2013 Ram 3500 Ram Chassis Review

3500 Ram Chassis

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2013 Ram 3500 Ram Chassis Overview

So the standard Ram heavy-duty full-size pickup doesn’t quite fit your hauling needs? Check out the 2013 Ram 3500 Ram Chassis. This workhorse isn’t designed just to tote a few items for that DIY project or for the daily commute to the office, and it most definitely will look out of place at the theatre. No, this is a truck that comes without the standard pickup bed and can be configured into, well, just about any type of work vehicle that fits your needs, from cherry-picker to box truck to tow truck. With either standard rear-wheel-drive torque or the winter-taming optional part-time four-wheel-drive (4WD) system that boasts manual or electronic hi-lo gear selection and auto-locking hubs, this brute will get the job done through snow and ice, in the lower forty or the high plains. Oh, and standard dual rear wheels means it's not about to get freaked out by extra-heavy loads.

This year’s 3500 Ram Chassis gets a stronger frame and a tweaked suspension system for a somewhat easier ride and improved steering feel, as well as reworked headlights and a revised grille for an even more handsome profile. Inside, look for an upgraded Uconnect multimedia system with an 8.4-inch touchscreen, as well as some marginal upgrades to cabin accents and padding and new buttons and switches for the climate control systems, not to mention HD radio and Sprint/Bluetooth-interfaced hands-free calling.

The 3500 Ram Chassis is also delivered in a pair of cab configurations, a 3-passenger, 2-door Regular Cab variation or a 6-passenger, 4-door Crew Cab edition. And again, a veritable cornucopia of wheelbases can be selected, from 143.5 inches and 167.5 inches for Regular Cab trims, up to the maximum 172.4 inches that can be had with Crew Cab trims.

Unlike its more civilized Ram pickup brethren, the 3500 Ram Chassis is available in only 3 trim levels, the base Tradesman (ex-ST), the midlevel SLT and the pre-posh Laramie. All variations sport a standard 5.7-liter variable-valve-timed (VVT) Hemi V8 powerplant that’s mated with a 6-speed automatic transmission to put out 383 hp and 400 lb-ft of torque. Towing with the standard wiring harness and the available heavy-duty hitch is maxed out at 11,850 pounds with the standard 4.1 rear axle ratio, while gas mileage is unavailable but probably not pretty.

Need more power? A 6.7-liter Cummins turbodiesel inline 6-cylinder (I6) powerplant is an available option in all trims. Sporting the standard 6-speed manual transmission, this six-banger churns out 320 hp and 650 lb-ft of torque, which isn’t bad. Stick the available 6-speed heavy-duty automatic transmission in with this potent I6, however, and output climbs to 325 hp and a hefty 750 lb-ft of torque, good for some 18,000 pounds of towing capacity with the proper equipment.

Features-wise, look for the base 3500 Ram Chassis Tradesman Regular Cab to offer 17-inch steel wheels, a limited-slip rear differential, vinyl upholstery, bench seats, speed control, tilt-wheel steering, air conditioning and Uconnect 3.0-interfaced AM/FM stereo with 2 speakers. Tradesman Crew Cab trims, meantime, throw in power door locks, power windows and heated power-adjustable outside mirrors. The SLT, meantime, adds satellite radio, an electronic vehicle information center (EVIC) and a remote antitheft alarm in both cab configurations.

The 3500 Ram Chassis Laramie, as befits its flagship status, sports 17-inch polished alloy wheels, leather-trimmed upholstery, heated power-adjustable front seats, a heated steering wheel, dual-zone climate control, a power-sliding rear window, electronic hi-lo shifting in 4WD trims and upgraded Uconnect capabilities.

Options run to such trim-specific offerings as a 6-speaker audio system, an integrated trailer brake controller, a remote garage door opener and Ram’s touted RamBox cargo-box system with remote locking/unlocking, as well as power-adjustable pedals and a navigation system that flaunts a 6.5-inch color touchscreen display.

Finally, standard safety features in this commercially adaptable truck body include 4-wheel antilock brakes (ABS), stability control, front side-mounted airbags and front head airbags, with Crew Cab trims adding in rear head airbags, as well. A remote antitheft alarm system additionally comes standard in the SLT and Laramie trim levels, with the Laramie also sporting standard turn-signal-integrated mirrors.


Have Laptop. Will Travel. I'm retired and travelling the country in a 34' motor home. I'm really digging meeting people . . and sometimes their cars . . . getting a sense of what makes this nation tick. The plan is to visit all the national parks in the continental US, then cruise to Alaska to visit Denali, and to Hawaii to check out Haleakala and the Hawaii Volcano's national parks. Anyhow, when I'm not horsing the motor home around the roadways, I'm tooting around in the 2012 Ford Focus that we tow behind, or making runs to Home Depot and various malls with the 2004 F-150 that just won't die.

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3500 Ram Chassis

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