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Old 12-20-2014, 12:26 AM   #1
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Frontal Area

From Towing 17B Thread: "The Jeep Grand Cherokee owners manual lists the maximum trailer frontal area as 55 sq ft." Ford states their 2014 Explorer is good for 40 sq. ft. with Class III Tow Package and 20 without. Explorer then not good for a 17 Escape.

This seems to be a spec most of us have been unaware of. Search it and you will probably agree it's a valid one. In my view ETI's first sentence on their homepage is not accurate for the 19 & 21(60/64 sq. ft. respectively). They do offer a disclaimer in the FAQ section under "do I need a truck?", but that is not a headline like the first statement. Not only do probably most V-6's flunk the frontal area test for 19 & 21 models, but apparently so does a V-8 Jeep Grand Cherokee.

Now I probably know what happened to Gabe's transmission on his Ford Escape towing his 17B back to Vancouver Island from Arizona: too much drag. Saw that trans issue on Google.

I don't have any axe to grind and am happy with our 21, but believe full disclosure is in everyone's best interest.
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Old 12-20-2014, 12:37 AM   #2
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I'm thinking this "total frontal area" "problem" is nonsense.
The more frontal area, the more gas you're going to use, until at some point, as you increase frontal area, you will come to a stop.
Is there a spec for if you only drive up hill, down hill or on the prairies?

In the Explorer example, how would a tow package double the frontal area that could be towed? Twice as many cylinders?
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Old 12-20-2014, 12:39 AM   #3
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Google before spouting.
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Old 12-20-2014, 12:41 AM   #4
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Can't.
I'm watching Corner Gas, The Movie.
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Old 12-20-2014, 12:45 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gbaglo View Post
The more frontal area, the more gas you're going to use, until at some point, as you increase frontal area, you will come to a stop.
Yup! and Yup! Makes me only want to tow highly-streamlined Escape Trailers, and maintain the gelcoat in a high-gloss low-friction condition.

Edit:
And, this is a very interesting thread:
17B sold
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Old 12-20-2014, 01:05 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rossue View Post
Now I probably know what happened to Gabe's transmission on his Ford Escape towing his 17B back to Vancouver Island from Arizona: too much drag. Saw that trans issue on Google.
Actually, it's more likely that he was towing with the transmission in OD instead of D. Mechanic told me I came very close to blowing up my torque converter, towing a tent trailer with my Ford Explorer in OD. Not a lot of frontal area there.
My daughter pointed out that I had told her that the Explorer manual said to tow in D, not OD, and she wondered why I had forgotten that.
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Old 12-20-2014, 01:32 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by gbaglo View Post
Can't.
I'm watching Corner Gas, The Movie.
Me too Bet they get good towing mileage in that part of the country

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Old 12-20-2014, 02:30 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gbaglo View Post
I'm thinking this "total frontal area" "problem" is nonsense.
The more frontal area, the more gas you're going to use, until at some point, as you increase frontal area, you will come to a stop.
Is there a spec for if you only drive up hill, down hill or on the prairies?

In the Explorer example, how would a tow package double the frontal area that could be towed? Twice as many cylinders?
I am surprised to see a SiteTeam person calling this 'nonsense'.

You might disagree but let's keep this constructive and friendly.

We used the term 'flat plate equivalent' and it is a serious consideration.... What ever you call it.
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Old 12-20-2014, 02:43 AM   #9
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I apologize for calling it nonsense.
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Old 12-20-2014, 03:37 AM   #10
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Hi: guys... Ever tried towing a parachute? Not much weight... but lots of frontal area.
Only trouble with Corner Gas...The Movie is I fell asleep!!! Alf
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