Eating crow....2018 Ram Power Wagon build

This thread has some of the best photos I have ever seen. You have a great eye and take fantastic photos good sir. I very much look forward to your posts


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dogman1911

Active member
Thank you. I love the places this truck can get me to. I wish I had more time for longer trips so I can get deeper into the back country.
 

dogman1911

Active member
A few life transitions have tamped down the exploring a bit, but it's always on my mind and we have done some minor trips. I am done working in Colorado and back home in Idaho, but getting the house ready to sell and move on to the next life adventure has been all-consuming.

In the meantime, small adventures are still adventures...

My last hike in Colorado. It was in the single digits.

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Old, hidden mine after a class 2+ scramble.

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Eastern plains of Colorado.

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Classic Zion shot as I hiked to the top of Angels Landing.

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Hidden cave pictographs in Utah.

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dogman1911

Active member
I just passed 50K miles so I was planning on doing an update. I actually need to get it washed so the trail damage shows better.
 

dogman1911

Active member
So...50K mile update. Nothing glamorous - the Power Wagon has been a solid, reliable truck that has performed amazing on road and off road.

After I returned from Afghanistan last March, I had three weeks to pack light to move to Colorado Springs for work. I had a friend stay at my house in Idaho to keep an eye on the property because I know Colorado was going to be short-term...1-2 years (turned out to be 1). After so many years in austere environments, I made it my mission to get out and explore, hike, camp and photograph every weekend. As you can see from some of the pics I have posted, I certainly did that.

I never went off-roading for the sake of off-roading, but if I wanted to get up to an alpine lake or take a high pass to get to the other side rather than going hundreds of miles around, if the road was wide enough (and sometimes not quite), I took it. It was either only my wife and myself or just myself (no groups) so all trips were studied and planned, lines were chosen carefully, and regardless of how difficult the trail, I never once felt compromised in the truck. I was also not afraid to take calculated risks nor was I afraid of narrow trails and copious amounts of pinstriping, which I have 360 degrees around the truck. I know it is a bit snotty, but there is a certain amount of pride pulling up next to Jeeps with $25K of gucci crap bolted on them and nary a scratch.

Funny side story...we were going over Hancock Pass and a couple on a R1200GS were coming up the opposite direction and on a very steep section, he laid the bike down and could not get the bike started without dropping it again, so I found a small, minusculely wider section on the trail to stop and helped him push his bike up to a switchback that was less steep. The only other vehicles on this pass were bikes, side-by-sides and a few built jeeps. People kept stopping and asking if I was stuck. M-F, please!

I attached a few pics to show typical trail "damage". Mostly it was pin-striping. The worst damage I received was actually driving back home to Idaho from Colorado. I passed through Utah hunting petroglyphs and pictographs and getting to one site was a beast. It was not technically difficult, but the stunted trees were brutally hard and as I was backing up to get through a patch, the low sun glare behind me hid a nasty limb that dented the tailgate and punched a big hole in the right rear tail light. The big white scratch on the passenger doors was also from that trail.

I never got stuck off road and never had to use the winch (too bad :D). Although I used 4-low many times, I only had to lock the rears once crossing a serious boulder field and I never had an opportunity to lock the front. Probably the scariest moment with the truck was using a hi-lift jack to change a tire. Upon return to safe harbor, I immediately got rid of that and bought a Pro Eagle 3-ton Kratos jack. I'll discuss mods in the next post.

As far as reliability, the only thing I have had to do to the truck is replace the thermostat assembly, which froze up. No other issues other than gas mileage.

The Toyo Open Country R/T's have been the best of both worlds for both on- and off-road. I am on my second set and will continue to use them.

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dogman1911

Active member
I kind of look at the truck from when @Tex68w had it to now as when it was his, it was like the sheltered high school beauty queen who got straight A's and was the star volleyball player for her team. I got the girl who found herself in college, got tattoos, colored her hair and got all bruised up doing roller derby🤣

Now as far as mods in the past year, I was living in an apartment in Colorado Srpings so I really didn't have a place to do work like at my house. Fortunately, beyond the initial work Jeremy did, I did most of mine during my R&R trips back home from overseas...documented previously in this thread.

Subsequent work was practical and changes from lessons learned. Upgrading to the Pro Eagle jack is a prime example of lesson learned.

In addition to the jack upgrade, I went through a few compressors until I found a set up I liked and was powerful enough for the tall 37" Toyos. The ARB 12V was slow and overheated and the Viair 400P was slow and struggled to get the tires back up to 50 PSI. After doing reasearch, I wound up getting a Puma compressor with a 1.5 gallon tank. It appears the Puma is the same compressor used by Extremeair. I have been very satisfied with the Puma. I wired an Anderson Power Products quick disconnect to the compressor and my battery.

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The next practical upgrade was a 10" amber Baja Designs light bar in the grill. The grill insert is pretty sturdy so I just cut the grill and bolted it to the insert. I need to pull it off again and get the brackets coated black.

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And finally, simple and cheap is always good. I took some skateboard tape and applied a strip to each side of the White Knuckle sliders where you step to get in the cab. Probably the best bang for the buck mod I have done to the truck.

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Tex68w

Beach Bum
I love the battle wounds she's picked up in your care haha. In my possession she never saw anything more than beach runs, one trip out to Big Bend and a winter trip up to Montana. It's nice to see that truck being used as intended and the pics that you capture on those trips are worth every ounce of damage it incurs. I love the Toyo R/T's as well, had they been in stock when I purchased new tires for the 3500 I would have gone with them again.
 

chasejj

New member
"Hey honey, i want to go look at new power wagons and get one. But only if we can put 37s on it!" Said no wife ever. This story sounds like more fantasy than penthouse forums. Lol.

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That's my wife as well. She gets pissed when I tell her she can't get 37's on her Escalade cuz I ain't doing it or regearing. So I'm buying an AEV Prospector XL, That will solve it. :)
 

dogman1911

Active member
Finally got out for a great 4-night camp in Glacier NP. We had Kintla Lake all to ourselves for 2 nights, one other couple for one night, then the weekend crowd started trickling in Thursday night (plus the weather was getting nicer). Not as back country as I like to be but well worth it. It’s been a slow year for exploring due to house selling and moving, so this trip kinda saved the year.

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The mod machine is going to kick it up a bit soon. I added a Carli differential cover (easiest upgrade ever) and a set of Morimoto headlights - truly a day and night difference over the stock headlights.

A set of Thuren shocks and springs plus a Synergy steering kit are in the garage waiting for some free time to be installed and I ordered an RSI Smartcap a few months back. Hopefully I will see that somewhere between NOV and JAN.

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dogman1911

Active member
I am going with the EVO Sport.

There are a couple reasons I am switching. I want side access and the Snugtop on there has solid windows. The rear latch is a bit weak IMO. Multiple times I have had gear push against the center lever and pop the rear open while on trail. One time I had gear shift forward and press the on the center lever so it could not turn. I had to drive forward and hit the brakes to shift everything forward to get it to open again.
 
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