Dodge Dakota/Durango tow rig questions.

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Dodge Dakota/Durango tow rig questions.

Postby Modstock » Tue May 05, 2020 12:49 pm

Im looking for a new (used) tow rig for my bigger trailer.
Something midsize with a V8.
Tell me about Dodge Dakota's or Durango .
Any experience with those good/bad ?

I hear the 2nd gen is the best but the automatic transmission is suspect. Not sure if people have towed too large a load OR a defect.

I live in a mountainous region with steep hills all around.



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Re: Dodge Dakota/Durango tow rig questions.

Postby les45 » Tue May 05, 2020 7:40 pm

I had the second generation (2005) for seven years and 100K miles without any issues. It started losing freon a little bit toward the end but a bottle of AC Pro would keep it going for months. The hemi engine is the way to go. I was towing a small teardrop so I never really pushed its towing capacity but it was one of the best vehicles I've owned.

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Re: Dodge Dakota/Durango tow rig questions.

Postby gudmund » Sun May 31, 2020 12:25 am

I feel so many automatic problems are related to maintenance. Auto company's are so into the 'low to 'no' maintenance deal' in their service recommendations in telling people when to change the fluid. Most now say every 100,000 miles on top now selling you a transmission that is "sealed" from the factory now. There is not even having a dip stick anymore (now you do have to take it to a shop to get the fluid changed being there is no way to even add any if needed) I change mine every 25 to 50 thou - myself - being mine still does have a dip-stick - am good for now until I buy the next one..... I feel if the fluid was just changed a bit more often, most would find them lasting longer with less problems in the long run. Over the years I have had 'very' few problems if any, with any of the automatic trans I have ever owned. But yes, after having had a father who owned a auto shop, I probably did get a bit 'spoiled' by learning how to do my own oil/fluid changes = have "never" paid anyone to do it for me yet (age 66 now, owned first car at age 12/1966)…...
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Re: Dodge Dakota/Durango tow rig questions.

Postby CaptKidd » Sun May 31, 2020 10:07 am

I have a 2016 Dodge Durango with the V6 and an 8 speed auto with paddle shifters. It is rated to tow 6200#. I tow my 196Rpod which fully loaded weighs about 4500# and it tows great. At 60 mpg with no head winds and running in 7th gear I get 13.5 to 14 mpg.
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Re: Dodge Dakota/Durango tow rig questions.

Postby Squigie » Sun May 31, 2020 1:13 pm

I have not personally owned a Durango, but there have been more than half a dozen go through my family and I helped work on at least half of them. (1st and 2nd gen, only. No 3rd gens.)
Round about 2010-2011, there were 5 of them in the family, at the same time.

Lots of electrical issues. Many transmissions. Several transfer cases.
Not one of the owners would buy a Durango again, and no one has. The last survivor lived quite some time, a 1st gen ('99) that was finally fatally wrecked* by my niece in 2016. *(Fatal to the Durango, not my niece.) But it was on its second engine, third -and failing- transmission, second transfer case, second rear axle, and the interior was absolutely falling apart.

So.... Par for the course for Second-Malaise-Era Chryslers? :roll:

Owners of 1st gen Durangos had to install air shocks or beefier leaf springs for towing much more than a pop-up trailer. The rear ends just bottom out like the factory springs are made of paper. ...Like 20th Century Suburbans, Blazers, and Broncos.

If you're looking for a 3rd gen Durango, then none of what I've seen is applicable. I have no opinion or experience with them.

But if you're thinking about a 1st or 2nd gen, I think you'd be better served by spending your money on a Land Cruiser or equivalent Lexus (LX/GX series, preferably the LX or GX 470) from the same time period. Probably the best SUVs built during that time, and they're still damned reliable and capable today.
(The Lexus is usually cheaper.)
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Re: Dodge Dakota/Durango tow rig questions.

Postby Modstock » Sat Jun 06, 2020 2:15 pm

Eew. Go jap.
Never.

Almost picked up a older jeep Wagoneer but 5 hr drive away.

Well. Im in no hurry.
My next vehicle needs to be a midsize V8. Something small enough for trails.

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