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Old 09-24-2017, 08:24 AM   #15
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Thank you so much desert flyer you can't know what your kindness means right now. I'm now sitting in hospital room because although the plan was to look at trailers again on Monday my husband has just had a TIA and they're busy trying to figure out what's happening so don't know what that does to our travel plans but thinking positively here's the Scoop. I do not need the 7000 # trailer, it just looked really nice. I'm sure I could easily get by with a very nice trailer that weighs about 5,000 to 5500 pounds wet. When we will be traveling it will be most likely my husband myself and 2 to 3 50 lb dogs. I was going for the Durango for two reasons. Number one when we're not traveling I like to have the room for kids and grandkids but they will be not traveling with us with the trailer. The Durango is more reasonably priced, tows quite a bit for an SUV, and is more versatile for my everyday use when I'm not traveling. I could buy a truck instead but in my daily life all that truck bed is going to be completely useless as I am not hauling anything but people and dogs. Before this happened last night we were talking about dialing back the trailer expectations as the reality is we like to travel and we like to see things. We will be using the trailer to sleep and to cook and although we will probably dry Camp occasionally when were traveling to a longer distance such as my son's in California from our home in Ohio just for an overnight stay the rest of the time we will be using campgrounds. Assuming this plan is able to continue into reality with our current situation, we had decided we needed to buy the trailer first and then buy something appropriate to tow it but now I'm thinking more like the 5000 pound wet range. Thanks everybody
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Old 09-24-2017, 08:27 AM   #16
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Thank you!
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Old 09-24-2017, 10:10 AM   #17
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Best of luck to you in the coming days. May God bless both of you. In the meantime, we will do some research.
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Old 09-24-2017, 10:30 AM   #18
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I reccomemd checking out the expedition, as that is what we tow with. The numbers are a little higher than the Durango. We tow a travel trailer that is roughly 6500 lbs loaded and it holds its own. We arenít going to win any races or pass many gas stations, but we have plenty of room and power to get the job done.
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Old 09-24-2017, 05:43 PM   #19
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OK, here is what I have come up with...

Since you live in snowy Ohio, I have assumed you would want AWD along with your V8 Durango. Per Dodge, your max tow rating is 7,200 lb and max hitch tongue weight is 720 lbs. But as we have earlier discussed, the limiting factor on your SUV is payload and not towing. From the internet I have found these values for a 2017, V8, AWD Durango:
GAWR front 3,200 lbs; actual axle weight 2,800; avail payload = 400 lbs
GAWR rear, 3,900 lbs; actual axle weight 2,600; avail payload = 1,300 lbs
GVWR total 7,100 lbs; actual curb weight 5,400; avail payload = 1,700 lbs

The critical one is the REAR axle since that has to support the weight of the trailer hitch. Assuming worst case like me and my DW, we weigh 450 lbs and assume 50% of that goes to rear axle = 225 lbs. Your 150 lbs of canine love will be in the back along with lets say 25 lbs of stuff and that add 175 lbs more to the rear axle. Add in a full tank of gas at 200 lbs and a 100 lb weight distributing hitch and 300 lbs more goes to the rear axle. With NOTHING else in the Durango (no cargo), that brings the total payload to the rear axle to 700 lbs. Subtract from 1,300 lb capacity and that leaves you with a grand total of 600 lbs available for the hitch load.

So far, so good. So how much trailer does that equate to? Common guidance is that the hitch load must be between 10-15% of the total trailer weight for stable towing. Several others on this forum suggest 12-13% is optimum. If we use 12%, then 600 lb divide by 0.12 becomes 5,000 lbs. This is your maximum trailer weight WET and LOADED.

However, all camper/trailer websites and brochures list their weights as either "dry" or as "Unloaded Vehicle Weight". To this you must add the weight of options, option packages, weight of water if you want your tank full, weight of propane and batteries, and all camping gear and cargo in the trailer. This can be a hard number to pin down and depends on how much "stuff" you are going to bring with you. For a rough number, I would suggest 1,000 lbs. This will include all of the above but not real heavy items like a generator, or several heavy pop-up canopies, or Lucy's rock and boulder collection! Subtract 1,000 from 5,000 and you come up with the magic number of 4,000 lbs DRY weight maximum for your new trailer. Not quite 7,200 lbs is it?

The amount of load on that rear axle is critical and sensitive. Let's say you want to bring one grandchild along in the back seat. Most of their weight will go to that rear axle. Let's assume 75% of 100 lbs = 75 lbs more to the rear axle. That brings the available hitch load down from 600 to 525 lbs. Doing the math, max trailer Wet weight is then 4,375 lbs and Dry weight is 3,375 lbs. That 75 lb load on the axle reduced your allowable trailer weight by 625 lbs. (Dieting helps...I just haven't ever found the answer and seem to be stuck between 250-270 lbs!)

Now if hauling grandkids around is an unusual circumstance then you could still be around 4,000 lbs, adjust the cargo distribution in the trailer so that the hitch tongue weight approaches not less than 10% and you would still be safe.

Bottom line, if I were in your shoes, I would look for a trailer of a maximum dry or Unloaded Vehicle Weight of 4,000 lbs. This gives you a bit of margin in case you end up with a bit more than 1,000 lbs payload.

Good hunting.
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Old 09-24-2017, 06:10 PM   #20
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The wifes cousin has a 17 ft single axle camper that is 3200 lbs dry weight. Its cute, but I dont think I would want to do many cross country trips with one. Figuring for no cargo doesnt make sense. You are going to bring something. A spare tire ect. If the truck idea doesnt work, you might reconsider the suggestion of an expedition or some other larger suv, so that a bit larger trailer is feasible. Good luck on your purchase.
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Old 09-24-2017, 06:46 PM   #21
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I hope you husband is doing fine. You may also want to consider the winds that you may encounter when traveling. Having a vehicle at its max towing capacity will not give you much power to push through heavy winds, either head or side winds. Not to mention the passing of a large vehicle at highway speeds. Having towed a trailer with a vehicle near its max load I can tell you it is not very fun trying to go up hill with/without heavy winds all the time trying to at least maintain the highways minimum speed. I think Desert Flyer has giving you some great advise to help with your decision. Good luck and safe travels!
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Old 09-25-2017, 09:09 AM   #22
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Thanks so much. Old guy when you refer to running the vehicle at maximum capacity and the wind issues would that apply to desert flyers calculated 4000 dry 5000 wet or if I would go over those numbers?
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Old 09-25-2017, 09:35 AM   #23
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I dont think wind will be an issue, the Durango with V8 has plenty of power. High side winds can effect all trailers, you would just need to slow down.
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Old 09-25-2017, 01:04 PM   #24
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Have you considered the "Hybrid" travel trailers? Rockwood, Cub & Jayco all make a hard sided camper with bathrooms and all the normal options, but they have canvas beds that fold out. It's a hybrid between a pop up and a traditional camper. The benefit is you cut down a LOT on the weight but still have plenty of space and the creature comforts. They are more pricey per square foot but easier to tow and store. Our friends have a 24' Rockwood Roo with slides on both sides, an island in the middle with the sink. It's beautiful inside and still gives them the ability to tow it with their Tahoe
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Old 09-25-2017, 07:12 PM   #25
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Those are a great choice for a family. Wish we had one instead of our pop-up when our kids were still camping. I have just given away our Coleman to our grown son. Will probably start looking for a smaller lightweight trailer ourselves in a couple years. Want a nice thick bed matress instead of the thin bunk end pieces of foam.
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Old 09-26-2017, 07:14 PM   #26
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Contrary to popular belief you do not need a big gonzo truck. But you do need to match your tow load to your vehicle.

The so called white knuckle ride is more a function of personality than equipment.

Determine your vehicle's maximum cargo capacity, subtract your family, pets and gear in your vehicle and what is left is the tongue weight you can tow.

Towing capacity and trailer dry weight means very little, gross trailer weight and about 12 % for tongue weight is a good starting guess.
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Old 09-27-2017, 06:48 AM   #27
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The so called white knuckle ride is more a function of personality than equipment.


Haha. Ok
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Old 09-27-2017, 10:10 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kimcht View Post
I appreciate the recommendations and the calculators but they aren't helping me. #1 its a foreign language to me but #2 I am trying to purchase the right vehicle for the trailer I want so I don't have the numbers for those calculations. So.... Just in general what kind of towing capacity would I need to tow a full weighted trailer of 6000 #. Or 7000#. Can I do the Durango at 7400 tow rating? Or do I need to go to a 1/2 ton truck?


In short...go get a Ram 2500 with the 6.7 Cummins. You will not regret it. Plenty of excess towing capacity, load carrying capacity and sufficient fuel economy to seriously go cross country. And, the ride is pretty darned nice to boot.
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