Is anyone is towing with a Dodge Dakota? - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 06-28-2020, 09:39 PM   #1
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Is anyone is towing with a Dodge Dakota?

Wondering if anyone is towing with a Dodge Dakota. We have a low mileage one as a second vehicle. We are downsizing from a Ford F450 and 33' 5th wheel. The Dakota has a 64" bed, (2" short of the recommended minimum)and would like to order a 5.0 trailer. I know we are close on the bed length, have others with a 5' 6" bed mounted their 5th wheel slightly head of the axle? I always put mine 2" ahead.

My apologies for not starting a separate thread but I could not find the right button! Way past my bed time...
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Old 06-29-2020, 06:16 AM   #2
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Many have had Trade Masters in Chilliwack BC install 5th wheel hitches in their short bed trucks specifically for the 5.0TA, it might be worth giving them a call and see what they say. They do semi custom installs for Escape. You already know about payloads so figure a max of about 750 lbs for pin weight, not including the hitches weight.
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Old 06-29-2020, 06:50 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom&Joan View Post
Wondering if anyone is towing with a Dodge Dakota. We have a low mileage one as a second vehicle. We are downsizing from a Ford F450 and 33' 5th wheel. The Dakota has a 64" bed, (2" short of the recommended minimum)and would like to order a 5.0 trailer. I know we are close on the bed length, have others with a 5' 6" bed mounted their 5th wheel slightly head of the axle? I always put mine 2" ahead.

My apologies for not starting a separate thread but I could not find the right button! Way past my bed time...
Tom & Joan,
If it doesn't get cancelled, there is a fiberglass rally scheduled the week/weekend of October 16 or thereabouts at Davy Crockett Birthplace State Park in your county. For the past several years there have been quite a few Escape owners in attendance. Don't know about 5.0TA owners, but currently three couples with 21s are planning to attend. Bring your own camp chairs and something to drink and come see us.
Bill
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Old 06-29-2020, 02:29 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom&Joan View Post
Wondering if anyone is towing with a Dodge Dakota. We have a low mileage one as a second vehicle. We are downsizing from a Ford F450 and 33' 5th wheel. The Dakota has a 64" bed, (2" short of the recommended minimum)and would like to order a 5.0 trailer. I know we are close on the bed length, have others with a 5' 6" bed mounted their 5th wheel slightly head of the axle? I always put mine 2" ahead.
Since the Dakota was never very popular (despite having been built in three generations) and hasn't been built since 2011, it's not a common choice. It was a mid-size, before most brands had a mid-size. Other mid-size trucks (most commonly the current version of the Chevrolet Colorado / GMC Canyon) have been used to tow 5.0's and 5.0TA's; a Quad cab 2007-2011 Dakota is essentially the same size as a current crew-cab short-box Colorado... but the longer-box Colorado is generally preferred for towing a fifth-wheel.

With the distance from the cab to the axle, it will generally be necessary to get the pivot point of the hitch behind the axle line, either by placing the mounting brackets further back than usual, or by using a hitch which has a rearward offset in it. This is the same with any truck having a box this short, so any of the forum discussions of 5-and-a-half-foot boxes would be applicable.
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Old 06-29-2020, 04:26 PM   #5
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My son owned and towed with a Dodge Dakota with the V8 engine
Seemed to tow his 18 ft fishing boat just fine , fuel mileage was not great
and front leg room seemed rather cramped to me
When we attended Scamp Camp there were several people towing Scamp 5th wheels with Dodge / Ram Dakotas
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Old 06-29-2020, 07:50 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by steve dunham View Post
My son owned and towed with a Dodge Dakota with the V8 engine
Seemed to tow his 18 ft fishing boat just fine , fuel mileage was not great
and front leg room seemed rather cramped to me
When we attended Scamp Camp there were several people towing Scamp 5th wheels with Dodge / Ram Dakotas
Thanks to all. We presently have a Ford F450 to tow with, but our camping needs have changed, so we are selling truck and trailer. The Dakota is presently a V6 with a poorly matched transmission. But is one of the best handling vehicles I have ever driven. Hunting for a low mileage V8 I may upgrade horsepower wise. I have been towing for 50 some years with several rigs. Believe it or not, one of the most satisfying was an '88 Ranger towing a 21' Sunline 5th wheel. Still researching the feasability of going the Dakota route. Would be a lot cheaper than a new truck!
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Old 06-29-2020, 07:56 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steve dunham View Post
My son owned and towed with a Dodge Dakota with the V8 engine
Seemed to tow his 18 ft fishing boat just fine , fuel mileage was not great
and front leg room seemed rather cramped to me
When we attended Scamp Camp there were several people towing Scamp 5th wheels with Dodge / Ram Dakotas
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill and Earline View Post
Tom & Joan,
If it doesn't get cancelled, there is a fiberglass rally scheduled the week/weekend of October 16 or thereabouts at Davy Crockett Birthplace State Park in your county. For the past several years there have been quite a few Escape owners in attendance. Don't know about 5.0TA owners, but currently three couples with 21s are planning to attend. Bring your own camp chairs and something to drink and come see us.
Bill
Wow, the park is only a few miles from us, in fact we were there this past weekend scouting out the kyaking. What would be the best way to keep abreast of the event?
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Old 06-29-2020, 10:54 PM   #8
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I have friends who used to have a V-8 Dakota, probably a 2008 or thereabouts. They towed a 2-horse trailer with it, and I remember they were constantly taking it in to the shop because it was prone to overheating when towing up a grade. It got to the point they would only put 1 horse in the trailer at a time. I’m not sure what the trailer with 2 horses weighed, but I’d estimate something like 4,000-4,500 lbs.

They finally traded it in 2016 for a Dodge Ecodiesel and are very happy with it.
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