Which Ford vehicles can be flat towed?
Motorhomes are great for long trips across the country. With all the creature comforts, they’re excellent for the entire family. But, if you have any experience with them, you know navigating them in parking lots and narrower roads can be a hassle. So, many people choose to flat-tow a smaller vehicle, just in case. In this article, we’ll tell you which Ford vehicles you can tow.
Which Ford vehicles can be flat towed?
The current Ford vehicles you can flat tow are the Edge ST, the Escape Hybrid, F-150, the Expedition 4WD, the Raptor, the Super Duty 4WD, and the Fusion hybrid. These vehicles can shift the transmission into neutral, therefore making them safe for flat towing. It’s worth pointing out that both the F-150 and the Expedition need to be 4WD so that they come with a transfer case that you can shift into neutral.
There also some older models that you can flat tow, especially those with a manual transmission. But, it’s always important to check the owner’s manual to see if you can flat tow your vehicle.
You can damage the transmission and other components. But, you might also void the warranty if you flat tow a vehicle.
When you flat tow a vehicle, you’re pulling it behind a motorhome, with all four wheels on the ground. It uses supplemental brakes through an electrical connection. In the past, there were plenty of more vehicles capable of going through this.
Manufacturers shift to continuously variable transmissions (CVT) and front-wheel drive. The list is smaller nowadays.
Also, some vehicles might be capable of being flat towed, but you need to turn on the engine to lubricate components periodically. In others, you might have to remove specific fuses or leave the ignition remains in the accessory position for unlocked steering.
So, before we get into which Ford vehicles you can flat tow, let’s talk about flat towing.
What is flat towing?
An RV is excellent for the long and winding road, but it’s a nightmare to move about in restricted spaces. A smaller vehicle is ideal for this.
But, driving two cars can be uncomfortable. Many choose to tow the smaller vehicle with the RV, with all four wheels on the ground. Hence the name flat towing.
There are plenty of other terms. Dinghy-towing is because the vehicle resembles a dinghy, and all-four towing because all four wheels touch the ground.
But, you cannot just tie any vehicle to the back of your RV and drive off. There are many reasons why you should plan this carefully.
The most important precaution to take is with your vehicle’s transmission. When you’re flat towing a car, its wheels are moving, but the engine isn’t. So, you have to find a way to disconnect the motor from the wheels through the transmission.
That’s where shifting into neutral comes into play. When you put a car in neutral, you disconnect the engine from the wheels. Years ago, many cars came with manual transmissions that shifted quickly into neutral.
But now, with new technology like CVT, AWD systems, and intelligent differentials, finding cars that shift into neural is harder.
So, 4WD vehicles can be ideal for the job. Some of these come with low-range gearing, which requires a transfer case. A transfer case allows you to shift between high and low range and, you guessed it, neutral. That’s why many vehicles that you can safely flat tow are 4WD.
Even so, you still have to check up on other aspects. Take, for example, Toyota. It offers trucks with a manual, and some have transfer cases. But you need to keep the engine running to lubricate specific mechanical components. So, flat towing is a no-go with the Japanese brand.
So, let’s find out about some of the tools and precautions you need for flat towing.
What are the tools for flat towing?
The first thing you need for safe flat towing is a proper hitch. Motorhomes might come with a standard hitch for small trailers and similar lighter loads.
This hitch might not be ideal for towing vehicles. So, before you do anything, check that it’s rated for handling such weights. If it isn’t, then you can find plenty of aftermarket upgrades. In addition to the hitch, you need a tow bar.
They’re usually triangular in shape, as they join at the hitch, but then split to connect to the vehicle’s bumper. A good tow bar uses durable material, can telescope to multiple sizes, and is easy to attach.
You also need to modify the vehicle you will be towing. To safely connect it to the RV, you need a base plate kit. It consists of two or more base plates that you screw to the front of your car. These are designed to withstand heavy loads and should come from either the manufacturer or a certified OEM provider.
To handle the extra weight, you need electrical connections and a supplemental braking system. These will provide braking lights and additional stopping power.
Even if you have all these, you need to make sure your RV can handle the load. In theory, your towed vehicle should be empty but with fuel and fluids.
So, the curb weight should be less than your RV’s towing capacity. If you add any weight, like luggage, into your towed vehicle, you have to add it to the total weight.
Finally, you have to keep in mind that many manufacturers and dealerships do not extend the warranty when flat towing. Be sure to do your research beforehand.
So, let’s discuss which Ford models you can flat tow.
Which Ford vehicles can you flat tow?
Currently, there are few Ford vehicles you can tow. The company shifts more towards CVT transmissions and Front-Wheel-Drive configurations. So the smaller cars, in particular, cannot be flat towed.
So, here’s the list of those you can flat tow.
Ford Edge ST
The Ford Edge ST comes with Ford’s SelectShift automatic transmission. Thanks to this, you can choose to slip the car into neutral.
At the beginning of each day, you should start the engine and allow it to run from 5 to 10 minutes to allow for some lubrication. Also, you should repeat this process every six hours of flat towing.
The Edge ST has a Manual Park Release (MPR). Indications on how to operate it come in the owner’s manual.
Thanks to its Curb Weight of 4,525 pounds, the Edge is easy to flat tow with most RVs.
Escape and Fusion Hybrid
As with the Edge, you should start the engine each day for 5 to 10 minutes and repeat the process every six hours.
This Hybrid comes with a neutral mode. But you should start the engine, place your foot on the brake, and shift to Drive, then Reverse, and finally to Neutral, before flat towing. The vehicle comes with a Neutral Tow Mode.
Keep in mind this is the only Ford Escape that you can flat tow. With a light 3,554-pound Curb Weight, the Escape is easily towable by most RVs.
The same applies to the Ford Fusion Hybrid. Weighing at 3,994 pounds, it’s easily towable by most RVs.
You can flat tow the Ford Expedition if it comes with 4×4 Low-Range gearing (AKA a two-speed transfer case). The first step is to place the transfer case in the neutral position and engage the four-wheel-down towing feature.
The Ford Expedition has specific and detailed steps to flat tow safely. Be sure to check them on the owner’s manual. With a hefty 5,700-pound curb weight, you might require a more powerful RV to flat tow this SUV.
As with the Expedition, you need to have a Ford F-150 that comes with 4WD. You shift the transfer case into neutral and engage the four-wheel-down towing feature. The Ford F-150 has specific and detailed steps to flat tow safely. Be sure to check them on the owner’s manual.
This truck is surprisingly light, with a curb weight of 4,343 pounds.
Though the Raptor, in theory, shares a platform with the F-150, its permanent 4WD requires you to follow precise guidelines to flat tow it. Though you can, it’s not recommended you do.
This sporty truck comes in at a heavy 5,525 pounds.
Super Duty Line
Yes, they might be heavy, but the Ford Super Duty Line (F-250, F-350, and F-450) is very easy to flat tow. Follow the owner’s manual, but all you need to do is shift the transfer case into neutral and engage the four-wheels-down towing feature.
One of the heaviest on the list, this Super Duty Line averages a curb weight of 6,112 pounds.
This article wanted to answer what Ford vehicles you can flat tow. The list includes the Edge, the Escape, Fusion, Expedition, and F-150. This article also provided a brief list of the tools that you might need to flat tow safely.
But, always read the owner’s manual to have the specific details for the safest flat towing possible.
Driving across the country in an RV is fun. And, having the comfort of knowing that you have a smaller vehicle to help you move about is priceless. But, it would help if you did it safely. Hopefully, with this article, you now know which is the ideal ford vehicle for flat towing and how to best go about it.