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Towing 2011 Ford Explorer

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We purchased a 2010 Escape and have benn towing this vehicle since. Prior to doing the first tow I took the vehicle to a Ford Dealer in FL and had them get the Escape tow ready. Here is the process the mechanic told me he went thru.

1, Had to get the Transmission temperature up to 185-190 degrees - then drain the transmission fluid to the designated level set by Ford.

2. After draining to set level he did a road drive getting the transmission fluid back up to the designated temperature and did a double check to make sure that the fluid level was set properly.

Since that time, we have managed to tow the Escape over 15,000. Out total mileage is 32,000 and the tow miles are NOT ADDED. Just make sure that when you do get ready to tow, you follow the instructions as set in the Owners Manual prior to tow.

Hope this helps.

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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 a new, new 11 explorer. Roadmaster says you can not have adaptive cruise control and so I got the only one in the NW without adaptive cruise control. I haven't flat towed it yet but am concerned with the battery going dead. Since we will tow for 4 hrs, camp for a day and then tow again without unhooking the explorer, am I going to have a problem with the battery going dead?? If so, how do I "fix" it?/

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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

It sounds like you got the same Explorer as I did EXCEPT I found one WITHOUT adaptive cruise control so I don't think I will have the tow problem.

Have you had any "dead" battery problems with your Explorer? If not, why not- what are you doing different then all the other 2011 Explorer people.

The dead battery problem bothers me. Will I have to run the engine every 6 hrs or not? What about if I tow for 4 hrs, camp and then start towing again the next day WITHOUT starting the engine? Will I have problems??

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Pete, I think the running vehicle every 6 hours AND doing the 'neutral to drive, then reverse, then back to neutral' routine has to do with lubrication of the tranny--than with charging the battery. I can't answer the dead battery issue because due to the 'adaptive cruise' problem I haven't been able to tow. When I get the adaptive cruise problem solved if I DO have battery problems then I will wire in an after-market wiring system that will allow the tow vehicle (Explorer) battery to take advantage of the 7 pin setup up FROM the motorhome and keep it charged. These after-market wiring harness are made by several entities and are in heavy use by new Jeep owners. My opinion is that there will not be enough draw from simply having the accessory on to drain the battery in a normal day--but time will tell. The guy who said he is going to sue Ford and get a Jeep better check out the new Jeeps as they no longer have the 'worry free' towing ability that the earlier (like my 2001 Wrangler) jeeps had. A few years ago Jeep did away with the stop between Off and Accessory that allowed the wheel to turn without ANY power on. AND Jeep now tells you to 'pull' fuse(s)before towing.

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Pete, I think the running vehicle every 6 hours AND doing the 'neutral to drive, then reverse, then back to neutral' routine has to do with lubrication of the tranny--than with charging the battery. I can't answer the dead battery issue because due to the 'adaptive cruise' problem I haven't been able to tow. When I get the adaptive cruise problem solved if I DO have battery problems then I will wire in an after-market wiring system that will allow the tow vehicle (Explorer) battery to take advantage of the 7 pin setup up FROM the motorhome and keep it charged. These after-market wiring harness are made by several entities and are in heavy use by new Jeep owners. My opinion is that there will not be enough draw from simply having the accessory on to drain the battery in a normal day--but time will tell. The guy who said he is going to sue Ford and get a Jeep better check out the new Jeeps as they no longer have the 'worry free' towing ability that the earlier (like my 2001 Wrangler) jeeps had. A few years ago Jeep did away with the stop between Off and Accessory that allowed the wheel to turn without ANY power on. AND Jeep now tells you to 'pull' fuse(s)before towing.

Thanks for the info. Please keep me advised on the possible "battery" problem and I will keep you in the loop also.

Pete

pcharberlights@hotmail.com

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Thanks to all of you for the very helpful information. We have decided to wait until next year to purchase a new vehicle. We are continuing researching the best toad and love this forum. It is great to get so much information.

Thanks again.

Jim

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I don't know about the Explorer, but the 3rd transmission is being put in our Ford Escape! According to us, Ford has not corrected the 2010

Ford Escape problem!

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Jim,

I can't speak to the 2011 Explorer but I have towed Explorers in the past and currently tow a Ford Edge and none of my vehicles have accumulate mileage while being towed. Suggest you verify with another Ford representative.

Ray

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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.

Please keep me advised on Ford's answer since I have the same vehicle and don't want this type of problem.

Thanks Pete

pcharberlights@hotmail.com

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I also have a 2011 Ford Edge Limited with push button start and all of the computer items.

What you need to buy and install is a TOAD CHARGE and your problem is over. Check out http://www.bestconverter.com/ for the information, there price was the cheapest. If you have any additional question please e-mail.

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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.

Mike-

We are very interested in whatever you find. I have the 2009 Sport Trac 4x4 with Neutral Tow Kit. Blue Ox Setup with Roadmaster 9001 Air Brake using DP's Air Supply. Absolutely love the Tow and performance of this little gutsy truck. My installer opted for a bulb and wire instead of the diodes to power lights. Mine is wired into a link to the DP. BUT - Here is the rub.... The battery used to last all day, but after last winter towing in brutal weather the battery went bad. I am also lucky to get 5 hours of towing, so I think the issue in my case is that I need to fit the diodes that I hope will prevent the brake light from coming on. I am curious what else is drawing power. The Electronic Transmission may need to remain energized??? I also met a Fusion owner with a similar problem. It turns out he had the key in the wrong position with the dash lit up like a xmas tree. There is WAY TOO MUCH confusion at the Dealer level.

Ford should put out a bulletin to the Dealers and RV Dealers as well as this Forum. A footnote to the battery change underscores the level of tech knowledge/expertise... When the dealer swapped out the battery, they managed to FRY the "SmartBox" Computer that powers ALL sensors. I suspect they reversed polarity. When I got in the truck I noticed the clock, radio and all was blank, telling me that in the very least they failed to use a continuous power supply while making the change. Without those sensors, the tow system can not activate. Still waiting for the part. The only one I found that properly diagnosed the problem was the Mike Davidson Ford in Jacksonville near **** Gores RV. "A.F." is the service supervisor. Keep us in on the loop and I'll do the same.

Best Regards/Peter

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If you are having a problem with a drain on your car battery I would suggest you consider installing a TOAD-CHARGE made by LSL PRODUCTS. See there website at: http://www.lslproducts.com/ToadChargePage.html

This unit will charge your car battery from your house or chassis batteries but isolate your car battery from any backfeed or alternator problems.

I hope this helps.

Dennis

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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.

Amen about the jeep. I've been towing a 04 Jeep Unlimited for about 25K miles, NO acc mileage, battery ran down only one time(co-pilot turned key ONE notch too far). We use a Blue Ox tow bar & base plates. We have driven the Jeep 30K miles as well as towing. We have yet to have any problem towing

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I JUST POSTED MY 2011 FORD EDGE TOWING INFO. YOUR CAR IS A LOT LIKE MY MY EDGE IF IT IS 2WHEEL DR AND THE SMALLER 6 ENGINE AND MOST LIKELY THE SAME 6 SPEED TRANSMISSION. READ MY POST AS MY EDGE DOES NOT ADD MILES WHILE TOWED. GOOD LUCK WITH YOUR EXPLORER , I WANTED ONE AND COULD NOT WAIT FOR THE START UP PRODUCTION TIME LATS FALL

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I PARKED MY EDGE IN MY GARAGE FOR 31/2 DAYS IN TOW MODE AND BATTERY STARTED ENGINE LIKE IT WAS FULL CHARGE. ( I WAS JUST CHECKING IT).

READ MY POST ON HOW MY EDGE IS SET UP. WITH THE FOUR WIRE LIGHT HOOK UP FROM PLUG MOTOR HOME --TO TOAD ( Edge tail lamps). I JUST RAN A CHARGE WIRE FROM MY EDGE BATTERY / WITH FUSE TO 12V MOTOR HOME / WITH FUSE IT IS SIMPLE AND

EASY. I HAVE NOT YET USED IT BECAUSE EDGE BATTERY SEEMS TO STAY FULL OR AT LEAST ALMOST FULL CHARGE. (I DID NOT USE VOLT METER) TO CHECK.

MY FORD DEALER SET MY EDGE UP FOR TOWING. SURE HOPE I DON'T ENCOUNTER THE PROBLEMS THAT I READ ABOUT !!! seems that my friends have problems with all American vehicle set up for towing . One had a big bill for sticking a paper clip to far into some kind of factory switch on dash of Dakota 4/4 to tow. WOW go figure.

I tow 2011 Edge with adaptive cruise control and Blue Ox base plate Blue Ox just redid base plate to tow my Edge because of the adaptive cruise. Seems that most tow bars have adapters for different styles of base plates. Read my post on my Edge and its tow hook up.

I cannot understand what is the problem with auto manufacturers and their treatment with RV towing. I must say SO FAR FORD has helped me!! But I have crossed fingers.

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Regarding towing the Ford Explorer, we have a 2011 Ford Explorer Limited, 4 wheel drive, with push button start. We haven't had any trouble towing it yet, less than 1000 miles.

In regards to the battery going dead, I believe I have solved that problem by installing the Road Master Invisibrake. It has a 3 amp line that charges the battery as you tow the vehicle. I believe you can also solve the problem by installing a charge line from vehicle to RV. Followed instructions in owners manual - put car in accessory mode, turn off the two things that can be turned off (climate and radio).

We have towed the car with remote key in the car and not in the car and have had no problems either way.

The vehicle tows well behind our RV. :)

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I have 2011 Ford Edge 2 wheel drive with Remco base plate and adaptive cruise control in grill.

Also push button start (dealer installed momentary switch) so I can put transmission in neutral and tow 4down . Mileage will not show.

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OK guys, I am now confused on flat towing a 2011 Explorer and not accumulating mileage. I have a 2011 Explorer since June 2011 and have towed it over 4,000 miles PER THE MANUAL and have now added an additional 4,000 miles on the odometer (have over 8500 miles on the odometer now).

I talked to Ford customer service this week and was told that YES, while you are towing it all wheels down, you will accumulate miles. Who did others talk to at Ford that says you will NOT accumulate miles and if you don't how are you setting up the car?? I need to get this issue resolved ASAP.

Help

Thanks

Pete

I can be reached @ 360 299 2328 at any time if you would prefer to talk by phone.

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Jim, did you ever get a clear answer on accumulating mileage on a 2011 Explorer while towing it?

I have one and I accumulate towing mileage and want to make a change so I don't accumulate the miles.

Any suggestions?

PeteH

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Gentlemen, On all vehicles with a steering wheel lock, they must have the key turned to the Accessory position. this gives power to the odomenter which will then rack up miles. On the later models of GM units there isn't a steering wheel lock.

You can take your toad to a mechanic and have them remove the locking pin in the steering column. Then you will not have to turn on your key thus eliminating racking up mileage.

Just a thought.

And by the way PeteH, posting at 1:15 AM is way too early or late to be on the computer. Welcome to the Forum. :lol:

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Thanks for the idea/info.

If I pull the steering wheel lock, I assume nothing "bad" will happen on my 2011 Explorer? Is it hard to pull?

AS far as the time is concerned, it was only 11 PM on the west coast where I am (playing in the rain- 2" and winds over 60 mph yesterday).

Do you have any "feeling" (good or bad) on pulling the steering wheel lock??

Any other ideas or suggestions on how to "kill" the mileage accumulation on the 2011 Explorer.

I guess I don't understand why some 2011 Explorer owners don't accumulate mileage and other like myself do.

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Your Explorer being a 2011 it could effect the warranty. That I just don't know. But as to doing any harm or damage by pulling the locking pin, it will not harm your vehicle but it might make it easier for the repo man. :lol:

I have a thought, since your Explorer is a 2011, jack the front end so both front tires are off the ground. Then with the key off and out, try to turn the steering wheel. If it turns and locks you do have a locking pin. However if the wheel will turn stop to stop, you don't have a locking pin and can tow without the key being on and will not rack up mileage.

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Let me caution that with a brand new vehicle, your first stop and ultimate authority would be your local Ford dealer.

While we can offer seat of the pants advice that may indeed work out, your local dealer is a better resource.

Either from their knowledge or from their contact with a technical rep at Ford (who you as a customer can not access) they are ultimately the ones who have to stand behind your new vehicle (or tell you that the modification you made destroyed XXX and it will cost $$$$$ to fit-- NOT covered by warranty).

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