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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all!!!

I am a recent buyer of a new 2019 ram 1500; love the truck but unfortunately realized that the payload is far too low for the TT I will be purchasing.

I am looking at either the 2500 or 3500, just undecided on which motor. I know there are many, many threads on the 6.4 vs the CTD, I am hoping my question is different.

In my research on this forum and others I hear people say alot that if you are towing over 10K you should go with the diesel, but why. The tow rating of the 6.4 vs the CTD in the 2500 is within 1500lbs. The CTD costs is significant to get that extra minimal weight.

I did watch the TFL 2500 6.4 on the Ike Gauntlet towing 12,500lbs and it really struggled getting all the way down to 30 mph at full throttle.

What am I missing? I am very new to this hence the reason I didn't do my research prior to buying a new 1500 to then realize it wouldn't work :(.

Again, not trying to recreate the CTD bs 6.4 debate just trying to understand the difference knowing they have very similar tow ratings; at least in the 2500 model.

Thanks
 

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Tow ratings aren't all that important in what you are looking for.
It is the engine power when you get that up to that weight.
The diesel has a lot more torque over the 6.4 - alot.
The diesel is meant to work and work hard it's entire life.


So here are the questions I would ask myself.
A. How often am I towing vs. empty?
B. What kind of terrain am I towing in?
C. Do I also need a certain payload rating - the 6.4 payload is higher than the diesel if I am not mistaken.


The diesel cost more - purchase, fuel, maint. BUT resale is higher and they last a long time.


If towing once or twice a year and mainly on low elevation flat land, I think the 6.4 would work fine and the added payload can come in handy.


If towing weekly or monthly and in the mountains, then I would consider the diesel.


Others will chime in with other points.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
That is very helpful and something for me to think about. I am trying to get the best fit for now and far in the future as to not limit myself to certain weights; within reason though.

Thank you
 

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I don't put on a lot of miles, so the diesel would be just too expensive. How fast do you want to go over the hill? Are you OK with slowing to 40 on big hills to save $8000?

I just towed a 12,000# fifth wheel from the Boston area to Alaska with a 6.4L with 4.10 gears. I do not regret not having a diesel. The truck did just fine.

BTW a 2500 with the Cummins payload is too small to tow my fifth wheel. The pin weight and a full tank of gas would max it out.
 

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'18 RAM 3500 4WD Tradesman 6.4
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You don't say anything about the size/weight of the trailer you plan on, nor how much of the truck's use will be dedicated to towing it.
It's often pointed out around here that in many ways the Cummins doesn't make much sense in the 2500 truck because the extra weight of the engine chews such a big chunk out of the 2500's payload capacity.
In other words, if you're intending to pull a trailer that really is heavy enough to actually need the extra torque of the Cummins, that trailer's pin/hitch weight will almost certainly max out and probably exceed the payload capacity of a Cummins equipped 2500, especially when you factor in the full trailer wet weight and the weight of the passengers and cargo and all the rest.
So if your trailer is big and heavy enough to where the Cummins would be the optimal choice, you'll almost certainly want to have a 3500's payload capability



I wouldn't personally organize my thinking about the 6.4 Hemi performance on some clowns running the Ike Gauntlet thing. The fact is that it's a good engine which with proper care will serve anyone well for a heck of a lot of miles in almost all but the most severe and demanding applications. If long term durability of the Hemi has you concerned, be aware you can also get a lifetime maxcare warranty with a 6.4 equipped truck, but not with the diesel rigs.
 

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THis is the follow up to the infamous 6.4 2500 test that TFL wrote, turns out there was a reason the truck stayed at a little over 4k RPM the whole way up

https://www.tfltruck.com/2014/10/20...emi-and-gear-hold-feature-ike-gauntlet-video/

Ram came back with the following explanation.
“Ram Truck ‘invented’ the first gear hold feature – and calibrated it – to avoid gear hunting and driving at excessively high rpm’s. Ike Gauntlet is a variable grade and we worked hard to develop a calibration that appropriately manages torque on this run and other grades. We don’t want the truck to rev high for extended periods of time and purposely hold 4,200 rpm.”
Remember that the test was done with about 20k GCWR and up a steep grade at high altitude. If that matches how you often use your truck and you want to keep up with regular vehicle traffic as much as legally possible, by all means get a Cummins 3500.
 

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A big factor when looking at diesel vs gas and 2500 vs 3500 for towing is payload. As you found with your 1500, you can run out quick. The diesel weighs a lot more than the 6.4. This isn't a huge factor on the 3500, but on the 2500 some of the option levels of a diesel get your payload down to only about 2000 lbs. That's not enough for most 5vers. Many TTs loaded with a family in the truck and gear in the bed will exceed that as well.

I bought a 3500 6.4 SRW to tow with. It has 4200 lbs of payload and near 15000 lbs towing capacity. I can haul most any camper I would ever want. That being said it has 4.10 gears and gets 11mpg around town and 7-8 towing. I mostly make 400 mile or less trips and for an occasional longer one I'm ok with that. I use my truck for short trips around town to run to the store and pickup the kids from school. Diesels don't like short trips as much, the want to run and go.

Depends on how you plan to use your truck really.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
THis is all great information - Thank you.

I don't see myself ever exceeding 12k and based on the information and views above it seems that the 6.4l is more than capable as I am not in a high elevation area (Seattle) and or with extreme hills.

Additionally, we would only be towing throughout the summer so far less than 30-40% of the time at most.

Lastly, it was mentioned above that the payload of the 2500 gasser is much higher and after digging in it too me is significant.

Thanks all - Appreciate the time
 

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I knew others that have similar needs would chime in and help :)
Also look at this thread if you haven't.


https://www.ramforumz.com/showthread.php?t=254525


Payload becomes a big factor many times and the 6.4 really helps there if you want to stay in the 2500 vs. 3500 models.



If you plan on keeping the truck for a long time, you might want to consider getting the Lifetime/unlimited mileage Maxcare warranty w/$100 ded. It can be bought for about $2700-2800 online and extends you 3/36 bumper to bumper warranty for life - or until the repair exceeds the value of the truck.
 

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One thing to add here that I didn't see mentioned. If you go with the 6.4, do yourself a favor and find one or order one with the 4.10 gears. Most on the lots, especially the higher trimmed models are 3.73's.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I think you all have made it clear that in the 2500HD series the 6.4l seems to be the most logical decision.

  • $8K less than CTD
  • Gas mileage lower but not enough to justify the $8k expense
  • Much higher payload
  • The ability to purchase Lifetime Warranty
  • Cost of maintanence is significantly lower

Thank you all for your insight - very informative.
 

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The diesel will yield you more torque and give you more MPG if that matters. I know most don't buy a truck with that in mind, it's a truck after all. But know that with a diesel, you will average better MPG once deleted. I was getting 14-15 mpg stock, which is probably better than the HEMI gasser anyway. Now that I am deleted, I am averaging 20-21 mpg in my long bed 2500. Can't go wrong with the lovely sound of the Cummins either. My last truck was a Silverado gasser. This time around I was debating between a Power Wagon 6.4 or the CTD. The Power Wagon is a niche specific truck though. It has a purpose with lockers front and rear and sway bar disconnects. It also doesn't come with a long bed, which I needed. I went with the Cummins and have no regrets. I recommend the Cummins over the 6.4 Hemi.
 

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But know that with a diesel, you will average better MPG once deleted. I was getting 14-15 mpg stock, which is probably better than the HEMI gasser anyway. Now that I am deleted, I am averaging 20-21 mpg in my long bed 2500.
how much work is putting all the deleted equipment back once your truck hits 6 years old and needs to go in for smog checks every 2 years?
 

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how much work is putting all the deleted equipment back once your truck hits 6 years old and needs to go in for smog checks every 2 years?



In CA you smog every 2 years. I wish I had to wait 6 years before I start to smog diesels. In CA, I smogged my 2015 in 2017, and I'll have to do it again in 2019. You either find a guy who will hook you up for cash or you go back to stock. How much work is it going back to stock? I wouldn't know never done it.
 

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In CA you smog every 2 years. I wish I had to wait 6 years before I start to smog diesels. In CA, I smogged my 2015 in 2017, and I'll have to do it again in 2019. You either find a guy who will hook you up for cash or you go back to stock. How much work is it going back to stock? I wouldn't know never done it.
Did you get the truck used or are diesel smog intervals more strict than gassers? My '17 Hemi shouldn't need smog until 2023 per DMV rules and I wasn't aware if used cars and pickups lose that 6 year window.

The nod-and-a-wink places are still out there but getting really hard to find as old timers retire and their places either get more corporate or shut down.:(

https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv/detail/vr/smog+

ehicles registered in areas subject to the biennial smog certification program are required to submit evidence of a smog certification every other renewal period. Owners of vehicles six or less model years old will pay an annual smog abatement fee for the first six registration years instead of being required to provide a biennial smog certification.
 
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