how many tow package questions can there be | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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how many tow package questions can there be


New Member
June 17, 2009
Reaction score
City, State
Ridgecrest Ca
Year, Model & Trim Level
05 4x4 sport trac
I'm pretty sure I don't have the tow pkg. Ive owned and towed with 2 F-150's, an Explorer and a 250 so I know what the brake controller plug looks like. It's not close to the glove box or behind it or under the dash where I am looking.

4 pin plug with two pig tails in the bundle, aux CHMSL pwr and ground.

trailer tow fuse and trailer tow relay installed.

Axel code D4 3.73 LS.

No Hitch.

So am I looking in the wrong place for the brake controler plug or do I just needto wire it up and what is CHMSL

First time to post so let er rip. I did search but too many differences in the years and nothing in this catagory

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Here's the Towing section of the Explorer Forum...

CHMSL = Center High Mount Stop Light
Probably to be used for a 3rd brake light on a camper shell.

I think the towing package for Explorers might just be a transmission cooler and a 4 wire trailer plug.

For my v8 4dr Explorer Limited I installed a brake controller wiring it up myself and installed 7 wire plug at the bumper. MountaineerGreen did that same thing with his v8 4dr Mountaineer...

If you intend to use a brake controller, then what you are towing must be heavy. You really need to install a temperature gauge for the transmission fluid...

Good luck. :thumbsup:

The temp gage is on the to do list. Did you use a kit or just a gage, temp sender and some wires. I havn't looked at the links yet but I will after this post. We figure on towing a trailer that when loaded will be around 3500 to 4000 lbs.

I wonder if those wires are stubbed out someplace else so I could use them when wireing up the controler. that would be awe-some not to have to run those wires. But they probable are to small to carry the electrical load. I could use a relay maybe.

I didn't use any kit for my temp sensors.

For my tranny temp gauges(both of my Explorers) I cut the outgoing hard line and installed a brass T fitting to put the temp sensor in. But, I really would like to relocate the sensor to the transmission pan for a more accurate reading. I just was lazy to spend the time to figure the best place for it. Because you have to make sure its not going to interfere with anything inside the transmission. I think Mountaineer shows where he did it on his V8 Explorer on the pan, but the v8 transmissions are different from the v6 Explorers.

If you use a brass T fitting, you have to ground that T fitting to make it work correctly. If you installed the temp sensor in the pan, it is already grounded.

Sport Tracs (and late-model Rangers and Explorers) do not have a "tow package" as such. They come standard with a separate transmission cooler and 4-pin plug and that's all. A Class III frame hitch was optional on Rangers (my '02 had one) but not available from the factory on Sport Tracs. I put a Hidden Hitch on my old '05 Trac.

Cool. Thanks for the info guys. I'm not looking to tow a 3 axel toy hauler with it. LOL Just a small to medium sized pop up. Kinda miss the 250 and the 30 ft trailer but this truck is way more fun to drive. So I figured that camping is still camping no matter how you get there. Health reasons make a trailer of some kind necessary. I have the plans for a teardrop trailer but my wife put a hold on my power tool buying for a while. I told her I needed a welder and a plasma cutter to make it. I'll back off the plasma cutter and just get a welder. Whenever the tool embargo has been lifted.

I use my 02 to pull a mid size tent trailer and love it. I have no problems with towing it with all my stuff and a quad in the bed. Only down side is it sucks up the fuel. I put a 7 pin plug in where one of the licence plate lights goes, works out great.

Thanks for the tip on the plug location.

Ive been there many times on the reduced fuel econony. How much does you trailer weigh and did you need to incorporate any sway control?

The trailer info says 1900# unloaded. Then it holds 30 gals of water 5 gals of propane plus all my stuff and food which I guess is 500# and I am not sure what a Yamaha Warrior 350 weights. But I have used no sway control and have been in some windy areas. It tows so nice my wife has no problem driving and has never towed before.