How to complete your Ram Heavy Duty fashion statement? Accessorize!

This past winter I ran my first review of the new-for-2010 Ram Heavy Duty pickup line. (Notice I did not say “Dodge Ram” as the vehicle brand. Remember, Chrysler has chosen to spin its truck division apart from the Dodge world and simply call it “Ram.”) It was a Ram 3500 Crew Cab duallie 4×4 in SLT trim.
Since then my driveway has been blessed with two additional Ram HD test models, each sporting some nifty accessories to help consumers further personalize their individual vehicles.

First, a few reminders of the highlights of the 2010 Ram Heavy Duty lineup:
• The New Crew: the 2010 Dodge Ram Heavy Duty is available for the first time in a crew-size cab model — providing Dodge with a formidable entry in the highest-volume part of the heavy-duty pickup segment (approximately 50 percent)
• Cummins and HEMI®: Choice of legendary diesel- and gasoline-fueled powerplants

? 6.7-liter Cummins Turbo Diesel produces 350 horsepower (261 kW) at 3,000 rpm and 650 lb-ft. of torque (881 N·m) at only 1,500 rpm. The 6.7L meets stringent ?50-state emission requirements and includes a segment-exclusive standard exhaust brake
? 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 delivers 383 horsepower (286 kW) at 5,600 rpm and 400 lb.-ft. of torque (542 N·m) at 4,000 rpm. Features Variable-valve Timing (VVT) for greater efficiency and performance
• Improved driving dynamics:
? Ride greatly improved with re-tuned suspension components
? New C-pillar with fluid-filled hydro mounts
? Handling of fully loaded vehicle greatly improved with new suspension tuning
• Ram 3500 with dual-rear wheels, diesel engine, automatic transmission and 4.10 rear axle has an increased Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR) of 25,400 lbs.
• Ram Heavy Duty 2500 Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) increases to 9,600 lbs. from 9,000 lbs., a 600 lb. increase on Crew Cab and Mega Cab 4×4 models equipped with the Cummins Turbo Diesel engine
• Increased front Gross Axle Weight Rating (GAWR) of 5,500 lbs. on 4×4 models equipped with the 6.7-liter Cummins Turbo Diesel engine allows for more front-weight carrying capability including greater snowplow weights
• Premium front seating with heat and ventilation; heated rear seats, heated steering wheel; automatic temperature control; two-tone upholstery; memory seats, radio and mirrors; navigation; adjustable pedals and numerous infotainment options including SIRIUS Backseat TV™ with three channels of programming, Uconnect™ Multimedia and an available first-in-segment 10-speaker surround-sound system
• Numerous storage options including in-floor storage
• Ram Heavy Duty 3500 offers superior towing capability at 18,500 lbs. and a maximum payload of 5,110 lbs.
• Offered in three cab styles (Regular Cab, Crew Cab and Mega Cab) and two cargo-box sizes (6-foot-4-inches and 8 feet), single and dual-rear-wheel configurations
• Integrated trailer brake controller
• Available in five trim levels – ST, SLT, TRX, Laramie and Power Wagon
• Exterior styling differentiates light-duty and heavy-duty models with unique grille, hood and bumpers
• B20 bio-diesel capability available to fleet customers

Our most recent visitors have been a 2500 Laramie Crew Cab 4×4 and a 3500 Laramie Mega Cab 4×4. Both of these trucks arrived in gorgeous Deep Water Blue pearl outerwear. The accessory packages on each were a bit different – spanning from mild to wild.

On the mild side we have the 3500 Mega Cab with (thankfully) cooled as well as heated front seating. As it was dressed in all black, the seat ventilation was a very welcome guest during its visit with me, one that certainly did not wear out its stay. The big news in this big truck was the addition of the FLO TV package on top of the Sirius Satellite TV inclusion. Content can be viewed on the rear flip down screen while driving down the road or on the front indash display while the vehicle is parked. Sirius TV only offered three channels in our tester (all child-oriented) but the FLO TV package bumped that up significantly. The content transmitted into the truck is the mobile content that major networks offer, the same stuff you see on your longer airplane trips. I think I counted about 20 different channels to choose from, including FIFA World Cup Soccer coverage and the FLO TV auto system can be installed in just about any vehicle.

While the picture quality does not compare with home HD viewing, it is in color, it is clear and it is available in most major markets. Signals are broadcast in an unused portion of the UHF spectrum. I tested the system during a rain shower here with solid cloud coverage and image quality was acceptable, about what you would expect from watching TV on a portable set. I had the unit playing on wireless headphones for rear seat passengers while satellite radio continued to blast from the truck’s speakers.

Pricing for the FLO TV subscription varies but equates to around $9 to $10 per month. Introductory rates are being offered and a one-year free subscription is thrown in with the equipment installation. The truck itself begins at $50,645 with our tester coming in at nearly 58 grand with factory add-ons.

Now to the wild. The big blue Ram 2500 rolled in here with an awesome interior package complete with dual tone seats and headrest-mounted monitors. The exterior was dressed up with chrome wheels, b-pillars, gas door, mirrors and tube running boards while a fiberglass bed cover finished up things in the rear. Personally I would have dumped the bed cover and exterior chrome but the seats were some of the nicest and coolest looking I had seen in a while and those blue suede inserts were fit for a “king.”

I did not have a pricing breakdown for these accessory items but any MOPAR dealer can help you with that. The Laramie 2500 4×4 Crew starts at $42,450 with our tester hitting the driveway at just over 53 grand before interior and exterior dealer add-ons. Figure somewhere around 60 large all tricked out.

Photography note: These images were all shot with my iPhone 3GS and post-processed with TiltShiftGen and Lo-Mob apps.

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About the Author

David Goodspeed
David was editor of AutoworldToday at Today Newspapers in the Dallas suburbs until its closing in 2009. He was also webmaster and photographer/videographer. He got started doing photography for the newspaper while working as a firefighter/paramedic in one of his towns, and began working for the newspaper group full-time in 1992. David entered automotive journalism in 1998 and became AutoworldToday editor in 2002. On the average, he drives some 100 new vehicles each year. He enjoys the great outdoors and as an avid fly fisherman, as is his spouse Tish. He especially enjoys nature photography and is inspired by the works of Ansel Adams.