If your ride deserves to be seen at shows across the nation but you don’t want to risk the dangers and damage that come with driving the highways, you’re gonna need a good towing vehicle—one with the strength to tow a lot of weight, but enough range for you to cover a couple states on a tank of fuel. Well, Dodge is sticking its toe into the long-distance truck driving market with their new Long-Hauler Concept.
Slotting into the Class 5 truck segment, the Long-Hauler packs pretty much everything you’d need for a cross-country drive while towing a few tons of whatever you hold dear. The name stems not just from the truck’s 24 foot length, but from its additional fuel capacity: two additional fuel tanks were added to the truck (one in the bed and one between the bed and the cab), giving it a fuel capacity of 170 gallons. Power comes from the same 6.7 liter inline-six turbodiesel soon to be available on heavy duty Rams; it cranks out 800 lb-ft and 350 horsepower, which a six-speed automatic directs to all six wheels. With all that fuel on board, filling up won’t be cheap—at last month’s average diesel cost of $3.91/gallon, topping the tank would cost about $665. Then again, even while towing a couple tons of car and trailer, the Long-Hauler should be able to go around 1,500 miles between stops to refuel.
Of course, you might not want to leave the truck’s cabin even after crossing half the nation; the Mega Cab interior offers Rolls-Royce-like room, with four captain’s chairs for maximum personal space. inside, there’s also a fridge, tray tables, on-board WiFi, 115V and 12V outlets, DVD player and media screen, power-adjustable foot rests for the rear seat passengers—even a safe for valuables. Dodge (or just “Ram,” as they’re calling their truck division these days) says they haven’t decided whether to build it yet or not, but given how complete it looks, we’d be very surprised if they don’t announce production plans. [Shout-out to
Ram “Long-Hauler” Concept Truck Truly a Dream Vehicle for Hauling, Range and Comfort
May 2, 2011 , Auburn Hills, Mich. – They don’t get much bigger, have more range or more pulling power than the Ram “Long-Hauler” Concept truck.
On display at selected events across the country, the Ram Long-Hauler is based on a Class 5 Ram 5500 Chassis Cab, and is designed to suit the needs of anyone that tows multiple or heavy trailers, drives long distances or small business owners looking for a “work horse” at the job site.
Designers started with a Class 5 Ram 5500 Crew Cab and converted to a Mega Cab passenger compartment, added an 8-foot box and upped the range between refueling stops with a mid-ship fuel tank. Combined with a second frame-mounted tank and a third, optional, bed-mounted auxiliary tank, total fuel capacity is 170 gallons.
With a 197.4 – inch wheelbase and 37,500 Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR), the concept Long-Hauler from Ram is just the truck for those wanting to step up from a traditional Class 3 (one-ton) or Class 4 truck. Overall length of the Ram Long-Hauler is 24 feet, height is 79.1 inches and estimated curb weight is 9,300 lbs.
The powertrain for the concept truck includes an inline six-cylinder 6.7-liter High Output Cummins Turbo Diesel engine rated at 800 lb.-ft. of torque. The Ram’s legendary diesel engine is mated to a six-speed, Aisin AS68RC automatic transmission with four-wheel-drive transfer case coupled to a 4.88 Dana 110 axle with dual rear wheels.
Riding on a full Kelderman Air Suspension front and rear and 19.5-inch Alcoa aluminum wheels, on-road driving dynamics are civilized and even the toughest road surfaces are easily absorbed providing the driver and passengers with a smooth, comfortable ride. In fact Ram Long-Hauler’s ride qualities are more inline with those of a 3/4-ton truck. The suspension package also is self-leveling with kneel feature.
On the exterior, brilliant black paint is accented by white gold metallic lower two-tone including body side moldings and wide wheel flares at the front and rear. Up front, a bull bar extends the entire width of the vehicle. For full use of the bed, the spare tire is located under the box. To help make trailer line-up easier on the fifth wheel, a separate back-up camera provides a full view of the bed.
A custom hitch-access tailgate allows easy hook-ups without the need to open or remove the entire tailgate.
Inside, interior noise levels have been heavily dampened with an upgraded NVH package that ensures a quiet cabin environment. The Long-Hauler includes 2+2 leather seating with a specific, high comfort driver seat. Rear passenger comfort is assured with power-adjustable footrests and a rear center console that includes a refrigerator, cup holders and tray tables.
In-cabin power includes 115V and 12V outlets front and rear. With the interior Wi-Fi enabled, passengers can easily work on laptop computers connected to the Internet during long drives.
Additional cabin features also include a laptop storage area and a safe for valuables. Interior items designed to keep the driver monitoring of vehicle performance will include a tire pressure monitoring system, rear axle temperature gauge and exhaust gas temperature and boost gauges. Convenience features also include an inductive charger and DVD player with overhead screen for rear seat passengers to enjoy their favorite programs and entertainment.
The rear seats and console also fold flat for additional storage or as a berth for resting.
Ram Truck has identified a potential market for a Class 5 pickup, including race car teams, car haulers, RV owners, ranchers and rodeo competitors, boaters and commercial expediting operations.
The Ram Long-Hauler, while only a concept, will be seen across the country in the next eight months to help gauge public opinion on the appeal of a vehicle that provides an upgrade from a 1-ton truck without moving up to a full Class 6 truck.
Tentative show schedule for the Ram Long-Hauler is:
5/05 – 5/07
Turbo Diesel Register Rally
6/10 – 6/11
Farm Progress Show
8/31 – 9/02
Grand Island, Neb.
9/13 – 9/15
NTEA New Product Conference
9/19 – 9/19
10/18 – 10/20
National R.V. Show
11/29 — 12/1