Another long weekend is over. It was a perfect autumn weekend for some camping at Knoebel's in Elysburg, Pennsylvania. This latest trip with the truck makes be very happy in the purchase of this particular vehicle.
My route takes me West on I-80 through 110 highway miles of hilly terrain of the NJ and PA. Add on another 20 miles of country back road. I think I found an excellent combo that many users of the forum have recommended in past driving experiences. I know from my last long trip to South Carolina, I found Manual mode during highway driving worked the best. I found myself using 4-5-6 for most of the highway driving. On the back roads, it was Drive T/H.
Tow haul mode during this trip really seemed to be hooked up. I liked how the engine and trans held speed and control down a couple of hills. My wife was impressed to say the least. I don't know why T/H mode was doggy before but this time everything clicked.
Gas mileage was very impressive. We got 10.5 MPG out and approximately 10.3 MPG back. Not bad with a 5700 pound trailer in tow. Added bonus is better gas mileage over my old 150. That truck would get around 9 on a good day.
In other news, of all people my dad has joined the towing world. My parents bought a small hybrid that is 17 feet long and weighs in loaded at 3300 pounds. It is from the Jayco Kiwi line up. As a matter of fact my uncle had one that was 21 feet long. Anyway, since their chevy motorhome died on them. They sale money help buy this. My father was always anti trailering. However, he was willing to take a shot at it since my mom wanted something different this time. She liked the fact it is drop and go.
Now my 2005 Explorer has a tow package. We were going to use that as our tow vehicle in the beginning when my wife and I were looking at trailers. The V6 was only good for around 5000 pounds. What my wife and I were looking at was around 6,000. Since I figured this Kiwi rated around 3300 and all I needed was the utility head and a brake controller. my parents said they would pick up the tab for those items since they wanted to use my Explorer for towing.
On Saturday morning, I was at the local trailer supply picking up a brake controller and utility ball for their trailer. Within 45 minutes I had the truck and the controller wired up. I got lucky since the original owner left the brake controller connector and the 7 to 4 pin adapter in the back by the spare tire. I think the hard part was fishing the finished harness through the dash since the plug is behind the glove box and the controller is mounted on the driver's side.
I gave my dad a quick course on towing in the parking lot at work. I had to meet up with my boss who had the trailer locked up at work since he picked it up for my dad. My dad said let me drive it back to the trailer supply house for learning. After 5 minutes on the road, he was like, this is easier than driving the motorhome and I have more power. We got to the trailer shop and he was purchasing quick fix items to make in parking lot repairs. My wife met up with me to get the trailer out of storage for the trip.
During the trip, my parents followed behind for the first part. After being on the road for awhile he would speed up and pass me for whatever reason. My wife and I thought it was because he was learning the feel of the trailer. When we got to our final destination, I asked them what they thought. My dad goes, "this is easier than the motor home on any day of the week. Your mom and I going to be looking at Explorers next year. We now understand why you were not for towing with the Windstar. Thank you for your hard work getting the Explorer set up for the tow." I said, " well there were a few spots where the cross wind made me cautious. he said nah, the Motor Home was worse. That was nothing!" Needless to say, my mother has been asking me questions on which next vehicle they should get.
And last but not least, Fordman was giving out the late model Super Duty love at the campground. My wife and I will walk the dog around looking at all the different campers and trucks. (this was one of the reasons why our SD came to be since she saw how many Ford SD are the tow vehicles.) This time there were quite a bit of Chevys and Dodges. There were a few F150s and several older Super Duties. It looked like we were the only ones with late model truck. Even the guy next to us said hey nice looking truck. He too had a Kodiak trailer but towed with a Dodge.
Otherwise, still very impressed of the 6.2. Anyone the Dr. Strangelove title reference?
I always enjoy your updates Fordman. Also interesting was hearing that the tow combo was better for your Dad than the M/H! I've wondered about motorhomes but I have no idea if / how they road engineer / test those things, or if they just take a chassis and build a body and off it goes...
The cross section of the vehicles was a difference according to my dad. Then again he might have been use to the wind from the motor home so towing a trailer the wiggle didn't bother him much. My 30 footer I can feel the wiggles. He claims he is pretty comfortable with the towing aspect which is good.
They are in the process of looking for a nice V8 powered Explorer. I did mention to them that a Expedition or an EBed Explorer might be something to look into if they thing they will step up in the size of the trailer.
Nice report Fordman. Are the Flying Turns open yet?
DW, yes Flying Turns is open. My wife and I rode the ride on Sunday afternoon. It was only a 30 minute wait. The ride itself different. That's all I am going to say. The park was pretty cool during the night for Hallowfun. It was also pretty packed.