Towing to Moab With a Dualie 2016 Ram 3500 Cummins TruckPosted in Vehicle Reviews on June 28, 2016
Whether you are looking for a truck capable of towing a boat to the lake, a camper to the Grand Canyon, or three lifted 4x4s to Moab for the annual Easter Jeep Safari you better have a Cummins-powered Ram 3500 on your radar. It is true that all the Big Three have respectable tow rigs, but with 900 lb-ft of torque the Cummins diesel is a horse-length ahead of the other guys—and by horse we’re talking a plow-dragging Clydesdale.
We got to spend 10 days in a Ram 3500 Longhorn Limited Crew Cab 4x4 long bed, and although it spent that time with a 40-foot Big Tex trailer on its back, it never failed to impress. This cowboy Cadillac has all the comfort and luxury a well-heeled, boot-wearing rancher would want, plus the performance to do the work of three trucks, or 385 horses. It laughed at long steep grades and had plenty of room for four adults comfortably. And with a tow capacity of 39,000 pounds (give or take a little depending on how the truck is spec’d out) there is plenty of grunt to take your friends and their 4x4s on a cross-country wheeling adventure.
Towing this much weight has special requirements. Ram can take care of the torque to move the load with the 6.7L Cummins diesel, an Aisin six-speed automatic, air leveling rear suspension, and a bed-mounted fifth -wheel/gooseneck hitch, but you’ll have to be responsible for the proper licensing depending on where you go. Hauling three rigs will punch you in the wallet at fuel stops (on one extreme climb we saw the dash monitor read 3 mpg!) and the Ram require diesel exhaust fluid for its emissions system, but overall we averaged 15.7 mpg.
We loaded up the three rigs on a 40-foot Big Tex trailer. These trailers are made for hauling cool stuff like tractors, so our little Jeeps were nothing to it. Built with a wood deck and massive eight-lug dualie axles, the trailer followed like a dream. We only had one small issue, and we’ll just say you should always retorque your trailer wheels before a big trip, especially on a new trailer after the first few hundred miles of towing.
When you are barreling across the wide-open spaces of Utah with your pride and joy on the trailer behind you it is nice to know you have quality straps. On the Big Tex trailer we used tie-downs from Mac’s Custom Tie Downs as well as Mac’s chain extensions for use on stake bed trailers. Each chain loops through the pocket and has a big steel loop to hook the ratchet. At the axle end we used Mac’s axle strap with sleeve to protect against chaffing. And when the straps are tight we loop up the excess to keep it from flapping with the short Velcro retaining straps. With four tight straps per vehicle, we had zero movement of the rigs during our trip.