2014 RAM 1500 EcoDiesel Heads West

Discussion in 'In the News' started by xcel, Aug 15, 2014.

  1. xcel

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

    [​IMG] A work truck scheduled to be trucked to Calif. gets ready to haul a household there and save fuel in the process.

    Wayne Gerdes - CleanMPG - Aug. 14, 2014


    2014 RAM 1500 Tradesman with the 3.0L EcoDiesel - $32,080 as driven while rated at 21/28 mpg City/highway. Heading west with an overnight on the Mississippi and a drive along the Pacific Coast!

    Social Media? How about #RAMTargets40?

    Marian has been in San Diego for quite some time while we try and sell our home in IL. Although that process is taking much longer than expected, visiting Southern California has become a staple and while doing so, a home needs to be moved in steps. And RAM provides.

    When I requested a 2014 RAM 1500 with the 3.0L EcoDiesel as a stripped work truck for a World Record attempt, RAM’s Nick Cappa was hesitant. As in how was he going to sell a stripped work truck from a press fleet after a particular press fleet vehicle has run its course through the local media outlets?

    Now that I have had a few days in the fuel efficient Tradesman, it will probably go like a hot knife through butter to a California area dealership. A rancher, a farmer, a general contractor, or a fleet will buy this baby in hours. Why? Because it lists for < $30k and is built perfectly for a Southern Californian that needs a work truck, not a show truck. In the land where diesel fuel costs less than gasoline, it is quite literally the perfect vehicle.

    So why Southern California? Apparently the Press Fleet out there is lacking a working EcoDiesel so one was destined for it anyway. RAM could ship it there with maybe 5 other trucks pulled by a big rig at 6 mpg (36 mpg per truck equivalent) or let me take my chances and see if we could not only be the first to cross the country in a full sized pickup besting the transportation average but setting a World Record as the first full sized pickup to cross a large portion of the country at > 40 + mpg. We will have to see about that.

    I like the Outdoors so my trusty Eureka! camping gear is also along for the ride.

    Most also know I do not leave home in any car or truck without a ScanGauge attached. For the 3.0L EcoDiesel, I am watching instantaneous HP, RPM, Throttle Position and LOAD.

    Low and behold, it is equipped with some Goodyear Wranglers, one of my favorite tire company’s.

    And like all vehicles, it needs fuel. Not as much as you might think given the super diesel inside but it still needs fuel. Shell took care of that need and the Fuel Rewards Network is saving me a few cents/gallon at each stop along the way.

    So I loaded it up with stickers and have affectionately decided to call her “Stickers.” And here we are.

    This morning my oldest son and I hit the road with the totally loaded up 2014 RAM 1500 Tradesman with the 3.0L EcoDiesel.

    2014 RAM 1500 Tradesman with the 3.0L EcoDiesel

    It is packed!​

    The 8' bed has approximately 1000 lbs of stuff - clothes, pictures, electronics, bins, mementos – so this is no joy ride. This truck is actually doing quite a bit of work.
    So San Diego it is. ;)


    After topping off and sealing up the tank at a Shell on Highway 41 – I was born around the nation fame – and Wadsworth Rd. in Wadsworth, IL, first stop was the Chicago Automobile Trade Association (CATA) building for a Midwest Automobile Media Association (MAMA) meet. This was its trial by fire as 40 mpg is a huge number for a pickup loaded to the top of the box.

    After just 15 miles however, we arrived to a 15-minute stop and crawl due to a Limo fire in the opposite lanes that balled up traffic with gapers. Me too I guess?


    A stop at CATA.​

    After leaving CATA, I had a little trouble with the Garmin as it was set for no tolls and we spent ~ 5 miles on surface streets as we headed up and over I-88 before getting back on the Interstate. With the aFCD showing 43.3 mpg at the time, I was not to concerned. ;)

    This route includes a night of camping on the Mississippi at Illiniwek Forest Preserve (following the RAM advert theme again) where I am typing this up plus more camping as we make our way west.

    Tomorrows stay is scheduled for Kearney, NE, home of the famous Fort Kearney.

    Day three will be NM or AZ and the day after that, maybe we will have hit the Pacific Ocean. Maybe?

    Yeah, one of those cool drives that I wish more of you had the opportunity to do for yourself. And hopefully at that World Record breaking number of the big Four-Oh!?

    How is the truck doing so far? Not bad, not bad at all. :)

    43.1 mpg after 196.7 miles displayed (198 miles actual) from the 21/28 mpg rated pickup.​

    Three mountain ranges and god only knows what kind of weather we will run into ahead so this one has another 1,700 miles into the unknown still left to go. I hope Stickers will hold onto some of what she allowed so far.

    Camping along the Mississippi

    My son’s first MRE. ;)

    A few shots of the truck and our little camping expedition as we make our way west.

    A 41 Plymouth cruising the campground along the Mississippi. How appropriate given the RAM Truck!

    Reflection of the Mississippi from the 2014 RAM 1500s back sliding glass window.

    Last of our camp fire tonight.​

    This thread is over 100 posts long as I add this edit so follow through with Page 2, 3, 4, etc. as linked below for more. A lot more!
  2. EdwinTheMagnificent

    EdwinTheMagnificent Legend In His Mind

    Good luck , Wayne. Don't forget to pop pop pop pop !
  3. Airbalancer

    Airbalancer Well-Known Member

    What would be your cruising speed ?
  4. tribosessive

    tribosessive Well-Known Member

    Nice. It's so counterintuitive for that beast to go forty plus. Regular cab. Work truck white. Perfect. I wonder what the Cd would be with a cab-high camper shell. That configuration would be just the right tool for my job, and then some. You are definitely changing my perspective. Have a great journey, xcel.
  5. thunderstruck

    thunderstruck Super Moderator

    It helps point out what a joke the EPA fuel economy ratings for diesels are. I can usually exceed the ratings in my car by anywhere from 10-15 MPG.
  6. phoebeisis

    phoebeisis Well-Known Member

    40 mpg !! 1/2 ton somewhat loaded?
    Yikes-pretty high bar

    Wayne will it give actual average driving speeds??
    You aren't doing any motor off gliding -right??

    Can tell just how much fuel one of those "forced to burn off the soot" cycles uses?
    Maybe before after trip FE would shed some light on it-but resolution would be poor once you have many miles racked up
    Guessing the SG will actually show the sudden increase in gph or LITERS PER HOUR-time it-see what it says?
    Or maybe Dodge engineers will just tell you??
    Have a good trip

    PS-for comparison my crude 1998 GM SUV 5.7 gets 21.3mpg on long hy trips(1500 miles one way-some(600 MILES) at 2000-7000 FT- altitude meaning improved FE)-average actual driving speed roughly 60 mph

    Much of the trip is interstate-CC set at 67 mph
    About 400 miles is state hy-CC set to 58 mph
    Quite a bit is road work-5-10% perhaps- 100 miles or so- 35-45 mph
    Some goes thru cities towns- 35mph perhaps 100 miles
    So actual average driving speed 60mph or a bit less.
    Current GM 1/2 tons would probably get 4-6mpg better with similar driving style-so maybe maybe 26 mpg

    A 40 mpg 1/2 ton USA road trip vehicle- or even a 30 mpg-none of us ever expected to see that.

    The older GM 1/2 tons-with the crude 6.2?? diesel-1988 -reliable folks claimed 25 mpg on hy trips-but the 55mph limit might still have been in effect back then??

    Anyway-DODGE RAM has sure as hell hit a HR.
    That drive train-in a large people hauler-minivan or even a commercial people and stuff mover-for GOVs-a Suburban type vehicle
    should match the pickup MPG wise.

    This is bad-ish news for GM
    Ford HAMMERING with the weight loss and smaller high out put turbo engines
    Ram DOUBLY hitting GM- 25 MPG cheapo gasoline 3.6 Ram and this 30 mpg TD

    Truck owners are absolutely "queer" for TDs
    Now I mean queer in the "oddly crazy sense"
    Yeah pickup people all seem to have diesel envy.
    Not me of course
    I'm perfectly satisfied with my "sour grapes" attitude (they cost too much to buy and maintain-and the fuel systems are "fragile")

    Now if I win the lottery-I suspect the grapes would suddenly sweeten!
    Keep us posted Wayne
    PS- Are you planning to buy one of these?? Perhaps a HARD TO SELL PRESS POOL STRIPPER??
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2014
  7. Airbalancer

    Airbalancer Well-Known Member

    So I priced a Laramie $62,400.00 in Canada
    After trade in my truck , they would only give me $16,000 for a 3 year old truck , and still have money left on it , taxes , financing it would only cost me $57,616.00 :p
    Think I should do it :biglol:
  8. Blackbelt

    Blackbelt Well-Known Member

    I am rooting for you to pull this off Wayne! The fact that you handicapped yourself by carrying 1000# of cargo makes it that much more impressive. :woot::woot:
  9. rfruth

    rfruth Well-Known Member

    Come and listen to a story about a man named Wayne :)
  10. xcel

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

    Hi Edwin:

    No paddle shifters on this brute. :(

    Airbalancer, 50 to 55 mph with a ton of DWL + stops for breaks whenever they can be found.

    Tribosessive, IIRC, the Std. Cab is 0.36 which is damn slick! Might have been the HFE version though?

    Thunderstruck, indeed. :)

    Charlie, no FASing except to shut down at impediments. Having trouble with DPF Regens which I will detail later. If they were not occurring every 75 to 100 miles, this thing would be damn near 50 mpg!!!

    Early conclusions is Ford and GM cannot mention FE in the same sentence as the Ram 1500 with the EcoDiesel inside. Just to darn much FE potential here while still offering an abundance of torque and power.

    Airbalancer, wait for the discounts. ;)

    Blackbelt, the real climbs begin tomorrow. We’ll see.

    Rfruth, that’s me, the poor mountaineer :D

  11. xcel

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

    Hi All:

    After leaving our campsite along the Mississippi this morning, it was a small carbon footprint RAM 1500 leaving barely footsteps at the campground. :)

    Tread lightly and drive a RAM 1500 with an EcoDiesel some might say. ;)

    2014 RAM 1500 with the EcoDiesel - #RAMTargets40

    About to cross the Mississippi… I need some moe damn hats! :D

    Really crossing the Mississippi on I-80 this morning.​

    We visit the Worlds Largest Truck Stop on I-80 in Walcott, IA.

    Americas most fuel efficient fullsize pickup at America’s and the Worlds Largest Truck Stop – I-80 in Walcott, IA.

    Dodge Power Wagon at the same.

    1919 Antique something or other at the Worlds Largest Truck Stop.

    Ford Galaxie 500 Fairlane? In the parking lot.​

    Today’s aFCD details

    Gained a tenth of an mpg from yesterdays drive while climbing to 2,100’ elevation from 600’ ASL. 692.5 actual miles.​

    Camping at the Fort Kearney State Park

    To dark for good pics after we setup the tent and gear. :(

    The smallish campfire… :)

  12. xcel

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

    Hi All:

    No outlet at this camp site and I am running out of power. Will add more from the road tomorrow.

  13. RoadWarrior222

    RoadWarrior222 rockit serjun

    Nice, you do your campfires like me... "Indian make small fire, keep warm, white man make big fire, keep warm fetching wood.".... some people get insane with it... nothing worse than when the fire at the campsite 200ft away is singing the hairs on the back of your neck at your site ....
  14. xcel

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

    Hi Roadwarrior:

    Just the way I like it too! :)

    Good morning all.

    Last night a fellow camper pulled up at the site across from ours. I could tell it was a diesel by its sound. And what a coincidence, it was a 2001 Dodge RAM with a 5.9L Cummins!

    Here is there story.

    Fortunate to meet some neighbors driving a Dodge RAM turbo diesel.

    An honest to goodness 01 Dodge RAM Pickup with the Cummins


    Sven and Dorothy Johnson out of York, NE were willing to provide some of the details about their Dodge Ram pickup that the family brought brand new.

    Sven and Dorothy in front of their own work and play truck in the morning fog.​

    "Camping was not a staple but this Summer we found a hobby that worked for both of us," Sven said. "On the Kayak side, brand new into the sport."

    Dorothy added, "I just like to get out of town for the weekend. Packing up the truck or cooking dinner takes about the same amount of time. Let's go!"

    Sven picked the truck up from his dad who bought it showroom new from Stew Hansen's Dodge in Des Moines, IA back in 01.

    "When I first started driving it 12 years ago, I used to get 18 mpg. Today I get 23 mpg and it only gets better with age. Perfect work truck that also plays hard."

    Two truck family’s having a little fun

    14 RAM 1500 Tradesman with the 3.0L EcoDiesel poses with the 2001 Dodge RAM 2500 with the Cummins.​

    Wind the clock back 8-hours…

    After setting up camp last night at the Kearney Nebraska State Park, it was late and we had no power outlet so I rushed last nights update.

    I opened up the back zippered opening of the Eureka! Sunrise tent - screen still in place of course - and stared out at the Big Dipper as I was contemplating the days activities. The beautifully clear and starry sky was my last sight as I blissfully fell asleep. Now how else are you going to do that besides getting out and camping?

    Would have needed a tripod and setup the Canon for a long exposure to capture it but it was cool in the almost blackness of the Kearney Forest Preserve/State Park camp ground.

    Woke up to a calm and very cool overhanging fog over the entire campground.



    2015 RAM 1500 Tradesman with the EcoDiesel goes camping

    Camp RAM!​

    Discovered the showers are the pay type. 3 quarters (exact change) for 3-minutes. Now where in the hell am I going to find $3.00 of quarters for Mark and I?

    Cleaned up in the bathrooms the best we could, broke camp and readied for the days drive. All of this from the passenger seat with the laptop connected to a Wi-Fi Hot Spot provided by the Motorola DROID RAZR MAXX HD.

    We are also headed due south on US 136 and now US 52 in Kansas. It is 87 degrees outside while A/C is keeping everyone cool and calm. It is not a Guinness World Record run after all. If it were, oh boy, it would be really hot! :) And 43.2 mpg on the aFCD so far this morning after about 75 miles.

    Last edited: Aug 23, 2014
  15. jcp123

    jcp123 Caliente!

    Excellent journey, I love the photos. I envy your undertaking this!

    And of course HOLY MOLY! Echo numbers from a pickemup...
  16. seftonm

    seftonm Veteran Staff Member

    Your 3.0 Ecodiesel probably makes similar power and torque to that big ol' 5.9 Cummins with far cleaner emissions and better fuel economy too. Not to mention NVH. Impressive how much progress has been made.
  17. xcel

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

  18. xcel

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

    Hi James:

    Glad to provide! I was hoping to just make 40 and it is popping out 42 +. Still a lot of mountain ranges and the rolling terrain of US Highways vs Interstate across NE, KS, OK, and TX pulling it back now. :( 42.2 mpg as I type.

    Mike, good point. I wonder what that 5.9L was tow and power/torque rated at way back when?

  19. thunderstruck

    thunderstruck Super Moderator

    There were 2 version, a regular and high output. Regular was 235 HP, 460 torque. HO was 245 HP, 505 torque. New ones are up to 385 HP, 850 lb-ft. Amazing how far we've come with diesels.
  20. xcel

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

    Hi Nathan:

    The 2014 RAM 1500 with the 3.0L EcoDiesel is a 240 hp, 420 lb-ft. of torque offering. Very close to the 5.9L Cummins as Mike suggested.


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