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Is this hitch carrier something that will work for the '13 Explorer

stealthscrape

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I have a 2013 Explorer LTD AWD with the tow package. I'm moving from VA to FL in a few weeks and am looking for options to take my motorcycle with me rather than having the movers take it and store it (my stuff will be in storage for a little while).

Not sure if I can link Amazon here, but this is one of the carriers that I am looking at.

My bike is an 08 CBR 600RR that weighs around 400 lbs. I'll be well under the tow capacity, but I'm assuming tow weight is calculated based off forward movement and braking and the trailer having wheels to support that weight.

I've been searching around and read through the what are you towing thread. The closets thing I found was this post but I can't tell how much weight he's carrying. Any help that anyone can offer would be a lot of help since we are leaving so soon. Thanks.
 
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wifes2011xlt

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I believe the tongue weight rating of class 3 tow package is 500lbs but that is with weight distribution bars. As far as I know, there is no hardware available to help distribute the tongue weight for cargo racks. It could exist though, I just don't know.

Without weight distribution, tongue weight rating is reduced to 200lbs. Check the sticker on your hitch for the exact ratings to be sure but I believe those are the weights indicated on ford towing guides.
 
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stealthscrape

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Yes, those are the numbers I am seeing as well but I can't discern how they apply to a carrier. Looking at diagrams of weight distribution hitches, all of the weight is still applied to the hitch receiver, so I don't fully understand how it works.

I'm seeing lots of pictures of vehicles such as pathfinders and aviators (maybe navigators?), but I can't see the hitches so I don't know if they are stock or if they are Class III. Plus, just because they are doing it doesn't mean it's correct.
 
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wifes2011xlt

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The weight of your bike and the rack combined would be the tongue weight exerted on the hitch. You Would probably be fine for trips around town but something you're trying to do, I'd definitely do more research.
 
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stealthscrape

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Now I'm even more at a loss.

From the manual:
Tongue Load or Fifth Wheel King Pin Weight - refers to the amount of the weight that a trailer pushes down on a trailer hitch

Examples: For a 5,000 lb. conventional trailer, multiply 5,000 by 0.10 and 0.15 to obtain a proper tongue load range of 500 to 750 lb.

The tongue load seems to be directly tied to the overall weight of the trailer and the max seems to be 10%. The weight distribution might have something to do with that. I checked the sticker on the hitch as you suggested and it stated 500 lb tongue load. Didn't say anything about distribution, although I have seen that elsewhere.

I'm going to keep researching. Hoping someone else has dealt with this and has some additional info on it though.
 
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wifes2011xlt

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You are overthinking this. Whenever the hitch receiver is supporting any weight, regardless of whether it's a trailer, bike rack, cargo tray, etc. the amount of downward force exerted on the hitch is the tongue weight.

I checked the sticker on the hitch as you suggested and it stated 500 lb tongue load.

Can you take a pic of the sticker and post it up? You might be fine...at least as far as the hitch receiver is concerned. There are other ratings involved but discussing them might be moot if the hitch receiver ratings isn't up to par.
 
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CajunFordEx

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I have a 2013 Explorer LTD AWD with the tow package. I'm moving from VA to FL in a few weeks and am looking for options to take my motorcycle with me rather than having the movers take it and store it (my stuff will be in storage for a little while).

If I were in that situation, I would have the wife/significant other drive the Ex and I would ride that baby to Florida! Great riding weather this time of year.:D
 
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wifes2011xlt

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If I were in that situation, I would have the wife/significant other drive the Ex and I would ride that baby to Florida! Great riding weather this time of year.:D

As much fun as I had when I owned a CBR 600, there is no way I'd ride it from VA to FL. My back probably wouldn't let me anyways. I like your thinking though.. :D
 
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adamjeeps

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You should be able to rent a motorcycle trailer for cheap. I priced it out and it came to about $15 per day.

http://www.uhaul.com/Trailers/Motorcycle-Trailer-Rental/MT/

At 400 pounds plus the weight of the carrier which is 99 pounds, I think you are asking for trouble having 500 pounds bouncing around back there for that long of a trip.

You also have to remember that 500 pounds of tongue weight would be cutting into your payload capacity by 500 pounds if you were planning to haul stuff inside the vehicle with you. By using the trailer, you would only be looking at roughly 100 pounds or so of tongue weight by using the trailer (assuming the trailer weighs about 600 pounds, so 60 + 40 = 100).

Confused yet?
 
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JE

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Here's a great explanation of weight distributing hitches from one of the best sites ever:

http://auto.howstuffworks.com/auto-...itches/towing-weight-distribution-systems.htm

Note there are multiple pages to the article. Good pic on page 2 of with/without distribution.

Weight distribution systems will not work on a carrier since it doesn't have wheels on the ground to use for leverage.

Check your manual, but my 2015 manual says with AWD and the tow package not to exceed 3500 lb without a weight-distributing hitch. From that I assume an un-distributed tongue weight of up to 350 lb (10% of the trailer weight) would be acceptable, so if your carrier+bike is under 350 you may be OK.

If you're close to that you should pay attention to the rest of the weight in your vehicle and try to keep it as far forward as possible.
 
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wifes2011xlt

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In addition to payload rating (how much weight in gear and passengers your Ex is carrying), also have to pay attention to tire weight ratings, GVWR and RAWR. I would think after you determine if the hitch receiver ratings are ok, RAWR would be your next concern. It's easy to throw a whole bunch of gear in the trunk area and with the 500lbs you're looking to carry with the receiver, it wouldn't be too hard to overload your rear axle.

But again, determine first if your receiver has enough capacity. It seems to be the weakest link at this point. Always take the lowest rating into account first.
 
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orangesoda123

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You should be able to rent a motorcycle trailer for cheap. I priced it out and it came to about $15 per day.

http://www.uhaul.com/Trailers/Motorcycle-Trailer-Rental/MT/

At 400 pounds plus the weight of the carrier which is 99 pounds, I think you are asking for trouble having 500 pounds bouncing around back there for that long of a trip.

You also have to remember that 500 pounds of tongue weight would be cutting into your payload capacity by 500 pounds if you were planning to haul stuff inside the vehicle with you. By using the trailer, you would only be looking at roughly 100 pounds or so of tongue weight by using the trailer (assuming the trailer weighs about 600 pounds, so 60 + 40 = 100).

Confused yet?

I would agree with this. Its going to be much easier and safer to do it this way. While your Ex MIGHT support your bike on the cargo rack, its going to have an effect on handling and what else you can put in your car. Also its most likely going to bring the front of the car up a bit which can give your headlights the high beam effect for oncoming traffic. Also, if you wanted to get anything out of the back of your ex you'd have to dig through the front of the car since the rear hatch wont open ;)
 
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wifes2011xlt

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I'm guessing blindly here but I don't think the OP has much, if any, experience trailering. Probably best to avoid a long road trip from DC to FL as a first tug. It's certainly doable but probably should get some experience trailering much shorter distances first before the big move. At the very least, get some experience coupling the trailer up. It's not difficult, but for a first-timer, it could involve some guesswork or trial and error before figuring out if you're hooked/set up properly.
 
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stealthscrape

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Can you take a pic of the sticker and post it up? You might be fine...at least as far as the hitch receiver is concerned. There are other ratings involved but discussing them might be moot if the hitch receiver ratings isn't up to par.

Sorry for the delay. Getting ready for the move has preoccupied me a bit.
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If I were in that situation, I would have the wife/significant other drive the Ex and I would ride that baby to Florida! Great riding weather this time of year.:D
Unfortunately, (or fortunately depending on how you look at it) she will be flying with the kids out to CA while I take the important stuff I don't trust the movers and storage company with(dog, firearms, and motorcycle) to FL with the help of my brother. Planning on driving straight through which is why I am thinking a carrier would be the most viable option.

You should be able to rent a motorcycle trailer for cheap. I priced it out and it came to about $15 per day.

http://www.uhaul.com/Trailers/Motorcycle-Trailer-Rental/MT/

At 400 pounds plus the weight of the carrier which is 99 pounds, I think you are asking for trouble having 500 pounds bouncing around back there for that long of a trip.

You also have to remember that 500 pounds of tongue weight would be cutting into your payload capacity by 500 pounds if you were planning to haul stuff inside the vehicle with you. By using the trailer, you would only be looking at roughly 100 pounds or so of tongue weight by using the trailer (assuming the trailer weighs about 600 pounds, so 60 + 40 = 100).

Confused yet?

I don't plan on carrying too much cargo and I won't have passengers besides Driver and front passenger so I believe I will be fine with my weight. I had hoped to be able to use the carrier in the future if it worked as well, but only if it was something that safely worked. Unfortunately the motorcycle trailer says that it is not available for my move. I don't know if it has to do with my zip codes or my vehicle. I've tried messing with the zip codes and haven't had any luck.

Here's a great explanation of weight distributing hitches from one of the best sites ever:

http://auto.howstuffworks.com/auto-...itches/towing-weight-distribution-systems.htm

Note there are multiple pages to the article. Good pic on page 2 of with/without distribution.

Weight distribution systems will not work on a carrier since it doesn't have wheels on the ground to use for leverage.

Check your manual, but my 2015 manual says with AWD and the tow package not to exceed 3500 lb without a weight-distributing hitch. From that I assume an un-distributed tongue weight of up to 350 lb (10% of the trailer weight) would be acceptable, so if your carrier+bike is under 350 you may be OK.

If you're close to that you should pay attention to the rest of the weight in your vehicle and try to keep it as far forward as possible.

I read through everything regarding towing and hauling I could find in my manual and it didn't mention weight distribution. I know I have read it online, but I couldn't find it anywhere in there. I am just not sure if the weight distribution has something to do specifically to do with the dynamics of a trailer and the extra weight of it and how it affects accelerating and stopping or if it is just basic weight on the tongue being distributed away. I'll read your link after this post.

I would agree with this. Its going to be much easier and safer to do it this way. While your Ex MIGHT support your bike on the cargo rack, its going to have an effect on handling and what else you can put in your car. Also its most likely going to bring the front of the car up a bit which can give your headlights the high beam effect for oncoming traffic. Also, if you wanted to get anything out of the back of your ex you'd have to dig through the front of the car since the rear hatch wont open ;)

I'd be more concerned about the handling and potential damage than anything else. My understanding is that HIDs all either require or just have an auto leveling function so that you do not have issues blinding traffic while towing. I will have everything folded down in the back and won't have much back there anyway, especially rear of the axle, so I can get what I need out of the rear passenger door.

I'm guessing blindly here but I don't think the OP has much, if any, experience trailering. Probably best to avoid a long road trip from DC to FL as a first tug. It's certainly doable but probably should get some experience trailering much shorter distances first before the big move. At the very least, get some experience coupling the trailer up. It's not difficult, but for a first-timer, it could involve some guesswork or trial and error before figuring out if you're hooked/set up properly.

I do have experience trailering as I used to tow a 24' enclosed race trailer with a 1999 Suburban. No experience with a carrier like this though. I just thought it would 1, make the trip easier than towing a trailer, 2, give me a permanent option for track days down in florida, and 3, be cheaper than renting a full trailer from u-haul.

Thank you all for the input. It is much appreciated.
 
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adamjeeps

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Interesting you could not get the motorcycle trailer to work. What about a different trailer? The rates on those are about $30-$40 per day I think. You would have plenty of space to transport stuff you didn't want the movers to handle.
 
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wifes2011xlt

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IMO, I think the "do-ability factor" of what you're trying to do is looking better and better. Based on the pic you posted, seems like 500lbs tongue weight is the limit with or without weight distribution for your hitch receiver so you are technically "good" there. I would still take any measures you can to lighten the load though. Definitely empty any fluids from your bike, remove anything removable such as rear view mirrors, fairings, foot pegs, seat, battery, etc. and put them inside your Ex. I still can't ignore all the printed material and other towing resources that Ford makes available though so really I'm still on the fence about technically being "good".

You have towing experience, which in this instance is not towing in the conventional sense but you have experience with how tongue weight affects vehicle handling, mainly braking, steering and shock absorption.

You don't plan on making the trek with a fully loaded Ex either so all the concerns I raised prior about the other ratings should be moot, or at the very least, you can take caution to stay within them.

I think the real test would be to do a dry run by trying to mimic the conditions that your Ex would be in when you are making the the trek. If you can borrow a rack or cargo tray and can load it up with ~500 lbs, see how the hitch receiver and suspension handles it. If there is any flexing in the receiver tubing, I would abort. If you see more than a 1" or so of sag, your rear axle is probably going to be pretty stressed. Also, if the front axle is lifted by more than an inch, your braking and steering will probably be somewhat compromised as well.

Personally, if the dry fitting went ok, I would go for it, but the first few dozen miles would be nerve racking for me. Good luck with whatever you decide.
 
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markls8

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You are really on the borderline, and maybe over, in many ways there. Note that in order to have a 500# or less weight at the tongue, you must have less than that when you are a couple of feet out from the tongue, like the weight on a carrier would be. As an example a 400# weight on the carrier (including the carrier itself) might exert 475# on the tongue.

There is also the swing weight (or mass) to consider. A trailer has some give to it (it pivots at the ball) when you give a sudden steering input. A hard attached carrier with the bike on a couple of feet out will have no such forgiveness, so it will want to continue the yaw from the abrupt steering input, such as you would want to be able to do safely to avoid a collision. The computer-assisted "tow" mode might be golden in this case, but it's really a band-aid solution and not something I think it would be wise to rely on on an ongoing basis.

Also be aware that, in addition to what is mentioned above, that there is a vertical component to consider as well; the weight you will be carrying is much higher on the vehicle than a trailer would be, so there would be some roll imparted on steering inputs that would not be present if you were simply pulling a trailer. All these things could combine to put your actual safe tongue load well under the 500# max.

I have considered doing the same thing to carry my motorcycle, and have ruled it out unless I could come up with some sort of semi-castering sprung wheel on the back to take up a portion of the weight. It's down the list of priorities right now, but I expect I will end up towing a trailer, into which I can put other things that would otherwise be carried inside the vehicle.

Good luck!;) And keep us apprised on what you're doing.
 
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Didn't completely read all the other posts. I've been towing 7k lb travel trailers for about 25 years all over the country. Here's my opinion.

The 500lb tongue weight(400lb bike 100lb carrier) is way over your recommended tongue weight. Your gonna get a major tail wagging the dog effect. There is no way I'd do this. Rent a trailer.

A weight distribution hitch takes the weight, say 500lbs, and puts about 40%(i think) of that weight on the front of the vehicle, effectively making the tongue weight around 300lbs.
 
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stealthscrape

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Thanks again for all of the previous input and thank you for the continued input. I have decided to forego the carrier idea for now. I'm just going to have the movers take the motorcycle and hope it doesn't push me over my weight limits and hope that they can manage to be careful with it.

I had already pretty much decided that I was not going to do the carrier due to the distance and not wanting to risk any damage, however one fact that I did not consider was the extra weight that would be exerted due to the carrier extending outward from the hitch. That is a very good point that solidifies the decision that it is not worth the risk for this trip. I'll invest in a trailer in the future, but I don't think it is worth the $300 to rent one and extra time it will add to my drive to tow a trailer down to Florida.

Thanks again. You guys are great. :thumbsup:
 
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markls8

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I think that's a good decision. One last point - if you didn't cover it well, depending on the weather, your bike could potentially end up filthy right through to the core with dirt and dust. I just know how fast the rear window gets dirty, so I can only imagine the dirt that would end up on anything else that happens to end up back there.
 
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