I moved last winter. Made about 15 trips hauling everything from horses to furniture with my 05, over 160000 on it. I hauled about 4000 pounds on one trip(I know, 3500 capacity, cashmacity) I took it easy on acceleration and braking of course. Moved 80 miles. You will be just fine. My escape is a workhorse so is yours, a tent trailer is cake. P
We had a 2006 Expedition as our Mothership (6 kids), then had it as our kid car, until they could all drive, then it was a spare until we let it go. Our popup was a toy behind it. I got the Escape to be our 'do it all' after that. It fits our downsize just right it seems.
Popup is a little work, but after a few times, you just walk through it, and it's a breeze to pull. Not a ton of space, but we usually camp to be outside, and the trailer is just our 'home base'.
That is something she wants to do also, strap a couple kayaks to the top and go. And yup, an Escape (well, I think she wants a RAV4) would do well for her needs. But a free 2000 Expedition that has a lot of life left in it, doesn't matter that it gets 15mpg if going to be used for outdoor excursions (or expeditions...or escapes) and the occasional drive in the winter when the snow gods dump a ton.
When I used this Expedition for camping, we ended up just putting a futon mattress in the back and sleeping in the vehicle, and putting all the camping gear in the tent.