Dreaded Check Engine Light

Modern vehicles are typically great, but they are also complex, computer-controlled, and sometimes have unexplained gremlins.

Thankfully I was able to clear these codes on my 2014 Ram 2500 crew cab, on the second attempt, and they’ve stayed away for the last 10 days. There were zero drivability problems, and who knows what triggered the errors. Fingers crossed.

Tell ’em you saw it on RoadTraveler.net

James Langan, December 2020

Copyright James Langan/RoadTraveler. All Rights Reserved

 

 

Rancho RS9000XL shock absorber testimonial

Rancho 9000 shocks have been on several of my trucks over the past 20+ years and I still like them. They are much better than the factory dampers, and adjustable, which can be pretty fantastic for trucks that are often lightly loaded, and/or heavily loaded.

Want to go fast, then maybe a race-inspired shock is your solution? Got a heavy load, a less sexy (and less expensive) heavy-duty damper might work.

James Langan

Copyright James Langan/RoadTraveler. All Rights Reserved

Resource:

Rancho Performance Suspension and Shocks

Cummins Engine Plant, Columbus, Indiana

Oscar The Pack Mule, with Hallmark flatbed camper, at CMEP, the Cummins Midrange Engine Plant, during 100th Anniversary Celebrations.

I was in Columbus, Indiana, for the 100th anniversary of the Cummins Engine Company, and the Turbo Diesel Register Rallly.

It will take me a while to sort through all the content I created, but I’m sharing some iphone snaps here and on Instagram. (Heck, I still have material from Overland Expo West I have not finished sharing.)

Tell ‘em you saw it on RoadTraveler.net.

James Langan

Copyright James Langan/RoadTraveler. All Rights Reserved

 

TUFTRUCK TTC 1224 Heavy Duty Dodge Ram/Cummins Coil Springs

The TTC-1224 springs are for late-model, Dodge Ram/Cummins trucks.

TUFTRUCK TTC-1224 front coil compared to a factory spring.

James Langan

Copyright James Langan/RoadTraveler. All Rights Reserved

Resource: TUFTRUCK 

 

 

Overland Expo West 2018

Ram always holds a small press event at Overland Expo West. FCA Western Region Communications Manager Scott Brown is speaking.

Overland Travel Mecca, Overland Expo West 2018

Each May I’m in Flagstaff, Arizona, for the Overland Expo West event. Like the SEMA Show in Las Vegas, it is a vehicle-centric gathering, but that’s about the end of the major similarities. SEMA covers all things automotive (not motorcycling) and is not open to the public. Overland Expo focuses on vehicle-based overland travel, or overlanding. It is not focused on the automotive aftermarket per se but on the growing overland-travel-focused industry that supports it; it is open to everyone. The blend of professional trade show and educational opportunities have made Overland Expo West the most popular overlanding show in the Western Hemisphere. (Its sister show, Overland Expo EAST, is held each autumn in North Carolina.) These three-day weekend events are designed to educate and inspire folks to get out and explore their world.

At Expo West this year there were over 250 classes, workshops, and roundtable programs for four-wheel-drives and adventure motorcycles. Plus there was a large exhibitor exposition (400 vendors) and evening inspirational programs and parties.

If Ram would put a Cummins in a Power Wagon, I’d buy one. I love the Wagon’s features, particularly the lockers.

Overlanding is not four-wheeling or about conquering the toughest obstacles. It is about exploring the world using self-guided means such as four-wheel-drives or motorcycles. Whether 100 miles or 10,000 miles from home, travel on everything from easy backroads to highly technical terrain. There is so much to see and enjoy beyond the blacktop. The journey and experience is as important as the destination, when overlanding. Camping is the most cost-effective way to travel, though many people alternate with hotels, hostels, or couch-surfing.

Overlanding attracts Baby Boomer retirees, adventurous young families, and people of wide-ranging demographics. Some in the overlanding industry might turn-up their noses when the words recreational vehicle or RV are used, though plenty of the bigger outfits on display and for sale (truck campers and larger) are definitely recreational vehicles. At least they are vehicles used for recreation…labels can be quite limiting. Most overland travel, however, involves more off-pavement adventures than many traditional North American RVs can handle.

The star of Ram’s show was the 2019 1500.

Ram, Cummins, Jeep, And Much More

In recent years OEM participation has increased, and it includes both Ram (and Jeep) and Cummins, two names that mean a lot to the Turbo Diesel Register audience. The event was noticeably bigger this year; it included an improved vendor booth layout.

FCA’s Tyke Marostica gave us a detailed rundown on the new 1500 Ram.

Other OEM exhibitors this year included: American Expedition Vehicles (AEV), BFGoodrich Tires, Four Wheel Campers, Sportsmobile, ARB-USA, Global Xpedition Vehicles, EarthRoamer, as well as dealers representing BMW, KTM, Triumph, Kawasaki, Honda, and Ural motorcycles.

Cummins’ booth was again focused on the R2.8, a great little repower engine and a perfect fit for this event. Surely there were many more 5.9L and 6.7L ISB engines on-site.

If you are a gearhead that likes four-wheel-drives and/or motorcycles, mixed with some camping—either the more traditional tent accommodation or something larger and more comfortable—one of the annual Overland Expo events are fun places to enjoy the sights and activities or to go shopping for your next outfit. Because this article was written for the Turbo Diesel Register, and my column is so aptly named Still Plays With Trucks, that’s what my imagery and captions focus upon.

Nicely done 1999 Range Rover Discovery with an R2.8 repower done by Heritage Driven, Albuquerque, NM.

Heritage Driven’s R2.8 Cummins repower looks like an OEM installation.

This Proffitt’s Resurrection Land Cruisers was at SEMA in 2017, but for Overland Expo a bed rack, rooftop tent, and other overland-style accessories were added. Love this little Toyota truck.

The Juniper Overland folks also own the Denver Metro Four Wheel Campers (FWC) dealership. This sweet FWC hawk flatbed camper is attached to a Norweld aluminum flatbed, riding on a Ram 3500 chassis.

A nicely restored 1970s International Scout II was sitting off by itself, just there to be admired.

Global Expedition Vehicles’ Adventure Truck is built on a Ram 5500 chassis that has been converted to SRW. It features an AEV front bumper and snorkel, ARB-USA lights, and fiberglass composite exterior and interior camper construction.

Aaron Wirth extended the frame 8” on his Ram 3500, built an aluminum flatbed, and had Highway Products build custom aluminum boxes around the flatbed and Lance camper. Aaron and his wife live full-time in this outfit.

AT Overland’s new Summit Topper sits on their Ram/Cummins 2500. This wedge-shaped topper has removable tent insulation, and the truck bed amenities can be built to suit each customer’s needs. Opening and closing is fast and easy. I think this will be another home run by the AT folks.

AT Overland owner Mario Donovan’s sweet Third Generation with a fiberglass-sided FWC hawk flatbed camper.

Cool Ram 3500 with side-dump aluminum flatbed…all the way from New Jersey.

James Langan

Copyright James Langan/RoadTraveler All Rights Reserved.

 A version of this article was also published in the Turbo Diesel Register magazine.

Sources:

Overland Expo: overlandexpo.com

 

Hand tools for truck travel, assembling a new kit.

It’s time to assemble a new traveling tool kit for the 2014 Dodge Ram Cummins crew cab.

Not so fast…changed directions before I got too far.

Starting with this. More to Come.

Copyright James Langan/RoadTraveler All Rights Reserved 

 

 

 

23 mpg Ram Cummins 2500

23.21 MPG from a 2017 Ram/Cummins. 65-mph highway baseline test, Sept. 5, 2017

222.7 miles, 9.593 gallons

65-mph freeway/highway test

light/no wind

A/C on

Tires: F 60 R 40 cold

Regular cab, long bed, 7,400-lb. GVW

Newer diesel trucks are not as efficient (due to emissions systems) as previous generations? Maybe. Probably. Though it depends on the exact year, model, and version. The true potential is better than some think, and the conditions, load, and nearly everything else matters.

Tests must be repeatable and confirmable. The ECM was slightly pessimistic here, and the odometer a little fast with the stock tires.

Copyright James Langan/RoadTraveler.net

All Rights Reserved.