My RAM/Lance 650 Adventure(s)

Thanks Jonathon. No, I never considered the 6.4 gasser. I thought that since I was underpowered with the 5.7, that I would swing to the other side and get the most power. At 385 HP and 930 lb/ft of torque, the power is eye popping and really amazing. And I am sensitive to fuel economy, and the Cummins is the best in that respect. Cost of fuel, initial buy-in of the truck, potential maintenance costs don't concern me. I wanted the power, fuel economy, and well, I just love diesels. My last was my Mercedes Benz E-320 CDI turbodiesel, which was the last of the iron block straight six turbo diesels from Mercedes. Amazing engine--power and fuel economy. I miss that car...my current gas E-Class Mercedes is no where as satisfying to drive. There is just something about driving a diesel... So, no, I never considered the 6.4. I think that a 2500 with a Cummins will not have very good payload at all since the engine is so heavy. Need the 3500 if you go diesel and want a TC.
 

Bayou Boy

Adventurer
Nice setup! Was the 6.4 Hemi ever a consideration?

We are looking at a 2500 CCSB Tradesman with the 6.4 to eventually put a slide in on. On paper it has a 3600lb payload looks good, I wonder if reality is the Cummins does that much better?
I would look at the sticker on the actual truck you are considering or one as close as you can find it before putting too much stock in the payloads listed on the Ram website. My truck showed up with 400# less than they listed for a 3500 SRW Crew Laramie 4wd Cummins. If you are buying a truck specifically to haul a slide in camper, there is absolutely zero reason to buy a 2500 instead of a 3500. You are literally throwing payload away for no reason.
 
I thought I would show you what I do when the camper is off the truck. Instead of using a hard shell topper, I use a Softopper. This keeps the weather out of the bed of the truck, but folds like a convertible top (though forward toward the cab) to load large items. It removes easily when using the camper. The rear and the sides roll up too. Nice product. I had one on my Toyota Tacoma too (miss that Taco).

RAM 3500 with Softopper.jpgTaco with Softopper.jpg
 

grogie

Like to Camp
Wonderful setup, and is what I long term want to do. Either I’d tow my Jeep on occasion or pull the off-road trailer I built for my Jeep.

Could I ask you to discuss not going dually? Which for one I realize is the size of a dually.

Thanks for sharing. :)
 

Mundo4x4Casa

West slope, N. Ser. Nev.
Good solutions here. The best way to learn is the hard way. It seems to stick better when you jump ship and encounter an abrupt cashectomy. AFA gas vs. diesel, my view is one of distance. If you plan on keeping the TC for a long time, say, 200K miles, then an oil burner can be a better choice with enough time to drive your way through the diesel penalty. If you are new to TC-ing and don't know how long you will be in the game, or a short timer, then a Hemi or even an older V-10 gas would supply you with enough power, if not good gas mileage. My neighbor bought a 1997 Dodge 2500 4WD V-10 with 40K miles for $3500. It almost has as much torque as my Cummins and a lot more HP. It needed tires and one of the cat converters to be replaced. That's all. It's his ranch truck. He uses it for short runs to carry feed and hay, or pulling a 4-horse trailer for his many 4 footed inhabitants, so the 6 mpg he gets doing that doesn't even register as bad considering the low miles per year he puts on it.
As an aside, my 2001.5 Dodge Cummins with 505 TQ and 245 HP seems very anemic compared to the latest Diesel Warz offerings, but with the 6 speed manual and 4.10 gears it still gets 13-14 mpg with the loaded camper on and with only 174K miles should do this for a long time. It has only a replacement 4" pipe and a muffler. No DEF tank, soot bag, or any other anti-smog appliances.
jefe
 

Tex68w

Beach Bum
I thought I would show you what I do when the camper is off the truck. Instead of using a hard shell topper, I use a Softopper. This keeps the weather out of the bed of the truck, but folds like a convertible top (though forward toward the cab) to load large items. It removes easily when using the camper. The rear and the sides roll up too. Nice product. I had one on my Toyota Tacoma too (miss that Taco).

View attachment 477714View attachment 477715
I'd miss that Tacoma too, that to me is still the best model they ever made. I had a 2001 (first year of that body style) DC TRD, sadly it was totaled in a wreck.

Have you had any issues with those Soft Toppers in regards to leaks and durability?
 
Wonderful setup, and is what I long term want to do. Either I’d tow my Jeep on occasion or pull the off-road trailer I built for my Jeep.

Could I ask you to discuss not going dually? Which for one I realize is the size of a dually.

Thanks for sharing. :)
@grogie , a dually is simply too big for my purposes. I doubt I'd be able to garage it. Thanks for your note!
 
Have you had any issues with those Soft Toppers in regards to leaks and durability?
Softoppers are durable, but you can get leaks at the bed rails in really heavy rains. Nothing major, but they are not perfectly water tight in my experience. The only problem I have had is not the fault of the Softopper. I had it stored in my shed, and a mouse set up shop in the folds and chewed a quarter sized hole in it. It was dumb of me to not wrap it up before storing it. They do sell a cover for it when it is folded--I'd recommend it!
 

Regcabguy

Expedition Leader
Nice setup! Was the 6.4 Hemi ever a consideration?

We are looking at a 2500 CCSB Tradesman with the 6.4 to eventually put a slide in on. On paper it has a 3600lb payload looks good, I wonder if reality is the Cummins does that much better?
Test drive them both. I think a diesel w/Aisin trans would work well for you. Make it a 3500 and get the rear leafs.
 

Nevada Jay

New member
I bought the truck, installed the tie downs, air bags, and my ham radio all in the week before we headed off for a trip to Maine. Man, does this truck perform! With almost 4,000 pounds of payload, I am underloaded, which I like. And the engine is nothing short of amazing. We wandered our way to and from Maine over 11 days on mostly back roads, up and down mountains, and the truck handled it all effortlessly. I even average 16 mpg the entire 2000 miles. The combination of the chassis, powerful engine, and exhaust brake created a total package of complete and confident control. I have the correct tool for the job.

I know some might say I over did it, but in my opinion it is critical to make sure you are running under the stated capacity of your truck. Pay attention to the numbers when you are planning your rig. I did not initially and it cost me some money and a dope slap from my wife. But a small price to pay to get it dialed in.

Continuing to dial it all in will be the subject of my next posts.

View attachment 471171
I have question about your front tie downs that are attached to your frame. I have a 2500 and also have a 650 camper, but I had the dealership install the tie downs on the dodge today and they put the front tie downs under the cab at the rear door and rear of the step and in front of the front camper jacks. I was wondering if you could send me a picture of the location of your front tie down location so I can show them and get it fixed. I can't tie the camper down in the front because the jack arms are behind the tie down and I have the same tie downs as you. Also did you have to put in a small spacer lift in the bed of your truck to keep the pvc pipes (black in color) in the rear of the camper from touching? I may just need to leave more space in the front between the camper and front of the bed to have the pipes hang over a bit more. Thank you for any help you can supply, I need it because I'm thinking the local dealership might be a little confused on tie down locations. Great looking rig and set up also!!
 
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That is the correct place to mount the TorkLift tie downs on a 2500. The top photo below is my previous 2500. The mounts are under the back of the cab and in front of the jacks (further complicated by the full length running board on that truck). I used several quick links on the camper end of the mounts to facilitate attaching the tie downs and to reduce the length of the tie downs. My current 3500 (next photo) is mounted much further back. The rear mounts are the same on these trucks, but the fronts are different because of the different suspension systems. The plumbing does not touch the bed of my truck--I mount the camper all the way forward in the bed. If the plumbing is contacting the bed of the truck then that would suggest the pipes are not quite installed correctly. Let me know what other questions you have!

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In addition to a ham radio, I always keep a CB in my truck. I have spent forever it seems looking for a way to mount a CB antenna on the front of the truck that is not rinky-dink. I have the cowl mount specially made for the RAM truck on the left fender with my ham radio antenna on that, but they don't make the same mount for the right side. So I finally bit the bullet and drilled. This is a beautifully made Breedlove ball mount. Super solid (I could actually put a 1/4 wave whip on this), and super quiet because I ran a separate ground from the mount to the chassis (on the inside of the fender). Glad I finally did that and have a clean install. Nothing rinky-dink about this! And below is my radio installation in the truck.

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I finally modified my BossHog rear carrier. I added a superstructure with a full platform on top. This effectively doubles the volume of the carrier, and provides a full back porch for the camper. A tarp serves as simple weatherproofing. I set the height of it to accommodate my Honda generator, and there is just enough clearance to allow the door to swing open. The platform lifts off for loading/unloading, and is held on with snap clips. This will hold a lot of junk.

525702
 

Regcabguy

Expedition Leader
Nice setup! Was the 6.4 Hemi ever a consideration?

We are looking at a 2500 CCSB Tradesman with the 6.4 to eventually put a slide in on. On paper it has a 3600lb payload looks good, I wonder if reality is the Cummins does that much better?
The 6.7 is a dramatic improvement over the 6.4. Get the 3500 with rear leafs for carrying a slide in. Much easier to beef up. The newer diesels need to work.
 
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kmacafee

Adventurer
I have a Ram 3500 6.4 gasser with a flatbed and a 2000 pound Bundutec camper on it. Even loaded, I am slightly under the stated weight limit, do not have to worry about DEF or very expensive oil changes and maintenance. And, I will never have to deal with the inability to find a decent diesel mechanic in remote areas as friends of mine have had to do. Not saying that one or the other is better -- they both have advantages and disadvantages.
 
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