The Ram TRX is built for desert running, but how well can it actually tow?
It’s no secret that the 702 horsepower 2021 Ram TRX is a beast. How could it not be, with a supercharged 6.2-liter V-8 churning out a whopping 650 lb-ft of torque? At its core, Ram’s berserk half-ton offering takes a direct shot at the Ford F-150 Raptor, only it tries to be even more over the top. Bulging fenders, massive hood scoop, beadlock-capable wheels — these are all just visual elements on what is, underneath, a hardcore desert runner. But how well does the 2021 Ram TRX actually work as an honest-to-goodness towing rig? In this video, Andre maxes out the TRX for its inaugural run up the Ike Gauntlet: the World’s Toughest Towing Test.
On our flatbed trailer, we’re hauling the Can-Am Maverick X3 that we recently took off-road in the Colorado mountains. Not only that, but Andre threw a Hawk DLX dual sport bike in the bed for good measure. All-in, you have to include the weight of that bike plus the tongue weight of our 3,000 pound trailer and nearly 2,000 pound (wet weight) Maverick X3 against the payload for the Ram TRX. While the manufacturer lists the truck’s towing capacity at a respectable 8,100 pounds (100 more than the Ford F-150 Raptor), you’re still limited by payload capacity. Total, Ram rates the TRX at 1,310 pounds. Including a 10% tongue weight on the trailer, the bike and Andre as the driver, this TRX towing test is maxing out the truck’s GVWR.
Loading up and making the run
In the video below, the TRX towing test is on. Even at a full Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) there’s still decent suspension travel. The truck squat down about three inches with the full load, and you can see how well it pulls the weight below. On a 7% grade, 8-mile run, will the Ram TRX hit a perfect time? We aim for 8 minutes, and Andre will count brake applications on the way down I-70, in addition to timing the truck on the way up.
Spoiler Alert! The TRX runs a perfect 7 min 54 sec uphill run with the engine spinning between 2,700 – 3,500 rpm. The trip computer registers 4.7 MPG, and Andre is pleasantly surprised with just one (1!) brake application on the way down!
If you want to know how a new Ford Raptor does on the same test, you can also check out this video. Yes, the trailer and the weight are different – but it still gives a good idea of the performance. We plan to do many more tests with the new 2021 Ram TRX in the near future with several more Ford Raptor comparisons.