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2011 Ford Escape as toad


JoeTrekker

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Hey, Folks -

 

I have a 2011 Ford Escape Limited FWD, and I'm trying to determine if anyone out there has had actual experience using it as a toad. I've heard conflicting reports...

 

The Owner's Manual says that it can be flat-towed. I called Ford's Customer Service representative today and Chris there told me "...the 2012 and newer models cannot be flat-towed, but I'm showing that the 2011 and earlier models can be flat-towed. Just followed the instructions in the Owner's Manual."

 

On the other hand, I've heard many reports of folks who've burned their tranny when towing their Escape. It could be that those folks haven't followed the instructions or have driven over the recommended speed limit stated in the Owner's Manual.

 

Can anyone shed their experience on this matter? I've been going without a toad, but I'd like to use my Escape if I can. Thanks much,

 

Joe

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We've got a Ford Escape we love as well Joe, but alas we've read of way too many folks having tranny problems even with years that stated in owners manuals they could be flat towed. Some even with the after market option add on, so alas for us we are going to change out to a Jeep when the time comes that we hit the road on a more permanent basis and at a much slower pace of travelling.

 

CRV's before this year's model used to be really popular toads as well but they've changed apparently, so Honda obviously doesn't see the RV market a big enough share one would think? Do a search top right as there's been some very interesting threads on toads the past couple of years and reference to other types, ages and models folks tow as well that helped us make our decision.

 

We've extended time RV'd for many years using nothing other than our two legs and push bikes covering many miles, with a very very rare rental car at a couple of destinations for 3 days here and there. It's worked exceptionally well for us but I know being toadless we are generally in the minority considering the amount of Rving we do.

 

As we are prepping to FT, we definitely intend to tow something in the not too distant future. Been putting it off for as long as possible though as we personally just don't want to lose the exercise we get being toad less now. Being diabetic this for sure keeps blood sugars better in check = Dr loves my blood work after every trip.

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Thank you, FT Wannabee.

 

Well, I guess I have to admit my sloth. At age 70 I was thinking a toad would be a welcome respite for my weary old bones, and thought I'd make one last attempt to hear good news from 2011 Escape owners. LOL. But I strongly agree with you: too many horror stories from folks whose Escape models allegedly could be flat-towed and they learned otherwise.

 

I enjoy travel to very remote wilderness areas, and having a toad is a nice security blanket in the event of trouble with the RV. But there sure is no security in being back in the Yukon Territories this summer where theyre's no cellular phone service and have the tranny burn out on me!

 

And trading the Escape in on a certified-used towable model would cost me in the 5-figures, an added expense I don't want right now.

 

I agree with you: not only is towing the Escape not worth the risk, but God knows I need to lose weight, so ...I'll 'man up', add panniers to my bicycle, pack my bike and walking shoes, and go toadless this summer. That will bring me closer to Nature anyway, eh? I sincerely appreciate the feedback. Happy travels to you!

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According to Remco Towing, www.remcotowing.com, the 2011 Ford Escape Limited FWD cannot be flat towed as it comes from the manufacturer without the addition of a lube pump:

 

 

  • Vehicle can be flat towed with Lube Pump Kit. Vehicle cannot be flat towed from Manufacturer as is.

Go to the above website, plug in the information for your vehicle, and read what they have to say about flat towing.

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Hi, Linda -

 

Thank you for the link to the Remco site; I've bookmarked this page for future toad research, and will share the info with others as they need it. The explanation makes all the sense in the world. It's really disappointing that the Ford Customer Service department didn't give me this information. This information really settles the question for me: either install a lube pump or go without a toad. I'll go without the toad and see how that works out. Thanks again for sharing.

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Just heads up Joe, I've spoken to a handful of folks that did the lube pump aftermarket and still had their tranny's damaged, and also had a lot of long timers here advise me they were aware of folks that still had problems after doing that also - for us we decided not to take the risk but for sure there'll be someone out there that hasn't had any issues whatsoever I'm sure. There's also a nice lady I think called Maila's travels (someone else might know her name/website direct), she had tons of problems towing her Escape and says will never buy a Ford again now has a Fit I believe = it's all on her website which I think I accessed a long time ago from Hitchupandgo.com link or something like that.

 

Would sure suit us for ease, cost and comfort as everyday driver to be able to flat tow our Escape as well, so feel for your challenge, but think trying to do so we could end up with more costs through the damage than just biting the bullet eventually and getting the Jeep in our case.

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Hey, FT Wannabe -

 

Ironic that you mention Maila. I stumbled upon her blog - and the description of her travails with her Ford Escape! - while doing internet research. Her experiences were a direct and total contradiction to what Chris at Ford's Customer Service Center told me. And it was her blog that prompted me to "ask the real experts" here on our Forum. I'm VERY grateful for you and Linda! Here's a link to Maila's blog:

 

http://www.maliasmiles.com/RVTravel/ford-escape.htm

 

I sure hope that I can be of as much help to others as you, Linda and many others on this Forum have been to me. Gracias, y'all!

 

BTW, I'm not a big fan of major aftermarket modifications, so there will be no lube pump installation on my Escape. The biggest challenge I have right now is what to do with the Escape since I won't tow it from mid-May through Labor Day. I guess I could store it with a slow-drip battery charger hooked up. Or - hey! - sell it and get a Jeep like you guys plan to do! Life is good!

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The biggest challenge I have right now is what to do with the Escape since I won't tow it from mid-May through Labor Day. I guess I could store it with a slow-drip battery charger hooked up.

 

When we had our truck and fifth wheel, we left our car at home during the winter (~November thru March). We would put Sta-Bil in the gas tank, fill it up and drive it home. Then DH disconnected the negative lead from the battery. It started right up when we'd return home and connect the battery again.

 

By the way, we traded our truck and fifth wheel for the motorhome in my signature in December 2013. We were, of course, without our car since it was at home. We figured it would be a good test of whether or not we really needed a toad. It didn't take us long to figure out that, yes, we DID need a toad! Our situation may be a bit different, however, in that we have two dogs, so we'd put the dinette table down to put the cage on and tie it down with the seat belts (we do not let our pets run loose inside while we're moving!). That became a PITA fairly quickly.

 

We mostly boondock, so we didn't have to worry about unhooking and stowing all the hoses and electrical cord each time we wanted to go someplace, but keep that in mind if you do stay in RV parks...that, too, could quickly become a PITA to deal with. And, even though we have a fairly small Class C (29'), there were still places were not able to go because we were simply too big.

 

It was SOOOOO much nicer this past winter to have the car with us!!!

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Hey, Linda -

 

Very valuable and appreciated information. I too am looking to boondock for quite a bit during the summer. Up until now, I've rented a 25-foot Class C for 2 weeks at a time and it's been perfectly fine without a toad. But I'm fully expecting that renting for a couple of weeks versus spending an entire summer without a toad are going to be two very different experiences. :( LOL.

 

My goal this summer is to take my prior 2-week rental skits and try RVing for the entire summer. If I like it as much as I suspect, I'll buy a toad for sure. In a prior post, folks on this Forum have shared that living without a toad is quite "doable" by planning ahead. We shall see, eh?

 

Whatever happens, it's all very, very good: at least I'll be out and on the road, experiencing beautiful sights and - hopefully - meeting some really good folks around a campfire.

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We've got a Ford Escape we love as well Joe, but alas we've read of way too many folks having tranny problems even with years that stated in owners manuals they could be flat towed. Some even with the after market option add on, so alas for us we are going to change out to a Jeep when the time comes that we hit the road on a more permanent basis and at a much slower pace of travelling.

 

CRV's before this year's model used to be really popular toads as well but they've changed apparently, so Honda obviously doesn't see the RV market a big enough share one would think? Do a search top right as there's been some very interesting threads on toads the past couple of years and reference to other types, ages and models folks tow as well that helped us make our decision.

 

We've extended time RV'd for many years using nothing other than our two legs and push bikes covering many miles, with a very very rare rental car at a couple of destinations for 3 days here and there. It's worked exceptionally well for us but I know being toadless we are generally in the minority considering the amount of Rving we do.

 

As we are prepping to FT, we definitely intend to tow something in the not too distant future. Been putting it off for as long as possible though as we personally just don't want to lose the exercise we get being toad less now. Being diabetic this for sure keeps blood sugars better in check = Dr loves my blood work after every trip.

Must a towed vehicle be attached to a motorcoach or is it permissible to attach to a trailer? I'm new to this as you can tell.

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TRD, we are new to prepping for a towed as well, but because we have an Escape we did a lot of enquiring of those in the know and weighed up the pros and cons and risks of towing it flat, trailer, dolly etc. Overall whilst you will get a handful that say they've never had a problem towing a trailer or use other means to transport their towed, the vast majority seem to prefer to flat tow where possible. Reasons cited are ease, not having to find room to put the trailer as well as the towed when at a destination and others will be a long soon to explain their reasons for doing so. Just as some prefer a 5er over a MH over a TT etc etc, there are those that prefer to flat tow over trailer or dolly. Also remember it depends how you like to RV and where you chose to stay. As another thought, some will trailer a vehicle so they can utilize the trailer when at site as a work shop or other room use.

 

There's no right or wrong way from what I can gather, it's just considering how you intend to travel and where and the impact of each choice option.

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Must a towed vehicle be attached to a motorcoach or is it permissible to attach to a trailer? I'm new to this as you can tell.

I assume that you mean that you wish to tow a car behind either a travel trailer or a fifth wheel? If that is what you are thinking of, the answer is that yes, it can be done but it is not recommended for most RV owners. It not only can create an over length issue in some states, there are also states that towing double trailers, as you would then be is not legal. Much more than that is the safety issue of doing so. Jack Mayer of these forums has done it and he is a very experienced RVer and he has stopped doing so and recommends against it. Hopefully he will respond to this as I can respond based upon observation and reading but Jack can answer from experience.

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We had to make this decision when I bought my Dodge Dakota 4x4 4 dr truck last year since we knew we were

going to buy a MH this year.

 

My Dakota can be towed 4 down with the transfer case in neutral and the transmission in park. It does not add

miles while towing just the wear on tires. For us this was the best solution.

 

For those thinking about placing a car on a car trailer (totally off the ground) be aware that most campground do

not have enough space at the camp space to store a car trailer and you will probably need to pay extra to park

it in their storage lot (if they have one).

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