This is unreal. I didn't work at the Chrysler house very long, but I believe that I would have seen or heard of such a problem if it was at all common. Being in Rural Texas, probably60% or more of our service business was on pickups. Most of them only getting oil changes no more frequently than 5,000 miles.
I agree that the filters and pans are too small. But I also agree with Steve in that if the oil is changed at all, most any car will certainly go 'til lease or loan end without trouble.
I think this was an anomally for some reason, not common to Dodge trucks. It sounds like either the used oil scenario was true for some reason, or something else that he will never know about was the cause.
It really irks me that a young guy, working and going to school has to deal with something like this. I've been there and done that. The only difference being that I had the GI bill to help some.
Good luck to your friend.
Have a great day,