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Did NOT get Factory Tow Package, Now What?


ToddL

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We found a 2011 gently used! However, it did not have the towing package.

I'd like to add a class 3 hitch for 5000 lb capacity and 7-wire harness. I'd love to make this look as factory as possible.

Anyone been there, done that? How'd it go? What was used? Did you mod the rear bumper cover or replace it?

Anyone have pics to post of their non-factory hitch installation?

Regards,
Todd
 


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MikeFreas

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We found a 2011 gently used! However, it did not have the towing package.

I'd like to add a class 3 hitch for 5000 lb capacity and 7-wire harness. I'd love to make this look as factory as possible.

Anyone been there, done that? How'd it go? What was used? Did you mod the rear bumper cover or replace it?

Anyone have pics to post of their non-factory hitch installation?

Regards,
Todd
Todd,

The hitch isn't the problem, it's the other stuff that also didn't come with it. The tow package isn't just the hitch but also includes a transmission cooler and a button for changing the transmission shift points and OD lockout. Without the tow package the ratting is only 2k lbs.
 




blwnsmoke

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Also has a thicker radiator with the tow package. Regardless of the rating of the hitch you get, the Ex is 2,000lbs tow rated.
 




Car 54

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I've heard the dealer has a kit...this was from my salesman who was telling me I didn't need to have tow package when I told him I need to tow 5000lbs...so take it with a grain of salt.
 




hardball24

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Talked to my dealer about adding one onto my ecoboost to add some storage capacity with a hitch rack and he said they have done a few so far but to make it look right they have to cut out part of the bumper. I'm still a little gun shy of what it would look like with the bumper cut out. Anyone had this done by their dealer?
 




JustB_Rad

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Talked to my dealer about adding one onto my ecoboost to add some storage capacity with a hitch rack and he said they have done a few so far but to make it look right they have to cut out part of the bumper. I'm still a little gun shy of what it would look like with the bumper cut out. Anyone had this done by their dealer?
Order the new lower bumper fascia...it's not that pricey. Either that or find one on Ebay.
 




Jeradn325

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Todd-

I went through the same process on my first Explorer. I told the dealer I wanted the stock trailer hitch package and they said it was not a problem and they will add it. Come to find out after I purchase the car they wanted to add a "hidden hitch" below the bumper. I returned the car and the dealer matched pricing of mine for a different Explorer with package. But like everyone is saying especially in your circumstance just adding the rear bumper fascia or having the dealer cut it out for you is not going to get you the 5,000 pounds of towing you want.
 




Car 54

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Thinking more about this, you can add a tow package to any X5. The cost is about $2k. Not sure if you just need to suck it up and pay for everything to be fitted. This reminds me of the guy recently who didn't get the center console with his 2nd row buckets and now wants to add it.
 




RandyH2

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Before you worry too much about it, what are your towing plans?
 




ToddL

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All good inputs so far....

Our Towing requirements are:
Weekly during Summer Months:
Be able to launch a 20' Inboard Ski boat with full tank of gas
Be able to retrieve same boat
Be able to tow that boat a few miles to the storage unit

About once per year, we'd tow that same boat for about 70 miles, highway, mostly flat roads, gentle hills.

Weight of the boat trailer ~2600 lbs. + 20gals of fuel, so what about ~3000 lbs?

I am assuming that if I run the transmission in manual, I can control the shift points, avoid hunting, and avoid "overdrive" gear. This should keep the transmission safer. Also, I won't have the larger radiator, so I'd watch the temp.

So, that only leaves the following issues:
1) Aesthetics - the rear bumper cover
2) Class 3 hitch installation methods
3) Trailer Hookup wiring
4) Brake Controller

Thoughts?
 




ToddL

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Here's a pic I found of the stock towing package hitch/bumper:

 




RandyH2

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It sounds like you are going to be doing some relatively light-duty towing, except perhaps the heat and distance on your long haul. I personally would have no concerns about adding a hitch and doing that towing.

That said, I would gowith the factory hitch: http://www.fordparts.com/Commerce/CatalogResults.aspx?y=2011&m=Ford&mo=Explorer#Search
I looked at the Draw-Tite and it puts the receiver below the rear fascia (bumper). I'd spend the extra $200+ to get the factory hitch installed. I'm not sure if the non-tow factory models have the removeable panel in the lower rear fascia for hitch access, if you have to replace the fascia then the price goes up.
The engine oil cooler is another ~$150 for parts. I'd add it up front but you could probably wait to see how the temps were doing before adding it. That said, there has been discussion on this forum about the coolant temperature gauge and if it show actual temperature or indicates "normal" as long as the temp is within a range. If it is just a glorified idiot light then I would be more concerned about temps as you wouldn't know you were getting hot until you were past the point of doing something about it.
 




Car 54

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I would tow that with a non-towing package model. Like said above, just go easy on your long drive...nothing above 60mph, no fast starts, stay out of 6th gear, as more will just make the truck work harder (hotter temps everywhere).

I wouldn't add an aftermarket oil cooler unless you absolutely knew there was a problem. They tend to leak and keep the oil from getting up to temp without a thermostat.

You might be able to rent and OBD2 scanner from Autozone or something to watch your real water temp.

Might be able to find wiring under the bumper for the 4/7 pin connector. They were there on my Pathfinder without tow package, just had to add the adapter and it came with the 7 wire hook up.

You probably don't need a brake controller if you're towing a boat...they usually use surge brakes....I'm sure you know or can figure this out.
 




ToddL

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I did some research... To get the parts to add the Ford Class 3 hitch with Ford Towing Pckg Bumper cover, wiring, etc. it will be about $1200 in parts alone.
 




tropicvi

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The non-tow vehicle does not have the removable panel, however, IF you have the back up sensors, the wiring harness for trailer wiring should also be in place, since the two items share a common harness. I am working the other direction, have tow package but no back up sensors... I have found the wiring for the sensors is already there.
 




RandyH2

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Remember that there is some market for the parts you pull off and replace with new (the bumper fascia) Selling that stuff will get you a decent amount of money.
 




jkintn

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This is actually one of my biggest regrets. I wish I had waited for one with a towing package or just been patient enough to order exactly what I wanted and waited for the Explorer. I specifically wanted black interior and most around me were light stone so I jumped on one I found with black.

I ended up installing an aftermarket receiver hitch. It sits below the bumper and doesn't look too bad though I prefer the cleaner look of the factory hitch. I only use mine to carry a bike rack so it's not a big deal that I don't have the other features of the tow package. I also like that the factory hitch sits up about 3-4 inches higher than mine.
 




Filipino_X_Owner

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jkintn said:
This is actually one of my biggest regrets. I wish I had waited for one with a towing package or just been patient enough to order exactly what I wanted and waited for the Explorer. I specifically wanted black interior and most around me were light stone so I jumped on one I found with black.

I ended up installing an aftermarket receiver hitch. It sits below the bumper and doesn't look too bad though I prefer the cleaner look of the factory hitch. I only use mine to carry a bike rack so it's not a big deal that I don't have the other features of the tow package. I also like that the factory hitch sits up about 3-4 inches higher than mine.
I was wanting to do the same. Do you have a photo of your setup?
 






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harlenm

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I too am upset I didn't get the towing package. Even though I don't plan on towing anything, it would be nice to have. I took what they had, didn't want to wait to order one. Also, priced around, and got the best price from this dealer, and it was the closest one to my house as well.
 




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