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    NJ -> MD Jet ski trip fuel mileage champ carguy89's Avatar
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    2013+ Explorer towing

    Who tows with a 2013-17 Explorer? Curious how the suspension handles it. I know my parent's Traverse is rated at 5k but squats a decent amount with a level jetski trailer simply because it's so softly sprung. Not to the point that it's a problem, just an annoyance.


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    Click avatar for tech links/info K447's Avatar
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    What is the tongue weight of your trailer at the ball hitch?

    In the past I have installed AirLift air spring kit inside the rear coil springs (that was a car, not an Explorer). The air spring kit really took the droop out of the rear even with a fully loaded car and the trailer attached. Also stiffened up the rear suspension motion providing a nicely controlled ride under load.

    The AirLift 1000 kit was not expensive and not all that difficult to install. I just used the provided inflation fitting and any gas station tire inflator air hose, no on-board air compressor.

    Worked well for my car and the airbag pressure can be reduced (but not to zero PSI) when no trailer is attached. I found I preferred the handling even when unloaded with the same air pressure as when towing, so I just kept them fully pressurized all the time.

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    RGUN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carguy89 View Post
    Who tows with a 2013-17 Explorer? Curious how the suspension handles it. I know my parent's Traverse is rated at 5k but squats a decent amount with a level jetski trailer simply because it's so softly sprung. Not to the point that it's a problem, just an annoyance.
    We tow ~4500-5000lb boat/trailer combo using a 2016 Explorer. Its a tandem axle with brakes. Explorer tows it, launches it, and retrieves it like a champ. Base 3.5L engine, AWD.

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    NJ -> MD Jet ski trip fuel mileage champ carguy89's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by K447 View Post
    What is the tongue weight of your trailer at the ball hitch?

    In the past I have installed AirLift air spring kit inside the rear coil springs (that was a car, not an Explorer). The air spring kit really took the droop out of the rear even with a fully loaded car and the trailer attached. Also stiffened up the rear suspension motion providing a nicely controlled ride under load.

    The AirLift 1000 kit was not expensive and not all that difficult to install. I just used the provided inflation fitting and any gas station tire inflator air hose, no on-board air compressor.

    Worked well for my car and the airbag pressure can be reduced (but not to zero PSI) when no trailer is attached. I found I preferred the handling even when unloaded with the same air pressure as when towing, so I just kept them fully pressurized all the time.
    Tongue weight of my trailer is 100-150. Easily liftable by hand. Had to get these for the Traverse, and will have to for my dad's Ram 1500 now too (his same 3500 boat that I towed with the Explorer with no sag). I do tow utility trailers and his boat on occasion so I was worried about having to add those on a brand new truck.

    Quote Originally Posted by RGUN View Post
    We tow ~4500-5000lb boat/trailer combo using a 2016 Explorer. Its a tandem axle with brakes. Explorer tows it, launches it, and retrieves it like a champ. Base 3.5L engine, AWD.
    Good to hear! I didn't think the engine would have a problem.

  5. #5
    Click avatar for tech links/info K447's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carguy89 View Post
    Tongue weight of my trailer is 100-150. Easily liftable by hand.

    Had to get these for the Traverse, and will have to for my dad's Ram 1500 now too (his same 3500 boat that I towed with the Explorer with no sag). I do tow utility trailers and his boat on occasion so I was worried about having to add those on a brand new truck.

    ...
    The tongue weight on the watercraft double trailer seems a tad light. The boat trailer sounds like the tongue weight is way too light.

    My rule of thumb is 10% of loaded trailer weight should be on the tongue at the hitch ball, give or take. So 350 pounds for a 3500 pound trailer.


    Every vehicle will have some sag when weight is put on the hitch ball. How much sag is the question, and whether something needs to be changed to reduce the sag.

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    NJ -> MD Jet ski trip fuel mileage champ carguy89's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by K447 View Post
    The tongue weight on the watercraft double trailer seems a tad light. The boat trailer sounds like the tongue weight is way too light.

    My rule of thumb is 10% of loaded trailer weight should be on the tongue at the hitch ball, give or take. So 350 pounds for a 3500 pound trailer.


    Every vehicle will have some sag when weight is put on the hitch ball. How much sag is the question, and whether something needs to be changed to reduce the sag.
    No double here, just two separate single ski trailers so it's about right.

    The boat is probably around 350, because it's not very liftable by hand. I'm used to <1" sag on the 3 vehicles I've towed the boat with thus far. I also shoot for the 10% rule.

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    12timeworldchamps's Avatar
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    I tow 3 skis on a tandem axle trailer with a 2013 Explorer Sport. It tows great. My only slight complaint is the brakes fade quickly with the trailer lately now that I have 45K miles on them.

    Eddie
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    moparguy's Avatar
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    If you are concerned about sagging, just invest in a set of airbags for the rear. Inflate when you are towing, deflate when empty so ride quality isn't affected. As for brake fade, use the engine for braking(downshift). My Ram has 40000 miles on it and brakes are 95%, 30000 miles of that is towing. I'd be concerned with fuel economy running a eco-turd, when you are towing you are always making boost and sucking fuel. Digging your trailer setup, how do you secure the stand-up up front? cant really tell from pic.

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    12timeworldchamps's Avatar
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    I avg 16 mpg towing in the md mountains at 65 - 70. I secure the standup front and back with 4 ratchet straps.

    Eddie

  11. #10
    Click avatar for tech links/info K447's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 12timeworldchamps View Post
    I tow 3 skis on a tandem axle trailer with a 2013 Explorer Sport. It tows great. My only slight complaint is the brakes fade quickly with the trailer lately now that I have 45K miles on them.

    Eddie
    No brakes on the trailer, correct?

    Perhaps the tow vehicle brakes need servicing? Excessive or uneven brake pad wear or perhaps binding of the calipers. Or perhaps the brake fluid has trapped air or needs changing.

    Brake fade should not change as the vehicle ages, the brakes should work about the same when well used as they did a few months after you bought it new.

    Are the trailer fenders not centered over the front wheels?

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