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Can I tow my 29' Camper with 2009 Explorer

kileytaz

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Hey all. I recently bought a 2009 Explorer Eddie Bauer V6 4x4 with factory tow package. Rating says 5200 lbs but have seen some mixed reviews on websites regarding the towing abilities. I have a 29' camper ( including the length of the hitch on trailer ) and it weighs 4600lb dry axle weight. Cargo will be about 400 lbs so call it 5000lbs. Truck will have about 800lb of cargo and people inside. Am I ok to tow with this? Should all be within ratings but have heard bad things from some on wheelbase and center of gravity. I want to add that I have a weight distribution hitch, anti sway bars on hitch and brake controller. ( Trailer of course has electric brakes )
Thanks in advance guys for any help and advice you can give.
 
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kileytaz

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Bump. Give me your thoughts guys or personal experience. Would greatly appreciate thought sfrom anyone that has towed similiar. Thanks
 
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joecrna

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I have never towed with a 2009. However, if your tow rating is 5200 and the trailer weighs 5000lbs loaded, you should be fine. My guess is that the trailer may weigh a bit more. If 5000lbs is the dry weight you need to allow for water, waste tank weight on the way home, and propane as well as all the food, clothes, kitchen, restroom and bedding stuff you add. I tend to carry a fair amount of clothing and campsite stuff in mine as well.

I see you are considering the weight in the Explorer. Find your combined weight rating (trailer and Explorer) to make sure you also fall within this limit.

You seem to have all the good stuff to make towing easier. Our Explorers tend to drop the tail when loaded but if you set-up the weight distributing hitch correctly that should not be a concern. Wheel base and center of gravity primarily affect sway while towing. You have anti-sway bars. That will help. Most sway problems are do to improper tongue weight. A decent rule of thumb is 10-15% of total trailer weight, within the limits of your hitch. Load the trailer with as little as possible located behind the axles.

The Explorer is a decent tow vehicle. Not a full size heavy duty pick-up or full size van mind you but pretty good. I currently tow a twin axle trailer that weighs 8000-8500 lbs loaded. Its only a 22 footer and my rig is extensively modified but it tows pretty good. Power is my current problem. The trailer weighed about 6000 lbs when I first started and power was fine at that point. Sway has never been an issue.
 
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Tech By Trade

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Brake controller is a must, you shouldn't tow without it. Get the kit with the adapter and its plug and play. $100 will buy you an awesome unit with all the bells and whistles. Equalization hitch is also a must if you ask me, but not required by law like the controller. It brings the back end up level, and gets rid of the bounce. I tow a 3200 lbs 19 foot Rvision hybrid dual axle with my V6 and towing package. Probably another 1000 LBS of junk when you finish adding it up, and it tows like a dream.
 
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kileytaz

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Joecrna, thank you for your reply. The dry weight of the trailer is 4611 according to the sticker in the camper. UVW was 4305 but I guess the dry axle weight is takingi nto account some dealer options or LP gas. I factored about 400 lbs of clothese and camping gear intoit. we typically do our grocery shopping when we get there. so other then clothes and some fold out chairs not much else other then sheets etc. Loaded I'm looking at about 5000 lbs total. Plus a few bags and the weight of two adults and 2 kids. So I am within a couple hundred pounds of the 10000GCWR for the exxplorer. Just wanted to know if anyone had any safety concerns as far as towing a big trailer with an explorer. Obviously smart towing practices need to be employed and it looks like you are doing it without too much problem. Thanka again. Anyone else? I appreciate your feedback
 
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kileytaz

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Thanks Tech by trade. I have everything you mentioned. Looks like my rig is sim just about 1000lbs more. I will try to post pics of the rig for people to see. Appreciate the comments guys. keep them coming please. Nice to hear good things from other owners who tow.
 
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Explorer_PL

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I have an 06 with V8 and tow package. I towed maybe 5-6 k max with it and it was not pleasant.
The 5200 tow rating is for a v6 with tow package and base version meaning no third row seats, no rear AC, no additional options AND NO CARGO IN THE TRUCK. If you have those than your rating is maybe 4800. Then, if you going to have 800 lbs in the truck (excluding yourself) then you can tow 4000. I generally try to tow about 80% of my actual rating, so I would say you will be overloaded.
Maybe I am completely off in my deduction here, but that's how I see it.

PS: My Eddie Bauer is rated at 7100 towing capacity, but I went on scale once and because of all my options (probably all possible for that year), I calculated my towing capacity to be about 6700. then since I always carry a tool box, and usually my family :) when we go camping, my TRUE rating was more like 6000

Hope that helps, and please correct me if I am wrong.
 
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kileytaz

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I have an 06 with V8 and tow package. I towed maybe 5-6 k max with it and it was not pleasant.
The 5200 tow rating is for a v6 with tow package and base version meaning no third row seats, no rear AC, no additional options AND NO CARGO IN THE TRUCK. If you have those than your rating is maybe 4800. Then, if you going to have 800 lbs in the truck (excluding yourself) then you can tow 4000. I generally try to tow about 80% of my actual rating, so I would say you will be overloaded.
Maybe I am completely off in my deduction here, but that's how I see it.

PS: My Eddie Bauer is rated at 7100 towing capacity, but I went on scale once and because of all my options (probably all possible for that year), I calculated my towing capacity to be about 6700. then since I always carry a tool box, and usually my family :) when we go camping, my TRUE rating was more like 6000

Hope that helps, and please correct me if I am wrong.


Thanks. The options you listed come standard on the eddie Bauer that I have so not sure if they take away from the rating or not. And certainly doesn't include cargo. i am figuring about 500 lbs of cargo and passengers. The camper will be about 5000 ;bs with the added cargo I have put into it. so looks like GCWWR is going to be about 9955. Certainly maxing out that 10K GCWR the vehicle has. Just gonna have to take it easy.
 
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Explorer_PL

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Kileytaz -

I believe the 5200 rating is just "the best scenario possible" for 06/v6/4x4/tow package combo regardless of the trim.
Since you already have the truck and the trailer, just take it easy, pack lightly, get the firewood and water at the campsite, check the brakes, fluids and the trailer brakes before every trip.

Good luck and enjoy.
 
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kileytaz

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Kileytaz -

I believe the 5200 rating is just "the best scenario possible" for 06/v6/4x4/tow package combo regardless of the trim.
Since you already have the truck and the trailer, just take it easy, pack lightly, get the firewood and water at the campsite, check the brakes, fluids and the trailer brakes before every trip.

Good luck and enjoy.

Thanks Explorer PL. I have only had both truck and trailer for a week. And my thoughts were the same. I will just taake it easy.I may not be exceeding the ratings but darn close. so just need to take it easy. This weekend involves a little mountain driving here in the appalachians. but not too much.3/4 of the trip will be flat. anyways we plan to get groceries and wood etc once we get there to account for the weight load. had all the fluids and such checked and oil changed so we should be good ;) Thanks again and take care
 
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Explorer_PL

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Just a note -

Since I use mine also for plowing and towing (nothing commercial, just few driveways), I flush the tranny fluid, transfer case and differentials every 60k.
I am at 189k miles and everything is working just fine.
 
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kileytaz

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Just a note -

Since I use mine also for plowing and towing (nothing commercial, just few driveways), I flush the tranny fluid, transfer case and differentials every 60k.
I am at 189k miles and everything is working just fine.

Thanks, yes mine has 62K miles now and just had the trans fluid checked. it looks good now but I am planning to get flushed before spring and next years towing season.
As a side note this is 1 of 4 vehicles we have. so I will only be driving 8-10 miles a year on it. Have a couple other older vehicles i use as everyday drivers. so I am counting on that to help prolong the life of this nice explorer ;) thanks again
 
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wifes2011xlt

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Get your rig weighed and compare your weights to your ratings. My guess is it will be eye opening for you.
 
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kileytaz

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Get your rig weighed and compare your weights to your ratings. My guess is it will be eye opening for you.

Hello wifes2011, Why do you say that? Is there something that I am not thinking about when it comes to the weights? I do think I am very close to my max tow and argo ratings. but let me know if there is another factor that I may be missing.
4455 curb weight + 500lb cargo and passenger + 5000 LOADED weight of camper = 9955 GCWR . MAX is 10000 GCWR.

That is how I am coming to my figures. I agree I would like to get it on a scale. But tell me why you think it would be a surprising thing? I don't want to misss any factors
Thanks
 
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Explorer_PL

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Kileytaz -

your logic is correct.
I guess Wifes2011 is asking about the 4455 number. You have almost same rig like me save for v8.
Mine is about 5000 empty so that would be the only questionable number on your side.
 
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wifes2011xlt

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Hello wifes2011, Why do you say that? Is there something that I am not thinking about when it comes to the weights? I do think I am very close to my max tow and argo ratings. but let me know if there is another factor that I may be missing.
4455 curb weight + 500lb cargo and passenger + 5000 LOADED weight of camper = 9955 GCWR . MAX is 10000 GCWR.

That is how I am coming to my figures. I agree I would like to get it on a scale. But tell me why you think it would be a surprising thing? I don't want to misss any factors
Thanks

Axle ratings particularly rear axle is typically the weakest link in tow rigs. Chances are you'll exceed RAWR before any other rating. Payload, gvwr and gcwr would be next.

Also, by suggesting getting weighed, I was just taking the guessing game out of the equation. It only costs a few bucks and scales are easily accessible for most.
 
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kileytaz

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Axle ratings particularly rear axle is typically the weakest link in tow rigs. Chances are you'll exceed RAWR before any other rating. Payload, gvwr and gcwr would be next.

Also, by suggesting getting weighed, I was just taking the guessing game out of the equation. It only costs a few bucks and scales are easily accessible for most.

Thanks I will look for a scale in the coming weeks as I agree it would be good to know. We won't have much gear at all behind the rear axle of the TV and with the Weight Distribution hitch I'm hoping it will keep us well away from exceeding the RAWC. The overall GCWR is really what I am worried about as it appears that we are with 100lb or so of that. We are definitely packing light for this trip. lol And I mean like clothes, blankets and pillows. lol all drinks and food will be shopped when we get there. haha. Oh well price you pay for some extra room I guess. In a couple years I'll work on getting a full size SUV or truck. Thanks again guys
 
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wifes2011xlt

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Do you know which gear ratio your EX has? I believe you need the 3.73 to get 10k lbs GCWR. Otherwise, GCWR is 8500lbs.
 
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kileytaz

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Do you know which gear ratio your EX has? I believe you need the 3.73 to get 10k lbs GCWR. Otherwise, GCWR is 8500lbs.

Mine has the 3.73 gears with the 4.0 v6. Factory tow package set up. Eddie Bauer Edition.
 
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Explorer_PL

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Here is how you can find the weight of your truck without going to a scale:

On the white sticker on the driver door jamb, you'll find GVW, that is a maximum weight of your truck with passenger, cargo, and tongue weight.

On mine it reads 6280 lbs, and that is a generic sticker for all 4x4, v8 with tow package explorers from that year.

Then on the yellow sticker, read the max weight of the pass and cargo.

On mine it reads 1177 lbs and that is SPECIFIC to your rig taking into account the actual options installed on yours.

From that I deduct, that my empty Ford weighs about 5103 lbs

Since my GCVW is 12,000, my maximum trailer weight would be 6897, lower than advertised 7,120 (again because of my options)

See the Ford towing guide for 2006

https://www.fleet.ford.com/resources/ford/general/pdf/towingguides/2006RVguideApr08.pdf
 
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