Is this 2018 ED the Right Tool for the Job? - Page 2

Is this 2018 ED the Right Tool for the Job?

This is a discussion on Is this 2018 ED the Right Tool for the Job? within the RAM 1500 Diesel Purchasing forums, part of the RAM 1500 EcoDiesel Forum category; I went from a Chevy 1500 with the 5.3 engine to the EcoD exactly because I tow a 6000# travel trailer. My towing mileage went ...

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  1. #11
    RAM Jr Member CanyonMan's Avatar
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    I went from a Chevy 1500 with the 5.3 engine to the EcoD exactly because I tow a 6000# travel trailer. My towing mileage went from 9-10 with the Chevy to ~16 with the EcoD. The Chevy would regularly rev 3000+ and as high as 3500 going up steep grades at 40 mph. I now rev around 1800-2000 on the flats and never get above 2500 even on 6% grades. I also climb those grades at 60+ mph now. I purposely bought a 2WD Tradesman quad cab with power windows, door lock and tow mirrors to keep my cargo capacity near 1700#. Fewer options equals more payload capacity. BTW I have the 3.92 gears which, when not towing, gets me 25+ mpg city and as high as 34 mpg highway. All in all it has been the best truck purchase I have ever made and will not go back to a gasser in the foreseeable future. My only other option would have been a 3/4 ton diesel for a daily driver which, at least to me, sucks.
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    RAM Boxes would be a good alternative to that trunk that everybody likes.
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  3. #13
    RAM Jr Member Last Train's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CanyonMan View Post
    I went from a Chevy 1500 with the 5.3 engine to the EcoD exactly because I tow a 6000# travel trailer. My towing mileage went from 9-10 with the Chevy to ~16 with the EcoD. The Chevy would regularly rev 3000+ and as high as 3500 going up steep grades at 40 mph. I now rev around 1800-2000 on the flats and never get above 2500 even on 6% grades. I also climb those grades at 60+ mph now. I purposely bought a 2WD Tradesman quad cab with power windows, door lock and tow mirrors to keep my cargo capacity near 1700#. Fewer options equals more payload capacity. BTW I have the 3.92 gears which, when not towing, gets me 25+ mpg city and as high as 34 mpg highway. All in all it has been the best truck purchase I have ever made and will not go back to a gasser in the foreseeable future. My only other option would have been a 3/4 ton diesel for a daily driver which, at least to me, sucks.
    CanyonMan
    Thanks for the feedback. It confirms what I've thought and what others are saying.

    And yep, payload is a key metric for analyzing towing capability for a mid-size or 1/2 ton truck. That's the number that will often be exceeded long before the tow weight rating. So one advantage for our Ridgeline is its payload rating of 1,477 lbs. I've got a spreadsheet that logs and calculates the weight of everything we put in and on our truck when we tow. For example, on our last trip to Red River, NM just a few weeks ago we weighed the night before departure - fully loaded for truck and trailer - and I had 302 lbs of payload still available on our Ridgeline. Truck was a champ towing our rig for almost 3,000 miles round trip at elevations of just under 10,000'.

    But for instance, we're thinking of getting an inverter generator that would be sufficient to run our 15,000 BTU A/C. I've shopped these things a bunch and for almost a year, so I've arrived at a genset that will weigh ~80 - ~90 lbs as a likely candidate. Well, that weight must be subtracted from the truck's payload capacity. So in the case of the '18 Ecodiesel we are considering, it is already about 90 lbs less payload capacity than our Ridgeline. Simple math says that that ED would now be within maybe 150 lbs or so of its payload capacity. Is that critical? I don't know since I've never towed our rig with an Ecodiesel - especially in that configuration. So how much margin would I need? Would stability, ride and handling be affected? Is it even relevant? That's where I appreciate you experienced Ecodiesel "towers" offering some input.

    Your example of getting a Tradesman would be ideal - if we could find such a combination - because that would solve the equation of needed payload and excellent Ecodiesel performance. Though we have enjoyed the vast array of electronic "nannies" and safety features on our current Ridgeline (the thing will virtually drive itself down the road - towing or not), we are not spoiled by those things and are willing to give up some technology for the sake of capability. We will keep our active search going and will be sure that we don't miss an opportunity to consider a truck like yours - with the caveat of not a million miles on it with acceptable wear on the unit.

    Thanks for your real world examples.

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    RAM Jr Member Last Train's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VernDiesel View Post
    Hello Last train welcome to the forum. My ED a 2014 Big Horn quad cab 6.4 bed has a payload of 1300 but I use the more appropriate 6,950 gvwr as I use CAT or other triple scales. I tow commercially with my ED and have learned that with respects to towing stability such as with TTs that the two biggest keys are proper steer axle and tongue weight. To be sure all Mfgr specs have some value including payload itís just often sighted as itís often the first Mfgr spec to be exceeded. You might peruse past threads in our tow haul section as I think you may find some interesting & educational reading. Again welcome aboard.

    Lol I should be in bed. I see you joined in 2016. I read 3 likes as 3rd post.
    Well, thanks again for the welcome, Vern. Yes, I joined in 2016 when I first started paying attention to the Ecodiesel when we were tow I got with our then owned 2011 Ridgeline. So we've been in our current '18 Ridgeline for 1 1/2 years and have successfully towed our same TT for over 8,000 miles with this truck.

    But in this season of our lives we want to maximize our travel trailer experiences for a number of years yet, God willing, and with the obvious efficiencies of the ED we are looking to trade in our Ridgeline while it has great value and potentially step into "Ecodiesel world." I will watch the metrics you've suggested. You and I both know the importance of managing those issues for safety, comfort, etc.

    You and I both post over on RV.net (with the same screen names), and I'm aware of your transport work with your truck, and your ongoing comments have sort of kept me in the loop of intrigue for the Ecodiesel. So we will see what happens. In the process I'll have to research things sales people typically just don't know. If I have more questions, I'll continue t oak questions on this forum.

    Appreciate your knowledge and helpful experience (did you really tow an Airstream with your truck?) 😉

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    RAM Jr Member CanyonMan's Avatar
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    The good/bad thing about the Tradesman 2WD quad cab is they are not the most popular truck so the price is great, paid $26,400 OTD for it with 11,500 miles on it. The bad part is there aren't a bunch of them around. Took me a couple of months to find the one I wanted. Low miles and white in color, we live in Arizona, were non-negotiable items. Good luck on your search. Hope you get exactly what you need.
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    RAM Guru shawclan5's Avatar
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    The 1100 vs 1300 could be based on 3.55 v 3.92??? Also I replaced bumpstops in rear and have Timbren Springs. Personally understand tongue weight however would not get to hung up on that given your weight overall. The overall increase in MPG alone combined with a 700 mile unloaded range on the HWY is superior. I have a 2016 LH and the amenities is worth the upgrade IMO.

    Thought the RL was unibody and not on a frame? That alone would rule out another RL for me if so.

    Great info here and good luck w/ your final decision.
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    Towing #s: https://www.ram1500diesel.com/forum/...tml#post872001

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    Just a thought for you in regards to you adding a generator to the mix. If you make a platform on the bumper of the trailer, the generator is no longer part of the Payload. Utilizing payload is all about the art of shifting weight of what you take, when pulling the TT and loading more to the trailer where possible.

    And Yes Vern does pull Airstreams of various sizes, as it is a large customer to him.

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    RAM Professional HYDREX's Avatar
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    My Ecodiesel gets better mpgs towing 9,000 lbs than my last hemi Ram got empty. Just under 17 mpg! Tows the load easier too, no motor screaming at 4500-5000 rpms on hills, either. And for non-towing, MPGs are incredible. Typically running in the 30-34 mpg range. 65mph and under, over 65 mpgs take a hit, but, still great.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Is this 2018 ED the Right Tool for the Job?-p1010172.jpg
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  10. #19
    RAM Jr Member Last Train's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shawclan5 View Post
    The 1100 vs 1300 could be based on 3.55 v 3.92??? Also I replaced bumpstops in rear and have Timbren Springs. Personally understand tongue weight however would not get to hung up on that given your weight overall. The overall increase in MPG alone combined with a 700 mile unloaded range on the HWY is superior. I have a 2016 LH and the amenities is worth the upgrade IMO.

    Thought the RL was unibody and not on a frame? That alone would rule out another RL for me if so.

    Great info here and good luck w/ your final decision.
    The ones we've looked at all had the 3.55, but that's a good thought.

    Regarding tongue weight, that is only one component that is subtracted away from a given truck's payload (cargo) capacity, and I can't imagine our typical 480-500 lb tongue weight would be a problem in and of itself.

    So after church this morning I reviewed our "payload log" that lists everything we might conceivably load on board our Ridgeline, and here's how it breaks down for a typical trip with our travel trailer: (1) In the Cab: passengers (just the two of us), 1 dog, travel food/snacks, pistols/ammo, assorted electronics, miscellaneous = 415 lbs (NOT disclosing how much of that is "passenger weight!"); (2) In the Trunk (under the bed - it's a Ridgeline thing): Tools, air pumps, two kinds of jacks, cordless drill/accessories, jumper cables, miscellaneous = 51 lbs; (3) In the Bed: sewer tote, leveling boards/blocks, draw bar & sway bar (actually related to the hitch receiver, of course), full size spare, miscellaneous = 136 lbs; (4) Tongue weight = 480 lbs; Grand total = 1,082 lbs.

    IF, we add the hypothetical generator of say 81 lbs, plus gasoline, let's now call that 90 lbs, that gives us a Grand Total of 1,172 lbs of people, gear, stuff, dog, etc to fit under a given truck's payload capacity on that annoying "yellow sticker" on the driver's side door frame. The truck we are looking at most seriously is the Lone Star trim in my original post, because . . . Texas . . . and that truck has a payload capacity of (from my feeble memory, because stupid me didn't take a photo of that sticker) ~ 1,387 lbs. So take away the above Grand Total (including the not yet bought generator) of 1,172 lbs, and I'm left with a worst case still available 215 lbs of payload/cargo capacity. And presently without that generator I'm in even better shape with over 300 lbs available payload.

    Interestingly enough, using the same above figures, we've been towing and camping with an available 305 lbs payload yet to be used with our Ridgeline. And that truck has been great. So this is a good exercise for me, since it forces me to analyze what the reality of towing, handling and braking might be with our "billboard on wheels" being dragged along behind us. But I think the bottom line is that I'm coming around to a sense of confidence in that particular truck's ability to handle payload - UNLESS, some others of you offer cautions not yet mentioned.

  11. #20
    RAM Jr Member Last Train's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shawclan5 View Post
    Thought the RL was unibody and not on a frame? That alone would rule out another RL for me if so.
    Yes, the Ridgeline has always been a unit-body construction - contra the traditional body on frame construction. But I will tell you that the way they've designed, engineered and constructed those trucks that they are stiff and strong as can be - which is part of the reason they serve very well as a tow vehicle - within their specifications. They do have a frame of sorts of varying grades of high strength steel that you can explore in the Ridgeline Wikipedia article. I'm not an automotive structural engineer, but even I enjoy learning about how they've managed to do things differently with great results. Rated #1 mid-size by Car & Driver, Motor Trend and some others; TFL Truck guys had an impressive run up the Ike Gauntlet towing . . . I'm not selling Ridgelines (except my own to trade it in on an Ecodiesel!), I just think it's fun to learn about doing things differently - and well.

    For all we know, one of these days "some" manufacturer will put a diesel in a 1/2 ton truck! . . . Wait a minute, didn't RAM already do that?
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