2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Towing Trip
September 23, 2014
I'm pretty sure this is the first time we've towed with our long-term 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel. I'm usually the guy around here using our long-term trucks for towing, and if I haven't used the Ram for towing yet then its likely nobody has. Dan, maybe.
This time I towed a motorcycle engine-swapped Toyota MR2 on a steel trailer from Los Angeles to Thunderhill Raceway in Willows, California, and back. It was, roughly, a 1,000-mile round trip.
How'd it go? Hit the jump.
Our trip was an ironman trip. I ran each way in one push, only stopping for meals and fuel, and even those were hustled. We had a deadline on each leg which meant long hours in the saddle.
In short, the Ram made a very positive impression for this job. Admittedly, it was not towing a huge load as towing burdens go. The MR2 plus trailer rings at less than 4,000 pounds. It did, however, have its bed crammed full of spares and hefty equipment to boot. It was quite the Tetris exercise putting all the bits back there.
The Ram's diesel has a good slug of midrange torque that made towing a breeze. In fact, loaded in this way, the diesel was actually more responsive than when unladen. This is because the extra load keeps the turbo spooled up and primed for action. Dip into the right pedal at a cruise and the torque is always right there. Nice.
The ability of our rig to accelerate was always ample, never lacking. In fact, now that I think about it, I employed full whack maybe twice the entire trip. Part-"throttle" was all it required; such is the engine's torqueful disposition.
Mainly, what made the Ram so pleasant on this trip was its civility. It rides quite well. The usual tiresome trucky ride is largely not present when unladen, and the extra weight just makes it better. The cabin is blissfully quiet as trucks go, both in terms of road noise and wind noise, a very important characteristic when towing long distances since it really reduces fatigue. Dynamically the Ram never put a wheel wrong, though I think I do prefer the Silverado's slightly sharper steering overall.
My passenger and I each started to squirm a bit in the Ram's first seats after about three hours since its seat padding is on the firm side. A bit more plushness here would be welcome.
Its range is crazy. This, too, is terrific when you're towing. Actually, it's great all the time. Who doesn't like range?
I'll have more impressions to share once I've shaken off the lack of sleep.
Jason Kavanagh, Engineering Editor @ 12,532 miles.