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How much does trailer length matter?

gsw56

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September 2, 2001
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City, State
Mexico, Missouri
Year, Model & Trim Level
2001 Limited
I have a 2001 Limited with the 5.0L V-8, AWD, 3.73 axle, and a factory tow package (the tow package includes a transmission cooler). I am shopping for a travel trailer and I am being told lots of different stories about what I can safely tow by the trailer salesmen. Some are saying that because of the Explorer's short wheelbase I can only tow a 19 or 20 foot trailer because there will be so much waggle in the trailer and because it will want to push the Explorer around corners. Other salesmen say that the length is not important as long as I stay under my maximum tow weight (which is 6620 lbs.). Who do I believe? The trailer I want has a GVW of 4934 lbs. fully equipped and is 25 ft. long including the hitch. I would use a hitch assembly with sway-control and the trailer has electric brakes. I would sure appreciate hearing from anyone who has had experience with a situation like this or has pulled a travel trailer around 25 ft. in length.
 
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MikeTEC

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February 17, 2001
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City, State
Central Texas
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2004 Mountaineer 4.6L
GSW56: Hope I can help. Please do a search on my other recent three posts entitled "Towing Tips". With a 5.0 V-8 and 3.73 axle, you have selected a great combination! I am not familiar with AWD for towing. I am very familiar, however, with trailer width and length which is extremely critical for Explorers, as they do have a short wheelbase. Most Explorer owners select too large of a trailer initially. I would recommend not getting over a 21' trailer, and perferable a 7' width not 8'. There are some very nice ones on the market. By sticking with a 7' x 21' lightweight trailer of 3500 lbs or less, you gas milage will not suffer as much, visability is far better, and towing long grades and in the mountains will be much more enjoyable. Remember, other than sleeping and eating, most of your time will be spent outside of the trailer where size is not a factor. Let me know if I can help further. Mike
 
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leebo

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Elite Explorer
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Mingo Junction, OH
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1994 Explorer Sport
Just make sure you adjust the trailer breaks to make sure it doesn't want to push the Explorer. I've often towed here in Vegas both 28" trailers and 56" trailers. You sure can tell when you're got the extra length. I'd rather pull the longer 56" trailer any day!! With the extra length the sway is cut down. Granted this is with a F9000. The idea should be the same. The rear axles are farther back from the truck so the sway has longer to travel to where you feel it in the Explorer.

If you overload the trailer you will feel it though. Make sure you load it up with water and maybe even fill the waste tank and pack everything you think you'll take on trips. Take it to a weight station and get the slips. They'll be able to tell you where all the weight it on the trailer. For best ride you'll want it even all the way across the board. Hope this helps. But like what was said, you may not need that size. It's camping... who wants to be inside.
 
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