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Old 05-18-2018, 06:49 PM   #1
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Tow with Durango Hemi

First time poster here. I did some searches in the forum but have never found a good confident answer. I am planning to get a Lance 2285 (GVWR 6400) or similar trailer, and I am debating on also getting a Durango Hemi as the tow vehicle/daily ride. Is this a good safe setup or will I be white knuckle the whole way?

Thanks.

Paul from the Garden State
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Old 05-18-2018, 07:27 PM   #2
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Not sure what the payloads are like on the Durango. But loaded up that Lance 2285 will run between 720 to 820 lbs tongue weight. Several people on lanceowners.org are towing a 1685 or smaller with the Durango and are happy with it.
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Old 05-18-2018, 08:19 PM   #3
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Look at the yellow sticker on the driver side door for the people and cargo weight that the vehicle can carry.

What you will need to understand if you vehicle can carry 1,500lbs for example. You add up all your weight and you get 1,499 and think you are ok. Well the vehicle will not break but you probably will not be happy with the way it tows.

If you buy a 2019 Ram 1500 with air suspension that will carry 5 people plus tow better than the Durango I think. The 2019 Ram has an improved frame, rides nice, is quiet and powerfull.
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Old 05-20-2018, 05:53 PM   #4
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Hi, scubapc, and and to our campfire.

Quote:
Originally Posted by scubapc View Post
I am planning to get a Lance 2285 (GVWR 6400) or similar trailer, and I am debating on also getting a Durango Hemi as the tow vehicle/daily ride.
People want an SUV because it will haul lots of people, pets and stuff. But the biggest problem with an SUV towing a travel trailer (TT) is that you can either haul a family and their stuff, or you can tow a TT that has a wet and loaded weight of 6,000 pounds. But you cannot do both at the same time without being overloaded unless you severely limit the weight in the SUV.

Tech stuff. Let's begin with the tow rating. The Durango tow rating is 7200 pounds for AWD and 7,400 pounds for RWD. https://www.dodge.com/en/towing_payload/2016/
The tow rating is the MAXIMUM gross trailer weight the properly-equipped SUV can PULL without overheating anything in the drivetrain. But that maximum assumes you have no weight in the SUV but a skinny driver. And it assumes that the hitch weight will not result in the GVWR or rGAWR or receiver hitch weight limits to be exceeded. Ignore the tow rating because it's not your limiter.

Your limiter is probably the GVWR of the SUV. GVWR is the max weight that can be on the axles of the SUV when sitting on a truck scale with the trailer tied on. GVWR minus the weight of the SUV = payload capacity of the SUV. Dodge says the payload capacity of the 2018 Durango Citadel is 1,290 pounds. GVWR is 7,100, so the payload capacity is 1290 only when the SUV weighs (7,100 minus 1290 =) 5,810 pounds.

Tongue weight of the average TT is 13% of trailer weight. So if you properly load the trailer to 6,000 pounds, then your tongue weight will be about 780 pounds. Add 100 pounds for a good weight-distributing (WD) hitch, and hitch weight will be about 880 pounds.

So assuming the Dodge-published payload of 1,290 pounds is accurate, then 1290 minus 880 = 410 pounds for people and stuff inside the SUV.

Quote:
Is this a good safe setup or will I be white knuckle the whole way?
You shouldn't have white-knuckle driving if you properly distribute the weight inside the TT to result in 13% tongue weight, and properly install and adjust a good WD hitch with built-in sway control, such as one of these:
Reese Strait-Line trunnion bar with shank (not a less expensive Reese)
Blue Ox SwayPro
Husky CenterLine HD 31390 (not a less expensive Husky)
Equal-I-Zer

Or even better but a lot more expensive is the Hensley ProPride 3P hitch.
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Old 05-21-2018, 05:43 AM   #5
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Trucks can haul 5 people and lots of stuff in the bed with a tonneau cover. They are body on stiff ladder frame and are built for comfort as well as towing.

I believe most SUV's are uni-body. Also with shorter wheelbase.

IMHO anyone that wants to haul people should buy a SUV. People that want to tow a trailer should buy a truck with a tonneau cover. It can haul people as well as tow a trailer.
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Old 05-21-2018, 03:10 PM   #6
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Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by tuffr2 View Post
Trucks can haul 5 people and lots of stuff in the bed with a tonneau cover. They are body on stiff ladder frame and are built for comfort as well as towing.

I believe most SUV's are uni-body. Also with shorter wheelbase.

IMHO anyone that wants to haul people should buy a SUV. People that want to tow a trailer should buy a truck with a tonneau cover. It can haul people as well as tow a trailer.
This is my problem: I can either have a truck or an SUV as that is what my driveway can accommodate (wife's car, my car, and the trailer). I need an SUV that can haul 6 people regularly and tow a trailer occasionally. However, I don't need it to do both at the same time. When I tow, there will at most be 2 people on board. The rest will be in my wife's car. Assuming I use WDH and use good judgment not to bring the kitchen sink , what is the highest GVWR trailer I can safely tow?

I am surprised that this scenario is not more common among RVers. What do other people do? Please share your story.

Paul
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Old 05-21-2018, 03:44 PM   #7
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...They get the "humble, lovable, shoeshine boy" of tow rigs, a one-ton passenger van.

Head over to Orefield, PA and check this out:
Used 2013 Chevrolet Express LT 3500 for Sale in Orefield PA 18069 Kressleys Auto and Truck

It's boring, but more than capable, family budget friendly, 6.0L, ~9,700LB tow rating, will carry 6 comfortably, (12 snugly), with or without the trailer, and eliminate the need to take the separate vehicle. When you need a truck, pull the rear seat, and presto, truck with a big rainproof cap. one-owner, factory rear heat/air, factory tow package.

I keep my old school Ford Van around just for tow duty and hauling folks now. People with Suburbans/Expeditions often admire the ease of access, and extra headroom the van offers.
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Old 05-21-2018, 04:15 PM   #8
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I read the Durango SRT can tow 8,600lbs. I think you can get air suspension. That option would be highly recommend for both people and towing.

Take a look at a 2019 Ram 1500 Laramie before you buy the Durango 5.7 Hemi. I know Ram plans to build a Laramie with a solid leather front bench. That truck can carry 6 people and with a tonneau cover can carry a lot of stuff, from soccer to fishing stuff. That truck might be difficult to find but Ram added a bunch of quality to that truck.

Ok, back to the Durango. Air suspension is a great option to carry people and an occasional trailer. I highly recommend that option. You can always buy the better sway control devices and WD device and probably make the Durango work.

Oh, make sure you look at the different Occupant and Cargo capacity stickers inside the drivers side door. Buy the Durango with the most capacity.

The sticker will look like this but with different capacity numbers.

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Old 05-21-2018, 06:02 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by scubapc View Post
What do other people do? Please share your story.

Paul
Most people overload their tow vehicles. Most of us on here compromise somewhere. I have 4 kids and plan on 1-2 1500+ mile road trips/year. Which meant I had to trade payload capacity for vehicle comfort. So I bought an Expedition (~1650lbs payload) and plan to carefully watch how I load the trailer. The careful reader will note that the payload capacity of the Expedition is about 300lbs greater than a Yukon XL Denali
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Old 05-21-2018, 08:07 PM   #10
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Assuming I use WDH and use good judgment not to bring the kitchen sink , what is the highest GVWR trailer I can safely tow?
Generalizing, but probably a travel trailer with GVWR around 7,000 pounds but loaded to only 6,000 pounds. 7,000 pound GVWR for a smaller bunkhouse travel trailer can have all the normal ammenities of AC, furnace, hot water, shower&pottie, queen-size bed, single slide-out room, dinette, etc. Then, with only a driver in the SUV and hitch weight of about 900 pounds including a good WD/sway-control hitch, you should have a bit of wiggle room to add a few pounds more to the SUV or TT without exceeding the payload capacity of your tow vehicle.

Quote:
I am surprised that this scenario is not more common among RVers. What do other people do? Please share your story.
As shane_the_ee mentioned, too many folks hit the road with an overloaded tow vehicle. And most don't even realize they're overloaded, because they never weigh their wet and loaded rig when on the road.

And I'm no angel. When on the road for a long RV trip last year, I exceeded the payload capacity of my F-150 by 100 pounds. GVWR = 7,100 but my GVW was 7,200. Nothing "bad" happened on that 3,000-mile trip. But I'll be ordering a new 2019 F-150 next fall, and I plan to add the heavy duty payload pkg (HDPP) and the max tow pkg this time. So with the same 20' (interior length) trailer, I'll have wiggle room for increased weight without being overloaded.

Live and learn.

Like many, I assumed the 8,400 pounds tow rating of my 2012 F-150 would be more than enough for my TT that weighs less than 5,000 pounds when on the road. Nobody in the truck but me and DW. Plus two dogs and their food/water dishes, bed rug, spray-in bedliner, camper shell, toolbox full of tools and jacks, just normal stuff to haul in a pickup when on the road. But that normal stuff weighs a lot more than I had guessed, so the GVWR of 7,100 was quickly exceeded.
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Old 05-21-2018, 08:42 PM   #11
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Based on vehicle weight/mass, longer wheelbase, body-on-frame construction, and personal family experience, I would highly recommend a full size Expedition or Suburban/Yukon XL over the unibody Durango for a TT load in that range.
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Old 05-21-2018, 09:38 PM   #12
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We had a 13 Grand Cherokee Hemi 4wd. It was rated for 7,200lbs and a tongue weight of 720 IIRC. The cargo capacity was about 1,150lbs. We towed a 24 TT that weighed about 4,500 lbs. with me and my wife and two small dogs, we had issues with weight. The engine and tranny were more than adequate but it just wasnt a comfortable tow.

If you do go with a Durango, get a lightweight but good hitch, watch your loaded weight and dont plan to fill the SUV up with kids, dogs and food. If you need lots of stuff with you, get something else.
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Old 06-09-2018, 12:20 PM   #13
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Tow with Durango Hemi

Quote:
Originally Posted by scubapc View Post
First time poster here. I did some searches in the forum but have never found a good confident answer. I am planning to get a Lance 2285 (GVWR 6400) or similar trailer, and I am debating on also getting a Durango Hemi as the tow vehicle/daily ride. Is this a good safe setup or will I be white knuckle the whole way?

Thanks.

Paul from the Garden State


I tow a slightly heavier and longer trailer with my 2014 Durango Hemi and love it. Ive hit the scales and done all the measurements, so I feel comfortable that Im doing ok.

Weve towed all over the US and took a trip to Alaska last summer. Never had a problem, the ride was comfortable, and engine and transmission temperatures all were within expected ranges.

I use a Blue Ox hitch and it has served me well.
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