Kent Sundling: Mr. Truck 11-28-11
Outdoorsman model 1500 Ram, crew cab is a loaded model. I love the express down and up electric windows, it makes it easy for those quick elk pictures while in the Rockies. This truck is ready for elk season. This media truck had a gun rack in the bedrail weather poof RamBox storage for two rifles with scopes. A better option over guns in scabbards on the truck floor. The Outdoorsman model has a complete trailer option package with mirrors, brake controller, heavy duty engine and transmission cooling, the Hemi 5.7L MDS, 3.92 axle ratio, 6.5 screen GPS and backup camera. My favorite option, double folding center console storage that folds up for the middle seat. So it can be a six passenger truck, hard to find, which comes in handy when we are combining trips to save gas. We keep adding grandchildren, I need all the seats I can get.
The Ram was level with an empty three horse Logan Coach, though I’d recommend a two horse for the nice riding rear coil suspension without WDH. Rear coils, have more movement with a trailer than leaf springs. A weight distributing hitch would be good. Ram rides like a car, with coils, independent front suspension with rack and pinion steering – so much better than a heavy duty 3/4 ton. The dome light has three settings, bright, less bright for sleeping kids which is also the settings for the light in the GPS screen. I like to leave my headlights on in the daytime but that can mess with seeing the GPS screen, in this Ram, you can adjust the screen for lights and daytime with the dome switch.
My driving produced 11.6 mpg with a trailer in the mountains. Which is what you expect from a gas engine. Diesels shine when loaded and gas engines win driving empty.
Rated by the EPA at 13 mpg city and 19 mpg highway. It gets that high on the highway by the MDS shutting off four cylinders when it can, sensing load and terrain. On level highways with no load, it will run on just half it’s cylinders for impressive fuel mileage.
We toured Poudre Canyon and Red Feathers looking for new scenery, herded cattle and visited horses by Red Feathers Lakes. The Ram was a pleasure to drive, the Hemi charged up the grades, a capable trailer tower.
Retail sticker price is $44,310 for the SLT crew cab with premium cloth on a 40/20/40 front seat with a double storage tray center console, five-speed auto, front and rear rubber mats, (the good kind for hunting mud) Outdoorsman Group which has auto dimming outside mirrors (nice), power lumbar in the seat, black door handles, black mirrors, black grill and bumper, 115 volt outlet, 32 gallon tank, (a big deal on a 1/2 ton) anti-spin 3.92 rear axle ratio, skid plates, towing mirrors, Alpine surround sound, nine speakers and subwoofer under the rear seat. It has GPS, voice command, trailer brake controller, sprayed-in bedliner, power rear sliding window and much more. Call it a super loaded truck.
Aluminum XT Logan Coach Three Horse Bumper Pull Trailer
Like the Ram above, this is a super loaded, Logan Coach Aluminum XT three horse bumper pull trailer, galvanized steel frame which is Vortex coated. The skin, roof and bows are aluminum. It has a good looking slant load double rear door trailer with the extra toys like 35 gallon corner water tank, hose, E-Z stall tie straps, feed bags, muck rake, boot box, clothes and hat racks and such. This is not a recession trailer like you’ve seen with other trailers that are stripped down for price point. Logan has one of the biggest stalls in the industry. It also has an eight year structural warranty and two year hitch to bumper warranty.
Dexter torsion axles with self adjusting brakes takes away the maintenance worry. Aluminum skin is attached with 3M bonding, this keeps the skin from ripping at rivets with expansion and contraction from the seasons. The roof is one piece aluminum with an expansion channel for the roof to flex without tearing. It has LED marker and tail lights, swing-out saddle rack with strut assist and insulated triple walls in stall area. The floors are self-draining with Whiz Proof aluminum flooring that won’t let the urine puddle under the mats and the E-Z reach drop down stall door latches can be reached by anyone.
Kent Sundling (alias “Mr. Truck”) spent 20 years wearing out pickup trucks as only a farmer could. With over 1 million miles pulling trailers, Mr. Truck has a unique collection of truck and farm stories that will educate and entertain. Mr.Truck gave up his bib overalls and John Deeres in his quest to save the farm and moved to the big city to sell trucks. After selling trucks for 10 years, this farmer now writes for eight magazines and owns over two dozen Web sites, helping folks find the “Right Truck.” If you have a question for Mr. Truck, you may contact him at his Web site, http://www.mrtruck.net.