Husband Travels Frequently

My husband owns a 2003 Dodge Ram 2500 Crew Cab Short Bed truck with 27,000 miles. He usually travels about 50% of the time and I have a Vespa (70 mpg) and a Focus (24 mpg) that I can drive, so needless to say, with gas prices the way they are, I do not drive the truck very often.

How infrequently should I drive this truck when he is gone (and what kind of driving would it be) to keep his truck in top shape?

Further Info: We live on Aquidneck Island in Rhode Island.

How long is he gone for at any one time?

ps - you might want to remove your location.

Last time he was gone 3 months, then home for a week. He’s about to leave for another month, then back for a week, then gone for 6.

It varies.

Then I’d drive it for about 30 minutes every two weeks or so…there’s no rules on this. You don’t want to just start it for a couple of minutes in the driveway, that does more harm than good. It needs to get completely warmed up.

We had a similar situation a while back while posted overseas. Our daughter did the house sitting while our son drove our cars about every 3 weeks or so. He took each car out for a weekend, and made sure it got some highway speed driving on it.

Taking the truck out every 3 weeks and putting some fast highway miles on it while WARMING IT UP THOROUGHLY, ensures the battery stays charged, while the engine does not suffer from the “short trip syndrome”. Other posters might recommend some fuel stabilizer in the gas tank.

I thought about that after I posted, but there never was a little pencil to edit or update the original post… Any suggestions

No, I’ve not posted original questions, so I don’t know how to revise one. Sorry.

Considering the amount of time your hubby is home, have you thought about selling the truck? Do you really have a need for it?

I hate to pay insurance on something that just sits there and takes up space.

(In retrospect, I have a "02 Chevy Tahoe I use only to tow our travel trailer twice per year, sitting here sans insurance. (only have comprehensive on it) I put full coverage on it for the duration of the camping trip.

On another note: I keep a trickle charger hooked up and once per month sneak out (in plain sight!) with the truck and run around until the engine gets up to operating temp, then park it for another month.

I also keep the tank full with a bottle of Stabil in it. (fuel stabilizer)

Three months is not all that long. If you add a little fuel stabilizer and buy a battery tender (a special battery charger just for this kind of use) you should not need to drive it at all. You may be able to cancel all the insurance other than comprehensive and save a fair amount of money.

Yep, I agree. To keep it in “top shape”, every one to two weeks and the best would be to run it at highway speed for 15 to 20 minutes to fully warm it up and dry it out. You want to drive it though not just let it run, and do want to fully warm it up, not half way so that water stays in the exhaust.

Honestly, I would not even bother to drive it if the down time is under 6 months. Once a month would be plenty if you drive it for at least 1/2 hour and over 20 miles to get it fully warmed up, anything less would be causing more harm than good.

Sell both cars, and drive the truck. The money you save in upkeep, insurance, and depreciation on the two cars will be much less than the additional cost of fuel for the truck.

From what I’ve read, they have a truck(Ram), a car(Focus) and a scooter(vespa). I do kinda agree on selling one of them if all he’s home for is a week or so at a time. Good luck selling the truck though, not a lot of buyers for them right now

I can imagine they might need two enclosed vehicles at times when he’s back, so it’d be hard to get by on just one, and yes, there’s not much of a market for Rams, so not much to be gained by selling the Ram and renting a pickup those times it’s needed.