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Old 03-07-2020, 05:35 PM   #1
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2020 Ford Explorer Tow Guide

https://www.ford.com/cmslibs/content...orer_Apr16.pdf

No WDH... just appropriate weight load distribution in the trailer. read 3rd page. Good for up to 2019 or older 19' AS trailers.
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Old 03-08-2020, 08:08 AM   #2
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You will see more and more manufacturers getting away from recommending weight distribution hitches, not just because wd hitches are inherently destabilizing, but because they can earn more profits by urging customers to buy larger tow vehicles.
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Old 03-08-2020, 04:14 PM   #3
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Ford doesn't discuss WD equipment for the 2020 Explorer, but the previous model in 2019 required WD equipment to achieve its 5000 lb tow rating. The 2020 model has a higher 5600 lb tow rating, along with a new vehicle platform, but it appears that Ford has spec'd a receiver that isn't designed for WD equipment. Ford continues to require WD equipment for the 2020 Expedition, and F Series, in the 2020 towing guide, so I don't see evidence of this particular manufacturer pushing people to more expensive vehicles to avoid the use of WD equipment.

There are aftermarket hitches available for the 2020 Explorer, with up to 900 lb tongue weight ratings. Drawtite says not to use WD equipment with their stock aftermarket hitch due to the design of the extended drop tube, an issue that CanAm discuss. The solution is a reinforcement for the receiver, or a custom receiver.

Note that Ford do seem to like Airstreams. What model is this one in the 2020 Ford Explorer advertisement?
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Old 03-08-2020, 05:56 PM   #4
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Following on to jcl's comments. The 2020 Explorer comes with a class 3 receiver. A quick web scan will indicate that SOME class 3 receivers are designed for WD. Ford is using one that is not. Why? Probably because they don't believe an Explorer should be used to pull much more that 5k lbs. Since the included hitch handles 5k lbs, there is no need for a WD receiver. FWIW, all F-150s with a tow package have a class 4 hitch. Seems WD support is much more common on class 4 hitches.
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Old 03-08-2020, 08:15 PM   #5
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The Explorer is sold in other countries where wd hitches are not allowed, therefore the owners manual excludes them.
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Old 03-08-2020, 10:42 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by SailorSam205 View Post
Following on to jcl's comments. The 2020 Explorer comes with a class 3 receiver. A quick web scan will indicate that SOME class 3 receivers are designed for WD. Ford is using one that is not. Why? Probably because they don't believe an Explorer should be used to pull much more that 5k lbs. Since the included hitch handles 5k lbs, there is no need for a WD receiver. FWIW, all F-150s with a tow package have a class 4 hitch. Seems WD support is much more common on class 4 hitches.
Class III receivers can be sold for either WD duty or not. The difference in making it heavier and stronger is a cost of manufacturing issue. If Ford doesn't believe that there is sufficient market for a higher tow rating, they have no motivation to add a more expensive hitch receiver.

The way that the receiver mounts on the new Explorer is with a cross bar that is positioned relatively high. Then there is a drop extension down to the height of the 2" square receiver. That structure won't be particularly strong in bending, as from WD bars, just because of the receiver design. The design and length of the drop extension is set by the height of the rear apron, since the receiver has to be underneath it.

If you look at the Curt and Drawtite receivers, they have a similar configuration, and one of them says that the reason for not recommending WD on this particular hitch is due to that issue. The solution is to brace the receiver to the vehicle at another point.

The Explorer changed this year, from the previous front wheel drive/transverse configuration to a longitudinal engine/transmission with rear wheel drive (and optional awd). It is a much stronger platform that the previous generation. The powertrain is similar to the F150, with up to 400 hp from the V6 Ecoboost, and the new 10 speed transmission. Cooling matches that power rating.

Note that the 2019 model had a lower tow rating (5000 lbs) but required the use of WD equipment.

The vehicle seems plenty strong enough to tow anything up to 7500 lbs, just as an example, as long as one stays within axle ratings. It just needs a stronger receiver.

Fortunately, there is a straightforward solution for that.
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Old 03-08-2020, 10:48 PM   #7
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The Explorer is sold in other countries where wd hitches are not allowed, therefore the owners manual excludes them.
LOL. Read the North American owner's manual.

WD hitches are not excluded, not recommended against. The manual just says that they are not required.
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Old 03-09-2020, 09:47 AM   #8
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Like it or not the SAE j2807 guidelines are forcing vehicle manufacturers to either eliminate or greatly reduce the amount of WD used while setting the TWR. With no WDH TWR there’s a good chance it could be lower than the WC rating, so they don’t even bother.
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Old 03-09-2020, 12:57 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcl View Post
Ford doesn't discuss WD equipment for the 2020 Explorer, but the previous model in 2019 required WD equipment to achieve its 5000 lb tow rating. The 2020 model has a higher 5600 lb tow rating, along with a new vehicle platform, but it appears that Ford has spec'd a receiver that isn't designed for WD equipment. Ford continues to require WD equipment for the 2020 Expedition, and F Series, in the 2020 towing guide, so I don't see evidence of this particular manufacturer pushing people to more expensive vehicles to avoid the use of WD equipment.

There are aftermarket hitches available for the 2020 Explorer, with up to 900 lb tongue weight ratings. Drawtite says not to use WD equipment with their stock aftermarket hitch due to the design of the extended drop tube, an issue that CanAm discuss. The solution is a reinforcement for the receiver, or a custom receiver.

Note that Ford do seem to like Airstreams. What model is this one in the 2020 Ford Explorer advertisement?
No idea what model that is
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Old 03-09-2020, 04:35 PM   #10
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The new SAE standards are levelling the playing field among truck manufacturers. Before, they had an incentive to use weight distribution hitches as a cheap way to overcome rear axle limitations. This would allow them to make exaggerated claims as to towing capabilities that would give them an edge over the competition. Now however, given that weight shifting makes it difficult to pass the SAE understeer test, there is no longer a good reason to recommend these hitches. I expect that in a few years they will be disallowing them completely.
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Old 03-09-2020, 05:31 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by out of sight View Post
The new SAE standards are levelling the playing field among truck manufacturers. Before, they had an incentive to use weight distribution hitches as a cheap way to overcome rear axle limitations. This would allow them to make exaggerated claims as to towing capabilities that would give them an edge over the competition. Now however, given that weight shifting makes it difficult to pass the SAE understeer test, there is no longer a good reason to recommend these hitches. I expect that in a few years they will be disallowing them completely.

If there are any facts in this quote, theyíre incomplete at best, and buried under unsubstantiated conspiracy theory conjecture - for which youíve been corrected numerous times. Iím only pointing this out to warn future readers to be cautious with such advice.
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Old 03-09-2020, 05:53 PM   #12
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One aspect of the SAE oversteer test is that if the manufacturer does not specify a recommended front axle load restoration (FALR) percentage, then 100% must be used. That, of course, would be a problem for passing the test. So, all the manufacturers are now including FALR limitations in their user manuals. They are limiting FALR to either 25% or 50%. Soon,I believe they will be recommending 0%, i.e., no weight distribution.
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Old 03-09-2020, 05:59 PM   #13
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One aspect of the SAE oversteer test is that if the manufacturer does not specify a recommended front axle load restoration (FALR) percentage, then 100% must be used. That, of course, would be a problem for passing the test. So, all the manufacturers are now including FALR limitations in their user manuals. They are limiting FALR to either 25% or 50%. Soon,I believe they will be recommending 0%, i.e., no weight distribution.
I doubt they will eliminate them completely since many vehicles can tolerate at least some WD.
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Old 03-09-2020, 06:22 PM   #14
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I attached a snap shot of the requirements for the two tests that have led to the FALR limitation in SAE j2807, sections 4.4.3 and 4.4.4. Note that Understeer Gradient, and sway damping test have different loading and FALR requirements if none is specified by the vehicle manufacturer.
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Old 03-09-2020, 06:26 PM   #15
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One aspect of the SAE oversteer test is that if the manufacturer does not specify a recommended front axle load restoration (FALR) percentage, then 100% must be used. That, of course, would be a problem for passing the test. So, all the manufacturers are now including FALR limitations in their user manuals. They are limiting FALR to either 25% or 50%. Soon,I believe they will be recommending 0%, i.e., no weight distribution.
With many factory hitches, the receiver is not rigid enough to achieve 100% FALR. Manufacturers could use stronger receivers, like those aftermarket ones installed by some for this purpose, but those stronger receivers would cost more money. It is cheaper for them to use a lighter receiver, so they do so, and that means that they specify a lower FALR so it doesn't bend.

Your conjecture about oversteer is just that. On the other hand, we know that manufacturers are motivated to save money on manufacturing costs. Multiply the $ for a stronger hitch by the number of vehicles produced. Easy to see why they would go with the lower cost option.

This is a good example of Occam's razor.
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Old 03-10-2020, 03:20 AM   #16
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With many factory hitches, the receiver is not rigid enough to achieve 100% FALR. Manufacturers could use stronger receivers, like those aftermarket ones installed by some for this purpose, but those stronger receivers would cost more money. It is cheaper for them to use a lighter receiver, so they do so, and that means that they specify a lower FALR so it doesn't bend.

Your conjecture about oversteer is just that. On the other hand, we know that manufacturers are motivated to save money on manufacturing costs. Multiply the $ for a stronger hitch by the number of vehicles produced. Easy to see why they would go with the lower cost option.

This is a good example of Occam's razor.
I believe itís the opposite. They donít want you to use 100% FALR so thereís no sense in supplying a receiver to do so. A simple way to judge a good TV based on the standard is if it only has a WC rating itís not the best choice. If has both a WC and WD rating thatís better, and if the WC is just as high as the WD rating thatís the best. Iím still waiting for everyone to chime in on how Ford is risking life and limb by towing that AS without a WDH in that picture. Itís very irresponsible of them to do such a thing.
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Old 03-10-2020, 04:33 AM   #17
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That may be an FC 23 in the picture, 6000 lb GVWR, approx 4800 base weight, so it's doable with an Explorer rated for 5600 lbs.
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Old 03-10-2020, 05:57 AM   #18
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You will see more and more manufacturers getting away from recommending weight distribution hitches, not just because wd hitches are inherently destabilizing, but because they can earn more profits by urging customers to buy larger tow vehicles.

WD hitches are not inherently destabilizing. When used properly they always improve stability, handling and suspension performance.
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Old 03-10-2020, 06:24 AM   #19
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One aspect of the SAE oversteer test is that if the manufacturer does not specify a recommended front axle load restoration (FALR) percentage, then 100% must be used. That, of course, would be a problem for passing the test. So, all the manufacturers are now including FALR limitations in their user manuals. They are limiting FALR to either 25% or 50%. Soon,I believe they will be recommending 0%, i.e., no weight distribution.
100% FALR is perfectly passable for many vehicles, particularly those made 5 to 10 years ago. Given the SAE preference to encourage under steer (the SAE has decided they would rather have us slide off the road or into the guard rail at lower speeds rather than maintain good traction at higher speeds, risking eventual over steer and roll over).

Note that over steer is not "unstable" it is simply undesirable as defined by the SAE. Essentially the SAE has determined that the roads are safer if drivers experience a bit of front end slide and slow down rather than power on with good handling and unwarranted confidence at higher speeds only to panic, over steer and roll. I suppose we should thank them for that....

So, since manufacturers can no longer tune the steering for larger towing capacities using WD because of the SAE preference for under steer, they are now improving steering response for min to max direct payload (and goose neck trailers) instead. Therefore, they need to advise owners not to shift too much weight forward and become overconfident in the resulting firm steering response.
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Old 03-10-2020, 07:28 AM   #20
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If you need a WD hitch, then you really need a bigger truck, TV. WD hitches are a crutch for insufficient towing capacity. Prove me wrong.
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