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Discussion Starter #1
We would appreciate some advice on towing... And arranging car seats!

We have a 3rd baby due in July and locating and accessing 3 car seats in an SUV has turned out to be a challenge. So far we have figured out we can put two rear facing car seats in the second row and the forward facing can be in the third row, HOWEVER, we will have to fold half the third row down and put the oldest (3.5year old) in through the back! This seems ridiculous... But how do you get the kid in there and strap them in when the second row is all blocked up by rear facing car seats???

The other issue, here is what we need to tow:
3860 dry weight
1540 carrying capacity
More details here:
http://www.keystonerv.com/passport/models/238ml/model-mobile

We will be towing trips from WA to NM (2000 miles) once a year and a few short trips randomly.
Being new to towing so far we know we have to add the total weight of the passengers and cargo up... Two adults, three kids.

Do we need a v6 or v8? What year? What trim?

Suggestions???

Thanks a lot!
 

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As far as what sub modal you should get i think we all say R/T get the R/T but here is a little info.

The 3.6L V6 pentastar has a towing capacity of 6,500lbs
The 5.7L V8 Hemi has a towing capacity of 7,100lbs

A lot also depends on how much you are wanting to spend but in your case i feel the fold/tumble captains chairs will be best for you.

These seats make the Durango only a 6 passenge vehicle but you can easily get to the rear seats.

If you spring for the V8 go R/T if you want the V6 then any trim should work so long as you can get the options you want.
 

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Get the V8 and get second row Buckets with small console, Kids will climb right thru to and from 3rd row and they flip and tumble
STEVE
 

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While the V6 is capable of doing what you're looking for, I would still recommend the V8 to give you the extra margin that you may find handy running through the Cascades/Rockies. Like Steve said, I would recommend the 2nd row captain chairs. You can work with your 3yr old and teach him/her how to buckle up on their own. Then while you two are buckling the 2 into the 2nd row, you can watch the 3rd to make sure they do it right. Try going to a dealership and playing with both setups on the lot.

Search some of the threads on here about towing, there are plenty. I have the Tekonsha P3 controller and I'm seriously considering upgrading my trailer & hitch with a weight distribution setup. The V8 and the D's frame do a perfectly fine job of handling my car hauler but I just think the WD setup would just make it more comfortable.
 

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I'm in the same boat as you are with 2 rear-facing seats. Sadly, there isn't an easy way to get 2 rear-facing convertible seats (not infant seats ) in the 2nd row and be able to get in the back unless you want to remove a seat every time. I've looked at just about every suv out there, save a suburban, and none allows the 2nd row to slide back enough so the passenger can walk around the seats and access the 3rd row. Only thing I've seen where u can do that is a minivan. Putting 2 seats in the 3rd row isn't an option for me as we need to have room for a double stroller and all the other stuff u need to take along with 3 kids under 3 yrs old.
 

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With 3 kids, I would not get the captains chairs. If you do, you'll always have to put a kid in the 3rd row, cutting down your cargo space tremendously. I also have 3 kids and I always want/need the option of folding down the 3rd row for camping gear, travel luggage, an IKEA run, etc. The fact the Highlander Limited only offers captains chairs in the 2nd row instantly disqualified it from my shopping list.
 

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What Durango would be the best choice for our growing & towing family?

We have 4 kids and one rear facing. I have an R/T how we let the kids in with the car seats in the second row is I have the 2nd memory button programmed to move the drivers seat all the way forward and the seat as straight up as possible. This allows more than enough room for the kids to get to the third row via between the captains chairs. I would train your oldest to buckle themselves in.

As far as towing I would recommend a HEMI, you would be pretty close to the limit with the V6, going with the Hemi would give some additional capacity and probably make towing easier and less stressful. I don't tow on a regular basis but I find more power is always better.
 

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+1 on the oldest buckling themselves in, we turned it into a game with ours, made her feel like the third row is something special for the independent big sister. Captains work great for this.

Also +1 on no cargo room with this option, but our other vehicle is a minivan (thanks to the Mrs. for driving that thing every day), so I didn't care much about that. Maybe those with a bench can weigh in on if 3 across the second row is possible, and if so, with what models of car seats?

Good Luck! and congrats on #3!
 
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