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Towing Camper w/ Explorer Sport V6 AWD

Discussion in 'Tow Rig Forum' started by ChristyFord, August 26, 2017.

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    1. ChristyFord

      ChristyFord New Member

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      Considering vehicles for towing a travel trailer roughly 21 ft long / dry weight <3,500 lbs, will be used for long distance trips through mountainous areas, etc.

      Fuel efficiency is important to me, so I prefer this midsize model over larger. But I also want to be sure it can more than just "do" the job, it can do it well enough without struggling up inclines and putting too much stress on the engine.

      Anyone handled a situation like this and have some insight or advice?
       
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    3. Mbrooks420

      Mbrooks420 High Voltage. Elite Explorer

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      That's way too big, especially for a 4wd V6. You'd get terrible mileage, and it'd be a miserable tow for any distance. Not a suitable vehicle.
       
    4. thebrakeman

      thebrakeman Well-Known Member

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      If you are talking about the older Sport models (like the 2nd generation models), then no, even if you can find any of them still functioning well.
      But assuming you are talking about the newer, 5th gen Explorer Sport, then that's the 3.5L Ecoboost V6. Plenty of engine for the task, with occasional use in moderate terrain. But I don't think the transmission and cooling in this application were designed for lots of towing, especially in mountainous duty.
       
    5. Tech By Trade

      Tech By Trade Well-Known Member

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      Buy a half ton.
       
    6. Mbrooks420

      Mbrooks420 High Voltage. Elite Explorer

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      It's too big for any year explorer. Way too much frontage, and the dry weight on a trailer thst size means little. Factor it with 500 pounds of gear, and however much the freshwater tank holds.
       
    7. tjdmobile

      tjdmobile New Member

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      I have a 2015 Explorer Sport, so I have the 500/5000 with Ecoboost. Dry weight of our camper is under 3000 pounds, but wet we are a little over that. I live in Boise Idaho, and we camp in McCall (about a 4,000 elevation change over 90 miles). Explorer pulls like there is nothing behind it. 13.5 MPG on the last trip. Just trying to decide if I need (would benefit) from a WDH.
       
    8. thebrakeman

      thebrakeman Well-Known Member

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      Well, I'll take issue on that statement. My Mounty (Explorer clone) is properly equipped for 7000 lbs max towing. If I had a 21' camper loaded under 4500 lbs, I would not hesitate to use my SUV in more serious hills. My camper being 27', and about 5200lbs...probably not.
       
    9. Tech By Trade

      Tech By Trade Well-Known Member

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      Here is my situation. I live in Saskatchewan, It is said it is so flat here that you can watch your dog run away for 3 days. This is true. I drive a sport trac with a 4l and a 5 speed, factory towing package which is a glorified explorer with a box. I tow a trail cruiser hybrid, 19 foot closed. It weighs in around 3500 dry with gear not sure on weight loaded up. I tow at 100kmph with the overdrive off (fear of grenadeing the 5r55) at around 2300 RPM. The weight here is not a problem, it tows fine on a flat, problem is when we get a wind above 30kmph. That giant front is like a sail. I get around 20L/100km with in a dead calm, or with a tail wind. If I get any type of head wind that drops to 25 or 26l/100k. There is no way I would even attempt a drive through the mountains.
      I also tow a 17.5 foot lund adventure with a 115 yamaha on the back, my guess is around 1500 to 2000 on the trailer loaded with fuel and gear. I dont even know its behind the truck in overdrive. Wind is the killer.

      On a side note, my friend down the street has the same camper, 2 years older and drives a naturally aspirated 14 F150. He drives like a dolt most of the time and gets 16l/100k without the trailer. With the trailer he gets the same, according to him, and has 0 issues with power.
      There is no alternative to cubic inches for towing.
       
    10. Mbrooks420

      Mbrooks420 High Voltage. Elite Explorer

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      What do you tow long distance, and through mountains with your Mounty?

      An F150 would be much better suited, get way better mileage, and likely be similar in cost.
       
    11. ChristyFord

      ChristyFord New Member

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      I'm sure the F150 would be great, but we're looking for an SUV instead of a truck :-/
       
    12. Mbrooks420

      Mbrooks420 High Voltage. Elite Explorer

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      You'd be within the weight rating, so you could use an Explorer. I'd just get the best towing setup you could find, surely get a weight distributing hitch and be careful with how much you loaded the trailer up. A swept front trailer, or one that's not super tall would help as well. I'd expect very low teens for mpg, and less in the mountains.
       
    13. thebrakeman

      thebrakeman Well-Known Member

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      I thought I was pretty clear. I wouldn't hesitate to tow a 21' camper with my V8, 6sp Mounty, loaded up to around 4500 lbs. Sure, a 1/2-ton truck would do better. A 3/4-ton would do better, too.

      I would not tow my own camper thru serious hills, being 5200 lbs, and 27 ft. But I simply disagree with your statement that the camper in the OP is too big for any Explorer.
       
    14. traveler

      traveler Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      Its been suggested that the OP get an F-150, but they prefer an SUV. There is an alternative to both the F-150 and the Explorer. Get an Expedition. The same chassis/drivetrains as the F-150 but in an SUV Package. Its really hard to tell whether or not the Explorer would pull the camper the OP listed without knowing the year of course. My 2000 Explorer with a 5.0 and the BW4406 mod pulls our 23 foot camper well enough, unless we're going through the mountains. Then... well, lets just say patience is required. The newer ecoboost V6 models may tow it quite well.
       

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    15. thebrakeman

      thebrakeman Well-Known Member

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      OP specified a mid-sized SUV.
       
    16. traveler

      traveler Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      Ahh... Well that does make it more challenging.

      You gave pretty much all of your requirements for a tow vehicle, except price range. That will make a huge difference.
       
      Last edited: October 19, 2017
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    17. Dale G

      Dale G New Member

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      I have a 2014 Explorer XLT 3.5 2 wheel drive with trailer tow, looking at towing 3,500 lbs travel trailer going from Indiana to Yellowstone. Will this be a problem and what do think gas MPG will be.
       
    18. Mbrooks420

      Mbrooks420 High Voltage. Elite Explorer

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      You should be good for 5,000 pounds and 40 feet of frontage if you have the factory installed towing package.

      Mileage will be fairly poor, especially with the NA motor. I'd expect low to mid teens flat, less in the hills.
       
      Last edited: November 7, 2017

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