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RV Towing with 2011 Diesel Pickup Trucks

Posted 12-04-2010 at 09:59 PM by DriVer
Updated 12-06-2010 at 07:14 PM by DriVer

2011 Diesel Powered Pickup Trucks
48th Annual RV Trade Show

The 2011 Dodge RAM 4500 Cab and Chassis powered by the Cummins 5.7L I-6 Turbo Diesel

All 3 pickup truck manufactures had their “doolies” on display at the RV Trade Show. The 2011 Dodge RAM 4500, F350 Super Duty and the 3500 Silverado. Each of these American designed trucks are exceptional and I didn’t see one of these vehicles that I personally would not be pleased to own. What is seen as fact at the RV Trade Show is that towable RVs are the most popular recreational vehicles that the US public is buying. Matching a towable RV with the right vehicle is going to be all a matter of preference since all 3 US branded trucks offer great performance and features for the RVer.

Seen here is the plumbing associated with the SCR and DEF solution on the RAM. The Blue tubing is the DEF fill, the green tubes are coolant lines and the yellow are heater lines. The diesel fill is in the rear of the vehicle and the DEF fill is behind the cab.

The 2011 Dodge RAM Chassis Cabs come in 3 series, the 3500, 4500 and the 5500. At the Dodge exhibit a red 4500 chassis cab was on display. Dodge features 2 engines for model year 2011 the 5.7L Hemi (383HP 400Lb/Ft Torque) and the 6.7L Cummins diesel (305HP 610Lb/Ft Torque). I observed that the Cummins engine is coupled with an Aisin AS68RC 6-Speed automatic transmission. The tow rating of the 2011 Dodge RAM 4500 diesel can be as much as 18,300 pounds with a GVWR of 16,000 pounds and a GCWR of 26,000 pounds. The 2011 Cummins diesel engine is standard on the 4500 and 5500. Stopping power is provided by a Hydromax Booster using 66mm 2 piston calipers.

The Cummins 5.7L I-6 Turbo Diesel cutaway pointing out critical functions and features inside the engine.

In the attached pictures you will note that the Cummins is using a Selective Catalytic Reduction and Urea solution to meet 2010 emissions. There is a separate blue fill cap which will not accept any other size nozzle other than what is provided by the DEF manufacturers. A 52 gallon diesel fuel tank is available on the 4500/5500 trucks. The frame rails on the Dodge RAM are composed of 50,000 psi steel. The RAM is available is a deluxe leather trimmed out crew cab which would haul most families in luxury. RAM provides its owners with a 5 year 100,000 mile limited powertrain warranty. For more information see

This is the view under the hoot of the 2011 Ford Super Duty F350 with the Power Stroke Diesel. There isn't any room for anything other than engine. Remember when you could see the ground under your hood?

At the Ford exhibit I found the 2011 F350 Super Duty DRW Lariat and a 2011 Tuscany modified F350 Super Duty with bed and 5th wheel hitch. Both of these vehicles were equipped with the new Ford 5.7L V8 Power Stroke Diesel (390 HP 735 Lb/Ft Torque) and 6-speed SelectShift AutomaticTM. The Power Stroke is badged B20 which means it will burn 80% ULSD and 20% BioDiesel. The tow rating on the Ford Super Duty can be up to 16,000 pounds (and 16K receiver) with a GVWR up to 13,050 pounds and a GCWR 33,000 pounds. 6.7L The Power Stroke® V8 Turbo Diesel is standard on F-450. The F350 had the Trailer Sway Control. The brakes on the F450 are Hydroboost controlled. The stock Ford Lariat interior on the F350 was nice however the Tuscany interior was luxurious.

This is the new badging for the Ford built 5.7L Power Stroke. Environmentally friendly strategies like B20 and FlexFuel are a major part of the Ford emissions strategy.

The 5.7L Power Stroke uses a SCR strategy to achieve its 2010 emission requirements with the use of DEF. Both the diesel fuel fill and DEF fills are located in the same compartment behind the fuel door. The Ford comes with a 3 year 36,000 mile bumper to bumper warranty and limited 5 year 60,000 powertrain warranty and a 5year 100,000 mile warranty on the Power Stroke diesel engine. For more information see

The fuel fill compartment on the Ford F350 showing the ULSD (green) and DEF (blue) fueling points. Chevrolet has a similar arrangement.

The Chevrolet Silverado 3500HD is a handsome truck in its own right always dressed for the occasion with its traditional bowtie. The Chevrolet uses the Duramax 6.6L Turbo Diesel V8, B20-Diesel compatible engine (397 Hp 765 Lb/Ft Torque) and the Allison 1000 6-Speed automatic transmission. The DMAx has an exhaust brake which is beneficial for slowing a vehicle and extends the life of the service brakes. The Chevrolet 35000HD comes with a 36 gallon fuel tank. The Duramax is also B20 fuel compatible. The Chevrolet Silverado 3500HD has a 12,800 Lb. GVWR and up to a 20,500 Lb. GCWR and up to a 21,700 Lb. of trailer tow rating.

The GM Commercial Exhibit at the RVIA Trade Show. Seen are vans, Class C van cutaway and the new Cruze.

The Duramax 6.6L Turbo Diesel uses an SCR and DEF strategy to accomplish 2010 emissions compliance. Both the fuel and DEF fill are behind the same fuel fill compartment door. The DEF fill cap is blue whereas the diesel cap is green. Diesel cannot be added to the DEF tank because the size of the fill tube will not accommodate a diesel nozzle. The vehicle comes with a 3 year 36,000 mile bumper to bumper warranty, a 5 year 100,000 limited power train warranty, 6 year 100,000 rust through warranty and a 5 year 100,000 Roadside Assistance Program. For more information see

The 2011 Chevrolet Silverado 3500HD "Doolie"

I have taken the liberty to attach a quick comparison chart so that you can quickly A-B-C the vehicles. I obtained my raw data from the individual manufacturer brochures and the numbers that I provide in my narrative may not be 100% if I misinterpreted the information that I obtained.

Seen is this photo is Dan Snyder from Ford Motor Company. I always make a point of dropping by the Ford display to see what's new with the Blue Oval guys.

The point of this article is to bring attention to the fact that GM, Dodge** and Ford have adopted SCR and DEF 2010 emission strategies. The only other engine out there that could compete in this arena is the MaxxForce 7 Navistar V8 diesel engine which uses AEGR only and does not use DEF however until Navistar comes to market with a pickup truck in this weight classification we might not ever see the MaxxForce 7 in wide use as much as the other diesels installed in pickup trucks.
** Applies to Dodge Cab & Chassis only. Dodge 2500 & 3500 pickup trucks use a non-SCR/Urea strategy to meet 2010 emissions.
See the brochure attachments below for all the complete information about the manufacturers that I wrote about in the article.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Silverado_HD_charts.pdf (1.27 MB, 640 views)
File Type: pdf RAM Chassis Specs.pdf (1.94 MB, 587 views)
File Type: pdf Ford Super Duty Specs.pdf (1.96 MB, 580 views)
File Type: pdf MaxxForce7.pdf (1.23 MB, 729 views)
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  1. Old Comment

    Please note that the 305 HP/610 lb-ft torque rating you cite for the 6.7L Cummins is the unique rating in chassis cab applications, as is the use of urea (DEF). The 6.7L Cummins in pickup applications is rated at 350 HP/650 lb-ft torque and does NOT use urea (DEF) but instead utilizes an EGR plus NOx adsorber approach.

    The ratings, emissions strategies and even transmissions used differ between the chassis cab and pickups because of the difference in anticipated operating conditions (extended idling and PTO use for the chassis cabs), diesel fleet operations versus consumer use, etc.

    Posted 12-06-2010 at 11:17 AM by RustyJC RustyJC is offline
    Updated 12-06-2010 at 02:18 PM by RustyJC
  2. Old Comment
    MEWright's Avatar
    Good article
    Posted 10-13-2018 at 08:39 AM by MEWright MEWright is offline
    Updated 10-13-2018 at 08:42 AM by MEWright (The article was to old to make a relevant comment)
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