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  • Long-Term Report 2 of 4: 2017 Ram 1500 Rebel

Long-Term Report 2 of 4: 2017 Ram 1500 Rebel

Long-Term Report 2 of 4

Ken Brubaker
Sep 18, 2017
Photographers: Ken Brubaker
In our first report, we gave kudos to the truck’s standard four-corner air suspension. We love that it offers the ability to alter the ride height with the touch of a button, which allows us to increase approach, departure, and breakover angles when we point the truck off-road. While those improvements are welcome, we’ve found yet another reason to love the air suspension: towing.
We’ve towed a variety of trailers with the Rebel and love that the air suspension automatically levels when a trailer is attached. Talk about simplicity. One of the trailers we tow is a 6x12-foot, V-nose, single-axle cargo trailer that has a curb weight of approximately 1,250 pounds and a tongue weight of 187 pounds. Most of the time, it has a Honda Gold Wing motorcycle strapped inside along with a couple of spare wheels and tires for the trailer as well as other odds ’n’ ends. We guesstimate total trailer weight to be in the 2,300-pound range. Another trailer we routinely tow is a 20-foot, dual-axle travel trailer that has a dry weight of 3,950 pounds and a tongue weight of 310 pounds. We love that we can simply connect a trailer to the truck, the suspension self-levels, and we’re good to go.
Photo 2/8   |   Ram 1500 Rebel Tow
According to Ram, our Rebel has a maximum trailer weight rating of 9,830 pounds the way it is configured. Our Rebel also has the optional trailer brake controller, which is cleanly integrated into an area below the HVAC controls. It’s easy to use and ties in with the 7-inch Rebel reconfigurable instrument cluster to monitor setup and function. We dig our Rebel’s standard ParkView rear back-up camera, which integrates with the 8.4-inch, dash-mounted touchscreen display to assist in positioning the hitch ball under the trailer’s hitch easily and safely. On the highway, the Rebel has pulled our trailers with no drama. The 5.7L Hemi’s 395 hp and 410 lb-ft of torque is more than adequate. We use tow/haul mode each time we tow and the results are impressive. With tow/haul engaged, the 8HP70 eight-speed transmission’s upshifts are delayed and it automatically downshifts to help with engine braking during steady descents. Tow/haul mode helps with performance as well and reduces the potential for transmission overheating due to excessive shifting. We can confirm that it works very well. It’s almost like the transmission is reading our minds. It’s worth noting that even towing on hot days in hilly terrain the transmission temperature has remained well within the normal range. Chalk up another win for Rebel towing. If we had one wish, it’s that the power-folding, heated sideview mirrors had more vertical adjustability so the tops of taller trailers were more easily visible.
Photo 3/8   |   We love the ParkView rear back-up camera that displays through the Rebel’s 8.4-inch touchscreen display. It’s great for daily use, and hooking up to a trailer is an easy and safe procedure thanks to the camera’s clear, wide-angle view.
Since our last report, the Rebel has been in for its first routine service visit. At 8,378 miles, the truck’s computer displayed that oil life was at 14 percent remaining, not quite due, but we took it to the dealer early since we had a long trip planned. The dealer changed the oil, replaced the oil filter, rotated the 33-inch Toyo Open Country A/T tires, performed a multi-point inspection, and topped off the windshield-washer fluid. Total cost was an affordable sum of $62.77. Early into our test, we had a couple of instances where the TPMS system alerted us that it had a fault. We haven’t received that message recently, and the dealer could find no record of it in the truck’s system history.
So far, our long-term Ram 1500 Rebel has impressed us in every way, whether it has been towing, ’wheeling, hauling, or just commuting. Stay tuned for more on the Rebel, particularly on its off-road exterior lighting, as well as any other new notes, quibbles, or commendations we have for Ram’s rugged half-ton pickup.
Photo 4/8   |   Trailer brake information is conveniently displayed through the 7-inch reconfigurable instrument cluster and is easily accessed using buttons on the steering wheel. The trailer brake controls are straightforward and located to the right of the driver below the HVAC controls.

Report: 2 of 4

Previous Report(s): September/October 2017
Base Price: $47,095
Price as Tested: $54,210
Long-Term Numbers
Miles to date: 10,820
Miles since last report: 5,090
Average mpg (this report): 16.2
Test best tank (mpg): 17.7 (highway @ 70 mph)
Test worst tank (mpg): 9.9 (towing a 6x12 cargo trailer w/ 1,200 pounds of cargo into a headwind)
Test Maintenance
This period: Oil and filter change, tire rotation, cost $62.77
Test Problem Areas
None
Logbook Quotes
“I wasn’t an air-suspension fan, but after living with the Rebel, I’m a believer.”
“This truck is incredibly versatile!”
“Still not a fan of the huge RAM lettering on the tailgate or the goofy grille. There’s still time to come around, though.”

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