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Old 12-28-2011, 02:05 PM   #1
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Towing with Ford Flex

We are thinking hard about buying a newer tow vehicle to replace our aging 1996 Suburban. The Ford Flex looks good to us in many ways (4,500 lb towing capacity), but we wonder if it has enough horsepower and torque to pull the Escape 19 acceptably -- especially at high altitude around 10,000 feet. Do you have any experience with a Flex towing a 19, or an opinion regarding how successful it would be?
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Old 12-29-2011, 12:05 AM   #2
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Re: Towing with Ford Flex

A Suburban and a Flex. Do your homework first. I tow my 19 Escape with a 2007 Toyota Tundra 5.7V8. A friend tows with a Highlander V6, and another tows with a 4-Runner V8.
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Old 12-29-2011, 04:25 PM   #3
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Re: Towing with Ford Flex

You're getting close to your towing limit of 4500# with a fully loaded 19'. Our 19' is about 3800# when loaded up for a long road trip. We tow with a 2005 Tacoma without a tow package which is rated for 5000# towing capacity. I wouldn't want to tow much heavier than a 19' Escape. The truck performed wonderfully up and over the high mountain passes of Nevada, Oregon and Washington in mid summer with this combination. The newer Tacomas with a tow package are rated for 6500#, towing a rig up near that limit would be struggle. I would suggest finding a vehicle with a bit more capacity especially if you towing at altitude in the mountains.
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Old 12-29-2011, 06:52 PM   #4
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Re: Towing with Ford Flex

Look at engine ratings like torque and horsepower to compare. I know with my Pilot it is rated at 4,500 lb towing capacity, but the GVWR is comparable to other V6's with a 5,000 lb rating. I have no issues at all except for the steepest mountain passes, and slow it down a bit so my revs drop.
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Old 12-30-2011, 12:58 PM   #5
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Re: Towing with Ford Flex

First of all try posting on the fiberglassrv website to see if anyone is towing with the Flex, someone might have some comparable situation .. also like Jim mentioned the GVWR is important as you need to factor in the tongue weight and you & your cargo inside the Flex..it adds up. Does the Flex have an option for towing package with it, something with a transmission cooler and/or bigger radiator..

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Old 12-30-2011, 04:19 PM   #6
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Re: Towing with Ford Flex

Here, I'll help. I know Steve (who worked for Ford in R&D) tows with a Flex: http://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/f...awd-45000.html

and here's someone with an EggCamper: http://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/f...lex-45496.html

Here's another post by Steve: http://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/f...6-a-41150.html

there's probably more... but this may help.
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Old 12-30-2011, 08:42 PM   #7
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Re: Towing with Ford Flex

Thanks to all for the responses. We're primarily concerned about the ability of the non-turbo Flex to pull the Escape 19 in the mountains. For example, the Eisenhower tunnel in Colorado is above 11,000 feet and there isn't much oxygen available for pulling a 3,500 lb. Escape. With a 4,500 lb tow rating, the Flex should be fine in all other aspects. The tow package includes sway control and an oil cooler. There is an Ecoboost (turbocharged) engine available which would easily pull the 19, but there are quite a few more $$$$ involved.
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Old 12-31-2011, 10:07 AM   #8
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Re: Towing with Ford Flex

I pulled my 3000 lb 17B up to the Eisenhower tunnel with my RAV4 (V6 & tow package). Didn't break any speed limits on the way up, but I was still passing trucks. Worst case was down to 40MPH in 2nd gear for part of the haul.
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Old 01-04-2012, 07:48 PM   #9
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Re: Towing with Ford Flex

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vermilye
I pulled my 3000 lb 17B up to the Eisenhower tunnel with my RAV4 (V6 & tow package). Didn't break any speed limits on the way up, but I was still passing trucks. Worst case was down to 40MPH in 2nd gear for part of the haul.
Thanks for the response about the tow through the tunnel -- great data point. The non-turbo Flex has similar horsepower and torque to the RAV4, but weighs quite a bit more. Add another 500 pounds for the Escape 19 and it could be a slow go up the hill.
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Old 01-04-2012, 08:28 PM   #10
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Re: Towing with Ford Flex

I think the Flex has more room to put more stuff too. Thus, more weight.

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Old 01-04-2012, 09:07 PM   #11
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Re: Towing with Ford Flex

I am brand new to this forum and thought I would throw my two cents into the discussion.
We are getting our 19 foot Escape in May.
A friend tows his 19 foot Escape with a Honda Pilot and reports good performance through the Rockies.
We have a non turbo Flex and feel confident it will do as well as the pilot because of the similar specs.
I suspect engine performance may be the same if measured at the same RPM.
Flex only weighs 130 pounds more than Pilot
Flex 262HP@6250 RPM-Pilot 250HP@5700 RPM
Flex Torque 248@4500 RPM- Pilot 253@4800 RPM
Flex 6 Speed Transmission - Pilot 5 Speed
Flex has 9 inch longer wheelbase than Pilot
We are very pleased with the Flex but have only used it to tow a 1500 Pound trailer.
We will be disappointed if towing a 19 becomes a problem.
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Old 01-04-2012, 09:36 PM   #12
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Re: Towing with Ford Flex

I guess it is hard to say what one needs as a tow vehicle. There are those that feel you need 50% or more excess capacity, and there are just as many that are towing overweight. I'm in no hurry, and spend as little time as possible on the interstates. That said, I also love the mountains of both the eastern & western states (I know, the little "Hills" here in the east aren't the Rockies) but actually so far the steepest haul I've made is a 4 mile 18% grade & that was in Pennsylvania!

As far as the RAV is concerned, it is rated at 3500/350. I know there is at least one individual around here that tows a 19' with one. I'm OK with it for the 17'. You can certainly feel it back there (the highway mileage drops from 24MPG to 15MPG). I've weighed it while loaded the way I travel (2985 lbs) & will weigh it again before leaving on my next trip. I have not had any overheating problems and with the Prodigy P3 controller the braking is excellent.

All that said, I still sometimes wish for a truck, not for the additional pulling power, but for the advantage of having outside storage for a generator, fuel, etc, but then again, I like the size & fuel efficiency of the RAV and I like having only one vehicle.

I'd seriously look at the EcoBoost version if I was going to do a lot of mountain towing, although I agree that is is quite a $ hit for the engine...
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Old 01-21-2012, 04:43 PM   #13
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Re: Towing with Ford Flex

Thanks for all of the input here. We finally put our money down today on a 2012 Ford Flex with tow package (4500# tow capacity). It seems that we'll be the first to put together this combination of Ford Flex with Escape trailer. At least Tammy and the gang don't recall seeing it before. We love the Flex styling so much that we can't understand how it can be so polarizing. Ours will be red with a white roof, and we're looking forward to one day posting some pics of it towing our Escape 19 (white with red graphics). BTW we did not spring for the Ecoboost.
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Old 02-03-2012, 11:08 PM   #14
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Re: Towing with Ford Flex

I tow a 19' Coachman Apex with my 2010 LTD EB and have had no problems. The trailer is heavier than the 19' Escape (loaded is about 4000 lbs) but the Flex has had no problems towing this unit. I have an equilizer hitch and Haynes brake controller - gas mileage does suffer, but it will with any vehicle. Your non EB should handle the 19' Escape with no problem, but mountain driving will suffer in the power area - slow down and enjoy the view. I think your Flex will be a good vehicle for pulling the 19' Escape. You can go to the Flex owners web site and find numerious postings on trailer towing with a Flex.

http://www.fordflex.net

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Old 11-17-2013, 05:34 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BRietkerk View Post
I am brand new to this forum and thought I would throw my two cents into the discussion.
We are getting our 19 foot Escape in May.
A friend tows his 19 foot Escape with a Honda Pilot and reports good performance through the Rockies.
We have a non turbo Flex and feel confident it will do as well as the pilot because of the similar specs.
I suspect engine performance may be the same if measured at the same RPM.
Flex only weighs 130 pounds more than Pilot
Flex 262HP@6250 RPM-Pilot 250HP@5700 RPM
Flex Torque 248@4500 RPM- Pilot 253@4800 RPM
Flex 6 Speed Transmission - Pilot 5 Speed
Flex has 9 inch longer wheelbase than Pilot
We are very pleased with the Flex but have only used it to tow a 1500 Pound trailer.
We will be disappointed if towing a 19 becomes a problem.
We have now spent 105 comfortable nights, in all kinds of weather, in our 19.
The (not turbo) Ford Flex has pulled the trailer back and forth over the continental divide numerous times. Total distance in excess of 14000kM
Our last trip was through the 8 western states.
Total distance 7910kM or 4915 miles.
Total fuel burnt 283 gal CDN or 340 gal USA or 1287 Liters
Average speed 55-60 miles per hour
Towing more than 95% of the time
Fuel consumption works out to 16.27L/100kM or 14.45 miles per US Gal or 17.3 miles per CDN Gal.
Weight of the trailer during the trip was about 3500 pounds. Car was lightly loaded with only two people on board.
We use a standard WDH. Handling was perfect.
Only the steepest hills slowed us down and only because I did not want to exceed 3600 RPM.
We had one day of severe head winds.
If I was to purchase a trailer today it would again be the 19.
We would ask for the hot water heater to be dual gas & electric.
We would ask to have the bath roof vent to be not installed instead we would get the opening bath window.
I am not a fan of the bath roof vent. In my opinion it is an unnecessary roof penetration. It collect tree needles and leaves and it is a point were condensation collects first. (causing a wet toilet and floor) I firmly believe a window and the very efficient max fan will provide more than adequate ventilation in our little trailer.
Brian
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