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Old February 12th, 2006, 08:52 AM   #1
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Default Dodge Dakota Tow Vehicle?

Similar to Jesus 's thread on half-tons for towing, I'm thinking of buying a 16' flatbed that I could tow my TJ on. The cost of a decent flatbed with brakes on both axles (required in MI as I understand) is not much more than an ATV trailer (which I would also use the flatbed for).

What are everyone's thoughts on using a 2WD 2000 Dakota Quad with 4.7L and trailer package as a tow vehicle? It towed my 20' Four Winns better than the Tahoe that preceded it and the weight of a TJ on a flatbed (steel) is not much higher (3900 lb TJ and 1400 lb trailer vs. 3400 lb boat and 1200 lb trailer).

I've heard the folks who think you need a 3/4 or 1 ton to tow, but I also remember the day when Impalas and LTDs routinely towed 25' travel trailers.

What are everyone's thoughts?
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Old February 12th, 2006, 10:59 AM   #2
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I tow with a 'hoe and It works just fine for me. I'm sure 3/4 - 1 ton would be better but they didn't fit my lifestye and my 1/2 ton gets it done. I would tend to think a Dakota would be a bit small but I'm sure it could be done if it was set up right. You'd have to make sure you had the trailer brakes set right and you might need to get some helper springs and a weight distributing hitch would prolly help alot too. Just remember that whatever you are using to tow you are strapped too so if it ends up not working then it could be bad for you not to mention the others on the road.
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Old February 12th, 2006, 11:21 AM   #3
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My thoughts are towing should not be a PITA, or white knuckle the whole way.

There are so many things that can go wrong with towing... why add even more with a truck that doesn't have the towing capacity.

Figure with the trailer and loaded TJ your at around 6,000K on the low side. Not counting gear in the truck.
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Old February 12th, 2006, 11:44 AM   #4
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Like Monkeyevil said, figure around 6,000lbs for Jeep and trialer. My R&R aluminum trailer is 1,100lbs and I know a steel one is over 2,000lbs by it's self.
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Old February 12th, 2006, 12:06 PM   #5
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Don't do it..
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Old February 12th, 2006, 12:24 PM   #6
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You'd be completely fine. I towed very close to mas (5000 lbs) when I had my KJ, and never had a problem. Yes a longer wheelbase would've been nicer, but it was not a huge PITA by any means. It bugs me when people think you should only tow with a 3/4 or full ton, because anything else is just "unsafe". :miff:
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Old February 12th, 2006, 03:09 PM   #7
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I would say that 6k is a bit much for a dakota. I think it is too much for a grand cherokee as well. But I guess ppl think differently.
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Old February 12th, 2006, 06:49 PM   #8
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Dodge rates it at 6350 pounds (max) for towing and it has the longer QuadCab wheelbase (longer than my Tahoe) so I thought it would be workable for local trips, but I'm having some second thoughts.
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Old February 12th, 2006, 07:32 PM   #9
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accord to GM, my 98' chevy 2500 ext cab long bed is rated to tow 6000lbs. Tow ratings are Bunk! They now use them as selling features.
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Old February 12th, 2006, 08:14 PM   #10
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A member in our club uses a club cab Dakota to pull his XJ on 38s, metal deck trailer.
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Old February 12th, 2006, 08:40 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Haggar
A member in our club uses a club cab Dakota to pull his XJ on 38s, metal deck trailer.
He also use's auxilary air bags on the rear and a weight dist. hitch.
and say's it tows fine.
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Old February 12th, 2006, 08:59 PM   #12
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i think it would be fine, when i had my ranger i towed an 18ft steal trailer loaded with different cars and never had any problems. i used a weight distributing hitch and it was fine.
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Old February 14th, 2006, 09:35 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Icebreaker88
He also use's auxilary air bags on the rear and a weight dist. hitch.
and say's it tows fine.

if you where to do it, thats what you would need to help out.
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Old February 15th, 2006, 03:06 AM   #14
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you can tow it, but like other people have said, id rather step up to the next size truck to make sure the gvrw is good.. they put that there for a reasion. becides the fact, you want a heaver tow vehicle that way you can control the trailer, not the trailer control you.

if ya do tow with the dakota, get the weight dist. hitch. that helps out alot. air bags wouldnt be that bad of an idea, depending on how much you tow. also remember to look at the cg of the truck vs trailer. with a bigger truck comes more of a foot print, and makes it more stable towing.

i have towed way more than i ever should have with my 1/2. i would like a 3/4 because of what i haul, when i haul, but i dont have one so i make do. but when ever possible, i try to my weight to a min. depending on where i go, that also depends on how much ill tow. i tow back and forth from my house, to the club grounds, wich is like 8 miles away, all back roads.. ill tow more there, taking my time then i would going main roads... but thats just me

also, depending on a cops day, but he can give ya hell for going over the gvrw. he can make you weigh, and if you go over, fines... lots of fines.

just a side note, but i belive in 2007 or latter 2006 michigan is requiring all loads to have tie down points, with seprate chains/straps... just fyi

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Old February 15th, 2006, 12:07 PM   #15
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I used to tow with an Explorer, rated at 6700... then a burb rated at 8xxx and now I tow with my 97 F250 rated at 8xxx.

As Brimy said, tow ratings are bunk. My F250 is only rated to tow 1500 lbs more than my 95 explorer was, but I would pull 12000 without thinking twice. On lighter vehicles, I would never dream about coming close to the max GVWR.

I will always tow with a 3/4 ton from now on. No stress, no worries. Don't have to worry about how much camping/vacation gear you pack in the back, etc....
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Old February 15th, 2006, 12:56 PM   #16
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Get a trailer with electric trailer brakes and a adjustable controller and you will be fine.

I've towed my Duster with my old Comanche for a couple of race seasons with no issues. Just use common sense while towing, and try to stay out of the mountains. The old 4.7 struggles a little on the big hills.
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Old February 15th, 2006, 01:49 PM   #17
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trust me, you don't want a light weight tow rig in shitty michigan weather. Trailer brakes or not, steering and weight are nice to have
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Old February 15th, 2006, 10:21 PM   #18
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Bones was your explorer a 5.0L? 'Cause my 4.0L Explorer with tow package is only rated to tow 5500lbs.
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Old February 16th, 2006, 09:51 PM   #19
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I've used Dakota's to pull the 16' flatbed with my old CJ-5 on it. They did just fine. Weight distributing hitch and trailer brakes are a must. I've also towed some decent sized camper trailers out in Colorado through the mountains and across Nevada with some pretty good crosswinds. I can't say there was ever a point where I was white knuckling it.
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Old February 20th, 2006, 11:46 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeyevil
My thoughts are towing should not be a PITA, or white knuckle the whole way.

There are so many things that can go wrong with towing... why add even more with a truck that doesn't have the towing capacity.

Figure with the trailer and loaded TJ your at around 6,000K on the low side. Not counting gear in the truck.
This is soo true.. people always sayin " u dont need a 3/4 or 1 ton truck to tow with, no u dont but it makes it a much easier with a proper setup.. overkill is not a bad thing
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