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2008 Explorer Class 2 towing HEIGHT problem

Discussion in 'Tow Rig Forum' started by Paul Revere, October 19, 2015.

^^Searches ExplorerForum.com^^





  1. Paul Revere

    Paul Revere New Member

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    2008 Explorer Eddie Bauer
    :rolleyes: This is a bit long - trying to give as much pertinent info. as possible.

    Vehicle = 2008 Ford Explorer, Eddie Bauer Edition, V6, 4WD, with 1-1/4" Class II receiver factory installed (it's welded in.) The vehicle is "stock" - it has not been raised or otherwise modified in any way. except for a repair I did on a visor!

    Trailer = 2007 Fleetwood Yuma pop-up camper. No mods. FULLY loaded weight (GVWR) = 2400 lbs. Tongue weight = 248 lbs. (this was actually with the popup loaded to ~ 2200 lbs. -- "distribution" of weight still plenty flexible, tho' I don't really think we'd ever need to max out at 2400 lbs. My Dad's Chevy S-10 pulled it with no problems at all, but the S-10 has been sold.

    The top surface of the Explorer's ball mount as it exits the receiver is ~ 21" off level ground. If this is not clear, see diagram at http://www.mywinch.com/TowingGuide/images/BallMount&TowingDiagram.jpg ..."A" = 21".

    (21" from the ground is also the distance to the inside surface of the top of the receiver tube.)

    The bottom of the coupler = 11" from the ground if the trailer is level. So, B = 11" at most. (I actually measured closer to 10", but I believe the surface the vehicle and trailer are on may be "unlevel" by 1/2" to 1", but not over 1".)

    So, it APPEARS that we need a Class II ball mount with a drop of C = ~ 10". It also appears, after checking etrailer and several other suppliers of towing accessories, that no one stocks such a part. This is a bit hard to believe, as the Explorer is certainly a common vehicle, and the Yuma is a "typical" small (3000 lbs. or less) trailer. The biggest "drop" I can find in a Class II ball mount (etc.) is 6".

    I also measured "B" for my utility trailer and my jonboat trailer - they appear to be 12" and 13" respectively.

    Overall, I think a drop of 8" might be an ok compromise, but, less than 8" will not work for the pop-up (it has to be fairly level "on average" for the refrigerator to work properly, if driving in flat terrain, among other things. I'm also not sure how much "lift" might be generated with a popup camper @ 55 mph (plus any headwind) with the nose up 4" or more. Lord knows I don't want the thing "gliding" back there!

    I looked at the idea of a 1.25" to 2" adaptor + a 2" ball mount with 8" or 10" drop (those exist), but:

    1) The adaptor alone decreases the tongue weight rating by 50% (and I'll bet it's not really the tongue weight, but "leverage" on the receiver that is the biggest issue.)

    2) A 1.25" to 2" adaptor also distances the trailer a few inches further from the towing vehicle, possibly making the connected wires existing length to the trailer an issue, depending on the length of a 8" or 10" drop Class III ball mount.

    I'm guessing that Ford:

    A) Did not want to diminish the "departure angle" of the Explorer, and so left the receiver "up high", and,

    B) By permanently installing a factory Class II receiver, discourages towing of more than Class II loads,

    but, unfortunately this ignores the "towing height" of a typical "Class II" trailer.

    Does anyone have any ideas? I suppose a Class III hitch could be added below the factory Class II receiver, but that's pricey, and diminishes the "departure angle" if we decide to leave camp and use the Explorer for actual exploring (less the trailer, of course.)

    (In fact, we whacked the back end of the ball mount on our Subaru Outback crossing a dry ford (dry stream) on a road in a local Wildlife Management area the other day - it didn't seem to do any damage, but it was plenty loud when it hit! Next time, Paul, pull out the ball mount B4 going exploring!!) :rolleyes:

    We are wanting to go on a camping trip B4 it gets too cold (ie., next weekend) but I have not found a solution.

    A Class II ball mount with at least an 8" drop is probably the best solution (if it doesn't itself create too much "leverage" on the receiver in a fast stop), but such an item does not seem to exist... :(
     
    Last edited: October 19, 2015
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  3. Paul Revere

    Paul Revere New Member

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    BTW, I should add that I do have an e-mail "in" to etrailer.com with much of the info. above included. But, I suspect that if it's not on their website, they don't sell it...
     
  4. thebrakeman

    thebrakeman Well-Known Member

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    Very strange. I used to have a 2000 model year Coleman Mesa (made by Fleetwood). Back then, all of their popups, big and small, had a standard ball-height of 17" (to the inside of the coupler, that actually rests on the ball). That would correspond to roughly 15" at your "B" dimension, which you measure at 11". I've looked at etrailer and Amazon, and like you, I don't see any 1¼" ball mounts that tall.

    You'd mentioned that the adaptor would reduce the TW capacity by 50%, likely because of the increased leverage (torque) from the longer moment arm. Keep in mind that for our welded frame/receivers, the welding equipment and the material in the frame member itself was likely identical. The horizontal frame member is an integrated part of the frame, for vehicle stiffness. I don't think the distance from the hitch will have any effect on durability. The consideration would be the increased effect on pointing your headlights at oncoming traffic.

    But we're talking about 248 lbs of TW here. I can't see any Explorer being truly limited to 175lbs TW (350 * 50%).
     
  5. mos2kfxd

    mos2kfxd New Member

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    same problem here . 21" receiver height, 12" coupler height. Did you ever find a worksle solution?
     

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