Reviews

2014 Ram Heavy Duty Walk Around

Ram Heavy Duty pickups got revised styling for 2010. For 2013, headlamps and tail lamps were updated, chrome and available power folding mirrors added, along with Longhorn's long running boards. A spray-in bedliner and simple fifth-wheel/gooseneck out-fitting help the truck end of things.

With a forward tilt to the grille and an upward, inward point to the headlights, grille and bumper, the heavy-duty nose looks like a stout blunt instrument, rather like the point on an anvil. There are four choices in grilles, the pinnacle a chrome mesh arrangement.

While the style and lights are from the 1500, only the latter are the same parts. The HD's grille is larger than that of the 1500 models to allow more cooling air in, the bumper is reshaped, and the hood has a larger central bulge and faux louver contouring, but the easiest way to distinguish a non-dually HD from the 1500 is the gap above the bumper: The 1500 has no such gap.

Upper-trim trucks get projector headlamps with LED ancillary lamps, and LEDs in back. Taken from the 1500, they provide the same visibility improvements, and access covers are fitted for easier alignment and bulb changes.

Ram HD Crew Cab is comparable to competitor crew cabs in size and is about the same size as the Ram 1500 Crew Cab. The Ram HD Crew Cab has four forward-hinged doors.

The ultra-long Mega Cab uses the same rear doors as the Crew but adds inches behind the doors.

Crew Cab and Mega Cab both come with a 6-foot, 4-inch box. You can get an 8-foot box on any Crew Cab except Power Wagon. The short box looks stubby behind the imposing Mega Cab and you'll want to consider a slider hitch if you tow a fifth-wheel; you can not get a Mega Cab long-bed as it would be unwieldy anywhere outside the Great Plains.

Dual rear wheel models (DRW), including the Mega Cab, use a single outside panel for the wide rear fenders to eliminate seams and fasteners that might prove problematic long term. And the bed sides are steel, for easier straightening than fiberglass if you ding one.

In terms of sleekness, the Ram slots between the GM HD and Ford Super Duty pickups: Perceptively bigger and more angular than the Silverado HD yet smoother than the Super Duty. Very mild fender flares of various colors are used on some trims. Power Wagon models get a graphics package with plenty of wallpaper.

Roof clearance lamps, government-mandated for vehicles like dual-rear-wheel pickups that exceed a certain width, use clear lenses for a better-integrated look; the satellite antenna is between them so cabover campers and contractor racks won't knock it off. Upper trim level mirrors have puddle lamps, and the towing mirrors have turn signal repeaters and a separately adjustable, much larger wide-angle element at the bottom (in tow position); in the retracted position the outboard wide-angle element is very useful in traffic, tight trails and parking areas as you can view both rear tires. Worth noting, you can adjust the electric mirrors without having the truck switched on. The towing mirrors are very good, providing an excellent view rearward and some offer power folding.

A RamBox is optional on 6-foot, 4-inch bed models. The RamBox houses large lockers along the top of each bed-side for stowing anything that will fit, including fishing rods and long-handle shovels or about a gross of your favorite beverage cans on ice. Downsides are a drop in payload and no use of over-rail bed covers.

A tailgate lock is standard. However, the tailgate is not heavily damped, so it will thud if you just let it go. (Get a helper if you remove it because it's heavy). On trucks with rearview cameras, the lens is far enough from the latch so you won't scratch it opening the gate, and it gets decent protection and snow/ice rejection from the tailgate's upper lip. A secondary rearview option places the camera near the center brake light atop the rear cab for easier kingpin hitching, and the load can be checked in motion (the standard camera image display moves to the inside mirror). Bed rails are protected from load scuffing, and the bed is contoured for 2x4s and 2x6s to make it dual-level. A spray-in bedliner is a factory option.

Interior

The Ram Heavy Duty cabin is basically the same as that of the Ram 1500; the main differences are features, shifter locations and floor pan.

Materials and trim are appropriate by model line, be they the base truck or a Laramie Longhorn Mega Cab with Ram's head embosses on the seatbacks and console and pouych-like map pockets on the seatbacks. We found no fit-and-finish issues. The Longhorn's low-gloss woodwork is unique, and few shiny surfaces generate glare to bother the occupants. Although a vinyl floor is standard on only the base Tradesman model you can order it with a more upscale interior if it's only your boots that get filthy. Thick mats designed for muck and slush are standard on the Outdoorsman but are available through Mopar accessories.

The Regular Cab has plenty of room for two people, three across if you don't mind the floor hump or have a manual gearbox. The biggest guy we could find who claimed to be

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