John's Truck revisited (or John loves his truck!)

When we first began this adventure we decided to sell the house first, then buy the rig. If the house didn’t sell, then no harm. Six weeks later the house was sold so we signed up for a one year lease on an apartment. Plenty of time to figure out what we wanted to do for the RV.

What we wanted to do was get a 5th wheel and a truck. We were thinking of a smaller 5th wheel, so I figured a one-ton diesel should do it. A Chevy would have been my first choice, but what we found found locally were two white Ram 3500 diesel quad cab pickups. One was new (in 2009) and the other was was a 2007 with the older Cummins 5.9L diesel. So we got the 2007 truck because it had the engine I wanted and it already had some stuff that I would have had to add to the new one. But one thing the older engine didn’t have that the new one did was an exhaust brake. No problem: I could add it later.

So now it’s later and we’re looking at the mountains and I’m remembering I don’t have an exhaust brake. We also had the rig weighed and it came in heavier than I thought. Still within tow limits for the truck but I didn’t have the margins I thought I would have. I needed a bigger truck with an exhaust brake.

But that wasn’t going to happen. So I called Banks Engineering to see if I could get their exhaust brake installed while we were in Phoenix. No problem. And I couldn’t help but notice they had several performance packages for the 5.9L Cummins. Maybe I could gain back some of that margin along with some horsepower.

Banks Engineering recommended an installer in the Phoenix area and a week later I had a diesel with an exhaust brake and some extra horsepower. The performance package included a new exhaust system and a digital controller that could change the engine tuning, display various engine performance parameters and even included a GPS function so it could display current location, time, altitude and direction (navigation maps may be available in the future, but weren’t included with this package).
The new tail pipe, isn't it cool!

So now I can slow the truck down without using my foot and I can select to view various gages on the controller to distract me when I’m driving. Or I can use the controller’s quarter mile timing function that includes a drag track style countdown. Just crank up the horsepower, put your foot in it, and review the results. I think it even graphs the results.
And the new exhaust system sounds great.


  1. Oooh, aaah. I'll have to let George read this blog :)

  2. Way to go John. WE have looked at the banks systems too. Ours will have to wait until we get ready to hit the road.

    Travel Safe

  3. Sounds mighty sweet..and don't you just love the vroom!


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

The Urban Life


Back in Iowa and changes ahead