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Old 08-01-2007, 04:48 PM   #1
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1968 26' Overlander
San Jose , California
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 2
Will my Ford Explorer Sport get her home?

I've had my trailer for over 20 years up at my father's place in Washington. It is a 1968 26' Overlander in fair condition. I inspected the wheels, tires, and axles a couple of years ago and all looked amazingly roadworthy.

Now it time to bring her home to California and I'm currently driving a 1997 Ford Explorer Sport - All wheel drive. It has a 4.0 liter engine and a dealer installed trailer tow package, but looking at the set up concerns me. It just doesn't appear sturdy enough to tow the trailer. The trailer has the following specs:
Dry weight 4170
Hitch weight 425
Hitch ball height 19

I'll take it to the local trailer hitch installer, but only after I have an idea what I need so they don't talk me into something I don't need.

Also, do I need to bring the registration current to tow her home? It hasn't had the registration paid up in over 15 years.

Any links to information or advice would be greatly appreciated. I have no idea what I'm up against.


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Old 08-01-2007, 10:05 PM   #2
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1968 24' Tradewind
Louisville , earth
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Do yourself a favor; find a buddy with a truck that is appropriate for towing your overlander and have him help you out. Dont forget to have the bearings on the camper repacked and no matter what the tires look like you need newer rubber. Sorry if this isnt what you wanted to hear but thats how I see it. Good luck and welcome to the forums!


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Old 08-01-2007, 10:09 PM   #3
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I agree. Find a friend with a beefier TV. I'm afraid that your Explorer Sport is not nearly up to the task. You would be courting disaster.
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Old 08-01-2007, 10:46 PM   #4
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2007 25' Safari FB SE
Suburbia , Sunny So Cal
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Sorry but it sounds downright dangerous to me.

Too many big mountains with steep grades and not enough truck.

Borrow a larger truck and repack the trailer bearings and get new tires.

Spend a few bucks to be safe. Saftey is always cheaper than when things go wrong.
I'd rather be boon docking in the desert.

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Old 08-01-2007, 11:19 PM   #5
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2005 25' Safari
Salem , Oregon
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Explorer Sport Too Short!

Hi, before we bought our trailer we had a 1996 Ford Explorer Sport; It had the factory tow package, 4.0 V-6 engine, auto trans., and two wheel drive. It was rated to tow 5,000 lbs, just enough to tow our 25' trailer empty.
Before we bought our trailer we bought a Lincoln Navigator to tow it with and sold my Explorer Sport. The Explorer Sport is too short, too light, too under powered, and just too dangerous to tow anything bigger than a small utility or tent trailer.
Sorry to have taken you through the scenic route, just to agree with everyone else. Beg, borrow, or steal; Just kidding, Rent, borrow, or buy a more capeable tow vehicle and we will all be happy.

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Old 08-05-2007, 09:16 PM   #6
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1969 31' Sovereign
Austin , Texas
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Posts: 2
you can rent a truck to tow it back. Maybe from Uhaul.

I towed my soverign 2 hours on pretty straight roads with my Bronco witha 5.8l and I was worried some of the time. Without a fullsize I wouldnt even try it
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Old 08-05-2007, 09:33 PM   #7
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1975 31' Sovereign
Oxford , Mississippi
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Our second vehicle is the same as yours except v-6 and after a year of pulling our pop-up around to local campgrounds we decided to head to Disney World (big mistake) To make a long story short (Don't Do It) After that trip we bought a bigger truck and trailer.
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Old 08-05-2007, 09:46 PM   #8
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Los Alamos , New Mexico
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Maybe but more than one trailer has been lost on I-5 just south of the Oregon border. Long hill. lots of braking.
You did not say you checked the brakes and bearings. The drums have to rusted. Those will not stop well. It will likely need new bearings as well. 15 years of siting? the seals and grease dry out. the bearings will have rust spots on them which will cause them to fail with scetacular results. all bad.
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Old 08-06-2007, 05:39 AM   #9
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1993 21' Sovereign
Colfax , North Carolina
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We had a Ranger with a 4.0 (same mechanically as yours), and it would barely tow our 20' coach in flat Florida. We needed an hourglass to clock our acceleration.
U Haul has 1 ton box trucks with 2" balls welded on, which is the size truck and ball you would need. If you can't find a friend with a bigger truck, rent one of those, and temporarily install a brake controller in it so the trailer brakes will assist in stopping. You can "get by" without weight distribution, you can "get by" without sway control, but you must be able to stop. If the trailer starts to sway, you can reach down and apply the trailer brakes. If they are not hooked up, and sway starts, there is no way to stop it.
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Old 08-06-2007, 05:51 AM   #10
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. , Illinois
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Great advice so far......get a friend or trade for a more appropriate tow vehicle.
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Old 08-08-2007, 02:58 PM   #11
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1973 27' Overlander
wrightwood , California
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Can you tow a 1972 27ft ovelander with a 2003 4runner v-8?
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Old 08-08-2007, 03:26 PM   #12
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1971 23' Safari
Atlanta , Georgia
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 22
I towed with Explorer - won't do it again

When I first bought our 23 Safari, I towed it with a 4-w-d Explorer with the Single overhead cam v6. It would tow and stop the trailer....but I had the feeling the camper wanted to pull out and pass me sometimes! The truck also seemed to "flex" (likely not the right word) when towing.

I think you could tow the camper - but not safely and that is the key word. I traded for an Expedition and the difference in ability and control was substantial.

Worse thing you could do is get in too big a hurry, cut corners on safety and then have a problem and expense you could have avoided. It is much more fun to spend money on restoration than repairs or worse.

Good luck!
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Old 08-08-2007, 05:15 PM   #13
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2003 22' International CCD
Whittier, California , Depoe Bay, Oregon
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Consider hiring the job out. Transport the AS trailer on a flat bed. Then fix it up at your leisure at home.


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