Originally Posted by Amberly2100
Hello, I'm new here. We just purchased a 2005 SLT 4.8L V8 Durango with axle ratio 3.55. I know it's not the ideal tow vehicle, but it is ideal for other aspects of our life. The Dodge site says tow capacity is 5,700lbs.
We own a 24' jayco travel trailer that weighs 3,600 lbs dry. At full capacity it says it can be loaded to 5,800 lbs, although we doubt we'd ever tow it that way. We are now wondering if this Durango will be enough to safely pull the trailer.
Hi, Amberly, and
The factory "tow capacity" is usually overstated. To calculate it, they subtract the shipping weight of the tow vehicle from the GCWR of the tow vehicle. But your wet and loaded SUV is going to weigh more than the shipping weight, so your actual tow rating will be less.
The tow rating is an indication of the weight you can pull
up a mountain pass on a normal interstate highway - without overheating anything in the drivetrain, and without poking along in the far-right lane blocking traffic. So it's not a critical indicator of the amount of weight you can safely tow.
Your limiter to safe towing is probably the GVWR of the SUV. You can either haul an SUV full of people and stuff, or drag a 5,000 pound TT, but not both at the same time without being overloaded. So here's the drill:
Load the SUV and the RV trailer with all the people, pets, and stuff that will be in it when towing. Drive to a truckstop that has a truck scale - such as a CAT scale. Fill the SUV with gas, then weigh the wet and loaded rig. Subtract the weight on the two axles of the wet and loaded SUV from the GVWR of the SUV.
Compare the combined weight on all the axles of the SUV and trailer to the GCWR of the SUV.
We need to decide if we should keep the trailer or opt to sell it and buy a smaller tent trailer to tow with this vehicle. We would really like to keep our trailer if possible, but we don't want to be irresponsible about towing it. We won't be selling or trading in the Durango anytime soon because of financial reasons.
If you're not over the GVWR of the Durango, then there's no reason you can't safely tow that trailer with that SUV. If you are over the GVWR of the SUV, then I'd consider trading for a lighter weight RV trailer.