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Towing package question

Discussion in 'Stock 2011 - 2017 Ford Explorer Discussion' started by spitfisher, October 23, 2011.

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    1. spitfisher

      spitfisher Active Member

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      Yup another towing package thread.

      I recently took home a new 2011 XLT 4WD without the tow package. I will be towing a half dozen times a year a small boat (trailer, gear, fuel, boat, motor and an extra 300 lbs for good measure.) that will weigh about 3000 lbs total.

      My question is.....what is included in the oem tow package. I know it includes the hitch, wire harness, oil cooler......On fairly flat highway and ramps.
      My other alternative is a 3rd party dealer to install, which I have dealt with before- I wish to weigh out my options.
       
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    3. donm527

      donm527 Active Member

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      if you already have your Ex then the only option is the 3rd party option. Dealers will not install the OEM tow package. Any dealer that offers to install a tow package is going to install a 3rd party package.

       
    4. blwnsmoke

      blwnsmoke Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      Tow package includes: hitch, wiring, tow mode (changes transmission shifts), oil cooler and thicker radiator (20-25% thicker) for additional cooling.

      No matter what hitch you put on, if you don't have the factory tow package, the Ex is rated at 2,000lbs max. This isn't to say the Ex couldn't handle more, however legally, 2,000lbs is what you can tow since that is it's rating.
       
    5. donm527

      donm527 Active Member

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      probably due to the need for oil cooler to handle the extra load. ford wont increase the rating, but if i were adding a tow package after the fact
      and i was towing more than just putting a bike hitch, i'd try to have an aftermarket oil cooler installed to be safer. (still missing the larger radiator)

       
    6. blwnsmoke

      blwnsmoke Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      Without a doubt Id get an aftermarket oil cooler but still doesnt solve the legality of pulling more then 2,000lbs. Granted nobody would check unless you were in an accident while in tow... but Id never risk it personally. Ive been in an accident while towing my snowmobile trailer so I know it can happen.
       
    7. donm527

      donm527 Active Member

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      now i have the factory tow package... but wondering...

      how does companies that make aftermarket trailer hitches get away with advertising 4000 and 5000 pound tow kits for the Ex?

      http://www.etrailer.com/hitch-2011_Ford_Explorer.htm

      i understand Ford may say 2000lbs... but if a 3rd party wants to design a kit and they rate it at 4000 and 5000lbs... you'd think they also have to follow some guidelines to be able to rate their kits as such and cover themselves in case of accident... and they are advertising it that way.

       
    8. blwnsmoke

      blwnsmoke Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      Because the aftermarket hitch is rated at pulling that weight, not the vehicle. The hitch doesnt take into account any vehicle it is put on as far as ratings.
       
    9. spitfisher

      spitfisher Active Member

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      couldn't the same argument be made about the ex xlt, the engine isn't any bigger and the subtle difference = 3000 more pounds?.....
       
    10. blwnsmoke

      blwnsmoke Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      Not sure what you mean, all v6 ex's with tow package is 5k pounds, non tow is 2k. Ecoboost is 2k. Trim package doesnt matter.
       
    11. charliez

      charliez Member

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      You could order the same parts that make up the tow package and have the 3rd party install them.
       
    12. spitfisher

      spitfisher Active Member

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      Yes, thats what I will do, I think there is a bumper trim difference where my 3rd party hitch will be more visable. Also the oil cooler isn't a big radiator but actually an additional mini radiator.

      [​IMG]
       
    13. Bill #5 Explorer

      Bill #5 Explorer Elite Explorer

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      I think there is some mis information in the post.

      We ALL have an oil cooler on the new Explorer. Only the TOW PACKAGE has the extra TRANS COOLER.

      To Spitfisher, why would you buy a new Explorer without the pow package, when you KNOW that you will be towing several times per year? I've never towed a thing in my 4 different Explores, but everyone of them has had the package (resale alone is a good reason).
       
    14. bluelion

      bluelion Active Member

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      +1. i personally don't have anything to tow as of yet. but in the future i want to buy a couple jet skis, so therefore, i got the tow package.
       
    15. Car 54

      Car 54 Active Member

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      Two things...a hitch might rated higher because it has a frame to bolt into.

      2000 lb capacity could be limited due to tongue weight capacity as well. Ford may not trust aftermarket hitches to withstand 500lbs static and the dynamic tongue weight.

      There was another thread recently that went into this topic a lot deeper. Suggest searching for it.
       
    16. Badgers21

      Badgers21 New Member

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      I have the Class III factory installed tow package on my 2012 Explorer. Does anybody recommend a specific ball mount to use?
       
    17. Car 54

      Car 54 Active Member

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      The ball is specific to the trailer. Don't buy anything until you know the height of the tongue and ball size.

      My car hauler takes a 2 5/16 ball with a 6" drop....for example.
       
    18. 97xxxploder

      97xxxploder Member

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      not one person metioned the fact that in a tow package u have a button to turn off overdrive. towing anything with overdrive is gonna be bad on ur transmission. especially if u have a brand new explorer. it doesnt make sense to buy a brand new truck just to add things like a hitch and a bigger radiator. ur already spending thousands of dollars, im sure u couldve found a 2011 with a real tow package. like i said, the overdrive is what will get u especially if u r towing 2k and more. i think u made a bad investment if u planned on towing a few times a year. im not trying to be rude but it seems like u didnt think before u bought and sounds like ur gonna put a lot more money getting the things u need for a real tow package compared to if u jsut bought an ex with the tow package.
       
    19. tmilicia

      tmilicia Active Member

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      We all know hindsight is 20/20.:) I traded in my 2008 Chevy Avalanche 4x4 LTZ w/6000 miles for my '11 Explorer. I ordered it with the tow package with no real intentions on towing anything. However, not 4 months after buying the Explorer, my wife decides she wants to get into camping and we buy a new 20' travel trailer. I want to kick myself in the ass everytime I hitch up to go camping for trading away the more capable tow vehicle, but it is what it is now.
       
    20. new to ford

      new to ford Active Member

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      :eek::eek::eek::eek:

      6,000 miles??? did you not drive the Avalanche? :D

      We bought our 2011 ex in March and are almost at 11,000 miles
       
    21. Car 54

      Car 54 Active Member

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      You don't have to leave the truck in D...it can be manually shifted into 5th gear. That's how most vehicles work. The tow mode doesn't keep the transmission out of OD, but it will decide to keep it out of OD if necessary.

      To your point...it's nice to not have to mess with the transmission and let the tow mode do the decidering.

      Define capable? Moving the load from a rest with HP and rear wheel drive? I'll say, my Explorer tows my 5000# car hauler better than my Titan 4WD 4 door. It does everything better but move out from a stop. Having the tow hitch closer to the rear axle is always better for towing stability. Good trailer sway control and decently stiff sidewall tires also help. If you haven't towed that load with your Avalanche, don't beat yourself up. It may have towed worse.
       
    22. 97xxxploder

      97xxxploder Member

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      i was unaware of the six speed transmission. even still i would keep it in low gears for towing. i dont think cars 2000+ r good for anything. i hate my 04 stratus and my 01 buick. pure junk!!! i cant imagine how awful even newer cars r. i used to have a 91 ranger supercab 4.0 with 33x12.50x15, 6 inches of lift and 3.55 gears and it could pull anything! i mean anything! my biggest loads were a heavy duty car trailer(1500+) with my 04 dodge stratus(3000+) and then that same trailer with with an 89 ex cab s10 4.3l mud truck covered in mud(4000+) and also my 24' camper with double axles. and it pulled everyone of those with ease! i was very impressed with the power of that old ranger! did i mention it only have a 1" hitch lol!
       
    23. tmilicia

      tmilicia Active Member

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      No, it didn't get driven much, sat in the garage, clean, for most of the 2.5 years I had it. I loved the truck, just hated filling it's 32 gallon tank up. :D I picked up my '11 Explorer up in March too and it just turned 3000 miles. We use my wife's '10 Fusion for our daily driver, we work a mile from each other so most days we only need to take 1 vehicle.

      I really just assumed it would tow better with it's V8 and 8000 lb. tow capacity. It did tow my 4000 lb. boat around decently, but I know towing a boat and full height travel trailer (wind resistance wise) around are two different animals. The Explorer does a good job pulling our current camper, so far I have no complaints.
       

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