Travel trailer towing experiences with 3rd gen Escape

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Re: Travel trailer towing experiences with 3rd gen Escape

Postby rlhasse - June 30th, 2021, 5:49 pm

I know this is an old thread, but hey, somebody may come looking for info on this subject so I might as well add mine.

I towed a 17' travel trailer with my 2013 Escape w/ 2.4L Ecoboost. This was not a tent trailer or a collapsible trailer, this was a full size travel trailer, with kitchen, bed & bath; wet weight is ~2100 lbs. I towed the same trailer with my 2008 Escape w/ 3.0L V6 prior to getting the 2013. The Ecoboost had really good power, more than the V6, but what it was severely lacking in was cooling capacity. Whenever we hit a grade it had good power for pulling the grade, but the temp gauge would start climbing up. I had to keep an eye on the temp gauge and lift out of the throttle when it started to climb. All the way up the grade, however long it was, I had to constantly watch the temp gauge and feather the throttle between losing forward momentum and running it too hot. If the temp got to a preset point the engine controller overrides the throttle and restricts the power output of the engine; and it overrides the shift lever as well and will not allow downshifting; and it stays like that until you shut off and re-start the engine. That clears whatever code is initiated by the temperature and it will drive normal again until the next time the system is triggered.

What was more frustrating to me than having the power restricted, I could deal with that, it was the restriction from selecting a lower gear range that really bothered me. If you could drop down a gear range it would ease the load on the engine, so this feature made no sense at all.

I checked with Ford on this, and they actually did a few checks on it to start with, but then the Service Manager at the dealership got really pissy about the whole thing and refused to help me with it. Calling Ford directly got me nowhere. The problem was that I didn't order the tow package with the car. Since I didn't order the tow package they claimed the tow rating of the car was only 1500 #'s, and I was exceeding that, so tough luck, piss off is pretty much what they told me. I countered that all the tow package included was the receiver, the wiring harness, and a computer program to help with sway control. None of that had anything to do with cooling; but my complaints were to no avail and Ford drop kicked me to the curb.

When that car came off lease I let it go, I still have the 2008 Escape and still tow with it, with none of the cooling/overheating problems of the 2013 model.
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Re: Travel trailer towing experiences with 3rd gen Escape

Postby MadMax - July 1st, 2021, 6:03 am

"2.4L Ecoboost"? :? Did you mean 2.0 Ecoboost? :shrug:
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Re: Travel trailer towing experiences with 3rd gen Escape

Postby rlhasse - July 1st, 2021, 8:26 pm

MadMax wrote:"2.4L Ecoboost"? :? Did you mean 2.0 Ecoboost? :shrug:

:D Yes! Sorry, brain fart there. :D
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Re: Travel trailer towing experiences with 3rd gen Escape

Postby rlhasse - July 1st, 2021, 8:51 pm

Here's some photos of the rig. Other than the overheating issue the car handled the trailer very well, plenty of power and never a problem with sway at all. I even stopped using the anti-sway bar I had purchased for the load leveling hitch, because I never needed it, and it was a hassle when trying to back up (you have to stop and remove the bar before backing and turning).

This is on the east side of the Cascades in WA, getting ready to head up over those mountains.
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This is the view from the top, looking back down to where that previous shot was taken.
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This was at a campground among the redwoods along the northern CA coast.
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Side view. The load leveling hitch makes it so there is no sag of the rear suspension at all; the load is distributed evenly across both axles.
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Last edited by rlhasse on July 1st, 2021, 10:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Travel trailer towing experiences with 3rd gen Escape

Postby bangster - July 1st, 2021, 9:53 pm

nice!
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Re: Travel trailer towing experiences with 3rd gen Escape

Postby rlhasse - July 2nd, 2021, 10:49 am

It's too bad Ford didn't want to work with me to address the cooling problem, if they worked that out I think they could have a hit with these for those who prefer to do their RV'ing on the small side. It really was a great package. I assume it was just an issue of a too small radiator. If you recall, back in 2013 there was a recall for the models with the electronically controlled grill vents. The vents were kept closed for improved aerodynamics unless they were needed to be open for cooling. There were a lot of overheating problems, so the cure was simply to fix the vents to remain open all the time. Pretty cheesy cure if you ask me. So they knew they had some cooling issues with this car, but under the vast majority of the time they never materialize, because the cars are not pushed that hard. As I see it, they advertised and sold a car w/ what was it, 247 horsepower? Something like that. Unfortunately, if you tried to use all that power for any kind of sustained time the cooling system was unable to keep up and the car would over heat. It was a design flaw, and Ford chose to ignore it rather than address it.

Anyway, that car is down the road, but I still have my 2008 model and prefer it anyway. I like the less street oriented ride, the more "truck-like" seating position. It has fewer creature comforts, but I can deal with that. But then, I'm kind of an old school guy. I think they made a huge mistake with the direction they took the Escape in 2013, and I said so at the time. Now 8 years later they come back around and produce with the Bronco exactly what they should've done in 2013.
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Re: Travel trailer towing experiences with 3rd gen Escape

Postby MadMax - July 3rd, 2021, 3:40 am

Great pics with the Redwoods :thumb:
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