By on February 9, 2017

2017 Ram 2500 Power Wagon

2017 Ram 2500 Power Wagon

6.4-liter Hemi push-rod V8, VVT, sequential multiport fuel injection (410 hp @ 5,600 rpm; 429 lb-ft @ 4,000 rpm)

Eight-speed automatic, four-wheel drive

Heavy-duty pickups are not officially rated by the EPA for fuel consumption

10-16 mpg (Observed)

Price: $53,015-63,700

Prices include $1,320 destination charge.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has been on a bit of a mental streak lately.

Rip the seats out of a Hellcat to create the Demon? Sure!

Drop a V8 engine the size of a grand piano into a Durango and perform all-wheel drive burnouts? Why not?

The level of brash, automotive lunacy on offer from Auburn Hills is appalling. I think it’s great.

It’s no surprise, then, Ram chose to amp up the capability and in-your-face style of its Power Wagon when it came time for a refresh. Big tires, bold grilles, and billboard-sized badges; customers in the market for a Power Wagon are not generally a bunch of wallflowers.

2017 Ram 2500 Power Wagon, Image: © 2017 Matthew Guy

The Power Wagon was initially produced from 1945 through 1980, and early trucks were based on the Weapons Carrier (WC) series of Dodge ¾-ton military-use trucks built during World War II. The Power Wagon went on to become a civilian vehicle, reintroduced in 2005, and now exists as an independent model in the Ram lineup.

For 2017, Ram has seen fit to equip the Power Wagon with some new style and a couple of tweaks to improve its off-road prowess. It won’t have escaped your attention that Ram has cribbed the Rebel’s grille to adorn the Power Wagon’s nose, although it bears mentioning the grille is simply similar in style and not an interchangeable Rebel unit. Why? The 2500 has a taller hood and flatter grille area.

2017 Ram 2500 Power Wagon, Image: © 2017 Matthew Guy

The optional POWER WAGON wallpaper along the side of the truck is now vertically placed and not splashed horizontally along the bed, and the front and rear bumpers are powder-coated to help prevent unintentional off-road pinstriping. Like the Rebel, an enormous blacked-out R A M badge adorns the tailgate. New eight-spoke wheels, replacing the old five-spokers, are designed to look like gears.

Sticking out of the Power Wagon’s front bumper is a Warn winch, which is especially made for Ram and not available off-the-shelf from Warn’s catalog. The Power Wagon’s winch cable is wound slightly differently than a standard Warn winch, Nick Cappa from Ram Communications explained to me, and features some unique armature. The unit is rated at 12,000 pounds to help you play hero on the trail.

2017 Ram 2500 Power Wagon off-road gear, Image: © 2017 Matthew Guy

Locking front and rear differentials, the winch, and an electronically disconnecting sway bar help distinguish the Power Wagon from other Rams. This equipment is also available on the Tradesman model, marketed towards buyers who, unlike this author, don’t feel the need to broadcast their vehicular superiority with bold grilles and loud colors. That model is equipped with a traditional Ram gunsight grille and chrome bumpers.

Longtime Ram owners will instantly feel at home inside the Power Wagon, as its style apes that of every Ram produced since the 2009 redesign, and particularly the 2013 refresh. That’s not a bad thing. UConnect is present and accounted for, hosting one of the best infotainment systems available in a truck today. Acres of legroom encourage riders to buy cowboy boots and splay their feet. Between the swing-down centre armrest, the floor console, and the door pockets, no fewer than half a dozen cupholders present themselves to front seat passengers while a suitably manly transfer case lever sprouts from the floor. Floor coverings are of the rubber, hose-it-out variety. The Power Wagon is also equipped with satellite radio permanently tuned to Outlaw Country, and a beard in the glovebox.

2017 Ram Power Wagon interior, Image: FCA

Our tester, a Power Wagon Crew Cab, opened its Monroney at $51,695 before piling on a wallet-hoovering $8,810 worth of options. Most of that figure was consumed by a $4,995 leather package, which included niceties like heated/ventilated seats with Power Wagon badging and a heated steering wheel. Customers choosing cloth seats (*raises hand*) will find their bench seats embossed with an off-road tire tread pattern, similar to the design found in the half-ton Rebel. Including destination, our Bright Silver Metallic Power Wagon rang the bell at $61,825.

There are a few areas where the Power Wagon is starting to show its age. It’s attractive dashboard is devoid of any off-road readings, such as the truck’s current angle of pitch and level of steering input. Such information is found in the digital menus of some competitors. The Ram does have a handy backup camera (and an optional bed-view camera), but an extra camera on the nose of the Power Wagon would do wonders to help judge gnarly off-road situations. When asked at dinner about the lack of a damped tailgate, a Ram engineer simply shrugged his shoulders and nodded sagely. But most of those details are academic. It’s the off-road toys that separate the Power Wagon from its lesser brethren: front and rear lockers, a Warn winch, butch tires, and a disconnecting sway bar.

2017 Ram 2500 Power Wagon interior switchgear and instrument cluster, Image: © 2017 Matthew Guy

When you do punch that sway bar disconnect button – and you had better punch it, as this is not a truck in which you ‘touch’ or ‘press’ buttons – solenoids whir and click to disconnect the sway bar, allowing for a truly remarkable 26 inches of wheel articulation. That amount of travel assures all four wheels will stay in contact with terra firma, no matter how gnarly the terrain. Ram’s unique “Articulink” front suspension incorporates high movement joints with the disconnecting sway bar, allowing for gonzo flexibility and axle articulation.

Drivers put the Power Wagon in four-wheel drive with a satisfying yank of the floor-mounted transfer case lever. No wimpy buttons for activating the four-wheel drive here. A BorgWarner 44-47 transfer case proves resistance is indeed futile, and allows the truck to operate in two-wheel drive, four-wheel-drive high or four-wheel-drive low, with a 2.63 crawl ratio.

2017 Ram 2500 Power Wagon, Image: © 2017 Matthew Guy

There’s no wimpy dial selector for the transmission, as a baseball bat of a gear selector sprouts from the steering column like an overgrown larch, precisely the way nature and the Dodge Brothers intended. In place of the transmission dial selector (found in Rams with the eight-speed automatic) is a knob for controlling the locking front and rear differentials. The diffs can be configured three different ways: everything unlocked, only the rear locked, or both front and rear locked. This sets the Power Wagon apart from lesser trucks as locking diffs allow power to be evenly distributed to all four wheels when drivers deem it necessary.

Hammering the Power Wagon over some high-speed sandy whoop-de-doos revealed more bucking motion than, say, the new Ford Raptor, but the motions were more than managed by the beefy Bilstein shocks. The Power Wagon is not meant to directly compete with the Raptor, though, and that becomes clear when we started crawling up a near vertical rock face, one which I’m not sure I could climb while standing erect on my own two legs.

2017 Ram 2500 Power Wagon, Image: © 2017 Matthew Guy

Armed with 14.3 inches of ground clearance and a 33.6-degree approach angle, this 7,000-pound brute accepted measured throttle inputs and vaulted up the Nevada rock face as if it were a speed bump in the parking lot of Mandalay Bay. Like an obedient canine waiting for its master’s next command, it sat at the precipice, unperturbed by the physics-defying feat it just accomplished. Controlling 7,000 pounds in a vertical fashion is a great experience.

The Power Wagon’s 23.5-degree breakover angle and 26.2-degree departure angle allowed it to scamper down the other side with equal aplomb. The downhill descent control, which allows drivers to take their feet off the pedals and surrender braking control to a series of computers, worked well here. In second gear, the system expertly held the big brute to a very manageable 1.6 mph.

Returning to the trailhead after four hours of off-roading, I felt like I could spit further, yell louder, and open beer bottles with my teeth. I had hairier knuckles. The brawny Power Wagon really did have that effect.

2017 Ram Power Wagon, Image: © 2017 Matthew Guy

Driving back to Vegas, my driving partner and I — a burly mountain of a man sporting a well-groomed handlebar moustache — decided to take a swing past Nellis Air Force Base. As luck would have it, training exercises were happening and fighter jets streaked low overhead, doing their best impressions of Maverick and Goose from Top Gun. It put an exclamation point on a suitably macho day.

There was plenty of pavement noise uttered from the 33-inch Goodyear Wrangler tires on I-15. That’s to be expected, given their aggressive tread pattern and off-road raision d’etre. If this bothers you, please feel free to take up knitting at the earliest opportunity. Towing is rated at a relatively scant 10,030 pounds. This is far off an equal-bodied Cummins-powered 2500, but if it’s towing prowess you’re after, get the oil burner and ditch the off-road kit.

2017 Ram Power Wagon, Image: FCA

How much fuel did it burn? Well, all of it, really. I measured approximately 16 mpg on the highway run back to Vegas, and about 10 mpg on the trail — about what you’d expect with copious amounts of full-throttle sand running, measured-input vertical rock climbing, and plenty of idling. Besides, you’re not a man if your truck gets twenty-something fuel economy, right? The 410-horsepower 6.4-liter Hemi V8 runs fine on either regular gasoline or ground-up Priuses. It’s pleasing exhaust note sounds like Chewbacca on a bad fur day.

The evening after a day of busting rocks and flattening sand in the Valley of Fire, I strolled down The Strip to take in all the sights and sounds of Vegas. Upon reaching the Flamingo, two cop cars roared up to the sidewalk and flung open their doors, nearly catching me in the midsection like a prizefighter’s fist. The only way I could’ve been any closer was to have been in the back seat of that inky black Charger. A squad of Las Vegas’ Finest ran into the Flamingo and subdued a man who seemed hell-bent on exerting his male dominance over another patron. As he was led away, all I could think of was he could easily have saved himself a night in the clink. How? Well, a day in the hairy-chested Ram 2500 Power Wagon is all anyone needs to make them feel macho … no fights at the Flamingo required.

2017 Ram 2500 Power Wagon, Image: © 2017 Matthew Guy

[Images: © 2017 Matthew Guy, FCA]

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121 Comments on “2017 Ram 2500 Power Wagon First Drive Review – Macho Man...”


  • avatar
    tresmonos

    When the mothership cuts your R&D and cycle plan for new platforms, you have to go back to 1950’s era engineering and mod the f*ck out of your soon-to-be very long in the tooth platforms to generate marketing allure.

    I’m surprised they can pony up the money to get new hard tooled parts. Is Sergio still funding that?

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      Right now the “Chrysler” arm of FCA is starting to resemble the later days of AMC again. Remember when AMC was little more than Jeep and a handful of re-spins of the Hornet?

      • 0 avatar
        tresmonos

        I do not. I’m just old enough to remember the dealerships. I think I wanted to be a pilot at that age. Should have stuck to the original plan.

        I wonder what Sergio is using all those engineers for? Fiats? Is he trying to use Chrysler resources to breathe life into his POS marque that should have died?

  • avatar
    Zackman

    I’m sure these will benefit from FCA’s rock-solid reliability.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    I like it. My favorite feature: the shift lever.

    • 0 avatar
      BigOldChryslers

      Yeah, I noticed that too. They’ve gone to the trouble of developing a traditional column-shift lever to control the 8-speed in this application instead of the rotary dial found on their other pickups.

      • 0 avatar
        JimZ

        it’s a 2500; none of the Ram HD pickups use the dial selector. Column or console only. I don’t think they “developed” anything.

        • 0 avatar
          BigOldChryslers

          The specs at the top of this review say that the Power Wagon has the 8-speed auto. I thought that all FCA 8-speed applications were using the rotary selector.

          I looked elsewhere and it says that the RAM2500 still uses the 6-speed automatic, which explains why it has a column shifter. So my confusion was because of a typo here.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            the transmission doesn’t care what the gear selector looks like. all it does is send a signal to tell the actuator which controls gear selection in the trans what to do.

          • 0 avatar
            TwoBelugas

            Most(all?) automatic transmissions in the HD classes are still 6 speed. The only exception may be the XD which uses a 7 speed, but Nissan is very insistent that it get compared to 1/2 tons so…

          • 0 avatar
            BigOldChryslers

            @JimZ: You missed my point.

            FCA never developed a rotary dial shifter for the 6-speed, which is why it’s still used with a column shifter.

            FCA never developed a column shifter for the 8-speed (AFAIK), which is why it uses the rotary dial. However, the review says “Eight-speed automatic” but I see a column shifter.

            If this review had correctly stated that this truck has the 6-speed automatic, not the 8-speed, then I wouldn’t have been surprised to see the column shifter. As you said yourself, they didn’t “develop” anything here.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            “@JimZ: You missed my point.”

            no I didn’t. FCA doesn’t need to “develop” another rotary gear selector for a 6 speed, since all of these “shifters” are mechanically de-coupled from the transmission. they just send CAN messages to a couple of other modules which then tell the actuator in the transmission what “gear” to go into. a 6 speed transmission doesn’t know or care whether it’s being told to go into “D” from a dial, column stalk, whatever. A console lever or dial doesn’t know or care whether it’s telling a 6 speed or a 10 speed to go into “R.”

          • 0 avatar
            BigOldChryslers

            I’m not having a hypothetical discussion about what they could do. I’m talking about what they actually do. If you can’t figure that out, I give up.

        • 0 avatar
          SC5door

          All Ram 2500 and 3500’s (unless equipped with the 6 speed manual) have a column mounted shifter.

      • 0 avatar
        Hummer

        This doesn’t have an 8 speed it’s a 3/4 ton.

        Ahh I see, definately an issue in the article.

  • avatar
    Michael Haz

    Another brodozer that will grace the driveways of apartment projects and tract homes, and comes with higher monthly payments then either.

    I wonder what the repo rate is on trucks like this? It isn’t the guys who have $100,000 annual incomes who are buying these and putting 80% (or more) on the note.

    • 0 avatar
      tresmonos

      Now comments like these single out those who are projecting their inner insecurities and out themselves as genuine kill-joys.

      I wonder what your home life is like? Spoiler alert – it’s probably just as negative / boring as your comment is.

    • 0 avatar
      Maymar

      You know, depending on the area, there are plenty of guys who pull six figures and want something like this (up in Canada, that means oil field money), although I don’t know if they’ll go for it without the diesel.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        The PW doesn’t sell well in my part of Northern BC. The majority are purchased by recreational users. The current PW has a payload of 1,500 lbs. Guys buying trucks to use in logging, mining,construction, ranching etc. need much more payload than that. Diesel HD 1 ton trucks are the most common non-fleet commercial truck. Fleet trucks tends to be mostly 3/4 – 1 ton crew cab gasser HD’s. Fleets don’t buy diesels because fleet drivers tend to kill a truck off in 3 years. My brother’s HD’s are usually beat to death around 100,000 km(62,500 miles) and he doesn’t abuse them like some others do. I’ve seen Ford F150 regular cab trucks becoming much more common for lighter duty fleet work.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      ‘Round these parts there are many people making $100k+ that will buy these and spend another $10k in accessories. That oil money.

  • avatar
    VoGo

    Serious question, as I really don’t know this market: Why would anyone pick this over a Raptor?

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      Higher payload, longer bed options. It’s closer to a true work truck, something a rancher out West might go for. Solid front axle with lockers front and rear ultimately make it more of a durable rock-crawler type of setup (nevermind how huge and heavy it is) versus the Raptor’s high speed-whoop swallowing long travel IFS, that makes it a bit more of a play-thing. Although who are we kidding, I think both are predominantly bought by suburbanites that want a badass truck (nothing wrong with that IMO).

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      Personally:

      For the V8.
      And the winch. That’s cool.
      And I think towing/payload is a decent bit better here.

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      Tougher physically. Bringing the front end off the ground isn’t hard and if your accidentally still on the throttle when it lands one of several things will happen, you’ll blow up a diff, bend a tierod, Grenade a half shaft.

      This truck will last a lot longer off-road than a raptor.

      The raptors faster, but slow and steady can get you places that speed cannot.

    • 0 avatar
      cgjeep

      This is a rock crawler, slow going over very difficult terrain. The Rapter is more of a pre-runner desert truck,

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      VoGo – you can get the PW in a basic trim level whereas the Raptor tends to be higher end trim (at least in Canada). Some like the winch and full skid plate option. The PW is also narrower than a Raptor. The Raptor is as wide as a one ton dually. The PW can tow 10k, the Raptor 8k. A big issue for me and many others would be the the length of the box. The Raptor is 5.5 feet and PW 6.4. Solid axles and front and rear lockers are a feature many see as superior to IFS. The Raptor does have a Torsen front diff.

      @gtemnykh – Raptor crew has a payload of 1,200 lbs. PW is 1,500. The old PW with leaf springs could haul 1,800 lbs. Both trucks take a hit on payload for a better off-road compliant suspension.

      Some people list auto-disconnecting sway bars as a positive feature. The hardcore Jeep guys I know with Rubicon’s don’t like the feature because they tend to get packed with mud if disconnected in muddy conditions.

    • 0 avatar
      Flipper35

      Farmers around here use them. Haul feed to the pasture, pulling wagons…

    • 0 avatar
      stuki

      Better payload and more bed space for one.

      But the real impressive feat of the PW, is offroad towing. Then, all that weight becomes a positive, and the articulation and lockers allows all 4 wheels and all 7000 pounds to contribute to getting a trailer through a rough section.

      Like all Ram HDs, underneath all that brodozer bling, are some pretty darned well engineered trucks.

  • avatar
    gtemnykh

    “This equipment is also available on the Tradesman model, marketed towards buyers who, unlike this author, don’t feel the need to broadcast their vehicular superiority with bold grilles and loud colors.”

    Is it though? My understanding is that the “offroad package” for the 2500 Tradesman can only get you Bilstein shocks and a limited slip rear end. No lockers front or rear, no disconnecting sway-bar, no winch.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      No, they have an $8000 “Power Wagon” package for the Tradesmen Crew Cab that includes the winch and lockers and tires everything on the Macho Wagon.

      The normal “off road” package is available on any 2500 4WD, is $450 and far less comprehensive.

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        Oh okay, didn’t see that on the build page. Kind of confusing wording. Like saying “get the Raptor package for your XLT F150!”

        • 0 avatar
          ajla

          Yea, the website does it stupid. You have to pick a 2017 Tradesmen Crew SB 4×4 and then it is on the “package” tab.

          And I have to say a Tradesman Power Wagon in Black Forest Green, vinyl seats, a brake controller, and back up camera for $46K as configured is quite choice.

  • avatar
    April S

    At this point they might as well have a Midlife Crisis Edition.

    • 0 avatar
      tresmonos

      No that is reserved for Tesla model S, Corvette, GT350-R and anything Hellcat.

      All shades of the testosterone rainbow. We live in (inclusive and non-discriminatory) exciting times in terms of product offering.

  • avatar
    whitworth

    Did any focus groups really say they like the “RAM” name that prominent on the grille , tail gate and front fender?

    • 0 avatar
      BigOldChryslers

      The “RAM 2500 Heavy Duty” badging on the doors is about the same size it’s been for over 20 years. Having said that, I’ve debadged both of my trucks. They certainly didn’t ask ME what I thought of the tailgate lettering on these, because I’d be looking to get rid of that if I had one.

      FYI: The tailgate RAM letters on these stick on, but there are alignment pins on the back of the letters. If you remove them it exposes the corresponding holes in the tailgate.

  • avatar
    Hummer

    16MPG is impressive.

    This is the truck of all trucks, last much longer than the competition while apparently doing stellar on fuel.

    Just remove the RAM on the tailgate, replace it with a smaller DODGE, and bring production back to the US.

    This is quite possibly the oldest option package in automotive history. I was looking at a beautiful example of a 76 Powerwagon with a 400 Big block mopar not too long ago in a wholesale junkyard, almost untouched.

    Question is which rear end did this truck have? I can’t see going to 3:73, I would definately want to stick with the 4:10 to better upgrade the tires. This truck looks a lot better with the 37s.

    • 0 avatar
      Matthew Guy

      Great question, man. It had 4.10’s. Thx

    • 0 avatar
      April S

      @Hummer Just because they slap POWER WAGON or some other old name on it makes it like the original.

      Recall the 1988 to 1993 Pontiac Le Mans.

      • 0 avatar
        Hummer

        Why isn’t it like the original? The purpose of the original was to be a bulletproof truck like the troops coming home from the war were used to, to be put to use on farms and other heavy work situations. By usin an existing platform like the original did it can keep costs to a minimum.

        This truck doesn’t fail that mission.

        Look up under the truck it’s truly impressive how large and strong the materials used to make this truck are. It’s a beast that can be used for heavy work or for taking the kids to school. You don’t need two or three separate vehicles if you have this one.

        The main difference between this truck and the original is that this truck has modern creature comforts and probably gets 2-3x the fuel economy of the original.

        • 0 avatar
          April S

          And the monthly loan payment and insurance cost will be at least five times more.

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            Just put down half and do a 24-36 month loan, payments aren’t too bad. No worse than the BMW and Mercedes that sell all day long. I doubt insurance can possibly be that bad, try insuring a 2 door car with a V8.

          • 0 avatar
            April S

            As far as auto insurance costs go these trucks scream KEY ME.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            I could never understand the “keying” of someone’s car. It’s never occurred to me and would never. It must be a chick thing. Maybe you can explain.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            Presumably not a Carrie Underwood fan?

            And he don’t know…

            That I dug my key into the side
            Of his pretty little souped-up four-wheel drive,
            Carved my name into his leather seats…
            I took a Louisville slugger to both headlights,
            Slashed a hole in all four tires…
            Maybe next time he’ll think before he cheats.

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            Knock on wood but I’ve been driving a Hummer since 2003 and have never been keyed or seen anyone do such a thing. Granted I make a point not to make enemies with people… or at least show up in a taxi…

            iirc in 2003 a 2003 H2 (48k) worked out to $8 more a month than a 2003 Suburban(37k???) to insure.

            On the other hand that particular Hummer is pinstriped from driving it through woods for 13-1/2 years so if it were keyed I probably didn’t notice.

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            Yea Mike, I don’t know that one…

            Vogo if I order the cloth seats does that keep me out of harms way?

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            I think if you can avoid putting on $3 of that bathroom Polo, you’re protected.

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            Perfect, can’t stand cologne anyways.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            It’s OK for chicks I guess. Yet a guy can be arrested on a “Domestic” just for slamming a door in anger. So much for “Equality”, but that’s an argument for a different day.

            No keying incidents so far, but 2 weeks ago I had a crazy chick throw bricks at my souped-up 4wd. She was aiming for the windows, but since she throws like a chick, only dented the doors. I would’ve stopped her, but I was on the ground laughing my A$$ off!

            Long story, but it was her reaction to my marriage proposal!!

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            First of all, ignoring randomly placed cameras How the hell does someone prove you slammed a door?

            Edit: delete point 2&3 I don’t even know what to ask.

          • 0 avatar
            April S

            @DenverMike

            I will try.

            As far as myself I would never do, condone or encourage vandalism but back in my former life I worked in a blue collar and industrial (and very male) setting. When they thought all the ladies were gone they would let their resentments and anger blast on through in all sorts of vile ways. This included vandalizing automobiles (they sure did a number on mine).

            Anyway, their behavior was not a pretty sight.

            P.S. I’m not saying all men are this way. 20 percent, 25% tops.

            P.P.S. I never heard of a guy being arrested just for slamming a door. I have a feeling that “anger” included much, much more.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            I couldn’t have a beer with any dude that would “key”
            a car.

            But guys have to walk a fine-line. My legal advice to men comes from years of watching COPS. Document everything you can, and record/tape conversations, even if it’s illegal in your state. A good friend had a crazy girlfriend that would constantly threaten him with, her accusing him of rape!! When she finally did so, he was already in handcuffs, in the back of the Crown Vic when he told the cop where to find/listen to the (technically illegal) tapes. It saved his A$$!

            Slamming a door, and even taking a bat to your own truck ‘in anger’, is an act of aggression and a clear threat of further violence. Cops used to let a lot of things go, but the O.J. Simpson case, changed a lot of protocol. If you recall, cops ignored a lot of Nichole Brown’s complaints, peas for help.

            An “arrest” doesn’t always mean a “conviction”, charges filed, or even “booked” into jail, but just being “detained” or similar can get you questioned or prevented from entering Canada.

  • avatar
    cgjeep

    That’s a lot of money to keep up with my 3k 2001 Jeep Grand Cherokee.

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      On milder trails perhaps, but in terrain with bigger obstacles, assuming your GC is stock, it’s no comparison. Almost 14 inches of clearance, locking diffs, 33 inch Duratracs, let’s not be obtuse now.

      • 0 avatar
        cgjeep

        I have a 3 inch lift, little over 12 inches of clearance, front and rear lockers (more like limited slips then real lockers, quadra drive), I also have Duratracs but mine are only 31 inches tall, and my front sway bar also disconnect, albeit manually. I also have Bilstien shocks. I weigh thousands of pounds less weight and a much smaller footprint so I can fit in many more places with better approach, departure, and break over angles. Also I have a 3.73 rear, with a 2.72 transfer case so I imagine it crawls better. Solid axles front and rear with coil springs. V8 as well, but the Power Wagon does get better gas mileage. No winch, but I only do stupid stuff with friends around. Bonus is that it doesn’t bother me to scratch it up as not worth much.

        The only mods were the 3in springs, front sway bar disconnect, and the 2inch longer shocks. $500 all in and it needed new shocks anyway

        But I agree it is obtuse to compare a lightly modified old car to a new one. Fun though.

        • 0 avatar
          gtemnykh

          Well it’s a whole ‘nother ball game then. And yes a cheaper older 4wd is the ultimate offroad weapon as it has the added benefit of “IDGAF” when taking on many obstacles versus a shiny new rig. I’d actually put my 4Runner in the latter category of caring a bit too much, although I’m learning to let go and enjoy it more. Debating on what flavor of A/T tire to get for my spare rims actually.

          • 0 avatar
            cgjeep

            I love the Duratracs for a good all around tire. Not great in the mud but no AT tire will be. They qualify as a snow tire if that matters to you. They are awesome in the snow. Funny my jeep on these tires steers and stops better than my awd BMW on all seasons in the snow. Downside is the noise. At first there is a hum that is slightly pleasant. But I have close to 30k on mine now and they howl (i have a matching spare and rotate every 5k). Keeps me from taking it on longer trips now as the wife complains. I heard a BOF sucks up some of the vibration making it better that a unibody like the Jeep. If I were to do it again I would probably get KO2s

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            I like the KO2s, however I’m disappointed that they are not true to size.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            I’m covered with dedicated snow tires for winter, I’m more so going for some puncture resistance and at least a modicum of mud performance (although I realize this is basically hopeless in an All-Terrain), and reasonable highway performance in terms of noise, wet handling, and mpg. Waffling between General Grabber AT2, Hankook ATM RF-10, Kumho AT51, and a Copper Discoverer AT3, and a few others. I’ll probably get whatever’s on sale at the time, Amazon Prime has some of those above listed tires at about $125 a pop delivered on and off. Would love KO2s but they are a bit pricey IMO.

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            In my experience none of them are great in mud, though I think Cooper has a half way tire.

            I went back to the KO2s because the KO1s never had any tears or rips off-road and did surprisingly well with nails.

            I think I got 4-5 nails in those tires. At least 2 of them were deeper than the tread and did Not leak when removed, two were either shorter than the depth of the tire wall or in it side ways and didn’t leak when removed. And one never leaked until I removed it which is the only tire I had to take off the rim to get patched. ( I was on a lot of job shop type areas to get all those nails)

            They can be pricey but they never stranded me/made me change tires and (now) look great.

          • 0 avatar
            oldworntruck

            I ran the ko1 and duratracs the ko1 was great until you were pulling with a load then the tread burnt off quick. Apparently the ko2 has fixed that.
            I had big troubles with the duratracs as they didn’t stay in balance and cupped rather severely but had comparable traction to the ko1. They wee also prone to stones piercing them between the tread blocks.
            The grabber at2 I’m on my second set and honestly can’t say enough good things about. They are quieter than the duratracs and seem to outlast the old model big. Snow traction is actually better than the duratracs and in 120 000 miles on 2 sets I’ve only had I puncture that needed repair.
            And they are typically 30% less cost than any other decent at tire.
            For the Cooper at3 I wouldn’t even bother. That’s what my truck had when I bought it and they were fine on dry pavement but snow and even the boatlaunch? Forget it.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            Thanks for the input guys.

            This summer is shaping up for (most likely) another Outer Banks beach trip, so I may very well just stick with my all season Grabber HTS’s, which do great aired down in sand.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            I have General Grabber AT2’s on my F150. I really like them. They are winter rated and have held up well. I run them all year round. I’ll probably hit 50,000 miles before replacing them. The only negative is that they have a tendency to grab grooved/rutted pavement and cause some pulling. I’m fine with it but it drives my wife crazy.

      • 0 avatar
        stuki

        The 14″ clearance is to the under body. The gigantic diffs hang as low as on any other solid axle HD truck on 33s (A big reason for the army to go to IS trucks). So, realistically, in rough terrain, the 14 inches mainly compensates for the crazy long, by Jeep standards, wheelbase.

        • 0 avatar
          Hummer

          Well a lot of people will have to move to 35s or 37s anyways.

          When you get to a really muddy rutted up area all the lockers in the world won’t save you if your running tires much smaller than the local crowd.

    • 0 avatar
      Tele Vision

      My thoughts exactly. I’d spend $6000 of that purchase price on a tight 1990’s YJ and bank the rest. Who on Earth would take a brand new truck out 4X4ing? I’ve had my 2010 F-150 since new and have never taken it rock climbing. Some ‘soft-roading’, sure, but nothing that will kill it.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    Glad to hear you can get the good stuff without the silliness.

    Although even a regular Ram 2500 has way too much macho posturing baked into the styling.

    • 0 avatar
      BigOldChryslers

      Well the new ones certainly are BIG. I had a current RAM2500 rental for one day after my ’07 was in an accident. I took it back to the rental place and asked to exchange it for a RAM1500. The RAM1500 was great to drive. It felt like I was driving my ’94 RAM2500 again.

  • avatar
    zipster

    I completely agree with Michael Haz and could add a lot more about people who buy these vehicles. Is my life boring? I spend about two months of the year traveling all over the world, including multi-day backpacking trips in national parks. People like you should start showing the courage and intellectual curiousity to get out of your trucks and learn something about the world. Or are you ashamed to display your pathetic physique?

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      That’s a pretty irrational argument.
      I’ve seen the world and I’ve seen a lot of America, what type of vehicle I buy makes no difference here nor there on anything. Intellectual curiosity – what? What in the world makes you think stereotyping people based on what they drive equally allows you to stereotype their lives?

      Equally confusing since this is one of the number 1 vehicles used from the factory for American expeditioning.

      How does a vehicle make one uncomfortable, I don’t understand this?

      • 0 avatar
        VoGo

        “one of the number 1 vehicles used from the factory for American expeditioning” So there are multiple number 1 vehicles? Please explain.

        • 0 avatar
          Hummer

          Overland expeditioning.

          http://forum.expeditionportal.com/threads/157800-BoldAdventures-2015-Power-Wagon-Build
          http://expeditionportal.com/selecting-an-expedition-camper-platform-by-chip-haven/

          Multiple number 1s because the original Range Rover and the old Land cruisers were great vehicles as well. Just not as prevalent or available in the US.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            But isn’t there only one, single number 1? We aren’t calling the Falcons “one of the #1 football teams”, are we?

            Or do you no longer live in America?

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            True, but if we have black market original Range Rovers here that technically shouldn’t be in the states and the power wagon. Technically the Powerwagon is the only one that should legally hold that title. However the RR is equally as good its just that it can be taken and crushed at any time for illegally being on our roads.

            If the US overall soccer team is the best in the Nation, but they haven’t played the World Championship, but are expected to be in the final 4. Are they not number 1 in America and additionally one of the number 1 teams in the world?

    • 0 avatar
      cgjeep

      Well clearly this truck isn’t for you. You appear to enjoy hiking. Some of us like driving offroad. Some people that like driving offroad also enjoy hiking but you aren’t one of them. I tried backpacking and I didn’t like it. Coolers full of beer are too heavy to carry far. To each their own.

    • 0 avatar
      TwoBelugas

      So…your method of justifying your self worth is the best kind of justifying your self worth. Happy now? Have a cliff bar.

    • 0 avatar
      MrIcky

      @Zipster, let me guess, after this judge-ey little tirade of yours about “People like you”, you are going to comment on some other forum about how we need to be more inclusive as your ‘coexist’ and ‘Free Tibet’ stickers gently crumble off the back of your Forester.

      I go on camping backpacking trips too- I get to the trailhead in my truck. And to you sir, I bid good day.

      • 0 avatar
        zipster

        It’s amazing that one does not encounter people like you in the back country; probably because people like you are afraid to get too far from their truckies.

        • 0 avatar
          VoGo

          zipster,
          While I love that you came to a blog about vehicles to make fun of people who buy said vehicles, I have to tell you that if your purpose was to convince people to get out and hike more, you may not have achieved it with this particular line of thought.

          Maybe try a different tack; stroke their egos a bit. Tell them that those kewl trucks would look great at REI loading up on hiking gear. And that they would look even tougher at a trail head while they get all manly with nature.

          THEN, once you have them in the palm of your hand, you can remind them how lazy, fat and sad they really are.

        • 0 avatar
          Hummer

          I realize this wasn’t directed at me but…

          Not afraid of much when I have a 45 on my hip.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            Why would you carry vinyl singles without a record player? Get an iPod already.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Do you dig my Sig?

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            When your done listening to Del Shannon you can break the record and use the shards to take down a grizzly bear.

            You just got to know where to stab, if you don’t get it right the first time…. the second time becomes infinitely harder.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      @zipster – WTF?
      Wow. I’ve driven to places where I haven’t seen another soul for a week at a time.
      Backpacking in national parks?
      Wow.
      I’m impressed. (Sarc)
      I’ve spent weeks on end walking through forest 100 miles from a town or does surveying/timber cruising not count?
      As a kid, I routinely spent summers in remote areas literally in the middle of no where. (Born and raised in Northern BC)
      I’ve off-roaded with dirt bikes, quads and trucks. I’ve also snowshoe’d, skied, hiked and mountain biked.
      I’ve also had to medivac into some remote places to rescue sorry-azzed wannabe outdoors types like yourself.

      • 0 avatar
        zipster

        Have you done the North Boundary Trail? The South Boundary Trail?
        Do you even know where they are? Have you been to Patagonia? The Yukon? Macho truckers and back country hikers are mutually exclusive.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          @zipster – I’ve spent weeks on end walking through forest in Northern BC. No trails just bush. I’ve never been to Patagonia. I’ve been to the Yukon and Alaska.
          I don’t recall ever viewing myself a macho trucker. My truck serves a purpose. I’ve spent a chunk of my younger life living/working in places that you play at. Big difference there dude.

          Ever been so close to a bear that you could feel its breath?

          Arrogance and machismo flows both ways.

          • 0 avatar
            zipster

            If you were out in the woods in B.C. as much as you claim you are you would be very cognizant of the pine bark beetle and what it is doing to the forests. You would also know that it is the warmer winters driven by climate change (the great hoax) that allow the beetles to flourish and kill the pines. And, because you are a socially conscious person you would decide to do your part to mitigate this disaster and transport yourself in a vehicle that emits significantly less carbon dioxide. Ultimately this would mean projecting yourself as a more humble person than you are. This you could never do.

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            Oh jeez one of these idiots.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @Zipster – what do you drive?

            “pine bark beetle”????????

            You mean “Mountain Pine Beetle”.

            It is more complex than just climate change.
            Forest Management is part of the problem. Fighting forest fires along with other forms of forest management have allowed pine to become over mature. That makes it more susceptible to infestation. One of the first outbreaks of Mountain Pine Beetle in the Central Interior was Tweedsmuir Park. Environmentalists would not let selective harvesting in the park to control the outbreak. Another option was prescribed burn. That was also shot down. My brother sent me aerial photos of the region when the first outbreak was detected. It could have been controlled.

            Cold controls the beetle but it must get cold early in the year. The beetles/larva will burrow to the bottom of the tree where snow provides insulation. The beetle also forms its own antifreeze that prevents freeze up if cold weather comes on slowly.

            You made some broad generalizations about pickup owners. The majority of hardcore backpackers I know own pickups.

            If there was a more fuel efficient alternative to what I need, I’d buy it. Until then I’ll drive my truck.

  • avatar
    Brett Woods

    I’m happy, happy, happy! I’m swaddled on my perch. I sit up on a high, tall spring and ride a baby horse. It dives and bumps and wallows and settles with a lurch. It shivers as I piggle, wiggle, giggle in a cloudy swirl.

    My big, strong box is blown up, grown-up. It shows up and it is tall like me! I don’t feel queer, well just a bit ‘cause there are squirrels in my brain box and tadpoles in my ear. My tummy wummy burbles as I take the big-girl step. I’ve always got a silly grin on after, when I look up.

    Yes it’s true. To all of you – I drive it for shopping, to get coffee, and to school and I wish you future pussies luck! You see it? Kiss it. It’s my butt.

  • avatar
    BuzzBNY

    It might be sacrilegious, but can I get a giant Bee sticker instead of the enormous sideways Power Wagon sticker? Mixed model metaphor be damned.

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      Actually the sticker is a throwback to the 1970s sticker.

      https://www.pinterest.com/pin/392305817513809679/

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      I like this sticker much better than the vomit down the side graphics of the previous PW.
      BTW, you can buy a PW without the sticker.

      • 0 avatar
        Hummer

        Yes I hated the old sticker design, it wasn’t even semi-attractive to look at. However the previous PW Laramie trim was a really nice looking setup with a simple medium sized chrome badging across the tailgate and the 17 inch rims.

        Normally I highly dislike sticker packages however International Harvestors Rallye package is really cool and I find this pretty attractive as well.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          Hummer – my favorite so far is the the granite crystal metallic PW with flat black sticker. I’ve seen black but you can barely see the sticker. White is too bold.
          I wish they would have offered the orange colour that was used at one of the auto shows.
          I do agree that the trim prior to the vomit graphics was nice.

          The pictures included in this story are bad. They don’t show the paint scheme all that well. I do think that the first picture is the granite crystal colour. Silver is a good colour for concealing scratches.

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            I agree on the orange, that is a really good color with this package, I don’t care for the Orange used on the Rebel but the orange they showed at the PowerWagon premier was gorgeous. I do like the granite a lot as well, though I think I prefer that color without the stickers similar to the truck AEV has pictures of online. Of the available colors I have to say white is my favorite, usually I wouldn’t even consider white but I actually like the bold contrast.

            I remember when they were premiering the truck that the speaker said they would paint the truck any color you want – including the orange color they were premiering.

            Unfortunately (I’ve been told) special ordering a truck means saying bye to the discount. Special ordering that orange isn’t worth losing the obligatory 10-12k discount tacked onto every truck on a dealers lot.

  • avatar
    Speedygreg7

    It seems to me that many of the comments in this thread are coming form people who do not understand the purpose of this truck. It is not for posing. The Rebel, Raptor and Rocky Ridge modified 1500s/150s are for that. No private citizen needs to race across the desert. Only the border patrol. The brodozer guys want the Cummins so they car roll coal. This truck does neither.

    THIS is a factory made work truck with a little bit of flair thrown in if you want it. It is for ranchers, loggers, utility companies, rail roads and remote construction and similar things. The features of this truck are genuinely useful on a daily purpose for this work. None of the PW features here are for show.

    Here on Long Island there are plenty of Jeep Rubicons that will never even be shifted in to 4WD, let alone go rock crawling. There are plenty of modified Duramax, Power Stroke and Cummins trucks that do not tow and don’t have a scratch in the bed. There are also plenty of Raptors doing daily driver duty that a Corolla could do.

    Power Wagons are extremely rare here because I think it’s just too much real truck to drive unless you NEED it. I also believe that the price is reasonable considering that this truck will be working for a living and most likely will be a business tax write off.

  • avatar
    scott25

    Agree with others that the PW is one of the only trucks (if not THE only one) that is probably used by the majority of its owners for its true purpose. I probably see maybe 1 a month in a semi-urban setting, compared to multiple Rebels, Raptors, etc per day. And generally not driven by anyone wearing sunglasses, a backwards baseball cap, or a beard.


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