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Old 04-07-2020, 07:22 PM   #1
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Reflections on 2020 Trip to Southern USA

Hi everyone,

I hope everybody is making the best out of the current situation; also hope that this thread finds everyone and their families healthy.

Just got back on Friday from our trip which began in first week of February, we crossed back into Canada on March 23rd and then we self quarantined in Hamilton Ontario and then drove back home to Sudbury this past Friday evening. Just some very brief points to summarize our 7 weeks in the trailer (a 2019 Escape 5.0 TA).

1. All in all we had an uneventful trip (which is great) with one issue which happened when we arrived at our first campground in San Saba Texas in mid February - we had no AC power upon connecting up at the hookup. It took Dustin from Escape and myself about 1/2 hour to diagnose the problem, I won't get into all the things we checked but issue ended up being the main breaker under the dinette bench (drivers side), somehow it had been flipped into the off position, always check this first, I guess.

2. I have a 2015 Ford F150 Supercrew Cab with 6.5 foot box, 6 speed tranny and V8 engine - over approximately 5500 mile trip and averaging approximately 70 mph (stayed mostly on INterstates) calculated about 13.9 mpg fuel consumption.

3. The trailer tows like a dream often forgetting I have it back there especially on flatter roads. Both on the way to Texas and on the way back home we hit a couple of days with very strong gusty crosswinds and or headwinds, the rig was dead stable and my steering felt solid and well behaved.

4. Both down and back I always had the transmission set to normal including going over the Adirondacks; I find that when I use Ford's Tow/Haul mode setting the truck does sudden and sometimes rather violent tranny downshifts when going sown long hills, it is much gentler when I keep the tranny set to regular mode. I kept a very close eye on the tranny temperature on both modes in various settings, there may have been a slight 1 degree Celcius increase in temperature of tranny in regular as opposed to Tow/Haul mode but nothing significant - on warm days 92-94 degrees versus 89-91 degrees on cooler days up north.

5. Because of the rather cool weather we encountered in February we spent quite a bit of time in trailer in the evenings and mornings, reading, surfing our tablets and watching TV; turned out that Lucie preferred lying on the bed upstairs while I liked laying down on the dinette downstairs; luxury!!!

Lastly, we did quite a bit of boon docking while moving from place to place staying in Rest Areas, Walmarts, Cabelas and Cracker Barrels. I found that as long as my 2 6v batteries were at or near 100% charge when we stopped we had no issues with power. We would keep most of the lights on through the evening, charge our phones and tablets, watch 3-4 hours TV and get up the next morning and make our full carafe of coffee and 4 toast for breakfast. Usually our batteries were pretty close to 55% by morning; if it was sunny the next day the level would be back up to 90% by noonish and 100% by end of day. WOW

All in all, our first long trip was great, we have fallen in love with our little fiberglass home!!

Cheers,
Mars
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Old 04-07-2020, 07:33 PM   #2
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I experimented with my tow/haul mode when I first stated towing my Escapes, 8 years ago. When going out in regular and coming back in tow/haul. I actually got better mileage in tow/haul and crossing the Rockies that engine braking saved a lot of brakes from over heating. I feel it is better in the tow/haul because the shift points change both up and down and it even cuts back to 4 cyl "eco" mode on flat stretches. In addition there is not the "hunting and seeking" you get with the regular mode while towing. My transmission ran cooler in the tow mode also as did my oil.I have done this now with 2 Ram trucks, both with 5.7 but the 09 had a 5sp with 3:55 and 14 has 8 sp transmission with 3.21 rear end.
Either way, as long as you like the tow experience and with the Escape you will probably be using another tow vehicle sooner or later so you can experiment even more. As Donna always says YMMV.....
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Old 04-07-2020, 07:50 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marsman View Post

4. Both down and back I always had the transmission set to normal including going over the Adirondacks; I find that when I use Ford's Tow/Haul mode setting the truck does sudden and sometimes rather violent tranny downshifts when going sown long hills, it is much gentler when I keep the tranny set to regular mode. I kept a very close eye on the tranny temperature on both modes in various settings, there may have been a slight 1 degree Celcius increase in temperature of tranny in regular as opposed to Tow/Haul mode but nothing significant - on warm days 92-94 degrees versus 89-91 degrees on cooler days up north.



Cheers,
Mars
I have a 2017 F150 with the 2.7 and find the same thing regarding the downshifts. Sometimes the tranny will downshift all the way from 5th to 2nd and the engine will rev at up to 5000 rpm going down a long hill. I find what I do now is leave it in reg mode like you but manually shift, using the button on the shifter, when experiencing long steep up and down grades to hold the transmission in a particular gear.
Barry
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Old 04-07-2020, 08:37 PM   #4
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I use the tow mode when towing, mostly for the downshifting going down hills. With the 3.5L EB I'm good with the engine winding up to roughly 4k, if it drifts over I use the brakes. At times I don't think it's in a low enough gear and down shift further in manual. Note: I have the 6 spd.
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Old 04-08-2020, 03:20 PM   #5
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That's really interesting regarding the eco mode, did not know that. Next trip I'll try to experiment a bit more in Tow/Haul mode and see how it goes. Thanks for the info.
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Old 04-08-2020, 06:58 PM   #6
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We have the F150 with V8 and use tow haul whenever towing.
It does help going down hills in the mountains for sure, barely have to use the brakes sometimes.
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Old 04-09-2020, 05:55 AM   #7
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I only use tow/haul on long and steep downhills, 2015 F-150 with 6-speed. I have found if I slow down to 5 or 10 mph below what seems to be safe before activating the tow/haul mode it may downshift once, and I don’t have to hardly use the brakes. I can’t say that the downshift is violent, however. Having just upgraded to a 2020 model with the 10 speed transmission (because my 2015 was electrocuted by a nearby lightning strike), I guess I will have to see if the new truck behaves the same way as the old one.
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Old 04-09-2020, 08:47 AM   #8
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Some screen shots on 2 trips out to Chilliwack for pick up and returning home towing the E19, avg 21 mpg unhitched and 15 hitched over each trip. The E21 avg was 14 mpg on the last trip home.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMG_0189.jpg (176.0 KB, 5 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_0325.jpg (177.8 KB, 6 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_0647.jpg (179.0 KB, 6 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_1292.jpg (154.3 KB, 5 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_1294.jpg (164.7 KB, 4 views)
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Old 04-09-2020, 11:46 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marsman View Post
That's really interesting regarding the eco mode, did not know that. Next trip I'll try to experiment a bit more in Tow/Haul mode and see how it goes. Thanks for the info.
Mars, glad to hear you had a great trip south, ours was cut rather short this year. Jim was referring to his Ram which has the eco mode, fords do not.

I found with our previous F-150 a 2wd small V8 that it would shift abruptly as well. Our 2015 2.7EB shifts just great and I use the tow/haul all the time while towing.

Your profile doesn't indicate how old your F-150 is, I wonder if it could be like our older 2010. Both of ours have the six speed tranny but as I said shifting much better with the 2015.
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