Why This Ram 3500 Broke in Half

A trip to Baja California was cut short for the owner of this 2020 Ram 3500 when it literally broke in half. He and his trusty Ram with the Eagle Cap 1165 camper had logged plenty of miles together. So the outcome of this trip came as a surprise. He wrote “not overloaded” with his Facebook posting of images showing the truck bowed up in the middle. 

Did the Ram 3500 owner do his homework before buying?

Ram 3500
Broken 2020 Ram 3500 camper truck | Facebook

But there’s more. The factory warranty won’t cover the repair. The estimate is around $17,000. “I did a lot of research before buying the truck and the camper, and both the Ram dealer and the camper company where we bought it said it was the perfect truck,” the owner told The Drive

“They said it should handle the load with no problem. I knew the payload capacity on the truck was about 7,800 pounds and the camper dry weight was close to 5,000 pounds, but fully loaded, probably about 6,500 pounds,” he says. And according to the specs for a 2020 Ram 3500, he’s right. It lists payload capacity at 7,680 bs. 

Why won’t the Ram truck’s warranty cover the damage?

Ram 3500
Broken 2020 Ram 3500 camper truck | Facebook

But looking at the specs a bit closer, the payload number for the 3500 isn’t the same truck. It is for a regular cab with a long bed, two-wheel drive, and a 6.4-liter V8 engine. The truck in question is a crew cab that features four-wheel drive and a 6.7-liter Cummins diesel engine. For that setup, Ram lists payload at 5,850 lbs. 

And that is why the Ram warranty won’t cover the damage. The Eagle Cap 1165 camper weighs 4,900 lbs empty. Once gear, clothing, full fuel tanks, and more are crammed into it, not to mention the driver and a passenger, the total payload can easily exceed Ram’s 5,850 lbs rating. And the motorcycle hanging off of the back of the camper doesn’t help. Unfortunately, the owner has never had his loaded rig weighed. 

Knowing he was within the ballpark of its payload limits, that might have been a good choice. But he’s been doing this for 25,000 miles, so it appears the truck was capable of handling the weight. Until it wasn’t.

Why are there different payload ratings for Ram 3500 trucks?

Ram 3500
Broken 2020 Ram 3500 camper truck | Facebook
Related

Everything Went Wrong for the 2017 Ram 3500

The factors that separate the single cab model from the rig in question are the added torque of the diesel, the added body weight, and the frame’s length. Those factors combine to lower payload capacities for any truck, not just this Ram 3500. 

“Mopar denied the claim stating that the truck was overloaded, which is incorrect,” the owner says. “I now have a claim with my insurance company and they’re sending an adjuster today. Reno Dodge set an invoice for repairs over $17,000.” 

As best we know the insurance company is still crunching the numbers, so no word yet on whether the Ram owner will ultimately have to pay out of pocket. If he decides to take the loss and find another truck to replace it, might we suggest a Ram 5500 this time around?