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Author Topic: Flat Tow Vehicles? Opinion? esp Ford Fiesta-Focus autos  (Read 2110 times)

Sailorkane

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Flat Tow Vehicles? Opinion? esp Ford Fiesta-Focus autos
« on: January 19, 2017, 09:04:07 AM »
I've done a search, though I suspect this topic has been chewed to death.  We are committed to flat tow.  Tried the dolly  :'(.  Also need automatic and not break the bank.  We have an older Saturn and its almost perfect, though getting old now.  Friend had a Jeep Grand Cherokee and we don't like it--too heavy and not very reliable.  So looking for smaller sedan type vehicle that is daily driver for wife and can be flat towed without problems.  The number of choices appears very limited.  Down to just about Sonic, Fiesta, Focus.  We don't trust any that say "run the engine every few hours"; that means the transmission is not getting enough lubrication when towed and will eventually wear faster than normal. 
We rented a Sonic and didn't like the layout of the car.  That pretty much leaves the dual clutch autos of the Ford Fiesta and Focus.  But the forums are full of complaints about the way they shift.  Anyone have a Fiesta (2011+)or Focus (2012+) and can comment about the way the auto trans works in daily driving?   Did Ford fix it after a certain year?  I know there have been a number of TSBs for the transmission, mostly software changes.  Anyone have any experience?  Or can suggest an alternative.
2003 Winnebago Journey DL 39WD, Freightliner, Cat 3126E 330HP.  Diesel Pusher.

grashley

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Re: Flat Tow Vehicles? Opinion? esp Ford Fiesta-Focus autos
« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2017, 05:26:21 PM »
Yes, this often discussed, but it is important!

It seems there was a recent? discussion on the Focus, but I could not find it.  If my POOR memory is right, it came down to one engine / transmission combo was flat towable, the other engine / transmission was NOT flat towable. Both were automatic.  Yes, it does get that specific.

You can go to     www.remcoindustries.com/towing     and check specific vehicles.  This is a great resource.

Maybe someone else remembers that earlier discussion.
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Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Flat Tow Vehicles? Opinion? esp Ford Fiesta-Focus autos
« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2017, 10:09:31 AM »
It's not cheap, but the addition of a tranny lube pump will make almost every front-drive sedan towable. Might be better to spend the extra bucks than to have a car she doesn't like or is not confident of the reliability.

Doesn't the upscale model of the Focus offer a true auto option instead of the dual clutch system?  I couldn't find the details on  the Select-Shift 6-speed.
Gary
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hockeybuff

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Re: Flat Tow Vehicles? Opinion? esp Ford Fiesta-Focus autos
« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2017, 10:38:56 AM »
In June 2012, I had to find a replacement for my Honda Civic toad and, after considerable research, ended up with the 2012 Ford Fiesta.  Works well for flat towing since it is quite lite but it is crucial to follow Ford's pre-trip guidelines, e.g. cycling thru the gears, not letting the car battery lose power, etc. 

2008 Winnebago Outlook, 2012 Ford Fiesta

Sailorkane

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Re: Flat Tow Vehicles? Opinion? esp Ford Fiesta-Focus autos
« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2017, 05:53:05 PM »
On your 2012 Fiesta, was it manual transmission or automatic? 
2003 Winnebago Journey DL 39WD, Freightliner, Cat 3126E 330HP.  Diesel Pusher.

Old Radios

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Re: Flat Tow Vehicles? Opinion? esp Ford Fiesta-Focus autos
« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2017, 06:22:46 PM »
Do not go by what the dealer tells you.  See it in print from Ford before you purchase.
Our 2015 Focus SE Sport automatic is flat towable (must go through the flat tow routine first) but we decided to go with a dolly so we could tow other vehicles also.
We wind up towing a trailer with the bikes in in most of the time anyway.
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irishtom29

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Re: Flat Tow Vehicles? Opinion? esp Ford Fiesta-Focus autos
« Reply #6 on: February 02, 2017, 08:32:21 PM »
I flat tow a 2016 Fiesta with the 1 liter Ecoboost and stick shift. To tow release the parking brake and put the trans in neutral. That's it.

Sailorkane

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Re: Flat Tow Vehicles? Opinion? esp Ford Fiesta-Focus autos
« Reply #7 on: February 05, 2017, 11:17:19 AM »
Wife can't drive a manual tranny.  So we need the dual clutch automatic.  But forums seem to knock that transmission, saying it has "issues".  Like basically shifting like a new trainee in manual shifting.  Funny since the dual clutch concept is used in sports cars and high end performance vehicles. 
2003 Winnebago Journey DL 39WD, Freightliner, Cat 3126E 330HP.  Diesel Pusher.

irishtom29

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Re: Flat Tow Vehicles? Opinion? esp Ford Fiesta-Focus autos
« Reply #8 on: February 05, 2017, 11:46:04 AM »
Wife can't drive a manual tranny.  So we need the dual clutch automatic.  But forums seem to knock that transmission, saying it has "issues".  Like basically shifting like a new trainee in manual shifting.  Funny since the dual clutch concept is used in sports cars and high end performance vehicles.

I had a 2012 Focus with the DC trans, it was fine. I kept in mind that it was kind'a like a manual with a little man inside working the clutch and shift lever; I never expected it to be as smooth as a conventional automatic. Not having unrealistic expectations I wasn't disappointed.

Old Radios

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Re: Flat Tow Vehicles? Opinion? esp Ford Fiesta-Focus autos
« Reply #9 on: February 06, 2017, 02:05:28 PM »
No problems with the last Focus automatic Tranny with the dual clutch I had or my current 2015.  I rented one last summer and it had the "shutter" starting out in the low gears they talk about. Drove it aggressively for a couple of days and no more shutter so I guess it's not for little old ladies unless they're from Pasadena.
2006 Fleetwood Tioga 26Q
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2015 Harley Softail Deluxe Toad
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motoxbob

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Re: Flat Tow Vehicles? Opinion? esp Ford Fiesta-Focus autos
« Reply #10 on: February 11, 2017, 05:55:13 PM »
I bought a 2016 Focus specifically because I could tow it. Never bought a Ford before. You will get used to the shudder between first and second gear. I push it through that gear change a bit harder with more gas pedal and then it doesn't really happen. One thing to note...the base plate will be very low on the Focus compared to a CRV or Jeep. On my class A gas rig with quite a bit of overhang I needed to use a 10 inch (!) drop receiver to get proper alignment of the towbar. That is something I have to be very careful about entering and leaving parking areas.

Oldedit

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Re: Flat Tow Vehicles? Opinion? esp Ford Fiesta-Focus autos
« Reply #11 on: February 11, 2017, 09:02:57 PM »
I bought a 2016 Jeep Patriot, stick shift, last summer and put a Blue Ox system on it. Haven't toad it yet. But since I'm driving a Reyo with a 2012 Sprinter chassis, I needed something with a stick (to keep setup simple) and light. The Jeep is about 3,000 lbs., give or take. I traded a 2013 Rav4 and came out a few 100 dollars ahead on the deal.

The Jeep is my go to the supermarket, gym care and has almost 1,000 miles after five months. This is a step down from my Rav4 and the Lexus RX 300 that I drove for 12 years, but it works for me. My first car was a '48 Jeep (Willy's sp?) stick that I learned to drive as a child.

I figure the Jeep will carry our bikes and a few light, bulky things. We had seen emails from people who had trouble trashing their CRV toad and decided to go cheap and small.
2014 Newmar Ventana 4037 12.17-
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Toad: 2016 Jeep Patriot Stick with Blue Ox

8Muddypaws

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Re: Flat Tow Vehicles? Opinion? esp Ford Fiesta-Focus autos
« Reply #12 on: February 12, 2017, 09:18:37 AM »
We've been towing our CRV for 7 years.  Never had a problem and don't expect any.
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rkbowdin

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Re: Flat Tow Vehicles? Opinion? esp Ford Fiesta-Focus autos
« Reply #13 on: February 14, 2017, 11:49:48 AM »
We have a 2010 fusion hybrid, and it tows like a dream. great daily driver and a nice size for 4 normal size adults too. I just run it for 5 mins in the morning and we are good to go.
Newly Retired, Trying to figure out what to do with time.

Oldedit

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Re: Flat Tow Vehicles? Opinion? esp Ford Fiesta-Focus autos
« Reply #14 on: March 14, 2017, 10:08:34 AM »
We towed our Jeep Patriot for the first time a couple of weeks ago. Drove south on very windy I-25 and west on more windy I-40. Works like a dream. I can just see the driver's mirror so I know the toad is still there, or i turn on the emergency blinking lights so the rear camera shows the Jeep.

What I really like is that all I have to do is put the car in neutral, turn the ignition to accessories, release the brake and set up the braking system so it's easier to stop the RV and Jeep. The Blue Ox system does its job. It helps to have DW help me set up the Blue Ox.

The wind cut our mpg, but when we headed south on I-17 with a tail wind and going from 6,000 ft to about 1,200, we got over 16 mpg despite some 6 degree upgrades, which were offset by similar descents. The 6 degree downhill runs were very easy to manage while going up 6 degrees slowed us to about 40 mph.

The Reyo/Via weighs about 12k lb and the Jeep is about 3k lb.
2014 Newmar Ventana 4037 12.17-
2013 Itasca Reyo T 2012-12.12.17
2006 Roadtrek Adventurous Mercedes (Freightliner)
Colorado 2009-2012
Toad: 2016 Jeep Patriot Stick with Blue Ox

Mooney 78865

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Re: Flat Tow Vehicles? Opinion? esp Ford Fiesta-Focus autos
« Reply #15 on: March 30, 2017, 08:48:52 PM »
We are new to the whole "toad" thing and finally settled on a 2011 Chevy HHR LT.  It can be flat towed with no modifications and with the 2.4 liter engine it has a fair amount of get up and go.  I believe it is around 3200 lbs in this trim.  I am in the process of outfitting it to tow so I can't report on how it actually does, but there are many who do and I don't see any complaints. Ours will also serve as a commuter as well.  I have a 88 mile round trip commute each day and either ride my bike, a Moto Guzzi Stelvio, or more often than not (yeah, I wear a suit) drive a BMW Z4 SI.  The HHR will save a lot of wear and tear on the Beemer....
« Last Edit: March 30, 2017, 08:50:35 PM by Mooney 78865 »
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rollingblunder

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Re: Flat Tow Vehicles? Opinion? esp Ford Fiesta-Focus autos
« Reply #16 on: April 28, 2017, 03:23:35 PM »
I know this is an older thread - but we flat tow a 2011 Honda fit automatic  (going on its 7th year) and it has been great. no special treatment just a simple 10 second procedure and she's good to go. Been across country 5 times absolutely no problems. its fairly comfortable and with back seat down has tons of room - Just a thought

 

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