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Old 08-09-2021, 09:59 AM   #1
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2003 Ford Excursion Flat Tow

Hi folks!

Wanted to get a few opinions here. I've been waffling back and forth on flat towing my Cummins swapped 2003 Excursion. Curb weight is approximately 7800 pounds and with a full tank of fuel and a Cummins under the hood, I'd guess I'm pushing up close to 9K. I have not weighed it, but I will before proceeding. There are heavy duty tow bars (10K capacity) and even more options for braking systems, so I know that I can find something that will fit the weight. I've looked at this forum and other internet searches and haven't seen anyone actually flat towing one. I also have a manual transmission and transfer case, so the actual setup is well known. 2007 HR Scepter 40PDQ 400 ISL is what I'd be pulling it with.

I looked at a dolly for the other cars we have (2021 Sentra and 2015 Altima) because they are CVT transmissions and can't be flat towed. Unfortunately, they are too low to the ground to get up on the dolly without monkeying with boards to get them started, which I'd rather not do.

In light of the used car market being what it is, I really don't want to spend cash on another car and there's no chance of me ever giving up my Excursion as a daily. I'm also interested in turning it into more of an overland vehicle which we would flat tow to campgrounds and then have the ability to get further out into BLM land or whatever to do more remote hiking, etc. Right now, it's on stock tire size and a bit lifted on the ride height. I'll need new tires probably next spring and would probably go to 35" tires at that point.

I did actually see a flat towed conversion van going down the road the other day, so I guess folks are doing this size of vehicle, but I've not seen an Excursion.

Thoughts?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 08-09-2021, 08:40 PM   #2
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With the manual transfer case you should be able to flat tow but be careful with the IWE on the front wheels, if you have them. I don't know if the 2003 wheels are the same as the 2004s but on my 2004 F50 I'm running a vacuum pump from a diesel to keep the wheel shafts disengaged. If you already have a diesel you should have a vacuum pump already installed and you may just have to wire it to the 12v on the umbilical to the coach to keep the IWEs disengaged. Good luck.
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Old 08-09-2021, 10:03 PM   #3
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My V10 excursion is 7000# so guessing youíre roughly 7500#.
I donít have a manual transfer case or transmission, so I have to drop my rear driveshaft. Manual hubs unlocked and transmission in park. 10,000# (Avail?) blue ox towbar and home built base plate. Tows great but we havenít tried it in the mountains.
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Old 08-09-2021, 10:18 PM   #4
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It also tows my 9,000# boat just fine. 426hp 1260 torque Banks Cummins 8.3.
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Old 08-10-2021, 09:34 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arcaguy View Post
With the manual transfer case you should be able to flat tow but be careful with the IWE on the front wheels, if you have them. I don't know if the 2003 wheels are the same as the 2004s but on my 2004 F50 I'm running a vacuum pump from a diesel to keep the wheel shafts disengaged. If you already have a diesel you should have a vacuum pump already installed and you may just have to wire it to the 12v on the umbilical to the coach to keep the IWEs disengaged. Good luck.
Thanks! I have a set of manual hubs on now that I'm pretty much all manual.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob_M View Post
My V10 excursion is 7000# so guessing you’re roughly 7500#.
I don’t have a manual transfer case or transmission, so I have to drop my rear driveshaft. Manual hubs unlocked and transmission in park. 10,000# (Avail?) blue ox towbar and home built base plate. Tows great but we haven’t tried it in the mountains.

EDIT: the baris apparently the Aventa II, which hasn't been made in a while but has replacement parts available for a rebuild, which I'll do.
Attachment 339001
Sweet!! Nice looking X!! So, for your base plate, that was one of the things I was concerned about. The small amount of product literature I've seen on the tow bar shows that the height difference can only be 4", and that's assuming the coach receiver is higher than where the bar connects to the TOAD. I've not measured mine, but it appears that the TOAD will be higher than the receive, which apparently is a no-go. I may have to go the custom route for the base plate. Got any pictures of yours?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob_M View Post
It also tows my 9,000# boat just fine. 426hp 1260 torque Banks Cummins 8.3.
Attachment 339002
Nice! I have an uprate on the ISL on the long list but don't feel I 'll need it in the short term if I do my job and manage the gear selection.
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Old 08-10-2021, 12:13 PM   #6
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I think I have pics of the cross member during welding somewhere. If you look close you can see the blue ox connectors protruding below the bumper. They are welded and gusseted to that cross member and the cross member is beefed up also. Iím a certified welder by trade. There have been so many blue ox failures that Im probably going to fabricate a heavy duty tow bar also. We donít tow the Ex very often. Usually a golf cart or rzr trailer.
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Old 08-10-2021, 08:02 PM   #7
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I think I have pics of the cross member during welding somewhere. If you look close you can see the blue ox connectors protruding below the bumper. They are welded and gusseted to that cross member and the cross member is beefed up also. Iím a certified welder by trade. There have been so many blue ox failures that Im probably going to fabricate a heavy duty tow bar also. We donít tow the Ex very often. Usually a golf cart or rzr trailer.
Attachment 339053
Thanks! So you welded yours to the crash bar across the front. I like it! I am NOT a certified welder but I can do some things. Wouldnít trust that to me for this application though. I do have a guy that Iíd trust to do that. Hmm. That solves the height problem for sure.

I have seen the failures some folks are experiencing on the base plates, but not the bars themselves. Certainly not something youíd want to fail going down the road.

Iíll keep munging on it. I still have to decide whether to go with an Air Force 1 system as the coach has it already installed on that end. Iíd need the control box and I like how it works. Other option I like is the ready brake 3.
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Old 09-04-2021, 06:46 AM   #8
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Ok, so a bit of an update on this. Got a used AF1 car side for $100 and I’ll be test fitting that soon. However, I hooked my newly rebuilt tow bar up last night and I’ll need 12” rise to get the bar level. That seems like a lot. For one, the largest one road master makes is 10”. I did find Gen Y hitch, which has a 12” drop that has 1500 pounds of tongue weight, which I like. Anybody have an opinion as to whether this is a bit much?
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Old 09-04-2021, 07:44 AM   #9
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Letís see some pictures of what you got installed on the coach.
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Old 09-04-2021, 07:47 AM   #10
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Letís see some pictures of what you got installed on the coach.

Woops I see you donít have it yet. Provide a link to what you think will work.
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Old 09-04-2021, 09:57 PM   #11
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Subscribing, wondering about towing an X also!

What kind of auxiliary braking do you have on your X?
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Old 09-04-2021, 11:42 PM   #12
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Woops I see you donít have it yet. Provide a link to what you think will work.
Hereís what Iím looking at. Iíll have to call them to see if the shank is long enough as itíll need to get clear of the rear of the coach. Iíd get the 12Ē (6 hole) version.

https://genyhitch.com/product/mega-d...yABEgLQmPD_BwE

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Subscribing, wondering about towing an X also!

What kind of auxiliary braking do you have on your X?
I recently picked up the car portion of the Air Force one from eBay and Iíll be installing tomorrow. Still need to get a diode kit or equivalent as well. Coach already has the AF1 installed. I have 27Ē of ride height on the X, so 4Ē lift front and 3Ē rear. So, itís a bit higher than normal for the tow bar fitment.
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Old 09-05-2021, 07:22 AM   #13
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That drop looks plenty sturdy. I hope it is long enough to clear.
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Old 09-05-2021, 07:26 AM   #14
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2003 Ford Excursion Flat Tow

It gives the dimensions of the shank.

5.687Ē or about 5 11/16Ē from the front lock pin to the front of the drop. Probably not enough to clear my rig.
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