Ram 3.0L Diesel Experience - Fiberglass RV


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Old 12-26-2015, 07:52 AM   #1
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Ram 3.0L Diesel Experience

I am looking at different tow vehicles for my new Escape 21. The Ram light weight diesel has been used in Europe for years but on since 2014 in the Ram. Any people here have any experience with this truck?
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Old 12-26-2015, 09:35 AM   #2
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Lots of power and good on fuel , i have a 3L in my jeep 14 to 15 L pulling a 17' bigfoot approx 2800lbs gvw in the mountains Alberta Jasper and Banff NP.and hwy through hell to Vancouver . No Trailer it gets 9-10-L hwy that is with AC on .I guy i worked with at the dealer reports about the same mileage .Happy Trails
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Old 12-26-2015, 09:50 AM   #3
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Any issues you have had with it? My biggest concern is that the techs don't know how to fix it in a less populated area. I plan on doing a lot of boondocking in the west.
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Old 12-26-2015, 10:05 AM   #4
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Our expectation when driving the 'nowhere places' is that the tow vehicle will work and buy accordingly. For the everyday failures like belts, pads and general tire repairs we're always prepared for them.

As well we carry a road service. When we drove across Labrador we checked with AAA twice and they said we were covered. Coverage may mean hours or even a day of waiting but we could live with that. Our first line of defense to breakdown is the quality of the tow vehicle. In 250,000 miles we never had a single failure that required help nor ever an engine issue. We once lost a thermostat but were able to drive around that.
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Old 12-26-2015, 10:13 AM   #5
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I totally agree Norm, that is why I am doing a lot of research BEFORE I buy. The Escape 21 is 3050 lbs empty and 4,500 GVW so I am looking at a pick-up. I have AAA RV coverage as well but when you are out on southern Utah the people that can service a new style diesel are few and far between. I have been leaning away for it for the reason but the fuel economy is so much better that other pick-ups.
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Old 12-26-2015, 10:40 AM   #6
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I'm big on the economy factor as well. Economy is not mpg alone. Maintenance, repair and purchase price are factors as well. When you're out RVing usually less than half your driving is towing.

I know nothing about your choice of diesel engines. One of my best friends has a diesel truck and I do know the repairs are expensive.

Our previous tow vehicle was remarkably reliable and fuel efficient. Our present vehicle is not a sfuel efficient towing but overall at least as efficient. The new vehicle is much more comfortable. It's funny but we used to think the old tow vehicle was comfortable, but this one is much better.

We have two friends with new, extended cab diesels. We occasionally take trips with them. Their vehicles are not uncomfortable but also not really comfortable. In reality they are trucks, really heavy trucks with modern relatively quiet diesels but not really comfortable.
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Old 12-26-2015, 10:45 AM   #7
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Norn, I LOVE Hondas too. My Element has been a great car for over 171,000 miles. I had a Ridgeline before that. If they made the Ridgeline now I would probably get it although the tow rating was only 5,000 in my other one. I hear they are coming out with a new one but I hate to get a first year car of any brand.
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Old 12-26-2015, 12:11 PM   #8
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We have had our Ecodeisel Ram pickup for over a year and 22K miles and love it. The biggest problem that I have heard so far is the cat converter. Our 4 wheel drive gets 26 mpg most all the time and we get 21 towing our Curtis Wright which is hugely aerodynamic and does contribute to the mileage. I have easily towed as much as 8k lbs. with no problem. The torque is great, mileage is great, most quiet cab made and comfortable ride and seats. The only thing hard to swallow was the price. Over 50K is still hard for me to get over so I don't think about it. Nothing on the market comes close right now.

Fiberglass Dave
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Old 12-26-2015, 12:12 PM   #9
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Thanks Dave
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Old 12-26-2015, 05:01 PM   #10
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FWIW the second generation Ridgeline is due in 2016. Raz
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Old 12-26-2015, 06:47 PM   #11
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Given the additional cost of the diesel engine over a gas engine, the fuel price difference (diesel more expensive), the added diesel maintenance cost and the DEF solution needed for the new diesels the payback when looking at increased fuel mileage the diesel engine will provide to you means you will have to drive ANY diesel truck over 250,000 miles to break EVEN when compared to the a gas engine in the same truck. The real consideration should be the load you will pull and even more important have to STOP!

21 years ago when I bought a new diesel truck (still own it and drove it today 193,000 miles) the break even point between a gas and diesel engine when looking at strictly fuel mileage was about 100,000 miles. At that time diesel was CHEAPER than gas, diesel maintenance still more expense and diesel fuel mileage better than a gas engine. The cost premium (extra) for the diesel engine at that time was about $4,200. With many diesel pickups TODAY the diesel engine premium can be twice that amount at over $8500.00!

Having said all that you in NO WAY need a diesel to pull the load you are describing (Fiberglass trailer). You may want one however you do not need one. A gas V8 gas engine and V6 gas engine will be MORE than adequate for your needs. 4 wheel drive or All wheel drive would be a much better option to purchase on your truck than a diesel engine.

"I" like diesel pickups and still own diesel pickups to pull the heavy trailers and loads that I pull. I also have a 08 4WD 1500 RAM crew cab HEMI with 345 HP. All the power you could ever want. It gets 18-20 MPG on the road at 75 without a trailer and 16 MPG with a single car trailer LOADED. I believe that is more than acceptable as far as fuel mileage. Any gas engine in today's world will easily go 250,000 with good maintenance. I can buy a Hell of lot of gas and drive a Hell of lot of miles before coming anywhere near the break even on a diesel truck versus gas and do so just as comfortably, safely and economically as any diesel truck.

So this brings the question "I" think you should consider:

Will I keep & drive this new truck I purchase at least 250,000 miles?

If your answer is TRULY YES then consider the purchasing the diesel. If the answer is NO buy a gas truck!

Several other questions you should consider:

Have YOU ever driven a single vehicle you have personally owned 250,000 miles? If NO what makes you think you do so with this new diesel truck? How many YEARS will it take you to drive this new truck 250,000 miles? 10 years? 15 years? You will put the most miles per year on your new truck in the first 2-3 years of ownership. That's the way it always works. Are you going to be a "Full Timer" for the next 10 years?

ALL the new trucks/cars built today are far more reliable than vehicles built just 10 years ago. All new vehicles also can experience a mechanical issue just like vehicles built 10 years ago.

With such a LIGHT load to pull your choices for a comfortable and SAFE towing vehicle are almost endless in today's world. The diesel versus gas discussion is a neat topic that will be debated forever among those who actually pull a HEAVY LOAD. "I" think it's a moot point in the discussion of choosing a pull vehicle when a fiberglass trailer is the "Load"!
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Old 12-26-2015, 06:59 PM   #12
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Dave,

I just looked at the new Honda Pilot, 5000 lbs, awd, 9 speed. A lot less than $50K.
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Old 12-26-2015, 08:13 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Porsche Pilot View Post
Any issues you have had with it? My biggest concern is that the techs don't know how to fix it in a less populated area. I plan on doing a lot of boondocking in the west.
Ram dealers should have decent diesel experience by now, after selling and servicing the Cummins for two decades. As for independent garages, probably not much experience unless you find a diesel specialty shop.

I agree with the others that the cost payback is probably at least 100,000 miles, even if you were towing all the time (using more fuel). The 3L ecodiesel requires special low-ash synthetic oil, last I checked it was about $10/quart. I've read reports of DEF injectors breaking off when people go off-road or get into deep snow or mud, but this was a year ago and maybe they've changed the injector location/protection. The diesel will also have less engine braking when moving downhill, a factor that comes into play in mountainous terrain. The mfr makes available a lifetime maximum care service contract on all their vehicles except diesel powered ones, which might mean something. On the upside, the low end torque makes for quiet, low RPMs and great towing performance, and the turbo means it won't lose power as you gain elevation the way a non-turbo engine will.
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Old 12-26-2015, 09:00 PM   #14
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You might want to ask Reace at Escape trailers. They pulled 2 Escapes down from BC to the Casita rally in Bandera TX last year, one pulled by a Ford Ecoboost and the other by the Ram ecodiesel. If I recall correctly, they got about 12.5 MPG with the ecoboost and about 19 with the Ram ecodiesel.
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