Towing Horse Trailers


I am considering buying a Dodge Durango as my “regular” car but also to pull a horse trailer. My concern is its not rated very high for towing (around 5000lbs). However, I see people tow with similar cars, and am wondering if I am being overly cautious. The horses would be about 2500lbs. and trailer about 3200 - anybody have comments please?


The Durango is a pretty light chassis, I think you would be better stepping up to either a full-size Dodge pickup (1500 series) or an Expedition or Tahoe or something.


I agree. The Durango has limited towing capability, as you say. If you intend to tow a horse trailer on a regular basis, you need a heavier-duty vehicle. Which one you choose is up to you.


I was looking in to spend in the range of $20-22K at the most - what do you think would be the best all around value? A pickup is not ideal (but not impossible), I would prefer to have more “indoor” space!


You can get a good used Expedition, Tahoe, Excursion, or Suburban for that price, any one properly equipped should do what you want.

I have to assume it’s not a very big trailer at the weight you quoted. One thing to keep in mind, if you decide to bump up to a larger trailer later, a 3/4 ton pickup will have the towing capacity you want, and it’ll be able to accommodate a gooseneck-style hitch.


I haven’t bought the trailer yet so I’m trying to make a truck choice that will leave my options open - thanks for the advice.


I would get a Suburban with a Heavy Towing Option; there are many used ones around. Horses are tricky; a dead load of equal weight would be easier to tow.


I agree with the rest.

I have an '02 Tahoe with a 5.3L(285hp) and a 3.73 rear-end ratio and pull a 4900# travel trailer and hardly know it’s there.

However, as mentioned if you want to step up later, a 3/4 ton p/u readily adaptable for a 5th wheel trailer is the way to go.

Whatever you buy, make certain you install (if truck is not equipped) an aftermarket tranny cooler and a brake controller. (I use a Prodigy and swear by it)

If you do opt for a heavy-duty p/u, I would recommend a diesel.


I just told somebody to move closer to town. I will not tell you to sell the horse!


I agree. Just make sure you get the heavy duty rear end. You can get 1/2-ton Suburbans with a 3/4 ton (9.5in) rear end or you can get a 3/4 ton with a 10.5" rear end. Stay away from the 1/2 ton, 8.5in rear for towing…it’s the same thing that the Tahoe uses and it’s just not up for the task…I’ve burned up a few:)


My daughter in law tows our two horse trailer behind a 2000 Durango with no problems. However, since we also own one ton trucks, her towing is not very far (less than 100 miles each round trip). If this is your only tow vehicle, I would go with a heavier vehicle. I am partial to F350 crew cabs, for the room inside and large cargo box. They meet our towing needs 100%.


For a similar size vehilce look at the full-size Pathfinder. It’s towing capacity is 10,000lbs.


mcparadise used the word “regularly”. I would add the questions, how often, how far, on what kind of roads and how fast. The answers would influence choice.


Is this a new Durango based on the Ram pickup or the older model based on the Dakota? I think the new ones can tow a lot more than the older ones did.

I’m not making any recommendation here but, I was at a red light once in my Saturn, next to me was a Chevy or GMC with the Isuzu diesel engine and Allison transmission towing a large 4 horse trailer with front camper. When the light changed, he took off and I could not keep up. Maybe a new Durango with a Cummins diesel might be a good tow vehicle, but it will probably be pricey, like all diesels.


Durango is a Dakota with an SUV body, so in beteen a large and compact truck. No matter how you equip it, it cannot achieve the towing prowess of a Suburban.