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Old 06-05-2009, 08:23 PM   #1
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2002 Dodge Dakota pickup to tow 27-ft Overlander?

I was thinking of buying a 2002 Dodge Dakota with a tow rating of 6450 and a V6 to tow my '73 Overlander, a 27-footer. Any thoughts on this? I have no idea what I'm doing so be gentle with me. Also, the truck has no tow package now so I'd have to install one, and any advice on that (what I would need to get, where to order it, etc.) would be useful. The reason I'm consider this TV is that the person is willing to trade this truck for my existing car and it would be a good trade for me.

If this vehicle won't work, what should I look for? I also own an F150 but it's too rusty to tow.
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Old 06-05-2009, 08:37 PM   #2
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Welcome to the forums. Your Overlander probably weighs around 5500 pounds or so. The accepted formula for tow capacity is no more than 80% of tow capacity, in order to keep from overloading the tow vehicle when loaded with fuel and people, plus their gear. At that ratio, your Dakota is just slightly under that figure, with just over 5100 pounds. A somewhat bigger tow vehicle would be better, if you can get one without breaking the bank.
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Old 06-05-2009, 08:42 PM   #3
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Your trailer weighs about 4500 lbs dry. This my be doable but you would need a weight distributing hitch for sure.

What is the wheel base on the Dakota? is it an extended cab?

You will also need trailer brakes in the truck for sure.
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Old 06-05-2009, 08:50 PM   #4
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2002 Dodge Dakota pickup to tow 27-ft Overlander?

Greetings ecotrailer!

Welcome to the Forums!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ecotrailer View Post
I was thinking of buying a 2002 Dodge Dakota with a tow rating of 6450 and a V6 to tow my '73 Overlander, a 27-footer. Any thoughts on this? I have no idea what I'm doing so be gentle with me. Also, the truck has no tow package now so I'd have to install one, and any advice on that (what I would need to get, where to order it, etc.) would be useful. The reason I'm consider this TV is that the person is willing to trade this truck for my existing car and it would be a good trade for me.

If this vehicle won't work, what should I look for? I also own an F150 but it's too rusty to tow.
Your Overlander has an empty/dry weight of nearly 4,600 pounds. With a few options not accounted for in the base weight, fluids (water, LP, etc.), and your camping equipment; you will soon be near or possibly even over 6,000 pounds (my '64 Overlander averages very near 6,000 pounds when loaded for an extended trip).

I suspect that by the time that you subtract the weight of passengers, and equipment hauled in your Dakota that you will be at or possibly slightly over the GVWR for your truck. I would really be concerned about the V6. In 1998, I traded a 1995 K1500 Z71 pickup on a 1999 K2500 Suburban just to get the upgrade from 5700 VORTEC (350 cubic inch) V8 to the 7400 VORTEC (454 cubic inch) V8 to tow my Overlander. I do make frequent trips to the Rocky Mountains so a powerful tow vehicle is on my required list -- my Z71 was at its maximum tow rating of 6,000 pounds with my Overlander and it struggled mightily on any significant grade.

While I wouldn't say that a motor as large as the one in my Suburban is necessary to tow an Overlander, but I do feel that you would be happier with a tow vehicle having a larger motor. My suggestion would be to look for a tow vehicle having an 8,000 pound trailer tow rating which would place your Overlander under the 80% of tow vehicle rating rule of thumb.

Good luck with your investigation!

Kevin
Attached Files
File Type: pdf AS Trailer Weights.pdf (100.7 KB, 62 views)
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Old 06-05-2009, 09:26 PM   #5
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Thank you! These are very helpful tips. And thanks for the warm welcome.
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Old 06-05-2009, 09:41 PM   #6
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In short, I wouldn't do it. Welcome to the group.
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Old 06-05-2009, 11:36 PM   #7
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The stability of the Dakota would probably be less than acceptable to handle the Overlander; also, the V6 with an automatic would probably struggle with the combined weight. Overall gearing is tall, and torque is modest.
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Old 06-06-2009, 12:58 AM   #8
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Dakota TV

ecotrailer, the V6 is too small for the 27 foot. I have a 2004 Dakota with the 4.7 V-8 and it is just enough to pull my 25' tradewind. You will damage the trans and overload the engine with that heavy a load. For one thing the trailer weight is at least 1000 lbs less that what the loaded weight will be when you put all your gear in it. You need at least a 4.7 or 5.2 V-8 to pull a trailer.
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