Me, again, with more questions for those of you towing with a Ford Flex, or, I guess, with anything less than a 1/2 ton.
First off, though, a disclaimer: It looks like we won't be starting with an AS as our first trailer. It's a combination of things, but we're strongly considering a Trailmanor (hard side popup) as our starter TT. I hope this doesn't mean I have to leave.
I asked about the Flex on a general interest RVing board, and the people there said such wildly divergent things from what I'm reading here that I'm terribly confused and I'm hoping y'all will set me straight.
I test drove a Flex (no EB) yesterday and loved it. It handled well and felt supremely confident on the road. My only quibble was when I punched it to do a tricky merge. It got the job done, but it didn't rock me back in my seat, which is what I'd been expecting based on reports from other drivers (possibly those drivers had EB).
The Trailmanor we're considering weighs about 2600 lbs dry, with a load capacity of #1333. According to my math, that puts it at #3,800, right? Tongue weight is about #350. (I can't find the tongue rating for the Flex. Anybody have it?)
I'm being told the following:
* The Flex (#4500 tow rating) won't cut it for this trailer, and I'll need a 1/2 ton, something like a Tahoe or a truck. I've never towed before, but do I really need a 1/2 ton for a pop up??
* Tongue weight takes weight off the drive wheels, so especially when maxxed out, a FWD vehicle is dangerous to tow with because so much weight has been removed from the drive wheels. AWD is mostly smoke and mirrors, and while a WDH might make a bad sitch a little less bad, it's still bad. I'm being told to get a real 4x4.
The other vehicle I'm considering is a Ford Edge. I like the Flex better for the long load deck because a teen or two could sleep there if we didn't want to bring a tent for extra sleeping capacity. I'm being told that the Flex is marginal at best (one person says it would probably be OK for a popup), dangerous at worst, and the Edge is right out.
* What do you folks think of the Ecoboost (doesn't have to be specific to the Flex)? We live at sea level and do most of our camping above 6,000 feet. We like mountains.
I've read that naturally aspirated engines can have problems in high altitudes?
* What about AWD? How necessary is it for towing in general? For towing a popup? For towing in the mountains? I ask because AWD+EB adds some serious bucks to the cost of the TV and drastically reduces the number of suitable vehicles. That said, if you kind folks recommend both, I'll get both.
* If I'm towing the above popup with a Flex (assuming it's actually possible), do I need a WDH or any other mods?
* Stoopid newbie question: The Flex I drove had a towing package, so there was a receiver (square pipe that looks like something slides into it), but no actual hitch (meaning the thingy with the ball). So I have to buy said thingy with ball, right?
Thanks you guys! You're awesome.