I have the same exacty trailer, and tow it with a 2006 Expedition WITHOUT towing package. I got a Equilizer brand hitch, and am quite happy with the stability of the setup.
I thought I had the towing package at first, but I don't. I had a 4 pin hookup, and had to install an after-market 7 pin hookup by the hitch. I was concerned about my towing capacity with not having the towing package. However, after some research, I found that all part numbers were the same with and without the towing package, except the fan on the radiator had 2 extra fins with the towing package, and the 4 vs 7 pin connectors. I checked suspension parts, radiator, the oil cooling radiator, tranny parts, etc. They were all the same. So, now I am not worried about not having the official Ford factory towing package.
I estimate that I towed it about 50 hours last year, with the average trip about 4 hours. I know I am pushing the towing specs on my expedition, coming very close to rear axle weight limit, and tongue weigh. When towing, I only put the essentials in my Expedition, so that more weight is on the trailer's axles. (just to be sure I don't exceed the specs on max weight per axle).
I have never towed with water in the fresh water tank, as I have been using full hookup sites in campgrounds. (so that saves on a 300+ pounds!)
I have the 5.4 liter engine, and I'm happy with the acceleration. I can still gain speed going up hill to pass a slow semi if needed. edit: FYI, I do have to floor the gas pedal to accelerate up a decent hill at highway speed (but not to maintain my normal speed of 60-70 mph)
The pulling effect of a passing semi is noticeable at times, but not what I would consider dangerous.
The ride while towing is a bit bouncy, since the Expedition's shocks are now dampening the bounce of the trailer also. If the shocks ever go on me, I plan to upgrade them for some stiffer shocks, something that will dampen the movement more. I honestly have not looked into the details of this yet, as it is only a comfort issue for me. The only time the bouncing ever felt dangerous to me was when the seams on a highway were hitting just right to build up the bouncing effect. If this happens, you just have to slow down so that the rhythm of it changes to where your tires hitting the seams are not in sync with the bounce of your vehicle.
Anyway, hope didn't bore you with too many details! Enjoy your new RV!
Edited by: Pleco
2009 Sunset Trail ST31QB