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Old 09-06-2006, 04:18 PM   #1
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1965 26' Overlander
Fort Bragg , California
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Help! Dakota vs. Overlander

Hi all

I may have an opportunity to buy a 27' Overlander to use as an office at the site where we are building our house this fall. I would need to tow the trailer about 200 miles, much of it on winding 2-lane roads. I have some experience with large equipment and trailers (was a teamster and a bus driver in previous lives), but I'm not sure our truck is up to the task.

We have a 2004 Dodge Dakota quad cab with no hitching equipment at present. Specs on the trailer are about 4150 on the weight and 425lbs on the tongue. That fits within the scope of a class IV trailer hitch for the truck, and I have priced the hitch through our local Dodge dealer at about $500 installed with all of the wiring and such.

However, they tell me the hitch is good for 6500lbs ONLY IF the trailer has weight balancing equipment. I don't know exactly what that means, but I'm certain a 40-year-old trailer doesn't have it! The weight limit in that case is about 3500lbs.

I am certain this restriction has to do with the weight distribution, but how can I tell whether this is sufficient? At this point we only need to tow the trailer once---if we restore it and travel with it at some point, we might well have to upgrade the tow vehicle. Should I just plan to spend the money on a rental instead?

Thanks for any advice!
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Old 09-06-2006, 04:55 PM   #2
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go to Reese's website and read up on "weight distributing hitches". http://www.reeseprod.com
its not about how you pack the trailer...

and yes, they did have them and use them 40 years ago.

As for the Dakota, the answers are in your owner's manual. It all depends on how the truck was equipped. Some Dakotas have the same power trains in them as their full sized counterparts, and are quite capable of towing. Some may not agree due to their smaller stature and shorter wheel base, but for a "1-time" tow, if its got the big motor, etc, it'll do it.

Get another quote for that receiver hitch. those numbers don't sound right. Most I've seen are 5,000/10,000 rated. thats the rating on the receiver, not the truck. But still, I wouldn't be surprised if that truck had a tow rating of 7000lbs or more.
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Old 09-06-2006, 05:24 PM   #3
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1965 26' Overlander
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Thanks for the reply, chuck

Our Dakota has a 6cyl engine, and while it has plenty of poop by itself or with a load of lumber, I am very much thinking twice about towing even once with it. Not to mention the amount of money the dealership wants to install a factory tow package, about $500. I think I'd rather spend the $500 on a pro and know that it will arrive safely, and save up for a real TV.

thanks again
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Old 09-06-2006, 05:45 PM   #4
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You might also want to consider simply paying somebody else to tow your trailer. If it's only 200 miles and even if the charge was $1.00 per mile it's less than what you'd pay to equip your truck. A contract firm recently towed my Safari from the Albuquerque area to Tucson to have the exterior restored at Oasis RV (all courtesy the movie company that damaged it.) The contractor towed with a 1 ton dually Dodge and the rig seemed absolutely no worse for the wear. The contractor had many years of experience and did nothing but move travel trailers and RVs around the country for a living. He was courteous and professional.
Just a thought
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Old 09-06-2006, 05:50 PM   #5
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That's a good plan. A Dakota with a 3.9 V6 won't cut the mustard towing your coach. I had a Dakota with the 5.2 V8, and wouldn't want to tow our current Overlander with it.
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Old 09-10-2006, 03:37 AM   #6
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1965 26' Overlander
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Thanks to all for the advice--I am taking it very seriously. I got a quote from a local trailer guy, but it is pretty expensive (about $600) and the trailer needs to be in good towable condition first. This one has a blown tire and the lights don't work, and I am guessing the brakes don't work either, although the seller didn't know. It hasn't moved in well over a year.

I just provided details in the intro forum & don't want to cross-post, but if anyone knows of someone in the east SF bay area who could help, please holler!

thanks again
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Old 09-25-2006, 02:35 AM   #7
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1970 27' Overlander
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Sir

I too have a Dakota with the 3.9 and five speed manual. This truck has the trailer electrical plug and the hitch when I got it.

I then took off the small 1995 exhaust and switched for a set of 1992 exh manifolds and the matching three inch tubing to the older diam.

I have a 1970 Overlander - InterNational that I move with it, in this local area.

Since Colo is not flat, I sometimes start in 4 wheel low and then shift to 2 wheel high when I can.

I have pulled this trailer up from Denver staying with the traffic flow.

Rodger & Gabby
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Old 09-28-2006, 06:05 PM   #8
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1965 26' Overlander
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Finally catching up---we did buy the Overlander, brought it home and found that it is a '65 rather than '69. I rented a truck to bring it home, and my old '68 Ford works to drag it around the driveway. We are doing a minimalist restoration to make it sanitary and campable, and I'll post a summary with photos at some point in the next few days.

thanks again for all the advice!
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Old 09-29-2006, 09:55 AM   #9
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1970 27' Overlander
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Hola

Since I first read this post and the Dakota vs the Overlander question I called the local Dodge Dealer. It seems that with some vehicles they are just built to look as a truck and some are trucks. But this is true with all makes.

If the Dakota has the right items it is rated to pull up to 7,000 lb's with even the 3.9 engine. I am so glad that we have the truck with tomato sauce.

Rodger & Gabby
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Old 09-29-2006, 11:33 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rodger with a D
If the Dakota has the right items it is rated to pull up to 7,000 lb's with even the 3.9 engine.
you sure about that? I believe it w/ the 5.2...but 3.9?
w/ the Hemi, it even higher. basically the same as the full size 1/2 tons.

true, though, about "looks". My dad's old Dakota was a K-car hidden inside a truck body. (2.5l 4-banger...same as in the k-cars. thing would hardly get out of its own way).
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Old 09-29-2006, 12:01 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chuck
you sure about that? I believe it w/ the 5.2...but 3.9?
w/ the Hemi, it even higher. basically the same as the full size 1/2 tons.

true, though, about "looks". My dad's old Dakota was a K-car hidden inside a truck body. (2.5l 4-banger...same as in the k-cars. thing would hardly get out of its own way).
This is straight from a review of a 2005 Dakota, the figure quoted is the maximum for the V8 truck:
I've recently spent a week with a top-of-the line Dakota Quad Cab 4x4 Laramie. While inching toward luxury in accommodation, with leather seating standard in the Laramie grade, it's still a truck at heart, and a tough and capable one, with up to 1700 lbs of cargo carrying or 6800 lbs of towing ability
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Old 09-29-2006, 08:23 PM   #12
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The review also states that the 6800# is with the 3:92 ratio rear axle ,5600
with the standard gear .I also would venture to say that the 6800 # must be with the bigger high output v-8 option not the v-6 .It does not say either way ,just with the 3:92 gear option .

Scott
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Old 09-30-2006, 11:06 AM   #13
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1970 27' Overlander
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Hola Class

The ratio of the rear axle, tyre/wheel size and the spring rating is related to the abilities of towing and carrying.

The size of the engine is related to how quick the vehicle gets from zero to the speed limit.

If the owner of the weak to pull a lawn mower trailer had known to change to rear axle ratio, they could of drove away smiling with an AirStream for any camping spot. ( No one crys over an eighteen wheeler lugging up the grade with an straight six with 40,000 pounds of ~ in the trailer. )

Rodger & Gabby
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Old 10-01-2006, 02:41 AM   #14
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Rodger ,be careful with the 4 wheel drive in low on the road ,unless you have
a full time transfer case ,all time type ,you can break the front / or rear
differential or damage the transfer case ,check your operators manual as
4 wheel drive is not for hard dry road surface.A customer did this often
with his 2000 GM 1500 truck with a large sob trailer ,grenaded the rear differential to pieces in 4 wheel drive trying to pull a trailer that is too much
for his truck .I replaced the rear axle assembly ,he is looking at a 3/4 ton
now or bigger.There is more to it than the tow rating or gear ratio .the 6
cylinder in the semi has a massive engine ,huge displacement with tons of low end torque ,a very big cat or cummins diesel engine there with a turbocharger or blower ,it is that huge torque that pulls that weight .The trans does have
ten or 15 speeds ,but the torque is the name of the game.

Scott
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