2002 4.0l what trailer weight can a SAFELY Tow | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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2002 4.0l what trailer weight can a SAFELY Tow

I looked up in the owners manual what the specs are for my explorer and they seem to be lofty to me.

2002 Explorer, 4 door, 4X4, 3.73 gears (D4), Automatic Transmission, Factory towing package with 2" receiver hitch, factory trailer brake hook up.

Here is what the owners manual told me

Maximum GCWR 10,000lbs

Trailer weight range 0-5380lbs

I have both the trailer brake(not hooked up yet) and a weight distribution hitch and just curious what I weight I could tow and it not be too much for the explorer in REAL WORLD Conditions.

I know the the weight of the people and cargo in the truck and also the added weight in the camper would have to be figured in to get an accurate weight.

But I am just looking for a round about figure so when I go to buy a camper I don't go over board.

As an engineer, I tend to fall into the company that feels we engineers already build in enough safety factors. I do not subscribe to reducing your capacity below the ratings stated, for that reason.

It sounds like you know what you are doing, having the HD package, brake controller, and even working with a WDH setup. You should simply make sure that you do not exceed any of the ratings you listed, and set up that WDH kit properly.

The exception would be if you intend to frequently take the rig thru any serious hills. In that case, I think there are some recommendations for reducing GCVWR by certain percentage for every 1000 feet above sea level (?).

Check this link, change to 2002 model year, and download. A little more detailed info from Ford than the owner's manual.

If I am towing a camper there will be hills. I will be in the Missouri Ozark region not huge Mountains or anything but there are some hills.

I will only be doing this about a dozen times or so times a year.

Do I need to make adjustments for the hills?

At the most a 3.5 hour pull once a year but most of the time it will be 2 hours or less with about 50% of the way having hills.

I know somebody thru several camper websites that towed a large Coleman Bayside popup (3500+ loaded) with your same setup Explorer. He was very happy with that wherever he went. I towed something similar with a FWD Chrysler minivan. I was fine with it, he thought I was crazy.

He upgraded to a 23-ft Rockwood Roo full-height hybrid, probably around 4200 lbs loaded. His V6 Explorer pulled it, but he was not happy with it. He upgraded to a 5.4L V8 Expedition. I thought it overkill, but he loves it (and does anyone towing with that truck).

When I upgraded to my hybrid (probably 4800 lbs, 27ft), I got my 4.6L V8 Mountaineer, and am very happy with it. My point is that it's very subjective. If you are the type that would be happy if you "can't even feel the trailer back there", then you should not tow any full-height camper with a V6 Explorer. But if you are realistic in that it's OK to feel something back there, then you might be OK.

I would not want to tow anything more than about 4000 loaded on fairly level ground, which will get you in the 21-23 ft range. 4000 + 4500 (approx empty truck?) = 9500 leaving only 500 lbs for passengers in the truck. So that's pushing it all the way. I'm not familiar with the Ozarks. If you think they are serious enough to consider, then I would back off to 3500 lbs or less. Think 17-19 ft range.

If this gets you feeling like it's not enough trailer, then you need a V8.