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Old 10-06-2016, 07:19 AM   #1
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Ford Explorer

Been looking to purchase a 16' Bambi (GVW 3,500 -4,300 lb), and am wondering if my 2015 Ford Explorer with tow package rated at 5,000 lb. is going to be adequate. This model has a 3.5l V6, 290 HP, 255 lb-ft @ 4,000 rpm. Would love to get input from anyone having any first hand experience with this vehicle.
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Old 10-06-2016, 07:43 AM   #2
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What is the payload capacity of your Explorer?
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Old 10-06-2016, 07:56 AM   #3
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I think you'd be fine depending on what you are carrying in the Explorer. I think the hitch weight is listed right around 500 lbs, so probably 600-700 is more accurate ready to camp. As FCStreamer alluded to, the hitch weight gets subtracted from your payload, which will be your primary limiter.

We towed a 16' with a Honda Pilot and it did fine. Not great, but manageable. Even if your Explorer does not have the ecoboost, you should have enough power to pull it. But if you're loading up on cargo and family, you could easily go over your allowed payload.

Good luck!
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Old 10-06-2016, 09:18 AM   #4
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It will be fine. Get a high quality weight distribution hitch with sway control and have it set up by a hitch shop who knows what they are doing, a brake controller and learn how to adjust it, and good towing mirror extensions.

When the rig is set up and loaded with passengers and gear (amount of each in the Explorer will limit the other), take it to a CAT truck scale where you can weigh each individual axle loads and compare that to axle limits for truck and trailer (GAWR) posted on stickers on the SUV's door sill and trailer tag. Those weights will tell you if you are overloaded, and help you optimize the weight distribution hitch settings.

The Explorer is a stable vehicle with it's full independent suspension if you don't overload the rear with gear and trailer hitch weight. It's performance will be take you where you want to go, if it is acceptable to slow for climbing and descending steep grades (most of us do that for safety and to stay within the capability of our truck). Learn to shift down your transmission for these tasks for best performance and safety.

Successful towing is about hitch and vehicle setup, and driving on the safe side of your equipment, traffic, and road and weather conditions.
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Old 10-07-2016, 06:53 AM   #5
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Thanks for this input. I checked the payload, 1351, and GCWR, 9980. With just the two of us and the dog, all appears to check out.
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Old 12-19-2016, 03:24 PM   #6
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I have an Explorer with a tow capacity of 5000 so a16 foot Bambi would work. My question is the hitch weight issue. A former post indicates that a fully loaded Bambi could exceed the 500 lb. capacity. Is that a problem? Will a weight distribution hitch help with this issue?
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Old 12-20-2016, 07:52 AM   #7
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ford explorer

The hitch weight of a new 16' Sport is 350#, compared to the base weight of 2860#. Assuming the same ratio, as compared to the trailer's GVWR of 3500#, the hitch weight is still well under 500#. I've not had experience with a weight distribution hitch, but I have to assume that it would improve the towing stability.
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Old 12-21-2016, 02:22 PM   #8
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Thumbs up

I appreciate folks taking the time to respond to questions that probably have been asked numerous times.
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