Safe to pull my Jeep with my Explorer? | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Safe to pull my Jeep with my Explorer?


March 13, 2010
Reaction score
City, State
Louisville, KY
Year, Model & Trim Level
2015 XLT
I have a '99 Explorer 4x4 with the 4.0 liter that my wife bought new. It's always been well maintained and taken care of and has always been there when we needed it. Last year I installed a Class III Curt hitch rated as follows:

Gross Trailer Wt. = 4,000 Lbs. / Max Tongue Wt. = 400 Lbs.
Wt. Distribution Wt. = 6,000 Lbs. / Max Tongue Wt. = 600 Lbs.

Last October I used the same hitch and everything I have now to haul my 15ft. x 30ft. Garage on a 16 ft. heavy duty steel tandem trailer to my house.


Based on that I think I would be okay. I'm wanting to transport my Jeep ZJ to and from the off road park via a car dolly or possibly a small car trailer. I was driving it but it's about a 20 minute drive and if I bust an axle out on the trail or something I'm SOL. Do you guys foresee any kind of problems I might encounter by doing this? I am planning to get a helper leaf kit or something for the rear of the explorer considering it has the typical rear end sag. It would be beneficial in the towing department as well.



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That never slowed me down...err... I mean ha ha that's funny :P

If you keep it slow you should be okay. But at highway speeds a lot of people get themselves killed by pulling too heavy of a load. I think the rule of thumb is that your towing vehicle should be at least 2 times as heavy as the one you are pulling. It's just physics. If the towed vehicle starts to sway, it's impossible for the towing vehicle to get it back under control, and you both go off the road. Look up the lawsuits agains Uhaul if you don't believe it.

Whats the weight of the jeep.. If you gonna trailer it, it may push it beyond the maximum load it can handle..

Get a trailer with sway control. If starts to sway, pull trailer e-brake slightly.
Don't use OD if close to max pull capacity - probably you don't have the factory supplemental transmission cooler like some V8.

So what about a car dolly? I wouldn't be handling the whole load of the jeep since just the front would be of the ground.

First off thats a sweet ZJ! A couple guys have them in the offroad club here in Clemson and they're the caddy of the jeeps for sure haha.
I wouldn't suggest a tow dolly for offroad rigs. First because they're darn near impossible to back up. Plus you'll end up killing the treads on the rear compared to the front, especially if you get stickies, tsl's, or some other tire that would be amazing if you have a trailered rig but can't take much pavement time.
On another note, I would go ahead and wire up all 7 pins for a true trailer harness so you can have electric trailer brakes (far superior to surge brakes) and the aux power wire for the bigger trailers and heavier weight. Everyone talks and brags about how much they're vehicle can pull, but they tend to forget they have to stop that load somehow too.
The Ex is pretty capable when equipped right. I have 4.10 gears, factory tranny cooler and monroe air max air adjustable shocks that I can pump up to level out my ST. The heaviest load I've pulled is a 6500lbs boat. I was very rarely in OD but all the temps stayed down where they should be. I'd suggest AAL's and air shocks if you plan on going to the trails a decent amount. Hope this helps.