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|Dave and Sue's 1994 Dodge Ram|
Pictures of my Ram in Alaska
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for Truck accessories.
Our 1994 Ram has been heavily customized for on and off road camping. The truck's versatility makes it possible for us to blast across the country on a whirlwind tour, or leisurely explore the back roads and byways, or creep into quieter and less traveled forests and parks. It caries four weeks of food, clothing for several weeks of any kind of weather, tools for repairs and building fires, bicycles, backpacking and hiking gear, spare parts, offroad equipment, and emergency gear. Ham radio equipment keeps us in contact with the world (if we want to be).
The truck is NOT the ultimate trail
machine! At over 10,000 pounds when fully loaded, it is too heavy for deep
mud or sand. Even with the pop-up camper, it is tool tall and too wide for snaking
through closely spaced trees or low branches. The truck is also too long and
too wide for serious rock crawling. The 33.5" tires are too small for serious
trails, the truck's lack of bottom clearance can easily lead to high centering,
and the 3.54 axles are geared a little too high for good crawling.
What this truck will do, is get us and our gear to a remote (or not so remote) camp site over any reasonable kind of road, and provide dry and comfortable accomodations for anything from a weekend camp trip to a two month expedition.
The camper is basically a large pop-up
shell that has beds and bins for storing camping gear. We have no heat or cooking
equipment inside the camper, preferring to do our cooking outside and use the
camper only for sleeping. A side awning provides an outdoor porch that is relatively
dry in foul weather. Showers are rudimentary and take place under the awning.
The vehicle is NOT a luxury RV with satellite TV, running water, and a microwave oven. It also is NOT the ultimate expedition camper - the insulation is not good enough for expedition duty, and one would quickly notice the lack of creature comforts on an extended trip. The camper is basically a tent that is warmer and dryer than any regular tent, and is much softer for the back than a tent is. This "tent" is also fairly easy to pack for travel when the weather is bad. In 2000, Sue and I took a two month trip to Alaska, living in the truck and camper the entire time (Yes, we are still married!). We have also charged across the country several times on shorter trips, and spent many weekends camping in the parks and National Forests of NC, TN, VA and WV.
Ram 2500HD 4X4 - In Alaska
Photos (click to enlarge) were taken in 1996 - more Alaska stuff
|Alaska line (32 Kb jpg)||Atigun Pass (77 Kb jpg)|
|Yukon River (64 Kb jpg)||5 mile Camp (27 Kb jpg)|
|Our Ram with a new Diamond utility bed and Fourwheel Slide on Camper. The November 1999 photo was taken in California at a delightful Sonoma County Regional Park campground on the Coast Highway (CA highway 1).|
My truck was ordered from Judy Hylton at Thompson Chrysler-Plymouth in Radford VA. Thompson is a small 5 star dealer that I highly recommend (instead of the mega-dealer in the next town). Thompson's service department fixed a Ram for a customer who had been totally disgusted with his treatment at the mega-dealer. Details were posted to the RTML, and a transcript of the postings is available (25Kb file).
After 72,508 miles, my total fuel consumption has been 4180 gallons yielding an overall average of 17.3 MPG.
On May 12, 2000 the timing was checked and found to be at 10 degrees BTDC. We advanced it to 13.5 degrees and expect fuel economy to improve.
My better half: Sue's 2001 QC Ram