2021 Ford Explorer towing capacity chart.
The Ford Explorer was not only built for our adventurous spirit but named for its travelers in right, so it’s only fitting vehicle. The 2021 Ford Explorer America’s best-selling SUV, the top safety pick is ready for almost anything. The Explorer proves itself with features like seating for seven, ample cargo space, and an impressive towing capacity when properly equipped. In this article let’s take a look at the trim, engine options, and the 2021 Ford Explorer towing capacity in detail.
|2021 Ford Explorer trim levels
|2021 Ford Explorer towing capacity
|Ford Explorer Base
|3,000 – 5,300 lbs.
|Ford Explorer XLT
|3,000 – 5,300 lbs.
|Ford Explorer Limited
|3,000 – 5,300 lbs.
|Ford Explorer Limited Hybrid
|3,000 – 5,000 lbs.
|Ford Explorer ST
|3,000 – 5,600 lbs.
|Ford Explorer Platinum
|3,000 – 5,600 lbs.
Towing trailers beyond the maximum recommended gross trailer weight exceeds the limit of your vehicle and could result in engine damage, transmission damage, structural damage, loss of vehicle control, vehicle rollover, and personal injury. Do not exceed the GVWR or the GAWR specified on the certification label.
Table of Contents
2021 Ford Explorer Engine Specs
Ford Explorer with four powerful engine options is a powerful more refined, and all-around performer. A 2.3L Ecoboost 16-valve DOHC design with a twin-scroll turbocharger, cast aluminum pistons, and an over-boost function provides better fuel economy. Twin turbocharging and direct injection technology give this 3.0L EcoBoost V6 engine the ability to generate instantaneous power on demand. Tuned to deliver the best V6 horsepower and torque, the enhanced 3.0L EcoBoost® V6 gives you commanding performance. With a powerful electric motor, this highly capable 3.3L hybrid engine combined system has plenty of power. The 10-speed transmission delivers better performance and acceleration, allowing for smooth shifting and operation even while towing.
|2.3-liter EcoBoost I-4
|3.0-liter EcoBoost V6
|Enhanced 3.0-liter EcoBoost V6
|318 hp combined
|140 cu. in.
|180.4 cu. in
|180.4 cu. in
|204 cu. in.
|Bore and stroke
|87.55mm x 94mm
|85.4mm x 86.0mm
|85.4mm x 86.0 mm
|90.41mm x 86.7mm
Note: Specific states require electric trailer brakes for trailers over a specified weight. Be certain to review state regulations for this determined weight. The maximum trailer weights listed could be limited to this specified weight, as the vehicle’s electrical system may not include the wiring connector needed to activate electric trailer brakes.
2021 Ford Explorer towing capacity without Trailer tow package
Your vehicle can tow a trailer provided the maximum trailer weight is less than or equal to the maximum trailer weight listed for your vehicle configuration on the following chart:
|Maximum Trailer Weight (lbs.)
|3.3L PF/Di HEV
2021 Ford Ranger Trailer tow package
When properly equipped with Class III Trailer Tow Package for maximum towing capabilities. It is available with 2.3L EcoBoost and 3.3L hybrid engines, but it comes standard with the 3.0L EcoBoost engine. Maximum towing varies based on cargo, vehicle configuration, accessories, and the number of passengers. Towing a trailer places an extra load on your vehicle’s engine, transmission, axle, brakes, tires, and suspension. Inspect these components periodically during, and after, any towing operation.
- Class III trailer hitch receiver. (Note: Hitch receivers do not include a hitch ball or ball mounting. You are responsible for obtaining the proper hitch ball, ball mounting, and other appropriate equipment to tow both the trailer and its cargo load.)
- 7-/4-pin wiring harness.
- BLIS® with Trailer Coverage.
Maximum towing capabilities are for properly equipped vehicles with required equipment and a 150-lb. driver and passenger and vary based on cargo, vehicle configuration, accessories, option content and number of passengers. See label on door jamb for carrying capacity of a specific vehicle. For additional information, see your vehicle owner's manual.
2021 Ford Explorer towing capacity with Trailer tow package
|Maximum Trailer Weight (lbs.)
|3.3L PF/Di HEV
Be sure to take into consideration the trailer's frontal area. Do not exceed 20 ft² (1.86 m²) if your vehicle can tow a class I trailer, or 55 ft² (5.11 m²) if your vehicle can tow a class III trailer weighing more than 5,000 lbs.
2021 Ford Explorer trims
The 2021 Ford Explorer lineup features a hybrid SUV that is also capable of hauling large loads while still maintaining strong fuel economy returns. Available in six trim levels Base, XLT, Limited, Limited Hybrid, ST, and Platinum. Let’s find out more about all the details on the 2021 Ford Explorer trim levels below.
2021 Ford Explorer Base towing capacity
The 2021 Ford Explorer Base trim highlighted features are the 2.3L EcoBoost® I-4 engine, P255/65R18 all-season BSW tires, Rear-wheel drive (RWD) with 6 Selectable Drive Modes, AM/FM stereo with 6 speakers, 8-way power driver seat with manual lumbar & 4-way manual front-passenger seat, 2nd-row 35/30/35 split fold-flat seat with E-Z Entry & recline, 12V powerpoints, Black grille & door handles, chrome liftgate, and power side view mirrors. The maximum towing capacity when equipped properly is between 3,000 to 5,300 pounds.
2021 Ford Explorer XLT towing capacity
The 2021 Ford Explorer XLT includes all the standard features of the Base trim and other highlighted features are LED signature lighting, dual 2nd-row smart-charging USB ports, Heated 10-way power driver seat & 4-way power front-passenger seat, Manual-folding, power, heated side-view mirrors with security approach lamps, 6.5″ LCD productivity screen in the instrument cluster, Leather-wrapped steering wheel, Black mesh grille insert with chrome bars, body-color door handles, black roof-rack side rails, and chrome bodyside cladding inserts. The maximum towing capacity, when equipped properly, is between 3,000 to 5,300 pounds.
2021 Ford Explorer Limited towing capacity
The 2021 Ford Explorer Limited includes all the standard features of the XLT trim and other highlighted features are P255/50R20 all-season BSW tires, FORD CO-PILOT 360 technology, 360-Degree Camera with Split-View Display and washer, LED fog lamps, Forward Sensing System, Rain-Sensing Windshield Wipers, Heated steering wheel, Remote Start System, 2nd-row heated outboard seats, 2nd-row sunblinds, 110V/150W AC power outlet, wireless charging pad, B&O Sound System with 12 speakers & HD Radio Technology, Ambient lighting, Auto-dimming rearview mirror, PowerFold® 3rd-row seat, and Power-tilt/-telescoping steering column. The maximum towing capacity, when equipped properly, is between 3,000 to 5,300 pounds.
2021 Ford Explorer Limited Hybrid towing capacity
The 2021 Ford Explorer Limited Hybrid includes all the standard features of the Limited trim and other highlighted features are a 3.3L V6 Hybrid engine, Liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery, battery-powered electric motor, P255/55R20 all-season BSW Michelin Selfseal tires, and Active noise control. The maximum towing capacity, when equipped properly, is between 3,000 to 5,000 pounds.
2021 Ford Explorer ST towing capacity
The 2021 Ford Explorer ST trim highlighted features are the Enhanced 3.0L EcoBoost V6 engine, Sport-tuned suspension, Power-folding, power, heated side view mirrors with auto fold, LED turn signal indicators, ST projection lamps, Sport-style steering wheel with ST logo & paddle shifters, 12.3″ digital instrument cluster, High-gloss black ST grille with red ST logo; blackout treatment on headlamps and taillamps; high-gloss black “EXPLORER” hood lettering, front & rear skid-plate elements, bodyside cladding inserts, body-color door handles with high-gloss black inserts; and chrome quad exhaust tip. The maximum towing capacity, when equipped properly, is between 3,000 to 5,600 pounds.
2021 Ford Explorer Platinum towing capacity
The 2021 Ford Explorer Platinum is the top variant in the lineup. The major highlighted features are the 3.0L EcoBoost V6 engine, 3.31 non-limited-slip rear axle, P275/45R21 all-season BSW tires, Adaptive Headlamps, Cargo Area Management System with cargo net, rear cargo well protector, Power-folding, power, heated side view mirrors with auto fold, LED turn signal indicators, security approach lamps, memory, and driver’s side auto-dimming feature. The maximum towing capacity when equipped properly is between 3,000 to 5,600 pounds.
2021 Ford Explorer Towing Features
- Rear-wheel drive: It also improves driving capabilities and towing capacity by 600 pounds compared to previous models.
- Towing and Trailer Sway Control: It increases control when towing heavy loads by automatically braking and adjusting engine power to ensure trailer control and stability.
- Tow/Haul: Use whenever towing or hauling, this mode enhances performance when transporting heavy cargo.
- Sidewind Stabilization: This program counteracts strong winds, keeping you in control rather than having to fight the wind.
- Intelligent 4WD with Terrain Management System: Switch between Normal, Mud/Rut, Sand, or Grass/Gravel/Snow modes for ultimate control on Joliet roads.
- AdvanceTrac with Roll Stability Control: AdvanceTrac with RSC monitors yaw and roll rates using gyroscopic sensors, and helps retain control in the event of wheel slip, understeer, or oversteer. It also includes Curve Control, which slows down the speed during tight cornering.
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2021 Ford Explorer towing guide
- Do not tow a trailer until you drive your vehicle at least 1000 miles. Also, do not drive faster than 70 mph.
- See the instructions included with towing accessories for the proper installation and adjustment specifications.
- Service your vehicle more frequently if you tow a trailer. See your scheduled maintenance information.
- Check your hitch, electrical connections, and trailer wheel lug nuts thoroughly after you have traveled 50 miles.
- When stopped in blocked or heavy traffic during hot weather, place the gearshift in position P to aid engine and transmission cooling and to help air conditioning performance.
- Turn off the speed control with heavy loads or in hilly terrain. The speed control may turn off automatically when you are towing on long, steep grades.
- Shift to a lower gear when driving down a long or steep hill. Do not apply the brakes continuously, as they may overheat and become less effective.
- Use the Grade Assist or Tow/Haul feature when towing. These provide engine braking and help eliminate excessive transmission shifting for optimum fuel economy and transmission cooling.
- Allow more distance for stopping with a trailer attached. Anticipate stops and brake gradually.
Reminder: Ford Explorer does not offer factory-installed towing equipment for this application; only available as a dealer accessory. Do not exceed the trailer weight for your vehicle configuration listed in the chart above. Maximum weights shown are for properly equipped vehicles with required equipment and a 150-lb. driver. Weight of additional options, equipment, passengers and cargo must be deducted from this weight.
Frequently Asked Questions
What can a 2021 Ford Explorer tow?
It has advanced technology designed to provide convenient operation and enhance your driving experience with greater ride comfort. With abundant cargo space and enough power to tow a boat or camper, the 2021 Explorer will make a great family vehicle. The Explorer has flexible and spacious interior seating and high-performance towing capacities.
How much can a 2021 Ford Explorer pull with a tow package?
The Trailer Towing Package enables drivers to easily and properly connect all trailer lights and is recommended for all Ford vehicles that are used for towing. The towing package includes a Class III frame-mounted hitch, an engine oil cooler, a seven-wire harness, and four/seven-pin trailer connectors. When equipped properly it can tow up to 5,600 pounds.
Aaron Bennett is an accomplished author and a true aficionado when it comes to pickup trucks. With an unwavering passion for all things automotive, Aaron has dedicated his life to exploring the world of pickups and sharing his expertise with others. As the proud owner of several powerful machines, he has spent countless hours behind the wheel, navigating rugged terrains and conquering highways with unrivaled enthusiasm.