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camping trip

Derrickmd18

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City, State
Baltimore md
Year, Model & Trim Level
96 ford explorer
I just brought a 96 ford explorer 2wd auto. well i'm planning on installing a hitch because I have a camping trip in november. I'm looking at three trailers. Its going to be me, wife and two kids. Does anyone know if it can pull it any of them?. I know the motor is a v6.

21ft
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31ft
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25ft
1401379515.b9c5abbec020c07f189edc24711aa514.jpg
 



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Get a full size truck, F150 or expedition. An explorer certainly can tow those, but you'll be maxing out the explorer.

If you're dead set on keeping the explorer, get a small pop up or pack a tent. If I remember right you're only able to tow 6K lbs. Keep in mind that includes people and stuff inside the explorer, plus the trailer, and anything inside the trailer. And then there's the frontal area of those beasts....
 






Is your EX a Sport of or a 4 door? You need to know the type of your engine (not sure if there was an SOHC in 1996, so your V6 is probably a pushrod) and the axle ratio.
Your owner's manual will have a table specifying trailer weight and maximum frontal area vs. engine type, transmission, and rear axle ratio.
To give you an idea, for a 4-door my '98 manual specifies a maximum frontal area or 50 sq ft. The maximum weight for a 4x2 automatic is from 4500 lbs (4.0L SOHC with 3.55 ratio) to 5860 lbs (4.0L SOHC with 3.73 ratio). There are also limits on the maximum GCWR (combined vehicle and trailer weight), ranging from 9000 lbs to 10000 lbs), so what you load in your vehicle matters as well.
And finally, even if your trailer falls in the allowed range, it would feel very uncomfortable towing any of the beasts that you are looking at with an Explorer. I, for one, feel quite uneasy when towing my little utility trailer loaded to capacity, and that's just 3000 lbs.

I just brought a 96 ford explorer 2wd auto. well i'm planning on installing a hitch because I have a camping trip in november. I'm looking at three trailers. Its going to be me, wife and two kids. Does anyone know if it can pull it any of them?. I know the motor is a v6.
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Like stated before, not the best match up. Find a smaller trailer or pull with a different vehicle. I'd be wary of pulling anything that large with an X.
 






Is your EX a Sport of or a 4 door? You need to know the type of your engine (not sure if there was an SOHC in 1996, so your V6 is probably a pushrod) and the axle ratio.
Your owner's manual will have a table specifying trailer weight and maximum frontal area vs. engine type, transmission, and rear axle ratio.
To give you an idea, for a 4-door my '98 manual specifies a maximum frontal area or 50 sq ft. The maximum weight for a 4x2 automatic is from 4500 lbs (4.0L SOHC with 3.55 ratio) to 5860 lbs (4.0L SOHC with 3.73 ratio). There are also limits on the maximum GCWR (combined vehicle and trailer weight), ranging from 9000 lbs to 10000 lbs), so what you load in your vehicle matters as well.
And finally, even if your trailer falls in the allowed range, it would feel very uncomfortable towing any of the beasts that you are looking at with an Explorer. I, for one, feel quite uneasy when towing my little utility trailer loaded to capacity, and that's just 3000 lbs.

its a 4 door. 2WD. I saw the 4.0 SOHC on the engine. i'm picking it up saturday. but I know it has a rebuilt motor and transmission. for the Ratio how would I go about looking it up if I don't have the owners manual?

I came across this and this is 16ft.
http://www.beckleysrvs.com/rentals/starcraft-16rb
 






There is a code for the axle ratio on the door sticker. It will have two digits or a letter and a digit. The first character is either a 4 (open diff) or a D (limited slip). The second one is for the ratio. Post it here or search on line.
As for your latest find, they don't provide the weight, but the frontal area of around 64 sq ft (7' 1" by 9') seems too much.

its a 4 door. 2WD. I saw the 4.0 SOHC on the engine. i'm picking it up saturday. but I know it has a rebuilt motor and transmission. for the Ratio how would I go about looking it up if I don't have the owners manual?

I came across this and this is 16ft.
http://www.beckleysrvs.com/rentals/starcraft-16rb
 






I didn't think '96 came with a SOHC, that the 1st year to offer it was '97, but since the engine is rebuilt (replaced with a different rebuilt?) I suppose they could have switched it to a SOHC?
 






its a 4 door. 2WD. I saw the 4.0 SOHC on the engine. i'm picking it up saturday. but I know it has a rebuilt motor and transmission. for the Ratio how would I go about looking it up if I don't have the owners manual?

I came across this and this is 16ft.
http://www.beckleysrvs.com/rentals/starcraft-16rb

The trailer you linked to is 2900lbs. That's without anything in it. And the frontal area is too large. Nice trailer if you have a full size truck, nice trailer to destroy an explorer.
If you're dead set on keeping the explorer, here's a better trailer. http://www.starcraftrv.com/camping-trailers/comet/floorplans/1019/#floorplan-main

You need to remember the explorer is in the same class as the jeep, 4runner, ranger, tacoma, frontier, etc etc. These trucks are more oriented to offroading, and saving gas. Not good traits for a tow vehicle. You don't just need big mirrors and tons of HP to tow a big trailer. You need a transmission that can withstand the extended strain, brakes that can keep cool, suspension that can keep the trailer from pushing it around, and of course power. The explorers weakest areas like most in its class is the soft squishy suspension, and weak transmission. Although it's short wheelbase makes it a little squirmy with a big trailer in heavy winds or evasive manuvers.

I've towed lots of things, with lots of different trucks. I'm telling you from experience, for your safety. For your kids safety. For my safety. Get a bigger truck or a small pop up trailer. You don't need a big trailer to enjoy camping. I grew up camping in a 4 person tent with my mom and brother. Now I don't even take a tent, just sleep in the back of the explorer. So don't be afraid of getting something small. Nothing cool about glamping ;)
 






I'm telling you from experience, for your safety. For your kids safety. For my safety. Get a bigger truck or a small pop up trailer. You don't need a big trailer to enjoy camping. I grew up camping in a 4 person tent with my mom and brother. Now I don't even take a tent, just sleep in the back of the explorer. So don't be afraid of getting something small. Nothing cool about glamping ;)

Totally agree.
Your Explorer could move those trailers down the road physically, but not safely. A sudden stop, a strong crosswind, or a steep downgrade, and you're in a compromised situation.
 






ok i might have to upgrade to a suburban.
 






its a 4 door. 2WD. I saw the 4.0 SOHC on the engine. i'm picking it up saturday. but I know it has a rebuilt motor and transmission. for the Ratio how would I go about looking it up if I don't have the owners manual?

I came across this and this is 16ft.
http://www.beckleysrvs.com/rentals/starcraft-16rb

Listen, I may get some flack for this but so be it. These types of questions come up very often - more so about boats in my world but it's all the same. Would a dually diesel be better - of course! But here in the real world we are often required to make do the best we can with what we have at the time. With that being said, yes your explorer can in fact tow that trailer. Couple things , let's remember back in the day the top tow vehicle offered by ford had what 195 horsepower in the 460 in the late 70's? It could have had drum brakes all the way around and no one thought twice about towing the biggest trailer out there. You just need to be smart, keep it at 60, allow plenty of room for stopping ( and yes people will be assholes and cut but they will do that regardless of what you're in ), don't tow in overdrive. A couple things you will need to do for sure - add a good transmission cooler, flush tray fluid often and be sure to add Lucas to your fluid, make sure your brakes are in good working order and use something like EBC pads - green or yellow stuff specifically, if a larger trailer install a weight distributing hitch, and add a chip with at least the towing / TV tune AND YOU WILL BE FINE. Everyone talks like you will be sure to die if you tow this with this or not this or whatever. Truth is if you know what you are doing and make sure everything is in good condition and use some common sense you can tow that trailer without any worries. The towing limits set forth on vehicles are strictly for liability purposes - and that purpose is strictly for limiting liability. Have the trailer brakes hooked up and adjusted correctly and you WILL BE FINE. You're rig has in excess of 200 hp which is enough to move that trailer and with a good set of rotors, goose pads ( as mentioned ) and trailers brakes set up and functioning you will stop FINE. Please don't let anyone scare you, I have thousands and thousands of miles towing things that most would say " oh no!!! " or whatever.

PS- this hits close to home. I currently just picked up my Explorer. I have a big motor home - a 35' Holiday Rambler and I have been thinking about whether I will tow a vehicle behind or if I will get a trailer to tow behind the X. I am going to keep my MH to live in while I rehab properties but for camping and vacations I'm going with either a 29' or 31' towed by the X. I have no worries what so ever once I get her up to spec. I will add a disclaimer here though. If I were going completely cross country I would reconsider, if I were going to be towing everyday I would reconsider. Bit for my 200 mile each way 6-8 times a year I have no second thoughts at all. Get the trailer yards want brother and save the money buying a suburban and spend it on yourself and your family and have fun!
 






If you have the money to afford one of these trailers, surely you have the money to get a better tow rig.

I would not tow more than a tent trailer with the Explorer, even a V8 model. And I would still get electric brakes on it.

Both my dad and our good hunting partner spent too many years trying to tow too much trailer with SWB Broncos and Blazers. I remember a few dicey trips as a kid. They both eventually got wise and now we use small trailers that are frankly undersized for the trucks towing them. But that is the dynamic one should shoot for when towing an RV, too much tow rig before too much trailer.
 






Keep in mind that your driving habits and wind play a factor. I could go on but it goes without saying that a lower speed is safer, as is not towing a high profile load in high wind. An Explorer can do the job, but whether doing it within safe limits is too much of a concession is your call to make.

Frankly, driving slower saves gas when hauling, but everyone is in a hurry these days. I'm not an environmental nut, just stating that there's more than one reason to make the road trip a slow and easy one, even if you opt for a larger vehicle. Camping should be about relaxing, not stress to get there though that's also an argument for both picking a larger tow vehicle and driving slow.
 






If you have the money to afford one of these trailers, surely you have the money to get a better tow rig.

I would not tow more than a tent trailer with the Explorer, even a V8 model. And I would still get electric brakes on it.

Both my dad and our good hunting partner spent too many years trying to tow too much trailer with SWB Broncos and Blazers. I remember a few dicey trips as a kid. They both eventually got wise and now we use small trailers that are frankly undersized for the trucks towing them. But that is the dynamic one should shoot for when towing an RV, too much tow rig before too much trailer.

I'm not sure if OP mentioned whether he was looking to buy new or used but I WOULD NEVER buy a brand new rv. The depreciation is just too large. Trailers like the ones picturedo can be bought not too old in great condition in the $10k range all the time. That's a small investment compared to what new truck prices are ( and imho those new truck prices have gotten absolutely ridiculous ).
 






wait wait wait. I'm renting a RV. for a week in november. thats why i'm looking at them. my drive will be 160 miles total.
 






I don't tow, but I took my 1996 4.0 OHV to Tahoe with 3 passengers one year. Everything ran fine, but it was painfully obvious that the 4.0 is just too wimpy of an engine for such a heavy vehicle. I can't imagine it would be any better with a trailer + passengers.
 






wait wait wait. I'm renting a RV. for a week in november. thats why i'm looking at them. my drive will be 160 miles total.

Sheet brother, just renting? Hook it up and put the hammer down you'll be fine lol. You would consider buying a tow vehicle to drag a rental???? Hook it up, drag it wherever, you'll be good bro!
 






wait wait wait. I'm renting a RV. for a week in november. thats why i'm looking at them. my drive will be 160 miles total.

So this is a one time deal??? 160 miles round trip???
.... woulda been important to note at the begining. If it's just 160 miles, then the explorer will be ok. Rent the small 16' trailer, and take it easy. Before you head off I suggest you go over the explorer well, clean air filter, tires aired up, transmission oil at the proper level, brakes look good, all suspension joints are tight, and the radiator is full.
Just remember, you'll be pushing the trucks limit so slow and steady.

Now if yall fall in love with the camping experience and want to continue doing this... revert back to my orginial statments and get a bigger truck.
 






I don't tow, but I took my 1996 4.0 OHV to Tahoe with 3 passengers one year. Everything ran fine, but it was painfully obvious that the 4.0 is just too wimpy of an engine for such a heavy vehicle. I can't imagine it would be any better with a trailer + passengers.

Towing has very little to do with engine power. Remember big rigs have all of 500hp and tow 80,000lbs. Hell my 23hp lawn mower is rated to tow more than a civic can lol
 



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Aside from the characterization of the late '70s F-series, I agree with everything said here to some degree. I've never towed a camper, but I do have a 6x12 enclosed trailer I pull behind my '02 Sport Trac. Almost all my towing with that combo is very local, but I have made 3 250 mile round trips to my family's home place. My trailer is taller than most that size - I'm 6'2" and I can stand straight up inside it - so it has more frontal area than most similar trailers. With the loads I haul it weighs about 1000 lbs less than the campers you show. My truck has good brakes, but an emergency stop would be hairy. It pulls fine at speed, but it works the engine on starts and going up an on-ramp. An occasional highway trip is ok, but I wouldn't do it on a regular basis - or into a headwind if I could avoid it.

Last summer I saw a Sport Trac hooked to a camper trailer that looked appropriate for the truck. It was parked on a gravel side road and seemed to belong to one of the crew working on the highway nearby. I wish I had stopped to see what brand & model it was. The trailer was maybe 12-14 ft, not much wider than the truck, and the top of the front sloped some to help air flow.

Tent camping is fun, as long as it doesn't rain too much.
 






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