2017 Ram 1500 Sport is leased!

Going strong tonight. Hopefully you all have read the first edition to this new series and are up to speed on the current progress. This will be just as long more than likely. I have been contemplating this new blog since getting the new truck. Hoping it serves me and you a purpose. That being is a lease worthwhile for me, is this a good solid truck. Are Rams superior to other manufacturers, and does one buy at the end of the lease or turn in the key and run. We shall see.

Since the day of leaving the dealership I was in a waiting phase for the red one to come in on the transport truck and when I had asked the salesman when it would be in. His answer was any day but there was no certainty to an actual date. This of course left me with idle time to think, do research, and of course hit the forums. Forums are a wealth of knowledge. I will admit more people go onto them with issues and negativity so they can complain or really to hopefully find solutions from people all over the world.

One of my ticks I have is research. For some god knows only why reason when I want to get something or have bought something I research the shit out of it. Not always because I want to find a better deal but to make sure I am making a wise decision short and possibly long term and if there are any issues/problems are they resolved and how. Google is our friend and our enemy. People can leave bogus info anywhere they please. You have to take what you read with a grain of salt at times and find out first hand for yourself hoping not to be burnt in the process.

I left the dealership on April 20th 2017 and for the next two weeks I searched the net, read blogs, and forums to find out any and all information I could on the Rams. Wanted to ease my mind on their quality. Had heard of transmission issues. Anyone who sees a Ram knows they rust easily and quick on the rear fenders above the tires. I drove through the dealership lot twice looking to see if it had shown up and not been contacted. Emailed the salesman a couple of times because while I was looking/building a Ram on the actual Ram site things were not making sense.

Building the truck as it was coming I could not get the lease payment to come even remotely close to what he had thrown out there to me on a whim. Granted it was a whim and no actual black and white displayed. However it seemed the numbers were not adding up and I was beginning to have my doubts overall if this was worthwhile or even possible. The unknown can, has, and will always stress me out so this wasn’t a fun waiting experience.

Through all the looking, adding/subtracting, and waiting. I was wondering when this truck was going to land in their lot and hoping it wouldn’t be sold to someone else but I had no money holding it and there was no for sure we would take it and on top of it all my wife was not really down with all of this either so there was another barrier to cross when the numbers were laid out.

May 1st, 2017. Was at work that morning and thought screw it I am going to send another email to my salesman and ask if the truck was in yet or if had any idea when. About an hour or so later I got a response saying yeah he thought he saw it in the lot when he got into work that morning and would email me back asap. Asap meant 7 hours later really. As I was walking into my house after work I received an email saying yep the truck was in and just had its PDI completed. I responded in my asap saying “I am on my way”.

I was at the dealership within 20 minutes. Don’t live that far away, maybe 5 miles. Walked onto the main sales floor and asked for my salesman. He came out and greeted me. Went to get the keys and we began the walk to the back lot so we could locate where it was parked. Once we got to it, it was exactly what I had hoped it was. Looked perfect of course it was brand new but meaning it was exactly how I was wanting it to be. Got into it and went to take it out for a test drive. Needed gas though so that’s where we went to first. Once we stopped up the street for gas I stepped out and sent a couple of pics to the wife since she was at work still. She actually said it was sharp looking. Progress? We shall see.

Took the truck on a good test drive and brought it home to show the kids and look it over. All went well with both of those. I wasn’t too worried obviously. Going back a few minutes though as we were leaving the dealership lot the salesman said today was a good day to buy a vehicle. I asked why? He said even though it is May 1st it was actually their last day of April since April 30th was on a Sunday they could use this day as the last day of the month. Plus since we had established a work relationship he wanted to be honest and say at their morning meeting they were told they were short on their sales quota for the month by 20 vehicles and 7 of them being trucks.

As of 5 p.m. when we were leaving the lot I was the only one looking at a truck and he said they were making crazy deals today. Ones he hadn’t seen before. I asked would a lease deal be the same and he said yes. Gave me a story of one of the deals earlier in the day. I wondered in my head is he pulling my leg here or do I have a chance? Once again have to see to believe these days.

As we were pulling back into the lot I said okay lets start the game and get some numbers. Went through the routine. Handed over my current insurance card, license, and registration on the F-150. Off he went to begin paperwork and asked if my wife could fill out the app for financing the lease or stop by. I was texting her anyways and asked if she would swing by. She HATES dealerships and the whole buying process and does not like spending hours upon hours going through the whole thing. I got her to come by and told her it would only take a few minutes. She got there did what was needed and left to go home. At this time it was like 6 p.m.

It was going to be a late night and not go well from the feel and sense of things going through my head. We needed to have dinner and go through our routine at home. However, this was taking over and knew it wouldn’t end well later on at home. Weird how one can tell things before they happen.

Here we go… when the salesman and I had talked brief numbers on April 20th he thought since I was only paying for the part of the truck I was leasing the payment would be in the $300ish range. Now in my head I am thinking holy crap that would be a decent savings per month for us and a new truck on top that could work. Yeah you read that right. He said in the $300 dollar range. This is where the dilemmas started in my head and the math from the internet did not make any sense.

I figured if could get it under $400 I would call it a win and could more than likely get the wife on board as well. We had also looked on line to see what my trade in would be worth and with all options and mileage listed it came out to a tad over $23,000. Sweet! Here are some quick hard core numbers for reference now and later on. I owed at that time $22,050 on the F-150 and my current payment on it was $526.60. Now you can see while I did have some equity in it and going to a lease isn’t always the smartest thing. I was looking at the overall savings per month and never being upside down on another vehicle payment. This is where I am hopeful this blog helps me go back and look after three years if it was wise and worth it.

I need to side note quick here. I had done one lease prior on a 2006 Nissan Maxima. No issues and only had the car for a year and traded it in for the Frontier (back to a truck). I do not recall if I suffered from that or not now it was back in 2007.

Alright so back to now. After my wife left the salesman and I moved on with the game of numbers hardcore. Well I should say the sales manger and I. At this particular dealership it works a little different. The salesman does all the leg work with the customer and begins the paperwork but then it gets turned over to the sales managers in the tower to bring the numbers out to the table with you and the salesman sitting there.

Boom! The sales manager comes out and says my truck that I am trading in is real nice and in great condition (yep no shit). This particular manager we had to deal with on the wife’s Durango and he is annoying plus has a story for everything etc etc. Alright so he lays out the sheet in front of me in their four square scenario. They offer the $23000 for my trade in and took a few bucks off the new truck price and with first months lease payment it would come to….. over $717 a month!!!! WTF man!?!?! Not at all what we had discussed or guessed. Even my salesman eyes were wide and he said he did not expect it that high.

The manager gave me a line on how much a payment is on a lease for 30000, 40000, and 50000. Granted the sticker price on this new Ram 1500 sport was over $53000 there was no way I was going to pay that much a month for a lease let alone go UP in payment cost from my current truck. Hell to the no!

He asked what I did for a career again and more blah blah and said hold on let me go see what he can do. Off he went. There was small talk with my salesman and he agreed it was too high and he totally wouldn’t expect me to take that deal in anyway. Manager comes back and says okay think we got it better. Next offer…

They have now up’d my trade in value from $23000 to $28000 and brought the monthly payment down to $580 something. Nope still to high and higher that I was currently paying. Keep track here folks this is long and we literally just went down over $130 a month in one back to the tower scenario. Also remember the salesman told me they were making deals today and hadn’t sold the number of trucks needed. The manager walked away again when I said no it was to high still. Next…

A few minutes went by and a different or maybe even more senior sales manager comes out and shakes my hand and introduces himself. He states that this deal he has may not make sense but work with him and he will lay it out. Go for it man, lets see what you got now.

Third offer is now offering $29000 for my trade in and a few dollars off the truck either way the numbers go its taking money from somewhere he said so they just add it to the trade. I can’t recall the exact number we were at monthly but I still said to high and no. He asked where I wanted to be and I said around $400 a month and we both agreed we were a ways away from that. We are approaching 630 p.m. and I am getting texts from the wife asking how much longer and her saying I had told her it wouldn’t be an all night deal. I didn’t want it to be but I also didn’t know it was going to play out like this.

Alright he goes off and come back (same new manager) one last time.

Fourth and supposed final offer which was only good for that night and until 8 p.m. when the bank closed was approaching $30,000 for my trade in and a monthly payment of $496 and some cents. Yes readers are now down over $200 a month since we began the game. I had to go before I ended up divorced and at this point I am thinking this is going no where and it isn’t worth a savings of $30 a month.

They told me they needed a final answer by 8 that night and as I was walking out my salesman agreed it was to high and not what he had expected again. Understood my situation and stature on things. Said to let him know also either way. Off I went to home.

Once I got home, the wife and I had a private conversation that needless to say did not go well and can’t say wasn’t expected or did I blame her for her stance on things. All was fair and understood. I emailed the salesman and said thanks but we had discussed being under $400 earlier in conversations and there would have to be a better deal so this wasn’t looking good. At this point it was 640 p.m. and everyone was starving. Decision was made to run out to eat. Got to Pizza Ranch (poor choice) but it was quick. Stay tuned to the next part. On the way out the door the salesman emailed me back and said he went up and spoke with the second manager and they would come down another $20 to $476 a month but that was all they could do cause the general manager of the store wouldn’t let them go any lower. Out the door we went to eat.

Half way through dinner about 715 p.m my phone was ringing. It was the second sales manager asking if I had made a decision. Mind you we are 45 minutes away from their bank closing and the dealership closing. I told him I understood where they were but I know they are hungry and if this doesn’t work out then we could try again down the road. He said he would go down to $446 a month and bottom out as is. I told him give me 5 minutes and I will get back to him.

At the dinner table we discussed it and it was flying like rocks do and making it awkward for everyone. Wife finally said. “Get the payment down to a hundred less than we are paying now and do it and be done with it, obviously they are hungry and either they want the sale or they don’t!”. Okay then, I called the manger back to his direct line and made my final offer. He said he could not go that low which would be $426.60 but he could go to $431 and something. I again asked for 5 minutes to get back with him. I went and took that back and with not so easily agreed words it was accepted. Called the manager back and said “you have a deal”. In the mean time my salesman has no idea this is happening.

Backing up a second here. In between phone calls with the second manager my salesman had emailed me and called me asking for a status. At one point I told him to call me back in exactly 5 minutes and in another email said call me asap after I made the deal. Here is where it got complicated after the phone deal was made. I asked the manager if we could come in the next day and sign and pick up the truck, he advised no it had to be that night for the deal to be done for the bank or really their quota.

This, This did not go well. This meant we all had to go to the dealership and I didn’t even have my truck it was at home. So off we went to the dealership with my wife saying “5 minutes” is all I am staying. She wanted to sign and leave. I felt bad. On the drive there my salesman called me back and I told him to meet me in the showroom in two minutes we were almost there.

Pulled into the lot and walked in. Salesman greeted us and said he had no idea what all had transpired but said we would get the paperwork completed and be out soon. Ha right! He got things rolling once it was done with the manager and got the paperwork to finance office. He then left with the new truck to get it gassed and cleaned. Mind you it is now 8 p.m. The time they close. Finally got back into finance and started signing papers. Payment ended up at $432 and something a month and I made the first payment that night. Also as a way to buy their good reviews they gave us three free oil changes. Uh thanks?

After all the papers were signed we had to go home so everyone could finish their night and not to mention get the F-150 ready for trade in. Take off the tool box and empty some things out. My son and I knocked that out and left for the dealership at like 9 p.m.

Once back at the showroom everyone was gone or leaving. There were two other families working deals however. One did buy a Ram truck also. It took another hour and a half before the truck was ready to go and we had everything out of the trade in truck. Again wife not pleased with time and our son having school the next day. Left the dealership for home at 1015 p.m.

Recap. Overall this process took over 5 hours total and went from over $717 a month down to $432 for a three year lease 15000 miles a year. Three free oil changes. Will have to back and look at the paperwork to know for sure but ended up with trade value around $33000 or more. Can look at it either way. More added to trade in value or them taking $10000 off the new truck sticker. Hoping my residual ends up well. Salesman said they were hungry and they were. Also was advised it was a $4000 loss on their end to meet their monthly numbers. Who knows if that is true or not.

Left the lot with around 42 miles on the odometer and in the next segment I will cover my initial impressions. Issues I had from day one and things I have done to it so far. Below is the picture I took after it was pulled into the delivery bay on that night. Thanks for reading!

 

 

 

 

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Switching from F-150 to Ram 1500

Hello to all that have followed me on here before when I did a year blog about our new German Shepherd puppy. I enjoyed typing up his first year with us on here and so for some reason I wanted to start a new blog on my new truck.

As usual I am not sure where to start with this. Basically, I wanted to type from the beginning of the idea to paper signing and then work our way through the three year lease so I can have the ups and downs along with pros and cons with the truck itself documented and share with an audience.

Before we dive into what I got and why, lets touch on what I had before and what I traded in for the new truck. I am not going to go into all the vehicles I have owned since I was 16 cause there are so many and some for a very short time with no reason other than mainly getting bored and wanting a change. The truck I traded in was a great truck. It was a 2014 Ford F-150 XLT 4×4 crew cab with HID headlights, back-up camera, and leather seats. It only had 39,200ish miles on it.

As I was raised my family mainly owned Chevy’s. There were Fords here and there but was informed they were of bad quality and to never own one. No foreign cars/trucks at all. If it wasn’t “American” made then it didn’t belong in our driveways pretty plain and simple. Therefore, my first vehicle was a 1986 Chevrolet Cavalier off yellow four door with over 100,000 miles. It served its purpose for me and I took very good care of it.

Then when it was time for a new vehicle the idea and desire for a truck struck me hard. Can’t say why or how it was like that but I knew I wanted a truck or at the very least an SUV but they were always more pricey and still are today. My first truck was a 1993 GMC Sonoma standard cab short box 4×4. See a trend here? GM’s were the way to go with my mother and only to a certain dealer she had dealt with since 1986.

From that GMC truck to now I have had a few other cars, a couple of SUV’s, and several other trucks. Went through Chevy, Jeeps, Dodge (Dakota’s), Nissan (Titan, Maxima, and Frontier), then to Ford. Had almost no problems with any of them to be honest. All taken well care of. All cleaned often as I am anal about it. More on that later. My mom still swears by GM vehicles however I am okay with any manufacturer out there because they all have their good and bad and some models better than others. Some years are good and others one should run from. It is what it is with anything. Some good and some bad.

Let’s fast forward to 2010. I had just finished going through a life change involving bankruptcy and divorce as a package deal pretty much. Tried to keep the Harley I had then and the Nissan Frontier that was a perfect truck overall. During this whole process there were a few months where the attorney said not to pay anything while it all goes through and then we will work with the lenders to keep the vehicles. We did just that and negotiated new terms and such. All was well or so I thought. One day they showed up to take the Frontier even after I had been making monthly payments. It was those missing ones they wanted taken care of and being single and paying child support one just doesn’t have that in their pocket so off it went and I had to start over. Probably a good thing anyway.

So I needed a new vehicle and if you have read any of this you know it had to be a truck. Armed with internet searches quick as could be and the unknown of how I was going to fare for financing based on everything I went out and started looking in person and test driving. I landed up at a local dealer that had a few trucks and they supposedly had financing for anyone. Worth a whirl. Had to start fresh.

Met with the salesman and test drove a 2006 F-150 bright red crew cab two wheel drive with bigger wheels/tires than stock and a leveling kit supposedly from California. Not a hint of rust and in damn good shape. Had low mileage as well. All the red flags someone should look for but I took it out anyway. Drove great and had awesome interior space for my kids. There was another truck a Dodge Ram with a Hemi in it. Not as in good shape. Little higher mileage and even though there was hype on the motor it just didn’t impress me.

The numbers and financing worked out and I drove off the next day with the Ford. Solid truck. No problems. Enjoyed it a lot. During the year or so I had it I put on a tick over 20,000 miles. Met my now current wife and life began a fast forward of more amazing changes and overall much much better life than I could ever imagine. The red Ford got traded in for a 2012 F-150 then two years later another F-150 but a 2014. Both were brand new. Neither an issue with them either and again the trend for me was becoming a Ford man. Didn’t mess with the ecoboost V6’s went for the 5.0 V8’s. I love the sound of a V8 and don’t want to wait for a turbo to spool up. If anyone is watching the auto market though we will be out of V8’s more than likely in a few years and have super or turbo powered 4 and 6 cylinder motors only with electric being the main power plants and these as alternate options for more money.

Now that we have been where I was, let’s get to the now shall we. Why go from a Ford to what is now Ram since Fiat-Chrysler took over and made Ram its own brand from Dodge. I have always liked Dodge or Ram body styles. You get more options for the money than GM or Ford. Some of the Ram’s technology is better as well. However, there are downsides with Ram as with any truck though and it has usually kept me away except for this time.

December 24th, 2016 my wife and I bought a 2017 Dodge Durango and traded in a 2012 Chevy Captiva (Saturn Vue). During the buying process of the Durango I looked at what Dodge/Ram had become and had a pretty good experience with our salesman. Since then the Durango has yet to disappoint and is a beautiful vehicle over all functionally and versatility wise.

After we bought it I thought maybe I should trade in my truck for an R/T Durango (one with a Hemi in it) but having two Durangos is just dumb lol. Let the idea go and for a few months didn’t think about anything. I mean all was well with the current truck and no need to switch or mess with things. Ask anyone who knows me and they will say if its times for tires or an oil change I will be looking for a new vehicle. Well it wasn’t oil change time but it was getting close to tire time and while I had been looking at new tires I was also looking at new truck deals and thought what the hell…

On one of my days off I went back to the local dealership and met up with our previous salesman and began discussing Rams and ended up taking out an all black 2017 Ram sport with air ride and pretty damn loaded. We drove it for a while, brought it to my house to see how it fit in the garage and then sent a picture of it to the wife saying “uh oh”. We can say for certain that this went over poorly with her asking what I was doing and why.

Back at the dealership we briefly talked some quick numbers with trade in value and possible lease payments. I wont get into this on this post but the next one if you follow along in this journey…

At the end of my time at the dealership with the salesman we were looking at their sister dealerships and other trucks they had available to them. Let me back up here for this next part to make some sort of sense. My wife’s Durango is a red in color with the blacktop package which means black 20 inch wheels, black outside mirrors, no roof rack, and black emblems on the outside. It is pretty sweet. So as we were looking on the site there was a red one still in transit that would darn near match the Durango. Dumb as it was or is I was like heck yeah.

It had the options I was looking for. We agreed that when it came in we would take it out and then discuss numbers more in depth if I liked it and wanted to move forward. We were very clear with our salesman that we don’t want bullshit and no calls or emails unless we initiate. He did well on both occasions.

Alright, next blog post is about the new truck and below is the Ford that was traded in… see you there.

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