Jeep hauler—finally pulled the trigger


LATJ

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We have a friend with the 6.4 in a RAM dually. Tows just fine. And saves $$ every day she does or doesn't drive it.

I found a great deal on a used 2019 with the 6.7 CTD (3000 miles), had I bought new, it would have been gas.

We don't tow enough to justify the extra upfront and ongoing costs of the diesel on a new truck. But the deal I got made it too hard to pass up.

IF buying new, the air suspension is really nice.
 
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AMS417

AMS417

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We have a friend with the 6.4 in a RAM dually. Tows just fine. And saves $$ every day she does or doesn't drive it.

I found a great deal on a used 2019 with the 6.7 CTD (3000 miles), had I bought new, it would have been gas.

We don't tow enough to justify the extra upfront and ongoing costs of the diesel on a new truck. But the deal I got made it too hard to pass up.

IF buying new, the air suspension is really nice.
Yeah not finding air ride on many of the mid trim level trucks. There is a shortage too, not much to choose from. Made an outlandish offer on the one I linked above. Will see if they wanna play “let’s make a deal”. Could add air if I need it, thought it wouldn’t be active and self adjusting. Have to compromise a bit here to make this work.
 

alittleoff

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With an 8-speed Auto., and the stick on the column, does it have the traditional P-R-N-D ?
And are there the 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8 graduations. Does the shifter end up in your lap down in low gear ?
Can it be put in 1st and hold 1st until you manually shift it ?
I’ve never owned a vehicle with a column shift and have only driven crappy fleet trucks.
 
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AMS417

AMS417

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With an 8-speed Auto., and the stick on the column, does it have the traditional P-R-N-D ?
And are there the 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8 graduations. Does the shifter end up in your lap down in low gear ?
Can it be put in 1st and hold 1st until you manually shift it ?
I’ve never owned a vehicle with a column shift and have only driven crappy fleet trucks.
2020 2500’s with the 8 speed have a dial shifter like the 1500’s. I prefer it to the column shift. Has PRND with +\- button on the steering wheel for manual control. Column shift trucks are the same layout. PRND with buttons for manual control. No shifter in the lap with either.
 

Wildman

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Which is why I’ll probably never buy a new P/U.
And end up restoring a pre 80’s Chevy with a 4-speed SM465.

The problem with this is you can't change the OEM rated GVWR or it's towing capacity. This was why I sold my 2006 Ram 3500 and got my 2018 Ram 3500 dually. It's rated to tow 31K lbs.
 

alittleoff

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My days of towing 15 tons were over when I retired. Our 27’ big block Moho drags the fat TJ on a trailer just fine.
So I really have no use for a truck with (as I say) saddle bags. But a lot of my neighbors have 4 & 6 horse goose necks and flat decks for hay. More power to them.
 
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Wildman

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My days of towing 15 tons were over when I retired. Our 27’ big block Moho drags the fat TJ on a trailer just fine.
So I really have no use for a truck with (as I say) saddle bags. But a lot of my neighbors have 4 & 6 horse goose necks and flat decks for hay. More power to them.

I wanted to make sure I was covered with just about any type of trailer I could want to pull. But I'm also thinking about being on the road full time so I'd be draggin a little more with me than if it was only for a month or less.

Knew a horseshoer who had a Chevy 6500 but it was an older model and he was hauling a load of alfalfa when a car pulled out in from of him. Accident wasn't his fault as far as the State Troopers were concerned BUT he was over weight by his GVWR so the family sued him and he lost his home/property & future livelihood.
It was my discussion with him that prompted me to get a newer rig.
 
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AMS417

AMS417

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20 hours driving with 3 hours sleep. The trailer is in my driveway and it barely fits, its approx 37 ft long overall. Picked up a new Ram 2500 along the way. Details after I get some sleep. Last 2 hours driving was through thunderstorm warned counties with some tornado warnings mixed in. 60 mph winds made it a lot of fun. I am exhausted.
 

Wildman

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20 hours driving with 3 hours sleep. The trailer is in my driveway and it barely fits, its approx 37 ft long overall. Picked up a new Ram 2500 along the way. Details after I get some sleep. Last 2 hours driving was through thunderstorm warned counties with some tornado warnings mixed in. 60 mph winds made it a lot of fun. I am exhausted.

Glad you made it home safe and can't wait to hear the REST OF THE STORY. Get some much deserved sleep and once you have some relax time let us know how it went and what's up with the new truck.
 
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AMS417

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The rest of the story, I decided to upgrade and arranged a trade deal over the phone with the same Ram dealers I purchased my 2019 Ram 1500 from about a year and a half ago. We set out around 3:00pm Friday heading towards St Louis, stopping in Sullivan Missouri to trade out the truck at Laura CDJR. I decided on a 2020 Ram 2500 with a gas engine. I know a lot of you like the big diesel engine, but all things considered the 6.4 Hemi is a good fit for us. My new truck is a 2020 Ram 2500 Laramie trim level with Off Road package, 4.10 gears and body colored bumpers (I do not like chrome). It has a lot of the same features as my last truck, but I did skip on the $2k 12" touch screen, and sunroof this time. My cargo cap. is over 3K and towing is over 17k.

Here are both the trucks as we are swapping things over. I did have to redrill my tool box to get the "J" hooks in. Seems the bed is a little wider on the 2500. I can also tell the bed metal is thicker gauge. It did not bend when tightening down the toolbox like it did in the 1500. My wife says it needs some step bars, I am 6'3" and it takes a hop to get my ass in the seat, she is 5'4" and has to use the grab handle to climb in. I told her powered steps are $1400, and would make an excellent Christmas present. She was not amused and found a set of fixed step bars on Amazon for $300 she likes. We will see who wins.

IMG_5703.JPG


We departed Sullivan and cruised through St Louis heading east towards Knoxville TN. We drove until about 2:45am stopping in Crossville TN at a Hilton property for a quick nap (I have tons of Hilton points from Corp travel). 3 hours of sleep later we had a quick shower and headed down to Loudon KY an hour away to pick up the trailer. I brought along my new Husky 12k WD hitch, and we found it will not work with the 2500 until I can source a longer drop shank than the one that came included, this 2500 sits 4" or 5" taller than my 1500. My only other draw bar with a 2 5/16 ball is a straight shank, so opted to buy a B&W stow and go in 2.5 inch drawbar for the 2500. Its adjustable with a max 9" drop and rated 14k, has both 2" and 2 5/16 and will fit all our trailers, and I do not have to use a noisy received reducer with it. My wife was a little shocked at the price, but good equipment isn't cheap and it'll last forever if it doesn't get stolen. I have to remember to remove it when not in use.

Here we are hooked up and ready to roll nearly 600 miles home.

IMG_5704.JPG


We departed Loudon around 10 am heading back west for home. We are limited to truck stops for the most part with this trailer due to length. It's 18' of flat deck, and the cargo box is 12' along the flat part of the sidewall. With the "V" nose and tongue its nearly 37' overall. I set up and tested the electric brakes and settled on a gain setting of 4.5. It pulls great but my wife complained about the jarring ride. I checked the TPMS on the dash screen and found all 4 tires on the truck are inflated to 100 psi. We dropped them to the recommended 65 front 70 rear and the ride improved a lot. When I get the Jeep on board and the WD hitch set up it will likely improve even more. Hwy 40 and 24 in TN are pretty beat up. Lots of trucking traffic and in need of repair.

Many mile later as we approach our home town we started getting pop ups on the trucks nav screen about storms in surrounding counties. I had no less than 5 people call me who knew I was traveling to warn me about the weather. We continued on and met the heaviest line of storms just as we came into Springfield MO. When we turned north on 65 Hwy all hell broke loose. We took a 60 mph wind on the beam and started to really get pushed around. I pulled off the hwy and rode it out in a Sam's Club parking lot. We got lucky and missed the golf ball sized hail by a few miles.

The trailer is now parked in my driveway, until I take it to a rented storage spot. I live in the city, so it will have to stay off site. I did tinker a bit with it tonight and found along the way one of my electric brake wires had parted and was hanging under the trailer. I fixed it with a new connector and a zip tie. We measured the interior dimensions and begin planning the layout. It looks like a 56" bed will fit perfect in the aft part of the cabin without obstructing the door opening. I plan to load the Jeep and make a day run to the local offroad park next Saturday.

I am excited for the adventures this is going to allow us to have. Might even make it to Moab next year, who knows.
 
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Wildman

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Awesome story and the trailer looks great. Can't wait to see how it does with the Jeep loaded up on it. I have the Power Boards in my truck and just love them. With my prosthetic climbing in and out of my truck is loads easier. This is my first truck with them on it and I can tell you I kick myself for not installing them on other rigs.

I haven't sat in one of the new trucks but sure like the interior in my 2018. About the only reason to get a newer one would be the headlights. Since you don't tow all the time the gas engine is probably a better choice for you anyhow. Sounds like the weather was having it's best to test you and the new trailer. Glad everything went well.
 
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AMS417

AMS417

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Awesome story and the trailer looks great. Can't wait to see how it does with the Jeep loaded up on it. I have the Power Boards in my truck and just love them. With my prosthetic climbing in and out of my truck is loads easier. This is my first truck with them on it and I can tell you I kick myself for not installing them on other rigs.

I haven't sat in one of the new trucks but sure like the interior in my 2018. About the only reason to get a newer one would be the headlights. Since you don't tow all the time the gas engine is probably a better choice for you anyhow. Sounds like the weather was having it's best to test you and the new trailer. Glad everything went well.
I had both a 2014 and 2019 Ram 1500, and the new interior is really nice but the old one was great too. For me Ram is #1 on exterior and interior styling and comfort. I liked the 12" screen but the lack of real buttons and having to look away from the road to find the button to access the screen to turn on or off whatever was annoying and distracting. So I went back to the 8.4" saved $2k and got back a lot of real buttons.

I was totally comfortable towing the trailer home and in and out of fuel stops, even into our neighborhood was easy enough. I did drag the rear on one steep exit from a fuel stop, but it has stabilizer jacks on the rear that double as skids. The narrow two lane bridges coming into Missouri were the only thing that made me pucker, that and the storm winds but that was brief and out of the norm. I just exited and waited it out.
 
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SvtLdr

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I think you're going to be really glad that you stepped up to a 2500. Plus, the 6.4 is a lot of fun to drive! Glad you made it home safe. Keep us posted on how things go with the Jeep onboard.
 
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AMS417

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Maiden voyage today, in the rain. Pulls awesome now that I have the WD hitch set up. I had to buy a bigger drop shank. I have a layout drawn up just using grids in MS Paint for the camper part just to conceptualize it. Should work out well, will post when I have it polished a little more. Will have to find some time to build it out, cold weather will make it tough. I love the 6.4 but man does it drink fuel. Hope it improves a little as it breaks in.
 
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AMS417

AMS417

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Those of you that draft, don't laugh. I lack some skill here. This is to "scale" just using grid lines on MS Paint. Just a concept at this point. We have 8'x12' plus the v nose to work with. We cannot undermount tanks due to ground clearance so will use a portable grey tank with the water tank mounted beneath the bed.

Let me walk you through my idea here starting top left and working clockwise.

36" futon slat bed will pull out to make a 60"x80" residential queen. Storage underneath for water tanks and mechanical. With the bed retracted we should have plenty of room to move around. Bed base will be 18" high with a 4-6" mattress on top.

We will have 5' of residential sized cabinets with a single basin sink, and one cabinet mounted overhead. The sink will be under the forward window. A bulkhead wall will separate the mechanical items and have shelves for storage above the 6 gal electric water heater.

The cassette toilet will have a tracked privacy curtain hanging from the ceiling (think hospital curtain). I think a door would make the space too small and a curtain is an easy solution.

Next is the mechanical area, housing the breaker panel, battery, water pump and accumulator, and wet wall access for the shower plumbing.

Next a 36" x 36" shower pan. We will install fiberglass shower walls on wet wall side and the trailer wall side. The other two sides will be open, and another hanging curtain will be used to enclose the shower when in use.

Left of the entry door, a 60" x 24" bench with a reclined back (18" -20" of seat bottom with 4" - 6" to build the angled back) storage will be built into the base. Custom cushions will be made.

We are also going to pull out the rubber floor and add either loose lay vinyl, or a click together plank floor.


Thoughts?



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Wildman

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Why not put a 1x1 rail on the edge of the 60x24 bench and have the slat pullout that could then rest on that rail so you'd have a wider bed? Just a thought.
 
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AMS417

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Why not put a 1x1 rail on the edge of the 60x24 bench and have the slat pullout that could then rest on that rail so you'd have a wider bed? Just a thought.

Its shorter than the bed by 20" and the mattress will be considerably thicker than the bench cushions. I think the queen will be plenty big. I could make the bench a pull out and have another small bed, but I really don't want company in the camper aside from the wife. Trying to find the balance between adding all the amenities my wife wants, and saving some floor space. Might drop the shower size to 30x30.

Next step is to use painters tape and tape out all the outlines in the trailer to see how it flows in real life 2D. If the wife say "go" I start buying parts and lumber. All the furniture will be built in 2x2 and trimmed out with beadboard and trim. My goal is to make it look clean and like a factory (or better) built camper. No redneck plywood bullshit at least where you can see it.
 
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alittleoff

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If it were me, I wouldn’t go smaller with the shower. 3‘x3’ is small. I would switch the location of the sink/cabinets with the shower. It’s closer to the heater and keep the curtain on a track for elbow room.
 
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AMS417

AMS417

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I had it that way initially. I don’t want a window in the shower so I had to move the shower to the other side.
If it were me, I wouldn’t go smaller with the shower. 3‘x3’ is small. I would switch the location of the sink/cabinets with the shower. It’s closer to the heater and keep the curtain on a track for elbow room.
 
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