Moving from a Tundra to a 3500... Pros and Cons???

RAM5500 CAMPERTHING

OG Portal Member #183
Hey All

I have a 2014 Tundra and 2018 Hawk combo that ive poured my heart and soul into building into the ultimate expedition rig.

Now that its done, I'm itching to build something new. I enjoy the build process as much as the adventures.

Has anyone gone from a Tundra to a 3500 for long distance travel?

Pros and Cons? Anything you'd do different?

The main thing i'm after is MPGs, but also payload.

Its also posted in the for sale section, but here is what i have, that im selling to go to one ton. Will i regret it?

 

Bayou Boy

Adventurer
If you want better mileage and more payload, there is no better option than a 3500 diesel SRW with a popup camper. If you stay with AT 35" tires instead of being swayed to 37s you will manage 18 mpg or so on the highway and have enough capacity for whatever you want to carry. Any current diesel 3500 will have a payload of above 3700#. The long bed Rams are over 4000# due to a 500# higher GVWR.
 

RAM5500 CAMPERTHING

OG Portal Member #183
If you want better mileage and more payload, there is no better option than a 3500 diesel SRW with a popup camper. If you stay with AT 35" tires instead of being swayed to 37s you will manage 18 mpg or so on the highway and have enough capacity for whatever you want to carry. Any current diesel 3500 will have a payload of above 3700#. The long bed Rams are over 4000# due to a 500# higher GVWR.
Thanks! I’m considering a hard sided composite panel camper.

Platform would definitely be a crew cab long bed.
 

Bayou Boy

Adventurer
Thanks! I’m considering a hard sided composite panel camper.

Platform would definitely be a crew cab long bed.
The wind drag from the height is what kills the mileage. The weight really doesn't matter since it's so small for the diesel. My Lance 855 weighed over 3000# dry but was 12.5' tall on the truck. With 35s I got 11ish running 75 on the highway. That same setup on a gas engine will get 8 or 9 mpg.
 
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RAM5500 CAMPERTHING

OG Portal Member #183
The wind drag from the height is what kills the mileage. The weight really doesn't matte since it's so small for the diesel. My Lance 855 weighed over 3000# dry but was 12.5' tall on the truck. With 35s I got 11ish running 75 on the highway. That same setup on a gas engine will get 8 or 9 mpg.
yeah... I have a lot of things to research

did you regear?
 

Bayou Boy

Adventurer
yeah... I have a lot of things to research

did you regear?
No. There is zero reason to. 4000# on a diesel HD truck is barely noticeable when it comes to acceleration or braking.

Heck, I tow my 10000# GVWR camper with stock 3.42s and 37s and can run in 6th gear on the interstate at 70 mph with zero problem.

This Ram was my first adventure with an HD diesel truck. It's a night and day difference to the better compared to any half ton. Now that I have the Thuren suspension setup and properly inflated tires, it rides so good that there is zero reason for me to ever move back to a half ton with limited payload.
 

RAM5500 CAMPERTHING

OG Portal Member #183
No. There is zero reason to. 4000# on a diesel HD truck is barely noticeable when it comes to acceleration or braking.

Heck, I tow my 10000# GVWR camper with stock 3.42s and 37s and can run in 6th gear on the interstate at 70 mph with zero problem.

This Ram was my first adventure with an HD diesel truck. It's a night and day difference to the better compared to any half ton. Now that I have the Thuren suspension setup and properly inflated tires, it rides so good that there is zero reason for me to ever move back to a half ton with limited payload.
Excellent!! Thank you!
 

Adventurous

Explorer
While not entirely the same, I went from a CCLB Tacoma to a CCLB Ram 3500 recently. Our goal was slightly different as it was for an extended road trip, but my findings should still be valid.

Upside, especially if you go diesel, is power and MPGs. My truck is still on 3.42s and 35s, and I'm averaging 20 MPGs doing 65. Bump that to 75 and it drops to 18 or so. Over the 33K mile road trip around the US and Canada, with a 2,400 lbs dry weight Lance cabover, we averaged a bit over 14 MPGs, which is tough to beat. In addition, the ride on the highway is stellar. Comfy and easy to cruise along without having to worry about getting bogged down by hills. Hell, fully loaded we cruised up to thr Eisenhower, going the speed limit, in the summer, with the AC on, and the trans and oil temps barely crept out of their normal range.

Biggest downsides are physical size, turning radius, and the rough ride unloaded. Parking in lots will be a challenge, so get used to the outskirts and backing into spots. Turning radius hasn't been a huge issue, but you'll certainly notice that turns have to be swung wide and you'll do a bit more jockeying. The rough ride unloaded is another thing that can be helped, but not remedied. I have a Thuren/King 2.5 kit on my truck that helped, but the rear still donkey kicks pretty good over bumps. No real way to get around that and still maintain payload.

For everyday life it's a bit much, but unless you can afford another rig, you find ways to deal with it.
 

RAM5500 CAMPERTHING

OG Portal Member #183
While not entirely the same, I went from a CCLB Tacoma to a CCLB Ram 3500 recently. Our goal was slightly different as it was for an extended road trip, but my findings should still be valid.

Upside, especially if you go diesel, is power and MPGs. My truck is still on 3.42s and 35s, and I'm averaging 20 MPGs doing 65. Bump that to 75 and it drops to 18 or so. Over the 33K mile road trip around the US and Canada, with a 2,400 lbs dry weight Lance cabover, we averaged a bit over 14 MPGs, which is tough to beat. In addition, the ride on the highway is stellar. Comfy and easy to cruise along without having to worry about getting bogged down by hills. Hell, fully loaded we cruised up to thr Eisenhower, going the speed limit, in the summer, with the AC on, and the trans and oil temps barely crept out of their normal range.

Biggest downsides are physical size, turning radius, and the rough ride unloaded. Parking in lots will be a challenge, so get used to the outskirts and backing into spots. Turning radius hasn't been a huge issue, but you'll certainly notice that turns have to be swung wide and you'll do a bit more jockeying. The rough ride unloaded is another thing that can be helped, but not remedied. I have a Thuren/King 2.5 kit on my truck that helped, but the rear still donkey kicks pretty good over bumps. No real way to get around that and still maintain payload.

For everyday life it's a bit much, but unless you can afford another rig, you find ways to deal with it.
That is great info! Thanks!

Yeah, i have a little silly Prius as my daily driver, this will always be loaded with a camper and never driven without it. It will be permanently mounted too.

Anything you'd do differently?
 

Adventurous

Explorer
That is great info! Thanks!

Yeah, i have a little silly Prius as my daily driver, this will always be loaded with a camper and never driven without it. It will be permanently mounted too.

Anything you'd do differently?
If it was in my budget, I would have gone with the chassis cab model. Throw on a flatbed or utility bed offers: they offer so much more flexibility than a standard bed. Not to mention you get the 50 gallon rear mounted tank vs the 32 midship.

What are your intentions with the build? 35s, suspension and lockers? Or 37"+ tires?
 

rruff

Explorer
Thanks! I’m considering a hard sided composite panel camper.
Platform would definitely be a crew cab long bed.
You can make your camper decently aero, but a box with square corners won't be. A good radius on frontal and top edges will help; a slight taper at the rear as well. But... MPG is a pretty trivial expense in the grand scheme of things.

Thoughts on how your camper will be laid out?
 

Bayou Boy

Adventurer
If it was in my budget, I would have gone with the chassis cab model. Throw on a flatbed or utility bed offers: they offer so much more flexibility than a standard bed. Not to mention you get the 50 gallon rear mounted tank vs the 32 midship.

What are your intentions with the build? 35s, suspension and lockers? Or 37"+ tires?
THIS.

If you are keeping the camper on full time, go cab & chassis and have a custom utility bed made. Truck campers have terrible storage and this solves that problem entirely. Also, the stock 50G and aux 28G tanks would be amazing. You can also order a DRW with the gearing of your choice and easily swap to SRW.
 

Darwin

Explorer
If you are keeping the camper on full time, go cab & chassis and have a custom utility bed made. Truck campers have terrible storage and this solves that problem entirely. Also, the stock 50G and aux 28G tanks would be amazing. You can also order a DRW with the gearing of your choice and easily swap to SRW.
I don't think you swap a 2019 3500 dually to single on the 2019. The lug pattern is like 8x200 mm. you would have to find wheels with that lug pattern and I am not sure they exist.
 

Bayou Boy

Adventurer
I don't think you swap a 2019 3500 dually to single on the 2019. The lug pattern is like 8x200 mm. you would have to find wheels with that lug pattern and I am not sure they exist.
That’s right.
Is that still the case on the C&C?


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