Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 10-01-2012, 09:04 PM   #1
Rivet Master
 
dkottum's Avatar
 
2012 25' Flying Cloud
Battle Lake , Minnesota
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 7,716
Ram 1500 Express Tow Vehicle

I have been shopping a variety of tow vehicles, with a preference for a European-type Diesel SUV. The am convinced they are best in today's unstable fuel prices, and for all-around use. BUT, we have a like-new Jetta TDI for non-towing use that almost doubles the fuel efficiency of these vehicles, and we love to drive it.

So we need a towing workhorse that is still easy to get around in when we arrive for long stays at our destinations.

I came upon a new 2012 Ram 1500 Express 5.7 hemi with all the tow options including brake controller. Regular cab (just the two of us) and standard bed makes 120" wheelbase, 20" wheels w/low profile tires. I know it has the guts, it is the stability I wonder about.

Yes the gas mileage is lousy but at half the price of a VW Touareg, $25,000 buys a lot of gas. It's primary mission is towing and general pickup chores around home, and daily driver when we are away with the Airstream (which is a lot).

Anyone towed with this muscle-bound little truck, or something similar?

doug k
__________________

__________________
dkottum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-2012, 09:13 PM   #2
4 Rivet Member
 
RUMSHIP's Avatar
 
1988 32' Excella
Bonita , California
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 325
Images: 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by dkottum
I have been shopping a variety of tow vehicles, with a preference for a European-type Diesel SUV. The am convinced they are best in today's unstable fuel prices, and for all-around use. BUT, we have a like-new Jetta TDI for non-towing use that almost doubles the fuel efficiency of these vehicles, and we love to drive it.

So we need a towing workhorse that is still easy to get around in when we arrive for long stays at our destinations.

I came upon a new 2012 Ram 1500 Express 5.7 hemi with all the tow options including brake controller. Regular cab (just the two of us) and standard bed makes 120" wheelbase, 20" wheels w/low profile tires. I know it has the guts, it is the stability I wonder about.

Yes the gas mileage is lousy but at half the price of a VW Touareg, $25,000 buys a lot of gas. It's primary mission is towing and general pickup chores around home, and daily driver when we are away with the Airstream (which is a lot).

Anyone towed with this muscle-bound little truck, or something similar?

doug k
Why not go with the Dodge diesel? It will have better gas mileage. I have not had a stability issue with mine.
__________________

__________________
Happiness only real when shared.
Christopher Johnson McCandless
2/12/68 - 8/18/92
RUMSHIP is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-2012, 09:39 PM   #3
Rivet Master
 
dkottum's Avatar
 
2012 25' Flying Cloud
Battle Lake , Minnesota
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 7,716
Rumship, can I get a new Dodge diesel for under $25,000? That's the price of the Express 1500 5.7 gas 6 speed with all the tow gizmos.

doug k
__________________
dkottum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-2012, 10:07 PM   #4
1 Rivet Member
 
1977 29' Ambassador
Coudersport , Pennsylvania
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 12
Hi Doug,
I am currently towing with a. 07 RAM 1500 Quad Cab. It came with factory towing minus the brake controller. 5.7 Hemi. I get 14 mpg around town and 17 on the highway ( not towing ). This summer in high temps ( in excess of 85 degrees ) I averaged 11.5 mpg towing in Northern PA and NewYork state, most of which was NOT Interstate Highway driving. The ease at which the truck hauled the camper was impressive, never a lack of power. Getting your WD hitch setup correctly is important.
My previous tow vehicle was a Cadillac Escalade. Nice truck, but it does not compare to the RAM. The Escalade even had a hopped up 6.0 in it.
Personally after the initial break in of the rig, go synthetic.

Steve
__________________
77Ambassador is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-2012, 11:03 PM   #5
4 Rivet Member
 
RUMSHIP's Avatar
 
1988 32' Excella
Bonita , California
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 325
Images: 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by dkottum
Rumship, can I get a new Dodge diesel for under $25,000? That's the price of the Express 1500 5.7 gas 6 speed with all the tow gizmos.

doug k
Used. So yes would be the answer.
__________________
Happiness only real when shared.
Christopher Johnson McCandless
2/12/68 - 8/18/92
RUMSHIP is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-02-2012, 11:52 PM   #6
Rivet Master
 
dkottum's Avatar
 
2012 25' Flying Cloud
Battle Lake , Minnesota
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 7,716
Looks like new 2012 Ram Express 5.7 Hemi 6 spd trans 4x4 with reg cab 120" wheelbase will be our tow vehicle. At $24,000 ($7k off msrp) a lot of equipment.

Meets tow specs for our Airstream and a size we can get around with nicely for extended trips away from home. Have some concerns about short wheelbase stability for towing but perhaps that's why they make Hensley style hitch. Any experience with this truck size?

It has the factory built-in brake controller, I'm wondering if it will work with our Airstream?

The rear axle coil springs ride really nice for us and perhaps the Airstream, any experience?

doug k
__________________
dkottum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-03-2012, 12:14 AM   #7
Rivet Master
 
TouringDan's Avatar

 
1966 24' Tradewind
1995 34' Excella
Lynchburg , Virginia
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 2,472
Doug

We tow with an 08 Tundra 5.7L double cab 2wd 6 spd truck that I paid 25k for. I have been very happy with it as a TV. We get 13.5 mpg towing our 66TW gently. My only complaint is that the truck is HUGE.

Sounds like your proposed truck is similar except 4wd and regular cab. My only concern would be the stability, but I agree that a Hensley or similar hitch should address that issue. Your truck will be easier for solo driving also since it is a regular cab. Sounds like a good decision to me.

Dan
__________________
TouringDan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-03-2012, 12:17 AM   #8
2 Rivet Member
 
sierrafun's Avatar
 
Currently Looking...
Ladera Ranch , California
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 76
Did you check the payload?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dkottum View Post
Anyone towed with this muscle-bound little truck, or something similar?

doug k
Hi Doug,

My husband and I haven't towed with this truck BUT we've been around and around with tow vehicles and one of our favorites was the Dodge Ram 1500 4x4.

One thing to consider is the payload on this truck. Not sure if you've done the numbers but we did and found we would be WAY over with this truck.

The trim my husband liked on this truck is the Ram 1500 Laramie Limited Crew Cab 4x4 5'7" Box with 3.55 Rear Axel Ratio. The tow capacity is 8150 lbs and the payload is 1146 lbs. Not sure if you can increase the rear axel ratio on this truck but it might be worth looking into considering the loaded hitch weight on your 25' AS and the loaded weight of the Ram truck including passengers, cargo and a full tank (gas weight is 218 lbs on this truck).

Anyway, just another thing to consider
__________________
sierrafun is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-03-2012, 12:25 AM   #9
Rivet Master
 
ROBERTSUNRUS's Avatar

 
2005 25' Safari
Salem , Oregon
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 7,269
Images: 18
Blog Entries: 51
Hi, I tow a 25' Airstream with a 119" wheel base. Works for me.
__________________
Bob

2005 Safari 25-B
"Le Petit Chateau Argent"
[ Small Silver Castle ]
2000 Navigator / 2014 F-150 Eco-Boost / Equal-i-zer / P-3
YAMAHA 2400 / AIR #12144
ROBERTSUNRUS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-03-2012, 12:29 AM   #10
Rivet Master
 
TouringDan's Avatar

 
1966 24' Tradewind
1995 34' Excella
Lynchburg , Virginia
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 2,472
Quote:
Originally Posted by sierrafun View Post
Hi Doug,

My husband and I haven't towed with this truck BUT we've been around and around with tow vehicles and one of our favorites was the Dodge Ram 1500 4x4.

One thing to consider is the payload on this truck. Not sure if you've done the numbers but we did and found we would be WAY over with this truck.

The trim my husband chose on this truck is the Ram 1500 Laramie Limited Crew Cab 4x4 5'7" Box with 3.55 Rear Axel Ratio. The tow capacity is 8150 lbs and the payload is 1146 lbs. Not sure if you can increase the rear axel ratio on this truck but it might be worth looking into considering the loaded hitch weight on your 25' AS and the loaded weight of the Ram truck including passengers, cargo and a full tank (gas weight is 218 lbs on this truck).

Anyway, just another thing to consider
Sierrafun

The trailer towing capacity of my Tundra is about 10k and the payload is about 1,680 lbs. I would have a hard time dealing with a smaller payload than I already have since I am slightly over the GVWR of my truck towing my 4,700 lb 1966 Tradewind. Sounds like you and your husband are knowledgeable and are looking at a real nice truck. Are you sure the payload is only 1146 lbs?

Dan
__________________
TouringDan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-03-2012, 12:42 AM   #11
Rivet Master
 
dkottum's Avatar
 
2012 25' Flying Cloud
Battle Lake , Minnesota
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 7,716
Tow capacity on our new Ram is 8900#, payload is 1417#. Our usual truck load on a six month trip is the Airstream with a weight distribution hitch (some tongue weight to trailer axles), two of us in the truck, Honda 2000 generator, 2 bicycles. Before the Airstream we traveled the country since 1972 with VW campers (pack lightly).

doug k
__________________
dkottum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-03-2012, 12:50 AM   #12
Rivet Master
 
dkottum's Avatar
 
2012 25' Flying Cloud
Battle Lake , Minnesota
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 7,716
Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBERTSUNRUS View Post
Hi, I tow a 25' Airstream with a 119" wheel base. Works for me.
Thanks Bob, that's useful experience, and my only concern with this new truck. And I think you use an Equal-I-Zer brand hitch?

doug k
__________________
dkottum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-03-2012, 01:02 AM   #13
2 Rivet Member
 
sierrafun's Avatar
 
Currently Looking...
Ladera Ranch , California
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 76
Payload Capacities

Quote:
Originally Posted by TouringDan View Post
Sierrafun

The trailer towing capacity of my Tundra is about 10k and the payload is about 1,680 lbs. I would have a hard time dealing with a smaller payload than I already have since I am slightly over the GVWR of my truck towing my 4,700 lb 1966 Tradewind. Sounds like you and your husband are knowledgeable and are looking at a real nice truck. Are you sure the payload is only 1146 lbs?

Dan
Hi Dan,

Thanks for the nice compliment but honestly, everything I've learned is from months on this forum by reading posts from you and many others. So thank you!

Yes, I'm sure about the payload on the 1500 Dodge Ram we spec'd (I just triple checked on Ram Trucks website).

As I'm sure you know, the payload is affected by the trim chosen. Doug isn't looking at the crew cab, he's considering the regular cab and this among other things makes a difference in not only tow rating but payload. And like you, we also discovered that when we compared the 4x4 Toyota Tundra Platinum Crew Cab with the 1500 Dodge Ram I described above, we found that the Tundra offered a bigger payload.

The most surprising thing of all Dan was where the European SUV's stacked in terms of payload. I created a spreadsheet that spec's out Large SUV's, Medium Sized SUV's and 1/2 ton Trucks and believe it or not, the SUV's beat most the 1/2 ton trucks in payload! But when it comes to 3/4 ton Diesels, they are the pack leaders in terms of payload (I'm sure that's no surprise to anyone).

Anyway, hope this answers your question. Here's a link to my source:
Ram - Compare Vehicle and Model Specifications - Highlights

Make sure you compare the correct trim, i.e. 4x4, Crew Cab, Laramie Limited, etc. Then under "HIGHLIGHTS" click on "Dimensions and Capacities"

Hope this helps!
__________________
sierrafun is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2012, 08:30 PM   #14
Rivet Master
 
dkottum's Avatar
 
2012 25' Flying Cloud
Battle Lake , Minnesota
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 7,716
It's settled, new 2012 Ram Express 5.7 Hemi 4x4 well-equipped and set up for towing including factory brake controller that works nicely and displays on dashboard info center. Also displays eng, oil, trans temps, oil press, tire pressures, and fuel/mileage info.

Was looking for a SUV but at $24k this is a relative bargain, and it feels like a lot more fun.

Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_9191.jpg
Views:	1874
Size:	327.5 KB
ID:	169677
__________________

__________________
dkottum is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
1500


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:40 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.