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Ford Explorer and Kiwi 23B Rob Graff 3-13-03  
We want to purchase a Kiwi 23B. Our towing vehicle is a 98 Explorer 4.0L SOHC. Can we safely do this with a family of 5 (kids are 9 and under).
Re: Ford Explorer and Kiwi 23B Les Adams 3-13-03  
Rob,

Well, it's going to be close... I would need additional details on your Explorer but basically it looks like you have about a #5500 tow rating but the real tow rating of any vehicle is it's GCWR (Gross combined weight rating) minus the tow vehicles fully loaded weight... The number remaining is the real maximum you can tow...

That said, you must be aware of the truck GVWR rating as well... Here I think you'll be pretty close if not over... Truck GVWR is the truck weight plus all passengers, fuel, cargo, and trailer tongue weight... In the case of the Explorer GVWR is #5200-#5840 depending on model and equipment involved...

The Kiwi 23B is #3630 UVW (base weight with no options, water or propane) with a GVWR of #4950...

The largest drawback here is the short wheelbase (113") of the Explorer which could result in lateral instability (sway) while towing...

Personally, I am not a fan of towing full sizt TT's with SUV's but I suppose you could do this given a really good anti sway hitch, and watching your weights closely... Even then, I think towing performance will be marginal with the 4.0L 6 and the Explorers short wheelbase...

I would proceed with caution should you elect to do this... Personally, I would limit the Explorer to a popup of use a larger tow vehicle but that's just my personal opinion...

Best Regards,
Les
Re: Ford Explorer and Kiwi 23B Brian Hannay 3-14-03  
I just purchased a Kiwi 23B and tow with an 2002 Explorer with a 4.6L V8. It tows very straight except for the occasional 18 wheeler but other than that I've experienced no problems.

However I did tow a 21 trail-lite bantam with a 1999 Explorer with a 4.0L SOHC. The Trail-lite is about 1000 lbs lighter than the Kiwi and I'll be honest it towed fine once you got up to speed but it lagged alot getting up to speed. That's why I went to the V8 in my 2002 Explorer.

I hope this helps you make your decision easier.
Re: Ford Explorer and Kiwi 23B Delton Kitchell 4-19-03  
I have a 21'7" Trail-lite Model 7212 that has a dry weight of about 3,200 lbs. A normal family will add 500-600 lbs. once you get water in the tank, food, clothes, etc. My tow vehicle is a Dodge Durango with a 4.7L V8 and I use a Equal-i-er Hitch system. This setup works great. However, I have calculated that the tow length of the trailer is the maximum for safe towing according to my wheelbase. Your 23' trailer is a little long for the short wheel-based Explorer, but not too out of line. A good sway system is the real key to surviving high winds and the occasionl 18 wheeler. You are going to be marginal on power with the V6 and there is nothing you can do about it, but trade.
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