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Arnold Wagaman 07-23-2017 11:22 PM

Towing 17' Casita 2016 Ford Escape
Hi I am Arnold, I have the 2016 Escape with the2.0 engine and plan on towing the 17' Independence by Casita. Is this a warm RV. Our camping temp runs between 40 F and 75 F. Was also thinking about a 2.0 Escape. I read the towing Threads and feel ok using the Ford Escape to tow the Casita. Would have to buy a truck if I were to tow the Escape 2.0. Any comments on the Casita or Escape 2.0 5th wheel are most welcome . In the past I have owned 7 RV's from 24' to 32'. Your thoughts and advice are most welcome.

rbryan 07-24-2017 12:02 AM

You mentioned an Escape with a 2.0 engine. I'm assuming you mean a Ford Escape with a 2.0L engine. You also mentioned an Escape 2.0. I assume you mean the Escape 5.0TA 5th wheel trailer? Escape also made a single axle 5th wheel, the Escape 5.0, but it's no longer produced. The terms Escape and 2.0 used interchangeably to describe the tow and the trailer had me a bit confused. [emoji1]

As for towing a Casita 17 with the Ford Escape, my advice about towing with anything is the same - check the towing capacity, the maximum tongue weight, the payload capacity of the tow vehicle, the GVWR and the GCWR. The numbers either add up or they don't.

And yes, you need a truck to tow any fifth wheel, including the Escape 5.0TA.

kkinna 07-24-2017 06:14 AM

I had the 2016 Ford Escape and now have a 2017 Frontier for towing our Escape 15A. The Ford Escape would be pretty maxed out for any longer trips.

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thrifty bill 07-24-2017 06:35 AM

Since you have owned several trailers in the past, you probably understand dry weights are worthless and should be ignored on considering towing capacity. Most appreciate having a margin in reserve (tow vehicle rating exceed trailer's requirement). Towing a trailer that is close to the maximum of your TV rating is no fun, and a lot of factors need to be considered such as payload, GVWR, and GCWR (I see that was already mentioned above).

Your Escape with a tow rating of 3,500 pounds and a max tongue rating of 350 pounds sounds marginal at best for that Casita. Checking weights in the real world for a 17 foot Casita show tongue weights in the 320 to 450 pound range, and trailer weights around 3200 pounds (with some over 4000 pounds).

Regardless of whether someone else does it, I wouldn't. People routinely ignore tow ratings when selecting trailers and TV.

Worse yet, with the Escape you are also limited to 30 sq ft frontal area. From Ford Escape towing guide: "Frontal Area is the total area in square feet that a moving vehicle and trailer exposes to air resistance." Since a Casita Independence trailer 6-8 wide, that limits you to a trailer under 5 foot high.....

Jon in AZ 07-24-2017 07:35 AM

If you take that frontal area limit strictly, you cannot tow even a 13' Scamp. However...

I have puzzled over frontal area as it relates to towing RVs ever since I became aware that the new SAE J2807 tow testing standards include frontal area specs well below typical non-folding RVs. That is true for all weight classes, not just smaller trailers. It specs 30 sf for the 3500 pound class, which simply means that Ford tested to the standard. Also, the spec does not take shape into account at all. Actual tow testing is done with low profile box cargo trailers. The rounded front of a Casita helps, but the flat-ish back does not.

My conclusion (subject to revision as I get new information!) is that excess frontal area acts like extra weight at highway speeds. Aerodynamic drag puts an additional continuous load on the drivetrain increasing as the square of speed. How much depends on many factors, including the shape of the trailer/tug combination, typical towing speed, and winds.

All that to say I would not expect to tow right up to the manufacturer's rating with a high profile travel trailer. In my opinion, at around 3000-3200 pounds, a loaded Casita 17 is going to be too close to the limit (and well over on tongue weight) for an Escape 2.0L Ecoboost, or any other 3500/350 rated vehicle. I would stick to a 16' or smaller trailer.

bcfrank 07-24-2017 10:09 AM

2012 Escape w/16' Casita
I have a 2012 Escape with a 3.0 L V6 3.5Klbs tow capacity and tow a 16' casita regularly on mostly flat lad. It has the factory tow package and had to upgrade the connector to a 7pin myself. If it was me I would not try to tow any heavier especially if going through mountains. I recently upgraded to a 2017 Ford Explorer for trips through the hills and other longer trips. The escape is great but for more weight right at its dry way of the trailer the truck is just to small even with my sway control bar you could tell the camper was in control on windy days.

steve dunham 07-24-2017 10:46 AM

A 17 ft Casita has a listed factory tongue weight of 365 lbs
My 17 ft Casita has a tongue weight of approx 430 lbs when loaded for travel
Many 17 ft Casita's have a tongue weight of close to 500 Lbs when loaded for travel (Trailer Weights in the Real World)
The Ford Escape has a maximum tongue weight limit of 350 lbs
You will be over your tongue weight limit when towing an empty 17 ft Casita
A 13 ft Scamp would probably be a better choice if you are concerned with staying within your vehicle's towing limits

Arnold Wagaman 07-24-2017 11:27 AM

Towing with 2016 Ford Escape
Thank you Steve I think I will go with the escape 5th wheel and use a F150 for towing. Owning a Ford Escape my desire to save money got to my good judgment foe a short time. Thanks to all who responded your comments were and are valued.

nathanj04011 07-24-2017 11:54 AM

Glad to see this thread! My single mother-in-law just bought a 2014 2.0L Escape Titanium to most likely tow a 13' Scamp. I asked the Ford salesman (which I understand is not the 'you can take this to the bank' type of confirmation) and was assured that as long as the travel trailer weighed less than the max limit, it would be fine. He did indicate that towing anything would put more wear and tear on the car, but for occasional use, would not do much damage.

I also asked if the factory tow package adds anything other than wiring and the hitch, such as a transmission cooler. I was told no. He even suggested I should get UHaul to add the hitch and wiring as they were virtually the same hitch and would be less than half the cost.

We had looked at Subaru Outback's and the Kia Sportage's as well, both about the same size as the Escape. We have seen several 13' Scamps being pulled by the Outback just fine. The Outback is rated to tow even less than the Escape. Not that I am advocating a "monkey see, monkey do" approach.

When I called Scamp this past Friday, the gentleman in sales said that a 13' Standard with the Bathroom and with all options would weigh 1550 lbs. When I mentioned she probably would not want the awning, he said that would drop the weight by 90 lbs.

Because of what was told to me (and what I could find online) I feel pretty safe in thinking that the limits of the Escape will not be exceeded. At least I hope! I had not heard of the 30sqf recommendation info before this thread...well, I might have seen it in the info referenced.

Joyce H 07-24-2017 05:46 PM

Our 17' sd weighs 2560 lbs. loaded for a trip. We carry most of our weight in our tv rated to tow 3500 lbs, equipped with electronic brake control and airbags inflated in rear coils. You might consider the spirit deluxe, we love ours.

Borrego Dave 07-24-2017 06:54 PM


Originally Posted by Joyce H (Post 652318)
Our 17' sd weighs 2560 lbs. loaded for a trip. We carry most of our weight in our tv rated to tow 3500 lbs, equipped with electronic brake control and airbags inflated in rear coils. You might consider the spirit deluxe, we love ours.

Is that weight from weigh scales Joyce?

steve dunham 07-24-2017 07:26 PM

The empty weight of a 17 ft Casita SD is listed at 2480 lbs.
This is the trailer weight based on empty black , gray and fresh water tanks , no propane , no options and no cargo
My Casita with empty tanks , 2 tanks of propane , options and loaded for travel weighs approx 3200 to 3300 lbs.
If you look at the chart "Trailer Weights in the Real World" my trailer weight is pretty close to the average.

Jon in AZ 07-25-2017 06:56 AM

Towing 17' Casita 2016 Ford Escape

Originally Posted by Joyce H (Post 652318)
Our 17' sd weighs 2560 lbs. loaded for a trip. We carry most of our weight in our tv rated to tow 3500 lbs, equipped with electronic brake control and airbags inflated in rear coils. You might consider the spirit deluxe, we love ours.

Just a caution... Moving stuff from the trailer to the vehicle may actually make things worse, not better. Between the tongue weight of the trailer and cargo in the vehicle it is easy to overload the rear axle/suspension/tires. Air bags correct the sag, but they do not remove any weight nor increase the axle weight rating. See your owner's manual or the sticker on the driver's door jamb for the GAWR of the rear axle.

Tow ratings and tongue weight ratings are based on a driver and front passenger only. Additional passengers and/or cargo reduce the ratings. My Pilot's manual has a chart that spells it out. It's not pound-for-pound: weight in the middle between the axles has a modest effect, but weight in the cargo area is much worse.

It would be a good idea to weigh your rig hitched and loaded, axle-by-axle. If your rear axle approaches or exceeds the axle rating, you might want to look into a light-duty weight distributing hitch. Unlike air bags, a WDH actually transfers weight from the rear axle to the front axle and to the trailer axle.

thrifty bill 07-25-2017 09:11 AM

+10 Moving items from trailer to tow vehicle just overwhelms payload capacity of the tow vehicle. If anything, people usually do the opposite. Payload of TV is usually the first thing that is exceeded in capacity.

At best, that reported weight above is just a trailer axle weight.

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