Ram 5500 vs Ford F550

RAM5500 CAMPERTHING

OG Portal Member #183
My next build is something I plan on living out of for awhile, at least a couple year.

It will basically be a homebrew Earthroamer/GXV type of setup.

This will also be my first diesel, and will be buying a new truck, chassis cab variant.

Prices, Specs and Option differences are all splitting hairs between the 2

During the research, there are obvious pros and cons to both.

One thing i noticed is there is ample aftermarket suspension for the Ford but almost none for the Ram.

Anyone care to add any insight on why to choose one over the other?

Thanks
 
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Darwin

Explorer
Major differences:

Ford 8 cylinder V8 motor design vs Cummins straight 6 cylinder (that's two more pistons and two more injectors to worry about, also less fuel efficient) Most big tractor motors are a straight 6. Also straight 6 provides more low end grunt HP.

Major engine work on the Ford requires removal of the cab. If you have a cab over then the cab can't be removed which means increased labor rates. Pop the hood of the two motors and decide which one you would rather work on if you had to.

Ford used the Bosh Cp4 injection pump, it has a less than stellar reputation. Unfortunately Ram in 2019 went with the CP4 also, these pumps are more sensitive to fuel, less of an issue if you plan on staying north of the border, but in my mind not a pump I would put a lot of faith in. Also, when they go, they require a cab off repair (on the Ford) and over 10K$$ in repairs because the metal shards take out the entire injector and fuel system.

I am bias, have owned many Cummins engines, and one 7.3 Ford diesel. I feel the Cummins is far superior to the Ford in many ways from a reliability and drivability standpoint. I believe the Cummins is a more heavy duty engine.


As far as 'aftermarket' suspension, you are probably right that there is more available for the Ford. Personally I would rather have the better engine of the Cummins in the Ram. There are plenty of Ram 5500's with running around with 3" or 6" lifts and 41" tires. Is the aftermarket suspension for the Ford better than that? I doubt it, and does it really matter when your GVWR is 16,000 lbs. I love the look of the earthroamer, but it ends there from a practicality standpoint. They are a horrible vehicle for expedition travel outside the USA, and I wouldn't take one outside the US unless it was given to me.
 

Darwin

Explorer
Also: With a V8 you have another extra cylinder head. There is a reason most big rigs are an inline 6 cylinder design and all Cummins does is build engines.

If you are coming from a gas motor and thats your experience you might like the Ford V8 diesel since it runs at a much higher RPMs than the cummins, ie it's more similar to a gas motor high revving.


personally I prefer the grunt of the Cummins doing it's thing from 1,200 rpms up.
 
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RAM5500 CAMPERTHING

OG Portal Member #183
Major differences:

Ford 8 cylinder V8 motor design vs Cummins straight 6 cylinder (that's two more pistons and two more injectors to worry about, also less fuel efficient) Most big tractor motors are a straight 6. Also straight 6 provides more low end grunt HP.

Major engine work on the Ford requires removal of the cab. If you have a cab over then the cab can't be removed which means increased labor rates. Pop the hood of the two motors and decide which one you would rather work on if you had to.

Ford used the Bosh Cp4 injection pump, it has a less than stellar reputation. Unfortunately Ram in 2019 went with the CP4 also, these pumps are more sensitive to fuel, less of an issue if you plan on staying north of the border, but in my mind not a pump I would put a lot of faith in. Also, when they go, they require a cab off repair (on the Ford) and over 10K$$ in repairs because the metal shards take out the entire injector and fuel system.

I am bias, have owned many Cummins engines, and one 7.3 Ford diesel. I feel the Cummins is far superior to the Ford in many ways from a reliability and drivability standpoint. I believe the Cummins is a more heavy duty engine.


As far as 'aftermarket' suspension, you are probably right that there is more available for the Ford. Personally I would rather have the better engine of the Cummins in the Ram. There are plenty of Ram 5500's with running around with 3" or 6" lifts and 41" tires. Is the aftermarket suspension for the Ford better than that? I doubt it, and does it really matter when your GVWR is 16,000 lbs. I love the look of the earthroamer, but it ends there from a practicality standpoint. They are a horrible vehicle for expedition travel outside the USA, and I wouldn't take one outside the US unless it was given to me.
That is awesome, VERY helpful insight.

Yes, I am planning a cab over so that’s a very big deal.

I was set on the Cummins, but, I just did a 5 week Alaska / Canada trip and up there Ford Campers our numbered Ram 20:1 easily. Wasn’t sure if I was missing something.

Your feedback makes perfect sense. Thank you.

I plan on US and Canada travel only, no south of the border stuff.
 

RAM5500 CAMPERTHING

OG Portal Member #183
Also: With a V8 you have another extra cylinder head. There is a reason most big rigs are an inline 6 cylinder design and all Cummins does is build engines.

If you are coming from a gas motor and thats your experience you might like the Ford V8 diesel since it runs at a much higher RPMs than the cummins, ie it's more similar to a gas motor high revving.


personally I prefer the grunt of the Cummins doing it's thing from 1,200 rpms up.
I’ve owned a little bit of everything from high HP, to little 4cyl. I don’t really have a preference as long as it gets me where I need to go
 

Halligan

Adventurer
I'm 100% in the Cummins camp. Yes either engine will have astronomical repair costs outside of warranty but to me the Cummins is a more simplistic design. Just pop the hood on the Ford and Ram and tell me what one you would want to work on. I think you should also decide which truck is more comfortable to drive. Personally I think Ram has Ford beat as far as interior appointments and comfort. Of course that is a personal view so you should do your own research.
 

RAM5500 CAMPERTHING

OG Portal Member #183
I'm 100% in the Cummins camp. Yes either engine will have astronomical repair costs outside of warranty but to me the Cummins is a more simplistic design. Just pop the hood on the Ford and Ram and tell me what one you would want to work on. I think you should also decide which truck is more comfortable to drive. Personally I think Ram has Ford beat as far as interior appointments and comfort. Of course that is a personal view so you should do your own research.
Thanks and i agree. I am going for a less truck, more camper design, and im 6'4" 285lbs (sheer, well defined muscle of course) and the Reg Cab CA84 Ram was super comfortable and had a surprising amount of cargo area behind the rear seats.
 

Bayou Boy

Adventurer
I say Ford with the new 7.3. None of the diesel drama and expense.
Someone always with this comment. I know a ton of people with late model diesels as well as myself with the Cummins I just traded with 100k miles. No drama. No extra expense. Just tons of power, great mileage, and 15k mile oil and fuel filter changes.
 

Wallygator

Adventurer
Don't want to turn this into a diesel vs gas argument thread but....Again, post facts please. Diesels have extra expenses. Even the fuel is more money. Just the price of admission is thousands of dollars more. An then def. An then filters. Fuel conditioners. 15 quarts of oil on some of them, per change. An then add in the fact that they are pretty complicated now so good luck finding a shade tree mechanic and some need to lift the entire cab off to even work on it! Yes diesels are drama and extra expense. Fact.
 

HAF

Active member
Sold my '16 5500 RAM diesel and bought a new 19 F550 gas. The mileage I got from my Ram was around 11 MPG. Gas Ford is getting 9. These are flatland MPG figures.
Ford and Ram share the same axels front and back. Rear is leaf on both. Ram has four link front with coils-Ford has one link with coil. I can't tell the difference while driving. I think the biggest difference between the two is the frame. Ram is more beefy, while Ford appears to be a modular welded frame with sections for different wheelbase and cab to axel lengths. Ram crew has shorter wheelbase than the Ford. The differences here are hair splitting outside of the diesel-gas option. If a diesel is deleted (illegal), a diesel is better. However, with all the emissions and DEF, I think the advantages (outside of towing) of diesel over gas has shrunk. Driving a gasser gives me peace of mind that an engine has less chance of illuminating an engine light than my did (and it did!). All this and I can carry a golf cart under the hood with all the room there is under the bonnet.
 

Jnich77

Director of Adventure Management Operations
Why people think that this new gasoline 7.3l v8 is going to offer anything that the existing gasoline v8's don't already offer is beyond me. It will likely have decent torque and suck down fuel at the rapid rate...just like all the other gasoline v8's being offered.

I guess we can add the 7.3 to the long list of things that you are clueless about. (y)
 
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