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Old 10-19-2011, 04:48 PM   #1
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Southern Ontario/Palmetto FL
Posts: 1,092
2012 Ford Focus - looks like it could be

a great toad. I had both our Flex and Escape in to the dealer for six month service today. While there I was chatting with my salesperson and she knew my interest in toads (I had to educate her a year ago). She asked me what I thought of the Focus. So we went and looked at one. Gee, a beautiful car - well styles. I looked at the SE 5-door hatchback that is 171.6 inches long (regular sedan is 178 inches). Curb weight of the hatchback is 2948 lbs. Blue Ox already has base plates on its site.

The towing procedures in the manual were interesting (no running the engine and going through the gears required and max speed of 70 mph when towed allowed and no time limit). From the Operators Manual:

Quote:
RECREATIONAL TOWING
Follow these guidelines if you have a need for recreational (RV) towing.
An example of recreational towing would be towing your vehicle behind
a motor home.
Note: Put your climate control system in recirculated air mode to
prevent exhaust fumes from entering the vehicle. Refer to the Climate
Controls chapter for more information.
In case of a roadside emergency with a disabled vehicle, see Wrecker
towing in the Roadside Emergencies chapter.
These guidelines are designed to ensure that your transmission is not
damaged.

Before you tow your vehicle, follow these directions for your specific
vehicle configuration after it is hooked-up to the RV or tow dolly:
Vehicles with a manual transmission:
1. Release the parking brake.
2. Move the gearshift to the neutral position.
3. The maximum towing speed is 70 mph (113 km/h).
4. There is no limitation on towing distance.
Note: The vehicle must be towed in the forward position to ensure no
damage is done to the internal transmission components. In addition, it is
recommended that you follow the instructions provided by the
aftermarket manufacturer of the towing equipment, if provided.
Vehicles with an automatic transmission but no push button start
system:
1. Release the parking brake.
2. Turn the ignition to the on (II) position.
3. Press the brake pedal, then move the gearshift to the N (Neutral)
position. There must be battery power to properly move the
transmissionís internal components to N (Neutral). Also, moving the
gearshift to the N (Neutral) without first turning the ignition to the on
(II) position limits the towing capability to 35 mph (56 km/h) and
50 miles (80 km).
4. Turn the ignition key to the off (0) position.
5. Disconnect the negative (black) cable from the battery. (The anti-theft
system is disabled until the battery cable is reconnected.) Refer to
Battery in the Maintenance and Specifications chapter when
disconnecting and reconnecting the battery cable.
6. The maximum towing speed is 70 mph (113 km/h).
7. There is no limitation on towing distance.
8. When done towing, start the engine within 15 minutes of reconnecting
the battery cable. When reconnecting that cable, tighten it until itís snug
against the terminal; be careful not to overtighten.
Note: The vehicle must be towed in the forward position to ensure no
damage is done to the internal transmission components. In addition, it is
recommended that you follow the instructions provided by the
aftermarket manufacturer of the towing equipment, if provided.
Note the battery disconnect. There is a separate post under the hood for easy access and it looked like a kill switch could be installed. CONCERN - if using a Brake Buddy or other device for braking power will be needed. That means either getting it through the MH or running leads from the battery. Looked to me like something might be rigged fairly easy.

We are unlikely to ever get a Focus since it would be DW's car and she insists on being up high and loves her Escape. But, I have a feeling this could turn out to be a popular toad over the next few years.

Don
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