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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My son purchased some furniture (a leather reclining loveseat, to be exact) from Sam's Club while at school. He hauled it from Sam's to his dorm in his friend's Expedition this past fall. Now that spring has arrived and the friend's Expedition has been traded for something more fuel efficient, we need to get his furniture home.

The loveseat measures roughly 5 ft by 3.75 ft and I don't even want to try putting it into the Escape. It simply wouldn't be worth it because:
1) It's a 70+ mile drive and I know the hatch won't close with it in there
2) He has a bunch of other crap to bring home so we would need more space anyway

Thus, I finally found a reason to use the tow package I purchased 7+ years ago (HAS IT REALLY BEEN THAT LONG?!?!!??) when I bought my Escape. Mind you, aside from pulling a tree stump and my son's car out of a snow bank, the hitch has never been used. I'm pretty sure that I want to rent a 5X8 trailer from U-Haul and was wondering what I need to do to prep my Escape for the tow.

The U-Haul man with whom I spoke said the only thing I would need to purchase was a hitch ball at around $30. Is that correct? Furthermore, is all the wiring there that needs to be? Do I need any special connectors? Should I be concerned that 7 years of PA winters have completely corroded and destroyed the factory wiring?

I know to double and triple check tire pressures on both the Escape and trailer. The U-Haul man said that he would hook things up for me so I'm not terribly concerned about that. I also know to keep my speed in check. We'll be taking Rt. 33 and I-80 and both have some moderatley hilly sections so will braking be a huge concern?. Oh, and no, I won't forget to lock out O/D.

Sorry for the lengthy post. Any advice/ experiences/ tips/ humor is greatly appreciated.

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I needed to rent a large post-hole digger last summer. My Edge is also equipped with the factory tow package, so I got to use it for the first time. That also means I haven't had much experience towing, but I was surprised how well everything worked out.

The only thing sticking out of the back of the Edge is the square tow opening, the same as the one used on the Escape. I had to rent the bar and ball, which the equipment-rental place let me use for free. The trailer fit and locked over the ball perfectly. The lights plugged right in and worked without any trouble. Driving with the trailer was pretty weird, though. Every time the trailer hit an expansion joint, it felt like it was going to fall off. The Edge in particular is very quiet, so this thing added a LOT of noise to it. The trailer also generated a lot of resonating noise once it got up to around 40MPH, but then again, this was a post-hole digger, not a U-Haul trailer! I just kept it slow and easy, and everything was fine.

Since the Escape can tow up to 3,500 pounds with the tow package, so you should be way under that limit, and I don't think you'll have any trouble. My dad tows a 17' boat every other day in the summer with his CR-V, which doesn't even have a factory tow package. In fact, even when I had five people in my Escape, it didn't really seem to make much difference in the acceleration. You may not need to turn off overdrive, but only if it doesn't seem like the engine is laboring. The light connector included with the Escape's tow package is the only connector you'll need. And if the contacts to the lights are coroded, just plug them in and out a few times until the metal makes good contact, and they should work fine. Your wiring probably isn't coroded at all, just (maybe) the contacts. Once they do make contact, electricity has a way of "arcing" the connection together and keeping it that way until you unplug it. Once the contacts are clean and you're done using the trailer, buy a tube of white lithium grease and fill each of the Escape's four connector openings with the grease, then cover the plug (that plug sometimes needs help keeping it closed, so you might need a zip-tie to do that). That will prevent the contacts from coroding any further.

That's about my limit on trailer-towing experience. I hope it helps!
 

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The purchase of the hitch ball is a given. $30 bucks sounds a little steep but I haven't purchased a hitch ball lately.

The U-Haul people will check out the wiring when they hook up the trailer.

Hope that helps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the helps, guys. I'll have to take a look under the bumper tomorrow and see if I can find the wiring.

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$30 isn't a bad price for the bar and ball. A ball at Home Depot is about $8 alone, no bar. That's another $20 I'm sure. So, the put it on for the $30, I'd sure let them do it. They probably have the pigtail connector and can do that for you as well, if you feel you must have lights. I don't know your states laws, but in TX. daylight driving without trailer lights is OK. Just don't do it after dark. Another $30-40 is not out of line for the trailer light pigtail btw. Make sure the lights work before starting out. Have the tires checked for air pressure on the Escape and trailer. You should be fine. :)

Warning: U-haul has several cases against them for renting faulty equipment. Make sure your rental is up to snuff. Check the tires treads and all the ramp gear etc your self. You are the responsible party in the eyes of the law. :shades:
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
jonas1022 said:
Warning: U-haul has several cases against them for renting faulty equipment. Make sure your rental is up to snuff. Check the tires treads and all the ramp gear etc your self. You are the responsible party in the eyes of the law. :shades:
Thanks for the tip. I'll have to check PA's laws regarding trailer lights, too. Maybe I won't have to worry about it at all.

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