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Flat towing the C-Max Energi behind a motorhome


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32 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   John A Smith

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Posted 11 July 2015 - 10:01 AM

There have been a few posts on this topic but now I am hoping someone out there has some real life experience with it.  How has it worked out?  Tips, suggestions etc.  Thanks. 









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#2 OFFLINE   garymkrieg

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Posted 12 July 2015 - 08:37 AM

We live full time in a motorhome and tow our Fusion Energi. We follow Ford's instructions, get in, foot on brake, push start button, put in neutral, push start button to turn off, start towing. We do not have a charge line from the motorhome to the 12v battery in the car because the discharge rate being towed is the same as the discharge rate when parked. The car tows great!

 

Gary


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#3 OFFLINE   John A Smith

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Posted 12 July 2015 - 02:22 PM

We live full time in a motorhome and tow our Fusion Energi. We follow Ford's instructions, get in, foot on brake, push start button, put in neutral, push start button to turn off, start towing. We do not have a charge line from the motorhome to the 12v battery in the car because the discharge rate being towed is the same as the discharge rate when parked. The car tows great!

 

Gary

Thank you Gary.  Any issues wiring for lights?  What are you using for braking the toad?  



#4 OFFLINE   garymkrieg

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Posted 13 July 2015 - 07:28 AM

John, I did nothing invasive for the break lights, I am using two magnetic lights that stick to the metal speaker grill on the inside back shelf.  As far as braking we are using a Blue Ox Patriot which is working very well. As a side note, right or wrong, I have a different philosophy for how to set the Patriot up.  My thought is that the only time I want the car brakes to come on is when I am in a panic stop situation. With the size of brakes in these motorhomes I do not see the need to wear out the car brakes during a normal stop. Also in my case with the engine brake on the diesel motor I usually only use the brakes the last 10 mph or so.

 
Gary

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#5 OFFLINE   John A Smith

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Posted 29 July 2015 - 08:21 AM

 

John, I did nothing invasive for the break lights, I am using two magnetic lights that stick to the metal speaker grill on the inside back shelf.  As far as braking we are using a Blue Ox Patriot which is working very well. As a side note, right or wrong, I have a different philosophy for how to set the Patriot up.  My thought is that the only time I want the car brakes to come on is when I am in a panic stop situation. With the size of brakes in these motorhomes I do not see the need to wear out the car brakes during a normal stop. Also in my case with the engine brake on the diesel motor I usually only use the brakes the last 10 mph or so.

 
Gary

 

Very good point about the toad brakes.  The C-Max brakes should last a lifetime since regen does most of the braking.   When being towed there would no regen so the brakes would be in much heavier use.  Thanks for your input Gary. 



#6 OFFLINE   Eric Bourlet

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Posted 31 July 2015 - 11:06 PM

Bad Idea and at 3800 LBS not legal in many states



#7 OFFLINE   John A Smith

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Posted 01 August 2015 - 07:34 AM

Bad Idea and at 3800 LBS not legal in many states

Eric, I don't think Gary meant he didn't have his toad brake system active only that he set the sensitivity low enough so casual braking didn't activate it but hard braking would. 



#8 OFFLINE   garymkrieg

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Posted 03 August 2015 - 09:00 AM

Eric, as I said "My thought is that the only time I want the car brakes to come on is when I am in a panic stop situation.". 

 

Gary



#9 OFFLINE   John A Smith

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Posted 20 August 2015 - 06:05 AM

Gary, any issues with campgrounds letting you plug in your Energi?

#10 OFFLINE   garymkrieg

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Posted 20 August 2015 - 08:08 AM

John, I think I just answered your question in the Tiffin forum, LOL.


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#11 OFFLINE   John A Smith

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Posted 20 August 2015 - 10:26 AM

John, I think I just answered your question in the Tiffin forum, LOL.

You did, thanks. 



#12 OFFLINE   maryinredding

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Posted 26 August 2015 - 10:00 PM

I am currently having my cmax energi set up to flat tow. Ford finally came up with a computer fix for the dead battery problem that was plaguing everyone. It was a tsb that I found on the web and when I took the car in for an oil change I inquired about it. It took an hour to flash the computer.

I am also having a charge back line installed just to be safe. I do not want a dead battery on the road. We just got back from a 3 month trip around the mid west part of the country and we were pulling the car on a dolly. That was enough time to wish we were pulling the car 4 down. There were places that we couldn't go into because we didn't want to disconnect the dolly and push it around (those suckers are heavy). We did have to disconnect it twice on our trip and it would take my husband 1 whole day to recoup from the back pain that the dolly caused. So, we will be selling the dolly as soon as the car comes back.

I will let everyone know here how everything goes. It made me a little nervous to take it in but the guy whose doing it says he has done a hybrid before. I felt like I was leaving my child at the hospital......



#13 OFFLINE   Gmac

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Posted 01 September 2015 - 12:25 PM

HI ALL I AM NEW TO THIS SITE AND i have a serious problem! after purchasing my 2014 cmax   energi  last year I had it set up to tow with the demco alluminater tow bar,air force one brake system. We took off on a over 3,000 mile trip after traveling flawlessly for about 3,000 miles I stopped for a bite to eat as I pulled away from the restaurant and making a right and then a left turn as I was finishing the left turn and starting to accelerate the car started to shake violently backhand forth so much that the motorhome was shaking I pulled over and called a flatbed tow truck for the motorhome thinking it was the motorhome. I had the motorhome towed to the freight liner service center in phoenix where they checked out the chassis and found nothing wrong.  by the way the car drives fine when not being towed. We left phoenix and headed home to calif. with no other trouble until our next trip after hooking up and making about 5 or 6 left turns to get out our neighborhood after coming to a stop I started a left turn and as I was finishing the turn it happened the car started to shake backhand forth violently so I slowed down to a stop and then started up again and the shaking stopped. I have boiled all this down to something in the steering system of the cmax. Ford dealer has checked out the suspension and found nothing wrong.and someone from ford corp is now saying that the coax is not towable without a tow dolley even though the manuel says it can. any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Gmac 


Edited by Gmac, 01 September 2015 - 12:28 PM.


#14 OFFLINE   John A Smith

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Posted 01 September 2015 - 02:54 PM

Did you check to see if the C-Max brakes were hot after the shaking incident?  I am suspicious of the braking system.   I have to assume that you carefully followed the instructions for flat towing?  Lots of folk are towing them so I doubt the accuracy of what that Ford guy told you.  



#15 OFFLINE   Gmac

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Posted 01 September 2015 - 07:29 PM

The brakes are fine not heating up the problem is in the steering it has trouble coming back to center. also i agree that the ford guy was wrong  about not being towable as there are many out there and the only complaint they have is a dead battery.



#16 OFFLINE   Gmac

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Posted 04 September 2015 - 12:26 PM

the problem with my cmax I believe is that the tires don't return to center quickly enough which causes the front tires to shake left to right and to get them to stop you have to slow down to a stop and take off slowly. "IT'S A STEERING PROBLEM" I have eliminated every other possibility I or anybody else can think of. this happens only when towing behind the motorhome and only when making a turn .



#17 OFFLINE   FordService

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Posted 15 September 2015 - 09:48 AM

HI ALL I AM NEW TO THIS SITE AND i have a serious problem! after purchasing my 2014 cmax   energi  last year I had it set up to tow with the demco alluminater tow bar,air force one brake system. We took off on a over 3,000 mile trip after traveling flawlessly for about 3,000 miles I stopped for a bite to eat as I pulled away from the restaurant and making a right and then a left turn as I was finishing the left turn and starting to accelerate the car started to shake violently backhand forth so much that the motorhome was shaking I pulled over and called a flatbed tow truck for the motorhome thinking it was the motorhome. I had the motorhome towed to the freight liner service center in phoenix where they checked out the chassis and found nothing wrong.  by the way the car drives fine when not being towed. We left phoenix and headed home to calif. with no other trouble until our next trip after hooking up and making about 5 or 6 left turns to get out our neighborhood after coming to a stop I started a left turn and as I was finishing the turn it happened the car started to shake backhand forth violently so I slowed down to a stop and then started up again and the shaking stopped. I have boiled all this down to something in the steering system of the cmax. Ford dealer has checked out the suspension and found nothing wrong.and someone from ford corp is now saying that the coax is not towable without a tow dolley even though the manuel says it can. any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Gmac


Welcome to the forum, Gmac.

Has this been taken care of since your last post? I see you mention speaking to someone from corporate; if you have a case number, please send it to me in a private message. I'll look into it.

Meagan

#18 OFFLINE   garymkrieg

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Posted 16 September 2015 - 07:50 AM

This is information that I have cut and pasted from a discussion about the same problem on the Tiffin RV Forum, here is the link to that discussion, http://tiffinrvnetwo...it=cmax#p665607:

 

"The car is towable in all but a certain peculiar circumstance that causes the front wheels to oscillate left and right. That circumstance is when the toad vehicle is being turned left or right and the wheels have to roll over a dip or bump in the roadway at very low speeds. Such as entering a highway or turning a moderate sharp corner at very low speeds. As the wheels travel over the bump and turn at the same time there is a pronounced change in the alignment geometry called the included angle of turn. When the wheels begin to correct back to center there is not sufficient positive castor to keep the wheels from over correcting thus you get "Bump Steer".

This condition will not occur when the vehicle is under it's own power since the power steering is acting as a force damper to control the positioning of the front wheels.
It will also not happen under braking since the braking action of each wheel again acts as a force damper to control wheel movement.
The Ford Cmax is not the only vehicle to exhibit this condition, I believe the newer Jeep Cherokee models have this tendency as well as some Asian imports.

 

The problem you are experiencing is called "Bump Steer". It is caused by too little positive Castor in the Cmax front alignment geometry. Since the Cmax does not have adjustable Castor settings you will have this problem as long as you tow the vehicle. You might have the vehicle 4 wheel alignment checked and the front wheels set to a 1/16th inch tow out setting to help counteract the bump steer tendency. However this will increase the wear on the inside tread ribs of the front tires and shorten your tire mileage by about 25%. It will not cure the problem but will lessen the occurrence and severity."

 

I hope this helps.

 

Gary


Edited by garymkrieg, 16 September 2015 - 07:50 AM.


#19 OFFLINE   John A Smith

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Posted 16 September 2015 - 05:46 PM

After reading what Gary just posted it reminded me of the time I was entering a parking lot from the street with my toad behind.  The gutter was wet and somehow my toads front wheels turned completely to the right.  I drug that toad for about 10 feet then realized the steering was not going to self correct.  I had to manually re-center the steering in order to proceed.  It never happened again.  



#20 OFFLINE   Gmac

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Posted 18 September 2015 - 02:04 PM

Hi folks just thought I would update you on the response I have received from ford engineers according to the 2014 towing manual page 2 it states as a general rule,vehicle should be towed with the drive wheels off the ground. If the vehicle is towed on its drive wheels,place a dolly underneath the drive wheels of the vehicle and tow with the non tow wheels raised. based in what the customer is experiencing,the step above would be the best way to tow this vehicle. this information is slightly different than what the owners manual states and suggests.  This totally counterdicts what we are being told in the owners manual that comes with the vehicle.  I truly believe ford has a problem with this vehicle and can only hope they will come up with a more sensible solution for this problem. I want to thank  garymckrieg for his information it seems to make the most sense yet on fords problem. For any of you that are interested in seeing my issue it has been put on you tube under towing the ford cmax/dea.th wobble.  thanks to all of you for your suggestions. also to meghan from ford forum I would like to talk to you if possible thanks. I wonder why what garymcrieg said seems to happen to just a few of us not all cmax's  are having this trouble garymcrieg do you have an answer?


Edited by Gmac, 21 September 2015 - 06:12 AM.









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