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said the squat amount was normal. Gilles made a conscious decision
to remove static rake from the truck when it was designed, for aerodynamic
and lateral stability reasons. Most unloaded half-tons sit with their
tails high and noses low (like they’re suddenly braking),
settling into a level posture when a heavy load has been placed in the
bed. The Ram sits level at rest.
unloaded Ram R/T, the Laramie Crew Cab had excellent ride quality,
particularly in terms of lateral control over cracked and patched two-lane
roads. We weren’t beaten
up when the feed bags shifted their mass to the left or right on larger
with the 5.7-liter HEMI was good, though we could clearly feel the
extra mass from the two back doors, the half-ton of payload and the
3.92 rear axle slowing things down greatly, based on our experience
in the R/T.
interior was another step up from the Sport-trimmed insides of the
R/T. It featured better textures, material pairings and dark wood graining.
The leather seats offered both heating and cooling. When the outside
temperature is 40 degrees Fahrenheit or colder, the truck will automatically
activate the heated seats and heated steering wheel when it’s started. Seat ventilation can be set to cool your backside
automatically if it’s 70 degrees or hotter.
It’s amazing how much Chrysler has closed the gap with Ford in
terms of interior fit, finish and aesthetics. Note to Ford: The Laramie’s
wood laminate around the center stack is better-looking than the faux
timber in the top-of-the-line 2009 F-150 Platinum edition.
Dodge Ram Laramie Crew Cab 4x4, 5,800-Pound Trailer
second HEMI V-8 Laramie Crew Cab we sampled was identical to the truck
loaded with horse feed, only the bed was empty and it was hooked to a
5,800-pound Airstream trailer. The Ram is capable of towing 5,000 pounds
from the factory, but this truck was configured with Dodge’s optional
trailer tow group, which adds a class IV trailer hitch receiver. Four-
and seven-pin trailer connectors are standard.
towing for the new Ram is 9,100 pounds, in a HEMI-powered regular cab
short-box 4x2 running on 17-inch wheels and a 3.92 rear axle, and outfitted
with a class IV receiver and tow package. The small print in the Ram’s
specs states maximum towing capacity assumes the truck has a gross combined
weight rating of 14,000 pounds, with a 150-pound driver. Options, equipment,
cargo and passengers must be deducted.
and rear axle ratios make a big difference pulling a trailer. If you
switch from 17-inch to 20-inch wheels, keeping the 3.92 final drive
ratio, you’ll lose 1,100 pounds of towing capacity. If you
keep the 20s but select a 3.55 rear axle instead of a 3.92, for better
fuel economy, it drops another 1,000 pounds, for a max of only 7,000
pounds, in the regular cab.
Laramie Crew used a 3.92 rear ring and pinion and blinged-out 20-inch
wheels. Maximum towing was rated at 7,300-lbs. If the truck had been
equipped with 17s and a 3.92 back axle, we’d have gained more
than 1,000-lbs. of towing, to 8,400-lbs.
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