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Old 09-22-2009, 10:18 AM   #1
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What can I tow with my 2008 Ford Expedition

Hi everyone. I'm a newbie here. We are thinking of buying a travel trailer and getting into some longer trips out of the midwest to escape the cold winters. I have a 2008 Ford Expedition which, as equipped is supposed to be able to tow 9200 pounds. I have the heavy duty factory tow package. I do realize that I'd need to subtract the weight of passengers and anything stored in the vehicle from that 9200 pounds. We are thinking of something along the lines of a Rockwood 8315SS.
It has:
dry hitch weight: 864 lbs.
GVWR: 8,058 lbs
unloaded vehicle weight: 6107 lbs
cargo carrying capacity: 1900 lbs
exterior length: 33 ft

Actually I guess this would be probably two questions in one post.
1) Is this too much trailer for my Ford Expedition?
2) Would using a Hensley hitch help me at all or are they not what they are cracked up to be?
Any and all advice is welcome! Thank you.

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Old 09-22-2009, 12:13 PM   #2
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Welcome to iRV2. You will find loads of good information here.

On your towing question, the 9200# rating is a maximum for the truck based on a base model, no cargo, only a 150# driver and no trailer hitch. You add accessories, cargo, passengers, etc, you need to drop the tow rating pound for pound.

HERE is a good site to explain all you need to know about towing.

First you need to determine if the 9200# applies to your specific truck, engine and axle ratio. As a starting point use 80% of the tow rating as an estimate fro a loaded trailer you can tow. So we start at 7360# for a LOADED trailer...forget dry or unloaded weight as published in the literature. You can easily have 1000# over the unloaded weight.

Your tongue weight can be 10 to 15% of the trailer GVWR or in your case the dry hitch weight is already over the estimate, so figure 864/6107 x 100% or 14%. 14% of 8058 = 1128#.

You need to weigh the truck with all normal cargo and passengers, full fuel.

GCWR - loaded truck = max loaded trailer weight.

GVWR - loaded truck = max trailer hitch weight.

I doubt if your Expy has the capacity to haul an 1128# hitch weight and be with in ratings.

Next issue is the length of the trailer and you will get lots of opinions here. People pulling like trailers say no problem, but they will not offer to supply any weight numbers for their rig....they don't have them. Personally I feel that that is too long of a trailer for an EXPY.

Now that I have rained on your parade, the best advice is to weigh the truck and see how much trailer you can pull within rating.

The Hensley is a great and expensive hitch...but it does not cure an over weight or a poorly matched rig. For a lot less $$$ the Reese Dual Cam HP will work as well.

Educate yourself and believe nothing the RV or truck sales people tell you.


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Old 09-22-2009, 02:15 PM   #3
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Next issue is the length of the trailer and you will get lots of opinions here. People pulling like trailers say no problem, but they will not offer to supply any weight numbers for their rig....they don't have them. Personally I feel that that is too long of a trailer for an EXPY.


What Ken is talking about here is with that much length you have a BIGGG sail behind you. You will be pushed around by the bow wake of big trucks, other RVs etc. A friend of mine was ridding with a friend towing a big goose neck horse trailer when they were hit with a gust of wind. In the bat of an eye they were in the lane next to them. Fortunately there was an empty lane there.

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Old 09-22-2009, 03:10 PM   #4
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I had a 2007 Expedition that is the same drivetrain as a 2008. The weight and length of what you have considered in combination with the wheelbase of the standard Expedition could provide for some interesting handling. The extended wheelbase Expedition would handle somewhat better, but a bit lighter and shorter would provide for a more comfortable pull/ride.
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Old 09-23-2009, 08:47 PM   #5
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I too am thinking even if the weight were in line according to Fords specs, that is too much trailer for a SUV. I have a truck and SUV in the garage. I have found that the SUVs have lighter components (shocks, tires, suspension) vs a truck and do not handle the towing task as well.
With that said, I would go with ken's advice, get your rigs weight, find the true towed max weight and go with 70-80% of that.

Our SUV has a max tow rating of 8500 lbs and is equipped with all the optional towing goodies, but I don't like towing anything near 5000 lbs behind it.

Again this is just what I have experienced. You will find many that tow 150% of there max tow rating and claim it does it "Just Fine"!

Our 1st travel trailer was a 28' GVWR of 7700 lbs, around 6000lbs dry, I would never consider towing that much with our SUV, it was a wind kite and in cross winds, could even feel the F350 crew cab long bed being moved around a bit.

Good luck, and happy camping.
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Old 11-20-2009, 08:04 AM   #6
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Sorry to say that trailer is too heavy for your Expy...you'll have a hard time getting the rig to sit level with that much tongue weight, even with a WD hitch.

I would encourage you to look at the Hensley Hitch though....they ARE all they are cracked up to be. Weight is only one factor to consider when looking at a trailer, the other is the length of the trailer relative to the wheelbase of the tow vehicle. Longer trailers have a lot of side area to catch the wind, and a longer wheelbase on the truck give you more stability to fight sway input from the trailer. The dual-cam is a good hitch, but not in the same league as the Hensley when it comes to controlling that much length with an Expedition.
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Old 11-20-2009, 12:47 PM   #7
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I can tell you from experience trying to use an '03 Expy to tow a 30FKS Sunnybrook
that it your 33' trailer is going to be too much for the '08 Expy. But if you go ahead and tow, consider the newest alternative to the Hensley--the 3P hitch from
www.propridehitch.com it is based on the original Jim Hensley patents and much cheaper yet performs as well or better.
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Old 11-20-2009, 01:53 PM   #8
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Good point Joe I forgot to mention the ProPride, works on the same principle as the Hensley to ELIMINATE sway.
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Old 11-21-2009, 08:11 PM   #9
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Here - https://www.fleet.ford.com/showroom/...trp23Apr08.pdf -
you can compair your owners manual with the Fleet Ford pages.

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Old 11-21-2009, 08:37 PM   #10
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I congratulate you on asking the right questions BEFORE making decisions! Far too many folks buy, then ask these questions. Other than that I have nothing to add, Ken said everything.
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Old 12-03-2009, 06:42 AM   #11
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I would consider trading your Expedition for an Excursion. You'll go down a couple of years (they no longer make the Excursion) but it'll tow about any trailer you hook to it. I have one and tow a 31' TT with a Reese dual cam hitch and most of the time don't know my trailer is behind me.
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Old 12-06-2009, 07:10 PM   #12
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