1st Travel Trailer for my Ram 2500

Disclaimer: Links on this page pointing to Amazon, eBay and other sites may include affiliate code. If you click them and make a purchase, we may earn a small commission.

ramffml

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 12, 2019
Posts
2,953
Reaction score
5,596
Location
ramforum
Ram Year
2019
Engine
hemi 5.7
I definitely think it is "better" to service the transmission. Not arguing but just making some comments. The question is exactly what does "better" mean in this situation. Does it mean the transmission will last twice as long if you service it, or only last an extra 10k? I don't know the answer but again guarantee those numbers were considered prior to Ram writing that in the owner's manual. The basic concept is called ROI (return on investment). In my business there are tons of things that you could do to make the process "better", but if being "better" means spending $1,000,000 on new equipment that will save you $10,000 per year it doesn't make financial sense to do so. Not saying that Ram, or any other manufacturer, always makes the best choice but those things are considered. Part of the whole "lifetime" fluid idea is driven by the people who buy the trucks and like that you shouldn't have to service it (let's get real, what percentage of people actually change the trans fluid, coolant, brake fluid, etc... as recommended in the owner's manual!). For ROI, Ram is making a decision if offering "lifetime fluid" will attract more buyers to the truck, along with making sure they have "reasonable" lifespan in the trans by doing so. Also, on average how long do a lot of people own a new truck before trading it in?

Regarding towing in 6th (direct) vs. 7th (OD). Again, is it truly "better" one way or another? If it is better, how much better is it? Nobody on this forum, or any other place on the internet, has any actual data to prove one way or another so it comes down to personal opinion. My opinion is it doesn't matter or make any significant difference in the lifespan of the trans. Other people will adamantly disagree and say the trans will blow up and kill a bus full of nuns if you tow in OD. Neither side has any data to prove one way or another. However I will say I personally was involved in automotive testing around this topic that was performed based on owner's manual recommendations, which rarely ever said anything but recommending using tow/haul mode which typically allowed shifting into OD.

Yep, fair enough, the "how much better" is indeed hard for us to quantify without access to their data. It makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside to take care of my stuff though, so that's worth something right? :cheers:
 

andymax

Senior Member
Joined
May 7, 2020
Posts
172
Reaction score
178
Location
Central Ohio
Ram Year
2019
Engine
Hemi 5.7
Hey OP...looks like your camper thread turned into a Transmission thread! I just wanted to say Nice Camper! what model is that? We've been considering the 2205s/22FBS.
 

62Blazer

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 11, 2019
Posts
1,126
Reaction score
1,346
Location
Midwest
Ram Year
2016
Engine
6.4
Yep, fair enough, the "how much better" is indeed hard for us to quantify without access to their data. It makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside to take care of my stuff though, so that's worth something right? :cheers:
Yep. I think people have every right to their own opinion on how they take care of their truck. They paid for the truck and they are paying for the service, and something like this has zero impact on my life. While in my opinion I don't think it's necessary or helpful to lock out OD when towing, I will also say that if somebody feels the need to do it on their truck.....then go for it! Really don't think it hurts anything to lock out OD either. Same goes for transmission service. Have no problem with people expressing their "opinion" or even "recommendation" on what you should do. I just get annoyed when people start making statements and claims how the truck is guaranteed to fail if you do this or that which is all based on speculation. Most of the time the person making that comment did not even have the issue first hand, but rather read a random post somewhere from somebody else stating this potential issue.
 

Dodge 1500 4X4

Senior Member
Supporting Member
Joined
Sep 25, 2019
Posts
2,674
Reaction score
2,458
Location
Rochester, NY
Ram Year
2019
Engine
Hemi 5.7
Biggest killer of any transmission is heat, many on here are using trans coolers and the bypass valve for the ZF are working nicely due to the graciousness of a member on here.
 
OP
OP
HEMIMANN

HEMIMANN

Senior Member
Supporting Member
Military
Joined
Dec 7, 2020
Posts
7,007
Reaction score
17,850
Location
Minneapolis, MN
Ram Year
2017 2500 Laramie Crew Cab
Engine
6.4L HEMI
Yep. I think people have every right to their own opinion on how they take care of their truck. They paid for the truck and they are paying for the service, and something like this has zero impact on my life. While in my opinion I don't think it's necessary or helpful to lock out OD when towing, I will also say that if somebody feels the need to do it on their truck.....then go for it! Really don't think it hurts anything to lock out OD either. Same goes for transmission service. Have no problem with people expressing their "opinion" or even "recommendation" on what you should do. I just get annoyed when people start making statements and claims how the truck is guaranteed to fail if you do this or that which is all based on speculation. Most of the time the person making that comment did not even have the issue first hand, but rather read a random post somewhere from somebody else stating this potential issue.

Nobody said anything whatsoever about guaranteed to fail.

Please keep it to what was said.
 
OP
OP
HEMIMANN

HEMIMANN

Senior Member
Supporting Member
Military
Joined
Dec 7, 2020
Posts
7,007
Reaction score
17,850
Location
Minneapolis, MN
Ram Year
2017 2500 Laramie Crew Cab
Engine
6.4L HEMI
Hey OP...looks like your camper thread turned into a Transmission thread! I just wanted to say Nice Camper! what model is that? We've been considering the 2205s/22FBS.

Looked @ used, they were all too long for downsizing needs. Ended up going new, this is a Rockwood 2104S, Forest River.

Forest River has a crap name for quality, but reviews of the Rockwood sub-brand is much better. Apparently Forest River bought the brand and mostly left them alone - unusual in corporate consolidations these days.

Quality of build is much better than the Gulfstream Motorhome we had.

Airstream was out-of-this-world pricing for outdated designs. Winnebago couldn't find any around here. This brand and model stood out above all the rest we saw and entered.
 

2003F350

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 23, 2013
Posts
1,366
Reaction score
1,326
Location
Michigan
Ram Year
2022
Engine
6.7 CTD
Forest River has a crap name for quality, but reviews of the Rockwood sub-brand is much better. Apparently Forest River bought the brand and mostly left them alone - unusual in corporate consolidations these days.
See now I've been around the RV industry a long time, and I haven't heard that Forest River had a bad name for quality. Dutchman, yes. Thor, who now owns something north of 75% of the RV industry, yes. Forest River? Not so much.

That said, MOST of the RV industry has suffered the last couple years, and anything built 2020-2022 has been known to be suspect for issues. They have had RIDICULOUSLY high turnover rates in employees, so there's been no consistency in build quality over that time period. It is apparently getting better, but when they couldn't get people to work more than two weeks...it made a major impact.
 
OP
OP
HEMIMANN

HEMIMANN

Senior Member
Supporting Member
Military
Joined
Dec 7, 2020
Posts
7,007
Reaction score
17,850
Location
Minneapolis, MN
Ram Year
2017 2500 Laramie Crew Cab
Engine
6.4L HEMI
See now I've been around the RV industry a long time, and I haven't heard that Forest River had a bad name for quality. Dutchman, yes. Thor, who now owns something north of 75% of the RV industry, yes. Forest River? Not so much.

That said, MOST of the RV industry has suffered the last couple years, and anything built 2020-2022 has been known to be suspect for issues. They have had RIDICULOUSLY high turnover rates in employees, so there's been no consistency in build quality over that time period. It is apparently getting better, but when they couldn't get people to work more than two weeks...it made a major impact.

Yes - the Forest River of 25 years ago was high quality. Not anymore.

I worked at Onan Corporation and got reports on how the major builders were doing. Onan bought by Cummins, was cut loose in 2016. I read the recommendations of a Certified RV Inspector.
 

runamuck

Senior Member
Military
Joined
Sep 4, 2018
Posts
1,730
Reaction score
2,200
Location
dfw
Ram Year
2022
Engine
6.7 dsl
the Freedom Express 246RKS we bought in 2017 seemed to be ok made. at least actual wood cabinets and ducted a/c. good appliances and hardware, glass shower. they sure dont spend anymore time than necessary on construction. ours seemed nicer than our son's kz connect of similar size. our a/c worked better, we got more channels on our tv and had nicer wheels and even a roof ladder. we towed that trailer all over the place with our'19 laramie 1500 4x4 ccsb 5.7 with 3.92 rear end and 33 gal tank. didnt get hosed too bad when we traded it for a cruiser aire 5th wheel february. I always use tow/haul
 
Last edited:
OP
OP
HEMIMANN

HEMIMANN

Senior Member
Supporting Member
Military
Joined
Dec 7, 2020
Posts
7,007
Reaction score
17,850
Location
Minneapolis, MN
Ram Year
2017 2500 Laramie Crew Cab
Engine
6.4L HEMI
According to the EVIC Display, I'm running 9-10 mpg towing this trailer. Mileage is a combination of weight towed, rolling resistance, and wind resistance. My contractor utility trailer is a flat bed, likely has less wind resistance even loaded with equipment or dirt. I get another 1-2 mpg better with it.

I get app. 15-16 mpg without towing, in mixed driving, using 89 octane 10% ethanol gas. AT tires reduce mileage by 1-1.5 mpg, I think I'll go to all season tires next spring. Currently running General / Continental Grabber ATX. It's a great tire, but I don't run off road much like I used to. More highway now. I've read good things about Goodyear (yes, Goodyear!) Workhorse LT Commercial grade tires. In fact, I much preferred their G670 RV tire to Michelin's XRV tire on my RV. I think Goodyear makes a good commercial tire, but crappy consumer tires. And Michelin has been having problems of late across the board with tire manufacture - balance and separation.

My rig is a 6.4L Hemi with 66RFE trans and 3.73 AAM axle, 20" rims. I tow in 4th limit (1:1), tow mode.
 

Sidh

Junior Member
Joined
Aug 8, 2019
Posts
16
Reaction score
6
Location
TX
Ram Year
2004 Ram 3500 SLT
Engine
5.9 L Cummins
So you're an engineer?
 

nascar72

Member
Joined
Sep 11, 2019
Posts
48
Reaction score
24
Location
Canada
Ram Year
2008
Engine
Hemi 5.7
This is a 66RFE trans with known undersize clutches and overdrive drum. RFE's need pampering to live.
Exactly what I was going to say! I have an '08 2500 with the 5.7 hemi and the 5-45RFE tranny and when towing my close to 8,000 lbs 5ft wheel rv, I tried using tow/haul mode wich will cancel 5ft gear but 4th gear still remains an overdrive gear. And even on flat highway sections it will take forever to shift into 4th and when it finally does, as soon as there's a slight hill, wind change or whatsoever it goes back into 3rd. So from now on I just simply switch off the overdrives and lock it in 3rd wich results in practically no useless downshifts on slight inclines. The onlynthing happening will be the torque converter's lockup clutch cycling on and off if ever I need more power going on inclines.
 

Tunaman

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 8, 2020
Posts
112
Reaction score
73
Location
Edgewater, FL
Ram Year
2018
Engine
5.7
Only read OP post and the first reply to which is 100% correct!! I towed TT 's for several yrs with a 1/2 ton Ram, 5.7. The last being a 33 ft Keystone 2 slide, approx 7500 lbs. Load leveler hitch, properly set up, (trailer basically level) it towed, hauled and stopped like a dream. With your 2500 you will be great! The load level hitch will be good as long as you have the proper drop in the hitch to make the trailer basically level.
 
OP
OP
HEMIMANN

HEMIMANN

Senior Member
Supporting Member
Military
Joined
Dec 7, 2020
Posts
7,007
Reaction score
17,850
Location
Minneapolis, MN
Ram Year
2017 2500 Laramie Crew Cab
Engine
6.4L HEMI
Only read OP post and the first reply to which is 100% correct!! I towed TT 's for several yrs with a 1/2 ton Ram, 5.7. The last being a 33 ft Keystone 2 slide, approx 7500 lbs. Load leveler hitch, properly set up, (trailer basically level) it towed, hauled and stopped like a dream. With your 2500 you will be great! The load level hitch will be good as long as you have the proper drop in the hitch to make the trailer basically level.

I had the trailer dealer install the load leveler rather than fighting with it myself, since they do this routinely.
 

1STRAM2500

Member
Joined
Dec 29, 2021
Posts
46
Reaction score
73
Location
Virginia
Ram Year
2022
Engine
Hemi 6.4
Looked @ used, they were all too long for downsizing needs. Ended up going new, this is a Rockwood 2104S, Forest River.

Forest River has a crap name for quality, but reviews of the Rockwood sub-brand is much better. Apparently Forest River bought the brand and mostly left them alone - unusual in corporate consolidations these days.

Quality of build is much better than the Gulfstream Motorhome we had.

Airstream was out-of-this-world pricing for outdated designs. Winnebago couldn't find any around here. This brand and model stood out above all the rest we saw and entered.
Rockwood/Flagstaff are hard to beat for the money. I've owned Gulfstream Amerilite, Keystone Passport, Prime Time Lacrosse, and now the Flagstaff Classic. Rockwood/Flagstaff are definitely the best made I have come across so far. Enjoy it!
 

Bandit1859

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 16, 2021
Posts
170
Reaction score
89
Location
Tennessee
Ram Year
2020
Engine
5.7
After 27 years of motorhomes, we downsized to a 7,000 pound GTWR Travel Trailer.

I bought my Ram 2500 in 2018 for hauling my contractor utility trailer of the same weight class, so this fits right in.
Tows well with load stabilizer bars, I run the 6.4 Hemi in tow program, limited to 4th gear (no overdrive 5th and 6th gears).
Gets 9-10 mpg on 89 octane and 10% ethanol. My last motorhome with GM 8.1L big block got 7-8 mpg on 87 octane 10% ethanol.

Trans oil remained cool ~ 145 F with thermostat removed and Red Line C+ATF. Engine oil went up from 220 F to 228 F no doubt due to higher rpm with load. Still very reasonable. Red Line 5W-30 engine oil.
View attachment 528560
Your weight of trailer you should be ok but yes this transmission is a weak spot. But I have a land scape trailer when fully loaded is near this weight with a5.7 1500 with no problems it’s a 8 speed. They should have put the one ton transmission in 3/4 truck
 
OP
OP
HEMIMANN

HEMIMANN

Senior Member
Supporting Member
Military
Joined
Dec 7, 2020
Posts
7,007
Reaction score
17,850
Location
Minneapolis, MN
Ram Year
2017 2500 Laramie Crew Cab
Engine
6.4L HEMI
Rockwood/Flagstaff are hard to beat for the money. I've owned Gulfstream Amerilite, Keystone Passport, Prime Time Lacrosse, and now the Flagstaff Classic. Rockwood/Flagstaff are definitely the best made I have come across so far. Enjoy it!

That was also my impression when we looked through a number of other brands. We also looked at Grand Design Imagine Series Trailers, also very nice, just not as well laid out as Rockwood in our opinion.

Airstream is just - retro-funky and overpriced, IMHO.
 

Gr8bawana

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 7, 2015
Posts
1,312
Reaction score
1,133
Ram Year
2017
Engine
6.7 CTD
Airstream is VERY much overpriced. You're just paying for the "prestige" of owning an airstream.
We had one for years and they have not changed much since them. They still have very little storage room and the still have the same skinny aisle between the kitchen counter and whatever is across from it.
I would never own another one.
 
Top