Building the Ultimate Work Truck: A Journey with the Ram 3500 Longhorn Edition

Okay, now that it’s finally time to develop this acreage and build the new house and workshop, I needed to switch out of the half ton truck that I was driving and into a one ton that’s more suited for pulling heavy trailers and carrying loads. And there was a few choices when it came to these larger tracks, but I decided to go with the Ram 3,500 with the high output Cummins turbo diesel, limited long horn addition, long box.

And there’s a few important reasons why. You see over the years, I’ve switched back and forth between the different truck brands, and I kind of like them all. And it’s been quite a while since I’ve owned a Dodge. Last time I’d owned a Dodge was in 2013. It was a white Mega Cab, dual rear wheel. When I was hauling lots of trailers. And I did put a flat deck on the back. And while I was trying to decide which brand to go with, I was in, at Bridge City Chrysler buying a new Grand Wagoner for my wife and our family. And I couldn’t help but get distracted and go and check out some of the bigger one tons and was really impressed with some of the things they’d done since I had driven one in 2013. And the second reason is whatever platform I had chosen, there was a bunch of stuff I wanted to do to build it into the work truck that I wanted. And over the past few years, I had been following AEV Online and I had been looking at all the cool different components that they had been building specific for these RAM trucks. And so before I decided to buy the truck, I talked to the guys at Bridge City and said, I kind of have this plan to build a very specific work truck for the Dusty Lumber company. And I’m wondering if you guys can kind of quarterback that whole deal for me. They said they were all set up and all forward and excited to build it with me. So we’ve already done phase one of that build, which was to put on the 3 inch AEV lift, some 37 inch tires with 17 inch black rhino wheels. And the reasons for the bigger lift and tires are partly because of this acreage and that I need a four wheel drive capable truck to get in and out of the different places that I have here.

Second, because I’m up here in Canada and we’ve got a lot of amazing mountains around us, like those ones right over there. And I want to take this truck out and explore some of those mountains and do some overlanding and some camping. And the reason that I went with the limited long horn addition, with all the fancy stuff on the inside is that I drive quite a lot. For example, as you may have seen, I just drove all the way to Texas and back.

I really like having some of the comfort features that these Longhorns have to offer, like right down here, this auto descend rail board, which is nice cuz they fold up and out of the way and don’t get all plugged up with MUD and snow and things like that. And it makes it a little bit easier for guys like me to get up inside the truck.

These trucks have very nice, comfortable, two tone leather with fully adjustable seats that are heated and cooled, but a massive center screen here where you can control everything in the truck. You can custom set up your home screen to have the stuff you use the most. You got your media here, your comfort controls, your heated and cool seats, heated steering wheel, your AC, your temperature and all the things like that. You got built in navigation, Carplay to hook up to your phone.

And then here you’ve got your vehicle page where you can access the mirror dimmer, the power side step and the camera, the cargo camera lets you see into the box of your truck. And you’ve got the rear view camera, which is behind your track, rear cross path, which is downward looking towards your hitch, a front cross which is right down in front of your truck, line spot on the right side, driver’s blind spot on the left side, the top and rear. That shows you a bird’s eye view of where your truck is and what’s happening behind you. Top in front, there’s also this button that does all your apps.

We got tutorials, off road pages, Alexa Device Manager, Apple Carplay, as well as a bunch more for the radio and device managers and the USBs and things like that on the wheel here, you’ll see there’s two different types of cruise control. This one here will set the adaptive cruise control, and you can change the setting for the distance between the vehicle in front of you. And it also does the lane departures. So it senses the two sides the road. And if you start to drift off, it will move the steering wheel to adjust to keep you on the road.

And this one here is more of a conventional cruise control. So you have to push your brakes on if you start to approach a vehicle ahead of you. Up here on the top, you have the controls to open and close your sunroof, tilt the sunroof up and down, open and close the rear window, access your SOS or the assist, turn your lights on and off. And this one’s actually really cool where you can push that button and it drops the tailgate in the back for towing, which is one of the main reasons I bought this truck. You have an exhaust brake right here that helps to slow you down and save your brakes. You have a tow haul mode right here, which will change the shift pattern. It’s more appropriate for hauling loads. And they do have a trailer steel control here, which is kind of cool. I’ll give it a try. I don’t know if I’ll actually use it, but I guess the deal is that as you’re backing up, if you’re not really good at backing up trailers, you can just use this and the truck will do what it has to do to back up the trailer where you want it to go. And you’ve obviously got your brake control right here on the back. You can drop your tailgate with the button in the front by using the button on here or by using your key FOB. Another cool feature they’ve added is right down here, they have a little stack that you can press out, which makes it a little bit easier to get up with your truck. This truck came already set up with everything I need for gooseneck and fifth wheel towing. And over here you have cargo lights to illuminate the stuff in the back of your truck, two different hold down straps, your trailer wiring connectors. And over here you have 115 volt, 400 watt max cargo plug for plugging in your tools or whatever else you might want to plug in. And now here in the rear of the truck, they have the same nice leather. This seat can fold up out of the way. And then under the seat, they’ve got this tray right here. You can fold these pieces up right here and then the whole thing folds down, gives you a nice flat spot to store some cargo in. And then that seat also folds up and there’s a tray there as well.

So I haven’t had this truck for very long. It’s only got about 8,000 km on it. And most of those were driving all the way to Texas and back. But so far, it’s been doing exactly what I expect of it. And now we’ll move on to the next phases of the work truck build. Just waiting for a few more pieces to get sent over to Bridge City, and I’ll take the truck back over to their workshop and we’ll get this next phase done.