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Towing

Mikey13

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2011 Explorer BASE 4WD
Hey guys. We just bought a small travel trailer 2,600lbs dry with 1,100 payload. Any tips on towing with the 2011 explorer Base 4wd? We live in CO so very steep up/down grades. I just bought a Tekonsha Primus IQ brake controller for the trailer brakes. Thanks in advance.
 


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blwnsmoke

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Mikey13

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Yes sorry its set up with the factory tow pkg.
 




JAPeterson

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If the transmission starts to hunt for a gear to run in down shift to a lower gear.

I might even invest in a transmission temperature gauge.
 




peterk9

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Hey guys. We just bought a small travel trailer 2,600lbs dry with 1,100 payload. Any tips on towing with the 2011 explorer Base 4wd? We live in CO so very steep up/down grades. I just bought a Tekonsha Primus IQ brake controller for the trailer brakes. Thanks in advance.
Welcome to the Forum. Mikey.:wave:
You will also need a Weight Distribution Hitch (WDH). According to the Ford Towing Guide, it is recommended for towing weights in excess of 2000 lbs.
FYI, there are several threads on towing (questions, concerns, weight etc.) that you can find using the Forum's 'Search' feature in the upper right. As a new member, it is a good idea to familiarize yourself with its use as there is lots of info already discussed on many different topics.
Good luck.

Peter
 




Mikey13

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Peter.
I will do some searching. I do already have the hitch as well. I havent done a lot of steep grade towing before so just looking for advice using the Automatic transmission and tow/haul. Both up and down hill.
 




Mikey13

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Also is there somewere to look up my vin to verify i do have the tow pkg.
 




ColoradoSport

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Hi Mikey13,

I also live in Colorado and tow a small trailer and have done quite a few steep grades in the mountains. Keep the transmission in tow mode and it will actively shift for you, both up and down using the engine to help brake. The tow mode also locks out 6th gear, which helps from shifting too often.

Here is a cool link to what your explorer has based off the vin. If you have the factory class iii package it will be listed under Equipment in the Mechanical & Powertrain section. https://www.ford-trucks.com/forums/vindecoder.php
 




peterk9

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Also is there somewere to look up my vin to verify i do have the tow pkg.
This site is what I've used before but it must have recently changed its presentation. There was a lot more info before. I tried clicking the "Expand" button but nothing happened. https://www.etis.ford.com/vehicleRe...SuWHhS8F6YQQkMM08AruC8ZIUz_UYTk4Jn.fcvas1901m
I believe that normally the tow package calls for the 6F55 transmission in place of the 6F50.
The link provided in the above post should tell you.

Peter
 




Mikey13

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Hi Mikey13,

I also live in Colorado and tow a small trailer and have done quite a few steep grades in the mountains. Keep the transmission in tow mode and it will actively shift for you, both up and down using the engine to help brake. The tow mode also locks out 6th gear, which helps from shifting too often.

Here is a cool link to what your explorer has based off the vin. If you have the factory class iii package it will be listed under Equipment in the Mechanical & Powertrain section. https://www.ford-trucks.com/forums/vindecoder.php
Hello thanks for the info. Im very new to towing a travel trailer. I haven't really done any Towing on steep grades most of what I have done is just flat on the interstate and such so I wasn't sure how to navigate the steep grades up and down with the automatic transmission on the Ford Explorer. I plan to use the tow haul button up and down but wasn't sure if the Explorer perform best to downshift or just leave it in the automatic load and let the tow haul take control. I've got to get my trailer brake control mounted up this weekend but that should be fairly simple because it has the plug under the dash we bought a smaller travel trailer hoping that going up and down the steep grades would make it easier on our Explorer because we truly love it and would hate for anything to happen to it.
 




cbx1047

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If this helps you out I just bought a travel trailer 17 ft 2900 lb. empty TW 300#/. I bought and installed the P3 Tekonsha brake control, and also installed WDH. I found that it pulls very easy and I have enough power for most travels. I can go 60 mph easily maybe 65. However if you are going into a head wind over 10 mph it will drop down a gear in tow mode and RPM will increase to 3200. This also applies to hills (not mountains). I just switched the oil to Mobil 1 thinking that added protection would be good. I plan on taking on a 5 hour 225 freeway trip next month. The biggest problem in towing with the 3.5 is the frontal area of the trailer. Specs. call for no more then 40 sq. ft. and my trailer and explorer are close those numbers.
 




Mikey13

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Awesome thank you everyone for all the good information this will be the first time I've actually told the disbey achill so I was just trying to get as much good info from people that have done it before as I could as far as going up steep grades and going down steep grades what RPM range to stay in etc etc I just recently got my weight distribution hitch hooked up so I will be towing it with that. I had to pull it across town last week without the weight distribution hooked up and it sure did not seem to like that it was a very rough ride
 




peterk9

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If this helps you out I just bought a travel trailer 17 ft 2900 lb. empty TW 300#/. I bought and installed the P3 Tekonsha brake control, and also installed WDH. I found that it pulls very easy and I have enough power for most travels. I can go 60 mph easily maybe 65. However if you are going into a head wind over 10 mph it will drop down a gear in tow mode and RPM will increase to 3200. This also applies to hills (not mountains). I just switched the oil to Mobil 1 thinking that added protection would be good. I plan on taking on a 5 hour 225 freeway trip next month. The biggest problem in towing with the 3.5 is the frontal area of the trailer. Specs. call for no more then 40 sq. ft. and my trailer and explorer are close those numbers.
Maybe you need something like this; http://www.ebay.com/gds/Wind-Deflec...Towing-RVs-Trailers-/10000000000782296/g.html

Peter
 




Mikey13

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so just checking in with the guys that actually towed with this Explorer before. if I did my homework right it looks like it's best to keep the RPM's in the 4000 range. And is it best to achieve this by leaving it in the tow haul mode with automatic or is it best to downshift into low gear and select a gear like 3rd. We're heading up to the lake this weekend and we have a steep 5mile hill climb to get there.
 




Halford1

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My 2014 Ford Explorer XLT has tow package which enables me to tow up to 5k lbs but remember it includes the weight of driver and passengers and even whatever you load in Explorer plus the trailer GVWR (WET WEIGHT or Loaded weight). I tow Coleman Niagara popup which weights 3,500 lbs GVWR. Whoever has trailer, please NEVER look for dry weight because this information is NOT for us! (unless you always tow empty trailer just for the fun of it, yea, keep looking at the dry weight info.) Whoever tows loaded trailer, ALWAYS look at GVWR information. The dry weight is waste of information.

Please install brake controller, if none of you have it... it reduces stress and is lifesaver! It helps A LOT when you tow downhill. If there's brake controller, there is manual braking that you can use, if there is swaying. I usually put heavier stuff closer to front than in the rear part of the camper to prevent swaying. Never need WDH for myself.
 




peterk9

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When the Towing Guide mentions 5000 lbs it seems to specifically refer to the Maximum Total Trailer Weight, as does the Owner's Manual. It also states that a WDH is required for towing over 2000 lbs. There is no mention of including the 'cargo' weight in the Explorer. For the 3.5L Ecoboost AWD the GCWR (Gross Combined Weight Rating) is 10,400 Lbs and that includes the vehicle's 'cargo'. When the vehicle's GVWR is exceeded by the GCWR an additional functional brake system should be used (Brake Controller).
http://www.ford.com/resources/ford/general/pdf/towingguides/17RV&TT_Ford_Explorer_Sep7.pdf

Peter
 




Halford1

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Perfect information Peterk9! Thanks
 




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