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Old 06-15-2005, 09:00 AM   #1
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Hi,

I'm looking into buying a used hybrid or expandable (or maybe a large pop-up). I currently have a "vintage" MH that I'm trying to sell, so I'm researching lightweights in the meantime.

I recently traded in for a 2002 Mountaineer, V6 AWD. It has a class III hitch, and is rated for up to 5,500lb towing. The towing limits I'm keeping in the back of my mind are a trailer that is no more than 4,500lb loaded, and nothing longer than 21ft.

Are these reasonable limits, or am I expecting too much of my new vehicle? I didn't buy it expecting to haul around a TT, but I'm hoping it can handle a small expandable or hybrid.

Thanks for you opinions.
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Old 06-15-2005, 09:00 AM   #2
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Hi,

I'm looking into buying a used hybrid or expandable (or maybe a large pop-up). I currently have a "vintage" MH that I'm trying to sell, so I'm researching lightweights in the meantime.

I recently traded in for a 2002 Mountaineer, V6 AWD. It has a class III hitch, and is rated for up to 5,500lb towing. The towing limits I'm keeping in the back of my mind are a trailer that is no more than 4,500lb loaded, and nothing longer than 21ft.

Are these reasonable limits, or am I expecting too much of my new vehicle? I didn't buy it expecting to haul around a TT, but I'm hoping it can handle a small expandable or hybrid.

Thanks for you opinions.
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Old 06-15-2005, 09:40 AM   #3
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We had an Explorer, V-6 with the towing package and towed a 21' trailer that was a bit under 4000# loaded. You will need to make sure you have the 3.73 axle in your truck.

Even with a well adjusted WD hitch and sway control, it was tiring to drive on long trips. We had towed it with an S-15 Jimmy prior to the Explorer. I generally feel that that class of small SUV's should not be used for towing more than a pop up trailer.

You will need to put an external tranny cooler on to help Ford's or burn up the tranny. Do not try to tow in OD, lock it out and run in 3rd. With the truck and trailer you will get some push-pull from passing trucks.

Best of luck.

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Old 06-15-2005, 09:50 AM   #4
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Good point on the axle ratio. How can you determine this (I bought it used)?
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Old 06-15-2005, 11:26 AM   #5
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A Ford or Lincoln/Mercury dealer can determine what options your vehicle was built with by making a computer inquiry based on your VIN number.

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Old 06-15-2005, 05:39 PM   #6
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I don't mean to run down anyone's choice of truck, but the U-Haul company will not rent one of their trailers to anyone with an Explorer. I believe the Mountaineer is the same running gear as the Explorer, so you might want to check a little further.
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Old 06-16-2005, 07:44 AM   #7
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Keep all the numbers in mind. Your GCVW needs to be with all people and stuff included. I bet you'd find that your even more limited than you think when you add all things up. 2 full propane tanks add a whole bunch to tounge weight. You will definitley need to make sure you have a tranny cooler, and a good brake controller, and for sure, a WDH. I'd recomend a WDH with sway control built in so you keep it strait behind you. Just remember, what ever extra you spend on a very good hitch setup will pay yourself back when you don't have to scrape your rig or your passengers off the side of the highway.

I would always run with sway control on and bumper hitch trailer. Period. The costs is just too small compared to what it would be if it got out of control.
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Old 06-16-2005, 09:10 AM   #8
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http://www.usatoday.com/money/indust...aul-ford_x.htm

Here's an interesting article from last year. It goes into the U-haul ban on Explorers, and how it seems to be grounded more on perception and the fact that U-haul got dragged into the Firestone debacle. The fact that they still rent to Mountaineer owners illustrates that this isn't based on towing capability or engineering short-comings, but more on the huge rollover problem back in 2000 or so and the cloud that still hangs over the Explorer brand.

Type in U-haul and Ford explorer in Google and you'll get more than a few law practices offering to help you sue UHaul, Ford, Firestone and probably anyone else they can think of.

Or maybe U-haul has determined that Explorer owners are statistically more likely to ignore tow ratings and exceed their weight limits?
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Old 07-26-2005, 08:25 PM   #9
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I tow a 23' hybrid that ways close to 5k loaded with a 99 half ton suburban, 350 V-8, 3.73 rear end. The trailer isn't much more than what you are thinking about with your explorer. Based on my experience with my rig, I think you should be prepared for slow hill climbing with this size trailer. My setup slows to about 45 mph on steep grades. If you aren't travelling long distances through mountainous country, you should have no problem. If you are, budget extra time for the trip.

Good luck.
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Old 11-17-2005, 07:21 AM   #10
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You'll notice in my sig that I tow a 19ft 4100-4200lb HTT with an S-10. Keep in mind it has a B/C, W/D/sway control. The truck is rated at 5800lbs so there is some le-way. So far we've racked up 2000 miles on the combination since June with no problems. Good luck
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Old 06-20-2006, 03:59 PM   #11
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Hey all. I too am thinking about a Hybrid with a capacity to sleep 5-6. Would this size be out of the question to tow with a 4x4 Dakota 3.something Ltr V6?

Also, I am (or will be) a newby to rv camping so some of the abbreviations on hitch requirements etc are like a puzzle to me. Could someone explain some of these. Thanks all.
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Old 06-20-2006, 05:07 PM   #12
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I don't think your 3.8L Dakota will pull the size trailer you are looking for. You need to find te GVWR and GCWR for your truck, get it weighed and work the numbers from there. Personally, I'd limit your truck to a pop up trailer.

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Old 06-20-2006, 06:36 PM   #13
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Thanks for the reply TXiceman. I have heard that alot of dealers will tell a potential buyer just about anything to get em to purchase. I just dont want to over-extend my towing capacity and would trust an experienced RVer vs a salesperson.
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Old 06-21-2006, 09:27 AM   #14
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Piraterancho,

I am not familiar with the 4X4 Dakota, but I can help you with the acronyms. B/C is brake controller. W/D/sway is a weight distributing hitch with sway control. The brake controller is what controls the electric brakes on your trailer. W/o them, your TV (tow vehicle) would be pushed by your trailer when braking and could cause major problems. A weight distributing hitch distributes the wt of the trailer between your axles (not 100% sure of them exactly though). A sway controller uses friction or other means to keep your trailer from swaying side to side while towing it. Go to www.disneycampers.com and click RV 101 for info on hitches and newbie stuff. It helped me.

Now, for the Dakota. I have a list of TVs and their capacity (in the back of the Jayco ltwt brochure) and it does not list any dodges at all (dakota is dodge right?). Check inside of your drivers door for the GVWR.

As for a hybrid that sleeps 5-6. We are looking for one that sleeps 7. I emailed a few manufacturers for brochures and am working on a spreadsheet with all of the wts, specs, and features so I have it in hand when I visit dealers. We are not planning on purchasing until next year. My Astro has a tow capacity of 5,500. Our current popup is 3K# max. It tows well. There are hybrids that are in our wt limit, but we want 2 sets of bunkbeds and those weigh 5,800#.

The smallest hybrid with Jayco and Fleetwood have a q and d popout bed and a sofabed and a dinette sleeper. They weigh 4550 and 4600 respectively. You may look into those. The fleetwood highlander models have bathrooms and weigh 3770. Almost a 1K diff. Just a little info for you. There are a few links to manufacturers on the home page of irv2. You may click around and see what is out there. Also be aware that the Jayco price quotes generally include A/C and the fleetwood ones do not. Call around to all of the dealers in your area (even 2 hrs away) and get their prices. You don't want to buy one and then find out that there is a dealer an hour away that could have saved you 1-2K.
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