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Author Topic: Towing Ford Edge Limited AWD  (Read 466 times)
Pax
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« on: May 10, 2014, 10:43:23 am »

I thought I'd post about towing a 2013 Ford Edge Limited AWD (with Adaptive Cruise Control and keyless ignition), since there seems to be a lot of questions on the different forums regarding this setup.  I think we are the only folks on this forum that tows this particular vehicle, but it may help others in the future.

We have the Blue Ox baseplate and SMI Stay-In-Play supplemental braking equipment.  We also have a trickle charge line from the coach to the Edge and are using the Edge's brake lights and turn signals (with diodes)

We have had no problems with the battery running down and everything works as expected. Having said all that, I think that folks may have problems and/or confusion for a couple of reasons....

The Ford instructions seem a bit counter-intuitive, but they work!  I keep this checklist handy and use it religiously every time once the car is hooked up to the towbar:

- Start car.
- Put climate control in recirculated air mode to keep
exhaust fumes from entering car from motorhome.
- Put headlights in off, not auto.
- Turn off radio.
- Run engine for 5 minutes.
- With the engine running and your foot on the brake,
shift into position D and then into position R before
shifting back into position N.
- Release parking brake
- Place ignition in the accessory position (put foot on
brake, press button to shut off engine, remove foot
from brake, press button to place in accessory mode)
- Switch on SMI braking system (flip switch to the right)
- Pull breakaway pin to test that brakes work.  Reinsert pin.
- Check operation of brake lights and turn signals on Edge
when activated from coach.
- Do not exceed 65 mph.  Do not back up.
- Start engine and allow it to run for 5 mins at the
beginning of each day and every six hours thereafter.

The part that doesn't seem to make sense initially is where you need to shut off the engine and then put the car in accessory mode.  With keyless ignition, you would think this is a bad idea because it powers up some stuff and you don't have or need a physical key in the ignition to unlock the steering column.  However, if you just shut the car off it will display a message to 'Place Vehicle in Park' and the two information screens remain on.  At this point, pressing the ignition button without a foot on the brake activates accessory mode and that message goes away.  After a few minutes all displays automatically shut off if you are in accessory mode.

Having a trickle charge line allows the use of the Edge's lights without killing the battery.

Now, the issue(s) with adaptive cruise control.....

1) Installing a supplemental braking system in the engine compartment might be a little trickier, due to the room that the adaptive cruise equipment takes up. 

2) Not sure if this is totally due to having adaptive cruise equipment, but the baseplate will need to be mounted between the Ford emblem and the license plate, which is about halfway up the front of the car.  This requires that you have a hitch riser on the coach receiver (well, on the PC anyway)

So far setting up and towing the Edge has been very easy and trouble free for us.

   - Mike
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« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2014, 09:11:08 pm »

Nice write-up for Edge folks.  A "helpful" for ya!
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« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2014, 07:32:35 pm »

I thought I'd post about towing a 2013 Ford Edge Limited AWD (with Adaptive Cruise Control and keyless ignition), since there seems to be a lot of questions on the different forums regarding this setup.  I think we are the only folks on this forum that tows this particular vehicle, but it may help others in the future.

We have the Blue Ox baseplate and SMI Stay-In-Play supplemental braking equipment.  We also have a trickle charge line from the coach to the Edge and are using the Edge's brake lights and turn signals (with diodes)

We have had no problems with the battery running down and everything works as expected. Having said all that, I think that folks may have problems and/or confusion for a couple of reasons....

The Ford instructions seem a bit counter-intuitive, but they work!  I keep this checklist handy and use it religiously every time once the car is hooked up to the towbar:

- Start car.
- Put climate control in recirculated air mode to keep
exhaust fumes from entering car from motorhome.
- Put headlights in off, not auto.
- Turn off radio.
- Run engine for 5 minutes.
- With the engine running and your foot on the brake,
shift into position D and then into position R before
shifting back into position N.
- Release parking brake
- Place ignition in the accessory position (put foot on
brake, press button to shut off engine, remove foot
from brake, press button to place in accessory mode)
- Switch on SMI braking system (flip switch to the right)
- Pull breakaway pin to test that brakes work.  Reinsert pin.
- Check operation of brake lights and turn signals on Edge
when activated from coach.
- Do not exceed 65 mph.  Do not back up.
- Start engine and allow it to run for 5 mins at the
beginning of each day and every six hours thereafter.

The part that doesn't seem to make sense initially is where you need to shut off the engine and then put the car in accessory mode.  With keyless ignition, you would think this is a bad idea because it powers up some stuff and you don't have or need a physical key in the ignition to unlock the steering column.  However, if you just shut the car off it will display a message to 'Place Vehicle in Park' and the two information screens remain on.  At this point, pressing the ignition button without a foot on the brake activates accessory mode and that message goes away.  After a few minutes all displays automatically shut off if you are in accessory mode.

Having a trickle charge line allows the use of the Edge's lights without killing the battery.

Now, the issue(s) with adaptive cruise control.....

1) Installing a supplemental braking system in the engine compartment might be a little trickier, due to the room that the adaptive cruise equipment takes up. 

2) Not sure if this is totally due to having adaptive cruise equipment, but the baseplate will need to be mounted between the Ford emblem and the license plate, which is about halfway up the front of the car.  This requires that you have a hitch riser on the coach receiver (well, on the PC anyway)

So far setting up and towing the Edge has been very easy and trouble free for us.

   - Mike

Mike,

Thanks for the information.  We bought our 2552 4/1/14.  I had my trade (Sunseeker) rigged with the Blue Ox and Ready Brake tow bar and brake system on our Ford Focus.  Seems that it worked fine on the Sunseeker but I think I need to lower the tow to be more level with the Focus to get the Ready Brake to work well.

We have a 2012 Edge and have been thinking about rigging it up to tow because the Focus is just to small.  I am 6'1', 230 and my wife has long legs (she would kill me for putting this in the email).  I was hesitating with the Edge because of the weight.  It is on the 5,000# bubble.  Does this concern you?  I opted out of the key-less ignition and cruise control that you bought.  I am hoping this will alleviate problems with towing.  Also, I was thinking about having the Stay-In-Play installed and not the ready brake.  Do you like the Stay-In-Play?

Thanks,
Jim
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« Reply #3 on: June 24, 2014, 10:18:49 am »

Thanks for an instructive post.  We just completed our first tow (1500 miles total for the trip) pulling a Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk.   I post this as a word of caution.   I personally drive a 2011 Jeep GC (the new Trailhawk is my wife's and she reminds me of that fact when I want to drive it  LOL).  I hate these keyless ignition systems.  My Jeep has the customary remote start feature many vehicles now seem to come with.   On THREE different occasions over the last three years that Jeep has unintentionally started itself.  Here is what happens.  

Like many or most guys, I carry several things in my pocket.  Apparently, something rubs against the Jeep key just right and presses the remote start twice.  Maybe another key, maybe some coins, maybe maybe.  In any event, it starts.   Once, I found it running in my garage.   Once it started as I was walking into church.  Once coming out of a friends house.  Also, on one occassion the same thing happened to the rear hatch............it just got pressed twice accidentally in my pocket and opened.   I am now looking for a small hard sided case to carry the key in to prevent all this.   Call the Jeep folks?  Yep.  The only way to disconnect is some procedure of actually changing the wiring under the hood.  You can't do it on the key.  The on line manual (over a 530 page pdf) is silent on this subject.  

Moral to the story:  watch the keyless ignition stuff.  Man, I wish for my old 2005 GC and its key!!

By the way, I love Pax's braking system.  That is what we had installed and we could not be more pleased.   We had to get a six inch hitch riser because our 2350 hitch is really low compared to many Class Cs.   I don't know if that is unique to the Ford 350 and not a problem on the 450 or not, but you really need your tow gear pretty level to the ground.

Paul
« Last Edit: June 24, 2014, 10:21:14 am by Doneworking » Logged
Pax
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« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2014, 08:59:15 pm »

Jim:

We've towed the Edge locally (California) for a while and are now halfway through an 8500+ mile trip around the country.

I also had the same concerns as you regarding the 5000lb bubble, but two things:  1) It's not over 5000lbs.  2) In our experience, it tows like a dream.   Our PC is a 2552, sort of the middle of the line.  We gone over the Sierras, the Rockies, the Berkshires, and the Catskills and there have only been a handful of instances where I knew the Edge was back there and dropping our speed.  Right now I think the only place I wouldn't tow it is in the hills of San Francisco!  Also, we store some stuff in the Edge while being towed....not really heavy stuff, but beach gear, some chairs, fishing equipment, stuff we've bought and need to mail home, etc.

I'm not familiar with the ready brake, but you mention possibly needing to lower the tow to be more level with the rig.  On this subject, I'd refer you to Ron and others who managed to get it in my head to ensure that the towed vehicle and rig equipment are within a couple inches of each other.  I have no experience with mine being out of sync more than that, as mine is almost totally level.

Regarding the Stay-In-Play....I have no experience with anything else, but I can tell you that after the initial installation I haven't worried or thought about it...it works exceptionally well.  One thing to bear in mind though....apparently, the company suggests that a little LED be installed above the dash in the toad so you can see when the brake is applied by using your backup camera.  Um....we didn't do that.  Instead our mechanic ran the little led to our PC dash (in the little coin holder) and I can see it every time the brake is applied.  The Stay-In-Play is proportional and progressive.  It requires both deceleration AND coach brake light to be activated.  Step on the brake a little and you get a little...step on it hard and it BRAKES! 

I must say it was a bit unnerving to have the tow gear installed on the Edge.  I mean it's a $40k car and they had to do a bit of grill renovation to get the baseplate on, but it looks pretty good especially when you remove the easily removable tow 'tabs'

I've never had the problems that Paul has with the keyless ignition.  But I may not be carrying everything he does in his pocket!  I figure if my wife has 30 or so handbags, then she can carry everything except the car remote! Wink

   - Mike

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« Reply #5 on: June 26, 2014, 07:03:24 am »

Re: the SMI, Stay In Play, we have the little LED strip on a leash in the toad that is supposed to velcro to the back of the toad's mirror. The velcro melted off the first day in the DC heat so it now gets put on with a stretchy hair band. We have considerable difficulty seeing that light as the sun glints off the toad's front window or the rain makes it hard to see. At night our back up camera picks up the red glow from the PCs rear lights but we have a better chance of seeing the little red LED then if we watch closely enough... instead of watching the road. We will probably have that PC dashboard light installed sometime in the future.
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« Reply #6 on: June 26, 2014, 10:33:05 am »

The Invisibrake system that we installed in August has worked very well for us.  The little red light on the PC dash indicates when the brake is applied on our Honda CR-V toad.
--Bruce
 
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