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Old 10-22-2003, 06:42 AM   #1
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v6 Ford Explorer haul a 19' bambi ?

Hi,
My wife recently fell in love with Bambi and has started looking for one to call her own. Before going to a dealer I needed to know if anyone is using a v6 suv with a 19' Bambi and how does it do? We have '03 Explorer V6 4x4 with class 3 hitch. The manual states towing limit is around 2500 lbs for this model?

ALso does anyone know what a 03/04 19' Bambi weights?

oh, i have so many questions, but will try to search first,
marek
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Old 10-22-2003, 06:47 AM   #2
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You can get most of the info that you are looking for, on a new trailer on the Airstream Company web site - airstream.com

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Old 10-22-2003, 06:52 AM   #3
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v6 Ford Explorer haul a 19' bambi ?

Greetings Marek!

Welcome to the Forums!

The bad news is that even the empty weight* of the modern Bambis would exceed your Explorer's trailer tow limit by more than 1,000 pounds - - see Airstream Weights and Measures . The GVWR** for most modern 19' Bambis is in excess of 4,000 pounds. Even the Vintage (1961-1964) Bambis would exceed the trailer tow limit of your Explorer, but by a smaller margin. You would be hard pressed to locate even a Vintage Airstream (Wee Wind, etc.) that would be under 2,500 pounds when loaded for travel.(IMHO)

*Empty weight is the weight of the base trailer without options, fluids (water, propane, etc.), and empty waste water tanks.

**GVWR is the maximum that the coach can weigh when it is loaded for travel and still be within the manufacturer's design parameters.

Good luck with your decision!

Kevin
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Old 10-22-2003, 07:01 AM   #4
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Definitly wouldn't recommend it. Our vintage 17ft weighs almost 3000 loaded, and I know the new trailers are even heavier, so you would definitly exceed your recommended towing capacity. We pull with a full size ford van with a 351 v8, and even than can definitly slow down in the mountains, so I doubt you'd be happy with the performance even if you did go for it. Sounds like you need to start shopping around for a tow vehicle!

We spent a great deal of time doing that after discovering our Bronco was too short a wheelbase to pull the trailer we wanted. There's lots of information on the forum about selecting tow vehicles, so look around. Good luck, I can tell you it was worth all the trouble. We love travelling with our airstream!
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Old 10-22-2003, 07:01 AM   #5
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I currently have an '03 Bambi and it's gross weight loaded is 4600lbs. I have a very robust V8 and I can tell you that I know it's back there.....a V6 with such a short wheelbase, I'd have to say it might do it, but it would be ill advised.....

Eric
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Old 10-22-2003, 07:03 AM   #6
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It's not the V6 that is going to keep you from pulling that new Bambi. It's the anemic tow rating of your particular model of Explorer. The new Bambis weigh about 3,800 lbs empty -- way over your tow rating. Check to see if the tow rating increases with a tranny cooler or some other dealer-installed option, otherwise you are probably out of luck. You'll need a differently equipped/rated tow vehicle to pull any modern Airstream.

Ford has other Explorers very similarly equipped with much higher tow ratings. Sometimes the tow capacity for an otherwise capable vehicle is de-rated because of a one "weak link" in the vehicle -- a manual transmission, the wrong differential, or just plain liability concerns. It's ironic that the truck manufacturers never de-rate a truck because of its high center of gravity (and hence higher roll-over propensity) but they will always do so if they think they might get stuck with too many warranty repairs.

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Old 10-22-2003, 09:43 AM   #7
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Barb,

A big welcome to the Forum

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Old 10-22-2003, 10:15 AM   #8
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update to Explore's tow limit

a big ops...

i revisited the manual and 2500 is for KGs and the lbs limit is actually 5400lbs...why ford manual puts KGs infront and LBS in ( ) for a US vehicle is interesting. And the total GCWR is 10,000 lbs.

i also confirmed my explorer came with a class 3 trailer tow pkg. Is this good or bad? Can it be upgraded if bad or need better?

The current a/s site does not have Bambi specs listed for weight is kinda weird too. It just has n/a.

We would mostly be hauling and packing for weekend beach or mountain trips. Some boondocking in the NC mtns. We have been tent campers and wanted to upgrade to a small trailer like a bambi.

sorry for my metric/lbs confusion on initial post,
marek
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Old 10-22-2003, 10:35 AM   #9
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The Ford web site shows the V6 4X4 Explorer rated at 5,380 lbs with the optional tow package (class III/IV hitch, 3.73 axle). The class III/IV hitch will be fine for towing a Bambi. All you need is a brake controller, a weight distributing hitch, and a Bambi!

We tow a 2003 25' Safari Six Sleeper with a 2002 Explorer V8 4X4 with the tow package. We are close to the limit as the trailer gross weight is 6,300 lbs and my Explorer's max tow capacity is 6,500 lbs (ours has the rear heat/air which subtracts 500 lbs from the tow rating). However, it tows fine.

Note that the manual says to subtract 2% from the GCWR for each 1000 feet in elevation. So as you climb mountains you should toss out unruley children, your rock collection, and your gold coins. In reality, you just end up going a little slower at altitude.

This time of year you should be able to get 20-25% off list price on a new Airstream, although you will need to check with several dealers to get them playing against one another.
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Old 10-22-2003, 10:38 AM   #10
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That's more like it. Class III hitch is what you need, and a 5,400 lb tow rating puts you in the right class. The Bambi will weigh 4300-4500 lbs once you get a full water tank and a few things in the trailer.

Now the question is performance. What kinda hp and torque does that V6 put out? Is it the 3.0 or 4.0 liter? I had a 3.0 V6 Ford Ranger and it was a gutless thing that could barely get out of its own way, whereas my 3.5 V6 Honda Pilot is a joy with 240 hp and 222 ft-lbs of torque. (Not all V6's are lame, which is why I always shudder when people on this board rush to say you MUST have a V8.)

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Old 10-22-2003, 10:41 AM   #11
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We tow a 20 foot argosy with the same pathetic vehicle and a v-6 stick. The argosy weighs a little less than the bambi. We added a stabilizing hitch, a brake controller and mirrors. We are careful to tow with the tanks empty and haven't had any problems. Have fun.
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Old 10-22-2003, 10:55 AM   #12
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the explorer has ...

a v6 4.oL 245 cubic inches, horsepower i am really guessing is around 220?

also rear axle ratio is 3.73 LS

it sounds like now the explorer may have enough to pull a Bambi !

thanks all,

marek




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Old 10-22-2003, 11:08 AM   #13
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According to the autotrader site you have 210 BHP
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Old 10-22-2003, 11:11 AM   #14
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The Explorer V6 has 210 hp, and the V8 has 239 hp. Not much difference - although every little bit helps.
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Old 10-22-2003, 12:24 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by rluhr
Now the question is performance. What kinda hp and torque does that V6 put out? Is it the 3.0 or 4.0 liter? I had a 3.0 V6 Ford Ranger and it was a gutless thing that could barely get out of its own way, whereas my 3.5 V6 Honda Pilot is a joy with 240 hp and 222 ft-lbs of torque. (Not all V6's are lame, which is why I always shudder when people on this board rush to say you MUST have a V8.)

-- RL

Sadly, I agree. Even being a ford fanatic, I think the Ford 6s are pretty weak. Rluhrs Honda is a whole different beast. When we were tow vehicle shopping I found lots more evidence of trouble with the Ford 6s than with the v8s. Howver, that doesn't mean yours won't do just fine, especially now that you know you're in line with the tow capacity. Just go easy on it in the mountains.

Now you can spend your time looking for the perfect trailer. Warning: you might never want to go back to tent camping again!
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Old 10-22-2003, 12:54 PM   #16
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I have very good friends that tow their Bambi with a similar vehicle, an 02 4.0 V6 Explorer with factory tow package and V6.
They camp all over the place, and have absolutely no regrets. Some of the very steep mountain passes slow them down a bit, but the same goes for my rig.
I have not tried it myself, so this is second hand information.
Just make sure you have the right gearing and cooling capacity, along with good towing equipment, and it should be no problem.
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Old 10-22-2003, 01:10 PM   #17
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Everyone will do what they want to and that's the beauty of a free society....however everyone has opinons and when asked, you'll get a wide range.

I have an'03 Bambi and I tow it with an Impala SS. I have made several modifications to the car to enhance it's towing ability and performance and I will clearly say that I could not imagine towing my Bambi with anything less. I feel the Impala SS, even as modified, can at times be lacking, not often, but I have seen it's limitations.

I will simply say that I feel the Explorer, even with a V8 is a poor choice for a tow vehicle due mostly to the fact that the wheelbase and it's center of gravity is all wrong.

Can folks do it and get away with it. Sure. Is it wise, not from where I am looking at it.

The V6 issue is one we can go round and round on, but in the end, a bad day with a V8 beats a great day with a V6 when it comes to power and performance.

Case in point, how many hot rodders out there have Chevelle SS, Malibu SS, Impala SS, Camaro SS, Corvettes or any other mucscle car and have suped up V6s (outside of the new junk coming off the GM line that has SS badges on it)? The answer is few to none. There is a reason for it. The V8 small or large is the standard for power and performance.

Are there sorry excuses for V8s, sure. Are there really good V6s? You bet, one that comes to mind is the supercharged 3.8L V6 that was installed in the Grand National and a few other higher performance cars. But I believe you will find those cars in the minority among car nuts. To that end, you can see why V8s are more widely used. When I go camping and see trailers and look at the tow vehicles, I see far more V8 tanks than I see Intrepids (sorry) or Hondas, etc. I see either V8 wagons, V8 sedans, V8 Pickup trucks, Suburbans, Tahoes, V8 Vans, Excursions, Expiditions, etc.... there is a reason and it all boils down to the fact that most V8s don't have to work as hard to get the same performance....

Heck as much as I give him hell about it, Roger has a very nice (besides the fact that it's a Ford ) V-10 (then again he's towing a 34' rolling living room)!

To each their own.

Eric
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Old 10-22-2003, 01:37 PM   #18
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The Explorer is a compromise vehicle - it is a bit small, light and weak for the job. It gets good mileage when not towing (20 mpg on freeway for my V8), and reasonable mileage when towing (11-13 mpg). If I had bought the trailer first, and was looking for a tow vehicle - I would not choose an Explorer. But if you already have one, it does work.

Comparing the Impala SS to the V8 Explorer (apples and oranges?):

96 Impala SS Wheelbase: 115.9", Rear Overhang 56.5", towing cap 5000 lbs, 260 HP
03 Explorer Wheelbase: 113.8, Rear Overhang 44.1", towing cap 7100 lbs, 239 HP

Not much difference in wheelbase. Long lever arm for the hitch on the SS!
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Old 10-22-2003, 01:51 PM   #19
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Ya know.....

If your wife loves the Bambi and you find that your Explorer is not quite up to snuff in the long run..... it seems that the only resonable choice would be to upgrade your vehicle. After all, you wouldn't want to get rid of the Bambi.... Seems like a win-win situation to me.

Just a thought.
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Old 10-22-2003, 02:41 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally posted by dmac


Comparing the Impala SS to the V8 Explorer (apples and oranges?):

96 Impala SS Wheelbase: 115.9", Rear Overhang 56.5", towing cap 5000 lbs, 260 HP
03 Explorer Wheelbase: 113.8, Rear Overhang 44.1", towing cap 7100 lbs, 239 HP

Not much difference in wheelbase. Long lever arm for the hitch on the SS!
Center of gravity is much different and that is where the final wheelbase issue is coming from. If you have a short wheelbase and the car sits several feet higher, you run into issues as the car even when not towing is LESS stable than a car that has a much lower center of gravity. The Impala is rated at 2500lbs, the Caprice is rated at 5k. My Impala SS is a modded out Caprice. Reason cops loved the Caprice/Impala is that you could drive it like you stole it. Very stable, low center of gravity no rollovers. Solid suspention for the Dukes of Hazzard manuvers that law enforcement make. Remember when the older Explorers had the tire issues....more issues with the older Explorers than other brands or models with the same tire. If recall, the Explorers (older) had a higher than normal rollover rate. This is due to a short SUV wheelbase and the SUV sitting as high as it does. Now add about 5000lbs to that equation? To me it simply says trouble.

Now you can modify the SS futher to get 8000lb tow capacity, but I think that's just as bad as using an Explorer to tow anything more than 3500lbs.

That said, I am sticking with the wheelbase comments basing it on the same center of gravity of other SUVs (as eluded to in my last post). I never compared the Explorer to the SS, I simply said, here is what I have, I could not imagine using less (which the Explorer is) 239HP vs. 260hp. And those numbers are achieved in an SS far easier than that of a V6 or that of the Ford V8 (esp if it's that sorry 4.6L engine 5.x liter is a different story, but I don't think that is an option for the Explorer). The 4.6L has been a total disgrace in Ford performance circles. So much so that Ford is tinkering with placing the V-10 in crusiers to replace the weak 4.6L they have....even the Maruder with it's tweaked 4.6L was marginal at best.....

I'm not beating my chest here about the Impala or the Ford vs. Chevy thing....personally, I think Ford can make some good stuff, it's just that I feel that the Explorer although a good vehicle, is a poor choice as a tow vehicle when exceeding 3500lbs (as I am sure most here do agree). As I've said the Impala/Caprice line has it's limitations too, just a heck of a lot fewer than a short wheelbase SUV sitting feet higher with an engine offering that is not up to the task. Can it do it, sure, do some do it, yup...I'm simply saying that I wouldn't be one of them......

Eric
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