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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
so my wife and I decided we wanted to get out with the kids and do some civilized camping in a pull-behind camper trailer, and we thought we'd pass on some intel we gathered/confirmed this past weekend.

We wanted a decent sized camper - something in the 4000-5000 lb range...and so we needed a machine that would haul one - something with a trailer tow rating above 7000 lbs, and also something daily-drivable that we could still use around town to haul the kiddo's around in and/or trips to the store etc. It had to be decently powerful, and we like some luxury options, and we're 'Dodge' folks :smile:, so we traded our 2019 Pacifica for a 2015 Durango Citadel - Hemi/8-speed, AWD, full trailer towing package with load-leveling rear suspension/shocks, and a 7200 lb trailer tow rating.

Next we picked up a nice Jayco X213 24' camper trailer (28' with the rear slide extended). The camper weighs 4400 lbs dry and rated at 5500 lbs loaded.

The Durango was pre-wired for a brake controller, which was installed by the service techs where we got the camper.

We weren't sure if the load-leveling rear suspension 'system/shocks' would play well play well with the weight-distributing hitch, but after hauling the camper home we can confirm that the Durango had no problem hauling the camper, and didn't sag one bit :biggrin:

The dealership where we got the camper was about 1.5 hrs away; fuel economy going to get the camper averaged right about 21 mpg, and about 9.5 mpg hauling it home. As expected, with the cruise set at the speed limit(s) the transmission never went into 7th or 8th gears - mostly hanging out in 6th flat and level, dipping into 5th on the slight grades and into 4th if it was a 'hill', with the Hemi just jammin' along maintaining the speed limit without any problems.

The only thing about the Durango we're not overly jazzed about is all the 'bling' - don't like all the shiny chrome - would love to replace all of the chrome accessories with black versions (mirror front faces, door handles, etc)...and we'd love to put 17" Rubicon wheels on it...but we're not sure 17s will fit on this chassis - might need 18's. Not a big priority of course...but we're looking into it...







 

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As in more then one? Did something slip there?

You made some good choices there, but I see a motorhome down the road a bit. The dingo will get small when you load it up with 2 legged, and 4 legged family members.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
...well we're eventually hoping for more than one :)

And yah a motorhome is likely what we'll upgrade to once the house is paid off...so we have some time ;D
 

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Glad to hear the hemi is working great for you.  We too will be upgrading from journey to durango at some point.  Long as I can continue to stall the wife on buying one,  ;D

She has ranted about always having to look at/get a hemi, but I told her with the weight of the Durango, and how I have seen the journey pull with the V6, V8 is the only way to go in that rango brute.  Not a fan of the way the pentastar 6 jumps and hops gears when switching between cams at around 3 grand in our journey.  It feels like it is either balls to the wall, or lugging bad with the weight the journey has (AWD V6, 2 kids, dog, plus essentials)

Your info further supports my investment in a hemi when we go Durango.  Agree with your statement on the chrome, never been a fan of the citadel's "bling". 

Neil
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
yah I really dislike drivelines that don't 'behave' the way my brain wants them to (jumpy or 'delayed' throttle pedal, shifting too early...hunting for gears, etc), but this Hemi and the 8-speed suffer from none of it - the throttle and tranny are perfect...and the Hemi is...well it doesn't care what's behind it - it just 'goes' 8) . Couple that with the AWD and automatic lift gate and all the features...oh and 7-pax seating...and these newer Durango's are a perfect blend of Challenger, 1/2 ton truck, minivan, and Subaru {cool}.

Ideally we'd pull the camper with a dually, but we don't have one right now - we needed something that was good 'around town' but could also pull the camper for the next year or so, and when the Dakota is built and we want to go 'wheelin and camping we'll use the Durango to haul the camper and also drive the Dakota.

We'll eventually pick up a 4th gen Ram mega-dually to pull stuff, but when we want to camp and wheel the Durango will haul the camper and the dually will haul the big flatbed/Dakota (especially for the hard core off road gigs)...and we'll have our own convoy ;D

- Sam
 

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We ordered our Durango a couple of years ago.
One of the choices we got was the "Blacktop" package.
So glad we had that choice. No likey the chrome.
Got the 5.7 Hemi also. Very, very happy with the whole car.
Here's our Durango next to our Pacifica the day we sold it...





The proverbial Durango in Durango...



We're taking it this summer and driving Route 66.

My friend just bought a SRT 6.4 Hemi Durango
Every time I see him all he talks about is his Durango.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Nice! {cool}  We're thinking about putting 17" Rubicon wheels on ours...tho I'm not sure they'll clear the big brakes.  I'd love to replace the door handles and mirror covers with black versions - may be a direct swap.  Meh - dunno - lot of pavement and dirt will pass under the truck before any of that happens :)
 

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I have a 2014 1500 as my daily. It has the hemi/8 speed combo. You are going to love it. I heard so many people saying with so many gears it’ll constantly be shifting (none saying this had any real experience with one) and I have to say, it doesnt hunt at all. It picks a gear and sticks with it until you punch it, then its all go.

The 8 speed has a really low first gear, 6 is direct and 7 & 8 are both overdrives. Tows pretty good, I move farm equipment/tractors alot with it and it has done just fine doing what I need it to do.

The best mileage I have gotten was a trip to Gatlinburg. Its a 6hr drive for me. Got 24 mpg. I was pretty impressed getting that from a 1/2 ton truck.

Been trying to talk the wife into a durango with the hemi/8 speed combo but 1) Its out of our current budget and 2) Its way to much power for my wifes driving abilities lol


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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W200'78 said:
Been trying to talk the wife into a durango with the hemi/8 speed combo but 1) Its out of our current budget and 2) Its way to much power for my wifes driving abilities lol

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
My wife loves her Durango.
She's no race demon, but she'll shut down any challengers that try. ;D
I taught her how to put it into "Sport Mode" when necessary.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
stftruck said:
I missed it somewhere along the way...when did you lose the Diesel Ram?
...my knees aren't what they used to be, and being a manual trans we sold it about a year ago to our next door neighbor and good friend Ben (KillerBee here in RCC) - we still get to use it occasionally ;D

When we get another it'll likely be a 4th gen with the integrated exhaust brake and brake controller...and heated seats and steering wheel 8)
 

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Mad Max said:
...my knees aren't what they used to be, and being a manual trans we sold it about a year ago to our next door neighbor and good friend Ben (KillerBee here in RCC) - we still get to use it occasionally ;D

When we get another it'll likely be a 4th gen with the integrated exhaust brake and brake controller...and heated seats and steering wheel 8)
Both of my knees are do for a major remodel/ replacement.
A seat heater and steering wheel for my truck... nope. ;D
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
so...we love our new Durango...but we're not huge fans of the shiny 20" wheels on it - they're beautiful n all but not really our style, plus the access roads where we're planning to take the camper typically have lots of rocks and ruts - not awesome for shiny 20's with 50-series tires...



What we want to do is swap them out for a set of 17x7.5" OEM Rubicon HardRock wheels -



Both chassis share the same 5x5 (5x127) wheel bolt pattern, they're available at real good prices, and according to the dealership both use the same TPMS sensors to monitor tire pressure, so if the Rubicon wheels don't have the OE TPMS valves in them I can likely remove them from the Durango's wheels and stick them in the Rubicon's wheels, and the Durango won't care. The only thing that could nix the plan is whether or not the 17" Rubicon wheels will clear the Durango's brakes, but looking in there there's a lot of room so I'm guessing they will - will have to borrow a Rubi wheel from a friend and test the theory.

Thoughts?
 

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Mad Max said:
so...we love our new Durango...but we're not huge fans of the shiny 20" wheels on it - they're beautiful n all but not really our style, plus the access roads where we're planning to take the camper typically have lots of rocks and ruts - not awesome for shiny 20's with 50-series tires...

Thoughts?
I want to see those wheels on your Durango! ;D

Driving around yesterday my wife and I saw a brand new Durango R/T in Destroyer Gray.
My daughter and her are conspiring against me to buy a new Durango... we just paid our 2017 Durango off. :mad:
I wish we had better color options when we ordered ours.
I told her if we're pulling the trigger on another new car we're getting an SRT Durango.
I think I squelched the plans for a new Durango. ;D
Besides... I need to get my Daytona clone done. It's my turn!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Hey guys - so our 2015 Durango is pre-equipped with the trailer brake harness up under the drivers side dash, but the panel where I'd normally use a couple screws to secure the controller bracket...is apparently an airbag panel cover!

Anyone know if there is room behind that panel for screwing the controller bracket to it...or is that a very bad idea?

We tried to use double stick Velcro but the surface of the panel is very 'slippery' - not much really sticks to it.  If I can't screw into that panel then I may have to epoxy a small 'mounting pad' to the panel where we would otherwise stick the velcro, and stick the velcro to that.

Thoughts?

Thanks,
- Sam
 

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Clean the panel with alcohol and try some 3M VHB tape.
 

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tv_larsen said:
Clean the panel with alcohol and try some 3M VHB tape.
I agree getting that vinyl plastic clean of "so called cleaners" like armor all and such that the dealers use to make these things shine is the key. May be able to get some adhesion then to use a Velcro type product.

Definitely don't want to drill into that lower panel under the steering column. Our journey is the same way there appears to be a pretty substantial air bag occupying that space to protect your legs/knees in the event of a heavy/severe accident. I see the brute of a Durango winning in most situations anyway, but on the other hand I see these new aluminium things crumple like a pop can if they hit anything solid like a tree or pole, so I see the airbags purpose.

Don't know how big the controller is but maybe put it on the the kick panel or center console panel where you could reach it with your right hand? That may be a safe place to use screws.

Neil
 

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When that airbag deploys, that brake controller will be a knife cutting into whatever part of your leg it hits!  I think that's a reason the OEM's are building the brake controllers into the dash area.
 

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cool beans!!! i picked up my 15 DD limited about a month ago..love it!!!!  a buddy had gotten one,so i asked him since he is a big tall dude like 6'7'' ..if he had enough head leg room...this is wwhat he said.....he looked at gmc's and jeep grands .he said by far the DD had them all beat for head leg room....so i searched and searched and found one.....and bought it!! sweet smooth ride!!
 
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