Barry (reply #16) said: “I think you will find that the 3500 lbs includes the cargo in the vehicle and the trailer.”
So what I interpret that to mean is that:
GCWR – Veh curb wt = towing capacity.
Which I confirmed with a number of sources:
No definition for Towing Capacity
“…subtract the loaded weight of the towing vehicle from the combined weight vehicle capacity and it will tell you how much weight you can tow.”
GCWR for 2006 to 2009 models can be found here:
but these numbers appear to be for the basic models only (which is rather weird since one would think that they would have used the “towing package” numbers instead) since they list the towing capacity of a Ford Escape as 1500.
So the numbers stated here for a basic 2009 Ford Escape are:
Curb wt 3299
Towing capacity 1500
Thus GCWR – curb wt = towing capacity or 4940-3299=1641 (which is more or less 1500), so it seems to work.
And if adding the tow pkg to the Ford Escape increases towing capacity from 1500 to “about 2000 to 3500 lbs” as suggested by Toyota for the RAV4 (Paul Braun reply #20), then one might expect the GCWR to increase also by about 2000 to 3500 lb also, bringing the GCWR for a Ford Escape w tow pkg to about 5000+2000=7000. Then it makes sense.
So in my scenario with a Ford Escape w tow pkg pulling a 17B:
Curb wt 3542 (I found that somewhere – greater than the basic curb wt of 3299)
Cargo 815 (extra wt for driver over 150+3 adult passengers+200 cargo)
Tlr dry wt 2100
Tlr load 1000
Clothes etc. for 4 = 100
Dishes etc. = 75
Holding tanks = 2 x 5 gal each = 2 x 5 x 40 = 400
Options = tv+a/c+? = 300
Say 950 lb (so 1000 as a conservative estimate isn’t so far off an estimate for an average tlr)
Total = 7442 which is close to the upgraded GCWR.
So all in all, it seems that a Ford Escape would work and I guess that’s why you all seem to be doing fine with your RAV4 w tow pkg, etc.
Thanks all for sharing. Now the question is: would I really need a Class III WD hitch (aside from increasing the safety margin and peace of mind?) when the Ford Escape seems to be equipped OK.