• Compared: All Flavors of the Ram Power Wagon – 2016, 2017, and Customized (Video)


    2017 ram power wagon tradesman hd 2500 4x4
    2017 Ram Power Wagon and Ram 2500 Tradesman w/ Power Wagon package

    What are all the flavors of the modern Ram Power Wagon? The 2017 model of the meanest off-road truck in Ram’s arsenal has a refreshed exterior and interior. Gone are the chrome crosshairs grille and chrome wheel, the new truck sports Ram’s new grille design, wheels, graphics, and interior appointments.

    There is more to the story, as there is a way to get a more affordable version of a 2017 Power Wagon. Those who like the no-frills attitude of a base work truck, you can order a 2017 Ram 2500 HD Tradesman crew cab 4×4 with a Power Wagon Equipment package. This truck gets the same drivetrain and running gear as any Power Wagon, but it largely appears as a regular Ram 2500 4×4 (except for the winch cable poking out of the front bumper).

    Many of us love to customize our trucks, and here is a look at some of the modifications that Nina Barlow, owner and operator of Barlow Adventures, made to her 2017 Power Wagon. One of the most common questions we get about the Power Wagon is: “can I upgrade to a larger tire?” The stock 33-inch GoodYear Duratracs are good, but look a little small in relation to the overall proportion of the truck. Nina has a few answers as she is running wider 35-inch tires on her truck. She also upgraded the bumper, the winch, and modified the exhaust system for a little more rumble.

    Check out difference in the exhaust system sound and updates in Power Wagon style from 2016 to 2017 in the video below.


    Andre Smirnov
    Andre Smirnov
    Andre Smirnov is an Automotive Enthusiast, Producer, Reviewer, Videographer, Writer, Software Engineer, Husband, Father, and Friend.

    Similar Articles

    35 thoughts on “Compared: All Flavors of the Ram Power Wagon – 2016, 2017, and Customized (Video)

    1. What is the purpose of the third shock absorber above the rear differential at the rear of the power wagon?

      is that shock absorber on all ram or ram 2500 series trucks?

      thanks,

      1. RAM has the multilink suspension ,so no any axle wrap needed to be addressed with this third shock absorber and this third shock absorber is basically a third shock absorber, when more ​payload is presented. It’s a smart design, because this third shock absorber doesn’t effect the axle articulation speed and stroke,when going over obstacles with one wheel, but dumpens the RAM 2500 payload more than just 2 of them.

    2. The white ones look really sharp with the black graphics and wheels. I guess I would learn to live with the moustache grill in order to have the nicer interior over the tradesman’s bland interior.

      1. I agree Keystone, I hope the same graphics package carries over for 2018. Anyone know if any additional options will be available on the ’18’s ( forward cameras, etc)?

    3. As I watched your video (great Job!) I kept seeing that tradesman and liking the front end of the power wagon less and less. A little body color paint on the mesh inserts and the tradesman would be great. The FIAT sucker fish grill still makes me want to vomit and really spoils what may be the best off road truck on the market.
      Is the tradesman’s towing capacity changed with the Power Wagon equipment package?
      Thanks again for all you do.

    4. Andre – – –

      One of the “Flavors” that RAM definitely NEEDS TO ADD, to Power Wagon (PW) selections, is a Manual Transmission!

      Ram? Hello? Anyone listening?
      (I had to order a 2500 Cummins Diesel, — which I need like hole in my head — just to get a Manual, when I actually wanted the PW al along..)

      C’mom Ran guys: it shouldn’t be rocket science to stick (pun intended) a decent manual in there…(^_^).

      =========================

      1. Nobody is buying manual transmissions​! You aught to know this Bernie kressner. Why put a transmission that nobody buys?

        1. Marc – – –

          If nobody buys manuals anymore, then why is Ram offering a Manual Transmission in the Ram 2500 Diesel? (^_^)…

          But here are some other vehicles, other than trucks, that offer manual transmissions: Chevy Corvette; Ford Mustang; Dodge Challenger; Chevy Camaro; Porsche Cayman, Boxster, and 911; VW Golf GTI; Mini Cooper; Toyota 86; Subaru BRZ; BMW 3- Series; Hennessy Venom; and Nissan 370Z.
          Certainly these manufacturers would not be offering what people would not buy, would they?

          Without any offense intended, what you may be saying is that many Americans have lost their enjoyment of the control and interaction provided by manual transmissions. Real driving, being a dance, — a road ballet — is becoming a lost art and a lost appreciation for many average drivers.

          =====================

          1. Not offended , but what ever the case maybe in your last paragraph people are not buying them. Last I red that manual transmission is like only 5% of sales. Now why would ram do something stupid and put a manual in a ram pick up if they are lucky they can sale maybe 1% of them? I’d imagine the manual Cummins is less than 5% in sales. I also imagine it will be in final years of being offered. I like manual transmission to, but I know the hand writing is on the wall and sales of them proves that. For the handful of cars that you listed they will make manuals for them for awhile.

            For the record my 3 vehicles have all manuals​ in them. I do feel your pain.

            1. Marc – – –

              M: “Now why would ram do something stupid and put a manual in a ram pick up if they are lucky they can sale maybe 1% of them? I’d imagine the manual Cummins is less than 5% in sales.”

              BK: Actually, I was told by the “All-Knowing-Truck-Sales-Guys” (AKTSG’s) that it has to do with towing while backing: the fine-tuned control provided by MT’s cannot currently be duplicated by AT’s (at least not the two 6-speed AT’s offered by Ram). So, if you do a lot of heavy trailering, then an MT appears to offer advantages…

              M: “I also imagine it will be in final years of being offered.”

              BK: Yeah. Checked on that. According to the AKTSG’s, MT’s will be offered at least through the 2019 model year, on Ram 2500’s and up…but who really knows?

              ==================

          2. I wish guys who are all about manual transmissions in big trucks just go away and be quiet. All the guys I know with 2500 and 3500 manuals coupled with Cummins turbo diesels all seriously overload and their tricks to well over their capacity. They think that because a Ram 3500 with 68RFE can tow 23000# then so can the manual. Wrong!!!!!!!!!!! The manual can only tow 17000# or so. Then these guy’s say Ram trucks aren’t as good as they thought and buy a Chevy automatic or something similar lol. Come on guys! Get with the program!!! If you really want a manual make sure you respect the capacities. But if you’re buying a big truck it’s mostly due to the fact that’s you need big capacity and only the automatic gives big capacity. The manual I guess would be good for snow ploughing only so your don’t kill the snap rings going back and forth all day long. Any other such application get the manual but serious towing get the auto. I love my RAM 3500 Cummins))))

    5. Manuals are going the way of the Dodo. For both performance cars and trucks. Not trying to antagonize you, just stating a fact. Modern automatics are actually better able to handle high torque and shift more quickly. The Ram Cummins is de-tuned in manual configuration because the manual is less robust than the automatic.

      1. That’s pretty much it. Automatic with paddle shift is going to be only option.
        Manual can’t compete anymore.

        1. RNUOVR and Zviera – – –

          R: “Manuals are going the way of the Dodo. For both performance cars and trucks.”
          BK: In the big picture here, — averaging all drivers, including incompetent ones (^_^) — yes, this is true.

          R: “Modern automatics are actually better able to handle high torque and shift more quickly.”
          BK: Shift more quickly, often yes. But automatics handling higher torque is a mixed situation, since cheaper manuals are used as the alternative. If proper torque-carrying manuals like the Ricardo*, Tremec T6060 or T6070, or even the NV 3550 or NV 5600, were optioned, then the story would be different. After all, the highest torque-delivering transmissions are Eaton-Fuller 10-speed manuals on Semi’s: over 2,000 lb.-ft!

          —————-
          * Handles over 1500 HP and 1100 lb.-ft of torque in the Hennessy Venom.
          —————-

          R: “The Ram Cummins is de-tuned in manual configuration because the manual is less robust than the automatic.”
          BK: True. And, as mentioned above, Ram’s unfortunate choice was not robust. It is a Daimler G56 Manual that simply cannot handle 900 lb.-ft of torque routinely. Its gears and aluminum case can crack: http://www.dieselhub.com/trans/g56.html
          So the problem is not “manuals” per se, but the poor [read: cheap] choices made by some companies.

          Z: “Manual(s) can’t compete anymore.”
          BK: On the contrary, here are some advantages of manual transmissions:
          1) More robust, durable, and longer-lasting;
          2) Less expensive to manufacture and buy;
          3) Superior driver involvement**;
          4) Owner-doable oil change, which is also less frequent and less expensive;
          5) Requires no separate cooling system with its own radiator;
          6) Wear item = easily replaceable clutch (not the whole tranny!);
          7) Superior traction in slippery snow, by “feathering” the clutch;
          8) Less Opportunity for Distracted Driving >> Safer

          —————-
          ** A vehilce with an automatic offers typically 40% less opportunity for driver involvement than those with manuals.
          1) Number of Driving inputs with typical Manual = 5 (steering, gas, brake, clutch, shift);
          2) Number of Driving inputs with typical Auto = 3 (steering, gas, brake)
          Deficit = 2. Therefore, percent that Auto Trans is less involving = 2/5 = 40%.
          ——————-

          I should note that 75% of drivers in Germany and 95% of drivers in Switzerland prefer and drive manual transmission vehicles, as opposed to about 5% here. Those European drivers are competent; alert; not indifferent to the driving experience; and cannot legally use cell phones or other distractions.

          ========================

          1. I was driving manual in Europe in any weather and road conditions for 20 years and automatic in NA in any weather and road conditions for 18. Replaced clutch by myself few times. You have to remove transmission to do that, especially on very tight , small room Japanese and German cars.
            I also always changed the automatic transmission fluid by myself in NA.
            I will take automatic over manual transmission any time, any weather, any road, or offroad conditions. Especially, when in winter bumper to bumper traffic. Just a brake pedal push or release, holding wheel with one ✋ sipping coffe slowly from another. No drama needed.
            I enjoy manual at my motorcycle and wouldn’t want automatic. Never.

          2. Bernie, I’m not going to check every automatic Trans spec or manual, but Allison have autos spec’ed to over 4000 lbs of torque. Heavy mine equipment really needs an automatic transmission. Could you imagine stalling out a fully loaded mine truck going up a hill. I understand your point about manuals but after years of drag racing and road racing, I prefer auto’s. Using paddle shifters you can really focus on the turns. And in drag racing the fastest ET’s are consistently in shifting. But I am happy you are still able to buy a truck with a manual because that is something you really enjoy.

            1. Jimmy – – –

              J: “Allison have autos spec’ed to over 4000 lbs of torque. Heavy mine equipment really needs an automatic transmission.”

              BK: Yup. In fact, Peterbilt tried that Allison in over-road Semi’s about 10 years ago (if I remember), but stopped, — not because it couldn’t handle the torque, but because it couldn’t handle the temperatures: it overheated and burned out!
              (N.B. – American tractor-trailer manufacturers are now developing AT’s for over-road and local use that DO perform well in almost all conditions.)

              J: “But I am happy you are still able to buy a truck with a manual because that is something you really enjoy.”

              BK: Thank you. I do in fact greatly enjoy MT’s, and take “rides” almost every day just to keep fluent in double-clutching, and heel-and-toe operations. (The latter less so, since it implies at least a medium braking regimen, and I like my brakes! (^_^)).

              ========================

            2. BK, they have an automatic rated for tractor trailer now. Not sure how long it has been in production but they do advertise it. There are some forms of automated shifting transmissions that uses dual clutchs and regular gears and counter shafts too. I know they have been in use for some years now. As far as durability, I don’t know.

          3. Actually big rigs are also going automatic. Eaton autos behind Cummins 16 litres. Well over 2000# torque. But the autos get superior fuel mileage by over 3 to 5 percent compared to expert and specialist regarded manual shafting drivers. That’s unbeatable.
            I have a 68RFE auto in my RAM and change my own tranny oil, total change every drop even the torque converter all 17 litres worth and both filters. And if I can do it anyone can do it. Also Manuals are much bigger and heavier and won’t fit in the spaces that are becoming more and more cramped. Big rigs have air clutches, no way mechanical springs can keep the pressure plate tight with 900 lbs torque without slipping. And what kind of a leg would you need to press that clutch? Even Schwarzenegger would have problems with an 8 hour shift. 8 speeds 9 speeds with super fast shifting is overtaking all manuals. Manuals will only be reserved for fun cars and toy cars. Not work horses. And besides people who drive manual are almost always in the wrong gear and get less mileage anyway. Plus driver fatigue is prone to more accidents. My uncle needed hip replacement because he drove a truck all day for 20 years. And his friends all had back problems due to the unsymmetrical force on the left leg twisting their backs. Manuals are definitely on borrowed time and the only cars that will come with them are fun toy cars or really cheap inexpensive cars with old tech.

    6. Automatics handle torque by detuneing the engine.
      So, chose your poison.
      I like stick shift best.
      Wish TFL would/could test a ram manual.
      I would like to see results of a detuned stick ram vs. The automatic.

        1. I’d like to see that test too.
          It would be great base information source for new RAM 1500 with 5.7 and more payload.

          1. Marc and Zviera – – –

            Yes, but unfortunately Ram will be dropping the 5.7L Hemi…. (if I read correctly)

            ====================

            1. They don’t have a substitution yet,so we are safe for few years.
              HellCat would be nice upgrade.

            2. You might be right Bernie kressner but a test of 5.7 2500 will give you a difference between ram 1500 and 2500 6.4. the 5.7 is base engine for the 2500.
              This my opinion sometimes an engine that gets over looked​ tends to be very good engine.

      1. Buddy – – –

        “Wish TFL would/could test a ram manual. I would like to see results of a detuned stick ram vs. The automatic (AT).”

        Agreed. Since TFL had such a good experience with the base-model, manual transmission (MT) Frontier, — I’d like to see them compare a Ram 2500 diesel 4WD 6-speed MT with a Ram 2500 diesel 4WD 6-speed AT, going up Goldmine Hill and/or Cliff Hanger 101.
        Of course, the gear ratios won’t be quite the same, and the max torque available for the AT will be ~35% higher. Will that matter? Who knows?
        Ideally, it would be best to detune the engine in the AT vehicle to match the HP and torque in the MT vehicle…but that “detuning” may be complicated and not be just be a software download. I don’t know.

        Results I would like to see reported on are sure-footedness and control over slippery situations, — and then later, separately: purchase price, and diesel mileage of each vehicle on the 98-mile loop.

        ======================

        1. I was test driving Toyota Land Cruiser 100 with Toyota diesel in it and automatic transmission in Europe 20 years ago roughly. I asked dealer about manual transmission I wanted and he said, that for offroad , the automatic is always better, because of very smooth torque converter acting on slippery roads and other conditions compare to clutch​. Another advantage is to start moving on very steep hill without automatic brakes .
          Europeans drive manual and wants NA cars and automatic transmission and NA drives automatic and wants European cars and manual transmission. Go figure.

            1. Marc – – –

              Yup. My observation as well. I think it has to do with:
              1) Space available (Europe is simply “tighter” and more clearance limited, especially the UK);
              2) Economics (Wagons typically get better fuel mileage than SUV’s, which have become their American counterpart over here.)

              =======================

          1. Zviera – – –

            Z: “…he [dealer] said, that for offroad , the automatic is always better, because of very smooth torque converter acting on slippery roads and other conditions compare to clutch​.”

            BK: Actually, I do quite a bit of OR with my MT Jeep Wrangler, in a group of guys (and gals!) who also have AT’s. The dealer who told you that info is indeed partly right [as opposed to “always”], but not because of “slippery roads” (trails), IME: the solid non-slipping connection-to-the-surface in an MT is superior there. The real advantages of AT’s in OR are:
            1) Rock-crawling, when doing “momentum” driving. The torque-converter takes up the impact when “slamming” to inhibit breakage of components like U-joints and half-shafts;
            2) Mud-slugging, when a rapid upshift is needed so as not to disrupt power delivery, and to maintain momentum more smoothly. Applies to deep sand as well. [This is why AT’s work so well in “Humvee’s”, according to the US Army.]

            Z: “Europeans drive manual and wants NA cars and automatic transmission and NA drives automatic and wants European cars and manual transmission. Go figure.”

            BK: This is called, “The-grass-Is-always-greener-on-the-other-side-of-the-fence” syndrome! (^_^)…

            =====================

            1. Yep, that’s the syndrome. I fully enjoy what I have in here, but I enjoyed coffee and croissants in Italy.
              The body knows,when something smells and tastes better. 😀

    7. I noticed that Nina Barlow stated that she couldn’t get bolt on rock sliders for the PW. White Knuckle Off Road makes a frame mounted bolt on set specifically for the PW just in case anyone is wondering.

    Comments are closed.

    Top