Ford Escape Manuals
Ford Escape 2020-2023 Owners Manual / Towing a Trailer / Towing a Trailer Limitations. Loading Your Trailer. Trailer Towing Hints

Ford Escape: Towing a Trailer / Towing a Trailer Limitations. Loading Your Trailer. Trailer Towing Hints

Towing a Trailer Limitations

The vehicle's load capacity designation is by weight, not by volume, so you cannot necessarily use all available space when loading a vehicle or trailer.

Note: Your vehicle could have reduced performance when operating at high altitudes and when heavily loaded or towing a trailer. When driving at elevation, to match driving performance as perceived at sea level, reduce gross vehicle weight and gross combination weight by 2% per 1,000 ft (300 m) elevation.

Loading Your Trailer

  • To help minimize how trailer movement affects your vehicle when driving:
  • Load the heaviest items closest to the trailer floor.
  • Load the heaviest items centered between the left and right side trailer tires.
  • Load the heaviest items above the trailer axles or just slightly forward toward the trailer tongue. Do not allow the final trailer tongue weight to go above or below 10-15% of the loaded trailer weight. The trailer tongue weight should never exceed 10% of the maximum towing capacity.
  • Select a ball mount with the correct rise or drop. When both the loaded vehicle and trailer are connected, the trailer frame should be level, or slightly angled down toward your vehicle, when viewed from the side.

Trailer Towing Hints

Towing a trailer places an extra load on your vehicle's engine, transmission, axle, brakes, tires and suspension. Periodically inspect these components during and after any towing operation.

When driving with a trailer or payload, a slight takeoff vibration or shudder may be present due to the increased payload weight.

Your vehicle may have a temporary or conventional spare tire. A temporary spare tire is different in diameter or width, tread-type, or is from a different manufacturer than the road tires on your vehicle. Consult information on the tire label or Safety Compliance label for limitations when using.

When towing a trailer:

  • Obey country specific regulations for towing a trailer.
  • Do not drive faster than 70 mph (113 km/h) during the first 500 mi (800 km).
  • Do not make full-throttle starts.
  • Check your hitch, electrical connections and trailer wheel lug nuts thoroughly after you have traveled 50 mi (80 km).
  • When stopped in congested or heavy traffic during hot weather, place the transmission in park (P) to aid engine and transmission cooling and to help A/C performance.
  • Turn off the speed control with heavy loads or in hilly terrain. The speed control may turn off when you are towing on long, steep slopes.
  • Shift to a lower gear when driving down a long or steep hill. Do not continuously apply the brakes, as they may overheat and become less effective.
  • If your transmission has Grade Assist or Tow/Haul, use this feature when towing. This provides engine braking and helps eliminate excessive transmission shifting for optimum fuel economy and transmission cooling.
  • If your vehicle has AdvanceTrac with roll stability control, this system may turn on during typical cornering maneuvers with a heavily loaded trailer. This is normal. Turning the corner at a slower speed when towing may reduce this tendency.
  • If you are frequently towing a trailer in hot weather, hilly conditions, at the gross combined weight rating or any combination of these factors, consider refilling your rear axle with synthetic gear lubricant if the axle is not already filled with it.
  • Allow more distance for stopping with a trailer attached. Anticipate stops and gradually brake.
  • Avoid parking on a slope. However, if you must park on a slope, turn the steering wheel to point your vehicle tires away from traffic flow, set the parking brake, place the transmission in park (P) and place wheel chocks in front and back of the trailer wheels. Note: Chocks are not included with your vehicle.

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