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Old 02-14-2021, 03:54 PM   #1
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New 2021 Ram HD TV final choices

I'm in the final stages of selecting my new TV. I've just purchased a new 30RBT International that will arrive early June. I've settled on a new Ram Limited Mega Cab with Ram Boxes...now the final choice... to go with 2500 and the Hemi or 3500 with the standard Cummins and do I add the Air Leveling suspension (does it improve your ride quality). For the next 3 years before I retire I will be towing the Airstream about 20-25 days a year and the remaining time this will be my daily driver. So the choices I have (they are good choices) do I:
1. Spend the extra 10K on the Cummins...is it worth the $$$,
2. Will the Air Suspension improve ride quality...anyone with first had experience with this option please let me know your thoughts
3. Is the ride quality unloaded for everyday driving better on the 2500 to justify going with the Hemi.

I"m towing in the eastern part of the country for the next three years so I won't have the big mountain rocky challenges.

Please let me know if you have first had experience with this rig in a 3500 Cummins or 2500 Hemi and how its daily personality is and how it handles the work towing the Airstream.
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Old 02-14-2021, 04:16 PM   #2
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1. Diesels are great when necessary. If you are only towing 20 to 25 days a year I think I would go with a gas. Easier and less costly to maintain; cheaper to buy. You can put more money into creature comforts. You really have to do a lot of towing to justify a diesel. The trade off is the resale is better on a diesel. I guess it depends upon how long you generally keep a vehicle. The numbers show you really need to tow about 200,000 miles with a diesel. The only other reason to get a diesel is if you are towing most of the time in mountains; both for power and also braking, but as you said the rockies is not on your plan.
2. You will have more payload in the 2500 with the gas. As others have pointed out on this forum if you go diesel get the 3500.
3. Not sure on the air suspension.
4. My son has the RAM 3500 diesel. He likes it. But he’s also a diesel mechanic, and his RV is really big. Plus he intends to hit the rockies.

I pull a 28’ with an F150 Ecoboost and it does just fine. With a RAM 2500 gas you have plenty of power for your 30’, it is less costly to maintain than a diesel, and you will have all the payload necessary for the amount of time you will be towing. As to how they drive for a daily driver. not sure.

Good luck on your choice.

Are you sold on RAM? If you get a gas you should check out the F250 with the 7.3L. That thing is a towing beast.
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Old 02-14-2021, 04:31 PM   #3
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Full disclosure: I'm a Ram dealer.

You have settled on the greatest truck for sure.
Maga cab; this is a very very long truck. I find the standard crew is a great sweet spot.
Hemi vs Cummins; yes it's more but you will see every bit and more in pure joy of the power and resale value even when your tow vehicle has 200k miles on it. I tow a 30 RBQ globetrotter and get 14 to 18 mpg with reasonable winds.
Air ride; I don't have it but If budget is getting close put it towards to diesel for sure. I believe the hitch will be the ride quality determiner (I daily drive my Ram 2500 w/o air ride). Tong weight of trailer is only about 1500 lbs I think. Min squat.
The hemi is a great motor but if you can stretch the 10k you will not be disappointed and if you are you will have no problem swapping for a hemi.

Hope my opinion helps -
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Old 02-14-2021, 04:31 PM   #4
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If you plan on trading before you go full time. Buy whichever.

If youíre buying a keeper... Iíd go diesel for when your full time.

The money you save now youíll lose more when you trade up after a while. Thereís a reason diesel HD truck outnumber gas ones by a lot on the used market.
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Old 02-14-2021, 05:04 PM   #5
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Roadagain, congratulations on your new 30RBT International and pending tow vehicle!

We wrestled with the Cummins vs. Hemi question and ultimately was persuaded by the salesperson to go with the Hemi.

He asked two questions that helped us decide:
1). How much weight will we tow?
2). How many miles per year do we plan on towing?

We gave him the specs on our 27’ Globetrotter FBT and said we’d likely tow 5-10K miles per year. He said the 6.4 Hemi with the new 8 Spd. Trans would tow that with ease. His logic was if the trailer weighed over 10K lbs. and/or we were towing more miles, the Cummins would make more sense.

Our 2500 Hemi has the rear coil suspension and I find the ride very comfortable even unloaded. I don’t have any experience with the rear air suspension but don’t miss it. Payload is 2940 lbs - no need to go to the 3500 with the Hemi.

RAM Boxes are awesome for storage but do take away from bed space. You might want to measure out the bed space on the ground to see if that’s going to be enough for whatever gear you plan to carry. Our 6’4” box has just enough room and would be tight if we had the RAM boxes.

We visited the Rocky Mountains the first trip out west and the Hemi with 3.73 axle did just fine. You can lock the trans in any gear and use engine braking downhill. The trans and engine oil temps barely moved off normal.

Overall, we’re very happy with the 2500 Laramie (would die for a Limited)!

Good luck,
Jeff
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Old 02-14-2021, 05:12 PM   #6
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My 2500 Cummins Turbo Diesel is an incredibly stable platform. Engine braking paying for itself in the CO mountains, in terms of reduced load on the braking system and trailer control.

The 3500 Cummins should be just the ticket.
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Old 02-14-2021, 06:50 PM   #7
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2020 Ram 2500 cummings

We pull a 29ft GT with the Ram 2500 Cummings diesel. Driven to and fro PA thru the Va mountains. Bad on me but recall passing an 18 wheeler up one of the mountains hauling the GT, looked down at the speedometer going 83 mph...whoa Nellie! Bad on me but this thing is a hoss. Downhill the engine brake kicks in nicely, itís a fantastic tower. I love my Ram Limited with the diesel. As a daily driver itís a big truck but I get around 19 mpg without the AS and around 13 towing. I tend to drive between 65 and 75 depending on conditions. The RAM has all the spare capacity I will ever need to feel safe, and more importantly be safe.
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Old 02-14-2021, 07:28 PM   #8
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Just a quick thing that you've probably already thought of; if you buy the 3500 you might want to avoid the dual rear wheels if you use it for a daily driver. If you lived out West you could probably get away with it (larger parking lots) but in MA it would probably be tricky.

Same with the bed length. Mega Cab with an 8' bed would be sweet, but pretty dang long with a 30' AS behind it.

Congratulations; have fun!!
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Old 02-14-2021, 07:44 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roadagain View Post
I'm in the final stages of selecting my new TV. I've just purchased a new 30RBT International that will arrive early June. I've settled on a new Ram Limited Mega Cab with Ram Boxes...now the final choice... to go with 2500 and the Hemi or 3500 with the standard Cummins and do I add the Air Leveling suspension (does it improve your ride quality). For the next 3 years before I retire I will be towing the Airstream about 20-25 days a year and the remaining time this will be my daily driver. So the choices I have (they are good choices) do I:
1. Spend the extra 10K on the Cummins...is it worth the $$$,
2. Will the Air Suspension improve ride quality...anyone with first had experience with this option please let me know your thoughts
3. Is the ride quality unloaded for everyday driving better on the 2500 to justify going with the Hemi.

I"m towing in the eastern part of the country for the next three years so I won't have the big mountain rocky challenges.

Please let me know if you have first had experience with this rig in a 3500 Cummins or 2500 Hemi and how its daily personality is and how it handles the work towing the Airstream.
You donít need air...I have owned 2...currently a17 3/4 ton 4x4 6.7 crew short box...coil springs on rear. 4:54 gears. Reese duel cam. 13 31í Classic... coast to coast many times...yes the cummins is very good....good empty ride...not much difference than my 07 with the same specs and leaf springs....you only live once...there is no such thing as too much horsepower or too much money...
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Old 02-14-2021, 08:39 PM   #10
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Thanks for the input. If I go with the Cummins 6.7 in the 2500 the payload is only around 1800 lb, so with 1000 lb tong weight for the AS loaded and 600 in the cab (family and a dog) not much left for the bed of the truck...do I really need to go with 3500 or can you push the 2500 and be comfortable? As for the Air suspension I think I'll go with after market Firestone so I can have a compressor and air tank so I can have air at anytime for other needs.
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Old 02-14-2021, 08:54 PM   #11
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I have a 2019 RAM 2500 Limited w/diesel. My payload is 2056#. I have a Ď21 Classic 33 FBQ. I use an Equalizer 1400#. Iíve had several visits to the Cat scale loaded with everything including my wife. Weíre good all the way around. (Unless I eat at the Waffle House prior to my trip) then Iím overloaded. Safe travels!
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Old 02-15-2021, 12:06 AM   #12
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I have the 2020 Laramie 2500 with crew cab, 4x4, Cummins and Air Ride.

Payload at just over 2k is a little tight pulling a 27í GT with ProPride, cover, generator, etc, but I wanted the engine brake as we like in CA and like mountains.

One thing to be aware of with your build is your cover solution. Not a lot of options that support RamBoxes as thatís a unique width.
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Old 02-15-2021, 01:25 AM   #13
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Congratulations on your new AS! We went through the same decision matrix and decided on Hemi. Here are my thoughts:

- Hemi has enough power to pull up to 10k. We plan to eventually go to 33 Classic, so that was factored into the decision. Our last two trips were to Grand Tetons and Zion NP, hit some serious grades, but no lack of power. Tested downhill on those grades w/ cruise and w/ locking the gear, both worked really well. Exhaust brakes would be nice, but I didn't feel the need.

- Considering we want to explore remote areas, we wanted to keep the truck as simple as possible. So decided to NOT go for Air Suspension; no regrets so far. Hemi also wins over the Cummins on simplicity. It's an old engine, easy to repair anywhere, if needed.

- We were towing with our Mercedes GL450, one of the most comfortable rides, so ride quality was important to us. The coil suspension is very comfortable, even when not towing.

- We got Laramie, and find it to have enough bells and whistles to keep us happy.

- We got the RamBox, best decision ever. It makes set up and teardowns so much easier. I use one side to store water pipes, surge protector, electrical accessories and the other side to keep my Equalizer Hitch bars, pins, basically everything except the hitch itself.
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Old 02-15-2021, 11:07 AM   #14
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Food for Thought

Food for thought - OP provides usage at 20-25 camping days per year before retirement. Are all those days towing or perhaps staying in one place for multiple days? Letís say half of those days are towing @ about 12 days per year or 36 days I. The first three years of ownership. Remaining >1,000 days use as daily driver.

Question - what is the distance of your normal daily trips to work, shop and play? My trips tend to be 5 miles or less one way.

This sets the stage for ďgood for thought/discussion. What does a Diesel engine love = heat and longer duration trips. You will provide minimum of both during the first three years and may encounter issues with the emission system.

Recommend starting with an engine more supportive of shorter trips and years later switch to diesel if you are unhappy with the gas engine.

As a personal experience with Fordís F250, 6.2L towing an AS weighing around 7000 lbs up and down Lizard Head Pass and Monarch Pass in CO this past summer. We went up slower than the diesels, but lost only a couple of minutes before we reached the summit. Descent was controlled by selecting the gear that would maintain 4000 RPM regardless of speed.

Finally - imagine the wait for your new rig is tough, but will be well worth it when you name your rig put those WBCCI red numbers on the front of your trailer and enjoy other ASíers flashing their headlights on the road. Check out the WBCCI International Rally in July where hundreds of ASíers attend and share wonderful comaraderie. Stories of camping and how they selected their TV. One example is we have seen Nissan Armadaís towing 34í Excellas.
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Old 02-15-2021, 11:40 AM   #15
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In another thread it was shown that the total cost of ownership for 5-6 years Gasoline vs. Diesel favors the diesel option. If you tow a lot, the diesel just gets better, but diesel is favored even with limited towing and hauling. The average difference is $2000-5000.

Certainly the others pointed out many other considerations both favoring diesel and gasoline. Only by having all the information can one make the best decision possible.
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Old 02-15-2021, 12:40 PM   #16
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I have had my diesel powered Titan XD for a little over four years and 66,000 miles. It has been flawless, is comfortable, quiet and tows very nicely. But, there are drawbacks.

1. Fuel - diesel isnít always just diesel. There is summer diesel and winter diesel. There is bio-diesel (ubiquitous in the Midwest). Traveling in North Texas right now? You need to find winter blend diesel or break out the additives... Can the Ram Cummins use B20? My Cummins is limited to B5 (so no Flying J or Pilot).

2. Fuel pumps - unless you are in a truck stop, the diesel pumps in a gas station are usually few and located on an end island. Hooked up, it can be less than fun gaining access. I donít know about the Ram but I canít use the truck pumps ó the nozzle is too large for my truck.

3. Fuel quality - pick up a bad tank full of gasoline and you will be on the hook for a couple of grand in repairs at most. Pick up a load of bad diesel and you can be out ten grand in a heartbeat. So, find those name brand stations that seem to pump a lot of diesel and avoid ďFredís Bait and FuelĒ and keep the fuel filters changed on schedule (also carry a spare set).

4. The diesel is heavy. The exact same version of my truck with the very capable 5.6 liter V8 gas power plant, has #740 more pounds of payload.

Good luck with whatever you choose.
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Old 02-15-2021, 01:36 PM   #17
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One thought. We have a 2019 RAM 1500 and we love it. We went with the RamBox and I like having the secure storage...but. If you plan on putting any type of tonneau other than a full hard top or foldable soft top, you are severely limited. You are also very limited if not impossible to put on cross bars over the bed. I have not been able to solve for a retractable tonneau and cross bars for bikes. In retrospect, I would not have gone with the RamBox.
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Old 02-15-2021, 02:57 PM   #18
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Dodge/Ram pretty much has the Cummins figured out (no recent experience with Ford or GM). The newer versions will handle B20 and you can use the larger fuel nozzle if necessary. My Ď18 is an SLT so few options and the payload is 3,866 lbs and GVWR is 11,700 lbs.

Like any other vehicle (gas or diesel), do your maintenance and be careful where you buy your fuel (I only purchase from CFN or Pilot/Flying J) and you should be fine.
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Old 02-15-2021, 02:57 PM   #19
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We tow our 30RBT FC with a RAM 2500 Cummins. Yes, diesel is more expensive to purchase & maintain but as others have said, it tows great on the plains & mountains. We really don't know the trailer is back there w/o looking in the mirrors. Love the engine brake for mountain descents. Previous truck was a RAM 3500 dually. The 2500 rides much better empty, both ride pretty good when towing. The length of our 3500 (8' bed, crew cab) made it difficult to maneuver in parking lots and also more difficult to back the trailer into campsites. We're within our weight limits with 2 people, loaded for a trip. If I had to carry 4 people, would likely be close to GVWR limit, so would recommend the 3500 if you go with the Cummins.

No experience with air but am interested to hear what others have to say...
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Old 02-16-2021, 12:03 AM   #20
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New 2021 Ram HD TV final choices

Iíve towed my Ď28 and now my Ď27 with a 2500 for almost eight years. I bypassed the mega cab and went with the crew cab so I could get the 8í bed, as I carry dirt bikes. Iíve never had a payload issue.

The diesel and longer wheelbase of the 8Ē bed make for a joy when towing - stable and handles steep grades with ease. I only notice the length in tighter camp spots when I have to back in and donít have enough room for the length of the truck. And Iím always the guy parking far away from the front store entrance as my truck often takes up more than one full spot.

I am lucky to have a shop with a lift and I do my own fluid and filter changes. Iím changing oil and fuel filters at 10k miles, and itís about $65 for 12qts of RotellaT synth oil, and about $100 for the three filters (two fuel and one oil) when purchased online. Itís about an hour and a half as I take my sweet time, and use the opportunity to grease the drive shaft ujoint.

I buy the DEF at truck stop pumps so itís pretty cheap, less than $20 a tank and that seems to last quite a long time.

The gas vs diesel debates on this forum are tiring - either engine will do fine. I like the effortless power, especially as I tow with lots of gear in the truck up some steeper passes and I greatly prefer the exhaust brakes as we have some healthy mountain passes in the PNW and itís nice not to ride the brakes. I also like the range of the diesel which is about 550-600 miles a tank unloaded and at least 450 loaded. Here, diesel is often less than premium, and the efficiency helps to offset the added maintenance costs. You donít buy the diesel primarily to save $$ - more to have the grunt and the range when you need it.

Finally, if you tow in the winter, itís great to have the diesel as you donít have to wind the engine up to get enough torque at low speeds, which helps in the snow, rain, and grass or mud if you find yourself needing to get out of a slick spot (4wd of course).
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