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Old 01-23-2013, 01:51 PM   #1
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Tow weight

How big of a trailer can I tow with a 2004 exursion? 6.8 v-10 3.73 rear axle. Thanks
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Old 01-23-2013, 01:59 PM   #2
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To answer your question, we'll need some more info regarding the Excursion. Specifically, what are the GVWR, GAWRs (these can be found on your driver's door sticker) and GCWR (this is usually in the owner's manual). The latter will possibly depend on whether or not you have options such as a trailer tow package with supplemental transmission cooler, etc.

You also need to know what the ACTUAL laden curb weight of your Excursion is under the conditions that you'll be towing. Load it up with the wife, kids, pets, cargo, etc. and a full fuel tank and run it over the scales. You can do this at any truck stop that has a CAT scale (or equivalent) sign. A CAT scale will give you the actual axle weights for the front (steer) and rear (drive) axles if you pull all the way into the scale such that your front wheels are on the forwardmost platform and your rear wheels are on the center platform.

With this, we can give you the maximum total trailer weight and hitch weight you can handle without exceeding your GCWR, rear axle GAWR or your GVWR.

Rusty
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Old 01-23-2013, 02:06 PM   #3
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Why not just look in the Owners Manual?
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Old 01-23-2013, 02:13 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vtbigdog View Post
Why not just look in the Owners Manual?
Well, for one thing, if there's a trailer tow rating in the owner's manual, it's probably based on an Excursion without options and only a 150 lb driver on board. Depending on how the Excursion is actually equipped and loaded, the owner's manual trailer tow rating could be 1000 lbs or more high, especially since it doesn't take tongue weight and GVWR/rear axle GAWR into account.

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Old 01-23-2013, 03:06 PM   #5
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tow weight

GVWR 8900 lbs
GAWR front 4300
GAWR rear 5250
From front door pillar

GCWR 7711
From owners manual

Dashboard has transmission temperature gauge
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Old 01-23-2013, 03:10 PM   #6
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GCWR is gross combination weight rating. That's the maximum allowable combined weight of the Excursion plus whatever it's towing. Therefore, the GCWR would have to be greater than the 8900 lbs GVWR (gross vehicle weight rating) which is the maximum allowable weight of the fully loaded Excursion by itself.

Are you sure 7711 lbs isn't the trailer tow rating?

Rusty
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Old 01-23-2013, 03:22 PM   #7
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tow rating

The owners manual shows maximum gcwr 7711 kg (17000) lbs.
maximum trailer weight 4354 kg (9600) lbs.

This is all very confusing. I am thinking of buying the Excursion and selling the 1999 suburban 2 wheel drive 3.5. I want to be able to tow more weight in the future. We currently have a 2013 Avenger travel trailer. My husband thinks it will be too small to retire in, and I wanted to be able to go larger without buying another tow vehicle.

I really appreciate your input as I am new to this.
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Old 01-23-2013, 03:29 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by birdnut View Post
The owners manual shows maximum gcwr 7711 kg (17000) lbs.
maximum trailer weight 4354 kg (9600) lbs.
Now, THAT makes sense. 7711 was kilograms, not pounds, while the GVWR and GAWRs were in pounds.

With a GCWR of 17,000 lbs and a maximum trailer weight of 9,600 lbs, Ford is assuming the Excursion will have a curb weight of 7,400 lbs. As I said earlier, manufacturer's curb weights are generally based on an unoptioned vehicle with only a 150 lb driver, so they tend to be unrealistically low.

Since a trip to the scales is probably out of the question since you don't own the vehicle, can you give me some idea of how you will be loading the Excursion for a typical trip so that we can estimate a realistic curb weight? How many passengers and/or approximate total driver/passenger loading (I'd never ask for individual weights! ), any pets and weights, how many pounds of cargo in the back?

Rusty
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Old 01-23-2013, 03:46 PM   #9
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2 adults (over estimating weights!) 400 lbs
4 grandkids 300 lbs
4 bikes how much do small kids bikes weigh?
full tank of gas
clothes, kitchen stuff (plates, silverware, etc) 1000lbs.
trailer liquids empty fill at campsite

Can you tell I haven't camped with the Avenger yet? First travel trailer. If you can think of anything else I forgot please let me know.
Oh, buying food at location to cut down on weight.
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Old 01-23-2013, 03:48 PM   #10
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Let's try this again. Give me the weights of the people/stuff you'll be carrying in the Excursion, not in the trailer.

I have to make a Houston area commute right now. Give me a couple of hours and I'll be back to step through the numbers with you if no one else does beforehand.

Rusty
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Old 01-23-2013, 04:10 PM   #11
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Everything in the excursion but the clothes and kitchen stuff.
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Old 01-23-2013, 05:01 PM   #12
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First,
Welcome to Irv2 birdnut !

As you may surmise, although important,
weights are a REALLY touchy subject to some here

You might get some help from previous Excursion owners here :
www.ford-trucks.com/

Excursion forum --> Excursion - King of SUVs - Ford Truck Enthusiasts Forums
V10 Forum --> Modular V10 (6.8l) - Ford Truck Enthusiasts Forums

I'd offer,
but never had a v-10 only had 3 deezle Excursions -
so maybe the v-10 gang over there can help - they are GREAT traveling vehicle !

but think the issue you might run into is that the Excursions had limited weight CARRYING capacity, once you loaded IT up, the trailer tongue weight would push it over the top...

this is what I found for the Excursion:

Engine ---Axle -GCWR Lbs --4x2 --4x4
6.8L V10 -3.73 -17,000 ---10,000 9,600

oh, and that ASSUMES it is stock, stock tires, stock wheels, stock suspension, stock hitch, etc....


good luck !
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Old 01-23-2013, 05:38 PM   #13
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Using the numbers you provided from your driver's door sticker and owner's manual:

Ford had assumed a 7,400 lb curb weight with a 150 lb driver (see post #8). Let's take him/her out of the equation. The assumed curb weight of a bare vehicle (without driver or passengers) is 7,250 lbs.

Your total driver/passenger loading is 400 lbs for 2 adults plus 300 lbs for grandkids equals 700 lbs.

Assuming you can figure out some way to haul 4 bikes in/on the Excursion, let's assume 100 lbs for them.

With no other cargo in the Excursion, it will weigh 7,250 + 700 + 100 = 8,050 lbs.

With a GVWR of 8,900 lbs minus a loaded weight of 8,050 lbs, you'll have 850 lbs left for tongue weight of the trailer.

Taking a worst case scenario, 15% of the total trailer weight is tongue weight, so if we divide 850 lbs by 15%, you get 5,667 lbs loaded trailer weight. 12% tongue weight is another commonly used assumption, so dividing 850 lbs by 12% gives a loaded trailer weight of 7,083 lbs.

Using the best case (7,083 lbs), the Excursion's gross combined weight will be 8,050 + 7,083 = 15,133 lbs. This is less than the Excursion's GCWR of 17,000 lbs, so you're OK there.

As expected, you're limited by GVWR, not GCWR, of the Excursion. If you stay within the vehicle's GVWR, the maximum allowable LOADED trailer weight will be between 5,667 and 7,083 lbs. You'll have to choose which assumption for % tongue weight you wish to use. Be careful, though, not to confuse this LOADED trailer weight with the DRY weight you'll find in the trailer brochures. This loaded trailer weight will have to include your 1,000 lbs of gear, so you may want to look at a trailer with a GVWR of between 5,667 and 7,083 lbs, being sure that the trailer's GVWR minus its dry weight is sufficient for your 1,000 lbs of gear.

Hope this helps.

Rusty
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Old 01-23-2013, 06:06 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by birdnut View Post
GVWR 8900 lbs
So that means your X-Car with V-10 engine is a 4x4. Ford specs say the GCWR with 3.73 axle is 17,000 pounds. And the base curb weight is 7,190. It sounds like you'll have about 1,000 pounds of people and stuff in the SUV when on the road, for a total GVW of 8,190. But give the girl the benefit of the doubt - she's not really that heavy, so let's call it 8,100 pounds GVW. Subtract that from 8900 GVWR and that leaves 800 pounds for max hitch weight without being overloaded.

800 pounds hitch weight is a TT that weighs about 5,300 to 6,600, depending on the percentage of hitch weight of your trailer, which varies from about 12% to 15%.

Quote:
How big of a trailer can I tow with a 2004 exursion? 6.8 v-10 3.73 rear axle.
Based on the above numbers, I'd look for a bunkhouse TT or hybred TT with a GVWR of 6,000 pounds or less. Yes they make them, but you have to shop hard to find them with a floorplan you can live with. Here's one that would sleep your crew. If the grandkids are good size, then you might need to convert the dinette into a bed each night, but that's no big deal. Been there, done that all the time my kids were growing up.
< Heartland Lightweight Trailers | Heartland RVs

As to "how big", size doesn't matter - it's weight you must be concerned with. To know for sure, you need to take Rusty's advice and weigh the wet and loaded X-Car loaded for the road and with a full tank of gas. Subtract the wet and loaded weight (including driver, passengers, everything) from the GVWR of the truck to get max hitch weight you can have without being overloaded. Divide that max hitch weight by 0.15 to determine the max GVWR of any TT you should consider. Some TTs have a smaller percentage of hitch weight, often 12 or 13 percent, but you won't know that until you are on the road with a wet and loaded SUV and TT. Then it's too late to change either the SUV or the TT without major heartache and expense.

Quote:
Dashboard has transmission temperature gauge
Good! But don't misinterpret that gauge. The colors don't mean what you probably think they mean. Green means good to go. But Yellow means STOP! immediately, put the tranny in neutral or park, and elevate the engine RPM to about 1,300 RPM, and sit there twiddling your thumbs until the tranny temp falls back into the green zone. Red doesn't mean stop, it means you have probably already toasted your tranny.

That gauge is not analog, so it may jump a bit as temps rise. Any time you're towing under tranny-cooking conditions, keep one eye on that gauge so you can stop as soon as the pointer touches the yellow zone. Or perhaps assign Darling Wife as the tranny temp gauge watcher, and have her holler at you if the gauge gets close to the yellow zone.

Tranny cooking conditions are any time the torque converter is unlocked and the engine is working hard to move the rig. That creates a volcano worth of heat that can easily overcome the tranny cooling system. So when climbing a grade at less than about 45 MPH, or poking along in big-city rush-hour traffic while dragging the trailer, that's tranny cooking conditions..

Heat is the tranny killer. And any tranny temp that causes the gauge to rise into the yellow zone is too much heat - your tranny is burning up - dying a fast death. A cheap rebuilt tranny with torque converter will cost over $2,000, a good one over $3,000, and a bulletproof 4R100 tranny that will outlive the truck can set you back as much as $5,000 or more. If you want the good stuff, surf for Brian's Truck Shop (BTS) or John Wood Automotive. They are the two premier 4R100 tranny bullet-proofers in the USA today.
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