Dodge Ram 3500 and Coachmen Toy Hauler Review


Jeff: For our road test, we paired a new 2019 Ram 3500 pickup with a Coachmen Freedom Express Blast 283BL toy hauler, a trailer loaded with features and accommodations designed with toy lovers in mind. Our featured Ram was rated to tow in excess of 14,000 pounds, so the Coachmen trailer's 6,500 pound unloaded vehicle weight was no serious strain on the truck's capabilities.

Be it a truck camper, fifth wheel, or travel trailer, the Ram can do the job. When it's time to get serious about your towing, the Ram 3500 Heavy Duty may be the serious truck you need. With its 6.4 liter hemi gasoline engine, a killer powertrain, and all the features that you need to make your towing more fun, safer, maybe a little bit more relaxing, this could be a good choice for you.

Tucked away under the hood here, we have 410 horsepower and 429 pounds feet of hemi engine excitement. Variable cam timing and a cylinder multi displacement system help the engine produce maximum power and fuel economy. It's also very smooth running.

And if you've got a really big trailer to tow, this guy can handle 17,000 pounds plus.

Toy hauler trailers are extremely popular today, and the Coachmen Freedom Express we tested with the Ram 3500 truck is a good example of that RV type. The Ram did its expected good job of hauling the trailer to Riley Ranch County Park. Park sense rear park assist helps when solo.

But towing, you'll want to shut it off to avoid hearing the alarm when backing up with a trailer. These new trucks have a lot of really fun features. But one thing about today's modern pickups that I'm really a little bit puzzled about, and all the manufacturers are doing it, they're making the beds higher and higher. Now, I'm about 6'6. And if I have something I want to put in the bed, like firewood, it's a reach over for someone my size. Now, if you happen to be a normal size adult, little bit shorter, this can be quite a chore.

The forward cargo rack makes good use of the open space above the trailer batteries. The new Freedom Express Blast from Coachmen Industries. Coachmen, of course, is a name that we've known for a long time in the RV industry. A lot of our parents, maybe even grandparents, used Coachmen products. This is the model 283BL toy hauler.

And it has Azdel composite underneath the exterior skin, which is part of what gives it its certified green compliance by TRA Certification. And that's kind of a nice thing to have today. The axles are spaced out a little bit.

We towed this thing, and boy, it just followed along behind the truck like a dream. Now up here, the solar panel you see by GoPower, it's a 120-watt unit, this is optional. Now, the only exterior storage they have on this unit is up front, but it goes all the way through, and it's a really good size compartment.

So, there's a lot of long things that you can stash in here. And there's also a convenient tray that's strong enough to support something, oh, like a generator. We used it for a pile of firewood. That is a really neat item, which helps to keep the dirty stuff out of your vehicle and out of the inside of the trailer, especially if you have critters like the giant spider that my wife found on one of the pieces of wood and decided she had loaded enough pieces of wood for the day.

This model 283BL has a lot of your typical toy hauler features. Number one, the garage comes right up to this point approximately, so the back of the stove and the back of the refrigerator cabinet is living up front, and it's garage out back.

Be sure to watch the show for a lot more detail about this Coachmen Toy Hauler.

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