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Old 04-04-2016, 09:17 AM   #71
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We're moving to the Grand Canyon tomorrow, so lots of towing. So far only towed 24 miles. Found a Cat scale nearby too so I can fiddle with things and make sure all is right.

I'll do a full report after that. It does already feel different. Old truck had AT tires too, and threw rocks, but I had mud flaps. For some reason the PW didn't come with flaps or side steps. I think I might actually buy a rock tamer now for this truck.
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Old 04-04-2016, 10:31 PM   #72
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Unrelated, do you think this TV will send more gravel towards the TT?
Oh yes, certainly. Tall vehicle with off-road tires to catch and sling a lot of debris from its tread.

I put on mud flaps and also plan to use a secondary net system to protect the airstream.
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Old 04-05-2016, 08:06 PM   #73
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Thumbs up

Well we actually towed 144 miles today. With a lot of grades, up and down the whole way here. We started from Callville Bay campground. You start with a 4-mile climb up 2000 ft. Then we drove 167 which becomes 169 to I-15 all the way to the Dixie National Forest.

A really good test I felt. We averaged 11.3 according to the ECM until we hit the Dixie National Forest. It was a solid climb to our camp site, not sure of the elevation gain but it dropped all the way to 10.1 by the time we got here. "BOO" I was quite smitten.

But I see how single digits are possible. If I want to tow at speeds other than 60/65ish, forget it.

I need to fill up to do a hand calculation.

Overall, the Ram 2500 feels more planted on the road in comparison to the Ram 1500. Road feedback is harsh however through the steering. But there is less feedback from the Airstream transmitted to the truck.

With the Ram 1500 if the Airstream went over a bump, you knew it.

I felt that the transmission engine braking was better than the 1500 Ram.

I'm pretty happy overall with the performance. It does feel a bit like a heavier Ram 1500 with the 5.7L Hemi.

I wonder if the 4.56 rear end ratio the 5.7L Hemi Power Wagon had would have been a better choice for Ram.

The truck has the power, but for some reason, it feels like you have to insist on it giving the power to you. The Ram 1500 had a softer peddle with better throttle response. You just eased into it and that thing took off. The 6.4L Hemi seems to want to take it easy unless you mash the peddle. Then it gives you the power. It's there, but it's reserved. Not sure why Ram did this.

I didn't try out the 800 lb bars for my Reese today. We left camp at 11:00 am and I packed everything up and hitched up, then went to put the bars on and realized I needed to adjust the cam arms in order to do so.

Well, it was 85 degrees outside. And I already put my tools away. So... it was 85 degrees outside.

We stopped at a pilot and ran the scales today too.

Feel free to make comments about my death. Or FLAIR or however it's spelled. Or actual constructive feedback I can use. I don't know everything, even though I play a know it all on the internet.

First, just the truck loaded with all of us and some gear.
Steer: 4620 .lbs
Drive: 3740 .lbs
Gross: 8360 .lbs

The second pass is truck and Airstream but no weight distribution.
Steer: 4180 .lbs
Drive: 5140 .lbs
Trailer: 6780 .lbs
Gross: 16100 .lbs

So tongue weight is 960 lbs. Not bad.

Third pass, truck + Airstream with weight distribution applied
Steer: 4580 lbs.
Drive: 4620 lbs.
Trailer: 6900 lbs.
Gross: 16100 lbs.

Think I might play shift the weight around some more. Overall looks within ratings for the axles and tires.

Obligatory new truck with trailer photo.
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Old 04-05-2016, 08:25 PM   #74
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So your first response to this post is not a criticism.

You made me smile with that beautiful photo. What a caption of a great advertising image. RAM should pay you to use that in one of their brochures

The laugh came from the "play a know it all on the internet" self proclamation.


Safe travels to your new spot.
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Old 04-05-2016, 10:00 PM   #75
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A white Ram Laramie in front of an Airstream tugs looks especially good to us, really nice looking outfit.

Ours is a Ram 1500 so I don't know your weight ratings and it's not my business, but looking at your first and third pass I wonder why you would go down to 800 lb w.d. bars. You're pretty close to where you might want to be?

P.S. If you ever locate the aftermarket power-fold tow mirrors, kindly let me know. I'll keep an eye out as well.
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Old 04-06-2016, 08:41 AM   #76
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Originally Posted by BoldAdventure View Post
The truck has the power, but for some reason, it feels like you have to insist on it giving the power to you. The Ram 1500 had a softer peddle with better throttle response. You just eased into it and that thing took off. The 6.4L Hemi seems to want to take it easy unless you mash the peddle. Then it gives you the power. It's there, but it's reserved. Not sure why Ram did this.
I have the F150 with 5.0 and I've also driven the Ram 5.7 a bit.

I test drove both the GM 6.0 and Ford 6.2 3/4 ton gas trucks and they felt exactly like what you are saying. The power was there but you had to coax it out compared to the 1/2 tons.

Not sure if that has to do with the weight of the truck or the power delivery characteristics, but I suspect a bit of both. Plus these 3/4 ton trucks don't have that much power/torque over the 1/2 ton compared to the extra mass.

Sounds like Ram is in the same boat as the competitors. I suppose it is something you will just get used to?
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Old 04-06-2016, 09:12 AM   #77
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I suspect it's a combo of things, but mostly tuning on Ram's part. Guys with the older Power Wagon's (2010-2013) that had the 4.56 gears report that the car feels more sporty than the 6.4 with the 4.10's.

If you think that more and more people buy half tons as daily drivers and probably even more of them are younger buyers than newer and are moving to more and more car-like handling characteristics, it would make sense to make them more responsive and car like.

And why I think it's purposefully tuned this way, is that Ram claims the PW has a different throttle response and torque curve when in 4WD that focuses on low end grunt. And I noticed the throttle is way more sensitive off road.



The 6.4 is drive by wire when it comes to the throttle, so it's electronically controlled. So another point in the 'tuning' column.

Also, the 5.7 I could sit in the drive way and rev the engine. I discovered after my exhaust install a 3K rev limiter... WTH. Why so low? But if I mash the peddle on the street, she'll rev way higher. So why the rev limiter in park on the 6.4 but not the 5.7? So, Ram's engineers have a reason, but it's not publicly stated anywhere.

Maybe part of it is just how the manufacturers think people use 3/4 tons and what they want them to drive like. No one really expects a 3/4 ton heavy truck to be sporty.

But I think it could be better. The power is clearly there. I can only take others at their word. A few guys on RamForum say that tuning completely makes a huge improvement. \_(ツ)_/

On Ramforums there is a discussion about why the Cummins is also slow. And I think it's all about the trucks being engineered and tuned towards doing what they are designed to do. Which is move heavy loads. And being reliable and durable. Which means, slow and steady with smooth power curves where the focus is on grunt, not on off the line.

Might just be something you get used too. And I'm sure the weight is a part of it.

--

What I forgot to mention in my feedback was the cooling. Very impressive. The 1500 did good, but sometimes I got concerned. Yesterday with all the grades, 85 degree outside temps and A/C going, the transmission never climbed about 178F and the coolant stayed at 208F.

The 1500 5.7 while never over heating, would always have the temps climb on grades. It recovered very quickly, but seeing 190 trans temp and 215 coolant after a grade for a few seconds was common.
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Old 04-06-2016, 10:35 AM   #78
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I'm not up on my "rock crawling techniques," but is it possible that RAM did some of this just on the PW to give more feel off road? Wouldn't you want less instant torque in such a situation? If so, could the regular 6.4's be different?
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Old 04-06-2016, 12:10 PM   #79
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You'd want more torque since that is what turns wheels in a situation where you need to get unstuck.

Ram did a number of things different for the PW so yes a standard could be different.

I have a manual t-case that isn't in the regular 2500's and full electronic lockers front and rear. The regular 2500 4WD has open diffs that aren't true lockers with a different t-case that isn't split 50/50 like the PW.

There is a lot of power loss through a drive train like that. I bet a 2WD 6.4 would feel completely different.

They also beefed up the suspension and use radius arms on the Power Wagon with what could be the stupidest marketing term the "articulink" system.
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Old 04-06-2016, 01:12 PM   #80
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Glad to hear that your mpg's are very similar to mine. I need to put my vehicle on a good scale. The last time I was on one the scale said the truck was 400 pounds lighter than advertised. That was with the whole family in it! Made me wonder if the payload is higher than what the paperwork says.
15' and newer trucks need to send in their pcm in order to get it tuned. Not sure if the tuners have cracked the codes or not. I agree that the truck feels reserved. Makes it feel like a truck and not an SUV. IMHO the best thing that Ram could do for their HD gas lineup is put an 8 speed automatic transmission in them with a 5:1 first gear. That would make the truck jump.
Anyway, I definitely need to do some more homework on my setup. The truck uses 1200 lb bars for the EQ hitch that came with the Airstream. Based on some of the reading that I have done I wonder if I should be using lighter bars. Comments?

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Old 04-06-2016, 01:24 PM   #81
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This thread was a huge help for me: http://www.airforums.com/forums/f464...-43568-12.html

Which would seem to suggest I use lighter bars for a softer ride. But, and I forgot about this important point. The Power Wagon receives different shocks and coils than a standard Ram 2500. They are very soft to achieve the high rate of articulation the PW has.

With the 1000 lb bars I'm almost at 100% FALR. And that is with the proper 5 links under tension for my Reese. But I have no bend in my bars which would seem to indicate it might be too much.
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Old 04-06-2016, 04:53 PM   #82
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Great thread, "Bold". I really appreciate your honest reporting of your experiences. Very refreshing!
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Old 04-07-2016, 11:06 AM   #83
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Truck with heavier duty ratings needs to be "slower" to avoid heat spikes in fluids, thus against gears. While a PW isn't a highway tow rig, per se, a soft surface and a heavy load would want to see less chance of hot spots forming in closed systems for longevity.

It's relatively easy to trust Dodge. The 32k GVW loads we moved in the South Texas oilfields with one tons is the kind of feedback GM and Ford never got. Their drive trains weren't up to commercial service until quite recently.

And, as beer drinking and hell raisin' have nothing to do with off-roading, a conservative application of power may be the perfect thing. I sure as hell have to be careful letting out the clutch on this big Cummins I'm sitting behind, both axles engaged or not.
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Old 04-07-2016, 11:21 AM   #84
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It sounds like the settings on the transmission need to be changed so that when towing it finds the right gear sooner with throttle movement. The down side to this would be gear hunting. Maybe if there was a delay shifting to the next higher gear would help? That's why I drive a stick, I can always keep the engine in the power and torque band.
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