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Parts Needed to Flat Tow 2014 Ford Explorer

Question:

What do I need to flat tow a 2014 Ford Explorer behind a 2013 Thor Palazzo 33.2? Also if I buy a 2017 or 2018 Ford Explorer in the future will all of the items transfer to the newer vehicle

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Expert Reply:

There are several components to safely flat tow your 2014 Ford Explorer, a base plate, a tow bar, safety cables, a wiring/lighting solution, a battery charge line and a supplementary braking system. I linked an article that goes over all of these in detail.

The Blue Ox Base Plate Kit with removable arms # BX2632 is confirmed to fit if you have the 3.5L v6 or the 2.0L ecoboost and the one I recommend. I think it has a clean look on the front of the Explorer when your not towing. The arms are removable, and most of the base plate is hidden behind the fascia. You'll want to make sure that you use Loctite Threadlocker # LT37420 on all the hardware during the installation.

For a wiring/lighting solution I recommend the Roadmaster Universal Hy-Power Diode Wiring Kit # RM-154. This takes the lighting signals from your Thor Palazzo and transfers them to your Explorer's tail lights. It comes with all the connectors, diodes and wire to get it installed. Along with the lighting, you'll need the umbillical cable to connect your Thor to your Explorer. The Blue Ox 7-Wire to 6-Wire, Coiled Electrical Cord # BX88206 will work great.

The tow bar I recommend for your Explorer is the Blue Ox Alpha 2 Tow Bar # BX7380. It's rated up to 6,500 lbs, so it should be more than enough for your Explorer. It's designed to mount in the hitch of RV and doesn't require a ball mount or any other coupling device. Since it's also a Blue Ox product it is compatible with the base plate without any adapters. The other nice thing about the tow bar is that is comes with safety cables so you won't have to worry about forgetting them.

My favorite and most recommended braking system is Demco SBS Stay-IN-Play DUO Supplemental Braking System # SM99251. Its a proportional braking system, so it will apply the brakes to your Explorer at the same time and intensity as the Thor. It is a bit of an involved install, but once it is installed there is not extra set up and you can hook up and hit the road.

A portable/transferable braking system is another option. The Blue Ox Patriot # BLU37TR is also proportional, but it will require being set up each time you want to tow. It's not a long or involved process by any means, it is just an additional step that you'll need to do to tow.

One final component that is needed is a charge line to prevent the battery on your Explorer from draining. The braking system, lights and many other things are going to be pulling power from the battery and no one wants to end up at their destination with a dead battery. Roadmaster Battery Charge Line Kit for Towed Vehicles # RM-156-25 is the perfect solution.

So long as you have a charge line (hot lead) coming out of your Thor's trailer connector it will charge your Explorer when the umbilical is hooked up. It only allows up to 15 amps so you won't have to worry about over charging the battery. If you don't have power at the back of your 7 way on your Thor you can use Roadmaster Battery Charge Line Kit for Motorhomes # RM-156-75.

You may be able transfer some of the parts if you get a newer Explorer, however the body style change also means that the base plate design changed and won't be compatible.

I linked all the parts mentioned above, along with several review and install videos of similar year Explorers for you to check out.

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