First and Foremost

Transportation

I chose a truck.  It’s fun to drive, can carry everything for four people without even packing carefully, and spacious for the people.

I bought –

Ram 2500

Crew Cab

It’s the only way to go if you’re hauling four people and don’t need the long bed.

Diesel

I got this primarily because of the fuel efficiency.  I know it’s a wash financially, but getting 15 mpg for a thousand miles a time kills me.  22-23 mpg is significantly better.

Was it worth the $9200?  I’m hoping it’s at least a wash.  We’ll see what it costs to maintain.

4×4

If you’re going to go diesel, get the 4×4.  The truck is so heavy it’s slipped a few times on very steep inclines.  A very expensive $4k safety feature, but cheaper than totaling the truck in a ditch on steep wet road.

Dual Alternators

Relatively cheap and now I can power an ambulance.

Ramboxes

This was a tough decision.  The space over the wheel-wells is wasted and this makes great accessible use of them.

HOWEVER, it means almost no toppers or ladder racks will fit your truck.

It was a long debate between this and cargo drawers.  I ultimately decided again the cargo drawers because

  • I decided I wasn’t going to get a topper as it made the truck look like a knock-off SUV.
  • They leave little space above the drawers and a tonneau cover.
  • They decrease the weight the truck can hold because of their own structural integrity.
  • They’re difficult to remove if you want full access to the bed.

Work-grade Vinyl Bench Seats

This isn’t a luxury truck.  Mud, sand, salt water, crab and fish guts are all likely to get inside.  I wanted something that wouldn’t get ruined.

Accessories

While costing only about 10% the cost of the truck, they absolutely bring it to the next level.

Ceramic tinted windows

Blocks 95% of the UV rays.  I highly recommend them.  Seriously.  I can feel the difference on my face after only a few minutes.

If you can only buy one accessory, buy this one.

B&W Hitch

Don’t need it yet, but I will soon.

DiamondBack HD Tonneau Cover

With a load carrying capacity of 1600 lbs on top, this is the way to go.  It’s also about as secure as it gets.

I can secure tons of gear beneath it, tie down tons more on top (a motorcycle or two if I wanted) and I’m good to go.

It also comes off by just undoing a few bolts.  Not exactly snap-off, but much faster than cargo drawers.

Misc

Costco Storage Bins

They’re cheap, reasonably waterproof, and keep things organized in the back.

Hi-Lift Jack XT485 48″ Hi-Lift X-TREME Jack

hi-lift

Because I assume I’ll get stuck one day.

VIAIR 400P Portable Compressor

viair

X-BULL New Recovery Traction Tracks Sand Mud Snow Track Tire Ladder 4WD (3Gen, Orange)

recovery

What I Didn’t Get

I didn’t want to spend so much I would regret the purchase.  I made several concessions to get the Cummins and 4×4.

Better Trim

I have the Tradesman trim level.  Bottom of the barrel.  It comes with an automatic transmission and air conditioning.  That’s about it.  You want smart cruise control?  Nope.  Park assist? Nope.  Nada.  Nothing.

Better Infotainment

I got the cheapest system that could be used as a rear view backup display.  The next step up was an additional $2500.  Instead, I bought a tablet holder and am using that for navigation.  True, it’s not as good, but in five years, I’ll be on my third tablet and the infotainment system will really be looking slow.

Better Wheels

The nicer, bigger, AT wheels were an extra $2000 and dropped my mpg by 15-20%.  Yes, I’ll want them eventually, but 95% of my miles are highway miles on the way to the destination.

For now, I’ll save the money.

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