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Old 11-23-2009, 01:26 PM   #1
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Woo Hoo New Truck...questions

We finally did it! The deal has been made, now the trade must occur. We bought a new, 2010 Dodge Ram 1500, 5.7L V8 TRX with towing capability of 10,200 pounds. We just couldn't go with the 2500 or Tundra. Just too big for us. Our Sunline tops out at I believe, 8,000 pounds, so that allows for 2,000 pounds of us and toys. I think we'll be ok this time. Plus, the 2010 Ram has a lot of nice new bells and whistles. Like shifting to 4 cylinder for fuel efficiency when we're not towing. We had a very knowledgable salesman, but I have one remaining question that I thought the great minds on the forum might be able to answer.
The truck has the tow package. It doesn't have a separate trailer brake assembly, but it is an available option. Do we need to have the integrated trailer brake assembly added?
And question number two. How many miles should we put on the truck before we start towing? We have a trip planned to California mid January 2010. Thanks!! Janet and Fred
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Old 11-23-2009, 02:48 PM   #2
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Hi Janet,

Congrats on the new truck! Just curious, after looking up all the specs, what color did you choose?

1) About the brake controller. It took me a while to find out that there is actually one available. It is an option on the 2500 and 3500's, but Dodge doesn't mention it on their website for the 1500 anywhere that I could find.

If the dealer can add the integrated brake controller (IBC) for a pretty good price, go with it. They are really becoming a great feature to have on any truck, and they keep improving them more and more since Ford first came out with it in late '04.

The IBC's have a couple features that make them worthwhile over just transferring your old controller. First, they are completely integrated into the truck cosmetically. This means it'll not only have a clean installation appearance, but instead of the readout being on the controller unit down by your feet, it will be up in the message center on the dash, so you really don't have to look down off the road as much to make changes. Secondly, the controller is tied into the vehicle, and not just a power source. If this unit is anything like the Ford version, which I suspect it is, it is tied into the brake pedal and the ABS system to recognize how hard you are braking, so it takes action if you were in a panic situation. If you have a proportional controller like the Prodigy now, you'll have an idea what I mean, though this is even more responsive.

If you have a time based controller now, then I would definitely upgrade to the IBC. Time based controllers are almost a thing of the past now, especially in the TT/FW/heavy trailer world.

2) Consult your owners manual when you get the truck to verify this, but as a good general rule you should always put at least 500 miles on before towing with the truck. 1000 is even better. Since you'll be taking off on such a long distance trip, I'd say if you can get somewhere between the two but preferrably closer to 1000, you will be fine. You just don't want to cause excessive wear before it gets broken in. Also try to vary your driving conditions/speed in that first 500 miles. I think you should have no problem getting the miles in on time. We had 300 on ours before we had even had it 24 hours...

Jon
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Old 11-23-2009, 05:23 PM   #3
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new truck

Thanks Jon! When I go to the build your own Ram at the Dodge site, there is an option for the integrated trailer brake for $230. Hopefully, it can be added after factory. This is the link, if it works... http://www.dodge.com/hostc/bmo/options.do I guess the question that still remains is, we need to have separate trailer brakes considering the tow vehicle we will now have? Another way to state it, do we have to have a separate controller for the trailer brakes, or can we rely upon the truck to control the camper in a braking situation???
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Old 11-23-2009, 05:36 PM   #4
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Janet,
If you get the integrated brake controller, it will be for the trailer brakes. It is simply tied into the truck's own braking system.

Gary
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Old 11-23-2009, 05:53 PM   #5
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new tow vehicle

P.S. we got the two tone silver TRX Sport version. Quite a "sassy" truck!
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Old 11-23-2009, 08:48 PM   #6
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new truck

think we finally got it all figured out. At least for the moment. The 1500 truck has available the integrated trailer brake, but we'll have to ask tomorrow if the truck we are purchasing has the ITB. After all the comparisons with Dodge, Toyota, and Ford, we are in information overload. So, in addition to the $$$ we already are putting out, we may be adding another couple hundred for the ITB. But, as Jon pointed out, it will be integral to the truck and the electronic readouts, so it would be better than the other type.
Added note, the dealership ended up giving us a good price on the cap. Actually they gave us a tremendous trade-in allowance in addition to the rebate, running boards and a few more bucks. Good time to be buying!
Thanks for your assitance!
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Old 11-24-2009, 10:36 AM   #7
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Also new Ram 1500

We had a small fender bender on our way to Florida and while it's getting repaired we have a Ram 1500. It's our first truck, though only for a week, but I must admit it's very nice. I'm actually surprised by the ride. As well I like the constant monitoring of tire pressure.

One nice feature is that it apparantly switches between 4 and 8 cylinder operation. With one of these I could get a 1950.
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Old 11-24-2009, 01:24 PM   #8
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new truck

I talked with the Salesman this morning. He did some research and informed us that the 2010 Ram does not have the integrated brake control, but the harness is there for the one we currently have in the 2000 Ram. He said the 2011 Ram 1500 will have the integrated brake control and the 2010 2500 and 3500 will have them when they come out this year. Guess you were right Jon!!!
We are leaving soon to write the big check and pick up our new "Sassy" truck!
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Old 11-24-2009, 04:01 PM   #9
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We towed to FL with our new 07 at about 700 mi. and tried to keep the speed between 50 and 55 for the first 500 mi. or so of towing--not easy on I65. What I've been told is that rear end gears particularly wear in in the first 500 mi. and that should happen under light load/low speed or they could be noisy forever after.

The worst break in driving is steady speed driving. I'm no mechanic, but have heard the piston rings wear in and seat properly every time the throttle is lifted. Also the brakes wear in gradually as they are used. So, if you want to pile on the miles before towing, stay off the Interstate. A 2 or 4 lane secondary hwy with towns and traffic lights and speeds jumping from 30 to 40 or 50 is best. If the coast is clear, let 'er rip a couple of times from a stop. There's nothing wrong with letting an engine rev within reason and shifting up through the gears is exactly the kind of rpm change that's good for it. We toured the Corvette plant in Bowling Green and every single car is started for the first time at the end of the line and put straight onto a dynamometer where a "driver" runs it through the gears at rpm I'd never approach. After that it goes onto the test track. So, I think the bigger issue with a truck is that it should be broken in before it's loaded up.

Read the owner's manual. It will give you the proper break in procedure for the truck. I'm pretty sure the manual is also where I saw the 50 mph limit for the first 500 mi. of towing.

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Old 11-24-2009, 06:04 PM   #10
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I should add to my first post...
Don't be worried about steady driving on the Interstate for the first 500 mi. of towing. I'm assuming you want to get south out of the snow before heading west and there aren't many other options in the east. Pulling off for rest areas and gas--there'll be lots of those we tow with a 6.0L gas--will give lots of rpm changes. As well, shift it down for grades both up and down so it doesn't lug and uses engine braking which is really good for the rings. By the time you hit the wide open spaces of the west your truck will be well broken in and hours of steady driving won't hurt it. One thing I would plan for--I tend to be pretty conservative--is schedule an oil change within a couple of thousand miles. My 01 Silverado also required a rear end fluid change after the first interval of towing--check the owner's manual--the 07 didn't, but I changed it anyway--pretty cheap for a truck that works hard and I hope to keep for 8 years or more.

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Old 11-24-2009, 08:10 PM   #11
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new truck

Thanks for the break-in advice. We just got home with the new truck. Boy, what changes have been made in 10 years!!! It rides like a car and purrs like our 1996Ram.
The owner's manual said 500 miles break in, then 500 miles towing, but not over 50 mph. We will have to suffer and take a few road trips locally. We live in a rural area, so changes in speed, etc will be easy. We look forward to our new toy.
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Old 11-24-2009, 09:44 PM   #12
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Janet

OK where's the Pic's!!! We wanna see too.

Congrats on our new truck.

John

PS you are going to have to reset the WD hitch for the new truck. Does Fred remember what we talked about? If you need help, ask away.
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Old 11-26-2009, 10:57 AM   #13
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Janet,

New question. The new Dodge 1500's have coil rear springs in them. After towing the camper a while, could you let us know how they perform with the weight of the camper and bed load and if you notice any difference in handling from the old truck with leaf springs.

Thanks

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Old 01-10-2010, 05:51 PM   #14
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new truck

We just removed the cover from the camper, a foot of snow and ice made it quite a challenge. Tomorrow we put the hitch on and hook the camper to the truck to drive it about 5 miles for inspection. During the drive we'll be setting the trailer brake controller and then will adjust the hitch as needed at the garage. We too are curious about the difference in the springs. The ride is quite different without the camper, hopefully it is just as comfortable with the camper. We aren't taking our full load of toys with us this time, but we will have 2 small kayaks and 2 bikes in the bed of the truck.
Hopefully, tomorrow's plans go smoothly and we won't have any surprises. Thanks for all your assistance once again!!!
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Old 01-10-2010, 07:07 PM   #15
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OK now we can for sure see the truck.....

Looks nice. Best of luck to you.

John
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Old 01-10-2010, 09:00 PM   #16
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new truck

I was going to make the picture smaller, but decided for just a little while to leave it big. That new truck smell just doesn't last nearly long enough! Take care, Janet and Fred
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