Road Trip Machine
This quarter the big Power Wagon didn’t see as much mileage as you might expect, however, we did take it on several long road trips, including one to Arizona for a new product launch. It was also used to shuttle us around to various desert locations for photo shoots, seeing it has the capability to get us in and out of those places.
One option we are really missing with our Power Wagon, coming from our ’09 Ram 1500 is the RamBox. Those boxes don’t take very much bed space and give you so much more flexibility in how you haul things in the bed. We used to use the RamBoxes for our camera gear and recovery gear, knowing they were in a safe, weather-resistant storage area and not bouncing around the cab on a bumpy road. With this Power Wagon, we just put everything on the floor and hope for the best. Thankfully Ram recently announced that Heavy-Duty trucks would get their own version of the RamBox for 2012. We can’t wait.
Speaking of bed space, we also rehabbed a house and used the Power Wagons 6-foot-4-inch bed to haul materials to the dump. Having a 1,780-pound payload really does come in handy, and with a durable drop-in bedliner, our Ram didn’t look any worse for the wear, nor did it ever break a sweat under our demands.
On our Arizona trip, we achieved something we haven’t seen before on the Power Wagon, we got 15 mpg on the return trip. We suspect that Arizona’s different fuel formulation helped out with the increase in mpgs. We made it a point to fill up with Arizona fuel and keep the cruise control set on 72 mph. This made for a relaxing trip home on Interstate 10 and proved that under the right conditions, the Power Wagon can achieve pretty impressive mileage on the highway.
Our only problem to report this quarter was a persnickety Bluetooth system that wouldn’t play nice with our iPhone 4. After a trip to the dealer, we found out that our head unit had a new software update. We are happy to report that our Bluetooth connection is working flawlessly after the update and we are back to talking away hands free.
To us, the Power Wagon is the perfect fullsize truck that has just about everything. With a gutsy V-8 engine, solid axles, premium shocks, and fullsize ability, there are few things better than driving down an abandoned dirt road in the backcountry. Other than the RamBox, the only option missing on the order sheet it a trusty trail dog.
REPORT: 3 OF 4
Previous reports: Mar. ’11, Oct. ’11
Base price: $44,830
Price as tested: $51,175
Four-wheel-drive system: Two-speed, part-time, shift-on-the-fly
Miles to date: 13,581
Miles since last report: 3,788
Average mpg (this report): 12.1
Test best tank (mpg): 15.0
Test worst tank (mpg): 9.62 (towing)
This period: None
Problem areas: Bluetooth system
What’s Hot, What’s Not
Hot: Go anywhere, haul anything
Not: Still a giant truck to maneuver in everyday life
- “An all-highway tank from Scottsdale to Orange County just returned 15 mpg. I wish I could get that all the time.”
- “The Bilsteins are amazing on the road and just as good on the dirt.”
- “The Information Center is handy, but I’d like to see trip, range, and fuel economy info at the same time.”
- “Put a little under a ton of junk in the bed and the Power Wagon didn’t even sweat.”