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Ford Explorer Towing Capacity: What To Know

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Ford Explorer in a field

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If you find yourself looking for a vehicle that can comfortably transport you and your family while also allowing you to pull a relatively heavy amount of weight, an SUV like the Ford Explorer is a great choice. These vehicles can make cross-country travel a breeze with their ability to tow a sizable amount of equipment. However, before you go out and buy a Ford Explorer for your next trip, it’s important to know the specs of its capabilities to make sure they align with what you want to do. That’s why we here at CoPilot have compiled all the information you need to know about the Ford Explorer towing capacity and its other towing capabilities!

What is Towing Capacity?

Towing capacity is the most important thing to know before ever trying to tow something with a vehicle. It’s basically what decides the amount of weight your vehicle can safely pull with a trailer without damaging anything, like your trailer, your equipment, or even you and your passengers.

We really encourage you to get as much information as possible about your Ford Explorer towing capacity before you start setting up for a big trip. Luckily, you’ve come to the right place! There are multiple ways to figure out your vehicle’s towing capacity, including finding the number in the owner’s manual that came with your car, looking at the sticker printed on the inside of the driver’s side door jamb, or by doing some calculations on your own.

To calculate it yourself, you simply have to take the gross combined weight of your vehicle (which includes the weight of everything loaded on it and the weight of the trailer) and subtract the curb weight, which is your vehicle’s normal weight when it is completely empty. The easiest way to find your particular vehicle’s towing capacity will always be to get it directly from the manufacturer, though, and this way, you can ensure accuracy too.


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How Much Can the Ford Explorer Tow?

Ford Explorers are great options for people looking to buy an SUV that can tow a decent amount of weight, with towing capacities higher than many competitors. We’ll get more into that later, though. For now, let’s dive deep into exactly how much a Ford Explorer can tow.

The 2021 Ford Explorer towing capacity mainly depends on which engine you choose. There are three different engines available with the 2021 Explorer: the 3.3-liter hybrid engine, the 2.3 liter EcoBoost engine with 4 cylinders, and the 3 liter EcoBoost V6 engine.

In the 2021 Ford Explorer, the hybrid engine will get you a towing capacity of up to 5,000 pounds. Get the 4 cylinder Ecoboost engine, and you’ll be able to tow an additional 300 pounds. If you spring for the most robust option, the 3 liter Ecoboost V6 engine, your 2021 Ford Explorer will be able to tow up to 5,600 pounds.


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How Does This Compare to Competitors?

With the ability to tow 5,000 to 5,600 pounds (depending on your choice of the engine), the 2021 Ford Explorer sits at a comfortable position near the top of all SUVs in terms of towing capacity. Many SUVs max out at 5,000 pounds, and that’s when you fully equip them to have the highest towing capacity they can reach.

This includes the 2021 Toyota Highlander, which can tow 3,500 to 5,000 pounds; the 2021 Chevrolet Traverse, which can tow 1,500 to 5,000 pounds; and the 2021 Volkswagen Atlas, which can pull 2,000 to 5,000 pounds. Some SUVs aren’t even able to reach this mark, like the 2021 Mazda XC-9 (only being able to tow 3,500 pounds at best). Therefore, the 2021 Ford Explorer towing capacity is better than the majority of its competition.

The 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee manages to come out on top with a towing capacity of 3,500 to 7,200 pounds, but very few SUVs manage to get to this level. For the most part, you can rest assured knowing that if you go with the 2021 Ford Explorer, you’re set to enjoy stronger towing capacity than most of the other options available.

Other Towing Features of the Ford Explorer

The 2021 Ford Explorer can already tow more than most other modern SUVs on the market, but it also has additional towing features to sweeten the deal even further. In order to keep you safe and balanced while towing, the Explorer offers towing and trailer sway control, sidewind stabilization, and roll stability control. It also has a luxurious Terrain Management System that adapts on the fly to uneven or messy roads. On top of all this, you have the option to add the Class III Trailer Tow Package for even more towing features. You should know that if you get the 3 liter EcoBoost V6 engine, this package will already come with it!


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Everything Else You Need to Know

Even though it may seem desirable to hurry up and hit the road, you can’t rush the process of properly equipping your trailer for towing. You have to take certain steps to make sure your towing experience isn’t ruined by unwanted damage!

The number one thing you must be aware of is the exact Ford Explorer towing capacity so that you can stay within its limits while loading up your SUV. Go over this number and you risk damaging everything you’re hauling, and possibly yourself and the people with you. Other than this, you want to make sure you’re using a trailer that is compatible with your Explorer. If it attaches well and doesn’t seem to move around too much it should be fine, but a safe bet is always to check online and with the manufacturer as well.

You also want to properly balance all of your luggage by tying it down and making sure it doesn’t bounce around as you drive. Safety is of the utmost importance in any trip, and you don’t want to let a bad towing experience spoil your fun!



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