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Author Topic: Ford Escape Tow Capacity Confusion  (Read 1118 times)


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Ford Escape Tow Capacity Confusion
« on: February 25, 2017, 05:00:43 PM »
Okay, so I have a 2008 Ford Escape AWD XLT 4dr V6,  when I looked up tow capacity by my vehicles VIN on Camping World site it states my vehicle's tow limit is 3500.  When I got new tires on my vehicle today, I asked them if they could tell me if I had an external trans cooler and they answered that no I do not and that my hitch is not a towable hitch, with exception of possibly a bike trailer.  But then after further conversation about what I have towed with my vehicle the guy looked up the Ford Escape and printed out for me the two capacity that states 1500-2000.  Now I'm totally confused, which should I believe?  Could the tire place be dishonest, and if so, why?  Anyone out there know anything or of anyway to know for sure?



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Re: Ford Escape Tow Capacity Confusion
« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2017, 05:59:38 PM »
What does your owners manual say?

Note also the tow capacity is for advertising purposes.  It uses a BASE MODEL with minimal options, a full tank of fuel, a 150# driver, NO PASSENGERS, NO CARGO.  Your nicely equipped XLT capacity will be less.  You must also subtract the weight of all passengers and cargo.

I suspect you will be very limited to what you can tow.  Bike rack, yes.  2500# pop up, probably not.

With that said, the car can pull that 2500# camper, but it will put excess wear on the drivetrain, especially the transmission.  Your brakes are designed to stop the car, and not an extra 2500# trailer.  The suspension will suffer excessive wear.  If you must make an emergency maneuver, the response by the car may not be as expected or needed.

I'm sure people do pull that much trailer and more, but it is not safe!
Preacher Gordon, DW Debbie
09 Grand Junction 35 TMS  Progressive HW50C
Andersen Ultimate hitch
2013 F350 Lariat LB SRW Supercab diesel 4X4   TST TMS  Garmin 760
Nimrod Series 70 popup (sold)
It's not a dumb question if you do not know the answer.


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Re: Ford Escape Tow Capacity Confusion
« Reply #2 on: February 25, 2017, 06:36:45 PM »
Thank you.  I haven't checked the manual yet, but I'm not sure if I'd get an accurate answer from the OM due to options on vehicles are variable.  I still won't know which I have.  According to VIN on my vehicle it's 3500 and the "generic" (for lack of better words) on my vehicle is 1500-2000.

I have pulled a small pop up with this vehicle as well as a fully-loaded 5 X 8 Uhaul (across country).  I went about 80 on the cross-country trip a good bit of the way and did notice a lag up mountains.  At the time, I thought I had a 3500 hitch. 

Now I'm looking into getting another camper, most likely another small pop up, but I did want to see if it's possible to find a small expandable or tt in the 2000's, but I get what you're saying about the brakes.  I'm thinking small pop up would be way to go after all.

Thanks again.

BTW, going to RV show tomorrow, doubt I'll buy anything there, thinking I'll go with a used camper again.

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Ford Escape Tow Capacity Confusion
« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2017, 10:51:25 AM »
The 2008 Escape V6 appears to be rated at 3500 lbs if it has the towing package installed. The tow package may or may not include an external tranny cooler, so that's not a reliable indicator. Per the ford 2008 Towing Guide, such a cooler is standard with an Escape V6 anyway. Escapes with the 4 cylinder are limited to 1500 lbs.

You can view the official 2008 Ford Towing Guide at http://www.fleet.ford.com/resources/ford/general/pdf/towingguides/08RVTTgdeSep08.pdf
It clearly shows the V6 Escape as being capable of 3500 lbs. Of course, that doesn't mean you are going to like it when doing so - just that is is able to do it. Certainly performance is going to suffer.

I wouldn't say your tire shop is dishonest, but they may well be wrong. Why would you expect them to have reliable data on your car's tow capacity? Selling tires is there expertise, and even there tire shops often give poor advice (or at least "one size fits all" answers).

You mentioned having pulled a pop-up at 80 mph? That's scary. The ST type tires on that trailer are rated at 65 mph max, and towing any trailer at 80 with a passenger type vehicle is risky enough that many would call it suicidal. Please limit your speed when towing.
Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL


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Re: Ford Escape Tow Capacity Confusion
« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2017, 06:16:22 PM »
Thank you for your reply. 

I'm sorry if I confused anyone or wasn't clear with my tow history.  I didn't tow the pop up at 80 mph, it was a 5 x 8 Uhaul trailer moving across country.  I went 80mph because it was the speed limit a good part of the way (75-80 on most highways).  I slowed down if I felt any swaying, and it was scary at times.  The Uhaul trailer specified a lower (I believe 55mph max), but as I started out with that speed, it was very difficult to not creep up on a highway of 80mph limits, so I did reach that speed after a point.  That's not saying that I would drive that speed pulling a small camper or pop up, I believe I'd be more reasonable not trying to make it across country as quickly as I was trying to on that move.
I asked about the dishonesty because they told me they do all kinds of auto services except replacing engine, lol.  I had asked them if they could look and see if I had an external trans cooler because from everything I've read about having a tow package it would include one and I hoped it would be the case.  But what you suggested as it may most likely be the case.  I was at a RV show today and it was mentioned they may not of seen it because it could be in front or behind the radiator, if I'm remembering correctly.

I did see some pop ups, and A-liners I could pull with my vehicle, but doing further research after getting home I found that Scamp TT and Casita TT have models that are towable, but those are all so pricey, and I will most likely go with a used camper at some point when I do purchase.