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Old 02-05-2006, 05:16 PM   #1
JFL
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I have recently traded off my 2002 F150 Supercrew (7 new rear ends and 3 yrs later)for a 2005 Ford Explorer Sport Trac. I have a 2 wheel drive. I was told by the dealer that I would have no problem towing my current 1989 Hard side pop up camper that is approx. 2800lbs. I am wanting to trade up to a 19' Rockwood Roo Hybrid camper. Does anyone have a clue as to whether or not this is not a good idea to tow a hybrid with a Explorer Sport Trac. I had a class III hitch installed yesterday and when I went to truck accessory store to get the electric brake installed, they told me that they could no longer install tow hitches on the Sport Trac because of towing concerns. He wanted to charge me over $400 to install a 7 point trailer plug and electric brake. I am hearing all sorts of horror stories about towing with an Explorer Sport Trac but can't find any direct related material. The RV dealers are saying I can tow the 19' camper easily with a 4.0 5 spd automatic v-6. Does it make a difference if I get a single axle hybrid versus a dual axle hybrid? Starcraft has a single axle but the tongue weight it almost triple the tongue weight of a dual axle. Any help would be appreciated. I would hate to have to consider trading in my Sport trac to be able to keep camping.
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Old 02-05-2006, 05:16 PM   #2
JFL
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I have recently traded off my 2002 F150 Supercrew (7 new rear ends and 3 yrs later)for a 2005 Ford Explorer Sport Trac. I have a 2 wheel drive. I was told by the dealer that I would have no problem towing my current 1989 Hard side pop up camper that is approx. 2800lbs. I am wanting to trade up to a 19' Rockwood Roo Hybrid camper. Does anyone have a clue as to whether or not this is not a good idea to tow a hybrid with a Explorer Sport Trac. I had a class III hitch installed yesterday and when I went to truck accessory store to get the electric brake installed, they told me that they could no longer install tow hitches on the Sport Trac because of towing concerns. He wanted to charge me over $400 to install a 7 point trailer plug and electric brake. I am hearing all sorts of horror stories about towing with an Explorer Sport Trac but can't find any direct related material. The RV dealers are saying I can tow the 19' camper easily with a 4.0 5 spd automatic v-6. Does it make a difference if I get a single axle hybrid versus a dual axle hybrid? Starcraft has a single axle but the tongue weight it almost triple the tongue weight of a dual axle. Any help would be appreciated. I would hate to have to consider trading in my Sport trac to be able to keep camping.
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Old 02-06-2006, 01:49 PM   #3
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You may want to call Forest River, the maker of Rockwoods.

I have called them twice and although the service person was not available they promptly called me back with good results.

Call 574-642-2640.

Good luck!
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Old 02-06-2006, 05:02 PM   #4
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The Sport Trac is just an Explorer. We had one with the 4.0L V-6 and 3.73 axle. We towed a 21' Lite trailer at just under 4000# fully loaded and we were at the point that it could not take any more. As I had noted in a post on another Forum, your tongue weight should be between 10 and 15% of your loaded weight. It does not make any difference whether you have a single or a dual axle, you still need the weight on the tongue in order that the trailer behave properly.

First do not pay any attention to the brochure weights. They are way off on the light side. The trailer will have a sticker in the cabinet and it will list the weight as shipped from the factory, less any dealer installed items. Next use 12% of the trailers GVWR for the real world estimate of tongue weight.

The tow rating on the SportTrac is based on a base model, no cargo, no passengers other than a 150# driver and no hitch. add for thes and you reduce the tow rating accordingly, so plan to have a loaded trailer that is under 80% of Ford's tow rating, to be close to ratings.

Main thing is to not use the brochure ratings for weight.

$400 to install a brake controller and a 7 pin plug is a lot of $$$. You can get a Prodigy controller for less than $100 from the net. The instal with the plug should be 1 hour, 2 hours max in my opinion.

Ken
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Old 02-06-2006, 05:49 PM   #5
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Ken gave a lot of excellent info. The big thing is watch those weights. We had a 98 explorer, which had about the same limits as yours the sticker and your owners manual will give the max weights , GVWR and tongue weight. We used a weight distribution hitch for our Bayside which weighed in at 3400. and it helped big time to keep it all level. If you don't want to install the brake controller, and have a camping world close. They charge around 100 for the controller and $65.00 to install it.

Let us know how your doing, and have fun , and as alway be safe.
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Old 02-09-2006, 12:03 PM   #6
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I installed a Prodigy in my Ford E-350 in about 15 minutes. You can get a brand specific wiring harness from CW and I assume other places. The newer model vehicles have a plug if the trailer towing package is in the vehicle. If not, the instructions and the regular wiring harness do OK. I removed mine from my previous tow vehicle, a 2000 F-150 P/U, where the plug was also available under the dash.

I went to a feed company and weighed my vehicle with just me and a tool box in in. Cost $3.00. Weigh it like this and don't believe what the brochures and dealers talk about. I already had the trailer weighed.

Good luck.

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Old 02-12-2006, 11:54 AM   #7
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Fist of all, never take a salesman's word for anything, unless you see it in writing from the manufacturer. You need to check what the manufacturer's specs are for weight and length, and then use some caution. You need to make sure you have the required equipment that goes with that tow rating like transmission cooler, engine size, gear ratio.
One of the challenges in towing with the small SUVs is the wheelbase. Fortuneately the 2005 Sport Trac has a 125 inch wheelbase as opposed to 113 for the standard explorer, which should help.
If your Sport Track is prewired for trailer towing, then installing a brake controller is fairly simple. With pre-wired, the biggest problem is too small a wire for the brake lead, which will reduce braking. $400 may not be a bad price if they have to run wiring and this includes the brake controller, depending on where you live. Labor rates vary by location. RV labor rates are about $80/hr here but I had work done in WY for $50/hr

A tandem (dual) axle trailer will always handle better than a single axle. You should have appropriate weight-distributing hitch and sway control for any trailer.
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