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Six weeks and 9,400 miles from the right coast to the left coast and back, two lane-, interstate-, desert & mountain dirt-, and Moab class 3 – roads. Tonneau covers may keep water out, not fine sand and dust. Keeping to speed limits for most driving, not stepping on it too hard from standing starts. Ours is a RAM 1500 EcoDiesel Limited with air suspension, something that is well worth it if you can spare the extra dollars. The truck tracks and drives like a dream. With the lumbar support in the seats, there wasn’t a hint of a tired and hurt back. Very quiet and stable ride. The 8 speed tranny shifts like a charm and holds the vehicle in low gear down steep grades.

Averaged an astonishing 26.8 mpg for the entire trip. The EcoDiesel loves to tug along at 65 mph at that speed very frugal, in low 4WD she'll do 18 to 20 mpg, low 20’s if you push her hard into a headwind at 75 to 78. On the other hand 28 mpg and greater going 65 with tailwind. So we can say, the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel is the indisputable winner in the small truck world when it comes to mpg. Plenty of pickup up and go from a standing start, great torque on mountain roads and doesn't suffer at high elevation.

Diesel fuel prices and availability: low $3.43 somewhere in the middle of Kansas, high $4.39 State of NY. Interesting that in many of the Western States like CA and OR diesel occasionally is cheaper than gasoline, still close to $4.00. Once past the Missouri River the gas/diesel spread gets to be from perhaps 10 cents to 50 cents. Diesel pricing has larger spreads. No idea why, but I guess lesser use, more profit.

Now availability is another story, drive into a city like Buffalo NY, without looking at your cell phone or ipad you’ll be driving from station to station to find one that sells diesel. West of the Mississippi just about every station has #2 road diesel. More prevalent in farm- and timber country, where folks drive diesel pickups. In the Big Horn Basin, personal truck choice seems to be a RAM. Though it’s a 2500 with the Cummins. Out here in the Wyoming oil patch, a half ton seems to be sort of a sissy truck I am given the impression.

Did everything on this trip go smooth? No, not really. Three times we had an issue with the “service tire pressure system” warning light coming on. But starting up the next morning everything looked good.

A nastier surprise we had when driving out the Salt Valley Road from Arches National Park, just on the east side of the Klondike Mountains in the middle of nowhere, the truck stops. Engine still idling, but no throttle, nothing. “Service electronic throttle control” the display said. No cell phone reception out there, 40 miles from nowhere, no cars coming by here, so what’s next. Turned the engine off, then after a while out of curiosity started the engine and turned the shift knob, low and behold here she goes. This happened once more time in the middle of a six lane freeway in a traffic jam, but by now I knew to turn the shift knob to park press the stop/start button and all is go again.

Well, back home now and with close to 10K miles the dipstick shows a half a quart low for the entire drive. So we’ll bring her in for an oil change and I guess she will get a “software update” or something.

Yep, Ram 1500 EcoDiesel, it’s a good deal of money but a purchase I don’t regret. We’ll see how this VM Motori appliance will handle the future.
 

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Great report thanks!!
 

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Thanks for the fine and informative report. I know it takes time to do all that writing and I sure appreciate it.

I added a spare fuel tank into my bed. Only 20 gallons, it fits in front of a wheel well and does not take up much space. Getting fuel can be a pain. Towing and using fuel quickly can make it much worse.

My truck has also "decided" to not go in gear. Each time I found that first I did not have my foot on the brake when shifting or turning that thing into gear. Then if it worked, it would come out of gear when I let off the throttle.

That has not happened lately but may be of some interest to you.
 

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A nastier surprise we had when driving out the Salt Valley Road from Arches National Park, just on the east side of the Klondike Mountains in the middle of nowhere, the truck stops. Engine still idling, but no throttle, nothing. “Service electronic throttle control” the display said. No cell phone reception out there, 40 miles from nowhere, no cars coming by here, so what’s next. Turned the engine off, then after a while out of curiosity started the engine and turned the shift knob, low and behold here she goes. This happened once more time in the middle of a six lane freeway in a traffic jam, but by now I knew to turn the shift knob to park press the stop/start button and all is go again.
Thanks for the report.

I have also had the “Service electronic throttle control” warning a few times where the truck seems to loss all power to the drive line for a split second. I pegged it to the fact that I was either driving with two feet or in one case 1 fat foot on both the brake and the throttle at the same time.

Any chance that could have been the reason for your issues?
 

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Thanks for the report.

I have also had the “Service electronic throttle control” warning a few times where the truck seems to loss all power to the drive line for a split second. I pegged it to the fact that I was either driving with two feet or in one case 1 fat foot on both the brake and the throttle at the same time.

Any chance that could have been the reason for your issues?
I doubt that, if that were the cause you would't be able to load the engine and launch it, which has been done in many reviews.
 

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Excellent report, keep us posted if you find more information on the electronic throttle control problem. At least now we know to turn the truck off and restart it.
 

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I doubt that, if that were the cause you would't be able to load the engine and launch it, which has been done in many reviews.
Not really. There is a big difference. Loading the engine from a dead stop without the wheels spinning sends a different signal to the computer. Versus sending two signals to the computer with the drive line engaged and the wheels turning.

Try it.
 

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Not really. There is a big difference. Loading the engine from a dead stop without the wheels spinning sends a different signal to the computer. Versus sending two signals to the computer with the drive line engaged and the wheels turning.

Try it.
I don't have one, won't be buying till next year.
 
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