The 2013 Ram 3500 will change the truck and trailer industry. The top end trailer size for pickups will go from 20k to 30k capacity quickly. I doesn’t seem that long ago when one ton dually trucks could tow 15,000 lbs, then in 2011 model year it went up to over 22,000 lbs and now Ram is boosting 30,000 lbs for a gooseneck trailer. A big dramatic jump in towing capacity, we new it was coming. In the seventies we called a decked out one ton dually a “Cowboy Kenworth”, now we’re over 1/2 way to the big rigs. CB and an air horn should be options on this Laramie Longhorn. 5th wheel RV trailer towing capacity is less than gooseneck, probably because very few 5th wheel hitches go over 24,000 lbs where as most gooseneck 2 5/16 ball hitches are already rated to tow 30,000 lbs.
I towed a 16980 lb Cimarron trailer pictured above. It handled well in the mountains on 7% grades over 11,000 ft. on I-70 in the Colorado Rockies. The Ram 3500 towed the horse trailer with ease and controlled the down hill decent from Eisenhower tunnel to Dillon. The automatic exhaust brake, grade shifting in tow mode and the hydraulic disc brakes on the trailer kept the speed at 60 mph where I wanted to be.
With the changes to this 2013 3500 dually, diesel option for the 1500 Ram this fall, 8-speed automatic, air suspension for all Rams by next winter and the 6.4L Hemi, Ram could move up to the #2 selling truck by next year, Ford will go to DefCon 3 preparing for a preemptive strike to hang to the #1 spot for awhile longer. It’s an exciting time in the truck world. I bet GM wished it kept it’s 4500/5500 trucks and put it’s 4.5L reverse flow baby Duramax in the 1500.
This new 2013 Ram 3500 dually is equipped for towing larger trailers better than anyone else. 6.7L Cummins diesel with 850 ft lbs of torque, 385 horsepower and a 6-speed Aisin AS69RC already in the Ram 4500/5500 cab and chassis along with 50,000 psi frame upgrades, front axle upgrade with a three link suspension similar to Ford Super Duty front axle arms on the Ram 3500 dually. This front suspension improved the handling and ride greatly. Ford copied Rams front coil suspension in 2005.
Stopping the big loads with a new automatic exhaust brake along with transmission grade shifting, works well with cruise control. Happy to see the integrated trailer brake control moved to the right side, it’s big deal and will save lives. When you’re in a situation with the trailer swaying, coming down mountain roads, or getting cut off from an on ramp, being able to control the trailer brakes separate from the trucks brakes can get your trailer back in control. You have less than a second to grab the manual control on the brake controller in emergencies and having the integrated trailer brake controller on the right side in plain site saves precious time. You won’t find a semi truck with the trailer brake controller on the left side, (are you listening GM?)
Exclusive to Ram are 4 individual trailer settings in the center display, high and low for electric brakes, high and low for electric over hydraulic brakes on your trailer. We know the truck has power but more important it is equipped to stop heavy trailers. Optional tonneau cover helps with fuel mileage, folded forward for a gooseneck, the trailer came close but didn’t touch on turning corners with a trailer.
New for 2013, DEF for emissions holds 8 gallons, while cab and chassis have had them since 2011. That 8 gallons extra helps the small 32 gallon fuel tank. The Ram used DEF with the 17,000 lb trailer we towed in the Rockies, much less when just driving the truck. Primary and secondary fuel filters with water drain are new for 2013, a big improvement. I’m in Colorado and fuel condensation in the tank is common in the winter.
Thick steering wheel feels too big to me, though I think the Ram is the easiest truck to drive over hundreds of miles a day. If you’re in your wisdom years like me and leave the turn signal on, a message comes up in the display telling you the blinker is still blinking.
Ram 3500 Laramie Longhorn Crew Cab 4×4 as tested, $68,960.
All luxury for a truck with muscle.
Heated and cooled seats, heated steering wheel. Lift the rear seats and there are compartments underneath and lights on the seat bottoms. Leather seats with laser stitching, saddle bag pockets on the back of the front bucket seats, similar to King Ranch Ford. Rear park assist, electronic stability control helps an unloaded truck on slick roads. Anti-spin diff, integrated trailer brake controller, automatic headlights, projector headlamps, LED tail lights, remote start, power adjustable floor pedals, remote locking tailgate, 18 inch 10 ply radials, sprayed in bedliner, automatic windshield wipers, 5th wheel/gooseneck towing group, has gooseneck ball and two plugs that go into the 5th wheel slots to use for safety chains, they take a big hook. tonneau cover that folds to the front to use a gooseneck trailer, with optional 4.10 axle, power rear window with defrost, power moon roof, dual alternators, aluminum finned rear differential cover and much much more.
Backup camera screens curves the alignment lines on screen with steering wheel movement. Great for backing up to a bumper pull trailer, also optional gooseneck camera where the cargo light is. A tall, eight ft. wide dually truck needs backup camera’s.
Thanks to www.TranswestTruckTrailerRV.com for the Cimarron trailer