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Towing a piano with a 3rd gen

Had to go pick up a piano for our new house. The only catch was that it was 6hrs away in South Carolina. The things you do for family heirlooms....

I'll use it as an update on on the towing capabilities of the 3rd gen

Truck: 2002 xlt with class II hitch. Running 265/75/16 treadwright wardens.

Trailer: 2012 6x12 patriot enclosed trailer, flat nosed, single axle. Weighs about 1000 lbs dry.

Piano - 500lbs plus the crate I built to ship it


Trip: Birmingham to Columbia SC. About 330 miles one way.

Trip to SC - ran with od turned off. Other than a few hill climbs outside of Birmingham, the ex didn't have any issues pulling the trailer and stayed consistently over 70. Avg mpg was about 13

Trip to Birmingham - piano loaded on trailer. Ran with od turned off in post cold front conditions. For the first 100 miles there was a steady headwind that made the truck struggle on hills. I never dropped below 60, but I also didn't hammer it. I tried to make it as easy as it could be on the tranny. Avg mpg - 11

I was impressed with the comfort and ease that the explorer towed this load. With the high center of gravity that a piano has, I figured the trip back would have more eventful than it was. Very thankful that it went well.
 

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Explorer0204

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That trailer is really only 1k lbs? Thats awesome, is it all aluminum? What is its capacity?

Those massive tires make it tough with the 3.55's for towing. If you can put 4.10's in the diffs I bet it would drive a whole lot better. Would be easier on the trans as well.
 






2TimingTom

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I like the structure you built around the piano to keep it from moving around. I wouldn't have thought of that. Instead I would have just ratchet strapped it until I broke something and then left it at an abandoned gas station along the way.
 






thebrakeman

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Yeah, thumbs up on that framework! Looks like you built it right around the piano for a perfect hold, right? Good job.

Let the piano adjust to the new environment for a month or so, then be sure to get it retuned.
 






Gatorblazer

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Sorry for not seeing this earlier. Apparently I turned off the notification settings on posts when I was active 5 years ago. Just getting back into the forum again.

Trailer weighs 1K per the dealer. I really havent spent a lot of time looking at the construction. Total capacity is around 2500lbs supposedly.

Tires came off my Trooper. They only had 3K miles on them and I wasnt going to let them go with the Troop. So I swapped them to the Explorer. I dont think the next set will be as large due to what is mentioned about, but they will be larger than stock.

There are no tie downs in this trailer for whatever reason. And I didnt think about that until we got to SC. So a quick trip to Lowes and $30 later, we built the crate. Glad I always bring a set of tools and screw gun with me when I travel.
 






Themightyquinn

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i'm not sure if it is just a slope of the ground, but the front end of the trailer seems higher than the rear end. I would recommend getting a hitch receiver with a lower drop so that the trailer is level. I have a similar trailer that I tow with my 07 eddie bauer and the trailer dealer had to special order the receiver with the correct amount of drop.
Also what suspension does it have? Mine is a 2012 Stealth Liberty with the torsion axle so it rides pretty smooth even when empty.
 






Gatorblazer

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You are correct that the front is slightly higher. Majority of the towing I do is very local, within 5 miles of home so this trip was way outside of the norm.

I have no idea on the suspension. It does bounce a little more than I would like when empty, but that also is a rare occurrence. Other than bringing it home, its always had a few hundred pounds in it.

Debating on putting in a couple of windows and using it as a camper/shooting house for deer season this year. Might have to jump over to expedition portal and get some inspiration.
 






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