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Awesome Newer Ram Truck Feature. A Review of Sorts.


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I can tell you that I have been EXTREMELY happy with my 2021 Ram 1500 Rebel, overall, but especially with this one feature:

"Trailer Steering Control." (I call it "the dummy knob.") I had never towed before and found it difficult to get the hang of it, then one day, I noticed, after owning the Ram a few months and the Ollie (see Classifieds) even less time  -- because I'm observant like that -- a mysterious knob on the dash of my Rebel. "Trailer Steering." Huh? Right next to the "Ejector Seat" button and the "Shoot Flames Out The Rear At That Tailgater" switch.

I got out the Rebel's manual (for the first time -- it was dusty under the seat and had dog cookie crumbs on it) and looked up the feature. Holy crap. A Christmas miracle!

You activate the TSC button (Galaxy Quest fans, think of it as activating the Omega 13) and then it tells you to put it in reverse and let go of the steering wheel. Don't touch the wheel again or TSC turns off. THAT was hard to get used to. Your instinct is to hold the steering wheel. Unless you're in a Johnny Cab. Sorry for all the weird movie refs, but that's how I roll.

You then use the TSC knob -- turning the knob left, right, slightly left, slightly right, etc. -- whatever, as you brake and gas-in-reverse-slowly, and the display shows you big directional arrows in back as to exactly where the Ollie is going. It's nothing short of amazing to me, the steering wheel spins (sometimes wildly, as if possessed) and adjusts constantly. Returning the knob to center makes the Ollie go straight back. Every slight turn of the TSC knob handles all the backing in maneuvers for you. Worth every penny to me, and came with my towing package. 

There are some who say, "If you can't back it up, you shouldn't be towing at all, you silly twit." No, not one has actually said that to ME (yet?) but YouTube commenters can be cruel in that special all-capsy way, as you know. Add some !!111METALLICA*RULES!!111 and all

Just sayin', this is a neat thing to have if you are lazy, or new to towing, or into 'gadgets', or any or all of those things. Just thought I would mention it, anyway. Here is a video of a dude using it

I have watched people struggle to back in Ollies and even met a couple who took a course in RVing and learned a whole system with hand positioning on the steering wheel, etc. I was learning it on my own, slowly, but then one day, I saw the TSC thing and haven't looked back (almost literally, heheh) since. I actually look like I know what I'm doing at times: one shot into any slanting crazy campsite space. You know, the ones with "severe tire damage do not back up" stuff, and the picnic table in the middle of the parking spot, and big trees close by on both sides, and steep cliffs to back off of, with wreckage of RVs down below in the gulch. Those sites.

I still go very slowly and check all mirrors, backup cam, etc. YMMV but TSC is awesome, IMHO.

 

 

 

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2021 Elite 1 -- Hull #731

Ram 1500 Rebel 4x4

Now Sold

 

 

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Posted (edited)

I agree these are great systems.  The RAM version seems to work identically to the one on my F150.  I think the F250's work the same now as well, but at least originally they had a different setup where you used the steering wheel but the display showed you the trailer path.  A combination of the two would be ideal.  I'm sure that GM will have something similar eventually, but until they do, I think the Ford and Ram should really be the go to tow vehicles, certainly for anyone without previous trailer experience.

It does take a little practice to get a feel for how much to crank the little knob, and in my case, get over the desire to just crank it all the way, straighten up, crank it again, etc.  Now I've gotten pretty good at getting that perfect curve with just some minor adjustment.  We live in an old neighborhood with narrow little streets.  To get the trailer in the driveway, I have to do a 90° turn into a 10' driveway, with a tree on one side and people parked on both sides of the street.  Without backup assist, I'd have spent the last 3 ½ years trying to make that maneuver.  

Edited by Overland
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Sounds like a great feature.   But some of the old timers will weigh in.....   😆

”Back in my day we didn’t need any of that new fangled technology.  We used to push the trailer into the campsite by hand, barefoot, in the snow, uphill, at night, while fighting off wolves, with a beer in one hand...” 😆

Edited by FrankC
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2019 Oliver Legacy Elite II - Hull #461

Tow Vehicles:

Primary - 2019 Ford F-250

Backup - 2019 Nissan Armada 

 

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I am an old timer, and I think everyone should learn to back manually, but I will not discourage the use of such a wonderful feature. I am sure that I would use it, should my TV ever come with the magic knob. I just ask that everyone be prepared to do it yourself, if it blows a fuse one day. My wife knows how to drive and maneuver the trailer, in theory, the reality is that she would love the knob....

John Davies

Spokane WA

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"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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My son just bought a 2021 Ram 2500 Power Wagon with the trailer back up feature.  He also just bought a 19’ No Bo travel trailer, first time owner, so I know he’ll be using that feature.  He’s taking it out this weekend so I’ll be asking for a full report.  Mike

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Texas Hill Country | Elite II #135 | Ram 2500 6.7L

ALAZARCACOFLGAIDILKSKYLAMDMSMOMTNENVNMNYNCNDOHOKSCSDTNTXUTVAWVWYsm.jpgALAZARCACOCTDEFLGAIDILINIAKSKYLAMEMDMAMS

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2 hours ago, FrankC said:

Sounds like a great feature.   But some of the old timers will weigh in.....   😆

”Back in my day we didn’t need any of that new fangled technology.  We used to push the trailer into the campsite by hand, barefoot, in the snow, uphill, at night, while fighting off wolves, with a beer in one hand...” 😆

  ---- And our wife/SO in the shotgun seat - helping......

 

Still the new tech features are interesting - I still use mirrors - I forget the rear view  camera is there - and then I say - Oh Yeah -  comes in handy.

RB

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Cindy,  Russell and  "Harley dog" . Home is our little farm near Winchester TN

2018 Oliver Legacy Elite II - 2018 GMC 2500 Duramax 

"Die young - As late as possible"
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We ordered our Ollie in 2016, and at that time I was also researching tow vehicles. We decided on the Audi Q7 SUV, and it has been a wonderful tow vehicle. At that time there were a bunch of videos online about the Trailer Assist features for the Audi and VW . However, when we got the car, the Trailer Assist was not there. It turns out that the US Dept of Transportation would not allow it. But now they do allow it, much to @Moonlight Mile's delight. 

You should watch this video from VW on their Trailer Assist. It is very funny. And watch this one if you want to see how they did it. 

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David Stillman, Salt Lake City, Utah

2016 Oliver Elite II  Hull 164    |    2017 Audi Q7 tow vehicle. 

Travel and Photography Blog: http://davidstravels.net

 

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1 hour ago, Mike and Carol said:

My son just bought a 2021 Ram 2500 Power Wagon with the trailer back up feature.  He also just bought a 19’ No Bo travel trailer.

I love those newer 8 speed Power Wagons, (I just wish they would bump up the power a little, how about a 7.3 liter Hemi....) Please post a pic of his truck and trailer. Is the No Bo a toy hauler? What will he carry in it?

John Davies

Spokane Wa

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"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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55 minutes ago, John E Davies said:

I love those newer 8 speed Power Wagons, (I just wish they would bump up the power a little, how about a 7.3 liter Hemi....) Please post a pic of his truck and trailer. Is the No Bo a toy hauler? What will he carry in it?

John Davies

Spokane Wa

His No Bo (Forest River No Boundaries) isn’t a toy hauler, it’s got a queen bed and two bunks (his kids are 5 and 8).  It’s under 4K pounds so should be easy to tow with his PW.  The picture is the trailer being delivered from Houston a few days ago.  This is the only truck picture he’s sent me.   He’s in Durango.

 

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Texas Hill Country | Elite II #135 | Ram 2500 6.7L

ALAZARCACOFLGAIDILKSKYLAMDMSMOMTNENVNMNYNCNDOHOKSCSDTNTXUTVAWVWYsm.jpgALAZARCACOCTDEFLGAIDILINIAKSKYLAMEMDMAMS

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It looks like a real beast - but - what is that white stuff on the edges of the driveway?

My 2017 Ford F-150 came with the "magic knob".  As per the instructions, I placed the little sticker Ford gave me in the appropriate spot, with all the measuring that it entailed.  Then with great anticipation I used it - once.  Just about like RB above - I too like to use mirrors - old habits die hard - and even the backup cameras do not give me the warm fuzzies.  Having said this - there are those times when the "old" brain just doesn't seem to work and this "new" tech comes in real handy.

Bill

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2017 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, FrankC said:

Sounds like a great feature.   But some of the old timers will weigh in.....   😆

”Back in my day we didn’t need any of that new fangled technology.  We used to push the trailer into the campsite by hand, barefoot, in the snow, uphill, at night, while fighting off wolves, with a beer in one hand...” 😆

HA! My version, and I say this out loud to people and rap an imaginary cane hard on the floor as I say it: "Back in my day, we didn't have [insert newfangled thing]. We didn't have the number three. But by God we made do." Then I start talking about how my mom, in the Pleistocene Era, got a just-created "microwave oven" and we all stood 10 feet back from it when it was on, lest we end up glowing in the dark.

Edited by Moonlight Mile
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2021 Elite 1 -- Hull #731

Ram 1500 Rebel 4x4

Now Sold

 

 

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