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2011 Ford Explorer

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  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,747
    The funny thing is he actually drives one of those "patently unsafe" FWD/AWD vehicles (Lexus RX). Scotty may not be able to change the laws of physics but wwest does it every time he posts.
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,980
    Anyone shopping for a new Explorer?

    Moderator
    Minivan fan. Feel free to message or email me - stever@edmunds.com.

  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Towing anything, ANYTHING at all, will ALWAYS compromise vehicle safety.

    Towing with a FWD or F/awd just accelerates the rate of compromise.

    The question becomes...HOW MUCH compromise you're willing to accept...!!
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    "...he...drives one of those "oatently unsafe"...."

    I have no argument with FWD and/or F/awd when operated only on highly tractive surfaces. Luckily I happen to live in an area wherein wintertime adverse road conditions are somewhat a rarity.

    But even so I carry one set of tire chains all year around and generally toss in the second set come fall. I do not hesitate to install tire chains at the first indication of need, rears initailly and then the fronts if traffic is really bad.
  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 8,043
    I plan on looking at them in February - not planning to buy until after the winter. Hopefully inventory will be better.
  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 8,043
    ...folks. It'll keep your blood pressure down.
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,980
    not planning to buy until after the winter

    I haven't heard any reports of ADM being tacked on. Ford profits are looking good this quarter, so all the more reason to pump some vehicles to the dealers.

    Moderator
    Minivan fan. Feel free to message or email me - stever@edmunds.com.

  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 8,043
    I'm not concerned about ADM as I will X Plan it. Most dealers have just one or two in stock and most seem to be limiteds.

    As for Ford profits, yes they were up but they didn't meet analysts expectations. Stock took an 11% hit earlier today.
  • jpp5862jpp5862 Wilmington, NCPosts: 377
    I'm shopping for an Explorer, one dealer here (NC) was adamant that they would only sell at MSRP, but I haven't seen anyone tacking on ADM. A friend of mine works for a large chain of dealers in the DC area and I'm going to go through them and lease, he was trying to find me the exact options/color combo I wanted. He found a few but none of the dealers were willing to do a dealer trade so he built one of his allocation to match my specs, should be here in 6 - 8 weeks.
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,980
    Stock took an 11% hit earlier today.

    Buying opportunity. :)

    I guess they just started production on 12/1 so it'll be a while longer for inventory to build. There's 5 sort of near me, all Limiteds.

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    Minivan fan. Feel free to message or email me - stever@edmunds.com.

  • cannon3cannon3 Posts: 296
    Wait, Inventories will rise, dealers will deal.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    "..Inventories will rise.."

    But maybe not so soon. Ford may limit production of the F/awd model until the EcoBoost/twinForce gas-guzzling version is available in order to cash in on the HUGE profit margins of a $4000-6000 price markeup.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,747
    The 2.0 ecoboost was already priced at $750, not $4K.
  • dieselonedieselone Posts: 5,653
    Towing with a FWD or F/awd just accelerates the rate of compromise.

    No more than with a rwd vehicle with similar capabilities. I've towed big trailers and small trailers with everything from a front wheel drive minivan to a 1 ton diesel dually.

    What matters is being within the limits of the vehicle... period. Proper tongue weight is a big deal that is easily dealt with by either properly distributing the load in the trailer or by using a weight distribution hitch, also trailer brakes should be on any trailer weighing more than a few thousand pounds.

    As for FWD vs RWD, not much of an issue unless in a low traction scenario such as snow or a slick boat ramp (which I've witnessed 2wd pickups having similar traction issues to a fwd vehicle).

    IMO, the biggest factor regarding trailer stability is wheel base. The vehicle with the longer wheelbase will generally have more stability towing a trailer vs a vehicle with a shorter wheelbase.

    Our first boat was about 3k lbs and 20' long from tongue to prop. We towed it for a few years with a Mecury Villager minivan. It towed fine, albeit slowly. Stability and braking were excellent. I traded the minivan in on an '01 Nissan Pathfinder, that had tons more power and a 5,000lb tow rating vs. the Villagers 3,500lbs. The villager had several inches more of wheelbase and it was noticeable when towing. It actually got pushed around less on the highway towing the boat than the Pathfinder did (though the PF's stability was good), even though the PF was rwd and had a full frame (okay it was some type of full-frame unibody hybrid).

    I do like the Explorer, but the 5,000lb tow rating would keep me from replacing my '07 Expedition with it. We have a boat and a travel trailer to tow that the Explorer just can't tow. Other than that issue it looks good to me.

    IMO, a vehicle like the new Explorer would be fine to tow a trailer under 4,000lbs. One thing many don't realize about tow ratings are that you must consider tongue weight and the GCWR. So with a 5,000lb tow rating, that usually only accounts for a 150lb driver in the tow vehicle. So if you have 1000lbs of people and gear in the tow vehicle that will count against the GCWR and tow rating, often times meaning the vehicle is only rated to tow a 4k trailer while hauling 1klbs of people and gear. Meaning my Expedition can't tow anywhere near 9k lbs if I'm also carrying 8 people and a top carrier with a weeks worth of gear in it.

    It's usually a good idea to not tow more than 80% of the vehicle tow rating on a regular occasion. Particularly with light duty vehicles.

    Ex. Our travel trailer is 8k lbs and 36' long. We keep it at a seasonal campsite so we don't tow it. But I did tow it to the campground with my Expedition which is rated to tow 9k lbs. Still, that was scary as hell due to the Expe only having a 119" wheelbase, that simply isn't enough to tow a trailer that is 36' long and over 10' tall. Even with a w/d hitch and sway control I was all over the road anytime I went much over 50 mph. I avoided highways as the thought of a semi passing me was terrifying. I won't tow it again with the Expedition unless it's a very short trip.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    edited January 2011
    Where..What...publication by FORD...???

    Plus it isn't just the engine up-pricing alone, what other up-priced models and/or option "packages" will be required to get an EcoBoost/TwinForce Gas-Guzzler. Have a look at current pricing.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    "..No more than with a rwd with similar capabilities.."

    The laws of physics say otherwise. RWD vehicles "spread" the need for traction to control the vehicle across two sets of tires, directional control in the front and motion control at the rear.

    To have a FWD with equal driving stability you would need to start with front tires with double the roadbed contact surface of a RWD vehicle. And the equation by no means ends there.
  • loudog2loudog2 Posts: 83
    Willard,

    So the explorer FWD/AWD would be fine with every day driving(ie. snow, ice, dry pavement)? You just think it won't stand up to off-road and towing?
  • dieselonedieselone Posts: 5,653
    edited January 2011
    The laws of physics say otherwise. RWD vehicles "spread" the need for traction to control the vehicle across two sets of tires, directional control in the front and motion control at the rear.

    To have a FWD with equal driving stability you would need to start with front tires with double the roadbed contact surface of a RWD vehicle. And the equation by no means ends there.


    What I'm saying is that is far from the only factor in determine towing stability/performance. I've never had a stability issue towing with a FWD vehicle as long as the trailer total weight, tongue weight, frontal area, and length are within the capabilities of the tow vehicle.

    Anyone of the areas where the trailer is to big or heavy for the tow vehicle will cause stability issues regardless of FWD, RWD, or AWD.

    No question a FWD vehicle can't tow as much as a rwd vehicle. But back to the new Explorer it will be able to tow most 4k-lb trailers fine. If you need to tow more buy something rated to tow more and yes, it most likely will be RWD.

    You also need to consider how far and where you'll be towing. If your just going to a local lake then you can safely tow close to the tow rating, but if your going to be towing a trailer hundreds of miles through hilly/mountainous terrain, you don't want to be towing near the limit. Regardless of the vehicle. Trust me, I've been there.

    Something like a 20' boat will be a piece of cake with the Explorer. My neighbor tows his 21' Mastercraft all over the place with his MDX for the past 4 years w/o issue.
  • dieselonedieselone Posts: 5,653
    edited January 2011
    You just think it won't stand up to off-road and towing?

    I don't know much about off roading, but it will be perfectly fine for towing a trailer that is within it's capability. I don't know what the full tow ratings are as most advertised tow ratings are essentially useless without knowing what the manufacture also rates max frontal area and max tongue weight. Boats are easier to tow because the wheels on the boat trailer are further from the tow vehicle rear axle and boats also have tongue weights of 5-10% vs 10-15% on most other trailers. Not to mention boats have a small frontal area, so they have far less wind drag.

    Meaning the Explorer probably could tow a 4500lb 21' boat just fine, but a 4,500lb box trailer with a potential tongue weight over 600lbs would be a big no no w/o a w/d hitch. Even with a w/d hitch I'd bet the Explorer is limited to a tongue weight of no more than 500lbs.

    I'd say realistically if you have a family of 4 that will be in the vehicle with you while towing, 3,500lbs or so really is the max you should tow. With people and gear in the tow vehicle you reduce how much you can tow.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    I don't by any means plan to buy one of the new 2011 F/awd Explorers but here is some advice for those that do.

    I would modify the rear clutch circuit, simple switch probably, such that it would be open, the clutch totally disabled, unless I KNEW that the road surface traction was of question.

    "Snow, ice..." Enable the F/awd system AND install rear tire chains.

    Remember that it's not just you out there on that snow and ice, you're going to be playing dodge'm, like it or not.

    The 2011 F/awd Ford Explorer will be just fine on tractive surfaces. That probably means you might as well buy the less expensive FWD Exlorer unless the EcoBoost/TwinForce Gas-Guzzling engine "up-pricing" puts the price, as I would fully expect, within the range of the F/awd model.

    No "low-ball, base, I4's fielded.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Towing: Questions.

    At what weight range MUST you seriously begin considering the more simple (tongue compression actuated) TOAD brakes...? when, what weight electric braking..??

    At what weight range should/MUST you consider having tandem axles on the TOAD...?

    Towing is NOT just a simple matter of staying below the vehicle's factory weight limitations.
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 9,972
    edited January 2011
    Uhaul still won't rent you any trailer for an Explorer.
    It doesn't matter what generation is it. :(
    What is really strange to me is that for 2009, I paid more in property tax for my 2002 Explorer than I did in 2008.
    2009 bill arrived in January 2010.
    This is the first time I can ever remember that happening.
  • dieselonedieselone Posts: 5,653
    edited January 2011
    At what weight range MUST you seriously begin considering the more simple (tongue compression actuated) TOAD brakes...? when, what weight electric braking..??

    Most state laws require trailer brakes for trailers weighing anywhere from 1,000lbs to 5,000lbs depending on the state. Most auto manufacturers recommend trailer brakes on anything over 1,000lbs. IIRC, both my Expedition and my previous Suburban had that recommendation. I think it's a good idea for trailers over 2k to have a minimum of surge brakes and a must by 3k lbs.

    Surge brakes work well up to maybe 5k-6k lbs. One thing to consider is weight distribution hitches and surge brakes can be a problem. There are a few specialized w/d setups that are suppose to work with surge brakes. But if your getting to the point where you need weight distribution, you probably will be better of with electric. It's nice to be able to activate the trailer brakes independently such as when the trailer is swaying.

    I'd definitely recommend electric over 5k lbs. That way in a panic stop, your brake controller can more quickly and more appropriately apply braking power to the trailer. Plus you can periodically check to make sure they are in working order with electric, that's hard to do with surge.

    Boats are a bit different in that you are dealing with continual submersion in water. The early electric brake setups were a nightmare in this environment, but the best systems today are electric over hydraulic, so that eliminates electric brake components being subject water intrusion.

    Tandem axle trailers are a must over 5k lbs IMO. They offer a more stable towing experience and they ride far smoother. Plus towing that much weight with a single axle means you only have brakes on one axle which will limit braking ability and stability.

    Towing is NOT just a simple matter of staying below the vehicle's factory weight limitations.

    True, there are many variables and no absolutes. Even with what I posted above it depends on many factors. A 1 ton dually will handle braking a 5k lb trailer far better than a vehicle like the Explorer.

    When the trailer being towed weighs more than the tow vehicle the game certainly changes.

    So with a vehicle like the Explorer it depends on what you're going tow with it. Oh, and never listen to what a sales person says it can tow. They are usually clueless.
  • dieselonedieselone Posts: 5,653
    Uhaul still won't rent you any trailer for an Explorer.
    It doesn't matter what generation is it. :(


    I thought they dropped that ridiculous policy. The 02 and later explorers are capable for their size.
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 9,972
    edited January 2011
    Before I made that post, I went to their website and tried the 02 and 11.
    It won't give you a price to rent a trailer.
    You have to look just below the pricing area to see some wording that says they won't rent a trailer for an Explorer due to lawsuits.
    Next May I need to move some of my kid's stuff.
    Think of a triangle. 750 miles on one side, 800 on another and 200+ connecting them.
    Since it looks like I would have to buy a trailer, maybe I should just get a new Explorer and we can take the 2 of them where we need to go and I can sell the '02 next fall.
    That would be tough because I still love my '02 EB.
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,980
    edited January 2011
    And yet they'll let you tow behind the twin, a Mercury Mountaineer. At least they did last time I looked.

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  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 9,972
    edited January 2011
    I have read some stories about swapping out badges to get the "Wink. it's ok now".
    Maybe I could tape it over and write Lincoln on it.
    Scratch that now about 'KIA'? Easier to spell. ;)
  • dieselonedieselone Posts: 5,653
    edited January 2011
    will be required to get an EcoBoost/TwinForce Gas-Guzzle

    Gas-Guzzler compared to what? So you get an extra 100ft-lbs of torque, for a minimal penalty.

    The Ecoboost in a Taurus SHO gets better mileage than a Subaru WRX STI and the Ecoboost has more power and more weight to move around.

    In the F150 it offers 420 ft-lbs and 21 to 22 mpg hwy. Only way to get that kind of power and mileage in a full-size truck is to go diesel (though most can't anymore due to smog controls and the fact the HD pickups weigh a ton(s)).

    I'll agree it's not ground braking, but there isn't a 1/2 ton v8 truck available that can produce over 400ft-lbs of torque and get 20+mpg. So a 2-3 mpg improvement may not sound like much, but it is over 10%. Plus the F150 is quite a bit heavier than other 1/2 tons.

    Now that is just comparing EPA numbers, I'll be curious to see how it compares in the real world. I'd love to have an Ecoboost in my Expedition. More power and bit more fuel economy. What's not to like.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    The Mountaineer, being the upscale model, may have had just enough extra weight "lower down weight", to make a difference in the need to lower tire pressure in order to lower the propensity for rollover.
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,980
    edited January 2011
    Maybe so; still have trouble with the blanket policy in view of the "mechanically identical" models of the Mountaineer, Navajo and Aviator made over the years. The curb weights for the Explorers surely varied by year too, not to mention that the 4 door versions are heavier than the 2 doors.

    Be curious to see what happens now that the 2011s are out.

    Moderator
    Minivan fan. Feel free to message or email me - stever@edmunds.com.

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