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Old 07-27-2020, 07:31 AM   #1
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1956 22' Caravanner
Don Pedro Island , Florida
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New Tow Vehicle Decision Time Part 2 RAM

I know there are a bizillion opinions on tow vehicles. So I thought I would try a different approach.

I know what I want for a physical plant! All I am looking for right now is what 2 or 3 things do you really like about your Ram (2018 and newer).
What 2 or 3 things don't you like? And finally what do you wish you should have on your truck.

Ford and GMC/Chevy guys stay out of this post I will ask the same thing of you folks in a week or two. (Chevy/GMC already posted)

Just getting ready to make a choice in the next few months and all 3 have nice features and power plants. So now I want to hear what you think about the choice you made.

P.S. No bias on my part, right now I have a Ridgeline (06)
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Old 07-27-2020, 12:29 PM   #2
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1972 25' Tradewind
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My dad has one. Hereís what I like.

Huge screen
Ram box
Power folding towing mirrors
Tow package
Air ride

Itís an awesome truck to drive and plenty capable.
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Old 07-27-2020, 12:56 PM   #3
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Are you looking at 1500 or HD (2500/3500)? There are some huge differences.
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Old 07-27-2020, 01:39 PM   #4
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Just finished a two week trip up to Wyoming in our 2019 Laramie 2500. The truck is way overkill for our Bambi but what a relaxed towing experience. Stayed off the interstates whenever possible, set the adaptive speed control and just enjoyed the scenery and miles fly by. Truck does everything well and is one comfortable ride. Only concern with the vehicle is the CP4 fuel pump which has a reputation of coming apart if you get a tank of bad fuel. I keep up with the filter maintenance (there are two fuel filters) and try to purchase fuel at stations that look like they have higher volume usage. I got 327,000 miles out of my last Ram before it was totaled. I think they make a great truck.
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Old 07-27-2020, 03:35 PM   #5
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2020 30' International
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We have a 2019 3500 Limited with high output Cummins engine. We pull a 30 ft International. We decided on 3500 (1 ton) instead of 2500 because we wanted the higher payload (3,594 lbs) and the ride was basically the same.

Likes:
+ plenty of power - towing and accelerating up hills/mountains around Asheville made me chuckle...
+ engine brake - love the feeling that I have plenty of stopping ability
+ 12 inch screen
+ interior fit and finish

Areas for improvement:
- Sometimes transmission shifts arenít the smoothest - a software update helped.
- Not a fan of Ram dealerships and service. Probably my issue, due to higher expectations
- Rear step option is small and cumbersome.

Overall, love the truck and would buy again without hesitation.
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Old 07-28-2020, 07:36 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AdvToaster View Post
Are you looking at 1500 or HD (2500/3500)? There are some huge differences.
1500...I am sure my total trailer weight will be under 5k.
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Old 07-28-2020, 08:09 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by islandtrader View Post
1500...I am sure my total trailer weight will be under 5k.
Ahh, in that case I donít have much input for you, other than the interiors are nice. Iíve not driven nor towed with a 1500.

Good luck!
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Old 07-28-2020, 10:18 AM   #8
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2016 28' Flying Cloud
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Recently purchased a new 2019 2500 Mega Cab Hemi (gas) Limited and I love this truck.

I've never wanted a truck except to tow our 28ft Flying Cloud. Our first truck was a 2016 Nissan Titan V8 Platinum. It was a beautiful truck but was tight on payload and rear GAWR. I liked but didn't love it.

Hower this ram is a great truck and tows/stops the Airstream easily. Better yet I am well under the weight limits of the truck.

It has all the luxury features and rides nicely. The only drawback so far is backing into parking spots, but that's any modern truck. They are huge, but the surround view cameras make backing into a spot fairly easy.

Chris
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Old 07-28-2020, 10:25 AM   #9
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2020 30' International
Ingleside , Illinois
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To tow our 2020 International Serenity 30' we purchased a 2020 Ram 2500 Limited 4x4 Megacab with 6.4 Hemi, 4.10 rear axle with limited slip and the air suspension. It has been the perfect tow vehicle so far. The room in the MegaCab was the deciding feature for us. We looked at Ford (high cost spartan interior), Chevy (new one has ugly front end), GMC (Denali was our second choice) but the RAM interior was WAY nicer. When you look at the amount of time you spend in the cab, interior matters!
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Old 07-28-2020, 11:05 AM   #10
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2018 22' Sport
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2019 Ram 1500 pulling a 27í Tommy

Love the Air Ride. The RamBox is awesome, but it prevents you from adding an accordion tonneau w/ bike rack.
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Old 07-28-2020, 11:16 AM   #11
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It looks like most of the posts here are for 2500 not 1500 Rams as asked above ... interested to hear more from the Ram 1/2 tons ...
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Old 07-28-2020, 11:50 AM   #12
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Delray Beach , Florida
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Quote:
Originally Posted by islandtrader View Post
I know there are a bizillion opinions on tow vehicles. So I thought I would try a different approach.

I know what I want for a physical plant! All I am looking for right now is what 2 or 3 things do you really like about your Ram (2018 and newer).
What 2 or 3 things don't you like? And finally what do you wish you should have on your truck.

Ford and GMC/Chevy guys stay out of this post I will ask the same thing of you folks in a week or two. (Chevy/GMC already posted)

Just getting ready to make a choice in the next few months and all 3 have nice features and power plants. So now I want to hear what you think about the choice you made.

P.S. No bias on my part, right now I have a Ridgeline (06)
I own a 2018 Ram 2500 Mega Cab Cumins. Great power plant, it tows our 27’ Flying Cloud with no issues. So what don’t I like? The Radio/Electronics/ Hot Spot/USB are a POS. So back to the dealer I go.
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Old 07-28-2020, 12:34 PM   #13
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2011 27' FB Classic
Houston , TX
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My Ram 1500 has done great with our trailer, which is substantially larger than what you'll be towing.

What I like:
Ram Boxes (they are the best - so convenient for everyday use)
Smooth ride when not towing (due to independent rear coils)
Great, comfortable interior

What I don't like as much:
may need the coil-mounted air bags for ride leveling while towing
no bed access gimmick
no trailer backup feature (though I think it may be available in 2020)

Good luck - I don't think you can go wrong with any of the Big Three.
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Old 07-28-2020, 01:13 PM   #14
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Watch the Edmunds video - 2019 RAM + Airstream

Islandtrader, we owned both a 2019 RAM 1500 and 2500 so Iíve got current experience.

Check out the video from Edmundís of a 2019 RAM 1500 towing a 25í Airstream Flying Cloud. Dan covered everything youíd like to know about the truck.

I loved the 1500 and would have kept it had we not been over on payload. The pluses are independent front suspension vs. solid axle on the 2500. The optional air suspension is 4 wheel on the 1500 vs. rear only on the 2500. We had coils and the ride was fine.

The new RAM interior is a cut above. Another plus of the 1500 was the totally new cab with flat rear floor. The 2500 has the carry-over older cab. The 12Ē display is awesome for NAV too.

On the road, the Hemi with the new 8 speed ZF trans (2019 and up) is a great combination. Skip the eTorque option and put it towards air suspension or RAM boxes. The truck was quick and handled more like an SUV than our 2500. I miss that! But, weíre getting the same or better MPG with the 6.4 Hemi and a 1000 lbs more truck with the 2500.

Get the Safety Group (Adaptive Cruise, autonomous braking) and the Tow Technology package. On ours, the towing mirrors deleted the 360 camera feature. They may have fixed that now.

Overall, the RAM is an awesome vehicle. *I was a GM mechanic and never would have considered anything else until I drove the RAM. Changed my mind!

Good luck with your decision!
Jeff
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Old 07-28-2020, 10:33 PM   #15
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2006 25' Safari FB SE
Scottsdale , Arizona
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2019 Ram 1500

I can recommend the new Ram for a 25í or less airstream. Our 2019 1500 Big Horn isnít the decked out top of the line version, but it it does have a 1747 lb payload. Itís a short box, crew cab, 4x4 with the tow package and 3.92 gears. We have a few nice options: power seat and peddles, dual A/C, front and rear park sensors, blind spot sensors that go back 30í. No sunroof, nice cool cloth seats, no 12Ē display. No 20Ē wheels. No air suspension, No E-torque. A loaded Ram doesnít have a lot of payload. But itís is quiet, rides great, And is a great daily driver. I think itís a better daily driver than my Chrysler 300s was. Plus it has no issues with our 25í Safari and 6 % grades, up or down. The Hemi and 8 speed do the job well. Weíve towed over 6000 miles in 18 months. No complaints. Yes the 2500 diesels will out run you on steep grades, but my foot isnít planted on the floor and Iím at the speed limit. Easy. But the diesels are bigger, taller, harder to park. And have twice the torque.

Have I towed with a late model Ford or Chevy? Nope. But Iíll bet they do the job well too. Itís just that the Ram dealer took some serious money off the price of the truck and threw in the running boards, bed liner, and bed cover too. Being red helped too.
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Old 07-29-2020, 06:51 PM   #16
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Gainesville , Florida
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islandtrader - Impressive rebuild work on your AS. Size/weight seems like a 1500 is a good fit for your current plans. I went big because I may upsize to a larger AS out in time. I also went big because I got a really great deal on new left over inventory.

I'm have a 2018 Ram 3500 MegaCab 4WD CTD (6.7 Cummins) - SLT trim. The RAM has rear self-leveling air suspension and the uprated Aisen 6SP automatic transmission. It is overkill for my 2015 FC RBQ, but here is what I like:

1. No sway (at all) being passed by anything under any conditions (so far).
2. Great (power folding) rear view mirrors.
3. Great brakes (including automatic exhaust brake).
4. Endless cargo capacity.
5. Huge rear cab storage area with seat backs folded down.
6. Decent cabin interior.
7. Great entertainment system electronics integration.
8. Integrated Trailer Break System.
9. Flawless engine/drivetrain (so far).
10. Suspension gives a smooth ride.

Challenges:
1. It is LONG and WIDE. Not a viable choice for a daily driver. Driving the truck alone takes nearly as much focus as towing with it.
2. Access to the inner rear tires for air pressure adjustment is a PITA, as is maintaining 6 tires vs 4.
3. BIG & HEAVY delivers stability, but you pay for it at the pump.
4. Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel Quality is really bad in the U.S. You need to run lubricity additive which adds one more chore to every fill up. Fill ups involve fuel, lubricity additive, and occasionally diesel exhaust fluid. For many situations, a HD Gasoline engines delivers all the power you need. Diesels will last longer because US Gasoline is a low quality fuel.

Modern HD truck diesels are sensitive to fuel quality. In my opinion you have to boost lubricity and consider carrying some cetane booster if you get stuck with some really bad fuel. You cannot cut any corners with respect to preventative maintenance. If you do, you'll regret it. This challenge is more than some diesel owners are ready for. You can't go cheap if you drive a diesel.

The reward for going diesel is plenty of power and a smooth, relatively quiet ride. The truck I have actually has "active noise suppression" built into the entertainment system to help eliminate engine noise that get through the sound insulation. It is an extremely quiet ride for an HD diesel. There is a turbo under the hood, but you never hear it. I know a lot of diesel owners love the macho sound of their engines & exhaust systems. The stock Ram is quiet, which fits the bill for me.

I have a lot of experience with large marine diesel engines, so I'm not intimidated by todays complex engines. I have the knowledge to filter out the bull-**** un-necessary services that many diesel shops try to pad their service work with. I fully understand the importance of preventative maintenance, and more importantly not "modifying" diesel engines for higher performance. Aftermarket performance enhancements cost you engine reliability and longevity.


Good Luck with your decision,
Paul
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Old 08-01-2020, 08:52 AM   #17
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2020 25' Flying Cloud
Knoxville , Tennessee
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As a young kid I drove giant coal hauling machines capable of 70 ton loads, on narrow roads, in conditions where most of the day was spent being pushed by a Cat D-9, so it’s humorous to read of the difficulties involved with driving a modern 3/4 ton pickup around town. No disrespect, everyone has a different experience!
My recently trade from a great Tundra to a RAM 2500 Cummins has been entirely satisfactory. Our 25 ft. FC was all the trailer the Tundra wanted to pull and the RAM doesn’t notice it’s there. The engine brake is phenomenal and we plan to put it to good use in the Rockies and Tetons. I know what a load can do to a vehicle in an emergency situation, probably because of my hauling experiences. I hope everyone remembers you won’t always be on a flat, dry surface. Great tips from other members made that point and I’m just passing on what I’ve learned.
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Old 08-05-2020, 12:28 PM   #18
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Morton , Illinois
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New Ram 1500

I just spent three day dealing with Ram salespeople. Truck is great but six salepeople did not understand max Payload vs max towing. I looked at 6 Ram 1500 with the 5.7 V8 and the 3.92 rear end. What I saw on the door sticker was the max payload went from 1310 lbs to 1818 lbs, for the same model truck. Just watch what the salepeople try and talk you into don't take their word on anything you can't see. I drive a F 150 XLT but will be going to a RAM once they find me one with the correct payload rating of 1800lbs minimum.
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Old 08-05-2020, 04:27 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by islandtrader View Post
I know there are a bizillion opinions on tow vehicles. So I thought I would try a different approach.

I know what I want for a physical plant! All I am looking for right now is what 2 or 3 things do you really like about your Ram (2018 and newer).
What 2 or 3 things don't you like? And finally what do you wish you should have on your truck.

Ford and GMC/Chevy guys stay out of this post I will ask the same thing of you folks in a week or two. (Chevy/GMC already posted)

Just getting ready to make a choice in the next few months and all 3 have nice features and power plants. So now I want to hear what you think about the choice you made.

P.S. No bias on my part, right now I have a Ridgeline (06)
1500 Laramie 5.7 hemi. Pulling 5500lb. Absolutely no problems in any weather at any altitude. Bought used 50,000 miles ago and for some reason the dealer ordered this vehicle with no parking beeper alarm. Stupid omission.
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Old 08-05-2020, 09:13 PM   #20
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1998 31' Excella 1000
Simpsonville , South Carolina
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mckenej, you are having the same problem I had in 2015. You need to get the Ram 1500 Specifications sheets. Ram 1500 Towing SAE J2807 COMPLIANT and Ram 1500 PAYLOAD. This is where I looked up specs for my 2015 Ram 1500 4x2 Quad Cab 6ft 4in. bed 3.92 axle ratio, V-6 Ecodiesel. My specs: GCWR-14,750, GVWR-6,950, PAYLOAD-1610, Base weight-5,340, Towing-8,950. My Airstream 1998 Excello 31ft. It's empty weight is 7,900 lbs. It typically weighs 8,600 lbs loaded and 1,000 lbs tongue weight. That leaves 610 lbs for me, the wife,and dog, 360 all 3 of us. I load the truck light and the trailer heavy. I upgraded from 4,000 to 5,000 lb Dexter axles in 2017. Trailer specs was 8,300 loaded with old 4,000 lb axles. We've traveled 40 states and parts of Canada with this rig. I have 76,000 miles on truck, btw it has 17" wheels. I know this is lengthy, but my point is: you will NEVER find what you are looking for on a dealer lot. Look up the specs and order you your truck, I did. I dealt with 4 dealers, 2 out of state online and 2 locally. I went to one and told him what I wanted and he got me a (ruff estimate). He printed it out, then I took info and shopped that price. I save $5,100.00 by doing that. The spec pic you posted is for those tire and wheel ratings, not the truck specs. Mine where similar with P rating tires, I replaced with Michilen LT tires with greater payload. I've looked at my old chart and it shows one application with 1,820 lbs and one 1,780 lbs payload. After I got my deal I gave dealer $500.00 ordered truck and 4 or 5 weeks later it was here. It's a BEAST of a towing truck and my daily driver. 15 mpg towing and 20 city 29--30 highway on cruise. Hope this is useful info. Good luck. Ken
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