Mr. Truck 7-29-13
July 29, 2013
The 2013 Ram 3500 will change the truck and trailer industry. The top end trailer size for pickups will go from 20k to 30k capacity quickly.
It doesn't seem that long ago when one ton dually trucks could tow 15,000 pounds, then in the 2011 model year it went up to over 22,000 pounds and now Ram is boosting 30,000 pounds for a gooseneck trailer. A big dramatic jump in towing capacity, we new it was coming. In the 70s we called a decked out one ton dually a "Cowboy Kenworth," now we're over half way to the big rigs. CB and an air horn should be options on this Laramie Longhorn. The fifth wheel RV trailer towing capacity is less, probably because very few fifth wheel hitches go over 24,000 pounds where as most gooseneck 2 5/16 ball hitches are already rated to tow 30,000 pounds. The 16980 pound Cimarron trailer handled well in the mountains on 7 percent grades over 11,000 feet on I-70 in the Colorado Rockies.
With the changes to this 2013 3500 dually, diesel option for the 1500 Ram this fall, 8-speed automatic, air suspension for all Rams by next winter and the 6.4L Hemi, Ram could move up to the No. 2 selling truck by next year, with Ford at DefCon 3 preparing for a preemptive strike to hang to the No. 1 spot for awhile longer. It's an exciting time in the truck world.
This new 2013 Ram 3500 dually is equipped for towing larger trailers better than anyone else.
Stopping the big loads is made easy with a new automatic exhaust brake along with transmission grade shifting and it even works well with cruise control. The integrated trailer brake control moved to the right side, it's a big deal and will save lives. When you're in a situation with the trailer swaying, coming down mountain roads, or getting cut off from an on ramp, being able to control the trailer brakes separate from the trucks brakes can get your trailer back in control. You have less than a second to grab the manual control on the brake controller in emergencies and having the integrated trailer brake controller on the right side in plain site saves precious time. You won't find a semi truck with the trailer brake control on the left side, (are you listening GM?).
Four individual trailer settings in the center display, high and low for electric brakes, high and low for electric over hydraulic brakes on your trailer. We know the truck has power but more important it is equipped to stop heavy trailers.
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Tonneau cover helps with fuel mileage, folded forward with a gooseneck the trailer came close but didn't touch on turning corners with a trailer.
New for 2013 DEF for emissions holds eight gallons, while cab and chassis have had them since 2011. That eight gallons extra helps the small 32 gallon fuel tank. The Ram used DEF with the 17,000 pound trailer we towed in the Rockies, much less when just driving the truck.
Primary and secondary fuel filters with water drain is new for 2013, a big improvement. I'm in Colorado and fuel condensation in the tank is common in the winter.
Thick steering wheel feels too big to me, though I think the Ram is the easiest truck to drive over hundreds of miles a day.
If you're in your wisdom years like me and live the turn signal on, a message comes up in the display telling you the blinker is still blinking.
The Backup camera screens curves the alignment lines on screen with steering wheel movement. Great for backing up to a bumper pull trailer, also optional gooseneck camera where the cargo light is.
Ram 3500 Laramie Longhorn Crew Cab 4×4 is $68,960. All luxury for a truck with muscle. It has heated and cooled seats plus a heated steering wheel. Lift the rear seats and there are compartments underneath and lights on the seat bottom. Leather seats with laser stitching, saddle bag pockets on the back of the front bucket seats, similar to King Ranch Ford. Rear park assist, electronic stability control helps an unloaded truck on slick roads. Anti-spin diff, Integrated trailer brake control, automatic headlights, Projector headlamps, LED tail lights, remote start, power adjustable floor pedals, remote locking tailgate, 18 inch 10 ply radials, sprayed in bedliner, automatic windshield wipers, fifth wheel/gooseneck towing group, has gooseneck ball and two plugs that go into the fifth wheel slots to use for safety chains, they take a big hook. Tonneau cover that folds to the front to use a gooseneck trailer. Optional 4.10 axle, power rear window with defrost, power moon roof, dual alternators, aluminum finned rear differential cover and much, much more.
Thanks to http://www.TranswestTruckTrailerRV.com for the Cimarron trailer.
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. ❖