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Trailer Hitch Question

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I recently purchased a 2003 Ford Explorer (4.0, V6) with what I believe is a class II trailer hitch system. (the receiver is 1-1/4 inches). From what I've been able to determine about class II systems is they're rated to tow up to 3500 lbs gross trailer weight, and 350 lbs tongue weight.

Maybe I'm being overly cautious, but I'm concerned about towing my fishing rig with this system. Based on the description of my rig below, should I feel safe with the class II? Or should I upgrade to a class III to be on the safe side?

I have a Lund 1700 Pro Sport with a 90 hp Merc on a ShoreLander trailer. I realize a full tank of gas in the boat, 2 batteries, tackle boxes, etc all need to be factored in to the gross weight, but I don't believe it approaches 3500 lbs. Of course, I could be wrong.

Your thoughts are greatly appreciated.

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Should not a problem for your rig. Most 4.0 Explorer's run the slightly taller 3.55 gears so my advice would be to turn off the O/D if the transmisson seems to wander between 3rd and 4th gears a lot. This will avoid stressing and over heating you're tranny.

I towed my boat (very similar to yours) with our 02 Explorer V6 before we upgraded to the 03 with a V8. It did fine unless you wanted to pass someone going up a hill.

If an average guy can lift the tounge (I'm assuming it's not very heavy) of your trailer I would not be concerned with tounge weight. I've towed a lot of things and found for a few bucks a truck stop with a drive on scale can weigh your boat. Just drive on the scale with your boat hooked up and then drive on with just the vehicle. Subtract the weight of the truck from the 1st weight and you have the weight of you're boat.


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Best thing to do is go find a scale as mentioned above, truck stop, sand and gravel company. My Dad has a 17 ft crestliner with a 90 merc, full tank and some gear I weighed it at work and was suprised that it only weighed 2240. Not the same boat as yours, but might put you in the ball park, weigh it to make sure.

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