Ford Escape and Scamp 13: Is Class II hitch ok? - Page 4 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 11-23-2014, 10:46 AM   #43
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Thank you for all the replies, folks. I'm still looking every day. My price range, which is cheap, finds me at a 2008 Escape, 6 cylinder. Would like the limited, with the tow package and payload capacity increase. I thought that the older models were in fact true 4 wheel drive? Not? I get that the newer ones are AWD. What are your thoughts on that? I guess I'm coming from the thinking that I don't want front wheel drive when towing as to my mind it would put a lot of strain on the transmission. All wheel drive would be a gas guzzler? These are just my assumptions, probably not based on any real knowledge. That's why your experiences and thoughts are so appreciated.

Thanks a bunch!
Most tow vehicles used for smaller fiberglass trailers are front wheel drive nowadays, except for actual trucks.
Our Escape has towed our Scamp13D for over 6 years and +- 40,000 miles now with no ill effects, and unsurpassed comfort and drivability. Remember your trailer weight is HALF of tow rating of the 6CYL Escape and with a shape and size which renders frontal area insignificant behind the Escape.

Actually, all Escapes use the same basic technology for the drive system.
It works on the same principal as a limited slip differential.
The rear wheels receive power only when the front wheels start to loose traction. It is a light weight and efficient system which is very effective for all driving conditions normally encountered on the road.
While it would work for mild off road or dirt road conditions.. it is no competition rock climber.
Fuel mileage will be barely affected by the rear drive , and since the Escape is primarily a front drive system you would likely find that you could buy either and be perfectly satisfied with the performance in all normal conditions.
Either will perform better for your application than your 2WD S-10.(which you know is plenty adequate.
The picture below shows the unit which attaches to the output drive for the RH halfshaft and the halfshaft is still driven from the same output from the transaxle.
there is then a driveshaft attached to drive the rear differential when needed.
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S6K~us~en~file=A0096582.gif~gen~ref.gif  
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Old 11-23-2014, 11:50 AM   #44
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Originally Posted by CampyTime View Post
I thought that the older models were in fact true 4 wheel drive? Not? I get that the newer ones are AWD. What are your thoughts on that? I guess I'm coming from the thinking that I don't want front wheel drive when towing as to my mind it would put a lot of strain on the transmission. All wheel drive would be a gas guzzler? These are just my assumptions, probably not based on any real knowledge. That's why your experiences and thoughts are so appreciated.

Thanks a bunch!
Wendy I think you will find that going with all wheel drive/4 wheel drive does have an impact on gas milage but how much depends a lot on the make & year of the vehicle and whether or not it is a true full time all wheel drive or on demand. I am currently looking at replacing one of my vehicles and purchasing in the same size range as you are looking and noted that some of the current model years do offer both a front wheel drive version as well as an all wheel drive version but the advertised MPG's difference is only about 1-2 mpg's. Whether or not you need/want the all wheel drive may depend on the type of weather conditions you drive in. I have had front wheel drives as well as all wheel drives in the past so I know that although the front wheel drives where pretty good in the snow the all wheel drive is a better option for the winter and terrain conditions I drive in, so a couple of mpg loss is worth giving away.

The newer the vehicle is will also impact actual mpg's. For example when I went last year from towing with the 4 cylinder full time all wheel drive of 2007 vintage to a larger 6 cyl. four wheel drive on demand of 2011 vintage & I only lost 1 MPG when towing & city driving is a push - even though the 2011 4 wheel drive is not know for its great gas milage.

With ever changing technology I think you will find the newer the vehicle the better the MPG's you will get. Looking at the 2014 model years it looks like pretty well any of the all wheel drives on my radar are advertising mpg's of at least 5 mpg's better in the city and highway than my 2007 full time all wheel drive.

Sorry can't comment regarding your concerns on a strain on transmission when pulling with a front wheel drive as I never towed with a front wheel drive only.

I will say though that based on my experience pulling with a full time all wheel drive it may give you a more stable tow than an 4 wheel drive on demand vehicle running in 2 wheel drive on the freeway in side wind conditions though.
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Old 11-23-2014, 03:07 PM   #45
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I don't see any reason why FWD would be harder on a transmission (towing or otherwise) than AWD or 4WD. Don't worry about it.

AWD is more useful IMO than traditional 4WD. AWD is always there in the background, ready to kick in and help out. It makes for nice stable towing handling. Old type 4WD is only on when you turn it on, and usually it forces the wheels on either side to rotate at the same speed so you can't leave it on for dry pavement. Either one will cost 1 or 2 mpg when not towing (but little or no loss when towing IMO), and it's well worth the slight mpg cost to have that reduced slippage. I really like my '08 Highlander's system, which splits the power about half to front and half to rear all the time, with ability to send more forward or back as needed; but most AWD systems nowadays are FWD biased with power to rear wheels only when slippage is detected.
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Old 11-23-2014, 03:41 PM   #46
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Wendy Lee, take some time and research several different possible tow vehicles. Check max tow weights and always discount any weights by about 10% to allow a safety margin. Ford is not the only maker out there. I have read enough negatives on Sabaru as a tow vehicle to take it off the list. Toyota makes more different models in both two wheel drive, AWD, and 4 wheel drive than any other manufacturer. The list includes, Venza, Highlander, RAV 4, FJ Cruiser, Four Runner, Tacoma, Tundra, Sequoia and Land Cruiser. Any of these i in good used condition might work out in a wide budget range. Check the tow ratings for each model that might fit your life style.

My comfort level with the other makers as a tow vehicle is limited. After having been burned by Jeep, Ford and General Motors in the past they are off my list.
However many others on this board might like some of their offerings.
An exception for use as a heavy duty tow vehicle from GM would be their Dura-Max diesel coupled with the Allison Transmission....but...now we are talking heavy duty trucks.

Always tow in two wheel drive whenever possible to conserve fuel.
If your vehicle is AWD you do not have a choice. Some AWD units get fairly good gas mileage. Any 4X4 vehicle can switch from two wheel (rear) drive to 4 wheel drive. Most of these systems are "part-time" 4X4 systems...meaning 4X4 only on slippery surfaces...use 2 WD on hard dry surfaces to avoid damage to transfer case. Another fact worth noting: Today's automatic transmissions are stronger and better at towing than standard transmissions and you don't have to be concerned with burning out a clutch!

Good Luck in your search for the perfect tow vehicle.

Happy Camping.
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Old 11-29-2014, 08:50 PM   #47
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Thank you again for all the mechanical and scientific information. I have been seriously looking at the escape but also a few rav4 and highlanders.

Lots of research will go into this before I buy that's for sure, and you have all helped me out a lot.

Much obliged,
Wendy


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Old 11-29-2014, 10:59 PM   #48
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Originally Posted by Uplander View Post
Wendy Lee, take some time and research several different possible tow vehicles. Check max tow weights and always discount any weights by about 10% to allow a safety margin. Ford is not the only maker out there. I have read enough negatives on Sabaru as a tow vehicle to take it off the list. Toyota makes more different models in both two wheel drive, AWD, and 4 wheel drive than any other manufacturer. The list includes, Venza, Highlander, RAV 4, FJ Cruiser, Four Runner, Tacoma, Tundra, Sequoia and Land Cruiser. Any of these i in good used condition might work out in a wide budget range. Check the tow ratings for each model that might fit your life style.

My comfort level with the other makers as a tow vehicle is limited. After having been burned by Jeep, Ford and General Motors in the past they are off my list.
However many others on this board might like some of their offerings.
An exception for use as a heavy duty tow vehicle from GM would be their Dura-Max diesel coupled with the Allison Transmission....but...now we are talking heavy duty trucks.

Always tow in two wheel drive whenever possible to conserve fuel.
If your vehicle is AWD you do not have a choice. Some AWD units get fairly good gas mileage. Any 4X4 vehicle can switch from two wheel (rear) drive to 4 wheel drive. Most of these systems are "part-time" 4X4 systems...meaning 4X4 only on slippery surfaces...use 2 WD on hard dry surfaces to avoid damage to transfer case. Another fact worth noting: Today's automatic transmissions are stronger and better at towing than standard transmissions and you don't have to be concerned with burning out a clutch!

Good Luck in your search for the perfect tow vehicle.

Happy Camping.
So it just so happens that it is the Big Three American manufacturers(sorta) who are off your list. As you say,Ford is not the only manufacturer out there, but apparently Toyota is!
My son's 2008 Scion lost a knock sensor last year. The jobber's price for the part was $160 locally , same part for a Jeep was $18. For a 2008 Escape it was $33.
Most knock sensors are mounted in an accessible location on the head with only a single screw fastener. On the Scion it was INSIDE the intake manifold! Total bill was $800 from a local mechanic and $1100 estimate from the Toyota Dealer.
The Scion has been a good car so far, but in my experience, the story above has been typical for it and for other cars from the same manufacturer(Toyota).
The only manufacturer from whom I have experienced higher parts and labor costs on average has been VW. Love 'em... raced them for 14 years.
Again ...A great car, if you can afford to fix it.
I'm not saying that the reliability is worse than average from either of these car makers.
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Old 11-30-2014, 07:30 AM   #49
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Floyd,

Now I might be heading toward a new transit connect. Here's why:researching last night after your post and I could install a handi-ramp in the rear and also use the van to bring my brother home as he's wheelchair bound. You are a ford man so I trust asking you this: are you totally comfy with the 2000 pound tow capacity for my 13? Allowing 10 percent less would be 1800. Think I'd have any power issues? Cargo capacity is 1620 if you get the van as opposed to the wagon.


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Old 11-30-2014, 07:34 AM   #50
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Forgot to add with long wheelbase.


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Old 11-30-2014, 08:52 AM   #51
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Floyd,

Now I might be heading toward a new transit connect. Here's why:researching last night after your post and I could install a handi-ramp in the rear and also use the van to bring my brother home as he's wheelchair bound. You are a ford man so I trust asking you this: are you totally comfy with the 2000 pound tow capacity for my 13? Allowing 10 percent less would be 1800. Think I'd have any power issues? Cargo capacity is 1620 if you get the van as opposed to the wagon.


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My personal preference would be to go with an Escape (or some other SUV or Van) which has a higher towing capacity and leaves a better cushion of safety. When you look at the 'trailer weights in the real world' thread, you can see that you will be immediately maxed out with the Transit, and limited on only the basic 13 foot trailers. You will also need to consider what the weight limits are on the tongue weight for the Transit. I'm sure that they're less than the Escape.
If you need a van, you might be better to simply get a real van. IMO, the Transit Connect always struck me as more of a 'tall car', with a little higher cargo capacity so it could be used for a small business vehicle.

FYI, I'm towing with a 2wd 6cyl Escape. (not 4WD) and I love my gas mileage. I saved having to pay the additional $ premium for buying a vehicle with 4WD. I tow a 13ft UHaul which weighs around 1300#-1500#.
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Old 11-30-2014, 09:22 AM   #52
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When you buy a regular van you either have to drop the floor for a handicapped ramp or put in a hydraulic lift. Dropped rear floor means no trailer hitch can be installed. Hydraulic lift is out of my price range and would also require a high top van.

Transit connect is tall so no need for mods at all. Just get a roll out ramp or handi ramp and good to go. I'll have to think about it.

Don't ever plan on buying a bigger scamp than my 13 it's perfect for me. If it were 1500 pounds loaded it would still fall under 2000 tc with allowance of 10 percent cushion margin.

Plus as a daily runner I want good gas mileage. See, I'm trying to combine a wheelchair accessible van, daily runner and tow vehicle. I appreciate your thoughts very much and look forward to more replies.

My needs have changed in past two weeks as my wheelchair van finally bit the dust, this is reason for swing away from escape.


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Old 11-30-2014, 10:10 AM   #53
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Wendy, I would go for it. You live in NY so you probably won't be driving the Rocky Mountains very much; the 4 cylinder should do ok (but not win any races) if you plan to drive 55 to 60 mph while towing. The Scamp will fit nicely behind the van and will not add as much drag as it would to a lower roofed vehicle. If there is an overdrive lockout button, you probably will need to use it.

Floyd, about the harder access to replace Toyota components: the local Toyota dealer explained that Toyota designs things this way because they know they're so reliable, it's highly unlikely the components will ever need replacement (the way mine did... yeah, right). I don't know how they keep a straight face.
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Old 11-30-2014, 10:39 AM   #54
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Floyd,

Now I might be heading toward a new transit connect. Here's why:researching last night after your post and I could install a handi-ramp in the rear and also use the van to bring my brother home as he's wheelchair bound. You are a ford man so I trust asking you this: are you totally comfy with the 2000 pound tow capacity for my 13? Allowing 10 percent less would be 1800. Think I'd have any power issues? Cargo capacity is 1620 if you get the van as opposed to the wagon.


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I would trust the New Transit Connect to tow my 13D and all the gear which we take along.
The problem is that you are now looking at new again. The 2014 Connect is a whole new and more capable vehicle than its predecessor.
I love the older ones and they are cheap on the market, but I wouldn't buy one to tow my camper. It just falls below my threshold.
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Old 11-30-2014, 10:42 AM   #55
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Yes. The older models are not rated to tow at all, which is too bad as the used models are pretty well priced.

I will have to save my pennies for sure.


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Old 11-30-2014, 12:05 PM   #56
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One more question please if you will. My scamp is in storage on jacks so I can't check on anything. I seem to remember that the distance from the center of your hitch receiver to the ground should be 16 or 18 inches? Which one or any of that is correct? I have a 13. Wanna make sure before I buy transit connect. Thank you!


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