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Old 03-16-2014, 05:59 PM   #1
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After Many Cancelations...

... our first trip in the Escape!
Two weeks later, we took a 5 day trip at Meridian State Park.

The 19 tows exceptionally well behind the F-150. Both trips had high cross and head winds and the rig was never unstable.

http://picasaweb.google.com/PicasaBlair
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Old 03-16-2014, 07:03 PM   #2
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Congratulations!
I think I might have seen your rig on I20 heading west a couple of weeks ago.
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Old 03-16-2014, 08:48 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by NorTexCamper View Post
... our first trip in the Escape!
Two weeks later, we took a 5 day trip at Meridian State Park.

The 19 tows exceptionally well behind the F-150. Both trips had high cross and head winds and the rig was never unstable.

Picasa Web Albums - blair998
I like the pictures of your rig. What size engine do you have in your F150. I am pretty sure i"m going to get an F150 to pull my 21.

Thanks, John
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Old 03-16-2014, 10:23 PM   #4
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I think I might have seen your rig on I20 heading west a couple of weeks ago.
Yep, heading to Aledo...

I have the 5L engine. I thought about the EcoBoost, but decided to go with the proven V8, for no real reason... I hear good things about the EcoBoost.

The FX2 came with a tow package and a factory trailer brake, which works well and easy to set the gain. The “tow/haul” transmission selection does a fantastic job of staying in gears longer and downshifting.

Hard to give RPM feedback because there was wind on both trips, but I think it sits below 2K revs at 65mph.
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Old 03-17-2014, 05:50 AM   #5
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Yep, heading to Aledo...

I have the 5L engine. I thought about the EcoBoost, but decided to go with the proven V8, for no real reason... I hear good things about the EcoBoost.

The FX2 came with a tow package and a factory trailer brake, which works well and easy to set the gain. The “tow/haul” transmission selection does a fantastic job of staying in gears longer and downshifting.

Hard to give RPM feedback because there was wind on both trips, but I think it sits below 2K revs at 65mph.
Thanks, That sounds perfect to me. I'm looking at the V8 for the same reason as you did. Just feels right.

John
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Old 03-17-2014, 12:48 PM   #6
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Consumer Reports said that owners reported a higher than average need to repair the F-150 with the EcoBoost engine - but not because of the engine itself, but because of the auxiliary systems (or words similar to that). Owners of the 5L engine didn't have the repair problems however. Hopefully, Ford will take care of the problems and the EgoBoost will live up to it's potential. Also, the new aluminum body for the 2015 F-150 sounds very interesting.
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Old 03-17-2014, 01:33 PM   #7
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It always amazes me when manufacturers will take something small and economical and bolt on a turbocharger which them makes it a race car or a towing machine. That little v-6 motor can not stand up to the stress and strain imposed upon it by towing, as evidenced by it's repair record. Just because it can does not mean it will always do. I'd stick with the bigger motors that will stand the strain over time.
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Old 03-17-2014, 08:34 PM   #8
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My thoughts on the 5.0L vs the Eco-Boost.

I've heard that, economy wise, they're pretty much the same (Consumer Reports). But if you want to be the first to the top of the hill, get the Eco-Boost. The torque on the Eco-Boost comes on like gang busters at a lower rpm, rises very fast, and is basically flat throughout it's rpm range. The 5.0L acts like a standard V8, higher torque at higher rpm. I've got to believe that the power of the 5.0L, matched with the proper gear ratio, is more than sufficient to pull anything Escape produces.

I think Ford is only considering half of the story when they advertise the Eco-Boost as a towing wonder. Down hill control is just as, and maybe more important, as getting up there in the first place.

The thing that sways me to the 5.0L is coming down hill (what goes up must come down). The compression ration of the 5.0L can help with speed control on the down hill slope, saving those precious breaks. The compression ratio of the Eco-Boost is low (turbos work better with low compression engines) so it doesn't help with downhill speed control. Your have to rely totally on your breaks. That, to me, is a deal breaker. As tempting as it is to have that extra power, or low end torque, I consider the breaks, and safety, more important.

If I'm wrong in my thinking here, please let me know.

On another note, what about the new Dodge with the French Diesel? It's reported to have great torque at a low rpm, and it can be used for speed control, because it's a diesel, on down hill slopes.
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Old 03-17-2014, 09:15 PM   #9
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The thing that sways me to the 5.0L is coming down hill (what goes up must come down). The compression ration of the 5.0L can help with speed control on the down hill slope, saving those precious breaks. The compression ratio of the Eco-Boost is low (turbos work better with low compression engines) so it doesn't help with downhill speed control. Your have to rely totally on your breaks.
Gas engine braking has nothing to do with compression ratio - it's just displacement, as the engine is acting as a big air pump. The pressure at the end of the compression stroke doesn't matter, because the push to create it is just returned on the power stroke - for those two stokes, the air is just a spring. All of the braking action comes from the intake stroke sucking air past the closed throttle plate (and the exhaust stroke just empties it out the other end). This is very different from the compression-release braking system (a.k.a. "Jake Brake") of a big rig.

The point of the EcoBoost (and similar engines from other manufacturers) is that they use direct fuel injection to allow the application of turbocharging to engines of normal modern compression ratio. The compression ratio of an EcoBoost is not low; it is 10.0:1, which would have been racecar-high not so many years ago. The 5.0L V8 is not much different at 10.5:1.

The only problem I see with the 3.5L EcoBoost for engine braking is that 3.5 is less than 5.0. My 3.3L gas engine provides all the engine braking I need for two tons of van plus 1.5 tons of trailer, so I would not be so concerned about an EcoBoost F-150.

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On another note, what about the new Dodge with the French Diesel? It's reported to have great torque at a low rpm, and it can be used for speed control, because it's a diesel, on down hill slopes.
French? VM Motori - the engine supplier to Fiat and now Fiat's Ram division is Italian. The previous diesel-from-the-European-owners at Chysler (used in the Sprinter and Grand Cherokee) was German (Mercedes).

Yes, like all turbo engines in working vehicles, the torque is high for the displacement, and available at low speeds.

The fact that it's a diesel does nothing at all for engine braking, since (like every other small diesel), it does not have a compression-release braking system. (Correct me if I have this wrong - it would be a major feature for Ram). I don't know if it even has an exhaust brake in the Ram 1500; they're not universally supplied with light truck diesels.
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Old 03-17-2014, 09:28 PM   #10
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That little v-6 motor can not stand up to the stress and strain imposed upon it by towing, as evidenced by it's repair record.
That one might not, but then if the required repairs are not to the engine itself, then maybe it has proven to be capable. There's no reason to believe that any particular displacement is required for any level of work, since there are many factors in engine design beyond displacement. I wouldn't declare 3.5L turbo engines as incapable due to issues with this Ford any more than I would declare 3.8L straight sixes to be gutless hunks of junk based on our family's old Gremlin engine.

Also, the rest of the planet uses smaller engines to do most of the work in anything other than big rigs. Every Sprinter, Crafter, Transit, Ducato and similar commercial van in Europe - carrying tons of payload and towing multi-ton trailers all day long - has a smaller engine than 3.5L... usually four cylinders.

The much-anticipated turbodiesel in the Ram 1500 is smaller than the EcoBoost 3.5L - and coincidentally very similar in design (V6, direct injection, turbocharged) - and I suspect many of the enthusiastic buyers are planning to tow.
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Old 03-18-2014, 02:57 AM   #11
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Hi Brian, thought I might hear from someone on my last post. This is a topic of learning for me.

I warped the rotors in my Ridgeline while towing a Casita. I started my descents on some long steep runs way too fast and used only the brakes to control the speed. After replacing my brakes I've tackled much longer and steeper descents, starting slower and using a lower gear, with great success.

I spoke to Reace about his Ford and his towing experience. He's had both the 5.0L and the EcoBoost. He traded the 5.0L, less than a year old, for the EcoBoost for it's climbing ability. He wasn't sure what the rear end was on the 5.0L, but the EcoBoost was a max-tow. It's hard to compare since he didn't know the gear ratio, but the EcoBoost climbed much better while the 5.0L controlled the descent speed much better. While driving the EcoBoost, he actually had to pull over descending into Death Valley to allow the brakes to cool down so they wouldn't warp. He wasn't sure he would've had to if driving the 5.0L. I guess, since I'v already warped one set of brakes, I'm a little sensitive to their care.

So, with the economy being virtually the same, the better control during descents, the complexity of the EcoBoost and the systems to support it, along with the premium being assessed for the EcoBoost, the 5.0L is still the one I lean towards. Of course the aluminum F150 hasn't hit the streets yet, and it has two different EcoBoost engines.
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Old 03-18-2014, 06:12 AM   #12
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The Ford F150 build site shows both trucks have the same "options" for rear ends, have the same tranny and the same brakes, why would one be better on down hills then the other?
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Old 03-18-2014, 11:08 AM   #13
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I used too little engine braking on one descent which was not long but was up to 12% grade, with switchbacks. No warped rotors or ruined pads resulted, but it caught my attention. The van's brakes were hot enough to clearly smell at the bottom, and I have since been careful to use engine braking for the continuous task of maintaining desired descent speed, and brakes only for the intermittent task of changing speed, such as to slow down for corners. I don't start down any slower than my desired speed, but I am careful to not let the speed build up.

Reace's experience with engine braking with the 3.5L EcoBoost and 5.0L conventional engines is interesting. Just as with people's reports of grade climbing, I have to ask: what engine speeds were used? The 3.5L would obviously need to turn substantially faster for the same braking than the 5.0L, or conversely would brake less at the same engine speed. The ability to easily manage engine speed can depend on automatic transmission behaviour - I have a Ford SuperDuty transmission in my motorhome which usually allows the desired degree of engine braking (of a ten-ton rig with 6.8L engine, so more demanding than 4 tons and either F-150 engine), but it's an old 4-speed; although the behaviour of the current transmissions should be better, you never know until you try one.

I am not questioning the logic of choosing the 5.0L conventional V8 over the 3.6L V6 EcoBoost. I just chose a conventional manual transmission for my car over any form of automatic in part for simplicity and thus long-term reliability. I just think that the way any candidate engine works should be understood, if decisions are to be made based on design features. Similarly, the operating conditions (such as engine speeds used) should be understood if decisions are made based on driving experience.

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The Ford F150 build site shows both trucks have the same "options" for rear ends, have the same tranny and the same brakes, why would one be better on down hills then the other?
Simply because they have substantially different sizes of engines - when you are engine braking, you are forcing the engine to run as an air pump, and a bigger pump puts up more resistance to turning. Also, even the same transmission paired with two different engines will likely have different programs... they are all computer-controlled now.
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Old 03-18-2014, 02:40 PM   #14
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Thanks Brian, I sort of get it. Not much out there on how gas engine braking works. Sounds like the cyl's trying to pull air is the friction. So the more and the bigger the cyl's the more the friction or vacuum.
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Old 03-18-2014, 06:15 PM   #15
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I went to the F150 forum in search of Ecoboost braking and found that the statements ranged from seems to work fine, to there is no engine braking provided by an Ecoboost engine.

One statement was interesting though. This person works at a place where he has to drive over the Santa Curse mountains every week. He drives three different Ford trucks; one with a 5.4L, one with a 5.0L, and one with an Ecoboost, and they all have 3.55 rear ends. He states that the 5.4L provides the most braking with the 5.0L a close second and the Ecoboost coming in last. He uses the tow/haul mode on all the trucks. He says that the 5.4L is OK in 4th gear on the steepest descents while the 5.0L and Ecoboost drop to 3rd and sometimes lower.

Another person with experience with both the 5.0L and Ecoboost stated that the Ecoboost has to spin at a much higher speed then the 5.0L to provide the same braking assistance.

So, If I'm reading this right, these two are agreeing with you Brian?
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Old 03-18-2014, 07:08 PM   #16
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That does it! I'm only going to drive where it's FLAT.
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Old 03-18-2014, 08:12 PM   #17
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Yes, Tom, the reported comparisons between engines in the same truck are consistent with what I have been trying to say. Thanks for digging those out.

The engine or road speed in the example in which the EcoBoost 3.5 required third gear is not mentioned. If using third does not result in excessive engine speed, and it engine brakes suitably, then it just confirms that the expected behaviour and does not imply an issue.

On the other hand, this (with my emphasis):
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I went to the F150 forum in search of Ecoboost braking and found that the statements ranged from seems to work fine, to there is no engine braking provided by an Ecoboost engine.
... demonstrates that it is unwise to blindly accept a statement in any forum without understanding it.
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Old 03-18-2014, 10:07 PM   #18
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What Donna said...
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Old 03-18-2014, 10:31 PM   #19
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What Donna said...
Okay, so there's two of us... but, why(?) do we have trailer brakes if we expect our tugs to slow us down... no matter the gears in the pumpkin?

I'm lost in this discussion, and I'm looking to buy a new truck... and it will come with a "mortgage" OMG.

I'm swear moving to the FLATS
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Old 03-19-2014, 12:38 AM   #20
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I have high hopes for our Tundra's towing ability. DH practiced towing with our neighbor's horse trailer and I was impressed with his driving, backing, etc. Of course, I was REALLY impressed with our tug when I realized that the horse trailer weighed 12,000 lbs and had a tongue weight of 1,200 lbs!! Sheesh! Our 19' will be a piece of cake!
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