty trucks, or semi trucks. The main concern with towing such a trailer does not just have to do with its weight. It’s the odd shape that is a serious concern on the highway. This stacker trailer can haul two cars (one on top of the other). It has a high center of gravity, lots of aerodynamic resistance, and it’s wider than a half-ton pickup with standard side mirrors can handle.

    A good rule of thumb for heavy towing suggests that a safe tow vehicle should be heavy by itself (the heavier – the better), have a long wheel-base, and have the capacity to accommodate the fully loaded trailer.

    A 2017 Ram 1500 HEMI V8 crew cab 4×4 with the 3.92 rear axle ration is rated at a maximum 10,140 lbs with a Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR) of 15,950 lbs. An unloaded double-decker trailer may already exceed these manufacturer ratings.

    It’s a good thing that the owner of this Ram 1500 also has a Class A turbo-diesel motor home to tow this trailer.

    Here is a Ram 1500 V8 HEMI towing a better-sized trailer on the World’s Toughest Towing Test – Ike Gauntlet™.


    Andre Smirnov
    Andre Smirnov
    Andre Smirnov is an Automotive Enthusiast, Producer, Reviewer, Videographer, Writer, Software Engineer, Husband, Father, and Friend.

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    25 thoughts on “Will It Tow That? Ram 1500 V8 HEMI vs. 30-foot Double Decker Race Car Trailer?

      1. It definitely is an Eco Diesel in that picture. I bet it would haul that trailer. Maybe not up and down big hills or 70 MPH but it do it for a short haul. Very interesting why any one would want to know can my 1/2 truck pull a 22k trailer with a tongue weight of 2k lbs. that makes no sense. That trailer would eat that truck for lunch going down a big hill or even up a big hill.

        1. The question “can it pull?” is very vague. Anything with an engine and a compatible hitch could probably pull it. If you just need to move it around a lot, a 50hp diesel tractor would probably suffice. If you need to do highway speeds, handle big ascents and decents, cross winds, control sway, emergency stops, without prematurely wearing components; then that’s where a big powerful truck is needed.

        2. Ecodiesel is even worse and had a lower rating than the Hemi. It’s not a real “truck diesel”. It was originally designed for a car and the performance of it reflects it.

      2. No, and anyone even HINTING that ANY half ton can be towing a trailer anywhere near that size and weight and dynamics should be publicly punished to prevent future death and injury and destruction of property.

    1. Most modern trucks have the power to pull that trailer. May be slow with a N/A engine in the mountains, but it can do it. Might torque off some other drivers, but it can do it. Power is not the issue for most cases of towing, despite all of the attention that is thrown to that aspect.

      The biggest issue is being able to control the trailer. That is where you need proper trade loading, trailer set up, good trailer brakes and brake controller, and a tow vehicle that is large/heavy enough to keep the tail from wagging the dog when the feces collides with the turbine.

      The tow vehicle should also have strong braking power. Trailer brakes can and do fail, and you want the tow vehicle to be able to deal with that in an emergency.

      That is a knock against the Tacoma. Nothing wrong with drum brakes in most conditions, but they do fade much quicker than disc brakes when under duress. If you’re going to tow 3500lb+ loads often, Tacoma may not be a wise choice.

    2. Some people really do not understand the dynamics of towing and you have to give the guy credit for asking first. Judging by his Class A diesel pusher motor home, that is likely the vehicle that goes the trailer. So unless he gets a dually truck, he needs to stick with the motor home towing it.

      1. A guy in Malaysia pulled a 575,000-Lb train with his teeth. Not at freeway speeds but thats still pretty good.

    3. Does anyone know if you can get a ticket for pulling a trailer that is empty and within the trucks capacity but the trailer is rated to haul more than what the truck can pull. Apparently I heard the authorities around here in Ontario are giving guys tickets because their trucks are not rated to pull what the trailer is capable of handling even though they only had 1500lbs of quads on it and were well within the trucks capacity.

      1. It would stand to reason they would be within the trucks ratings and legal if they were below the max tow limits. Even if the trailer was capable of more. I see that all the time around here to, people have giant car hauler trailers to tow quads and side by sides. Well below safe limits of a 1/2 ton truck. Canadian law may be different though.

      2. If a cop tried to write me a ticket for being under weight, but over for what the trailer is “capable” of hauling I’d ask him to write me a speeding ticket too. Sorry officer, I was going under the speed limit, but my truck is capable of going over so I guess I need a ticket for that too…

        1. I know but guys are telling me they got tickets because the trailer could handle more. Sounds ridiculous but you never know for sure with due discretion left to law enforcement. I can see it but likely it would be thrown out of court if you challenged it.

          1. I guess some officers will do what they want to do or think they are correct but I don’t see how that is fair. Have you heard or seen anything written in law regarding towing under those conditions?

            1. Sounds like BS to me. Ive never heard of it. Just a rookie cop writing an unlawful ticket is my guess. The guy told me the cop stated he didnt know if he was going to max the trailer out or not so he wasnt allowed to be pulling it. Likely something the cop made up on his own. They have discretian to do that crap unfortunately but its a pain going to court just to have it thrown out.

            2. That’s a really shame. It tarnish’s the name oF the good majority officers when a small select few decide to do that crap.

      1. Gary, you you overload any axle you can run the risk of overheating it. The clutchs dont see any load except when turning. The ring and pinion are the big sources of heat. This why larger trucks have big ring and pinions to help dissipate heat and even rear diff covers with heat exchanger fins.

    4. Lame review TFL Truck. Why not do another review of the 2017 Hemi? Why not try it up Gold Mine Hill or Cliffhanger? You offer up an old Ike’s towing review?
      Come on guys…… As a Ram fan this is disappointing.

      Not asking for the work truck, not asking for the Power Wagon… would like to see the Crew cab (or quad cab) 4×4 HEMI, not the Eco diesel, go up Gold mine or Cliffhanger.
      …. be sure to remove the crappy Wrangler SRA’s though. Worst tires ever.

    5. Mercy what happened to common sense any more? If you got a motorhome why would you need to tow this with a half ton?

      I’m not sure if the gm 1ton can tow this legally loaded? It has to be pretty close to the limit.

    6. A Hemi Ram could absolutely pull just the trailer safely. That’s useless unless you just need to get an empty trailer somewhere I guess.

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