The 2016 RAM Power Wagon was — hands down — our favorite truck last year. It packages a ton of equipment that would cost you thousands more if you bought it a la carte, and turns the heavy duty RAM 2500 into a serious off-road truck. But a lot of people balked at the the $52,000 base price tag.
For 2017, though, you can buy a RAM 2500 with the Power Wagon’s equipment for $8,000 less. Here’s how you do it.
The Power Wagon has a features list that reads like an off-road catalog:
- Tru-Lok® Front and Rear Axles
- 17-Inch x 8.0-Inch Aluminum Wheels and Goodyear Tires
- Fuel Tank Skid Plate Shield
- Hill Descent Control
- 8,510 Pound GVWR
- 180-Amp Alternator
- 4.10 Axle Ratio
- Base Engine Controller
- Front Disconnecting Stabilizer Bar
- WARN® 12.000-lb. Capacity Front Electric Winch
What turns a few people off is the price. The Power Wagon starts at $52,615, which is pretty rich for someone who’s going to head off onto the trail. At a presentation to the New England Motor Press Association, we talked to Nick Cappa, who told us there were other ways of getting the equipment in the Power Wagon, without getting all the fancy appearance items.
The very least expensive way to order a truck with all this equipment is to select the RAM 2500 Tradesman 4×4, in Crew Cab configuration with a 6 1/2-foot cargo box. Yes, you’re going to end up with vinyl seats, a rubber floor mat and a pretty humble stereo, but if you’re a dedicated off-roader, all that stuff should be appealing.
On the “Powertrain” page, you’ll have to choose the 6.4-liter Heavy Duty HEMI V-8, and for just $500, it’s hard to figure why anyone wouldn’t.
Here’s the trick:
On the “Add Packages” page, scroll down and you’ll see “Power Wagon Package.”
Now, you may swallow hard at the package’s $7,950 price tag, but hear us out. Eaton E-Lockers alone would cost $1,500.
The wheels and tires — Goodyear Wrangler MT/Rs — would easily run into $2,000 before a mount and balance.
We searched around a bit on Mopar’s website, and the only disconnecting sway bar we could find was specific to the Wrangler, so we’re not even sure you could buy it if you wanted it, but that accessory for the Wrangler costs $1,288.
Finally, the 12,000 pound Warn winch would be around $1,500.
You’re looking at $7,288 in parts already, before you even get to things like Hill Descent Control, skid plates, a 4.10 axle ratio, and a few dress-up goodies, and those parts would be sitting in the box they came in until you paid somebody to install them. If you’re good with tools, you could do it yourself, but your brand new truck is going to be out of service for days while you do it.
So you save thousands on labor, or your time, depending on who does the job. Plus, all of this equipment is backed by a factory RAM warranty. If the winch fails, you get a new one. If the lockers quit, you get them fixed. That’s not happening on the aftermarket.
For the price of the parts, you’ve got the most capable off-road pickup truck sold today. Ford may have a Raptor, but it doesn’t come with a winch, front air lockers or a disconnecting sway bar. Chevy might have a Z71 Off-Road package, but it doesn’t come anywhere near this truck’s capability.
The total MSRP of a Tradesman 4×4 Crew Cab with Power Wagon Package is $44,065, but as of late November, 2016, there are $4,250 worth of incentives on the hood, too. The out-the-door price on RAM’s Build and Configure tool is $39,233.
Cappa built one himself. As you can see, it’s got a conventional black grille, as opposed to the “pig snout” grille on the Power Wagon, and aside from the wheels, tires and winch, you’d be hard-pressed to tell it apart from a run-of-the-mill Tradesman 2500.
And that’s why it’s so cool. It’s like being able to order a Hellcat with a bench seat, column shift and dog dish hubcaps.
For more information, visit RAM’s vehicle configurator, but be sure to select the 2017 trucks, instead of the remaining 2016s, which didn’t offer the Power Wagon’s equipment as a package.