2003 ford escape class 3 hitch / boat

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  #1  
Old 09-30-08, 05:32 AM
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2003 ford escape class 3 hitch / boat

Hi,

I have a 2003 ford escape, I installed a class 3 hitch on the vehicle not too long ago.

I recently purchased a boat that has a dock slip about 10 min local road time away from my home aka where I will be storing the boat in the winter time.

The trailer I have come to find says Class 4 hitch 2" ball, 6,000 lbs.

Now, the gentleman that I bought the boat from said it needed a 1 3/4" ball, I imagine I should go with what the trailer says?

Also, the class 3 hitch supports between 3,000 to 5,000 lbs.

The boat is 19.5', with seats at the bow and a 135hp mercury 2-stroke outboard.

Will the hitch be able to handle taking this boat to the house in the fall, and to the dock in the spring? Again, its a 10min drive with local roads, no highway.

At this point I am guessing since the boat is 18 years old, this trailer may not have originally came with the boat.

Maybe a trip an hour a way once per year, but that would depend on your answers.
 
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  #2  
Old 09-30-08, 06:24 AM
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If it didn't have a towing package OEM, then its only rated at 2000lbs w/a V6 Auto. The aftermarket hitch may be rated higher, but not the vehicle.
Factory towing package equipped, it would have been 3500lbs.

Take the boat and trailer to a local scale and find its weight. But it's probably going to be pretty high over the rating for the vehicle.

Use the ball that fits the hitch, not what he told you.

Could you do it? Maybe...
Would I? Nope...
Borrow someones truck twice a year.

Would kinda suck to get the boat on the trailer, then not be able to pull it up the ramp, or worse, it pulls the Escape into the water.
 
  #3  
Old 09-30-08, 10:22 AM
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Gunguy,

do you have any citation on the support the escape can pull with a non-oem hitch? Ive read the ford escape manual stating that it should support either 3,000 or 5,000 lbs.
 
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Old 09-30-08, 10:41 AM
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This is from Trailer Life magazine....saw the same chart a few other places. Read the note for the Escape...it does say 2000lbs for a class 2 hitch installed aftermarket. Don't know where any mention of 5000lbs would have come from. Was that the owners manual, might have to take a look at mine. From what I know, just installing a larger capacity (class) hitch doesn't increase the towing capacity of the vehicle. I mean, I could mount a gooseneck in a Tacoma, doesn't mean it will handle a 35' trailer....lol

http://www.trailerlife.com/downloads/03towingguide.pdf

I have a 2001 Tribute...basically the same vehicle. Had to have some welding done on the receiver. The factory hitch actually slides into the frame rails about 18" and then is secured with some honkin bolts. If yours is mounted similarly, then it may be rated higher. The factory towing package also includes a trans cooler, though that shouldn't be a big deal for short hauls.

Just trying to help keep people safe in accordance with the rules of the site here.
 
  #5  
Old 09-30-08, 04:26 PM
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Gunguy is correct.

Maximum Towing Capacity (POUNDS)
Engine
Zetec (MT) 1000
Duratec (AT) 2000
Duratec w/Towing Pkg. 3500

http://www.ford-trucks.com/specs/200..._escape_1.html

Maximum Loaded
Trailer Weight
Zetec (MT) 4x2 1000
Zetec (MT) 4x4 1000
Duratec (AT) 4x2 2000
w / Tow Package 3500
Duratec (AT) 4x4 2000
w / Tow Package 3500
 
  #6  
Old 09-30-08, 05:00 PM
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The thing most people overlook when towing a trailer, not only do you need to be able to pull the load, you MUST be able to STOP it. I regularly tow a trailer that weighs about 7000 lbs. with my chevy 2500 hd and it gives the brakes a work out, even with brakes on the trailer, no way I would want to try to pull that weight with any smaller vehicle.
 
  #7  
Old 09-30-08, 05:46 PM
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I did some more research on the boat.

My particular boat states:
Dry Weight: 1725 lbs.

With that said, would you suppose the escape would be capable of towing this, assuming the duratec engine? How much weight should I consider for the trailer?

Being that the boat is only 1725 lbs, I would have to conclude the trailer was not originally sold with the boat. Could that be a safe assumption?

Also: how can I determine which engine the escape has?
 
  #8  
Old 09-30-08, 05:59 PM
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Only 2 engines in Escapes...I-4's and V-6's Should be able to look and tell.

Don't trust label plates on boats, trailers, or anything else. Thats prob not including the motor. Take it somewhere ( truckstop, some public landfills, cement or gravel yards) and get it weighed as a package.

Yer still only 250 lbs away from the maximum rated tow capacity of yer vehicle with an aftermarket bolt on hitch.

Proceed at yer own risk.
 
  #9  
Old 09-30-08, 06:42 PM
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just another note: there is no such ball as 1 3/4", in common usage.
standard light duty is 1 7/8",
mid duty is 2"
heavy duty ball is 2 5/16"
dry weight is sans engine and any of your stuff loaded, also towing weight of vehicle includes driver and passengers and all gear.

Murphy was an optimist
 

Last edited by Speedwrench; 09-30-08 at 06:44 PM. Reason: spelling
  #10  
Old 10-02-08, 05:21 AM
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Sppedwrench:

standard light duty is 1 7/8",
mid duty is 2"
heavy duty ball is 2 5/16"
Yes I made a mistake, 1 7/8 is what I meant.


My final question then concerns scales. The closest public scale is the gas station TA which has a cat scale for trucks. About a mile further is our transfer station which has people put their cars on a scale before throwing thing out. However, this station is a bit tight on turns so I dont know how I would feel about taking the boat there.

What does it typically cost to use the Cat scale at a gas station? What do I do, just go up on the scale, look at the weight and be done with it?
 
  #11  
Old 10-02-08, 06:18 AM
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cost last time i used one was $9.00, you pull on the scale they will come on the speaker and ask what you want , tell them total weight, then when they say done go inside they will have a scale ticket you pay and recieve the ticket. when pulling on have the boat/trailer on one section and your vehicle on another with usually your front wheels on another depending on vehicle length, but make sure your trailer is on a different section from the vehicle

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  #12  
Old 10-02-08, 06:30 AM
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Theres also tongue weight to consider. Thats how much weight is actually pushing down on the hitch ball. You can probably use a bath scale if it goes high enuf.

Seems like you should have approx 10% of the total weight on the tongue. 3500lbs total trailer weight = 350lb tongue weight
 
  #13  
Old 10-02-08, 07:10 AM
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the nice thing about the cat scales is if you know your vehicle weight without the trailer then weighing the vehicle with their scales with multiple platforms will give you the tongue weight as well as steering axle weight. you just have to subtract orignal weight from the vehicle weight with the trailer attached.

are you going to cowboy up or just lay there and bleed?
 
  #14  
Old 10-02-08, 09:08 AM
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Escape Info

Try this site for everything you wanted to know about Escapes
http://www.escape-central.com/
 
  #15  
Old 10-02-08, 10:41 AM
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It looks like I have all of the information I need then.

I appreciate the help and knowledge you have all given me through this thread.
 
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