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Old 05-14-2007, 03:58 PM   #1
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Can I tow a cargo trailer with a 1993 6-cyl 2WD Ford Explorer

Hi Everyone,

I hope someone can help me with this tow-related question. As you know, I'm leaving Los Angeles. I've been trying to think about what to do with my stuff. I'm thinking about buying this 6-12-ft cargo trailer and towing my stuff to the east coast. The trailer is 1998 model, single axle, with brakes. The owner says it weighs about 1,500 pounds (Sounds like a lot for an empty trailer). I don't own a lot of stuff, but more than will fit in a 5x8 trailer (which he is also selling). Maybe I have 1,000 pounds worth of boxes and furniture? (A large desk, bed frame, two chairs, two coffee tables, drafting table, Eames chair and lounge, and lots of boxes full of clothes and stuff.)

Can I tow this with my 1993 6-cyl 2WD Ford Explorer? If not, my other option is to sell some more stuff, lighten my load and get the 5x8 trailer. I want to sell either trailer when I'm done with it to recoup some of my money. I just hate putting my stuff in storage and then paying thousands to have someone else move it.

Here's the ad for the trailer... All thoughts appreciated. I only have six days to figure this all out! Thanks, Myra

Enclosed Cargo Trailer w/Ramp Door 6x12
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Old 05-14-2007, 04:10 PM   #2
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I think it would do it. Just take 'er slow.....
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Old 05-14-2007, 04:23 PM   #3
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It should work, but it depends on your vehicle's tow rating also. I don't think that a trailer weighing 2500lbs +/- will be a big deal. Slow is good.

With that set-up and the shape of the trailer, be ready for VERY slow hill climbs, as the box trailers are NOT aerodynamic at all. I pulled a similar size U-Haul with a motorcycle in it with a V-8 Chevy van a few years ago. It made it but was not a lot of fun. That changed dramatically when I picked up my aerodynamic motorcycle trailer in TN. The difference was amazing!

You'll probably have much better luck selling the big one with the ramp door as well, since it CAN be used for bikes too!

Don't forget the brake controller for your TV............
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Old 05-14-2007, 04:25 PM   #4
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Oh, thanks Silvertwinkie. I guess I just won't go over the Rockies. I can travel through New Mexico to avoid them. I find that as I'm packing, I'm really getting annoyed with having so much stuff. It is literally DRAGGING me down... I don't even know where I'm going yes. Somewhere north, away from the sunshine...

Thank you, Lew, as well. Good to know I can sell the big one. Do you think the asking price is reasonable? It's a 1998 model. I'm going to try and get a better deal on it.

M.W.
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Old 05-14-2007, 04:32 PM   #5
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I would rent a box truck and a trailer to put the car onto. Get a truck with the adequate tow capacity. It can be a short bobtail. That way no wear and tear on your Explorer and a more relaxed journey.
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Old 05-14-2007, 04:32 PM   #6
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Seems a like top dollar, but it's the asking price. Negotiate, negotiate, negotiate!
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Old 05-14-2007, 04:37 PM   #7
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What is a good price for the trailer? He's asking $2,700, which sounds a bit high for something that old. Is $2,200 more reasonable? Maybe if I wave cash in front of him. Also, my truck is rated for a 3200-lb towing capacity.

Does anybody really think that empty trailer weighs 1500 pounds? That sounds high to me. I bet it weighs only 1,000.

I'm nervous.

Myra
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Old 05-14-2007, 04:44 PM   #8
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Myra,

Even if it DOES weigh that much, at 2500 lb total you are still at 80% of max. load (3200lbs.), which seems to be the magic # that folks here like to set as a weight limit for towing.

Take the cash with you, he might just bite! Then take the trailer to a commercial scale and have it weighed.

Be careful how you distribute the load in that trailer. Seems to have a long space between the axle and the ball, which might lend itself to too much tongue weight. Ideally, based on a total trailer weight of 2500lbs, you would want the weight at the ball to be 300-375 lbs.

You can use the search and find a few threads dealing with how to measure the tongue weight using a bathroom scale (assuming that you don't have a tongue weight scale).
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Old 05-14-2007, 04:47 PM   #9
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Hi Myra, you might want to give some serious thought to the truck rental/tow the car idea. Especially with the bigger trailer. Better than finding yourself broken down on the side of the road.

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Old 05-14-2007, 04:47 PM   #10
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If the tongue is too long, how do I fix it?

Also, if I can the trailer for $2,200, is that a good deal? I want to fix a number in my head....

Thanks everyone for all this help and support. I hope this works, because I'm really excited to tow something!!!!

M.W.
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Old 05-14-2007, 04:51 PM   #11
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Tamis,

If the trailer loaded is only 2,500 pounds, I should be fine. Why would I break down on the road? The truck is in good shape and I'm going to get a tune-up beforehand.

Renting a truck to drive across country is a LOT of money, and that doesn't include storage fees, and the cost of driving across country twice.

M.W.
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Old 05-14-2007, 05:03 PM   #12
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You'll be putting a lot of stress on that 6 cyl. You're not talking about a couple hundred miles, you're talking about thousands. I don't want to have to worry you............

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Old 05-14-2007, 05:03 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mwinter
Tamis,

If the trailer loaded is only 2,500 pounds, I should be fine. Why would I break down on the road? The truck is in good shape and I'm going to get a tune-up beforehand.

Renting a truck to drive across country is a LOT of money, and that doesn't include storage fees, and the cost of driving across country twice.

M.W.
Better to drive your own vehicle than break down with a rented wreck, especially from U-haul. It happened to me TWICE going cross country. The service was 'less than stellar' to put it mildly!

Myra, it's not the length of the tongue, but how you place the load that will ultimately determine the tongue weight. Try to place the heaviest items directly over the axle and READ ABOUT MEASURING THE TONGUE WEIGHT!
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Old 05-14-2007, 05:06 PM   #14
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Yeah, and if it breaks down in New Mexico, guess where I'll be moving to?
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