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Discussion Starter #1
Hello Durango owners,
I'm looking for a new daily driver. My '71 Charger is my pride and joy but my '92 Geo Metro is my current daily driver.
For work, I clean medical facilities and hospitals. I carry a lot of equipment and my Metro simply doesn't have the room...
I really would like to get my next vehicle in the Dodge family and I'm debating over the Caravan or the Durango.
I'm familiar with the specs of a Caravan (my room mate's boyfriend owns one) but maybe my Durango buddies can convert me :)

Thank you much,
Anna
 

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'02 Dakota QC SLT Plus
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If power is a consideration, you'll have way more with a Durango. If space is a consideration you'll get more with a Caravan without the rear seats...

Besides, it's way more cool to spin the rear tires than the fronts... Go Durango! :rck:
 

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If you have to ask this question... get the Caravan :crazy:
 

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Discussion Starter #4
jobemc said:
If you have to ask this question... get the Caravan :crazy:
Supposed to be funny?
Is there anyone who has an opinion that matters? I'm no expert like Mr. :crazy:. Any true Dodge entusiast will acknowledge them both as being good vehicles without throwing in sacastic "DUHS"
 

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I have had my 99 Durango for about 1 year now and I am very happy with it so far. I actually like the amount of space I have in the back when I fold down the 2nd and 3rd row of seats. I would assume the Caravan gets better gas mileage? 4wd is nice but it also means more things to mantain.

Every vehicle from every manufacturer has a known set of issues. I don't know about the Caravan but for the Durango you will want to look over the transmission and make sure it isnt slipping or leaking.

The other main complaint about the Durango is the ball joints in the front. Any first generation would of had them replaced by now but when you have your mechanic do your pre-purchase check you might want to have him check them out. The stock ones dont last very long but good replacements last for a very long time.

When I bought my Durango I was actually thinking of getting a van also. After having the Durango I am happy I bought it. Have fun car shopping. :)
 

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AnnaD said:
Supposed to be funny?
Is there anyone who has an opinion that matters? I'm no expert like Mr. :crazy:. Any true Dodge entusiast will acknowledge them both as being good vehicles without throwing in sacastic "DUHS"
Actually, he thinks the same way I do - economics: here's why -

Either vehicle will suffice. Going from a metro to a Durango is a quadruple increase in cargo capacity. Going to a caravan would increase that by an additional 30%. From an economics standpoint the caravan will be the better, long term value. The Durango does have several traits that the caravan cannot match...such as 4x4 capability (full time or part time), same seating capacity (but much tighter in the rear seats), higher ground clearance, better overall performance from the larger engines. The caravan will net you better fuel economy with any V6 engine offering, much more space, and since you'll be traveling on mostly paved roads where the snow plows clear the snow every 20min you shouldn't have to worry much about traction. The Caravan will also cost less with regular maintenance! I think it comes down to personal preference and what your budget will allow. I bought my D to tow a hobby and landscape trailer (caravan can't tow these!), and as I have relatives in the frozen north, 4wd capability was a must. It's worth its weight in gold for the times I would have been stuck if I had driven my Ford Taurus sedan!

Aftermarket parts are also readily available for the Durango. Both vehicles have nearly identical payload capacities. Generally, I find that trucks will last longer since they're made to 'work' on a regular basis. Everyone has their own opinion on that of course....
If it was me, I'd get the Caravan. It's more suited to hauling supplies as it has a lower floor and a taller cabin inside. So, it would be the one to go with. Besides, you should be able to find a newer, low mileage one for a lot less dough than a comparable Durango.
 

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This is my second gen 1 Durango and I love them. Went from a 318 to the 287, and both are phenomenal. The caravan will save you some gas money, but my vote is for the Durango. Good luck with you decision.
 

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Black Durangos Rock
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I have owned a Grand Caravan, Gen I Durango and currently own a Gen II Durango. For my needs, the Durango is a better fit. I have the ability to haul some items with the seats down and I can tow anything that I would need and 4WD. As mentioned before, the Caravan has more cargo area and a lower height for easier loading. Side doors that open on both sides also make it very easy to access the stuff you haul. Towing capacity is obviously not as much as the D, but that is probably not a necessity for you. In summary, Caravan - better value... Durango - bigger, faster, stronger and more expensive to own.

Or you could get the best of both worlds with a Gen II D, they get called minivans all the time.

Happy Hunting.
 

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Go with the BIG D! Lots of power, you have the option of either 2x4 or 4x4 (if you're in Lakewood, I'd go with 4x4, since well, you're in Washington, haha), uhm, ability to lower all the rear seats instantly, ability to haul anything you can imagine (I've hauled washer/dryer at the same time in my D), tons of wood, tons of kids, oh, and I think the Durango is overall simply safer, correct me if I'm wrong?

I've owned my Durango for a while now and love it. She gives me problems, but nothing that cant be fixed. Take care of her (or him?) and he/she will treat you right.

GO DURANGO AND JOIN US! F a bunch of minivans, LOL.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
MonsterStyleCom said:
Go with the BIG D! Lots of power, you have the option of either 2x4 or 4x4 (if you're in Lakewood, I'd go with 4x4, since well, you're in Washington, haha), uhm, ability to lower all the rear seats instantly, ability to haul anything you can imagine (I've hauled washer/dryer at the same time in my D), tons of wood, tons of kids, oh, and I think the Durango is overall simply safer, correct me if I'm wrong?

I've owned my Durango for a while now and love it. She gives me problems, but nothing that cant be fixed. Take care of her (or him?) and he/she will treat you right.

GO DURANGO AND JOIN US! F a bunch of minivans, LOL.
So that puts a big bonus to the benefits of having a Durango. You think it would be safer and I could get more fun out of it? ::ponders:: I could get more use out of it than a Caravan not only for work, but for hobby too. I should go get a season pass to Snoqualmie... :D
 

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Yea, if you're going up to Snoqualmie Falls, keep going on I-5 to the mountains and do some offroading, or go over to Mt. Saint Helen and just go crazy one weekend on the back roads.

I've been to Washington 2 or 3 times in the past 2 years, and I loved it. Lots of places to go offroading, Snoqualmie is beautiful, well, the Falls atleast. The city is very small if I remember, haha.

So go buy a Durango ASAP, what year are you looking at getting? I have a good buddy up in Pullman who lives like right near you when he's not in college, so he could prob tell me of some great places for used vehicles, oh, and rock trails, etc... Even though he owns a Ford pickup 4x4 :-( lol.

GO DURANGO.
 

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I was going to buy either another Jeep Cherokee or the 99 Durango. Hands down, the D had way more cargo space and more towing power. Because my son is special needs, I have to haul a huge wheelchair/stroller daily. It fits in the D with plenty of room left over. Since it is my DD and also pulls my camper, it's a good fit. If gas mileage is a big concern, go with the Caravan because the D is not what I'd call economical.
 

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Todd O
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IMO unless you get a new caravan with the lifetime powertrain warranty I would stay away from the caravans. I think they are junk....water pumps, power steering pumps, and trannys fail a lot. That is just my experience working on them but granted that's only about 10 of them.
 

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AnnaD:

Now this is JUST my $.02, but here goes. From what ya say, you'll be haulin lots of stuff, BUT, your not towing anything. I can personally attest to the crashworthyness of the Gen1 D's, & IMHO ya can't beat em. I rolled my 99 & a BIG tree fell on this one (my 01). I swear by 4WD, & personally think EVERY vehicle should have it, especially if ya have to deal with all 4 seasons. At the very least, they should have AWD. Pure safety factor.

That being said, ya NEED to look at your economics. The D's SUCK down gas. Now this part is also a personal view, but I wouldn't TOUCH anything Dodge/Chrysler made during the Daimler regime. The Caravan was the 1st mini van ever made, & they DO have a lot goin for them, BUT, unless ya get a brandy new one (made under the new regime), stay away.

From what you've said, a mini is probably the best thing for ya. I'd find one that was AWD, & maybe all wheel disk & 4 wheel ABS. The Gen 1 D's are TRUCKS (even though many try & make em cars). The Gen 2 D is an over glorified mini van. Yeah, it has power, but it is not an off road vehicle. Hell, it can barely handle construction sites (as do most newer SUV's). Are ya planning on going off roading?

Most people buy for looks these days, not for need. Ya see that with all the SUV's rollin down the roads today, most never even hit gravel let alone trails. They have the rubberband tires on em, LCD's all over the place, & generally inept morons behind the wheel that shouldn't even drive a golf cart let alone a big assed SUV.

To be honest, if I didn't have a need to tow heavy items, I probably never woulda gotten my D. BTW, I'm on my 3rd (or 4th if ya count the one I got frauded on). I've had 4Wd vehicles since the 70's. Wouldn't have it any other way. My wife has a S10 Blazer as she doesn't need all that power. She could never go back to a 2WD vehicle again, she's seen the light on the safety issues.

Her S10 has over 160K on it & someday we'll have to replace it (as it came with the factory GM rust issues). We'll definitely go with another 4WD, but this time, diesel power, & probably a mini, as she insists on carrying tons of junk everywhere she goes. Just something to consider. Good luck in whatever you decide.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Hey guys!
Update:
I did decide and I chose the "Big D".
In fact, I bought it yesterday.
[/IMG]
 

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Sweet! Good for you. Hope ya have fun with it!!!
 

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welcome to the group anna! we're here to help you with with your problems and here to help you with your mods(assuming that you will be adding some)... :D have fun with your D!
 

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AnnaD said:
So that puts a big bonus to the benefits of having a Durango. You think it would be safer and I could get more fun out of it? ::ponders:: I could get more use out of it than a Caravan not only for work, but for hobby too. I should go get a season pass to Snoqualmie... :D
whats snoqualmie? is that a ski resort there?
 

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Discussion Starter #20
MonsterStyleCom said:
I think she means the town, but this is what they are known for:
http://www.snoqualmiefalls.com/

I been there and it's pretty amazing. I went after all the ice/snow and such had already melted for the season, but the rush of water is still amazing, and the drop is pretty high.

Now, give us specs on the Durango!!!!!!
5.2L
8 cyl
A/T
4x4

No mods as far as i can tell. Yet. :D
 
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