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Towing Capacity of 2015 PIU with 3.7

Eric Z

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So I thought this was pretty straightforward, but......... Seems like there is an awful lot of mis-information out there as to the true towing capacity of the 3.7L equipped PIU's. I have heard anywhere from 5,000 down to 1,500 with tongue weight of 100-500. PIU does NOT have factory tow package, but... So any idea as to what tow rating is?
 



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KayGee

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There is no misinformation. My 2016 and 2017 have clearly stated GCWR and trailer weights in the owners manual. 2015 should be the same.

3.7L GCWR is 7,599 lbs and max trailer weight is 2,500 lbs.

With that said, PIU has upgraded suspension, trans, coolers, etc... and Curt 13100 hitch is rated to 400 tongue 4K trailer weight (500 tongue and 5K trailer if weight distributing), if you wish to exceed the manufacturers published specs for the PIU and go with the manufacturer published specs for a similarly equipped retail explorer instead.
 






peterk9

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.................. if you wish to exceed the manufacturers published specs for the PIU and go with the manufacturer published specs for a similarly equipped retail explorer instead.
A retail Explorer without the factory installed tow package is rated to tow 2000 lbs.

Peter
 






Eric Z

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Why I ask... At 2,750 pounds fully loaded (less the weight of dog) and tongue weight set at 250 Lbs. Uhaul hitch, but not weight distributing. Trailer is older and brakes could use a re-build and maybe change over to disc, but towed well on 1st trip.
Interceptor & Boat.jpg
 






KayGee

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A retail Explorer without the factory installed tow package is rated to tow 2000 lbs.

Peter
My bad for not being more clear - I was referencing the published specs for a factory tow package retail explorer (max 5000/500 weight distributing w/ 3.65 axle), due to the fact that the PIU has upgraded suspension/trans/coolers/etc... that would make it comparable to the factory tow package retail explorer. Curt 13100 hitch is rated for 4000/400 or 5000/500 WD.

Only things of concern would be if you start exceeding GAWR/GVWR/GCWR and meet an overzealous officer on the highway or get in an accident, or if you need warranty coverage for something and it can be proven that you were towing in excess of published specs.
 






Eric Z

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My bad for not being more clear - I was referencing the published specs for a factory tow package retail explorer (max 5000/500 weight distributing w/ 3.65 axle), due to the fact that the PIU has upgraded suspension/trans/coolers/etc... that would make it comparable to the factory tow package retail explorer. Curt 13100 hitch is rated for 4000/400 or 5000/500 WD.

Only things of concern would be if you start exceeding GAWR/GVWR/GCWR and meet an overzealous officer on the highway or get in an accident, or if you need warranty coverage for something and it can be proven that you were towing in excess of published specs.

Thank you for the info. I did check the Owners Manual and as you noted, spec was 2,500 lbs with 3.7L and AWD. Oddly I saw nothing about tongue weight, but figure my load is reasonable and I really do not do a lot of towing. A few miles to the Lake and back and maybe once a year longer 100 mile trip.
 






KayGee

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Tongue weight is generally 10% of trailer weight.
 






blob19

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3.7L GCWR is 7,599 lbs and max trailer weight is 2,500 lbs.
Maybe the difference is just the duration of towing/moving/pushing the additional weight, but this is an interesting number given that many PIUs are equipped with push bumpers for the purpose of pushing a full sized vehicle which weighs well over 2,500 lbs. Does anyone know if Ford has and publications or specifications around the limit that you can push?
 






peterk9

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My understanding is that the main purpose of these bumpers is to execute pit maneuvers. In that case it is pushing/nudging a vehicle that is traveling in the same direction. It is not like it is pushing 2500 lbs. of dead weight. I've never seen any stats on how much an Explorer can push with or without the added bumper.

Peter
 






Mbrooks420

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Maybe the difference is just the duration of towing/moving/pushing the additional weight, but this is an interesting number given that many PIUs are equipped with push bumpers for the purpose of pushing a full sized vehicle which weighs well over 2,500 lbs. Does anyone know if Ford has and publications or specifications around the limit that you can push?
Also, pushing a disabled vehicle is very momentary and unlikely to overheat the wimpy PTU.
 






blob19

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Also, pushing a disabled vehicle is very momentary and unlikely to overheat the wimpy PTU.
This is more in line with my theory. I didn't know that the PTU was the weak link though.
 






Mbrooks420

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The PTU isn’t at all stout, and I think heavy towing probably wouldn’t help it’s life. I believe the towing package has increased cooling capacity and a different transmission and gear set to help out.
 






KayGee

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Just keep in mind that trailering is an entirely different animal than just pushing a vehicle out of the roadway. Trailering has to take into account not only pulling the trailer, but maneuvering with it and bringing it to a stop. Pushing a vehicle out of the roadway doesn't require the main vehicle to maneuver with the extra weight or bring the combined weight of everything to a stop.

The longevity of the ptu probably has more to do with how much time it spends pushing torque through it. The less torque that is transferred to the rear wheels and the lighter the pedal foot, the longer the ptu will probably last. One would probably need to monitor the front/rear drive split and data log it over time though to see for sure. The explorer is still a primary FWD vehicle and wasn't designed or spec'd to operate as AWD 100% of the time. The AWD system is just there as an aid. The less it is used, the longer it should last.
 






VCFP153

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I thought it was nice of Ford to include a trailer wiring harness with my PIU, nicely packaged in a little bag with part # and nestled comfortably in the storage cubby on the right side of the tail. Of course, there is no hitch receiver, nor do I see a place to plug in said harness, but I digress...

There's something about towing with these unibody vehicles that gives me the heebee-jeebies. Yes, I know, they do plenty of that in Europe, but my point is more that it might be better to pick up some old, beat up pickup with a big, lumbering V8 to do the job, particularly if, like our friend Eric Z, it's a rare occasion. And it's not like there's not always SOME use for a pickup (home improvement, yardwork, picking up parts) while the Explorer is relegated to more "glamorous" duties.
 






KayGee

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There's a harness behind the passenger rear tire. If you don't have back up sensors it is capped off. Just remove cap and plug in trailer harness. If you have back up sensors, you should be able to unplug and put the trailer wiring between.
 






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