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I have a 2002 dodge durango sport with a 4.7 liter and I am wanting to make upgrades so that I can haul more (travel trailer) the current towing capacity is about 4,500 lbs and that is enough for some the smaller travel trailers I have looked at, any suggestions?
 

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I lucked out a few years ago and came across a set of Ride-Rite air bags for my Dakota. It gives a nice solid feel when pulling or loaded down.
 

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For liability reasons, you can't really increase the towing capacity. However, many tow at and above their trucks limits. Do so at your own risk.

Air bags are great. I'm also a big believer in weight distributing hitches. But they have to be matched to the weight of your trailer and the intended load along with it. Overload springs do their job, but make for a harsh ride when you're not towing. Make sure you have good shocks all the way around.

Brakes! Make sure you have trailer brakes and a good brake controller for your truck. You could upgrade the truck's brakes, but as long as they're in good repair you'll do alright. A popular upgrade is to swap to '03/'04 Dakota (03' Durango) front brakes. They are larger diameter and you have to have at least 16" rims for them to fit. You also have to swap some suspension pieces for the later year stuff. I'll let you search if you want to follow that rabbit. If you want the rear discs from the 03' Durango, then it's usually easier to swap the whole axle. Dakota axles don't fit without modification and welding, and I think I read that the widths are different.

Our trucks came with either 3.55 or 3.92 axle gears. For towing/4 wheeling/playing, the popular upgrade is to swap to 4.56 gears. Remember to do both axles if yours is 4x4. Alternatively (or additionally?) You could swap in a high stall torque converter.

Cooling! The factory radiator is... adequate... for most things. Opinions differ. Someone will jump in to say he's hauled 26,000 lbs through the desert and steep canyons with his factory setup and never had problems. My truck has had cooling issues. I would upgrade if towing anything heavy on a regular basis. An aftermarket, multi core radiator would be the way to go. An additional trans cooler would help too. The factory clutch fan works and can't be beat for airflow. But when it kicks in, is a huge power draw on that poor little 4.7, and usually when I need the power the most (like climbing a hill and the engine is heating up). Even when it's 'freewheeling', there's still a little drag on the engine. I recommend to ditch the clutch fan and put in a decent e-fan. There are many many options, from aftermarket to factory ones from other vehicles. Search the forum, or pick your own. Plus when the clutch fans go bad, everyone seems to have problems with the replacement, unless they get one from the dealer.

There are a few options to increase engine power, but our engines are not well supported in the aftermarket. Member Airram is a good starting place for ideas. I think he has a website with the same name. A free flowing exhaust would be a great first upgrade for towing.

Sorry for the essay. I hope something here helps. Good luck and have fun!
 
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