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Complete Towing Package for 2021 Ford Explorer

Question:

I have a 2021 Ford Explorer without a tow package. I am looking for a hitch that can haul a 5,000 lbs double axle trailer. I would also like to use a brake controller.

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Expert Reply:

I would be happy to help you set up your 2021 Ford Explorer for towing. You're going to need a receiver hitch, wiring harness, brake controller, and ball mount kit.

For a receiver hitch I recommend the Draw-Tite Max-Frame Trailer Hitch Receiver item # 76320. This is a custom fit hitch that will attach to your Explorer's frame with no drilling. It is a class III receiver hitch with a maximum gross trailer weight of 6,000 lbs and a maximum tongue weight of 900 lbs. I have linked an installation video and a picture of the Draw-Tite item # 76320 hitch being installed on a 2020 Ford Explorer. This will give you the opportunity to follow along through the installation process and let you see the final product once completed.

For a wiring harness you are going to need two separate parts that work together to give you all the functions you will need to not only control your trailer's light functions but also the braking system. I recommend the Tekonsha T-One Vehicle Wiring Harness with 4-Pole Flat Trailer Connector item # 118599. This wiring harness connects to existing wiring in the rear of your Explorer and does not require cutting, splicing, or tapping. This will provide you with control over your trailers lighting functions; brake, turn signal, and running lights.

The second harness you will need is the Universal Installation Kit for Trailer Brake Controller - 7-Way RV and 4-Way Flat - 10 Gauge Wires item # ETBC7. The kit includes a pre-wired 7- and 4-way trailer connector that mounts easily at the rear of your vehicle with an included bracket. This kit is designed for use on a vehicle with an existing 4-way flat trailer connector and plugs directly into it. You will then connect one wire to the blue wire on the brake controller and then connect one wire to the positive post on the vehicle's battery via the included 40-amp circuit breaker. This will provide you with the ability to control your trailer's brakes and also provide you with a 12v power wire for you trailer's reverse lights. I have linked a picture detailing and identifying the functions of each of the wires you will need to connect. I have also included a diagram to show you how these 2 wiring harness will be connected to your 2021 Ford Explorer and Boat trailer.

For your brake controller I recommend the Tekonsha Prodigy P3 Trailer Brake Controller item # 90195. This is a proportional brake controller that works with trailers having up to 4 axles. The brake controller activates your trailer brakes in proportion to your vehicle's braking action. It automatically adjusts the trailer's braking based on deceleration of your vehicle. The brakes activate immediately, there is no pausing like with time-delayed brake controllers. The Prodigy P3 has 5 Storable settings that allow you to customize the controller for multiple trailers, varying loads or different drivers. The 3 boost levels setting lets you adjust initial braking power and aggressiveness. This will wire directly into your vehicles wiring harness.

To round out your towing setup I recommend the Curt Towing Starter Kit for 2" Hitches item # C45534. This towing kit will provide you with a 2" Ball, a fixed ball mount with a 3/4" rise and 2" drop, and is rated for up to 7,500 lbs. It also includes a hitch pin and clip, hitch receiver lock with keys, hitch cover, and a storage case.




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Jerred H

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