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Newbie question | RV Trailer towing

Discussion in 'Tow Rig Forum' started by Oliver Wirkus, August 28, 2017.

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    1. Oliver Wirkus

      Oliver Wirkus New Member

      November 1, 2016
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      Explorer 2017 XLT, 3.5L

      I would like to rent a RV trailer next year to go on a camping trip with my family to Jasper and Banff.
      I found a renter offering a trailer which I think is offering enough space for a family of 4.

      My question to you: the trailer weighs about 3900 lbs (empty). Our 2017 Explorer has a Class 3 tow package and I'm going to add an additional Brake Controller and I will use an equalizer hitch.
      What are you thinking - is our Explorer capable of towing a trailer like that? What are your experiences?

      Feedback is much appreciated.

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    3. Mbrooks420

      Mbrooks420 High Voltage. Elite Explorer

      February 2, 2002
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      Erie, Pennsylvania
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      1998 Mountaineer AWD
      How far would you be towing it? What's your explorer actually rated at? What's the trailers height?
    4. thebrakeman

      thebrakeman Well-Known Member

      February 11, 2009
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      Canton, Michigan
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      2006 Mercury Mountaineer
      At best, you have 5000lbs MAX tow rating.
      3900 lbs empty/dry. I'm assuming this is a small, full-height camper. Typical estimate for loaded weight on a small camper like that is 800 lbs over dry weight (for options not included in that weight, cargo, food, etc). Let's say you pack light, don't haul water, and buy food when you get there. 700 over dry weight is 4600 lbs. That means you only have 400 lbs available for whatever you are going to put in the Explorer, beyond the driver. You are at the limits of this vehicle...if you were on relatively flat terrain.

      Vancouver to Banff: Looks like 9-10 hours of some significantly-hairy terrain. Definitely not flat. I would not recommend that combination. And even if you could find a lighter full-height camper, the full-height is just as much or more taxing on the drivetrain.

      I recommend you look for a nice popup camper. With 5000 lbs towing capacity, one of the "high-wall" models would be very nice. Find a model with a GVWR not more than about 4300, and you should be good.

      If you don't like the idea of a popup, and don't want to look into another tow vehicle, consider renting a motorhome for this trip. Likely plenty of mid-sized class C models that would be great for a family of 4.
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