What size trailer can I pull?

I have a 2002 Windstar and I just installed a 3500lb capacity hitch. I was wondering what size trailer can this van pull? Utility trailer, that is.
I'm hoping to at least pull a yard of dirt which I believe is about 2700lbs. Can it pull more weight?
Thanks
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Depends on WHERE (like hills?) and how far, how often.
One thing for SURE... you had better install a good size trans cooler.
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I pull a two horse trailer with a 2005 Escape Hybrid. Not very far, not very often, but it does include some hills.
I once pulled a two horse trailer about 10 miles each way with a 1984 Plymouth Voyager 2.6L 4-cylinder. It was pretty flat, and I wasn't very quick pulling away from stop signs. The Voyager lived many years after that.

I wouldn't expect to be hauling enough dirt to worry about that.
On the other hand, if the "often" or "far" factor goes up, maybe you should rent a pickup with the trailer. $50 rental beats $2500 service.
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----- Original Message -----
Newsgroups: alt.autos.ford Sent: Thursday, May 18, 2006 9:42 PM Subject: What size trailer can I pull?

was
2700lbs.
Did you check your Owner's Guide?
Here is the information from the OG:
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Calculating the load your vehicle can carry/tow
1. Use the appropriate maximum gross combined weight rating (GCWR) chart to find the maximum GCWR for your vehicle type and whether it's equipped with a trailer tow option. 2. Weigh your vehicle as you customarily operate the vehicle without cargo. To obtain correct weights, try taking your vehicle to a shipping company or an inspection station for trucks. 3. Subtract your loaded vehicle weight from the maximum GCWR on the following charts. This is the maximum trailer weight your vehicle can tow and must fall below the maximum shown under maximum trailer weight on the chart.
TRAILER TOWING
Trailer towing with your vehicle requires the optional trailer tow electrical package and may require the use of an additional medium duty trailer tow option package. Trailer towing puts additional loads on your vehicle's engine, transmission, axle, brakes, tires, and suspension. For your safety and to maximize vehicle performance, be sure to use the proper equipment while towing. Follow these guidelines to ensure safe towing procedure: * Stay within your vehicle's load limits. If exceeded, cargo should be removed from the trailer and/or the vehicle until all weights are within specified limits. * Thoroughly prepare your vehicle for towing. Refer to Preparing to tow in this chapter. * Use extra caution when driving while trailer towing. Refer to Driving while you tow in this chapter. * Service your vehicle more frequently if you tow a trailer. Refer to Special Operating Conditions in the scheduled maintenance guide. * Do not tow a trailer until your vehicle has been driven at least 800 km (500 miles). * Refer to the instructions included with towing accessories for the proper installation and adjustment specifications.
If your vehicle is equipped with the optional heavy duty trailer tow wiring, it is pre-wired for trailer towing. An electrical connector is provided under the instrument panel for installing a customer-supplied electric brake controller. Another electrical connector is provided at the hitch. This connector provides power to the trailer for taillamps, stop and turn lamps, back up lamps, battery charge, electric brakes (when a customer provided controller is installed) and ground. The kit included with your vehicle provides you with adaptors to attach the brake controller and convert the hitch connector for Class I trailer usage.
Engine Maximum GCWR - Trailer weight range kg (lbs.) (0 - maximum) - kg (lbs.) Van 3.8L 3,175 (7 000) 0-907 (0-2,000) Wagon 3.8L 3,175 (7 000) 0-907 (0-2,000) Wagon 3.8L 3,856 (8 500) 0-1 588 (0-3,500) with Trailer Tow Option
Do not exceed the maximum loads listed on the Safety Compliance Certification label. For load specification terms found on the label, refer to Vehicle loading in this chapter. Remember to figure in the tongue load of your loaded trailer when figuring the total weight.Towing trailers beyond the maximum recommended gross trailer weight exceeds the limit of the vehicle and could result in engine damage, transmission damage, structural damage, loss of control and personal injury.
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If your van was not already wired for the trailer lights, then you don't have the towing package. Without the towing package, Ford only rates your vehicle to tow a maximum weight of 2,000 lbs. A yard of dirt is around 3375 lb. The trailer probably weighs at least another 700 lb. So if you are planning to tow a trailer with a yard of dirt, you will ahve a combined weight of almost 4,000 lb. This is twice the Ford specified maximum. Sounds like a bad idea to me. Why not rent a pick-up for a day to haul your dirt?
Ed
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