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Old 02-02-2013, 07:17 PM   #1
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Ford Explorer 5.0 V-8

I'm so green at this it's funny...

Can I tow a late model Bambi with my Exploder? It's a 5.0L V-8 with tow package.

Or, asked another way...what are my towing limits. I'm new to the forums and don't know where to look for answers...search didn't help.

Rollinstone
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Old 02-02-2013, 07:26 PM   #2
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Welcome to the forums. What year Explorer? If it's one from the early 2000's or before, I think you should find another tow vehicle. Those earlier ones had too much tendency to want to roll over to have their belly scratched to be a safe tow vehicle.

Just for S&G, I just went to U-Haul's website, and they refuse to allow you to tow any of their trailers with an Explorer. Even the little 3x6 trailer you can tow with a gerbil.
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Old 02-02-2013, 08:17 PM   #3
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Try this Explorer forum: Ford Explorer Specifications 1991 - 2011 Axle Codes VIN Codes Ford Explorer Specs

Based on this, if you have the 5.0, then your Explorer is a second generation (1997-2001), and is based on the Ford Ranger small pickup chassis. The listed max towing capacity range (depending on your exact year) for a V-8 with tow package is around 6400 to 6600 lbs. So it could tow a Bambi class trailer in the 4000 lb range.

But you may want to consider the differing opinions on the safety of Explorers from this series: some blame Firestone tires, some blame the design of the truck.

NHTSA Denies Firestone Request For Ford Explorer Investigation | National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)
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Old 02-02-2013, 08:19 PM   #4
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You didn't post what year the Explorer is. I think the 2000 was the last year for that engine.
I checked the Trailer Life Tow Rating Guide
Trailer Towing Guides | Trailer Life Magazine
and found the best you could hope for is around 5600#. You definatly need to check the trim and equiptment level before you take that as Gospel.
The "Exploders" of that era had some trans issues. You might want to consider another alternative.

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Old 02-02-2013, 09:53 PM   #5
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Rollinstone, make this easier for us. What year is the Explorer? What size late model Bambi are you looking at (they have been moving the Bambi name around the Airstream lineup lately)?

This is a close call so specifics are needed.

doug k
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Old 02-03-2013, 01:59 AM   #6
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It's a 1997, second gen...don't know why I left that out...I'm a reg'lar poster on the Ford Explorer forums...

I've got Michelin LTX M/S's for tires if that makes a diff.

Thanks!
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Old 02-03-2013, 06:29 AM   #7
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Might want to ask that question on the Explorer forum, surely there is some wisdom (through experience ) there.
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Old 02-03-2013, 07:34 AM   #8
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For that generation of Explorer, they took a perfectly good short wheelbase truck, jacked it several inches in the air, added several hundred pounds of "stuff" several feet over the top of the bed, and reduced the tire pressure by 9 psi. Nope, don't know why it might be considered unstable.
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Old 02-03-2013, 08:24 AM   #9
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My wife had a two new ones in a row, a '94 and a '96. Very nice vehicles when she first purchased them. Unfortunately, my brother-in-law ended up unpside down in the '96 when he borrowed it, and that was long before everything hit the news about them.
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Old 02-03-2013, 08:45 AM   #10
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My Explorer (94) had a nasty habit of snap spinning in snow and ice and on gravel. I never rolled it but did look forward out the side windows several times. I drive conservatively and these handling glitches came suddenly and with only slight provaction. Quite frankly, I was glad to be rid of it when the time came.
For towing a small aerodynamic trailer Bambi) in a straight line, it should serve well enough.
The 5.0 is an all wheel drive design with a relatively flimsy drive line. With a 16 year old vehicle I would be very concerned about repairs and mechanical issues when towing a near 5000 pound trailer.
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Old 02-03-2013, 09:00 AM   #11
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I owned a 99 5.0 eddie bauer explorer and my sister now owns it . The y have plenty power , but don't tow very well. I had a 72 holiday rambler 16 ft travel trailer , little but heavy. I towed my holiday rambler once with the explorer , plenty of power but it would get the wobbles at 65 and I had helper spring on explorer . the explorer just is't a good tow vehicle .
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Old 02-03-2013, 09:47 AM   #12
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It's the age of the vehicle that I would be more concerned about rather than the towability. The 5.0 is certainly capable; adding a Mike's 5-Star SCT programmer in 87 octane Tow/Performance will definately kick it up a notch and help the tranny do a better job. I would also add an additional external tranny filter setup and get you tranny serviced immediately and then every 20k.
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