2018 Dodge Durango 4 R/T Long Term Update 4: Whiskey, Wigwams & Wi-Fi


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Just 80 miles from home I heard a loud bang, after which power stopped flowing to the wheels. That’s how a transmission failure ended my vacation trip to Nashville for a classic car meet in my 1967 Sunbeam Alpine. Fortunately, the trusty Durango’s calendar was clear, so it collected several more stamps in its Bourbon Trail passport and enjoyed spending the night in a wigwam village.

The night before our visit to Mammoth Cave National Park, we bivouacked in Cave City, KY at one of two remaining Wigwam Village Inns. The other is on Route 66 in San Bernardino, CA. Once there were ten locations sprinkled across the nation.

Prior to this trip we activated the truck’s 4G LTE Wi-Fi service. It worked flawlessly, though reflashing our Uconnect system to activate it wiped our Bluetooth connections and may have inserted a minor bug that plunged the infotainment system into a deep funk just as we started the trip home. The clock stopped at 8:35 am (initially 20 minutes early) and could not be altered, the outside temperature read a laughable 54 degrees in the Nashville swelter, and the climate control temperature readings and compass heading were all blank. After several miles of fiddling, we pitted for a “cold reboot” (ignition off, climb out, lock, unlock, restart). Still funky. Unsure of how to disconnect the battery for a hard reboot, I started pulling and reinserting fuses (none of which is obviously marked Radio or Infotainment System. This did the trick.

A couple of filling-station pumps on this trip clicked off repeatedly at any flow rate above a trickle—an annoyance that occasionally afflicts vehicles with capless filling, but we still appreciate the feature. We averaged 19.0 mpg over the 1,600-mile/32-hour journey (our eternally optimistic trip computer reported 23.1 mpg).

I towed a wood chipper to the lake house and was disappointed to find that the Durango’s rear collision-prevention nanny slammed the brakes on, thinking I was about to crash into the attached trailer until I switched off the park-distance controller. The system should know better when trailer lighting is connected. On the plus side, the dotted center line on the rear-view camera enabled perfect alignment of hitch and ball on the first try.

One final observation: I never liked black wheels until I accidentally nicked one of these and discovered that generic gloss black touch-up paint makes them look as good as new!

Read more about our 2018 Dodge Durango R/T long-termer:

Building on last fall’s Wild Turkey stop, our Durango has now visited Town Branch, Limestone Branch, Maker’s Mark, Willett, Heaven Hill, Jim Beam, Boundary Oak, and Corsair (plus a bonus visit to Tennessee whiskey distiller Jack Daniel’s).