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Thread: Test drove the big 3 HD trucks back to back to back

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    http://www.trackhq.com/Banners/yellowsitesponsor.gif Blackbird's Avatar
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    Default Test drove the big 3 HD trucks back to back to back

    Just came back from test driving the F350 crew cab (Platinum), a Sierra Duramax crew cab (Denali) and the 2018 Ram Crew and Mega cabs (Laramie).
    I am actually shocked by my own findings, going into this without bias.

    I drove the Ford first.
    Just getting into it, the interior quality is excellent.
    The crew cab is on par with the Dodge mega cab in terms of space, minus the extra storage room behind the back seats, impressive.
    Took it for the longest test drive of the bunch - ride quality is shockingly good. I mean, seriously, it's amazing.
    The truck feels very big on the road and steering is not the most communicative, but it's very decent.
    Engine obviously has enough power, but is somewhat underwhelming in terms of punchiness (that is a real word).
    Towing features are on a completely different level than the GM and the Ram.
    The score card added up to something I completely didn't expect.

    The Sierra Denali Duramax was next.
    Just sitting in it at the dealership it already felt kinda cramped inside, color me unimpressed.
    The cab felt cheap, sub par plastics and switches that you don't expect in a truck that has a $70K window sticker.
    The test drive was a bi-polar experience - the ride quality is bad, not just a little bit, it sucked.
    The engine trans combo, however, is a gem. Goddammit that Dmax / Allison is oh-so good. Wow!
    The score card did not impress, a truck needs to have more than just the best engine / trans combo, and as good as they are, it just doesn't cut it.

    The Ram was a familiar territory.
    Went into a Laramie crew cab first, to see how I feel about it after 4 years of mega cab ownership. It was okay, much better than the GMC, not quite as good as the Ford.
    I really didn't care for the notched back seat in the crew, and sitting in the mega a few minutes later definitely made me happier.
    The front seats are the most comfortable of the bunch (with the Ford in 2nd), very supportive without feeling too bolstered. Wife said the same too.
    The Ram feels older in terms of design both inside and out, but the design is good so it's not losing much here. It does feel lower on tech though, I didn't think I'd care about it, but after being in the Ford IDK how I feel about it...
    On the road it was somewhat better than my 2008 Ram, better than the GMC by far but nowhere near as good as the Ford, which admittedly is the best riding HD truck I've ever been in.
    The Cummins engine might be the lowest rated on the paper, but feels punchier than the Ford and not too far behind the Duramax.
    I loved that engine in the old truck and having it with even more power didn't make me hate it
    Score card is decent, pretty much where I expected it to be.

    If the cost was not an object I would've probably driven the Ford home today, but the price is significantly higher.
    The fact that the 2019 Ram is a brand new model makes me believe I will most likely find the best deal on a 2018 Ram out of the 3, but man, I am surprised with how I feel about this.

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    Senior Member fatbillybob's Avatar
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    LOL! 1st world problems. You probably aren't going to sleep well tonight.
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    Quote Originally Posted by fatbillybob View Post
    LOL! 1st world problems. You probably aren't going to sleep well tonight.
    I don't sleep wondering when my 1999 Ford is going to die, as I have no budget to replace it. LOL

    Glad to hear Ford is stepping up there game. I drove Chevy work trucks for years, but the crummy brakes forced me to make a change and I have never looked back.

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    http://www.trackhq.com/Banners/yellowsitesponsor.gif Blackbird's Avatar
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    Our family vehicle (only had one) when I was a kid was a Fiat 127 Sport -


    Then we upgraded to a newer Autobianchi Y10 -


    And after that one we got our first big car, a Fiat Uno with a mighty 1.4L and for the first time - rear doors!
    What an amazing experience, to be able to get in and out of the car with anyone needing to jump out and move the front seat -


    You can probably stuff the entire Y10 into the cab of the Ford / Dodge...
    Might be 1st world problems, but I never forget where I came from.

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    Administrator ucfbrett's Avatar
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    So, after all that you're going to replace your Dodge with a ... Dodge.

    That sounds like a fun way to spend a day. Thanks for posting the comparison.

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    I wish I would have gone with a 3500.
    Ford expedition to HD 2500 felt like overkill at the time but, in hindsight, I wasn't dreaming big enough. Now, I'm dreaming of adding a pop top truck camper on my 2500 while towing a fully loaded enclosed trailer, but I'll be over the GVWR if I don't choose carefully.
    -Anthony
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    Old timer craZee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by b3d3g1 View Post
    I wish I would have gone with a 3500.
    Ford expedition to HD 2500 felt like overkill at the time but, in hindsight, I wasn't dreaming big enough. Now, I'm dreaming of adding a pop top truck camper on my 2500 while towing a fully loaded enclosed trailer, but I'll be over the GVWR if I don't choose carefully.
    Sell Moti your 2500 and upgrade!

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    Senior Member fatbillybob's Avatar
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    I would have gone 3500 too. In fact if I did not live in LA county I would have a dually.

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    Quote Originally Posted by b3d3g1 View Post
    I wish I would have gone with a 3500.
    Ford expedition to HD 2500 felt like overkill at the time but, in hindsight, I wasn't dreaming big enough. Now, I'm dreaming of adding a pop top truck camper on my 2500 while towing a fully loaded enclosed trailer, but I'll be over the GVWR if I don't choose carefully.
    You could easily tow a living quarter trailer with your 2500.
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    Administrator ucfbrett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by b3d3g1 View Post
    I wish I would have gone with a 3500.
    Ford expedition to HD 2500 felt like overkill at the time but, in hindsight, I wasn't dreaming big enough. Now, I'm dreaming of adding a pop top truck camper on my 2500 while towing a fully loaded enclosed trailer, but I'll be over the GVWR if I don't choose carefully.
    Do some digging on the Internet. A lot of times, the only difference between a 2500 and a 3500 is the addition of one leaf to the rear springs.

    I was thinking now that I have room for a dually it might be cool/handy/*****in' to have one. However, when I saw the prices of models newer than my 2005 Silverado 2500 HD and the mileage on the same-year dually trucks I found for sale, I figured I'd keep mine because it only has 67,000 miles on it. Most of what I found for sale had twice that.

    On my Chevrolet, weight designations are related to springs, axle and wheels. The wheels and the axle are the same on a 2500 and a 3500, so the only difference is springs, and 3500 has one more leaf than the 2500. I think it's like $400 for a pair 3500 leaf springs. If I ever get a larger trailer, I'll go with the springs before buying a new(er) 3500.

    It's worth checking out on your Dodge, too.

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    Señor Member b3d3g1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ucfbrett View Post
    Do some digging on the Internet. A lot of times, the only difference between a 2500 and a 3500 is the addition of one leaf to the rear springs.

    I was thinking now that I have room for a dually it might be cool/handy/*****in' to have one. However, when I saw the prices of models newer than my 2005 Silverado 2500 HD and the mileage on the same-year dually trucks I found for sale, I figured I'd keep mine because it only has 67,000 miles on it. Most of what I found for sale had twice that.

    On my Chevrolet, weight designations are related to springs, axle and wheels. The wheels and the axle are the same on a 2500 and a 3500, so the only difference is springs, and 3500 has one more leaf than the 2500. I think it's like $400 for a pair 3500 leaf springs. If I ever get a larger trailer, I'll go with the springs before buying a new(er) 3500.

    It's worth checking out on your Dodge, too.
    you just made me spend 20 minutes diving down this rabbit hole.
    for my configuration and year, the only difference in suspension/drive train is the rear leaf springs.
    2500 GVWR is 9600 lbs - payload 2300 lb
    3500 GVWR is 10100 lbs - payload 2950
    not really sure why those don't go up by the same amount but an additional 500 lbs more to play with would help quite a bit if I do buy a truck camper....
    https://www.ramtrucks.com/shared/pdf..._Tow_Chart.pdf
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    -Anthony
    1991 Miata - Trogdor SuperMiata
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    2016 Kawasaki Versys 650LT - commuter

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    Quote Originally Posted by ucfbrett View Post
    Do some digging on the Internet. A lot of times, the only difference between a 2500 and a 3500 is the addition of one leaf to the rear springs.
    I have been researching the hell out of this because the tow ratings on the F-Series jump quite a bit 250 to 350. Truck shopping makes my brain hurt.
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    Señor Member b3d3g1's Avatar
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    I went further down this rabbit hole.

    2011 Ram Crew Cab 4WD SRW
    ramgvwr.png

    Also strange the base weight drops by 150 lbs from a 2500 to 3500
    Last edited by b3d3g1; 04-23-2018 at 03:13 PM.
    -Anthony
    1991 Miata - Trogdor SuperMiata
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    The Real Captain Slow Red_5's Avatar
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    ^^The max trailering and payload aren’t much more than my ‘15 1500. I’m a little surprised by that.
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    Oops
    99 Mazda Miata SuperMiata #515 - AKA Sparky SOLD
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    Quote Originally Posted by ucfbrett View Post
    Do some digging on the Internet. A lot of times, the only difference between a 2500 and a 3500 is the addition of one leaf to the rear springs.
    .
    I have not found that to be true. In Ram world around 2012 the difference is the nannies. Try and start any 4 door sedan without stepping on the brake. It won't start! A Ram 2500 will start by just turning the key or hitting the remote start on the FOB. The closer you get to a commercial truck the more they treat you like a business vs. consumer who is too stupid to put air in his tires. The Ram 2500 has a sucky TPMS. The 3500 works as it should. It lets you know and you can turn it off. The 2500 will bother you until you fix it. A 4 door sedan will cut power and make you go into limp mode. Dealer salesmen don't know this stuff. They just sell. You have to read the forums to really get a clear picture of the 3/4 ton vs 1 ton differences and all the gotchas. .

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    Quote Originally Posted by ucfbrett View Post
    So, after all that you're going to replace your Dodge with a ... Dodge.
    I'm not sure about this.
    I think I need to hit the Ford dealer again for another test drive, see if the Lariat is as nice inside as the Platinum, because if it's close enough I can step down to the Lariat and have a massive reduction in price (~$10K).
    Might still not be as good of a deal as I can find on the Ram, but if it's close enough I might go for it... It is the better truck IMO.

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    The Real Captain Slow Red_5's Avatar
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    My neighbor has a '17 F150 Platinum and it has an amazing interior from what I remember. The seats have massagers built in and everything. The problem I see with an interior that is that nice, do I want to do truck things an get back into the truck drive away?

    Our '15 GMC SLT, which is as loaded as it can be and not be a Denali, has the nicest interior of any vehicle we currently own. I bought Husky floor mats that pretty much cover all of the visible carpeting. On some level I think I would like the electronic gadgets that make towing and long drives easier, black leather heated and cooled seats and rubber floor. Oh, and I'm surprisingly fond of my heated steering wheel.
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    Administrator ucfbrett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fatbillybob View Post
    I have not found that to be true. In Ram world around 2012 the difference is the nannies. Try and start any 4 door sedan without stepping on the brake. It won't start! A Ram 2500 will start by just turning the key or hitting the remote start on the FOB. The closer you get to a commercial truck the more they treat you like a business vs. consumer who is too stupid to put air in his tires. The Ram 2500 has a sucky TPMS. The 3500 works as it should. It lets you know and you can turn it off. The 2500 will bother you until you fix it. A 4 door sedan will cut power and make you go into limp mode. Dealer salesmen don't know this stuff. They just sell. You have to read the forums to really get a clear picture of the 3/4 ton vs 1 ton differences and all the gotchas. .
    If you're talking about new trucks, which have more and more electronic controls, yes, you're probably right. When I wrote my post, I was thinking of the market I shop in: 10-year-old trucks.

    I forgot to mention that the 2500 Dodges' weight and tow ratings are dependent on axle ratios. The 2500 comes with a 3.42:1, which really reduced capacities. If the 2500 has the 3.73 or the 4.10, then the leaf springs are more likely the only major difference.

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    Senior Member e5pr1t's Avatar
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    My 17 Ram 2500 Cummins 4x4 is 3.42:1. It still gives me 17,200 LB of towing capacity & 2300 LB of payload. One thing interesting I found is all 2500 trucks are 10K GVWR. The Hemi powered trucks have about 500-700 more payload than the diesels. I think that's because the diesel engines weight 500-700 LB more.

    Comparing to Anthony's 2011, the payload is the same, but the towing capacity is 5000lb more. The difference in the 3500 though. 2017 have close to 4000LB of payload & 2011 3500 have only 3000LB of payload.

    Quote Originally Posted by ucfbrett View Post
    If you're talking about new trucks, which have more and more electronic controls, yes, you're probably right. When I wrote my post, I was thinking of the market I shop in: 10-year-old trucks.

    I forgot to mention that the 2500 Dodges' weight and tow ratings are dependent on axle ratios. The 2500 comes with a 3.42:1, which really reduced capacities. If the 2500 has the 3.73 or the 4.10, then the leaf springs are more likely the only major difference.
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