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 > Ford Explorer and Pop up

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Patinmd

Maryland

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Posted: 02/05/18 08:44pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hello again,

We looked around at several travel trailers and wound up with a 2017 Coachmen Clipper Sport 125ST popup. The popup has a UVW of 2300 or so and a tongue weight of 243 on the brochure (meaning not reality). Gvwr is just over 3400. There is a roof top AC slightly behind the trailer axle. We obviously will have a battery (group 24 deep cycle) and a 20 lb propane tank in the middle of the tongue.

This trailer exceeds the capabilities of our current vehicle, and we've been considering a new vehicle anyway Ann's have decided to go ahead and purchase, we just need to know what.

No matter the trim level, we will have a class 3 tow package. This package allows for a tongue weight of 500lbs/5000lbs total with WDH. 3500 lbs with weight carrying hitch. Neither the manual nor the towing guide specify tongue weight max for a weight carrying hitch.

I'm confident our weight will not exceed 3100lbs or so (will hit a scale sooner or later). Tongue weight is something that I think would be around 350, maybe slightly higher. Battery is about 45 lbs and propane tank is 37 full. The AC should offset a small amount of weight. The front storage compartment will be used, but for relatively lighter items like chairs, hoses,etc. My guess is tongue weight would not exceed 400 lbs with proper loading.

I'm not concerned about exceeding RAWR, gvwr, or gcwr of the explorer. Just me, my wife, one kid, and a 35 lb dog, maybe a cooler and a few lighter items would be in the explorer. I did just realize I should clarify that this is the factory 5k towing package with oil cooler, etc., not an aftermarket hitch.

My last note is that a WDH is not an option. Coachmen confirmed this trailer is not compatible due to the C- channel frame.

We're looking at cars in a few days (already have the right trailer and now finding the right vehicle) and I'll see if I can get clarification, but I'm not holding my breath.

Do you think this would be a reasonable vehicle to tow this trailer?

That's in advance,
Pat

rexlion

Broken Arrow OK

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Posted: 02/05/18 09:12pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Yes. I towed cargo and travel trailers (up to 3500 lbs) extensively with a 270 HP Toyota Highlander, and it worked out well. You should have no trouble towing a popup with the 3.5L Explorer. As for the 2.3L turbo, it has more HP and considerably more torque than my old HL, so it should be ok too.


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carringb

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Posted: 02/05/18 09:18pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Should be a good combo. Ford doesn't require WD for the receiver, they only recommend it maintain safe rear axle weights.

The Explorer handles handles weight in the back just fine. If you need leveling for headlight aim, you can add Airlift 1000 coil airbags for leveling.


Bryan

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Mortimer Brewster

Northern Illinois

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Posted: 02/05/18 09:49pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have a 2014 Explorer. I’ve only towed utility trailers with it, so no help there. I suspect it would do okay with a pop up though. Keep in mind that you will need a brake controller and probably a McKesh style towing mirror.
The OEM tires that came on our Explorer were garbage. Absolutely no traction in rain or snow. I’d see what tire they are using for 2018 and check out how they are rated on Tire Rack. If they are bad, I’d have the dealer swap them out for a better brand.

bikendan

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Posted: 02/06/18 01:51am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

i towed popups with my Exploder and it did fine.

as long as it has the factory tow package, it should be fine. no need for a WDH but a friction antisway bar would be good.

does the Clipper have electric brakes? if so, definitely need the factory tow package, as it will be pre-wired for a brake controller.


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Grit dog

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Posted: 02/06/18 09:35am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Yep that’s a good combo.


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Patinmd

Maryland

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Posted: 02/06/18 01:54pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thank you all. Main concern was that the tongue weight would drop the back end and the headlights would point for the sky, which is why we're replacing the current vehicle to begin with (2011 Ford Edge). If it was really going to be an issue we were open to an expedition, but that's a bigger vehicle than we'd like if it can be avoided.

I will look at an anti sway bar for it.

There are brakes, and we'll be moving our P2 Controller into the explorer. They're apparently pre wired and we'll probably just have the dealer install it while they're prepping it.

Thanks!
Pat

alexleblanc

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Posted: 02/07/18 06:39am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I've towed a 3500lb 22ft flatbed with mine before with nothing on it just to get it home. so a very similar weight to your loaded popup. The Explorer seems to have fairly stiff springs out back as mine only squatted about 3/4". I only towed it about 8 km's to home on a rural country road with an 80km/h speed limit but I was impressed but it.


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mkirsch

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Posted: 02/07/18 08:20am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Quote:

Main concern was that the tongue weight would drop the back end and the headlights would point for the sky,


I wish people would stop this. It's such a stupid exaggeration. The headlights will not "point for the sky." They will be SLIGHTLY HIGH. Some people might flash you, if you travel at night. Not a big deal.

If you want to see what the Explorer will do with 400-ish pounds of weight on the tongue, open the tailgate and sit three people across the back.


Putting 10-ply tires on half ton trucks since aught-four.

IdaD

Idaho

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Posted: 02/07/18 08:45am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

As others have said that combo is fine. We towed a heavier pop up behind a 2010 Pilot for several years and it worked great. My only input would be to think ahead and consider the compromises that go along with a pop up compared to a standard height camper and how you think you'll feel about it long term. It would be cheaper to buy a larger vehicle now and then be able to trade the trailer later if you decided to change without having to change the tow vehicle also. Part of that will also be what sort of plans you have for a larger family in the future (or not). Just something to consider.


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