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 > Towing with a Ford Explorer

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Convington

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Posted: 06/25/20 06:43am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hey guys,

I was pointed over here by another forum because I'm getting a bit of conflicting info.

I have a 2015 Ford Explorer Limited with a V6 3.5L engine. I do NOT have the Ford Towing Package on it. I do have a CURT Class III hitch purchased from eTrailer about 5-6 years ago. I have only used that hitch so far to pull a Canoe.

Looking at Travel Trailers and see that most of them are running anywhere from 3500# to 5000# for what we want.

My Ford dealer, when talking to "the hitch guy", says that even with the 3rd party hitch my vehicle can easily pull 5000#. The other forum has information that says you need the Ford Tow Package to get that rating.

I definitely want to be safe, not cut the life short on my vehicle. Any idea what my vehicle can safely pull? And would I need anything additional to pull a travel trailer safely?

Thanks in advance!

theoldwizard1

SE MI

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Posted: 06/25/20 07:02am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Convington wrote:

I have a 2015 Ford Explorer Limited with a V6 3.5L engine. I do NOT have the Ford Towing Package on it.

With no factory Trailer Tow Package, I would not go over 3500# !

Research what are the difference between standard and Tow Package. Likely it is a larger radiator and transmission cooler. You can have these installed.

Anything over 3500# need electric brake, so a controller and appropriate wiring and 7 pin trailer connector are also required.

All of this adds up quickly. It might be time to consider a newer ride with the factory Trailer Tow Package ! The 2020MY Explorer switched back to RWD/AWD which is much better for towing.

Jebby14

Windsor Ontario

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Posted: 06/25/20 07:03am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

can likely pull around 5k. would be more worried about what it can carry and what it can stop. what are you looking to do?

for what its worth i own a 2017 explorer (also with the NA 3.5) would tow a small popup, fishing boat or a utility trailer with it without any worry. Would NOT dream of pulling my camper or my boat with it.

Convington

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Posted: 06/25/20 07:07am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Wife wants to get (or rent) a 4000#-ish Travel Trailer, basically. Her vehicle is a RAV4 - so the Trailer would be driving that thing [emoticon] So - my vehicle is the only option. Looking to drive pretty far with it also - about 800 miles one way. So expecting 2000 miles with whatever camper we either get or rent.

LanceRKeys

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Posted: 06/25/20 08:06am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I agree with theoldwizard above, 3500 (loaded, not dry) weight trailer. I’d suggest a pop up, the frontal area on a full size trailer would work your explorer pretty hard.

Convington

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Posted: 06/25/20 08:14am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks, I missed theoldwizard post. Thank you for mentioning that one - was very informative. I think 'loaded weight' also includes passengers in vehicle and any luggage and stuff inside the vehicle also, right? (vehicle being the explorer, not the camper)

carringb

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Posted: 06/25/20 08:48am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Based on the 2015 Ford Towing Guide, the Explorer is only rated for 2,000 pounds WITHOUT the Heavy Duty Trailering Package.

When my sister bought her 2016, we simply made sure it was equipped with it.

However one of my friends had a Ford Flex without it. My research then indicated the only difference on the Flex, was the Heavy Duty Trailering Package added an Engine Oil Cooler. It's likely that your Explorer is missing this component, but Explorer (Sport and Police Intercepter Excluded) also had smaller brake rotors than the Flex, and might also lack a 2nd transmission cooler, but I have not confirmed this.

I know you already have that Explorer, but you'd be far better off selling that one, and buying a Sport or Platinum model with the 3.5L EcoBoost. This will tow 5,000 pounds effortlessly.


Bryan

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Jebby14

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Posted: 06/25/20 08:50am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

id say so go. tell the missus to take a close look at popups (might get away with a very light hibrid (look around 2500 lb) but even that will pull like a billboard. If planning to purchase, consider switching to a half ton pickup in that world (i ahve a 2016 f150 crew cab wife has the 2017 explorer) we both agree the f150 is better at most things, it was cheaper to buy, cheaper to insure, cheaper to fuel and more versatile. only reason we didnt get her one to match is its tough to fit in her lot at work.

if looking to rent maybe go with a class C instead and not have to worry?

dodge guy

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Posted: 06/25/20 09:28am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have a 2013 Explorer Limited with the factory tow PKG. I was towing 3 snowmobiles (around 2k lbs with the trailer). the engine will not stay in 5th gear, you`ll be lucky to keep it in 4th most of the time. I wouldn't tow anything more than a large PuP. I`ve seen people tow TT`s with them, I don't know how they do it.
The 4th and 5th gen Explorers are nothing like the 1st and 2nd (and even the 3rd gen for that matter). they are car based. the early ones were more truck based.

BTW, towing anything that heavy in the summer will require more service than normal. the PTU is one major one. they are not serviceable and only hold a 1/2 qt of gear lube. so it gets cooked pretty well being next to the catalytic converter, engine and transmission, towing will only make it worse. I just did the fluid on mine (drilled and tapped for an NPT drain plug. the fluid came out like thick mud! it took 5 drain and fills to get it looking normal. it will be done again at the next oil change. then once a year after that. the water pump is another issue on the 3.5`s.

* This post was edited 06/25/20 09:38am by dodge guy *


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Convington

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Posted: 06/25/20 10:04am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

ugh. ok. sounds like we will be looking at lighter popups for right now and if we really want to do this - invest in a truck, I guess. Kind of a bummer.

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