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Old 05-04-2021, 02:45 PM   #1
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2018 TBHW21- Ford Explorer?

Just bought our first travel trailer. It's a 2018 TBHW21. Dry weight is about 2,500 lbs. Tongue weight is 305, excluding the two propane tanks and battery.

Recently realized that my Ford Escape, which has a tow package that allows up to 3,500 lbs and tongue weight max of 350, is probably not going to cut it. (I know... I know... didn't know much about tongue weight before with bought the trailer).

Do you kind folks think that a 2021 Ford Explorer will do the trick with the factory tow package? Tow package allows up to 5,300 lbs and a 530 lbs tongue weight max. I plan on getting an electric brake controller installed.
Thanks so much!
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Old 05-04-2021, 04:33 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmo_onthego View Post
Just bought our first travel trailer. It's a 2018 TBHW21. Dry weight is about 2,500 lbs. Tongue weight is 305, excluding the two propane tanks and battery.

Recently realized that my Ford Escape, which has a tow package that allows up to 3,500 lbs and tongue weight max of 350, is probably not going to cut it. (I know... I know... didn't know much about tongue weight before with bought the trailer).

Do you kind folks think that a 2021 Ford Explorer will do the trick with the factory tow package? Tow package allows up to 5,300 lbs and a 530 lbs tongue weight max. I plan on getting an electric brake controller installed.
Thanks so much!
What brand is your travel trailer? I can't find any such model number as TBHW21.
If the fictional dry tongue weight is 305lbs, then yes it's too heavy for an Escape. Just adding one battery will put it over the 350lbs max hitch weight.
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Old 05-04-2021, 04:47 PM   #3
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Sorry, it's a t21tbhw, but the one I have is difficult to find specs for because our model does not have the dormer. I know that it's too heavy for the Escape. That's why I am asking about the Ford Explorer.
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Old 05-04-2021, 04:57 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmo_onthego View Post
Sorry, it's a t21tbhw, but the one I have is difficult to find specs for because our model does not have the dormer. I know that it's too heavy for the Escape. That's why I am asking about the Ford Explorer.
I was confused by you calling it a travel trailer, which it isn't.
It's an A-frame trailer, which classified as a folding/popup trailer.
An Explorer would be fine towing it as long as it has the factory tow package that gives it the 500lb/5000lbs rating.
Moving this thread to the A-frame sub-forum.
You'll get better help from other A-frame owners.
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Old 05-04-2021, 07:21 PM   #5
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Yes, you can tow it with a mid-size SUV.

I tow that same model RV with a 6 cyl SUV that has the same rating as yours and it does fine. I've been up and down the mountains of CO with this setup.

If the rear of your Explorer dips too much, I would recommend trying a hitch with a 5- or 6-inch drop, reversed, to force some weight off the tongue, which is what I use.

You might also try filling the (rear) water tank when traveling to see if it makes a beneficial difference.

I find it helps to use premium gasoline and to use the Standard or Sport drive mode rather than Economy if your Explorer has those or similar settings.

Finally, keep your tires filled to the full 65psi and check often as that, too, makes a noticeable difference.
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Old 05-04-2021, 07:26 PM   #6
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The 2021 Explorer with the 2.3 and Tow package will do just fine. Adding a brake controller is easy as it is prewired and the factory connector is above the steering column behind the air bag. I used a REDARC from Etrailer.com and installed the control knob in the fuse compartment door. I will post a link with complete installation details. Go to post 16

https://www.explorerforum.com/forums...roller.482431/

https://www.etrailer.com/Trailer-Bra...c/RED24FR.html

The Ford owners manual and 2021 Ford Fleet trailer towing guide say that a weight distribution hitch is not required, but I use one, a Anderson with sway control. The Anderson is a neat lightweight (51lbs) hitch that is easy to install, hookup, and adjust. perfect for the application.

One last thing to consider, The Lincoln Aviator comes with a class IV receiver and can tow 5,600 to 6,700 lb
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Old 05-05-2021, 10:32 AM   #7
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You can get some specs on your trailer here: https://robertssales.com/sales/model...f_t21tbhw.html
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Old 05-06-2021, 12:26 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmo_onthego View Post
Just bought our first travel trailer. It's a 2018 TBHW21. Dry weight is about 2,500 lbs. Tongue weight is 305, excluding the two propane tanks and battery.

Recently realized that my Ford Escape, which has a tow package that allows up to 3,500 lbs and tongue weight max of 350, is probably not going to cut it. (I know... I know... didn't know much about tongue weight before with bought the trailer).

Do you kind folks think that a 2021 Ford Explorer will do the trick with the factory tow package? Tow package allows up to 5,300 lbs and a 530 lbs tongue weight max. I plan on getting an electric brake controller installed.
Thanks so much!
The Escape might work, but you probably wouldn't be happy. The Explorer will definitely do the job.

I have a 2019 T21TBHW A-frame (with the dormer), I tow with a 2008 Hyundai (Kia) minivan with no specified tongue weight rating. Dealer installed an E2 Equalizer 600/6000 when I bought my 2014 A122 (T12) to get rid of the porpoising without the WDH.

Towed the A122 like a champ for 4 years, with ride while towing so close to stock DW would happily drive. DW's chemo and a bigger garage dictated a move to a bigger A-frame, so now we have the 2019 T21TBHW. Eventually added 2 more washers to the E2 WDH to account for the higher tongue weight of the bigger A-frame. Because the T21TBHW is 7" higher, it sticks up above the minivan, and has significantly more windage. The improved ST tires let me cruise at 73mph on interstates instead of 65mph due to the tire speed rating, which also makes a difference. The minivan just works harder towing the bigger A-frame, often shifting down a gear or 2 when headwinds or hills dictate.

To keep the tongue weight reasonable, the slide-out front storage has cooking and backpacking gear (only cast iron is a small frying pan). The upper forward trunk has a Weber 1200 Baby-Q and stand, a lightweight (27lb) EZ-up, a 2 burner camp stove, 2 folding chairs, a lightweight folding table (22lbs), an aluminum boat hook for pushing/pulling on the roof, and winter clothing (hats, gloves, scarves, warm coats cause you never know in the Rockies).

Tools, 1lb propane bottles, heavy rubber chocks (had to ditch the plastic ones when they wouldn't hold the camper in high winds), 2 sets orange Legos for leveling, 3 gal water jug, electric and water hook-ups, extension cords, hoses for water & sink drain, dish washing gear all fit in the 2 rear compartments.

The difference on the tongue was very noticeable when I tried not putting the spare tire on the rear. I have to remove the spare to fit the A-frame in the garage, so I was trying options to avoid that.

We do have 2 GC-2 batteries on the tongue. I would get LiFePo replacements but the $1K+ cost to save 80# on the tongue is more than I want to pay right now considering we only go without electric hookups 12 nights a year at most. Still, the LiFePo batteries are on my wish list. 2 100AH units would let us dry camp longer than our water, food, or lack of showers would hold out.

To us, the dormer is a fabulous addition, despite the extra weight on tongue and drag on tow vehicle. It makes the interior much more roomy and habitable when weather is bad. The twin bed configuration means no climbing over DW to take care of necessities in the night. We do have 3" memory foam on top of the stock mattresses for comfort - and these take away some from tongue weight.

We normally tow with full water because water availability is not a given in Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, especially outside of summer months. This does reduce tongue weight a little - I can just barely notice the difference towing with the tank empty.

Hope this helps
Fred W
2019 Flagstaff T21TBHW A-frame
2008 Hyundai Entourage minivan
camping Colorado and adjacent states one weekend at a time
last trip: Trinidad SP Colorado
next trip: Indianapolis
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Old 05-10-2021, 09:13 PM   #9
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Tongue weight

So no one thinks I should be too concerned about the tongue weight? Max tongue weight, with a weight distributing hitch is 530 for the '21 Explorer. I can't find the exact specs for my camper anywhere. It is a 2018 21TBHW without a dormer. So other comparable TBHWs are about 305-375 for tongue weight. Given that, here is my math.

If the tongue weight of the dry camper is ~305-375 pounds.

375- Hitch/Tongue weight
40- Propane tank number 1 (roughly 20 pound cylinder + 20 pounds of propane)
40- Propane tank number 2
50 ~battery estimated weight
505= Total weight
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Old 05-10-2021, 09:16 PM   #10
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This was very helpful! Thanks!
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Old 05-10-2021, 09:17 PM   #11
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So you're not worried about the tongue weight? Thanks so much!
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Old 05-10-2021, 09:39 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmo_onthego View Post
So you're not worried about the tongue weight? Thanks so much!
It's better if you quote the post you're responding to, instead of what you just did with your 3 last posts. We have no idea which person you're responding to.
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and Zoe the Wonder Dog(R.I.P.)
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4pt Equal-i-zer WDH and 1828lbs of payload capacity
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Old 05-11-2021, 05:48 AM   #13
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Our A213HW loaded. No dormer, no water, two 6v GC batteries and two 20 lb propane tanks.

Having a full size truck we don't carry much in the camper.
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Old 05-11-2021, 11:23 AM   #14
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Yes, you will be over 450lbs tongue weight. I believe the factory tongue weight includes the 2 propane tanks, but not the battery. If being close, and possibly slightly exceeding the tongue weight limit is concerning to you, then you won't be happy with anything less than a truck or a full size SUV and a 6,000+ tow rating.

There are plenty of A-frame owners that tow with both Escapes and Explorers. Because of the lower height when folded, the A-frame is substantially easier to tow than a lightweight full height TT. In your case, installing a WDH (I use an E2 600/6000 with my minivan and 2019 T21TBHW with dormer) will take care of the handling issues generated by a heavy tongue. Careful loading can also keep tongue weight from growing too much, especially on a single axle trailer.

Fred W
2019 Flagstaff T21TBHW A-frame
2008 Hyundai Entourage minivan
camping Colorado and adjacent states one weekend at a time
last trip: Trinidad State Park, CO
next trip: Indianapolis, Indiana (next week)
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Old 05-11-2021, 12:12 PM   #15
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We towed pop-ups with various Explorers from 93 - 2017, including the new body style (2015). With the heavier pups we used a single bar Reese light duty hitch that I no longer see online as well as a sway bar. With the last FR pup we used the lightest bars available on a double bar WDH with sway control, because the tongue triangle was covered with a steel plate.


The WDH will make it sit and ride MUCH nicer than without. The sway control will be worth every penny the first time you need it.
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