2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel Long-Term Update: Into the Wild
A weekend of camping up in Big Sur, California called for our long-term fleet's resident heavyweight, the 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel. With a 634 mile round-trip on tap, this was the first long distance mileage test for the 3.0-liter V6 EcoDiesel engine that we've done. As a daily commuter, the Ram has become a staff favorite thanks in part to its infrequent trips to get fuel. This strength would again be put on display traveling to and from the campsite.
Before we even hit the road, the Ram's back seat was loaded up with every camping essential making set-up quick and painless once we arrived at Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park. Before setting out, we filled the Ram with all the diesel it could take and the onboard range soon read 681 miles. The first leg of the trip included a stop in the quaint Danish town of Solvang, 151 miles away from our starting point. After rendezvousing with friends with whom we'd be sharing a campsite, we grabbed some coffee and strawberry cheese danish before setting out for Big Sur again, another 171 miles up the coast.
Mobile Command Center
For anyone who has been camping, one of the more fun parts of it is to sit around the fire at night catching up with friends and telling stories. But California residents are more than aware of the drought that has the state in a stranglehold. In turn, a massive fire ban is in effect. Upon arriving at our campsite, a friendly park ranger checked in and reminded us of the rules and regulations being enforced. "And lastly," the ranger said, "absolutely no fires allowed." We asked how much rain California would need before the fire ban was lifted. "About three weeks straight worth," the ranger replied. We had our answer.
Here, another one of the Ram's strength's shined through in the form of all the USB ports. We still wanted to relax in the evening, even without a fire, so we played music from our smart phones as we waited to see who could withstand the night's temperatures the longest. As the mercury continued to fall, people began to head off to their tents for warmth. Luckily, having the Ram, we were able to regain the feeling in our toes while two smartphones and a tablet recharged for a bit. Like we said, all the essentials for camping.
No Sleep 'Til Long Beach
After a weekend of exploring the mountains and beaches of Big Sur, we packed the Ram back up (albeit a little lighter this time) and pointed it back towards Long Beach, 317 miles away. Our canine co-pilot, Ziggy, made himself at home in the middle of the front bench seat to and from Big Sur by quickly laying claim to a portion of the heated seats. Once we left Highway 1 and got back on Interstate 5, both passengers fell asleep (one in her seat, the other curled up in a ball on her lap) leaving the Ram to its work. Their napping was interrupted when we stopped for fuel in San Luis Obispo, after driving upwards of 640 miles on one tank. After spending $83.40 to top off, we hit the road once again.
When it was all said and done, we covered close to 700 miles and only needed to fill up one time. The final combined fuel figure for the trip stood at 28.1 mpg and that was with mixed driving conditions. We can now officially say that our 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel can easily outlast many bladders and even song playlists, in some cases. However, this isn't the longest road trip we have planned for the Ram, so stay tuned.
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