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Hitch and Wiring For 2020 Ford Explorer To Tow Boat Trailer

Question:

I am currently getting new 2020 Ford Explorer XLT its being delivered right now and I am looking for a hitch. I saw the video for placing the hitch on 2019 Ford Explorer and no trimming of any cover was required, however for 2020 model, I read that the trimming IS required. Can you please clarify? Also, can you list all parts which I need to get to power the trailer? Expected weight is 2,000-3,000 lb boat and lighter U-haul trailer for short moves - will do more rounds, 1,000 lb max. Hitch will be also used for bicycle rack 4 total.

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Expert Reply:

Since the 2020 Ford Explorer is a new generation (sixth generation) of Explorers the hitches do fit differently. The only Class III hitch available (as of 12/26/2019) is the Draw-Tite Max-Frame Trailer Hitch Receiver part # 76320 which is a concealed cross tube design. The only portion of the hitch that is visible once installed is the receiver square so there is some fascia trimming required to install it. The installation requires trimming a 3.25" x 5" square into the rear fascia for the receiver tube to stick through. I have attached a diagram and a photo of what the hitch looks like installed for your reference. There is also removal of the under body panel required to install the hitch.

The Draw-Tite 76320 hitch will provide you with 900 lbs of tongue weight so you do want to be careful not to exceed that. I do also recommend to take a look at your owner's manual before towing to insure you are not exceeding the maximum trailer weight capacity of your particular Explorer based off of the engine model and transmission.

To power the lights on the trailer you will need T-One Vehicle Wiring Harness with 4-Pole Flat Trailer Connector part # 118599 which gives you a 4-Way connector at the back of the Explorer to plug your trailer into to illuminate the lights. If your boat trailer has brakes please let me know if they are electric or hydraulic and I can make additional recommendations. I will also need to know what type of connector you have on the trailer.

Since you will be towing more than 1 trailer, I recommend to use the etrailer.com Ball Mount Kit for 2" Hitches part # 989900 which comes with 2 ball mounts; one with a 3/4 inch rise or 2 inch drop and one with a 2-3/4 inch rise or 4 inch drop. It also includes a 1-7/8 inch ball, 2 inch ball, hitch pin with clip, and a storage bag. The amount of rise/drop you may need to tow the setup level is determined by the difference between the distance from your hitch to the ground and your coupler to the ground. I recommend to take a look at the attached article on figuring out the rise or drop needed to tow level. Since you don't have a hitch yet, you can measure from the rear fascia to the ground on your Explorer to figure out the measurement. I also know that all U-haul trailers have an 18 inch coupler height so that should help you get started.

If you do not have the bike rack yet please let me know what kind of bikes you are carrying and I can make a recommendation for that as well.

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Heather A

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