The Lincoln Navigator is one of the most renowned full-size luxury SUVs on the market. Because of its comfortable interior and overall versatility, the Navigator is a great companion for long trips. For really long trips, you may be wondering if this SUV is capable of towing a travel trailer. We've looked up the manuals and scoured the internet to give you the definitive answer.
When properly equipped, some Lincoln Navigator trims have a maximum towing capacity of 9,000 lbs. This tow rating is sufficient for pop-up campers, lightweight trailers, and even some full-time living travel trailers.
Would you like to know more about the specific towing capacities of different generations and trims of the Lincoln Navigator? Do read on and we'll provide you with the juicy details. We will even throw in some examples of travel trailers that you can pull along with the Navigator.
How Much Can A Lincoln Navigator Tow?
The Lincoln Navigator has evolved significantly over its four generations since its debut in 1998. Along with the changes in the powertrain, body, and towing packages, the towing capacities also changed accordingly.
Please note that all of the tow ratings in the following sections are braked towing capacities.
First Generation (1998 - 2002)
The first generation Navigator had two different engine options that provided different maximum towing capacities. The first engine was a 5.4-liter single overhead cam (SOHC) Triton V8, while the second one was a double overhead cam (DOHC) Intech V8 with the same displacement.
The Triton and the Intech engines both go with a 4-speed automatic transmission to deliver 260 hp and 300 hp, respectively.
- 4x2 with standard towing package - 6,600 lbs.
- 4x2 with optional towing package (including modified rear axle ratio) - 8,000 lbs.
- 4x4 with optional towing package and 16-inch wheels - 7,700 lbs.
- 4x4 with optional towing package and 17-inch wheels - 7,200 lbs.
- 4x2 with optional towing package - 8,900 lbs.
- 4x4 with optional towing package - 8,100 lbs.
Lincoln states that these tow ratings apply if the trailer's frontal area is no larger than 60 square feet or 5.6 square meters. Sleek frontal trailer areas help reduce drag coefficient, therefore lightening the load on the engine and transmission.
Second Generation (2003-2006)
The second-generation Navigator maintained both the Triton and the Intech V8 engines. However, the automaker tuned the SOHC engine to match the 300 hp output of the DOHC engine.
Moreover, Lincoln added a new 6-speed automatic transmission system for model improvements toward the end of the generation. Finally, the second generation Navigator was longer and taller than the previous generation.
As a result of the changes in the drivetrain and body design, the 2nd-generation Navigator's towing capacity is slightly less than that of the previous generation.
- 4x2 with standard towing package - 6,000 lbs.
- 4x2 with optional towing package - 8,600 lbs.
- 4x4 with standard towing package - 6,000 lbs.
- 4x4 with optional towing package - 8,300 lbs.
Third Generation (2007 - 2017)
In 2007, Lincoln introduced the third generation Navigator with both the standard short-wheelbase (SWB) and long-wheelbase (LWB) trims. However, the SWB trims were still larger compared to the previous generations.
From 2007 to 2014, the Navigator maintained the 5.4-liter SOHC V8 engine, but this time with a slight power increase up to 310 hp.
During the 2015 refresh, however, Lincoln decided to power the Navigator with the new 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 engine. Although smaller in displacement, this new engine featured 380 hp and 420 lb-ft. of torque.
5.4-liter SOHC V8
- SWB 4x2 with standard towing package - 6,000 lbs.
- SWB 4x2 with optional towing package - 9,000 lbs.
- SWB 4x4 with standard towing package - 6,000 lbs.
- SWB 4x4 with optional towing package - 8,700 lbs.
- LWB 4x2 with standard towing package - 6,000 lbs.
- LWB 4x2 with optional towing package - 8,700 lbs.
- LWB 4x4 with standard towing package - 6,000 lbs.
- LWB 4x4 with optional towing package - 8,500 lbs.
3.5-liter EcoBoost V6
Lincoln's 3rd-generation Navigator manuals specify the towing capacity in terms of gross combined weight rating (GCWR).
- SWB 4x2 with standard towing package - 12,300 lbs. GCWR
- LWB 4x2 with standard towing package - 12,600 lbs. GCWR
- SWB 4x4 with standard towing package - 12,500 lbs. GCWR
- LWB 4x4 with standard towing package - 12,800 lbs. GCWR
- SWB 4x2 with optional heavy-duty towing package - 15,100 lbs. GCWR
- LWB 4x2 with optional heavy-duty towing package - 14,900 lbs. GCWR
- SWB 4x4 with optional heavy-duty towing package - 15,100 lbs. GCWR
- LWB 4x4 with optional heavy-duty towing package - 14,900 lbs. GCWR
We only have the GCWR from the official manuals. However, we can estimate the maximum trailer weights by subtracting the Navigator's curb weights and gross vehicle weight ratings (GVWR) from the GCWR.
To illustrate, we know that the SWB trims have a curb weight of 6,000 lbs., and an average GVWR of 7,600 lbs. This means that SWB trims with standard tow packages can tow between 5,000 to 6,000 lbs. Moreover, SWB trims with heavy-duty towing packages can tow up to 8,900 lbs.
Meanwhile, LWB trims have a curb weight of 6,200 lbs. and an average GVWR of 7,800 lbs. This means that LWB trims with standard towing packages can tow between 4,500 to 6,200 lbs. Consequently, LWB trims with heavy-duty towing packages can tow up to 8,500 lbs.
Fourth Generation (2018 - Present)
The current generation Navigator has the nameplate's largest SWB trim to date. Moreover, Lincoln gave the Navigator a new 10-speed automatic transmission for smoother shifts and better fuel economy.
However, despite the increase in size and change in transmission, Lincoln was still able to reduce the SUV's curb weight slightly. In addition, this 4th-generation Navigator received an upgraded, twin-turbocharged EcoBoost V6 engine that produces 450 hp and 510 lb-ft. of torque.
- SWB 4x2 with standard towing package - 6,200 lbs.
- SWB 4x4 with standard towing package - 6,200 lbs.
- LWB 4x2 with standard towing package - 6,600 lbs.
- LWB 4x4 with standard towing package - 6,600 lbs.
- SWB 4x2 with optional towing package - 8,700 lbs.
- SWB 4x4 with optional towing package - 8,300 lbs.
- LWB 4x2 with optional towing package - 8,400 lbs.
- LWB 4x4 with optional towing package - 8,100 lbs.
What Can A Lincoln Navigator Tow?
Based on the different towing capacities above, we can make a rough estimate of the gross trailer weight rating (GTWR) that the Navigator can pull. With the standard towing package, the Navigator can tow approximately 6,000 lbs. With the optional heavy-duty towing package, the SUV can pull about 8,500 lbs.
Of course, when we look at travel trailers, we should consider not just their dry weights but also their GTWR. A travel trailer's dry weight includes only the trailer and its manufacturer-installed equipment. It excludes any passengers, luggage, supplies, fluids, fuel, and any optional dealer-installed equipment.
We have listed below some popular travel trailers that you can tow with the Lincoln Navigator.
Lance 1685 Travel Trailer
The Lance 1685 is a luxurious travel trailer that combines comfort and functionality. It comes standard with a well-furnished kitchen, a toilet and bathroom, a queen-sized bed, air conditioning, and many other features. Despite these amenities, this 16.5-foot travel trailer only has a dry weight of 4,620 lbs. and a maximum GTWR of 6,300 lbs.
Jayco Jay Feather
With a standard length of 26 feet but a dry weight of only 5,185 lbs., the Jay Feather is indeed feather-like in weight. This spacious and luxurious travel trailer uses tough yet light fiberglass construction for its exterior.
Long-term campers will enjoy this trailer's ample offerings such as sleeping areas for 6, a walk-in shower, a well-equipped kitchen and dinette, as well as solar-powered electronics.
The Jay Feather has several variants with gross dry weights (with all the furniture and equipment in place) ranging from 5,000 lbs. to just over 7,200 lbs.
Airstream Flying Cloud
Airstream is one of the most popular travel trailer brands in America. The Flying Cloud is one of their aluminum-construction trailer lines, and it has over a dozen different layouts. Trailer length ranges from 23 feet up to 30 feet.
The Flying Cloud 23FB is the smallest trailer in this line. However, this doesn't mean that it lacks comfort or functionality. The 23FB is a 23-foot double-axle trailer that has great amenities and enough sleeping space for four people.
With all these standard furniture and equipment in place, the 23FB has a dry weight of 5,000 lbs. and a GTWR of 6,000 lbs.
The Flying Cloud 30FB Office and 30RB Bunk, on the other hand, are the largest variant of the line. The 30-foot FB Office provides a comfortable office area, ample amenities, and enough sleeping space for six people.
The RB Bunk, on the other hand, is a similarly-sized trailer that prioritizes comfortable sleeping for eight people. Both the 30FB Office and the RB Bunk have GTWRs of 8,800 lbs.
Can You Flat Tow A Lincoln Navigator?
We have already established that the Navigator can tow many types of travel trailers. However, some people may prefer to explore the great outdoors with a real RV while towing an SUV. The question now is: can you flat tow a Navigator?
1st And 2nd Generations
- Transmission must be set to "neutral".
- Maximum speed should be 35 mph (56 kph).
- Maximum distance for towing is 50 miles (80 km)
If you need to tow beyond the maximum speed and distance, then you may do so only if you remove the Navigator's driveshaft.
Unlike the earlier year models, the 3rd-generation Navigator is capable of being flat towed. This "neutral tow" capability comes standard for all 3rd-generation trims regardless of transmission and powertrain configuration. However, the maximum towing distance and speed remain the same.
Fourth-generation Navigator trims with 4WD as well as Slow Climb drive mode can activate the Neutral Tow mode.
If the Navigator has a standard towing package, then it can pull approximately 6,000 lbs. On the other hand, the heavy-duty towing package gives the Navigator a towing capacity of almost 9,000 lbs.
Thank you very much for reading. We hope we were able to help you appreciate the Lincoln Navigator as well as its towing capabilities.
For more interesting reads about Lincoln, towing, and other automotive topics, please check out these great articles.