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Ford Expedition Towing Questions



  • Might as well close this out in case someone in the future has similar questions...

    I replaced the original standard-cooling radiator and trans. oil cooler w/ the super-cooling parts over the weekend. The standard-cooling radiator carries a 7L148005AC engineering no., which corresponds to a 7L1Z-8005-A part no. The super cooling engineering no. is 7L148005BC and the part no. is 7L1Z-8005-B.

    There is actually a visible difference once you put both radiators side-by-side. The fins extend farther on one side on the super-cooling part -- flush with the side tank on one side and within 1/4" or so of flush on the other, whereas on the standard-cooling part the fins are flush on one side but only within 1/2" or so of flush on the other. Also, the fins are much thinner, aiding heat transfer (and making the fins more fragile, easier to flatten if you brush against them).

    The job was maybe a 2 1/2 out of five on the pain-in-the-a** meter, and took me about 6 hours including replacement of the transmission oil cooler. Some of that was head scratching, figuring how to gain enough clearance between the A/C condenser and the radiator to allow the radiator to come out-- I didn't want to have to dump the A/C charge.

    The good news is that it can be done without overstressing anything, either on removal or re-installation, although you have to break the condenser support tabs off of the radiator to be removed. (Well, that's what I eventually did; there may be a way to do it without breaking the tabs, but I finally had had enough...)

    Happy to help if anyone wants more detail.

  • 1st I would like to thank all of you for taking the time and put this information out here for others.

    I have had my share of experiences with ordering trucks and sale people that think they know what they are selling you. I own 7 Ford truck for my business and doing very simple add ons have become a battle of wits with the Service department.

    With that being said.....I recently purchased a 2005 Expedition E/B 4X4, Must say I got a great deal. My intention is to trailer the boat I have not yet purchased which will weight about 5000-6000lbs.

    From reading here I can tell you that I have the 4 plug only on the hitch. I have seen the dual 7/4 plug on other Expeditions and now realize what I was told was the TOW PACKAGE (6,000lbs) is just that and there is a HD version (8,900).

    Without knowing which rear end I have if i DO NOT have the 3:73 rear would is still be worth doing the balance of the HD upgrade as listed here by others?

    OR just leave things as is add a brake controller and a 7 pin plug?

    As a side note I would never even think about towing anything close to 9000lbs with an Expedition.

    Ron G.
  • My 2 cents:

    You will tow a boat which will weigh 5000-6000 pounds (that I assume you mean fully loaded for a total of 5000-6000 pounds with boat, trailer, motor, gas, stuff) with the base towing capabilities. If true, you are on the upper end of the capacity vs intended load.

    >> Without knowing which rear end I have if i DO NOT have the 3:73 rear would is still be worth doing the balance of the HD upgrade as listed here by others?

    I say yes to get the larger oil cooler and radiator to keep the engine from overheating especially depending on the terrain of your towing. Its a form of insurance and peace of mind.
  • I agree with the above. Add at least the oil cooler (it's a no-brainer -- it's cheap and very easy to install) and if there's the slightest doubt the radiator as well. Boats usually equal hot weather, no? At 5,000 -- 6,000 lbs, even if you do have the 3.31 gears you should be OK. It won't be a rocket, but it will pull anything you reasonably want it to.

    While my '07 is better in some respects, the stiffer suspension of the '05 I had was a bit more secure for towing in heavy crosswinds.
  • how feasible is it to replace the original receiver on my 2005 with a heavier one?
    I do not intend to tow with it, but I would like to have it be able to pull a horse trailer to the vet or some such in a pinch.
  • I don't know what level of receiver is on the 2005. There should be a tag on the receiver. The heavy hitch is I believe a Class IV hitch.

    If your hitch is lighter, see if it's bolted or welded in. If bolted it would be simple to add an aftermarket Class IV.
  • dieselonedieselone Posts: 5,721
    I would add the trans cooler and you should be fine. a 5-6,000lb boat is a lot easier to tow than a camper or enclosed trailer of the weight. You don't have near the wind resistance with a boat. Also, you rarely see electric brakes on boat trailers. I've been around boats for a while and I've yet to see an electric brake setup on a boat trailer under 7k lbs. I know they are out there, but they are rare. The vast majority are surge activated brakes and do not require a brake controller.

    My current boat weighs about 4800lbs full of gear and fuel and my 07 Expedition doesn't break a sweat towing it, does a much better job than my previous '00 Suburban. I do have the 3.73 gears and h/d towing package.

    An external trans cooler is a must and you should be fine.
  • Well I have found the Trans cooler as others have already posted the 2005 came standard with a trans cooler so now it is just a matter of getting the upgraded H/D trans cooler. Now sure about the H/D raditor just yet.

    From what I am learning about the boat I am interested in (20' jet boat) only weight about 3,000bs. This should be nothing for the Expy.

    I do have the H6 rearend code and from all I can find that is the 3:73.

    When I get the trailer I now two things for sure reguardless of the actual weight of the boat: 1) I will pay for a twin axle trailer. (I know a single axle trailer would handle the weight BUT I have towed those on a long trip and I just would rather have the twin axles for improved stability and I have also see what single axle ttrailers for at the end of less than great boat ramps) 2) it will have electric brakes. ( I know surge brakes get teh job done but again, anyone that has done some stop and go traffic trailering with sruge brakes will know waht I am talking about)

    New Question... How does the AIR SUSPENSION effect trailering?

    TIA, Ron G.
  • dieselonedieselone Posts: 5,721
    it will have electric brakes. ( I know surge brakes get teh job done but again, anyone that has done some stop and go traffic trailering with sruge brakes will know waht I am talking about)

    Well I've probably towed my boat with surge brakes 20k miles w/o an issue. Yeah, it will clunk a little but not a big deal, I just ease on the gas to let the actuator gradually pull back. Braking performance is excellent. I've also got a 25' travel trailer with electric brakes with a Prodigy inertia brake controller. It is not a whole lot better in stop and go traffic in terms of smooth brake performance.

    I don't think you really want to deal with electric brakes on a boat trailer. It's hard enough to keep the trailer lights working with constantly being dumped in a lake. If you do go this route you'll want electric over hydraulic, that way, the hydraulic part gets wet and you'll have a lot less trouble. I'm just not convinced it's worth the money on a trailer under 5,000lbs.

    A 3k-4k boat will be a piece of cake behind an Expedition, h/d tow package or not. If that's all your towing I wouldn't worry about a h/d radiator, still wouldn't be a bad idea to add a trans cooler.

    Can't disagree about a tandem axle trailer. My current boat has a tandem and it rides and tows much better than my previous boat with a single axle. The only issue is it's almost impossible to move the trailer tongue more than 6" in either direction. That is sometimes an issue when positioning in our garage. If your ordering a trailer, you might want to consider a swing-able tongue. It allows me to get a 21' boat in a 23' garage.
  • trgrundtrgrund Posts: 1

    Too start, let me admit I'm a dumbass when it comes to mechanics & wiring...

    Here is my problem...I have a 2005 expedition that has the factory tow hitch. I tow a boat trailer & a little utility trailer. The left turn signal & brake light are not working.

    I took it in to U-haul last year & the kid there said he thought it would be an easy fix, either a fuse or a relay. I bought the vehicle used & didn't have the owners manual at the time. U-haul guys messed around w/ it for a while & couldn't figure out which fuse it was. Finally the guy told me to take it to the dealership.

    I was leaving for a camping trip w/ the boat & couldn't get it in to the dealership in time, so I just drove it w/ no left turn signal. That was at the end of last summer, I put the boat up & didn't worry about it until now.

    I was back at u-haul for something else & was chatting w/ the kid about the taillight last week. He again said he was sure it was a fuse & he tore into it again. Of course, I still didn't have the manual...& after some frustrated effort on his part, he called the dealership & asked which fuse it was. They tried to tell him that it must be a broken wire in the line...& not the fuse. All three uhaul employees (w/ and average of 8 yrs on the job) said that every time this sort of thing has been brought in before it has been a fuse or relay, NEVER a broken wire.

    Dealership wants $95 just to look at it....

    I downloaded the owners manual w/ the fuse/relay diagram. According to the diagram, fuse #42 is the "trailer tow left/stoplamps"...I checked this fuse & guess what? was blown. I changed the fuse, super happy that I figured this out w/ out paying the dealerships outrageous prices....I hooked the trailer up & guess what?...still no left turn signal or brake light. Rechecked the fuse & it's still good. (I'm sure this question is coming up, so...I actually own three trailers, I tried all 3 & same problem, so the problem is NOT the trailer)

    ANY ADVISE OR GUESSES OUT THERE?....please help, thanks.
  • I agree with the fuse route, I've had the same issue. I've also had fuses that looked ok but weren't. For giggles, why don't you try another? I had the exact problem you describe on the right sideof my '03. Two fuses later and it never happened again. You may also want to wiggle the fuse a bit to make sure it is making solid contact in it's slot. If it still doesn't work, or blows again, it may very well be a wire that has lost it's insulation or something causing it to blow.
  • mattfordmattford Posts: 4
    Too many numbers, too little brain. Any input is appreciated. After searching for just the right travel trailers to start the family trips, I found it. Right floor plan, right age, right condition, right price. I have a 2003 Expedtion EB 5.4L. I understand the towing specs to be 8900lbs and 890 on the hitch (w/ dist). The trailer specs: Shipped: 8365 Hitch (dry): 815 Carrying Capacity: 2610. What do you think?

    Understadably, I believe that Ford would have cushion in their numbers knowing that persons will be over from time to time.
  • alwaysfords2alwaysfords2 Posts: 339
    edited April 2010
    You also need 3.73 rear gears to get to 8900 I believe. Loads considerably under that weight are tough on an Expedition, I'd say you are just asking for trouble. Trouble pulling, trouble steering and trouble stopping. You also need to consider the gross combined vehicle weight rating which then accounts for the stuff you will have in the vehicle. That stuff adds up pretty quickly too.

    Not a good choice for the Expy.
  • mattfordmattford Posts: 4
    Thanks for the info Alwaysfords2. i have backed off that option after receiving similar feedback. Found another simlar floor plan, but the shipped weight is 7300 and hitch is 665. Quite a bit less. What would you think about this option?
  • Clearly better. When you say hitch, you mean tongue weight? I would assume that's what you are saying. As a rule tongue weight is supposed to be around 10% of the trailer weight, so you will typically find that if a vehicle has a particular tow rating, it's tongue weight is 10% of that. So if you are within your tow rating, you will be within your tongue weight.
  • mattfordmattford Posts: 4
    So you would be be comfortable towing that w/ the Expy, even up hills (local mountains)? Any concern about the sheer size of the trailer or we just really need to worry about the weight issues?

    Thanks again.
  • Does the trailer have electric brakes or surge brakes? I would also do a double check on the overall weight, gross vehicle weight rating to make sure it is still within. I think you are at the limit of what I would be comfortable with. It is the weight, not the size that matters most, but a good cross wind on a big surface and the trailer will let you know who the boss is. It will probably strain a bit going up hill. Any chance you can take it for a test drag??
  • mattfordmattford Posts: 4
    Here is the one I'm looking at:

    Has electric brakes. It looks like GVWR is 9K. That would be reached with 1700lbs of cargo/water. Dry+full fresh water = 7660.

    No on the test, dealer doesn't have it. It would be ordered. Not really anywhere close to pull uphill. I'm sure it would handle flat ground just fine.
  • I think the law is any trailer over 4k needs electric brakes, but figured I'd ask. In any event, you are pretty much right at the limit. If it were me I would concentrate on not utilizing the carrying capacity of the trailer, and keep it as light as possible. Any chance you could hit a few forums for travel trailers and see what people are towing this thing with? Maybe the dealer could also help you with what people usually tow with.
    I'd get a prodigy brake controller, they are pretty much the top of the line.
  • dieselonedieselone Posts: 5,721
    That is a lot of trailer for an Expedition. The weight isn't the biggest problem. 35 feet of trailer with 119" wheel base is.

    I pulled my 2010 Coachemen 32bhds which is just under 36' and 7600lbs empty with my 07 Expedition to our seasonal campsite from the dealer. It handled the weight fairly well considering it has roughly 1,200lbs of tongue weight (including full propane tanks and battery). I was using 1000lb weight distribution bars and dual friction sway bars. It was marginal at best. Anytime I got much over 50mph, it would start to sway. An excellent in-line sway/ weight distribution hitch is a must. Something like a Reese Dual Cam etc, would be absolute minimum if you plan on towing more than a few miles safely.

    My trip from the dealer to the campground was 120 miles. I avoided the interstates and it was still a bear of a tow. Like I said, the weight of the trailer wasn't a problem. The Expe accelerated well and held speed up over passes etc, but the length is an issue. If you plan on towing far, I'd recommend keeping overall length under 30' and invest in a good hitch. Skip the friction sway control.

    Goodluck. Outbacks are great trailers. We had a 25RSS that we simply outgrew and we wanted something bigger with dual slides for our seasonal campsite.
  • wwclanwwclan Posts: 1
    I have a 2005 ford expe 300HP.... it too had the reg tow pack 6000lbs. I made the dealer upgrade it for same price since he insisted it was HD. They added the HD tranny cooler and changed the gears, but the gears were only changed to 3.55's.. I was thinking they would get better mpg as my wife is the everyday driver. Actual miles is about 15-17, so much for that thought. I was towing a 4,000 lb 26 ft trailer, but just upgraded to a 5300 lbs 30 ft trailer.

    It towed the 4k trailer fine at 2000 rps 62 mph in over drive, 10.7 mpg to 11mpg. I turn the over drive off on hills and when it's switching. Now with the 5300, lbs should I go to 3.73? I use weight distribution bars, tow totally dry, and a prodigy brake controller.... the tires on the new trailer are bigger?
  • kaelenbkaelenb Posts: 5
    edited December 2010
    Sounds like your trailer could have been too balanced if it went nuts over 50mph. I have found towing with an 97 expedition as well as an 06 durango that a good set of 10 ply tires (in my case I love BFG All Terrain) and using a set of firestone coil-rite is of real benefit. When you use the weight distributing hitch you dont have enough weight down on your rear wheels to keep a large load pinned down to the road. If you use the hitch as it is meant to be used, use a good stable tire (at higher psi), and force your rear wheels down to the ground via airbags these short wheelbase people haulers really do an amazing job at towing large loads. I have three kids and am thinking of a fourth. By the time they like to take friends along I would never use a truck again. Due to the low passenger count. I am considering an 03 expedition this time. Thank you for all your great comments on how they are pulling. Shocked to see peak torque at 2500 rpm on the 5.4. I LOVE LOW END TORQUE
  • If fuse route fails just keep tracing the wire back until it works (testing with a probe light). It's ignorant of uhaul to say that it is always a fuse. Situations are all different. What if the previous owner jury rigged something? Trace it back till it works. You will likely find that you have a converter from the seperate brake and turn signal lights that will convert them to one for your trailer. It may be defective. Trace it back till you find a wire with the current. Many times trailer wiring for lights plugs into the back side of your rear lights on the vehicle.

    Hope it help. So frustrating when you cant find it.
  • I have 06 expedition with HD tow package. Towing capacity of 8600 lbs and hitch weight of 860lbs. I was looking at travel trailers and found the Laredo 302lt which is one with a loft. The dry weight is 6750 lbs and payload rating of 1450 lbs. First and main question is will it tow it and will it be safe. I don't plan on loading the trailer to the max and never with fluids. Most camping will be in home state of indiana. With most trips being less then 50 miles with only very mild hills. There will be a couple trips each year that will be out of state around 250 miles but still only small amount of mild hills- Michigan and illinois. If the first question is a go I know I need a load distributing hitch, sway control, upgraded coolers, good trailer brake controller. What else do I need or need to know? Thank you for your comments especially from those of you who have pulled this size trailer with an expedition!
  • I have a 30' Jayco Qwest that I tow with a 2003 1/2 ton suburban, and have towed large loads with and expedition and 2006 Durango as well. I believe that if your tongue weight is 860# you will likely find that is about ten percent of your gross. That seems to be the case most often. I would venture a guess that when you put the loaded trailer on the scale it will probably be about your max. Put your weight dist. and sway control on, and dont do any performance upgrades to your powerplant. You are not likely to fry your tranny unless you power it up or drive like you are trying to win a race. Take it easy, be satisfied with 45 mph on the big hills, and I believe you will be safe and the Expedition will have a good long life. Hope all goes well.
  • I was so happy when I was shopping for an Expedition in 1998 that my brother's father-in-law would not sell me one unless it had the towing package. It proved to be a godsend, as we purchased a 24 ft. travel trailer and drove all over the northwest with an equalizer hitch with no trouble at all for 8 years. Last year we traded up to a 2008 EL Expedition with the towing package, and this year purchased a 8200 lb 32 foot trailer. The dealer almost refused to sell it to me when he heard that I was going to tow it to North Idaho and Montana. But with a towing capacity of 8700 lbs. and a 4 point towing bar system, our Ford service dept. assured me that my Rig would be up to the task. Well, it towed better than I could have imagined. We packed light, with no water, and since we were late for a funeral service, had to really make time. After a few 45 mph steep grades, we got onto Montana's famous highways that are built for 100 mph. We could easily and safely drive 85 mph, and we averaged over 75 for 200 miles, passing cars, pulling the Titanic. We only got 7.9 mpg, but hey, what do you expect. I am so proud of our Big Red Machine, towing with no issues for over 800 miles over 3 mountain passes, one with 8% grade. I highly recommend that you get a towing package on any vehicle that offers it, and outfit it with a great equalizer/anti-sway system.
  • I have a 1998 Expedition and am looking to upgrade to a 2010 or 2011. I want the heavy duty towing package (536) that has been talked about elsewhere on this site. I'm finding it difficult to understand whether the hitch (receiver) is different with the 536 package or is it just the oil cooler, trans cooler and alternator that are different?
    Most dealer sales people have no idea what I'm talking about and it is very difficult to look through the Expeditions on the Internet and tell whether they have the 536 package or not. Any suggestions are most welcome!
  • alwaysfords2alwaysfords2 Posts: 339
    edited February 2013
    The reciever is not enough to tell you it has the HD package, they all have the receiver and it is the same. You need to check the VIN or look for the coolers.
  • armorbeearmorbee Posts: 1
    My wife and I have a small pop-up. Looking to upgrade to something bigger. I have the use of a 2004 Ford Expedition 4X4 4.6L XLT SUV. Has the 4 pin electrical hookup.

    I am seriously confused with all of these numbers in Gross this and Gross that. I find that the base curb weight is 5,499 and max towing capacity is 5,000. The GVWR is 7100 and the GCWR is 10,700.

    I cannot figure out what it all means and how much I can actually tow. I thought I could easily tow a 26 foot camper off this thing. After I look at the weights it looks like this truck isn't strong enough to tow more than coleman pop up.

    I could really use some help with this and shed a little light on my ingnorance.

    Thank you
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