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Old 05-28-2013, 09:11 PM   #1
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Towing with the 3.6L V6 Dodge Durango

I'm in the market for a new tow vehicle and pretty much have my mind made up on getting a Dodge Durango. The part that I'm really torn on is if the V6 will be enough to handle my trailer in the mountains. I currently have a Jeep Grand Cherokee with a 4.0 and am waiting on my vehicle upgrade to take a trip to Rocky Mountain National Park. I don't need to be able to drive 70 mph up the mountains, but I do want to be able to make it up the mountains without having to sweat about if I'm going to make it or not.

Last summer I bought a X18D which has a GVW of 4400lb, and the primary reason for going with that trailer was because we wanted to be able tow with a "smaller" vehicle/engine if possible to save on gas during normal around town driving.

I'm really interested to hear from anyone that has a V6 durango (2011 - 2013) and has taken it through mountains with a camper in the neighborhood of 4400lbs. I know the typical response will be to go with the V8 if you are going to be using the Durango for towing, but the V6 clearly has a big advantage in terms of MPG and it has a tow limit of 6200 (almost 2000lb more than my GVW).

Thanks in advance!
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Old 05-28-2013, 11:58 PM   #2
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I don't have any first hand experience towing with a Durango, but here are a couple of JOF threads on the same subject that may be helpful:

https://www.jaycoowners.com/showthrea...=dodge+durango

https://www.jaycoowners.com/showthrea...=dodge+durango

You may also find the following JOF thread of interest in respect to published Tow Ratings:

https://www.jaycoowners.com/showthrea...uot-Tow-Rating

Hope this helps.

Bob
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Old 05-29-2013, 12:08 AM   #3
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I am pulling a 165 Sport across country GVWR 3,500 with a 4.0L V6 4Runner.
I weighed the TT at only 3,000 lbs loaded out. 4Runner is rated at 5,000lbs.
I wouldn't want to pull anything any heavier or longer (16.5') with this engine or short wheel base.

JMHO
If at all possible, I would go with a longer wheelbase truck.

Best of luck,
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Old 05-29-2013, 11:02 AM   #4
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How big is the MPG advantage of the V6 over the V8? I bought our Trailblazer (I6, not V6) for exactly the same reason you want the V6 Durango. While it towed our old Kiwi 17a through the mountains beautifully, in real world driving it offered me very little gain in mileage over our old V8 Suburban, though I did get better towing mileage. Also, depending on the gearing, in some cases a V8 will get better towing mileage than a V6
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Old 05-29-2013, 06:29 PM   #5
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Rustic Eagle gave you some good stuff to read. In my own experience pulling a trailer weighing 5700# by CAT scale weight, with a 4.7 liter V8 in the hills, much less the mountains was making the engine work pretty hard for it's living. I think you would be happier with a 1/2 crew cab truck with a V8 engine for the some amount of money.
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Old 05-29-2013, 08:48 PM   #6
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I would definitely be all about getting something with a longer wheelbase, but that gets tricky do to also wanting a third row seat. If it wasn’t for the third row seat, I would be looking at trucks with a crew cab. I have 2 kids though and another isn’t out of the question so I need some seating space. With that said, the Durango seems like it’s probably my best option in terms of wheel base and tow rating (and still have a third row available). I think the only way I could get a better wheelbase would be to go up to something like a Suburban, but then you’re looking at 47k instead of 32k.

Being that I’m towing the camper right now with my Jeep Grand Cherokee (far from ideal), I spent some money to get a nice hitch, an Equalizer, to try and help with the wheelbase issue. My current Jeep has a wheel base of 106” and the Durango is 120”… I’m at least moving in the right direction.

The V6 is a few MPG advantage for city & highway so it’s not the end of the world, but if it’s not needed I’d rather not waste money. The big majority of miles will be non towing (even though I wish it was the other way around ). They also get you though in that you can’t get the V8 on the base model so you pay extra for a higher trim level and then more for the V8 option. If spending the money on the V8 is what makes the most sense, I’m willing to do it. I just don’t want to waste money up front and during normal day to day driving gas if it’s not necessary.
What gets me is going by the tow rating as stated by Dodge I’m only at 70% capacity with the V6. If I go up to the V8, I would be at 60% capacity. I understand that as Rustic Eagle pointed out in the link the stated tow capacity is pretty deceiving, but coming in at 70% seems like it leaves a lot of room for all the bad assumptions.
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Old 05-29-2013, 10:09 PM   #7
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I do not know what the new Durango has for a V8 engine options. I have the 2007 Dakota Quad Cab with the V8. It is basically the same engine as the small V8 that was in the Ram 1500, with a different cam. I have the tow package. I have a slightly larger and heavier trailer. The Dakota pulls the TT really nicely, if I keep the speed down, below 60 mph with the TT I get about 12.5 mpg on flat lands of MN. With no TT and I keep my speed down I get about 23 mpg, otherwise it drops quickly the faster I go. The closest to the mountains I have been with this combination is pulling out of Duluth MN on I35 (not a good comparison to a mountain). The speed limit was 55 mph, and I was able to maintain it fairly easy, but if I was off the throttle at all I drop my speed quickly.

One more thing to remember when they talk about towing capacity and vehicle load capacity, they start with an empty vehicle with just an average size drive. As you add kids, a spouse, and cargo, you will reduce your towing capacity.
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Old 05-29-2013, 10:11 PM   #8
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First of all we have 3 kids all under 9 and a 90lb dog, we went from a Tahoe to a Crew Cab PU. We considered the Suburban but the hitch receiver being integral to the frame/bumper on the new body style and not upgradable ruled that out. We were a little concerned about getting rid of the SUV, we have always had a P/U so that wasn't new to us, but making a P/U as the primary TV and losing that extra inside space was concerning. After the first trip it was clear the P/U was the right decision...plus there is the huge bonus of hauling stuff in the bed. The dog now rides in a kennel in the pickup. You are absolutely right, the 3rd row and inside space of the Tahoe was nice, but not nearly as nice as having a truly comfortable towing experience. I am certain that you can find all the justification you want/need to buy what ever TV you would like we can only steer you where our experience has taken us.

IMO at an absolute minimum get the V8, you want the HP and the MPG hit will be worth it. I would strongly recommend you consider a larger TV, wheel base & GVW are you friend when towing. You may think your X18D is great, but sooner than you think you will want to upgrade TT -- especially if you add to your family as mentioned. Consider buying used, it will open your budget to significantly more options. Lastly getting cheap now, and potentially making a mistake will cost a whole lot more to correct down the road vs. just biting the bullet now.
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Old 05-29-2013, 11:36 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clubhouse View Post
First of all we have 3 kids all under 9 and a 90lb dog, we went from a Tahoe to a Crew Cab PU. We considered the Suburban but the hitch receiver being integral to the frame/bumper on the new body style and not upgradable ruled that out. We were a little concerned about getting rid of the SUV, we have always had a P/U so that wasn't new to us, but making a P/U as the primary TV and losing that extra inside space was concerning. After the first trip it was clear the P/U was the right decision...plus there is the huge bonus of hauling stuff in the bed. The dog now rides in a kennel in the pickup. You are absolutely right, the 3rd row and inside space of the Tahoe was nice, but not nearly as nice as having a truly comfortable towing experience. I am certain that you can find all the justification you want/need to buy what ever TV you would like we can only steer you where our experience has taken us.

IMO at an absolute minimum get the V8, you want the HP and the MPG hit will be worth it. I would strongly recommend you consider a larger TV, wheel base & GVW are you friend when towing. You may think your X18D is great, but sooner than you think you will want to upgrade TT -- especially if you add to your family as mentioned. Consider buying used, it will open your budget to significantly more options. Lastly getting cheap now, and potentially making a mistake will cost a whole lot more to correct down the road vs. just biting the bullet now.
Well said Clubhouse

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Old 05-29-2013, 11:57 PM   #10
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not sure if new is an option for you, but jeep is about to launch a v-6 turbo diesel with higher torque ratings than the 5.7 v-8. Not to mention the better fuel economy.

http://www.jeep.com/en/2014/grand_ch.../capabilities/
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