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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We have a 2015 Durango Citadel RWD 3.6 L V6 24 Valve VVT engine. We are looking at buying our first travel trailer and have tons of questions - the most important - how much trailer can we safely and easily tow with our vehicle? Thanks to some of the awesome advice on this forum, I have pulled our window sticker, which shows that we have Trailer Tow Group IV, which includes Heavy Duty Engine Cooling, Class IV Receiver Hitch, 7 and 4 pin Wiring Harness, Full Size Spare Tire, and Steel Spare Wheel. The door sticker says the GVWR is 6500 lbs. GAWR Front is 3200 lbs. GAWR Rear is 3900 lbs. We have an RV salesperson telling us we're fine with a 5200 lb (dry weight) trailer and a different dealer telling us to not consider anything over about 3300 lbs. We intend to haul this trailer into the NC mountains, so we want to err on the lighter side. Can anybody teach me how to figure this out?
 

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I’d skip the dealer telling you 5,200 lbs dry weight is fine. No way, not with the V6. I’d say around 4,000 lbs dry weight is max

How much weight you can tow depends on how much payload you carry. (People+ cargo + tongue weight).

You also need to consider trailer profile. The V6 is only good for 40 sq-ft of frontal area (8ft wide by 5 ft tall)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I’d skip the dealer telling you 5,200 lbs dry weight is fine. No way, not with the V6. I’d say around 4,000 lbs dry weight is max

How much weight you can tow depends on how much payload you carry. (People+ cargo + tongue weight).

You also need to consider trailer profile. The V6 is only good for 40 sq-ft of frontal area (8ft wide by 5 ft tall)
This is good advice. Thank you! We had a hunch we were being misled by the guy telling us 5200 lbs was fine. That said, we're focusing on ultralight travel trailers, which mostly seem to have the "bullet" style front ends. But even with the sloped front, I don't believe any of them are so short that they're only 5 feet tall at the front. Do you believe we would have problems if the frontal height is taller, even at the lower weight (we're looking at TTs in the 3500ish dry weight range)?
 

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Frontal area creates significant drag / air resistance. It puts a heavy load on the engine. It depends on how you plan to drive. Below 50-55 mph won’t be so noticeable, but above that will be.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks! Do you happen to know how "frontal area" is calculated? Is it just the portion of the trailer that rises above the top of the towing vehicle (i.e. the Durango is approx 5'10" tall, so we could do an 8 foot wide TT that is approx 10'10" tall - i.e. 5 feet above the Durango roof)? Otherwise, you'd be stuck with a travel trailer that is only about 5' tall, which is either a pop-up or a height that doesn't really work for most adult humans! We finally landed on a TT that is 3920 dry weight (from a different dealer). It is 10'6" tall (and not quite 8' wide - 7'6"), per the manufacturer specs. If my understanding of the frontal area is correct, this should be fine, right?
 

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Thanks! Do you happen to know how "frontal area" is calculated? Is it just the portion of the trailer that rises above the top of the towing vehicle (i.e. the Durango is approx 5'10" tall, so we could do an 8 foot wide TT that is approx 10'10" tall - i.e. 5 feet above the Durango roof)? Otherwise, you'd be stuck with a travel trailer that is only about 5' tall, which is either a pop-up or a height that doesn't really work for most adult humans! We finally landed on a TT that is 3920 dry weight (from a different dealer). It is 10'6" tall (and not quite 8' wide - 7'6"), per the manufacturer specs. If my understanding of the frontal area is correct, this should be fine, right?
No frontal area is not what sticks out from the Durango, it includes the Durango.

Frontal area is simply trailer width times height of the box

So if your camper sits 2.5’ off the ground your calculation would be 7.5’ by 8’ = 60 sq-ft

F06092DF-27EE-448D-AB6E-74D8357CB311.png
 

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I had a 2017 GT with a V6, it struggled pulling a 4800 lb trailer up the hills in Kentucky and Tennessee. I traded the GT in for a Citadel with the 5.7. No more problems going up hills. Stay with a trailer under 4000 lbs, unless you get a 5.7 like I did.
 
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