Dodge Durango Towing

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jfunk

New member
Joined
Feb 20, 2006
Posts
2
Hello,

I live is SoCal and am contemplating buying a tow trailer to pull behind my 2001 Dodge Durango.  After investigating what I can safely tow and what my basic trailer requirements are I quickly realized that I must focus on "lite" tow trailers.  I know I'm very close to my limits but would like some advice on if I should proceed with pursuing a tow trailer with my Durango.  Here are my basic spec's on my Dodge and trailer.

Dodge:
4.7 Liter, 3:55 rear-end
GVWR: 6400

Tow Trailer:
2005 Forest River, Flagstaff 23LB
Dry Weight: 3300 lbs.
GVWR: 4603
Axle Weight: 3207
Hitch Weight: 203

I know the 3:55 axle ratio is limiting me.  Is there anything I can do to increase my GTWR?  I know I should be looking at a different TV but cannot afford to put a lot of money into TV and Trailer at this time.  Any advice is most appreciated.

Thank you..
-Jeff
 

2006F350

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 6, 2005
Posts
393
Location
Memphis TN
There is nothing that 'you' can do to increase your weight capacities .. that is something only the mfg can do. You could increase your rear end ratio close to 4.10 or such which will help with towing, but it still won't change the weight specs. The main number you want to to look at is the GCWR (Gross Combined Weight Rating). You take the weight of your vehicle (not the GVWR but the actual weight), add that to the dry weight of your trailer, add 15% and that should be at or below the GCWR. Towing ability is only the minor part of the equation, the major part is can your vehicle stop the trailer?

Best of luck in your search.

Larry
 

Ron

Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Jan 29, 2005
Posts
18,082
Location
Home is where we park it
the GCWR should not exceed the total of the loaded tow vehicle weight (including fuel and passengers) and the LOADED weight of the trailer. 
 

Carl L

Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Mar 14, 2005
Posts
7,239
Location
west Los Angeles
I live is SoCal and am contemplating buying a tow trailer to pull behind my 2001 Dodge Durango.  After investigating what I can safely tow and what my basic trailer requirements are I quickly realized that I must focus on "lite" tow trailers.  I know I'm very close to my limits but would like some advice on if I should proceed with pursuing a tow trailer with my Durango.  Here are my basic spec's on my Dodge and trailer.

You vehicle's tow ratings are around 4,600 lbs.  Your vehicle is getting long in the tooth.  Deduct about 10% from that rating and you have 4140 lbs.

You live in Southern California, just like I do.  That means you will be towing in the mountain west and up long, long high altitude grades.  Trucks lose 3% of their rated power per 1000 feet altitude.  That means if  you go to the Canyon, over passes in Utah, up to Mammoth and June Lake, or over Donner Pass you are going to spot 21% of your rated horsepower.  Tow ratings are affected by brakes.  Do you want to go down the Grapevine or Cajon Pass with marginal brakes?  So deduct another 10% for where you live and now you have a tow rating of 3726 lbs. 

Your trailer's dry weight is  3300 lbs.  Think you can load water, propane, options like awnings, and your food and gear and stay under 426 lbs?  Rember 10 gallons of water weighs 82 lbs.  Does no good to load the stuff in the truck, all you do is shift the problem forwards.

In short, you are close, very close.  It may be do-able if you are modest in your camping ambitions.  Stick to the coast and low desert.  Avoid the high passes inland.  If you do the Eastern Sierrra, camp at Bishop or Lone Pine.  Look forward to the day when you can trade your Durango in for a more capable truck. 

If the Durango is going to be with you for a while, consider a tent trailer.
 

jfunk

New member
Joined
Feb 20, 2006
Posts
2
Thank you Carl, Ron and Larry for your insightful suggestions.  It was most helpful.
-Jeff
 
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