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Explorer Sport Towing Setup

ericlecko

New Member
Joined
August 25, 2008
Messages
3
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City, State
CT
Year, Model & Trim Level
01 explorer sport 4wd
Hello all. I'm new to the forum and in the process of setting up my 01 explorer sport 2D/4WD, SOHC, to tow. Specifically, a 20' boat, motor, and trailer for a total weight of about 4300 pounds. The tranny is all set with an auxillary transmission cooler. I plan on getting a 5000lb rated receiver and hitch (draw-tite). I think the explorer manual says that trailer weights greater than 3500 pounds require a weight distribution hitch (WDH). However, I will be using a boat trailer with surge brakes, and the people I am working with say that WDH's will cause the surge brakes not to work. Non-functioning surge breaks would not be good. Suggestions have been made that if the trailer load causes extensive sag in the back end of the vehicle (i.e. greater then 2" or 3") either the boat could be adjusted on the trailer or the trailer axles could be adjusted. Another school of thought is that not using a WDH will not be a problem because the tounge weight of the trailer itself is no more than 200 lbs.
Has anyone come across this situation before? Any ideas? Thanks in advance and apologies for this long post.

Sincerely,
EL in CT
 
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gijoecam

Village Idiot
Elite Explorer
Joined
May 31, 1999
Messages
8,339
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City, State
Trenton, MI
Year, Model & Trim Level
98 ExSport, '00 F-150
Welcome! I didn't know the 01 Sport could tow that kinda weight. I'd like to hear more too... What distance will you be towing?

Since the 98 Sport 4x4 was rated for 4700, the '01 is likely rated for more.

I do not know of any weight distributing hitches that will work with surge brakes. Converting the trailer over to electric brakes would be a better choice should you choose to pull it with your Ex... But the bottom line is that your Ex is marginally capable of towing that kind of load anyways. The trailer can't use a weight-distributing hitch, and the truck requires it for that heavy of a tongue weight. (otherwise the steering will get alarmingly light)

Please double-check the weight of the boat at a local truck scale... I suspect you'll find it's much heavier than you thought. My father insisted that my boat was no more than 3000 lbs... He was wrong... try 4650 lbs half-wet (half a tank of gas, empty fresh water tank).

Your truck just isn't the right tool for the job... sorry to break it to ya'...
 
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