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1st time trucker, debating 2018 Chevy 3500 vs 2021 RAM 3500


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Hi passionate people,

 

Coming from Europe and living in the US, I really didn’t know nothing about trucks and RV’s.

 

I’m at the junction of buying my 1st truck. After that I’ll jump on my 1st RV. The biggest mission is to sell my wife on the RV style of living.

 

Right now I’m at the point to choose between:


1) 2018 Chevy 3500 HD LTZ Duramax Crew DRW (21k miles) - $68k (4500 lbs payload)

 

vs.

 

2) 2021 RAM 3500 Big Horn Cummins Crew SRW (0 miles) - $68k (4200 lbs payload)

 

My primary concern is not performance or latest tech but rather reliability, longevity - room to grow my RV needs without changing the truck.

 

I’m banging my head all week long!

 

Any input from you and your expertise would mean a tons to me.

 

Thank you so much,

 

—- ngm

Edited by ngm
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10 hours ago, ngm said:

Hi passionate people,

 

Coming from Europe and living in the US, I really didn’t know nothing about trucks and RV’s.

 

I’m at the junction of buying my 1st truck. After that I’ll jump on my 1st RV. The biggest mission is to sell my wife on the RV style of living.

 

Right now I’m at the point to choose between:


1) 2018 Chevy 3500 HD LTZ Duramax Crew DRW (21k miles) - $68k (4500 lbs payload)

 

vs.

 

2) 2021 RAM 3500 Big Horn Cummins Crew SRW (0 miles) - $68k (4200 lbs payload)

 

My primary concern is not performance or latest tech but rather reliability, longevity - room to grow my RV needs without changing the truck.

 

I’m banging my head all week long!

 

Any input from you and your expertise would mean a tons to me.

 

Thank you so much,

 

—- ngm

I used to haul my equipment and campers for work. In later years my wife came along. I asked about the RV lifestyle for retirement. Much to my relief she said no. New truck VS used. New all the way. Suggestion, rent a RV to see if it’s the life for you.  

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The dually would be ideal if you have plans for a large, heavy camper say 15,000lbs and beyond.  MUCH more stable platform for large trailers over a single rear wheel truck.

 

That said, the new Cummins is pretty stout, but you could also look 2021 Chevy/GMC as they have the new 10 speed transmission behind the Duramax and have much higher payload limits (up 1000lbs more depending on equipment) and towing than the 2018 Chevy.  

Edited by newdude
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My suggestion is to drive both of them. Preferably longer than 10 minutes the dealer allows. Consider warranty coverage. If I remember Dodge has two different transmissions. Do you plan on towing a filth wheel or bumper pull RV? I would also recheck the payloads. Both seem low to me. They sound more like payloads for gasoline (petrol) engines. Payload and towing capacity are two different loads.

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Thank you for all your feedback guys.

 

Currently, I'm in the tight spot considering I'm totally newbie in both truck and RV worlds. That being said I'm not clueless, I'm getting into this subject for over a year now. We did multiple RV trips by renting the rig which turned out to be extremely expensive especially for the longer trips.

 

The deal is, we are going either to get fully into RV living for at least 5-6 months a year or not at all. We don’t plan on using it just for weekend trips.

 

Now I have to pull the plug on 5-6 years of financing with some truck that is reliable, safe and has a potential room to grow with RV as we go.

 

I totally agree with @KARNUT to go new all the way.

 

The thing is I really like this chevy dually, the look, the trim, the way it rides which is way closer to European SUV's (Mercedes GLE/GLS) than to typical truck. Eventhough it’s dully the truck is very maneuverable. With a bit stiff rear tho. RAM feels more like a truck. At least that’s my personal feel.

 

While the trim is not huge on my priority list, I don't wanna lie that I like leather in LTZ vs. cloth in Big Horn.

However, RAM has definitely more space in the back, updated infotainment and dashboard as well as fans in the back.

 

@Phantom 4D yes, I drove both chevy and RAM 3 - 4 times already.

As for payload, I think I got all weighting acronyms, payloads, towing capacities specs right.

 

Chevy's payload on the sticker is 4509 lbs while RAM's payload on the sticker is 4265 lbs.

 

Chevy's GVWR is 13025 lbs while RAM's GVWR is 12300 lbs.

 

Chevy's conventional/5th wheel towing capacity is 20000 lbs/22700 lbs while RAM's is 20264 lbs.

 

They're pretty darn close with towing capacities!

 

The only difference I see is the rear axle:

Chevy GAWR Front/Rear: 5600 lbs/9375 lbs

RAM GAWR Frong/Rear: 6000 lbs/7000 lbs

 

Finally, here's the listing for both trucks:

Chevy: https://www.carfax.com/vehicle/1GC4K0EYXJF153395

RAM: https://www.billluke.com/inventory/new-2021-ram-3500-big-horn-4x4-crew-cab-3c63r3hl8mg649475/

 

Any thoughts are much appreciated.

 

Thanks everyone once again,

 

--- ngm

 

Edited by ngm
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I traded in a 2019 Ram 3500 LIMITED DRW 6.7 Cummins for my 2021 GMC Sierra 1500 AT4.  Just didn’t need the DRW and towing capabilities of a 3500 diesel anymore.  With that being said, that Ram was one of the best vehicles i have ever driven.  A beast in towing!  I would load up my 3 horse trailer with three 1300 pound horses, with saddles, tack, hay, etc.  and it was scary because I’d forget the trailer was even back there.  Power was over the top.  I could load a 20’ flatbed trailer with 4 bundles of hay (over 5000 pounds) and just cruise. Never ever towed something that remotely “tested” the truck.  It was unbelievable and never had one issue at all.  Just my 2 cents

9ADB5DE6-40BB-4662-B033-A050FD4C4802.jpeg

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If you don't know if you will Evan get an RV, I wouldn't buy anything right now.  I think the DRW truck in particular would end up being a huge mistake if you didn't get an RV or didn't get one big enough to require it.  I haven't owned an HD truck but here is what I hear from friends and relatives that do:  The Ride quality sucks when unloaded.  DRW trucks are BIG and harder to maneuver and park.  HD trucks are more expensive...the two you are looking at are more than $14k more than I just paid for a well equipped 2021 Sierra 1500 SLT.

 

If you do get a big fifth wheel or travel trailer then the big trucks are the right choice.  But if you don't, I think you will end up regretting the purchase.  Trucks are designed to do a job and if you don't know what job you need done, you don't know what truck to buy.

 

 

Edited by ratman6161
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2020 and newer GM dually 5th wheel tow ratings will be higher than the ratings for the same configuration 2018. 

(and the 5th wheel rating is significantly higher than the conventional tow rating for the crew drw truck)

 

 

 

 

 

 

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56 minutes ago, ratman6161 said:

If you don't know if you will Evan get an RV, I wouldn't buy anything right now.  I think the DRW truck in particular would end up being a huge mistake if you didn't get an RV or didn't get one big enough to require it.  I haven't owned an HD truck but here is what I hear from friends and relatives that do:  The Ride quality sucks when unloaded.  DRW trucks are BIG and harder to maneuver and park.  HD trucks are more expensive...the two you are looking at are more than $14k more than I just paid for a well equipped 2021 Sierra 1500 SLT.

 

If you do get a big fifth wheel or travel trailer then the big trucks are the right choice.  But if you don't, I think you will end up regretting the purchase.  Trucks are designed to do a job and if you don't know what job you need done, you don't know what truck to buy.

 

@ratman6161 we are definitely getting RV. That’s the whole idea behind the truck, otherwise I’ll be more than glad to get some SUV.

 

The thing is, I don’t know how fast we’re going to upgrade. Even the RV’s we’re eyeballing right now are travel trailers 30’+ because of kids. 3/4 trucks should be able to handle this size of TT. However, if we get to like that life style, I’m expecting to upgrade in 2-3 years into middle sized 5th wheel where 3/4 would become a bottleneck.

 

So basically, this topic is imposing the following two dilemmas:

 

1) Used (Chevy low miles/better trim) vs. New (RAM no miles/lesser trim)

 

2) Optimal towing capacity with the room to grow for a period of 5 years

 

I’m kind a aware of the comfort you lose with 1-ton truck when driving without a load. I’m not sure of the severity but I know there’s penality for sure.

 

Thank you for the input,

 

—- ngm

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55 minutes ago, ngm said:

 

@ratman6161 we are definitely getting RV. That’s the whole idea behind the truck, otherwise I’ll be more than glad to get some SUV.

 

The thing is, I don’t know how fast we’re going to upgrade. Even the RV’s we’re eyeballing right now are travel trailers 30’+ because of kids. 3/4 trucks should be able to handle this size of TT. However, if we get to like that life style, I’m expecting to upgrade in 2-3 years into middle sized 5th wheel where 3/4 would become a bottleneck.

 

So basically, this topic is imposing the following two dilemmas:

 

1) Used (Chevy low miles/better trim) vs. New (RAM no miles/lesser trim)

 

2) Optimal towing capacity with the room to grow for a period of 5 years

 

I’m kind a aware of the comfort you lose with 1-ton truck when driving without a load. I’m not sure of the severity but I know there’s penality for sure.

 

Thank you for the input,

 

—- ngm

Having read your thoughts about this, I would go with the Chevy, mainly because of the bells and whistles.

 

Better to get more than you need, rather than regret not getting it later.

The Chevy should still have some of it's powertrain warranty left, and with the low mileage, should be able to get a decent extended bumper to bumper too.

 

Truck looks very clean, how did the bed look? Do they know the history, why it was turned in with such low miles?

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15 minutes ago, JimCost2014 said:

Having read your thoughts about this, I would go with the Chevy, mainly because of the bells and whistles.

 

Better to get more than you need, rather than regret not getting it later.

The Chevy should still have some of it's powertrain warranty left, and with the low mileage, should be able to get a decent extended bumper to bumper too.

 

Truck looks very clean, how did the bed look? Do they know the history, why it was turned in with such low miles?

 

All valid questions. The bed doesn’t look bad but it was used for 5th wheel for sure. The hitch was used too (see the photos).

 

Of course I asked for the history, but as typical dealers they said the guy just wanted to upgrade. Carfax looks very clean i.e. 1-owner, well maintained.

 

Another concern is that the used truck prices got pretty inflates these days that I don’t know how the smart investment is now, considering they are probably going to drop the prices of the used ones once the new trucks start coming in.

 

—- ngm

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You can air down the rears if the ride is too harsh for you on a dually.  I guess I'm just really weird first truck was a half ton, then 2 2500HDs, and now a 3500HD.  I know for sure I can't go back to a half ton, not sure if I want to go back to a SRW even.  If you avoid cities then a crew cab 8ft bed dually isn't really difficult to daily drive.  The new 2500s from all 3 are rated pretty high for 5th wheel ratings.  If nothing else then do the inbetween get a 3500 SRW.

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