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Old 04-24-2013, 09:52 AM   #1
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TV compatible for a 2503S Rockwood mini lite

My wife and I are interested in purchasing a Rockwood minilite 2503S weight 4500lbs.. I was wondering if the 2013 Dodge Durango with tow package (6200lbs trailering) and 6 cylinder pentastar 290hp and 120 inch wheelbase. It would be my wife and I camping. we would only load about 500lbs max RV. Any TV recommendations would be greatly appreciated. I understand pick up trucks would be more advantageous, but my wife prefers no truck. I think we might be able to tow with the durango, but I'm open to all even if I have to convince the wife of a small pick up that can tow the RV.
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Old 04-24-2013, 11:53 AM   #2
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The trailer you are looking at has a GVW of 6344. That is more of a realistic number to be looking at than the dry weight, since no one goes with a completely empty trailer. So right now, that puts you over.

Another thing to look at is tongue weight and cargo carrying weight of the Durango. I am not sure if there is an issue there since the Hemi is rated to tow more than the pentastar in the durango.

Personally, I think you are close to the limit with them Pentastar. Choice is yours my friend. If you have had towing experience, and you are comfortable, go with it. If you don't have any experience, then you may want to look at a different combination.
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Old 04-24-2013, 12:05 PM   #3
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Unfortunately, the "this truck/SUV can town X,000 pounds" is generally unrealistic and based solely on a best case scenario - i.e. a 150 pound driver and literally nothing else in the vehicle.

Once you start adding those things, your cargo carrying capacity (aka payload) is decreased. Your available payload needs to be able to carry the tongue weight which is 10%-15% of the weight of the camper (which is *never* the dry weight - it's always more). If you're going to be the most conservative, you look at the gross weight (aka maximum weight) of the camper and do the math from there.

I wrote an article up for my father-in-law for determining the towing capabilities of his 4Runner:
What Can I Tow?
What Can I Tow? - A real world example
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Old 04-24-2013, 02:19 PM   #4
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Thanks for the information. The durango has a payload weight of 1330lbs. This is more than enough to accomodate the tongue weight(tongue weight as stated on trailer is 545lbs add battery and propane approximately 200lbs =745lbs.
1330- 745 = 585 lbs payload left. I figure trailer would weigh in at about 5200 lbs when loaded. I saw the tag on RV at dealer, it read 4405 lbs. I think I can get by with 6 cyliner, but might upgrade to hemi 8 cylinder for extra power and axle gear ratio.
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Old 04-24-2013, 03:20 PM   #5
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I think you have a good estimate for the possible tongue weight and possible trailer weight (it's GVWR looks like 6,200 pounds). You may be a little higher in the 5,000s, but that's not going to effect your tongue weight that significantly.

How many passengers do you have? Is it just you and the wife? What kind of weight are you two running (you both count towards that 585 lbs. payload remaining)? Do you have kids? Kids gear? Junk in the trunk? etc.

I was shocked when we weighed our truck and found that with the 4 of us (two overweight adults and 2 kids in booster/infant seats), our traveling crap, hitch and add-ons to the truck (most notably, our rolling hard cover) weighed in at about 1,200 pounds!
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Old 04-24-2013, 05:29 PM   #6
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My wife and I weigh about 350lbs together, no kids with us. I think we will be OK. I do think the 6 cylinder would be alright but the Hemi would be better for mountain country. I prefer the gas mileage of the 6 cylinder. Thanks again!
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Old 04-24-2013, 05:37 PM   #7
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It certainly sounds like you will be within the Durango's ratings.

For fun, it might be worth weighing the Durango loaded up as-if you were going camping. But, everything points to, "you'll be good" from a weight-perspective.
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Old 06-21-2013, 03:01 PM   #8
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we pull ours with a gmc yukon xl Vortec 5.3L V8 w/ trailering package and load leveling hitch w/ stabilizer for about 6500 miles thus far. get about 14 mpg at 60 mph. no problems at all.
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Old 06-22-2013, 11:39 AM   #9
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I read allot but don't post much. Most people are over paranoid about being close to the towing limit of their vehicle. They would rather overdo the engine and suffer the fuel mileage rather that use a slightly under powered tow vehicle a handful of times every year driving maybe 1 to 2 thousand miles yearly. I know I am not willing to make that compromise...I have a Toyota Highlander and a Mini Lite 2306 and am within a couple hundred pounds of the limit as well. The problem I have is I put on about 27000 miles a year and can not justify the fuel costs of a V8. If you are going to be travelling allot with the trailer that is different, but for most people it is just a poor decision.
FYI..I do testing engineering for a living and know a thing or two how limits are established and the engineering and legal decisions that are made before those limits get published.
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Old 06-22-2013, 04:03 PM   #10
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The biggest issues I consider when getting near max weight is the transmission, can it handle the strain and how hot is it going to get? Does it have a factory transmission cooler? And another is rear differential size, is it a mini thing or is it the same as in a Ram with a high tow capacity? Brakes are also a HUGE concern, everyone is worried about towing power but rarely do people consider stopping power. As far as the engine, if it's under powered it's not going to blow up towing the camper. It's just going to get poor fuel economy and you're going to die out on the hills.
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