Owner Review: I Daily Drive this Ram Power Wagon (30,000 Miles) and It’s a Perfect Extension of My Personality!

Check out this thorough long-term owner review!

2018 ram power wagon v8 long-term owner review
Images by Paulo.

We have another Ram Power Wagon ownership update from our friend – Paulo. This is about a 2018 Power Wagon that Paulo has owned and put on just over 30,000 miles. Paulo writes…

“I’m sending you this email to share my experience owning a Ram Power Wagon for almost 3 years. You may know me from my first email describing my 10-day road trip back in 2018. Now, my truck and I have aged. As for the truck, it has been my daily driver for the past 2 years, which has been a great experience. Of course, there are some flaws more on that in a bit.

I wanna start by saying it is my absolute favorite American pickup of the Big Three ¾-ton HD offerings. It rides good, soaks up the bumps, and the difference over a stock Ram 2500 HD is night and day. By mileage, my truck is still a baby as it only has 30,669.9 miles by the time I’m done typing this email. Why this mileage? I went to basic military training and Navy A-School for combined 6 months and didn’t really get to drive it until I was done with my training. I had my father look after it and made sure it gets cycled and started from time to time to make sure it’s in good running condition. Between June 2019 to December 2020, my truck has undergone changes though it still in its pure, it has been on four long trips, and right now it’s about to go on its first cross-country road trip in Summer 2021.

Am I insane to daily drive a Power Wagon? Totally yes and no. It sucks big time on gas consumption (which I will never sugar coat) but nothing beats the commanding presence of a tall 4×4 on the narrow streets of Newport, RI where I’m currently stationed. The most prominent modification is the Ranch Hand grille-guard that I tweaked early this year, then it’s the dented front bumper which I decided not to fix because – guess what? It’s a truck, the dent adds character to it and tells a story of its first trail damage.

2018 ram power wagon

I have modified the intake in August 2018 when I initially installed an S&B cold air intake, but things didn’t end. By August 2019, I cut the resonator off and had an exhaust shop replace the stock muffler with a Flowmaster 40 unit. Once it set in, it gave my Power Wagon the right rumble I want from the 6.4 HEMI V8. Boy, do I love revving it! People will ask about the exhaust drone inside the cab, surprisingly it doesn’t at all. My truck is overly pampered. I only run 91/93 octane in it, and when I hit the highway I can tell you it just does great. Many have asked me why not go for a Cummins or Powerstroke? Well, I don’t tow and cannot justify spending all that money for a diesel engine just for me to show off to people and my Power Wagon barely ever tows. In fact, I’ve only towed a 6×12 Uhaul trailer twice. I only flipped the towing mirrors once!

Every now and then, I would go on the only dirt road/ trail I know. I can play with my Power Wagon there. I can also work the lockers and the 4×4 system. I continue to change the wheels and tires. I went from a 35×12.50r17 Toyo MT to a 37×12.50r17 Toyo RT. Go big or go home! I went with a set of 17×9 KMC XD rims. I had to make a few changes with the fender wells to accommodate the new setup because it was rubbing. Eventually, I will go and do some suspension work on the truck, but since it’s a daily driver – I don’t really need to do and spend money on something I’m not going to fully use. I added a Snugtop Rebel series topper this year as well, one of my best investments for this truck since I have a lot of stuff and I need the extra space to keep everything nice and dry. I grew tired of the road debris hitting my rocker panels so I went ahead and the local Line-X shop in Lubbock, TX worked on coating the rockers with black bed-liner that is also worth the money.

My Power Wagon will go through a full tank of gas like a hungry toddler. I’ve seen its MPG go from as low as 4.7 MPG to as high as 14 MPG. I observed it do 12 MPG when I was towing a decent-sized trailer for 2,000+ miles. Is it worth it? Definitely yes, not a day goes by that my truck does not make me smile. I grin when I cold start the sleeping HEMI which somehow has been an alarm clock for the people I live around. It did great on its first snowstorm trip from Lubbock TX halfway through to Oklahoma along I-40E. It was my first true test on how well it can handle in such an environment. It may be an old truck to some but it still gets compliments here and there from random people. I can spend hours staring at my truck or just sitting inside the cab or tinkering on something with my so-called mobile garage.

There were a few minor drawbacks with this rig, the first was the draglink recall from Ram. It was just a poor fix when they ended welding the nuts just so it won’t loosen. My fix was getting a replacement part from the 2019+ Ram HD which was compatible and was far cheaper than other offerings out there. The second issue I ran into was a broken 4WD module that kept throwing “4WD Shift in Progress” messages. That got fixed and replaced under my factory warranty, so it’s not even a real big issue as long as it was addressed and I wasn’t using the 4×4 system. I do all the oil changes with my truck which right now is on its 7th interval when I do the next oil change, what kind of oil you may ask? 7 quarts Amsoil Signature Series 0W-40 that’s FCA MS-12633 compliant.

So did I buy it to tow? No, but for how I intend on using the truck in the long run it will do just fine. More than likely, the most I’ll tow is a small ex-military trailer.

I love this truck and who wouldn’t when it is a driver and a dream ride at the same time. I think it is an extension of my personality. I plan on keeping it for a long time!