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New Build 2500 Opinions PLEASE

1085 Views 6 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  traumayeti
Hello Cummins forum,

I am a new poster. Currently have my sights set on a brand new 2014 2500 Cummins 4x4 Laramie MEGA. I have several questions regarding some of the features. I have limited experience with diesels, but really like this truck. Please bear with me.

Mission of the truck: Daily driver, occassional towing, room for family. Probably about 15,000 miles annually.

Many of these questions are admittably highly person dependent, as in the title I'd like your opinions on these features.

1. RAMBOX - I see lovers and haters of this feature. If I would like to use 5th wheel in the future does the rambox make it exponentially more challenging? It looks like based on forums it can be done. Is the bed made so small it is no longer very functional?

2. Manual Tranny - I love a stick shift, is there any major downside with not going with auto tranny aside from small loss of power/towing ability.

3. Gearing - It looks like 3.42 is only option with the diesel for 2014, is that accurate?

4. Nav function - It would be nice, do those that have it find it useful or would phone app be better.

5. 440amp alternator vs 220 amp - Any reason to go with 220 if the extra money is not an issue?

6. Center high mount camera - Is this primarily for aligning 5th wheel? Useful feature?

7. Engine block warmer - what sort of climate is this needed in?

8. Trailer tow mirrors - does this have appreciable affect on MPG? Any reason not to go with bigger mirrors?

Finally, any ideas what sort of fuel economy I can expect with the 14 diesel?

I am currently stationed overseas but, will be returning stateside in September. I have the exchange new car sales which can knock (currently) about $6,000 off MSRP (~62K) of rig the way I want it configured. Do local dealers tend to knock more off in september time frame?

Ok sorry for the deluge of questions. If you read this far, thanks.
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I just ordered a '14. I got the snow plow group because it upgrades to a 220 amp alternator which should be more than enough for me, and a skid plate for the transfer case, which I should never need if everything goes right. I got the crew version, because I wanted the shortest wheelbase, and even with that, it won't fit in my garage anyway. I chose the auto tranny, because I wanted more horsepower, and don't like shifting in town and when trying to parallel park. I didn't spend the $90 on the cold weather group, the engine is already built with the heating element, all you need is the $15 cord. Make the dealer throw that in, and he will. I just bought a new RAM cold front on Ebay for $25 including shipping. You don't need to worry about plugging the truck in until you get into the single digits, and even then it will start OK without it, just warms up faster. I can squeeze 21 mpg out of my '97, but will be happy with 18 on this new. I didn't get the big tow mirrors, because it's just too much acreage out there to see around, and I've done fine with standard size mirrors for a long time.
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My must have list
Big horn edition, back up camera, remote start, heated cloth seats, bucket seats, exhaust brake.
I have been on this website about 4 months now and it has been invaluable in selecting a Ram. Let me walk you through my selection "saga"

1) Started out with a plan for a 2013 2500 CC SB G56 Tradesman in Deep Cherry. Then found out that there is virtually no difference in cost between a 2500 and 3500. Since 3500 has all the upgrades in frame and front end this year, moved to the 3500
2) Ok, so 3500 is BIG, so why not just go with it. Moved from SRW to DRW.
3) Optioned up the Tradesman was within $2K of the SLT and there were additional features (such as bucket seats) that come with the SLT. Switch to SLT
4) Trans. I REALLY wanted a G56 but the gearing is wrong. All the 3500 DRW's I found all had a 3.73 or 4.10 in the rear end which makes the net RPM's at 70mph to high. So decided to switch to auto.
5) Research the difference between 68RFE and Aisin. I am up about $4K over the base amount I wanted to pay now so decide to skip Aisin and save $2.6K
6) Color. Was on the fence between red and black. This whole exercise has been nerve racking trying not to screw up. I like the red but have had 4 black trucks over the years and may just go with black.

All I can say is "Good Luck". These trucks have a LOT of options so you're going to need it.
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I can offer an early opinion on the Ram boxes. I put them high on my must have list for several reasons:
1.) I wanted a place to store 'stuff' other than inside the cab. When towing, I can stow the stabilizer bars, blocks, etc in the boxes and now have them rattling around the cab.
2.) I have plans to rig one box to house an air compressor, air tank and a higher output inverter. Initial plans are to build a platform to mount everything to. Heavy gauge wires from battery to box with a quick disconnect. That way, I can quickly remove everything if I need / want to. Still in the planning stages on this - most likelly a winter project
3.) Great for tail gating - just think of the 'beverages' you can tote along!
4.) I'm sure there's more positives, I'm still in the discovery stage!

As for the size of the bed, I think the width between the wheel wells remains the same as the non ram box trucks. You lose a little bit of space on both sides ahead and behind the wheel wells. For me that was an acceptable trade off for 1 - 4 above.
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1. RAMBOX - you will need smaller pinbox for use of 5th wheel. they are out in the market so no worries there. Lost bed space is minimal, the bed is squared off like the old chevys step sides. I was use to the square bed from my 1975 chevy. on the plus side, more bed space is there if you dont need a tool box thanks to the rambox. They look funny to me, but my 13 has them and im in love with them. super super handy! i would suggest them. and they lock with the door locks, added plus.

2. Manual Tranny - if this is a family truck, id suggest auto. frees up some cab space and smooth ride. 68rfe will treat yall right.

3. Gearing - not sure, others will chime in. i have 342s and very happy w them

4. Nav function - i have an iphone 5 and i use my trucks Nav instead of the phone. super handy and will reroute for traffic or closed roads and such. keeps eyes on the road :) Im in a habit of keeping my phone tucked away in my pocket or arm rest box to keep my eyes on the road.

5. 440amp alternator vs 220 amp - my truck is fully loaded, (minus rear tv) and has 220amp alternator, have had no issues with the 220amp

6. Center high mount camera - I could see this being handy.

7. Engine block warmer - if your above 0F, then youll be fine. The heater element is there in every truck, just have to buy the cord. its a no big deal item.

8. Trailer tow mirrors - I always have mine out. Im sure they push more air, but the visibility is far better. plus the convex lense is horizontal when you flip the mirrors out so you can see more of the road left to right instead of more of the sky. i vote yes on tow mirrors!

Fuel mileage... I see 15-16mpg buzzin 75-80mph, keep in mind i have a leveling kit and rollin on 20s wrapped w 35s.
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Thanks for all the responses!
So far I think I have added Rambox as a must have. I will have a hard time giving up manual tranny, but remote start is appealing - I think I am going to stick with it... Gearing will be 3.42 it looks like. Nav function is going to go on it. I think I will go with the snowplow group as recommended to get the 220amp and skid plate. I think I will skip on the 440 as that is probably overkill for me. High mount camera - being a gadget guy I need this. Cold weather package sounds like padding for the dealership and will pass. THANKS for the input, didn't realize the heating element was present regardless. Tow mirrors - I will have to think long and hard on this one, probably will go smaller but we'll see.

A couple more questions:
1 - mega vs crew cab, what are experiences with this? I think I want the additional cab space.
2 - This is a can of worms but, I have started reading about the EGR deletes and such. If one wanted to pursue this is that even an option on a 2013-2014 2500? I would not be interested in additional power, just fuel economy. My gut feeling at this point is that it is not something I would want to pursue even if it was possible due to potential complications and warranty issues. Question is out there though as I am a bit of a tinkerer.
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