The Ram 2500 heavy-duty lineup is a superb choice when it comes to hauling a truck camper on a 3/4-ton pickup truck. In 2023, the Ram 2500 HD offers an upgraded 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, camera system enhancements with new Trailer Tow app and multiple view modes, an optional rear air suspension, 15 degree turning headlights, and a new digital rearview mirror. Superb choices in engines are offered as well. But before you buy, it’s extremely important to know what the truck is rated for when it comes to payload. Why is the payload rating so important when buying a truck camper? Because the payload rating tells you how much weight you can safely carry without overloading your truck. The weight rating includes passengers, your camper, and cargo—basically everything not permanently attached to your truck.
Unfortunately, finding Ram’s maximum payload and GVWR ratings online can be a chore and very time consuming. Sure, you can quickly find the maximum payload rating for a Ram 2500 regular cab, 2WD, long-bed, but very few consumers go that route. Most go with the short-bed, crew cab, 4WD model. Fortunately, Truck Camper Adventure has done the research for you. Now you can find all of these ratings in one, easy-to-read location. In order to streamline the payload information presented in our chart, only Ram’s Tradesman trim is presented with one gasoline engine choice though various options including drivetrain (2WD and 4WD) and bed-size are presented as well.
2023 Ram 2500 Heavy Duty
Two very capable engines are being offered by FCA for the Ram 2500 in 2022. The standard offering is a gasoline-powered 6.4L Hemi V-8, which cranks out 410 horsepower and 429 pound-feet of torque. The V8 is mated with an excellent 8-speed automatic transmission with your choice of either a 3:73 or a 4:10 rear axle. The superb 6.7L Cummins diesel I6 is offered as an option, of course, which generates 370 horsepower and 850 pound-feet of torque. The diesel is backed by an aging yet still effective 6-speed automatic with the same gear ratios as the standard oil-burner. At 1,060 pounds, the Cummins outweighs the Hemi by a substantial 490 pounds, so the Cummins should be avoided if you’re looking to maximize truck camper payload.
In 2023, Ram’s payload ratings are comparable to Ford and GM, but that hasn’t always been the case. From 2014 to 2018, Ram 2500 payload ratings took a hit due to the use of a five-link suspension with excessively soft coil springs on the rear axle. While this approach offered a superior ride, the change lowered the payload ratings of the Ram 2500 significantly. This was corrected in 2019 through the use of a better five-link suspension with stiffer springs, but apparently, the upgrades don’t go far enough. Some owners with truck campers still report an excessively soft and “bouncy” ride with sway corrected only through the use of a sway bar and either Timbrens or SumoSprings.
- Base price: Tradesman $40,955
- Powertrain: 6.4L V8 and 8-speed automatic transmission
- Max Payload: 4,011 pounds
A Warning About Payload
When ordering a truck, options can either make or break a truck’s payload rating. First, the diesel option should be “weighed” carefully. Yes, having a diesel engine is great for climbing mountains and raising your testosterone, but it’s also heavier, nearly twice as much as a gasoline V8. This means less payload for you (not to mention more emission hassles for you). Ditto for 4WD. That feature, while great for driving on rough roads, sand, and snow, isn’t so great for your payload rating—the typical 4WD drivetrain weighs 300 pounds more that the 2WD version. Think twice about getting that spacious crew cab as well. That larger cab outweighs a standard cab by roughly 350 pounds. For a 3/4-ton truck, that increase in weight is huge. Be smart and educated when it comes to payload. This includes taking a few extra minutes to look at the Tire and Loading Payload Decal located on the door jamb of the truck. Failure to do so can result in an overloading disaster.