OT: 2007 Dodge 2500 SLT Diesel Quadcab 50,000 mile review

Diesel engines and trucks in general are on my list of [many] interests. I enjoy working on rigs, hauling stuff, and towing big loads. Back in 2007, I was looking for a replacement for my 1988 Ford F-250 diesel extended cab long-bed pickup. I was towing an old 20′ Prowler trailer at the time, but I knew I needed to “plan for the future” – so I wanted to get a truck that could tow big loads (10,000lb or so), be a good rig for driving in the snow, haul the family, haul dirt and trash, and also haul dirt bikes. Oh, and it HAD to be diesel powered.

This was the first time I ever contemplated buying a brand new vehicle. I had looked at used diesel trucks, but because they hold their value so well, and because I was looking for newer features (quad cab, etc) I decided to see what I could do for a brand new truck.

Gavin’s Requirements:

Here’s what I wanted in a new truck:

  1. Diesel powered, I-6 preferred
  2. Great maintainability and longevity
  3. 4×4 – with lever with real linkage attached to a real transfer case
  4. Solid front axle (coming off of a Ford twin-tracion-beam front end that had worn out)
  5. Quad cab (4 conventional doors)
  6. Long bed (this baby is for hauling!)

The Decision:

After looking at the Chevy, Dodge, and Ford, it was my personal impression that I had to choose between the best coachwork and body styling (Ford), the best auto transmission (Chevy), and the best engine (Dodge/Cummins). In the end, I decided that that the Dodge met all my criteria, and that I didn’t want a diesel V8. So, I went up to Everett, WA and bought my 2007 Dodge 2500 SLT with longbed, Cummins 5.9L turbo diesel, and quadcab. I decided on white because I wanted it to look like a working truck and knew that it would stay cool in the sun. 🙂 I specifically looked for a truck with the “last of the 5.9” engines because of the simplicity (lack of Diesel Particulate Filter) and the proven track record of the 325 ISB Cummins power plant and related systems.

I knew the engine would be good, but I wasn’t sure what to expect in terms of interior fit/finish, electrical issues, etc. I had heard stories of older Dodge interiors “falling apart”, and was kind of expecting that for my truck.


One of the first things I did was to get the truck setup for towing. I pulled the brake controller from my F-250 prior to sale, and all I needed to do was to wire that in, and put my hitch from the Ford on. I was delighted to find a pigtail in the glove box of the truck with a wiring diagram. After I soldered the wires correctly, I reached under the dash to plug in the brake controller wiring into the truck’s main harness. I was shocked at how much free space there was under the dash. Where’s the “rats nest” of wires I usually see? She plugged right in, and I was then able to hook up my trailer and test everything out.

Towing rig #1: Restored 1973 Prowler 20′ travel trailer

2007 Dodge 2500 towing 1973 Restored Prowler 20' trailer - 19'6" Overall Length, 4500lb loaded

I was fortunate to find a totally restored Prowler travel trailer to get my family into RV’ing. This little trailer served us well, and at only 3600#, it was a great towing rig as well. On my first trip home from camping with the Dodge and Prowler, I gunned it up a very steep hill and laughed out loud as the camping train rapidly accelerated up the hill. I had a mental picture of the ball being ripped off the hitch bar. This is GREAT I thought to myself…

Towing rig #2: 1975 Airstream 31′ Sovereign Land Yacht

2007 Dodge 2500 towing 1975 Airstream 31' trailer - 31' Overall Length, 6000lb loaded

You know how it goes. You get a “starter RV” and as soon as you get it setup, you and the family decide it’s time to upgrade. My wife and I had always admired Airstream trailers, and I knew they were high quality, aerodynamic, and low-center-of-gravity rigs. We looked at several, and found a steal on one over in Southworth (across the Puget Sound from West Seattle). This trailer served us well for years, and we took it all over the state. She towed like a dream, and was always a conversation starter. The only issue was that the floor plan was not ideally suited for big family trips and friends. We again decided to upgrade! After selling the Airstream for a + 50% profit, we were ready to buy our first brand new RV.

Towing rig #3: 2011 Komfort Resort 299QB

2007 Dodge 2500 towing 2011 Komfort Resort 299QB - 34' Overall Length, 9000# loaded

This time we were looking or a rig with a quad bunk house, separate room with queen bed, and room to entertain. We really liked the look of the Komfort Resort trailers (in taupe and black trim colors) – so we decided to take the plunge and buy one. This is a great towing trailer (weighs about 9000# fully loaded). The truck does not strain at all with it, you just need to slow down a bit going up steep grades. Mileage did suffer greatly however due to the “box” shape compared to the Airstream.

Fuel economy

One of the reasons that I wanted to get a diesel powered truck was for the fuel economy. This truck has done well with economy (especially for a 7700# vehicle!), but not as good as some of the older Dodge/Cummins trucks.

Here’s a table showing my “hand calculated” results: (rounded to nearest MPG)

Condition Worst (MPG) Best (MPG)
Highway 17 20
Commuting (50% stop and go) 15 17
Towing (Prowler) 14 16
Towing (Airstream) 14 16
Towing (Komfort Resort) 10 13


This truck has really been a good vehicle! Over 50,000 miles, the most serious thing that has happened was a single time when the “check engine” light went on. The light went off by itself, so I guess the issue was not really a problem. I took it to the dealer exactly two times: first for the free first oil change (let them get the oil filter off the first time), and second for a firmware update for the ECU. What’s remarkable is that not a single thing has broken on this truck that wasn’t my fault (driving over a 4×4 post and backing with my tailgate down with trailer hooked up both caused some damage that needed repair, both my fault).

Dodge 2500 at 50,000 miles - still drives like new

Upgrades and Maintenance

The first upgrade that I purchased was a Softopper canvas canopy. This is a great canopy if you want to be able to fold it down to haul items (like dirt bikes), or take it off in a matter of 5 minutes. My big complaint with the Softopper is the snaps that hold it onto the bed rails. They are very difficult to get off, and I’ve had to replace many of them. The second major upgrade was to have some gauges installed – a pyrometer for EGT, a boost gauge, and trans oil temperature. Having the gauges gives me critical information when towing up the pass, and they’re fun to look at :). I’ve also installed a set of BF Goodrich All Terrain TA KO tires with load range “E”. So far, they are working very well.

My maintenance consists of oil and filter changes every 5000-6000 miles, fuel filter changes every 10,000 miles, and tire rotations and other service (air filter, etc) as needed. I also did a full fluids change and transmission service at about 40,000 miles.

To Chip or Not to Chip, That is the Question

I’ll admit, I do love the idea of unleashing the power potential from this truck. With software alone, the 325hp and 610ft-lb torque can be increased to the 500hp and 800+ fl-lb torque region. This kind of upgrade can turn a truck from “powerful” to “fast”. It’s really amazing what the true performance potential of the Cummins 6BT engine can mean for towing and just having fun. The problem is: this engine can unleash severe punishment on the rest of the drive train. Factory ECU software has a torque limiting feature that automatically backs-off torque when the automatic transmission is shifting. This feature serves to protect the internals of the 48-RE automatic transmission. With proper maintenance and a prudent driver (monitoring gauges up the pass, etc) – the 48-RE transmission can last up to about 200,000 miles, even for a towing rig. With hot-rodded engine firmware or a tuner, and with a lead-foot behind the wheel, this number can go down to 40,000 miles or less. With some research and care, I do believe that chipping the engine can be OK in terms of longevity, but I’ve decided that it’s not worth the cost or risk *at this point*. Perhaps one day I will decide differently, but for now I just don’t need to go there.

Closing Thoughts

This truck has definitely exceeded my expectations. I have very much enjoyed doing maintenance due to the spacious engine bay with inline 6 configuration. The torque is amazing, it drives down the highway great, and it even has an aux input on the radio where I have an iPhone dock nearby.


  1. The back-lit gauges are a bit difficult to read in dim-but-not-dark lighting conditions (good in dark)
  2. The power brakes are a touch light (underpowered feeling)
  3. Some interior and weather seal trim is a bit on the cheap side
  4. Factory bed liner is very thin (sliced through a section like a cheese slicer when shoveling dirt one time)
  5. Factory tires offer very poor snow traction


  1. Best-in-class engine – a GREAT power plant
  2. Reliability and overall quality
  3. Good balance of rear legroom and minimal overall length for Quad Cab + Long-bed configuration
  4. Real mechanical shifter for 4×4 (this is electric on more expensive models)
  5. Good stereo with aux input
  6. Simplicity and great access/maintenance

I would definitely buy another truck like this one. Fortunately, I shouldn’t have to worry about buying another truck for a *long* time (I may keep this one until 300,000 or so). This first 50,000 miles has been great, and I’m looking forward to the rest of the adventure! If you are looking for a good value in a used truck, I would highly recommend a truck like this one.


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One Response to OT: 2007 Dodge 2500 SLT Diesel Quadcab 50,000 mile review

  1. Pingback: A detailed 50,000 mile review of my 2007 Dodge 2500 SLT Quadcab 5.9L Cummins Rig - Dodge Cummins Diesel Forum

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