2013 Ram 3500
For the 2013 model year, Dodge revised their lineup of heavy duty Rams. The 2500 & 3500 HDs include a redesigned suspension and steering systems, plus new crossmembers to reinforce the frame. The trailer hitch system was also upgraded to Class 5 specification, capable of 17,000lbs loads. The 2013 Dodge Ram 3500 comes standard with the 5.7L Hemi V8, producing 383HP and 400lb-ft of torque, paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. The optional engine is the 6.7L Cummins Turbo Diesel I-6, which is capable of 385HP and a dead-impressive 850lb-ft. This engine comes with either a heavy-duty six-speed automatic transmission or a class-exclusive six-speed manual. The redesigned suspension also now means that the new max towing rating for the HD 3500 is a whopping 30,000lbs when properly equipped.
If your 2013 HD Ram is a regular out on the trails, then keep its frontend protected from various off-road obstacles - or an errant shopping cart - with a Brush Guard or Grille Guard. These are the most common protectors for the front fascia, and are sometimes referred to interchangeably, but there are still some subtle differences between their designs. A Grille Guard will typically cover the grille and primarily protect the middle of the vehicle. Depending on the specific model, the grille area may be covered by a punch plate to help keep debris out while still drawing fresh cool air into the Ram’s engine. A Brush Guard (or full grille guard) offers more complete protection, as it’s winged design provides wraparound protection for your headlights as well. Mounting to the front frame horns, many brush and grille guards have pre-existing provisions to mount a recovery winch and auxiliary lighting. Guards are usually made from heavy-duty steel tubing for strength and durability, and are coated to prevent rust and sun damage. Finishes range from matte or gloss black, to chrome and stainless steel.
Improve Bed Access & Safety
Ram HDs are designed around their powerful Cummins engine, which require a wider grille capable of feeding and cooling and a large hood to clear it. As a result, HDs are tall wide beasts, which can mean that cab and bed access can be challenging. To address this shortcoming, and make your life just a little bit easier, install a truck step or bed step. Not to be confused with nerf bars or running boards, which typically run the full length of the cab and are non-retractable, a side step or bumper step instead is a single step that can be mounted wherever you need improved access: under the driver and/or passenger doors (front and rear), the rear bumper or just forward of the rear wheels to be able better access the contents of your bed. Side steps are also easily retractable; simply nudge them with your foot to quickly flip it down and then back up again. When retracted, they are usually flush with the truck’s bumper or rocker panel, so there are minimal changes to your Ram’s overall width. A bumper step will remain fully operational even when towing or with an open tailgate. Manufactured with stainless steel pivot pins and die-cast aluminium-alloy linkage components, truck steps will also feature a rigid non-slip step pad, and on average, a truck step is capable of handling up to 300lbs.
Light up the Trails
Your RAM’s OEM lighting setup may well be sufficient for the average night-time drive, but they aren’t designed to properly handle unpredictable off-road environments. Make sure you’re getting the lighting needed for challenging situations with new aftermarket lighting upgrades. Modern light emitting diode (LED) technology is frequently the go-to option for off-road illumination. LEDs are transistors coated with a film that causes them to glow when electrical current is applied. They are highly efficient, producing more lumens per watt than incandescent or halogen bulbs. Sealed in moisture-proof containers and without a filament that is consumed when in use, LEDs are highly durable and have longer lifespans. They can typically last for between 30-50,000 hours, while traditional halogens sit around 2,000 hours, meaning that their routine replacement costs are minimal as well. LEDs can also emit a range of different colors, and are rated on the Kelvin temperature scale: 4300K is similar to the conventional incandescent; 4300-6000K produces a whiter light with 5000-6000K classes as pure. Anything above 6000K, output becomes more blue-toned. For trails, most aftermarket light upgrades are almost always shining white light as it is the best color to clearly illuminate upcoming objects. Yellow lights can be beneficial in dense fog or major snow storms (white out conditions), which is why smaller cube lights and individual fog bulbs often come with a yellow output.