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Old 04-24-2011, 02:45 AM   #1
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Warman , Saskatchewan
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2011 Dodge Durango


I am wondering if anyone has had any experience in towing with the new Dodge Durango. I believe it is based on the Mercedes GL platform.

In particular with the HEMI.

Any information is appreciated.

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Old 04-24-2011, 06:21 AM   #2
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Central , Ohio
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What size trailer are you planning to use it with? It's not showing in your profile....

We were towing with a 98 Durango 5.9L (360 cubic inch) with a 3.92 axle ratio. We loved our old Durango so we looked at the new one of course when we bought a new vehicle last week. We replaced a Jeep Grand Cherokee with the 98 Durango.

The new Durango shares a uni-body construction with the Mercedes and the new Grand Cherokee. Beyond more power and better gear ratio, we went with the 98 Durango to get away from uni-body construction. Some here can give you all the technical reasons for that but, here's my technical reasons. I don't like the way a uni-body vehicle feels with a trailer strapped to it's a**.

So for us, the newly introduced Durango was eliminated largely due to the lack of body on frame construction. We also decided to opt for something with a longer wheel base. You may hook up with it and find it feels fine to you depending on your trailer and the roads your travelling.....

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Old 04-24-2011, 06:27 AM   #3
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Just interested, what new tv did you decide on? zz
1984 Avion 30p 9.1 meter. 2006 Dodge 3500 cummins srw short bed crew cab.
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Old 04-24-2011, 06:33 AM   #4
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Hi Gary

I think there was likely something else affecting how your trailer towed with the unit body vehicle, The vehicles other specs, tire sizes, hitch set up etc. Today a unit body vehicle is much stronger than a body on frame. A good example of this is to look at how massive the frame is under a 3/4 ton pick up yet when you hit a bump with it you can see the box move in relation to the cab. Even putting one on the hoist changes the box-cab dimension.

The new durango will handle and ride much better than the 98 mainly due to the independent rear suspension,tighter body structure and shorter overhang percentage.

Andrew T
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"One test is worth a thousand expert opinions."
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Old 04-24-2011, 07:02 AM   #5
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Greetings from the Florida Panhandle

First off, Loob, welcome to the Forums. We're glad to have you with us.

As to your question, a lot would depend on what size and vintage Airstream you want to tow. The new Durango is a great looking truck. It would probably do fine with some Airstreams, and not so great with others.

You are going to find opinions here all over the board. Some would propose pulling a 34 footer with a Toyota Corolla. Others feel that a 1 ton pick-up is necessary to tow a Bambi. You have to do your research, and make an educated decision. How you plan to use your travel trailer/tow vehicle combination is also a factor in this decision. Some Airstreamers are in the mountains all the time. Others never leave the flat lands.

Remember also that tow vehicles come and go. Airstreams endure. Spend time choosing the Airstream that will work for you and give you the most pleasure. Then choose an appropriate tow vehicle. Never choose an Airstream based upon the tow vehicle that happens to be sitting in your driveway this morning.

SuEllyn & Brian McCabe
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Old 04-24-2011, 07:08 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Ganglin View Post
The new Durango shares a uni-body construction with the Mercedes .
I thought the GL was still body on frame and only ML went to unibody.
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Old 04-24-2011, 07:32 AM   #7
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I just read the Durango is based on the M class, so that's why it's unibody.
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Old 04-24-2011, 12:49 PM   #8
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Andrew - I may not have given the new Durango a fair look and thanks for the updated information. But, the experience we had with the Cherokee tainted me. Not sure how to describe it but flex/float is what it felt like - and that was towing a 3000 lb. trailer pre Airstream days. We changed out the tires and shocks and that helped a little but not enough.

I had no complaints with the 98 Durango. The tires were changed out and Monroe SensaTracs added. It towed great.

ZZ - my first choice was the 11 Dodge Crew Cab with the 5.7 Hemi. But around here they are in demand and the dealers have very few on the lot. I just couldn't get them to work with me on pricing and we didn't like the feel of the cab. So we ended up with the first Chevy we ever owned.

It's a 2011 1500 Silverado Crew Cab LT All Star Edition. That gave us the HD suspension/trailer package the locking rear differential and manual override 6 speed auto. transmission. We dropped down to a 3.42 axle and a 5.3L vortec V8. It has 315 HP versus the 98 Durango at 245. The torque is the same as the old Durango at 335 ft/lb. We picked an additional 28 inches of wheel base.

I've not towed with it yet but so far I like the way it handles and responds - and it's one comfortable truck. We may end up changing the shocks to SensaTracs after we tow with it once.

But, that's not comparing it to the OP's question about the 11 Durango - which again - I may not have given a fair shake. Brian's right on the multiple opinons. Towing comfort is such a personal thing - it's hard to give anyone advice on a vehicle. You really have to drive the it and see how it feels under your keister.....

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