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Towing Experiences - Share yours PLEASE!

6940 Views 5 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  trincinf
I bought my MKC with the intention of towing my popup camper, and made sure I had the factory tow package above all else. The weight of my camper is 2200 lbs with gear/supplies, etc. and I worry a bit about overloading after getting adults plus luggage loaded in the vehicle while towing. I was thinking about adding a transmission cooler, and need to have a 7 pin wiring harness installed to support electric brakes. Has anyone towed anything with a similar weight/configuration? If so, please share your experiences with me.

There is no detail or guidelines on the tow package in terms of additional transmission cooling, suspension settings while towing, fuel types used while towing, etc. The only thing noted in the manual around towing is the suggestion of using trailer brakes if towing over 1500lbs, but no OEM kit exists to convert the 4 pin harness to use trailer brakes. If anyone could comment on these items and anything else around this topic, it would put my mind at ease. I am thinking I might have made a mistake and should have gone with an Escape to get the additional 500lb capacity.
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Please indicate your year, engine size and whether AWD. I have experience using my 2.0 FWD to tow my boat that is about 2500LB when fueled and loaded.
First, I totally doubt that any Escape has any meaningfully different equipment related to towing- it is more the subjective judgement of the manufacturer. Lincoln bumped up the 2.3 AWD rating from '15 to '16 but there is really no difference in the vehicles.
I did upgrade my trailer with Deemax SS brakes because the C was so much lighter than my Mountaineer, but went for surge activation. A Lincoln dealer or U Haul Store (not a hardware store renting trailers, but the company U Haul locations) ought to have no problem tapping the other wires to make up the 7 pin. (Somewhere I have a schematic I used to tap the backup light circuit to open the trailer master cylinder when backing up, if you need that)
I tow about 250 miles to the SC coast via Interstates and 2 lane highways that have some stout hills but not mountains. I have been impressed that the 2.0 keeps speed nicely when on cruise set on 73mph. I always put in the premium fuel to get full HP. Yes it is thirsty then at about 15 mpg vs the 27+ without the trailer-turbos are probably kicked in all the time (but we have no boost/vac gauge to verify).
Suspension settings will still remain a personal preference because they do not affect the actual spring rates- that is baked in. But the shock damping rate changes you get from CCD probably will feel best set to Normal or Sport. Keep the tire pressures toward the top end.
The MKC tows far better than I expected and I hope you find the same.
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towing post - update

Sorry about leaving out the details, and thanks for the reply. I have the 2015 2.0 AWD. Glad to hear about your positive experience. Do you know if the towing package includes a transmission cooler? On the hills, did you notice a lot of shifting into and out of Overdrive? (6th gear in our case)

Sorry if I sound a bit obsessive here, but after reading some of the popup portals about tow vehicles, I worry just a bit. I should also say I did a lot of research on GVWR, tongue weights, etc. and I chose the MKC because it had the towing capacities I needed while giving me a great vehicle to drive every day. I traded in a 2011 BMW 328i on my MKC. The MKC was the only vehicle that I did not want to cry when I handed over the BMW keys. Unfortunately, after recalculating less conservatively, I think I will only be about 300-400 lbs under the 3K # limit, and folks are saying that is too close to the limit, and my transmission is doomed to fail. I dont put much weight in that, but it is making me wonder what others are doing out there.

thanks again for taking the time to reply to my post.
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There does not seem to be any note about trans oil coolers or other drivetrain upgrades in the specs I could find. Interestingly, Rock Auto has a few trans coolers to offer if that gives you more peace of mind.

Our manual says to avoid the cruise control while towing. My bet is that recommendation is more about staying away from frequent shifting on the downhills- the MKC is the most aggressive downshifting car in cruise I have ever driven. It is those constant gear range changes that are the concern-we can control that better in Sport with the paddles. I think both 5th and 6th are actually overdrive ratios - constant changes (every 20 seconds or so) when you are cruising is not a prospect for long trans life. I do wish we could see the numbers without going to S. But you really dont need to obsess about it, just pay some attention.

Tow rating has some pretty good safety factor in it-engineers are like that (maybe not VW diesel dipl Engs!) So I would not worry about the "folks" too much. Everything is a matter of degree with towing. How long a trip, grades as well as the weight. Running up and down the Rockies once a month - at the full tow weight- yes you might want to rethink the vehicle.

I think it is interesting that you came from BMW to the MKC.
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Here is my rig


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From BMW to MKC

I think it is interesting that you came from BMW to the MKC.
Well, I do miss the BMW, but I needed something to tow my new popup (cart before the horse, I know) Here is my thinking:

1. Desirable - Love the look, the quality level, and it excites me. Other cars that I thought of included the Forrester/Escape/Edge/Explorer. None of them offered any of the attributes above without me pining for my Bimmer!
2. Affordable - bought the MKC Certified used with 15K miles and the CPO warranty that blows me away. It was an executive demo, and is "medium equipped" Has the 101 package, THX, BLIS mirrors, navigation. The only thing I miss is not having a sunroof.
3. Drive-ability - the BMW drive is a zen experience, no doubt! That car really is an extension of you while going down the road. The MKC is fun to drive, and I dont feel like I am sacrificing too much.
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