Flat towing, also known as dinghy towing or four-down towing, refers to the practice of towing a vehicle behind a motorhome or RV without using a trailer.
This method is popular among RV enthusiasts as it allows them to bring their own vehicle along for convenience and mobility.
However, not all vehicles are suitable for flat towing due to various mechanical and technical reasons. In this article, we will explore which Ford vehicles can be flat towed and the specific requirements for each model.
Understanding Flat Towing
Before diving into the specific Ford models that can be flat towed, it is important to understand the concept of flat towing and its implications.
Flat towing involves connecting the towed vehicle to the motorhome using a tow bar, which allows the vehicle to be pulled along without any of its wheels touching the ground.
This method requires certain mechanical features in the towed vehicle to ensure safe and smooth towing.
One of the key requirements for flat towing is a vehicle with a manual transmission or an automatic transmission that can be shifted into a neutral or “tow” mode. This is necessary to prevent damage to the transmission system during towing.
Additionally, the towed vehicle should have a steering system that allows for easy and controlled maneuvering while being towed.
Ford Vehicles That Can Be Flat Towed
Ford offers a range of vehicles that are suitable for flat towing, including SUVs, trucks, and sedans. Here are some popular Ford models that can be flat towed:
- Ford Escape
- Ford Explorer
- Ford Expedition
- Ford Ranger
- Ford F-150
- Ford Fusion
These models have been designed and equipped with the necessary features to ensure safe and hassle-free flat towing.
However, it is important to note that not all trims and configurations of these models may be suitable for flat towing.
It is recommended to consult the vehicle’s owner’s manual or contact the manufacturer to confirm the flat towing compatibility of a specific model.
Specific Requirements for Flat Towing
While the aforementioned Ford models can be flat towed, there are specific requirements and procedures that need to be followed to ensure a successful towing experience. Here are some important considerations:
As mentioned earlier, a vehicle with a manual transmission is generally suitable for flat towing. However, some Ford models with automatic transmissions can also be flat towed if they have a specific “tow” mode.
This mode allows the transmission to be disengaged from the drivetrain, preventing any damage during towing.
It is important to consult the owner’s manual or contact the manufacturer to determine if a specific Ford model has a “tow” mode and the proper procedure to engage it.
2. Key Position:
Before flat-towing a Ford vehicle, it is essential to ensure that the ignition key is in the proper position. In most cases, the key should be in the “off” position or in the accessory position, which allows the steering wheel to turn freely without locking. This prevents any strain on the steering system while being towed.
3. Battery Disconnect:
Flat towing can drain the battery of the towed vehicle if not properly managed. To prevent this, it is recommended to disconnect the battery or use a battery disconnect switch.
This ensures that the vehicle’s electrical system does not draw power from the battery while being towed, preserving its charge for when it is needed.
4. Speed and Distance:
When flat-towing a Ford vehicle, it is important to adhere to the recommended speed and distance limits. Excessive speeds or long distances can put unnecessary strain on the towing components and increase the risk of damage.
The owner’s manual or manufacturer’s guidelines should provide specific recommendations for speed and distance limitations.
5. Regular Maintenance:
Proper maintenance of both the towing vehicle and the towed vehicle is crucial for a safe and trouble-free towing experience. This includes regular inspections of the towing equipment, such as the tow bar and hitch, as well as routine maintenance of the towed vehicle’s mechanical components.
Following the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule ensures that all systems are in optimal condition for flat towing.
Flat towing provides RV enthusiasts with the convenience of bringing their own vehicle along for their adventures. Ford offers a range of vehicles that are suitable for flat towing, including SUVs, trucks, and sedans.
However, it is important to consider the specific requirements and procedures for each model to ensure safe and successful towing.
By following the manufacturer’s guidelines and properly maintaining both the towing vehicle and the towed vehicle, RV enthusiasts can enjoy the freedom and flexibility of flat towing their Ford vehicle.
Remember to always consult the vehicle’s owner’s manual or contact the manufacturer for the most accurate and up-to-date information on flat towing compatibility and procedures for a specific Ford model.