Power Wagon common problems? Best years?

TFin04

Adventurer
I'm a ways out but I can see that a full size truck or SUV is in my future for family camping/exploration.

Uses would be daily driving, general home improvement/truck stuff, and to haul a truck bed camper for the family.

I know next to nothing about Ram trucks, so I'm curious is there are common issues to be aware of. The Power Wagon seems to be basically ready to go for our needs but I wonder if its worth it or just upgrading a different platform. I'm not very brand loyal with trucks, I've had good luck with half ton Chevy's and we have a Ford fleet at work that do very well for us.

Opinions?
 

Hawkz

Adventurer
The payload rating for the Power Wagon is lower than a standard Ram 2500 because of the off road suspension. If you are using a lite truck camper, you may be fine. I've seen Power Wagons with the FWC Hawk and I'm a fan, but anything heavier may be an issue.

I do not own a Power Wagon, but I looked at them before I bought my Ram 2500 SLT...
 

mikekey

Deplorable
I'm a ways out but I can see that a full size truck or SUV is in my future for family camping/exploration.

Uses would be daily driving, general home improvement/truck stuff, and to haul a truck bed camper for the family.

I know next to nothing about Ram trucks, so I'm curious is there are common issues to be aware of. The Power Wagon seems to be basically ready to go for our needs but I wonder if its worth it or just upgrading a different platform. I'm not very brand loyal with trucks, I've had good luck with half ton Chevy's and we have a Ford fleet at work that do very well for us.

Opinions?
I own a 2015 Ram Power Wagon. The thing to know is the suspension changed completely in 2014, along with the introduction of the 6.4L engine and 4:10 gearing. Prior years had a 5.7L Hemi and 4:56 gearing.

2014+ feature coil spring rear suspension for better ride and use a new articulink (rams branding) suspesion up front.

The previous years use 4 link up front and leaf springs out back

I would avoid 2005-2008 model years. That just wasn't a good era for Chrysler. When Fiat came in, things improved and the trucks are really good now. I was alway a GM guy. This is my second Ram. I started with a 2010 1500 Laramie in 2015 and upgraded last year to the PW.

I LOVE THE POWER WAGON. I just hosted the 10th Annual Power Wagons in Moab event, and spent 15 days putting our wagon through it's paces and helping others see what their Power Wagons are capable of in stock trim. We had a great time. Lots of fun.

The payload is reduced becuase of the softer springs and D rated tires. But the frame has additional strenghting. Most guys just do bags to get around squat issues.

I've had zero mechnical problems. You may here of death wobble. That was a real issue on the trucks prior to the suspension redo. Especially when you start doing things like bigger tires.

That issue DOES NOT EFFECT 2014+ trucks.

If you want to see what a Power Wagon can do:
Check out: https://www.instagram.com/offroadpowerwagon/

I tow a 27ft Airstream full time with ours. It's also my daily driver. Zero complaints here, have put close to 28k on it, including driving from Idaho to Florida and back this Christmas. (won't do that again) And haven't had any mechnical problems. But I tend to stay ontop of vehilce maintenance. We bought our truck, becuase living fulltime in the Airstream meant I didn't have time or a garage to do mods. And I couldn't afford to have our only truck down and in a shop getting lockers and stuff installed. Fact is, the PW was a better win for our needs over a diesel. Tows beautifully, with plenty of power to spare. And can go places diesel guys can't without a lot of supporting mods.

BTW, here is our stock 2015 PW on stock 33's doing Hell's Gate on Hells Revenge: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9feGGhzRiNk

If you do buy one, be sure to head over here: http://forum.powerwagonregistry.org/index.php

There is a smaller group of us who do overland stuff too with our Wagons. Our's has evolved a lot in the last year. Planning a RTT on custom rack soon. We'll be hosting the 11th Annual Power Wagons in Moab next year as well. Maybe we will see you there. Cheers.

 

IdaSHO

IDACAMPER
As much as Im not a Chrysler guy, the new PW does have my attention.

It looks like a fantastic rig.


Those that have them, what is the going rate for a new PW these days?

And how is the resale, as in, does it pencil out to buy used, or just pony up for brand new?
 

Bennyhana

Adventurer
The biggest downside, if any on the 6.4 powerwagons is the mileage and range. I'm averaging about 13mpg and 300+ miles per tank. But the crappy mileage is worth it to me.
 

IPA

Observer
I own a 2015 Ram Power Wagon. The thing to know is the suspension changed completely in 2014, along with the introduction of the 6.4L engine and 4:10 gearing. Prior years had a 5.7L Hemi and 4:56 gearing.

2014+ feature coil spring rear suspension for better ride and use a new articulink (rams branding) suspesion up front.

The previous years use 4 link up front and leaf springs out back
And if I'm not mistaken, it was these changes to the suspension in 2014 that caused the drop in payload rating from the normal 3/4 ton range to the dismal ~1500# rating they have now.
 

PeteEinMT

Observer
I don't think I would avoid a 2005-2008 you just need to plan on some steering/front end upgrades and the quad cab size is very appealing to some people. Either way all hold there value well and you get a lot of bang for your buck. On my 5.7 with 4.56 Gears I get 12 MPG on trips and around 8 off road running 4 low.

Pete
 

Attachments

Ducky's Dad

Explorer
The best year for modern PWs is the 2005, but finding a clean, low mileage example might be getting difficult. I own an '05 and it is, by far, the best truck I have ever owned (and I also have a Z71 and a second generation Tundra). In close to twelve years, the only issues I have had have been a broken CD player and a couple of broken exhaust studs. No front end problems. The '05 was the last year before the canbus electronics, so a little less sensitive to mods to the electrical system. All 3Gs are a bit smaller and more maneuverable than the 4Gs, but the 4Gs are nicer family trucks, with more options to choose from.
 

Dalko43

Explorer
I Haven't spent much time looking at power wagons. But I've seen and driven a few 2005-2007 era ram 2500's. I have to say that most of those trucks I've seen were not in good condition: messy engine bay, exposed wires, interior falling apart, mechanical issues.

I'm a Toyota owner so I might have unrealistic expectations. As well a lot of these trucks get worked and abused much more than your average SUV or lifestyle pickup (they are hd trucks after all).

If you can find a nice clean 2005-2007 truck for a decent price, the front end still might need a little work. The 2013+ trucks seemed to have sorted some of those issues out. And the newer trucks do seem to have better build quality than the older ones.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

TwinStick

Explorer
First of all, I am not defending any year Power Wagon. Mine happens to be a 2008 w/G56 manual trans. I absolutely LOVE my truck. I have never had the "death wobble". It did wander though and that has NOT changed. There are threads with 2015's, 2016's, 2017's wandering as well & plenty of them. If you want to fix them, you need to replace front end parts with quality parts. This is NOT unique to Ram, or Power Wagons. Fords do this, Jeeps do this. Pretty much anything with a solid front axle, ball joints & a steering gearbox can do this, when front end parts wear out. It happened to me at only 18,000 miles. I did it & now have 45k on it with no more problems (just replaced the bushing in my Carli adj track bar for the 1st time though). It certainly sucks to have to rebuild the front end on a truck that is under warranty, of that, there is no doubt. But unfortunately that is just the way it is. The #1 culprit on the newer PW's, IMHO, is the ball joints. Just go to a truck repair shop that works on plow trucks, they will tell you that ball joints are the #1 thing that goes out in Rams, Fords & Jeeps that are used to plow snow with because the factory ball joints suck. The ball actually rests on a plastic cup !!! Which means the entire weight of the truck & everything in it, on it & behind it, is transferred onto that plastic cup---how stupid of a design is that !!! It is a relatively inexpensive part to make but the factory charges big money for them & even bigger money to install them.

My truck is definitely "old school" by many of today's standards. No On-Star (or the equivalent), no GPS, no navigation, no internet, etc. But, that is what I wanted.

Our new 2017 Toyota 4Runner has already e-mailed us & scheduled an appointment with the dealer in September !!! I do not like that crap. I never will.
 

Comanche Scott

Expedition Leader
...
My truck is definitely "old school" by many of today's standards. No On-Star (or the equivalent), no GPS, no navigation, no internet, etc. But, that is what I wanted.
OMG! :eek: You mean to say that you actually look out the windshield to see where you are going?
Is that even legal any more?
:D

Technology is great, and I certainly enjoy the benefits. But sometimes, just slowing down and unplugging is a beautiful thing.
My hat's off to you Sir! :beer:
 

Dalko43

Explorer
My truck is definitely "old school" by many of today's standards. No On-Star (or the equivalent), no GPS, no navigation, no internet, etc. But, that is what I wanted.

Our new 2017 Toyota 4Runner has already e-mailed us & scheduled an appointment with the dealer in September !!! I do not like that crap. I never will.
For the record, the current gen (2010-present) 4runner is as about an "old-school" vehicle as you can get in today's market: BOF construction; optional locking rear diff; manual T-case shifter; 4.0L torque-biased v6 (unlike the new 3.5l v6 they put in the Tacoma). Now granted the Power Wagon takes it a few steps further with its Solid Front Axle, front and rear lockers, manual transmission. But Toyota is generally known for being "old-school" and conservative with their vehicles (especially their SUV's and trucks), which is both their greatest strength and greatest weakness IMHO.

The email and appointment generation is simply window-dressing and likely can be disabled if you don't like it. The core vehicle you are dealing with in the 4runner is very much an "old-school" style of vehicle....You don't see many manufacturers making vehicles like that in the Mid-sized SUV segment, as most of them have transitioned to trendy and urban-oriented crossovers.
 

TwinStick

Explorer
For the record, the current gen (2010-present) 4runner is as about an "old-school" vehicle as you can get in today's market: BOF construction; optional locking rear diff; manual T-case shifter; 4.0L torque-biased v6 (unlike the new 3.5l v6 they put in the Tacoma). Now granted the Power Wagon takes it a few steps further with its Solid Front Axle, front and rear lockers, manual transmission. But Toyota is generally known for being "old-school" and conservative with their vehicles (especially their SUV's and trucks), which is both their greatest strength and greatest weakness IMHO.

The email and appointment generation is simply window-dressing and likely can be disabled if you don't like it. The core vehicle you are dealing with in the 4runner is very much an "old-school" style of vehicle....You don't see many manufacturers making vehicles like that in the Mid-sized SUV segment, as most of them have transitioned to trendy and urban-oriented crossovers.
Yup, thanks, I knew that going in & is one of the reasons for the purchase. Wife wanted an SUV & I am an off-road guy so, the TRD w/locking rear diff & crawl control was just icing on the cake for me, as was the gear shift lever for the 4wd, like the PW.
 

Bdk

New member
I purchased my 2012 Powerwagon in June 2016 with 32k miles on it for around $32k. The truck was completely stock other than a set of weather tech floor mats and a new set of stock sized (285/70r17) BFG KO2 tires. I've had it for almost a year now and have put almost 12k miles on it and I fall in love with it every time I climb in. When I was looking for trucks I was originally looking for a Raptor as I am generally a Ford guy but I was looking at almost new prices on used units with 50-60k miles on them and that just really wasn't in my budget. I was aware of the power wagons but assumed they were priced similarly since they are even more rare and in my opinion just as special. Lucky for me Ram didn't market the Powerwagon as well as the Raptor so the price was in line with similar Ram 2500's with the 5.7 Hemi in my area. I actually feel like I got the power wagon package for free. That being said, there were only 2 used Powerwagons in the state that I could find and they were both gray 2012's, so I picked the one with the lowest mileage. Personally, if I was looking for a used Power Wagon I would be looking for a 2013 tho. 2012 was the First year for the 6 speed automatic so that was a big deal to me and I also got the 4:56 gears which I prefer because I tow often and wanted to run 35" tires. The biggest advantage of the 2013 over the 2012 is the newer style interior and the black projector headlights. Otherwise they are basically the same. There is certainly no doubt the 2014+ trucks are nice and the 6.4 hemi is a beast but in my opinion the power gains are rather modest for the extra displacement and I think the 4:10 gears were a mistake on Rams part. I get they were striving for improved fuel mileage but I don't think it did much good. I'm getting 13.5 on the highway at 75 on 35" tires and if I keep it under 70 that easily climbs over 15mpg. I realize that sounds terrible but I'm not aware of any gas powered trucks on 35" tires that do any better. Plus you have the ability to tow up to 10200 lbs which fits the bill for most people looking into a truck to take offroad. I think you'll be happy with any of them but personally I think the 2012-2013 is the best bang for the $ if you can find them. I do think the 2014+ are probably a little nicer truck but from my experience there was a significant price jump in 2014. If you have any specific questions I'll be happy to try to answer them. I looked for 2 years before I found a truck worth selling my paid off F150 for and the only truck I found worth paying for was a powerwagon. To me it is by far the most capable fullsize platform to build an adventure vehicle on. It can carry the gear, pull a trailer if necessary, tackle almost any terrain a wrangler rubicon can, and still be a comfortable daily driver or family vehicle. Also, depending on modifications and graphics packages it can be as subtle or ostentatious as you desire. Overland rigs draw a lot of attention and that's not always a good thing. With the right mods you could make one hell of a truck that would blend in perfectly with the 1000's of Ram 2500 & 3500's on the road.

The day I bought it

Sitting on the new 35's

How it looks now

And here it is doing a little bit of flexing just for show
 
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