Bigger trailer

DangerDoug

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Howdy! Thanks in advance for any help. We have upgraded our tow vehicle to a 2017 expedition EL. We used to tow a pop-up trailer with a minivan and are now in the market for a bigger trailer. I'm unsure about the actual towing capacity of this vehicle based on looking at charts we can either tow 6,000+ or 9,000+. I've searched based on vin# and have specs on a trailer we are interested in. Can my expedition tow this trailer? Besides a weight distributing hitch, what other gear or mods to the vehicle are recommended?
 

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AJ82

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Howdy! Thanks in advance for any help. We have upgraded our tow vehicle to a 2017 expedition EL. We used to tow a pop-up trailer with a minivan and are now in the market for a bigger trailer. I'm unsure about the actual towing capacity of this vehicle based on looking at charts we can either tow 6,000+ or 9,000+. I've searched based on vin# and have specs on a trailer we are interested in. Can my expedition tow this trailer? Besides a weight distributing hitch, what other gear or mods to the vehicle are recommended?
Maybe? You are likely to hit your Expedition's payload limit prior to hitting the maximum towing weight with a travel trailer. The attachment you provided shows a maximum payload of 1,600 lbs for your year. What is the actual payload of your vehicle? This can be found on the "Tire and Loading Information" sticker located on the driver's door jam. That number is the maximum amount of weight your specific vehicle can carry which needs to include the trailer tongue weight. So this means all the people and stuff you have added since it left the production line plus the tongue weight. The trailer tongue weight should be 10-15% of the trailer weight to minimize sway. Don't rely on the tongue weights provided by the trailer manufacturer as those are often wrong and don't include all the gear you will have in it when you go. A conservative approach is to take 15% of the trailer's gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) (dry weight plus cargo capacity) and use that as the tongue weight. That will give you the maximum tongue weight before sway becomes an issue. That number needs to be under 10% of your maximum towing limit (so 920 lbs for a 9,200 lbs limit) to not exceed the hitch receiver's limits. Subtract that tongue weight from your payload and then subtract the weight of the people and other gear in the vehicle. If you have payload left then you should be good there. You will need to make sure you don't exceed the axle ratings as well. The weight distribution hitch will help with this.

Page 28 of the Ford towing guide explains the towing abilities:

For the towing limit, a conservative way is to tow up to 80% of your capacity (never good to tow at the limits). So if your capacity is 9,200 lbs it would be up to a 7,360 lbs trailer fully loaded.

Based on what info you provided I think you have the HD towing package which is good. I'm not 100% sure on that as I don't know as much about the 3rd gen vs the 4th gen I own.

Hope this helps. Someone else can likely help with any other gear or mods might be helpful.
 
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DangerDoug

DangerDoug

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Thanks AJ82 that was very helpful. So it looks like based on the conservative estimates the trailer we are interested in is about as much as we would want to tow. If we figure 2 adults and a dog 400#, tongue weight of a fully loaded trailer (6,000# x.15 =900#) and up to 200# of gear we wind up with a 1,500# payload. (We don't expect to load 2000# into the trailer). We are planning a 900 mile trip (one way) once a year and some shorter trips during summer months (under 100 miles) Any thoughts on a good WDH? Any other advice is greatly appreciated!
 

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AJ82

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Glad I could help. One thing I forgot to mention above is the WDH can weigh around 100 lbs itself so that eats into your payload too. Best to load as much as you can into the trailer vs in the Expy since only a percentage transfers back when you do that (while keeping within the hitch receiver limit of course).

I've heard good things about the Equalizer brand of WDH's but I'm sure there are many other good ones out there too. Probably a good idea to search the forum on that topic if you haven't already.
 

CharlesP

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I can tell you from experience that you should be able to tow that with a weight distribution hitch. Our trailer is similar and we have towed from Florida to Utah and back. We tend to try to load so as to not have much stuff in the Expedition itself. Also, double check the WDH install by Loading everything up - we found that ours needed adjustment after installation. We also changed to a stiffer tire with more weight capacity as When we bought ours it had really soft walled tires.
 

Thomas Warden

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As far as weight distribution hitches, I really like my Blue Ox. I have a 2019 Expedition with standard towing (not HD) and tow a 2019 24’ Jayco Jay Flight that weighs close to 5,000 lbs empty. According to my hitch and vehicle information, I can tow a 6,000 lb. trailer and tongue weight of 600 lbs
 

Randymac

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DangerDoug, I have a 2017 Limited that I bought as an upgrade to a 2011 Limited, and I have a travel trailer with similar specs. It is not a workable combination. I picked up the trailer in early 2020 about 3 hours away, and knew on the ride home it wouldn't work....the tongue weight was too much for the Expedition and the squat was significant. (and yes, I had an empty trailer and empty vehicle) I searched high and low for a solution to upgrade the suspension but couldn't find one. Yours may work, but I'd be wary. The payload on this is iffy and the trailer specs are not necessarily accurate. I ended up buying a used F250 diesel that pulls it without issue.
 

Craig Payne

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I have a 2018 Expedition so it's a different model, but I tow a larger trailer and it tows beautifully. One piece of advice I'll give you though is to be extremely particular about the Weight Distribution Hitch and how it is setup. Many Travel Trailer vendors don't seem to know how to set them up. I bought an Equalizer for my travel trailer that the dealer installed for us. The first trip we took with it was not fun to tow with so I was worried that something wasn't right. I weighed the trailer and tongue and everything was checking out so I checked the Weight Distribution and discovered the way the dealer set it up, it was only distributing at about 16% based on the measurement method the Equalizer manual uses, which is extremely low compared to the bare minimum 50% that Equalizer states you need for the hitch to do its job. I adjusted the hitch myself and now it tows so easy it's like I don't have a trailer connected at all. The Expedition is incredible at towing if you are within the manufacturer specs and ensure the equipment is set up correctly. Hope this anecdote helps somebody out there!
 

Tyra

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I have a 2018 Expedition so it's a different model, but I tow a larger trailer and it tows beautifully. One piece of advice I'll give you though is to be extremely particular about the Weight Distribution Hitch and how it is setup. Many Travel Trailer vendors don't seem to know how to set them up. I bought an Equalizer for my travel trailer that the dealer installed for us. The first trip we took with it was not fun to tow with so I was worried that something wasn't right. I weighed the trailer and tongue and everything was checking out so I checked the Weight Distribution and discovered the way the dealer set it up, it was only distributing at about 16% based on the measurement method the Equalizer manual uses, which is extremely low compared to the bare minimum 50% that Equalizer states you need for the hitch to do its job. I adjusted the hitch myself and now it tows so easy it's like I don't have a trailer connected at all. The Expedition is incredible at towing if you are within the manufacturer specs and ensure the equipment is set up correctly. Hope this anecdote helps somebody out there!
What length trailer are you towing and do you have a Max or regular Expedition?
 
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