Ram 1500/2500/3500 Owners & Service Manuals

Ram 1500/2500/3500: Recreational Towing (Behind Motorhome, Etc.)

Ram Truck 1500 2500 3500 (2009 - 2018) Owner's Manual / Starting And Operating / Recreational Towing (Behind Motorhome, Etc.)

Towing This Vehicle Behind Another Vehicle

Towing This Vehicle Behind Another Vehicle

NOTE: Vehicles equipped with air suspension must be lowered to the "Entry/Exit" (lowest) level, and have automatic leveling disabled, before tying them down (from the body) on a trailer or flatbed truck. Refer to "Air Suspension - If Equipped" for more information. If the vehicle cannot be lowered to the "Entry/Exit" level (for example, engine will not run), tie-downs must be fastened to the axles (not to the body). Failure to follow these instructions may cause fault codes to be set and/or cause loss of proper tie-down tension.

Recreational Towing - Two-Wheel Drive Models

DO NOT flat tow this vehicle. Damage to the drivetrain will result.

Recreational towing (for two-wheel drive models) is allowed ONLY if the rear wheels are OFF the ground.

This may be accomplished using a tow dolly or vehicle trailer. If using a tow dolly, follow this procedure:

1. Properly secure the dolly to the tow vehicle, following the dolly manufacturer's instructions.

2. Drive the rear wheels onto the tow dolly.

3. Firmly apply the parking brake. Place automatic transmission in PARK, manual transmission in gear (not in NEUTRAL).

4. Properly secure the rear wheels to the dolly, following the dolly manufacturer's instructions.

5. Turn the ignition switch to the OFF position and remove the Key Fob.

6. Install a suitable clamping device, designed for towing, to secure the front wheels in the straight position.

CAUTION!

  • Towing with the rear wheels on the ground will cause severe transmission damage. Damage from improper towing is not covered under the New Vehicle Limited Warranty.
  • Do not disconnect the driveshaft because fluid may leak from the transmission, causing damage to internal parts.

Recreational Towing - Four-Wheel Drive Models

NOTE: Both the manual shift and electronic shift transfer cases must be shifted into NEUTRAL (N) for recreational towing. Automatic transmissions must be shifted into PARK for recreational towing. Manual transmissions must be placed in gear (NOT in NEUTRAL) for recreational towing. Refer to the following for the proper transfer case NEUTRAL (N) shifting procedure for your vehicle.

CAUTION!

  • Front or rear wheel lifts must not be used. Internal damage to the transmission or transfer case will occur if a front or rear wheel lift is used when recreational towing.
  • Tow only in the forward direction. Towing this vehicle backwards can cause severe damage to the transfer case.
  • Automatic transmissions must be placed in PARK for recreational towing.
  • Manual transmissions must be placed in gear (not in Neutral) for recreational towing.
  • Before recreational towing, perform the procedure outlined under "Shifting Into NEUTRAL (N)" to be certain that the transfer case is fully in NEUTRAL (N). Otherwise, internal damage will result.
  • Towing this vehicle in violation of the above requirements can cause severe transmission and/or transfer case damage. Damage from improper towing is not covered under the New Vehicle Limited Warranty.
  • Do not disconnect the rear drive shaft because fluid will leak from the transfer case, causing damage to internal parts.
  • Do not use a bumper-mounted clamp-on tow bar on your vehicle. The bumper face bar will be damaged.

Shifting Into NEUTRAL (N)

Use the following procedure to prepare your vehicle for recreational towing.

WARNING! You or others could be injured or killed if you leave the vehicle unattended with the transfer case in the NEUTRAL (N) position without first fully engaging the parking brake. The transfer case NEUTRAL (N) position disengages both the front and rear driveshafts from the powertrain and will allow the vehicle to move, even if the transmission is in PARK. The parking brake should always be applied when the driver is not in the vehicle.

CAUTION! It is necessary to follow these steps to be certain that the transfer case is fully in NEUTRAL (N) before recreational towing to prevent damage to internal parts.

1. Bring the vehicle to a complete stop, with the engine running. Firmly apply the parking brake.

2. Shift the transmission to NEUTRAL.

3. Press and hold the brake pedal.

4. Depress the clutch pedal on a manual transmission.

5. If the transfer case is in 4WD AUTO (if equipped), press a selector button or rotate the selector switch to shift the transfer case into the 2WD or 4WD LOCK position.

  • With manual shift transfer case, shift the transfer case lever into NEUTRAL (N).
  • With electronic shift transfer case, press and hold the transfer case NEUTRAL (N) button. Some models have a small, recessed N button (at the center of the transfer case switches) that must be pressed using a ballpoint pen or similar object. Other models have a rectangular NEUTRAL switch, below the rotary transfer case control knob. The NEUTRAL (N) indicator light will blink while the shift is in progress.

    The light will stop blinking (stay on solid) when the shift to NEUTRAL (N) is complete. After the shift is completed and the NEUTRAL (N) light stays on, release the NEUTRAL (N) button.

6. Release the parking brake.

7. Shift the transmission into REVERSE.

8. Release the brake pedal (and clutch pedal on manual transmissions) for five seconds and ensure that there is no vehicle movement.

9. Repeat steps 7 and 8 with automatic transmission in DRIVE or manual transmission in first gear.

10. Shift the transmission to NEUTRAL. Firmly apply the parking brake. Turn OFF the engine. For vehicles with Keyless Enter-N-Go, press and hold the ENGINE START/STOP button until the engine shuts off.

11. Shift the transmission into PARK or place manual transmission in gear (NOT in Neutral). On 8-speed transmissions the shifter will automatically select PARK when the engine is turned off.

12. Turn the ignition switch to the OFF position, then cycle the key or the Keyless Enter-N-Go button to the RUN position and back to the OFF position.

13. Attach the vehicle to the tow vehicle using a suitable tow bar.

14. Release the parking brake.

NOTE: With electronic shift transfer case:

  • Steps 2 through 4 are requirements that must be met prior to pressing the NEUTRAL (N) button, and must continue to be met until the shift has been completed.

    If any of these requirements are not met prior to pressing the NEUTRAL (N) button or are no longer met during the shift, the NEUTRAL (N) indicator light will flash continuously until all requirements are met or until the NEUTRAL (N) button is released.

  • The ignition switch must be in the ON/RUN position for a shift to take place and for the position indicator lights to be operable. If the ignition switch is not in the ON/RUN position, the shift will not take place and no position indicator lights will be on or flashing.
  • A flashing NEUTRAL (N) position indicator light indicates that shift requirements have not been met.

Shifting Out Of NEUTRAL (N)

Use the following procedure to prepare your vehicle for normal usage.

1. Bring the vehicle to a complete stop, leaving it connected to the tow vehicle.

2. Firmly apply the parking brake.

3. Press and hold the brake pedal.

4. Start the engine. Shift the transmission into NEUTRAL. Depress the clutch pedal on a manual transmission.

  • With manual shift transfer case, shift the transfer case lever to the desired position.
  • With electronic shift transfer case with rotary selector switch, press and hold the transfer case NEUTRAL (N) button until the NEUTRAL (N) indicator light turns off. After the NEUTRAL (N) indicator light turns off, release the NEUTRAL (N) button. After the NEUTRAL (N) button has been released, the transfer case will shift to the position indicated by the selector switch.
  • With electronic shift transfer case with pushbutton selector switch, press and hold the switch for the desired transfer case position, until the NEUTRAL (N) indicator light turns off and the desired position indicator light turns on.

NOTE: When shifting out of transfer case NEUTRAL (N), turning the engine OFF is not required, but may be helpful to avoid gear clash. With the 8-speed automatic transmission, the engine must remain running, since turning the engine OFF will shift the transmission to PARK (and the transmission must be in NEUTRAL for the transfer case to shift out of NEUTRAL).

5. Turn the engine OFF. Shift automatic transmission into PARK. On 8-speed transmissions the shifter will automatically select PARK when the engine is turned off.

6. Release the brake pedal (and clutch pedal on a manual transmission).

7. Disconnect vehicle from the tow vehicle.

8. Start the engine.

9. Press and hold the brake pedal.

10. Release the parking brake.

11. Shift the transmission into gear, release the brake pedal (and clutch pedal on manual transmissions), and check that the vehicle operates normally.

NOTE: With electronic shift transfer case:

  • Steps 3 and 4 are requirements that must be met prior to pressing the button to shift out of NEUTRAL (N), and must continue to be met until the shift has been completed. If any of these requirements are not met before pressing the button or are no longer met during the shift, the NEUTRAL (N) indicator light will flash continuously until all requirements are met or until the button is released.
  • The ignition switch must be in the ON/RUN position for a shift to take place and for the position indicator lights to be operable. If the ignition switch is not in the ON/RUN position, the shift will not take place and no position indicator lights will be on or flashing.
  • A flashing NEUTRAL (N) position indicator light indicates that shift requirements have not been met.

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