I have a travel trailer. A travel trailer requires a vehicle to tow it. Sometimes, these can be SUV’s, sometimes a truck. In my case, I have an “ultra light” travel trailer, the gross weight — the maximum weight of the trailer — is only 6500 lbs. So I can use a light duty truck to pull the vehicle.
I owned a 2012 Dodge* Ram 1500 at the time I bought my travel trailer. I was actually quite concerned about the ability for the vehicle to tow my travel trailer fully loaded. For one, salesmen were telling me different things than the Dodge literature. A salesman can’t be trusted because they are trying to get sales. Once you are out the door, the salesman doesn’t give a damn about you! Here’s what I figured:
- The model Ram I purchased according to Dodge was capable of towing roughly 8500 lbs.
- The salesmen were trying to get me to buy a travel trailer between 8,000 & 10,000 lbs.
- I would never buy a travel trailer that my vehicle couldn’t comfortably tow.
After towing the travel trailer a few times with my Ram 1500, I decided to upgrade the vehicle. For one, it was clear the vehicle was getting close to its capability. Also, we are planning a long trip and we wanted our next truck to tow the trailer easily no matter where we went.
I ended up buying a Ram 2500 from a dealership in Houston. It wasn’t a “brand loyalty” decision either. I have a 1994 Mazda B2300. It’s actually a Ford Ranger and it’s been far more reliable than any vehicle I’ve had. I did decide, however that Ford and Ram were the only competitors. I decided to check out the 2015 diesel editions of these trucks. After a significant amount of research, I test drove the F250 Lariat Ultimate and the Ram 2500 Laramie. Both trucks were way rougher rides than my Ram 1500, but I felt the Ram 2500 had an advantage in its ride. The F250 had an advantage in overall workmanship, and comfort features. One of the interesting things about diesel engines are the missing mileage numbers from the window sticker. It’s hard to figure out the mileage. After a few You Tube videos, I was somewhat convinced the Ram 2500 received better mileage. That’s not why you buy a truck, so I checked out the F250 and the Ram 2500 towing numbers. Of course, the Ford is superior but Ford also uses a proprietary methodology to arrive at its numbers. Ram is using a standard to arrive at their numbers, as of 2015.
Money. After not finding a huge difference between the trucks, I found a national dealership (AutoNation), and worked with some local dealerships here in San Antonio. I learned like everything here, there’s a markup. San Antonio is one of the closest large markets to Mexico. When Mexicans shop here, they tend not to engage in haggling. I worked with AutoNation Ford in Katy, TX. When I gave a San Antonio dealership the Katy dealership numbers, they thanked me for their consideration and told me to take the Katy offer.
Meanwhile, the local Ram dealership had told me I had their rock-bottom numbers, which were about $2K higher than the AutoNation Spring (Ram) dealership. I set up an appointment and went over to Houston to pick up my new truck. It was ultimately a difference of $2,000 which got me in a Ram. I’m happy with my purchase, and I’d do the same thing again.