newer explorer and towing | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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newer explorer and towing


New Member
October 24, 2008
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City, State
Year, Model & Trim Level
1997 xlt
I currently have a 1997 Explorer. It is a dressed up xlt with v8, all wheel drive, towing package, etc... I have only 60k miles on it and it is in excellent condition. It works very well for me; I travel to Maine (from Massachusetts) and carry lots of stuff, tow my sailboat boat (approx 2500 pounds and considerable windage on the highway), and move furniture that I make. In the current market, I am considering upgrading to a newer model for improvements in safety and ride and would appreciate your input.

Basically I would like to have the features that I have now, or a few more frills of course. However, I think of this a my truck for moving things, not people if that makes sense. I would prefer not to have the third row seats but that seems hard to avoid in the used market. I want to be able to tow greater loads than I am now, but I do not foresee anything much greater than 4000 or 5000 pounds.

I have been looking for something late 2006 and newer for the suspension and safety. I looked at a used 2008 limited, and it was quite nice.

My primary question is regarding v6 vs v8 and 4x4 vs AWD. I have been looking for a v8 and AWD because that is what I have and it works well for me. Would you recommend the v6 and or 4x4 or v8 and 4x4? Presumable these would be better for gas mileage and tire wear. However, I have been using my Explorer for only about 6,000 miles per year, and neither of these factors are deal breakers.

Oh, did I mention that it would take a really good deal to get me to switch since there is a lot of life left in what I have now.

I would appreciate your thoughts and suggestions.


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This is my first posting, and I am having trouble. I got an e-mail saying that I got a reply, but I do not see it when I log into this thread or follow the link provided in the e-mail. What is the trick? Thanks, Allen

PS: I do not have pictures now. I will have to take some.

First of all if you really want true All Wheel Drive you are looking at 2005 and older explorers. And even then they are fairly rare. Most 2002-2005 have the automatically engaging 4 wheel drive which is rear drive 99 percent of the time. 2006 and up np longer offer the AWD, but mountaineers still have it.

I just bought a 2006 Eddie Bauer v8 4x4 and I absolutely LOVE IT! The 8 Cylinder engine carries the truck along so perfectly!

I haven't had it long enough to tell you an accurate MPG figure, but from what I hear, its ~1-2 MPG Less than the V6, So that was a given for me!

I don't have the third row as I don't have any need for it.

Mine has Auto 4x4, 4x4 Low and 4x4 High. It is always in 4x2 until the rear tires begin to slip then it's engages all four corners automatically.

I Paid $16,000 for it. 27,000 Miles on the clock.

If you have any other questions, Let me know!

Here's a few Picture's:





addam u got any recent pics of the explorer at all