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Old 07-01-2013, 02:56 PM   #1
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Towing capabilities of a 2003 ford expedition (5.4 liter engine)

Hello My name is Robert and I am new to this so please forgive me if I am not posting correctly. I have a 2003 ford expedition 5.4 liter v8. According to the sticker on the inside of the door, my GVWR is 7,100 lbs but the hitch reflects 8,600 lbs? I want to know if I can safely tow a 2014 heartland north trail trailer with a UVW of 6,963? Is there something else I Ned to consider here? Thank you

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Old 07-01-2013, 03:31 PM   #2
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I was able to find this in the vehicles owners guide. If you still have yours, it should be around page 239. You will need to weigh your Expedition to determine the rear axle weight. This will ensure that you are not overloading the rear springs. This will be on the GVW sticker on your door.

Rear axle
Maximum GCWR -
kg (lbs.)
Trailer weight
range (0 -
maximum) kg
4.6L All 4762 (10500) 0-2268 (0-5000)
5.4L All 6577 (14500) 04060 (08950)
4.6L All 4853 (10700) 0-2268 (0-5000)
5.4L All 6577 (14500) 03924 (08650)
Maximum frontal area of trailer is 5.6 square meters (60 square

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Old 07-01-2013, 05:17 PM   #3
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Welcome aboard. It is great that you are researching your tow vehicle limits so as to purchase a properly sized trailer. First off, it is common for the hitch to be rated higher than trucks tow rating. Second, NEVER, EVER use the trailer dry weight in any research. That is unless your plan to never put ANYTHING in the trailer and tow it completely empty. If you are like the rest of us, you'll load it up with everything you can think you will need at which point the unloaded weight is absolutely useless. To be honest, I cannot understand why the manufacturers even publish that useless number. ALWAYS use the GVWR so you won't be sorry later.

That said, here is a link to the Trailer Life 2003 Towing Guide.

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Old 07-01-2013, 06:10 PM   #4
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As noted above, use the trailer GVWR for determining your tow vehicle loads.

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Old 07-07-2013, 06:12 PM   #5
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You need to go by the weakest link. It may be the tow rating of the Expedition which takes into consideration the frame, suspension, engine and transmission, as well as the rims and tires. There is also the handling and control issues and I dislike the Ford suspension for towing anything as I never felt 100% in control even without a trailer behind the vehicle.

I would research and use the best WDH I could find with your vehicle. I doubt that the factory hitch is a WDH and that is something to research. On GM SUV's a WDH is required but not on the heavy duty trucks. Check the Ford towing guide for the Expedition.
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