2003 Ex 4.0/Auto Towing Recommendations | Ford Explorer - Ford Ranger Forums - Serious Explorations

  • Register Today It's free! Once registered you can join the Elite Explorers to eliminate ads from the website.

2003 Ex 4.0/Auto Towing Recommendations

grn03exp

Member
Joined
February 22, 2007
Messages
20
Reaction score
0
City, State
Lake Orion, Michigan
Year, Model & Trim Level
2003 XLS 4x4
2003 Ford Explorer XLS 4x4 4.0L Auto 89XXX

I have a Class II factory hitch rated for 3500/350. I want to tow a travel trailer for camping and was wondering if theres a way to upgrade the hitch to a Class III/IV rated higher then 3500/350. Is the hitch my limiting factor in this or is it my engine/trans combo?
 



Join the Elite Explorers $20 Get rid of the ads!
Elite Explorer members see no advertisements, no banner ads, no double underlined links.
Add an avatar, upload photo attachments, and more!
. First register on the forum, then join the Elite Explorers to get rid of the ads!





toocalm

Member
Joined
March 18, 2008
Messages
36
Reaction score
0
City, State
Long Island, NY
Year, Model & Trim Level
04 Explorer EB
I put a class III on my 04 ex. it bolts right under the factory class II, even uses the stock bolts already there on the undercarrage. Go to ETRAILER.com and you can use an automated system to match the right hitch to your vehicle.
 






grn03exp

Member
Joined
February 22, 2007
Messages
20
Reaction score
0
City, State
Lake Orion, Michigan
Year, Model & Trim Level
2003 XLS 4x4
Is your 04 a V6 or a V8? Im just concerned that even with the higher capacity hitch my V6 will struggle and possibly damage the trans.
 






CALDWELL

Explorer Addict
Joined
September 1, 2008
Messages
1,903
Reaction score
1
City, State
Philadelphia Airport, PA
Year, Model & Trim Level
2005 V6 Silver XLT
dont tow more than what the factory says you can. If your load is under the factory rated weight, and its a hitch size issue then sure upgrade to a class 3. but if you tow more than what the factory recommends then...

your going to destroy 3 key things in your vehicle...

SUSPENSION _ ENGINE _ TRANSMISSION
 






snickstx

Well-Known Member
Joined
February 2, 2006
Messages
127
Reaction score
0
City, State
Fort Worth, TX
Year, Model & Trim Level
'03 EBX
The main difference is the rear end as noted on several other threads. The factory towing package on the V6 included the class III/IV hitch with 7-way plug, an oil cooler and the 3.73 differential. All models came with a transmission cooler. You can easily replace the hitch from a junker but adding the oil cooler and swapping the rear end will take a bit of work.

It really all depends on what TT you're trying to tow, how heavy you'll be loaded and what terrain you'll likely be traversing most of the time.

I have a question in the same vein also. One of the towing guides lists the V8 as having a reduced capacity if it came with the rear A/C & 3rd seat, which makes sense. However, the same guide does not list anything for a V6 with the same set-up. Anybody ever heard of that? And, does the class III/IV have a high rating for a weight distributing hitch?
 






grn03exp

Member
Joined
February 22, 2007
Messages
20
Reaction score
0
City, State
Lake Orion, Michigan
Year, Model & Trim Level
2003 XLS 4x4
So replacing my class II with a class III/IV wouldnt help other then receiver size. And since i have 4X4 i would have to change front and rear diffs to 3.73 and add an oil cooler all to bump the towing capacity from 3500 to 5000 ish? That really doesnt seem worth all the work and expense.

Im looking for a 20-25 foot travel trailer in the range of 4200 - 4500 pounds loaded. I could get a pop up and tow it as is (~2000 pounds) but it seems popups have all the disadvantages of travel trailers and tents.
 






snickstx

Well-Known Member
Joined
February 2, 2006
Messages
127
Reaction score
0
City, State
Fort Worth, TX
Year, Model & Trim Level
'03 EBX
Pretty much but one other thing to remember about the class II...if you need to attach a 2" accessory, you'll need an adapter, which usually cuts the hitch rating in half.

Not sure what your requirements are but you might check out Trailmanor. Very towable, short box, low profile and fairly light. They're kinda $$$ new but I've seen some used units with good prices. I'll either end up with one of them or a Casita probably...eventually.
 






grn03exp

Member
Joined
February 22, 2007
Messages
20
Reaction score
0
City, State
Lake Orion, Michigan
Year, Model & Trim Level
2003 XLS 4x4
Ive been tent camping all my life, but as i get older ive found that sleeping on the ground (even on an air mattress) for 3-7 days takes its toll on my back. Theres also the lack of privacy and climate control issues.

My inlaws just bought a travel trailer for this past memorial day weekend, and i had the opportunity to take a nap in it for a few hours. I think i got more rest in those few hours then i did the whole rest of the weekend.

I really wanted a travel trailer as opposed to a pop up cause it seems to me that a pop up has all the disadvantages of travel trailers (towing, maintenance, storage, expense) along with all the disadvantages of tent camping (lack of privacy, security issues, climate control issues, weather issues) .

I just bought my wife a 2000 Durango R/T 5.9L with a tow rating of 7800 pounds, but unfortunatly the Durangos suffer from weak chrysler trannies. Its trans is fine now, but im worried the stresses of towing might just kill it while im 200 miles from home with a 5000 pound trailer.

So it would seems that im stuck with either towing with the Ex, or buying another tow vehicle. Or i could just pony up the money for a Class C or Class A motorhome, but i think my wife might actually kill me if i brought one home.

BTW thanks for the tip on the TrailManors. They look really nice and the weight ratings are right where i want them. I just wish i could find one used around here.
 






Top