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Old 09-03-2012, 12:15 PM   #1
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Towing a Ford Explorer

I have a 1998 Ford Explorer that I want to tow behind my Pace Arrow 36B. Please indulge me if these are really basic questions.

The last toad I pulled was in 1984, and it was a stick shift Toyota (small light weight, and needed nothing added but the tow bar and lights connector. We just put the car in neutral, plugged in the lighting connector and away we went. (The whole tow bar and wiring cost me less than $500 installed)

The Ford dealer has the wheels down tow mod kit for my Explorer, but thing have changed since 1984.

My questions are about towing a vehicle with automatic 4WD.

1. Does the ignition key need to be on to free the steering?

2. With a vehicle this large, do I need to invest in a additional braking system? (we have a lot of mountain roads with steep grades)

As I don't plan to tow regularily, I want to keep the costs to a minimum.

Any suggestions appreciated.

Thanks,

Craig
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Old 09-03-2012, 07:26 PM   #2
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The steering wheel needs to be unlocked. I'm pretty sure that the 1998 Explorer has a lock that is controlled by the ignition key, so yes it would have to be in the Accessory position to unlock the steering wheel.

All gas chassis RV manufacturers specify that auxiliary (toad) braking must be provided if the toad is over 1500 lbs.

The Ready Brute Elite system with a brake integrated in the tow bar is a cost effective solution for occasional towing.
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Old 09-04-2012, 07:49 AM   #3
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On my Explorer, the procedure for setting up for towing is to have the key on, shift transmission to neutral, turn key to off position then hold 4X4 button until NTK blinks 5 times and comes on steady.

As for braking, a vehicle that size should have supplemental in my opinion. I have the ReadyBrake system on mine.

The NTK kit will come with instructions that the dealer is suppose to put on the back of the sun visor.

Jerry
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Old 09-22-2012, 09:01 PM   #4
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Jerry: I am new to RVing. I have purchased a 2006 Flair (Ford v10) and need to set up a Toad. We have a Jeep Commander 4x4, which is towable. However, since it is in the 4700lb range, I am concerned whether the MH can handle it. It is under the weight limit, but barely. How has your MH done with the Explorer, which I assume is a similar weight? How much worse is the gas mileage with the toad as compared to without it?
Thanks!
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Old 09-24-2012, 09:41 AM   #5
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Can't speak too much about the fuel mileage without the Explorer as we rarely travel any distance without it. As for response, yes there is a difference without it.

We towed the Explorer all through the Wyoming area with absolutely no problems. On grades like crossing the Bighorns, yes it slowed down considerably. At some points maybe 35MPH but the Diesel MH I have now does on those grades also. Not a big deal with me as I'm not in a hurry usually anyway.

I think you would be fine, just give it a try, you can't hurt anything. I would however, highly recommend that you have an auxiliary braking system installed. Thata a lot of weight to stop.

Jerry
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Old 12-06-2012, 12:43 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wizard View Post
Can't speak too much about the fuel mileage without the Explorer as we rarely travel any distance without it. As for response, yes there is a difference without it.

We towed the Explorer all through the Wyoming area with absolutely no problems. On grades like crossing the Bighorns, yes it slowed down considerably. At some points maybe 35MPH but the Diesel MH I have now does on those grades also. Not a big deal with me as I'm not in a hurry usually anyway.

I think you would be fine, just give it a try, you can't hurt anything. I would however, highly recommend that you have an auxiliary braking system installed. Thata a lot of weight to stop.

Jerry
Jerry: thanks for the response. We just completed a 2000 mile trip towing the Commander and the MH handled it fine, even over some tall hills in Tennessee. The supplemental brakes worked well...even telling me "some idiot" had left the emergency brake on ($250 for new emergency brake shoes). Gas mileage around 6.2mpg running at 62mph. It didn't run the Jeep battery down, but, just for piece of mind, I have since wired a 12v power supply from the MH to the supplemental brake.
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Old 12-07-2012, 08:48 PM   #7
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I just stripped the tow plate and the and the driveshaft splitter off my 98 explorer. It was a 2 door 4wheel drive. Remco sold me the spliter which worked well. The tow plate was blue ox. The key I had made had no chip, it was for towing only. I Would definitely have a tow brake installed, I used the electric solenoid model. The steering wheel has to be able to turn.
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Old 12-08-2012, 10:29 AM   #8
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I have towed my 2004 Explorer for at least 25000 miles. When we first started towing it was without brakes for the distance from Iowa to Calif. We ruined two batteries in the process. Since that time we now seem to be doing it right as the batteries hold up well and the braking has had a great improvement. (never tow without brakes)
Yes we need to keep the key in the assessory position. It will drain the battery without it connected to the MH. I have the tiny charger that comes from the trickle charger Battery pack from the surge brakes on a car trailer. It is directly wired to the Fords battery and keeps the battery charged, although we do turn the key off at night and reset the transmission each morning.
My diesel fuel milage does not apear to be effected by the addtional weight of the Toad. I suspect that it does during our mountain travels but it is tiny.
The Ford came with our first MH purchase and we continue to use it with our second. I really do not like the thing but find it hard to pay the money for a new toad only to be back there getting chipped up. I would rather throw a few more rocks at that old ford first!
I have not been able to tow without a few rock chips as others have claimed they do. I was able to purchase a Blueox rock gaurd and modify it to fit on my Roadmaster. This seems to have reduced the chips to the paint and windshield. Since there are several already there I am unsure if they have been stopped. Going without a Toad will not happen unless it is totally unavoidable for us !There is just to many places we want to go that will not be wise to do in the MH.
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Old 12-09-2012, 08:00 PM   #9
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We just had a New To Us 2004 Explorer setup to tow behind our Coach. Got the neutral tow kit from Ford Accessories.COM. You will also have to do that and they are available for your 1998. But Be Aware, I was NOT, check my Older Toad thread when will I learn posting
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