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Author Topic: What can a Ford Escape pull?  (Read 20353 times)
Sunnygirl
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« on: February 01, 2010, 04:49:54 PM »

We're thinking of getting a popup trailer for quick trips when we don't want to take our motorhome (a 44' behemoth that doesn't fit well into many state parks), or when we can't take it because it's just the 3 D's and I (DH is the only motorhome driver; I don't have the license necessary to drive a 26K+ lb. rig, nor do I have any desire to drive it).  We own a 3/4 ton Suburban that I'm sure can pull any popup out there, and that's what I'd typically use, but I'd like to get something that can be pulled with D's Ford Escape (3.0 liter V6, 4WD, 3,500 stated towing capacity).  Can anyone recommend a popup that can sleep 4-5 and be towed by an Escape?  The size of any dinette/sofa bed will probably be very relevant, as the D's are 5'6", 5'3" and 4'8" and all still growing.  TIA!
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JD and Beastlet
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« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2010, 05:27:37 PM »

Hi Sunnygirl,

Because the weight of all of the passengers and cargo in the tow vehicle must be subtracted from that 3500 lbs, one rule of thumb is to pick a trailer with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of 1,000 lbs less than the tow rating.  When you're looking at trailer websites, you could search for PUPs with GVWRs of 2,500 lb or less.

You didn't specify the year of the Escape.  However, according to the 2009 Ford Towing Guide the Escape only qualifies for that 3500 lb rating if the Class II towing package is installed.  You might want to check if this is the case with your model, and if it is so equipped.
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Sunnygirl
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« Reply #2 on: February 01, 2010, 05:57:54 PM »

Thanks.  The Escape is a 2010 and has the tow package.  I'll look for campers with a GVWR of 2500 or less.  I'm assuming that's going to limit us to a 10 foot box at most.  Is there a place on the web to look for weights of options?  I haven't seen these on any of the manufacturer websites I've checked so far.
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bud121156
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« Reply #3 on: February 01, 2010, 06:09:18 PM »

I comfortably tow a 12 ft, 2100 lb Westlake model, with an 07 Escape.
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« Reply #4 on: February 01, 2010, 06:18:33 PM »

Is there a place on the web to look for weights of options?  I haven't seen these on any of the manufacturer websites I've checked so far.

On the Coleman site, for example, there's alink to download a brochure.  Scrolling through the brochure, I found a specs page.

Other sites may have links to a specs page, or you may have to look in the brochures.
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sully
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« Reply #5 on: February 01, 2010, 10:15:44 PM »

we have a 2003 santa fe that we pull with the explorer. thought about the escape with the tow package - think it has the same rating as the explorer... I just liked the ride of the explorer over the escapes that we drove.
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SilverAthlon
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« Reply #6 on: February 02, 2010, 11:09:47 PM »

hello -

I recently went through all of this, as I already owned a 2007 Ford Escape Limited.  My vehicle has a 3.0l with factory towing package w/ 4x4.  The weight rating for the class II hitch is 3500 lbs, rated to 200 lbs. tongue weight.

My 12' 2002 bayside is 2600 lbs unloaded, 160 lbs tongue wight, easily allowing 500 safe lbs of gear.  Proper weight distribution will be critical. It also has electric brakes, which were a requirement for me for the safety, and having additional stopping power.

The Escape has a base curb weight of 3400 lbs, and a GVWR of 4500 lbs.  The manual states a GCWR of 7240, and my base/unloaded weights come in around 6000 lbs, ~1200 lbs shy of the Gross Combined Weight Rating.  If I spend 500 lbs in the trailer, I've got roughly 600 lbs. for cargo in the vehicle (passengers, etc).  Now this is less than ideal for many travelers, but I'm 27 and I don't have a family of passengers.

Additionally, I will be adding in a supplemental transmission cooler, as well as a transmission filter to help provide cooling and additional protection against hard wear and tear on the transmission. Keep in mind your location vs. where you want to go, as elevation can reduce GCWR by as much as 2% per 1000 ft of elevation.  I live in the midwest and will be staying within the state where elevation is not a concern.

I don't think that this is the recommended solution for everyone, many will look at this as too close to the recommended ratings for comfort.  I know both my vehicle and locations I will camp and do not have concerns about my useage.  Further down the road I will look at a vehicle with a 3.2l or 3.5l engine that has a higher GCWR, but I recently traveled 300 mi with it in tow and it pulled just fine under 70mph.  I'm looking at a sway control device as well.

I would recommend electric brakes for everyone, it's a nice feature to have.  Up front costs for a decent brake controller can start at $70, not installed.  If you're handy, installation can be easy and I did mine myself.

This site has some good information regarding Ford vehicles, the manual will have additional infortation, but the driver door sticker will tell the story the best.
http://www.ford-trucks.com/specs/
« Last Edit: February 02, 2010, 11:18:57 PM by SilverAthlon » Logged

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« Reply #7 on: February 03, 2010, 04:50:57 AM »

I don't know about weights or ratings, but I toewd my 01 Sea pine with our 03 Escape. It towed great. If we were driving through hills in virginia, it would slow down on the uphill, but other than that, you'd hardly know it was there.

The sea pine was a 10' box with a king and double bed
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SilverAthlon
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« Reply #8 on: February 03, 2010, 12:39:25 PM »

The coleman sea pine is 1755 lbs unloaded, and it would pull without issue.  you could pack both the trailer and the vehicle to the max and not likely exceed the gcwr.

I will admit that I have to drive with overdrive OFF, which means gas mileage suffers - on my 300 mi trip avg. 17.5 mpg highway.  If you want a big camper, those are the breaks.  Honestly the Escape isn't really meant to be much more than a lightweight SUV.  If you don't have those needs, stick to something smaller, it's much easier to maneuver the trailer, push/pull when hitching up, and generally less to worry about. When the camper is hitched up, I can't see out of the rearview mirror, and I don't even have AC rooftop unit.  it's longer than the escape, and wider as well.  Definately looks funny from a distance. 

To me, it's all worth it when I can spread out in a camper and guests can have ample room to relax, etc.
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« Reply #9 on: February 03, 2010, 01:47:48 PM »

4 women/girls camping!?  I don't know if you can handle the luggage weight!!
I'm just kidding...we have 3 girls, too, and we tow with a minivan.

Seriously, judging by the height of your girls, I'm guessing these are middle/high schoolers, and don't weight 50 lbs anymore like my little ones (no offense to your DD's).  So by the time you add some luggage for the 4 of you, you have a significant amount of weight (I'm treading lightly here!!).

So, a 10-ft, 2500 lbs GVWR popup is certainly the max you should consider.  As far as the bed size, I'd just plan on the 4 of you sharing the 2 bunk ends.  The youngest might be OK on the dinette, but not for long.  Most 10-footers will have 1 king, and 1 double, although a few have 2 queens.

You really just need to do the math;  and the GCVWR is really the most important rating (IMO):
Ford Towing Guide shows 7300 lbs for your GCVWR.
Subtracting about 3600 for your empty Escape, leaves about 3700 for loaded trailer, passengers, and cargo.
Subtract 2500 lbs for your expected loaded trailer, and you have 1200 left for passengers and cargo.

Do you, the girls, and whatever you put in the back of the Escape weight more than 1200 lbs?

Or course, if you run this close to your limit, I would recommend you stay away from any significant hills, and also confirm you don't exceed your rear axle GAWR.  But you get the idea.
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Sunnygirl
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« Reply #10 on: February 03, 2010, 05:53:23 PM »

Brakeman, you gave me a good laugh with the luggage comment.  Two of the D's and I are very light packers (we pack waaay lighter than DH), but the 13 year old would bring 3 steamer trunks for a weekend if given the option.  The 4 of us collectively weigh roughly 450 pounds (unfortunately I am the biggest contributor to that sum), but that number is only growing as the kids do, so I guess we'll be sticking with the 2500 max weight for a pup.   And when we pull with the Suburban, which has a 12,000 pound tow rating, I'll let middle D bring whatever she can fit in the back of the car.
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