DODGE RAM 1500, ALTERNATIVE TO THE LANDCRUISER 200 SERIES

 
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2016 1:45 pm    Post subject: DODGE RAM 1500, ALTERNATIVE TO THE LANDCRUISER 200 SERIES Reply with quote

Hello Friends,

Look, there is nothing wrong with the 200 Series, but by the time you upgrade the suspension, then upgrade the towing capacity, it gets expensive. Here is a vehicle about the same size, with the advantage of being a ute with a bed.. I mean the wagon is OK, but nothing beats the advantages of a ute with an open bed or a canopy on it. This alternative is only about a foot longer than the 200 Series, the Dodge 1500 Ram, offered by SCD.

This vehicle comes with more interior, bigger brakes, better towing capacity at 4.2 tonnes, I really think it is worth considering.. It is my job to bring these options and ideas to you, and this Dodge 1500 Ram is an option that can come back to the city living when not in use as a major tow vehicle. It is the same practical size as the Landcruiser, only with some advantages. It can get better fuel economy, priced about the same as a Sahara, and comes able to tow 4.2 ton.. Worth a look, at SCD, with the same fantastic Service..







Look, here it is in underground parking in Brisbane in 200 Series country.. Laughing




For any of you that are really interested here is a link to see a video by SCD in Brisbane, a little more about it in a well done video link. Wink

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R-5rDVZ9-CI&feature=youtu.be


Last edited by Bushtracker on Wed Oct 05, 2016 9:42 am; edited 1 time in total
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Loki of Condor



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PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2016 9:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I see it's a V6.

Yours is an inline 6 isn't it Steve?

So basically the engine is 3 cylinders long instead of 6. There's some savings in the length.
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2016 8:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Loki,

Yes, the Cummins 6.7 is a virtual "Big Rig" in line 6cyl. However, I think I need to make this point for yourself and others:

This Dodge 1500 is a direct competition or replacement or alternative to City dwelling requirements of the 200 Series Landcruiser... I do not suggest it is in the same league or an alternative to the larger Dodge Cummins Diesel 2500 HD. This Dodge 1500, is a luxury car ute, a more utility luxury vehicle that is an alternative for those living in the city that want an everyday driver as well as a Bushtracker Tow Vehicle. This is more of a car.

The Dodge Cummins Diesel Ram is in a whole different category, longer, stronger, but a specific tow vehicle, designed for about 5-6 ton towing capacity. They are two different types of vehicle. I would not compare them. This more of a contrast to the 200 Series, for an alternative that has the truck bed. It is smaller and I do not suggest that it is any replacement for the much larger truck variety of the 2500 and 3500 HD Dodge Cummins Diesel. OK?
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2016 9:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi all,

Further to the comments already made on the Ram 1500.

We have used a Ram 1500 to tow vans to the Adelaide, Melbourne & Gold Coast shows earlier this year and it proved to be similar in capability towing (overtaking etc) to the 200 series, but felt more stable on the road. The big benefit over the Toyota diesel is the fuel economy when towing, we averaged over 5,000kms towing just over 16L per 100km, when towing at the speed limit (100-110km/h).



The 1500 Ram has the same power and torque as the 200 series, is cheaper than the Ram 2500 by 10-15k, shorter in length, and can be fully serviced by Chrysler Jeep dealers (has the same V6 VM Motori diesel engine and 8 speed ZF automatic transmission as found in the current Jeep Grand Cherokee). The big plus is that it has a rated 4.2T braked towing capacity.

Now, to be clear, the Ram 2500 is still a better towing vehicle with the Cummins 6.7L diesel, but if you live in a metropolitan area and the 2500 is just too big? This is a great alternative to the Land Cruiser 200 series, and the same size only more capable and a ute!

Initial impressions driving the Ram 1500 without a van, drives more like a car than the Ram 2500. Sportier in the corners and similar acceleration. Easier to park being shorter at only 5.8m long, and has the option of an airbag suspension (front & rear) which will enable it to get into just about any underground carpark. Here is a video showing it in action: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R-5rDVZ9-CI&feature=youtu.be

I will be towing a van to Melbourne for the Leisurefest at the end of this week with a Ram 1500 that SCD are lending me while I wait for my new truck so will give another more detailed report on how it goes in the next few weeks.

Here's a couple of pics:













Cheers,


Matt
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Bill



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PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2016 3:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Matt

I was looking at the approval for ADR Compliance:

http://rvcs-prodweb.dot.gov.au/perl/48021_1188157_RVD_15Aug2016083418.cmd


I'm no expert in interpreting this but it has "zero" under towing weight and it says "two seats". Does this mean the back seat has to be removed? Doesn't make much sense but neither does binning the towing mirrors in the Walkinshaw conversion. My understanding is the tow bar has to be certified here in Australia by physical testing - it does not matter what the US rating has stated.
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2016 9:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are various ADRs for the same brand of trucks....
Each has their own level of compliance granted.. Like Walkinshaw has obviously not bothered to ADR the big towing mirrors, where others have..

You might be looking at someone that is only battling to submit to the ADR process with a single cab..

Anyway, don't get hung up in all the Bureaucratic nonsense, because that is just what it is for the most part.... The Dodge Ram 1500 is a solid replacement for the 200 Series, with backup at Chrysler Jeep Dealers all over Australia, as well as those that convert it. It can be modded to have less electronics, and the V-6 is well respected. It is about like a 200 Series diesel ute only better.

Kind regards
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Bill



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PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2016 10:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree ... there seems to be an inordinate amount of bureaucratic nonsense. Just another example of public servants on high pay doing nothing except making it unnecessarily expensive for businesses ... which have to pass it onto consumers. And the bureaucracy is layered - both Federal and State. So this means a conversion done in Qld, for example, may have problems being registered in NSW. I know someone who had this problem and had to get NSW certified engineers to do various reports because the Qld reports were unacceptable to NSW RMS.

In the case of the Ram conversions it is my understanding now that as Walkinshaw have "full volume" on the 2500 other converters are not allowed to import vehicles for RH drive conversion.

Walkinshaw needed to put a light on the front of each towing mirror to make them comply with the ADR's ( because of the vehicle width) but obviously found it easier to bin the outstanding mirrors.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2016 2:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello again,

Well after spending nearly 4,000kms with the Ram 1500 towing our 20 foot family van to Melbourne and back. I have to say that I'm impressed, actually more than I thought I would be (having come straight from a Ram 2500).



I didn't weigh the van before this trip, but estimate that it would have been 100-200kg over 3,500kg. That said, the Ram 1500 handled the load with relative ease. I reset the meter when we left and the average fuel economy over the trip was an astounding 16.9L / 100km and we weren't driving slow. We were driving at the speed limit and not slowing down on the hills. I'm sure the 8 speed automatic gearbox played a part in this as it was always in the right gear (never hunting or using the torque converter), but also the V6 diesel I found to be a smooth and very happy engine.



Now as I said in my earlier posting, if you are looking strictly for a tow vehicle, the Ram 2500 with the Cummins diesel is still the choice, but if you live in a metropolitan area and the 2500 is just too big? This is a great alternative to the Land Cruiser 200 series, and the same size only more capable and a ute!

I also found it to have a few more comfort features than even the Land Cruiser, things such as extending towing mirrors, built in brake controller (that works hand in hand with the cars system) and full self leveling air bag suspension with 5 different height levels can all be optioned to make for a safe and easy towing experience. The longer wheel base length can also greatly assist with this. Other features such as heated & ventilated seats, heated steering wheel, full touch screen interface are all nice too.

Definitely worth considering as an option.

Cheers,


Matt
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Maximus



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PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2016 4:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Can you tell me which model are we talking about..Crew cab??

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2016 8:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes...

All the vehicle pictures shown, all the vehicles and all we have been talking about are all Crew Cabs.. That is the standard four door like most of the trucks out there..
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2016 11:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Matthew just took Delivery of his new Ram 1500..

I must say I am impressed. It is a ute styled luxury car. I mean if anyone was thinking of a Sahara, this is worth looking at for the same money.... It is better than a Sahara in just about every way, drives as nice, looks better IMO, 4.2 Ton towing capacity, and has the ute benefit of the bed.. All in about the same parking length??

This one has a lockable tonneau cover, and lined ram boxes, so it is ultimately suited as a luxury tow vehicle.. Matthew loves it, and it will be here on display most days...

It is certainly a better vehicle for towing than a Landcruiser Sahara, Nationwide Service with Chrysler, and it is about the same size for parking as the Landcruiser. As a Bushtracker tow vehicle, certainly worth the look... Wink











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PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2017 2:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fuel economy update January 2017

Hello all,

I just completed a return trip to Coffs Harbour delivering our new 20 foot show van for 2017 to ABCO caravan services.

I am pleased to report that towing a 3,200kg van (tare 2,900kg with 3 full water tanks) the RAM 1500 averaged 16.6L/100km over a 500km drive down the pacific highway / M1. I reset the trip computer when I left Bushtracker, here is reading when I arrived in Coffs Harbour:



I reset the computer again when leaving Coffs and on the return trip without the van, the RAM 1500 averaged 7.5L/100km over a 500km drive home on the same road:



When driving at highway speed (without a van attached) the air suspension automatically lowers into 'Aero mode' to help conserve fuel:



All in all, so far I am very impressed with the smaller RAM.

Cheers,


Matt
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 07, 2017 10:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello again,

Continuing on from my previous postings, I have another economy report after having completed a round trip exhibiting the Bushtracker caravans at the Adelaide, Melbourne and Gold Coast caravan shows.

To put this one in perspective, I was towing my own personal Bushtracker weighing around 3,700kg give or take. We suffered some pretty extreme conditions including two days of severe heat where the outside temperature reached 48 degrees. We also encountered a couple of days of very strong head winds which can also affect economy figures. The other point to mention, is because we are on a pretty tight time frame, we pushed the vehicles hard on the hills (not slowing down) and also stuck to the speed limit, which on many occasions was 110km/h also affecting economy.

I reset the trip meter on the first day and over the entire trip of almost 4,600km and 58 hours behind the wheel, the average reads 17.9L/100km. Not bad considering the conditions.



Again, to re-iterate my earlier comments, I still do not see this vehicle as a replacement for the larger 2500 series RAM (or similar) but more a suitable competitor to a 200 series Land Cruiser and has a higher towing capacity.

Cheers,


Matt
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Ricky



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PostPosted: Tue Mar 07, 2017 6:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting numbers Matt, my (now ex) Sahara certainly would not match that towing a 3.7t van, it would be closer to the 20-21 mark if i was pushing towards 110km/hr.

Do you have the numbers for the other tow vehicles that accompanied you on this trip (purely out of interest) ?
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2017 8:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Ricky,

We had two other vehicles towing the vans:

1. Ford Ranger 3.2L diesel automatic towing a 20' Bushtracker (2880kg tare + 270kg water + 100kg miscellaneous show gear = 3,250kg): 19.6L/100km

2. Holden Colorado 2.8L diesel automatic towing a 16' Bushtracker compact narrow width (2420kg tare + 270kg water + 100kg miscellaneous show gear = 2,790kg): 14.9L/100km

Cheers,


Matt
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Rosiebear



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PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2017 12:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting figures guys. My 20 footer in trip load out- full fridge, clothes for 2, with 2 centre of 4 water tanks empty, as weighed on Sunday arvo on the way home, short detour through the Port of Brisbane weighbridge, just for my own update.

Tow vehicle Iveco 50C18, 3L CRD, 15.6l/100Km, just going with the flow of highway traffic. 90-5 +

GCM 7560
Iveco GVM 4280 inc draw bar wt 160 kgs

BT Tare 2600(?) GVM 3500; as weighed GVM 3280 (axle group only) plus Draw Bar wt = true GVM 3440 as towed.

Standard van with 190 L fridge, 4 AGM , 4 solar P, oyster dish on roof, dometic /ac, power awning, couple drain hoses and a cast iron pot in tunnel, under bed mostly empty, and I have to travel with two empty tanks to remain under legal GVM of 3500.

I've got just enough with the 60 kg left over to carry a generator, more clothes for a longer trip, a carton Pepsi Max cans, a chateau cardboard of Dr Morris's finest throat elixir and a bottle of single malt.

Lucky I have 250L of water in the truck tank to pump off to the van on location. Very Happy

Luckily there's 10% general compliance allowance on axle weights...so if I wanted to be a bit cheeky I could cheat and fill all the tanks, but not safe.....

Bit of a ramble off topic, but might help some people struggling with towing weights on 4x4's.

For people living in Brisbane, or travelling through, there are two axle group weigh bridges, (they are smaller tables so probably more accurate than long bed weighbridges), going into and leaving the Port of Brisbane.

One is at Lytton where the old turnoff to the old Forts/ main Caltex refinery entrance used to be, but actually in a pull off area on the port road before you go under the overpass. Its well signposted, and the other is on a slip road at the Pritchard road/Wynnum exit when departing the Port.

They are generally unmanned but active all the time with external displays you can see from the cab.

Because they are mainly for truck axle weighing the slip roads put you back onto the main port roads, so easy access from the Gateway Motorway or Wynnum Road.
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Grumpy



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PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2017 1:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Rosiebear,

Am I reading this correctly, only 160kg on the tow bar?

I was concerned when I was only measuring 260kg.

We have been getting up around the 3500kg ATM and have decided to go for the Lovells 4000kg Upgrade not so we can load up even further but for peace of mind and ensure our insurance is valid.

Ours is a 20' with Lithium, 4 solar, 3 water tanks plus grey water orig tare was 2720kg but probably around 2800 now with some upgrades.

Our tug obviously is the LC 200 which on our last 8 month trip returned a creditable 18.4 l/100km. We usually travel at 85-90km/hr.
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mattkurvink
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2017 1:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A heavier ball weight (closer to 10% of total) is always recommended for optimal stability when towing as this short video demonstrates:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4jk9H5AB4lM

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Matt
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Grumpy



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PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2017 1:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Totally agree Matt, Have seen this YouTube video and was concerned when only measuring 260kg, about 7.5%.

I know we are getting off subject here, but have tried to load to achieve max ball wt. but can't seem to get above 290kg?
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2017 1:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's probably OK, you are close enough. Its when you get less than around 5% that it can become a problem.
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2017 4:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Grumpy,
I have been as high as 340, but that's what she measured out at on Sunday, I guess + -20 kg error on the weigh bridge, I was really surprised considering how heavy it was last time I can get a bit more up front, but over the 5 days we were away last week was really happy with the way it towed. I guess with 2.4T on the back axle of the Iveco it doesn't do much and the truck is in control. I know I can play around with the water tanks. last run I had rear and front tanks full, were at about 70% when weighed. If I fill the front 2 that will move weight to the front, and I might have leeway to do the third, but trying to watch GVM. I think 3 tanks would put me over about 60-70 Kgs. Really negligible in the scheme of things. But could be an insurance issue down the track.

I guess Matts comments about 5% is probably more of an issue with the light 4x4's, Rangers, Colorados, Isuzu etc and marginal on LC and patrols.

With the recent weight exercise recently in Victoria, it seems that it has put some ideas in other heads in other states, and it will become a focus in the very near future. I look at this way, based on 40 years experience in similar fields, it is easy picking, not a lot of work involved, good penalties, and makes a good news item, and you know what media pigs at the trough are like. With Easter and school holidays only a few weeks away, it is too good an opportunity to miss bashing "slow wobbly caravanners", trouble is all caravanners get caught up in the net.

Anyhow enough rumour mongering, getting wayyy off topic here. Back to the fuel mileage. 18.4 is pretty good, I know if I limit myself to 90 max and play the auto shift tune on anything other than level I get better figures, but cant dawdle all day.
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