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Towing with 2010 Expedition - Do I need brakes?

Discussion in 'Towing & Hauling' started by Andy Bajorinas, May 20, 2020.

  1. Andy Bajorinas

    Andy Bajorinas Active Member

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    I've got a 2010 Expedition 5.4L 4WD with all the bells and whistles including the towing package and class IV hitch.

    My question is this.

    How much do you think I can tow safely (short distance) without a trailer brake?

    Background:
    A friend is buying a RV trailer locally and just wants it dragged to his house (~20 miles). I don't have the weight yet and I don't know if it has surge brakes. I'm just curious how much it can weigh before towing it is ill-advised.

    Also, if I need to add a brake controller is it as simple as buying one and plugging it in?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Greg Coleman

    Greg Coleman Active Member

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    I would definitely go for the brake controller.
    20 miles may not seem like much, but someone can pull out in front of you in the first block or the last. Some are plug-n-play and of course, they do cost more. They're worth it.
    There are multiple threads here dealing with trailer towing capacity. A quick check says you should be able to tow 9000 lbs. Pay attention to the data plate inside the driver's door. Do the math and be conservative.
     
  3. RustyOval

    RustyOval Full Access Members

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    My state of Illinois has a law that anything over 3,000# must have brakes. I would not tow without anyway. Brake controlers are an easy install anyway and there are lots of places that do it if you are uncomfortable.
     
  4. Andy Bajorinas

    Andy Bajorinas Active Member

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    Thanks. I just checked and my state has the same law (3,000 pounds)
     
  5. Old Guy

    Old Guy Active Member

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    Same in Florida. Now that said---I have been towing boats on trailers for over 50 years and being a lifelong engineering type, I have recommendations. I have towed boats from 800# to 8K during my lifetime.

    If you are towing a trailer without brakes, if you make an emergency stop, the trailer will tend to overtake the car and jack knife. Not fun. Your brakes will be overworked.

    Aside from the danger, if you get into a collision, even though the other guy did something stupid and caused it, the S.H.T.F. when his attorney finds out you did not have brakes on the trailer or they were inoperative. Also todays cars have anti-lock brakes and a bunch of automatic safety devices, which adds to your safety, but hear this: it does not know that that extra weigh does not have brakes. I don't want to find out what happens next....
     
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  6. Frank Swygert

    Frank Swygert Member

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    If you're not used to towing heavy loads get a brake controller. A heavy trailer will push you when you brake. You have to anticipate stops and start slowing well before you need to stop. As old guy says, if you don't (like a panic stop) you won't be able to stop in time. You have to anticipate stops even with trailer brakes, but will be able to stop much quicker. If your truck is pre wired for a controller it will be easy. If not, 4-5 wires need to be run. At least power and ground to the controller, a wire to the brake light switch, and one back to the trailer connector, a big round 7 pin connecter.
     

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