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Old 10-07-2012, 03:46 PM   #101
got3fords
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Green_Mtn_Boy View Post
Don't know the exact ratios but here's something to consider regarding hitch loads.
The forces involved in a carried weight are considerably greater than the forces imposed by a trailered load. In other words, a bike rack with 100 pounds of load will impact the hitch and it's attachment in a fashion similar to a 1000 pound trailer. Not in all respects, engine and tranny load of course doesn't care how the load is attached. The hitch and the frame it attaches too does. I've seen a 1000 pound motorcycle destroy a 10,000 pound motorhome hitch when it was carried off the ground.
All this is to suggest that using the focus to tow a small trailer is probably no more troublesome than a 3 bike rack carried 18 inches past the hitch.
Just sayin.
I think that would be vertical force. With the trailer, you have lateral force which is much more than a bike. You have a lot more weight to put in motion and to stop with a trailer.
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Old 10-07-2012, 04:49 PM   #102
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Originally Posted by 2012sel View Post
The force you're referring to is about the torque put on the hitch. Not the forces put on the car's drive train.

A loaded hitch bike rack can put as much destructive force (torque) on a hitch as a 1000 pound trailer, but is a small fraction of the load (tension) to the drive train.

I believe a very modest amount of trailer pulling will cause no harm to the Focus. I would install modular wiring that is easily removed before taking my car in for service concerning a drive train issue. At least until the warranty expires.
Okay, something I actually know about for a change!

Hitches come in classes...Class I, Class II, etc...Class IV. Class I is the lowest and it is rated for 2000 lbs gross trailer weight, but, that is the load weight gross of the trailer (fully loaded) not how much you can lump on it. All classes also have a maximum tongue weight which is how much load is applied to the back of the vehicle in a vertical line. The Class I above has a maximum load weight of 200 lbs for carrying stuff on a load platform or bike rack.

My Class II hitch on my motorhome is rated at 3,500 lbs with a maximum tongue weight of 350 lbs. I cannot carry a motorcycle on that hitch even if it weighed a paltry 400 lbs (I say that because both my road biles are way over that). My Class III on my F150 is rated for 5,000 lbs gross with a tongue weight of 500 lbs.

So, when we talk about Class I it may be rated at 2,000 lbs gross but the tongue weight is what is important for carrying bikes and load platfoms and the maximum is 200 lbs. That should be okay for two bikes and the rack.

Here are the Class weights (gross trailer lbs/tongue weight lbs):

Class I - 2000/200
Class II - 3500/350
Class III - 5000/500
Class IV - 12000/1200
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Old 10-29-2012, 04:36 PM   #103
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Originally Posted by Wildsailor View Post
Okay, something I actually know about for a change!

Hitches come in classes...Class I, Class II, etc...Class IV. Class I is the lowest and it is rated for 2000 lbs gross trailer weight, but, that is the load weight gross of the trailer (fully loaded) not how much you can lump on it. All classes also have a maximum tongue weight which is how much load is applied to the back of the vehicle in a vertical line. The Class I above has a maximum load weight of 200 lbs for carrying stuff on a load platform or bike rack.

My Class II hitch on my motorhome is rated at 3,500 lbs with a maximum tongue weight of 350 lbs. I cannot carry a motorcycle on that hitch even if it weighed a paltry 400 lbs (I say that because both my road biles are way over that). My Class III on my F150 is rated for 5,000 lbs gross with a tongue weight of 500 lbs.

So, when we talk about Class I it may be rated at 2,000 lbs gross but the tongue weight is what is important for carrying bikes and load platfoms and the maximum is 200 lbs. That should be okay for two bikes and the rack.

Here are the Class weights (gross trailer lbs/tongue weight lbs):

Class I - 2000/200
Class II - 3500/350
Class III - 5000/500
Class IV - 12000/1200
So is the consensus then that carrying up to 200 lbs of hitch carrier and cargo would do not damage to the car?
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Old 10-30-2012, 03:54 PM   #104
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Originally Posted by slybarman View Post
So is the consensus then that carrying up to 200 lbs of hitch carrier and cargo would do not damage to the car?
I have a hidden hitch on my 2012 Hatch since the Summer of 2011. I put a Thule folddown 2 bike rack on it all of both Summers and 1-2 bikes about twice a week. Also took two mountain bikes from Detroit to Chicago and back.

I have noticed absolutely no issues.
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Old 10-31-2012, 09:41 PM   #105
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Originally Posted by Faygo Focus View Post
I have a hidden hitch on my 2012 Hatch since the Summer of 2011. I put a Thule folddown 2 bike rack on it all of both Summers and 1-2 bikes about twice a week. Also took two mountain bikes from Detroit to Chicago and back.

I have noticed absolutely no issues.
One of the first mods I did to my 2002 Focus was add a class I hitch for my bike rack. I used it to haul 2 mountain bikes on my carrier for 4 summers. No issues, no damage.

I can't image that a hitch for the 2012 with the same rating would be any worse.
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Old 11-01-2012, 08:59 AM   #106
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I know most people have installed the hitch for bike racks, but for those of you who also tow a small trailer, do you have any recommendations on a wiring kit? I am looking at getting a small utility trailer for my motorcycle.
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Old 11-01-2012, 10:00 AM   #107
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Originally Posted by reh8388 View Post
I know most people have installed the hitch for bike racks, but for those of you who also tow a small trailer, do you have any recommendations on a wiring kit? I am looking at getting a small utility trailer for my motorcycle.
Get one that is modular and doesn't require cutting the existing wires. That way you can remove the wiring before taking it in for service at a dealer.

I have a friend that is a Ford mechanic and he says trailer wiring is a dead giveaway that the car is being used for towing. Since the manual says the Focus isn't rated for towing, you can bet Ford will void a drive train warranty issue if they know you're towing a trailer.

These appear to be modular...
http://www.etrailer.com/t1-2012_Ford_Focus.htm
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Old 11-01-2012, 10:33 AM   #108
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Originally Posted by 2012sel View Post
Get one that is modular and doesn't require cutting the existing wires. That way you can remove the wiring before taking it in for service at a dealer.

I have a friend that is a Ford mechanic and he says trailer wiring is a dead giveaway that the car is being used for towing. Since the manual says the Focus isn't rated for towing, you can bet Ford will void a drive train warranty issue if they know you're towing a trailer.

These appear to be modular...
http://www.etrailer.com/t1-2012_Ford_Focus.htm
Yeah I am definitely going modular for that reason. And those are the ones I saw. I just wasn't sure if anyone had bought any one of them in particular and would recommend one. I won't be getting a trailer or hitch until the spring so I am in no rush though.
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Old 03-02-2013, 07:36 PM   #109
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I modified a Curt hitch in a similar manner but welded it up to the cross bar and trimmed a slot in the facia about 2". Helped the ground clearance and I think looks better.
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Old 03-02-2013, 07:52 PM   #110
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I modified a Curt hitch in a similar manner but welded it up to the cross bar and trimmed a slot in the facia about 2". Helped the ground clearance and I think looks better.
Do you have any pictures?
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