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Towing 5000lb with a 2006 V8 Explorer AWD without WD hitch

explorer_fisher

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I have a 2006 V8 limited with the tow package.

According to my owner's manual, if I tow over 5000lb, I need a weight distribution hitch.

I am getting a boat which, when fully loaded with fuel and fish, will be close to 5000lb. However, the trailer cannot handle the stress of a weight distribution hitch (and I don't want to use a WD hitch anyway for the amount of hassle).

I am a little worried because I would be going over Hwy 17 from San Jose to Santa Cruz CA, and the road is a little steep (20 miles).

Has anyone towed close to 5000lb on their 06-10 V8s without a WD hitch (especially when over hills)? How does the truck perform? Is the back really sagged? Any swaying?

Thanks
 
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tripplec

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I suppose you need to find out how much tongue weight your boat trailer you're getting will have. They should be able to tell you that all you questions depend on the boat trailer setup.
 
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Explorer_PL

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Not a boat, but that TT was about 5k. Without the WD it would sag, Explorers have soft suspension.

IMG_4067_zps6hhbbsjn.jpg


IMG_4068_zpsbmbnzx4w.jpg


I have my own home made trailer with registered weight of 7000k, that does not have the WD, It does not show in the picture since I unloaded the firewood already but the truck dips a lot when loaded.

loading%20firewood_zpsqfxlr79t.jpg
 
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96firephoenix

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I'd look at what it would take to make the boat trailer handle a WD hitch... just to be on the safe side.

With the hill driving, your transmission is the weak link, not the suspension. You'll want to make sure that your fluid is good and clean (I'd recommend changing it) and make sure that you've got the auxiliary transmission cooler (It's included in the "tow package" but I'd do a physical inspection too)

The other thing to get is a sway controlling mechanism. Boats are not the most laterally stable thing to tow, with a high weight compared to the side surface area, and a varied profile that can catch cross winds easily. Especially if you're cresting any hills or mountains, the winds are likely to be stronger there.
 
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tripplec

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Any trailer paired with a boat of that weight should have Electric brakes as well as support the add-on WD torsion arms. They can be put on most trailers I have seen over the decades and not hard to do. Otherwise you're getting the wrong trailer with the boat.
 
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michael loibl

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Most boat trailers use hydralic surge brakes, not electric brakes. If your trailer has surge, you can't use WD bars as it will interfere with the tounge mounted master cylinder.
On a positive note, most boats tend to put less than 10% tounge weight on your ball, as opposed to a travel trailer which many recommend about 15%
 
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michael loibl

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Follow up thought: I would have no problem towing 5,000 pound boat with 450-500 pound young weight with your truck. Probably not the best time to load up with five friends and a lot of luggage in the trunk however.
My 2006 V6 4.0 liter handled my 3400 pound travel trailer with wife and three kids and a full trunk load without unreasonable and squatting of rear suspension, although the scale said we were at max rear axle weight rating of about 4,050 pounds. We had about 400 pounds on the ball
 
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96firephoenix

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Just had another thought... You gonna be able to handle that boat on a ramp?

You don't want to end up like this guy.
 
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tripplec

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No problem with that setup on a ramp, going down anyway....

Might be good to have tow hooks on the front and carry a HD tow strap. Just in case!!
 
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Mbrooks420

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How far will you be towing it ? How often?
 
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explorer_fisher

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Thanks to everyone for their comments. I will probably get a boat that's slightly smaller (18ft instead of 20ft). It will be 4200lb with full fuel. Even my minivan can handle 3500lb, so I can't imagine why my Explorer can't handle an extra 700lb.

I will probably go fishing once every week or two weeks. The boat would be parked at a storage facility about 8 miles (uphills) to the harbor. The grade of the road isn't too steep and there aren't any sharp turns. My biggest concern is the 150 miles drive when taking the boat from the dealer and moving it to the storage. I'll just drive slowly, so don't plan on following me on that day :)

Also, the trailer has surge brakes, so it won't be compatible with most sway control devices. I'll try to do without WD or sway control and see how it goes.

At the boat ramp, I always use chokes. So hopefully the car will be above water rather than under.
 
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tripplec

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If your rig has the option for your transmission. Turn off overdrive as its easier to pull, more power and less heat buildup.

Will the dealer let you do a test tow with it. They should be aware of the limitation they sell them for. Maybe even deliver it to you.
 
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explorer_fisher

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Thanks for the tips.

Will adding air bags help?
 
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Mbrooks420

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I used air bags on my last Mounty when I had extreme tongue weight (2 dirt bikes probably 800 pounds of TW), and it helped the ride a lot. We're easy to install, and I got good life out of them.
 
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