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Old 04-08-2014, 11:46 AM   #1
Phil76
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Durango

We have a bullet 281bhs, weighs in at about 5100lbs, we will be putting weight distribution and anti sway on. The durango can tow 7200lbs, dealer says no problem, but I would appreciate any more info. Fairly new to towing and want input.

Thanks


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Old 04-08-2014, 12:03 PM   #2
Shoey
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Your 5100 lb camper will be closer to 6000 lbs (or more) by the time it is ready for use. You'll still be "legal" but the biggest concern will be the short wheel base of the Durango. Its not the worst combination I've seen, but it comes down to what you feel safe with. Some people are ultra conservative, and some are more risky or justify there set up with qualifiers like "only on short trips" or "not used on mountain terrain." How safe is safe enough? It is an individual question. If your lucky, you may find someone with the same set up to give you pros and cons to help in your decision.
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Old 04-08-2014, 12:26 PM   #3
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I think your biggest issue is going to be the amount of tongue weight on your truck + people + fuel + "stuff" I bet the rear axle will be far over gross. Like Shoey said it is really how safe do you feel. If all you ever do is go 10 miles down the road to the local county park and nothing else I am sure you would be fine, if you are going to go on longer trips than that I would really think about it. Maybe you should load up the trailer and truck and go to a local scale and see how it shakes out.

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Old 04-08-2014, 01:26 PM   #4
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My brother towed a new 5500 lb Keystone 26' TT with a 2012 Durango Hemi and WD hitch last season. I tried to warn him it was too much trailer for the Durango payload and wheelbase. He said it would be ok. Let's just say after one year he traded in the Durango for an F150 ECO Boost. He still won't admit it towed badly, but says he wants to err on the side of caution.
Bottom line, I would be leary of Towing any TT greater than 5k loaded and over 23' with the Durango, especially once you load the family on board.
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Old 04-08-2014, 02:13 PM   #5
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I replied to a thread yesterday in regards to a short wheel based tow vehicle, mine actually. Another member replied and gave the rule of thumb calculation for wheel base verses towed length. The formula is quite simple:

Allow up to a 20' trailer for the first 110 inches of wheelbase, then 1 foot of trailer for every 4" of wheelbase.

So:

110" 20'
114" 21'
118" 22'
122" 23' and so on

Hope this helps.
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Old 04-08-2014, 05:03 PM   #6
Phil76
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Thanks for your insight, frustrating that a dealers would tell me that the durango would tow it "no problem"!! Thankfully we don't do long camping trips and don't have much stuff, but will take it cautious for sure


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Old 04-08-2014, 05:27 PM   #7
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Yes it is very frustrating that dealers do this. Most of them only seem to look at the empty weight of a camper and the towing capacity of a truck and don't factor in cargo in either the truck or camper much less the gross axle ratings of said truck. Years ago a family friend bought a fifth wheel camper and the dealer told them they would have no problems with their 1999 F150... Well let's just say they came home from Montana with a new F250 after blowing up the transmission. Hopefully we can all guide you in the right direction and answer any questions you have.

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Old 04-08-2014, 06:37 PM   #8
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Phil76 & 440justin -

While it may be "frustrating that dealers do this" to their potential customers, let's look at from a different perspective - the dealers.

Dealers are in the business to sell RV's. That's what they do to earn a living. So, if some guy driving a smaller-sized pick up truck comes into his dealership and starts looking around for a trailer, is the salesman going to turn down a potential sale by telling him that his truck is too small for the job? Is he going to ask about the truck's towing capacity? axle ratings? and all sorts of specs about the truck? Not likely.

If he knows that your a "newbie" or someone with little or no towing experience, he will take advantage of that knowing that you are pretty "gullible". If he tells the potential buyer that his little truck will be "okay" then it must be true.

At some point the buyer has to accept some responsibility for doing his homework before he starts his search for a trailer. If he already has a truck that he is cannot upgrade for whatever reason(s), then he should make darn sure that the trailer he has in mind will be "okay" for that truck. If he isn't sure, then don't buy until you do know.

If you're going shopping, be prepared. Know what is ok and what isn't. If you don't know, find out. Check around, ask, join a forum - do whatever it takes to become as knowledgeable as you can about towing and tow vehicles.

I guess my point is don't be too quick to cast blame for mismatched tow vehicles and trailers on sales people. Surely the buyer has to accept some of the responsibility for ensuring that his purchase is a wise choice. "The dealer said...." may be in some cases an easy out for the buyer to shift blame when in fact, he was the one at fault.
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Old 04-08-2014, 06:58 PM   #9
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Festus2 I didn't mean my post to come off as blaming only the dealer. The only sad thing is some newbie's will not even know they need to look into these things before buying. If you were never around this stuff before you might never know to question all this stuff. Truck dealers are no better when I was truck shopping most sales people had no idea what options i needed to get to tow ratting I wanted. They were just like the Ecoboost can tow 11,300 lbs. I would then tell then that is great.... You just showed me a truck with a 3.31 axle... You fail.

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Old 04-08-2014, 07:23 PM   #10
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440justin -
Yes, a good point and I didn't interpret your post as one that lays blame only on the dealer. I must admit however that I find it somewhat surprising that a "newbie" who is about to spend $25000 for example on a trailer wouldn't take the time to research his investment to see if his truck would be a good match. This newbie may not know what questions he should be asking but shouldn't he find out?
My intent was not to place blame on the buyer but simply to point out that he should accept some responsibility for his decision and take some ownership for the problem.
I also realize that there are some dealers and sales people that will tell you straight up that your TV is not a good match. They are not too quick to say, "You'll be ok". Unfortunately, there are not enough of them.
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Old 04-08-2014, 07:34 PM   #11
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Actually the dealers salesman did not misrepresent anything. In fact the Durango can pull that trailer. Can the Durango "handle" that trailer in a panic stop, in a good cross wind, on steep mountain grades, probably not. Wouldn't want to be in your seat when 2-3 Semi's blast past you and push that combination all over the highway.

Can it pull this trailer? Always makes me think of that truck commercial that was on television a couple years back. Look at this truck pull the Space Shuttle down the street; what power, what guts, what strength. OK, lets see the stopping power of this baby in a panic situation.

Do your homework.
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Old 04-08-2014, 08:17 PM   #12
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Additionally, the "legal out" for the dealership is that document they slip in with all the financing paperwork.... The one that you sign acknowledging, "I understand that it is my responsibility to determine the suitability of my vehicle to tow this purchase. The dealership assumes no responsibility for any mismatched vehicle/trailer combination."
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Old 04-09-2014, 03:02 AM   #13
Phil76
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Good thing I paid cash, haha! Thanks for all the input, I don't blame the dealer, as you said they are making a sale, kicking myself. First few trips will determine a lot for me


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Old 04-10-2014, 08:59 PM   #14
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The short answer is yes, it will work. In most cases. However, it is important to know the weight of the occupants, hitch weight, true payload allowance, as well as transmission type. I would prefer to have ZF 8 speeds, with it even 6 cylinders are enough.
Nothing ruins towing performance of short wheelbase vehicle more, than relatively long rear overhang, ML or Grand Cherokee are better than GL or Durango. Get short tow bar to keep the ball within 1.5-2 inches from the bumper(I assume you have backup camera). Hensley May be needed in the case of severe sway.
Good luck
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Old 04-11-2014, 06:28 AM   #15
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I pull with a Durango

I have a 2011 Dodge Durango for my tow vehicle, like yours it has the 7200 as well. My trailer the Bullet Premier 22RBPR weighs in at 4940 (Scale weight not dry weight). I had the Equalizer hitch on it for a year and just upgraded to the ProPride (mainly because of the short wheel base on the Durango any my desire for a better towing experience). The wheel base on the Durango is 119 inches so depending on which formula you use the longest trailer that you should tow would be around 24 feet. I'm over that because my 22rbpr is actually 25 feet (bumper to ball). Like you I was told I could tow the 26 foot version by a sales person. In short your going to feel it, so for now get a good hitch (I recommend the ProPride if you can fit it into your budget), and drive slow. Oh, and I get about 9 MPH while towing with my Durango.
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Old 04-11-2014, 07:46 AM   #16
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We also tow with the Durango. Our Premier is 23 feet. The Durango pulls well on hills, etc. We have WDH with sway bar. Can we feel the trailer? YES.
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Old 04-23-2014, 07:49 PM   #17
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We picked up our Outback Terrain 250TRS and 3 days later traveled ~630 miles to the Ozarks on our 1st trip with the trailer. I will admit I was a bit apprehensive at first, however, my 2012 Durango R/T did very well. Granted, we averaged 9 mpg (I'm good with that) and my speed was generally under the speed limit in MO (70MPH in MO), I did not feel we were unsafe. As a matter of fact, on HWY 65 outside Springfield I had the opportunity to attempt a hard brake and emergency maneuver to avoid a bunch of rubberneck fools as we crested a substantial hill. I looked at my wife and said, "Wow, other than those idiots watching a lady pulling her kids out of a car, I am very happy with that experience!"

Stats: Husband, wife, 2 kids in second row, 1 kid in the 3rd row. I had a dry camper with the exception of clothes and a couple bikes in the front storage area.

It should also be noted the Equalizer 10K Hitch was excellent!
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Old 06-13-2014, 08:11 PM   #18
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We were thinking our Durango would pull our Bullet 230BH until my DH did a lot of research. We didn't want a smaller trailer...ended up with a newer bigger truck
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Old 06-20-2014, 05:06 AM   #19
Phil76
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Just finished our first "big" trip about 400 miles each way, I tow a 281bhs, weighs 5100 and is 31'. I was nervous because of what I read here, but, in high winds and transport trucks blasting past the durango towed very well. Did I know the trailer was there? Of course but never felt out of control in fact I found it to be a great towing experience. I will of course be very prudent and never get over confident. I used an equalizer 10k hope everyone is having a safe and amazingly fun camping season


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Old 06-21-2014, 07:28 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil76 View Post
Just finished our first "big" trip about 400 miles each way, I tow a 281bhs, weighs 5100 and is 31'. I was nervous because of what I read here, but, in high winds and transport trucks blasting past the durango towed very well. Did I know the trailer was there? Of course but never felt out of control in fact I found it to be a great towing experience. I will of course be very prudent and never get over confident. I used an equalizer 10k hope everyone is having a safe and amazingly fun camping season


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X2.
The experience is similar to flying through slightly bumpy air. You feel it but nothing really changes your direction. After 30 minutes of of driving I stop paying attention to it. Congratulation with the great TV which still can fit in the garage. Same Mercedes DNA, and Durango doesn't need receiver reinforcement unlike Benz!
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