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Old 06-16-2013, 01:51 PM   #1
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Dodge Dakota education and feedback needed

We're looking to add another vehicle in the family as we add our 5th driver soon, and we've pretty decided to buy a used Dodge Dakota. For one, we all want a pick-up in the family, daughter #3 specifically wants to drive a pick-up (surpisingly), and we need a TV to replace my minivan with 140,000 miles, which is our current TV. This will allow me to switch to an econo-car for the 25-30k miles I drive annually. So, daughter #3 will use the Dakota most of the time except the 2 weeks and handful of weekends we tow our PUP. We currently have a 1007 PUP but are contemplating a move up to a 1206, 1208, or small hybrid.

I've been examining Trailer Life's towing capacities, and it looks like just about all V-8 4X4 versions of the Dakota Crew/Quad Cab listed will give us 5,000-7,000 # of tow capacity which seems like plenty for the camper we own or want to upgrade to.

My first question is whether these capacities apply to all Dakotas or only those with the factory tow-package installed? I've noticed many used Dakotas for sale, even V-8s, without so much as a trailer hitch let alone the tow-package option installed. Having never purchased a truck before, is a "tow package" just assumed? And, lastly, if I find a V-8 4x4 Dakota without a factory tow-package, can I add the equivalent of a tow package aftermarket an achieve the same 5,000-7,000# tow capacity. I've added airlift bags and a tranny cooler to my minivan and have had no problems towing the 1007 with our 3.8L V-6.

I understand the benefits of a half-ton truck and that would be MY first choice, but it's just not in the cards given our current vehicles, drivers, and needs. DW's vehicle is too new to replace and I need to switch to an econo-car, so one of the DD's is going to have to drive the family's TV as her car the other 50 weeks per year, so a small pick-up is our best compromise. We're open to the Explorer Sport-Trac, Tacoma, or Frontier, but they seem much pricier on the used market. Also open to a Canyon/Colorado with a V-8 but they seem VERY hard to find. The Dakotas seem plentiful and cheapest on the used market.

Thanks for any help you can lend.
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Old 06-16-2013, 02:11 PM   #2
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A check of the vin number or a reprintof the factory sticker will tell if equiped with a tow package. The door stcker wil give you the offical limits of the vehicle also. You may be abel to add the equip.required for the 5k tow package but probably not for the 7k package which may meen a lot of heavy duty things like a larger raditor, dfferent rear gearing, larger brakes etc etc.Larry
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Old 06-16-2013, 09:30 PM   #3
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I can't address your Dakota configuration questions directly, but the following may be helpful:

What you have to watch for with any new/used TV is Payload Capacity, especially with the smaller TV's. A TV can have an attractive Tow Rating and GCWR, but may lack in Payload Capacity (and/or GVWR) which is critical when considering up-grading to a larger trailer because the trailer's loaded tongue weight is subtracted from the TV's Payload capacity.

A little more info on Tow Ratings: https://www.jaycoowners.com/showthrea...uot-Tow-Rating

Bob
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Old 06-16-2013, 09:48 PM   #4
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I have a 2007 Dodge Dakota Quad Cab, 4x4, V8, 4.7 liter, with the factory tow package. It is a good truck for us. Of all the cab combinations available the Quad cab has the lowest towing capacity. We are primarily towing a 2012 X23B. The only thing I do not like about the Dakota is the small fuel tank (22 gal).

On the 2007 model, and I am not sure how valid this is for other years, the easiest way to tell if it has the tow packages, is by looking at the exterior mirrors. The tow package includes 6x9 mirrors. The non tow package models have smaller mirrors.


Feel free to send me a PM to discuss any particular questions/concerns about a Dakota.
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Old 06-16-2013, 10:04 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rustic Eagle View Post
I can't address your Dakota configuration questions directly, but the following may be helpful:

What you have to watch for with any new/used TV is Payload Capacity, especially with the smaller TV's. A TV can have an attractive Tow Rating and GCWR, but may lack in Payload Capacity (and/or GVWR) which is critical when considering up-grading to a larger trailer because the trailer's loaded tongue weight is subtracted from the TV's Payload capacity.


Bob
Thanks Bob. You're definitely right. Moving from a 10' to 12' PUP doesn't add much to the tongue weight but the bigger hybrids add 2-3 times our 10' PUP. I think we could swing an X17A or X19H if we go that route. This NTU Dakota is targeted to get us through the next 5-7 years until my wife's minivan is ready for replacement. Then, we'll look into a full-size SUV like an Expedition, Durango, or Tahoe for her daily use and as our TV.
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Old 07-03-2013, 03:57 PM   #6
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The Quad Cab gives you room, but not always the towing you'll need. You'll want that 4.7 or the bigger 5.9, depending on what you're towing. I drove a 2000 Dakota with the 4.7 for 8 years. We even towed a very heavy 1970's 14 ft camper with it in the mountains in Idaho. It did it without complaint. Dakotas hold their value well, and it's a seller's market. They're worth whatever the buyer is willing to pay for them.

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