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Old 09-20-2015, 07:28 PM   #1
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New Truck Advice Chevy or Ram?

I am currently towing with a 2010 Tundra Crew Cab with the 5.7 Engine.
I'm looking at picking up a new truck before the end of the year and have narrowed it down to 3 choices...

First let me state I am self employed and carry around 500-600 pounds of Land Surveying Gear with an aluminum Diamondback Bed Cover everywhere I go.

I use the Airstream a 28' 1999 Safari for out of town work along with long weekend trips to various hunting camps and shooting ranges anywhere from 6 hours to 10 hours one way from my house.

So as you can see after I load up the surveying gear, shooting / hunting gear, fill the AS with fresh water and the tank with 24 gallons of fuel I'm typically way over my payload weight.

So I've got the choices narrowed down to the following....

Option #1 Chevy/GMC 2500 HD with the Diesel

Option #2 Dodge 2500 with the Diesel


So the Dodge is giving 9k-11k off the 2500 trucks right now and I'm afraid the Chevys will not be as competitive with their pricing.

Also I know the engine's published numbers on the Dodge is greater but the Chevy is about 800 lbs. lighter and seems to have the better exhaust braking system....

I've also read with the straight axle up front on the Dodge seems to go out of alignment more often and requires more frequent tires and brakes due to the heavier chassis.

This is a 12-15 year purchase for me as that is the time frame the diesel must be kept to offset the 9k upcharge for the Diesel Motor.

I really like the price of the Dodge and the simplicity Cummins In-Line 6 cylinder...

But the refinement, braking and transmission of the Chevy seem to be really attractive.

Can both owners for the Chevy/GMC and Dodge weight in on their experience including maintenance cost and MPG for their tow vehicle .

This will be my first diesel and if I only was a weekend warrior I'm sure the Tundra would continue to work for me but as I usually need a bed full of Surveying Gear and potentially an ATV on top of the Diamondback Bed Cover
DiamondBack ATV Carrier | ATV Truck Rack | ATV Hauler | Side-by-Side Hauler

I just think the time has come to upgrade to a HD Truck.

Much thanks and I appreciate your input.
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Old 09-20-2015, 07:57 PM   #2
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I recently was faced with the same dilemma as you. My 01 F-250, 7.3 had almost 300K miles and I felt it was about time. After much research I decided on the HD 2500 Denali. So far I have not been disappointed despite the fact that my grandson has had to educate me on all the new technology and how to use it. The present Isuzu engine has been time tested with exceptional results. You already know the benefits of the Allison transmission. I also think that the GMC is a more attractive truck.

If you have any interest in joining the Suncoast Airstream group send me a PM. We have a great group and several members in your neighborhood.

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Old 09-20-2015, 08:55 PM   #3
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Ron,
That would be great.
I'll send you a PM.
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Old 09-20-2015, 10:49 PM   #4
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I haven't driven the Duramax but the exhaust brake on my Ram is definitely up to the task (and we just towed our 27FB through the Rockies in Montana a couple weeks ago)... minimal braking is required when in Tow/Haul mode.


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Old 09-20-2015, 11:06 PM   #5
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I do not trust any Chrysler product for durability. They look better (styling-wise) than Ford or GM, but in the long run, they are just plain crap (based on over thirty years of unscientific observations.) No offense intended to any loyal Chrysler owners, you have your reasons for owning them.
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Old 09-20-2015, 11:30 PM   #6
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Quoting a retired Cummings Diesel factory employee, "The engines we supply to Dodge are not up to the engineering specifications we supply to commercial customers. Our big truck engines are engineered to go 500,000 miles and rebuildable for another 500,000 miles."
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Old 09-21-2015, 01:16 AM   #7
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I don't think any pickup truck is built to the same standards as a commercial road tractor (for obvious reasons). As for the Big 3 diesel pickups, I think they're pretty comparable in quality.


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Old 09-21-2015, 02:38 AM   #8
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Just an Observation

I finally bought a nice 2500 HD Denali last week. While hunting there were lots of half tons from Ford, Chevy, Ram, and a few badged as GMC. When it came to 3/4 tons and 1 ton trucks, there were far more Rams than either Ford or Chevy - and locally in the last month I only saw 2 GMC diesels, one of which I bought.

I did ask two dealers - both who just shrugged when I asked why there were relatively more Rams than either Fords or Chevy's. Even in the Ram trucks gassers were far more common than diesels.

My supposition is that most people who spend the extra money on diesel PLAN to keep them for years. And those who buy over a half ton usually need the bigger trucks so they aren't traded as quickly either. The preponderance of newer Ram 3/4 and 1 ton trucks...? Maintenance issues would seem to be one logical explanation, but I just don't know.
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Old 09-21-2015, 05:00 AM   #9
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Thanks for all of the replies guys....
For me this is a long term investment and I drove a Dodge 3/4 Cummins on Saturday and was really blown away with the truck but the longevity and maintenance compared to the GM products.

What I am finding in my market SW Florida there are no cloth interior GM Trucks all are LTZ leather seats with all the frills.
The Dodges can still be had with the cloth interior and in Florida the leather just gets too hot and I had rather save the extra 4k....

I plan to work the best deal I can between the two and see where the numbers hit.

Please keep the feedback coming as I plan to do the trade in the next 2-3 weeks....
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Old 09-21-2015, 09:01 AM   #10
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What you said... but did you realize that the LTZ leather seats are heated and AIR Conditioned? No bull. They'll ice your tush in a minute!
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Old 09-21-2015, 09:37 AM   #11
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I just switched over from my 2010 Tundra to a 2015 Ram 2500 CTD Crew Cab 4x4 Big Horn with cloth seats. I've had it a little over a month. I don't drive it much and only have 900 miles. This weekend I towed my Airstream about 90 miles in undulating terrain including some narrow and hilly terrain with 20mph curves. The initial impression of this first serious tow is I prefer the Ram towing my 25fb Classic better than the Tundra. The brakes are more responsive, the transmission shifts down when needed under tow/haul, the exhaust brake works well and the ITBC is better than the Prodigy P2 I had in the Tundra. My hydraulic trailer brakes slight delay is hardly felt with the Ram system.

We test drove a Chevy 2500HD Duramax LT with cloth seats and preferred the Ram overall. They are both capable trucks. You just have to drive both and compare all the features of both. The advertised prices on these truck was within $2k of each other but there was more selection of Ram trucks to look at vs GM 2500HD unless you wanted to go gas.

Having never owned diesel I wasn't aware that trying to find the diesel pumps in stations is something you have to be conscious of especially towing a trailer. You just can't pull into an island and expect diesel to be there. If you are in a small town the diesel may be to the side of the store and not in the main island. If the diesel pumps are in the islands they seem to be on the outside islands which can often be filled with cars pumping gas while the middle islands are empty of cars.

I've only got 900 miles on my Ram. I started with a full tank from the dealer and it lasted 450 miles of mixed city/highway. Computer showed 18mpg but hand calculated was 16.4mpg. I filled up just as the low fuel light went on. Tank is 31 gal and it took 27.3 gal. The 2nd tank I got 453 but includes my 75 miles of AS towing. The low fuel warning light came on 5 miles outside of town on the return trip from the campground. Dropped the AS at home and then filled up. Took about 28.2 gallons and hand calculated 16mpg vs computer 16+. Before the trip this weekend the computer showed 19 mpg. I would think that is a little optimistic. I should've filled the tank before I towed the Airstream. I won't get any opportunities to drive solo or tow long distances for a while.

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Old 09-21-2015, 09:40 AM   #12
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Hi, and hope the wheels are working out for you. I bought the Ram, largely because I couldn't find any chevy or GMC trucks in my area when I was looking. I have been pleased with it, both from a towing and braking perspective. The Blue Ridge is not the Rockies, but the Ram, fully loaded in the bed, pulled the 6-mile 8% grade towing my Safari 25 at 55 that my F150 5.4 balked at last year, and coming down I77 at the virginia line and other places I didnt have to touch the brake pedal. Also we love the mega-cab for hauling our dogs.

At 65 i get better mileage (14-15) towing than my F150 got when not towing at 70. The Ram gets better mileage around town, about 17-18.

I am slightly concerned about reliability, but i will mitigate that with an extended warranty. That will work for my 6-year window, but maybe not for you. My read of the forums is that there are issues with both of them, and you could get a good truck or a bad one in either case.

I have discovered that it takes more time than i would expect to get a Ram service appointment. My guess is they have sold more diesels than they can service in some markets. Call some dealers in your area and see how long you have to wait to get a truck in for diagnosis and repair, not just for an oil change. More than one dealer in your area is a plus. We have a Ram dealer in town, but the next closest is an hour away.

If you buy an extended warranty, check into the coverage. With the Ram, the radio head unit is tightly coupled to the truck systems. The warranty I have bought in the past doesn't cover "sound reproduction equipment", and they confirmed that the head unit was not covered.

Godd luck with your choice. My thought was that the ideal vehicle would be one with the Cummins engine and the Allison transmission, but nobody makes that truck.

Al
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Old 09-21-2015, 09:40 AM   #13
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Download the manuals on both. There is not much to the maintenance of the Ram CTD. Oil changes and replace the fuel filter on schedule. I expect I'll run the 6 months limit before the mileage. I haven't used any DEF for the 900 miles I've driven. The DEF gauge is still on the Full mark. I guess no regens have taken place yet.

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Old 09-21-2015, 09:48 AM   #14
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I declined the 7 year extended warranty because we will not be using the truck that much for 3 years before retirement. I doubt the truck will have 20k miles in 3 years. I commute to work in a 10yr old Honda Civic. The warranty was $2400 and if it had been a Chrysler warranty vs one from an insurance company I might have gone with it. The dealership carries several lines of manufacturers in their network so they don't use the factory extended warranties but get one from an insurance company to cover all their manufacturers. I felt they did this more to the benefit of them than a customer. I'm sure when my 3 year warranty comes of age I'll get an offer from Chrysler/Ram for an extended warranty. If I have warranty claims that will help me decide.

There is also the 5yr/100k power train warranty still in affect.

Kelvin
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