June 24, 2010
In the spirit of sketchy dealer service, I pulled this blog from the back of my drawer. I can't believe I forgot about it. Yes, our 2009 Dodge Ram 1500 is gone butits memory lives on. This is a picture of its new oil filler cap. Why did we buy that, you ask?
At 25,000 miles we serviced the Ram at Lithia Dodge. Well, we think there could be a kleptomaniac in the house. We are not qualified to make a clinical diagnosis, but here's what we have to go on. The Ram went in with a cap. And when it left, no cap. Our only regret is that it took us several days to realize it was missing. It reminds me of the day our long term Q7 returned from service with a pair of channel-locks under the hood.
Do you have a dealer service horror story? Let's hear it.
Mike Schmidt, Vehicle Testing Manager
June 24, 2010
No lumber. No towing. No hard hat job sites. Just bicycles and fruit.
A couple of weekends ago a put our long-term 2009 Dodge Ram though the Suburbanites Truck Test.
The rigorous battery of tests included:
1) Haul the wife and kids around like any other car, SUV or minivan.
2) Haul the family and their bikes to the beach for a leisurely afternoon ride.
3) Haul us down to Irvine (60 freeway miles or so one way) tothe pick your own strawberries farm. (And no I didn't do donuts in the farm's dirt parking lot. Okay, so I did.)
By Sunday night I concluded that the coil sprung Ram is my favorite of the full-size truck choices. It's perfect for my city boy needs. Itsride and comfort levels are exemplary and its interior appointments are without a doubt class leading.
Still, not so sure I would get the Ram Box.
Scott Oldham, Editor in Chief
June 22, 2010
After my trip up to Truckee, I was able to squeeze one last use out of the Ram. It was time to put an end to that damn storage that's been a pain in my side for the last few months. Three pieces of furniture were all that remained in the once packed 10'x15' space. In two trips we closed the account and I gave up my garage for the foreseeable future.
It was suggested by a few readers comments that I'm not an enthusiast if I prefer the Ram over the GT-R and that I only like the Ram because I had something to move. Am I going to deny that I used the Ram to do a lot of dirty work? Obviously no. It has been immensely helpful to me in the last year. But in all honesty, I loved driving this thing empty. It came with the added bonus of being able to haul my stuff around.
Don't get me wrong, I like the GT-R. It was a blast to drive, but I prefer trucks. I don't think that makes me less of an enthusiast. Just makes me a truck guy. Why don't I buy it? Believe me, if I could buy this thing, I would. It just aint' gonna fit into my life at this moment with a mortgage, an engagement ring and car payments. I've only so much money to go around, but it does make me look to about two years down the road when I can plunk money down on a truck of my own. A year in the Ram has really shown me that I should have bought a used pick-up as I had planned instead of my Mazda 3. The deal I got on the 3 was so smoking good at the time that I went for it.
In the mean time, I'll definitely be looking forward to the next truck that comes into the office. And yes canadaphant, I think the Ram might miss me. (That comment made me laugh for half the afternoon).
Scott Jacobs, Senior Photographer @ 33,287 miles
June 21, 2010
The Ram will be leaving us shortly. I had very little time left to replace the stove at my family's cabin north of Lake Tahoe. I reserved the Ram for an extended weekend, went home and packed.
Our cabin was closed for the winter, so it was important that my lady and I left early so we could get there with some daylight left to turn the power back on and flush the plumbing of all the antifreeze. Come early Friday morning we left L.A. for a stopover in Truckee to pick up the new stove.
I love trucks and this has been one of my favorites of all time to drive. I think it looks great, it's super comfortable, it's powerful and is a blast to drive. I felt sentimental as I drove the many hours north to Truckee, knowing that this would be my last trip in the Ram.
I used the Ram to close my family's cabin for winter last season. I used it to move into my house. I used it on a couple of really nice camping trips. I drove thousands and thousands of miles in our Ram and I loved every minute of it. In fact, the Ram would always be my first choice of vehicle in the long-term fleet, over the GT-R, over the Viper, over anything. It has been my favorite long-term vehicle in the last few years.
When I got to Truckee, the guys at the Sears helped me load the stove into the back. I used the integrated box divider to snug the box into the bed and with the adjustable cargo tie-downs I was able to get three ratchet straps around it all. I know these cargo management features are not unique to Dodge, but they're super convenient and efficient.
During the drive up the mountain, the strong engine made it feel as though there was no oven in the cargo bed. The Ram effortlessly powered up the steep grades. We got to my cabin later than I hoped. I unloaded the new stove from the bed, loaded up the old one and took it to the dump 40 miles away.
When I got back, I discovered that a pipe hadn't drained properly so it froze and burst over the winter. A bunch of sediment had gotten into the pipes and blocked the drain line. The primitive plumbing in our cabin made it so I had to shut off the main, making staying for the weekend rather unpleasant. A plumber friend of ours in the area couldn't make it out till Monday. That meant it was a quick turn around for us. The next morning it was back into the truck for a long drive home.
During the nine hour drive back, my lady and I both loved the comfort the Ram offered to us weary travelers. I never got numb butt/things. My back didn't get stiff. The only thing I got tired of was driving. I had been in the truck for almost two days.
When I pulled into the office this morning, I checked Trip B. I put 1,371 miles on it over the weekend. A lot of driving, a lot of dead bugs on the grille, a lot of good memories.
June 18, 2010
Thanks to anonimo for this week's favorite caption.
Here are the others that had us ROTFLing:
Trust me, it works better than "The Club"! (ergsum)
Mini E shown with the new range-extending option and potential future fuel supply (9krpm)
Here you go Rex, you'll get a charge out of this bite sized snack (technetium99)
T-Rex arms and the Mini-E; both have limited range of reach (ergsum)
Objects that appear in mirror are ABOUT TO EAT YOU OM NOM NOM (sherief)
Every picture tells a story, this one is Al-E-Gorical (ergsum)
Road Ptrip (sherief)
Honey, I meant for you to pick up Trex, not T-Rex! (miraa)
I hear this will offset my carbon footprint (punkr0cksux)
Dyno tested. Dino approved. (benya_p)
Dan creates a Mini Dino RAMa (ergsum)
Towannisaurus Rex (thegraduate)
And, in the musical category, to the theme of Ghostbusters:
When your Mini-E
Runs out of Juice
Who you gonna call!
What was your favorite?
Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing, with font assistance by James Riswick
June 17, 2010
Hoo boy. For a second there, I thought that was a photo of our 2009 Dodge Ram 1500 on -- get this -- a chassis dyno.
Call ita Mopar kind of day. Photographer extraordinaire Kurt Niebuhr had driven the Ram to the dyno on the day we dyno-tested the Viper. Things wrapped up with the Viper and before we knew it, the Ram's 5.7-liter V8 was singing a full-throttle song while spinning the rollers. The explanation eludes us. Maybe it was the exhaust fumes. Maybe the Starbucks lady slipped a little something-something in our Pike Place that morning, who knows.
June 15, 2010
For the first time, Ihad two at once last night. My initials appeared next to two vehicles on the sign out sheet, and now my driveway is filled with2009 Dodge Ram 1500, towing a rented U-haul trailer, which iscarryingthe 2009 Mini E.
The idea was to get the Mini E to the test track with a full charge, because thetime has come to conduct its wrap-up test. The Dodge's days are numbered, too. Using one to tow the other is a classic case of killing two birds with one stone.
If we have enough time, we may use this pair for another special test we've wanted to do for a long time. Stay tuned.
Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing @ 31,520 miles and 7,455 miles
June 14, 2010
It took me a full year, but I finally figured out a practical use for the Ram's Ram Box. Yes, we had a good party. By the way, that's nine bags of ice. Please don't drink and drive.
Scott Oldham, Editor in Chief
June 01, 2010
Our long-term Ram hit 30,000 miles over the holiday weekend on highway 68 just east of Carmel California. Follow along later this week for more on this little adventure.
Josh Jacquot, Senior road test editor @ 30,5XX miles
May 27, 2010
Kelly Toepke, Trapped News Editor @ 29,497 miles