Is this 2018 ED the Right Tool for the Job?

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; Grateful for your advice/thoughts as we consider trading our '18 Ridgeline RTL-E for a potential candidate - a 2018 Ecodiesel. Current profile: we drive our ...

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Thread: Is this 2018 ED the Right Tool for the Job?

  1. #1
    RAM Jr Member Last Train's Avatar
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    Is this 2018 ED the Right Tool for the Job?

    Grateful for your advice/thoughts as we consider trading our '18 Ridgeline RTL-E for a potential candidate - a 2018 Ecodiesel.

    Current profile: we drive our truck an average of ~24,000 miles per year. Within that mileage we also tow our travel trailer ~6,000 miles per year. (Our rig is a couple's camper; i.e. Coachmen Freedom Express 192RBS; L = 23 1/2'; W = 8'; H = 10'; tandem axle; CAT Scale weight when fully loaded for a trip typically ~4,700 lbs; tongue weight = 480-500lbs.)

    Ridgeline's relevant specs: Tow rating = 5,000 lbs; Payload rating (per yellow door sticker) = 1,477 lbs; Tongue weight rating (with two passengers and additional gear per manual) = 600 lbs; GAWR(Rear) = 3,219 lbs; Engine is V-6, 280 hp; 262 lb/ft torque (at higher rpm, of course); 6 speed tranny; I-VTM4 AWD system that is magnificent for stability, traction, etc. Current mileage 35,400.

    Current performance with our Ridgeline: we actually achieve the EPA rating of 18/25 when not towing. With this truck we have towed well over 8,000 miles since January, 2018 and I've logged a hand calculated 10.85 mpg. Our towing trips include level and hilly and mountainous terrain (just returned from Sangre de Cristo Mountains in northern New Mexico (~10,000' ASL).

    We are considering an ED in general because we tend to put a good number of miles on our vehicles in just regular driving. Plus, we will continue to tow our travel trailer for a number of years yet, and we are considering the obvious benefits of a diesel when towing.

    We have taken a quick look at a 2018 in the Lone Star trim with over 34,000 miles and 3:55 axle. Have no idea if the AEM has been applied much less if the GDE tune. Listed at ~$30,000.

    Key issues for us: (1) the payload rating for this truck is about 90lbs LESS than for our Ridgeline (an important metric when towing). That said, our regular towing weights show us with about 300 lb excess margin in payload with our Ridgeline, so we would just be "flying closer to the flame" payload-wise, but do-able; (2) this truck is 2WD and most of our towing friends typically recommend a 4WD truck; (3) we are attracted to the potential much better fuel mileage, but we are very familiar with the arguments of expenses of gas vs diesel. So maybe head instead for a good old Hemi?

    Otherwise, do the above metrics offer a profile that would seem to be a good fit for an Ecodiesel in general? This truck in particular? I need to be schooled on the key questions to be asked if you would chime in.

    Thanks much.
    Last edited by Last Train; 06-29-2019 at 12:30 PM. Reason: Update

  2. #2
    RAM Guru shawclan5's Avatar
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    Sounds ideal to me. With that weight towing you may get 16-18 with the ED. My dad's stock 2015 ED averages 27-30 hwy depending on speed. My GDE ED was 28-31 hwy before oversized tires.

    Pulled my 8x24 cargo excellently with 7,500 total trailer weight. I have 3.55.
    2002 Excursion Limited 7.3 w/ 282k and counting
    2016 Longhorn ED with GDE 190k / 4,550 hrs and counting



    Towing #s: https://www.ram1500diesel.com/forum/...tml#post872001

  3. #3
    RAM Diamond Member Captainmal's Avatar
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    Did not know what a Ridgeline was until I saw that in your signature. It's Honda. Guessing some kind pickup in two-wheel drive???

    Gas engines are not very good for towing. They use horsepower to pull, not torque. You have to scream the engine and keep that going. Not a way to tow. That's why literally no big trucks use a gas engine. You should not either, especially something like a Honda, not noted for making a tow vehicle.

    The Ecodiesel will easily pull what you tow. Not can, or maybe - easily. It will yield major fuel mileage compared to any gas vehicle of the same size, towing and not towing. Check for a GDE tune by turning on the cruise control and see if it works just above 15 mph. It it does, you have it. If not, get it.

    It's your decision and no-one can really make that for you.
    If you wrestle with a pig you'll both get dirty and the pig loves it. .

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    RAM Veteran mitchmaclean's Avatar
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    I went from a Ridgeline to my ecodiesel. My fuel mileage increased drastically with the ecodiesel, mind you I had a 2011 Ridgeline which were known to be hard on fuel. I love my ecodiesel, but I miss a few things about the Ridgeline;

    1. Side swinging tailgate!! Man I miss that!
    2. Trunk!!!! What a great feature!
    3. Independent suspension all around!
    4. Front wheel drive, primarily.
    5. Ease of parking!
    6. It's overall ease of use, driving like a car on a daily basis, but the utility of a truck!
    7. AWD all the time.

    What I don't miss:

    1.Horrible mileage, especially when towing. Once, I went from full to empty in 240km, towing a 8x11 trailer with 2500lbs on it and a bad headwind.
    2. The inability to carry a 6' ladder with the tailgate up. Mind you, most crew cab trucks can't, but I custom ordered my ecodiesel with a 6'4" bed.
    3. Car seats in the rear, made it impossible to sit in the front as the back seats are too short to accomodate child seats, especially rear facing.
    4. The sloped side rails making it hard to reach over into the box (not an issue on 2018 model).
    5. The overall screaming of the engine when towing as it needs to rev to make power.

    My ecodiesel is a contractor truck (electrician). But if I wasn't using it as such, I'd definitely consider the Ridgeline again. I think they are an awesome little truck and WAY overlooked!
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    RAM Ninja Kazimodo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Last Train View Post
    Grateful for your advice/thoughts ............

    We have taken a quick look at a 2018 in the Lone Star trim with over 34,000 miles and 3:55 axle. Have no idea if the AEM has been applied much less if the GDE tune. Listed at ~$30,000.



    Thanks much.
    2018 = no AEM , that is only 2014 to 2016 .
    lucskoj likes this.

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    RAM Guru Ram1's Avatar
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    As usual Honda makes an awesome product. I have a 2004 Honda VTX 1300R. 15 year old bike with 51k miles. It still runs perfect! With only normal maintenance.
    If Honda ever makes a diesel pick up it would be a serious competitor.

    But I'll still keep my Eco D!
    Last Train likes this.
    Do not rule out working with your hands, but it does not preclude using your head.

  8. #7
    RAM Jr Member Last Train's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Captainmal View Post
    Did not know what a Ridgeline was until I saw that in your signature. It's Honda. Guessing some kind pickup in two-wheel drive???
    Now that there is funny! They've only been made since 2006 or so . . . with one of the best AWD systems out there, but then again, even though we lived in Florida for 12 years I'm not really sure where Sundance is, either! :roll eyes:

    Quote Originally Posted by Captainmal View Post
    Gas engines are not very good for towing. They use horsepower to pull, not torque. You have to scream the engine and keep that going. Not a way to tow. That's why literally no big trucks use a gas engine. You should not either, especially something like a Honda, not noted for making a tow vehicle.
    Agree with the observations, but not the admonition. Not in need of that. I was already aware of towing with gasoline engines - been doing that for years - including with the Ridgelines we have owned. If you stay within their specs, they actually serve quite well as a tow vehicle, and we have demonstrated that for years. Also have owned a diesel in the past, and that positive past experience was part of the reason that I started paying attention to the Ecodiesel a few years ago. The delta in mpg performance that it offers for daily driving and certainly for towing is the key motive for me asking my original question and brings me to serious consideration for the truck I described in my original post. And that brings me to the best part of your answer that offers truly helpful information, for which I am grateful . . .

    Quote Originally Posted by Captainmal View Post
    The Ecodiesel will easily pull what you tow. Not can, or maybe - easily. It will yield major fuel mileage compared to any gas vehicle of the same size, towing and not towing. Check for a GDE tune by turning on the cruise control and see if it works just above 15 mph. It it does, you have it. If not, get it.
    Great observation on the significantly better mpg performance. Many of my friends who tow a similar travel trailer rig with their 1/2 ton with either a 5.3 V-8 (Silverado or GMC) or maybe a Hemi, for instance, talk about getting 12-13 mpg when towing - with lots of variables affecting that, of course. Our Ridgeline comes close to that towing mpg (as noted above we get a hand calculated 10.85), but those V-8s can't match my non-towing mileage - and that is the majority of our driving (about 18,000 miles per year). So your thoughts confirm what I've suspected, that both towing and non-towing mpg performance is where I can justify going with the Ecodiesel.

    Similarly, I appreciate the heads up on how to discern the GDE tune. Not having been in the Ecodiesel culture that's the very kind of thing that is very helpful to know about. Thanks again.

    Quote Originally Posted by Captainmal View Post
    It's your decision and no-one can really make that for you.
    'Been making decisions for decades and well into retirement and not looking for anything more than educated responses with pertinent data from good sources. That's how to make a good decision. Be making mine pretty soon.
    Captainmal likes this.

  9. #8
    RAM Jr Member Last Train's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shawclan5 View Post
    Sounds ideal to me. With that weight towing you may get 16-18 with the ED. My dad's stock 2015 ED averages 27-30 hwy depending on speed. My GDE ED was 28-31 hwy before oversized tires.

    Pulled my 8x24 cargo excellently with 7,500 total trailer weight. I have 3.55.
    That's great to hear. Thanks much. I knew our rig's weight would be a piece of cake for the Ecodiesel. The challenge is to make sure that any particular RAM Ecodiesel has a similar payload rating as our Ridgeline. You start adding up the weights for draw bar, WDH (if one is used), sway bar, tongue weight of your rig, then weight of everything in the bed of the truck (including in the trunk under the bed, in the case of the Ridgeline), plus total passenger weight, your dog, miscellaneous gear and detritus inside the cab, a full tank of fuel and all fluids topped off . . . and it all adds up.

    The "yellow sticker" on our truck's driver side door frame states our maximum payload capacity is 1,477 lbs. And when we are fully loaded for a trip, a run through a nearby CAT Scale shows that we are within 300 lbs or so of our Ridgeline's maximum payload. So the great thing about the RAM line is the outstanding ride - which is partly accomplished by its excellent rear coil suspension - but that comes at the expense of payload capacity. The inherent added weight of a diesel over a Hemi, for instance, not to mention the weight of a multitude of accessories in the upper trims, all cause a particular truck's payload to come down.

    For example, tonight we took a look at a used Laramie Longhorn. Great looking truck . . . but it's payload capacity was only something over 1,100 lbs. That's not good enough for us.

    But if we can solve for "X" with a decent used Ecodiesel in good shape that has at least 1,300 lbs payload capacity, with all things being equal, we might have a winner!

    Your response is a great confirmation from personal experience, so thanks a bunch for that. The Ecodiesel, if we keep it for a while, should return value through much improved mpg performance.

  10. #9
    RAM Jr Member Last Train's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kazimodo View Post
    2018 = no AEM , that is only 2014 to 2016 .

    Thanks very much for that important info. After only casually looking for a few years, I'm only now trying to get schooled on important points like this re. the Ecodiesel. Funny that earlier this evening we went to a dealer to check out a used Ecodiesel, and the salesman wasn't really conversant with the AEM jargon. Oh, well. We aren't going to buy that one, anyway - mostly due to insufficient payload capacity. Thanks again.

  11. #10
    Super Moderator VernDiesel's Avatar
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    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 it’s just often sighted as it’s 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.
    Airstream, TT, Boat, transporter. Factory receiver 1,290/12k (w WDH) factory brake controller tow mirrors & hitch camera. No sway WDH, Andersen Rapid adjust hitch, Turnover ball GN hitch w 5er adapter, Axle to frame air bags, GDE tune w turbo brake, SLT Grill, 275/55/20 XL load tires, Max ED tow rating 9,200, Combined axle rating 7,800, Max RAM 1500 CVWR 15,950, truck with me & 3 hitchs axle weights steer 3,340 drive 2,560

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