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EchelonMike

New Tow Truck

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Bozboat

An AWD explorer with the 3.5 ecoboost would be a whole lot of fun to drive

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PyleDriver

I have a Flex and I would not tow my Bu with it on the freeway. I have used it to launch and retrieve the boat at the dock while camping (used the RV to get the boat there) and it did amazing on the ramp. it would just be too scary on the freeway.

Here is a pic at the gas pump by my house with the Flex, it just does not look right LOL

image-10.jpg

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hethj7

That is a beautiful 247. I can't imagine towing a 247 anywhere with the Flex. Glad to hear it pulled it out of the water fine.

I towed my buddy's 247 with our F-150 Ecoboost a few weeks ago. It is definitely heavier than my VLX, but the ecoboost did fine. We wrecked a prop and had to pull the boat heavily loaded out of the water on unusually steep ramp to change the prop. The F-150 definitely earned its keep that day.

Like others, I'd be concerned towing with the Explorer. I'd love to have one eventually as I love the new styling, but I'm afraid towing would be a bit scary with it. I'm interested to hear the review (although I'm guessing if I just dropped coin on a new Explorer I'd convince myself it towed well even if it really didn't :))

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Slayer

I think you're fine with the Explorer as a tow vehicle. We have one, lease is up soon, but I've towed with it and it did just fine. It was not the ecoboost, so I can't comment on that.....

However, I do have an ecoboost F-150 and there's no issues whatsoever with that vehicle and the max tow package.

I have driven the same vehicle you got, Mike, and it's a fun ride to drive without question. The ecoboost is the one thing missing from our explorer. I've also driven the Taurus SHO with the ecoboost and that's a hell of a ride, too. Ford is doing some good things I think.

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Sixball

I pulled our 23' enclosed snowmobile trailer A little over 200 miles last year on a very windy day with our 2013 Explorer and was very impressed with it. The little SUV did a fine job. The trailer was not loaded with all our gear and has tandem axles with brakes on both axles. I was thinking it would be a white knuckle ride with the cross winds but just no issues. I do not tow it in the winter with the Explorer but after pulling it I would if I needed to but may drop the speed on snow and ice. I do not have the Ecoboost but it pulled fine. I use it to pull my Rlxi but only go a very short distance. That is on a single axle trailer, it dose fine.

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EchelonMike

Just towed the Bu about 10 miles home from No Wake. A few thing I noticed:

1. The tounge weight does not push the rear suspension down - hardly altered the stock ride height which is good.

2. Tow mode works well to alter shift points.

3. Rear camera zoom makes it easy to see the hitch when backing.

4. The ecoboost motor puts the 5.3 chev to shame. It holds 65 on the freeway up tye hills on 275 without downshifting...awesome.

5. Instant mpg is pointing to a big improvement in tow economy...need a longer tow to confirm.

6. The shorter wheelbase and lighter weight of the Explorer means you can feel the trailer tugging fore/aft than the suburban...but not in a terrible way.

7. The side mirrors are dinky.

My quick tow has me excited - it didnt even break a sweat.

-- Mike

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bareftskier

Good write up Mike. I'm anxious to here more as you have more time with it.

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EchelonMike

Like others, I'd be concerned towing with the Explorer. I'd love to have one eventually as I love the new styling, but I'm afraid towing would be a bit scary with it. I'm interested to hear the review (although I'm guessing if I just dropped coin on a new Explorer I'd convince myself it towed well even if it really didn't :))

LOL - I will have to drink my own kool-aid since there is no turning back now! :-)

It has plenty of motor...but is is not a truck. All of my other tow vehicles have been truck based so time will tell. Will post a better report after 500 miles of towing this week, up and down thru the Smokeys!

I just ordered a tune for it from Livernois Motorsports...at 2,700 rpm the tune makes 75 more HP and 142 more lbs/ft of torque at the wheels. Yee-haa!

-- Mike

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Tommy1005

you'll love the tune....I put one in my Ecoboost F150 from 5star tuning with the SCT tuner and it was a night and day difference from stock

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hethj7

Any issues with the tune? It seems every time I get one there is always some side effect - surging idle, engine pinging, etc. We decided to leave our F-150 stock as it does all we need it to, but you have me interested. What octane are you running? I'm cheap and like that we still run 87 in ours and still have great performance out of this motor.

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JoeA

Any idea how much your boat and trailer weigh?

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EchelonMike

Any idea how much your boat and trailer weigh?

4,300 lbs for my boat and trailer.

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EchelonMike

Hey Crew,

Well, the weekend weather really sucked...towed 500 miles round trip to get soaked...but had a great time regardless. Norris is an awesome lake.

Anyway, I learned a lot about my new tow vehicle. Here are a few highlights/lowlights:

1. The engine/transmission combination is just awesome! In tow mode, the truck runs in 5th gear on the freeway...won't use 6th. In 500 miles it had to downshift to 4th only twice to climb parts of jellico pass. 5th gear at 70 mph is about 2400 rpm so pretty relaxed cruise. It tows effortlessly...I could have stayed in the left lane the whole way passing people if I wanted. Totally impressed with its power.

2. Fuel economy was 11.5 mpg...not much better than my Suburban (10.5). I towed for an hour or so with tow mode turned off, so it would shift to 6th downhill and on level ground. Got about 1 mpg better but not sure its worth the tranny working harder for 1 mpg. I cruised at 70 mph. I hoped for better.

3. It literally rained 90 percent of our drive. Traction was very good on the highway, side roads and launch ramp...never slipped a tire.

4. The back up camera is awesome for hitching up the trailer as a one man show. The zoom feature is great.

5. Torque steer is more pronounced with a trailer adding weight at the rear. A few lane changes going up a steep hill made for some white knuckle experiences when the big 20" tires decided they really wanted to go left or right FAST. Once I got used to it, not a problem but it was a little unnerving at times. This is not a truck platform and you can tell.

6. Great brakes, combined with my trailer disc brake set up, is very confidence inspiring. It will scrub off speed quickly.

7. It doesn't have suburban space (duh).

8. The black truck with black boat look bad a$$! :-)

9. The Sony stereo is one of the better factory set ups I have heard.

10. The blind spot monitor (yellow light in the side mirrors) sometimes thinks the boat is an approaching car. The rear park sensors can be disabled when backing, but I have not found a way for the "side traffic alert" system to be turned off.

Overall I am very pleased. It easily out powers the suburban but it does lack the truck stability in certain situations. It is a good trade off in my opinion. Plus when not towing it puts a big smile on your face and gets 30%+ better mpg.

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EchelonMike

Here is a pic of the rig...

post-6437-0-70547900-1373248147_thumb.jp

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jk13

Thanks Mike. Glad you're happy.

My wife is in love with the Flex and I know performance would be similar to your review. Another year or two and there should be a good selection in our price range.

Those new Explorers have such amazing style. Begging me to buy one and mod it....

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mnhays

We;ve had the explorer the flex the f150 all with ecoboost and tow packages and they're amazing vehicles.

as for the explorer I have no idea how you got that poor of fuel economy, we used to get awesome fuel mileage when we went from michigan to lake cimberland.

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