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Old 02-16-2014, 12:40 AM   #1
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Performance of 2013 Ram 2500 Diesel while towing

Lots of discussion about the best rig to tow with but not a lot of hard data to consider. So I wrote this to detail the performance of our 2013 RAM 2500 Diesel pickup while pulling a 2013 Forest River Flagstaff 832IKBS 34 foot travel trailer across country. So let me know if you have any questions.

Total combined weight of truck and trailer was 16,500 pounds.

The trip was conducted over 14 days beginning October 2013 in Norfolk, Virginia and concluded in Marysville, Washington. Total distance driven was 4347 miles. We burned 429.641 gallons of diesel fuel and 12.285 gallons of DEF averaging 10.11 mpg and 353.846 miles per gallon of DEF used. Total cost for fuel and DEF was $1701.66. Fuel mileage was about what was expected while towing. Advertised DEF consumption is one gallon of DEF per 50 gallons of diesel fuel used, we experienced a 36:1 ratio while towing.

We were very impressed with the overall driving quality while towing and the incredible power of the truck. The ability of the truck to automatically control the transmission and engine exhaust brake together while descending long grades was outstanding and reduced the stress to the driver of controlling the trailer. The built in towing feature also worked well and allowed us to really fine tune the amount of braking signal sent to the trailer. The heated and cooled seats were nice to have and the only issue encountered was a check engine light that came on about five days into the trip. The dealer said a software upgrade was needed; they also changed the fuel filter at the same time. Fueling the truck from commercial truck stops was a challenge; the fuel tank piping in the truck is not designed for the high flow rates of the truck stop pumps. This frequently resulted in fuel spills down the side of the truck. DEF fluid was available at the pump of most of the nationwide truck stops.

Data Collection: The truck has numerous screens that displayed a variety of information. Forms were used to record fuel mileage at each fueling stop as well as engine and transmission data while traveling and going up mountain passes. Some additional data was recorded prior to departure each day.

Fill Up Data
• Mileage at fill up
• Total gallons purchased
• Cost per gallon
• DEF added/amount/cost

Engine/Transmission Data (usually recorded one hour after departure and again one hour after first rest break, data was also recorded just before the summit of any significant grade)
• Coolant Temperature
• Transmission Temperature
• Oil Temperature
• Oil Pressure
• Outside Temperature

Daily Data (recorded prior to departure each day while towing)
• Idle Time
• Driving Time
• Oil Life %
• Fuel Filter Life %
• Distance Mileage
• Average MPH
• Average MPG
• Elapsed Time

Data Summary
o Trip Mileage: 4347
o Total Gallons Used: 429.641
o Total Cost: $1655.35
o Amount/Cost of DEF used: 12.285 gls/$46.31
o Average MPG: 10.11
o Coolant Temperature:
 Flat driving: High 197, Low 192, mode average 194
 Mountain Pass: High 212
o Transmission Temperature
 Flat driving: High 172, Low 170, mode average 170
 Mountain Pass: High 183
o Oil Temperature
 Flat driving: High 204, Low 201, mode average 201
 Mountain Pass: High 219
o Average Oil Pressure: 50
o Outside Temperature: High 85, Low 41, mode average 70
 Daily Data
o Total Idle Time: 6
o Total Driving Time: 79:33
o Oil Life % used: 29% (96% start – 67% end)
o Fuel Filter Life % used: 23%
o Total Computed Mileage: 4347
o Average Computed MPH: 54
o Average Computed MPG: 11.5
o Total Elapsed Time (engine on): 72

Truck Specs
Year/Make/Model: 2013/RAM 2500/4X4 Mega Cab, Laramie edition
Engine/Transmission: 6.7 liter Cummins Turbo diesel/6 speed automatic, 3.42 axle ratio
Truck Weight: 7704 lbs
Tires: LT265/70R17
Towing/Load Specs:
• GVWR: 10,000 lbs
• GAWR Front: 5,500 lbs
• GAWR Rear: 6,200 lbs
• GCWR: 25,000 lbs
• Max trailer weight: 17,130 lbs

Trailer
Year/ Make/Model: 2013/Forest River-Flagstaff Classic Ultra Lite/832IKBS
Length Overall: 34"
Manufactures Dry Weight: 7389 lbs
Actual combined weight of truck and trailer: 16,500 lbs
• Front Axle Weight of Truck: 4580 lbs
• Rear Axle Weight of Truck: 4320 lbs
• Combined Axle Weight of Trailer: 7600 lbs
Average Tank Levels
• Propane: two 20 gallon tanks, Full
• Potable Water: ¼ tank, est. 10 gallons
• Black & Grey: emptied each day prior to departure
Axles/Tires: 2 axles with four ST225/75/R15 Class C tires, estimate about 1800 miles on the tires prior to departure. Electric actuated brakes on each tire.
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Old 02-16-2014, 12:56 AM   #2
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When fueling at the truck islands, set fuel trigger lock to about half setting. Remember, they are high speed fuel pumps for large amounts of fuel. Not really designed for our 20 or 30 gallon fill ups. I do like being able to both fuel quickly and not worry about manuevering tho.
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Old 02-16-2014, 05:54 AM   #3
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Great report thanks for sharing. I never use the trigger lock on the fuel handle when filling up at the truck pumps. I prefer to control the flow manually just to avoid fuel spills.
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Old 02-16-2014, 08:54 AM   #4
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Good report nice to know how the new trucks are doing (I have a 06 mega diesel). Just one thing to add, The reason you are having trouble with the high flow truck pumps is because of dodge's new set up with the fuel fill. There has been much discussion on this on cummins forum. Since dodge went with a cap less fuel filler they put two flaps in the filler neck one at the top and one lower in the neck. The truck nozzles are to big to get down to push the second flap open thus causing the problem. This was designed to prevent water from getting in, I personally wish the used a cap but there is not room for a cap with the def fill. Enjoy the new truck and thanks for the report.
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Old 02-16-2014, 07:17 PM   #5
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Great report on the 2500. I'm looking at a 2013 2500 Laramie Crew trading my 2005 1500 Hemi SLT. Pulling a FR 27RLWS with a 6331!dry weight. Have a son in the Coast Guard in Portsmouth, Va and another son in The Navy in Bremerton, Washington. Looks like a trip the DW and I will be taking in the future. Thanks for the info.
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Old 02-17-2014, 06:34 PM   #6
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What gear did you tow in? I also have a 2013 Ram 2500 4X4 6.7 cummins towing a 2014 V-Cross 365VTSB. I found that if I just place mine in 5th. it doesn't down shift as much plus the RPM's are up a couple hundred at 65mph.
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Old 02-18-2014, 12:20 AM   #7
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Well we brought the new 2013 Dodge 2500 home tonight. Awesome truck. Click image for larger version

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Old 02-18-2014, 12:21 AM   #8
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Automatic lighted step rail. The DW loves the options.
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Old 02-18-2014, 10:46 AM   #9
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Nice detailed write up. Thanks
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Old 04-10-2014, 07:47 AM   #10
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Nice Write Up...

While researching this topic prior to my asking this same type of question I came across your post... Wonderful...

I have both a Chevy 2500HS with 6.0L and a NTM used 2014 Dodge 3500 CTD. My question was based on knowing how the trans temps on the chevy while towing which was around 150-165 (flat towing). I also have in my mind that I want to always keep the temp lower than 175ish at the low end max of 175 for trans trans fluid. Research on this site dispels my that notion and your very good write up gives me some performance data to know how the new Dodge 6.7 CTD performs while towing both flats and the hills.

Again, thanks for posting.

Happy Trails,

B n D
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