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BANDERSON

Tow A Ford Fusion Hybrid?

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For the last 20 pages of forum I have searched for info on Ford Fusion Hybrid as a toad. It is approved in Motorhome Dingy Guide for all Hybrid years except 2016 (which has not been published yet).

Does anyone out there have experience with this car as a tow?

Thanks, Ben

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Welcome to the forum. What year are you looking at to tow? What does the Owners Manual say under towing?

If it is a 2016 I would double check as some cars change from towable to not.

Bill

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BANDERSON.

Ford says yes, up to 2010. Then in 2012 Ford said that only the model with a electronic automatic transmission

(eVAT) can be towed 4 wheels down! That was posted in this section by FMCA.

If the 2012 bulletin has been revised by Ford, it has not been posted on this Forum! I recommend you contact Ford, not a dealer!

Carl

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I am currently towing a 2013 Ford Fusion Hybrid. I think all the current generation Fusion Hybrids (including the C-Max) are towable. The Fusion Hybrid seems to be a great car (I purchased this one as a used car last summer and have been favourably impressed). We have just taken delivery of an LTV Unity (based on a Sprinter Chassis), and have set up the Ford to be towd last weekend. We have just finished towing from Portland to La Quinta Ca with no issues (about 1,000 miles over three days)

The one thing to be aware of is that the Fusion has "active" brakes. (This means that the brake power boost is always on, even when the car is turned off). The implication is that the portable units, such as the Brake Buddy and Roadmaster's Even Brake will not work as they will "over brake" the car. These units were designed to work with cars that don't have power brakes when in tow mode.

I have just installed Roadmaster's Invisibrake, which seems to work well. One nice feature of this system is that there is no set-up when towing. The unit is permanently mounted. All you do is hook up the car, connect the electric cable, and you are ready to go. No lugging the Even Brake out of the coach, working it between the steering wheel and the seat, connecting the power, the monitor and attaching it to the brake peddle.

I found it quite hard to get towing info for the Fusion (and Ford was of no help - and the procedure in the owners manual was very badly written), so I will try and look back in to this thread in a few days if there are further questions.

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Thanks to the three responses on towing a Fusion, especially Habert who has a Fusion Toad. Since I posed the question I had a poor experience with a Fusion and the Dealer/Seller so bought a 2014 CRV. The ride and feel of a Fusion is good, I was a little concerned with what I believe is a lower than normal frontal height and the hookups with a Blue Ox system.

Otherwise I will get used to the truck type feeling of my CRV.

Thanks to all. Ben

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Good luck with the CRV. They are a very good vehicle, and a popular tow vehicle. I likely would have either kept the GMC Terrain or bought a CRV except that my wife hated driving the Terrain. She is quite short and found big blind spots in the Terrain.

One last point on towing the Fusion (also C-Max) hybrid is that you should also install a charge line to the battery. On the Ford Fusion blog, there were a number of reports of the battery being flat after 3 - 4 hrs of towing. No real explanation on the blogs, so I am not sure if it is because of the current draw from sources such as the active brakes, or if people were essentially leaving the keyless ignition in the "on" position when towing, which the owners manual could lead one to do.

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Ben and All,

Ford publishes annual guides, entitled "RV & Trailer Towing Guide" on towing their vehicles as well as using their vehicles to tow. See http://www.fleet.ford.com/towing-guides/ Their Guide for 2016 says the 2016 Fusion can be toad. You should also go to the Ford Internet site and find the "Owner's Manual." Use the index to find the page. They give instructions on how to safely tow a Ford.

I am considering a Ford Edge. The guide says that two of their powertrains for the Edge can be towed, The guide does not mention a third. The Owner's Manual say the third powertrain cannot be towed. The Owner's Manual also states that the negative (black) cable from the battery should be removed for towing. There are additional instructions given on preventing damage to the transmission.

I am new to towing. I am looking for a vehicle to tow. Can anyone tell me how best to power the braking system, including the tail lights, when the negative cable is removed from the battery?

Gerard

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Gerard,

If you plan on using a auxiliary brake that requires power, it would be best to run a charging wire from the coach. However with the proper wiring you don't need power from the tow vehicle for the lights. You can have them wired to operate separately.

And Welcome to Towing. By the way Gerard, are you a member of a Chapter?

Herman

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Gerard,

If you run a wire from coach, install a on/off switch. Turn "on" when towing and coach is on, then off after or if ignition is off on coach. :)

If your a golfer, Google Swinging Golfers, "SWG" and join us! Herman, I can "troll" too! :rolleyes::lol:

Good Luck

Carl

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In my 2014 Ford Edge owner's manual, there isn't any reference to disconnect the battery cable. All it says is put in neutral, tow no faster then 65 mph and start the engine every day or 6 hours.

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This from Ford's online HTML owners manual (different from paper glove box manual) about how to flat tow a 2013 Fusion Hybrid:

Recreational Towing
Note:  Put your climate control system in recirculated air mode to prevent exhaust fumes from entering the vehicle. See  Automatic Climate Control
Follow these guidelines if you have a need for recreational (RV) towing. An example of recreational towing would be towing your vehicle behind a motorhome. We designed these guidelines to prevent damage to your transmission.
You can tow your vehicle with all four wheels on the ground or with the front wheels off the ground by using a tow dolly. If you are using a tow dolly follow the instructions specified by the equipment provider.

If you tow your vehicle with all four wheels on the ground:

  • Tow only in the forward direction.
  • Release the parking brake.
  • Place the transmission in position N.
  • Place the ignition in the off position. See  General Information
  • Do not exceed 70 mph (113 km/h).
  • Place the transmission in position P, start the vehicle and allow it to run for one minute at the beginning of each day (you may need to press the accelerator pedal in order to start the vehicle). After allowing the vehicle to run, place the transmission back into position N and the ignition in the accessory position.

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Probably too late to be of benefit:
The 12VDC battery installed in a Ford C-Max Hybrid is a small battery, it is not used to provide power to start the gasoline engine.  The battery serves two purposes:
1.  Provide battery to power peripheral systems, such as interior lights, radio, various computers, door locks. These are mostly what is called Ignition Off Discharge or IOD functions.
2. Primary and most important, the battery provides the power needed to initialize the High Voltage for running the Electric Motor, Air Conditioning, Power Steering, and the starting system for the gasoline engine.  
When this battery is discharged, nothing works for you cannot unlock the doors, start the electric motor or the gasoline engine (you are dead in your spot).
I have not yet determined if the EPS (electric power steering system) is functional during flat towing.  The ABS (Automatic Braking System) is functional and will prevent a full lockup of the wheels in the event of a panic stop or breakaway situation; therefore, it is important that the battery remain in a charged condition during towing.
I have a SMI Stay In Play braking system installed in my toad (2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid) which also uses battery provided energy to monitor breaking conditions whenever the RVs brakes are applied.  The SMI system has a vacuum pump to provide vacuum for power brakes (not used on the C-Max, I have it plugged to prevent the pump from running during braking) and to supply power to activate the brake pedal.  There is also a G force detector that requires 12 VDC to function and to light LED signal that the Aux. is providing braking to the towed.
I have installed a charge lead from the motorhome to the C-Max controlled by an RVI charge controller mounted on the C-Max.  When stopping over night you should switch off the SMI system to prevent discharging the C-Max battery, also it is a check list item for the start up procedure before leaving the overnight.
I highly recommend that a Tire Pressure Monitoring system be installed that will monitor tire temp and pressure on the Towing and Towed vehicles.


I hope to find answers for the following:
Is the ESP powered up during flat towing?
Does flat towing miles impact the oil change and preventive maintenance schedule of the transmission.
Does flat towing braking adversely effect the wear of brake pads and/or rotors.
Has anyone installed a wireless camera and monitor to provide vision directly behind their towed?


 

 

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1 hour ago, ekmaddox said:




I hope to find answers for the following:
Is the ESP powered up during flat towing?
 

 

I don't know but should be pretty easy to tell. When you are set up to tow try turning the steering wheel. If it turns easy then yes it does.


Does flat towing miles impact the oil change and preventive maintenance schedule of the transmission. I wouldn't worry about it as the miles don't accumulate on the speedometer. But if you want to be supper careful add the towed miles to your base mileage and use that. I don't on my CR-V  

Does flat towing braking adversely effect the wear of brake pads and/or rotors.

I haven't noticed any. Just make sure your emergency brake is off. I was able to stop a guy who was pulling out of his campsite with the rear tires sliding. 

Bill

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E R NEWB

I HAVE A 2014 FORD  FUSION  HYBRID  JUST STARTED TOWING IT  4 DOWN.  I HAVE A BRAKE BUDDY AND LEARNED PRETTY  QUICK  THE  BRAKES  WERE NOT RIGHT.

LOOKING FOR THE RIGHT SYSTEM AND FOR BAT CHARGING.  I APPRECIATE  ALL THE GOOD COMMENTS AND SUGGESTIONS .

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I haven't been back to this site for a couple of years, so here is my experience with towing the Ford Fusion Hybrid, using the Roadmaster Invisibrake. The result is that it usually works, but I experience a serious glitch from time to time. What happens is that periodically, the Fusion will "over brake". It puts on the brakes much harder than the RV brakes are on, and it takes about 5 seconds for them to release. This means that the Fusion is braking the RV, with the consequence of very hot brakes.

I have spent a lot of time with both Ford and Roadmaster to try to fix the problem. During the Chandler FMCA Rally, Roadmaster largely rebuilt the system, and reduced the braking force on the Invisibrake. However the problem will still occur, and is "strange" in that I can tow for weeks at a time with no problem, and then suddenly it will occur for 2 - 3 days at a time, then go away again.

One of my "hypothesis" is that the electric vacuum brake booster will come on even when the Fusion is turned off (too many computers). Talking with Roadmaster a few days ago, they seem to have come to the same conclusion, and have offered to install a "tow" button which will turn off the vacuum brake boost when towing. Unfortunately I won't be able to get this installed until next April, and it may be more months before I tow any distance, but I will report my findings when it happens.

BTW, Ford was of no help when trying to determine what was going on. I have a good service manager, but the dealerships don't seem to have any access into the Ford design process to see how these systems really work. Roadmaster has been very good, and have spend a lot of hours on the problem, with no charge to me. 

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