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Old 09-09-2015, 07:04 AM   #1
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Travel Vehicle Comparison RAM 1500 vs RAM 2500

Thought I'd start a thread that I will eventually put some data in concerning our truck and trailer combination and pulling the camper.
We have the 2013 SF32RL fifth wheel and for the past 2 years, have pulled it with a 2011 Ram 1500, 5.7L Hemi. We just bought a new 2015 RAM 2500 Heavy Duty, 68RFE transmission, 6.7L Cummins turbo diesel, 3:72 rear end, auto-leveling air suspension, Jacobsen Engine Break, Black-Out Edition. I know...night and day...But I thought someone, somewhere may find this useful. As of today, we haven't pulled the camper with the new 2500 because the camper has been in for service for the last 3 weeks. That's another story!
I'll start with what I know about the 2011 RAM. This was the Outdoorsman package that we purchased new. We had airbags added to the suspension, ran 20" Firestone tires, 3:92 rear end and on average daily driving, obtained about 17-19 mpg. When we hooked up to the camper, the truck squatted some, but hardly noticeable. Overall performance wasn't what I would consider terrible but not good by a long shot. The truck would pull the camper well even on hills but... gas mileage dropped to between 6-7 mpg. The rear end of the truck felt a little loose when on bumpy or grooved type roads and I would have to run the RPM's up to near 4500 on hills to maintain speed. We pulled the camper from Vermont to Alabama last year when I relocated for work, and since then we've camped in Florida and Louisiana with it. Vermont is a pretty "hilly" state and we pulled just fine while up there. We camped throughout Vermont and Maine and again, never had any issues pulling or overheating. That's pretty much the same story down here in the South. Much flatter terrain, smoother roads and no issues but the MPG still was between 6-7.
Next week we're getting out camper back from service and we've planned a trip to Florida to test both the camper and truck out. As most of you probably know, I'm like a kid in a candy store just waiting to pull this camper with the new truck!! We've been averaging 17-19 mpg with the 2500 over just the last 2 weeks but we've idled ALOT and haven't been on any extended interstate drives. Still, I don't think we'll see much better mpg from what I've read from other owners. My biggest interests are seeing just what type of mpg I get with the camper, what the RPM's will run at pulling hills and if I still feel that "loose" sway feeling in the rear end.
I hope some of you find this useful and I'll update it right after our first trip.
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Old 09-09-2015, 07:22 AM   #2
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Travel Vehicle Comparison RAM 1500 vs RAM 2500

I have a 2013 RAM 2500, same engine and trans and yours.

I pull a 15,000 Toy Hauler and I get average of 10mpg when towing.

When not towing I get 17-19 as you suggested round town. On long interstate runs, I get 21+

I have Firestone air bags on my truck to help with leveling, but not sure I needed them. I installed them before I got the trailer knowing it would be heavy, but again not sure I need them.

Truck pulls the 5th wheel like its on rails. I have a TrailAire Pin Box with the Inflatable bladder to help smooth out the ride. IT IS WORTH EVERY PENNY. I feel no jerking back and forth, no major bumps in the road; essentially no chucking.

RAM 2500 does a heck of a job.

That said, only for the redundancy of having dual rear wheels and tires, we may upgrade to the 3500 in a few years, but that's a big "IF".

Can't say enough good things about the 2500.


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Old 09-09-2015, 07:52 AM   #3
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You will notice a big difference now that you have the right tool for the job.
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Old 09-09-2015, 08:34 AM   #4
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Thanks for your input!! I'm glad to hear that I can expect a vast difference between the 2 vehicles, and I've always been interested in the TrailAire pin box. When pulling hills, does the truck seem to be working at it or more just travelling along?
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Old 09-09-2015, 09:14 AM   #5
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Now your biggest concern won't be will I make it up that long hill it will be making sure you don't speed.

Nothing beat arriving early.
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Old 09-09-2015, 09:36 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gcross1468 View Post
Thanks for your input!! I'm glad to hear that I can expect a vast difference between the 2 vehicles, and I've always been interested in the TrailAire pin box. When pulling hills, does the truck seem to be working at it or more just travelling along?

I know this won't help... But... It depends on the grade of the hill.

I'm headed to CO next week for 10 days, which will no doubt test the combined rig.

That said, the 2500 hasn't struggled at all so far.

Matt.


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Old 09-09-2015, 09:37 AM   #7
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Oh, the exhaust brake is AMAZING! Hardly touch my brakes at all.


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Old 09-09-2015, 10:11 AM   #8
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Oh, the exhaust brake is AMAZING! Hardly touch my brakes at all.


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Fantastic!! That's exactly what I was hoping for.
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Old 09-09-2015, 02:09 PM   #9
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On the hi-way I leave mine in 6th gear, on cruise control at 62 MPH, 1900 RPM and get about 15 MPG. No problem accelerating up any hills. Exhaust brake is great, I'm only on my second set of brake pads, truck has 352,000 Km on it. You won't want go back to gas.
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Old 09-20-2015, 09:21 AM   #10
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I wanted to let everyone know that we ended up trading our Sunset Trail Reserve SF32RL in on a much bigger and heavier 5er but as for the difference in pull vehicles....no comparison. Pulling the 32RL with our old RAM 1500 5.7L hemi compared to pulling this much heavier unit with the 6.7L Cummins is night and day. The Cummins makes like there isn't even a camper back there.
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