Ford Explorer

Discussion in 'Tow Vehicles, Hitch & Towing' started by Tennessee Tom, Jul 28, 2018.

  1. Tennessee Tom

    Tennessee Tom Member

    Jun 26, 2017
    Lincoln County Tennessee
    May be trading for new towing vehicle in near future. Thinking of Ford Explorer. Have not done any homework about the Explorer. Would like to know if anyone could share any experience with this vehicle. My current pup is a 2018 Flagstaff 228 D. Dry weight is 2400 lbs. ( I think).My Ford E 150 van does a great job , but is 17 years old. Will not last forever.Thanks in advance.
  2. Raycfe

    Raycfe Waterford Ct.

    Oct 3, 2007
    Waterford, Ct
    If you are talking about a new one. You will need to check what axle and towing package its equipped with. If you are talking about an older one my sons 2005 V8 was a dog.
  3. joet

    joet Well-Known Member

    Mar 16, 2011
    Elkins WV area
    Forget about the dry weight. That number is pie in the sky. What is GVW of the trailer. That is with everything in it to include water, battery, propane, camping gear and A/C. The dry weight is without any of the above.
  4. jnc

    jnc Welcome from New Hampshire

    My 2005 Explorer is our 4rd and all had a 5000 tow rating. Two of them died from others driving into them. The 3rd one was a 1990 we got cheap with over 200k when #2 was murdered by a UPS semi truck. We got 3 years out of it before the A/C died. I loved towing the Mesa with them. They have more interior rm them Jeeps & Toyota's. The most important thing is the DW loves to drive them to.
  5. cmt4541

    cmt4541 New Member

    May 3, 2018
    I have a ‘17 Explorer with the 3.5L EcoBoost 4wd, rated to tow 5,000lbs. with a class lll hitch. It tows our ‘07 Palomino pup just fine. Weight on the trailer is about 3,000lbs. fully loaded. We live in Maryland so aren’t driving up and down real mountains, but it handles the hills out here fine. On the highway, I almost forget the pupnis back there it’s so smooth. I also feel like I can see the sides of the camper pretty well with the side mirrors too. The side mirrors have a smaller blind spot mirror which helps give that extra bit of visibility. The Explorer is my wife’s daily driver and she loves it. It has plenty of room and is very comfortable to drive. Previously we had been pretty loyal Toyota buyers, but have been extremely happy with our Ford.
  6. Michael F

    Michael F New Member

    Aug 12, 2018
    Mt. Pleasant, Michigan
    I have a 16 Explorer with the 3.5 non turbo 4wd, class iii tow package rated for 5k lbs. I was pulling a 19' 2800 lb empty travel trailer and it always struggled at highway speed. Gas mileage was 10 mpg on a good day. The frontal area and wind resistance was a huge issue.

    Last weekend I picked up a 2006 viking 2308. It pulled great on the trip home, and I averaged 19 mpg, mostly highway at 67 mph.

    Only issue so far is the power steering unit failed and to be replaced at a cost of $1800. It was covered under an extended warranty i bought.

    You absolutely need to get the class iii tow package, otherwise the max tow capacity is 2k lbs.
  7. silvermickey2002

    silvermickey2002 Morris County, NJ

    Sep 11, 2008
    Morris County, NJ
    We have a 2012 Explorer with the V6 (non-Ecoboost) and factory tow package. The facory tow package includes engine braking.

    It has a 5,000 Lb tow limit. Tows our pup just fine. Have driven thru mountain passes in Colorado with no issues.
  8. toyotaspeed90

    toyotaspeed90 Member

    Aug 7, 2018
    Might have been a tiny bit more room in our old 1995 Ford Explorer XLT, but at under 200k miles it needed the topend rebuilt... which I did to the tune of $1,000.... also needed a new wiper motor (replaced), the rear hatch handle was broken, new starter, new alternator, the locks barely worked, it had brand new 31" AT tires, the power steering system was shot (the rack had failed) - Was able to, and happily, took $600 for it (no major damage and it had that $1,000 head work and $750 in tires within 12 months of selling).

    It towed the 1990 Bayliner Capri 20' OK, but it struggled if there was anything more than a very mild incline. The Explorer was a replacement for a 1986 F150, 2WD with a 351W, that had it's own issues (and under 100k miles). The Explorer was an upgrade in comfort in every way, but was a dog by comparison in towing.

    Now, our 1993 Toyota Landcruiser may have been just a tiny bit smaller in the hip room, but it was larger overall, had a remove-able set of 3rd row seats, and better field of view. I sold it with a host of issues (far more drive-able, had a few more exterior bumps and bruises, and obviously far better off road than the Explorer) with 320k miles to the tune of $6,000. I had recently replaced the original starter and alternator at just over 300k miles. Other than small things I never towed with it, but would have been fine with ~3000lbs.

    Our 2001 Lexus LX470 (same things as a Landcruiser) is an upgrade from the 93 cruiser (mostly) and larger than both.... and is in every way a better vehicle than a Ford Explorer, except maybe one - it uses cheaper parts that don't last as long.... so it's cheaper to fix, but needs fixing more often.

    Not sure I would compare Ford and Toyota that loosely....

    If anyone does buy an Explorer, don't buy the pushrod V6. Horribly designed engines - if you want to replace lifters which you will as the pushrods/lifters/rocker assemblies wear with time, the heads have to come off.... at which point you'll find the poorly designed exhaust bolts will snap off, and the heads will have to be taken to a machine shop.
  9. Rusty2192

    Rusty2192 Active Member

    Jul 30, 2014
    I don’t think the OP has to worry about that considering they said they want something newer than their current 17 year old TV and the last pushrod V6 explorer was make in 2000 (2001 for the V8).
    toyotaspeed90 likes this.
  10. silvermickey2002

    silvermickey2002 Morris County, NJ

    Sep 11, 2008
    Morris County, NJ
    Just a quick note...when we took our trip to Michigan from NJ our average gas mileage was 18-19. Not bad!
  11. Raycfe

    Raycfe Waterford Ct.

    Oct 3, 2007
    Waterford, Ct
    Not bad at all.:)
  12. popup 61

    popup 61 New Member

    Jan 10, 2016
    Northeast PA
    As a senior master Ford technician, i say this apprehensively. If your gonna buy and explorer, buy the non-turbo 3.5 L awd model. I have seen way to many turbos fail , send metal through engine , and cause major damage! I would say the failure rate is 5to1 compared to non-turbo. We technicians affectionately call them ecobooms. Some people Swear by them and love them , but I will never own one , or recommend one to anybody.
  13. threebeachboys

    threebeachboys Member

    Jul 18, 2005
    I researched the Explorer pretty extensively as my 17 year old Expedition (like your current vehicle) will not last forever. Any Explorer you consider must have the factory tow package - if you buy used, run the VIN through any number of online sites that will give you the original sticker listing all the options. Also, there are certain restrictions as to tongue weight and the need to use a weight distribution hitch. IIRC, a trailer weighing over 3,500 GVWR needed a WD hitch. Can't remember what the tongue weight restriction was. The specific manual for whatever year you are looking at will have those details. I ended up not getting an Explorer (just too much of a car and not enough of a truck) and still have my beloved Expedition.
  14. Balthisar

    Balthisar Active Member

    Jun 26, 2018
    Plymouth, MI USA
    Just out of curiosity, what do you see on the Taurus? Obviously not for towing, just out of general interest. I tend to use the turbo pretty hard. :)
  15. Fless

    Fless Active Member

    I'm curious, @popup 61. So to what are these failures being attributed? Lack of oil changes, wrong oil, turbos not designed for robustness? Hard driving? Are the engines fixed under warranty?
  16. Yak

    Yak Well-Known Member

    Apr 18, 2009
    Across the board everything that Ford makes anymore is blowing up. Been with Ford for 35 years, 30 at this dealer. I bought a 17 Ram
  17. Fless

    Fless Active Member

    So, you're not diagnosing them to find out what happened to them? Or not willing to share the diagnoses? Why "everything" is blowing up?

    Has this been in the news? I don't watch a lot of that, but haven't seen anything on it. I could be a mushroom.
  18. davido

    davido Active Member

    Jul 17, 2014
    Get one with the tow package. If you can spring for it, get the Sport model, and with the tow package.

    I have a 2015 Explorer Sport and it pulls my large popup like it's not even there. The Sport model has the 6cyl ecoboost engine that puts out up to 350hp. With the tow package you get a towing capacity of 5k pounds, 500 pounds tongue weight. Installing a brake controller was easy. It makes a great tow vehicle for a popup.
  19. Balthisar

    Balthisar Active Member

    Jun 26, 2018
    Plymouth, MI USA
    That was a different poster who replied. I happen to be in the industry, and work with warranties in particular, and like it's always been, Ram is probably the worst thing to buy if you don't want things to go wrong over the long term. They're pretty trucks if you buy for fashion and/or trade in for new every couple of years, though.
    Fless likes this.
  20. Yak

    Yak Well-Known Member

    Apr 18, 2009
    I currently have 5 different units sitting waiting on engines, everyone torn apart with photos for warranty . Pistons gone, holes in the block, most with under 5K. If you're a tech and on facebook join the Ford tech page, answer the questions and you get to read the horror stories. Focus clutches, 10 a week at times in the past. Bottom line, all the manufacturers have something major taking a dump in large quantities, look at the airbag recall


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