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Class 2 hitch. Replace or modify to a class 3-4?

Discussion in 'Tow Rig Forum' started by darshan53, June 13, 2011.

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    1. darshan53

      darshan53 New Member

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      2010 Eddie Bauer
      Have a 2010 Eddie Bauer with a factory Class 2 hitch. Can this hitch be changed out or modified for a class 3 or 4? Wanting to tow a travel trailer.
       
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    3. BrooklynBay

      BrooklynBay Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    4. 43

      43 Active Member

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      I belive 4th gen hitches are welded to the frame. You will need to purchase a class 3/4 aftermarket one to mount under the class 2.
       
    5. darshan53

      darshan53 New Member

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      Thank you! I'll check around to see what is available.
       
    6. thebrakeman

      thebrakeman Well-Known Member

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      Just remember that you will still be stuck at 3500 lbs tow rating.
      V6 or V8?
       
    7. darshan53

      darshan53 New Member

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    8. thebrakeman

      thebrakeman Well-Known Member

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      Here is the 2010 Ford Towing Guide, which you should read carefully:
      https://www.fleet.ford.com/showroom/rv_trailer_towing/2010/2010_default.asp

      I do not recommend that you try towing a full-height travel trailer with your Explorer. The V6, 5-speed, and 3.55 axle ratio combination is not what you want to try pulling a barn door thru the wind. The tow package for your V6 Ex included 3.73 axle ratio, which would boost tow rating from 3500 lbs to 5200 (page 24). It also increases combined vehicle GCVWR from 8500 lbs to 10,000 lbs (also page 24). It also increase the frontal area limit to 60 sq-ft. Without the tow package, you should not tow anything that has a frontal area larger than the Explorer itself (page 17).

      You might find a 17ft camper light enough for your vehicle. But towing it at more than 45mph will have significant aero drag that your drivetrain was not design to handle.
       
    9. darshan53

      darshan53 New Member

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      I was looking for some type of towing guide, and you got it to me! Thank you!
      We don't want to tow a larger camping trailer, but almost every one of the smaller, lighter ones we have looked at require a class 3 or 4 hitch, even though the weights are low enough for the Exp tow.
      Very frustrating.
      Thanks again for the info.:salute:
       
    10. thebrakeman

      thebrakeman Well-Known Member

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      A class 2 hitch (which you have) is good enough for 3500 lbs. And that's all you are able to tow with that truck. The only difference that the trailer would see, is the size of the ball (typically 2", or 2-5/16"). You can put either size ball on a class II, 1¼" drawbar.

      What is it about these smaller trailers that is telling you that you need a class 3 or 4 hitch?
       
    11. 43

      43 Active Member

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      [​IMG]

      v6 with 3.55 gear ratio and a class III/IV aftermarket hitch. Photo courtesy of hitchingmike.
       
    12. thebrakeman

      thebrakeman Well-Known Member

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      43,
      Yeah, if I wanted to, I could get that trailer hooked up to my Mazda3 and pull it for a while. That doesn't mean it's a smart thing to do.
       
    13. revo39564

      revo39564 New Member

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      Use to tow an aluminum john boat with a 1993 Hyundai Excel with a manual 5 speed... looking back I think my dad was crazy.....but it was light
       
    14. turborich

      turborich Active Member

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      I changed out my class II hitch for the OEM class III. The 2004 was a bolt on hitch. Although my tow limit will still be 3,500 lbs I can now handle up to 500 lbs tongue weight where as the class II only carries up to 300 lbs.

      I needed to be able to tow a 3,000 lb pop up camper with a 450 lb tongue weight.

      That picture of the explorer towing the trailer above is insane. That looks like it would be a close call for a half ton pick up. Looks very dangerous & illegal.
       
    15. summermac

      summermac New Member

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      I have a similar question and hate to start another thread. We just bought a 2006 Explorer XLT V8 with a Class 2 hitch. We took it to a local RV dealer to purchase the whatever it is that goes into the hitch (I am totally blanking on the name) and the person at the dealer said our trailer is too close to the 3500 lbs the class 2 hitch can pull and that he thinks we should upgrade to a class 3. He says that he's seen the class 2 hitches pull right off when towing.

      What say you?

      Our trailer is an 18 foot 2008 Jay Feather Sport 165 w/ dry weight of 2875 and gross weight 3775. However, we are pretty light packers and I'd guess 500 lbs at the absolute MOST in the trailer. We are mostly weekend only campers. We wouldn't carry any water with us in the tanks, for example.

      Thoughts? I don't want to have to buy a class 3 unless necessary. Plus it seems to not be an easy switch from 2 to 3?
       
    16. NGTD

      NGTD New Member

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      My 98 Explorer with a V6 SOHC and a 3.55 FD is rated to tow 4500 lbs and a 2010 is only rated for 3500?

      Mine does have a transmission cooler but that is seriously de-rated.
       
    17. thebrakeman

      thebrakeman Well-Known Member

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      Summermac,
      Starting in 2006, all V8 models got the new 6-speed transmission, while the V6 retained the old 5-speed. The nice thing is that with this 6-speed, they no longer needed to change the axle ratios to get the higher tow ratings. Adding the tow package to 2006-2010 (V8 models ONLY) retained the same 3.55 gear ratios. This means you get top tow rating, and still get decent mileage when not towing.

      For you, this means that you DON'T need to upgrade the axles. You only need to add a class III hitch, add a trans cooler, and upgrade the wiring from the 4-flat to the 7-pin. You need the wiring upgrade to get the trailer brakes working. Do not skip this step. You need the extra braking.

      The current hitch is welded, so you can't swap it out (without a lot of money and work). Just get an aftermarket Class 3 and bolt it underneath. I recommend etrailer.com for the hitch. They will also have the wiring conversion kit. Call them. They are terrific.
       
    18. mturnbo

      mturnbo New Member

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      The problem is I looked and it seems etrailer doesn't offer a bolt-on class III for the 2 gen Sport Trac
       
    19. 43

      43 Active Member

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      Ford might have undercut the actual ability of the 3rd and 4th gen explorers because of all the rolling incidents with the 2nd gens.
       
    20. turborich

      turborich Active Member

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      Load it up, make sure your LP tanks are full, batteries are in place, water tank is full & see what the tongue weight is. If you are over 300 pounds then you must upgrade to a class III receiver hitch. If the tongue weight is close to or over 500lbs then you will also need a weight distribution hitch.

      If you are involved in an accident and your tow vehicle is not properly equipped to tow your trailer then your insurance company won't cover you. It really is quite serious.

      Your Explorer has plenty of power to tow that Jayco, Just get the bolt on class III hitch from E trailer and you'll be good in that dept.

      One more question. Does the Jayco have electric brakes? If so you must have them hooked up. If it has a battery then you will also need a charge line for the battery to charge while in tow. I'm assuming that your Explorer doesn't have a 7 pin outlet since it has a class II hitch, correct?

      If you need help with this just let me know.
       
    21. summermac

      summermac New Member

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      Yes the trailer has brakes. We are planning on getting the 7 pin outlet when we buy the hitch.

      Right now we haven't had to tow it anywhere b/c camping season hasn't begun yet. It's the next thing on my list. :D
       
    22. mikkibtune

      mikkibtune New Member

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      The overwhelming majority of the " rolling incidents" were caused by the defective Firestone tires basically exploding. I worked at Ford during this recall, so I can speak to it with some authority.

      But good luck with that Toureg:eek:
       
    23. jason S armstrong

      jason S armstrong New Member

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      Im looking to switch mine out on an 04 i dont want two receivers on mine. Any one have any links to buy one im only finding the ones that bolt to factory receiver. I dont tow a whole lot when i do its just a small trailer bout the size of a pop up. But im wanting to get a tow bar with the secondary rceiver attached so i can attach a bike rack. Cant find any 1.25" tow bars with a 2" secondary
       
    24. 96firephoenix

      96firephoenix Active Member

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      I don't think you'll find what you're looking for... https://www.etrailer.com/tv-install-trailer-hitch-2010-ford-explorer-13112.aspx is this what you're looking for? its for a 2010, but they have them for older ones too.
       

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