2009 Dodge Ram 1500: Towing Impressions
November 27, 2009
As mentioned earlier, last weekend I towed with our longterm 2009 Dodge Ramroughly 4000 pounds for more than a thousandmiles.
In a nutshell, the voyage was exactly as you'd prefer -- uneventful. Here are some observations.
Despite its characteristic visual tail "sag," the Ram rode and steered remarkably like it wasn't towing at all. Which is to say, very well indeed -- the ride was as plush as ever. (The tongue weight was close to 15 % despite the optical illusion in the photo above.)
There's enough reserve power in the Ram's 5.7-liter engine that there were no sweaty palm momentswhile accelerating with the extra weight. I'd still give the nod to the Tundra's powertrain as being the superior unit due to its closer gear spacing and broader powerband (plus the Toyota runs on 87 octane while the Ram asks for 89), but the Ram was just fine with this relatively modest load once I engaged tow/haul mode.
Seat comfort is pretty good. I especially like that they have cooling fans, which is great on long hauls like this one.
Not a fan of the old-school nav system. Crummy. You've heard already. Also not digging the blinding plasti-chrome interior accents. Again, you've heard.
The Ram has a handy display that can be summoned by pressing the controls on the steering wheel. In it you can scroll through coolant temp, oil pressure, oil temp, transmission temp, and a few others. It displays the current reading and supplements it witha linear "gauge" beneath it.Cool.
Ascending the Tejon Pass, a grade of about 6-7% for a couple miles,I locked the cruiseand scrolled among these parameters. At 4500 rpm, coolant temp reached a peak of 218 degrees F, trans temp hit 175 and oil pressure was 51 psi. None of these were unexpected, save for the oil temp which soared to 260 near the apex of the grade. It took several miles of downhill driving (i.e. light load with plenty of cooling airflow) before the oil temp even began to drop from this peak.
Jason Kavanagh, Engineering Editor @ 14,994 miles.