October 17, 2018 at 5:30 pm #53381
After waiting over three months for our factory ordered 3500 Ram pickup truck, we finally got it! We had decided to factory order since we had the time and wanted to get just the features we wanted at the lowest cost. Oh, and we wanted Blue. So many dealer lot trucks these days come in black white or silver.
After shopping around for the best price via the internet and email, we ended up paying $69,199 (about 53,000 USD) plus the BC provincial sales tax of 12%. We purchased the truck at a small dealership in Campbell River BC called Bill Howich Chrysler. So far they have been pleasant and helpful to deal with. Kudos to our salesman Rob Priestley for keeping me well informed as the truck was being built and shipped.
To keep costs down, we went extremely light on any bells and whistles and luxury components. My main concern was to build the best tow vehicle for the money. Frankly after seven years fulltiming with a 1994 vintage truck, this 2018 Ram (even though its mostly only a base model) feels quite fancy to us.
The main feature I went for was the combo of the high output Cummins 6.7L diesel with a heavy duty AISIN transmission. This option delivers the most power and torque to the wheels: 385 horsepower and 930 ft/lbs of torque.
Other cool options we have:
Fifth Wheel Prep Pack
Factory M20 Ram Hitch
Spray in Bedliner
Back up Camera with Park Assist
Switch on the Fly Electronic 4WD
Diesel Turbo Exhaust Brake
Built-in Brake Controller
Why Not a Dually?
One of the most asked questions I get. Basically, this truck even in the SRW setup has more than enough towing power than we will ever need. Having RVed full time for over seven years, we know that we do not want to go with a super huge rig. We may someday step up into a little heavier better-built trailer but not much longer, that’s for sure. Driving around a dually that we don’t need would be a pain. I’m already really enjoying the slimmer width.
Our current Keystone Cougar 30 foot fifth wheel has a GVWR of 10,141 lbs and a pin weight of roughly 1700 lbs. Here are the towing capacity specs of our new truck and a comparison to our old 1994 Ford F350 dually.
2018 Ram 3500 6.7L Cummins
3.42 Rear Diff Ratio SRW
GVWR 12,300 lbs
Payload 3995 lbs
Rear Axle GWR 7000 lbs
Front Axle GWR 6000 lbs
1994 Ford F350 7.3L Diesel
4.10 Rear Diff Ratio DRW
GVWR 10,000 lbs
GVCR 20,000 lbs
Payload 3000 lbs
I would have liked to get a 3.73 rear end as it would have bumped up the towing capacity significantly, but in Canada, the SRW 3500 Rams only come with the 3.42 ratio rear ends. So I was back to debating a dually or not and ended up doing without. One interesting fact I learned about the AISIN transmission is it has lower 1st and 2nd gear ratios than the standard Chrysler tranny so should help with getting the rig moving well even with the higher 3.42 gears at the back end.
It’s early days yet, having only driven the truck less than 300 kilometers but so far I’m a happy camper and can’t wait to test it out towing the rig. First, though the manual says I need to drive it a minimum of 805 km (500 miles) before I can hook up.
Next task is to match up my Air Ride pin box and the new Ram M20 hitch with our Cougar fifth wheel and see if I can get good bed rail clearance and a level towing setup. I ordered the Ram with the smaller diameter 18″ versus 20″ wheels to help keep the bed height a little lower, so fingers crossed. Stay tuned…October 17, 2018 at 5:31 pm #53383
Big Blue 2 – First Hookup (Testing New Hitch and Clearances)
See previous blog post and video where I introduce you to our new 2018 Ram 3500 – https://www.loveyourrv.com/introducing-our-new-ram-3500-truck-big-blue-ii/
In this video, I take a closer look at the factory Ram M20 fifth wheel hitch. Then Anne and I hook up our new 2018 Ram 3500 truck to our fifth wheel. Everything goes well, yay!
Afterward, I check the bed rail and tailgate clearances and discuss a bit about the trailer level and options if we are too nose high.
Stay tuned for more when we are actually able to two the rig. we still need to put on 805 km (500 miles) before we can hook it up and tow a heavy load.
See Air Ride Hitch Review – https://www.loveyourrv.com/lippert-air-ride-pin-box-review/
Visit the Love Your RV! Amazon Page to shop a selection of my favorite RVing products, parts, and accessories
LoveYourRV is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.comOctober 18, 2018 at 5:17 am #53385
We had the Q-16 with the ole Cougar then when we upgraded to the Vanleigh/ Vilano we had to get the q-20 like yours. The Q-16 had no slides but the Q-20 came with the slides. We love the color code showing when she is hooked up too. My plastic ring want stay on, Lola has to back the truck up and I have to hold it till hitch is near then I can let go. For the love of it, it want stay on without me holding it up. Your going to Love the power when you get it out on the road. I remember how our F-350 hauled the Cougar like it wasn’t even back there. I use to pass people on two lane roads. Just stomp it and away you go.
Happy Trail as you and Eddie say.
We became FullTimers July !6th, 2016October 18, 2018 at 8:37 am #53390
Hey Ray looks great should have put up all the jacks too see how she will sit . Wow that’s the most Anne has ever said on our videos. Great lol . I am thinking you won’t be driving this truck Anne will.October 18, 2018 at 8:53 am #53392
Nice truck Ray I’m sure you are going to love pulling with it 👍October 19, 2018 at 8:36 pm #53402
Sweeeeeeeeeet ride Ray & Anne! Aileen, Laura, and I are very happy for you two.
You put a lot of miles on old Blue, it is your time for some “New” Blue!
Hope to meet-up this snow bird season and get some good “Bushed” visiting in.
Happy Trails…Pal!!!October 20, 2018 at 11:47 am #53409
NICE!!!!😄October 28, 2018 at 4:34 pm #53500
In this third video, we hook up our new Ram 3500 truck to our Keystone Cougar fifth wheel trailer and take it to a large flat gravel lot to test out the clearances. I check the clearance between the bed rail and fifth wheel overhang and the clearance between the tailgate, bumper and the front of the fifth wheel.
I also give you a look at how level the rig is front to back and show it in action turning and driving through a small dip.
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