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Old 07-22-2012, 03:23 PM   #1
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New Toad!

We just bought our first Toad to pull 4 down behind our 98 Chieftain with a 3500 lb limit. Our 2012 Ford Focus hatchback comes in at about 2900 lbs and can be flat towed.
We will be using a Ready brute with ready brake tow bar setup.
Any advise or recommendations on the base plate? Demco, Roadmaster, Blue Ox? Which on is the easiest to install? I looked at install instructions for both the blue ox and the demco. Very similar..Do any of the companies provide videos? Has anyone done this on their 2012 Focus?
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Old 07-22-2012, 06:43 PM   #2
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I lean toward the Blue Ox, but it's not a big thing. Whether a base plate is easy or hard to install depends largely on the vehicle, not the base plate brand.
Gary Brinck
Former owner of 2004 American Tradition and several other RVs
Home is West Palm Beach, FL
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Old 07-23-2012, 02:49 PM   #3
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I've decided on a readybrute/brake tow bar and demco base plate...
Looking around the 2012 Focus I see no clean way to install additional lights into the exisiting housing and run wires under the car...
Are there any other 2012 Focus owners that have a towing light solution they like?
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Old 07-23-2012, 08:58 PM   #4
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Also, my 2012 Ford Focus owners manual states to simply put ignition in the II position, shift into neutral, return ignition switch back to 0... Then disconnect black battery cable..If the car ignition is in the 0 position, OFF, why does the battery need to be disconnected?
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Old 07-23-2012, 10:35 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Rkh
Also, my 2012 Ford Focus owners manual states to simply put ignition in the II position, shift into neutral, return ignition switch back to 0... Then disconnect black battery cable..If the car ignition is in the 0 position, OFF, why does the battery need to be disconnected?
I don't have a ford Focus but.... what about your steering wheel lock position? When pulling your car the steering wheel needs to turn free. If the ignition is off or the battery is disconnected I think there is a risk that your wheel will lock and that would be bad. Is your II position your accessory setting?
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Old 08-16-2012, 07:23 AM   #6
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Vesta, turns out, putting the Focus key back to the zero position after putting car in neutral, keeps the steering wheel unlocked but power is on. Hence the battery disconnect requirement.
My negative battery cable is buried and difficult to get to. So, Ford installed the frame ground extension up on the firewall and is easily reached. It's still a pain to get the nut off and on..Looking at some shut off switches on line now...Anyone have a favorite? I can't use the side or top terminal mount style as I am not working anywhere near the battery....
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Old 08-03-2013, 10:03 AM   #7
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flat tow 2012 ford focus

It seems some people are installing a battery cutoff switch on the battery negative ground cable to ease the flat tow process. ( by the way, both pos and neg cables have extra 14 ga. wires besides the main battery cable going to the post connectors)The positive cable is much easier to get to, it's at the front and there's only one extra 14 ga. white wire to deal with. Does anyone know a reason why the battery cutoff switch could not be put in the positive cable near the battery?
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Old 08-03-2013, 10:44 AM   #8
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We bought a momentary solenoid switch kit that is designed to disconnect the positive side of the battery. These kits are used in hotrods, classic cars, etc. because they sit without use for extended periods of time and the battery needs to be disconnected.

Kit includes solenoid, momentary push button switch, wire and instructions on how to install.

We put one in our RV to disconnect the coach battery (original one from factory died) and located the switch in the MH by the entry door with the other rig switches.

In your case you would locate the switch in an easy to get at location under the hood of the toad.

Cost for ours was $60.00 which included shipping. We bought this on line from a place in Tennessee (sorry, don't remember the places name).

Most places that restore cars sell these types of kits.
Cheers from Central Texas
SPICoaster - 2008 Holiday Rambler Alumascape Suite 5th Wheel
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Old 11-10-2013, 02:28 PM   #9
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I just completed the setup of the 2012 focus, so I thought I'd add a few tips even though this thread is old. Someone may find this useful.
First, there are additional negative terminal wires hitched to the battery, so disconnecting the main wire on the body bolt doesn't do it. I added a disconnect switch to the negative side, see picture 1.

The battery must be disconnected to ensure the electronic transmission does not shift out of neutral (I was told this).
2. Very nifty way to handle the lights is to use the kit that adds a socket and bulb to the rear lenses and run the wire to the front. No splicing or diodes, no problems with existing light circuits. Very easy to do. Drill through the back of the plastic lense box to add the bulb.
3. There is a hole through the firewall where the clutch pedal would pass through (mine is automatic). This is handy for passing wires through to the cabin for brake buddy and an added power socket to run the brake buddy when the battery is disconnected.
4. Blue Ox instructions for base plate leave out a few steps.
a. Loosen the two bolts on each side where the plastic front surround meets the fenders, to slide the front surround out. Tough to get to these bolts.

b. Take the headlights out before you remove the front surround
c. Disconnect the drivers fog light before you remove the surround
d. Buy some extra plastic pin rivets from Ford, you'll need them
e. Be careful when remounting the horn where blue-ox directions indicate. You don't want it rubbing on the coolant line that is adjacent to it. Bend the horn mount out to clear the coolant line.

f. Whack off the top of the stems that are the electrical connector mounts where they protrude above the tow bracket cross beam. They will be in your way when you try to get the rubber air dam boot remounted.

For what it's worth, I mounted the break-away switch with no metal to metal contact to the car, so that can use the on-board battery to power the brake buddy with no worry about ground jumping through the break-away wiring. Don't know if this is an issue, but not difficult so why not.
For those interested, the blue ox bracket comes out at 14.5 inches above ground on the focus. With my Phaeton at 17 inches, I think that's close enough (within 3 inches), so no drop hitch for me.
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Old 01-11-2014, 04:45 PM   #10
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Focus Battery Disconnect

GMB, pictures don't seem to appear in you post. Can you correct this or send them to me at

I just bought a 2014 Focus. The manual says, "Disconnect the negative (black) cable from the battery." That black cable connection to the body is easy to get to, but the cable clamp on the negative post looks like a bear to get to, and I need help. Anybody out there with a complete solution that accomplishes this? I'm leery of writing my own rules by doing the positive cable.

Also, after talking to the dealer's service department, I'm sure they have no idea and could care less. There must be someone at Ford headquarters who knows the truth, but I'm doubting they can be located!

There must be more Focuses under tow since the last post in November 2013. How about it?
Dean (flew west) & Diane - Fulltiming since April '12
2004 Itasca Suncruiser 38R, Workhorse W22, Blue Ox, 2014 Ford Focus Titanium Hatchback (auto trans), 320 watts of portable solar
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