How Much Can a Ford Explorer Tow? (Capacity Explained)

If you’re going to tow, you’ll need to know your towing capability. Not every vehicle is capable of towing, and even those that can have limitations. 

The Ford Explorer is not only known for its outstanding performance, flexibility, and ample cargo space, Its powerful engine makes the vehicle ideal for towing heavy cargo. 

Do you want to know the towing capacity of the Ford Explorer? Here is the answer:

In 2021, The Ford explorer 3.0L EcoBoost V6 engine can tow a maximum of 5600 pounds. Even 3.3L Ti-VCT V6 engine can tow a range from 3000-5600 pounds. You can choose according to your requirements.

Here we’ll talk a lot about Ford’s towing capability. We’ll also talk about what to consider while towing. Let’s jump into the details.

What Is The Towing Capacity Of A Ford Explorer?

The towing capacity of the Ford Explorer can reach a maximum of 5600 lbs. Here is the list of towing capacities for different ford explorer engines.

EngineAxle RatioGCWR(4WD)Max Towing Capacity
2.3L EcoBoost I43.5878003000
3.0L EcoBoost V63.3110,8005600
3.3L Ti-VCT V63.588,000/10,6003000/5600
3.3L HEV V63.738,600/10,6003000/5000

As you can see, the towing capacity changes with the corresponding axle ratio and the GCWR. GCWR number tells you the combined weight of the vehicle and the trailer. 

Before the explorer is ready to tow, you must know about it from the user manual. Typically, the explorer is built to pull a given amount of weight. 

If the amount is less than the permitted limit, it does not affect the car. If the vehicle tows more than the maximum limit, it may cause damage to the explorer.

Can You Increase Towing Capacity Of A Ford Explorer?

Most probably, you are out of luck to go beyond the maximum towing capacity of the ford explorer. Rather than increasing the towing capacity of the ford explorer, we suggest you try the Ford ranger with a maximum towing capacity of 7500.

Improving the towing capacity requires changing a whole bunch of things about a car, but the Latest explorer is perfectly made to tow a certain amount. 

Still, if you try to increase the towing capacity of your Ford Explorer, you must also consider the associated challenges that will come with it. 

Let’s get into detail about the towing capacity of a Ford Explorer. There are two basic equations for the towing capacity. These equations are also applicable to other Vehicles.

Base Curb weight + Cargo + Passenger = Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW)

GVW + Loaded Trailer = Gross Combination Weight (GCW)

Base curb weight- The term base curb weight refers to the weight of the vehicle or the weight of the empty vehicle.

Cargo weight- Cargo weight, on the other hand, comprises all weight added to the Base Curb Weight, including cargo and optional equipment.

GVW must not exceed GVWR. GCW, on the other hand, must not exceed GCWR, which can be obtained from your vehicle owner’s manual. 

When a car is built, it must meet a specific GVWR rating (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating). It is an important number to know. GVWR defines the load-bearing capacity of your car. 

The 2020 Ford Explorer has a GVWR of 6,160 pounds, which permits a towing capacity of around 5600, more than the average. 

One more important thing, Ford Explorer, does not offer factory-installed towing equipment. You have to consult with the ford dealer for that.

What must you ensure while towing a Ford Explorer?

Are you ready to tow? Towing can be challenging; however, by equipping the vehicle properly, you can make your towing experience better. Let’s see what you can do:

Powerful engine: Before buying an explorer, consider purchasing one with a more powerful engine. You can try the explorer 3.3L Ti-VCT V6 engine. A powerful engine improves the performance of the explorer in hilly or other off-road terrains.

Brakes: Ford recommends that it is better to use a separate functional brake system on any towed vehicle. To activate the trailer brake, you can try the brakes listed below. 

  • Electronically Controlled Brakes
  • Electric-Over-Hydraulic (EOH)
  • Surge Brakes

Make sure your trailer brakes conform to all applicable state regulations. For additional breaking information, check the user manual.

Choose the Proper Hitch Style

The correct distribution hitch is necessary to handle the weight of the trailer. Perfect hitch effectively distributes the weight across the axels. 

Even if extra money is required, make sure it is spent on the right hitch. If the hitch fails to connect the tow vehicle with the trailer properly, it might break, leading to severe damage. 

Choose the right hitch according to your requirements from the list below.

  • Weight-carrying (non-weight-distributing) hitch 
  • Weight-distributing hitch 
  • A gooseneck hitch
  • A 5th-wheel hitch

Few More Things to Consider 

There are many things to consider. Here are few importent issue that must be taken care of before you start towing

  • Before towing, make sure to check the axle ratio of your vehicle.
  • You must drive at least 1,000 miles before towing a trailer
  • The trailer must be equipped with lights
  • Use a safety chain while towing
  • Driver must have previous experience.

Is Ford Explorer suitable for towing?

As stated earlier, Ford explorers can tow up to 5600 pounds. Don’t you think a vehicle’s towing capability of 5600 pounds is sufficient? It is indeed one of the finest towing capacities for any car.

Ford Explorer is equipped with standard trailer sway control that keeps the trailer on track. It’s AdvanceTrac® with Roll Stability ControlTM and 4WD with the terrain management system is ready to give you real power and exceptional towing capacity.

Which Year Ford Explorer has the best towing capacity?

Ford has introduced its 3.0L EcoBoost V6 explorer engine with a best towing capacity of 5600 in 2020. In 2019, Ford Explorer offered a maximum towing capacity of 5,000 pounds.

Can a Ford Explorer tow a camper?

It depends on the weight of a camper. With a maximum towing capacity of 5600, the latest 2022 Explorer can tow a camper weight up to 5600. However, the vehicle must be properly equipped with the needed equipment for maximum towing capacity.

Which Year Can Ford Explorer tow 5600lbs?

The first ford explorer with a towing capacity of 5600lbs was introduced in the market in 2020. It is one of the best additions to Ford explorer’s range of SUVs.

Can a Ford Explorer tow 6000lbs?

We have described earlier that the towing capacity should not exceed its GCWR rating. Experts recommend that the towing load of vehicles should not exceed 2/3 of the GVWR. Nevertheless, it might have a dangerous impact on the car.

The Ford Explorer 3.0L EcoBoost V63 engine with axle ratio 3.314 has the best GCWR of 10,800lbs. And the manufacturer recommends that with around 10000 GCWR, one should not try to tow something that weighs more than 5600lbs.


So you get the idea of what to do while towing a Ford explorer. You also learned how much the Explorer could tow.

Before getting ready to tow, check the manual and find the GCWR number; this is the most important thing. You can go through the suggestions we mentioned here. 

Moreover, you should not try to increase the towing because the associated risk with improving the towing capacity is more than the benefits.

It is better to buy one with the latest Ford engine with improved towing capacity. A heavy-duty Ford ranger could be a solution. We hope our effort will help you get the correct information and show you the right path.

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