Newbie Questions - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 09-20-2010, 11:34 AM   #1
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Newbie Questions

I have to thank all of the members of this form for providing all kinds of information for a newbie. Having read a large number of the posts I have a few questions.

1. Are there any Mazda Tribute / Ford Escape owners out there that can give me some information and feedback on towing with this TV? I have a 09 Tribute 4wd, 240 horsepower, with the factory tow package (Class 2 hitch and 4 pin connector). Did you make any modifications if so what are they?

2. I would like to go with the 19' as my vehicle is rated for 3500lbs. Please comment.

3. A saw an older post where a purchaser was asking about alternates to the oak interior. Is there an alternate to this material? Please post pics if you went with an alternate. My wife and I prefer the clean look of dark wood and stainless steel.

Thank you for your comments and information.


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Old 09-20-2010, 12:26 PM   #2
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Janesville, WI, Wisconsin
Trailer: Escape 19 (sold) Escape 21 2014
Posts: 975
Re: Newbie Questions

I believe the Escape 19 will be too much for your Tribute TV. I found when comparing my trailer weight to other 19's I was one of the lowest. I think I travel with minimum creature comforts and always empty tanks. My most recent certificed scale weight was 3,480 lbs. It is generally accepted that you need a 15% safety factor which puts your effective towing capacity of 3,500 lbs at 3,000 lbs.

You must also take into consideration what weight you put into your TV including passengers, pets, luggage and any roof mount toys. Then you should look at the TV's GVWR (gross vehicle weight rating) to determine if fully loaded with passengers, fuel, luggage and tongue weight you still comply with vehicle recommendations.

I believe you will need a vehicle closer to a 4,000 towing capacity, perhaps more. Others are welcome to chime in.

Paul and Janet Braun
2003 Toyota 4Runner V8 now 2012 Toyota Sequoia V8
Escape 19' 2010 now 2014 Escape 21'
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Old 09-20-2010, 12:35 PM   #3
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Re: Newbie Questions

I agree with Fudge-Brownie above. He posted while I was composing.

You will need a Class III hitch and a 7-pin connector (to charge the batteries, operate the electric brakes, etc.) I can't comment on your question #1.

2. I think you are looking at too much trailer for the vehicle. Once you load the 2,500 lb trailer with all your stuff, it will probably weight more than 3,000 lbs. This puts you at 85% of the towing capacity of your vehicle, and most recommendations say you need to be in the 50% range. more serious however is your Escape weighs about 3,500 lb with a GVWR of 4,600 lb...meaning you have about a thousand pounds to play with...and this includes you, all your gear and whatever you are towing.

3. I asked about alternatives to the oak and was told it was the only kind available. I suspect if you waved a big enough check in front of someone, you could have any interior you wished.

Here is a handly calculator to determine the size trailer you can safely tow:


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Old 09-20-2010, 12:41 PM   #4
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Location: Austin, Texas
Trailer: '09 Escape 19 "Grasshopper"
Posts: 221
Re: Newbie Questions

The topic of towing an Escape trailer with a Ford Escape/Mazda Tribute has been previously discussed here...

There are at least two current members who happily tow their Escape 17' with Ford Escapes. I agree with fudge_brownie & Dave that the Escape 19' would likely be pushing it too much.
Brad & Shay

'09 Escape 19 "Grasshopper"
'14 MB GL350 BlueTEC; '99 Toyota 4Runner V6 4WD
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Old 09-20-2010, 02:03 PM   #5
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Location: Port Coquitlam, British Columbia
Trailer: 2008 17B Escape
Posts: 633
Re: Newbie Questions


We have a Ford Escape and very easily tow our 17 B with it. Really think the 19 is pushing it too much. We can carry our folding bikes and golf bags and all the other junk I tend to carry even with a bit of water in the tanks we are well under our vehicle limit....

We have the equalizer hitch and we hardly even know the trailer is behind us. No sway at all even when being passed or passing trucks on the freeway. No trouble at all going up hills--we just turn the overdrive off...

We had to get a class 3 hitch and the 7 pin wiring done.

Just came back from a trip to the US and up a few longer hills and no issues at all.....Nice to get the gas mileage too!!!
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Old 09-20-2010, 02:38 PM   #6
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Re: Newbie Questions

As you may have seen in the linked thread, an weight-distributing hitch and anti-sway bar are very highly recommended (for me they were mandatory with our 17' Casita). Some may report they don't use those additional pieces of equipment, but I have to say the combination of the Casita and our Ford Ranger felt like one single unit, and I never had a moment's doubt about stability, even when we blew a tire at 65 mph. The trailer stayed straight and there was nary a wobble.

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Old 09-20-2010, 02:40 PM   #7
Join Date: Aug 2009
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Re: Ford Escape

I tow a 17B with my 6cylinder automatic Ford Escape (which is really the same vehicle as a Mazda Tribute). I have an equalizer hitch and a 7 pin connector. With my 17B fully loaded (including fresh water) my trailer weighs 2600 pounds. ( I had it weighed on the industrial truck scales). I have towed to California and around BC and have not had any problems at all. On major hills like the Coquihalla Connector my speed slows down considerably and I allow it to!! I follow the heavy trucks up in the slow lane.........but so what? I'm on holiday, so what's the rush? I see many larger tow vehicles broken down on these hills because they try to push them too hard, with consequent overheating and tranny damage.
The Ford Escape can handle the 17B, but I for one would not recommend towing anything larger with it. I should also say that I get very good gas mileage with this vehicle. I do use the overdrive on the flat, but I turn it off when I fell the tranny begin to hunt for a gear.
To conclude, the Ford Escape and the Escape 17B are an ideal match.
17B Escape. Tow Vehicle: Ford Escape 6 cyl auto.
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Old 09-21-2010, 01:07 PM   #8
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: PNW, Washington
Trailer: 2004 Chinook Concourse (Molded fiberglass!)
Posts: 178
Re: Newbie Questions

Dave, we have been using your link ( and this is an incredible resource! Thank you! We have always looked first at safety, not only in our vehicles, but in what we tow. Having this calculator available was reassuring for us, but we still need to "pack light" as there is not a huge margin of error (in the weight allowed in a trailer) with our tow vehicle. We have also noted that with a 19ft. Escape, since it has double axles, the tongue weight tends to be light. Therefore, we are realizing how important it is to distribute the weight in the trailer properly! Reace always mentions this when he works with customers, but we are realizing how crucial this is when loading gear. With a 19ft. Escape, it will be important for us to load heavier items toward the front and not overload the rear of the trailer!

We have never traveled with much water in the tanks and have tried to be conscious of even how much drinking water, propane, and food we haul. I don't think this can be stressed enough on the forum, especially for those who have not hauled trailers before! Pete has owned a total of 16 RVs over the years, and we are still learning a great deal from Escapees! This forum is a wonderful resource in so many ways! We really appreciate the knowledge that folks share. Thanks!

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