jportesi

Towing 2011 Ford Explorer

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We are considering purchasing a 2011 Explorer XLT and we were told by Ford that the car and any towable Ford car will accumulate mileage while being flat towed.

Anyone out there have one and is this true? We are concerned about our warranty miles being used up without actually driving the car.

We have being reading about the transmission issues on the Escape, are folks having issues with the new Explorer while being towed?

Do GMC, Chevy and Jeep new towable vehicles accumulate miles while being flat towed?

Thanks,

Jim

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I have had several vehicles which I have towed all four wheels down and none of these vehicles accumulated miles on the odometer. See the attached 2011 Ford Towing guide. I believe I would check with several other dealers on this issue.

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Thanks for the information. Ford just called us back after they had checked with Detroit and the Explorer does not accumulate miles while being flat towed. That is great news. We are concerned after reading on this site the trouble folks are having with the transmission burning up on the Ford Escapes if Explorers could have the same issue. Has anyone had trouble with the Explorer's transmission after flat towing it?

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We also are interested in towing a 2011 Explorer or Edge. We want to know if anyone is having difficulty getting a tow bar mount bracket that will attach to the new car and braking system parts and having them installed. We currently have our old Roadmaster Sterling tow bar attached to RV and US Gear brakes and would like to continue using as much of the old components as possible.

Information with problems towing an Explorer or Edge, if any, would also be appreciated.

Thanks, Tom

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Glad Ford called you back. We tow a 2011 Escape (over 2500 miles so far) and it has not added one mile when towing.

In Feb 2010 Ford made a modification of some sort to the transmission used in the Escape. Keep in mind this six speed is in the family of transmissiond developed jointly by GM and Ford and used in the vast majority of their vehicles. For some reason this one had problems. I gather Ford either installed or modified a baffle in Feb 2010. They also have marked the transmission fluid dipstick for 2011 as to the fluid level (when hot) for flat towing. To date we've had no problems at all.

In Sept - Oct we went from 3 bow ties to 3 blue ovals. Traded an Equinox and Tahoe for an Escape and Flex. DW loves her Escape (more than the Equinox which she also liked - but it was a 2006 and not towable) and we both find the Flex super. When we did the deal and were waiting a few days to take delivery, I was not too happy with my decision because the Tahoe was excellent - and it towed well. To my surprise, even though I'd test driven the Flex, by the time we both drove home my concerns were gone and we find the Flex far more useful than the Tahoe. The third row seats are completely useful even by me - great seats. The two in the third row of the Tahoe were terrible and useable only by a young child so we took them out. Also, the Navigation system is head and shoulders over the unit in the Tahoe.

Now, shortly after that double header we swapped our Greyhawk on Kodiak for an E450 based MH - and to date very satisfied.

I had both cars into the Ford dealer today for and oil change and tire rotation. The Escape has over 5,000 miles on it plus 2500 that did not register when being towed. The service chap was really surprised because the tires were hardly worn and the bit of wear was very even. So we have our fingers crossed that this good experience to date will continue.

While at the dealer I looked over a new Explorer. I was interested in the third row seating. It was better than the Tahoe but still tight and not anywhere near as comfortable as the Flex. The Flex is also towable. The Escape weighs less than 3600 lbs and the Flex Limited AWD weighs in at 4640. The Explorer Limited AWD/4WD tips the scales at 4731. Out Tahoe towed well behind our earlier 2006 41ft DP but with the Kodiak you could feel a tug when going over bumps and rail lines. We are very pleased the way the Escape tows. If we only had one passenger car, however, it would have to be the Flex rather than the Escape. The Flex is towable as well.

Don

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Thanks Don for the helpful information. It is good news that Ford has corrected the transmission problems with the Escape. That makes us feel better about the Explorer. We have not really considered the Flex, but we are going to look at it. One of the features we really like in the Explorer was the 3rd row seating and the room when all the seats are down. So we will be taking a closer look at the Flex before we make our decision. Thanks again, this helps us feel more comfortable with purchasing a Ford.

Jim

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Hi,

Sort of a new question for the experts. I have a 2011 for Ranger XL. I hope to tow this Ranger with my Geogie Boy.

The XL is 5 speed manual trans. My questions is, will the mileage add up on the flat tow and if so how do I stop the odometer from registering?

The message ign before stated a Ford list for towing.

Jim Moore

windchaser

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Hi,

Sort of a new question for the experts. I have a 2011 for Ranger XL. I hope to tow this Ranger with my Geogie Boy.

The XL is 5 speed manual trans. My questions is, will the mileage add up on the flat tow and if so how do I stop the odometer from registering?

The message ign before stated a Ford list for towing.

Jim Moore

windchaser

Jim,

First, the legal disclaimer-- this may not be legal where you live. If not legal, I am not recommending doing this.

Determine what position the key is supposed to be in for towing-- i.e. steering remains unlocked.

On a quiet, straight back street with no traffic, get up to 20 MPH or so. Shift to neutral. Turn off the ignition and immediately turn it back to the position recommended for towing. Do NOT remove the key from the ignition!

Note mileage and see if it changes as you coast.

Restart engine and continue on your way.

Brett

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I just finished towing my 2011 Ford Explorer XLT from New Orleans up to Indy for the 500 race and back and would like to give you all a report since everyone has a concern.

First, I am using a Blue Ox towbar which I have to say was relatively easy to install. I did it myself in right around four hours. My braking system is the low-end Brake Buddy because I rarely tow the vehicle.

Anyway, I'm sure everyone has read the manual and I followed it explicitly. No mileage was accumulated.

I DID have one major issue, however, the battery kept going dead. The key needs to be in the accessory position, per the manual, and in doing this, whenever I stopped, which was about every four hours, the battery would be dead. On most occasions I was able to jump-start the vehicle without a hitch however on one occasion it would not do a thing until I unplugged the battery positive (which has a quick-disconnect), waited about 30 seconds and plugged it back in.

I am assuming that the key has to be put in place to allow the wheels to turn, however, I have to wonder if the vehicle, after that has been accomplished, really needs power? Aside from the brake buddy, there is nothing else that I am aware of that requires power and I could run the BB off the coach.

Anyway, I have an email in to Ford asking them about all this and hope to have a call back shortly.

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Keep in mind that using the Brake Buddy will apply the Ford's brakes by pushing on the brake pedal. This probably turns on the brake lights just like if you were driving it. Depends on how much stopping you do, but this will be some drain on the battery. Just a thought.

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Keep in mind that using the Brake Buddy will apply the Ford's brakes by pushing on the brake pedal. This probably turns on the brake lights just like if you were driving it. Depends on how much stopping you do, but this will be some drain on the battery. Just a thought.

The Brake Buddy is an air cylinder that has its own air pump. Each time you apply your brakes it uses air and the pump must recharge the system. That is one of the reason your battery is being discharged. When your Battery is discharged your Brake Buddy is useless. I believe the reason you must turn the key to the ***. position is to release the steering wheel lock. My Yukon doesn't have a steering wheel lock. So after I put it into 4X4 neutral I turn off the key, remove it and lock the doors. My braking unit is a M & G Engineering air brake. No lifting a unit and putting it in front of the seat, clamping the rod to the brake and hopping I have it set right and that it will not move and put pressure on the brake. All I do is hook up the air line between the coach and car. There is a safety cable for emergencies. Yes it will make the brake lights come on when applying your brake, but with the proper wiring diodes you will use the coach power for turn signals and emg. flashers. Anyone that reads the Forum knows I toute the M & G unit. Take a look at it. :D

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Currently I tow a 2003 Ford Explorer. I wired it with the Roadmaster diode system so it's lights are powered by my coach. Also I ran a positive and negative connection to the Explorer to power my Roadmaster Evenbrake module (essentially the same sort of system as the Brake Buddy).

By powering it this way I use almost no power from the Explorers battery. All wiring to the Explorer was through a standard 7 pin trailer connection. I have driven for as many as 7 hours in a day and the Ford's battery was good when I went to start it. Roadmaster has all wiring instructions online in it's brake system installation manual. Here is the link. Hope this helps.

http://www.roadmasterinc.com/pdf/85-4593-00.pdf

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Not that it helps much with the 2011 Explorer, but I've been towing a '99 Explorer since 2001. It's got 55,000 miles on the odometer, and about 100,000 miles being towed. I wonder at the problems with the battery. I've towed my Explorer many times for three days straight (never starting it up), using my Brake Buddy, and never had a discharged battery. Ford seems to have done a good job with engineering and quality - at least on my old Explorer. You might want to check with Ford, rather than a dealer, to get straight answers. We are planing on leaving in July - Tampa to Washington State, to Mexico, and then back home - still pulling the old '99 Explorer. I trust it!

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Any one towing a 2011 Explorer with a remote start system? Have any problems. Are any ford with the remote start.

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Mike, we had that problem with our Tahoe ONCE. Towed about 200 miles to the Jayco factory for some work on our previous MH (Kodiak base). When we got there the Tahoe battery was flat - dead as can be. That had never happened before and never happened after. No problems at all with the battery in the 2011 Escape after towing a total of 2500 miles.

So, what happened? Obviously I can't prove anything but I have a suspicion that it was the BrakeBuddy placed too far forward so that it might have been slightly engaged. We didn't notice any problem with towing, so that is a guess.

Don

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WE have been towing a Ford Escape Hybrid with all wheels down for over a year now and have never had a problem with the transmission. Having said that I'm told that the transmission on the Hybrid is different than on a non-hybrid and that a 4WD non-hybrid should not be towed all wheels down. I had a extra key made for the Hybrid to use when I'm towing. This key doesn't have the chip in it as you don't need it when towing. Anyway the key is to get the transmission in neutral and if someone breaks in, they are not going to get far with this key. Then I turn the key to the last position before "off". That way, the digital display is not on nor am I adding miles on the Odometer.

Another suggestion. We purchased a Blue OX baseplate and hitch (excellent products) for the Escape as well as a brake assist system and a break-away system. After adding everything up, I have just as much invested as I would if I had bought a closed in trailer to house the Escape. With the Escape towing inside the trailer, I would have extra storage and I wouldn't have to wash the car after every trip. I've seen some people using the dollies and they can be a mess to unhitch especially in the winter or after traveling in the rain.

Hope these comments help.

Paul

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We have a 2008 Mercury Sable, same as a Taurus or Five Hundred, and have towed it 4 on the ground for about 9,000 miles. It does not accumulate mileage on the odometer. It is a very good tow vehicle behind a 36' class A Damon Intruder. Start it 5 minutes before towing, put in neutral and turn off the ignition to unlock the steering and you are ready to go. NO modifications whatsoever. Great Dinghy!!

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While were on the Ford Towing, we had bought a 2008 Ford Edge and are flat towing with no additional mileage being added, but our problem is battery being dead after towing any suggestions?

this could happen (Battery Dead) after a couple of hours towing, battery checks out okay something is dragging it down

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I have 2011 Ford Edge and have learned that if you have a Ford that is pretty well loaded, like mine, no key just a button and a lot of, the onboard computers, it will draw 3 amps while in the sleep mode, while being towed and the battery will go dead. I had 2 different Ford engineers work on my Edge and it can not be fixed. You can't disconnect the battery. Ford says that it is running as designed and it is, but they don't tell you the battery will go dead in the owners manual. As on 6-1-2011 they have made a change to the owners manual for the Edge and at least the Explore that you have to stop every 6 hours and run the motor for 5 minutes. If I had known this I would have not bought the Ford Edge. I AM GOING TO SUE FORD, and then buy another Jeep.

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Jim

We own a 2011 Ford Explorer and we have flat towed once and did not rack up any miles. It is as easy as the last vehicle -only issue is top speed is 60 or 65 and last vehicle was 70.

ed gillest @ egillest@msn.com or 720-891 2824

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I have been towing a Ford Escape Hybrid for 22,000 + miles with no problems and no additional miles added to the odometer. The hybrid model Escape has a different transmission which is great for towing with no modifications. Just put it in neutral and turn the key off and you are ready to roll.

Bill

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I have 2011 Ford Edge and have learned that if you have a Ford that is pretty well loaded, like mine, no key just a button and a lot of, the onboard computers, it will draw 3 amps while in the sleep mode, while being towed and the battery will go dead. I had 2 different Ford engineers work on my Edge and it can not be fixed. You can't disconnect the battery. Ford says that it is running as designed and it is, but they don't tell you the battery will go dead in the owners manual. As on 6-1-2011 they have made a change to the owners manual for the Edge and at least the Explore that you have to stop every 6 hours and run the motor for 5 minutes. If I had known this I would have not bought the Ford Edge. I AM GOING TO SUE FORD, and then buy another Jeep.

Why not do as I do (and a lot of others). Just run a wire w/a relay/circuit breaker from the coach batt, to the Edge batt. I just ran mine into the 7 pin coiled connector. No problems in 3 coaches, and two toads. Robbie

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I bought a new '11 Ford Explorer Limited so I could tow it flat. It is loaded with everything but a moon roof and back seat DVD player. I have always used Blue Ox and was happy when I found that Blue Ox had tow bar brackets for this new vehicle. I have adaptive cruise and Blue Ox has a DIFFERENT bracket set than for the 'regular' non-adaptive cruise '11 Explorers. Ordered the correct tow bar brackets and had it installed. I then tested out the vehicle with installed brackets by hooking up behind my motorhome and towing it for about 20 miles. It worked flawlessly. This unit does NOT have a key but instead is a 'push button'. There is a procedure to put the 'button' into 'accessory' which I did, then per the manual I put the tranny in Neutral. Off we went and it worked well. I had the proportional Brake Buddy in the vehicle while I did my 'testing' AND had my wife ride in the passenger seat to see how everything looked and sounded as we towed. Worked great.

HOWEVER, later when I unhooked and drove the Explorer I started to throw 'error codes' on the adaptive cruise which effectively meant I no longer could use either normal OR adaptive cruise. I went to Ford to have them 'clear' the error. They could not do such and said the problem was caused by the 'after market' install of the Blue Ox. They said I'd have to take the tow bar brackets off before they could calibrate and adjust the adaptive cruise control radar unit. I went back to the installers and they couldn't find anything wrong with the install but took off the stuff they had installed. I then went back to Ford and they worked a few hours, got the error cleared, and charged me $250. I called Blue Ox, have talked with Ford, and have talked with my installers. Everyone kind of pointed to everyone else, BUT each of the three entities IS willing to work with me to find a 'cure'. At this point I'm going to drive the Explorer for a couple of weeks to be sure no error code is thrown with the brackets off--if it does then I think we have a Ford Problem. Then after a couple weeks I'll have the installer put the tow bar brackets back on and see if we still have a problem. If not, then I'll caulk it up to a quirk--if still have problems then I will deal with the installer and Blue Ox to take back the tow bar and reimburse me and will see what Roadmaster has.

Since the Ford Explorer '11 is a new frame, new engine, new tranny I'm hoping Blue Ox sells a few more and we can see if we have a systematic problem or a quirk. Also, if you are considering buying a '11 Explorer to tow be aware that the 4 wheel drive vs the 2 wheel drive have different 'abilities'. I went with 4 wheel as it can be towed flat, but NOT on a tow dolly. The two wheel drive uses a tow dolly but can NOT be towed flat. Both of course can be towed via a trailer.

All in all I really like the '11 Explorer Limited and want it to work with Blue Ox plates for towing. I went with this over several other brand vehicles as the Ford is the simplest and easiest to tow--no fuses to pull and the only restrictions are 65 mph limit, and run engine and go through a gear shift routine (from neutral to drive, to reverse, and back to neutral) every 6 hours or the beginning of each day. The the Limited is loaded with neat electronics BUT that comes with its own set of problems.

If any of you with the 2011 Explorer AND YOU HAVE ADAPTIVE cruise, AND have installed either the Blue Ox or Roadmaster I'd be interested in hearing from you at hsteinle@hbsteinle.com or harlansteinle@garmin.com

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I have 2011 Ford Edge and have learned that if you have a Ford that is pretty well loaded, like mine, no key just a button and a lot of, the onboard computers, it will draw 3 amps while in the sleep mode, while being towed and the battery will go dead. I had 2 different Ford engineers work on my Edge and it can not be fixed. You can't disconnect the battery. Ford says that it is running as designed and it is, but they don't tell you the battery will go dead in the owners manual. As on 6-1-2011 they have made a change to the owners manual for the Edge and at least the Explore that you have to stop every 6 hours and run the motor for 5 minutes. If I had known this I would have not bought the Ford Edge. I AM GOING TO SUE FORD, and then buy another Jeep.

I have 2008 Ford Edge and have the "dummy key" so I don't have a live key in while towing. I have found that if you turn the key all the way past acc. position until it stops it completely cuts off all battery power to the car electronics. I have towed like this for over 10,000 miles and never had a battery go dead while towing.

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