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My wife and I are nearing retirement, and looking to do some traveling around the USA via travel trailer. I'm not fond of pickup trucks, and don't want to drive a bus (aka Yukon/Denali/etc). I think we've settled on the Durango as the best value - have looked at Lexus and Audi also, but that's a lot of $$$!
I'm divided between the GT with the V6 and the RT with the V8. GT's a few dollars less, gets better mileage, but the RT offers more cushion in towing capacity.

We're looking at travel trailers such as the Passport Ultra Lite and MPG 200 series. Dry weights running from around 4k to about 5.5k. Would love to hear opinions on whether the GT can handle the load, or if the RT is decidedly worth the extra money. Any and all help is much appreciated!

Mr. Popoki
St. Louis, MO
 

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Welcome. Your question is basically V6 v V8, and there have been many threads on this, so spend some time searching and reading through them.
GT with factory tow package is rated at 6200 pounds, so should be no problem with those trailers.
OTOH, The 5.7 V8 is wonderfully flexible, rated at 7200 pounds which should give you more cushion, and at least one CD test showed very little real world fuel economy difference at highway speeds.
Bottom line, you should test drive both and see which fits you better. IMHO, the V8 is definitely worth the money and sets it apart from the competition.
 

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Welcome, I have a 2015 Citadel w/ the Hemi. I also looked at both the v6 & v8. I tow a freedom express rbs 192 & (and will get something a bit larger/heavier down the road) 3900lbs dry, when loaded I would imagine close to 5k. It adds up quick (propane/battery/hitch and all our stuff :) ) I like having the extra power (torque) when I get into the mountain's. From talking to v6 owners it seems the v6 really has to work when towing in the mountains' traveling on a lot of flat areas probably ok but not in the mountains. I have never thought or said to myself wish I had the v6 :) Just my 2 cents
 

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Sort of following along with what VROD said, if your planning to drive through areas with high evaluations the extra grunt of a v6 is going to come in handy. As someone who came from a v6 suv(trailblazer) to a v8 Durango, It's been my experience that while I may have got slightly better mileage unloaded, the mileage fell off a lot more while towing than it does with my current V8.
 

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If you got the money I would go with a V8 especially if you are going to be doing a lot of towing. The MPG during towing and highway driving isn't that big a difference between a v6 and v8. The v6 is extremely capable at towing (even at max capacity) and has a more comfortable ride but it doesn't match the v8 for towing in the mountains. In the end it all comes down to money. For me if I had the cash I would go with a v8 but I drive 95% City and don't really have enough time off to go cross country so I couldn't justify the extra cost of a v8. That said I have no complaints with the v6, it's an amazing daily driver, a quiet and comfortable ride.
 

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We have a Travel Trailer, 2016 Jayco Jay Flight 23RB, 23' box, 27' overall length and dry weight of 4350 lbs. We also have a weight distribution hitch.

We had a 2015 Durango SXT with a V6 and tow package. Where it struggled was the open plains of North and South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa and the interstate in the mountains of Wyoming.
Open plains you get plenty of head wind, because there is nothing to block it, it's a killer. North Dakota has a speed limit of 80MPH and I was lucky to do 60. I did some drafting of big trucks so I could so 70.
Interstates in Iowa and eastern Nebraska have lots of rolling hills, so the trans kept down shifting to 5th, 4th or even 3rd and cranking the RPM's up. Same thing with the Interstate in the mountains of Wyoming.
Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin it did pretty good. Anyplace not on the Interstate when the speed limit was 55 MPH, towing was pretty much a breeze.
Towing with the V6 only got 10MPG. Without the trailer it got 27 highway and 24 city.

I just didn't feel comfortable towing with the engine bouncing up to the 5K+ range at times. We just replaced it with a 2016 Durango SSV with a 5.7L V8 and tow package. I have only done a short tow to test the trailer brake controller, but the extra 165hp makes quite a bit of difference. It gets 22 highway 19 city.

To pull a Travel Trailer in the 4K-5K weight range around the country, I would not consider a V6.
 

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My $0.02, if you know you're going to be towing often, why would you even consider the V6? Not trying to be a wise ass, but the larger engine would be in my mind the ONLY way to go! A smaller engine will always have to work harder.

Also, those larger SUVs you mentioned would be what I would chose if I were towing a large camper. I don't know the length of the camper you mentioned, but a larger, heavier tow vehicle would be the first consideration in this case. The Durango is very capable for a mid-size SUV but you don't want the tail to wag the dog.

I don't own a camper but even when pulling my 16' enclosed trailer, I'm glad I am driving a full size truck.

14510684494339-vi.jpg
 

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I'd go with the V8.
Practically, your mileage isn't going to be all that different (if you can keep your foot out of the throttle)..
The extra torque will make for a much more relaxing experience, especially in hilly territory..
A properly-set-up WDH with anti-sway will also make for a much more enjoyable (and safer) ride..
 

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The V6 will work, The V8 with proper hitch set up will feel as Tom said relaxed and not struggling at all. This will all translate to you being able to relax while driving and not fight, as someone said above, the headwinds and having to push the V6 harder
STEVE
 

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The V6 will work, The V8 with proper hitch set up will feel as Tom said relaxed and not struggling at all. This will all translate to you being able to relax while driving and not fight, as someone said above, the headwinds and having to push the V6 harder
STEVE
I agree, I had a V6 and it towed "fine" but yes headwinds, and in my case a few times, mountains will make it struggle. Haven't towed with my 18' R/T DD yet, but I'm guessing it'll be a cake walk, especially coming from my 14' Raylle DD.

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My $0.02, if you know you're going to be towing often, why would you even consider the V6? Not trying to be a wise ass, but the larger engine would be in my mind the ONLY way to go! A smaller engine will always have to work harder.
View attachment 87818
We had the V6 Durango a year or so before the trailer. We where planning on getting a smaller trailer than we ended up with.
Handling with the V6 Durango and trailer was never a problem. It's just you really need more power than the V6 supplies at times.
 

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The v6 is very capable within its parameters. Too many people think they need to tow a trailer at 70 or 75 mph under any and all circumstances. They discount the fact that most trailer tires are not safe at those speeds and towing requires common sense and not just horse power.
 

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I had a 2017 GT for towing our 25ft 4200lbs trailer. Traded it in for a 2017 Citadel with the 5.7 Hemi. The GT was struggling up the hills in Kentucky revving up 4500 - 5000 rpms. The 5.7 Hemi just goes up the hill with no problem. In fact we just traded in the trailer for a new 29ft 6000lbs one. The 5.7 pulls it just great.
 
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