How Much Can A Ford Explorer Tow (2021, 2020, 2019 Towing Capacity)

How Much Can A Ford Explorer Tow

Have you ever asked yourself or your friend how much the 2021, 2020, or 2019 Ford Explorer can tow or pull? Well, you are at the perfect place to find the answer to such a question.

Ford Explorer is the family of mid-size crossover SUVs produced by the Ford Motor Company, in other words, it’s an SUV based on a passenger car platform.

Though it features a construction based on a spaceframe unibody, it is a very capable vehicle both off-road and for towing.

It features several engine options and trim configurations, but also many technologies intended for increasing its capabilities and making towing both easier and safer.

So, how much can a Ford Explorer tow? When properly equipped, the towing capacity of a Ford Explorer can be as much as 5,600 pounds. But, depending on the equipped engine, accessories, cargo, and number of passengers, towing capacity is usually a somewhat lower number than this.

Below you can find the most common towing capacity of the Ford Explorer based on years which included:

  • 2021 Ford Explorer towing capacity is around 5,600 pounds
  • 2020 Ford Explorer towing capacity is around 5,600 pounds
  • 2018 Ford Explorer towing capacity is around 5,000 pounds
  • 2017 Ford Explorer towing capacity is around 5,000 pounds
  • 2016 Ford Explorer towing capacity is around 5,000 pounds
  • 2015 Ford Explorer towing capacity is around 5,000 pounds
  • 2014 Ford Explorer towing capacity is around 5,000 pounds
  • 2013 Ford Explorer towing capacity is around 5,000 pounds

Without further ado, let’s get to the nitty-gritty details of this answer.

What Is A Ford Explorer Towing Capacity?

As said above, fully geared up with the optional Class III Trailer Tow Package, Ford Explorer can have up to 5,600 pounds towing capacity.

But, depending on several factors, the actual configuration will have a lower rating than this.

The actual number firstly depends on the engine option selection and presence of the Class III Trailer Tow Package.

There are four available engine options:

  • 2.3 liters EcoBoost I4 – has a maximum towing capacity of 3,000 pounds without, or 5,3000 pounds with Class III Trailer Tow Package;
  • 3.0 liters EcoBoost V6 – has a maximum towing capacity of 5,600 pounds, and is available on trims that have Class III Trailer Tow Package as standard equipment;
  • 3.3 liters Ti-VCT V6 – has a maximum towing capacity of 3,000 pounds without, or 5,300 pounds with Class III Trailer Tow Package, and is available only for fleet sale;
  • 3.3 liters HEV V6 – the mild hybrid is equipped with a detuned Cyclone engine combined with a 44hp electric motor and has a maximum towing capacity of 3,000 pounds without, or 5,000 pounds with Class III Trailer Tow Package.

When determining the maximum weight of a trailer your Explorer can tow, you should have in mind that the passengers and cargo can decrease it somewhat.

Because of this, it is important to consult the exact GCWR rating of your vehicle and its curb weight.

Below you can find the 2013–2021 FORD Explorer Towing Capacity which included:

YearFord Explorer Towing Capacity
2021 5,600 lbs.
2020 5,600 lbs.
2018 5,000 lbs.
2017 5,000 lbs.
2016 5,000 lbs.
2015 5,000 lbs.
2014 5,000 lbs.
2013 5,000 lbs.

Does The Ford Explorer Come With A Towing Package?

As mentioned above, Ford Explorer does have an optional Class III Trailer Tow Package, and on models equipped with the 3.0 liters EcoBoost V6 engine, it is part of the standard equipment.

The first thing you should note is that models without this towing package do not come equipped with any hitch receiver, instead a class II receiver is available as a dealer accessory.

This Class III Trailer Tow Package is consisting of a class III hitch receiver, sensor-based sway control, and 7-wire harness with both 4-pin and 7-pin connectors.

The trailer hitch ball mount and hitch ball are not part of it, instead, they are available as a dealer accessory as there are four options to choose from, depending on the drop and shank sizes.

Read also: What Percentage Of Towing Capacity Is Safe? (Best Tips!)

What Towing Aides Are Available On A Ford Explorer?

Besides the Class III Trailer Tow Package, Ford Explorer comes with several more high-tech aides that will make towing trailers both easier and safer.

First and foremost is the Towing and Trailer Sway Control system which is the part of electronic stability control suite.

It is sensor-based and can be activated only if the Trailer Tow Package is present, as the sensors are part of it.

This system uses a form of torque vectoring, and when sway is detected it activates brakes on individual wheels, helping to stabilize your vehicle.

The next system is the AdvanceTrac with Roll Stability Control, a system that monitors the yaw and roll of your vehicle with gyroscopic sensors.

It is very helpful during cornering, or quick maneuvers, as it will prevent under or oversteering and wheel slippage, by applying brakes and/or adjusting engine power output.

These technologies are active all the time and step in only when needed based on the sensor input.

In case that your vehicle has four-wheel drive, it will be equipped with the Intelligent 4WD with Terrain Management System.

This system gives you an option to select with a knob mounted on the central console on which type of terrain you are driving, slippery, gravel, sand, or snow.

But it also has several more options, normal, sport, eco, and most importantly the tow/haul mode.

The most important difference among these mods is the shift points of the 10-speed automatic transmission.

In the tow/haul mode, the shift points get extended in the RPM range, under acceleration the transmission will shift up later so that your engine stays longer in the range of maximum power output.

Another aid is the Sidewind Stabilization, a system that helps prevent your vehicle from drifting out of its lane due to crosswinds.

Read also: Types of Trailer Hitches and Hitch Classes

What You Can Tow With A Ford Explorer?

What you can pull with a Ford Explorer depends on its maximum towing capacity, which in turn depends on the exact engine and presence of the Class III Trailer Tow Package.

Without, the maximum towing capacity is 3,000 pounds, which is nothing to scorn at.

It will allow you to tow many camper trailers shorter than 18 feet, but also many other things too.

Teardrop, A-frame, and popup trailers; usually have GVWR under the 3,000 pounds limit of this configuration of a Ford Explorer.

When it comes to utility trailers, you can pull one appropriate for virtually any single farm animal, and depending on the size of the said animal even higher number.

For example, two Arabian horses, a one-year-old Angus bull, 4-5 goats.

When it comes to vehicles such as jet skis, snowmobiles, and so on, for all intents and purposes you should be able to tow a trailer with a couple of them on it.

In case that your Explorer comes with towing package, then the maximum towing capacity will grow to 5,000 or 5,600 pounds.

This increased capacity will greatly expand the options you will have for towing.

In terms of camper trailers, some guestimate is up to 27 feet in length and has sleeping accommodations for up to 5 people.

Because there are camper trailers with these two characteristics that have GVWR above 5,600 pounds, it is always a good thing to check the exact number for the particular one.

Read also: Costco Trailer Hitch Installation / Trailer & Towing – CURT Hitches

Final Thoughts

Ford Explorer is an exceptionally versatile towing vehicle, especially if it is equipped with the optional Class III Trailer Tow Package that raises its towing capacity to 5,000 or 5,600 pounds, depending on the engine option.

These maximum capacities will allow you to tow a wide range of camper or utility trailers.

While the base model can be equipped with a Class II hitch receiver, which gives it a towing capacity of 3,000 pounds.

Both of these capacities are very useful, and the ease and safety of towing are increased by several towing aids that the Ford Explorers come with.

These aids are mostly sensor-based and kick in only in situations when their actions are required.

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Mike Gilmour

Hi, I'm Mike, co-founder, and editor of RV and Playa. My passion is traveling (with my RV) and enjoying the day at the beach (Playa)! Well, I originally created this blog as a way to share what I've learned by experimenting with the RV lifestyle, and I want to help others develop in life through new skills and opportunities.

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