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Old 05-25-2016, 07:26 PM   #1
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Ford Flex as TV

Hello, I am new to this forum and to the world of camping. I just recently purchased a small vintage inspired trailer but need to purchase a tow vehicle. Since I love Airstreams and if I really enjoy the camping lifestyle, I may likely want to invest in a small airstream, under 24 feet for sure. My tow vehicle will have to be the only vehicle I have, so I need something other than a truck. My new trailer has a dry weight of about 2,600 pounds, and I was looking at several options. I prefer the smaller vehicles if at all possible, since it would be more economical. However I need it to be safe as the most important factor. I like the vintage look of the Ford Flex as well as the fact that it is easy to get into as it is not so high off the ground. I would go with factory installed tow package and the EcoBoost. It has a stated towing capacity of 5,000 pounds. It would likely pull my current trailer, but do you think that it could be good enough to pull a small airstream, if I decide to trade up? I realize there is a lot more to towing calculation, based on what I have looked at. It is all very confusing to me. But I am just wondering if you thought it was even a possibility that the Flex could possibly tow a small airstream? Thanks!
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Old 05-26-2016, 07:51 AM   #2
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There are a number of members here who tow their Airstreams with a Flex. Especially the ecoboost engine tends to be well received. Do a search and see what comes up.
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Old 05-26-2016, 08:14 AM   #3
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There have been several members towing with Ford Flex. Strong engine, low center-of-gravity, full independent suspension, short overhang rear axle to hitch receiver all make for a very capable and stable platform.

To tow a larger trailer you should have the hitch reinforced or may have trouble getting enough weight distribution with your w.d. hitch.

Here's an example.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f463...am-128790.html
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Old 05-26-2016, 08:54 AM   #4
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I thought one of the members had trouble with the unusual fuel tank on the flex other than that all seemed well.
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Old 05-26-2016, 01:00 PM   #5
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As many members have already indicated in other posts, there is more to consider than max towing weight. Please consider the max cargo weight restrictions on your vehicle (usually found on door, and specific to each vehicle) which will include the tongue weight when the trailer is hitched.
It looks like the Flex has a max tongue weight of 450 with the Class III tow package using weight distribution and a max towing capacity of 4500lbs.
The current 2016 Airstream Sport (16') spec indicates a tongue weight of 350 and a GVWR of 3500lbs. Most likely your true tongue weight will be greater than 350lbs. A move to the 22' Sport gets a tongue weight of 393lbs and a GVWR of 4500lbs--right at max for the Flex.
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Old 05-26-2016, 02:40 PM   #6
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Keep in mind that stated towing capacity means very little if not backed up by SAE J2807.

The more important numbers are payload and axle rating. The Flex has ample of both, but it is a good idea to have your hitch reinforced.

I've seen a Flex tow a 25' Airstream with no issues but if you want an expert's opinion (i.e. not mine) then I'd call Andy Thomson at CanAm RV on 1-855-999-7858
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Old 05-26-2016, 03:46 PM   #7
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There's more to towing expertise than reading a chart, but it can be a starting point. If you want towing expertise, go to a towing expert.

Here's information from the towing experts at Can-Am Airstream with 40 years experience setting up thousands of vehicles not unlike the flex, actually this article is about the Ford Ecoboost Flex, towing a 27' Airstream in this example. Contact them for help as needed, they are very generous with their experience.

http://www.canamrv.ca/blog/post/hitc...ned-style-434/
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Old 05-26-2016, 06:40 PM   #8
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Thanks so much for all of the input! I will see if I can find other threads on the Ford Flex towing. I am thinking I may just decide on that. I am such a newbie with all of this, I will just have to learn as I go along. Thanks again!
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Old 05-26-2016, 07:39 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by avionstream View Post
I thought one of the members had trouble with the unusual fuel tank on the flex other than that all seemed well.
That may have been me you are remembering. Our Flex has a problem with its aux fuel pump and it runs out of gas when it still appears to be a quarter full. Keeping it above a quarter has been our solution until we can afford the expensive repair, but before we figured that out it did leave us stranded a couple times.

As for towing, we like it very much. We like it when it's not towing too. It's one of the most comfortable vehicles we've owned. It tows the Caravel just fine, no surprises. It does require a weight distributing hitch, and we use a friction sway control. Our trailer weighs about 2500 lbs.

Ours is a 2009 non-Ecoboost, AWD. We like it enough that we have discussed upgrading to a newer Flex when this one wears out.
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Old 05-26-2016, 07:54 PM   #10
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Without getting too deep into the weeds.

I recommend you go to the actual Airstream website and look at the weights of their various trailers.

New trailers typically are heavier than vintage models.

The specs will tell you the trailer's weight.

Then consider your own personal needs as to how fast you will want to drive when towing, will you be towing in the mountains, and your margin of safety--what types of speeds will other drivers be driving on the roads you will be towing (i.e. how much extra speed might you need for evasive moves).

My opinion to your question is that you may need more vehicle for a lot of Airstreams.
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Old 05-26-2016, 10:31 PM   #11
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I tow a 25' Classic with a 2011 Flex Ecoboost. I've put on 60,000 km (that's 40,000 miles) over the past five years, in all sorts of weather, over all sorts of terrain (including high terrain / low oxygen) with not a single issue. The hitch has been professionally tailored to our units (Can Am), our low profile tires enable us to out manouver most other TV with higher side walls plus when we unhook for extended periods to explore our carbon foot print (and gasoline costs) is much less. OEM's have huge profit margins on trucks and can't be bothered to truthfully explore the towing capabilities of passenger cars.
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Old 05-27-2016, 07:09 AM   #12
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... OEM's have huge profit margins on trucks and can't be bothered to truthfully explore the towing capabilities of passenger cars. ...
This has been discussed before. German auto manufacturers, who are not in the pickup market in North America, rate sedans/minivans the same way domestic auto manufacturers do. I bet there is more to those ratings than just profit margins.
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Old 05-30-2016, 07:59 AM   #13
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I'm selling a 2001 f250 2wd 7.3 diesel super clean low miles fifth wheel hitch and tailgate come with and will tow anything
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Old 06-30-2016, 01:23 PM   #14
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Hi,
I just read you post. I just bought a 2010 Flex w. Auto tranny and manual \ paddle modes.
How to you lock-out overdrive? Or do you just let the tranny do it's thing?
On the Flex there doesn't seem to be a "button" to lock it out (like I had on my '08 Escape).
CanAm RV will be setting me up. Cheers - Frank.
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