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Thread: Ram Diesel 2500 or 3500 and required rear

  1. #1
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    Ram Diesel 2500 or 3500 and required rear

    To All, any help would be appreciated.
    Wife and I have decided on the 303. Have been reviewing the Dodge Ram 2500 and 3500. How important is it to have the 373 rear over the 342. Will go with the Diesel 6.7L I6. Any other suggestions as to these truck will be greatly appreciated. We are moving down from a Class A to the fifth wheel and I do not have any experience or knowledge of what is necessary for hauling a fifth wheel.

    Thanks in advance for you input.

    New to the forum and new to fifth wheel rv's.

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    Site Sponsor thompsons 369rl's Avatar
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    Welcome. Diesel is definitely the way to go for heavy towing. I believe the 373 is geared more toward towing. With the 303 GVWR at 11,995, the 2500 should handle the job but if it were me, I would go with the 3500 in case you decide to upgrade in the future. Either way, do some research on the payload and towing capacity of both trucks. Short or long box will work but the long box will give you a little more turning radius if you choose not to use a sliding hitch. I have a short box with a slider hitch but have never been in a situation where I needed to use the slider. There is plenty of good info on line that will help you make a decision. Don't depend on the sales person. Most of them really don't know and will tell you just about anything to make the sale. Good luck and welcome to the forum.
    Andy & Julie
    Gig Harbor, Wa
    2014 Solitude 369RL S/N 104
    2012 F350 SWR 4x4 CC 6.7 Diesel

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    Either the 2500 or 3500 will do the job. Difference between gears can be measured in economy. The 373's will give you better towing ability, the 342's will give you better fuel milage. My 2013 Ford F250 6.7L LB 4x4 diesel has 355 gears and handles my 303RLS just fine. Fuel milage towing is around 11 MPG. I had a 2004 6.0 2x4 diesel with 373 ratio, and I averaged 9-10 MPG depending on how fast I was towing. If that 6.0 was a 4x4 my fuel milage would have been lower.
    Don & Judy
    Charlotte - SPCA Special


    2014 Reflection 303RLS
    2019 F350 Dually CC LB 6.7L

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    Site Team WhittleBurner's Avatar
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    Bed lengths are different from one manufacturer to another. The short beds are Ford 81.8, Chevy 78.86 and Dodge is 76.3. My for by the numbers is just enough not to be a problem. My niece and her husband have a dodge and they did have contact when they didn't use their slider.
    Marcy & Gary
    2014 Grand Design - Reflection 303RLS
    2015 GMC Denali 3500 Duramax Longbed SRW
    2003 F350 - retired
    Michigan
    We're in trouble now, the dog are bloggin'!
    https://3dogsandatrailer.wordpress.com/


  5. #5
    Site Sponsor ACDW-Ottawa's Avatar
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    Welcome to the forum and enjoy your trailer. Grand Design after sales service is second to none!

    On to your question about tow vehicles. I suggest spending the money up front to make sure you buy the truck with the right options and comfort to avoid trading it in later. A larger loan or longer payments up front is better than loosing money on changing to another truck because your not happy with it. Also, I'm of the mindset "be prepared".

    I have a 2010 Dodge RAM 3500 SLT Mega Cab with a 4:10 differential, short bed (I believe is 6'-2" long) and 4x4 with the Diesel Cummings engine. I actually am kicking myself for not splurging for the Laramie because of the climate controls and the little things like memory for the seats and mirrors because my wife and I take turns hauling our Solitude. The jake brake comes in the 2500 and 3500 and is th greatest thing since sliced bread!

    Buy the most power that you can so that you will be able to pull your current trailer and have room to grow into a larger trailer. You will also be prepared for all types of terrain and weather to explore the wonderful places to see in Canada and the United States. You will be able to keep up wit h traffic and drive up and down the steepest mountains and in all weather conditions with confidence. obviously, pulling over to wait out bad weather is best, but until you can find a safe spot to stop, you have the power and safety to get through it.

    The Dodge Ram 3500 Diesel is the way to go for the most torque and the Dodge RAM does not require DEF (diesel exhaust fluid) like the other trucks! One less thing to worry about. While diesel engine is more expensive, it requires less maintenance than a gasoline engine. Change the oils and filters and your good to go and go and go ...

    The 4:10 differential provides the most torque available. Im pulling more than 15,000 Lbs when my trailer is loaded and I want safety and ease of performance. A 3:73 won't save you significant money in fuel. This truck is made to work and consumes fuel even when not loaded but it is a fun comfortable truck!

    Combining a diesel engine, the 4:10 diff, 4x4 option gives you the most power you can get for current and future needs. Yes a 4x4 reduces the towing weight some, but with a 1 ton its negligible.

    We opted for the Mega Cab which unfortunately only comes with a short bed (would have preferred a long bed) so one of us can sleep comfortably while the other drives because sometimes we need to drive long hours to get past the snow belt into warmer weather or need to drive a long distance. The rear seats fold down to a bed thats 3-1/2 feet wide and a foam mattress is really comfy

    Unless you need the seating for people or switch up drivers like we do, the long bed with the large rear cab is the better option. Less hassles with towing, more storage room in the bed, and you can carry longer kayaks on the truck's roof without impeding turn clearance with the trailer's cap.

    If you do go Short bed, beware of the automatic slider hitches. While they are more convenient, the truck and trailer must be lined up (less than 10 degrees) to hook up or unhook the trailer's pin. In other words, you can't back up the trailer into a tight spot and unhook if the truck is at a 70 degree angle. if you like pull throughs than your fine, but if your like me that likes to back into nicer wooded areas, the manual slider hitch is better. I have a hijacker auto pivot, manual slider hitch. Pull-Rite is fine too. I prefer the Hijacker for the positive locking bar that holds the trailer pin in place rather than jaws that clamp around the pin found in most other hitches.

    I am running with single rear wheels (SRW) which I find easier in the snow and to park without the hips; however, I am on the line with my weight ratings with the 17" tires. However, now if you prefer SRW, there are larger wheels available from the factory.

    Other options to consider: Retractible power side steps. Indispensable if you have a health condition or just about for anyone to climb up into the 2500/3500 as its high off the ground. in any case some kind of side steps are necessary. also a back step is useful to climb up into the truck bed. The 7 pin power connector would be better in the bed than under the bumper. Definitely check out the "Ram boxes" to hold equipment in the bed. I wish I had them but they were not offered in 2010. A back up camera is also a good item to have on the trailer to see behind you. I keep mine on al the time. Also consider a GPS that you can plug in the height, length, and weight of your RV to ensure you stay on the right roads for your rig. I have had to back up a few times to avoid low clearance bridges - not fun.

    Once, when I moved over to the right to make more room for a car, the trailer wheels slipped off the road up on the blue ridge parkway and the RAM pulled it back on the road without any hesitation. Apparently the RAM wasn't worried, but I was After that, I let other vehicles pull over and I knew I made the right decision with my RAM 3500.

    My wife and I have both been towing a similar sized trailer for the last 4 years and we are happy with the Dodge Ram 3500 and its features. Its power and comfortable cab makes it so easy to tow that it's easy to forget that you have 40 feet of trailer behind you. My wife's idea to get a rear camera on the trailer was a great idea.
    Aaron & Donna
    2014 Solitude 369RLS #1067
    2010 Dodge RAM 3500 SLT Mega-Cab 4x4 SRW 6.7L Cummins Diesel
    AMP Power Step Running Boards, Bed Step, & Bed Step2; Garmin RV760 GPS & EEZRV TPMS; Truck Covers USA Roll Cover
    Firestone Rear Air Suspension System, on-board compressor with 5 Gallon tank and Air port; Hijacker 16K Ultra Slider 5th Wheel Hitch, Dee Zee Truck Tailgate Assist; DU-HA Humpstor Truck Bed Storage Box; Voyager Rear Back Up Camera System
    YAKUPSŪ Vertical Kayak Rack and Custom Lippert 2" Receiver; Sailun S637ST tires; WeBoost Cell Phone Booster.

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    All Cummins Rams now use DEF. Since 2013. I don't know that 3:73's are still available, just 3:42 and 4:10. 4:10 would definately be overkill for the 303. If the 2500 has enough payload capacity for a loaded truck and the trailler's pin weight, it might be the nicer option. Newest Ram 2500's have coil spring rear suspensions and will have a much nicer ride than the leaf spring 3500 when empty. Again, will depend on the trucks payload. Payload is the biggest limiting factor for 3/4 trucks when it comes to handling a 5th wheel's pin weight, not towing capacity.
    Nick and Nancy
    Abbotsford BC
    2011 Ram 3500
    2015 Reflection 303RLs

  7. #7
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    Our 2011 Ram handles our 303 very well. Our first trip with it we were loaded to the gills. Full water for dry camping, generator, inflatable boat with outbord motor, gas cans for both, golf clubs, fishing gear etc. Our route had us climbing 9% grades with 30 mph turns at the bottom. While we were in third gear at times, we could always accelerate, engine and transmission temperatures were no problem in the 85 degree temperatures. Our truck has 3:73 but the new standard output trucks have 150 lb ft more torque and the HO version has 200 lb ft more torque and 35 more HP. 3:42 gears should be more than adequate with either one.
    Nick and Nancy
    Abbotsford BC
    2011 Ram 3500
    2015 Reflection 303RLs

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    Have you looked at the competition for 3/4 ton/1 ton trucks? They're all good trucks, however I'm still particular to the SuperDuty Fords. Ford still sells more diesel F250/F350/F450's than Dodge and GM combined, and there are reasons.

    And with Ford coming out with their new aluminum F150's this Fall, they're pushing heavy SuperDuty sales incentives in order to maintain leadership in the light truck retail market. This should be a great year to buy a new truck--no matter what the brand.

    The level of dealer parts and service is especially important on a vehicle that I intend to run for the long run. The Dodge/Chrysler/Jeep/Ram dealer base is few and far between in many parts of the country, and their parts are much more expensive than the other manufacturers' parts. Ford (and GM) dealers are everywhere, and they can afford to sell their trucks more reasonably than a Ram dealer because they sell substantially more cars and trucks--living on volume.

    If I was buying another truck, it'd be exactly what I have today: Ford F250 Crewcab Lariat diesel short wheelbase single rear wheel with 6 3/4' bed and the camper package. Mine has the leather captain's chairs, and a back seat like a limousine. I had my first wheel alignment at 115K miles, and one tie rod end was needed. I changed to Hawk LTS brakes (once) and wore out a set of Bilstein shocks. And I've never had a warranty claim.

    After all, the value in a diesel comes in long term ownership. If I put mine on the retail market for sale, I couldn't answer the phone fast enough as so many buyers are looking for good diesels that have never been worked hard.

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    IF you're buying new, then a 2500 or 3500 SRW only comes in the 3.42 gear. That's what I have. I pull my 369RL with a 2013 3500. I love it. If the 3.73 was an option, I may have opted for it. I will tell you though that I've never been out gunned. I have pulled my trailer loaded heavy and a gross combined weight of 24,520. I pulled that from Albuquerque to Loveland, CO. Pulled like a dream. If it were my money, I'd do the 2500, unless you're thinking you may upgrade later. The 3500 has a great ride too, but is definitely more truck like.

    The new Ford engine is nice, but the truck design is dated. I'd let Ford get a model year or two under their belt with the new Scorpion engine before I considered it. I have honestly tried to buy a Ford truck 5 times, but couldn't bring myself to do it. The first time I ended up with a Tundra, and then my Ram. I never, ever thought I'd buy a Chrysler product. In two years, I bought a 2012 Jeep and now my Ram. LOL

    Good luck, and be sure that no matter which of the HD trucks, you're going to be happy with how they pull.
    Ct..
    Chris Tretta
    Albuquerque, NM

    2013 Ram 3500 Megacab 4x4 6.7L Cummins
    2019 Grand Design 385GK
    2014 Grand Design 369RL - Sold
    Class A CDL, Doubles/Triples, Hazmat and Tanker endorsements


  10. #10
    Site Sponsor ACDW-Ottawa's Avatar
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    What is it like having to use DEF in the 2013 RAM 3500? What is the DEF tank size and how often do you have to fill it? Did they make the Diesel fuel tank smaller to accommodate the DEF tank?
    I wonder why they went with DEF because the Cummings engine met all the emission regulations without using DEF; at least in 2010.
    Wow, they sure have changed the Ram 3500 since I purchased mine in 2010.
    Aaron & Donna
    2014 Solitude 369RLS #1067
    2010 Dodge RAM 3500 SLT Mega-Cab 4x4 SRW 6.7L Cummins Diesel
    AMP Power Step Running Boards, Bed Step, & Bed Step2; Garmin RV760 GPS & EEZRV TPMS; Truck Covers USA Roll Cover
    Firestone Rear Air Suspension System, on-board compressor with 5 Gallon tank and Air port; Hijacker 16K Ultra Slider 5th Wheel Hitch, Dee Zee Truck Tailgate Assist; DU-HA Humpstor Truck Bed Storage Box; Voyager Rear Back Up Camera System
    YAKUPSŪ Vertical Kayak Rack and Custom Lippert 2" Receiver; Sailun S637ST tires; WeBoost Cell Phone Booster.

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