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  1. #1

    2013 Ram Power Wagon review

    If you remember from this thread: http://www.colorado4x4.org/vbb/showt...bye-JKUR-hello that I traded in my year old JKUR for a Ram (still want to call it a Dodge) Power Wagon. Nothing really wrong with the JK, I just like trucks and the room. With the two Morkies we have that we take everywhere, it is easier to travel and explore.

    So I thought I would start a review thread and as I enjoy this rig and soon to be adventures I will be taking it on. I will follow up with real man things I have done with it.

    Here is the truck that I bought:



    I will start with the Ram Boxes on the truck. You can really put alot of stuff in these compartments! On the driver side I was able to fit my 10# CO2 tank, my tire plug kit, my BLS first aid kit, a box of wipe-all rags, bucket of scrubs (wet hand wipes), large beach style umbrella, my trail trimmers, a magnetic work light and a little folding triangular butt hammock.



    On the passenger side, I was able to put my winch recovery kit as well as this handy little tool that I have never used. I have had this little gem for about 15 years. Can anybody name this awesome accessory by this picture? I never used it before because it is big, bulky, will cut your fingers off if your not careful, and was hard to carry in a Jeep. But for this truck it will be perfect.



    Also I have a basic tool kit in this side. I am working on getting a Craftsman style behind the seat tool box for additional tools to carry. The long shape of it fits perfect. My friend had me order him an aluminum 1.5 ton floor jack awhile back, so I thought I would see if it would fit. Plenty of room!



    Even though the 1.5 ton jack lifted the truck effortlessly, I am going to see if I can get the same style 2 ton jack in there.

    Here you can see a mock up of a barrowed Craftsman behind the seat tool box fitting in there nicely:



    Next, when I sold my JK, I kept the Thule crossbar racks off of it. One of the biggest issues was with the two of us, it was impossible to get the 13' long canoe on top of the 14' long Jeep.

    So experimenting with installation, I was able to flip the crossbar brackets around and they fit like a glove in the cargo rails from the factory.







    So yay! Now I can haul the canoe securely above the bed of the truck. The Thule bars are super easy and quick to remove as well. So easy I may look at getting a key set for the knobs.
    My name is Daniel. I pretty much do what I want.

  2. #2
    Colorado_Baja's Avatar
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    Really nice looking truck. How do you like the interior?
    197? DJ-5 LHD & 4wd

  3. #3
    newracer's Avatar
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    Pull Pal
    Have you ever seen a man eat so much fish?

  4. #4
    Interior is very nice, very modern. I need to add seat covers and heated inserts as well as retractable side steps.

    I took it to Phoenix and I will/need to update MPG reports as well as other experiences here soon.

    Yep on the Pull-Pal. Shows your age LOL!

  5. #5
    3 month update:

    After a couple mild wheeling trips and DD, the truck is very fun to drive around town actually. The 4.56 gears and 5.7 Hemi contribute a lot to this awesomeness of red light green light stop and go as well as the occasional idiot that pulls out in front of you. Highway day trips are very comfortable. The truck has a great comfortable solid feel built into it including the huge screen navigation system. Recently I purchased an iPhone 5s, and the trucks comparability to it is perfect. I love the fact my iTunes, text messages etc come through wirelessly.

    I am currently at 5k and going to perform its second oil change. Book says 8k, but I personally like to do 5k on everything. I changed it first around 500 miles and although I use Mobil 1 Synthetics in my gasser vehicles, I chose Valvoline Synthetic based on it's rated for Chryslers engines currently and M1 is not.

    For the 500 mile oil change, I removed the tiny factory filter and installed a larger Mobil 1 EP. I found later the tiny factory one is just what they use on the engine builds and all the replacements including Mopar, are at least twice the size.

    Well, I discovered the oil change indicator has recently flagged that it needs service and the truck has 5k which means it has less than 4500 miles on the first oil change. I don't like that at all. Maybe the engine is still in a break in period or something?

    So for this oil change I am going to try Royal Purple Synthetic as well as a Mopar filter . The book also calls for 5W20 but 5W30 is just fine according to Chrysler and what I have put in it. Another surprising issue to me anyway, is the oil temp runs normal around 204-211 degrees. I have seen it as high as 230+ pulling a long grade (out of Mesa to Payson AZ) but running 80 or so in spots. The trans temp stays just fine.

    Consistently, I have been pulling 12.4 - 13.3 MPG running premium. This is about 90% commute of 11 miles one way including in town running around. Best mileage I have seen is 15.2 MPG.

    I will be headed to Phoenix again this weekend and will post any improvements after.

  6. #6
    jdupper's Avatar
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    Nice write up and good looking truck. I have a 2012 Ram 2500 Hemi also, but its not a power wagon. I also run Royal Purple in and I pay attention to the temperatures also. The only time I see the oil temp hitting 230 with Royal Purple is when I was pulling my jeep going up hill. My MPG has been real similar to yours. I did once get 17.9 driving from Weatherford, OK (where I live now) to Oklahoma city. but I only did 70 and no wind. Wind kills a lot of MPG out here.

  7. #7
    So either the Royal Purple is pretty awesome or the engine is breaking in more.

    My average MPG was an honest 15.4! This includes the whole trip average (1300 miles), driving between 60 & 70, interstate hauling ass 80+ mph, city driving, running the A/C, & lots of idling to keep the A/C on to keep our Puppers cool when out shopping etc.

    Best MPG I seen was 17.6 (long stretch at 60-65 MPH and less) and worst was 12.3 (running 90+ miles of interstate at 80-85 MPH consistently).

    One observation is mileage actually is a bit better between 60-68 MPH. Almost like it is a sweet spot. 60 and less is still good, but seemed to average quite less.

    Oil life seems to be the same according to the oil life percentage gauge. In 1000 miles I used 25% of the oil life. On par with the Valvoline. Also oil temp really did not improve. 231-237 deg was what I was averaging during the interstate jaunts. I think I will research an aftermarket oil cooler. According to the factory oil temp gauge, this was about 3/4 of the way before the redzone.

    The fuel tank capacity is reported as 31 gallons, but when on E and the low fuel light pings, I swear I have not put over 27 gallons I this beast. My Cummins still has all the torque for hauling, but I usually drop $120+ in fuel ups vs. this Hemi taking only $80+. I use 91 octane as well as try to stay with quality gas stations such as Chevron, Shell etc.

    In reality, with the cost of diesel, it pretty much is a wash if not better in the gasser. This PW is definitely a great road trip truck and easily capable, if not begging for the hitting of a trail along the way.

    This truck hands down has very comfy cloth seats compared to my leathered out (2007) Cummins. Still am planning on adding heated inserts and quality seat covers to the PW. If I am just hauling the Harley or even the ZJ to someplace, the PW more than likely will get the nod for Duty. Of course I have not pulled with it so that may still change. My Cummins OTOH is no contest the choice when adding the truck camper and trailer going north climbing elevation to our favorite camp spots.

    I will say also the PW is fun for the DD duty and gets a lot of looks, but when I break out the Diesel and play with the tuner for a cruise to town, the fun factor needle pegs. Especially when someone wants to play a little from a stop light. Although it a little hard on the 35's, there really is no way to explain the awesomeness feeling of smoking a set of 35's

  8. #8
    Some more updates on this Gem.

    I discovered after our last trip to Phoenix, that I developed a front and rear pinion seal leak. To me it is not such a surprise because of the 4.56 gears and the 85 MPH we were doing on the freeways then add to the fact the front DL is turning all the time.. I did feel there was a slight DL vibration as well, and am familiar with the issue as my '07 SB had the same problem. Many 2500 & 3500 SB owners seem to have issues as well with DL issues related to the rear anyway on these trucks.

    So @8000 miles it went in for Warranty work and they replaced both seals as well as the rear DL for now. I think for this rig I will look at a set of spin tech front hubs.

    We also had the Uconnect radio updated that added a couple more apps. The radio in these new trucks are very nice and user friendly. The biggest complaint is the radio is ahead of its time and is very capable of running apps like a phone and being synced up to. It can even control your climate controls as well. But the radio maker is very slow to integrating these features with the phone app to control remotely. Right now all I can do is start, stop, unlock and lock, & honk the horn as well as locate the location of the truck from my phone.
    Last edited by ZJROCKRIG; June 12th, 2014 at 09:52 AM.

  9. #9
    jdupper's Avatar
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    So what have the oil temps been with the royal purple or have you not used it yet? I am currently towing about 4000lbs in South Dakota and my oil temp is only at 213. A long grade will hit 220 then go back down. These are great trucks. I love mine

  10. #10

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    Oil temps normally need to be 200-220* and 250 dino oil or 300 synthetic for max oil temp.

    You may not have a problem and are creating one.
    03 Rubicon TJ, needs work.
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  11. #11

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    FYI, when running my corvette hard, 240+ oil temp was not uncommon. I believe the highest temp I seen was 247*.

  12. #12
    jdupper's Avatar
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    It always runs over 200 when driving. Usually empty it's at about 208. Max I've seen is 250 pulling my jeep over vail and Eisenhower with the pedal to the floor

  13. #13

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    I wouldn't worry about it if running synthetic oil. Conventional oil..yeah I would slow down.

    I'm not up to date on the current power wagons, but does it have an external oil cooler?

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by jdupper View Post
    So what have the oil temps been with the royal purple or have you not used it yet? I am currently towing about 4000lbs in South Dakota and my oil temp is only at 213. A long grade will hit 220 then go back down. These are great trucks. I love mine
    Thats pretty much what I see too now. Although it does appear to take a bit longer to hit that lower temp. Never seen it go over 240. Also the oil life indicator seems to be on par sticking to the 4000 mile mark. So the factory fill, then Valvoline, now Royal Purple seem to really not make a difference for extended service. But I am going to continue with the Royal Purple as it does seem to be better in little ways. One is on cold start up the engine is quieter and psi jumps up immediately.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Halvorson View Post
    I wouldn't worry about it if running synthetic oil. Conventional oil..yeah I would slow down.

    I'm not up to date on the current power wagons, but does it have an external oil cooler?
    You know I need to look a little deeper. I think it's just the trans cooler I easily see and there may be a power steering cooler.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by ZJROCKRIG View Post

    The fuel tank capacity is reported as 31 gallons, but when on E and the low fuel light pings, I swear I have not put over 27 gallons I this beast. My Cummins still has all the torque for hauling, but I usually drop $120+ in fuel ups vs. this Hemi taking only $80+. I use 91 octane as well as try to stay with quality gas stations such as Chevron, Shell etc.
    New to the site and saw you post.

    I have a 2013 Power Wagon also and ran into the same issue with the fuel tank (actually worse). My light would come on and say 30 miles to empty. I would stop and fill up and the tank would only take 24-25 gallons? I had even ran it beyond reading 0 miles to empty and it still only took 25-26 gallons to fill.
    After 2 trips back to the dealer they finally dropped the tank and replaced my fuel sensor. Now mine read more like yours (26-27 gallons to fill when the light comes on). Still bugs me that there is that much fuel left in the tank. This thing get such poor mileage I could sure use that extra 5-6 gallons it's leaving in there! I seem to be getting slightly worse then what you are seeing on average.

    Why they didn't put a 36+ gallon tank in this beast I'll never now. It seems like I can't pass up a gas station. Lol.

  16. #16
    I guess the good thing is when the fuel light comes on, we are only paying for 26 gal instead of 31 LOL!

    I read somewhere the smaller tank was even used on the SB diesels due to the urea tank taking up the rest of the room. So they just probably used the same tank for the gassers.

    I may go drive around with a gas can until it runs out then go fill up and make sure I am able to use actually the full capacity of the tank.

    MtnRider, does your cooling can seem to stick locked up if the truck sits for a few days to a week? Mine seems like it's locked up until I drive it hard and RPM the heck out of the engine and then the roar goes away and it acts as it should. Oh and welcome!

    On a side note, I have talked to Superchips also once on the phone and am going to email them again. They have the trail dash tuner for the Rubicon that you can control the lockers and other functions/perimeters including some engine tunes. It seems like it would not be hard for them to make it compatible to work to work on our trucks so we could massage the engine and control the lockers to work in high range etc.

  17. #17

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    I really wish they could have squeezed a few more gallons in there. Or at least calibrated the gauge a little better? It gives the perception that my mileage is worse then it really is because the tank drains so fast. 26 gallons to empty isn't much when your getting 13mpg.

    Before the "fix" I actually ran about 80 miles past empty and still had gas in the tank.

    I have not experienced any issues with my cooling fan? Really the only thing I have had was a creaking drivers seat and something came loose up in the sunroof and was rattling around. Both the dealer fixed.

  18. #18
    Hmmm ok thanks. I remember test driving another before this one and it had the same roar. Mine, if it's driven every day, does fine. But if it sits for a few days to a week, the fan is locked and roars and you can feel the extra drag on the engine as we as the mileage drops.

    I will probably take it to the dealer again soon. I still have a vibration from the driveline, and it feels like the front DL.

    I do love DD this truck. It pretty comfy and the ride is pretty soft. We took it to Silverton this last weekend and hit some trails with it. Tires at 15# and the swaybar disconnected really rode super nice.

  19. #19
    Any more updates? Are you still in love?

  20. #20
    kemosabee's Avatar
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    I don't think he did, I believe he sold it.
    2007 Tundra TRD, 2001 Taco ExtendedCab TRD, 2014 Rav4

    I've had your Jeep thing...Now it burns when I pee.

  21. #21
    I did sell it. Truck was awesome but I had it and a '07 Cummins. Sold both and bought a '15 Cummins..

  22. #22
    Is the power wagon worth the premium. Or would you be better off getting Cummins and adding lockers and a winch? The fuel economy of the PW kinda scares me.

  23. #23
    If your not towing much across states or just really light loads, then yes it's nice for a DD/camping/off road adventures and all around useful truck. Being a 2500 it has heavy duty capacity. Mileage is not bad on long trips. I got 15.2 or so going to Arizona empty. Around town is not that good for mileage though. They are head turners too for sure!

    On the flip side, my '15 3500 Cummins gets a little better than the PW on mileage, but power is no comparison. In fact heavy towing (24' enclosed brick) with the Cummins I seen 9-10 mpg at best going to AZ. If you are going to tow longer distances, then the Cummins would be a lot better choice just because of the power and handling.

    Mine for being a 5.7 Hemi and 4.56 gears did not seem like it was super torquey off the line or throughout the power band which was a little unexpected. I though for sure I could rip the tires off with that combo. But maybe it was the torque management of the truck. There are tuners that can help that.

    Of course tuners for the Cummins is pretty awesome to wake these trucks up.

    I have not driven the new 6.4 Hemi and 4.10 geared trucks. Never may have a different power and for better towing and mileage.

  24. #24
    Thanks for the insight. I really don't ever plan on hauling anything very far. Probably the furthest I'd go would be Moab with my crawler that'd be it. Mostly for family camping trips and hunting.

  25. #25
    They are also about 15-20k less than a Cummins

    They are a fun and useful truck.

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