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Topic: ford says focus can be towed 4 down, demco says no

Posted By: sjn7708 on 03/01/12 07:30am

i purchased a 2012 ford focus se hatchback to use as a dinghy. prior to purchase, i checked with the dealer, with Ford, with motorhome magazine and various other sites all of which said the car could be towed four wheels down with a tow bar, but I didnt check far enough. It even states in the owners manual that the car can be towed 4 wheels down. When I went to get the tow bar and base plate from demco, demco says it cant be towed four wheels down without a transmission pump etc. Couldnt believe it. Word to the wise, check with the manufacturer of the equipment you plan to use for towing, not just the car manufacturer. Besides a tow dolly, any suggestions?


Posted By: Beverley&Ken on 03/01/12 07:48am

If your owners manual, Ford Motor Company (not the dealer) say it is towable 4 down, then go for it. Also check with other tow bar manufacturers and Remco towing for their opinions. Could be that Demco has old info about your car or they are just trying to sell you more equipment than necessary.

Beverley and Ken


2006 Winnebago Outlook 29B E-450.
2012 Honda CR-V AWD
Blue Ox Aventa LX tow bar and Brake Buddy Vantage.


Posted By: rockhillmanor on 03/01/12 07:49am

Was that info from a mechanic from a franchise installing demco?
Your car manual is usually the answer to towing questions.
Was there any info in the manual on the trans in regard to towing?


Go here and scroll down to Focus. Maybe this additional info will help you. Albeit even blueox states here to go by the manual.

http://blueox.com/bx-r-BaseplateProducts.aspx?ProductId=1402

Good luck hope you find out.


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Posted By: dennislanier on 03/01/12 08:02am

Beverley&Ken wrote:

If your owners manual, Ford Motor Company (not the dealer) say it is towable 4 down, then go for it. Also check with other tow bar manufacturers and Remco towing for their opinions. Could be that Demco has old info about your car or they are just trying to sell you more equipment than necessary.

Beverley and Ken


I completely agree with the above. The vehicle manufacturer is the last word on this, either yea or nay. It is certainly possible that Demco does not make the equipment for this vehicle, but that does NOT mean it is not towable. As suggested, check around with other tow equipment manufacturers and see what they have available. I would not give up and buy a tow dolly without exhausting all other possible options. Good luck and let us know what happens. I sure others will encouter this situation in the future.


Posted By: hotbyte on 03/01/12 08:12am

Manual might also say it can be flat towed for short distance with speed not to exceed some slower than highway speed. So, flat tow short distance at slow speed for emergencies only.


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Posted By: sjn7708 on 03/01/12 08:36am

owners manual doesnt say anything about needing extra equipment for four down towing. only has speed limit no towing over 70 mph, which is why ibought the car because it had so few towing restrictions.

my rv dealer deals in demco, installs their products and they checked the demco info and called demco as well.


Posted By: skipnchar on 03/01/12 08:44am

Ford is the one paying the warranty bills. I know who I'D listen to. DO be sure you aren't just "headline reading" though. Read ALL of the information Ford provides on the subject including any provisional information. Getting information from a third party would be as silly as getting your insurance rates from a different insurance company.


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2004 F-150 HD (Traded after 80,000 towing miles)
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Posted By: sjn7708 on 03/01/12 08:45am

as an aside, i looked at the chevy cruze. last year gm said it could be towed four down only to find out that it could not. they even had to send out addendums to the owners manual stating that it could no longer be towed four down.


Posted By: philand on 03/01/12 08:46am

I have an '11 ford escape, auto, fwd, V6. The dealer checked trnns fluid level and approved it to be towed. They (ford) wants to have the fluid level set correctly to avoid over heating. Some restrictions to speed and hrs between exercising are stated, but was not a problem for me.


Posted By: demoon on 03/01/12 09:16am

Well, Remco says the Honda Civic and Accord can be towed flat, but Honda says no way. The manuals in my 08 Accord and 12 Civic both say that towing in an emergency can be done, not to exceed 35mph. I have seen people towing both Civics and Accords flat, but I am not taking the chance.


Posted By: sjn7708 on 03/01/12 09:32am

called demco, baseplate maker- they had no clue
called REMCO, transmissionpump maker, they said 2012 focus ok for 4 wheel down towing without any mods.
called RV dealer back who had their technicians check with REMCO who gave them the ok for the 2012, which turns out is the first year ok'd by for for four down towing for the focus. I guess the rv dealer installation manual only went to 2011...


Posted By: gotsmart on 03/01/12 09:48am

Call Roadmaster and Blue Ox to see if they concur with Demco's opinion.

Don't take only Demco's word. If the other tow bar manufacturers have also fitted the car for a towbar and recommend a pump then it's probably a really good idea to install the pump.


2005 Cruise America 28R (Four Winds 28R) on a 2004 Ford E450 SD 6.8L V10 4R100
2009 smart fortwo Passion with Roadmaster "Falcon 2" towbar & tail light kit - pictures


Posted By: Leeblev on 03/01/12 11:04am

Let me add my experience. I looked at a Toyota small pickup to be towed 4 down. Was assured repeatedly by sales, mechanic, Service Mgr. that it was ok to tow 4 down.
Went to Camping World to get the towbar and related equipment and when they checked with Remco, found that it could not be towed. They did not want to sell me the equipment, even though I insisted that Toyota said ok.
Went back to the dealer and canceled my order and after they checked with higher ups in Toyota gave me my deposit back with this explanation:
Yes, the pickup can be towed 4 down, BUT YOU MUST STOP AND RUN THE ENGINE FOR 5 MINUTES EVERY 100 MILES!
So, if I were you, I would explore very carefully what the mfgr means when they say it can be towed 4 down.
My thanks to Camp world and Remco for causing me to explore deeper and preventing a serious problem from occurring. I did buy another brand and tow 4 down.


Lee
2001 36' Kountry Star DP



Posted By: turninghawk on 03/01/12 11:33am

Who knows, Demco could have old info, in that the new Focus is a totally new car (at least in the US) and shares nothing with the previous Focus (which was not a 4-down-er).

I'd check with another supplier.


Posted By: JohnnyT on 03/01/12 12:27pm

Moved from class C forum


Posted By: wolfe10 on 03/01/12 01:02pm

Though I don't see it in your write-up I assume this is a manual transmission Focus???


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Posted By: Wills250psd on 03/01/12 01:08pm

skipnchar wrote:

Ford is the one paying the warranty bills. I know who I'D listen to. DO be sure you aren't just "headline reading" though. Read ALL of the information Ford provides on the subject including any provisional information. Getting information from a third party would be as silly as getting your insurance rates from a different insurance company.
X2 fords word is the one I would take. they are the one that will have to fix it(or buy it back if they gave you false info and its in wrighting.JMHO will


Posted By: bukhrn on 03/01/12 05:18pm

wolfe10 wrote:

Though I don't see it in your write-up I assume this is a manual transmission Focus???
If this were a manual transmission, it wouldn't need a pump, & this thread would be a moot point.


2007 Forester 2941DS
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Posted By: DouglasC on 03/01/12 06:44pm

I have towed a 2012 Ford Focus automatic for over 1,200 miles with no problems using instruction contained in the owner's manual. Roadmaster makes a base plate and that's what I have on my car.

Just because Demco hasn't choosen to make a base plate for this car does NOT make it NOT towable.


Doug
2006 Jayco Greyhawk Model 27DS
Towing 2012 Ford Fusion Hybrid with Brake Buddy



Posted By: sjn7708 on 03/04/12 03:32pm

demco makes a baseplate, they just recommended a pump as well,.
the 2012 ford focus that i have is auto
the 2012 is an all new focus, so the 2010 info may not apply.
motorhome hagazine and ford say 2011 has restrictons but 2012 does not have any four down towing restrictions besides speed limit of 70 mph.


Posted By: tatest on 03/05/12 11:00am

wolfe10 wrote:

Though I don't see it in your write-up I assume this is a manual transmission Focus???


Ford does not offer a traditional automatic for the 2012 Focus in the U.S. The "automatic" is a double-clutch manual shifted by a computer instead of by hand.


Tom Test
Itasca Spirit 29B
2001 Ranger Edge



Posted By: wny_pat on 03/05/12 10:04pm

the Motorhome magazine latest Dinghy Roundup says that "the Ford FOCUS two thousand twelve (both manual and automatic) can be towed four down> automatic transmission must be in NEUTRAL during four down towing (ignition must be "on" before shifting into NEUTRAL)> See owners guide for more details"


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Posted By: gotsmart on 03/06/12 11:27pm

The smart car that I tow has a 5-speed manual transmission, but because it has no clutch pedal on the floor it is referred to as an "automated manual" transmission. It's still a manual transmission but the computer controls the shifting and the clutch - hence the manual transmission that is automated.


Posted By: John & Angela on 03/11/12 11:04am

gotsmart wrote:

The smart car that I tow has a 5-speed manual transmission, but because it has no clutch pedal on the floor it is referred to as an "automated manual" transmission. It's still a manual transmission but the computer controls the shifting and the clutch - hence the manual transmission that is automated.


That is correct. Smart cars are only available with standard transmissions. They have no clutch pedal and the computer looks after removing throttle, applying the clutch, changing gears and reapplying the throttle. That is why some feel the smart tranmission is jerky. Of course it is, it is a standard tranmission. DOT made mercedes change the gear shifter to read "D R N" for US models so it would "look" like an automatic transmission and a "creep" feature was added for US models to make it creep like an automatic transmission...(essentially it rides the clutch)

There are five drivetrain configurations of drive train available for the smart, the US version only has the one gas non turbo engine available but this may change in 2014. There are no plans to bring the diesel to the US market. The diesel is not approved for 4 down towing.


2003 Revolution 40C Class A. 2002 Vanguard 22 foot Class C. Diesel smart car as a Toad on a smart car trailer or pulling a 2009 Timeout Tent Trailer.

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Posted By: ClassAGeek on 03/12/12 05:58pm

I see plenty of statements to the effect: "Believe the owners manual". I get a chuckle every time I read that.

Manuals and consumer documentation are NOT assigned the importance they once warranted. Documentation departments are cost centers that many manufacturers now try to minimize. As a result: There are more errors than in the past when documentation was properly funded. And don't forget: Manufacturing isn't the only thing being outsourced nowadays.

The owners manual for my 2010 Fusion says the key MUST be in the ignition and turned on while being towed. The manual then explicitly says this restriction is for automatic AND manual transmissions.

It is in the manual, so it must be right! Wrong.

The requirement for a key in the ignition is a carryover from the previous year when Fusions had mechanical steering column locks. In 2010, the steering lock was removed after the Fusion was upgraded with an electronic anti-theft device. Starting in 2010, the manual transmission model does NOT need the key in the ignition. (FWIW: The automatic model still needs a key in the ignition since it has a mechanical transmission level lock that prevents you from selecting neutral). My Ford dealer said the owners manual was correct. The person answering the Ford 800 help number said the manual was correct. Finally, after a couple of months of emails, the documentation manager at Ford replied and told me I was indeed correct.

Given the low priority that product documentation gets these days, I would think twice before believing everything I read. If something doesn't make sense to you, keep digging. You could very well be right.


----
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2010 Ford Fusion Toad (with 6 speed manual transmission - the only way to tow)
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TST RV 507 TPMS, Power Master Voltage Controller


Posted By: wny_pat on 03/12/12 11:44pm

ClassAGeek wrote:

I see plenty of statements to the effect: "Believe the owners manual". I get a chuckle every time I read that.

Manuals and consumer documentation are NOT assigned the importance they once warranted. Documentation departments are cost centers that many manufacturers now try to minimize. As a result: There are more errors than in the past when documentation was properly funded. And don't forget: Manufacturing isn't the only thing being outsourced nowadays.

The owners manual for my 2010 Fusion says the key MUST be in the ignition and turned on while being towed. The manual then explicitly says this restriction is for automatic AND manual transmissions.

It is in the manual, so it must be right! Wrong.

The requirement for a key in the ignition is a carryover from the previous year when Fusions had mechanical steering column locks. In 2010, the steering lock was removed after the Fusion was upgraded with an electronic anti-theft device. Starting in 2010, the manual transmission model does NOT need the key in the ignition. (FWIW: The automatic model still needs a key in the ignition since it has a mechanical transmission level lock that prevents you from selecting neutral). My Ford dealer said the owners manual was correct. The person answering the Ford 800 help number said the manual was correct. Finally, after a couple of months of emails, the documentation manager at Ford replied and told me I was indeed correct.

Given the low priority that product documentation gets these days, I would think twice before believing everything I read. If something doesn't make sense to you, keep digging. You could very well be right.
Would have thought that we all learned that from the GM Chevy Cruze owners manual boondoggle.


Posted By: JC2 on 03/13/12 05:29am

sjn7708 wrote:

demco makes a baseplate, they just recommended a pump as well,.
the 2012 ford focus that i have is auto
the 2012 is an all new focus, so the 2010 info may not apply.
motorhome hagazine and ford say 2011 has restrictons but 2012 does not have any four down towing restrictions besides speed limit of 70 mph.


IF affordable and would not void the warranty, I would consider adding the pump and be done with it. One can go on with this he said, she said stuff for a long time.


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Posted By: DouglasC on 03/13/12 10:32am

JC2 wrote:

sjn7708 wrote:

demco makes a baseplate, they just recommended a pump as well,.
the 2012 ford focus that i have is auto
the 2012 is an all new focus, so the 2010 info may not apply.
motorhome hagazine and ford say 2011 has restrictons but 2012 does not have any four down towing restrictions besides speed limit of 70 mph.


IF affordable and would not void the warranty, I would consider adding the pump and be done with it. One can go on with this he said, she said stuff for a long time.


You gotta be kidding - - spending money for a lube pump that you don't need. In any case, what is a lube pump going to do in an automated manual transmission that doesn't have a torque converter and doesn't use automatic transmission fluid???


Posted By: ClassAGeek on 03/13/12 03:20pm

DouglasCraw wrote:


... spending money for a lube pump that you don't need. In any case, what is a lube pump going to do in an automated manual transmission that doesn't have a torque converter and doesn't use automatic transmission fluid???


I must agree. Pumping transmission oil isn't going to accomplish much in this instance since the gearbox will be 100% stationary . The manufacturer is just covering their backside by suggesting such a drivetrain can't be towed 4 down.

For those who want to learn more, try How Stuff Works or Dual clutch animation.


Posted By: DouglasC on 03/13/12 04:35pm

ClassAGeek wrote:

DouglasCraw wrote:


... spending money for a lube pump that you don't need. In any case, what is a lube pump going to do in an automated manual transmission that doesn't have a torque converter and doesn't use automatic transmission fluid???


I must agree. Pumping transmission oil isn't going to accomplish much in this instance since the gearbox will be 100% stationary . The manufacturer is just covering their backside by suggesting such a drivetrain can't be towed 4 down.

For those who want to learn more, try How Stuff Works or Dual clutch animation.


The manufacturer (Ford) is not suggesting that the 2012 Focus cannot be towed 4 down. Quite the opposite! Ford says that it CAN be towed 4 down. The problem is that Demco apparently doesn't think so and suggests adding a lube pump. Perhaps they don't understand the major changes made in the automatic transmission from the 2011 to the 2012 model year. The 2011 Focus did need a lube pump but the 2012 model does NOT.


Posted By: Retiredblade on 03/15/12 04:53am

Beverley&Ken wrote:

If your owners manual, Ford Motor Company (not the dealer) say it is towable 4 down, then go for it. Also check with other tow bar manufacturers and Remco towing for their opinions. Could be that Demco has old info about your car or they are just trying to sell you more equipment than necessary.

Beverley and Ken


You can't trust any of these auto makers! Last year, Gm said, Cruze was towable 4 wheels down, people, including me, went out and bought one. About 3 months later, I get a letters saying it wasn't and warranty would be voided in towed. Got a 2011 Buick Regal to tow, so far, no problems within it, I follow the towing guidelines, but I am waiting for that possible letter saying it is not towable. I read where someone on the forum has already go the letter, what a mess.
Heard where the Fusion is was listed as towable, now having problems with them.






Posted By: ClassAGeek on 03/15/12 06:15am

Retiredblade wrote:



You can't trust any of these auto makers! Last year, Gm said, Cruze was towable 4 wheels down, people, including me, went out and bought one. About 3 months later, I get a letters saying it wasn't and warranty would be voided in towed. Got a 2011 Buick Regal to tow, so far, no problems within it, I follow the towing guidelines, but I am waiting for that possible letter saying it is not towable. I read where someone on the forum has already go the letter, what a mess.
Heard where the Fusion is was listed as towable, now having problems with them.


Like most things in life: Trust your own judgement.

For some, that means erring on the side of caution. There's absolutely nothing wrong with this. For others, it means doing more. That's where innovation comes from - and not surprisingly - innovators already know this.

With towables you can have it both ways: Get a standard transmission or a new double clutch automatic. You can then ignore threads like this one forever...

Two years ago I bought my standard transmission Fusion specifically to be towed. When I pleasantly discovered it had no mechanical steering column lock, I was happier still. I can tow with no key in the ignition (even though the Ford owners manual says I can't). I have no doubt this car is towable now and always will be.

My next car will have a double clutch automatic. It will be towable too. Why would I invite uncertainly with fluid transmissions when I now have a choice of 100% towable cars to buy?


Posted By: wny_pat on 03/17/12 08:17pm

ClassAGeek wrote:

Retiredblade wrote:



You can't trust any of these auto makers! Last year, Gm said, Cruze was towable 4 wheels down, people, including me, went out and bought one. About 3 months later, I get a letters saying it wasn't and warranty would be voided in towed. Got a 2011 Buick Regal to tow, so far, no problems within it, I follow the towing guidelines, but I am waiting for that possible letter saying it is not towable. I read where someone on the forum has already go the letter, what a mess.
Heard where the Fusion is was listed as towable, now having problems with them.


Like most things in life: Trust your own judgement.

For some, that means erring on the side of caution. There's absolutely nothing wrong with this. For others, it means doing more. That's where innovation comes from - and not surprisingly - innovators already know this.

With towables you can have it both ways: Get a standard transmission or a new double clutch automatic. You can then ignore threads like this one forever...

Two years ago I bought my standard transmission Fusion specifically to be towed. When I pleasantly discovered it had no mechanical steering column lock, I was happier still. I can tow with no key in the ignition (even though the Ford owners manual says I can't). I have no doubt this car is towable now and always will be.

My next car will have a double clutch automatic. It will be towable too. Why would I invite uncertainly with fluid transmissions when I now have a choice of 100% towable cars to buy?
But not all standard transmissions can be towed four down!! So don't trust your judgement on that.


Posted By: ClassAGeek on 03/17/12 09:10pm

wny_pat wrote:

But not all standard transmissions can be towed four down!! So don't trust your judgement on that.


Assuming we are talking about a normal drivetrain, (for example: two wheel drive and not a transaxle), I'm all ears.

* This post was edited 03/17/12 09:17pm by ClassAGeek *


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