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Old 04-06-2016, 06:10 PM   #1
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Towing a 2016 Ford Explorer

Does anyone tow a 2016 Ford Explore FWD? We're thinking of buying a new one to tow behind our MH. If so, are there any recommendations, advice, etc that anyone has? We use a Blue Ox tow system with a Patriot Brake. Ford requires disconnecting the negative battery cable before towing. However, we need continuous q12 volt power for the Patriot. Any advice is appreciated.
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Old 04-07-2016, 11:54 AM   #2
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From the 2016 Ford Explorer manual:

http://www.fordservicecontent.com/Fo...ngEnabled=True

"Front-wheel drive vehicles CANNOT be flat-towed (all wheels on the ground) as vehicle or transmission damage may occur. You must place the front wheels on a two-wheel tow dolly. If you are using a tow dolly, follow the instructions specified by the equipment provider.
Four-wheel drive vehicles CANNOT be flat-towed (all wheels on the ground), as vehicle or transmission damage may occur. It is recommended to tow your vehicle with all four (4) wheels off the ground such as when using a car-hauling trailer. Otherwise, you cannot recreational tow your vehicle."
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Old 04-07-2016, 07:54 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BFlinn181 View Post
From the 2016 Ford Explorer manual:

http://www.fordservicecontent.com/Fo...ngEnabled=True

"Front-wheel drive vehicles CANNOT be flat-towed (all wheels on the ground) as vehicle or transmission damage may occur. You must place the front wheels on a two-wheel tow dolly. If you are using a tow dolly, follow the instructions specified by the equipment provider.
Four-wheel drive vehicles CANNOT be flat-towed (all wheels on the ground), as vehicle or transmission damage may occur. It is recommended to tow your vehicle with all four (4) wheels off the ground such as when using a car-hauling trailer. Otherwise, you cannot recreational tow your vehicle."
From: RV & Trailer Towing Guides | fleet.ford.com
Page 11 from 2016 model year:
2016 SUVs and Trucks (automatic transmission only)
Explorer 3.5L (FWD/AWD) Yes (3)(4)(5)
Explorer 3.5L EcoBoost® (AWD) Yes (3)(4)(5)

(3) All-wheel-drive/Intelligent 4WD vehicles cannot be towed on a dolly.
(4) Maximum speed with automatic transmission is 65 mph.
(5) Start the engine and allow it to run for five (5) minutes at the beginning of each day and every six (6) hours
thereafter.

I clicked on the link provided by BFlinn181 and it appears (check it) only applies to 2.3L EcoBoost™. So go with the 3.5L engine.
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Old 04-07-2016, 08:20 PM   #4
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In my 2008 Explorer SportTrac 4WD, there is a Neutral switch made by Ford that electronically puts the transfer case in neutral. You simply put the transmission shift in N, hold 4x4 Auto until the transfer case is shifted in neutral and go. I have a 2010 Honda CRV as well, but I find the Ford SportTrac best to tow.
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Old 04-07-2016, 08:33 PM   #5
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If you confirm that towing is OK on the Explorer, you can wire the Patriot directly to the battery. Attach a fused positive lead to the battery positive terminal, and use an extra battery terminal for the negative lead. Just swap negative terminals when you tow, and the vehicle will be de-powered while the Patriot will be powered-up.
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Old 04-08-2016, 07:15 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by bluepill View Post
If you confirm that towing is OK on the Explorer, you can wire the Patriot directly to the battery. Attach a fused positive lead to the battery positive terminal, and use an extra battery terminal for the negative lead. Just swap negative terminals when you tow, and the vehicle will be de-powered while the Patriot will be powered-up.
You can also use a WirthCo 20393 Battery Doctor Rotary Dial Disconnect Switch on the negative side:
Amazon.com: WirthCo 20393 Battery Doctor Rotary Dial Disconnect Switch: Automotive
Make position "1" the car and position "2" the Patriot. A little easier than moving battery terminals around (but it will cost $35).

You can also use a pre-wired adapter (like Bluepill suggested, make sure it has a fuse):
RVibrake 12-Volt Battery Direct Kit
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Old 04-08-2016, 07:47 AM   #7
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Thank you all for your advice and comments! We downloaded the owners manual for the 2016 Explorer, 3.5L Ecoboost. The only additional item (not listed in the fleet ford pamphlet) is the requirement to disconnect the negative battery cable. The dealer texted me yesterday and confirmed the FW (Front Wheel) drive was flat towable. We're considering the purchase, but may wait a while as our Jeep Liberty is working fine. Thanks
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Old 04-15-2016, 03:52 PM   #8
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We flat tow our 2015 4 WD Explorer and I'm pretty sure the only changes to the 2016 were cosmetic. You can easily install a Toad Charge and not have to disconnect the battery while towing. Blue Ox makes a Base Plate that is almost invisible. We used the Air Force One braking system.
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Old 04-15-2016, 10:19 PM   #9
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Just curious... Does the 2015 Explorer owners manual state that the negative battery cable be disconnected? Others have said this is supposed to be done to prevent damage to the electronic power steering. Thanks
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Old 04-16-2016, 01:10 AM   #10
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No, that's a new one that I haven't heard.
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Old 04-21-2016, 03:45 AM   #11
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2015 Explorer Toad

I tow a 2015 Explorer, 4wd with EcoBoost & Adaptive Cruise (these options seem to matter, at least for the baseplate). I use the Air Force One braking system.

The owners manual does not say to disconnect the battery for my 2015. I don't have it with me, but I know it says leave the car in accessory mode and of course in neutral. It says to run the car every 4 hours (or 6?). It does not say why you would run the car...could be just to charge the battery or perhaps to circulate some oil in the transmission? I had a charge wire installed so no problems with a dead battery.

Here is my setup:

Blue Ox Avail 10,000lb Tow Bar, BX7420
Blue Ox Tow Bar Baseplate, BX2632
Accessory Kit for Avial Tow Bar, BX88308
SMI Air Force One Brake System, SMI_99243
Blue Ox KarGard II, BX88255

Purchased all from HitchSource.com. They seem to be good guys and know what they are talking about but I'm sure there are plenty of other places to purchase these items.
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Old 04-21-2016, 07:34 PM   #12
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typically you run the engine to circulate the trans fluid to all places it might have drained away from. It also cools off hot spots. I don't think you'd run the engine long enough to even put back into the battery what you took out starting the engine.
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Old 04-22-2016, 03:49 AM   #13
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Thinking of a CPO Ford Edge, anyone flat tow the Edge?


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