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Old 03-26-2016, 05:43 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Mrjkq View Post
No regrets here. My ecodiesel has 22k miles on it with about 3k towing. I have the Laramie Limited which comes pretty well decked out including air bag suspension. On a trip through the Smoky Mountains in Tenn. it pulled the Airstream flawlessly up and down steep grades and we managed to get 16.5 mpg at 65mph.
Looks terrific, great fuel economy!! Our Laramie is Pearl White, she choose the color. We have the same truck and Airstream model.

How did the transmission automatic down shifting do when going down the steep grades in Tow/Haul mode, did you need to add much truck/trailer brake?
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Old 03-26-2016, 06:10 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by TK21 View Post
I am looking for a tow vehicle (truck) to replace my 2005 ram 1500 with a 5.7 engine. I get bad gas milage towing or not towing.
I looked into the Ram 1500 eco-diesel and the gas milage is great. The price was $12,000 cheaper than the 2500 cummings.
My question is has any body tried this truck and with what results? Thanks for your time and help. TK21
Yes. The results are great. I love it. I think, scheme and daydream of reasons to hitch up to our Airstream and be gone. I just can't get enough.

DKB has already linked my thread, but I'll give it another plug here.
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Old 03-27-2016, 07:03 AM   #17
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There are two 3.0 RAM Ecodiesels. One 6 cylinder in a pickup and a 4 cylinder Iveco engine in the RAM Promaster. My TV is a Promaster 1500 with 295 ft/lbs of torque. I cruise at 62 mph/100 kph and consistently get 20-21 mpg towing my 19' international. 25+ Mpg without the trailer in tow.
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Old 03-27-2016, 08:37 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by dkottum View Post
Looks terrific, great fuel economy!! Our Laramie is Pearl White, she choose the color. We have the same truck and Airstream model.

How did the transmission automatic down shifting do when going down the steep grades in Tow/Haul mode, did you need to add much truck/trailer brake?
While in tow/hall mode it downshifted very well according to amount of brake pressure applied.
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Old 03-27-2016, 08:51 AM   #19
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HI,

I call it the spaghetti diesel, it is a fiat engine. I have had mine for a little over a year pulling our 24 foot tradwind. Our challenge is always getting home, based at 9450 feet, its just a bit of a pull. The Spaghetti diesel rips up here if I have too and cruises like a caddy. The mileage is awasome too. My only beef and it is interesting to read from the people that dont have one, is I have not figured out a good way to boost the rear end. I hear the ones with the air suspension do not sag like mine, I bought the strippy model, four wheel drive. I have the ballons that go in the spings but popped a line, I have got another kit to go in but have not got around to it yet. I want to inquire about getting stronger springs. Frankly it is my first PU with coil springs in the back, very strange for me.
Overall having a peppy PU with awesome mileage , awesome towing for the AS is a big win. The super diesel pick ups are great but much more then I need or want. Chevy colorado is coming out with a diesel too!!
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Old 03-27-2016, 10:05 PM   #20
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Hi purdiferis, with a lot of sag there's a few things that can cause the problem. Too much weight in the back of the truck, especially behind the truck's rear axle. Too much weight in the front and/or on the tongue of the trailer. And not enough lift from the weight distribution hitch.

This could be adjustment of the hitch head not tilted down enough for the w.d. bars to get enough lift, w.d. bars too weak for the task, or the hitch or trailer tongue weight too heavy for it to distribute the weight.

Wonderful truck and engine but like any vehicle it has load limitations. Do you think it could be too much load for the truck, or w.d. hitch problem . . . ? Is the truck lifting higher at the front wheels wells when you're all set for towing, than when unloaded? Loaded within capability and with a quality well adjusted w.d. hitch there should not be much sag, nor much rise at the front. You should not need helper air bags if all set up and loaded properly.
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Old 09-06-2016, 11:56 AM   #21
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I learn much from these discussions, even if repeated many times.

We bought our 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit Eco Diesel before deciding to buy our first Airstream. Because of tongue weight limitations we decided on a 23FB though we preferred the 25' AS. The dealer tried to sell us the 25' but we firmly declined after his strenuous efforts.

The Jeep GC has the same 3.0L Fiat engine as the Ram. Here's our review after 20,000+ miles with the AS, including 95 days out in a Seattle - St. John's Newfoundland trip and many mountain passes.

1. Comfort is terrific with the air suspension and all the electronics and creature comforts (vented seats are great when it is 90 degrees outside).
2. Paddle shifters are great for coming down steep grades and using the diesel to maintain speed. We seldom use brakes.
3. The 8-speed transmission shifts smoothly and maintains low revs. Going up steep mountain passes is no problem and we can easily pass other slow vehicles as needed.
4. ST tires are the limiting factor on our speed. I try to stay at 60 - 65, but it is so easy to be over 70 if you are not paying attention.
5. We do have to watch payload carefully. Payload and tongue weight are the major downsides of the Jeep GC. Our fully loaded (including full fresh water tank) 23FB AS has a measured tongue weight of 620 lbs. and consistent CAT scale weights of 5300 - 5400 lbs. This leaves us only about 150 lbs of payload in the Jeep after my wife and I as the only passengers. We carry little in the Jeep except our 37 lb. Zamp solar panels.
6. Mileage without the trailer is 30+ mpg highway and 23 mixed city. With the AS we get 16.5 mpg at 65 mph.
7. Having a Jeep to explore when unhitched at camp is a big plus. And the Jeep is a good daily driver for us - a truck would not fit in our garage.
8. We use an Equilizer hitch. It does great, but there is a delicate balance between good weight distribution and ease of hooking and unhooking. It took a while to learn the fine points of both. We have no sway whatsoever and very good weight distribution.

As many others have said it all depends on each person's needs. preferences, and ability to decide what is most important to them. There are always trade offs. Which ones do you want to make? That appears to be the most important first set of questions one must make.

As we consider whether to move up to a 25' we will learn much from these forums. And the market for trucks is evolving constantly.
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Old 09-06-2016, 03:01 PM   #22
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We have a '16 RAM Limited EcoDiesel towing a '16 International Serenity '28, fully loaded we are about 400 pounds under the GCVW and definitely over the maximum payload.

We put 4,500 miles on the RAM this summer in a month, much of it towing through mountains and grades of up to 7%.

The good:
1) With BlueOx hitch towing was extremely stable, no problems with trucks passing us.
2) Very smooth ride.
3) Good power and acceleration "most" of the time.

The bad:
1) Going up steep grades (>4%) would cause engine to heat up and turn off cruise control, cruise was set to 55. The temp needle would go all the way up to the red if I didn't back off.
2) Payload, payload, payload - by the time you put the trailer on you've used all your payload.
3) Going up hills at 25 mph is not much fun.

I ordered a new 3/4 ton pickup, IMHO the EcoDiesel is fine for a trailer with a 600lb tongue and fully loaded weight of 5,500lb but not for anything bigger.
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Old 09-06-2016, 03:42 PM   #23
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cruise ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mgieselman View Post
We have a '16 RAM Limited EcoDiesel towing a '16 International Serenity '28, fully loaded we are about 400 pounds under the GCVW and definitely over the maximum payload.

We put 4,500 miles on the RAM this summer in a month, much of it towing through mountains and grades of up to 7%.

The good:
1) With BlueOx hitch towing was extremely stable, no problems with trucks passing us.
2) Very smooth ride.
3) Good power and acceleration "most" of the time.

The bad:
1) Going up steep grades (>4%) would cause engine to heat up and turn off cruise control, cruise was set to 55. The temp needle would go all the way up to the red if I didn't back off.
2) Payload, payload, payload - by the time you put the trailer on you've used all your payload.
3) Going up hills at 25 mph is not much fun.
I ordered a new 3/4 ton pickup, IMHO the EcoDiesel is fine for a trailer with a 600lb tongue and fully loaded weight of 5,500lb but not for anything bigger.
You can't use cruise control going up significant hills. I don't even try it with a 5.9 Cummins.
Find out what the max torque RPM is for the V6. Run it at that or a little above and let the motor pull at that lower RPM. It maybe at or just a little over halfway to redline. The 'sweet spot' for that motor will be around there. And make sure you choose a gear that will let the torque converter lockup but not bog down the motor. No wonder it was overheating.

I recommend manual shifting it. Anticipate your shifts for maximum efficiency. Turn the radio off and listen to the motor pull, you can tell when its time to shift. IF you are on a two lane twisty and going through 'hairpins' drop'er down in second let the torque converter lockup and let it pull you out of the curve. When the motor pulls up to max torque or a little better in RPM, shift it to third, let the torque converter lockup, (if you are not slowing to make another turn).
If you are in the piedmont with rolling hills on a Interstate, and you have an 8 speed trans, you may only use fifth gear to pull the hills and sixth when going down and cooling. Otherwise you are punishing that motor & transmission and generating a lot of heat( which you found out) in the trans fluid, with every shift, and that my friend, will reduce the life of the transmission and fluid.
save the 'CC' for the flat land.
safe travels
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Old 09-06-2016, 03:51 PM   #24
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Blacksburg , Virginia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WestieHouse View Post
I learn much from these discussions, even if repeated many times.

We bought our 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit Eco Diesel before deciding to buy our first Airstream. Because of tongue weight limitations we decided on a 23FB though we preferred the 25' AS. The dealer tried to sell us the 25' but we firmly declined after his strenuous efforts.

The Jeep GC has the same 3.0L Fiat engine as the Ram. Here's our review after 20,000+ miles with the AS, including 95 days out in a Seattle - St. John's Newfoundland trip and many mountain passes.

1. Comfort is terrific with the air suspension and all the electronics and creature comforts (vented seats are great when it is 90 degrees outside).
2. Paddle shifters are great for coming down steep grades and using the diesel to maintain speed. We seldom use brakes.
3. The 8-speed transmission shifts smoothly and maintains low revs. Going up steep mountain passes is no problem and we can easily pass other slow vehicles as needed.
4. ST tires are the limiting factor on our speed. I try to stay at 60 - 65, but it is so easy to be over 70 if you are not paying attention.
5. We do have to watch payload carefully. Payload and tongue weight are the major downsides of the Jeep GC. Our fully loaded (including full fresh water tank) 23FB AS has a measured tongue weight of 620 lbs. and consistent CAT scale weights of 5300 - 5400 lbs. This leaves us only about 150 lbs of payload in the Jeep after my wife and I as the only passengers. We carry little in the Jeep except our 37 lb. Zamp solar panels.
6. Mileage without the trailer is 30+ mpg highway and 23 mixed city. With the AS we get 16.5 mpg at 65 mph.
7. Having a Jeep to explore when unhitched at camp is a big plus. And the Jeep is a good daily driver for us - a truck would not fit in our garage.
8. We use an Equilizer hitch. It does great, but there is a delicate balance between good weight distribution and ease of hooking and unhooking. It took a while to learn the fine points of both. We have no sway whatsoever and very good weight distribution.

As many others have said it all depends on each person's needs. preferences, and ability to decide what is most important to them. There are always trade offs. Which ones do you want to make? That appears to be the most important first set of questions one must make.

As we consider whether to move up to a 25' we will learn much from these forums. And the market for trucks is evolving constantly.
Good for you! I really like the equalizer hitch too.
I really wish, FCA or Chrysler would put that V6 diesel in the Jeep wrangler unlimited. Then you would have something !
It has a real frame and could handle the diesel engine easily. They couldn't keep up with the demand.
I'd keep your Jeep down around 60. I know what you mean about it being sneaky fast

safe travels
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Old 09-06-2016, 04:06 PM   #25
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TK Yeah I've tried it. See signature. I've got 217,000 on mine most of the miles have an AS, TT, boat, cargo trailer in tow sometimes with a Harley or other cargo to deliver in the bed. We try to keep it working. Most commonly Ohio to WA, OR, all over CA and back to Chicago Indiana Ohio. Have crossed a few windy plains and a grade or two.

Towing commercially I have hit scales & Port of entrees in most of the 48 states. Scales & DOT department of transportation officers or whatever your state calls them are mostly only concerned with axle weights and this is primarily for safety. Well & collecting their fee per your truck & or permit. So I pay attention to the 3,900 and 7,800 GCAR. Manufacturers payload suggestion.. not so much. Also the CVWR. Max 1500 Ram CVWR is 15,950. Outside either one of them and you have left reasonable safety for the 1500 platform and really do need a bigger truck. But even inside these limits at the far ends of the limits proper control is dependent on truck configuration and set up.

To optimize for a better safe & reliable experience I am a fan of the 3.92 LSD 4WD with tow package. ie receiver, brake controller, tow mirrors, & hitch camera. Also a fan of a tune with brake controller. I have come down longer 6% grades with a CVWR of about 15,300 and between the engine brake and the trailer brake controller could easily comfortably and confidently control the speed without even having to use the truck brakes. This only required periodic supplement of the trailer or truck brakes with no riding or heating up of the brakes.

Naturally an anti sway WDH that you have worked on at the scales. Ram recommends this any time you have a trailer weighing 5,000 pounds or more. If you don't have the factory air suspension as I don't axle to frame air bags. TLC, Timber Grove, & Air lift make them. To a lesser degree the cheaper in coil air bags or Timbrens with a spring in it also work. Air lift that sells both tech support line will tell you skip the in coil bags and get the better axle to frame bags. The combination of the WDH & axle to frame bags is far better than either by themselves to handle & control a large heavy long bumper pull. Mostly noticed when gusty or a semi passes to close and creates a vacuum or when emergency maneuvers for accident avoidance comes into play. The hitch provides weight transfer stability and sway control. The bags provide more weight transfer load control and dampen the spring or the ride. With a loaded truck weight of about 7,860 & CVWR of about 15,300 it did central CA to WA comfortably and averaged 15.1 on the EVIC using cruise when possible at 65.

I've jarred and drove much larger heavier trucks that did not have the ride or control. Naturally to a point because weight is weight. You could add tires on mine sturdier heavier load rating tires did improve stability & feel. You can also swap in the SLT grill to improve air flow if you often tow heavy in the heat & grades.

Keep in mind the AS I tow are dry. But I've pulled loaded up 30' classics that have weighed just shy of 8,000 with confidence and control in the wind & up and down grades. This is IMO nearing the reasonable limits of the ED for a TT at least if you tow in the heat & grades. My only repairs have been a light switch and an alignment both at 196k. For the limited size of an AS I don't know of a better more fuel efficient TV than a properly set up ED. The VM Motori diesel now owned by Fiat is smooth efficient and strong enough when mated to the proven durable & efficient 8 speed. The truck helps because its a joy to drive comfortable smooth quiet fuel efficient trailer brake controller hitch camera satellite radio hands free phone. It just makes for an enjoyable AS TV.
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Old 09-06-2016, 04:19 PM   #26
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Heat control is simple. Keep it under 3,000 rpm and let the truck drop to the gear and speed it needs to. I have never had a fuel derate. Mine has the 3.92 & a little shorter 31.9" tire the better grill & GDE tune fwiw. Usually with a larger TT and a good long grade it will drop to 5th and 55 mph which still has me passing the semis.
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Delivering Airstreams from Mfg 2 dealers RAM EcoDiesel factory brake controller, tow mirrors, hitch camera & receiver 1,290/12,000, Andersen 4" drop/rise no sway WDH, TLC axle to frame air bags mini compressor, GDE tune w turbo brake, SLT Grill, 31.9" load tires, Max RAM 1500 GCAR 7,800, CVWR 15,950
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Old 09-06-2016, 05:00 PM   #27
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After 10 weeks and 10,150 miles traveling the US coast to coast in 75 to 111 degree temperatures, my RAM ECODIESEL proved to be one substantial truck averaging 16.2 mpg for the entire trip. As mentioned earlier climbing 6&7% grades across the Rocky Mountains caused the temp to elevate but never into the red & slowing down to 45-50 mph rectified the problem. Great truck, great comfort, great mileage, totally dependable & damn good looking.
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Old 10-06-2016, 05:47 PM   #28
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I tow our 19' with a six cylinder Grand Cherokee gas. It tows great. It's in for service and the dealer let me drive a loaded Ram Ecodiesel. I hate to have to give it back tomorrow...
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