ParkLiner & Ford Escape - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-10-2014, 06:12 PM   #1
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Name: Frank
Trailer: 2012 ParkLiner #006
New York
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ParkLiner & Ford Escape

I'm getting to the point that I wish I had not bought either!

Anybody familiar with my ParkLiner problems will understand how I feel.

Today, after once again bringing our 2013 Escape to the Ford garage for a check engine light, I came home for one final whirl at the 7 pin wiring that I have not been able to get to recognize the trailer brakes. To make a long story short, it still does not recognize the trailer brakes. I wish at this point I had bought a vehicle with a factory 7 pin. Sheesh!

The same controller (a Tekonsha P3) works fine with my F150. I have spent countless hours checking continuity, voltage, and amps with the Escape. I changed both the controller plug and the 7 pin. There is no reason it shouldn't work, other than it's an Escape I guess. Tomorrow I will check on some RV places around, and maybe spend some $ to see if somebody else can figure this out.

If I hadn't spent so much money on the ParkLiner already, especially travel down and back from the plant in NC, this wouldn't be so bad. The ParkLiner "bang for the buck" has not been good.

So, off again with the F150 & ParkLiner this weekend, this time to visit friends in MD. The F150 does a great job, but man o man, it's a gas hog!

I hope all you folks are doing better than me!

Frank
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Old 09-10-2014, 08:15 PM   #2
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Name: Adrian
Trailer: 2007 Escape 5.0
Manitoba
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Sorry to hear Frank about the ongoing issue with the Ford Escape. Those considering buying one to tow a trailer needing brakes should take note. Our original thought was to get an Escape with tow package and an Escape 17b trailer but ended up with the 5.0. I didn't even know when we were considering it that the Escape only came with 4 pin wiring.

Hope you at least get good weather on your trip to MD

Adrian
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Old 09-10-2014, 09:09 PM   #3
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Name: Dave W
Trailer: Escape 19 and Escape 15B
Alberta
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This solution is probably too late for your particular circumstances, but it could help others with a similar issue. My Toyota did not come pre wired from the factory for plug and play brake controller hookup. I called around and local hitch shops wanted $500 for supplying and wiring in a brake controller. Instead I bought a $300 wireless brake controller that was super easy to install and required no wiring changes other than addition of a 12v charge wire to the 7 pin. I bought the Tekonsha Prodigy RF. It mounts on your trailer and plugs into your 7-pin, and has a controller you keep in your vehicle which plugs into your cigarette lighter. Have used for two years now and is super reliable.

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Old 09-10-2014, 09:45 PM   #4
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Trailer: 1973 Hunter Compact II
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Hmmmm... What am I missing???

You usually have to run one wire from the battery, through a circuit breaker, to the controller, and one wire from the controller to the correct terminal on the 7 pin connector. Is there some interface needed with the vehicles braking system?

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Old 09-10-2014, 09:51 PM   #5
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Ooops, forgot you also need a connection via the brake light switch.... and I'll bet your brake lite switch is set up to be ground seeking to turn on the lights.
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Old 09-11-2014, 02:05 AM   #6
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Frank, relax man, it's only 'chinery and can be fixed. You may want to go to Etrailer and check out their videos of controller installs. They have one for most all TVs. I went with a new P2 I bought on Ebay, got the wiring/breakers from Etrailer and the install was easy....other than the 100+ degree heat going on then . A couple ckt breakers, wires and zip ties and kept the install $ in my pocket. My '02 Ranger was not prewired for a plug in controller. I use a round 6 pin for all the other trailers I have but didn't want to try to get the SDs brakes to work off of that one so wired in the dedicated 7 pin. I did pick a flat 4 off of it just in case I use someone elses trailer. Check Etrailer out, pop a cold one and think about bypassing the factory wiring setup. Good luck to you
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Old 09-11-2014, 07:19 AM   #7
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Name: Ray
Trailer: 2017 Scamp 16 Deluxe
Missouri
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Frank,

Although I have not yet hooked up the electric brake controller, I have been towing my Scamp13 with a 2014 Ford Escape FWD 2.0L.

I used a Hopkins Multi-Tow 4-pin to 7-pin adapter and adapted the Escape's 4-pin without cutting into any of the vehicle wiring. I also ran a 12v wire from the engine compartment to the "charge line" on the 7-pin plug. So far, everything works fine.

Rather than using the Curt Tri-flex proportional controller, that we have installed in another vehicle, I too have considered the Prodigy RF controller solution. I would be interested in more details of user experience with that controller.

The Ford Escape has lots of power and, with just over 2000 miles on the vehicle, gives 20+mpg towing in rolling hills at 60mph.

My Scamp13 was configured for minimum weight and I was told that I might not even need the electric brakes, but I did have them installed at the factory anyway.

Have you disconnected your brake controller (or simply pulled the fuse?) for a low speed "around the block" test of the system? If you still have the original Ford 4-pin, you could maybe try the Hopkins Multi-Tow (or other) without a brake controller and then add the controller functionality after the basic system works? Just a thought ... (Maybe you've already tried that?)

Once you get it all working, I'm guessing that you will like the towing experience with the Escape.

Best of luck! :-)

Ray








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Old 09-11-2014, 08:19 AM   #8
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New Jersey
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Have you considered taking it to a trailer place and let them get it working? On my pt cruiser and rav4 I installed the 4 prong connector but when I was going for my ParkLiner I paid to have the 7 pin installed. Fortunatly my frontier came wired for 7 pin.
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Old 09-11-2014, 08:53 AM   #9
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On many of the newer vehicles the factory brake controller is integrated with the vehicle's on board computer . I am looking at purchasing a 2014 Ram truck . Ram states on their website that after market brake controllers can not be added to the truck. The dealer says they can be added but they will need to reprogram the on board computer. Adding an aftermarket brake controller ends up costing more than the factory install ?? Maybe your vehicle needs a computer update in order to recognize the brake controller and supply the necessary imputs and outputs.
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Old 09-11-2014, 10:30 AM   #10
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That be the Ghost of Henry Ford telling you he wants you to tow with the rig he intended, the F-150.

As an aside, my "ex" just traded in "our" Honda Odyssey on a new Ford Edge. The Honda needed maybe a $1,000 worth of work but maybe considerably less and I had her all set up with my guys (great and honest mechanics) to perform the work. It was all small stuff you would expect in a 9 year old rig and nothing major. Stuff like brakes, CV boots & seals, small leak in power steering, certainly nothing to trade a nice vehicle over.

Anyway, her parents, ardent Ford fans, convinced her that the van would blow up any day and it was time to trade. Her brand new Edge has intermittent complete A/C outages that only happen when it is REALLY hot (when you need A/C the most) and the Ford place cannot find a problem. Did I mention it is August in Florida? Did I mention that despite my best efforts to take care of any issues with the van (out of the kindness of my heart) she decided to trade without mentioning it to me before hand? Did I mention she now calls and comes by and cries to me about the A/C not working in her new payment-book Edge and that the Ford people are mean to her?

Thus far I have resisted the urge to tell her to call her Daddy any time she wants to discuss the issues with her new Ford but I don’t know how long I can hold out. Rant off, we now return you to the topic at hand.
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Old 09-11-2014, 11:00 AM   #11
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Name: bob
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I still have a couple of the old controllers that tapped into the hydraulic system using a "T" fitting at the master cylinder. What's wrong with using one of those. They also have a nice lever for manual operation. Outdated technology???
Tim, we just last fall spent $3000 on our Honda CRV for a starter and a bunch of other issues that were just common for the age of the vehicle. What else could we get for that money, and why get rid of a well maintained and cared for vehicle for something unknown. Time for you to succumb to that urge.
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Old 09-11-2014, 11:03 AM   #12
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Name: Ray
Trailer: 2017 Scamp 16 Deluxe
Missouri
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Dave (or a trailer place ... Like Croft?) can correct me if I am wrong but, with the Prodigy RF, the Escape will not even "see" the brake controller. It will see the brake light circuit energized, sense the amount of braking required, and apply the trailer brakes accordingly.

Croft Trailer, in the KC metro, suggested that would be a good solution for me. Unfortunately, they wanted about $100 more for the Prodigy RF than Amazon.com or thee trailer.com folks.

Since you bought your parts from them, I guess you could also call the toll-free number for trailer.com and talk to them. When I called them, they seemed very knowledgeable.

BTW - When not towing, my 2014 Escape FWD 2.0L I4 Ecoboost gets 30 - 32 mpg on the highway at ~60mph. Since it is my "everyday driver", the non-towing mpg is pretty important to me too. More miles not towing than towing right now. Of course, YMMV.

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Old 09-11-2014, 11:05 AM   #13
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Make that etrailer.com .....


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Old 09-11-2014, 11:11 AM   #14
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Hydralic Brake Control

Splicing anything into a hydraulic circuit with modern anti-lock brakes may well lead to a whole raft of problems with vehicle as well as trailer brakes.

And I'd bet it would play havoc with any warranty claims about the very expensive anti-lock system controller. I'd look for a more modern solution, at least something from the 1980's LOL.....
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