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Old 12-06-2007, 08:02 PM   #15
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wkerfoot, You're right. 2005 was the last year for the reg cab Dakota. The 06 club and quad cabs were both on the same 131 inch wheelbase. The Club had a shorter cab and longer bed. The Quad had a longer cab and shorter bed. You are also correct in that they are not mini-trucks. Nor are they full size trucks. They are a mid-size truck - an in betweener. Hard to compare it two either your Power Wagon or Lincoln. Both are probably heavier and more powerful than the Dakota. Never the less it is my humble opinion that the Dakota is only marginally adequate towing this size trailer.
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Old 12-06-2007, 08:06 PM   #16
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Well here's my 2 cents worth. I have a 99 Dakota X-tra Cab 4X4 5.2 V-8. When I was looking for an Airstream, the trailer size was a BIG factor. I wanted a 19 ft Globetrotter but settled on a 21ft because it was the only thing local I could find. I had absolutely no problem towing the 21 but I would not go any bigger due to the great equalizers (Rocky Mountains) just west of me.
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Old 12-06-2007, 08:40 PM   #17
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Fyrzowt. Bigger is not always necessary but there are few instances when towing that it is not desirable. In the rare situation where the tow vehicle hides the trailer or is so big that you are unaware of the trailer then perhaps it is not better. At least that's what I read somewhere - not.
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Old 12-06-2007, 09:02 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RBolton
Fyrzowt. Bigger is not always necessary but there are few instances when towing that it is not desirable. In the rare situation where the tow vehicle hides the trailer or is so big that you are unaware of the trailer then perhaps it is not better. At least that's what I read somewhere - not.
That wasn't meant as any kind of slam at you. There have been posts from folks who join up and are admitedly towing novices, like we all were at one point.
Then you notice a month or two, and about 100 posts later, that they are spouting info as if they've known it all their lives.
I'll be the first to admit that a larger rig is usually a more comfortable tow. That was what I was pointing out about being under powered. It was very frustrating in a head wind or steep hill with the Toyota. My point was to the original poster - watch out for those "have to have the biggest" viewpoints. In my opinion, it just ain't ALWAYS so from a safety standpoint.
Dave
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Old 12-06-2007, 09:21 PM   #19
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Anytime that you think your towing situation is marginal, just slow down. Choose 55 mph highways for your route and pretend you are in no hurry. Let people pass you. This applies when you have marginal tires, an underinflated tire, overloaded truck or trailer, or anything that raises the "pucker factor"
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Old 12-06-2007, 10:01 PM   #20
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The 03 Tundra I had was very close in size and power to the Dakota. It was fine for my 75 Trade Wind, but your trailer is larger and about 1200 pounds more. The numbers are going to be close. The first time you hit a big hill you will want more. Take your time, get a good hitch setup and a quality brake controller and take your time.
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Old 12-07-2007, 07:42 AM   #21
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I had the opportunity to attend the press preview of the current generation Dakota pickups in Nashville several years ago. We had the chance to drive and compare the Dakota with a Nissan, Toyota, Ranger and Chevy Colorado. Dodge also provided a large Bayliner and SOB travel trailer for comparing towing and handling. Given the chance to compare the different trucks in a semi-controlled situation, I don't understand why the Dakota didn't outsell the Nissan and Toyota combined!

Airmac, take it easy and make sure you have a good brake controller and that the trailer brakes are up to snuff.
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Old 12-07-2007, 02:05 PM   #22
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If you have a V8, you will have enough horsepower to deal with wind resistance. My guess is that an 8' wide Airstream tows about the same as a 6' high 5 x 10 cargo trailer at anything over 60 mph. The 3.9 V6s appear rather weak for towing, especially with tall gearing and tall tires.

Stability is the real question, and only experience will tell you if it's good enough. Consider relatively narrow LT tires to maximize stability, and have the hitch set up carefully.
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Old 12-07-2007, 04:28 PM   #23
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Dakotas are deceptively small "looking" trucks. They have the same guts as their "full sized" brethren. They are only slighty narrower, and slightly lighter.
I had an older one ("first generation" you might say), before they were available with the v-8's. A couple of times when I had to be towed, the tow truck driver's first comment to me when we got under way was "wow, this thing is alot heavier than it looks!".
I never towed a large load with it, but I did load the bed up to (and beyond ) the limits a few times. Whenever it was so loaded, it accelerated just as if it was empty. (3:93 gears). Now, I own a "full-size" dodge, but it only has the 3:55 gears, and while it tows my vintage airstream ok, I can definately feel it back there. especially on hills. Their are most definately Dakotas out there now that will WAY out-do my bonafide "half-ton". No question. 5.7L Hemi/3:93 gears is a common combination.
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Old 12-07-2007, 06:38 PM   #24
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The issue here is not power but the size of the truck.
1/2 just doesn't have enough suspension to safely handle this size of trailer.
Suppose you are clipping along about 55 MPH and blow a tire on either unit
or an oncoming driver on a cell phone crowds you a little on a narrow two
lane road. Once this baby gets out of line and begins to whip around your Dakota will be like a rag doll back and forth across both lanes and nearly impossible to control. Also you will be short on brakes. On normal planned stops they will be OK but when was the last time you drove 500 miles and didn't have to make a sudden stop or have someone cut you off etc? Then there's always the chance of rain and slick pavement.
I'm not trying to be on a rant here, just saying if you do this allow plenty of time and be very alert to what's going around you.
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Old 12-17-2007, 08:09 PM   #25
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Smile dakota first tow

well first of all, thanks to everyone who gave advice. first tow was today. hard to believe it could have gone better. city,local+highway. perfect no problem. only a couple of hours but i'am very happy with setup so far.
thanks again for the input
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Old 12-17-2007, 08:25 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by airmac
well first of all, thanks to everyone who gave advice. first tow was today. hard to believe it could have gone better. city,local+highway. perfect no problem. only a couple of hours but i'am very happy with setup so far.
thanks again for the input
Good for you Airmac

Sometimes you just have to look at your own situation and bite the bullet. It may not be what others would do, but it doesn't mean it isn't the right thing to do either.

Glad it all worked out for you. Too often we forget that most of us started with one set up and migrated to the next as our needs or our circumstances changed and it became either a good move, or a mandatory one. You will realize when you are in need of more of whatever (engine, wheelbase, carrying capacity, etc.).

Barry
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