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Old 03-20-2015, 02:26 PM   #1
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Towing ? From a beginner thanks in advance

Towing ? Help! Did some searches but didn't really find an answer. Hi all & thanks we picked up our travel trailer yesterday & we love it. But in towing it I noticed that my 2014 Dodge Durango citadel hemi v8 awd, 8 speed Trans with group iv towing package. Installed 4pt equalizer sway hitch with electric break too. Trailer weight about 4900lbs 30 ft long. It seemed that the engine was running very high rpm's & that it was always a gear behind what it should have been I was thinking. Just seemed to be revving the engine. Also had a smell couldn't pinpoint where it was coming from but checked all breaks as soon as we got home on both the Durango & tt all seemed well, Luke Warm @ best. It was 15 to 20 min drive & we smelled something ? going 55 to 60 on a highway. I thought there was a faint smell from the engine compartment but didn't see anything wrong. No smells around breaks. Will the transmission act a lot differently towing & make the engine rev.? Should I start using the auto stick where I can change the gears? Never towed anything this large so not knowing what is normal. Thanks for any help or suggestions as we are just starting out & have a big trip planned this summer.
Thanks Rob
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Old 03-20-2015, 02:31 PM   #2
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You'll get many replies from many who know much more than I do, but my first thought.... Be sure you activate the tow/haul mode on your vehicle.
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Old 03-20-2015, 02:46 PM   #3
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As long as you are reasonably sure that your trailer brakes are not dragging, what you experiencing is likely normal. There is a lot of wind resistance to an RV trailer; they pull relatively hard. And the hemi is an engine that likes to rev as that is where it produces its power.

If you are totally new to towing, I'm sure this is a bit of an adjustment.
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Old 03-20-2015, 05:00 PM   #4
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I don't have a tow/haul button. I don't think the 2o14 Durango's have that anymore because of the new 8 speed trans. Thanks
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Old 03-20-2015, 05:06 PM   #5
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It could be I just need to learn & get used to how it tows. Thanks again. I don't think any break is dragging on the trailer but haven't messed with the electronic breaks since installed. All I know is that the red light comes on when I hit the breaks. Didn't feel much different then normal without the trailer.
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Old 03-20-2015, 05:09 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by rlgold View Post
I don't have a tow/haul button. I don't think the 2o14 Durango's have that anymore because of the new 8 speed trans. Thanks
Some trucks don't have that. Look through your owners manual for the truck and find the section on towing. Some trucks will tell you to turn "overdrive" off or to drive only in 4th gear. (My old Tacoma was like that...only allowed to drive it in 4th gear, not "D" because overdrive would kick in...it didn't have a button to turn overdrive off.)

Not sure about the smell...can you describe it?
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Old 03-20-2015, 05:38 PM   #7
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Yes I checked in the owners manual. It doesn't say anything about a button. Mainly just has the weight max. There is no overdrive it has 8 gears & a low speed for under 25 mph. At first instance of smell I thought of breaks but none were hot. I will have to take it out again when I get a chance & see if it happens again.
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Old 03-20-2015, 05:39 PM   #8
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Are you sure you are not underestimating trailer weight a bit? 4900# is incredibly light for a 30-foot TT... Your AWD Durango tow ratings are GCWR = 13,100#; Max Trailer = 7,200#; and, Max Tongue = 720#. The 8-speed in the AWD does not have a tow/haul mode. It has a programmed routine to attempt to minimize hunting. If it cannot do it alone, you definitely need to be on the AutoStick finding the gear that will hold. Totally new to towing, you should 1) expect to feel a 30-footer behind such a short wheelbase tow vehicle; and 2) you will be actually working an engine and drivetrain in RPM ranges where they are meant to do work over fast grocery gettin' like we all know a HEMI Durango does most of the time. It definitely takes getting used to, and you will come to have a very different relationship with your vehicle towing, especially over long distances. As for the smell, could have been fluids heating up or could have been the first time your engine compartment saw the kind of heat towing generates and you cooked off some of the labels Dodge puts on all the harnesses and hoses to track production.
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Old 03-20-2015, 06:01 PM   #9
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Check the trailer weight as mentioned, it seems low. Also You say trailer package. Did that include an aux trans cooler or just hitch and wiring. Over heated trans fluid has a strange smell. Check the fluid on the dip stick if over heated it will retain the small.

Might also look at a Scan Gauge
Amazon.com: ScanGauge II Ultra Compact 3-in-1 Automotive Computer with Customizable Real-Time Fuel Economy Digital Gauges: Automotive

It will provide lots of engine data and for many vehicles trans temp.
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Old 03-20-2015, 08:32 PM   #10
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weight

Quote:
Originally Posted by geotex1 View Post
Are you sure you are not underestimating trailer weight a bit? 4900# is incredibly light for a 30-foot TT... Your AWD Durango tow ratings are GCWR = 13,100#; Max Trailer = 7,200#; and, Max Tongue = 720#. The 8-speed in the AWD does not have a tow/haul mode. It has a programmed routine to attempt to minimize hunting. If it cannot do it alone, you definitely need to be on the AutoStick finding the gear that will hold. Totally new to towing, you should 1) expect to feel a 30-footer behind such a short wheelbase tow vehicle; and 2) you will be actually working an engine and drivetrain in RPM ranges where they are meant to do work over fast grocery gettin' like we all know a HEMI Durango does most of the time. It definitely takes getting used to, and you will come to have a very different relationship with your vehicle towing, especially over long distances. As for the smell, could have been fluids heating up or could have been the first time your engine compartment saw the kind of heat towing generates and you cooked off some of the labels Dodge puts on all the harnesses and hoses to track production.
2006 FOREST RIVER SURVEYOR SB291 4820lbs is the dry weight according to the description from the dealer. is there a place on the trailer that i can douyble check?


Yes I never pulled anything this big or heavy and as you say groceries dont count. so it sounds like im going to learn that the engine and drivetrain will act differently with the trailer. Thanks it has a digital readout of all the oil & trans temp I will start looking at that closer and compare. Thank you for your help and suggestions.
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