3-4 months in Baja. We hava Dodge Dak. quad cab and Sub. Forester. What 2 buy?

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New member
Oct 29, 2006
I'm looking to take a break from teaching.  We want to travel the Baja P.  and perhaps some of the mainland for 3 or 4 months.  We'll also be bringing along our two dogs. We've never 'RVed' and need some suggestions on what to purchase for this trip. We were hoping to find something that our Subaru Forester could haul, but that's looking mighty unlikely.  So, that leaves our 2004 Dodge Dakota, quad cab.  I've looked just a bit at the HiLo Towlite and Trailmanor.  But they are a bit spendy.  We don't want a pop-up with vinyl sides.  Security is also a consideration.  We are new to the searching, so any suggestions would be GREATLY appreciated. 
Thank you very much
Washington State

Gary RV_Wizard

Site Team
Feb 2, 2005
Looking to buy a new home
You need to look up the Dakota's tow rating or GCWR (see the Glossary if you don't know what this is) to estimate out how much weight you can tow.  Then shop fopr trailers that are somewhat under the max estimate. Remember that everything you carry in the truck has to be subtratced from the max tow rating.

What engine, transmission and rear axle does your Dakota have? You can look up the 006 raings on the Dodge web site - 2006 Dodge Towing - it should be close. It's probably in the vicinity of 4500-5500 lbs, which would leave something like 3700-4500 lbs for a trailer after passengers, gear, hitch etc. are factored in anda bit of a safety margin left.  That doesn't get you a heck of a lot of trailer for a 4 month trip. 

I think you are being a trifle optimistic in your plans for this truck, but perhaps you are willing to rough it a bit more than I would, at least for that length of time. We used to tow a light weight 24 foot fifth wheel with a Dakota V8 and had a ball, but were rarely on the road for more than 4-6 weeks at a time. 6 weeks non-stop in a little trailer can start to get old.

Carl L

Moderator Emeritus
Mar 14, 2005
west Los Angeles
I have to agree with Gary.  That Dakota is marginal as a tow vehicle.  Its best engine has only 5500 lbs tow capacity.  That would leave you with a maximum weight of 4400 lbs for towing in the West as you are doing.  It will be hard to find more than a 19 footer --my light weight 23-footer weighs in at 4650 and tows at around 5000.  A 19 footer for 4 months with 2 adults and 2 critters will be....cozy.

Your best combination right now would be a Class C motorhome towing the Subaru as a dingy.  Maybe a used Class C?
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