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First off, coming from an aviation background, I firmly believe in preventive maintenance...and no leakage of any kind from my vehicles. My "new to me" truck has been thoroughly inspected by "my" mechanics with good results.

The story: Just bought this 2008 Ram 2500 SXT Mega Cab with the 5.7 Hemi, 4X4 and short bed about a month ago. Research says it has an 8800# towing capacity with a 15,000# GVCW. The truck has all the towing gear on it and 62K miles. It was a search to find it.

My travel trailer, a 28' new tow hauler, weighs in at almost 5300# dry weight and 7,000# gross. Yes, I do carry a Harley Ultra Classic in it. We keep the water tanks of the trailer empty except for about 10 to 15 gallons of fresh water when on the road. We do not have a lot of "clutter" in the trailer.

I have not owned a truck this big, nor a MOPAR product in 40 odd years. My previous Chevy 1500 with a 5.3L which we had prior to tow hauler did an adequate job pulling the trailer, but no more than adequate.

First question: The truck requires 5W-20 oil under normal operating conditions, which I question. The owners manual says that for towing 5W-30 is recommended, but is vague about working specifics. In the month since I bought the truck there is no discernible oil usage, even after a 500 mile weekend trip without the trailer.

We put about 5,000 miles on the trailer in an average season. Almost every other weekend and at least two longer one week trips a year.

That said, should I run 5W-30 all the time in this engine? If so, any reason why I should not run full synthetic?

Although the ball joints were "passable" for state inspection purposes, they are not close to passable for my purposes. So, in my mind, it already needs ball joints and differential shaft seals which are "seeping". Both are scheduled. Those are the only two issues noted prepurchase and post purchase.

I have seen postings that discuss ball joint and differential issues with Ram trucks? Are there any caveats I should note?

Thanks one and all for any helpful info.
 

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This is the first gen section! post in the correct spot!

1ST Generation Dodge Ram – 1993 & Older Dodge Ram Trucks
 
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