Ford Territory towing

Submitted: Sunday, Sep 13, 2009 at 07:30

Member - michael k (QLD)

We are buying a new supreme x-tender waiting for delivery now the question is will my territory AWD 2004 auto handle this,plus what other gear do you recommend we should buy,have heard that the first thing should be a sway controller any help would be good as this is our first van.
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Reply By: Best Off Road Affordable Storage Drawers - Sunday, Sep 13, 2009 at 08:13

Sunday, Sep 13, 2009 at 08:13

I'm guessing the van will be no more than 1700 kg loaded which the Territory will eat for breakfast. The six in Territory is mighty unit with heaps of grunt. You might consider LPG to make it extra cheap to tow. Check with Ford of it is OK to tow in overdrive, some autos have a weak overdrive.

Definitely get yourself a weight distributing hitch. I've towed a similar sized van with and without a WDH and they make a hell of a difference.

Also ensure when you load the van you check the downball weight, this is crucial (should be about 10% of overall weight). If it is too light the van will sway badly.

Knowing how to use your electric brakes is also critical. In the event of the van swaying, apply the manual overide on the electric brakes whilst keeping modest throttle pressure. This something you should practice so that the manual override can be found automatically with your hand; the last thing you want to be doing is taking your eyes off the road to find it.

Hope this helps.


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Follow Up By: Member - michael k (QLD) - Sunday, Sep 13, 2009 at 14:02

Sunday, Sep 13, 2009 at 14:02
From memory at the van show they said around 1800 kg and yes you are right it has heaps of grunt we have been towing a camper trailer around for a while sits on 100klm/hr no trouble though do not think i will be doing much over 80klm/hr with the van.
I drive a fair bit on the open road in a body truck and i am surprised how fast some people tow their vans i would like to see them stop in a hurry.
So you believe a wdh would be better than a sway controller.
I imagine when we go to brisbane to pick up our van that supreme will help us with the ball weight as this is all new to us.
I see our van comes with electric brakes does this mean we still have to buy the brake controller for the car.
Thanks for the above

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Follow Up By: Best Off Road Affordable Storage Drawers - Sunday, Sep 13, 2009 at 15:37

Sunday, Sep 13, 2009 at 15:37

I'm not familiar with a Sway Controller, perhaps it is anonther name for a WDH. The WDH actaually has bars that connect to it and the drawbar to even up the load and they dramatically reduce swaying.

Yes you'll need an electric brake controller fitted to the car, typically less than $300. As for brands, the Tekonsha Prodigy gets the best reviews here. I had a Tekonsha Voyager and wasn't impressed with it, too fiddly to adjust.

Your ball weight will be primarily impacted by the way you load the van.



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Follow Up By: Member - michael k (QLD) - Sunday, Sep 13, 2009 at 19:21

Sunday, Sep 13, 2009 at 19:21
Its a hayman reese that bring out the sway controller very different from the WDH.
As soon as i figure out what 4x4 to buy I will be in contact with you for those drawers seen a similar home made version recently but yours is much better also looking at the Land rover hear some good reports on these a-well thanks for the imfo.

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Reply By: Cruiser .- Sunday, Sep 13, 2009 at 09:25

Sunday, Sep 13, 2009 at 09:25

Just check the towing capacity of the Territory.

My brother had one and when he bought his Supreme Territory he found that the towing capacity wasn't sufficient and had to buy a tow pack from Ford which increased the tow capacity to 2300Kg.

I don't know what the X-tender weights, but you have to make allowances for all your gear/water/gas etc which may well take the overall weight of the van when fully packed, beyond the capacity of the tow vehicle.

I think you will enjoy the Supreme. My brother is very impressed with his and they look like a very well built van.


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Follow Up By: Member - michael k (QLD) - Sunday, Sep 13, 2009 at 14:15

Sunday, Sep 13, 2009 at 14:15
When we bought the territory we fitted the tow pack because we intended to do this but a lot sooner than we have.
Supreme and Traveller caravans at the Brisbane van show we found the most helpful but decided on the supreme x-tender smaller van as our first van and they could not be more helpful would change anything to what you wanted unlike some of the other manufacturers.
We expect it to be heavier than they told us due to the poptop being changed to full van height.
Looking at changing the car to either a Mazda BT50 turbo 3ltr 4x4 or a secondhand landcruiser diesel 07 up 4x4 still deciding to many choices would rather buy new.
Thanks for the help

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Follow Up By: Cruiser .- Sunday, Sep 13, 2009 at 14:33

Sunday, Sep 13, 2009 at 14:33
michael k,

At least you have had the tow pack fitted so you might just be halfway there.

Not to sure but from memory my brother had to buy a Ford WDH for his van as he was tolf that the Ford towbar isn't compatible with the HR WDH. That may have been just Ford talking up another sale, I don't know.

Anyway, my brother ended up trading the Ford Territory for a new Ford Ranger dual cab (AKA BT50 in disguise) because of the extra 500Kg tow capacity, plus he gets extra storage capability with the ute section. He elected to have a hard cover fitted over the ute section for weather protection.

There are a lot of caravan dealers out there who will say anything to get the sale and be damned with the truth or legalities, but as you said, hopefully the caravan dealer will do the right thing and advise you on the legality of the Territory and the X-Tender.

As for weight of Poptop V full height van, I guess you will have to ask Supreme about that.

We went to buy a new dual axle poptop 3 years ago and ended up with a full height van with ensuite etc and as a matter of interest I asked about the weight difference and was told that the poptop actually weighed 80Kg more than the dull height van, mainly because the roof of the poptop has to be reinforced around the opening to support the weight of the poptop roof. True or not, I don't know but it makes sense to me to some degree.

Either way, have fun, thats the main thing.


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Follow Up By: Member - michael k (QLD) - Sunday, Sep 13, 2009 at 19:10

Sunday, Sep 13, 2009 at 19:10
hows your brothers ranger going would like to hear any news good or bad and yes you are right I do now remember the sales man saying that the poptops are heavier just like you say amazing what you forget but we were pretty well impressed with the amount of at the show for our first time.

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Follow Up By: Cruiser .- Sunday, Sep 13, 2009 at 19:25

Sunday, Sep 13, 2009 at 19:25
michael k,

I think he is reasonably happy.

Having said that, he has only towed the van once, up to his son in laws where it is stored because he is in Ireland at the moment (lucky buggar)


FollowupID: 650638

Follow Up By: Member - michael k (QLD) - Sunday, Sep 13, 2009 at 19:53

Sunday, Sep 13, 2009 at 19:53
Reading an old post and these people said ford said they were not to tow anything until there was 1000klm's on the clock,apparently to run it in mmmm.

FollowupID: 650640

Reply By: ozjohn0 - Sunday, Sep 13, 2009 at 10:58

Sunday, Sep 13, 2009 at 10:58
Check the ATM of the van on its compliance plate. This is the maximum 'All Up' Loaded weight of the van and cannot be legally exceeded. The ATM must not exceed the maximum Territory Tow weight of 2300kg with a Maximum Ball weight of 230kg. Ford also require that an approved WDH be used. Ford also place speed restrictions on the vehicle depending on the weight being towed. Check out the Territory Hand book for additional advise.
AnswerID: 382955

Follow Up By: Member - michael k (QLD) - Sunday, Sep 13, 2009 at 14:26

Sunday, Sep 13, 2009 at 14:26
Thanks for this we really like the territory but not 4x4 so will be changing in the new year unsure what to buy at the moment will have to make some hard decisions very soon.
Last Friday I seen a traveller van brand new tandem axle up north QLD that had lost the rear left hand wheel and on my way home noticed a new van being towed by a local distributor on its way up to replace it that's not bad service,have not seen to many vans lose wheels before.
Thanks for answering my questions.

FollowupID: 650599

Reply By: ChrisE - Monday, Sep 14, 2009 at 05:56

Monday, Sep 14, 2009 at 05:56
Some info. on Territories for towing:
1. Check whether you bought a factory fitted tow kit or a dealer fitted tow kit. There can be a slight difference. The factory fitted kit usually includes an additional external transmission oil cooler, whereas the dealer fitted may only be just the towbar. Check to make sure you have the cooler fitted, and if not get one fitted.
2. Your manual will tell you to always tow in "Performance" mode, ie. push the gear lever over to the left, this keeps the transmission out of overdrive (3rd if a 4speed or 5th if a 6speed) but it will still change automatically. This will use more fuel, but apparently keeps you transmission cooler. In my turbo falcon same deal towing heavy tandem, kept in performance until on a flat road cruising then would go back to normal, but change back as soon as loading on gearbox changes by a a rise in the road or head wind, etc..
3. Like the other post, get a tekonsha brake controller fitted. If you have a look under your towbar, it should have a 12 pin rectangular plug, however the wires do not go back all the way into the front of the car. The extra pins are for the brake controller and aux power, but you need to get your van wired up for this type of plug as well as they normally only have a 7 pin plug on the vans.
AnswerID: 383049

Follow Up By: Road Warrior - Monday, Sep 14, 2009 at 14:57

Monday, Sep 14, 2009 at 14:57
Yes I would certainly fit a stand-alone trans cooler if it already didn't have one. especially if the Territory you get has the 'old' 4 speed auto in it.
FollowupID: 650710

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