RAM 1500 vs 2500, Payload / Features

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WA4WLF

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Hey folks,

I have a custom ordered 2020 Ram 1500 with Ecodiesel, power steps, split tailgate, and air suspension. This is my second ecodiesel (also have 2016 GC) and fourth with the air suspension - I love both features. I get lots of value from the air suspension due to this also being my daily driver and having to deal with mobility issues and / or aging family that I sometimes have to bus around.

When I add the family of 3, sometimes 4, and my 130lb service dog, it does not leave much payload for gear and consumables. I am not interested in RTT, I like traditional tents, and have been considering some of those smaller overland trailers.

I have started shopping around, and would like an Expedition One set of bumpers for the winch and carrying a 35" - 37" tire, and likely add a few other bed goodies. To get to the larger tires, I am likely looking at the 4" BDS lift since I need something that works with the air. Not sure if Carli might have something for the 1500s that works with air suspension.

Alternatively, I can upgrade to the 2500 with a Cummins, where I would lose the air suspension and split tailgate, but gain the interior space of the mega cab, longer bed, payload increase, and could have the bench seat for a little more people power which would be great. I also believe the next year model (announced soon) is going to have more like an 8-10 speed transmission.

I live on a small homestead, so I do use my pickup for moving dirt, straw, stone, lumber etc... utility trailers for some of the heavier hauls, but nothing huge like animal, vehicle, motorhome type stuff, though I have looked at some of these new tiny overland popup campers that pretty much anything could haul. I also frequently use it as a daily driver because I have an addiction to Lowes and Tractor supply which typically exceeds the Jeeps interior volume.

The 1500's have done all I have needed for the last few, but I feel that these extra goodies might asking too much from the vehicle.

Can I do anything meaningful to get more payload safely? Would I be better fitting the 1500 up, but getting the overloading trailer which could carry the extra stuff I only need camping? I like the ability that I can drive off from my camp site without teardown, so it's traditional tents or trailer... Hell, with a mega cab I might just sleep inside hah.

Thoughts?
 
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bgenlvtex

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Just for general information the Mega cab is only available with the 6.4 foot bed and most of the additional "space" is behind the rear seat gaining only relatively small amounts of leg and head room. The Crew Cab is available in 6.4' or 8' beds and is virtually identical in useful space in the cab as the Mega Cab(again uses you just need storage). The Mega Cab is built using the longest single wheel frame,, which is the same as the Crew Cab 8' frame.
 

WA4WLF

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Just for general information the Mega cab is only available with the 6.4 foot bed and most of the additional "space" is behind the rear seat gaining only relatively small amounts of leg and head room. The Crew Cab is available in 6.4' or 8' beds and is virtually identical in useful space in the cab as the Mega Cab(again uses you just need storage). The Mega Cab is built using the longest single wheel frame,, which is the same as the Crew Cab 8' frame.
Understood! Right now I have the 5.7' bed / crew cab, so the bed is an upgrade and the larger cab could be camping space, but likely would just mean that I can get away with folding the 40 side down for my service dog rather than the 60 side which gives me a little more people space, especially since if I change I would get the front bench.
 

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35" tires fit the Ram 2500 box stock IIRC. And the 2500 axles are far superior. Locker ready if you go selectable. Autolocker front if you upgrade to free spin hubs (which are free on the Ford F250 along with an even stronger front axle).

Avoid the Cummins. It's over priced, and far, far too unreliable. But hey, you can replace the HP pump and all of the injectors without removing the cab now, if you have a laydown creeper (and at least $10,000). If you need a 5500 and dual rear tires, get the Cummins. A SRW ranch truck? Lol, no. Just no. If Dodges gas engines aren't good enough for you, consider Fords 7.3l gas engine teamed to 4.30 gears. Fords 6.2l engine should not be overlooked, if you gear it properly.

Payload needs + diesel engine weight = skip the 2500 and get a 3500 or more. Don't forget that the 2500's are de-rated and that the diesel engine is over 1000 pounds heavier.

I never recommend a half ton because they're setup for average consumers. And I hate what ''building with the average consumer in mind'' means to car and truck design. (starts with a C, rhymes with "wrap")

I've got plow springs. Sometimes it's rough on slow dirt roads, but usually no big deal. Our seats are 6" of foam. So ''rough rides'' are mostly just in peoples heads. You want to see real pain? Ride a dual sport motorcycle for 4 hours.
 
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Is this related to pushing the payload on my current 1500, or something to watch for the on the 2500?
I really can't say all I know is a lot of the new rams are having their cv joint give way at around 30k and from what I hear dodge is acting like it's not happening I think it's mainly a 1500 problem. I mentioned chevys problems because I don't wanna sound biased since I haven't owned a dodge since 2001 when I owned 2 a ram 1500 and a Durango both the most awful things I've ever owned.
 
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WA4WLF

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I guess what I am ultimately wondering is if I can increase payload in the 1500 by changing to E rated tires (likely necessary for 35" anyways), maybe using aftermarket suspension components which are likely necessary to get the couple of inch lift for the 35" tires.

I am still researching the requirements for the 35" fitment, as the off-road package and correction to wheel offset seems to allow them the clear for some folks without a lift. I would prefer no lift if possible, but will see. BDS makes a small kit for the air suspension 1500s that would do it either way.

If I can mod some more payload, how do you calculate? Can I get 300-500lb to counter the extra weight of the bumpers and winch and lights etc... ?
 

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I guess what I am ultimately wondering is if I can increase payload in the 1500 by changing to E rated tires (likely necessary for 35" anyways), maybe using aftermarket suspension components which are likely necessary to get the couple of inch lift for the 35" tires.

If I can mod some more payload, how do you calculate? Can I get 300-500lb to counter the extra weight of the bumpers and winch and lights etc... ?
There are no mods you can do that will increase payload, those are factory-certified numbers and take into account the tires, axles, suspension, brakes, and chassis/frame. The OEM tires are more than capable of supporting more than the factory payload rating so that isn't the limitation. You won't know why the payload/GVWR/GAWRs are what they are until you find the weak link.

Additionally, the air suspension will have sensors that will throw an error if the truck is overloaded and you'll lose the ability to level or raise the truck.

You need to find a vehicle that has enough capacity for your needs from the factory, unfortunately.
 
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WA4WLF

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I guess what I am ultimately wondering is if I can increase payload in the 1500 by changing to E rated tires (likely necessary for 35" anyways), maybe using aftermarket suspension components which are likely necessary to get the couple of inch lift for the 35" tires.

If I can mod some more payload, how do you calculate? Can I get 300-500lb to counter the extra weight of the bumpers and winch and lights etc... ?
There are no mods you can do that will increase payload, those are factory-certified numbers and take into account the tires, axles, suspension, brakes, and chassis/frame. The OEM tires are more than capable of supporting more than the factory payload rating so that isn't the limitation. You won't know why the payload/GVWR/GAWRs are what they are until you find the weak link.

Additionally, the air suspension will have sensors that will throw an error if the truck is overloaded and you'll lose the ability to level or raise the truck.

You need to find a vehicle that has enough capacity for your needs from the factory, unfortunately.
That's a great response.

I started having doubts about the 1500 meeting my needs when upgraded from reading another thread on here that noted all the Tacoma's and Jeeps with their slide out kitchens and RTT setups were running dangerously overweight and it got me thinking about my build. I think there were a few jabs at YouTube fooling people into thinking it was the best.

Thank you
 
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Ed1774

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The truck that tick's every box you've mentioned except a high factory payload is the Power Wagon. The truck is basically a Ram 2500 with extra off road goodies. The suspension is more supple to have better articulation off road but that means it rides much better than a regular 2500. A Power Wagon has a payload similar to a 1500 but if your 1500 has done the job for you thus far so will a Power Wagon.
 
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You can build a PW yourself. If you need the payload capacity. If you watch the options, you can get a 2500 priced low enough to make it a wash.

You can select better parts that way. Non-hidden winch and bumper. OEM E locker rear if available, or ARB, or Eaton, or whatever. Detroit or Yukon Locker up front. Disconnect the front sway bar with an electric impact. Deaver rear springs and Sumo Rebels, or Carli air bags. Fox or King 2.5's all the way round. Re-gear to 4.56 for 35's, 4.88 for 37's.

Another option, the Ford F350 Tremor has the big sticker cargo capacity, 4.30 gears (nearly as good as 4.56's with the new 10 speed), and 35's stock. Just add a front Yukon locker. Just double check that GVWR sticker before signing anything. It's anybody's guess what springs come on those trucks on any given day.
 

WA4WLF

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The truck that tick's every box you've mentioned except a high factory payload is the Power Wagon. The truck is basically a Ram 2500 with extra off road goodies. The suspension is more supple to have better articulation off road but that means it rides much better than a regular 2500. A Power Wagon has a payload similar to a 1500 but if your 1500 has done the job for you thus far so will a Power Wagon.
I love Power Wagons, and have driven a few. I prefer to stick with diesel though. Considering they gave the Rebel the Ecodiesel, and the Tremor has diesel, maybe the next gen will figure out how to make it all work.

Thanks for the suggestion.
 

WA4WLF

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You can build a PW yourself. If you need the payload capacity. If you watch the options, you can get a 2500 priced low enough to make it a wash.

You can select better parts that way. Non-hidden winch and bumper. OEM E locker rear if available, or ARB, or Eaton, or whatever. Detroit or Yukon Locker up front. Disconnect the front sway bar with an electric impact. Deaver rear springs and Sumo Rebels, or Carli air bags. Fox or King 2.5's all the way round. Re-gear to 4.56 for 35's, 4.88 for 37's.

Another option, the Ford F350 Tremor has the big sticker cargo capacity, 4.30 gears (nearly as good as 4.56's with the new 10 speed), and 35's stock. Just add a front Yukon locker. Just double check that GVWR sticker before signing anything. It's anybody's guess what springs come on those trucks on any given day.
Yeah, I am leaning towards the 'make my own PW' route.

The Tremor is an interesting option I have been watching videos about, but after owning a few Ford's, and a few Rams, I prefer the Ram. I might give them another look.

If I could get my hands on a decent Centurion C250 with a diesel I would also be happy.
 

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I’m not sure if you are still in the market or already got your rig. I have a 1500 big horn done up a little. Fully loaded with extra 7 gallons of fuel and 7 gallons of water and some never bringing gear brought for the first night of the year. I was 200lbs over gross. I am thinking of my next build being a 2500 and possibly a diesel. I check my weight with every mod and before every trip my company has a cat scale on site so I just driver on daily well because why not lol.

My truck accessories

35x12.5r18 general grabber atx
Fuel 18in rims(need a spacer to fit over breaks)
Westin winch tray and brush guard
Badlands apex winch
Rci bed rack with bed cover ext
Bed soft cover
Baja design lp6 4 of them
Rough county 3.5 in lift with upgraded front shocks not just a spacer.
2 3.5 fuel pax
Tred pro recovery boards
Extended breathers.
Free spirit high county 63in
Arb 4ft awning
Rc hd2 steps might change out for rock slides


Feel free to msg me my load out also consists of my wife, 4 year old 7 month old and sometimes our pup. So it can get heavy quick

Due to Covid I did t put a bunch of miles on it I only have 25k as of now no major complaints normally I’m a 30-40k mile driver
 

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Get yourself a 3rd gen Ram. I love mine and plan on being buried in it when I die. :laughing: You can build 3rd gens to take on just about any role you need it to. No silly emissions equipment to deal with, a million mile engine, and still large aftermarket support. The auto transmission is its Achilles heel but it can be fixed, or buy one with a manual transmission and row away.
 

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I am thinking of my next build being a 2500 and possibly a diesel.
A 2500 with the Cummins won't have much more payload than a 1500 depending on trim and options. Max payload (again depending on options, etc) on the 1500 with a 5.7L is 1800LB. Max payload on a 2500 Cummins crew cab 4WD ranges from 1,880 to 2,300LB. A 3/4-ton diesel 4WD is going to get you a bigger, heavier truck without much more payload. If you want a 2500 with enough payload then it'll need the 6.4 HEMI. This is comparing new vs new, there are too many variables over the years and generations to cover them all. Take a look at the yellow sticker on your Ram's B-pillar, it will show the factory payload rating. Then compare that to the sticker on a 2500 with the Cummins and see how much more payload you're really getting. Could be a decent amount more or hardly any.

Good luck!
 

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A 2500 with the Cummins won't have much more payload than a 1500 depending on trim and options. Max payload (again depending on options, etc) on the 1500 with a 5.7L is 1800LB. Max payload on a 2500 Cummins crew cab 4WD ranges from 1,880 to 2,300LB. A 3/4-ton diesel 4WD is going to get you a bigger, heavier truck without much more payload. If you want a 2500 with enough payload then it'll need the 6.4 HEMI. This is comparing new vs new, there are too many variables over the years and generations to cover them all. Take a look at the yellow sticker on your Ram's B-pillar, it will show the factory payload rating. Then compare that to the sticker on a 2500 with the Cummins and see how much more payload you're really getting. Could be a decent amount more or hardly any.

Good luck!
The reason for a 2500 wouldn't be based on payload alone. fuel mileage is one reason to consider. I love Hemis I have had 3 of them and we have a 6.4 l power wagon in the fleet and that has a in lift on 38s it uses a lot of fuel. Also aftermarket parts are harder to come by (at this time) for the 5th gen ram 1500 many companies said they are primarily sticking to the 3/4 and up trucks at this time.

it will come down to what the person is looking to do or how they would like to kit it out.
 
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The reason for a 2500 wouldn't be based on payload alone. fuel mileage is one reason to consider. I love Hemis I have had 3 of them and we have a 6.4 l power wagon in the fleet and that has a in lift on 38s it uses a lot of fuel. Also aftermarket parts are harder to come by (at this time) for the 5th gen ram 1500 many companies said they are primarily sticking to the 3/4 and up trucks at this time.

it will come down to what the person is looking to do or how they would like to kit it out.
As much as I love diesels (We own two of them, but they're "baby" diesels; 2.8 Duramax and 3.0 EcoDiesel), on the full-size HD trucks the fuel economy argument doesn't hold up as well anymore. The gas engines are becoming more efficient and the break-even point for a diesel is becoming longer and longer. It'll be different for everyone, as always, but the Cummins is only averaging about 2.5 MPG better than the 6.4 HEMI based on Fuelly numbers. If the Cummins runs say $8,500 more than the HEMI and say both gas and diesel are the same price (again varies, but for me both are right around $3/gal) then it'd take 212,000 miles to break even. Resale on the diesel should be a bit better, of course.

The diesel definitely makes sense if you're planning on towing, but if it's fuel economy and "saving money" that you're after then run the numbers, you might be surprised to see it's not in the diesel's favor. It'll be even less in the diesel's favor if you're spending a lot of time at low speed or idling as the frequent regens will tank your fuel economy. I love my baby Duramax, it's great for our use and it's small enough to go a lot of places. Gets great fuel economy as well (I'm not far from breaking even since it's a cheaper diesel option and the MPG spread between the gas and diesel is larger here), great truck. I've also owned 5.9 and 6.7 Cummins trucks as well as a 6.6 Duramax. I just wouldn't own an HD truck with a diesel if I weren't going to really work it by towing. For overlanding and such I'd stick with the gasser.

Just my $0.02. Diesels are my favorite, so for me to not recommend a diesel it's saying something, IMO.
 
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As much as I love diesels (We own two of them, but they're "baby" diesels; 2.8 Duramax and 3.0 EcoDiesel), on the full-size HD trucks the fuel economy argument doesn't hold up as well anymore. The gas engines are becoming more efficient and the break-even point for a diesel is becoming longer and longer. It'll be different for everyone, as always, but the Cummins is only averaging about 2.5 MPG better than the 6.4 HEMI based on Fuelly numbers. If the Cummins runs say $8,500 more than the HEMI and say both gas and diesel are the same price (again varies, but for me both are right around $3/gal) then it'd take 212,000 miles to break even. Resale on the diesel should be a bit better, of course.

The diesel definitely makes sense if you're planning on towing, but if it's fuel economy and "saving money" that you're after then run the numbers, you might be surprised to see it's not in the diesel's favor. It'll be even less in the diesel's favor if you're spending a lot of time at low speed or idling as the frequent regens will tank your fuel economy. I love my baby Duramax, it's great for our use and it's small enough to go a lot of places. Gets great fuel economy as well (I'm not far from breaking even since it's a cheaper diesel option and the MPG spread between the gas and diesel is larger here), great truck. I've also owned 5.9 and 6.7 Cummins trucks as well as a 6.6 Duramax. I just wouldn't own an HD truck with a diesel if I weren't going to really work it by towing. For overlanding and such I'd stick with the gasser.

Just my $0.02. Diesels are my favorite, so for me to not recommend a diesel it's saying something, IMO.

Like you said going to come down to personal preference. This may sound silly but I do not keep vehicle long enough to break even or get my money back. I keep them until about 100k and get rid of it. So when I brought up fuel I'm talking about real time results the off grid loaded. a 1mpg off road is helpful that can turn into a 10 miles tow/walk or making it to a pump and i will admit not problem i have run out of fuel several times. it wasnt for poor trip planning but unseen events causing delays on and off road. But Regens do stink long term care of DPF systems can be costly.
 
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