Recreational towing

Note: Do not exceed the trailer weight for your vehicle configuration listed in the chart below.

Note: Make sure to take into consideration trailer frontal area. Do not exceed:

• 20 feet2 (1.86 meters2) trailer frontal area if your vehicle can tow a Class I trailer.
• 40 feet2 (3.72 meters2) trailer frontal area if your vehicle can tow a Class III trailer.

Note: For high altitude operation, reduce the gross combined weight by 2% per 1000 feet (300 meters) starting at the 1000 foot (300 meter) elevation point.

Note: Certain states require electric trailer brakes for trailers over a specified weight. Be sure to check state regulations for this specified weight. The maximum trailer weights listed may be limited to this specified weight, as your vehicle’s electrical system may not include the wiring connector needed to activate electric trailer brakes.

Your vehicle may tow a Class I or III trailer provided the maximum trailer weight is less than or equal to the maximum trailer weight listed for your vehicle configuration on the following chart.

*For towing trailers up to 3500 pounds (1588 kilograms), use a weight-carrying

*For towing trailers up to 3500 pounds (1588 kilograms), use a weight-carrying hitch and ball, which uniformly spreads the trailer tongue loads through your vehicle’s underbody structure. For towing trailers over 3500 pounds (1588 kilograms), up to the maximum trailer weight, we recommend you use a weight-distributing hitch to increase front axle load while towing.

ESSENTIAL TOWING CHECKS

Follow these guidelines for safe towing:

• Do not tow a trailer until you drive your vehicle at least 1000 miles (1600 kilometers).
• Consult your local motor vehicle laws for towing a trailer.
• See the instructions included with towing accessories for the proper installation and adjustment specifications.
• Service your vehicle more frequently if you tow a trailer. See your scheduled maintenance information.
• If you use a rental trailer, follow the instructions the rental agency gives you.

For load specification terms found on the tire label and Safety Compliance label and for instructions on calculating your vehicle’s load, refer to Load limit in the Load Carrying chapter.

Remember to account for the trailer tongue weight as part of your vehicle load when calculating the total vehicle weight.

Trailer Towing Connector (Vehicles Equipped with a Trailer-towing or Prep Package)

The trailer towing connector is located under the rear bumper, on the left side of your vehicle.

Trailer Hitch Cover

Trailer Hitch Cover

Your vehicle is equipped with a removable trailer hitch trim cover. To remove the trim cover:

1. Loosen the two 1⁄4-turn fasteners (A) in the bottom of the cover by turning

1. Loosen the two 1⁄4-turn fasteners (A) in the bottom of the cover by turning them counterclockwise. Pull the cover rearward to remove it.

The fasteners remain attached to the cover.

2. To reinstall the cover, insert the four plastic tabs on top of the cover into

2. To reinstall the cover, insert the four plastic tabs on top of the cover into the corresponding slots (B), and push the cover into the bumper trim.
3. Hold the cover against the bumper trim and reinstall the two 1⁄4-turn fasteners by turning them clockwise.

Hitches

Do not use a hitch that clamps onto your vehicle’s bumper. Use a load-carrying hitch.

You must distribute the load in your trailer so that 10–15% of the total weight of the trailer is on the tongue. Do not to exceed the maximum tongue load of 500 pounds (227 kilograms) on a Class III receiver.

Weight-Distributing Hitch

WARNING: Do not adjust a weight-distributing hitch to any position where the rear bumper of the vehicle is higher than it was before attaching the trailer. Doing so will defeat the function of the weight-distributing hitch, which may cause unpredictable handling, and could result in serious personal injury.

When hooking-up a trailer using a weight-distributing hitch, always use the following procedure:

1. Park your vehicle, without the trailer, on a level surface.
2. Measure the height of the top of your vehicle’s front wheel opening on the fender. This is H1.
3. Attach the trailer to your vehicle without the weight-distributing bars connected.
4. Measure the height of the top of your vehicle’s front wheel opening on the fender a second time. This is H2.
5. Install and adjust the tension in the weight distributing bars so that the height of the front fender is approximately halfway between H1 and H2.
6. Check that the trailer is level. If not level, adjust the ball height accordingly and repeat Steps 3–6.

Safety Chains

Note: Never attach safety chains to the bumper.

Always connect the safety chains to the hook retainers of your vehicle hitch.

To connect the safety chains, cross them under the trailer tongue and allow enough slack for turning tight corners. Do not allow the chains to drag on the ground.

Trailer Brakes

WARNING: Do not connect a trailer’s hydraulic brake system directly to your vehicle’s brake system. Your vehicle may not have enough braking power and your chances of having a collision greatly increase.

Electric brakes and manual, automatic or surge-type trailer brakes are safe if you install them properly and adjust them to the manufacturer’s specifications. The trailer brakes must meet local and federal regulations.

The rating for the tow vehicle’s braking system operation is at the gross vehicle weight rating, not the gross combined weight rating.

Separate functioning brake systems are required for safe control of towed vehicles and trailers weighing more than 1500 pounds (680 kilograms) when loaded.

Trailer Lamps

WARNING: Never connect any trailer lamp wiring to the vehicle’s tail lamp wiring; this may damage the electrical system resulting in a fire. Contact an authorized dealer as soon as possible for assistance in proper trailer tow wiring installation. Additional electrical equipment may be required.

Trailer lamps are required on most towed vehicles. Make sure all running lights, brake lights, turn signals and hazard lights are working.

Before Towing a Trailer

Practice turning, stopping and backing up to get the feel of your vehicle-trailer combination before starting on a trip. When turning, make wider turns so the trailer wheels clear curbs and other obstacles.

When Towing a Trailer

• Do not drive faster than 70 mph (113 km/h) during the first 500 miles (800 kilometers).
• Do not make full-throttle starts.
• Check your hitch, electrical connections and trailer wheel lug nuts thoroughly after you have traveled 50 miles (80 kilometers).
• When stopped in congested or heavy traffic during hot weather, place the gearshift in position P to aid engine and transmission cooling and to help A/C performance.
• Turn off the speed control with heavy loads or in hilly terrain. The speed control may turn off automatically when you are towing on long, steep grades.
• Shift to a lower gear when driving down a long or steep hill. Do not apply the brakes continuously, as they may overheat and become less effective.
• Use the Grade Assist or Tow/Haul feature when towing. These provide engine braking and help eliminate excessive transmission shifting for optimum fuel economy and transmission cooling.
• Allow more distance for stopping with a trailer attached. Anticipate stops and brake gradually.
• Avoid parking on a grade. However, if you must park on a grade: 1. Turn the steering wheel to point your vehicle tires away from traffic flow.

2. Set your vehicle parking brake.
3. Place the automatic transmission in position P.
4. Place wheel chocks in front and back of the trailer wheels.

(Chocks not included with vehicle.)

Launching or Retrieving a Boat or Personal Watercraft (PWC)

Note: Disconnect the wiring to the trailer before backing the trailer into the water.

Note: Reconnect the wiring to the trailer after the trailer is removed from the water.

When backing down a ramp during boat launching or retrieval:

• Do not allow the static water level to rise above the bottom edge of the rear bumper.
• Do not allow waves to break higher than 6 inches (15 centimeters) above the bottom edge of the rear bumper.

Exceeding these limits may allow water to enter vehicle components:

• Causing internal damage to the components.
• Affecting driveability, emissions, and reliability.

Replace the rear axle lubricant anytime the rear axle has been submerged in water. Water may have contaminated the rear axle lubricant, which is not normally checked or changed unless a leak is suspected or other axle repair is required.

WRECKER TOWING

If you need to have your vehicle towed, contact a professional towing service

If you need to have your vehicle towed, contact a professional towing service or, if you are a member of a roadside assistance program, your roadside assistance service provider.

We recommend the use of a wheel lift and dollies or flatbed equipment to tow your vehicle. Do not tow with a slingbelt. Ford Motor Company has not approved a slingbelt towing procedure. Vehicle damage may occur if towed incorrectly, or by any other means.

Ford Motor Company produces a towing manual for all authorized tow truck operators. Have your tow truck operator refer to this manual for proper hook-up and towing procedures for your vehicle.

It is acceptable to have your front-wheel drive vehicle towed from the front if using proper wheel lift equipment to raise the front wheels off the ground. When towing in this manner, the rear wheels can remain on the ground.

Front-wheel drive vehicles must have the front wheels placed on a tow dolly when towing your vehicle from the rear using wheel lift equipment.

This prevents damage to the transmission.

Towing an all-wheel drive vehicle requires that all wheels be off the ground, such as using a wheel lift and dollies or flatbed equipment. This prevents damage to the transmission, all-wheel drive system and vehicle.

TOWING THE VEHICLE ON FOUR WHEELS

Emergency Towing

If your vehicle becomes inoperable (without access to wheel dollies, car-hauling trailer, or flatbed transport vehicle), it can be flat-towed (all wheels on the ground, regardless of the powertrain and transmission configuration) under the following conditions:

• Your vehicle is facing forward for towing in a forward direction.
• Place the transmission in position N. See Automatic transmission in the Transmission chapter if you cannot move the transmission into N.
• Maximum speed is 35 mph (56 km/h).
• Maximum distance is 50 miles (80 kilometers).

Recreational Towing

Vehicles Equipped with a 2.0L Engine

Note: Put your climate control system in recirculated air mode to prevent exhaust fumes from entering your vehicle. See the Climate Control chapter.

Follow these guidelines if you have a need for recreational towing, such as towing your vehicle behind a motorhome. We designed these guidelines to prevent damage to your transmission.

You can tow your vehicle 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. Otherwise, you cannot tow your vehicle.

Vehicles Equipped with a 3.5L or 3.7L Engine

Note: Put your climate control system in recirculated air mode to prevent exhaust fumes from entering your vehicle. See the Climate Control chapter.

Follow these guidelines if you have a need for recreational towing, such as towing your vehicle behind a motorhome or truck. We designed these guidelines to prevent damage to your vehicle after it is hooked-up to the recreational vehicle or tow dolly.

You can tow your front-wheel drive 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 are towing with all four wheels on the ground, see the following instructions.

You can tow your all-wheel drive vehicle with all four wheels on the ground or with all four wheels off the ground using a vehicle transport trailer. Do not tow your all-wheel drive vehicle with the front wheels off the ground (by using a tow dolly) and the rear wheels on the ground.

This causes damage to your all-wheel drive system. If you are using a vehicle transport trailer, follow the instruction specified by the equipment provider. If you are towing with all four wheels on the ground, see the following instructions.

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 accessory position. See the Starting and Stopping the Engine chapter.
• Do not exceed 65 mph (105 km/h).
• Start the engine and allow it to run for five minutes at the beginning of each day and every six hours thereafter. With the engine running and your foot on the brake, shift into position D and then into position R before shifting back into position N.

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