Well, I’m back with another truck update video after four years and nearly 60,000 kilometers (37,282 Miles). About half those kilometers have been while towing our 10,000 lb fifth wheel trailer in western Canada and the USA. So lots of hilly, mountainous terrain. The Ram 3500 with the 6.7L Cummins diesel engine and Aisin transmission has handled it like a champ!
60,000 KM (37,282 Miles) Update Video – Ram 3500
When I got the new truck, many folks informed me that the power and fuel mileage would improve once the big diesel engine was broken in. However, at 60K now, I haven’t noticed much change. Power feels about the same as when it was new, and fuel economy is about the same.
Fuel usage averages 10.5-13.5 MPG when towing, 18-22 MPG highway unloaded, and 16-18 MPG around town. Milage varies depending on hill grades, curvy roads, wind, and a heavier fuel pedal foot. 🙂
Repairs and Recalls
Knock on wood, but I’ve had very little go wrong with the truck. It has had only one manufacturer recall, and that was for a possible loose drag nut on the steering linkage issue. The only failure I’ve had was the transmission shifter. One of its clips came loose and wouldn’t shift into the park or drive. The cable was replaced under warranty.
A little while back, I thought maybe something was starting to fail with the Aisin transmission. I noticed a slight chirping sound while shifting under a heavy load between the 3rd and 4th gears. I Googled the issue and was reassured when I found a ton of people reporting the same.
There were many theories about what it was, but overall, the conclusion was that it wasn’t a concern or a sign of a significant failure looming on the horizon. Interestingly enough, since I had the transmission fluid changed last summer, the noise has completely disappeared.
As for maintenance, I have followed the manufacturer owners manual. Oil and lube every six months. I’ve generally been opting for synthetic oil, especially if I’m going to be towing a lot, like when we head south for the winter. The rear differential fluid and fuel filters I get changed yearly. Air and AC cabin filters get changed as needed. Only been required once so far. I don’t do a lot of 4x4ing, so the front crankcase fluid is still looking good as far as the mechanics tell me. The coolant life on these new trucks is a remarkable 150,00 miles.
As far as the emissions systems go, there have been no problems thus far. I haven’t had any codes pop up with my Bluedriver OBD2 scanner. When towing a lot, my DEF tank lasts about 2500 miles. I usually add a 2.5-gallon jug every 1000 miles or so. Less usage if pulling on relatively flat land versus mountainous terrain.
A year or so ago and 20,000 kilometers, I installed a new set of Cooper AT3 XLT tires. Overall they have performed well. I have no complaints, except the treads tend to hold onto gravel-sized rocks, which can be a pain to listen to and a road hazard when they come loose on the highway.
They track well and have worn side evenly to side. Of course, the back drive tires have had more tread wear since they are often loaded with the trailer. The tire’s tread depth when new is 16/32s of an inch. Currently, I’m measuring 13/32s on the front tires and 10/32s on the back. I just rotated them as we will be back towing again soon after a few months of stationary camping.
While I had the wheels off for the rotation, I looked closely at the brakes and still saw a ton of brake thickness left. Guess that’s because I use the Cummins turbo exhaust brake about 80-90 percent of the time. It sure saves wear on both the truck and trailer brakes.
Factory Mopar Fifth Wheel Hitch
The factory Mopar M20 hitch (made by Curt) has mated well without a Cougar 30-foot trailer and Air Ride pinbox. No chucking, squeaks, or rattles. It tows nice and smoothly. Easy to hook and unhook. Once a year, I pull the head unit off and give everything a good cleaning and lubricate. The head unit has three zerks to add some fresh bearing grease. At the same, I recheck the nuts and bolts for proper torque. None had come loose so far.
I routinely spray on Fluid Film, Boeshield T-9, or Chassis Shield for lubrication and rust protection for the other metal parts as needed. I use a round plastic lube plate versus grease on the fifth wheel pin box.
There has been a bit of rust forming on the hitch plate, primarily due to desert grit getting in between and scratching off the powder coat. I plan to pull the plate and sand and repaint it at some point.
I added the factory bed spray-on liner option when I ordered the factory fifth-wheel prep package. I’m pleased with it. So far, no signs of cracking or flaking off. Tough stuff holds up well to some abuse.
Over the years, I’ve added a bunch of accessories to the truck. About 2 1/2 years ago, I installed WeatherTech window deflectors, mudflaps, floor mats, and a DeeZee tailgate assist. All are working well, and I’m happy with them.
I added an aftermarket adjustable lumbar support two years ago for the passenger seat. Anne has a wonky back, so it helps a lot. Last year I purchased a Quarantine cargo restraint system for the rear crew cab seat for peace of mind safety-wise while traveling loaded up.
Overall, Anne and I are pleased with our Ram 3500 truck and our choice of color, features, and options. To save money, we went light on the bells and whistles and haven’t regretted it. Most of the extra features I did order were to aid towing. The body, paint, and interior are holding up great so far. It’s number one job is to tow our fifth-wheel trailer around. It does a fantastic job of that.
I feel fortunate to buy back in 2018 before all the price increases and availability problems due to supply chain issues. We got precisely the features we wanted with a factory build delivered a few months after ordering. Fingers crossed, we get many more trouble-free years out of it, and happy RVing travels to come.