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Can anyone explain 2011 Explorer Towing Capability?

marc515

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Hi,

We are looking at the 2011 Explorer, and am confused on the Exloprer's towing capacity, and would greatly appreciate some assistance. Do not want to buy a vehicle that cannot handle our situation.

1. Our camper has a GVWR of 3,800 Lbs
2. There will be 3 people in the Explorer- I would estimate the weight at 500Lbs
3. We will have an additional 300Lbs of cargo in the back of the Explorer.

The Explorer Tow capacity is rated at 5,000Lbs, but I'm worried that the Explorer may not be able to adaquately tow our camper and weights of people and cargo noted above, especially on hills without burning the Explorer out?

Do I really need to use something like an "Equalizer-E2"Weight Distributing Hitch on my camper, and will it do the job? I've read that some unibody's cannot handle a WHD.

Would greatly appreciate any insight so we can make the right buying choice.

Thank you,......marc
 



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Rick

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I'm moving your thread into the Stock 2011 forum. Since the Explorer has been completely redesigned not many people will have the answers you need in the towing forum.
 






RandyH2

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I had done a write-up to post and then didn't submit it. Dang it.

To recap:
The maximum total weight of the vehicle, trailer, cargo, etc. is 9920 pounds for FWD and 10096 pounds for AWD ( http://www.ford.com/suvs/explorer/specifications/towing/ )

The vehicle alone, in Limited trim with 302a, weighs 4872 pounds ( http://www.edmunds.com/ford/explorer/2011/road-test-specs.html ) - I don't know if that includes a full tank of gas.

Assuming you have AWD, that gives 10096-4872 = 5132 pounds of combined occupant/cargo/towing weight. In my case, subtract 380 pounds for 4 people and another 30 pounds for gear, food, etc. and the available towing capacity is down to 5132-410 = 4722 pounds. Fill up those extra seats with people and more gear and suddenly I am pushing the limit for my boat/trailer.
 






FordService

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I had done a write-up to post and then didn't submit it. Dang it.

To recap:
The maximum total weight of the vehicle, trailer, cargo, etc. is 9920 pounds for FWD and 10096 pounds for AWD ( http://www.ford.com/suvs/explorer/specifications/towing/ )

The vehicle alone, in Limited trim with 302a, weighs 4872 pounds ( http://www.edmunds.com/ford/explorer/2011/road-test-specs.html ) - I don't know if that includes a full tank of gas.

Assuming you have AWD, that gives 10096-4872 = 5132 pounds of combined occupant/cargo/towing weight. In my case, subtract 380 pounds for 4 people and another 30 pounds for gear, food, etc. and the available towing capacity is down to 5132-410 = 4722 pounds. Fill up those extra seats with people and more gear and suddenly I am pushing the limit for my boat/trailer.

Great explanation. I hope that Marc finds it helpful.

Marc515: I have replied to your PM with more info, combined with this post it should be very helpful. Please let me know if you still find yourself at a loss.

~Seni
 






marc515

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Great explanation. I hope that Marc finds it helpful.

Marc515: I have replied to your PM with more info, combined with this post it should be very helpful. Please let me know if you still find yourself at a loss.

~Seni

Seni,

Your message to me did not really answer my question on towing capability.

So here's my situation based on a 2011 Explorer AWD-XLT with the 201A and 202A package:

Combined weight rating: 10096
Less curb weight: 10,096-4,872 = 5,132 (I do not know CW for the Model I noted above.)
Less driver & passengers: 5,132-500= 4,632
Less cargo: 4,632-200= 4,432
Towing capacity available: 4,432
Less loaded camper weight: 3,800
Margin of safety: 4,432- 3,800= 632

So here's my question:

1. Are my calculations correct (not sure what the curb weight is for an AWD-XLT with the 201A and 202A package)?

2. Is 632 Lbs a good margin of safety for towing?

3. Will the Explorer be able to tow my situation to include through hills/mountains like the Rockies, or the Appalachians which must be traveled to get to certain campgrounds, without damaging engine and transmission?

3. If 632 is not a safe margin, how many pounds is? maybe I can put less cargo in the camper to lower it's loaded weight.

I've been on a couple of online calculators, and when they factor in a margin of safety, I'm about 1,000 Lbs over. However, not sure how reliable online calculators are

I'm hoping you as a Ford representative can tell me if this is within the Explorer's capability.

Thank you,....marc
 






RandyH2

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2. Is 632 Lbs a good margin of safety for towing?

3. Will the Explorer be able to tow my situation to include through hills/mountains without damaging engine and transmission?

3. If 632 is not a safe margin, how many pounds is? maybe I can put less cargo in the camper to lower it's loaded weight.

I'm hoping you as a Ford representative can tell me if this is within the Explorer's capability.

Thank you,....marc[/QUOTE]

Hi Marc,

All vehicles with a listed towing capacity are capable of safely towing up to that limit on any legal road (or at least anything without a towing restriction, no 10% grades recommended) in the country of sale. So, you can safely tow your trailer on any Interstate highway in this country. And you could add 600 pounds of extra gear without worry.

The vehicle is engineered with a safety factor on the stated towing capacity. If catastrophic failure were to result from going over weight by even 100 pounds there would be countless lawsuits, etc. as the only method of knowing the true total weight is to use a scale. My guess, and this is only a guess, is that the vehicle has at least a 400 pound safety margin. I personally would never intentionally exceed the listed towing weight but have absolutley no concerns going right up to it.

I have seen an 8000 pound backhoe/trailer combination pulled by a vehicle with a 4500 pound tow capacity, without any problems. The route was almost flat and no highway towing was involved. Safe? No. Capable, yes.

If you are truly concerned about exceeding the capacity, hook up your trailer and take the combination to a truck stop with a scale to be weighed. It is cheap and easy to do. Once you have that weight, you can track your cargo and passenger weight for each trip.

Good luck and happy camping!
 






marc515

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RandyH2,

What does "no 10% grades recommended"?

When camping, there are usually mountains like the Rockies, or the Appalachians which must be traveled to get to certain campgrounds.

So are you saying that on basic flat roads I would be OK, but the Explorer would not be able to handle the mountains?

Thank you
 






JDraper

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I just ran through the mountains of Central PA and the Pocono's on a 300 mile trip with my 3400 lb Mach 1 on a 1000 lb steel trailer and had absolutely zero issues towing in the mountains up grade or down grade. My end destination was a resort hotel at the base of Camelback Mountain that you have to climb a steep set of switchbacks to get to, and the Explorer handled it with no problems.
 






RandyH2

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RandyH2,

What does "no 10% grades recommended"?

When camping, there are usually mountains like the Rockies, or the Appalachians which must be traveled to get to certain campgrounds.

So are you saying that on basic flat roads I would be OK, but the Explorer would not be able to handle the mountains?

Thank you

A 10% grade is a very steep road. The Interstate system has a max grade of 7% (?) and even that is pretty rare.
 






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