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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Right now the only truck I have is a 2001 4 Cylinder Dodge Dakota. I am purchasing an enclosed trailer and was hoping you would have some suggestions as to the size my truck can handle. I will probably purchase a larger truck in a year or so. My work is mostly remodeling and the trailer would be used mostly for tools. Whenever I have to haul a heavy load, I can borrow a truck or have it delivered. I would guess all my tools and supplies would weigh somewhere between 1,000-1,500 pounds but again that is a guess.


From reading other "trailer size" threads, I believe I would be happiest with a 7x14 but didn't know if I had a little engine that could or couldn't. Also the majority of my driving will be about 10 miles round trip and no major hills.

Any advice is appreciated.

Thanks
 

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Head Grunt
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I used to drive an extra cab Dakota with the 3.9 and 5spd. It was tired iron but ran great, no power at all for towing. I towed my 1600 lb 16' car trailer a couple times empty and it didnt like it. I once put a Honda Accord on the trailer and towed it home "about 1 mile". Problem was i live on a steep hill, the truck chugged over the hill at about 3mph in 1st gear with the gas pedal on the floor. The truck barely pulled the hill. Now yours only has a 4banger? I would say a 4'X8' trailer with a mower or some small tools but i think you will have problems towing any kind of enclosed trailer. The wind resistance is very hard on the tow vehicle to overcome.
 

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Head Grunt
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Also, i tow a 7'X14' enclosed trailer and beleive me there is alot of wind resistance even with the V-nose. IMO that size is way overkill for your truck, even empty. My trailer is loaded to the gills and weighs alot, this trailer puts a good strain on my diesels. I can tow it at 90mph with no issues and pull like mad in any hill but beleive me, you know its behind you.
 

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I'd look for a late 80's or early 90's 3/4 or 1 ton to get you by. If you settle for 2 wheel drive from any of the Big 3 from that era you're looking at $3Kish for something clean and serviceable. Shoot for 87+ to get fuel injection.

As far as your Dakota goes check out those tiny enclosed trailers from Home Depot. They're kind of flimsy, but in your application that's ok. Flimsy is light. At roughly $1K they're essentially disposable.
 

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you need a bigger truck. I have a Nissan Xtera that I pull my 7x14 with for camping trips. With a light load the gas mileage drops from 26 mpg to around 12. :no: I won't even hook it up with tools in it, the suspension just won't take that kind of weight. Never mind the fact you want to haul a trailer (around 1800 lbs.) plus your tools (you said around 1250 lbs.) so now you have more weight than the truck behind you, and the laws of physics are against you.
 

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Maker of fine kindling
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I have 2 trailers to haul cabinets and everything else under the sun.

The small one is 5x10 that I got at Home Creepo for about $2500. I was driving a v6 Toyota and it did ok but not great.

The bigger one is approx 7x16 and 6" extra tall. Love that thing. Had to get a full size truck for that one. My truck has a towing capacity of #7000. Sometimes I wish it was more but all in all does ok.

The key is payload. How much crap you gonna haul including your own ass. And what is your truck rated at? Manufacturers tend to skew the numbers a bit if you ask me. The whole thing can get complicated if you let it.

A 4 cyl light truck ain't gonna get it done though. You will need a big boy truck to pull a 14' trailer with your stuff. The little truck can't be rated at more that a couple thousand pounds tow capacity. The pay load can't be much more than that. And that trailer empty is more than that. Just guessing on the numbers though. What does the manual say?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Yeah I guess deep down I already knew it was really just a car posing as a truck. I knew there must have been a reason I couldn't find any pics of dakotas pulling trailers. :)

As far as the specs go, I couldn't find the manual, but I believe the load capacity was around 3300.
I guess the good news is that is looks like I'll have to be getting that new truck about a year sooner than I thought.
 

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Back in the day (way, way back) 3/4 ton trucks and 1 ton trucks had small 4 and 6 cylinder engines. Big inch V-8 didn't come around until the late 60's and diesel in the 80's.

I suppose with low gearing (4.10 or 4.56), air bags to hold the rear end up, a massive radiator, a granny 5 speed, and some other stuff that Dakota could pull a 14,000lb trailer.

Course back in the day those trucks moved at 45mph.

Thank you for taking a ride in the way back machine. Please exit to your right.
 

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if all you're doing is a 10 mile radius....you could pull a 8/5 x 20'er.....good electric brakes, not in a hurry...have at it...i wouldn't want to pull it daily 20 miles round trip....but if you take it to a jobsite...let it sit for a week or so, move to next job....that 4 cyl. will surprise you.
 

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#1 stunner
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How far are you from KY? I can hook you up on a nice 6x10 enclosed trailer. Google your truck and see what its rated at for towing, take the weight of the trailer plus your tools, if it less then the rated listing then it will be okay.
 

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KemoSabe
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Make sure you lock out "overdrive" if your an automatic trans, or you will surely burn it up. Dakotas were notorious for that.:thumbsup:
 

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i had a 97 ranger v6 and pulled a 16' car hauler loaded with wood, walk planks, truss jib, 1/4" steel work platform 12' long and 30" wide that fit on a rough terrain lift truck. i dont know how much it all weighed, but had to be a lot. that truck pulled a lot of weight. all pulled from my bumper
 

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I agree with the buy a bigger truck group . It 's not going to pull much safely for very long . I would go with a used 3/4 plus and keep it for primarily pulling your trailer . You can scoot around doing estimates in your Dakota . Good luck !
 

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i had a 97 ranger v6 and pulled a 16' car hauler loaded with wood, walk planks, truss jib, 1/4" steel work platform 12' long and 30" wide that fit on a rough terrain lift truck. i dont know how much it all weighed, but had to be a lot. that truck pulled a lot of weight. all pulled from my bumper
:eek::eek: off the bumper?!?
 

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Right now the only truck I have is a 2001 4 Cylinder Dodge Dakota. I am purchasing an enclosed trailer and was hoping you would have some suggestions as to the size my truck can handle. I will probably purchase a larger truck in a year or so. My work is mostly remodeling and the trailer would be used mostly for tools. Whenever I have to haul a heavy load, I can borrow a truck or have it delivered. I would guess all my tools and supplies would weigh somewhere between 1,000-1,500 pounds but again that is a guess.


From reading other "trailer size" threads, I believe I would be happiest with a 7x14 but didn't know if I had a little engine that could or couldn't. Also the majority of my driving will be about 10 miles round trip and no major hills.

Any advice is appreciated.

Thanks
Yeah that trailer is prob a good 4000lbs with tools. Take a look at your max load rateings for your truck and take a look to see if your gonna be legal first. Im sure your truck will pull it but it mostly depends on terrain. If your in the flat lands then you will be fine. Def wont be winning any races though. Just make sure you change your truck ASAP as it will be pushing that little 4 banger to it's limit. As long as you aint hitting massive hills or mountains and your within your limits then give it a go.
 
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