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tim79mc 08-15-2012 06:22 PM

2011-2013 Explorer for tow vehicle?

I'm replacing our trusty 2000 Jeep Grand Cherokee - we've outgrown the Jeep and need a third road seat. So, we've looked at the Honda Pilot (yuck) and Ford Explorer. Love the 2011-13 Explorers, but wondering about towing.

Does anyone have one of these? The powertrain is different - transverse V6 engine, FWD with RWD assist to make "4x4" - I didn't see any 4WD low option, which we use all of the time for pulling out of our launch.

Also wondering about braking. I have a '79 S&S and the trailer is without brakes.

Thanks for the thoughts!


zsqure 08-15-2012 08:25 PM

You won't know until you hook it up and drag your boat down the road. Find one with a tow package and give it a try.

Spork 08-15-2012 08:41 PM

2013 explorer with 3.5 ecoboost is rated for max 5000 lbs so I think your ' 79 skier is just fine...

JBrew 08-16-2012 09:04 AM

We have a 2011 with the V6 tow package, max towing capacity rated at 5,000 lbs. We pull our X9... and well to be honest its not enough. The only reason we continue to do so is because its the vehicle we get though work and don't want to have two SUV's. When you give it gas it pulls hard to the right in FWD or 4WD sand. If we go say 60-63 mph it gets about 12 mpg anything over it is around 5-8 mpg. If you have any other specific questions please feel free to ask

As for you I would say it is fine. Our boat is rated at around 3k plus the trailer so we are at the max.

mzimme 08-16-2012 09:14 AM

I'd keep looking at other vehicles. If you looked at a Honda, go look at their competitors... Toyota and Nissan. 4Runners, Sequoias, Armada, Pathfinder... I think all of these have options with 3rd row seats, and V8's.

I used to sell Honda's 5 years ago. The pilot is a great vehicle, but like almost all other Honda's, its entirely underpowered. Given JBrew's explorer experience, I wouldn't want to touch that explorer for towing purposes.

LYNRDSKYNRD 08-16-2012 09:24 AM

If you are keeping the '79 I think you will be fine. I'm sure the above mentioned X-9 has to weigh alot more than your boat. I tow my 87 prostar with the added weight of an ND tower with an 04
I6 trailblazer and it gets us back and forth without any problems. Of course where we live and tow it's not to hilly and our longest tow of the year is about 2 hours one way.

willyt 08-16-2012 03:38 PM

you'll never hear someone when towing a boat say, "Man, i wish i had a smaller truck or a couple less cylinders"

now around town... different story. jbrew is a pretty straight shooter (straighter than his knees are), so i would heed his advice.

for some background, i have a 07 tahoe LTZ i tow a 07 star with. wish i had a bigger truck

mzimme 08-16-2012 04:34 PM

I have a I6 cherokee (5000lb capacity) and pull my S&S (about 3500lbs with trailer/gear/gas), and I really wish I had more. Around town it's fine, but the highways I certainly am never in a hurry. I would go bigger than the explorer. At least get something you can lock into 4 low.

bturner2 08-17-2012 07:25 AM

I have an 06 F150 with the 5.4 and pull a 07 X2. Does a very good job but am looking into tuners to get a bit more out of it. For years I pulled the same size boats with 2 door Explorer Sports that had the old V6s in them. They did the job but moving to the F150 was like night and day. Like everyone is saying above you'll always want more when it comes to tow vehicles.

ccelia 08-17-2012 08:45 AM

If you liked your grand cherokee, maybe check out the dodge durango with a hemi. They have a third row seat and should have enough power to tow your boat. I think they do pretty good on gas for having a v8.

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