I just took my first trip in my 2003 McKenzie Rogue Class C (E-450 V10) towing a 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid. My tow bar is a NSA Ready Brake Elite (integrated surge brake).
On my way home we took a different route which involved lots of steep climbs and descents.
As we came out of the hills, and onto flat land, I noticed a shimmy in the front end. I also noticed a smell. I pulled over the side of the road and when I touched the outside of the two front tire rims, they were smoking hot. I am guessing the shimmy in the front end was the rotors heating up and beginning to warp. I looked underneath and there was a tie rod next to the rotor which had smoke coming off the rubber portion. I sat for awhile and let things cool down then made the rest of the trip home with no issues. I am thinking that the surge brake on the tow bar wasn't engaging the toad brakes to supplement the braking. As I understand on the Ford Fusion Hybrid (from Ford publications), you put it in nuetral and turn the key to the off position. Actually it's between accessory and off. I tried testing out the brakes in this configuration without being attached to the motorhome. I put the Fusion at the top of a steep driveway, put the transmission into nuetral and turned the key all the way counterclockwise. As the car rolled forward, I attempted to apply the brakes. I had to practically stand on the brake pedal to get the vehicle to stop. I let off the brakes and tried again. Same outcome. I then turned the key to the accessory position. The dash board lights stay on. With the transmission in neutral, I let the vehicle roll down and I applied the brakes. Much less effort required.
My theory at this point is that with the key not in the accessory position, the brakes are being operated manually without any "power".
When towing a vehicle, are the vehicle brakes supposed to be manual or powered? Is there anyone else towing a Ford Fusion Hybrid who can provide some guidance?
We are going on a trip to Utah and Arizona on July 1st, so I need to get this figured out