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Guest Message by DevFuse

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Recreational Towing (behind a motor home)


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206 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   jmckinley

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 10:45 AM

I just ordered a C Max for everyday use and to tow behind my motor home. Ford has apparently approved towing it four wheels down, just like they did for the Escape Hybrid and for the Fusion Hybrid. Both Blue Ox and Roadmaster have tow brackets in process but are not selling them yet.

Is anyone else planning to tow a C Max and if so what are your concerns?







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#2 OFFLINE   air463

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 05:46 PM

I just ordered a C Max for everyday use and to tow behind my motor home. Ford has apparently approved towing it four wheels down, just like they did for the Escape Hybrid and for the Fusion Hybrid. Both Blue Ox and Roadmaster have tow brackets in process but are not selling them yet.

Is anyone else planning to tow a C Max and if so what are your concerns?

I'm having blue ox base plates installed on my cmax next week.  Texas RV Supply had no problem getting base plates and wiring kit for the car.  My problem was getting an answer from Ford as to how the car is setup for towing if you have the push to start button.  The owners manual only gives procedures for a car with a keyed ignition.



#3 OFFLINE   jmckinley

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 09:04 AM

I think all you have to do is put it in neutral, then push the button.  It goes into a sort of "Accessory" state where the engine and most stuff is off.  I think after a few minutes, everything shuts off and you're good to go.  

 

Just got mine last night so haven't fully checked it out.  Let me know what you find out from Ford.



#4 OFFLINE   air463

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 07:15 PM

I just ordered a C Max for everyday use and to tow behind my motor home. Ford has apparently approved towing it four wheels down, just like they did for the Escape Hybrid and for the Fusion Hybrid. Both Blue Ox and Roadmaster have tow brackets in process but are not selling them yet.

Is anyone else planning to tow a C Max and if so what are your concerns?

Just got my cmax setup to tow behind the motorhome. Had Blue OX base plates installed.  Towed it home with no problems.  Took two weeks to get a firm answer from Ford on proper procedures to setup the car for towing I.E. placing the ignition in accessory mode.  Owners manual only explained a keyed ignition, I have the keyless push button.  Was told they should be adding those procedures in the owners manual in the future.   For those who want to know the procedure, I was told is to start the engine and run it for five minutes then shift into reverse and then into drive, then into neutral.  Leaving it in reverse and drive for several seconds.  Once you are in neutral take your foot off the brake and then push the start button to shut the car down.  You should run the car for five minutes about every 5 to 6 hours if continuing to tow the car.  Hope this helps and if anyone was told a different procedure chime in here and let us know.



#5 OFFLINE   jmckinley

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 12:58 PM

I have a couple of questions.

 

1) Did mileage accumulate on your odometer while towing?  I'm pretty sure it won't, as that was the case on the Escape Hybrid and the earlier Fusion Hybrid, but I'm curious to know if it works that way on the C Max.

 

2) If you don't mind telling me, what did they charge for the base plate installation?  I'm considering doing it myself (it's winter, so what else do I have to do) but might consider letting a Blue Ox or Roadmaster dealer do it.  Installation instructions are available online and it doesn't look too bad, just a lot of fiddly work with all those plastic fasteners holding the body parts on.



#6 OFFLINE   jmckinley

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Posted 17 December 2012 - 08:14 AM

Another thought on Ford's response.  This is basically the same verbiage from the Focus Owner's Manual.  While it sounds good, there is a problem.  I don't know how we can get the C-Max to idle for 5 minutes.  It just won't do that, as far as I can tell.  

 

The fact that someone at Ford told you to do this makes me guess that they were not familiar with the hybrid system and were just parroting something they read in the Focus manual. This "idle for 5 minutes" is pretty common among the limited number of manufacturers who allow flat towing.  Even my 1993 Geo Tracker's manual says the same thing.  The idea is to get fluid circulated around prior to towing.  Clearly a good idea, but will be hard to implement on our new C-Max's.



#7 OFFLINE   air463

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 12:49 AM

I have a couple of questions.

 

1) Did mileage accumulate on your odometer while towing?  I'm pretty sure it won't, as that was the case on the Escape Hybrid and the earlier Fusion Hybrid, but I'm curious to know if it works that way on the C Max.

 

2) If you don't mind telling me, what did they charge for the base plate installation?  I'm considering doing it myself (it's winter, so what else do I have to do) but might consider letting a Blue Ox or Roadmaster dealer do it.  Installation instructions are available online and it doesn't look too bad, just a lot of fiddly work with all those plastic fasteners holding the body parts on.

1. I forgot to check that so I won't know until the next time I tow it around mid January.  2. they installed the base plates and wired the lights for me. Parts, labor, and tax was $1144.00. I;m 1600 miles from home and no place to work on it.  Never change out your toad while you are on the road.



#8 OFFLINE   jmckinley

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 01:23 AM

"Never change out your toad while you are on the road" is no doubt good advice.  Base plate installation and wiring is a big job and you need plenty of room and time if you plan to do it yourself.  Definitely not the kind of thing you'd want to do lying in the grass/gravel at the campground.  Not to mention all the spectators/experts that would gather round to "help" you. You made the right decision to have it done.

 

Regarding mileage accumulation - checked that today on a long hill by kicking it into neutral and shutting down.  Result - no miles accumulated. Handled pretty well too, steering not oppressively heavy.



#9 OFFLINE   air463

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Posted 22 December 2012 - 06:39 PM

Got the blue ox tow bracket installed and wired for towing behind the motorhome. Thought I would show some photos of the final install.

Attached Files



#10 OFFLINE   ScooterS

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 08:11 AM

Howz the Towing Behind a Motor Home stuff workin' out for you guys??

#11 OFFLINE   air463

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 06:41 PM

Howz the Towing Behind a Motor Home stuff workin' out for you guys??

I've only towed the Cmax once after the brackets were installed.  Going through San Antonio traffic I did not even feel it back there. I see your in Austin, we plan on wintering in Georgetown next year.  We used a tow dolly for a couple of years and found that flat towing for us is easier and more simple.



#12 OFFLINE   ScooterS

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Posted 05 February 2013 - 03:39 AM

Sounds good! Please keep the Board updated. Sometimes manufacturers don't get it quite right and you end up with vehicle problems. Hopefully not.

We'll be looking for a motor home in the next 2-5 years. Just trying to gather information. Thanks!

#13 OFFLINE   jmckinley

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 09:30 AM

I've towed mine about 750 miles this week.  Tows fine, nothing burned up so far.  Mine is an SEL, so I just put it in neutral and push the button to shut it off.

 

But - here's the rest of the story:

*Towed 160 miles, unhooked it, it started fine.

*Next day, towed another 160 miles, unhooked, started fine the next morning.

*Next day, towed 180 miles, stopped for lunch, started it up to circulate fluids, no problem.

*Same day, after 160 more miles, unhooked, no start, battery apparently dead.  Hooked up Stanley Simple Start and after about 1 minute, it started fine.

 

And, here's a caution note.  Battery dead, doors wouldn't open of course, so I pried out the metal key to manually unlock the doors. Problem is, the emergency key doesn't really have a head on it and was impossible for me to turn with my bare hands.  Luckily, lots of tools in the motor home so pliers did the trick.

 

By the way, Simple Start was on sale at Menard's for $19.00.  Regular $40.  Glad I picked one up.  Don't leave home without some sort of emergency start gizmo if you drive a C-Max.



#14 OFFLINE   C-MaxJaxon

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 10:40 AM

And, here's a caution note.  Battery dead, doors wouldn't open of course, so I pried out the metal key to manually unlock the doors. Problem is, the emergency key doesn't really have a head on it and was impossible for me to turn with my bare hands.  Luckily, lots of tools in the motor home so pliers did the trick.

 

I thought you were supposed to re-insert the key into the slot perpendicular to the remote and use the remote as a lever.


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#15 OFFLINE   jmckinley

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 04:34 PM

Son of a gun!  Now you tell me.  I just tried that and it works like a charm. Thanks for the tip.

 

Towed again today, no problems when I started it at the end of the drive.  Maybe I just left something on the other time.  



#16 OFFLINE   jmckinley

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 11:57 PM

Towing update - After being on the road a week, it appears that towing more than 3 hours kills the battery and it won't start.  Don't really know what to do right now, but I will probably add a simple battery shutoff when I get home in a few weeks. For now, the Stanley Simple Start is worth its weight in gold.

 

Haven't checked the voltage yet, but it appears that the battery isn't all that low.  Just a few minutes on the Stanley and all is well so I doubt that the battery is completely drained.  Just guessing right now.

 

I'm reluctant to add a charge line from the coach for fear of some kind of weird interaction between the car system and the motor home system.  That fear is what led me to install separate bulbs in the tail lights, wired direct to the motorhome instead of the usual diode system.  No connection to the coach at all.



#17 OFFLINE   wab

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 12:49 AM

I'm just starting the information gathering process.

I try to do all modifications myself, worked fine for our F250/5th wheel.

 

 

A couple of questions, more in the next few months I'm sure.

 

1. Any word from Ford (or anyone) about which fuse or fuses to pull?

 

2. What did you do about brakes?

 

 

Thanks and any other info will be greatly appreciated.

wab

 



#18 OFFLINE   Laurel

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 01:03 PM

I thought you were supposed to re-insert the key into the slot perpendicular to the remote and use the remote as a lever.

Is there anything in the owner's manual saying this, or with a picture?  I can't find it and would like to visualize how to do it just in case.



#19 OFFLINE   C-MaxJaxon

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 01:37 PM

Couldn't find anything in the manual on how to use the blade. I don't remember if someone at the dealer showed me that or if I just figured it out.



#20 OFFLINE   Laurel

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 02:15 PM

I just found something on page 57, but when I open our fob (type 1) there is no key blade in there!  Checked both fobs and no key blades. 


Edited by Laurel, 13 February 2013 - 02:22 PM.







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