Towing with 2012 Ford Escape V6 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-04-2016, 10:26 PM   #1
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Name: Sandy
Trailer: 2005 Scamp 16'
Minnesota
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Question Towing with 2012 Ford Escape V6

I am preparing to retire to full time RV life this fall. So far I have my Ford Escape truck, which was just given a Curt Class III hitch with brake hookup and controller. I hope to find a nice used Scamp 16 foot this spring here in Minnesota.
There are several questions I have since I'm a complete newbie!
When it says a vehicles towing limit is 3,500 lbs., does that mean you can actually tow close to that weight, or should you stay a certain amount under that?
Ford does not install factory tow packages on my particular vehicle, an Escape Limited with V6 engine, flex fuel, and backup sensors. I've read that oil cooler and transmission cooler would be modifications considered for towing. But when I called a Ford dealership they said that wasn't needed. Any advice?
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Old 03-04-2016, 10:38 PM   #2
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Name: Terry
Trailer: 1996 Casita Freedom Deluxe 17 ft
Colorado
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I towed a 17 foot Casita with my 2007 Escape V6 AWD for five years and it was a great combination. My Casita was listed as 1800 pounds but I'm guessing that was completely empty and with helium in the tires. If you are able to find a 16 foot Scamp, I'm sure it should be less than 2500 pounds loaded so that doesn't sound like a problem. A transmission cooler was standard on mine but maybe that's because of the AWD. I found it to be an exceptionally stable rig in all conditions, even snow a couple times.

I would still have my 2007 escape except it got rear ended out on the highway and the other guy's insurance company wanted to total it out. Now I'm fitting out a 2016 Escaoe. It's only a four cylinder but puts out 260 HP with the eco-boost engine.
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Old 03-04-2016, 10:44 PM   #3
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I would add the transmission cooler just to be be on the safe side, and as a bonus, you gain extra transmission fluid as well. 3,500 lbs is the max. tow limit with optimal ambient temperatures, and your truck only having a light driver & light passenger in it. You should try to keep it 20% lighter to be able to pull long high elevation passes on hot days, as you do lose horsepower with elevation, and towing capacities usually decrease with increases in ambient temps. Best of luck..... you should be fine with a 16' Scamp as long as you think/pack as if you are back packing. You want to take only what is needed, and in it's lightest forms.
Dave & Paula
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Old 03-05-2016, 10:00 AM   #4
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Name: Wayne & Barbara
Trailer: Parkliner
Iowa
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Originally Posted by Sandy Beck View Post
I am preparing to retire to full time RV life this fall. So far I have my Ford Escape truck, which was just given a Curt Class III hitch with brake hookup and controller. I hope to find a nice used Scamp 16 foot this spring here in Minnesota.
There are several questions I have since I'm a complete newbie!
When it says a vehicles towing limit is 3,500 lbs., does that mean you can actually tow close to that weight, or should you stay a certain amount under that?
Ford does not install factory tow packages on my particular vehicle, an Escape Limited with V6 engine, flex fuel, and backup sensors. I've read that oil cooler and transmission cooler would be modifications considered for towing. But when I called a Ford dealership they said that wasn't needed. Any advice?
Yes, you can tow up to and including 3500 lb. That even allows for a boxy trailer with lots of wind resistance. The Scamp's curved shape has a low coefficient of drag. Our 2000 16 ft DLX weighs in at around 2800 lb fully loaded. Most any V6 engine can handle it easily
Extra coolers are not needed, as long as you know how to downshift on long uphill grades. Avoid using Cruise Control in hilly terrain.
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Old 03-05-2016, 10:59 AM   #5
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Name: Sandy
Trailer: 2005 Scamp 16'
Minnesota
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Thanks so much for the informative replies! The more I learn, the more questions I have...and learning the hard way is something I'd like to avoid! It's great to hear the Escape has worked well for someone, and the Scamp keeps coming up with the features I'm looking for.
Since I plan on living in the camper for extended times, it will be a battle figuring out what true necessities are on the road.

Like TOOLS! I'm no mechanic...but what do I need for towing, leveling, troubleshooting things related to setting up. I've watched videos on hooking up to water and sewer ( water thief, regulator, hoses, gloves).
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Old 03-05-2016, 11:12 AM   #6
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Name: Frederick / Janis
Trailer: Previously Scamp 13 2002,2016. Scamp 16 on order
Michigan
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The V-6 in your /12 Escape already comes with a trans cooler, I do believe. Check that out with your dealer to be sure. There is no factory package called towing package as you say.

The trans, IIRC, is a 5 speed auto, so be sure to tow only in 4th. All the time. That's what we did and still do, just stay out of over-drive. The V-6 in that unit makes reasonable power. I think you'll be just fine.
Get your Escape wired and do the 7 pole, as this is what Scamps use. You'll also want to research a brake controller and get that installed as well.
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Old 03-05-2016, 11:14 AM   #7
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Name: Doug
Trailer: Scamp 16 ft.
Missouri
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We have a 2012 Ford Escape 6 cyl. and it does a marvelous job towing our 16 ft. Scamp. We did have a transmission cooler installed and get 19 mpg while towing. 2012 was the last year for 6 cyl. models of Ford Escapes. Now one ,use choose the Edge, or a F150 6 cylinder that tows all Scamps very easily.
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Old 03-05-2016, 11:25 AM   #8
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Name: Terry
Trailer: 1996 Casita Freedom Deluxe 17 ft
Colorado
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Originally Posted by Sandy Beck View Post

Like TOOLS! I'm no mechanic...but what do I need for towing, leveling, troubleshooting things related to setting up. I've watched videos on hooking up to water and sewer ( water thief, regulator, hoses, gloves).
The tools you need will be obvious once you get your rig set up and tow it for a while. Screwdrivers, sockets, etc. are easy to find. You'll need some wheel chocks for when the trailer is parked and a jack that works for the trailer. Most trailers have levels already mounted. A trick I use is to get a big level like this:
Robot Check

Mount it on the front of the trailer where you can see it with your mirror. When camping, it helps you easily find a place that's side-to-side level. Then unhitch and level the trailer front-to-back using the jack.
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Old 03-05-2016, 11:37 AM   #9
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Name: Zach
Trailer: 91 Bigfoot 17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sandy Beck View Post
Like TOOLS! I'm no mechanic...but what do I need for towing, leveling, troubleshooting things related to setting up. I've watched videos on hooking up to water and sewer ( water thief, regulator, hoses, gloves).
First see what comes with the Scamp. A lot of that stuff may come along with what you buy.

The rest is stuff I'm trying to figure out too...but I have some experience. My advice is aside from the absolute necessities, which someone else can help you with, I would hold off buying as much of that stuff as you can until you've used your camper a bit and learned how things work. Everything can be bought or ordered on the road. You don't need it all there already when you first hit the road.

You can spend many hundreds of dollars right now, before ever heading out on the road, and only then learn what you really want or need once you've been on the road for a month or so. If money isn't a huge issue, then you can ignore that advice and just buy all the gadgets

Off hand I can think of a few necessities (which may well come with the trailer) like some sort of stabilizers, a jack for changing flat tires, wheel chocks...

Other people may have more. Things like drain hoses for sewer should come with the Scamp.

Other nice things would be a fresh water drinking-water-safe hose and an inline water filter. You'll be filling your water from a lot of random places and some water can be pretty dirty. Not necessarily unsafe to drink, but full of sediment which can clog your water system.

Some sort of levelers for not-completely-flat camping spots. But some lumber scraps can do that for free. There are also all kinds of other leveling blocks and systems.

Other stuff will depend very much on where you do most of your "camping". If it's always in a developed campground with hookups, you'll really need very little. If you "boondock", camping in dispersed camping sites or on the street or in parking lots, it's a whole different set of gear.

Buy a small, quality tool set. Something that all comes in a briefcase-size plastic carrying case. Not too expensive. Carry extra fuses. Make sure you know how to change a flat tire. If you have time, this was good reading for me when I was about to live out of my camper for a while.

Just remember, you don't need much. Some things just make you more comfy.
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Old 03-05-2016, 01:03 PM   #10
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Name: Patrick
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Some towing facts...if the maximum listed by Ford is 3,500 lbs then remember that weight includes the cargo in the vehicle (people and stuff) plus the dry weight of the trailer plus the cargo in trailer (water in holding tanks, propane, clothing, food and all other stuff.

A 10% safety margin is a good idea...calculate the real weights...don't take advise like..."I own a XXX and tow a XXXXX without any problem" use real numbers.

A transmission cooler (cheaper than a transmission repair) is a must if you tow any real weight. Have one installed at a good transmission shop.

Happy Safe Camping !
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Old 03-05-2016, 03:19 PM   #11
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Name: Pierre
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I totally agreed with you. I had a front wheel drive Mazda Tribute v6 and a RPOD of 2250 pounds empty and 2800 loaded. After 2 years, i had oil leak from head gasket dispite i put synthetic oil.So, a 20% margin would be better. If i were you, i would consider a 4 w/d.
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Old 03-05-2016, 04:39 PM   #12
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A head gasket can be fairly expensive to replace, but I have not heard a correlation between head gasket failures and towing. That said, extra cooling is cheap insurance against transmission failure and such.

If you're not sure whether you need auxiliary coolers and you're tight on cash, you could run it as-is but figure that the first time you see the trans temp light come on while towing you should get thee hence to the mechanic and have a cooler added.

You do want to lock out overdrive while towing, regardless. This will go a long way toward keeping tranny heat manageable.
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Old 03-05-2016, 04:48 PM   #13
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Name: Sandy
Trailer: 2005 Scamp 16'
Minnesota
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Thanks so much everyone! This will give me plenty to chew on for awhile. I think I will hold off buying a generator and several other things until I have more experience and figure out what kind of camping I like the best!
It's great to hear from people who actually have an Escape and / or a Scamp.
As a child my parents and I lived on the road, following pistol matches on mostly the east coast and southern US. My Dad (Army, first Cav.) was on the National Pistol Team, and was also the gunsmith. This was early/mid 1950's. I loved travel and still do.
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Old 03-05-2016, 07:03 PM   #14
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Florida
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We absolutely believe a transmission cooler is necessary with an automatic transmission.

As to the 10% weight margin 'rule', the mere fact that you're towing a streamlined trailer negates the need for weight margin. Most of the load on the tow vehicle is from air resistance unless you're continually driving up hill. I've never towed an Escape but the Scamp 16 tows beautifully. We've towed with both a 4 cylinder and 6 cylinder with no issues what so ever.

What you carry depends on your type of camping and where you travel. The main thing we change is the type and amount of clothing.
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