I want to downsize from our 2008 Grand Caravan into a 2011 Escape (XLT 3.0L 4WD) as the van proved to be just to big and cumbersome for everyday use. However, my family and I are avid campers and I know that the Escape will not be big enough to carry our gear on its own, so we will definitely need a good rooftop carrier and perhaps a cargo carrier for the hitch.
I know the Escape will be perfect for everyday use, but I do have a few questions that I would like to pose to you experts before we make our purchase (I will also ask my salesman, but he is obviously biased):
1. The factory roof rack supports 100lbs...if I buy some better cross-rails from Thule/Yakima can I increase this number, or is it actually limited by the Escape's roof?
2. The factory hitch is 1.25" and I would prefer to get a 3rd party 2" hitch...are there any reasons why I should not be doing this?
3. We have 2 kids (3 & 6 yo) who will fit comfortably in the back with no problems, but we may want to squeeze a 3rd kid into the back from time-to-time...has anyone had any luck fitting 3 booster seats into the back safely?
I appreciate any answers you can provide, they will definitely make my decision easier!