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Question regarding Towing

Discussion in 'Stock 2011 - 2019 Ford Explorer Discussion' started by lstraiton, February 5, 2015.

^^Searches ExplorerForum.com^^





  1. markls8

    markls8 Active Member

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    That's a good question, and I don't believe I've ever encountered a number given by Ford. My answer is no, you don't. But it depends on a lot of ifs. If you plan on trailering long distances, over mountainous terrain, at high speeds, and with a maximum payload in the vehicle, then you might want to consider one, but I would consider the 1500 lbs spread you have to be a good safety margin even without one.

    I trailer a 26' boat, 4200 lbs, surge-braked, but rarely above 60 mph (well, never, so far) always short distances, with the vehicle virtually empty, mostly 25-30 mph through town, four times a year. It's why I bought my Ex. I use the ball straight into the receiver. However, if I were to take the boat to, say, Florida, I would be getting and using the weight-distributing hitch.

    A lot depends on how you are using the trailer, and your preferred level of safety.
     
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  3. peterk9

    peterk9 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    Okay, got it. Thanks very much.

    Peter
     
  4. markymark0509

    markymark0509 Member

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    I tow at 60-65, all highway, about an hour each way. Nice to know you use a straight receiver, no rise?
     
  5. CajunFordEx

    CajunFordEx Active Member

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    That, and a car tire on a motorcycle.
     
  6. dco43054

    dco43054 Well-Known Member

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    LOL! Indeed.:thumbsup:

    While I realize some people (myself included) have likely exceeded the towing specs for a vehicle, the Ford towing guide tells you what the limits are, when you need a weight distributing hitch, etc.

    If anyone wants to exceed that, is it possible? Sure, just hook it up.

    Is it safe? Will it damage your transmission or other parts of your vehicle?:dunno: You're on your own at that point, and if you do it, you risk voiding your warranty, damaging a vehicle, causing an accident involving yourself and/or others, etc.
     
  7. markls8

    markls8 Active Member

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    Yes, with rise, (I think to get 18" to keep the trailer level). I used the word "straight" in the sense of without the weight-distributing hitch, as opposed to literally. ;)
     
  8. markls8

    markls8 Active Member

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    While I haven't read it lately, I believe Ford says you need the WD hitch to get the full 5000 lb towing capability. Strictly speaking then, if your trailer is 4999lbs, and you have met the other weight requirements, then you don't have to have the WD hitch.

    I think....


    On edit I want to emphasize that I am not recommending anyone do this, but just pointing it out, and pointing out that there is a huge number of variables specific to each situation that apply when making that decision.
     
  9. markymark0509

    markymark0509 Member

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    When the snows gone in April I'll start playing with the hitch and boat trailer. Thanks for the info.
     
  10. Rubberhead

    Rubberhead Active Member

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    A 10%-15% tongue weight on a 5,000 load would be 500-750lbs on the tongue. That much additional weight that far behind the rear axle would lighten the front axle enough to cause problems especially for a front-drive only Explorer.
     
  11. markls8

    markls8 Active Member

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    A 10% weight on the tongue would fall within Ford's guidelines, barely. However, you are correct, anything higher than that is outside the guidelines. That is one of the weights I was referring to when I stated in my post above that other weight requirements must be met.

    It's good to be aware that 10-15% is a rule of thumb for stability at a maximum speed, and it's really a layman's method that simplifies a much more complex set of weights (and the difference between weight, and mass, is significant as it applies here) and balances that exist in 3-D space.

    For example a trailer carrying two 1000 lb weights located together, and just ahead of the trailer axel might have the identical measured tongue weight to the same trailer with the two weights positioned 20 feet apart at opposite ends of the trailer. And yet, you could not expect to find the same handling characteristics from both. Or if the weights were located on the trailer bed 1 foot above the axel, as opposed to 10 feet above the axel, or left to right, if those examples are extreme enough to illustrate the point.

    ;)
     
  12. lstraiton

    lstraiton New Member

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    Oh heaven's, I know I couldn't remotely tow something even half that size...Actually looking at something closer to 17-22' and less than the 5K tow capacity just to be on the safe side....BTW, I did find my sticker...at the bottom on the middle post of the door between the driver and passenger door...Go figure...You'd think they'd put it where one could see it without crawling on the floor!! But it's there!! Thanks to all of you for your help!!
     
  13. Lewisra

    Lewisra Active Member

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    You can pull it, but can you stop it? Be sure to get a quality brake controller.
     
  14. cobraman069

    cobraman069 New Member

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    and on that note, is the wiring already in place to run a brake controller (assuming you have the tow package)?
     
  15. peterk9

    peterk9 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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  16. Fla_15_XLT

    Fla_15_XLT New Member

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    Back when I was doing my boat anchor duty, the trailer had 'surge' brakes that would effectively eliminate the ability to do a WD hitch. What sort of brake setup does your trailer have? 3500 is a bit much to lug without brakes - anything over 1000# can get dicey.

    The advantage with WD hitch is that you won't make the rear squat with the tongue load. You'll also and end up f/r load balance that will help stability and steering.
     
  17. markymark0509

    markymark0509 Member

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    The trailer has surge brakes. I'm not sure what the tongue weight is. Previous I towed with a full size V8 pickup. I just want to be careful with the new EX.
     
  18. jimbertrand514

    jimbertrand514 New Member

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    Like stated by others the maximum towing capacity is 5000 lbs but only if you use a Weight Distribution Hitch (WDH).

    I sell some so I kind of know what I am talking about.

    The tongue weight is usually between 10 and 15% of the trailer GVWR.

    My trailer fully loaded weight 4300 lbs. I use a 600 lbs weight distribution hitch and it works wonders.

    One rule in towing if you want to be safe is better more capacity than not enough. It is always a good idea to stay around 500 lbs under your maximum capacity.

    Another thing to take in consideration is the load of the car. The more the car is loaded the less the trailer can be.
     
  19. MizzouMan_2000

    MizzouMan_2000 Active Member

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    I'm a complete rookie at towing, but the wife & I are considering a travel trailer. We went to an RV show, talked a guy from an RV place that I'm pretty sure told me to have about 1000 lbs of headroom between my gross trailer weight & Explorer rated towing limit.

    So, I've been looking at travel trailers with a GVWR between 3500 and 4000 lbs.

    But, then I remembered about this site and thought I'd come see what everyone else is towing and how.
     
  20. chicagoslick

    chicagoslick Active Member

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    Hello Lisa and congrats on joining the forum.

    My best advise would be to send you to a forum that deals with RV's and towing. I am a member of the Forest River Group forums and there are lots of post on this type of thing...

    Here are a couple examples and many people on there will give great advise and real world towing examples...

    http://www.forestriverforums.com/forums/f12/unibody-tow-vehicles-104812.html

    http://www.forestriverforums.com/forums/f2/weight-distribution-hitch-advice-104609.html

    Best of luck...And the best single bit of advise I ever received is "stay within the manufacturer recommended limits of the vehicle and be sure YOU are capable of towing the load". Only you know how comfortable it is driving and towing a load.

    Gary
     
  21. Lewisra

    Lewisra Active Member

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    Hey Gary, Lisa posted that over a year ago, though your comments apply to MizzouMan as well.
     

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