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Old 08-28-2009, 01:54 PM   #1
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How much tow weight is reasonable for a 2008 Ford Expedition?

Hello all;
I am new to the forum and fairly new to towing.
I have a 2008 Ford Expedition with the tow package and the 3.31 axel, and a 9000 lb towing capability spec. I recently towed my utility trailer with 2 motorcycles for 5000 miles with no problem. Didn't have any special hitch. Weight approx 3300 lbs. Going up hills (mountains) the car would downshift and I could acheive fairly good speed, 55 mph was easy without too much trouble. Pulling out from a stop and getting up to hwy speed took a bit of time. I now want to purchase a trailer that has a dry weight of 5570 lbs and a GVW of 7350 lbs. Knowing we always carry as much as possible what are your opinions as to how the vehicle will tow with the trailer fully loaded? Should I attempt this at all? Will the rig go uphill ok?


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Old 08-28-2009, 02:18 PM   #2
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Hi Davidceder,

Can only say that I just hada problem with my 2003 Expedition and its transmission....worked on for $2700 actually

My trailer weighs for towing about 76-7800 lbs. I blame the passes in the mtns....we only have 30,000 miles on the Expediton. I realize it is only a 1/2 ton....and then was made ride friendly.

Not being able or wishing to replace the Expediton....we will continue with this set up.

What should we buy? I do not want a pick up.

This "be s" my experience...good luck.

Kistler & Brenda

2002 Classic 25'
2003 Expedition EB 5.4L, AWD, AdvanceTrac Class IV hitch pkg. Reese dual cam/Prodigy
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Old 08-28-2009, 02:30 PM   #3
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Your tow weight should not exceed 80% of the tow vehicle's towing ability. 7350 lbs might be cutting it a bit close. We all tend to pile a bit more on with each trip.
Neil and Lynn Holman
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Old 08-28-2009, 02:57 PM   #4
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Hi, David. My Navigator, fancier version of Expedition, has a tow rating of 8,900 lbs and I tow a Safari rated at 6,300 lbs. To me, this is my limit although, another 1,000 lbs would be acceptable. I would not go any higher than that with your Expedition. As for the transmission, you will need to learn how and when to manually shift your transmission while towing. This could be the making or breaking of your trans.

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Old 08-28-2009, 04:29 PM   #5
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I have about the same setup as Robert but with a 2006 Expedition. We have towed all over the West, up and down a lot of mountains with no problems. However, make sure you are towing with the overdrive turned off.

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Old 08-28-2009, 05:21 PM   #6
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Greetings from the Florida Panhandle

First off, welcome to the Forums. We're glad to have you with us.

I think your proposed combo is doable, but you you be near your limits. To have a comfortable and safe towing situation, you should look into a quality sway control/weight distribution hitch system and trailer brake controller properly set up.

SuEllyn & Brian McCabe
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Old 08-28-2009, 05:22 PM   #7
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Tow ratings mean very little and the warnings you often see around here even less. That is because there is no one answer for all circumstances.

The factors include the shape of the trailer, its weight distribution and axle placement, the tow vehicle wheelbase and rear overhang to the ball, the roads you normally travel and their elevation and grades, the hitch you use, your driving habits and skills, tires and suspension, and so on.

Ratings make a good guide for start but should always be subject to what you find on the road in terms of how the rig handles. There is a tendency to fall into the 'bigger is better' ethos but that can lead to a harsh ride and its own set of problems. Just right is just enough.

As for the transmission problems: if you have adequate cooling and a proper differential ratio (and tires) and treat it right, it should hold up well. There is no inherent reason for towing to cause a premature catastrophic failure.
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Old 08-28-2009, 06:13 PM   #8
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Agree with mooseT and bryan. Getting the connection and other related factors right is key. If the Expy trannys were weak we would have heard a lot more about it by now and there has been no rumblings.
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Old 08-31-2009, 08:57 PM   #9
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Don't forget to service the tranny and engine more frequently! When pulling loads like you are thinking about, fluid changes become critical. In fact all of the maintence becomes critical. Before towing the first time I would service the transmission.

Then driving like it has no load on it may get you into component failure also. Gradual accelerations and decellerations are what keeps your equipment lasting a long time.

When driving a rig with 20 to 25 percent of it's load (basically empty) you can get away with a lot of miscare. Step up the load to at or near capacity and what works is having everything at 100% every time. Check all fluids, tire pressures and including the trailer and this will keep your towing experience, a much better event.

This is an area that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.


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