Buying 2500 w/Diesel- advice?

I'm strongly considering buying a Ram 2500 with the Cummins diesel. First, what sort of mileage should I expect out of it? Most of our driving is up and down a mountain.
We'll be towing a light (5500 lb) trailer occasionally; otherwise this is a family vehicle. I'm thinking about going for the 3.73 gear ratio to save on gas. (Would it?) I figure there's plenty of power left over to pull a trailer and so I'm not worried about getting the 4.10. Is this a mistake?
The salesman suggests getting the long bed if we want to consider towing a 5th wheel at some point. Is this necessary, or will the short bed do? We want the quad cab (4x4) so it seems like it's already a pretty big truck.
Thanks for any comments or suggestions you might have...
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It's a good choice. I love mine. 4x4, QC, 3.73.
http://homepage.mac.com/mcraigchr/PhotoAlbum34.html
I live in Dallas and do 50-50 hwy and city. I get 16 mpg. I drove it to Missouri 3-4 months ago and on the way up I got 19 mpg. On the way back I was pulling a trailer with two - three seater SeaDoo's weighing approximately 2000 lbs. I got 14 mpg coming back with a head-wind all of the way. Incidentally, I didn't notice that I was pulling anything. I had it in OD all of the way and it never hunted once.
I also pull a 9000 lb. 26' boat. I haven't pulled it any distance so I can't speak for the mileage. I would guess 10 - 11 mpg hwy.
You'll like it ... I promise.
Craig C.
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As a daily driver, my '03 DR 4x2 QC w/3.73 and 48RE gets 19-21 mpg combo city/hwy. The mountains may drop that back a tad.

Yup!
I figure there's plenty of power left

No, the 3:73 would be ideal in your application.

The short bed will be OK as long as you get a "slider" type fiver hitch.
We want the quad cab (4x4) so it seems like it's already a

You're welcome!
Mike

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The 3.73's will save you a little fuel, sure. For a 5,500lb. trailer, they're just fine. The 3.73's are rated up to 13,500lbs. Since you said it will be primarily for moving the family around, have you looked at the Mega cab?

If you're pulling a travel trailer, the short bed sounds like a better fit for you. As Mike said, a slider hitch will let you pull a 5th wheel with a short bed, but if you intend at some point to pull a 5th wheel often, than the long bed is a better choice. The problem is that a short bed puts the pin closer to the cab, so sharp maneuvers (like backing into a spot, or pulling out) would get the back of the cab and the front of the 5th wheel fighting for the same space (with both losing). The slider hitch can be unlocked, and allow the truck to pull forward, moving the pin back behind the axle, and giving you the clearance. You need to put it back and lock it before heading off, then get out and unlock it when doing tight maneuvers. It would get old rather quickly if you were doing it every weekend.
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Tom:
The brand name escapes me now, but there is a brand of slider hitch that moves back automatically so you don't have to fuss with it. If the OP is interested I can do a,little research and come up with the company name.
Mike

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I think it's the PullRite SuperGlide... at about $2400. Eek! :)
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Yup! Pricey, ain't it?
Mike

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Tom Lawrence wrote:

I've been looking at them myself. I retire in November and have been "window shopping" for campers. PullRite 16K SuperGlide. $1400. http://tinyurl.com/b4pbn
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"Tom Lawrence" wrote:

the
It depends and the size, altitude, incline and lenght of the grades because what you can tow at sealevel vs up long mountain passes regularly is a different matter. Even a cummins would have a tuff time woth 13K on some moutains passes out west with a 3.73. If you live in the rockies, I would suggest you get a 4.10 with a automatic. The automatic has a taller OD gear than the stick does so the RPMs are not that much apart in OD with a 3.73 with a stick vs a auto with a 4.10. The Dodge automatic does not have the really deep first gear that the Allison does so the deeper rear axle will take some strain off of it and give it better mountain towing.
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