Dodge Dakota? travel Trailer

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New member
Jan 13, 2006
Hello, We are just into retirement and considering a Travel Trailer. My 2002 dodge Dakota has the 175hp, 3.9L engine and 3 speed auto trans and O/D,3.55 rear end and the Towing package. Road ready it weighs about 4750#. the trailer is the Surveyor SV210, Dry Wt. about 3300# with full water and gear I hope to keep it to under 4000#, In theory this should work as the CGVW is 8800#.I understand we will get about 1/2 the milage and a reduction in preformance. ?The truck salesman says the truck will be working (he wants to sell me a new truck with a bigger engine) and the trailer salesman says it will be no problem(he wants to sell the trailer). ?I dont want to get stuck in the mountians and I dont want to buy a new truck. ?Anyone have any experince towing with the Dodge Dakota withe the V6?Thanks, rw.

Carl L

Moderator Emeritus
Mar 14, 2005
west Los Angeles
It looks like you are OK with your choice.  Trailer Life gives a tow rating of 5000 lbs for the 2002 Dakota with a 3.9, 4 speed auto and a 3.55 rear end.  With allowing 20% for towing anywhere in N. America, you should be able to handle 4000 lbs.

That said, you are going to do pull more than a few mountain passes in low gear -- we all do.  Just stay right, keep the rpms up and don't let the tranny keep searching for the right gear with out locking down into 1st. 


Gary RV_Wizard

Site Team
Feb 2, 2005
West Palm Beach, FL
I towed a 4500 lb 5W with a 97 Dakota but it had the 5.2L V8 and 3.73 axle.  Even with that I lugged down to 2nd on (and even 1st a couple times!) on steeper grades.  Your V6 will get you where you need to go, but there will be more than a few times you REALLY wish you had the V8.

Do you have to travel with full water?  It is most always possible to tank up near your destination, if not at it. Eliminating as much water as possible makes a big difference.


Well-known member
Apr 12, 2005
Roman Forest, TX.
Well, if you really don't want to buy a new truck, so be it.  But you will struggle pulling.  Especially on the hills.  You'll probably get where you want to go, but eventually you'll be wishing for a bigger truck.
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