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Old 05-01-2012, 01:51 PM   #1
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Researching Stage of Purchasing a trailer

Hi everyone,

I'm brand new to this forum, it looks like a great resource! I am in the researching stage, I plan to buy in the next 6 months. I want to get my ducks in a row - if I shouldn't be posting here, or this belongs somewhere else, please pardon me - I will move it, but I am new

My family of 4 really wants something comfortable, with creature comforts. I have a 2005 Dodge Durango 4.7 V-8, so I think I might have to keep it under about 4,000 lbs (or so I've been told). Does anyone have any recommendations/tips for me? I sure appreciate any/all feedback! Thanks!

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Old 05-01-2012, 03:41 PM   #2
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That is going to be difficult. Under 4k with all of the "stuff" and comfortable.
I am not a good source but I think most likely you would be looking at a hybrid or a pop-up.
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Old 05-01-2012, 08:31 PM   #3
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A Durango is like most SUVs of that size....short wheelbase and top heavy. Do you know if the truck has a HD towing package and what rear axle ratio it has?

If you have the towing package, I'd limit it to no more than 4500# (loaded not dry weight) with a family of 4. You need to look at the light weight trailers like the hybrid models.

Come up with some questions and trailer and you will get lots of comments.

Oh, RULE NO 1:
Never believe the RV (or truck) sales person,

Rule #2:
RV sales people have been know to stretch the truth.

Ken

You need to read and understand all of the towing terms like GVWR and GCWR.
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Old 05-01-2012, 08:37 PM   #4
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I agree with both above. You are going to be limited in what you can pull. A nice pop-up or hybred would be your best bet. You are looking at about 3500 to 3800 lbs of loaded trailer. That would give you some room for the family. Come to us with specific questions and all will be willing to help. Don't make the mistake I made a few years back and got too big a trailer for the truck. We sold the TT after 1 year. DW hated the experience.
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Old 05-02-2012, 08:50 AM   #5
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I called my Dodge dealer and because my Dodge has a tow package with the V-8 the guy told me not to exceed 5000# dry weight. I've been looking at the Keystone Passport 195RB which is 3739 # dry. Adding 2000# (what the RV dealer told me to add) for people, water and supplies, that would put me over - but my Dodge dealer said 2000# is pretty high for supplies and I should be fine. Do you all agree - I would trust your opinions more! Thanks for all the help!
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Old 05-02-2012, 09:19 AM   #6
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You are going to have to get out the towing guide and look at the weights if you plan on cutting it that close. People will not be happy but weigh everything and everyone that you plan on taking. Then add say 400 for things you missed or the 'would be nice to have.'
If you never plan on carrying water or back with something in the tanks you should might not 2k.
Remember, just because the manufacturer says it can be done does not necessarily translate in to something you want to do.
Remember running near max will put more strain on everything: tires, brakes, nerves.
If you are getting a new trailer get the actual (actual not speced) weight.
I had gotten a trailer after the tow vehicle and was not comfortable towing the trailer, until I took the loss and up-sized the tow vehicle.

You want the setup to work not to have to make it work.
Happy camping.
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Old 05-02-2012, 12:26 PM   #7
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Thanks everyone for your input! I have definitely narrowed down the RV list to look at. Cheers!
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Old 05-04-2012, 12:13 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by kcameron5021 View Post
...I have a 2005 Dodge Durango 4.7 V-8, so I think I might have to keep it under about 4,000 lbs (or so I've been told). Does anyone have any recommendations/tips for me?
Not enough info. 4x2 or 4x4. Trim level make a difference too. Here's a blurb from eHow .com:

Four-Wheel-Drive Towing Capacity
  • The 4.7-liter engine was offered in several Durango trims in 2005. There was some variation in towing capacity between models. The four-wheel-drive ST and SXT models had towing capacity of 5,850 lbs., while the four-wheel-drive SLT, Adventurer and Limited models were capable of pulling 8,650 lbs.
Don't get excited about those "tow ratings. They are way overstated. Subtract at least a thousandpounds from them if you want to stay within the GCWR of the tow vehicle. But an SUV is almost always limited by the max hitch weight you can have without exceeding the GVWR of the tow vehicle.

To determine your max hitch weight, load the SUV up with family and anything that will be in it when towing. Pets? toolbox, jacks, extra fluids and parts? Shank and ball mount for the weight-distributing hitch. Drive to a truckstop that has a CAT (certified automated truck) scale and fill up with gas. Subtract the weight of the wet and loaded SUV fromn the GVWR of the SUV. The answer is the max hitch weight you can have without being overloaded.

Travel trailers have about eleven to fifteen percent wet and loaded hitch weight, but most of the smaller ones you'll be considering have 12 or 13 percent. So divide the max hitch weight you can have by 12 percent and that will give you a ballpark max weight you can tow without being overloaded.

Example: You have 800 pounds available for hitch weight. Divided by 0.12, that's 6,666 max trailer weight you can have without being overloaded. Assume that the GVWR of the trailer is the weight of the wet and loaded trailer when on the road. So don't look at any TT with GVWR of more than 6,666 pounds.

If youcanhave a TT with a GVWR of 6200 pounds, then look at the Slyline Nomad Joey model 268.


If your Drango cannot handle that trailer because of the estimated 744 pounds hitch weight, then you next bet is a probably a tent camper.
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Old 05-04-2012, 08:02 AM   #9
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If your Drango cannot handle that trailer because of the estimated 744 pounds hitch weight, then you next bet is a probably a tent camper.
I had to run, and got back after time ran out to edit my post. So it has several typos still there. But you can probably make out what it was intended to say.

I bought a tent camper when my kids were small. That was our camper for the next 20 years. We drug it all over the USA, from Maine to California, and Flordia to Washington State, and everything in between. It wasn't air conditioned, so we usually headed for the mountains in the summertime.

We drug it with V8 cars or vans, including a 1965 Dodge Cornet 500 with 318 V8, 1971 Hornet Sportabout with 304 V8 and a 1977 E-150 with 351W V8.

Darling Wife and I got adept at putting it up in a minute or so. Once at Sequoia Nat'l Park we had to out it up in a rain storm. Yeah, we got wet, but everything in the camper stayed dry, and in a minute or so we were inside out of the rain.

It came with an icebox, dinette, and lots of storage space, but no kitchen, bathroom, furnace or AC. So we had a Coleman 3-burner gasoline stove, Coleman gasoline lantern, Coleman gasoline catalytic heater, porta-pottie, plastic dishpan, 5-gallon water jugs and a gallon or so of Coleman gasoline. I guess you could say our camper was primative, but since it replaced a tent it was luxury for us. It was lacking aminities compared to the ones available today, which have hot and cold running water, bathroom, furnace, AC, refrigerator, but still have a GVWR less than 4,000 pounds.

So don't give up on camping just because your tow vehicle won't tow a big travel trailer without being overloaded. Check out the pop-up tent campers.
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Old 05-04-2012, 10:49 AM   #10
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I had a Dodge Dakota with 4.7 V8 with all the works.. I towed a 4200 lb dry weight tt in the flat lands of Ohio. I thought it did ok until I got to Ram 1500 with a Hemi. Difference was night and day. I have to admit I put my family's safety in question listening to dealer. It will tow 4000 lbs dry wt ok as long as the roads are flat and dry, no winds, no tractor-trailers pass you, you don't have to maneuver fast, etc. My advice is stay under 3400 lbs. Don't tow with water in tanks. Upgrade your rear shocks to Monroe load adjusting shocks (they have 1200 lb coil springs on the shocks). It will bounce going down the road with factory shocks and the rear will squat down. Carry as little extras as you can. Keep length under 25'. Change the tranny on the Dodge to synthetic fluid.
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Old 05-04-2012, 10:12 PM   #11
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While you may "fall" within the guidelines for your towing capacity; I would consider upgrading to a full size truck. We pull with a Dodge Quad Cab with the HEMI engine. The torque range for the HEMI makes it an ideal "puller". The smaller 4.7 will pull okay, but the difference in torque ratings will certainly affect the durability of the engine. I would upgrade the truck and look at a good used TT to begin with. We have put 158K miles on our truck and have pulled the TT (34') around 12K miles with zero issues from either.
Not only do you have more engine, but you also get better weight distribution, and better handling and braking. BTW, make sure that you get a good weight distribution hich and sway control..............when you need it you will be glad you have it.
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Old 05-14-2012, 03:14 PM   #12
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Just got my TT, and I have a 2004 Ford F150 with a 4.6 V8. TT is a 6,900 lb. dry weight beast. Got the same speech about "you'll be fine." Fortunately, I only traveled a short distance home, but that was very unsettling! Trailer pushed my truck around a good bit, and it was unnerving. I don't want to do any distance like that, so I'm looking to do a trade in.
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Old 05-14-2012, 03:58 PM   #13
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If you and your family have not spent time in any travel trailers, first contact local campgrounds to see which ones rent trailers on site, many do. That way you can develop a list of wanted features and "deal breakers" before you own it. Then enjoy!
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