The Best Road Trip Car Just Might Be a Truck – RAM 1500 Laramie Crew Cab 4×4

Why Your New Road Trip Car Just Might Be A Truck - Review Of The Ram 1500|Man Walking Toward A Truck Followed By A Little Boy In An Orange Hat
The rear seat has a ton of room for gear...and kids. Photo: Jill Robbins

I am from Texas, but I’ve never owned a truck. I’m hesitant to broadcast this fact because we really like living here, and we don’t want anyone to come for our “Texas Cards.” My husband and I have dreams of buying a travel trailer. In order to pull the kind of trailer we want, a truck would be essential, so we have discussed buying a truck. However, we just never have. I always thought of trucks as sturdy and practical, good for hauling a load of lumber or helping someone move. I never framed a truck in the context of a family vehicle before. Then we took the RAM 1500 Laramie Crew Cab 4×4 on a road trip from San Antonio up to the Texas panhandle, and I’m a changed woman.

If you’re a car or truck enthusiast, I’ll put the details in this post after I tell you what I love about the RAM 1500 Laramie Crew Cab 4×4 from a mom’s perspective.

Ram 1500 Laramie Crew Cab 4X4

If you’ve never considered a truck for a family road trip, you should! Photo credit: Jill Robbins

The space in the rear seat is praiseworthy

Next to the number of cup holders and charging ports, rear seat space is my litmus test on whether a vehicle is right for our family. This one did not disappoint.

My two eight-year-old boys still sit in booster seats by law. They’re kind of clunky and reduce the room my kids have to be comfortable in the rear seat. In a smaller rear seat, their legs are right up against the driver and passenger seat (which is no bueno for the driver or passenger, and I am always one of those people so I should know). Plus, their go bags or whatever they have to entertain them on a trip are crowded.

Not so with the RAM 1500 Laramie Crew Cab 4×4. My kids were ultra comfortable, and there was much less complaining about riding in the car for an extended period of time. I mean…we had some “Mom are we there yet?” but the comfortable rear seat really made a difference in the quality of our trip.

Ram 1500 Laramie Crew Cab 4X4

We drove through Caprock Canyon State Park in 20-degree weather, and my kids had a perfect view of the scenery and wildlife. Photo credit: Jill Robbins

The view from the back

The view from the rear seat of the RAM 1500 Laramie Crew Cab 4×4 is incredible. The kids sit high up, higher than they do in a minivan or most SUVs, so they can see things along the route a lot better. The windows are larger, so they can see MORE.

We went to Caprock Canyon State Park on a day that was really cold…okay, Texas cold, and we spent a lot more time inside the vehicle than we would have on a warmer day. Luckily, my kids were able to see a lot of the sights from the back seat.

The RAM 1500 Laramie Crew Cab 4×4 comfortably held two booster seats, our kids’ day bags and some of our camera equipment. Everyone had plenty of room.

More Reading: How to take home a Christmas tree in the Chevy Silverado

Ram 1500 Laramie Crew Cab 4X4

There are so many features that make the RAM 1500 Laramie Crew Cab 4×4 a great family vehicle. Photo credit: Jill Robbins

The cup holders…and yes, that is pretty important

You might think it’s funny that I list cup holders as a desirable feature, but it’s important to me. If you ride around with kids or travel with kids, it’s probably important to you, too, whether or not you realize it.

For me, cup holders are something you don’t always notice right away but something you miss if it’s not there. You might ask “Well, how many cups does your family need to have on a trip, Jill?” I always have a bottle of water for myself in the car. Depending on the time of day or how long we’ll be driving, I’ll have another drink, whether that be my Tervis mug full of coffee or a soda. If we stop for a bite, we almost always come out carrying to-go cups.

I hate having to shuffle things around and trying to decide which open water bottle or tumbler has to sit on the floor or the seat so your half-full cup of Sprite from McDonald’s can rest in your cup holder. With the RAM 1500 Laramie Crew Cab 4×4, we had plenty of room. I really loved this feature and yes, I am really this enthusiastic about cupholders.

Ram 1500 Laramie Crew Cab 4X4

This truck keeps you connected and charged up, no matter what you’re doing. Photo credit: Jill Robbins

All the charging things

When we’re on a road trip, my kids are typically watching movies or playing games on their devices. I have my phone plugged in. My husband has his phone plugged in. I might have a camera or a GoPro plugged in. We take a lot of pictures and video and the RAM 1500 Laramie Crew Cab 4×4 allowed us to recharge between stops and stay connected.

The connected truck

Speaking of connection, we loved the ability to stay plugged in and connected without using our data plan. My husband and I work on the road. Whoever isn’t driving is usually working in some capacity, so we appreciate the ability to stay plugged in and connected no matter where we were.

Ram 1500 Laramie Crew Cab 4X4

When you’re out exploring, the built-in navigation comes in handy. We loved staying connected while we were exploring a rather remote area. Photo credit: Jill Robbins

A Super-sized Infotainment System

I love having a large map like the one in the RAM 1500 Laramie Crew Cab 4×4. It makes it easy to see the map and directions at a glance while keeping your eyes on the road.

Why Your Best Road Trip Car Just Might Be A Truck - Review Of The Ram 1500 Laramie Crew Cab 4X4|Man Checking Back Seat Of Ram Truck

The rear seat has a ton of room for gear and kids. Photo: Jill Robbins

A Generously Spacious Cabin

We’re used to road-tripping in a minivan or SUV. Although we’re pretty light packers, we usually end up using every bit of space allocated. Camera equipment, coolers, coats, sports equipment plus our personal bags usually cram the back of a minivan or SUV. Not so with the RAM 1500 Laramie Crew Cab 4×4. We had room for days.

I also loved how the gate kept everything tight against the cab while we were moving. We barely filled up half the truck bed, and I felt like we took a lot of stuff with us. I also love the compartments of the truck bed that provide additional storage. This truck is ALL about storage, which would make it a perfect vehicle for families carrying around more sports and adventure equipment than we did on this trip.

Ram 1500 Laramie Crew Cab 4X4

The RAM 1500 is a workhorse with a side of glam. Photo credit: Jill Robbins

Keeps Your Bottoms Toasty

The Ram 1500 Laramie Crew Cab 4×4 will keep you comfy along the ride. This beauty has luxury features like heated and cooling seats with separate controls for the driver and passenger sides.

Ram 1500 Laramie Crew Cab 4X4

Some of the A Girls Guide to Cars Team in Dripping Springs, Texas. Photo credit: Jill Robbins

That Ram Sure is One Sexy Ride

You always think of trucks as workhorses…at least I do. But the butter-soft leather and wood trim in the cab is very luxurious, while still maintaining that rugged vibe. This is not grandpa’s dirty old pickup truck.

The RAM 1500 4×4 is a super-smooth ride, but it’s just rugged enough to make you feel like you are driving a truck. I never thought a truck replacing the family car would be an attractive or even practical option for us, but this definitely makes me rethink that.

As someone who isn’t used to driving a vehicle this big, I was surprised at how comfortable I felt behind the wheel. If someone told me that the RAM 1500 was going to be my regular, everyday mom vehicle starting tomorrow, I wouldn’t be mad at them.

Related: RAM 1500 wins the Texas Truck Rodeo 

Ram 1500 Laramie Crew Cab 4X4

If you travel with kids, this is definitely one to check out. Photo credit: Jill Robbins

Just the facts, ma’am

Here are some technical facts about the RAM 1500 Laramie Crew Cab 4×4:

If you’re in the market for a rugged yet still comfortable and classy truck, this one will set you back about $65,000. The base price is in the $45,000 neighborhood, but the add-ons sure add up. Honestly, the add-ons are what make this truck so seriously sweet.

The 2019 models introduce RAM’s eTorque technology, which is a mild hybrid that works with existing technologies such as cylinder deactivation, variable valve timing, and fuel shut-off to improve the performance of those systems and expand their use. eTorque technology eliminates the need for an alternator. It works as a 48-volt but can switch to a traditional 12-volt for duties that don’t include working with the engine directly. Our Ram representatives used the metaphor of the system being a weight spotter for the engine.

We averaged about 14 MPG with mostly highway driving, which is lower than what’s been reported (an average of 17 MPG, 15 city, 21 highway) While most of our driving  (like 85 percent) was highway driving, about half of that was driving straight into the wind, which crushes your fuel economy. The display on the dashboard let us know what kind of gas mileage we were getting and when we’d need to fill up – which was welcome because we drove through some fairly remote spots.

Ram 1500 Laramie Crew Cab 4X4

Home on the range with the perfect truck. Photo credit: Jill Robbins

Standard Equipment:

  • advanced multistage front airbags
  • supplemental front-seat side airbags
  • park view rear backup cam (AWESOME!)
  • 3.21 rear axle ratio
  • class iv receiver hitch
  • 7 pin wiring harness
  • keyless go
  • remote start system
  • ready alert braking
  • rain brake support
  • dampened tailgate
  • tire fill alert
  • active front air dams
  • capless fuel fill
  • u-connect with 8.4 display (seriously sweet)

Optional Equipment:

  • patriot blue pearl coat (this was exclusive to the truck we drove…so pretty)
  • leather-trimmed bucket seats
  • full-length upgraded floor console
  • customer preferred package 25H, which includes: adaptive cruise control with stop and go, advanced brake assist, full speed forward collision warning plus, lane departure warning plus, parallel & perp park assistance with stop
  • surround view camera system
  • bed utility group with 4 adjustable cargo tie-down hooks, pickup box lighting, and spray-in bedliner
  • off-road group with e-locker real axle, front suspension skid plate, fuel tank skid plate, full-size spare tire, hill descent control
Ram 1500 Laramie Crew Cab 4X4

Looking for a car for your active family? Think about a truck. Photo credit: Jill Robbins

More Stuff

There are so many conveniences and so many bells and whistles on this beauty. There are probably a lot of neat things about this truck that I just didn’t have time to discover during a one-week period of time. Other than the things I listed above, my big takeaway is that I like driving this truck. The RAM 1500 Laramie Crew Cab 4×4 strikes the perfect balance of being rugged and smooth. It’s a lot larger than what I am used to driving, and I thought I would be intimidated when I first got behind the wheel or that there would be a big learning curve.

There really wasn’t, outside of learning to maneuver a larger vehicle into parking spaces. I liked the feel of the truck, and I was surprised at how comfortable I was driving it.


I recommend this as a vehicle for a family who road trips frequently. It’s so comfortable and smooth, and the storage space can’t be matched. If you go off-road or on rugged terrain, all the better. We could totally see ourselves traveling around Texas and beyond in this sleek yet rugged beauty. The cost to fill ‘er up is the only detractor, and that’s the biggest complaint I hear from any truck owner who loves their truck. Big vehicle = more fuel usage, and that’s something that just comes with the territory.

I Never Framed A Truck In The Context Of A Family Vehicle Before. Then We Took The Ram 1500 Laramie Crew Cab 4X4 On A Road Trip And Everything Changed.

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Jill is the oldest mom with the youngest kids pretty much everywhere she goes. She has a 29-year-old daughter... More about Jill Robbins