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Towing test - Tundra vs 1 ton Dodge Diesel


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Up until now, I have been towing my 2021 Elite II with a 2018 Toyota Tundra Longbed with a topper.  It tows the E2 great and I have never had issues with accelerating, climbing passes or stopping.  M.P.G. is between 10-12 depending on terrain and wind.  Fully handles the E2 as I had hoped.

I also own a 2003 Dodge 3500 longbed 5.9 Cummins 6-spd manual with dually delete. Truck also has a topper.  Have had thus truck since new and it usually tows a 26' enclosed car hauler while carrying a popup camper in the bed.  MPG while towing has been around 12 (13-14 without the camper).

Getting ready to head East to Hohenwald soon towing with the Dodge.  Will be interesting to compare the two.  Will post a update at the other end.

 

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2021 Elite II, Hull# 898

2018 Toyota Tundra, 2003 Dodge Ram 3500 5.9l SRW

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Prediction: the diesel will feel like there's no trailer back there at all. You'll have to be careful when you hitch up or you'll be 2 hours away before you realize the trailer isn't behind you. 😁

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Stephanie and Dudley from CT. Tow vehicle: 2016 GMC Sierra gas dually. Current RV: Rockwood Signature fifth wheel.

LE2 Hull #1150, Eggcelsior, on the way in July August June.

Our Oliver journey: Steph and Dud B's RV Screed

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Since you have been towing trailers before with your two vehicles,  I'm not sure what you are wanting to find in your comparison that most of us probably already know. It a big 1 ton truck vs a 1/2 truck, diesel vs gas, rough ride vs smoother ride, etc. Personally I'd take the Tundra, newer vehicle and less change of some type of failure on a 15 year vehicle. 

trainman

Elite II, Twin Bed, Hull #489, 2019 RAM 1500, 5.7 Hemi, 4X4, Crew Cab, 5'7" bed, Towing Package, 3.92 Gears.

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23 hours ago, Steph and Dud B said:

Prediction: the diesel will feel like there's no trailer back there at all. You'll have to be careful when you hitch up or you'll be 2 hours away before you realize the trailer isn't behind you. 😁

I feel the same way with my 2019 Ram 1500 4x4.

trainman

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Elite II, Twin Bed, Hull #489, 2019 RAM 1500, 5.7 Hemi, 4X4, Crew Cab, 5'7" bed, Towing Package, 3.92 Gears.

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I towed over 60K miles with two different Ram 1500s.  5.7L, 3.92 rear, 8 speed.  Both did a fine job towing my Elite II.  Both had a comfortable ride.  However, there is a marked difference between them and my Ram 2500, 6.7L diesel.  Also, the new Ram heavy duty trucks have a very nice ride, comparable to the 1500s.  A 2003 one ton will have a rougher ride for sure, but will pull markedly better than the Tundra (even though the Tundra does a fine job towing!).

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

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5 hours ago, Trainman said:

Since you have been towing trailers before with your two vehicles,  I'm not sure what you are wanting to find in your comparison that most of us probably already know. It a big 1 ton truck vs a 1/2 truck, diesel vs gas, rough ride vs smoother ride, etc. Personally I'd take the Tundra, newer vehicle and less change of some type of failure on a 15 year vehicle. 

trainman

The Tundra was bought to tow the Oliver.  It will continue to be the primary TV, regardless of how the Ram performs.  The Dodge needs its legs stretched so it will get placed into service for this trip.  Mostly interested in M.P.G. towing between the two.  The ride is rougher than the Tundra but not by much.  Dodge has 145,000 mi on it, >80% of this running at 1900 rpm in 6th gear on the interstate.  Growing up in MI this truck would have never made it to the age of 19 without rusting apart, but as a CO vehicle from new it still has paper stickers on the axles and zero rust.  It runs like new and will remain in service for many years to come.  Drives like a new truck, just more than is needed for the Ollie.

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2021 Elite II, Hull# 898

2018 Toyota Tundra, 2003 Dodge Ram 3500 5.9l SRW

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30 minutes ago, Mountainman198 said:

Growing up in MI this truck would have never made it to the age of 19 without rusting apart, but as a CO vehicle from new it still has paper stickers on the axles and zero rust.

My 2002 1500 is rusting to pieces…however I still use it to bash snow piles during the winter months. I just can’t kill it and prefer to take the abuse out on it vs the 2021 one ton that replaced it.  I have to say in your shoes I’d sell the 2018 and let the dodge pull the Oliver full time.

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My RAM has air suspension with 3 height settings (one for Eco mode). Because of the air suspension it rides as smooth as a car. Per a dealer service rep, who had one without the air suspension he said his road real rough.

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2018 Oliver Elite II, Hull #354 | 2018 RAM 1500 Rebel 4 x 4, 5.7 Hemi, 3.92 gear ratio

 

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On 4/28/2022 at 7:36 AM, Mountainman198 said:

.

I also own a 2003 Dodge 3500 longbed 5.9 Cummins 6-spd manual with dually delete. Truck also has a topper.  .

 

Always thought the Dodge 5.9 powered truck would be a good one to have as a TV.

Please forgive me for going Off Topic,

We used to install the Cummins 5.9 engine in tie remover/inserter rail machines before I retired. Believe they are now installing the Cummins 6.7 for the same application.

 

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2 hours ago, Mountainman198 said:

Dodge has 145,000 mi on it, >80% of this running at 1900 rpm in 6th gear on the interstate.

A big difference between the 5.7L V8 gas engine in the Ram 1500 and the 6.7L I6 Diesel engine in the Ram 2500 is running on the interstate with RPMs below 2,000.  Even uphill, when the 5.7 downshifts and RPMs go up to 3,000 or more the Cummins just purrs along at 1,800 or 1,900.  Only on steep inclines does the diesel downshift to over 2,000 RPM.  Mike

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

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1300 miles later and we arrived to a spot most of you will recognize. David Crockett State Park. Heading to Hohenwald for service tomorrow and will stay at the campground at the Sales Office. Trip was uneventful, here are my observations towing with the diesel vs. Tundra:

1) MPG - 16 total trip. As high as 16.4 in Kansas with a side wind.   Even with the higher cost of diesel, I figured I saved about $15 in the cost of fuel on this trip. If You had to buy DEF it would be less. 
2) Ride - a bit stiffer than the Tundra but not bad. Zero jounce as could be expected

3) Braking- much better with the Dodge but not for the reason I expected. The aftermarket brake controller I had installed in the Dodge worked far better than the integrated unit that came in the Tundra. Much better adjustability and much more power. I could never get the trailer brakes to lock up with the controller in the Tundra but it was easy with the aftermarket controller. Tundra forums cover this issue if anyone is interested. I will be ordering a aftermarket controller for the Tundra when I return home. 
4) Transmission - towing with a stick is great. Made me wish that Toyota offered a 6 spd manual. Oh well.

5) overall - The Dodge is way more truck than I need for towing the Elite II. While a fun experiment, the Tundra will get put back in place soon as the Dedicated TV for the Ollie. The Dodge will go back to towing the car hauler. 
 

I can see where if you were hauling a lot of gear in the bed the 1 ton ( or a 3/4 ton) would make a lot of sense or if you towed a lot in the mountains a diesel would make sense or if the cost of diesel ever comes down it would make sense for the fuel economy but since the Tundra can’t tow the car hauler and Dodge no longer makes diesel trucks with manual transmissions, its back to the Tundra for towing the Ollie. 
 

Oh, and we stumbled across the worlds largest ball of sisal twine in Kansas. Clark Griswald was nowhere to be found. 

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2021 Elite II, Hull# 898

2018 Toyota Tundra, 2003 Dodge Ram 3500 5.9l SRW

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7 minutes ago, Mountainman198 said:

Clark Griswald was nowhere to be found. 

Of course not - he's over at the Grand Canyon for 15 minutes!☺️

The truck is in camo but the Ollie sure does stand out.  Still looks like a great rig!

Have fun over at the Ollie shop and try to not spend too much money.  After all - that $15 saved will only go so far.

Did I see that you are not going to hang around for the Rally?  If you do get there - please look me up.

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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17 minutes ago, topgun2 said:

Did I see that you are not going to hang around for the Rally?  If you do get there - please look me up.

No, not going to make the Rally this year, heading to MI for a few months. Hopefully will make it next year and meet many more Oliver owners then. 

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2021 Elite II, Hull# 898

2018 Toyota Tundra, 2003 Dodge Ram 3500 5.9l SRW

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On 5/2/2022 at 2:08 PM, Mountainman198 said:

Made me wish that Toyota offered a 6 spd manual.

Honestly, I wish Toyota offered a diesel! 😄

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2018 LE2 #333  "the Otter"

2015 Silverado 2500HD

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14 hours ago, Liana said:

Honestly, I wish Toyota offered a diesel! 😄

Diesel here is some places 5.79 a gallon, vs 4.19 for regular. 

Something to think about  .

2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12

 

 

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11 hours ago, SeaDawg said:

Diesel here is some places 5.79 a gallon, vs 4.19 for regular. 

Something to think about  .

I think about it every time I fuel up!  The price of diesel doesn’t make sense.

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

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On 5/8/2022 at 6:36 PM, SeaDawg said:

Diesel here is some places 5.79 a gallon, vs 4.19 for regular. 

Something to think about  .

I've seen it at over $6 on my recent travels.  I agree with @Mike and Carol that it makes zero sense.  BUT, to your point, I already own a diesel, and as much as I love my truck, I'm absolutely certain that Toyota would do a better job.

2018 LE2 #333  "the Otter"

2015 Silverado 2500HD

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