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Old 06-20-2016, 05:54 PM   #1
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Ford C-MAX Towing Experience

We recently purchased a new Class C motorhome...we wanted to be able to go into some of the smaller parks and national forest sites, so a 30-foot Class C was closer to our needs at this time. Forest River Sunseeker 2800QSF, Ford E450 chassis, with 7500lb tow capacity. As we wanted a tow vehicle on the lighter side, within a few days of the RV purchase we purchased a used 2013 C-MAX SEL (all the options including push-button start) from CarMax with a bit over 31K miles. Another reason for the C-MAX is that the normal non-RV use of the vehicle would be as a commuting car for my wife...so daily mpg was important.

I installed a BlueOx tow plate and the ReadyBrute Elite tow bar. I'm an engineer, and the operational principle for the braking aspect of the the ReadyBrute Elite sold me...nothing to break or go wrong with electronic brake systems...it's quite simply idiot proof. I also installed a charge line from the RV to keep the battery charged while towing, had an alignment done with the most positive camber I could get (close to +5) to help with centering, and installed the BlueOx diode kit so I could use the existing brake/turn lights.

We returned yesterday from our first trip with this setup...2500 miles round-trip to Yellowstone. Setup performed flawlessly...had zero battery issues, no death wobble (I think a proper alignment with as much positive caster helps with this) and no miles accumulated (yay!) Car towed like it was barely there. Followed the normal accessory mode procedure, and left car unlocked most of the time for convenience (but used the manual lock when we ate lunch, etc.). At times I caught the wife driving the rig at speeds in excess of 75mph!!!

We are very pleased with this setup...glad we decided on the C-MAX for our towed vehicle, and glad we selected the ReadyBrute Elite tow system.
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Old 06-20-2016, 07:10 PM   #2
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Amen. I have a C Max with Ready Brake and after towing 20,000 miles I'm very happy with the setup. Charge line absolutely necessary. Too many gadgets whirring around in there.
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Old 06-20-2016, 09:46 PM   #3
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I am glad to hear that your C-Max towed so well. We recently purchased a 2016 C-Max for my wife's everyday driver and future toad. I have a Blue Ox tow bar and will soon install the Blue Ox baseplate. Haven't decided yet on a braking system but have been looking closely at the Delta Force unit from SMI. I have an older Night Shift Auto surge brake system but I am not crazy about drilling a hole in the floor for the cable. So far we have just under 10,000 miles on our C-Max and we love it!

--------Jim
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Old 06-20-2016, 09:49 PM   #4
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i like this kind of report, this is what potential rvers want to know. thank you!!
i read from all over the places about c-max towing, the only complaint in initial couple years was the depletion of the battery when towed. since people put a charge line in the mix, no more issues.
dinghy towable, getting 40+ mpg, you won in both ends!!
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Old 06-20-2016, 09:52 PM   #5
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I installed the Night Shift Auto Ready Brake system and it works great. Installation was difficult but not all that bad.
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Old 06-20-2016, 10:10 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geaux Tigers View Post
have been looking closely at the Delta Force unit from SMI.
have you talked to smi yet? at one point i was looking into c-max, i found its brake fluid reservoir is way under and recessed, very hard to reach. it'll be tough to check/flush the brake fluid, and very unlikely any brake from smi or m&g would be able to be installed.

i could be wrong, and that was the reason i stopped going forward. i might still get a c-max when my current honda fit is out, either using a readybrute or rvi brake.
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Old 06-22-2016, 05:38 PM   #7
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Have not towed my cmax yet still have to install the baseplate but I went with the roadmaster baseplate due to the fact that the connecting point sits about 3" higher than the blue ox also going with the RVI system due to ease of use
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Old 06-22-2016, 11:11 PM   #8
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CountryFit,
I have not talked with SMI about the Delta Force unit but I did talk to them about the Stay-N-Play system and they said installation in a C-Max was no problem. A local RV shop suggested the Delta Force because they thought it was a better unit at the same or lower cost since the Delta Force has a much lower installation cost. I do like that the Delta Force unit is easily moved from one toad to another and it has a "hybrid" setting.

------- Jim
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Old 06-23-2016, 12:02 AM   #9
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CountryFit,
I have not talked with SMI about the Delta Force unit but I did talk to them about the Stay-N-Play system and they said installation in a C-Max was no problem. A local RV shop suggested the Delta Force because they thought it was a better unit at the same or lower cost since the Delta Force has a much lower installation cost. I do like that the Delta Force unit is easily moved from one toad to another and it has a "hybrid" setting.

------- Jim
i was mistaken into thinking that you were referring to "airforce 1" from smi, my bad. both airforce 1 and m&g are to be mounted to the brake master cylinder, that wouldn't be feasible due to the master cylinder's position on c-max. delta force is just like an rvi2 which is easy to set up and remove, and portable. good for you.
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Old 06-23-2016, 10:10 AM   #10
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Quote:
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i was mistaken into thinking that you were referring to "airforce 1" from smi, my bad. both airforce 1 and m&g are to be mounted to the brake master cylinder, that wouldn't be feasible due to the master cylinder's position on c-max. delta force is just like an rvi2 which is easy to set up and remove, and portable. good for you.
Actually airforce 1 does not get mounted to master cylinder its the same as stay & play duo only it runs off the air supply of coach only m&g gets mounted to master cylinder
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Old 06-23-2016, 11:12 AM   #11
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We have a 2015 C-max. Our manual states not to exceed 65 mph while towing as this could cause damage to the tow vehicle, specially the transmission.

We have experienced death wobble. Thanks for the info on castor setting. We will be looking into this.
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Old 06-23-2016, 07:40 PM   #12
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We have a 2015 C-max. Our manual states not to exceed 65 mph while towing as this could cause damage to the tow vehicle, specially the transmission.

We have experienced death wobble. Thanks for the info on castor setting. We will be looking into this.
My manual says not to exceed 70mph.

We had ZERO wobble of any kind...it was like the C-MAX was attached to the MH. I'm a big fan of the ReadyBrute, and possibly this was a factor. But I'm more of the belief that adding as much positive caster was a major anti-wobble factor. When we [now] drive the C-MAX it seems glued forward when we release the wheel after a turn.

Note that our MH receiver was near level to the C-MAX (maybe 1-2 inches higher), so perhaps that is a factor if your MH receiver is too high/low? I have a 2-inch drop hitch that I only used when I did some test towing behind my Infiniti QX56 (the glamorous version of a Nissan Armada), since QX receiver is much higher than the MH receiver.
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Old 06-24-2016, 12:20 AM   #13
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Actually airforce 1 does not get mounted to master cylinder its the same as stay & play duo only it runs off the air supply of coach only m&g gets mounted to master cylinder
i stand corrected. really like the m&g design - mount it onto the master cylinder; no need to mess around inside. unfortunately it does not work on c-max
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Old 06-24-2016, 04:30 PM   #14
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i stand corrected. really like the m&g design - mount it onto the master cylinder; no need to mess around inside. unfortunately it does not work on c-max
Yes its sad but when i bought my cmax i talked to the company to see if they were working on one for the cmax there response cant make one small enough to fit
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