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Old 03-15-2021, 05:08 PM   #1
Dan Lockwood
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Ford F-350 vs RAM 3500 With Rear Air Leveler

I'm looking at getting a newer, maybe new HD tow vehicle.

I have a '12 RAM at the moment and know that I'm pushing the limits of it with my total CGVWR being over 27k# loaded.

The Ford F-350 has just their standard H/D rear springs, but the RAM has the auto air ride lever system.

I thought once I read here that some of the Ford guys with 350's have had some box height issues where the RAM box height is a few inches lower. I have 5k Air Lift setup on my '12 RAM and with 45 psi I can raise it back to fully level hooked up.

How much drop with the Ford F-350 exhibit and my 43' Raptor loaded and hooked up?

I like some features of both better than the other, but I will be limited to stock available. I'm also looking at used in the '19/newer for both.

I've always been a GM guy from a kid, 71 now, and I just don't think that GM has the options, even in a Denali DRW GMC 3500 to keep up with the Ford or RAM.

Opinions anyone????? I know that I'm opening the flood gates with that remark. I also have read of late all the guys really NOT liking all the new electronics available today on the newer trucks.

We have a '16 GMC Terrain Denali for our daily driver and will be using the truck for long towing of the RV and probably "some" local driving from time to time.

Any thoughts on mileage between my '12 RAM and the newer RAM or Ford? My guess is that it will be maybe as much as 3 to 4 mpg more on the newer TV's.

Thanks in advance! I'll get out the popcorn and see what shows up...

Dan
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Old 03-15-2021, 05:31 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Lockwood View Post
I'm looking at getting a newer, maybe new HD tow vehicle.

I have a '12 RAM at the moment and know that I'm pushing the limits of it with my total CGVWR being over 27k# loaded.

The Ford F-350 has just their standard H/D rear springs, but the RAM has the auto air ride lever system.

I thought once I read here that some of the Ford guys with 350's have had some box height issues where the RAM box height is a few inches lower. I have 5k Air Lift setup on my '12 RAM and with 45 psi I can raise it back to fully level hooked up.

How much drop with the Ford F-350 exhibit and my 43' Raptor loaded and hooked up?

I like some features of both better than the other, but I will be limited to stock available. I'm also looking at used in the '19/newer for both.

I've always been a GM guy from a kid, 71 now, and I just don't think that GM has the options, even in a Denali DRW GMC 3500 to keep up with the Ford or RAM.

Opinions anyone????? I know that I'm opening the flood gates with that remark. I also have read of late all the guys really NOT liking all the new electronics available today on the newer trucks.

We have a '16 GMC Terrain Denali for our daily driver and will be using the truck for long towing of the RV and probably "some" local driving from time to time.

Any thoughts on mileage between my '12 RAM and the newer RAM or Ford? My guess is that it will be maybe as much as 3 to 4 mpg more on the newer TV's.

Thanks in advance! I'll get out the popcorn and see what shows up...

Dan
I have a new 2020 ram drw with the factory air ride suspension and I really like it .. it still has beefy springs in the back but I guess instead of overload springs it has the air ride.
The alternate trailer setting lowers the back slightly for the optimum towing angle... it is night and day different from my 2012 ram srw diesel with aftermarket air bags
Also I had the same engine and 4:10 gears in my 2012. I have a little better mileage when driving around town but about the same towing.. maybe even a mile less while towing because it’s a heavier truck with more tires on the ground..
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Old 03-16-2021, 12:48 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by jasin1 View Post
I have a new 2020 ram drw with the factory air ride suspension and I really like it .. it still has beefy springs in the back but I guess instead of overload springs it has the air ride.
The alternate trailer setting lowers the back slightly for the optimum towing angle... it is night and day different from my 2012 ram srw diesel with aftermarket air bags
Also I had the same engine and 4:10 gears in my 2012. I have a little better mileage when driving around town but about the same towing.. maybe even a mile less while towing because itís a heavier truck with more tires on the ground..
Well I would not say the rear springs on the Air ride Ram are beefy. There are two leafs and a lower leaf that acts as a traction bar to prevent axle wrap. I would also cation about getting 2019 or 2020 Ram as they have the Bosh CP4.2 High pressure pump. Ram went back to the Bosh CP3 pump in 2021. When we were looking for our used 2016 Ram 3500 DRW, I was looking for air ride, and just could not find any in a 500 mile radius.

This is the Ram 3500 Air Ride two lighter leafs to locate axle, and half length traction leafs low and forward.



This is the Ram 3500 leaf spring rear suspension. Three leafs, lower and upper overloads.

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Old 03-16-2021, 03:31 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by rhagfo View Post
Well I would not say the rear springs on the Air ride Ram are beefy. There are two leafs and a lower leaf that acts as a traction bar to prevent axle wrap. I would also cation about getting 2019 or 2020 Ram as they have the Bosh CP4.2 High pressure pump. Ram went back to the Bosh CP3 pump in 2021. When we were looking for our used 2016 Ram 3500 DRW, I was looking for air ride, and just could not find any in a 500 mile radius.

This is the Ram 3500 Air Ride two lighter leafs to locate axle, and half length traction leafs low and


This is the Ram 3500 leaf spring rear suspension. Three leafs, lower and upper overloads.

Well I’m sorry but your completely wrong.... I don’t know where you got that picture but I suspect it’s a 2500 or 1500 picture .. you clan clearly see mine are what I would definitely call BEEFY lol... my springs are bigger then what I had on my 2500 plus I have airbags...by the way I’m not trying to say your truck is not as good as mine ..I was merely saying what I like and i would encourage you or anyone that is curious to drive to a dealer and poke your head underneath and see for yourself
I think the photo Russ posted is a pre production mock-up that never materialized in 3500 series.. mine is a traditional rear leaf pack without the extra overloads as far as I can see... I can disassemble it in my driveway if you care to debate it lol... and I agree with Russ about the cp4... get a 2018 -back or 2021
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Old 03-16-2021, 05:41 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by jasin1 View Post
Well Iím sorry but your completely wrong.... I donít know where you got that picture but I suspect itís a 2500 or 1500 picture .. you clan clearly see mine are what I would definitely call BEEFY lol... my springs are bigger then what I had on my 2500 plus I have airbags...by the way Iím not trying to say your truck is not as good as mine ..I was merely saying what I like and i would encourage you or anyone that is curious to drive to a dealer and poke your head underneath and see for yourself
I think the photo Russ posted is a pre production mock-up that never materialized in 3500 series.. mine is a traditional rear leaf pack without the extra overloads as far as I can see... I can disassemble it in my driveway if you care to debate it lol... and I agree with Russ about the cp4... get a 2018 -back or 2021
Well I also so sorry, if you look at your springs, the bottom two leafs are only forward of the axle, and are there to prevent axle wrap during hard acceleration, the bags do most of the work, as your truck sits level no matter the load.

These are two pictures of our 2016 3500 DRW with standard leaf springs, I know one is a closeup the other being taken at a distance, you should still be able to see how much the rear sank with a 2,700# pin on it.





While on the subject, this is a picture of what seems to either be the prototype or limited first run, we have a member on another forum that has a 2015 Ram 3500 and has the same design as you. These are pictures of DRW as if you look closely you can see the spacers to allow the inner wheel to clear the spring.

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Old 03-16-2021, 05:57 AM   #6
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Well I also so sorry, if you look at your springs, the bottom two leafs are only forward of the axle, and are there to prevent axle wrap during hard acceleration, the bags do most of the work, as your truck sits level no matter the load.

These are two pictures of our 2016 3500 DRW with standard leaf springs, I know one is a closeup the other being taken at a distance, you should still be able to see how much the rear sank with a 2,700# pin on it.





While on the subject, this is a picture of what seems to either be the prototype or limited first run, we have a member on another forum that has a 2015 Ram 3500 and has the same design as you. These are pictures of DRW as if you look closely you can see the spacers to allow the inner wheel to clear the spring.

I’m not sure why you would argue the point when I actually have one sitting in front of me lol... come on Russ I’m not trying to prove you wrong.. I respect your opinion on most everything but here are the pics from in front and behind the axle

By the way you owe me a bottle of Aleve... I twisted my back taking the front of axle picture ughhhhh
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Old 03-16-2021, 08:25 AM   #7
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I’m not sure why you would argue the point when I actually have one sitting in front of me lol... come on Russ I’m not trying to prove you wrong.. I respect your opinion on most everything but here are the pics from in front and behind the axle

By the way you owe me a bottle of Aleve... I twisted my back taking the front of axle picture ughhhhh
Well that is different than the first version, I have heard that changes were made in 2019 or 2020. Just for comparison this is the spring pack on our back axle. The middle three leafs are for normal ride empty or lightly loaded. The lower overload comes into play pretty soon, then if you really load it the upper overloads come into play.
The only time the relationship of your spring pack changes is when you hit a bump and the axle moves up momentarily.

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Old 03-16-2021, 09:12 AM   #8
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Well that is different than the first version, I have heard that changes were made in 2019 or 2020. Just for comparison this is the spring pack on our back axle. The middle three leafs are for normal ride empty or lightly loaded. The lower overload comes into play pretty soon, then if you really load it the upper overloads come into play.
The only time the relationship of your spring pack changes is when you hit a bump and the axle moves up momentarily.

The difference in yours & jasin's is yours has the top 2 very stiff overload leafs that don't come into effect til loaded heavy & if only loaded not quite totally down on the overloads will jar your eye teeth at every little bump.
Jasin's has air bags instead of the overloads which I assume are deployed with rearend truck sag with or without a heavy loads as needed to maintain level making the ride less harsh.
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Old 03-16-2021, 10:21 AM   #9
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The difference in yours & jasin's is yours has the top 2 very stiff overload leafs that don't come into effect til loaded heavy & if only loaded not quite totally down on the overloads will jar your eye teeth at every little bump.
Jasin's has air bags instead of the overloads which I assume are deployed with rearend truck sag with or without a heavy loads as needed to maintain level making the ride less harsh.
I only wish I could have found a used Ram 3500 DRW with the air ride. The beauty of the system is the truck DOESNíT SAG, the ride height doesnít change no matter the load.
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Old 03-16-2021, 12:46 PM   #10
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Well that is different than the first version, I have heard that changes were made in 2019 or 2020. Just for comparison this is the spring pack on our back axle. The middle three leafs are for normal ride empty or lightly loaded. The lower overload comes into play pretty soon, then if you really load it the upper overloads come into play.
The only time the relationship of your spring pack changes is when you hit a bump and the axle moves up momentarily.

Yes it is hard to find anything on line with updated specs and pictures of actual factory air systems... until I was at the dealer and crawled under I wasnít sure what it looked like.. Iím pretty happy with it so far
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Old 03-16-2021, 01:13 PM   #11
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Dan, does this answer your question? (smiley face)
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Old 03-16-2021, 01:15 PM   #12
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Dan, does this answer your question?��
Ha ha yeah I guess your right lol .. sorry for getting sidetracked
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Old 03-16-2021, 02:31 PM   #13
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Jasin, that post had a smiley face when I posted from my iPhone, but modern tech wouldn't allow that of course. I'm as guilty as the next member of taking threads in a different direction. Sometimes that's what it takes to keep the interest! No harm no foul!
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Old 03-16-2021, 02:56 PM   #14
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Jasin, that post had a smiley face when I posted from my iPhone, but modern tech wouldn't allow that of course. I'm as guilty as the next member of taking threads in a different direction. Sometimes that's what it takes to keep the interest! No harm no foul!
Well I appreciate that..thanks
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Old 03-17-2021, 05:55 PM   #15
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Thanks guys.

Trucks are far and few between around here. I've been looking and bought a new 2021 Ford F-350 King Ranch dually. The test drive was breath taking to say the least. I know it doesn't have the air bags, but I'm sure it will handle my 43' Raptor 395LEV toy hauler fully loaded. And if I get bored while driving I can turn on the seat massage, as long as I don't fall asleep...��

I appreciate all the banter and great info. Hope I made the right choice. But I guess really today, there are really no bad tow trucks, just some with more features etc.

Thanks again!

Dan
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Old 03-17-2021, 06:23 PM   #16
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Ford F-350 vs RAM 3500 With Rear Air Leveler

Darn. I went the wrong way. My RAM seats do not have massage.

I better not boondock after a day of driving so I have power to heat and massage in the recliner!!
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Old 03-17-2021, 06:39 PM   #17
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Thanks guys.

Trucks are far and few between around here. I've been looking and bought a new 2021 Ford F-350 King Ranch dually. The test drive was breath taking to say the least. I know it doesn't have the air bags, but I'm sure it will handle my 43' Raptor 395LEV toy hauler fully loaded. And if I get bored while driving I can turn on the seat massage, as long as I don't fall asleep...��

I appreciate all the banter and great info. Hope I made the right choice. But I guess really today, there are really no bad tow trucks, just some with more features etc.

Thanks again!

Dan
If you feel the need, you can add Firestone air bags for less than a payment on that King Ranch... congratulations and welcome to the dually club.
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Old 03-18-2021, 01:00 AM   #18
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Get the Ram with the air ride, you wonít regret it! Hereís mine, a 2020 Laramie, I traded in an Ď08 Duramax HD2500. Best decision I have ever made.
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Old 03-18-2021, 03:16 AM   #19
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Thanks guys.

Trucks are far and few between around here. I've been looking and bought a new 2021 Ford F-350 King Ranch dually. The test drive was breath taking to say the least. I know it doesn't have the air bags, but I'm sure it will handle my 43' Raptor 395LEV toy hauler fully loaded. And if I get bored while driving I can turn on the seat massage, as long as I don't fall asleep...��

I appreciate all the banter and great info. Hope I made the right choice. But I guess really today, there are really no bad tow trucks, just some with more features etc.

Thanks again!

Dan
Sounds like a nice truck! Congratulations!
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Old 03-21-2021, 08:22 AM   #20
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I have a 2018 mega cab dodge dually with same factory air bag set up like jasin1

Love the air bag set up as I ride around daily in the alt mode .... air bags dropped for a way better ride and the truck ride height is level, not all jacked up in the air. Then when I add trailer hit button and truck levels out with the trailer.

Only think I hate is fuel mileage avg 15-16 empty and 8-9 towing😡

My 2006 mega cab dually got 21-22 empty and 12-14 towing😁
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