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Old 09-24-2020, 03:31 PM   #1
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21NE and RAM 1500 V6 Pentastar

I have been calculating and worrying about having to upgrade my Pentastar V6 truck to be able to pull the new 21NE. But it pulled the trailer 300 miles on I-5 Monday, and I must say I felt zero issues.



Granted, the trailer wasn't loaded, but all temps (coolant, oil, trans) were the same as not towing at all, and I got 14.4 MPG over the 287 miles, doing anywhere between 62 MPH and 72 MPH. I was getting 15 - 17 MPG towing my 1200# Burro, so at 3x the weight, that's really good.



It went up every grade at a minimum 60 MPH at avg 2400 RPM (in tow mode), and only twice while passing did I run it up to 3500-ish RPMs for a minute or so. My average speed/RPM was 62/2000, near as I could calc.



In a few days we're leaving on a 2-week trip so I'll get some mountain grades in and see how that goes - our loaded weight add would be 105# for bikes and rack, 80# clothing/personal, 100# housekeeping, 30# tools, 100# kayak & gear, and 100# food etc. - certainly less than 600#, and I'll tow with dry tanks. But if one considers the actual towing time versus non-tow driving, it's a pretty small percentage, so if it handles it relatively well, and I keep an eye on temps etc, I can keep my 23 - 25 MPG 2015 V6...it's paid off and only has 75k miles on it so I'd hate to have to trade it in!


Anyone else towing with a RAM 1500 V6?
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Old 09-24-2020, 03:56 PM   #2
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Always towed with a V6.

Hi: felix2... Yes... but mines a 3L V6 Ecodiesel. Doesn't even break a sweat towing up or down. I've always stated "Try it with what you've got". The tug is the most changeable part of the equation. Better if it's paid for!!! Alf
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Old 10-20-2020, 10:29 PM   #3
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Hey Felix, Just looking at a 3.5 ram online. Wondered ifit had enough get up and go.

Kind regards,

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Old 10-20-2020, 11:02 PM   #4
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When I had a 21’, I towed with a Jeep Grand Cherokee. Same , or at least quite similar, V-6 Pentastar.

Living in CO, trips on I-70 through the mountains were routine. Vail Pass, Eisenhower Tunnel, etc.

Always made it from one end of I-70 to the other.

Now when towing, my typical max speed in 60mph. I just prefer driving slowly. On the longest pulls over the mountains, about 50mph was my limit keeping the rpm’s where I felt comfortable. You could always find me in the granny lane.

As long as you don’t need to be the first guy over the summIt , you should do just fine with your truck.

I would certainly give it a try before trading.
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Old 10-20-2020, 11:15 PM   #5
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Thx Ed
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Old 10-20-2020, 11:44 PM   #6
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I tow with a 2004 5.4 v8 that I bet has just a little more horsepower than the ram. My only issues was going over Vail pass . I just got in the slow lane. Otherwise it’s fine. I have looked at the base v6 in the f150, but not many drivers tow with that. Same tow capacity as my 2004 triton. Right now however the truck is paid for and has 80,000 miles and is spotless. Hard to spend money. 40,000 buys a lot of gas
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Old 10-21-2020, 02:08 AM   #7
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Hi Jonnyv,
Just returned from a two week trip with some steep mountain driving, although not above 5000 ft elev. The Ram did fine, although it was revving to 3500+ RPM on 6% grades. It never hardly got higher coolant, oil or trans temps, and when they did rise a bit, they recovered straight away.

I took it easy on the steep stuff but stayed above 50 - it was winding road so really couldn’t go faster anyway.
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Old 10-21-2020, 11:36 AM   #8
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Thanks Felix, our Escape 21 ne won't be built and ready until April 15th. I don"t know if it's a luxury or burden to not have a tow vehicle yet. You talk to a Ford guy , he tells you it's the best. A Chevy guy tells you the same, and so on. I am not married to any brand. Never had a pickup , never towed. I think maybe a 7000 lb pull would be safe, don't you ?

Thx everyone !
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Old 10-21-2020, 01:12 PM   #9
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Well, if I were to be traveling in the Rockies a lot, I might consider a V8 for more 'oomph', certainly. But I own my truck, it oly has 75k miles on it, we enjoy the high MPG of the Pentastar V6 engine when not towing, and we currently only encounter steep grades that are shorter, and not above 4 - 5000ft elevation. So until I retire, the truck acts as a car too (although I don't commute). When I finally do retire, I may look at a newer V8. Ford, Chevy, Ram, Toyota Tundra, are all good, but I'm really discussing V6 more than brand.
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Old 10-21-2020, 03:25 PM   #10
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Sounds good, i'm over here in Iowa with Iowa Dave. Initially looking at Michigan, Carolina's and Gulf Coast in winter.
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Old 10-21-2020, 05:17 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by felix2 View Post
Just returned from a two week trip with some steep mountain driving, although not above 5000 ft elev. The Ram did fine, although it was revving to 3500+ RPM on 6% grades. It never hardly got higher coolant, oil or trans temps, and when they did rise a bit, they recovered straight away.
At that engine speed the Pentastar wasn't even up the speed for peak torque (4175 RPM), and would be producing less than 180 horsepower of its 305 horsepower capability, so it was still having an easy time.
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Old 10-21-2020, 07:21 PM   #12
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The v-8 Ram has cylinder deactivation or "eco" mode which helps with mileage
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Old 10-21-2020, 09:38 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldwave View Post
I tow with a 2004 5.4 v8 that I bet has just a little more horsepower than the ram. My only issues was going over Vail pass . I just got in the slow lane. Otherwise it’s fine. I have looked at the base v6 in the f150, but not many drivers tow with that. Same tow capacity as my 2004 triton. Right now however the truck is paid for and has 80,000 miles and is spotless. Hard to spend money. 40,000 buys a lot of gas
Seems that the Penstar has the same horsepower as the old 5.4. The big thing to be careful on those v6s is the rear differential ratio.
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Old 10-23-2020, 06:12 PM   #14
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Exactly. I have the 3.21 rear end and am limited to ~4500# towing max (which means less when using a safety factor). The V8 with the same rear end goes up by ~2000# added towing capacity or so. But very hard if not impossible to find the V6 with any other rear end - I suppose it's made for a "city" truck - freeway mileage etc.
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Old 10-23-2020, 06:37 PM   #15
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I have the 3:21 rear with the v-8 Hemi 8 speed auto in a 2014 Ram 1500, my towing limit is close to 8,000# but my carrying capacity is around 1400#. Very pleased wit the performance as well as the truck. Close to 19 mpg unhitched and 14 avg towing. My 2009 Ram Hemi with the 5 speed auto got 12 mpg towing or not!! The 8 speed auto is a really nice set up.
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Old 10-23-2020, 09:40 PM   #16
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Ratio

Quote:
Originally Posted by felix2 View Post
Exactly. I have the 3.21 rear end and am limited to ~4500# towing max (which means less when using a safety factor). The V8 with the same rear end goes up by ~2000# added towing capacity or so. But very hard if not impossible to find the V6 with any other rear end - I suppose it's made for a "city" truck - freeway mileage etc.
I looked at one with the same ratio and passed.
3.55 or 3.92 for better towing
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Old 11-01-2020, 11:23 AM   #17
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Glad to hear your Jeep Grand Cherokee worked well for you! We just bought a 2016 and I’ve been second guessing... We live in Western Oregon, so crossing mountains is unavoidable aa we head East. Hopefully we’ll move up on the production time line and Covid will be conquered so we can move along in the granny lane��
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Old 11-01-2020, 12:09 PM   #18
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I’ve owned trucks with 3.21 - 3.55 - 3.73 - 3.92 & 4.10 rear ends
The 3.73 seemed to be the sweet spot for towing and fuel economy IMHO
Hopefully the standard Ram Pentastar V6 performs better than the Ford F150 standard V6 , a very unimpressive engine.
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Old 11-01-2020, 12:39 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steve dunham View Post
I’ve owned trucks with 3.21 - 3.55 - 3.73 - 3.92 & 4.10 rear ends
The 3.73 seemed to be the sweet spot for towing and fuel economy IMHO
Hopefully the standard Ram Pentastar V6 performs better than the Ford F150 standard V6
a very unimpressive engine.
To quote the Commander from “Hot Rod Lincoln”
And with 4.11 gears you could really get lost. Out
of the hole as we used to say.
How was the hunt Steve. How did the grandson do?
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Old 11-01-2020, 03:25 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iowa Dave View Post
To quote the Commander from “Hot Rod Lincoln”
And with 4.11 gears you could really get lost. Out
of the hole as we used to say.
How was the hunt Steve. How did the grandson do?
Iowa Dave
The Wisconsin firearm deer season is over the week of Thanksgiving so my grandson Everett and I will be hunting our 20 acres the opening weekend ( Sat , Sun , Mon )
Got our stand built , stained and the propane heater ready to go
Saw a couple of does and a lot of tracks this weekend but come deer season ?
Heading to Minnesota for a weeks hunt next Sunday Nov 8th . Four old duffers so we won’t be making any long deer drives , I made up a 1/2 gallon of homemade Fireball so if the hunt isn’t a success, we can drowned our sorrows.
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