I'm considering purchasing either the 2WD or 4WD FEH prior to a cross-country move (NY - CA) and to pull an additional cargo trailer. Additionally, I'm thinking I may purchase the cargo trailer for part-time work purposes. I'm guesstimating that I'd like to purchase a used, V-shaped, 5' x 8' trailer that would be able to accommodate the maximum 3,500 lb. towing capacity.
Is there a significant benefit to purchasing the 4WD to pull an additional cargo trailer of this size, assuming that I'll be using it for work (primarily in an urban or suburban setting) on a fairly regular basis?
The 1000 pound towing estimate is severely under-rated.
2000 pounds when towing behind mine is comfortable.
3000 pounds is possible, but your max speed will be about 60 mph on the level. Forget it on Mountains!
3500 pounds is too much. But, just as important is frontal cross area for wind resistance.
Will you be dragging a parachute or a tear-drop? 5 feet tall, or 9 feet tall?
I tried towing 3200 pounds, with a 7 wide by 9 foot tall frontal trailer, and MPG was teens and I could not go faster than 60 MPH.
Then I bought a 6.6L V8 Duramax Diesel. Gets the same MPG towing as the FEH towing!
I don't know that I need to tow a great volume (read: anywhere near 3,500 lbs. worth) with this vehicle, but just wanting to get a sense of the true capacity, since I'm planning a move, and might also use the vehicle for work later on.
I often prefer to err on the side of caution, particularly when it comes to technical matters I'm not familiar with, or would void a warranty, but I do like to know that there's leeway for "just in case" scenarios.
As for what type of cargo trailer I intend to rent / buy, I haven't looked that deep into it yet; was just spit-balling a little bit to get general information.
Thanks again for the insights, and I'll revisit this thread if I have something more specific to ask...
Keep in mind the dynamics of towing. When you brake the "tow" weight & forward inertia put an inordinate load on the rear of the towing vehicle......
Effectively lifting the front of the vehicle, lowering the front tire roadbed friction coefficient at the worse possible time, the harder you brake the lower the primary, front, braking resource becomes.
For myself, I would NEVER tow with a FWD or even a F/awd vehicle, but if you must then be sure to have a good set of automatically acting brakes on the TOAD. Additionally I would think it extremely unwise to put a completely NEW, unbroken-in, vehicle under the sort of stress you suggest.
Since the FEH will NEVER be in 4WD mode except for/during low speed acceleration or slow, tight, turns I don't think that issue comes into play.
For what it's worth, I towed a U-Haul 5 x 10 trailer (dual axle) from California to Ontario no problems.
I reserved the smallest Uhaul (4x8?) but when I showed up they had the 5 x 10. The trailer is 1200 lbs, and I had about 600 pounds of stuff in the back.
It was slow going up over Donner Pass, and again in the Rockies, but everything was fine. Interstate the whole way, and drove about 65mph on the flats no problem. My mileage went down but was not terrible. Still better than driving a full size pickup truck around town.
EDIT: Here is the rig.
2008 Ford Escape Hybrid, 68k km
Last edited by buzz lightyear; 09-08-2011 at 06:28 PM.
I just completed a trip from Chicago, Il to Southern California pulling a 5x8 uhaul cargo trailer with a 4 cyl FEH FWD and had no problems. I used a scanguage to monitor some temps. I tried going 60 for a bit but noticed that the transmission and water temps started to climb so I backed off to 55. The transmission temp got to just over 200 and the water temp got to about 220. After backing off they came back to a more normal temp. Since I didn't know how high I could get these temps I thought it better to play it safe. I took the southern route so I didn't have to go over the Rockies but had a few good climbs to make. I just stayed in the truck lanes and took it slow and easy. Average gas mileage was probaby around 24.
Frontal area ( height x width ) is very significant.
This is 7 wide x9 feet tall, and 3200 pounds loaded.
About 20 MPG at 60 mph max.
But it does it just fine.
Plenty of power to shove it up a steep slope driveway in reverse.