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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First a little background: As I get closer to coming home my wife and I are looking forward to a period in our life where we will actually be able to spend a decent amount of time together. Between deployments and training the longest we have spent together has been 5 months and I have spent over half of our marriage deployed. Enough with the pity party, I didn't sign up to not deploy, where I am going with this is that we are looking to start a family when I get back.

As luck would have it, my wife's friend had a baby while I have been gone, and her husband recently deployed, so my wife has been babysitting as an opportunity to "test drive" parenting if you will. This has in turn led to the onset of severe "baby fever" so she is exploring the technicalities of motherhood, and while she has found the Durango to be great for hauling kids around, she is convinced that my beloved quad cab is too small for rear-facing car seats. I looked online and even sent her links to a couple threads where guys are doing it, but she remains convinced. Apparently kids are supposed to stay in those until they're two years old.

Well, as emotionally invested as I am in Thunderhorse, it has been a great truck and taken us all over the country without ever letting us down. Never once has it failed to start, got stuck, been unable to haul anything I needed, etc... My wife wants me to get a bigger truck-specifically a crew cab. I've owned a truck since before we met so she'd never try to get me out of a truck-more specifically a Ram, but I have made it clear to her that I ain't giving up my 6.4' bed, and I have always wanted a solid axle up front so I would be getting a 2500 most likely (CC/6.4).

Enter bad influence #2: my coworker and close friend. He has a 2007 F150 extended cab and says that when they take his truck places his wife has to sit in the back with the baby and (his daughter just turned 1 a few days ago) the front passenger seat has to be all the way forward. He also said I need to get the truck before I have a kid, because if I have a kid first, I'm not going to be able to afford a new truck. Lastly, he said if I'm getting an HD it needs to be a Cummins with the G56, which I...don't...necessarily disagree with.

So, I went to the Ram B&P site to see how feasible all this is, and I built 3 2018 trucks. Depending on when/if I do it will impact how much I have saved for a down payment/trade value of my current truck, incentives, etc... but the margins are such that I think all 3 are possible.

All 3 are 4x4 crew cab 6.4' bed trucks

Option #1: Tradesman Power Wagon
-Delmonico Red paint
-Tow mirrors
-Clearance lamps
-Spray in bedliner
-Uconnect 3.0 (I just need bluetooth)
-Trailer brake controller

$9140 in options added to the base price of $38,945 is $48,085. Given my current financial situation I could do this at $535/mo for 36 months.

Option #2: 6.4L SLT
-392 cube Hemi
-Sure Grip rear end
-4.10 gears
-Luxury group (I really like the leather wrapped steering wheel and underhood lamp).
-Protection group (duh)
-Blue Streak Paint
-18" Polished Aluminum wheels (polished aluminum is my favorite wheel finish-my Durango has those)
-Power rear window
-Tow mirrors
-Clearance lamps
-Fog lamps (won't own a truck without 'em)
-Wheel to wheel side steps
-Spray in bedliner
-Black/gray premium bench seat
-Rear defrost

$5090 in options added to the base price of $44,045 is $49,135. Assuming the same trade value/down payment/dealer discount this comes out to $564/mo for 36 months.

Option #3: Cummins SLT
-6.7L Cummins
-G56 Transmission (I've got real good at driving manuals since I've been out here)
-Sure Grip rear
-5th wheel prep (because Cummins)
-Luxury Group
-Protection group
-Blue Streak paint
-18" polished aluminum wheels
-Power rear window
-Tow Mirrors
-Clearance lamps
-Fog lamps
-Wheel to wheel side steps
-Spray in bedliner
-Black/Diesel Gray premium bench seat

$14,040 in options on this one added to the base price of $44,045 is $58,085. Assuming the same trade value/down payment/dealer discount this comes out to $595/mo for 48 months. The Cummins is the big difference maker here at $9200 itself, which means I'd have to finance it another year which would bring me to my self-imposed financing limit of 48 months. A downside to this option is that Chrysler isn't offering 0% APR at 48 months but they are at 36.

I really like my truck, but my wife is kind of pushing me this way. I know I will have to order to get the G56 with the Cummins, but the plan is to decide what I want and then work out a deal to get it. I don't need a new truck now so I would be willing to drive out to Dennis Dillon to trade if the deal is right-plus side of that is the truck would be broken in by the time I got home.
 

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I noticed one possible error
although it may have changed for the 2017/2018 year models
The RA1 3.0 infotainment system, ( radio ), does NOT have bluetooth.
You would need the RA2 5.0 radio to have bluetooth


The 2019 Ram brand is suppose to drop the RA1 3.0 radio from the options
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I noticed one error
although it may have changed for the 2018 year models
The RA1 3.0 infotainment system, ( radio ), does NOT have bluetooth.
You would need the RA2 5.0 radio to have bluetooth
There are 2 options on the Tradesman. There is the base "radio 3.0" and the "UConnect 3.0" which is a $195 option and adds bluetooth. The description:

Uconnect® 3.0

$195




  • This AM/FM radio features a four-line LCD text display as well as integrated Voice Command with Bluetooth®, which includes Hands-Free Calling[1], Voice Commands for radio functions and Bluetooth® Streaming Audio.
 

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I stand corrected

I guess that they did the same as back in 2009 - 2012 with the RES 130 radio, originally it came without bluetooth.
Then they came out with RES 130s radio, it had bluetooth
It used a different bluetooth module then higher priced Mygig radios
 

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Obviously you are the only one who can speak to your finances. For myself I drove a lot of short drives and only the occasional really long drive so the Cummins does not make sense for me. You may find that with a child your trips are shorter then before. With the increased cost of oil changes (lessened by the fact that you do it yourself) it takes a long time to make up the initial cost of the engine in gas milage. If you need the towing power and will drive enough to make the Cummins function well then that is a bonus.

I regret nothing in my move from a 1500 quad cab to a 2500 crew cab.
 

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I didn't know anybody would buy a solid front axle if they didn't have to!!! haha

Koons is a lot closer to you than Dillon and probably the same or better deal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Obviously you are the only one who can speak to your finances. For myself I drove a lot of short drives and only the occasional really long drive so the Cummins does not make sense for me. You may find that with a child your trips are shorter then before. With the increased cost of oil changes (lessened by the fact that you do it yourself) it takes a long time to make up the initial cost of the engine in gas milage. If you need the towing power and will drive enough to make the Cummins function well then that is a bonus.

I regret nothing in my move from a 1500 quad cab to a 2500 crew cab.
Yeah I am under no illusion that I would be saving any money with a Cummins. Literally everything is more expensive with them: fuel, maintenance, fuel filters, repairs, DEF. The saving grace is that you can make it back when you sell or trade it, but I also keep vehicles for the long haul (or at least plan to), which is one reason I'd get it. The main reason I'd get a Cummins is for the manual transmission. Again, I realize its not as strong as an auto and not any more efficient, I just like the feel and I want one. Pretty good anti theft device too. If I could get the G56 on a 6.4 Hemi I wouldn't have even posted this thread.

My commute is 30 minutes/20 miles each way and its pretty common for me to drive 100 miles or more a day on a weekend just because you have to drive to get to any actual cities in the area. Our favorite burger place is an hour round trip. I don't think the emissions system would give me issues, I still look for excuses to go out and drive my truck so if I actually needed to do it then it would not be a problem. We have the Durango for shorter trips. I am also always down to help a friend move, especially if they need a trailer towed.

I didn't know anybody would buy a solid front axle if they didn't have to!!! haha

Koons is a lot closer to you than Dillon and probably the same or better deal.

Oh yeah, forgot about them.

Solid axles are stronger and have fewer moving parts. You'd have to pay me to take an IFS HD (GM) truck, and even then I probably wouldn't do it.


My brother brought up a good point when I mentioned this to him. When we were born our parents had a 66 Mustang and an 80s Buick T-top, both coupes, and got along just fine.


I think option 2 and 3 are in the lead
 

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First, a preemptive welcome back soon. Second, it's excellent having a wife that can deal with the deployments and training. Third, once you have a baby, your friend is correct, your finances will take a giant kick in the groin so get the truck asap.

I had manual transmissions and loved it until I had a baby. It was a pain to multi-task if I was the only one in the vehicle with my daughter, so I opted out of manual transmissions a while back on daily drivers.

As for the CC vs QC, there is no contest. My 2014 was a QC and it's very snug; I think fitting a child seat in there would be tough. Your wife is absolutely correct.

I'm hoping that gas vs diesel cost around you is much better than around here; it's about 50 cents more expensive per gallon for diesel than gas. With that being said, I could never justify the added expense of a Cummins combined with the extra cost of fuel and maintenance.

I would opt for truck #2, it's pretty much what I would be looking for on my next truck with the addition of the plow prep, probably the 5.0 or 8.4A radio. I may even add in the 5W prep, well, just in case.
 

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First and foremost thanks for your service. Congrats on your not too far in the future family.

When a baby is born, a mother is born.

I like the CTD if you plan on putting a considerable amount of miles on it along with some medium/heavy towing. The 2500 CTD is a beast and will typically retain a good resale value down the road. Don't forget to tell your wife it's a safe truck for children. :)
 

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My brother brought up a good point when I mentioned this to him. When we were born our parents had a 66 Mustang and an 80s Buick T-top, both coupes, and got along just fine.
That was my first thought... my parents raised two kids in a Beetle & a single cab Chevy. But we rode in the back of the Chevy a lot, I guess people don't do that now. :thk:
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
First, a preemptive welcome back soon. Second, it's excellent having a wife that can deal with the deployments and training. Third, once you have a baby, your friend is correct, your finances will take a giant kick in the groin so get the truck asap.

I had manual transmissions and loved it until I had a baby. It was a pain to multi-task if I was the only one in the vehicle with my daughter, so I opted out of manual transmissions a while back on daily drivers.

As for the CC vs QC, there is no contest. My 2014 was a QC and it's very snug; I think fitting a child seat in there would be tough. Your wife is absolutely correct.

I'm hoping that gas vs diesel cost around you is much better than around here; it's about 50 cents more expensive per gallon for diesel than gas. With that being said, I could never justify the added expense of a Cummins combined with the extra cost of fuel and maintenance.

I would opt for truck #2, it's pretty much what I would be looking for on my next truck with the addition of the plow prep, probably the 5.0 or 8.4A radio. I may even add in the 5W prep, well, just in case.
Yeah I think you and SpartanDonM are telling me what I need to hear, that objectively the best fit is the 392 cube SLT in truck #2.

One less year of a lower monthly payment at 0% APR is objectively better than the Cummins option that I don't need for another year with a higher payment and 4% interest. That is a higher interest rate than I'm paying on the Durango, which I bought used. Plus higher maintenance costs for the Cummins while I am making those higher payments.

In posting my recommendations to others I usually also recommend the Hemi over the Cummins unless they need the diesel for its capability due to added complications and potential issues with emissions systems.


$9200 buys a hell of a lot of fuel, though the free Cummins option incentive they sometimes have could be a game changer. Not sure I could get that on an ordered truck though, and realistically to get the G56 I'd have to order it.

But I do love the smooth V8 rumble and raucous scream of a Hemi at low and high RPMs respectively-even V8 diesels don't have that. The diesel engine sound and exhaust notes don't really do anything for me. I am also a lot more familiar with gas engines.
 

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we rode in the back of the Chevy a lot, I guess people don't do that now. :thk:
Same here, it was a single cab Chevy with a bed full of kids. That was the place to be:smileup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
That was my first thought... my parents raised two kids in a Beetle & a single cab Chevy. But we rode in the back of the Chevy a lot, I guess people don't do that now. :thk:
But should I bring this up to the wife though :LOL:

(JK JK I already did)

I would be able to get the two options I wanted and didn't get: a nice, medium blue paint, and 6 seater cab.

TBH I don't even remember if they had rear facing car seats when I was little so IDK if it was an issue. My earliest memories involve our Plymouth minivan with car seats built into the seats, just like these:



Only the interior was this color:



(I loved that van, so did dad)

Nowadays though if you got in a wreck and something happened to your kid and they weren't in the right car seat you'd probably go to ail or something. :str:
 

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In posting my recommendations to others I usually also recommend the Hemi over the Cummins unless they need the diesel for its capability due to added complications and potential issues with emissions systems.


$9200 buys a hell of a lot of fuel, though the free Cummins option incentive they sometimes have could be a game changer. Not sure I could get that on an ordered truck though, and realistically to get the G56 I'd have to order it.

But I do love the smooth V8 rumble and raucous scream of a Hemi at low and high RPMs respectively-even V8 diesels don't have that. The diesel engine sound and exhaust notes don't really do anything for me. I am also a lot more familiar with gas engines.
Yes, you routinely recommend the gasser over the Cummins unless it's NEEDED or money isn't a concern. I really dislike the exhaust from many diesel trucks, it just has an odor that turns my stomach.

If there was a FREE Cummins, I would have to seriously consider it, but would likely still end up in the hemi. If they threw an 8 speed behind the 6.4 I'd find plenty of reasons upgrade to a 2500 right now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
Yes, you routinely recommend the gasser over the Cummins unless it's NEEDED or money isn't a concern. I really dislike the exhaust from many diesel trucks, it just has an odor that turns my stomach.

If there was a FREE Cummins, I would have to seriously consider it, but would likely still end up in the hemi. If they threw an 8 speed behind the 6.4 I'd find plenty of reasons upgrade to a 2500 right now.
Hmm, I guess I may have some time to wait and see what the 5th gen HDs (DK?) will be like, maybe with an 8 speed or stick option (though I suspect the G56 may not make it to the 5th gens and doubt FCA has another ready to roll out). The 66RFE isn't bad, but a bit outdated perhaps. Rowing my own would probably be an improvement.
 

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I would go with option 2. Great truck and you get the 0% for 36 months. Unless you plan on using the 5th wheel option for towing why give up the HEMI. Does the 2500 have the 8 speed trans? I wouldn't get a truck without it. But whatever you chose will be a good truck.
 

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TBH I don't even remember if they had rear facing car seats when I was little so IDK if it was an issue.
I'm not sure, but I can tell you if they existed, I more than likely wasn't in one. I recall driving in my mom's 1976ish Dodge Scamp. It was my mom, my older brother and I sitting in the front seat and I was about 5 or 6. My mom didn't have a car seat so she told us to duck down real low as a police car was passing. I got onto the floorboard against the passenger door and as she made a left turn, the passenger door sprung open and out I went onto the road. Lemon Hostess pie and all.

Come to think of it, that may explain some issues:doh: Buckle up for safety.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I would go with option 2. Great truck and you get the 0% for 36 months. Unless you plan on using the 5th wheel option for towing why give up the HEMI. Does the 2500 have the 8 speed trans? I wouldn't get a truck without it. But whatever you chose will be a good truck.
No 8 speeds in the HDs; not sure why, but maybe for the 5th gens.

I'm not sure, but I can tell you if they existed, I more than likely wasn't in one. I recall driving in my mom's 1976ish Dodge Scamp. It was my mom, my older brother and I sitting in the front seat and I was about 5 or 6. My mom didn't have a car seat so she told us to duck down real low as a police car was passing. I got onto the floorboard against the passenger door and as she made a left turn, the passenger door sprung open and out I went onto the road. Lemon Hostess pie and all.

Come to think of it, that may explain some issues:doh: Buckle up for safety.
For me it would have been in the early to mid-1990s. I've been riding in the front seat since I was 6 or 7, but I don't think they had passenger airbag sensors in 1992 Plymouth Grand Voyagers or 1995 Neons.
And you're the cop now, so you know all the tricks to look for :LOL:


I also remembered another point that was first brought up to me by Electrojake (where's he been BTW?), 3/4 ton diesels don't really make a lot of sense because if you are pulling a trailer that weighs enough to require a diesel, it probably has enough pin weight to require a 1 ton suspension.

Also, the diesel robs you of like 900 lbs of payload capacity or so. I really do like the 5 link and coil rear suspension that my truck and the 2500s have also, I think it is a really good design; so even though a 3500 only costs about $500 more than a similarly equipped 2500 I don't want the Hotchkiss setup. Plus it would probably be too lumber wagon-y for my wife
 

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I also remembered another point that was first brought up to me by Electrojake (where's he been BTW?), 3/4 ton diesels don't really make a lot of sense because if you are pulling a trailer that weighs enough to require a diesel, it probably has enough pin weight to require a 1 ton suspension.

Also, the diesel robs you of like 900 lbs of payload capacity or so. I really do like the 5 link and coil rear suspension that my truck and the 2500s have also, I think it is a really good design; so even though a 3500 only costs about $500 more than a similarly equipped 2500 I don't want the Hotchkiss setup. Plus it would probably be too lumber wagon-y for my wife
I agree, the payload penalty is almost 1000# on the Cummins CC 4x4 while the G56 will only allow the Cummins to tow 500# more than the 6.4 / 4.10 combo. The 3500 would be a very tough sell for a daily driver, especially coming from a pillowy 1500.

I would guess that the theory is that the Cummins will pull the max load considerably easier than the 6.4, but I'd be interested in the comparison nonetheless.
 

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Heck my folks would take out the third row seats in our Dodge caravan and let us sleep on the floor for the 4 hour ride to my grandparents cabin up north. 3 rug rats rolling around in the back.
 
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