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Old 09-09-2015, 04:19 PM   #1
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Dodge Durango as TV---V6 or V8 for 21

Seems like the tow weight of 6200 for V6 is enough and would appreciate the thoughts of experienced escapers pulling 21s which one to go with....thanks much!
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Old 09-09-2015, 04:58 PM   #2
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If I lived in the NW and was towing in the mountains I would go with the V8 to tow the 21'
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Old 09-09-2015, 05:43 PM   #3
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Get the hemi with the 8 speed transmission, nice set up.
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Old 09-09-2015, 05:59 PM   #4
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I have a Jeep Grand Cherokee with a V-6 and 8 speed transmission which also has the 6200 pound towing limit. I have towed a 19 over the Sierra Nevada with no problems. I like getting 3-4 MPG better mileage all the time. We thought a lot about V-6 vs V-8 but the everyday mileage tipped the scales for us and I am not sorry.
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Old 09-09-2015, 06:53 PM   #5
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I live and tow in the NW of the continent and love the V8.

If you had stated you were going to stay on the relatively flat land of the I5 corridor, then I'd suggest the V6.
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Old 09-09-2015, 08:22 PM   #6
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Our V-8 Dodge Dakota rated to tow 7500 pounds did great towing our 21 up hills...at 20 mph and the AC off so it did not overheat...
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Old 09-26-2015, 12:49 PM   #7
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We just returned from Chilliwack with our 19 and 2014 durango with v6 and the tow package. Did great up and down the mountain passes, headwinds and cross winds. On this trip we covered over 2600 miles with various mtn passes and we averaged 15.5 mpg towing.

I too fretted the v6 vs v8, but opted for the v6 for the other 28 days a month we are not towing. And tow performance was just fine!

There is a little sag but not much, and we towed without wdh or sway bars.
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Old 09-26-2015, 01:52 PM   #8
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If there is sag then you need w/d. otherwise your headlights will be out of alignment.
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Old 09-26-2015, 02:54 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpokanEscape View Post
Our V-8 Dodge Dakota rated to tow 7500 pounds did great towing our 21 up hills...at 20 mph and the AC off so it did not overheat...


A great illustration of how counting cylinders says nothing useful about an engine. Depending on the year, a Dakota could have had one of three different V8's of the "Magnum" family with as little as 170 horsepower. Early Durangos were wagon-bodied Dakotas with the same engines, but there is no longer a connection; the current Dakota V8 is the 5.7L 360 horsepower "Hemi" (the one which Jim mentioned).
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Old 09-26-2015, 02:56 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elwoodaz View Post
We just returned from Chilliwack with our 19 and 2014 durango with v6 and the tow package. Did great up and down the mountain passes, headwinds and cross winds...

I too fretted the v6 vs v8, but opted for the v6 for the other 28 days a month we are not towing. And tow performance was just fine!
That makes sense to me - the current V6 is the 3.6L "Pentastar", which puts out more power than any V8 offered in the Dakota or early Durango.
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Old 09-26-2015, 03:06 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elwoodaz View Post
There is a little sag but not much, and we towed without wdh or sway bars.
Quote:
Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
If there is sag then you need w/d. otherwise your headlights will be out of alignment.
How much sag? Put even one person in a back seat or anything in the cargo area - without a trailer - and the rear end goes down a little more than the front. There's no problem unless it is excessive.

If you have HID headlights, you likely have an adjuster knob on the dashboard to fix vertical aim.

The alternative to fix rear ride height (if that's the only concern) is air springs added to the rear suspension, if they're available for that model.
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Old 09-26-2015, 03:59 PM   #12
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We added airlift air bags and it helped correct rear sag . Very easy install.
I crossed the Rockies this week on I 70. I have the 5.7 Liter Hemi V8 and I found
it barely adequate. A lot depends on what speed you wish to maintain pulling up a long
grade. I witnessed many vehicles that could not maintain 20 MPH coming up the mountains
I've often wondered that if they had to come to a dead stop if they could ever get going again.
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Old 09-26-2015, 04:19 PM   #13
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Why was your motor "barely adequate"? crossed the same road with mine and had no issues pulling my 21'Escape. Did you have something in the truck bed??
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Old 09-26-2015, 04:21 PM   #14
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Yeah, good question. Steve, are you saying the Hemi V8 is underpowered?
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Old 09-26-2015, 04:31 PM   #15
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There's something extraordinarily wrong if an engine with the same power output as used to pull 20 tons has trouble moving five tons on the same road. Until not so many years ago, 300 to 400 horsepower was a big rig engine rating.
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Old 09-26-2015, 04:51 PM   #16
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All I know is that I have towed up long steep grades with my Hemi and with the Cummin's
6.7 liter diesel . There is no comparison, the diesel acted like it was on flat ground and never
struggled in the least , I cannot say the same for the Hemi. I've owned pickup trucks with V6
engines . They worked fine on flat ground when lightly loaded but not when loaded to their payload limit .Just my experience and opinion. My work trucks were always one ton trucks
with the biggest V8 available so maybe I am just spoiled ?
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Old 09-26-2015, 04:59 PM   #17
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Maybe, I dunno.

Towed our 19 with the 2.7L Ecoboost on some very steep grades in CO and NM and had power to spare.
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Old 09-26-2015, 05:04 PM   #18
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I do know that out west with the Ethanol additive I switched to premium and got better gas mileage, even with the cost differential. Did you not drive the hemi before purchasing to compare with your diesel experience?
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Old 09-26-2015, 05:33 PM   #19
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Quote:
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I do know that out west with the Ethanol additive I switched to premium and got better gas mileage, even with the cost differential. Did you not drive the hemi before purchasing to compare with your diesel experience?
I run midgrade when at home in Wisconsin . I ran premium when towing in the mountain states out west. My previous truck was a 2011 Ram 1500 with the 5.7 ltr Hemi.
We don't have mountains in the Midwest so I had no way of knowing how the truck would perform in the Rockies. Everyone has different towing expectations and I guess I expected
too much.
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Old 09-26-2015, 06:43 PM   #20
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All I know is that I have towed up long steep grades with my Hemi and with the Cummin's 6.7 liter diesel . There is no comparison, the diesel acted like it was on flat ground and never struggled in the least , I cannot say the same for the Hemi.
The current Chrysler Hemi has about 10% more power than the Ram version of the Cummins, but would need to spin substantially faster to produce that peak power (5600 rpm versus 3000 rpm) - although of course most people wouldn't use all four hundred horsepower and so wouldn't need that peak speed. If the transmission (or the driver) doesn't choose a low enough gear, the Hemi won't produce the power.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rbryan4 View Post
Towed our 19 with the 2.7L Ecoboost on some very steep grades in CO and NM and had power to spare.
The turbochargers - on the diesel or the EcoBoost - help to maintain power output at high elevation, unlike any naturally aspirated engine (including that Hemi) which loses power in the lower-density air.
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