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Old 03-08-2015, 12:27 PM   #1
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Towing a 2013 22FB Sport with a 2013 Ford Explorer XLT

Hi! we recently purchased a moderately used 2013 Sports 22FB (with a tow rating of 4500Lbs) and our TV is a 2013 Ford Explorer XLT AWD with tow package and a tow rating of 5000lbs. we have the blue OX weight distribution hitch and EBA installed at the airstream dealership and although things are looking good so far in the few trips we've made over to the mtns in Feb, I'm a bit concerned with Explorer's ability to haul up the 22footer over mtn passes and over heating the transmission.

does someone have any experience towing airstreams with a Ford Explorer?

any mods that will help prolong the engine/transmission/suspension life (e.g. is transmission coolant an absolute must for frequent/long mtn pass trips?)

pulling in another question here... I'm considering raising the axle on my airstream to get more ground clearance (it barely gets up on my driveway and hitting the holding tank valves is a continual concern while driving). is that something that will have a substantial effect on the towing characteristics?

any relevant feedback/experiences are welcome!

thanks!
ather
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Old 03-08-2015, 03:03 PM   #2
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What engine and transmission is in your Explorer?

Kelvin
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Old 03-08-2015, 03:33 PM   #3
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Also, what size tires on the 22?
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Old 03-08-2015, 04:10 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atherh View Post
I'm considering raising the axle on my airstream to get more ground clearance (it barely gets up on my driveway and hitting the holding tank valves is a continual concern while driving). is that something that will have a substantial effect on the towing characteristics?
Yes it will change the towing characteristics. Raising the axles will raise the center of gravity and decrease the stability. By how much I don't know. It depends on how high you raise the trailer. Just something to think about.

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any mods that will help prolong the engine/transmission/suspension life (e.g. is transmission coolant an absolute must for frequent/long mtn pass trips?)
Invest in a good quality plate cooler for the transmission fluid. Generally speaking the factory trans cooler is just enough to get you by. Heat will kill a transmission faster than anything else. Maybe install a temp gauge for the transmission so you can monitor it.

Just my .02
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Old 03-08-2015, 05:24 PM   #5
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Your Explorer was designed to pull your Airstream and do it well. Keep the revs up on grades. You will be able to tell where the comfy spot is by how much your foot is into the throttle. Do not lug the engine as this is just bad for both the engine and the transmission. Easy does it. You will not need an additional Trans oil cooler if you operate within specs. If you want to go all balls in, get a Tru Cool LPD stacked plate cooling kit. It only cools when necessary. Raising the Airstream should not be necessary if you just do a little selective avoidance of nasty stuff. No need to spend any more doe on your already nice setup. If you are going 4wheeling with the the Airstream in tow, disregard my previous comments. That's the way I see it today. Jim


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Old 03-09-2015, 11:29 AM   #6
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What engine and transmission is in your Explorer?

Kelvin
it is a 3.5L V6, 24 Valves engine with 6-speed automatic transmission.
also, the AirStream Sport 22FB has 15" tires.
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Old 03-09-2015, 11:33 AM   #7
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Your Explorer was designed to pull your Airstream and do it well. Keep the revs up on grades. You will be able to tell where the comfy spot is by how much your foot is into the throttle. Do not lug the engine as this is just bad for both the engine and the transmission. Easy does it. You will not need an additional Trans oil cooler if you operate within specs. If you want to go all balls in, get a Tru Cool LPD stacked plate cooling kit. It only cools when necessary. Raising the Airstream should not be necessary if you just do a little selective avoidance of nasty stuff. No need to spend any more doe on your already nice setup. If you are going 4wheeling with the the Airstream in tow, disregard my previous comments. That's the way I see it today. Jim


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thank you Jim! I'm not planning on hardcore 4wheeling but we are definitely planning on heading to campgrounds that are uneven/unpaved and have steep approach. as is, the rear of the trailer touches by driveway to a point that I can back it up in without using levelers to raise it on the road before it goes on the ramps (or simply driving it in forward instead of backing up).
i'll also look into installing a plate cooling kit.
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Old 03-09-2015, 01:16 PM   #8
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the 22 pulls better than the 16 anyhow (it's 6" narrower)

transmission cooler if you feel like it

if your 3 year old truck with the ~280HP gas engine can't tow a lot of other people here are in trouble

shorter tires will reportedly make your setup more stable, you're lower and there's less flex something to consider when the current set wears out.
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Old 03-09-2015, 02:35 PM   #9
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I would also invest in a set of Firestone air bags to level your rear end, especially when you pack the Explorer with camping goodies.
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Old 03-09-2015, 04:38 PM   #10
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Are 15 inch tires the standard size for the Sport fb22? Why did someone suggest a smaller tire if the rear of the trailer is already dragging on the ground? Would not a larger tire help? Perhaps there is too much weight in the storage closet??
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Old 03-09-2015, 11:13 PM   #11
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Dragging Low

Sounds basic, I know, but make sure your tires are fully inflated. I presumed my dealer had checked them and towed the trailer to my first real campsite without checking them myself.

Turns out they were only inflated halfway, and my mileage paid.

When I inflated them to the specification on the tire, I not only got much better gas mileage, but I also found my ground clearance was immensely improved. My trailer has 4- 14 inch tires on two axles (22 foot Safari 2004).
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Old 03-10-2015, 12:13 AM   #12
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Are 15 inch tires the standard size for the Sport fb22? Why did someone suggest a smaller tire if the rear of the trailer is already dragging on the ground? Would not a larger tire help? Perhaps there is too much weight in the storage closet??
The suggestion for lower profile tires was in regards to the tow vehicle, not the trailer. A lower tire sidewall will be more stable, side to side, when towing.

Jeff
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Old 03-16-2015, 06:07 PM   #13
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Aw jeez do I feel stupid Jeff!
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