2013 Ram 3500
This powerful workhorse gets any job done
The happiest campers are the ones with the right equipment, and if your family’s outdoor adventures include a full-size travel trailer with all the trimmings, then you need the right truck to tow it.
Enter the supersized, heavy-duty 2013 Ram 3500 Laramie Crew Cab 4x2 with a 6.7-liter Cummins turbo-diesel engine, dual rear wheels, and a 30,000-pound towing capacity. Yes, you read that right: 15 tons. That should be enough for any camper, a trailer carrying a giant boat, or even a small herd of horses.
This version of the mighty Ram 3500 is the strongest pickup in its segment, with best-in-class towing and gross combined weight rating. While the 3500 Crew Cab test truck would serve a vacationing family with lots of gear, it’s basically a powerful workhorse built for the job site.
It’s a heavy piece of equipment and not really a truck for everyday driving chores, such as commuting or shopping. It’s way too big and cumbersome for that, and it demands your full attention when behind the wheel. Parking? Forget about it. But it shines on the open highway in front of a heavy load. If nothing else, think of the bragging rights when you roll into the campground with the biggest, baddest pickup truck in the forest.
More horses, more room
The six-cylinder, 6.7-liter high-output turbo diesel is the largest and most-capable engine available in the 3500, with a horsepower rating of 385 and an incredible 850 foot-pounds of torque starting at just 1,500 rpm. It’s hooked up with a six-speed automatic transmission specially designed to handle all that torque, while still shifting fairly smoothly.
This Ram handles surprisingly well, within reason, and the ride is not too bad. Definitely bulky, but it goes around corners with minimal fuss. The steering is firm and responsive, and stepping on the massive brakes is like dropping the anchor.
But boy was it big. This was the enormous full-scale model, almost 22 feet long and riding on a 169-inch wheelbase. The interior has enough room for six adults. If that’s not enough, Ram offers an even-roomier Mega Cab version.
There’s plenty of civility in here, too. The test truck came equipped with a full measure of electronic and luxury features, which boosted the bottom line but provided everything you could desire for full enjoyment of that vacation road trip or a day on the job site.
BOB GOLFEN is a Phoenix-based automotive writer and former automotive editor for the Arizona Republic.
2013 Ram 3500
Price as Tested:$62,520
Fuel Economy:1 mpg city
1 mpg highway
- Roomy interior
- Muscular capability
- It’s enormous
- Jiggly ride
- * Fuel economy not available at time of publication.