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Old 03-20-2016, 08:38 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by caseywsj View Post
The new diesels are quite impressive. We see similar mpg with our GMC 2500. I keep looking at my wife and marveling at the combo of lower fuel cost + >2x mpg of our DP. Just returned from our first "longish" trip. 6w out west. West Texas, Bisbee, Tucson, Sedona & Palm Springs. Love, love, love our truck. I'm sure I would've loved the Ram too ... and honestly would have really liked the better turning radius. But I'm comfortable parking pretty much anywhere now ... and almost always back in anyway. Congrats on the new truck!
I was a little surprised at how long it has taken me to acclimate to both the mirrors (tow mirrors with a second convex mirror) on the new truck and backing up! I guess that after 6 1/2 years with the F-150 I was so accustomed to everything it was simply easy. I'm getting comfortable finally and the Ram is actually easier to maneuver.

I looked at the GMC trucks and they are beautiful! One of the sharpest mechanics who ever worked for me now works as a GMC tech and he has nothing but great things to say about the product... I'm sure it is awesome!
Enjoy that truck!
Bruce
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Old 03-20-2016, 08:42 PM   #16
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Very nice ride...
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Old 03-20-2016, 10:24 PM   #17
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BruceB - My truck is quite a bit older than your new one but I have been enjoying the integrated exhaust brake for about 6 years now. Between the brake and the 6 speed transmission it is very reassuring that the truck is very capable of controlling the load. This truck was engineered to work! Towing our Airstream is just downright fun at times!
The engine in my truck didn't start to really seem broke-in until about 20k miles when the fuel economy went up 2 clicks.
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Old 03-20-2016, 11:18 PM   #18
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I've just short of 2,000 miles on my 2016 RAM 2500 Laramie 6.7 Crew cab with rear air leveling. I'm seeing right around 15.5-16 mpg pulling my 23D on hilly areas of coastal California. I know it will get better,

We saw just over 20 mpg on the 100 mile stretch of Hwy 101 between San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara, Ca while doing the 800 mile differential break in with no load. That included some hilly areas and a grade. That was just about the same as my 2013 1500 Hemi on the highway. However the Hemi average around 12.5 to 13.5 towing.

Funny about the towing mirrors. They have taken some getting used to for some odd reason.
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Old 03-20-2016, 11:28 PM   #19
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I know this is off of the mpg subject...but I was wondering if anyone has used their Tow Haul/Exhaust brake in rain or icy conditions. The RAM manual cautions against using the exhaust brake under those conditions citing the possibility of the rear end breaking loose.

I've got around 10,000 miles of Canada and Alaska ahead of me this summer and imagine that I'll run into wet conditions in mountainous areas where I'd like to use the exhaust brake.
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Old 03-20-2016, 11:42 PM   #20
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I have never had trouble in rainy weather but I imagine it could be an issue on ice or snow. Just use some discretion and common sense.
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Old 03-21-2016, 08:53 AM   #21
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Big trucks = no use of cruise or EB in road slick conditions.

Same is true for pickups.

I recommend all of you learn how to use trans to make descents. No Airstream is a serious burden to these trucks. And EBs can fail for a variety of reasons.

Trans gear and use of trailer brake control. Good to keep in practice.

Loss of control accidents. Worst situation = mountain descent with winds and being passed by one or more big trucks in either direction.

If there is any slack in the hitch rigging (as when EB is controlling descent, and TT brakes NOT engaged) this is the time and the place and the ingredients for a terrific wreck.

How well the package works (EB plus integrated TT brake control) would be at the very top of my list.
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Old 03-21-2016, 09:12 AM   #22
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2016 Ramfuel mileage towing for the last 1000 miles

Slowmover - Thanks, good post.

All - I'm new to towing. What would you do in the following scenario.

Say you are coming East out of Pagosa Springs CO on Rt 164. It's 40 and overcast. Near the summit, it starts snowing / sleeting. Semi tractor trailers are on the road with you.

You are in your Ram 2500 Cummins with EB set to auto, in tow/haul mode, with a 27' FC FB.

Would I: Check not on Cruise, settle the truck at a steady descent speed (say 45-50 mph) and allow the EB to do it's thing?

Or would you turn the EB off and downshift manually to 5,or even 4, and let the compression braking of the engine keep the trailer steady?

Does the Ram auto EB setting software apply the TT brake during an automatically controlled descent? Or, is there any time you would manually apply the TT electric brake during the descent?

Thanks! Great thread. Learning a lot.

Rich
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Old 03-21-2016, 09:56 AM   #23
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Heres a shot from a month or so ago of the descent at Monteagle. An enlargement of the photo will show the recommendations of the signage. And the layout of the road in event of brake failure. Took this shot to send to son as it is the first time I get to run this road WITH an engine brake. And don't have to spend the time adjusting the brakes on the rig.

As I'm above 79,000-lbs on this trip I'll be running 25-35/mph the whole way. A big Cat motor and 13-speed. Three position Jake brake.

So:

Road layout and location of runoff ramps (sight lines and markers).

Approximate distance of descent as well as total drop in altitude (grade).

Speed recommendation based on total weight.

Our trucks, like most these days, have an onboard recorder. We've all seen the yellow ramp and curve speed signs. Texas calls these "maximum safe speed" and based this on best conditions for the situation. The safety department recommends we hit these at 5-mph BELOW the posted number.

25-35/mph above 75k then means 20-30.

Piece of cake. But if braking technique isn't developed, or (God forbid) one misses a shift, there won't be any way to get back down to that speed without loss of brake effectiveness.

So, what gear? An old trucker rule is to begin the descent in the same gear as which one completed the ascent. And the correct ascent gear is the one which maintains headway, but in which one can still accelerate. (A lot tougher in the days which precede mine what with 5x4 twin gear boxes, or, God forbid, a triple set of sticks. Today's motors and transmissions are much more forgiving. And trucks more powerful.)

My Dads family moved to Colorado before the Civil War. So plenty of childhood memories of the how to of mountain driving solo and towing vintage kin (though I'll never fly up Mt Evans solo the way my Dad used to in one of his big Buicks or Cadillacs). And my own experience as a professional driver.

Lay it out mentally.

Know the descent speed (experiment).

Know how to operate trailer brakes independently of TV brakes.

Know how these things feel and sound.

Know how to slam the trailer brakes and throttle simultaneously to bring the trailer back in line if it gets sideways.

(Practice elsewhere on TT control, first. )

Time and distance and grade and how to solve the potential problems.

Descending with cruise and EB on is nice if everything is fine. If it isn't, it's important to me that I already know how it'll sound, feel, what distances I have to work with, what dead ass slow straight truck coming down from a spring pasture is around the corner I can't see, AND can I alter the course of the trailer without rolling the rig.

Etc.
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Old 03-21-2016, 10:14 AM   #24
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A great upgrade for the Ram 2500HD Cummins is the Titan 56 gallon fuel tank upgrade that replaces the stock tank under the cab and bed. The fuel computer can not be reprogrammed to reflect the fuel level, so I use Trip B as a fuel gage and presume a very conservative 11.5 mpg, so in that scenario I have over 600 miles of range.

We added a Cummins branded water separator coming out of the fuel tank and then the line goes to the factory fuel filter on the side of the engine block. From there the fuel goes to a Cummins branded two micron fuel filter and then into the fuel rail.
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Old 03-21-2016, 11:36 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Llando88 View Post
Slowmover - Thanks, good post.

All - I'm new to towing. What would you do in the following scenario.

Say you are coming East out of Pagosa Springs CO on Rt 164. It's 40 and overcast. Near the summit, it starts snowing / sleeting. Semi tractor trailers are on the road with you.

You are in your Ram 2500 Cummins with EB set to auto, in tow/haul mode, with a 27' FC FB.

Would I: Check not on Cruise, settle the truck at a steady descent speed (say 45-50 mph) and allow the EB to do it's thing?

Or would you turn the EB off and downshift manually to 5,or even 4, and let the compression braking of the engine keep the trailer steady?

Does the Ram auto EB setting software apply the TT brake during an automatically controlled descent? Or, is there any time you would manually apply the TT electric brake during the descent?

Thanks! Great thread. Learning a lot.

Rich

I'm sitting around waiting for a brake chamber replacement on the KW. Above is how I think of things at work. With the Silver Streak in tow behind my pickup it's really not much different.

With your question:

No EB, a somewhat slower speed and manually choose a gear with the auto trans. I'd feel better having cruise completely off.

How well the package works together is what I'd ask others. My diesel Dodge is an '04 with the man trans.

Know what your vehicle can do. That precedes what you can do.
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Old 03-21-2016, 12:28 PM   #26
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Bruce B:

In your last thread i(we) told you you would love pulling with it. I also had mentioned I have had one early model GMC diesel, and two Powerstrokes. Exactly one year ago I purchased a Ram 1500 5.7 and pulled my 2016 25FC all over WY, ID and MT. I absolutely fell in love with the Ram and the air suspension. It did fantastic for a half ton and a gasser. But, as I mentioned too, once you have oil in your blood it's hard to go back.

I ordered a Ram 2016 2500 4wd Cummins, rear air suspension and Ram Box (darn I love the Ram box). It was delivered this last Friday. I have put 500 miles on it already and the one thing that just blows me away is how comfortable, smooth it is on these impossible Michigan roads, empty. There are many roads I avoided with my previous 3/4s but this truck, no issues at all. Smooth as a baby's behind.

Glad you are enjoying and wait till you hit 5-6k miles. That's when your mileage really gets good. Wear in on the Cummins is 6,000 miles.

PS: yesterday I drove 200 miles on the highway avg. 73mph and got 20.5mpg. That was less than 300 engine miles on the truck. Just getting around here and there, stop and go, I'm getting about 18.3mpg.

You are correct with winter blend diesel. They add it here in Michigan in Nov.. In the past like clock work my power stroke 6.7 would go from 18mpg highway to 16. And back up in April.

PS: yes, I admit it too, all day I have been going up and down hills playing with this amazing exhaust brake. I won't know what to do in the mountains this year. Hmm, maybe relax a lot going down 8% grades:-)
Funny we almost have identical trucks. Mine is a white Laramie Powerwagon with Ramboxes. I had them on my 1500 and use the heck out of them.
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Old 03-21-2016, 07:27 PM   #27
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Awesome. I know your smiling pulling now:-)
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Old 04-18-2016, 10:09 AM   #28
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2015 Ram CTD Mileage

This weekend was the furthest I've towed with my 2015 Ram 2500 CTD. I've got about 2400 miles on it since purchasing in August 2015. I towed to the Eureka Springs, AR rally from Nixa, Mo. The outbound leg was south on 160 to 13, over Table Rock Lake then west from Lampe, MO via Berryville, AR onto Eureka Springs, AR The roads getting there are two lane, winding, up and down steep hills. On return trip I took a slightly longer way home via highway 62 east then picking up 65 south of Branson, MO then north to Nixa, 167miles total miles. After dropping the trailer off at storage I filled up in Nixa. The computer for Trip A showed 12.4mpg, hand calculated it was 10mpg. The computer over all mileage showed 14.6.
I was a little disappointed in the mileage but I don't think my previous Tundra 5.7L did any better and the Ram was a nicer tow over the undulating roads. The tow haul and exhaust brake made the downhills relaxing, hardly using my brakes while cars ahead of me had the brake lights on. The transmission would shift down when needed by itself the exhaust brake on auto would come on at the right times. On the way back north of Branson on 65 there are some monster hills and I was able to test out the power of the Cummins. No problem picking up speed to pass slower vehicles climbing. I guess towing my 6500lb 25fb in this hilling environment is acceptable.

It will be interesting to see what mileage I can get towing on the interstates keeping a constant 60mph.

Kelvin
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