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Old 06-17-2016, 12:24 PM   #1
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Chevy 3500 Duramax vs Ram 3500 Cummins

I had decided that the Ram 3500 Cummins dually was the truck I was going to purchase; however, I was convinced by a friend to consider the Chevy 3500 Duramax dually. I will be towing an Arctic Fox 29-5K fifth wheel.

I realize that brand loyalty often is difficult to overcome, but I would appreciate hearing the comments of experienced owners.
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Old 06-17-2016, 12:39 PM   #2
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Some might suggest that Consumer Reports repair statistics, but right after I bought my Ram, CR reported that the similar GM truck had edged above the Ram in reliability. I did seriously look at all of the Big 3, and chose the Ram for reasons that might not really matter in the long-long run.
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Old 06-17-2016, 02:56 PM   #3
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I can't really say about the new trucks. But when I look into the model year 2008, I looked at all three and passed on the Ford immediately. The Chevy Duramax looked too complicated for my taste. I then looked at the Ram trucks and the Cummins engine and immediately liked what Cummins engine look like. Being an engineer I like the simplicity of a straight six with less moving parts with the low torque band the Cummins has. The Cummins engine has the best engine braking of all three diesel engines in the pick-up truck market. This makes a tremendous difference when towing a fifth wheel and you need that extra braking.
I also had a Chevy 4 x 4 Silverado pick up and I really don't care for the IFS on the trucks.
Just my two cents on the Chevys
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Old 06-17-2016, 04:27 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by jimcumminsw View Post
I can't really say about the new trucks. But when I look into the model year 2008, I looked at all three and passed on the Ford immediately. The Chevy Duramax looked too complicated for my taste. I then looked at the Ram trucks and the Cummins engine and immediately liked what Cummins engine look like. Being an engineer I like the simplicity of a straight six with less moving parts with the low torque band the Cummins has. The Cummins engine has the best engine braking of all three diesel engines in the pick-up truck market. This makes a tremendous difference when towing a fifth wheel and you need that extra braking.
I also had a Chevy 4 x 4 Silverado pick up and I really don't care for the IFS on the trucks.
Just my two cents on the Chevys
Ram Cummins used to have the best braking, but according to Fast Lane Trucks recent testing of all 3, the Ram needed more brake pedal input when descending the same grade towing the same weight.
I'd still take the Cummins over the other 2, simply because it has fewer moving parts to fix.
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Old 06-17-2016, 06:22 PM   #5
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Sold our 2002 F250 because we decided on a 5th wheel vs a new TT. I looked at the big three and decided on a Ram 3500 (srw) long bed with the Asin transmission. This is my first Dodge, hope I don't regret it but with less then 2,000 miles on it I am impressed with the performance and handling with & without the trailer (Cardinal 3250). Fuel mileage has been close to or over 12 miles per gallon while pulling the trailer. I have pulled TTS since 2002 with the F250, I noticed an increased stability with the Ram when I towed our long TT for the last time to drop it off. I am a novice pulling the 5ver but I think the long bed increases the stability while towing.
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Old 06-17-2016, 08:19 PM   #6
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Ram Cummins used to have the best braking, but according to Fast Lane Trucks recent testing of all 3, the Ram needed more brake pedal input when descending the same grade towing the same weight.
I'd still take the Cummins over the other 2, simply because it has fewer moving parts to fix.
They had the Ram in the wrong mode. The exhaust brake has two modes. If they picked the other they would have had a very different experience. It was mentioned many times in the comments for the video. I'd be interested to see them redo the test and how it compares in the other brake mode.
However I have heard very good things about Chevy grade braking.
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Old 06-17-2016, 09:04 PM   #7
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Sorry OP, but asking what brand of truck to get is like asking what oil to use - you won't get a ton of non-biased thoughts.

What YOU should is go and drive each one, see what YOU like the best and what the price YOU can get and go from there. All 3 brands of trucks make really good trucks these days, can't really go wrong with any of them.
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Old 06-17-2016, 09:22 PM   #8
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i think either would pull the rv just fine... now it's down to a matter of which do you like the interior and exterior styling of...
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Old 06-17-2016, 10:48 PM   #9
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Sorry OP, but asking what brand of truck to get is like asking what oil to use - you won't get a ton of non-biased thoughts.



What YOU should is go and drive each one, see what YOU like the best and what the price YOU can get and go from there. All 3 brands of trucks make really good trucks these days, can't really go wrong with any of them.

Yep! I've had all three, and when it was time to get rid of the 2011 SuperDuty powerstroke and get a dually for our adventure, I drove all three again. All nice trucks, but I liked the Ram. Of course, the highest tow rating of the Chevy wouldn't work for our rig, so besides my not caring for how they drove, that played a factor, haha.

But seriously OP, do your own research and driving. I know a guy that will refuse to acknowledge any information that will say I made the right decision to get a Ram over a Chevy when it comes to capability. In his mind, I made a terrible decision. He also has a Chevrolet tattoo on his back though, so I think he is pretty much locked into the brand. I imagine when GM got bailed out he sighed in relief.
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Old 06-17-2016, 11:51 PM   #10
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FACT RAM has the highest SAE tow ratings out there in a 3500 truck.

FACT the Cummins and Aisin are both Medium duty as they BOTH are used in other brands medium duty applications.

I tow a combined 33K per Cat Scales the truck has been flawless. I have well over 8K towing miles on the truck and have been up and down as steep as 14 percent grades with NO heating issues with the trans or engine coolant.

Just take a LongHorn for a test ride and be sure to get the rear air ride also.

Truck has at least 9,750# on the rear axle. Truck looks the same with or without a load.

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Old 06-18-2016, 01:25 PM   #11
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I am on my 2nd Ram 3500 DRW. (06 then 16). The towing capacity speaks for itself. Cummins reliability is very good (as mentioned above the engine is used in many commercial applications).

I will say one thing. Look under both hoods and see which engine would be easiest to work on. (Easier=lower overall labor cost). On top of that there are less moving parts. That too should speak for itself.

As noted above I must say the braking capability with the 2016 3500 is incredible. When you combine the tow haul mode with the automatic exhaust brake you won't have any concern coming down the continental divide. I can't wait to take this one down the continental divide west side of Colorado.
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Old 06-18-2016, 08:07 PM   #12
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Many miles up and down that same grade. Second gear held 33K very nicely. No heating going up or down that grade with the Aisin trans or the coolant..

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Old 06-18-2016, 09:35 PM   #13
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Only difference worth mentioning is air ride and it only optional on Dodge. Only way on Chevy or Ford is aftermarket.
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Old 06-18-2016, 09:59 PM   #14
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Fun picture of my Ram with about 1200 miles on it.

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