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I have a 2015 and 2020. Both trucks are great, but the 2020 has the best towing characteristics. A lot of it depends on your budget and what you can afford.
 

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Not for the vast majority of 1500 owners who dont actually haul or tow with them..Some folks believe a diesel in a 1500 defeats the purpose too but not everyone nor their use of their truck is the same.

3.21 gears get better mpg, I bet those folks are really appreciating those 3.21 gears right now
This is true.

From what I've been told, the 2020+ trucks with 3.22 gears are very good tow rigs for their rated capacities.
 

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That's why the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel is very popular. It can be a daily commuter, grocery getter, and tow the boat/RV on the weekend. Mine is a daily driver, but I also use it as a workhorse and recreational tow rig.







 

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I just want to make sure these can tow 7500 fairly easy and not way overload it. I hear things about the grills being restrictive and a few other things. Can they tow fine without a tune? I’m in ca and it’s illegal to have those
Cooling is only an issue with the 2014 - 2019 trucks. The 2020+ trucks do not have the cooling issue.

As far as the grille goes, it just depends on the trim level. The Big Horn has one of the most restrictive grilles. My truck was stock for the first 93,000 miles before I changed to the Honeycomb grille and switched to the GDE EPA Compliant Tune. I had the truck derate twice in stock form, both times climbing a long steep mountain pass towing the travel trailer. My 2015 has 3.55 gears, which is great for fuel economy, but not the best for towing.

When I ordered my 2020 EcoDiesel, I made sure I got the 3.92 gears. For reference, my 2015 with 3.55 gears can average 29 mpg on the highway whereas the 2020 with 3.92 gears averages about 27.5 mpg.
 

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Thinking about the 20 or newer if I can afford it. Anybody with knowledge comparing the two?
As mentioned above, I have a 2015 and 2020. I love both trucks and have no plans to get rid of either one. The 2020+ trucks are still fairly new, so we haven't seen many high mileage 3rd gen EcoDiesels. Longterm durability and reliability are unknown at this time, but the platform appears to be reliable. The forum is very familiar with the issues surrounding the 2014 - 2019 2nd gen EcoDiesels. It really boils down to your budget.

The 2020 is the better tow rig (no cooling issues, more power, and higher towing capacity). If you decide to get a 2014 - 2019 EcoDiesel, I would encourage you to put away $100 - $200 per month for future repairs.

In stock form, your intake will gunk up eventually and will need to be replaced. Depending on how you drive the truck, your stock intake might last 300,000 miles or it might last 150,000 miles. The 5 year/100,000 mile powertrain warranty is very nice, but that warranty is nearly gone on the 4th gen trucks. It's hard to believe that my 2020 is already two years old (only three years left of powertrain warranty).
 

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Are the main bearing failures do to lack of good maintenance on these trucks?
According GDE, "the main bearing issues is partially design weaknesses and assembly tolerance stack-ups." You either get a good engine or you get a bad engine. It's estimated that a good 10% - 12% of engines are bad. That means you have an 88% - 90% chance of getting a good engine. ;)
 
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Do you personally think these motors are junk?
The engines are not junk; however, the engines are economical throwaway engines. That's why they cost $7,895.00, which includes a new turbo, new CP4 pump, new injectors, etc. That's cheap!

If you want long-lasting durability, then buy a Cummins. The Cummins is a medium duty engine designed to be overhauled. That's why they are $20,000 to replace. Also, look at the design life for both engines.

The EcoDiesel has a B10 service life of 150,000 miles (light duty diesel applications). This means that 10% of the engines will need a major repair or replacement at 150,000 miles.

The Cummins has a B50 service life of 350,000 miles (medium duty diesel application). This means that 50% of the engines will need a major repair, overhaul, or replacement at 350,000 miles.
 

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@Jordan1500, think about the EcoDiesel's life expectancy as a bell-shaped curve. There are many EcoDiesels with 200,000 miles. There are some with 300,000. There's been a few with 400,000 miles. There's even one documented EcoDiesel that reached 500,000 miles!

Statistically speaking, the truck that cruises on the highway all day every day is going to last longer. The truck that makes lots of short commutes and doesn't get up to operating temperature is statistically going to run into more issues earlier on. So, how you drive the truck will be a big factor.

I'm the person that does both. I short trip my 2015 EcoDiesel nearly every day. The 2015 might hit the highway once per month. This is why I change the oil every 5,000 miles or so, then pull an oil sample just to monitor the engine condition. My 2015, at this time, has 104,000 miles with no signs of issues.

Before inflation, I ordered a new 2020 to have as a backup truck. The 2020 was just valued two weeks ago at $68,000 with 18,000 miles. I literally paid $54,000 for the truck when it was brand new (which included taxes)! I'm averaging about 10,000 miles per year on the 2020 and I'm averaging about 10,000 miles per year on the 2015. As you can see, both trucks will most likely last 15+ years before I need a major repair. Financially, this is the best option for me.
 

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What is the best oil to use with these? I plan on changing every 5k
It depends on the engine. Rotella T6 has proven to be a good oil in the 2014 - 2019 EcoDiesel for both stock and tuned trucks. If you're going to buy a 2020+ EcoDiesel, then I would run either Pennzoil Platinum or Amsoil 5W-40 EFM. The 2014 - 2019 EcoDiesel runs dirtier than the 2020+ EcoDiesel, so adhering to the 5,000-mile oil change is probably a good idea. The 2020+ trucks use a low pressure EGR which draws gas after the DPF and is then pumped back into the intake pre-turbo.

For now, I'm using Pennzoil Platinum, which is what the dealer recommends for the 2020 trucks. The Pennzoil has proven to hold up well, too. I like some of the UOA reports I've seen from others using Amsoil. Feel free to look at UOA reports posted on the forum to get an idea what others are running. Keep in mind, most people who are posting UOA reports are also running tuned and/or deleted trucks.
 

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Are those 10 - 12% the Friday afternoon or Monday Morning assemblies?
According to GDE, "most engine failures on this platform failed below 60,000 miles, although there have been a good number above that. The low hour failures would point to assembly plant issues with the line bore operation, crank straightness, bearing sorting and block distortion compensation. I have been to Cento, IT assembly plant many times and there is room for improvement. The higher mileage failures show more of the design weaknesses in bearing sizing and crank bending moment."
 
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No issue with changing T6 at 10,000 mile intervals on the 2014-2019 models.
Yes, but your truck is tuned. (y)

Even with the GDE EPA Compliant Tune, my oil is looking depleted by 6,000 miles. Some of that is due to EGR and running biodiesel. Oil has a hard time neutralizing acids when the TBN drops down to 3. I've read that most fleet managers recommend changing oil at 4 TBN. The 2020+ engines are not as hard on TBN, which tells me the low pressure EGR is a gamechanger.
 
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I am going to try to find a 2020 if it’s reasonably priced.
If you want to tow your 7,500 lb travel trailer that is 27' foot long, then you would be better off with the 2020+ EcoDiesel.

The good news is that used truck prices are SLOWLY coming down, however, interest rates are increasing. Do you know what options and trim level you want?
 

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@biodiesel TBN was 5.1 last time checked.
My last UOA showed 4.91 TBN with 5,368 miles on the oil change interval, which is lower than your 5.1 TBN at 10,000 miles!

I added the AFE deep oil pan to increase capacity to 12 quarts. This should extend the life of the oil. This time I'll change the oil at 6,500 miles and resample.
 

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I would love a Laramie but think a big horn is more affordable and still is a nice interior. Gotta have 4x4 too. The 2020+ out here run about 45-60k and the pre 2020 run about 30-40k. Trying to make the extra 5-10k justifiable for a newer one with less problems
My 2015 is a fairly loaded Big Horn. It has the Mopar Katzkin leather seats, navigation, towing package, 4x4, limited slip, side steps, and chrome package. We are happy with it.

The Longhorn is my favorite trim package, but Ram doesn't give a lot of rebates/discounts for the Laramie, Longhorn, or Limited, so those tend to stay expensive even as a used truck.

You mentioned mountain driving. The 2014 - 2019 EcoDiesel runs hot when towing due to the intercooler partially blocking the radiator. The 2020+ trucks separated the radiator and intercooler for maximum air flow, plus they enlarged the grille opening. I haven't had any cooling issues with our 2020 EcoDiesel. We've towed through NM, AZ, CA, NV, and UT.

Your other option is to see if the economy takes a hit. If that happens, you'll see prices drop on new and used vehicles.
 

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I’m also wondering if a v8 would be just as effective or better for towing the trailer a couple times a year? Just trying to figure out options. I’ve been reading on some other forums about The Ecodiesel and multiple engine replacements and being on back order and not sure that is something I want to deal with.
There's no right or wrong answer. It really boils down to what you prefer to drive and what you're willing to tolerate. You've already concluded that the 2020+ EcoDiesel would be better for your towing needs. The 2020+ engines don't have the same issues as the previous generation engine, therefore that should take care of some of your concerns.

I'm more of an optimist than a pessimist, which is why I decided to keep our 2015 EcoDiesel. Instead of hyperventilating over the 10% - 15% failure rate in the 2014 - 2019 engines, I tend to focus more on the 85% - 90% of engines that don't fail.
 

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I just use AMSoil.
Amsoil is a good oil. I'll be switching the 2020 to Amsoil as soon as I run out of Pennzoil. For now, I think I'll stick with Rotella T6 for the 2015. I may consider switching to Amsoil if Rotella continues to be difficult to source. I really don't put enough miles on my truck(s) to benefit from Amsoil, but then again, I would probably feel better about extending my drain intervals if I were running Amsoil.
 

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Any tips on what to look for on used Ecodiesels?
I really don't have any tips other than making sure the truck is 100% bone stock with good service records. You want as much warranty as you can get. Most costly problems will arise inside the 5-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty period, therefore age is just as important as miles. For example, a 2018 with 30,000 miles sounds like a great deal, but it only has 1 year of warranty left.

I budget $250 per month for future repairs. That's probably a little excessive, but that gives me peace of mind when my vehicles are outside of warranty. I've learned that a lot of people can afford the monthly payment, but they can't afford to maintain/repair the truck outside of warranty. I can't afford to keep buying new vehicles every 4 - 5 years, so I'm keeping my 2015 and 2020 for the next 20+ years.
 
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Found a 2019 classic Laramie 4x4 with 23000 miles and by looking up the model and trim the max tow capacity based on that and the rear end ratio of 3.55 it can tow 7,770. My trailer gvw is 7600. Do you guys think that is too close to be pushing it? It only needs to tow a few weekends a year
Great question. In my opinion, you're pushing it. In stock form, you'll have to go really slow over mountain passes. If the 2019 Laramie grille is restrictive like earlier models, then you'll need to change out the front grille. The Laramie and Big Horn grilles are the most restrictive. My truck derated twice going over mountain passes towing this trailer:

 

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Here is the grill on this truck
That's a new type of grille, so I'm unsure. It might be fine. You'll need to look closely at the grille slots. You don't want texturing behind the grille as seen in these photos:






I switched to the honeycomb grille. You can see how wide-open these holes are:

 

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Do you guys think an added sway bar to travel trailer and hitch are needed?
Without a question, you will need a weight distribution hitch. If you don't buy a truck with the factory air suspension, then I would highly recommend installing air assist springs.

 
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