Home » Can You Tow A Camper And Camp Out With A Ford Maverick Hybrid?

Can You Tow A Camper And Camp Out With A Ford Maverick Hybrid?

Will It Camp
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Hello, my Autopians! Do you have it in you to make it epic? I hope you were all as excited about the melding of the Australian desert, the Cult of the V8, and explosions as I was. My short Furiousa review is: if you like Geroge Miller and Fury Road, it’s a pretty good if imperfect follow-up.

Life up here in the Mitten state has had a few curve balls recently but I am thankful you are all still here. For me, making life “epic” is less about fireballs and more about seizing the moment when you can, whether that’s seeking out new experiences or carving out time to spend with your loved ones.

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I had the chance a couple of weeks ago to go camping with my family and at the last minute, I proposed we swapped out the family’s tow vehicle for my Ford Maverick Hybrid. It would be my first true test to see how it stacked up to prolonged stress. So for the third and final part of my Maverick series, I’ll show you if the small truck can live up to its billing as a do-it-all all vehicle that can handle more than city streets. Long story short, it does! But, the trip was not without surprises.

Can A Hybrid Trucklet Actually Tow?

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Parking while grabbing supplies.

As part of The Autopian’s extensive Ford Maverick coverage, we’ve discussed how it’s built on the C2 platform, which also supplies the underpinnings for the Ford Escape and the Ford Bronco Sport. Its interior benefits from being very similar, to provide a comfortable daily driver and small family hauler. The main difference is the bed in the back that roughly offers the same amount of space as a Rivian 1RT with a 4.5-foot bed. The other main benefit of the Maverick over its direct competition is superior fuel efficiency while still offering towing capabilities. While the hybrid’s 2,000-pound tow limit might not sound like much, it’s more than plenty for small campers. As it turns out, my family has a cute wooden teardrop trailer with a dry weight of 1,300 pounds, leaving plenty of wiggle room left over for hauling gear.

Speaking of gear, the trailer felt a little like cheating when it came to gear management. The teardrop has a kitchenette in the back and the interior has a few cabinets that are primarily used for soft goods. The Maverick’s bed then became designated for my tent, air mattress, shoes, and dog supplies. This freed up the back seat for the dingo princess, Amber, to have all to herself. I think she appreciated the space.

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Amber has found a new way to nap.

While the camper was light, that didn’t mean I didn’t feel it with subtle and not-so-subtle differences from everyday driving. The steering was a tad heavier, the acceleration wasn’t quite as peppy, and the rear springs were slightly compressed due to the tongue weight. It was nothing uncomfortable, but you were definitely aware there was something hooked up to the truck and it was being pulled.

Wait, What Are These Flashing Lights

For this trip, we were going from Midland, MI to the Lake Michigan Recreation Area, located appropriately on Lake Michigan. That is a 136-mile route that’s a mix of expressways, country highways, and side roads. It should be straightforward enough. However, after 30 miles of calm cruising on the expressway, bam! The Maverick threw up a bunch of lights on the dash. The digital display between its version of a tachometer and the speedometer read: “Service AdvanceTrac.” The truck then overrode my foot on the pedal and gradually decelerated, until it reached 10 mph. It then abruptly slammed on the brakes, shifted into park, and for good measure, engaged the parking brake. I had not heard of this system before so while I was on the side of the expressway, I pulled up the ole’ Google machine.

Advancetrac
Hell of a disclaimer. Picture: Ford

According to Ford, AdvanceTrac is the name for its electronic stability/traction control system, and from glancing at the others who’ve also had this message, owners theorize it could be caused by a variety of issues, from damaged speed sensors, ABS issues, or numerous other maladies. After reading up, I carefully hopped out and inspected the wheels. There was no visible damage and it didn’t appear that any roadside debris and flown up and taken something out.

The truck started back up but limited the top speed to 30 mph and the brakes were limited. We limped off the highway into a nearby town with the hazards on and got to an O’Reilly’s Auto Parts parking lot. The closest Ford dealership was at least 30 miles away and it being after noon on a Saturday meant options were limited. I wanted a scan tool and mine was now three hours away to the southeast.

A very kind young man working the counter handed me the automated scan tool, which was supposed to take a snapshot of a vehicle’s codes and then display it on a computer in the store. However, nothing came through. When turning on the vehicle again, the series of lights were gone, down to just a check engine light. I unhooked the trailer and did a quick test drive around the town. There were no issues with brakes, power, or otherwise. Then, when I returned to the parking lot, the check engine light was gone, and a second, dedicated scan tool, could not read anything.

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As I saw it, we had four choices:

A) Call a tow truck and cancel the trip

B) Drive back to Midland without the trailer and then drive back with the family’s tow vehicle, a 2017 Ford Escape

C) My brother drives up with the Ford Escape and the Maverick gets left in a nearby park n’ ride lot

D) Go onward

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With no lights on, we chose option D and drove forward. The only difference was purposefully selecting the “tow” drive mode, which constantly ran the ICE engine to provide instant torque/acceleration and adjusted the brakes, making them feel softer, which encouraged earlier and gentler braking.

[Ed note: For a week after the trip, there were no issues or indications there was anything wrong with the truck. Then after getting on I-75 one day after work, the AdvanceTrac drama repeated. I was able to clear it by detaching the fuse cables under the hood, as the fuses themselves are surprisingly located in the interior, under the glove box. I immediately then drove it to a Ford dealership and put the keys in their drop box. The service department called back a day later and said it was a software issue and it should be fine now that they’ve installed an update. They also handled at least two of the recalls that have been issued since February.  For the first and possibly last time, I wish Ford had copied one of Tesla’s strategies. In 2024, OTA updates should be an option for every manufacturer. -JG]

Gimme That Hybrid Power

After taking it nice and slow following the excitement outside of Clare, we finally arrived at the Lake Michigan Recreation Area. It’s a charming rustic campground that’s operated by the USDA Forest Service. For most purposes while camping, if a location says it’s “rustic” that means there are no flush toilets, camper hookups, or shore power. If you’re okay with that, this also means it will likely be pretty peaceful and quiet compared to more happening state parks.

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Home sweet home.

A lack of hookups can mean there are fewer gigantic RVs and campers, and without modern amenities, you’re less likely to run into large groups or families. The downside? You better come prepared when you pack…which we did not do completely. The hefty 700Wh LiFePO 4 “solar generator,” i.e. a battery, I was gifted for trips like this was left back in Midland, sitting on top of the boot chest that’s now used to store dog food. But never fear, the Ford Pro Power Onbaord’s younger cousin is here! If you opt for the Maverick XLT with the Luxury package–a pretentious name, I know but it’s how you get heated seats, which are basically mandatory in Michigan–it comes with various outlet upgrades. In addition to the rear seats getting dual USB-C ports and a 400W AC outlet, there’s another 400W AC outlet in the truck’s bed, located under a weatherproofed flip cover.

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Had to take it back to the dealership to get the outlet working last year. The cable was dangling near the driver’s rear tire and the bayonet connector would not fit with what appeared to be the empty corresponding plug.
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I could have used the foot pump but it was nice to have the compressor take care of the air mattress so I could use that time to get the tent set up.

While 400w isn’t a ton of juice, it’s perfect for charging phones and powering small appliances, like a travel air compressor. While I did not have the right adapter for the compressor to blow up my new air mattress, I was able to MacGyver one together. However, I learned the intrinsic truth that small tire pumps mean small amounts of air pressure. It took about 30 minutes of continuous use to inflate, but the gas engine never had to kick on. If that holds true for other hypothetical gadgets, like small flat screens, this could be game-changing for football tailgates, as no one wants to inhaul exhaust fumes while you’re gearing up to see your team get creamed by Ohio State.

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No Pavement, No Problem

A day or so into the trip, things were going swimmingly. We caught a couple of gorgeous sunsets, my new tent was working out well, and the beach was absolutely perfect.

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The dune you have to cross over to get to the beach.
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This dog used to be scared of the water and now she happily prances right in.
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I hate to admit this publicly but sunsets like this always remind me of the poster for Days of Thunder.

However, the ice pack in the cooler was starting to thaw. No big deal, in two of the four loopers there were freezers with ice for sale. Or, that would have been the case if this wasn’t the first weekend of the year. They were completely empty. Thus, I started a quest to track down ice because dagnabit, I’m going to have ice in my glass of Coke and whiskey tonight or die trying. The nearest little convenience store was 10 miles away and Google Maps of course took as many gravel and dirt roads as possible.

I have two core memories regarding driving on gravel. One, the winding gravel path from the main road to my grandmother’s cottage on Black Lake. The other, driving on washboard gravel roads in the Upper Penisula. The hatchbacks of my past absolutely hated gravel surfaces. The shaking and vibrations made it seem like the cars were ready to bounce apart at a moment’s notice. With the Maverick? No such issues. It openly invited driving on gravel roads. Whereas before in the hatches, anything above 25 mph would be unbearable, the hybrid truck cruised at 45 mph, misleadingly quiet. I had to dial back on my lead foot, as I was anticipating the noise, vibration, and harshness would cause me to slow down before reaching unsafe speeds.

Tragically, the quest ended in failure. The woman running the little grocery said the delivery truck for ice was running late and wouldn’t be there until the next day. Dejected, I went back to the campsite. Thankfully, my SO was joining that evening and she was able to grab some on her way in.

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Perhaps I Treated You Too Harshly

After a short weekend of enjoying the sun and the sand, it was sadly time to head back to reality. While hooking the trailer back up, I thought to myself, “Damn, Ford does really have this hitching thing down to a science.” Which they do! The F-Series trucks have Pro Trailer Hitch Assist, which will do a lot of the work for you. The Maverick doesn’t have anything that fancy, but the backup camera does trace an almost perfect path of where your hitch will go while backing up, along with a digitally cropped zoom shot of the hitch for exact alignment. In just one try, I was able to get everything aligned perfectly… which was somewhat surprising based on my previous issues with the backup camera.

And don’t even get me started on the backup camera. It’s laggy and has low resolution, which is a major safety concern. At times it feels like it was added on to meet government mandates rather than being a useful feature.

That’s still all true, but if you’re going slow and steady backing up, which you should(!), it works pretty well.

Oh, and one other note to be aware of while towing; don’t be like me and the guys who helped me move out of my Mishawaka apartment, don’t drop the tailgate while something is on the hitch. It’s pretty apparent when there’s something like the arm of the trailer’s front wheel sticking straight up, but it’s still easy to forget about if you’re reaching in to get something out of the bed.

License Plate Edit

But when it’s something like a small U-Haul trailer, with a subtle little bubble handle, it can happen. Especially for trucklet rookies like me who don’t tow all that often.

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Moving out from Mishawaka back to Michigan in June 2023.

Would I Do It All Again?

The 136-mile trip from the campsite in Free Soil back to Midland was, thankfully, uneventful. I was still anxious that the truck would freak out with service lights but no such thing happened. We also went at a glacial pace of 60 mph, which really benefited fuel efficiency.

Per the onboard computer estimate, the truck got 26.2 MPG while towing. That’s significantly better than our standard tow vehicle, the EcoBoost Escape, which gets 17-18 mpg when hauling the teardrop camper.

If the fix for the AdvanceTrac system is truly the software update, I wouldn’t hesitate again to use the Maverick as the primary camping vehicle. It offers a ton of storage, relatively easy driving, and nifty features that can be helpful. However, I probably need to readjust the tonneau cover’s weather stripping and get large plastic tubs, so if/when it rains, the bed could be a more water-resistant storage option.

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John McMillin
John McMillin
17 days ago

Your fuel mileage results aren’t surprising to me. In my experience towing 16′ Scamp trailers, you always get about 18 mpg. That was true with my Subaru Forester towing a 2000-lb trailer, and the same when it was replaced with a turbo Tiguan. These days, my trailer weighs 3,000 lbs and rides behind a Mercedes GLK with a 3.5l V6. That, too, gets about 18 mph, depending on slop, speed and wind direction.

Box Rocket
Box Rocket
20 days ago

Thanks for this article. It’s good to see these smaller practical vehicles get used and their experiences shared.

When random check-engine lights come on when there seems to be no obvious cause for it, turning the vehicle fully off for about a minute and restarting can clear up those weird glitches. Ideally they shouldn’t happen, but as complex as vehicles are nowadays and adding in another factor with the trailer can cause some mild hiccups. Glad it turned out to be (seemingly) nothing, but definitely a bit concerning for such a relatively new vehicle (and I see this all the time in my shop across the industry, it’s not just Ford).

Would you try doing a similar journey without Tow mode engaged so you could use the hybrid system more, or do you think the truck would freak out again?

Marathag
Marathag
21 days ago

‘What is Service AdvanceTrac’

Alpha testing for Big Brother to shut down your vehicle at anytime is desired.
/tinfoil hat

Spikersaurusrex
Spikersaurusrex
22 days ago

Other than that software issue, it sounds like the trucklet worked out just fine. Now that software issue is disturbing. Hard to tell what it was related to, whether it was towing, or just happened to happen when you were towing. Hopefully the update fixes it. That reminds me, I still need to get my Maverick in for the recall fixes and a car wash.

GodOfBiscuits
GodOfBiscuits
22 days ago

I have a 2022 hybrid Maverick and tow a camper with gear pretty close to the 2,000# limit. I put it in tow mode. I have gotten anywhere from 25-30 MPG. I am really happy with it.

There is no trailer sway, braking is easy (I am a pretty defensive driver while towing).

Love my Maverick. It is a daily driver dream vehicle.

Ben
Ben
22 days ago

The only difference was purposefully selecting the “tow” drive mode

You were towing a significant percentage of its tow capacity and didn’t use the tow mode?

For most purposes while camping, if a location says it’s “rustic” that means there are no flush toilets, camper hookups, or shore power. If you’re okay with that, this also means it will likely be pretty peaceful and quiet compared to more happening state parks.

This is an assumption that doesn’t always hold true. One of the less pleasant aspects of the boom in camping during the pandemic is that there are an increasing number of idiot campers who think they must have 120V power at all times and run a generator constantly at primitive campgrounds. Some of the worst neighbors I’ve had in all my years of camping were at campgrounds without hookups.

Per the onboard computer estimate, the truck got 26.2 MPG while towing.

If that’s accurate, which is a big if in my experience (my computer mileage estimates vary wildly from much too high to much too low when towing), that is pretty darn good. It’s not a huge trailer, but it’s also not a teardrop so I would have expected much more of a mileage hit than that.

Jdoubledub
Jdoubledub
22 days ago

The truck then overrode my foot on the pedal and gradually decelerated, until it reached 10 mph. It then abruptly slammed on the brakes, shifted into park, and for good measure, engaged the parking brake.”

That’s some real HAL 9000 shit. I hate it.

Erik McCullough
Erik McCullough
22 days ago

Not that I’m the weight police, but…. I think this article is missing something from an RVer for 10 years.

2000 lb towing capacity generally means if the rest of the vehicle is empty except a driver who is supposed to weigh 160 pounds. Of course, you didn’t mention the GVWR, sometimes that can make a difference in either direction, too.

Most people would say it is most safe to go to a towing capacity of 90%.
So 2000 lbs = 1800 lbs.

Does that trailer weight 1300 empty or 1300 now? Most people are surprised when they get their trailer weighed, because it has water and stuff in it that adds up fast. And the manufacturer or the trailer sometimes play a little fast and loose with the options and weight. Also, I don’t know how much your princess weighs, but a family might normally be a couple and 2 kids. That’s probably 500 lbs. eating into the capacity.

So my point is that 2000 lbs is barely enough, and no one seems to be discussing this here in this article. What am I missing?

My Goat Ate My Homework
My Goat Ate My Homework
22 days ago

2000lbs is just the towing capacity.

GCWR is 6,500lbs. If the truck (with fuel) weighs around 3,750lbs that leaves 2750lbs in total trailer and passenger weight. (Only 2,000 of that can be a trailer though.)

So based on the GCWR with this 1300lb trailer you can still have 1450 lbs in passengers and cargo.

BUT, payload capacity is listed at 1,500lbs. So, if you net out about 300lbs for the trailer tongue weight (about 15% of the trailer weight) I think you would actually be limited to 1,200lbs of passengers and cargo.

Either way, even if you cram 4 large 200lb adults in a maverick you will still have 400lbs for cargo. Which, unless your hauling something really dense like water should be enough to essentially fill the bed with stuff.

If you’re really savvy you can put the cargo in the trailer up to the 2,000lb towing capacity. Because only about 15% of that weight will be counted towards the max payload you may be able to claw back an extra 250lbs in total gear until you hit the GCWR limit.

Njd
Njd
22 days ago

Ford is pretty good about making their listed towing capacity the actual towing capacity, not a big looking number.

MikeInTheWoods
MikeInTheWoods
22 days ago

What American driver weighs 160lbs? I could stand to lose 30 pounds from my mid-section but that would still put me at 170lbs.

Slow Joe Crow
Slow Joe Crow
23 days ago

I’m not surprised, I know of a Maverick owner who tows a vintage trailer (Shasta sized) with no problems, although he has an Ecoboost with a higher tow rating.
If you’re willing to forgo the portable palazzo with AC and a TV you can also ditch the full size truck and tow with something more modest like a Maverick

MiniDave
MiniDave
23 days ago

I tow my Mini with my MINI (2009 Clubman S automatic) we’ve been all over the country, coast to coast and north to south……I set the cruise control at 70-75 depending on the speed limit and it pulls it easily – fuel mileage drops from 34 to around 26-27 mpg. My only point is to reinforce that you don’t need a truck or a giant SUV to tow something.

When I moved from Denver to Southern California I towed one of those small U-haul trailer that looks like a miniature horse trailer with all my worldly goods in it with a Porsche 914.

People used to tow enormous trailers with the family sedan – they even made a movie about it (The Long, Long Trailer)

Gene1969
Gene1969
23 days ago
Reply to  MiniDave

I remember when my grandfather towed his 18-foot boat with a 87 Buick Regal. It squatted like hell but pulled it.

JumboG
JumboG
22 days ago
Reply to  Gene1969

My 69 Mustang has a trailer hitch installed. That’s the second think people notice and ask me. The first is always, ‘Is it a fastback?’ Strangely enough they are always looking right at it when they ask, and it’s clearly not a fastback.

Gene1969
Gene1969
22 days ago
Reply to  JumboG

LOL! I totally understand. (This is also where I regret The Autopian not having pics available in the comment section. I’d love to see your Mustang.)

Utherjorge
Utherjorge
23 days ago

Solid no on more new Ford vehicles, so thank you for reporting on these issues

Box Rocket
Box Rocket
20 days ago
Reply to  Utherjorge

Minor hiccup that caused a short delay that didn’t repeat itself is almost a “nothing burger”.

These sorts of things crop up all across the industry. There’s no flawless vehicle, and when you add more components – hybrid system and a trailer notably – it’s not entirely unreasonable to expect a slight issue once in a while. Modern vehicles are rolling computers, and folks understand that sometimes the computer acts up a bit and needs to be restarted, updated, etc. Same applies for modern cars.

Utherjorge
Utherjorge
20 days ago
Reply to  Box Rocket

In essence, you’re correct, in that there are problems all over. I’m a Toyota guy, and I’m eagerly watching the new V6TT stuff that’s dropping. For what it’s worth, I’m really happy with my V8 GX and not interested in a turbo for these reasons.

However…to be clear, you’re not suggesting that the numerous trucky/off-roady issues with Fords are nothing burgers, right? OR are you?

Greg
Greg
23 days ago

Saw a guy with a hole in his bed gate just yesterday from dropping the tailgate when there was a handle on the trailer.

Good write up. I wish ford would give this a 6 foot option, and maybe 4k towing. That would be such a sweet spot for me, and I am guessing a lot of other folks.

Slow Joe Crow
Slow Joe Crow
23 days ago
Reply to  Greg

The Ecoboost Maverick has a 4k tow rating, but no hybrid I doubt a 6′ bed will happen since that requires a new body in white

Greg
Greg
23 days ago
Reply to  Slow Joe Crow

Good to know the ecoboost can take a little more! Maybe someone will make a flatbed, or they might already, I haven’t really looked.

John Beef
John Beef
22 days ago
Reply to  Greg

As a unibody truck, that’s unlikely.

Anonymous Person
Anonymous Person
23 days ago

“hauling gearing.” “hooked up to the track” “The trucks started back up” “the family’s tow vehicles, a 2017 Ford Escape

Your editor should have caught these.

Otherwise, good write-up. I was seriously considering a 2025 Maverick hybrid. Then when all the recalls started to happen and Ford stopped offering the hybrid as the standard engine and instead wanted customers to pay more for it, (which ended up with a 5K price increase) I ended up going with a 2024 Trax. I kept my rusty old 2wd regular cab 5-speed GMC for towing.

Anonymous Person
Anonymous Person
21 days ago
Reply to  John Gustin

I’d say “So far. so good” about the Trax, but we’ve had it since the beginning of the year and it has less than 75 miles on it. And about half of those came from bringing it back to the stealership for (warranty) repairs. First the ambient light sensor and then to reprogram the engine control module because of timing issues due to the stop/start feature.
We might take it on a mini road trip this weekend. We really love the looks of it. It’s only 3 inches taller that the wife’s Cruze. It’s more a wagon than a CUV. And at least it has a 6-speed automatic and not a CVT. Plus we got it in the dark blue color that was only available on the 2024 models.

Box Rocket
Box Rocket
20 days ago
Reply to  John Gustin

The chevy dealership next door to my work has had to replace the 1.2L I3 engine in 5 new trax models so far. Not to mention the countless trailblazers they’ve done with the same engine (though those have the CVT instead of the 6-speed, but both are FWD only IIRC).

I don’t see the appeal, especially from a design perspective (they look more like a Nissan from a few years ago), but folks are going nuts over them.

Last edited 20 days ago by Box Rocket
Doug Kretzmann
Doug Kretzmann
21 days ago

I hucked up the extra 5k for a 2024 Maverick, though I resented having to do so.
Very nearly bought a Trax instead, it was #2 on the list. The truck bed is so often handy for canoeing hunting etc, so I grinned and bore it..

Anonymous Person
Anonymous Person
21 days ago
Reply to  Doug Kretzmann

We went canoeing the weekend before last. Plus I haul a push lawnmower in the summer and a snowblower in the winter. (helping out family members) That’s why I kept the rusty GMC. It’s paid for and not too expensive to insure.

Manwich Sandwich
Manwich Sandwich
23 days ago

Great writeup!

So it sounds like Ford set up the tow mode to go as easy as possible on they hybrid part of the powertrain… and thus, minimizing efficiency.

And that sounds disappointing.

But it strikes me as odd that it would be AdvanceTrac that would throw a fit. I would think it would be some other system… like the cooling system for the hybrid bits that would throw codes if the temp range of a given part got a little too high.

And that makes me think that if it throws codes for towing a light trailer, then it would likely do the same if you drove around with anything of substantial weight in the bed.

Hopefully the software update fixes the issue permanently.

But I’m also wondering… if you want to tow in eco mode, preemptively disable AdvanceTrac first (which you’d probably have to do using the Forscan software) maybe?

AdvanceTrac won’t be able to cause issues if it’s turned off, no?

https://www.mavericktruckclub.com/forum/threads/how-to-turn-off-advancetrac-stability-control.9644/

Lardo
Lardo
23 days ago

“rustic’ camping is better known as dispersed camping. looks like you were in a beautiful spot.
https://www.fs.usda.gov/detailfull/fishlake/recreation/?cid=stelprdb5121831

Elanosaurous
Elanosaurous
23 days ago

What make of camper is that? Looks like a nice unit. Surprised that it’s only 1300lbs, going by the size I would’ve figured heavier. I have an Ecoboost Maverick with tow package so I could go up to 4000 (minus people, other stuff in the bed/cab etc.)

Last edited 23 days ago by Elanosaurous
Inthemikelane
Inthemikelane
21 days ago
Reply to  John Gustin

I didn’t look that closely at the images, but when I read mahogany, I went back and zoomed in. Nice build. However, am I seeing a leg and a straw broom sweeping… dirt (?) when looking at the light coming from the trailer’s underside on the other side?

Gene1969
Gene1969
23 days ago

This is the magic of pickups. The ability and possibility to do anything.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
23 days ago
Reply to  Gene1969

If you like pickups you’ll love vans.

Gene1969
Gene1969
23 days ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

Unfortunately, you can’t dump different loose media into the back of a van like you can in a pickup truck.

Yard of sand in the Ranger (Way past payload rating)
1/2 Yard of sand in the same truck

Two yards of Marl in the Dodge 2500
Three yards of sand

Yard of topsoil in the Silverado

100+ invasive catfish in a S-10

It’s also easier to load bags of mulch in a truck than stack it in a van. 30 bags in the Ranger per trip.

I need an open bed.

Andrew Martin
Andrew Martin
23 days ago
Reply to  Gene1969

Or a utility trailer

Gene1969
Gene1969
23 days ago
Reply to  Andrew Martin

Nah. The whole point of a pickup is to limit the need for a trailer unless there’s no other choice.

It’s also easier to backup into the back yard without a trailer and it was also easier to travel the authorized vehicles only trails in the State Park where I dumped off the fish to feed the bear population. (With permission from the Park Rangers)

And no concerns of where to park the trailer, pay for it, or license it. (All my trailer work has been done for work using their trailer.)

Last edited 23 days ago by Gene1969
VermonsterDad
VermonsterDad
22 days ago
Reply to  Gene1969

I currently own a truck and a utility trailer. I have been contemplating replacing the truck with an SUV to save some operating costs. My biggest concern is visibility out of today’s SUV’s when backing the trailer. Have done it with my wife’s SUV, and just makes it more of a pain. Granted, there are many who are better backing a trailer them me.
But visibility is much better in the truck making it easier.

Gene1969
Gene1969
22 days ago
Reply to  VermonsterDad

You may want to look into the aftermarket for those cameras that you can put on the trailer and link up to the infotainment screen to help with the visibility issue.

No matter what, I know you will find what works best for you. 🙂

JumboG
JumboG
22 days ago
Reply to  VermonsterDad

So until I bought a Lincoln Navigator, I always towed with single cab pickup trucks. Great visibility. I tried the SUV and trailer with the Navigator, but decided I liked towing my boats a lot better with a truck, so I switched to a crew cab Ram. For one thing, I couldn’t open the rear hatch with a boat trailer attached. Overall I like the truck more than the Navigator – having the bed is a lot more useful to me than the back of a SUV, but visibility isn’t that much better than the Navigator because the rear seats have headrests which still block visibility, as well as the cab extending farther rearwards. I also like having a lot more power and getting better gas mileage at the same time.

Box Rocket
Box Rocket
20 days ago
Reply to  JumboG

Did you use the glass lift gate on the Navigator? I’m glad they still offer it (AFAIK).

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
22 days ago
Reply to  Gene1969

“It’s also easier to backup into the back yard without a trailer”

Which makes me wonder if putting an electric steering rack on a trailer that works with the steering in the tow vehicle might (with a good backup camera) make maneuvering easier.

Gene1969
Gene1969
22 days ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

Maybe

John McMillin
John McMillin
17 days ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

You’d really have to know what you were doing there to not make matters worse. Backing a trailer sin’t so hard, unless you never have trained or practiced.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
17 days ago
Reply to  John McMillin

I think a camera would go a long way to help the noobs.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
22 days ago
Reply to  Gene1969

You can in a trailer. Even better doing so won’t get your ride dirty.

Gene1969
Gene1969
22 days ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

Getting my ride dirty is something I ever worried about. 🙂

Cerberus
Cerberus
23 days ago

Ah, yes, the “safety” nannies strike again. Could it have been down to not choosing the tow mode or just a (typical dis)function of the system?

I used to do highway speeds on gravel roads in my ’90 Legacy and the car acted like it was almost disappointed I didn’t go faster. I know you were only doing about 60 and that’s a big drop from standard running, but that’s still some impressive mileage while towing. I don’t think said legacy did much better on its own, though I didn’t calculate and log mileage back then. I wonder what the GR86 will do with the utility/kayak trailer I’m almost done putting together.

Darnon
Darnon
18 days ago
Reply to  Cerberus

It’s a fault in the module programming that Ford deployed as part of its other recalls in the early months of this year. It was picking up “noise” in the parking pawl position sensor that made the system freak out into limp mode as experienced here.

TheHairyNug
TheHairyNug
23 days ago

1,300 lbs is within the Prius’s towing capacity

BolognaBurrito
BolognaBurrito
23 days ago
Reply to  TheHairyNug

US spec Prius isn’t rated to tow anything.

TheHairyNug
TheHairyNug
23 days ago
Reply to  BolognaBurrito

lol it’s not a “spec”, they just don’t bother to rate it. Probably in no small part because of this exact stigma

Box Rocket
Box Rocket
20 days ago
Reply to  TheHairyNug

Also lawyers.

Canopysaurus
Canopysaurus
23 days ago

Encouraging, except for that whole software thing. Does make one wish Ford (and/or Hyundai) would combine a hybrid and AWD someday soon. The FWD Maverick does look pretty capable. Interested to see how it holds up over the long term.

Utherjorge
Utherjorge
23 days ago
Reply to  Canopysaurus

but that’s a big thing, no?

The Mark
The Mark
22 days ago
Reply to  Utherjorge

Yes, it seems like a pretty big thing that they wouldn’t tow test a trailer with the hybrid that weighs less than the advertised capacity. It’s not as if Michigan is exactly mountainous or too hot just yet.

Utherjorge
Utherjorge
22 days ago
Reply to  The Mark

I actually don’t understand your comment at all.

My comment was highlighting that a software glitch that bricks the truck, essentially, while towing (or even if it was not) is in fact a big thing, and not something to easily be dismissed.

The chaps here were towing with something under the Mav’s limit, yes?

The Mark
The Mark
22 days ago
Reply to  Utherjorge

Apologies if my wording was unclear. I was agreeing with you, and speculating that a software “glitch” that big should have been caught if they had done adequate testing.

Box Rocket
Box Rocket
20 days ago
Reply to  Canopysaurus

Hybrid AWD Maverick is coming later this year as a 2025 model.

John McMillin
John McMillin
17 days ago
Reply to  Canopysaurus

The Escape hybrid does that.

Detroit Lightning
Detroit Lightning
23 days ago

There have been some spy shots for a hybrid AWD Maverick over the last few days. If they can add the 4k tow package to that, it’ll be a pretty nice setup. Would still like something I could plug in, but this would check just about every other box.

Urban Runabout
Urban Runabout
23 days ago

I’m here for the doggy pix.

Spikedlemon
Spikedlemon
23 days ago

I think I’ve towed as large a trailer in a VW Golf. Admittedly, I could really feel the weight, but it towed along happily enough.

I still struggle to understand the tow-culture needing it to be an SUV or Pickup, I recall the other half’s Yaris even having a tow rating when it first came out, similar with early model Smarts. Now? Nothing short of a “truck” seems allowed. (Obligatory note that this rant has nothing to do with EU tongue weights vs US)

TheHairyNug
TheHairyNug
23 days ago
Reply to  Spikedlemon

I completely agree. As I noted in another comment, this thing is within the Prius’s towing capacity. I feel like the article feeds into this misconception rather than dispelling it

Gene1969
Gene1969
23 days ago
Reply to  Spikedlemon

Is the tow-culture the same over in Europe as it is here in the U.S. and Canada?

I’m just opinionating here but, in the U.S., when someone mentions towing, most people think of large objects: 30-foot travel trailers (9.14 meters), 25-foot boats (7.62 meters), or a 16-foot trailer (4.87 meters) loaded down with work equipment like zero turn mowers, edgers, weedwhackers, blowers, fuel, parts, blades, and other implements of destruction. They are not thinking of little things like teardrop trailers or jet skis.

Another thing is the oversaturation of ads everywhere touting trucks and SUVs as tow rigs. You never see an ad featuring a car towing. Even Honda, and Toyota push their SUVs for that. I think it’s part of the underlying message that cars are for personal luxury while trucks and trucks and SUVs are for work (even fun work).

But if you really want to see Tow-Culture discrimination, go to a place that rents out commercial equipment. You’ll be lucky if they hook up a stump grinder, never mind a tractor, front end loader, lift, or bobcat. Full sized truck or 1 Ton only.

Schrödinger's Catbox
Schrödinger's Catbox
23 days ago
Reply to  Gene1969

Kia Sorento owner here – 2018 with V6. Rated at 5k lbs. max. I have towed 4200 lbs. once. From Florida to Michigan, over two days, a dual axle 12′ U-Haul enclosed trailer filled with stuff for my dad and stepmother.

Since then, the max I tow with it is a rental U-Haul trailer that carries garden supplies.

Most vehicles that can tow up to 2k would do a utility trailer with garden goods/lumber and stuff just fine. The local big box hardware stores have 1-ton trucks for anything more than that, and they’re dirt cheap to rent.

There is a certain stigma to “if I tow, I need a big vehicle”. Should really be, if I tow, I need the right vehicle. Since I will probably never have to perform that long distance 4200 lb. towing again in my life, when I part with this SUV one day, I’ll downsize or move to a hybrid with 2k-2500 lb. max towing and be just fine.

Gene1969
Gene1969
23 days ago

I am the complete opposite of you. The truck I have right now has a tow rating of 5,500 pounds and I am barely getting by with it. I’ve towed two Kawasaki Mule 550’s and brought back a Kubota RTV-X; A John Deere 3 series tractor; said stump grinder twice; eight runs to the scrap yard with an average of 4,000 pounds of metal; Hustler Super Z mowers to the shop five times; as well as various palms and plants.

When I had my Dodge, I towed three pallets of St. Augustine Sod

With My Silverado I towed the T-300 Bobcat and a 5 trunk Pigmy Date palm, Traded a 25 foot JLG lift for a newer one, and took a Kubota tractor in for repairs.

I have another list for hauling.

Eggsalad
Eggsalad
23 days ago
Reply to  Spikedlemon

It’s not just tongue weight that’s the difference. Most of Europe has reduced speed limits when towing and they’re strictly enforced. I believe that in general it’s 70 km/h although it may vary.

Even in the US states that have reduced speed limits for vehicles towing trailers, I don’t think they are enforced much.

There’s a vast difference between towing with a small vehicle at 70 km/h vs. 70mph.

David Frisby
David Frisby
22 days ago
Reply to  Eggsalad

For towing in the UK its 60mph (70mph limit) on Motorway (3 lanes each side and not allowed in the ‘fast’ lane), 60mph (70mph limit) on dual carriageway (2 lanes on either side) and 50mph (60mph limit) in normal 2 lane roads, towns etc are the same…

86-GL
86-GL
22 days ago
Reply to  Spikedlemon

Yeah, people seem to have a really hard time believing cars can tow things. It wasn’t that long ago, midsize sedans came with 3500lb tow ratings. Now, you need to step up to a full-size euro wagon like a V90 XC to get a ‘car’ with a decent tow rating.

I used to figure towing safety standards in North America had become more stringent- Why else would every crossover and sedan suddenly only tow 1500lb?

As of late, I’m not so convinced. The fact that Subaru managed to secure a 3500lb rating for their anemic CVT-equipped CrossTrek wilderness, shows nothing has technically changed, and it probably just comes down to manufacturers not bothering to put in the regulatory work to secure a decent rating.

Why would they not bother? So they can sell you a more profitable SUV or truck.

TheHairyNug
TheHairyNug
22 days ago
Reply to  86-GL

I didn’t really think of it as a push for more profitable vehicles. I had just assumed that Americans have been drawn to brawny vehicles for generations, and the automakers just didn’t see any profit in the regulatory steps for towing with a Malibu. Now that I read your comment, I think that the move to higher profit vehicles is likely more than a happy little accident haha

Last edited 22 days ago by TheHairyNug
Mercedes Streeter
Mercedes Streeter
22 days ago
Reply to  Spikedlemon

Those early model Smarts are weird. They’re TUV-certified to tow 775 pounds (or at least they were the last time I checked) but Smart says you can’t do it. The later models didn’t get any certification despite being larger, more capable cars.

Spikedlemon
Spikedlemon
21 days ago

My initial few searches of smart’s 330kg tow rating gave me more results on how to tow a smart car than using a smart as the tow vehicle. And after the first page devolved into how to smartly tow with a Ford Transit and F150.

I really don’t want a truck just to tow my motorcycle to the track or to the shop (hopefully not the latter due to the former)

Frankencamry
Frankencamry
23 days ago

So, why not use tow mode from the outset when towing? Is there some advantage in towing in regular drive modes?

Greg
Greg
23 days ago
Reply to  Frankencamry

sometimes when towing, if I have a very light load, I won’t use it on my fullsize. It changes the gearing enough to be jerky on starts and stops if you don’t really need it. His use was more experimental, but there are some cases where it just is overkill.

Frankencamry
Frankencamry
23 days ago
Reply to  Greg

Gotcha. My truck is a stick, so tow/haul mode is the lump between the steering wheel and pedals adjusting on the fly. I was contemplating if it has something to do with the CVT.

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