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Avalanche or Ram?

  #1  
Old 11-24-2014, 10:39 AM
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Default Avalanche or Ram?

I am considering buying either a 2011 Longhorn (with the Rambox option), or an Avalanche LTZ of similar year. With Avalanche what types of concerns should I watch for or be aware of? Any advice on which of the two is the better option? Our use for a truck is general semi-rural living (hauling wood, dirt, tools, equipment like a generator, rotor tiller, bicycles, camping gear trees and shrubs, trash, furniture, lumber, sheetrock, also driving in snow/ice to and from work, plus some longish trips). We do some off road/rough road driving where high clearance and 4x4 are useful.

I am only interested in a Ram (Rambox) or Avalanche because I will not have another truck with all my stuff rattling around in the back seat (hydraulic jack, tow strap, tie downs, rope, emergency gear for winter, tools, work papers, hard hat, boots, soda or water, etcetera).

The Ram seems to offer more power, larger storage bins in the sidewalls plus storage under the back seat and in the floor and it appears a larger bed. I think the RAM offers better off road/rough road capability. The Avalanche appears to offer more comfortable, a better ride, somewhat better handling and possibly better finish inside.

If anyone has had both, or knows about both any information you have will be appreciated.


Thanks.
 
  #2  
Old 12-04-2014, 06:20 AM
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I have owned a 2000 4.8L 1500 sierra, a 2006 6.0L 2500hd sierra, and a 2005 ram 1500 with the hemi. the dodge with the hemi was the best truck of them all. Nothing comes close to the hemi engine for gassers.


I drive all the new domestic trucks and I rate them as such:
1 dodge
2 gm
3 ford
 
  #3  
Old 03-13-2015, 03:15 AM
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The Avalanche has a bad reputation of being a gas guzzler.
 
  #4  
Old 03-18-2015, 02:09 AM
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Between the Avalanche or the Ram, I'd say go for the Ram.
 
  #5  
Old 09-16-2015, 10:51 PM
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Originally Posted by mrdanielcruz View Post
The Avalanche has a bad reputation of being a gas guzzler.
To be fair, all V-8 trucks from the Avalanche's era were gas guzzlers compared to today's trucks. Just like trucks from a decade earlier were gas guzzlers compared to mid-00's trucks.

I would never buy a Chrysler over a GM. I've had one non-junk Chrysler product, and that was a Cherokee. They don't make 'em like that any more. Although I would never (and I looked at both as a serious shopper) pick an Avalanche over a GM crew cab truck, I would never choose a Ram over a GM. Chryslers just do not age well.
 
  #6  
Old 09-17-2015, 10:53 AM
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In case anyone curious comes across this:

I ended up buying a 2009 Ram Laramie at an auction for an electrical company that went out of business. Looking at the records, they took very good care of the truck. The good news is it was $8,000 below bluebook. The bad news is Chrysler apparently has not corrected their QC issues.

The truck had 70,000 miles on it. Since it was a 2009 and post Fiat take over I though I had a chance of avoiding the plague of little QC problems Dodge is so well known for. Nope.

At first it was wonderful. The big powerful "Hemi" (that is not actually a hemi) engine is a blast to drive. I can leave some mustangs wondering what the heck happened (0-60 is something like 5.9 seconds, just a smidge under my 1995 Camaro Z-28), The cab is roomy and very comfortable front and back. In fact, people often exclaim about how roomy the back seats are. The design concepts are fabulous. The secret storage compartments everywhere are awesome. The overall aesthetics inside and out put most other trucks to shame. The side tool boxes are way more useful than I ever through they would be. The combined MPG in winter was just over 13, but is is about 16 now.

I cannot say enough good about those side tool boxes (other than pooly made), they are wonderful. When closed they provide a very convenient shelf to put things on while getting out or in, or even to work on something. they do not take up significant from in the bed, you still fit 4x8 sheets of whatever very well. When hauling hay, the wide tops made a nice platform for overhanging bales.

And now the Chrysler curse:

16 irridium spark plugs (2 per cylinder) and hard to access. Had the work done - over $400 (also included one coil pack replaced, but that is a tiny cost). The mechanic said he does not want to work not this truck again. He said the work took him far longer than the book time and he is very experienced (23 years) and competent/knowledgeable.

Rear shocks. To replace them, you are supposed to remove the bed/box. Really. The other alternative is to cut a wrench in half and spend an hour per side trying to wiggle it into place to get it to hold the nut on the upper shock. Just plain dumb design.

Heater/AC blower This has a software problem. It often will not come on when you turn it on, but will then turn on and off at random. Also the flapper thing that directs the airflow to defrost, feet, or vents quit working properly so you cannot get airflow out of the vents or feet. The mechanics of the thing checks out and work fine. It is a software issue. This was a recall item and it had been done om my truck some time ago, but the recall failed. I need to get it in to a dealer for repairs, but the dealer here is terrible to deal with.

Rear Pinion nut. A pinion nut in the rear end comes loose and causes the rear differential to self destruct. This was also a recall item, so I got the rear end rebuilt for free.

Sunroof. Worked perfectly for about 6 months, then jammed on one side so it will not open. At least it did not jam open and refuse to close.

Door hinges. Squeal and bind. Oil helps a little but they are just no beefy enough for the weight of the doors.

Console latches. There is a really cool fold down arm rest/storage console on the front bench seat and another storage console underneath the middle seat in the front. Awesome idea. However the latches are shiite. Both failed. The lower one had to be removed. The upper one just requires you to slam the top down repeatedly to get it to latch.

Rear tailgate. The tailgete is heavy and difficult for wife and teens to lower and lift. When you lift it, something makes a loud "Piiiiing" as you start to lift it. Obviously there is some sort of built in lift assist and it is broken.

Tool boxes - really cool and useful, but very poorly built. The box itself is made of thin weak plastic. This is for tools. On one side part of the bottom of the plastic box had broken out. I just put only large things on that side for now. Eventual I will have to replace the box. The weather stripping pops out of place regularly. On one side, it will not stay in place at all, on the other side, you have to really slam the lid down hard to get it to latch. Still the boxes are nearly waterproof. Three of four of the lights int he boxes do not work. Replaced the bulbs, but only 1 will light up.

One headlight is dim. Replaced the insanely expensive bulb - still dim. Electrical problem.

Exhaust manifold bolts break off. This is a known problem with this engine and clearly a design error, but no recall.

Changing the oil was a bit of a shock too. 7 quarts, but that is probably common with newer pick ups. I think my old F-150 used 5 quarts. Our Chevy express van (6.0 +/-) uses 5. Our ford ranger takes 4 I believe. Does this really need 7 quart capacity?

the radio is crazy complicated and does not really do very much compared to Gm equivalents. There is also a complicated computer read out on the dash, that gives very little information (when it would be really easy to make it provide lots of useful information if desired. U-connect system is crap and does not work well at all. It is funny that about 60% of the time, if I tell it to call someone, it translates it as me wanting to call a tow truck. 'Call Dad Home" "Calling Towing service, is this correct?"

At least Dodge is being honest about the call they expect you to be most likely to want to make.


Like all modern trucks, the bed is stupidly high and very difficult to load. Some side and rear steps are really needed.

Brake rotors were crazy expensive, but it turned out I did not need to replace the old ones, there was very little wear despite the pads being nearly gone. So I returned the rotors I bought anticipating needing to replace them.
 

Last edited by Coldjensens; 09-17-2015 at 10:58 AM.
  #7  
Old 09-18-2015, 08:08 PM
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pretty much every complaint you have mentioned; I have fixed on new chevy's.

Every chevy customer is complaining about the 2014 new lights for being dim...the nice part is with the new hid lens, a hid bulb is an easy retrofit.

oil quantity for the new chevy is 8 liters. they want to extend oil change intervals.

spark plugs, yeah there are 16, your mechanic is a big baby. Its spark plugs, not trans rebuilding. the new dodges now use iridium instead of copper core so the interval is now 100000.

I have done rear shocks on dodges. It pays 0.3 hours each side warranty time. Remove the box?...your kidding. They are not hard.

put penetrating fluid on your door hinges, at this point oil won't cut it.

When I was at chevy at least one tech per week would be removing exhaust manifolds to replace broken manifolds bolts. 3hours plus, straight time for bolt extraction. Every manufacturer has this problem.

I have worked for chevy for 10years and now dodge for 3 months. its the same technology done differently.
 
  #8  
Old 04-07-2016, 10:19 PM
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You thought FIAT would improve quality? You should spend some time reading up on FIAT. Don't feel bad though, you wouldn't believe the supposed professionals that thought FIAT would fix quality issues. Besides, my brother has a 2008 or 09 Dodge Ram, its all pre FCA stuff.

Any brand has their issues, FCA just seems to have far more than the others. And FIAT has a poor reputation on a continent where leaking fluids is considered a sport!

Some of your issues are common to commercial vehicles too. Rust, squeaks and other things come from the truck sitting a lot. Also, even the best commercial user is going to be hard on a truck. Its not unusual, just compare a civilian Crown Vic to a retired cruiser or taxi with the same mileage.

I hope you get your truck sorted out soon. Maybe once you get these things out of the way, you'll get years of service out of it.
 
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