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Old 04-16-2021, 11:27 AM   #1
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Ram 2500 trim levels?

I'm looking for a used tow vehicle and I have Ram 2500 in my search, but not sure on the trim level. I have a choice of Lone Star, Laramie, Power Wagon, SLT, Sport, ST, STX, TRX. I like to have some tech, like hitch backup camera, audio controls on steering wheel, bluetooth, and parking sensors. I would need a payload capacity of at least 2400. This would be 4 door, 6.5 foot bed, and 4x4, model year 2014 and up. Any suggestions on which trim levels I should include in my search would be very helpful.

Thanks.
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Old 04-16-2021, 11:30 AM   #2
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all of the options you want are available as upgrades on any of the trim levels except maybe ST (the new tradesman) although my tradesman has all those things except parking sensors (but they were available)
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Old 04-16-2021, 11:31 AM   #3
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Great, thanks for the info. I guess I won't exclude any of those trim levels in my search.
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Old 04-16-2021, 11:43 AM   #4
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You can Google the year you are looking at and the trim options -

2015 Ram 2500 trim options

And car.com has quite a few and you can dig into each spec checking payload and weight limits
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Old 04-16-2021, 12:04 PM   #5
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I just "downgraded" from a Laramie 1500 to a Tradesman 2500. I wanted the payload and extra towing capacity. I went from 1439 pounds of payload to 3089 with the switch. One thing I can tell you is that the more bells and whistles you have on the truck the more it will cut into your payload. Tradesman will come with fewer options, then you move up to Bighorn, Laramie, Laramie Longhorn and then Limited. I am living just fine without the power moonroof, leather seats, Alpine stereo, etc. I had on the 1500 Laramie. The biggest thing I miss is the larger screen on the backup camera. I went from the 12 inch touchscreen down to a tiny 3.5 on the Tradesman. I would highly recommend looking for a truck with at least the 8 inch touchscreen option. Twelve inch is overkill. It is very difficult to see anything on that tiny 3.5 inch screen when backing up. Mine doesn't have the rear sensors either, but they are readily available on some Tradesman models.

My suggestion is to make a list of your "must have" options. I think you will find that most are available as options on the Tradesman, but become standard as you move up in class.
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Old 04-16-2021, 12:28 PM   #6
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There is a guy on YouTube called JB Reviews that does some nice videos comparing the various trim levels and packages on 2500/3500 trucks including the Rams.
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Old 04-16-2021, 12:32 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by FrankH35 View Post
I just "downgraded" from a Laramie 1500 to a Tradesman 2500. I wanted the payload and extra towing capacity. I went from 1439 pounds of payload to 3089 with the switch. One thing I can tell you is that the more bells and whistles you have on the truck the more it will cut into your payload. Tradesman will come with fewer options, then you move up to Bighorn, Laramie, Laramie Longhorn and then Limited. I am living just fine without the power moonroof, leather seats, Alpine stereo, etc. I had on the 1500 Laramie. The biggest thing I miss is the larger screen on the backup camera. I went from the 12 inch touchscreen down to a tiny 3.5 on the Tradesman. I would highly recommend looking for a truck with at least the 8 inch touchscreen option. Twelve inch is overkill. It is very difficult to see anything on that tiny 3.5 inch screen when backing up. Mine doesn't have the rear sensors either, but they are readily available on some Tradesman models.

My suggestion is to make a list of your "must have" options. I think you will find that most are available as options on the Tradesman, but become standard as you move up in class.
I think my must haves are a audio controls on steering wheel, bluetooth with at least 5 inch screen, hitch view back up camera, 4 corner parking sensors, heavy duty tow package, and driver's side power seat adjustments. What trim levels come standard with all of these options? Or does it depend on the year. I'm probably going to start my search at 2014, since that's when I heard they starting offing the coil spring rear suspension.
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Old 04-16-2021, 12:37 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by FrankH35 View Post
.... I went from 1439 pounds of payload to 3089 with the switch. One thing I can tell you is that the more bells and whistles you have on the truck the more it will cut into your payload.
That is so true! I just got a 2017 limited. The only thing it doesn't have is the 12" screen or a moonroof. I was amazed to find my payload capacity is just over 2000 pounds when my buddy's Tradesman is 1000 pounds more!

I like the creature comforts almost as much as my wife and this fits my towing needs just fine so I'm happy with it but if I had a bigger camper I'd have to either lose the options or go up to a 3500. (ok, a LOT bigger camper!)
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Old 04-16-2021, 01:04 PM   #9
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Used tow vehicle

I had a 2016 2500 Big Horn which work well for pulling my 32' 5th wheel however I was not satisfied with the payload so I upgraded to a 2019 RAM 3500 4x4 Big Horn. Not only RAM did the payload increase to over 4000 lbs, I acquired front and rear sensors for parking, a great back up camera which includes a bed camera, back-up camera and a hitch camera. If your going to look for a 2500, I would suggest you also consider a 3500 Big Horn.
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Old 04-16-2021, 01:23 PM   #10
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I think the Bighorn trim will most likely hit the sweet spot as getting some of your must haves as standard features. I am not as familiar with the ones that go back more than a year or two old. I think that generally speaking the newer the model year the more features that once were considered upgrades have become more and more standard--an example being power windows, locks, etc.

I think the farther back you go (2015, 2016, etc.) the higher the trim level you'll have to move up to in order to get those desired features. A more recent model year will be more likely to have them, but of course that generally will come with a higher cost.
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Old 04-16-2021, 02:26 PM   #11
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My 2500 Tradesman has all the tech I need, more to go wrong (and more money) with upgraded trim levels.
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Old 04-16-2021, 02:43 PM   #12
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2014 Ram 2500 Laramie

I run a 2014 Laramie Lonnghorn 2500. Has everything you wanted on your list. Pulls my 26fkbs very nicely. Wife will also drive while pulling. Very smooth ride and great towing capacity. Back up camera, steering wheel mount controls, etc.



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Old 04-16-2021, 02:54 PM   #13
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Bighorn is what you want

I bought a 2019 2500 6.4 hemi Bighorn and it meets your criteria...the biggest benefits are the 8í screen for hooking up, large and super clear, makes hooking up to my TT a snap, I donít need a spotter,
It has a payload of 3471 lbs. and will pull 14970 lbs....mine isnít 4x4 so youíre numbers will be about 300lbs. less
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Old 04-16-2021, 03:02 PM   #14
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Stay away from Power Wagon. they are for off-roading, not towing
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Old 04-16-2021, 03:05 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by bradw661 View Post
Stay away from Power Wagon. they are for off-roading, not towing

So true, the payload numbers on these are astonishingly low. I completely forgot about that package.
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Old 04-16-2021, 03:33 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaycle View Post
I'm looking for a used tow vehicle and I have Ram 2500 in my search, but not sure on the trim level. I have a choice of Lone Star, Laramie, Power Wagon, SLT, Sport, ST, STX, TRX. I like to have some tech, like hitch backup camera, audio controls on steering wheel, bluetooth, and parking sensors. I would need a payload capacity of at least 2400. This would be 4 door, 6.5 foot bed, and 4x4, model year 2014 and up. Any suggestions on which trim levels I should include in my search would be very helpful.

Thanks.
I have a 2017 SLT. It is one trim level up from the base Tradesman. I believe the options can vary even with the same trim level but I have the backup camera, bluetooth and parking sensors but no audio steering wheel controls. It also has SiriusXM radio. The bluetooth for the phone works great, eg. good sound and good mic for those you are speaking with. I miss my audio controls on the steering wheel that I had on my previous truck but I got used to it. I believe the Big Horn is the next highest trim level and the technology is the biggest difference as you go up trim levels.
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Old 04-16-2021, 03:37 PM   #17
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My 2016 Ram 2500 SLT has all that the OP asked about, except for the driver's power seat..
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Old 04-16-2021, 04:06 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Timoteo View Post
I bought a 2019 2500 6.4 hemi Bighorn and it meets your criteria...the biggest benefits are the 8í screen for hooking up, large and super clear, makes hooking up to my TT a snap, I donít need a spotter,
It has a payload of 3471 lbs. and will pull 14970 lbs....mine isnít 4x4 so youíre numbers will be about 300lbs. less

If I had an 8' screen, I wouldn't need a spotter, either... I would need a bigger cab!!
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Old 04-16-2021, 04:13 PM   #19
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Couple of more things

Make sure you get the proper axle ratio, it makes a huge difference in what you can tow (3.73 is good) and if possible get the 8 speed vs. the 6 speed, another big difference in tow- ability, althoí i donít believe the 8 speed came out until 2019
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Old 04-16-2021, 04:22 PM   #20
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If I had an 8' screen, I wouldn't need a spotter, either... I would need a bigger cab!!
LOL.... I guess one little ‘ makes a big difference! ��
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