Ram introduces a new 8-speed ZF automatic transmission for the 6.4-liter HEMI V8-powered heavy duty trucks. It replaces the 6-speed automatic that was there before. We have tested this powertrain in the 2019 and 2020 Ram Power Wagon, but not in a “standard” HD truck like this. It’s time to hook up the boat and on a long family boating trip of over 700 miles to see exactly how the truck tows and MPG it can get.
2020 Ram HD 2500
This is a new 2020 crew cab 4×4 Laramie edition truck with nearly every option. As equipped, this truck weighs around 7,000 lbs. I loaded it with the family, all our gear for a week-long trip (including coolers of food and drinks). The boat is a 2004 Tige 22V ski boat that weighs just about 6,000 lbs with the trailer and the gear inside it.
This truck is equipped with air suspension in the rear. The truck is able to level itself out under load, and it did. I had to make sure the height adjustable hitch was set lower than I would normally set it. This is a tall truck, and the suspension does not sag much.
The truck pulled the boat like it was not even there. As always, we passed several Colorado mountain passes up and down. I measured the fuel economy on the way home over about 240 miles. In the end, it came out to 9.4 MPG.
I did the same trip with the same boat/trailer in a 2018 Nissan Titan PRO-4X and a better MPG result.
Check out the video for all the details.