Where would I go to get an estimate on adding an aftermarket tow package?

According to the 2015 Explorer brochure,
“Class III Trailer Tow Package includes engine oil
cooler and 7-/4-pin wiring harness”

So in addition to a class III hitch and the wiring you’d need an engine oil cooler.

Google ‘trailer hitch installation yourcity’, see what you find.

We have a Ford dealership hitch installed.

Uhaul does hitches, a mechanic can do the engine oil cooler, though I wonder if they mean trans fluid cooler.

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Class III? It should say on it somewhere.

More info-

So where would one go to get an estimate on an aftermarket package. I have a 2015 Ford Explorer 3.5, V6 towing capacity 2000lbs. If I had purchased same vehicle with factory tow package I can tow 5000.

I would go to three places.

  1. I’d start with a Ford dealership to see if they can add the package, what it consists of, and how much it will cost. If the price is reasonable, you might let them do it and stop here, but if you plan to tow an RV or anything that has electric brakes, you’ll need someone else to install the electrical connection and the brake controller. If nothing else, the dealership can at least upgrade the alternator if that is part of the OEM tow package.
  2. Then I’d go to a transmission shop and see about upgrading the transmission cooler (whether it is part of the OEM tow package or not). The more cooling capacity and fluid capacity you can add, the better it will be for your transmission.
  3. Then I’d go to an RV or towing specialist and consider letting them install the hitch and the hitch wiring, but I would ask them not to use the clips that come with the wiring kit for connecting the wires to the car’s wiring; they’re too unreliable. I’d ask them to use the kinds of connectors found in this kit:


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Nobody splices anymore, that is old school. You buy a plug in harness like this: https://www.etrailer.com/Custom-Fit-Vehicle-Wiring/Ford/Explorer/2015/C56172.html?VehicleID=201515198

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Can you really tow 5000 lbs with a V6? I’d be a little skeptical. Is that even a good idea? Just asking.

Properly equipped, yes

The new Ford Ranger with it’s 2.3L 4cyl. can tow 7500 lbs

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And the F150 with the 3.5 L V6 can tow up to 13,200 pounds, properly equipped, according to this:

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Fair enough. I stand updated/corrected.

My 1990 and 1998 Pathfinder with the V6 was rated Class-II (3500lbs). The automatic version is rated a Class-III (5000lbs).

I’d be extremely careful about those shops splicing in an external cooler

In my experience, many guys do not flare the lines correctly . . . or at all . . . which leads to trouble down the road, when you least need it

Or they’ll make a clean cut, NOT flare the lines, double clamp it and pat themselves on the back

I’d be okay with an aftermarket hitch and plug-and-play harness

But I’d not be okay with an aftermarket cooler spliced in . . . and probably badly, at that

I’d pony up for the upgraded factory tow package cooling system, as far as lines and cooler(s) go

As far as bigger factory alternator goes, I wonder if the pcm needs to “be told” that the vehicle now has a larger alternator . . .

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I had mine done at a transmission shop. They knew what they were doing.

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I’d trust a decent transmission shop over U-haul, that’s for sure

No offense, but did you watch them splice the lines?

No…but I trust these guys. Pretty much all the dealers in the area send their transmission work to them. They have the expertise that most dealers don’t have. I had the cooler installed back in 2014. No leaks of other issues yet.

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I did not recommend having uhaul do the coolers

But you DID mention uhaul . . .

I had them put a hitch on in our van and it was just fine and less than 1/2 the cost of a dealer.