INTRODUCING, THE NEW GEN 4, ADBLUE, DODGE CUMMINS RAM
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2014 11:11 am    Post subject: INTRODUCING, THE NEW GEN 4, ADBLUE, DODGE CUMMINS RAM Reply with quote

Hello Friends,
This Thread will be about the new Gen 4, AdBlue Dodge Cummins Ram, capabilities, features, new SCR exhaust and why they get better fuel economy yet.

It is powered by the 6.7 Cummins Turbo Diesel. I am a Cummins Fan, but rather than argue it is superior, I will put the case forward it is better due to access. You can hardly get a hand in to work on the Chev Duramax, it is almost a two man job to change a fuel filter. The Fords are just as tight, in fact in America the hoists are equipped to lift the cab off for turbo or head work.. The Cummins is different in that it is a straight six like many Big Rigs. On one side you pull out the radiator overflow tank and battery and there is total side access. On the other side you pull out air filter housing and you have total turbo and the other side of the engine access. It is just a lot more User Friendly. Whether you are a Cummins Fan or not one yet, there is just one more huge advantage: Besides the backup from Chrysler Australia you have another big one: Cummins Australia, that and access, it just has a leg up on the rest.

I have sold my Dodge Cummins Ram Dually (48 hours to sell) to a Bushtracker Owner. I sold it to benefit you Bushtracker Owners.. Yea right, you are thinking.. No really, that was my choice if I was travelling around Australia with a 24’ full luxury Bushtracker. I have done this changeover to get a more representative smaller single rear wheel Dodge Cummins Ram parked in front of our Office, for you Owners to experience. Really, the new Dodge Cummins IS the top tow vehicle, with better safety and control, storage, capability, it really is better in every way. I have owned three 200 Series, a GXL, VX, and Sahara, for our R&D and DVDs, and the Dodge Cummins is just better. In addition, I will explore the advantages of the new AdBlue system and how it gets better fuel economy.

This is it, but it will be four weeks before it is converted and back here for you to see in person. There are some major functional changes from 2013 and up, 8.5" big screen in the camera and nav system, and these Ramboxes are a fun option.. This will be here in four weeks for you to consider, for upgrading to larger vans out of the safety range of Landcruiser for instance... Look, the truth is as I have said, that it IS better. It will do the job safer, easier, more comfortably, and have FAR more control over the larger vans as well as having a ton more towing capability. It is not just about more power and more brakes, it is a lot more control with the leverage of a longer wheelbase and the price is comparable to a Sahara, depending on model and size.




The new ones use Urea, sort of small expense of Urea (the Add Blue) added to a tank every 8,000 to 10,000 kms, widely available at all truck stops. You add it when the low, there is an extra gauge on the dash for it. It adds to the fuel economy by about 10%. And the filler looks like this:



How does it work? Those who are not technical stop reading now Laughing Heh he Laughing

Definitions: EGR Exhaust Gas Recirculation, DPF Diesel Particulate Filter, SCR Selective Catalytic Reduction, Regen is regeneration (cleaning) of the DPF, and the AdBlue is Urea.

The AdBlue doesn't actually clean the DPF.. They are still regened by diesel. Urea treats NOx allowing less usage of EGR. Less EGR is a more efficient burn and creates less DPF clogging with soot for less regeneration cycles. The higher HP at 385 and higher torque at 1080, along with less regens, is where the mpg benefit comes from.

This 2013 still has an EGR and DPF, but it operates far less, so the oil is cleaner, and less soot runs back through the engine to the DPF because of the SCR. Instead of the DPF, it uses an SCR system situated behind the DPF, and adds in the AdBlue Urea to the exhaust stream. It injects the ammonia to break down the NO to CO2 and NO2. Now the big difference is the greatly lowering of the black soot being recycled back into the engine through the EGR and THEN not having to regen the DPF as much with the reduction of that same soot… THIS plus the higher HP and Torque, combines for about 10% fuel economy again.

In summary, this AdBlue Dodge Cummins engine is still 6.7 ltr, but upped to 385 HP and 1085 NM of Torque. It will get the same or better fuel economy as a 200 Series, but with a HUGE level of safety and control advantage towing a larger Bushtracker.

In this Thread I will post pictures of mine and the testing results of our Empirical R&D on the new trucks. As well, I will put on pictures of the conversion by SCD in Brisbane. Here are a few to get started:
This is the new interactive dash module, with an LCD screen of huge amount of features, like engine performance, oil life, filters life, transmission and engine temperatures, trip logs and a dozen more features. I even has a TPS system to monitor tyre pressure:



Interactive screen even for fuel economy, oil and filter life, down to even a door open:



This one has Ramboxes. I am having a canopy built like a gull wing canopy with the doors left off, for the opening storage of the Ramboxes. You can Google this feature and look at the pictures, it is just an option..



Anyway, more to come, four weeks for conversion and it will be here for you to look at…
On the road with the Ranger


Last edited by Bushtracker on Thu Jan 30, 2014 11:29 am; edited 3 times in total
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legendts



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PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2014 1:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Steve, are they still doing conversions in Brisbane as I thought they were all being done in the Philippines now?

I called into Shogun last year on our way back home and I was very impressed with the quality of their conversions, nice guys too.
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2014 2:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This was done by SCD in Brisbane. Some of their Staff are from Shogun, when they relocated to the Philippines.

In all fairness, Shogun found the near perfect choice in a truck just for my tastes, a silver Crew Cab, 2014, Longhorn Edition... In Texas... I just could not pay for a truck up front, and have it go to the Philippines with Communist and Al Queda Insurgents active, and not get the truck insured in my name for five months? You have to negotiate some insurance terms with them. The white Laramie featured above came from SCD, and it was already here. I am actually driving it now. I can insure it and it will be converted this month by SCD in Brisbane.

Shogun found me this, (still in Texas, still Left Hand Drive and not converted yet):






In all fainness, I would like this truck. But I want it here before I pay for it. If they get it here, my white one will be on offer or Matthew our Office Manager has already said he wants it. (Another Convert from Landcruiser)..

Matthew travelled with another van, a 20' towed by a Dodge Cummins Ram, getting 16-17 litres per hundred. No Landcruiser can match that...

Kind regards, da lone Ranger


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legendts



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PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2014 2:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's exactly the model I was looking at. My confusion over SCD and Shogun. Will need to follow up with SCD when (and if I convince my better half who is not well at the moment) I get closer to decision time later in the year. Would you say SCD is as good as in price and quality as Shogun? Sorry if that is a loaded question so if it is please disregard it Steve.
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2014 3:42 pm    Post subject: Canopy with Ramboxes Reply with quote

Steve

I am investigating this and looked at a 2013 with Ramboxes that went through town here last week.

The boxes would suit me in normal use, but I'm having trouble coming up with a good canopy design to work seamlessly with them.

When you have time and/or photos, will you post some please of how you are going to go about this?

Regards Geoff
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4wd26



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PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2014 6:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

could you please also post up pics of the underbody

interested to see the location of the "hot" bits under in relation to picking up dry grass etc.

cool truck Cool
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2014 8:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hot bits? It is pretty shielded underneath. The DPF is an internal ceramic with a doubled insulated skin. I do not see this as a problem...

The Ramboxes: They were not my choice, they just came with the truck. I first saw them at Cheyenne Frontier Days in Wyoming in 2012, so they have been out for a while. I have a rolling metal tonneau cover, and all I wanted the canopy for was a sun and rain shelter for my dogs. You would have to design and build a gull wing canopy whose sides folded up for access to the Ramboxes. As yet I have NOT found a fibreglass canopy like that.. If they are that popular, I would think you could get one shipped over.

I have designed it in my minds eye: Rambox lid stands up vertically 300mm. You would make a gull wing canopy with rigid end panels from about 120 mm wide in front to a out 150 in back, and a panel over the gull wing and maybe a gull wing fold up side door on each side with the gull wing bottom latch and frame attached to the Rambox lid. Lift the door, then lift the Rambox lid, both fold up...

Kind regards, lone Ranger
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 15, 2014 11:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Friends,

I have to give the truck up tomorrow or the next day, for the Conversion to RHD... Sad

My first impressions? Effortless power, firm control, more interactive screen and impressive touch screen controls for customising everything... On the way to work on the highway this morning 23.5 MPG? That is 10 litres per hundred, wow... Mind you it is empty, but with a tight new engine not even run it, beats Landcruiser. Super luxury car ute, but big rig capability and engine brake as well. Honestly, a Standard Crew Cab is only 900 mm longer than a Landcruiser and yet TWICE the vehicle. Except for inner city parallel parking, anyone doing any serious towing should be driving this rig. With the long wheelbase, bigger brakes, and control with double the leverage on the van, it could save your life in the right circumstances..

Now, on the big three of Ford, Chev, Dodge, the differences in comfort and style and performance are all too close to call. There is one thing in the Dodge Cummins package that is a stand alone: Engine access. For a major job or turbo service the others virtually have to pull the whole cab. That is not a problem in America where all the hoists are designed to lift off the cab, and Staff are trained to do this in under an hour.. But here? No way except in a few places... The Dodge Cummins engine being a Big Rig 6cyl, is accessible in cab on both sides, massive amount of room!! This turns the tide waaaaay in favour of the Dodge Personally I also like the look of mine:

Edit: This is going to Matthew the Office Manager, is not converted yet, and is still Left Hand Drive in this photo..





In four weeks, it will be here most days. You are welcome to come inspect and get a feel for it. Myself, I can park it anywhere, just hang the tailgate over the curb or parking curb stop... I have been driving these larger vehicles for the past what 12 years, mostly in the city, you get used to the size and guess what: It feels good!

Here is the lone Ranger checking out his new horse with puppy Shaka:



Wink on the road Ranger Wink


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G&J



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PostPosted: Mon Jan 20, 2014 3:12 pm    Post subject: Coil rear end on the 2014's Reply with quote

Steve

What rear end is in that white unit? Coils or air?

Could you please comment on how the rear end feels on the '14's, even with your limited use to date? Is it an improvement?

Regards Geoff
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 21, 2014 9:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Geoff, and other Owners,

The 2014s will not be here yet, it is sort of a six month delay.. This truck was running about 3:42 gears in the diff, you caught yourself cruising along at a very low RPM. And in answer to your question no, it did not have the air suspension.

What I am told is the Air Suspension is for the 3500 range to soften the ride. I did that myself on one truck, with heavy duty air bags, paddle wheel inflate or deflate on the run, depending on the load and road conditions. This is becoming more and more common on trucks. From everything else I see from Dodge, it will be a solid asset, not an added problem.

The idea is to make it more versatile, loaded and unloaded, and it certainly would not deter me from getting one. However, most will not need a 3500, the HD 2500 is pretty heavy duty on its own.

The Generation 4 last half year 2013 are just here now. Here is one they brought to show off yesterday, just finished... They look a bit different on the outside with new style flashy headlights and tail lights:



On the inside what gives away the Gen 4 is the larger Nav/Bluetooth,Back up camera screen, and keyless ignition:



Also the dash instruments are clustered around about a six inch interactive screen that displays a dozen different things as you set it, tyre pressure monitor and the rest..



And again, to answer your question, the air suspension is primarily for the larger rigs as an option to soften the ride when you are unloaded...

Kind regards and on the road with the Ranger.... Wink
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 21, 2014 12:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Steve.
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Devils On The Prowl



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PostPosted: Wed Jan 22, 2014 10:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, just love these trucks.
I'm only one Saturday night away from ordering one of these.
Rambox's, if I get one they'll be water tanks hidden away outa sight, that way I can say longer in that beautifull remote location...
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 23, 2014 10:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello you Tassie Devils you...

I struggle with the same impulses, however unlike you I cannot really justify owning one as I sold my Bushtracker... I will try and be of help though, as I have owned one longer than most and driven the Rambox model more than any Bushtracker Owner: There is a problem with the Rambox unit.

It is a bit difficult to work in with a canopy. The white Rambox Laramie MegaCab I show above, is going to Matthew. He does not want a canopy, so he can load to any height with caravan steps and gazebo and fittings for the big Shows. Me, I need a canopy with the gull wing windows removed for the summer to have shade for the dogs and shelter in the rain. The white one with RamBoxes also has a sliding tonneau cover, and this does not work well for my dogs either.. Rolling Eyes

None of your formal ready made fiberglass canopies will work with the Ramboxes. I even put a Post on the Dodge Cummins Ram Forum posing the question, and no they do not make one that anyone knows of. Soooo, you are up for a full custom canopy with the Ramboxes, at sort of $15,000 and up. Rolling Eyes In my mind, another reason not to get the RamBoxes unless you are headed for a custom canopy anyway. You order a truck, they can arrange a new colour match FG canopy for about $3000-$4000 shipped with the truck already mounted on the bed... Wink

My job is to try and be of a help.... Scouting the road ahead for you Owners..
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 24, 2014 7:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Devils On The Prowl wrote:
Wow, just love these trucks.
I'm only one Saturday night away from ordering one of these.
Rambox's, if I get one they'll be water tanks hidden away outa sight, that way I can say longer in that beautifull remote location...


Seeing you are in Tassie can I ask who you are ordering through? Like you, I reckon these are the best tug. Tried to PM but found out I can't Sad
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 26, 2014 8:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

legendts, as I said I'm only one Saturday night away from ordering one.
Sorry to confuse you, but I've got to win lotto first.
I dribble every time I read one of these posts about the Ram.
Until then I'll continue along with my F Truck.




Steve is there a photo taken from the back view of the Ram Boxes?
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 26, 2014 8:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

With the tail gate down, I should have added.

Instead of having the ram boxes that lift up, I would fill that space in a normal tub with water tanks.

May have to remove the Tub to get them in there, then refit the tub with water tanks outa sight not taking up any room in the back.

Come on LOTTO....
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 26, 2014 2:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Tassie Devils,

I will have more pictures in the next week, maybe as early as Tuesday..

Anyway, the RamBoxes are probably not for me, it makes a canopy difficult as I was saying. Although, I would not turn down a truck just because of them, it just means an added expense of a custom canopy.. Also, it narrows the bed down to just inside the wheel boxes. I will post more pictures of another truck, supposedly coming Tuesday...

I don't know if I mentioned, the Registration is a bit cheaper than the Ford or Chevrolet/GMC with it being a six cylinder Cummins.. And the new 2500 HD Ram can be down rated to 4490 to drive on a regular car License with no 0-0 alcohol provision. It is easily done, as Chrysler Dodge do it themselves for export to Canada that has about the same License requirements.. 4490 kg. Wink

On the road, Ranger
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 26, 2014 5:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Devils On The Prowl wrote:
legendts, as I said I'm only one Saturday night away from ordering one.
Sorry to confuse you, but I've got to win lotto first.


Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy
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kjgsledge



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PostPosted: Sun Jan 26, 2014 7:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bit of a cruiser man myself
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 26, 2014 11:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kjgsledge,
Cruiser Man, I can relate to that. I have had a half dozen over the past 25 years. They are easy. My current "luxury car" is a Sahara.

The problem is that when you get a Bushtracker up on the safe limits, a 6.7 Cummins Diesel Dodge Ram just does it easier and safer. It has a great engine brake system, longer wheelbase and better control, better brakes, ton more towing capacity, more comfort and less driver fatigue.

The truth is that for about the price of a Sahara it IS just better. In a pinch, with a big van on the highway, the difference could save your life. On top of all of that, with a big Bushtracker, some get better fuel economy as well.

It is so good, I have a hard time deciding which I like better just as a work vehicle. It is hard to justify owning one with a smaller van when Landcruiser is so easy... Smaller vans, I agree, Toyota is everywhere. However, when the Landcruiser is struggling to do the job safely, the Dodge Cummins comes into its own.. Then when you have been stressing with a large van behind a Landcruiser and you get in and tow with the Dodge Cummins effortlessly with no stress? You feel like what a kick it is to drive one! Wink
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2014 6:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeh I know we're your comming from
It's hard to believe that tha same cruiser in America can tow 4 ton
Why thy dropped the tow rating for Australia has me stumped
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2014 9:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello again kjgsledge,

Not to be a know it all, but on Big Rigs, being a HVRAS Officer for Qld Transport and having done 20 years of R&D on 20 rigs this size and four 15 tonners..... Maybe...... Laughing Laughing Laughing

Two points here... 4 tons American, 8000 lbs, is only 3629 kg. That is close enough to our standards.

Secondly... I have towed 3500 kg with two 100 Series and three 200 series, and they are on their limits at 3500 kg. They just cannot do more on the highway at 100 kph safely with that length of wheelbase that dictates the leverage on the van.. Anyone can swerve to avoid an accident, it is the recovery that is the killer. I can't say, but I may have accidently done testing on 4000 kg of overloaded 22' Bushtracker with 8 water tanks, as it is against the law... After 20 years of R&D with them I can say: Landcruisers cannot do over the 3500 kg safely at high speed. In the case of radical manoeuvrability to avoid an accident they do not have the wheelbase length to have the leverage they need to control 4000 kg.

The Dodge on the other hand, hardly knows it is there. Wink Even a 25% increase in wheelbase is about double the leverage on the van... Something like this, at only 900mm longer than a Landcruiser, is nearly twice as capable with a large van.



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PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2014 4:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Steve

I don't want to highjack this thread but since you are mentioning Landcruiser capacities vis a vis towing I have a query. I have upgraded the GVM on my 200 series and had it re-rated at 3500kg. With my van loaded to the legal 3500kg, I would have a Gross Combined Mass of 7000kg. Both outfits (tug and van) are legal. But the published (by Toyota) GCM for a Landcruiser towing anything is only 6500kg. So even though I'm combining two legal units, the total is over weight. Can you explain the conundrum to me and is there a way around the issue other than reducing weight in both the van and tug to comply?

Cheers

John
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2014 5:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One must remember that the critical factor in safe towing is the distance between the rear axle and the tow point. It is recognised readily that 5th wheelers have no, I repeat, no issues with sway. This is a simple physics equation. The length and weight of the tow vehicle will dictate the maximum weight and length of a trailer that may be safely towed. Without a doubt, the most difficult and dangerous task a driver can under take is to tow a long and heavy caravan. End of lecture.
Regards ...
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2014 5:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is the gcm stated anywhere on the vehicle, if not it is a grey area, I must admit I was worried about it, having lifted the gvm on my tray back to 3900kg but having searched the vehicle high and low could not fine it written anywhere. Now iam of the opion as long as my van weighs 3500kg and tray back 3900kg iam running legal.
Just my opion, and my opion only, for insurance purposes I think I should be in the clear.
I believe from 2014 onwards all Toyota compliance plates will state GCM
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2014 5:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry for hijacking the thread also
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2014 7:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

(To kgjsledge, my understanding is that GVM upgrade does not increase the GCM. See Steve's reply in this topic http://www.bushtrackerforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=2072&highlight=upgrade+gcm. Remember too - Steve is this bit right? - that the ball weight will be included in your GVM, so you need to leave that leeway when loading your car, and hence your actual effective legal max is less than just GVM plus GCM.)

Returning to the main thread, or perhaps inviting a different thread, Steve would you be able to comment on the off road abilities of these bigger utes? I know they'll go anywhere we're likely to want to tow the BT, but what about exploring from a base camp once we've parked the van? We're mostly past the stage where we go mud plugging or rock hopping just for fun, but tracks to beaches, lookouts, riverbanks etc still get tight and rocky sometimes. Would you normally be thinking about air lockers, lift kits etc?

Second question: Are you able to make some comment on the effective payload of these vehicles, after typical modifications such as bullbar, drawers and canopy? If I read the Dodge website right, the recommended payloads, before you start adding passengers and aftermarket mods, for a RAM 2500 4x4 6.7 tdi megacab SWB (ie. 6'4" tray) SRW 2013 version, would be a payload of 1022kg (2254 lb). If we subtract say 200kg for passengers; say (as a guess) 250kg for bullbar, drawers etc; say 300kg for tow bar weight, this leaves the 2500 with capacity for 'only' 250kg of cargo. No quad bikes or tinnies there, realistically.

Dodge website says the payload of the equivalent 3500 (2013 version, megacab SRW SWB 6.7 tdi) is 2133kg, that's a tonne more which makes sense.

But in contrast the Ford website says (for 2014 vehicles):
- payload for F250 SWB SRW crewcab 4x4 tdi: 1474kg (3250 lb);
- payload for F350 SWB SRW crewcab 4x4 tdi: 1800kg (3970 lb).
That's just 326kg more which is not trivial but seems a surprisingly small step up. I may be getting this wrong.

Final question on the Ram, would you go the leaf spring rear end or the new 5 link coils they're talking about for the 2014 models?

Thanks Steve for the R&D you do on these vehicles, and for the time you take posting all this information. We're planning to upgrade our trusty LC100 to one of these in the very near future (was away on holiday so mixed the chance to buy the one you offered above, dammit!) and are getting enormous value from this forum.

Cheers,

Matt
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2014 9:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes iam aware of that, but thanks for the reminder
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2014 9:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry Matt and Lana, and you others....

It is not really like that... No one enforces GCM it to that pedantic degree on non commercial vehicles.. No one weighs non commercial vehicles with the people on board for one... The first thing that happens on a pull over for a portable scale is you get out... Wink It is not like the commercial drive through scales for commercial trucks..

Secondly, I have never heard of non commercial vehicles being run on this idea of GCM being reduced by increased GVM. This is big rig stuff, really commercial stuff.. If the application was done like you show, about 3/4 of all non commercial vehicles would be illegal and pulled off the road... Laughing Laughing The non commercial vehicles are not even pulled over for the truck stop scales interstate. You might be getting a bit pedantic here.. Laughing Laughing Laughing

As to one of these trucks off-road? With only 900 mm longer, over a Landcruiser, but double the torque... I suppose there is the rare occasion when the shorter wheelbase wins out, but in my experience the bog holes, BOG holes, they are made by Landcruiser. With the American trucks, by the time the front end gets into the BOG, the back end is still driving, and by the time the back end is in the BOG, the front end is pulling out. In the past 12-15 years of the Fords, Chevs, and Dodges, I have found advantages and disadvantages balance out. You can see the action in a couple of our DVDs.. Wink

I am sure there are places in remote seaside fish camps where the Landcruiser wins, but there are also places on extreme steep rocky terrain in the gravel with a big Bushtracker on the back, where the over the 1000 NM of torque of the American trucks wins out. Wink

on the road Ranger
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 30, 2014 11:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Friends,

We had new Bushtracker Owners here the day before yesterday. They were up on the upper limits of the 200 Series, and had not bought one yet. When we tried to talk with them about the Dodge Rams, their response was basically: "Oh no, they are just toooo big!"

For those of you considering, I have decided I need one here. I have just agreed to purchase this one for my own vehicle. Yes I like my Sahara, but managing a cattle and horse property a ute is far more practical. Further to that we need a standard Crew Cab here to show people that they are not really too big. This one is only 900mm longer than my 200 Series:




Now don't let the Bull Bar put you off... That is my own personal style, because I like to travel at night once in awhile, love crossing the deserts starting before dawn to see the dawn colours of early morning in the deserts and really all over Oz.. I need that big steel Bull Bar, where most would not travel at night or dawn or dusk, I do. So don't let that put you off... You do not need anything this extreme, this just suits me, and a bonus as the truck came with it and a UHF.. And 25,000 kms on the clock but oh, well, run in.. Rolling Eyes



Now on size, this is not big, at 900mm longer than my 200 Series, the control on the van is nearly double. 800-900 mm on wheelbase, would nearly double the leverage on the van itself. Further, more power, more brakes, more manoeuvrability at high speed on the highway, this could save you in a pinch. 900 mm is not that much larger, in a regular parking lot if you back in (with the built in automatic backup camera) until your rear tyres hit the stop, you are going to fit in with everyone else. Really: You will hang over in the rear enough to just about line up with the other vehicles close enough to be acceptable. I think it is a real consideration for those of you that want a larger Bushtracker. This one will be here for your consideration from next week.. (Sorry, not for sale at this time.)

On the road, Ranger
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 04, 2014 10:47 am    Post subject: What options? Reply with quote

Hi Steve,

Based on your experience and research, what options you recommend adding to a 3500 megacab 6.7 tdi SRW Laramie if we're sourcing one from the States?

The biggest ones seem to be upgrading to the heavier gearbox and upgrading to the more powerful engine (because hey, 800 ft-lbs is barely enough! Very Happy ). Both seem like overkill, frankly, other than perhaps for resale.

In another post I think you recommended against the air-over-leafs rear end in favour of the traditional leafs. Does that still hold for the 2014 SRW, do you think?

Would you recommend keeping the 18" wheels? We're after function not appearance.

Otherwise there's an endless list of convenience/comfort/cosmetic extras. Some are a matter oif taste, but are there any standouts you'd suggest?

Thanks for the help.

Cheers

Matt
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 04, 2014 11:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Matt and Lana,
Look, I am up against the same thing. I took a 2012 just because one was offered to me that was immediately available.. If you order a Custom one, add on several months... Usually they just search Dealers and lots for what comes close in model and size and give you the option on that particular truck. The problem is the time factor and usually they go looking for existing trucks, and they all come with random options. First of all a 3500 is waaaaay overkill. You will have to have it down rated, or it medium rigid MR License and a 0.0 alcohol truck. I do not know why most would not do just fine with the 2500 like Matthew is getting.

I thought it was necessary to get a standard Crew Cab to show Clients, as it is only 900mm longer than a Landcruiser and much easier to get people to adapt to the size issue. Myself, I would like the Mega Cab, but this is a truck to park in front of my Office and show to perspective Owners that want larger vans. I took the Crew Cab and Longhorn, in a 2012, just because that is all that was available immediately. I will probably Order a 2014 within a month, but I want to live with the RamBoxes and decide exactly what I really want in contrast to what is better for Bushtracker. Mine is a 3500, but again, random availability, and it is down rated...

They all come with coil rear end in 2014 to my knowledge, and air over leaf in the 3500 for a nicer ride. Do you want Ramboxes? If so, the remote key locking of Ramboxes and Tailgate is a cheap option that is very nice. I would also like Remote Starting, left on Climate Control the truck is warm or cooler in the couple of minutes later you get in.. On Remote Start, the steering wheel, gear shift, and doors are still locked.

Look, they all come pretty nicely equipped. Mid 2013 on comes with a bigger 8.5 inch Nav Screen.. I would not worry about heavy duty engine or gearbox, that is for the 10 ton range, and might mean higher RPM/ gear ratio which would eat fuel. All the 2014s will come with the disconnecting front end, 385 HP and 1080 NM in torque. Nothing more stands out that I would be custom ordering for and waiting an addition 3-4 months. 18" wheels and tyres are on the VX and Sahara and available here.. My advice would be to just define the model you want, Laramie, Megacab, what colour, Ramboxes or not, SRW or DRW, and size as in 2500 or 3500. Don't worry about payload, the pedantic end of it is not enforced here in non-commercial trucks, things like accounting for you in the truck and so on. It is not like a Commercial Truck drive through.. Do worry about the implications of a 3500, it is much harder to down rate... The GVM of the 3500, is not worth the annual in State Inspection, and extra Registration Costs of $1200, a $1000 of which is Third Party like a Big Rig.. Further it is harder to down rate, and could be higher RPM gear ratio for worse fuel economy... Rolling Eyes So if you are going to down rate it anyway??, a 2500 HD will do just fine. Even then you have to down rate a 2500, they come about 4580 kg GVM, but easy to do on paper as it is only down to 4490 and Dodge exports the same truck to Canada like that with no changes. It is the same License issue.

What is the problem? 3500 means about $1200 more Rego per year, and annual inspection for GVMs over 4500 kg (and totally unnecessary for most Bushtracker Owners) also only done in the State of Registration, and that can be a real problem. Medium Rigid truck License is an issue if you do not have it, and also 0.0 alcohol, I mean not even a beer with lunch.. Rolling Eyes If you down rate it, you might as well take a 2500 HD. Yes mine is a 3500 Longhorn, that has been de-rated to a normal car license, but don't let my truck spec guide you, it was a case of random availability. One key issue: Mine is also a standard Crew Cab, a foot shorter than my MegaCab and they report a much tighter turning radius. Wink

You just have to decide on what grade, the base model is the cloth interior Bighorn. Laramie is leather, Longhorn is fancier and has the sunroof/moonroof, and a few other practical things. The biggest options I can think of are Sunroof, remote starting, Ramboxes, and auto locking of them and tailgate.. If you were thinking custom order, look at their list and go accordingly, but it could be 4-6 months extra. I mean even power folding extending mirrors are possible but not necessary. Larger tank, you can get silly over this..

Options vary truck to truck, it is a bit random. For instance on the immediate trucks available Matthews Laramie has remote locking Ramboxes and tailgate, where my fancier model in the Longhorn for some reason does not... Rolling Eyes Go figure...

All I can think of right now.. Kind regards from a Rig Junkie (likes trucks) Ranger
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 04, 2014 1:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Steve, how would you rate the ride empty of the 2500 Longhorn against the 200 Sahara? I have a Sahara with ARB 200kg rear and 25mm front lift system at the moment.
Thanks and great info as usual Steve.
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 04, 2014 2:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Legend,
Look, this is Empirical and not opinion, have driven both recently.. My Sahara has 400 over rear and 100-200 over in front. It rides firm like a sports car, but not really rough. Now, I equipped it for the real time DVD towing out Bush, and my Wife has a bone spur in her neck. While She will get a new Sahara with the stock mushy suspension (already ordered) She tolerated this one for the past year. (I could have returned this to near stock suspension for Her, but with the equipment it has it is better suited to sell on to a lucky Bushtracker Owner.. )

It is firm, does not heal over on curves that much, and helps if you have a tank full of diesel and tools in the back, then firm not mushy, firm but not harsh. The 2500 HD empty, was about the same. NOTE: In reality the the 2500 HD might have been a little harder riding, but with the longer wheelbase you did not feel it. On a rut the Sahara could buck a little, where the longer wheelbase would go mush mush... Laughing

Near enough to even, my heavy equipped Sahara might have the edge on pure luxury ride in town... But there is not a lot in it. Wink

Road Ranger
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 04, 2014 5:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Many thanks for the prompt reply Steve. Sounds like the Ram is an easy change.
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Chris & Tracy



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PostPosted: Tue Feb 04, 2014 7:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yea but you have to park it Sad
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 04, 2014 8:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

At only 900mm longer than a Landcruiser, if you back into the parking spots with the rear of the truck overhanging the bump stop, you nearly line up with the rest. Twice the power, control, and safety, at only 900mm longer than a Landcruiser, even with a Crew Cab? If you can't park that you should stay home. Laughing
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mattandlana



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PostPosted: Wed Feb 05, 2014 3:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Steve.
Matt
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 06, 2014 2:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Matt,

One more possibly significant feature if you were to "Order", in the case a partner was significantly shorter, or really tall, there is another option that this truck has called "Power Pedals" This is on the left side of the steering column, and raises and lowers the pedals about 120 mm or so...

Now, one the issue of size? Here is a shocker, Matthew measured mine up today against a Navarra here... Even in a Dodge Crew Cab: It is only 700 mm longer!! Yes it has about 50% more capability, but it is not that big. Here is Matthew standing in front of it for reference..



On the road Ranger
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2014 8:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Steve, that's a good tip.

Re size, manufacturer's stated kerb-to-kerb turning circles:
LC 200GXL Tdi 2014: 11.8 m
Ram 3500 Crew cab SRW 6'4" tray 4x4: 43.9 ft = 13.38 m
Ram 3500 Mega cab ditto: 46.9 ft = 14.3 m

So the SWB Ram is just 1.5 m bigger circle than the LC 200. Reinforces your message that they just ain't that much bigger.

Ford is either coy about its turning circle or just hides it well on its website but a non-Ford site said 2014 Ford F-250 XLT Short Bed Crew Cab: 53.5 ft = 16.3m.

As you've pointed out, the conversion needs to be done well or the converted car might differ.

Cheers

Matt
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2014 4:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Friends,

I am driving the one shown now, and I still have and drive the 200 Series. In practical terms, in turning, there is not much in it. Jamie at Southeast Stainless saw me pull out and do a U-turn in Matthews Laramie, and was amazed...

If I can be of help, the SRW 3500 Dodge Cummins Ram Crew Cab will be with me at Bushtracker... It is not a large vehicle, except for performance. It is about 50% more power but: For safety margin and leverage on the Bushtracker it is double a Landcruiser for only about 900mm more length.
You might want to consider it as an option for larger Bushtrackers over 21', the difference is quite a big step up.

Kind regards, on the road.....




Wink lone Ranger
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 19, 2014 11:05 pm    Post subject: Software updates? Reply with quote

Hi Steve,

So we're getting close to signing with Shogun for a 2014 Cummins Ram.

Reading the forums, folk are often going back to the dealer to get their truck's software 'reflashed' to fix all sorts of things - rough gear changes, 'check engine' lights, 'poor diesel' lights, radio glitches, limp-home mode, etc.

Forum traffic is not always representative of the main user base. Based on your own R&D, how often have you needed/wanted to get a software update, and in practical terms how do you go about it? Can they be downloaded and self-installed?

Cheers,

Matt
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 21, 2014 9:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Matt and Lana,

I have been on the Dodge Cummins Forum as well (6 years), but you need to be aware of something not readily evident: SIZE OF THAT FORUM.... I mean I have no real idea, but there could be 20,000 of each model on that Dodge Cummins Forum.. It might not be 1 in 100 or 200 that need a reflash, I don't know just guessing.. But a few problems is not indicative of the overall experience as that Forum is GIGANTIC !! Also, the Conversion people have the trucks for 4-5 months and update all that before they deliver it to you, with any of the required updates.

Now one other point: I bought my first new 6.7 Dodge Cummins from Shogun, when they were in Brisbane and it was already here.. Now Shogun are in the Philippines. I bought both of our current Dodges from SCD in Brisbane. Shogun offered me a truck in Texas, but: I was not comfortable buying a truck for cash in Texas, that I could not insure, then having it shipped across America to Long Beach with them telling me the Transport Company had Insurance, but I could not read the fine print or know how to collect... Then it would sit in Long Beach to eventually be shipped to the Philippines for four months, then on to Australia sort of five months later, before I could effectively insure it?? They claim their own policy, but there is active Al-Queda Forces and politics there, and I doubt ANY insurance would cover domestic war and politics. I would hate to have to recover or try and collect on such a "policy" that no doubt had fine print to exclude such things... Confused

Anyway, both of our vehicles come from SCD, and the conversion is done here in Virginia sort of East side of Brisbane by the Airport. If we get the 1 in 100 or 1 in 200 problem, they are about 50 minutes drive away and have all the latest Dodge Computers to take care of anything... Wink I am sure Shogun would as well, maybe in Sydney, but I have no experience with that.

Also SCD are going to bring in Scanners, an inexpensive code reader and CEL (Check Engine Light) clearer, you can get one to take with you. Mind you in both of mine I have thrown a CEL (Check Engine Light for some sensor) and the Dodge computer cleared it in about two three days and it had no effect on anything.. I also have ordered an H&S Performance "Mini-Max" that will read and clear codes as well. Simple if you have a problem and can ID it, clean that sensor or wire or plug and you will have gotten 95% of the potential problems... Then worst case scenario at least you will know what sensor or control to get sent by Air Mail, but that has not happened to me.

I now have winch low mounted on mine, shipped in from the U.S. This is a bit overkill for most of you Owners, but I like getting up before dawn and seeing the light change on the countryside, and sometimes running at night on longer trips. I need it to not have to worry about the animals as much, where most of you Owners do not run at dawn or dusk I do... If you want something like that or a canopy, have them maybe put it in the truck and ship it for free at about 1/3 Australian costs Wink



All going well, we will pick up Matthews new 2013 Mega Cab CC SRW 2500 Laramie from SCD in Brisbane Monday.. Headed for the Melbourne Show at the end of the week..

On the road..... Ranger
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 22, 2014 12:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Steve and all,

I've had a chat with Shogun's broker. Steve your concerns are justified - it seems there are presently some gaps in Shogun's insurance cover, while the vehicle is in the Philippines. ("Oh good, so it's insured everywhere except the typhoon-wracked war zone!")

The broker says he is working on this, and said he hopes to have full cover in place in the next few weeks. A buyer might also be able to arrange separate cover themselves, for a price, but I haven't investigated this yet.

Steve's right about the fine print. One should always look into what exclusions and deductibles apply, when someone says they have insurance. Ask a broker or (heaven forbid) a lawyer. If anyone's interested I can post some of the questions you should ask.

This doesn't rule Shogun out completely of course. If the price differential is big enough, some buyers may feel the savings justify the risk. Often, bad things don't happen. Things often turn out fine. Depends how lucky you're feeling, I guess ...

Off to check out the SCD conversions next week.
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 28, 2014 3:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Matthews new Dodge Cummins Ram is done, converted, wired, a really nice job by SCD in Brisbane.. The 2013 has a very good looking front end, heavy grill, and the new style headlights like the Sahara:



Three Bushtrackers are being shipped by truck to the Melbourne Show, and here is Matthew loaded up, towing down, loves the new Ram... He says it is the nicest car he has ever owned. The Service and backup from SCD have been fantastic.



Kind regards, Steven Gibbs, Admin
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2014 12:15 pm    Post subject: Shogun versus SCD - we've chosen Reply with quote

Steve and all,

Well, we've signed with Shogun. It was a hard decision. The SCD trucks look excellent and I'm sure no-one would regret buying one. (Matt, thanks for letting me crawl all over your SCD truck at Kunda Park, and Matt and Steve thanks for your support in this decision - typical outstanding BT service.)

We vacillated: Will Shogun's large crew of specialised single-task workers produce better quality than SCD's small multi-tasking workforce? Debate that one for ever. Question Shogun's transitioning from cottage industry to medium-scale manufacture - a time when the 'magic' and quality can get lost. But, SCD is a small-scale startup without Shogun's R&D or resources. Toss a coin again. Question Question

In the end, the SCD trucks are very good indeed (just look at Matt's), but we felt that Shogun offers even better finish. Shogun also does the driver's left foot space even better than SCD (tip for the driver - make sure you investigate this, some conversions are absolutely terrible). Shogun's conversion contract has better terms.

Steve's right, these deals have risks. With both, you will give a stranger about $70k to buy themselves a car in the US, hoping they'll ship it to you. Gulp. With Shogun, the car then goes uninsured to the Philippines. Double gulp. But we came to a commercial arrangement with Shogun to cover this risk, which we found acceptable. Other people may have different comfort levels.

An alternative: Shogun says they'll be selling these cars off the lot soon. More expensive, but much lower risk - you get to touch the car you're buying, and no 3-4 month wait.

Our price? Very similar. Both SCD and Shogun cost roughly AU$45-47k for shipping, insurance and conversion.

All up, we're paying under AU$115k for a fully-specced 2014 Megacab 3500 with the heavy-duty Aisin gearbox and ramboxes. This is waaay overkill for towing a BT, it needs a HGV licence which will be a nuisance for many, and in some states it costs more to register. Buy more sensibly, and you'll spend maybe $100k-$105k.

This is Laramie trim, roughly equivalent to Sahara. Faux leather, satnav, cooled seats, remote start, electric everything. We're paying less than the Sahara for literally twice the truck, whoever you buy it from. 50% more power, 77% more torque than a Tojo, better economy, longer wheelbase, vast interior, much higher GVM and GCM (the 3500 has roughly 1200kg more payload than the LC200).

So, provided the US agent proves honest, and there's no civil unrest, terrorism or typhoons in Manila for the next few months, all will be fine ... Shocked Confused Smile
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2014 4:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Congratulations mattandlana Mr. Green

I'm sure all will go well for you but can totally understand your concerns, which will all be forgotten when you get to touch it and love it Laughing
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2014 7:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Matt and Lana,

I don't know about Shogun, my advice is do not take delivery of the vehicle until it is actually Registered. Someone else has reported days of grief over this..

I don't know about Shogun, but SCD have down rated my 3500 to 4490 kg, no 0-0 alcohol Medium Rigid License, you can run on a normal car license. They have done the same for Matts Mega Cab. I would suggest they can do this easily during the final stages of the conversion and register it that way for you..

We both love our trucks. I look for somewhere to drive to, it is that nice to be in it. You just want to take the long way home, climate controls and great Alpine stereo system, voice Nav, and What a Truck!!
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2014 7:41 am    Post subject: Dodge Ram Reply with quote

Hi Mattandlana,
I took the plunge with Shogun in December,with a Laramie 2500 crew cab.The vehicle is currently in the Phillipines stripped down and proceeding with the conversion.
No problems at this stage and shogun have kept me informed throughout the
process with photos of each stage.
The only issue I have is trying to get some understanding of licensing the vehicle as I'm from WA and haven't a NSW residential address or licence
which you seem to need to licence a vehice in NSW.
Regards
Brian
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Graham and Barbara



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PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2014 9:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, we also did the research and after much deliberation decided on Shogun also. Wink We ordered our Ram in February and so far so good. We are happy with the arrangements. Graham and Barbara
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