RAM HD with the Cummins Targets Death Valley

Discussion in 'In the News' started by xcel, Jul 27, 2016.

  1. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    [​IMG] Someone is coming out on top in this battle of HD Truck engineering design vs. the toughest environment found on planet earth.

    Wayne Gerdes – CleanMPG – July 27, 2016

    Ram HD - Torture Tests in the Mojave...

    A CleanMPG Towing efficiency test drive has been authorized courtesy of RAM.

    Later this morning I am picking up a 2016 RAM 2500 Laramie Longhorn Crew Cab 4x4 equipped with the 6.7L Cummins and a 3.42 rear end. This is the standard rear end for all RAM 2500s. In this trim and configuration, it has a max payload and towing cap of 1,972 lbs. and 14,950 lbs. respectively.

    The Laramie Longhorn is one trim level from the top Laramie Limited so it is essentially a fully loaded truck with everything but the kitchen sink. It may even have the kitchen sink for all I know. Actually, here is some of that kitchen sink.

    2016 RAM 2500 Laramie Longhorn Highlights


    The Laramie Longhorn arrives with a front air dam, Front stabilizer, LED bed lighting, locking tailgate, spray-in bedliner, tow hooks, 4 and 7 Pin harness, trailer brake control, class V hitch, and full size spare all standard.


    Passenger Interior Volume: 125.3
    Seating Capacity - Maximum Seating: 6

    Like the RAM 3500 we drove a few years back, the interior comfort should prove to be first rate as the Laramie Longhorn is a no compromise luxury ride to go along with its best in the 3/4 Ton class work capability. Premium leather high-back bucket seats, power 10-way driver seat with power lumbar and memory, power six-way front passenger seat with power lumbar, heated and ventilated front seats, heated leather wheel, heated second row seats, real wood trim, leather shift knob, premium leather-trimmed rear 60/40 split folding bench seat, dual auto climate, driver/passenger assist handles, power pedals with memory, proximity key and automatic headlamps, rear power sliding window, LED lighting, plus 12 and 115V aux power outlet round out the interior.

    The Drivers view.​


    Uconnect 8.4” touchscreen display audio with 9 Alpine speakers and sub, aux jack, 2 USB ports, HD radio, and Bluetooth w/ voice.


    The heart of the beast is the multi-award winning 370 hp and 800 lb. ft. of torque, 6.7L I6 Cummins mated to a wide ratio HD 6-speed AT. Emissions are controlled via EGR, Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR), and a Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF).

    The Ram Heavy Duty features Ram Active Air intake system. When the intake system senses extreme heat and it will, it draws cooler air in from the front of the vehicle – a function that also engages at high altitudes - it will experience that as well - for superior throttle response in low oxygen environments.

    The Cummins also has a Best-in-Class 15,000-mile oil change interval.

    With the 18s or 20s - not sure how it is completely equipped, it will run between a very relaxed 1,297 and 1,313 RPM@60 mph with its 0.63 6th and 3.42 final. Let us hope it can tow 3/8 of its max tow cap while the torque converter locks up in 6th.


    The 50 KSI hydroformed steel frame incorporates additional cross members for strength and mass efficiency as well as hydroformed front and rear rail contours for a more secure placement of suspension components and mounts.

    The Ram 2500 offers a choice between two rear suspensions: A standard five-link coil system or optional air suspension system. I am not sure which of the two class leading suspensions it will arrive with?

    The standard five-link coil rear suspension helps reduce overall friction in the system without sacrificing heavy-duty towing capability. The result? Improved turning ability and an enhanced ride quality.

    With a wider frame and significantly larger stabilizer bar, the three-link front suspension utilizes more outward positioned springs and stronger shocks help to give the driver a cushioned ride, especially when hauling a heavy payload.


    4-Wheel Discs w/ ABS, ESC, ParkSense front and ParkView rear camera, and rear park assist are part of this trim.

    2016 RAM 2500 Laramie Limited Pricing

    2016 RAM 2500 Laramie Longhorn - July 13, 2016 TrueCar Price Report


    Pricing discounts off MSRP range $13k and $11k off from the East to West Coasts.


    3/36 bumper to bumper, Cummins Diesel Drivetrain: 5/100k and Roadside Assistance of 5/100k.

    The 2016 Ram 2500 and 3500 Heavy Duty are built at the Saltillo Truck Assembly Plant in Coahuila, Mexico.

    The Tow Test

    I will be renting a U-Haul dual axle auto trailer and placing the most efficient battery electric available today on it. That being an 83 mile all electric range (AER) 2016 VW e-Golf. I plan on towing the e-Golf from about 50' ASL starting just south of LA, over the Cajon pass at 4,200' ASL, and back down to almost 0' ASL in Death Valley. You remember Death Valley, right? One of if not the hottest places on earth during the hottest time of the year. The Mojave as depicted in the video above was showing 105 degrees F. That was a nice drive to Grandma’s house compared to Death Valley in late July. 120 to 130 degrees F should provide the big RAM 2500s 22.5 Ls coolant capacity a real good workout. Yeah, this drive requires A/C use. A lot of. ;)

    Oh, and about the climb up the Cajon Pass on I-15 in Southern California? That has multiple 4 to 6 percent grade sections over the course of some 30 miles. 5,600+ pounds with the 3,400+ lb. e-Golf and 2,200+ lb. dual axle car trailer should be a cake walk for the Super RAM 2500 equipped with the Cummins.

    Efficiency, who knows? This is going to be a great efficiency test of one of if not the most efficient HD Pickup available while towing one of the most efficient BEVs. I could not come up with a better platform to tow with or to be towed and doing so to the harshest summer climate on the planet makes the entire test AWESOME!

    Any guesses on the results?

    2016 RAM 2500 with the 6.7L Cummins


    A few tidbits about the exceptionally efficient 2016 VW e-Golf that VW is supplying for the efficiency tow test.

    For 2016, the all-new value-oriented e-Golf SE has a starting price of just $28,995 and can be picked up through a $199/month lease offer. A 3.6 kW onboard charger is standard while a 480V Level3 DC Fast Charging Package ($1,675) adds a 7.2 kW onboard charger.

    Charging times? From flat, 20 hours from a Level1 120V outlet, 4 hours from a Level2 240V outlet and if equipped with the DC Fast Charger, flat to 80 percent while on a 50 kW charger in ~ 30 minutes.

    2016 VW e-Golf Drivetrain

    The e-Golf is powered by a 115 hp and 199 lb-ft of torque synchronous AC motor operating up to a max RPM of 12,000 rpm through a single-speed transmission. Power is stored within the 24.2 kWh Li-Ion pack outputting a voltage of between 250 and 430 volts. It has an EPA estimated range of 83 miles and a 116 MPGe rating, highest of any compact BEV.

    Standard aerodynamic 16” alloys fit tightly within the wheel arches while ultra-low rolling resistance 205/55 R16 tires take care of reducing rolling resistance. A radiator shutter and grille, underbody paneling, rear spoiler and C-pillar air vanes give the e-Golf a Coefficient of Drag (Cd) of 0.27.

    Inside, the e-Golf offers exact same 93.5 and 22.8 cu. ft. of passenger and cargo volume as other Golf hatchback models. 52.7 cu. ft. with the rear seats folded.

    Will we pull the e-Golf off the trailer for a little drive within Death Valley? That is TBD but I would say … Probably. ;)

    2016 VW e-Golf


    Look for more details later today.
    seftonm and 08EscapeHybrid like this.
  2. Carcus

    Carcus Well-Known Member

    Cleanmpg is definitely "evolving" ...

    /I really hope this isn't what I think it is.
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2016
  3. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Carcus:

    See what is being towed? I have some plans for that too. ;)

  4. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Today's ride is the workhorse of the 3/4 Ton work truck market place. That being The #RAM 2500 4×4 Crew Cab with the 6.7L #Cummins.

    As described within today's home page feature story, this truck is a Laramie Longhorn trim, just one trim away from fully loaded.

    And what are we planning to do with this beast of a work truck? Besides a short 90+ mile calibration drive between Torrance and Del Mar, Calif. on the 405/5 nightmare, this Friday we are loading it up with a car trailer and car with a tow weight of just over 5,600 lbs. Then we are driving it over the 4,200' ASL Cajon Pass and back into the depths of Death Valley to see how it performs on 4 to 6% grade climbs and in 120+ degree heat. I suspect she will do just fine...

    Different from the Home page feature and pricing list, today's ride also includes Auto high beams and rain sensing wipers ($395), Anti-spin rear diff. ($395), Power trailer two mirrors with per gold ($180), Proximity key ($180), Center high mount spot with camera ($325), Chrome side steps ($300), Auto level rear air suspension ($1,595), On/Off road 275/70R17 tires ($225) and a Ram Box cargo mgmt system ($1,295).

    $55,835 to start plus the $8,995 Cummins and HD 6-speed, the above options and a $1,195 D&H charge brings its MSRP to $70,885. Remember the TrueCar estimate was showing $12 5 to $13k discounts on this towing rig as equipped.

    She's topped off and ready for the first drive of the 2016 Ram 2500 with the 6.7L Cummins behind the large chrome Ram grille and beneath the power dome hood.

    FB_IMG_1469645494282.jpg FB_IMG_1469645498721.jpg FB_IMG_1469645502387.jpg
  5. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    First drive of the 2016 #RAM 2500 4X4 with the 6.7L #Cummins is in the books...

    The 405 had slow downs in Torrance and Huntington Beach where as the 5 sucked. Stop and crawls coming into Dana Point and a real bear from Carlsbad all the way to Encintas. Just no way to get around Southern Calif. Traffic. :(

    Capless refueling means I will have to drive a lot further for a solid offset but the indicated results were pretty good.

    Displays ticked down .1 mpg while taking pics after I pulling in.


    #Efficient #long #distance #traveler - #CleanMPG
    wxman likes this.
  6. Carcus

    Carcus Well-Known Member

    This should be interesting. (hopefully not planning to tow the Ram with the e-Golf!)
    xcel likes this.
  7. phoebeisis

    phoebeisis Well-Known Member

    An old fashioned gasoline engine -say 2004 vintage 1/2 ton--even a 1/2 ton
    Doing a bit of climbing-dirty 5600 lb load- the mpg in the 50-60 mph range would be 8-10mpg range is my guess-
    with a 1/2 ton truck that could get 20-21 mpg at 60 mph-which many 2004 pickups could do by them

    This beast- didn't its "brother" get 24 mpg at 60 mph?
    Normally I "sour grapes" all TD's-
    but they are made for towing hauling-so…
    I would guess -at 60 mph-towing level-it should get maybe 17mpg at 60 mph- with that dirty 5600 lb load
    By comparison GMs HUGE 502 gasser-in a 3/4 ton-would get maybe 14 mpg at 60 mph-unladen-and maybe 8mpg towing(on a good day)
    xcel likes this.
  8. Prozac

    Prozac Well-Known Member

    When I owned my 2004 Dodge 3/4 ton, I always wished it had the Cummins. The above pic just makes me understand why I had such a lust for the diesel platform.
    xcel likes this.
  9. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    This 2016 #Laramie #Longhorn trimmed #RAM 2500 includes the best center console smartphone holders in any car or truck I have ever driven.


    #Chevrolet offers an optional Qi charger for a single phone that is the best for both solid hold and cordless inductive charge but for two phones, someone working the Laramie trim really thought outside the box.

    Great job RAM truck supplier(s) and FCA/RAM Product Planners.

    PS: This photo and status update is being uploaded via the included Wi-Fi Hot spot within the Laramie Longhorn trimmed RAM 2500. I like that part too. ;)

    #Efficient #long #distance #traveler
    TheStepChild and BillLin like this.
  10. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    When driving a 2016 #RAM 2500 3/4-Ton Heavy Duty truck with a #Cummins, you have to go tool shopping, right?


    Wayne the "Tool Man" Gerdes?

    Nahhh. Just picking up a 3" drop receiver, 2-1/2" to 2" sleeve, locking hitch pin, and a 2" ball for tomorrows testing.

    #Efficient #long #distance #traveler
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 29, 2016
    BillLin likes this.
  11. Prozac

    Prozac Well-Known Member

    I love the side boxes. This is pretty much how I would set up my truck if I purchased one new. Unfortunately, there is just no way I could justify the price of one of these. Now, put that thing to work!
    xcel likes this.
  12. phoebeisis

    phoebeisis Well-Known Member

    Where is your photogenic four legged co-pilot??
    Pups is certainly a Mopar/Cummins fan??
    Any tow numbers yet
    the 31 mpg -45mph average -in CA traffic and "hills"-awfully good-
    not long ago-2000 or so-not ONE chrysler USA vehicle( any car certainly no truck) could get 31mpg in mixed CA driving averaging 45 mph-MB did Ram/Dodge/Chrysler no favors-Fiat certainly did-the 3.0TB being high on the list

    Now their biggest most torque-full vehicle-close to 8000 lbs and 4wd-800 ft lbs-with a frontal area of 36 sq ft or so can do it
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2016
    xcel and TheStepChild like this.
  13. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Ram Trucks Finest Hour

    Death Valley, Calif. -- A lone 2016 ‪#‎RAM‬ Pickup being tested in the harshest climate on the planet became an unlikely hero as it came to the rescue of a group of French citizens in dire straights.

    There is a reason why it is called Death Valley...

    With elevation changes from 5,200 ft to hundreds of feet below sea level, ascent and descent grades exceeding 8 percent, and mid-summer day/night time temperatures exceeding 130/110 degrees F respectively, Death Valley National Park is a hazardous locale not to be trifled with. It is also the perfect location for extreme environment automobile testing which is the reason why we were there.

    Last night we were running an efficiency test of a 2016 RAM 2500 4x4 review vehicle equipped with the powerful 370 hp and 800 lb-ft of torque 6.7L ‪#‎Cummins‬ ‪#‎turbo‬ ‪#‎diesel‬. Behind was a 5,600 lbs load of car and dual axle car trailer. After ascending and descending the first 5,200 ft peak into the first valley, we spotted a lone vehicle pulled far off the side of the road and a family onboard.

    Given the very late hour, the extremely desolate desert highway - CA 190, and temperatures at that location of 110 degrees F, something did not feel right. We brought the towing rig to a stop, backed up, and asked if they needed assistance. They did indeed.


    The Houssais family of 5 were French citizens on a vacation of a lifetime to see and experience the American Southwest. They landed in Los Angeles, picked up a rental car and hit the open road like any of us would and many of us have.

    The oldest daughter spoke broken English and communicated that their rental cars brakes had failed while descending from the 4,980 ft peak of Townes Pass to the valley floor when exiting the Park last night. The breakdown occurred approximately equidistant between Panamint Springs and Stovepipe Wells, neither of which can be found on most GPS systems. At this location, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile services were non-existent so I could not use our phones for translation either! Although we still had over 75 miles of driving to reach our final test segment location before calling it a night and heading back, there was no way in hell we were going to leave a family with a stricken vehicle left to chance in that environment. The 5-passenger RAM Crew Cab turned into a 7-passenger lifeboat.

    We moved our own luggage and gear from the cab into the trucks bed and loaded theirs into the same. With everyone inside and the excellent A/C cooling off our guests, we climbed Towne Pass, descended to Stovepipe Wells, and pulled into the General Store. I attempted to procure roadside assistance from the rental car company but given the location and language difficulties, I decided it was best that we halt our test and bring them back to their nightly final destination as a family.


    The fully booked Stovepipe Wells hotel offered to hold the rental car key so that road side assistance could pick it up, drive to the cars location, and flat bed it to Las Vegas. We found out later that this occurred some 3.5 days after the breakdown!

    The real coincidence for the Houssais family was that their nights destination in Ridgecrest, Calif. was just down the road from our own over 100 miles back! God's hand must have been involved to help in this instance as we drove the distance. To provide our new friends a little American sightseeing tour, we stopped at the peak of Towne Pass on the way out to view the vastness of our planets dark black sky and the magnificence of the in view Milky Way galaxy plus multiple meteors. Always a highlight of mine and now a highlight of theirs as well.

    When we reached their hotel, I passed along all the relevant information about the next days rental car exchange, the phone number of a French citizen translator if needed, and to make sure the hotel staff took care of our guests in a way we would hope to be taken care of in our desperate hour of need. As of 09:15 am PST this morning, the family is in a new car, loaded up, and will remember their American vacation like no other ever experienced anywhere in the world.

    Paying it forward as so many "Road Angels" have done for me over the course of my own excursions onto the open road.

    PS: The RAM was indicating 18.3 mpg over 215 miles of tow testing from sea level, over the 5,200' peak, and back to the Valley Floor. With over 2 hours of idling to keep the family cool inside the truck while working with the outside groups given the gravity of the situation, the final displays meant little.

    Now back to work.

    FB_IMG_1469898769054.jpg FB_IMG_1469898776440.jpg FB_IMG_1469898772629.jpg FB_IMG_1469898780849.jpg

    #Efficient #long #distance #traveler - #CleanMPG
    TheStepChild, DaveJ and BillLin like this.
  14. BillLin

    BillLin PV solar, geothermal HVAC, hybrids and electrics

    Good job, Mr. Ambassador.
    xcel likes this.
  15. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hot as hell and cool at the same time. :)


    A few hours in Death Valley without A/C makes for one very long day... It was 121 in Furnace Creek but just 118 at Badwater Basin at sunset.

    #Efficient #long #distance #traveler - #CleanMPG
    BillLin likes this.
  16. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    The 2016 #RAM 2500 4X4 with the 6.7L #Cummins is really proving itself. Despite 10 to 15 mph head and sidewinds, towing a dual axle trailer with a car on it, and simply setting CC at the trailers and the State of California's maximum PSL while towing, it beats some half tons highway EPA ratings!

    FB_IMG_1470025260023.jpg FB_IMG_1470025263892.jpg FB_IMG_1470025267406.jpg FB_IMG_1470025272944.jpg

    Given the pricing and capability, it would take a hell of a case to make me consider a gas engined half-ton when this monster is available for nearly the same pricec when similarly equipped. Besides the award winning 3.0L EcoDiesel in the RAM 1500 that is.

    Given the Big 3s monthly pickup sales of well over 125k units and probably 80 percent of them being blinged up gas sucking half-tons, there sure are a lot of posers that really do not understand or know the whole story.

    Let us put it this way. The Ford F-150 with the 2.7L or 3.5L EcoBoost cannot do this. The Chevrolet Silverado 1500 with the 4.3, 5.3 or 6.2L cannot do this and even the RAM 1500 with the 3.6L cannot perform to this level of efficiency while towing this just under 3 tons of equipment.

    Empty only the F-150 with the 3.5L EcoBoost and Ram 1500 with the 3.6L Pentastar can beat the Cummins equipped RAM on the efficiency front and we are talking just barely.

    Wake the **** up pickup buyers. The sheriff has been here all along and it is time to quit playing games. If you tow anything, you had better look at the 3/4-ton RAM because the rest are simply expensive and not so efficient posers.

    The upcoming Ford F-250 might be able to compete at the pump when equipped the 6.7L Power Stroke and a 3.31 rear end but right now, #Ford, #Chevrolet, #Toyota, #Nissan, and especially #Honda half-tons as well as Chevrolet and Nissan 3/4-tons are looking enviously at the super capable RAM 2500 3/4-ton given what the powertrain provides.

    Good stuff RAM. Not all is perfect as steering, handling, and lack of multiple USB ports shows your age, but what you have shown in terms of power and efficiency so far is F'ing impressive.

    #Efficient #long #distance #traveler - #CleanMPG
  17. phoebeisis

    phoebeisis Well-Known Member

    Those tourists lucked out-
    and you are right-this road trip will be a life long memory
    The USA SW is like nothing on earth-
    and you can actually drive to and through it-and DEATH VALLEY well named

    And the Cummins-amazing-
    if you actually need a HEAVY-WORK TRUCK- easy choice
    So it gets 18-20mpg towing 5500lb dirty load-at 40-50mph-climbing etc
    I wonder what the 3.0TD would do with that load-maybe 22 mpg? Most current Gas trucks would be lucky to break 14mpg-and they don't have 800 ft lbs in the bank-just in case it is needed.
    xcel likes this.
  18. seftonm

    seftonm Veteran Staff Member

    The difference in ride quality and price between a diesel 3/4 ton and a gasser half ton is too big to ignore. Maybe in California you can tolerate the stiffer suspension, but in places where frost heaves and freeze / thaw happen, the comfort difference is significant. Ride quality alone would keep me in a 1/2 ton unless I was needing to use 3/4 ton capabilities on a somewhat regular basis. Even though my dad's Tundra gets around 10mpg while towing our boat, I'd much rather put up with 10mpg for 5 days a year rather than the lower comfort and higher payments of the 3/4 ton for 365 days a year.
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2016
  19. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Mike:

    This RAM has the rear tow height air suspension which helps considerably. Still stiff but not a killer and especially when loaded.

    On the pricing front, this is an almost top of the line $70k truck with everything and can be picked up for $57k or less. There are people buying 1/2 tons for that price here in the U.S.!

  20. seftonm

    seftonm Veteran Staff Member

    The 1500 can also be had with air suspension, I don't expect either system to be super reliable long term. I am sure that 1/2 tons can be found for similar 18% discounts to what your particular truck has.

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