Ride & Drive
We recently had the pleasure of borrowing a 2012 Ram 3500 Dually to tow a 4x4 and Carson trailer from California to Utah and back. We had yet to tow with the current Cummins-packed Ram, and we were starting with the cream of the crop—a Laramie Limited Ram 3500 dual-rear-wheel longbed crew-cab truck packed with a 6.7L Cummins diesel engine and a six-speed 68RFE automatic transmission. We'd gladly take a year's loan to become familiar with this truck, but we only had 10 days to get to know it. While owners can get a feel for a truck after a few months, we were taking a crash course in truck ergonomics by living in it for just over a week.
Three of us boarded the Ram 3500 late Sunday afternoon after days of play-toy vehicle preparation and a day's worth of packing and trailer loading. Exhaustion had already set in before even hitting the road—this seems to be a norm for many trips. At this point, a comfortable truck that has maximum control over the load it's hauling is imperative, as the truck's nimbleness and reaction time may need to make up for our diminished own. The Ram did a stellar job with this.
While we wouldn't compete for any Darwin awards by hitting cruise control and catching 40 winks, this truck required minimal input to keep on track crusing down the highway hauling a fullsize truck and 102-inch-wide trailer at the legal speed limits.
On top of that, the Ram 3500 did so with enough power to climb steep inclines through mountain passes and full braking control down steeper grades with a factory exhaust brake. OR
Vehicle: 2012 Ram 3500 Laramie Limited crew-cab 4x4
Price as tested: $64,460
Warranty: Five-year/100,000-mile power-train, three-year/36,000 basic
Paint: Mineral metallic gray
Interior: Dark slate, premium wrapped leather, captain's chairs (front), 60/40 split bench (rear)