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Old 08-26-2014, 04:39 PM   #1
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Towing my Seadoos

Hey! I have a 2012 Ford Focus hatchback SEL. Its vacation time and I wanna take my toys (two seadoos) with us to Florida (6 hour drive). I installed a 1 1/4" hitch with a 1500 capacity and 200 lb tongue, but now I am read that (OMG) you cant tow with a Focus. Likewise I have researched and I find pics of people towing various cargo, even campers. So has anyone towed with their Focus?


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Old 08-26-2014, 05:18 PM   #2
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Welcome to FF!

Moved this to the MkIII section where you can find other threads on towing & hitches.

It CAN be done, even though Ford USA isn't advising it.

Euro ratings were posted as a link here in a prev. thread I've read, they haul Caravans behind.

I'm wondering about the actual load you're planning on, Seadoo's vary in size and you need to figure the actual weight & balance for safe towing. No idea what experience you've had doing this, fill us in on the details before we go off on basics you've already taken care of.

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Old 08-26-2014, 06:34 PM   #3
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Thanks you. I will keep you posted. I am planning on doing some configuration to the trailer to adjust (lighten) tongue weight and also plan on removing all fuel and oils for the trip just to keep it light. I have also toyed with the idea of putting some stiffer shocks on the rear. Estimated weights of the entire unit is around 1200 lbs. We are traveling from some hills in Tennessee to Florida. I have test drove it once in the neighborhood at slow speed and it did fine.
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Old 08-26-2014, 09:04 PM   #4
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I've towed a bunch with small 4-cylinder cars and in my opinion 150 lbs. tongue and
1,500 lbs. total is pretty reasonable and safe for almost every car.

As the euro limits suggest, the limiting factor is braking, not power or acceleration. 1,500 lbs. is peanuts for 160 HP. My only concern would be the DCT. Check what the euro manuals say about DCT towing limits.
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Old 08-26-2014, 09:17 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E365/5 View Post
I've towed a bunch with small 4-cylinder cars and in my opinion 150 lbs. tongue and
1,500 lbs. total is pretty reasonable and safe for almost every car.

As the euro limits suggest, the limiting factor is braking, not power or acceleration. 1,500 lbs. is peanuts for 160 HP. My only concern would be the DCT. Check what the euro manuals say about DCT towing limits.
The european manuals are not effective in relation to the dry dual clutch DCT 250 as apart from perhaps Russia and Eastern Europe the powershift is only available on the 1.6 L engine that's in our U.S. spec Fiesta, and the 1.6L TDCI and 2.0 L TDCI use a wet clutch dct that can handle more torque and abuse.
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Old 08-26-2014, 09:27 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by suss6052 View Post
The european manuals are not effective in relation to the dry dual clutch DCT 250 as apart from perhaps Russia and Eastern Europe the powershift is only available on the 1.6 L engine that's in our U.S. spec Fiesta, and the 1.6L TDCI and 2.0 L TDCI use a wet clutch dct that can handle more torque and abuse.
Good to know. I'll still stick with my thoughts of being concerned with the DCT then :)
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Old 08-28-2014, 06:18 AM   #7
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When adjusting to lighten tongue weight, keep in mind the 10% min. for that to ensure proper tracking.

MANY watercraft trailers are not adjusted properly when purchased, resulting in excessive tongue weight that isn't a problem except for moving it unhooked IF the tow vehicle can easily handle it.

Household scale is adequate for the tongue weight you should run. 1,200 lb. trailer would be min. 120 lb. tongue weight.

Too light results in sway/fishtailing that can be severe - to the point of loss of control. Nothing to mess with by going TOO light on the tongue.


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Old 08-28-2014, 03:41 PM   #8
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Thanks Sailor. 10 % is definitely the minimum and I will ensure that fact. I do not compromise on safety. This will be my first long trip with the toys. I usually tow them with my F100. This is my pre testing checklist:
1. Drain fuel from both units
2. Adjust tongue weight (if required)
3. Bearing checks. Install bearing buddies.
4. Mount spare.
5. Driving tests at increasing speeds up to interstate speeds.

Hopefully all will go well and I will have no hiccups. Should be an interesting trip.
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Old 08-28-2014, 07:32 PM   #9
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Sounds like you've got the right idea, taking it easy can make things work OK.

My S-10 with a 2.2 4 cyl. was supposed to be good for 2,000, with a hitch added & a bit of figuring including not loading down the bed when towing heavy - it was fine regularly for 3,500. Trailer brakes got added to help with that part & I knew enough to shift down early & not try to pull hard in top gear.

You'll get a good handle on it with the test drives, best to make sure it feels right before a long trip.

Have a good time.
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Old 08-29-2014, 07:21 AM   #10
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Excessive tongue weight when towing with a focus will eat your rear tires quickly!
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