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Old 01-28-2014, 04:53 PM   #1
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Got us a Flex - and hello!

First post to this forum.

I enjoyed reading through the thread about a Ford Flex as a tow vehicle, and was about to post to it but it got closed - I guess for contentiousness.

We needed a tow vehicle, our 1993 Toyota Land Cruiser getting a little long in the tooth to trust on long trips.

Our plans are to get a small travel trailer, and leaning towards a Bambi.

We managed to track down a 2011 Flex with EcoBoost and AWD and a factory tow package and second row bench and not much else:



The color was our first choice, and we like the contrasting color on the top, so we kind of lucked out.

Just had it for a few days now, but it came in very handy today when the roads in N GA became impassible for many cars:



Most of those on the hill in the picture (GA 60 north of Mineral Bluff, GA) were stuck - the Flex just kinda powered (slowly) right past them and got us home.

Also looking for advice on a brake controller - the car does have a 7-lead connector and a plug for a controller but all this is pretty new to us.

Anyway, hi! And I'll probably post our story and our search elsewhere.
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Old 01-28-2014, 06:11 PM   #2
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Nice looking vehicle! Let us know how it works out once you have an Airstream attached. The Tekonsha Prodigy is an easy to use, modern brake controller.
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Old 01-28-2014, 06:13 PM   #3
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Congratulations and Welcome!

We love our 2010 Flex EcoBoost, you won't be disappointed in the performance.

I have a Tekonsha P3 Brake Controller, it was highly recommended by those on the forum at the time.

I mounted mine to the right of the steering wheel with the quick disconnect mount so I can use the same unit in my Toytoa Tundra also. I emailed Tekonsha Tech support and they were extremely helpful.

I also bought the Ford wiring kit from Camping world where I bought the Brake controller, makes the wiring as easy as plugging in a toaster.

Now go find a shiny trailer to put behind it!

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Old 01-28-2014, 06:15 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FastEddieB View Post
We managed to track down a 2011 Flex with EcoBoost and AWD and a factory tow package and second row bench and not much else:
What a great combination. It should make an excellent tow vehicle. Great looking too.
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Old 01-28-2014, 07:50 PM   #5
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So much power, such a small trailer. No doubt you are going to luv it!
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Old 01-28-2014, 08:13 PM   #6
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Welcome! We just got our '09 Flex about a month ago, and we love it. Today we got a hitch and 7 pin connector installed, and a Prodigy P2 brake controller. Ours didn't come with the tow package, but we're pulling it all together.

Yours is a beautiful color! Congrats, and happy hunting for something to pull behind it
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Old 01-28-2014, 08:15 PM   #7
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Aldeanfan,

Are you bumping up against the 4,500 lb limit with that rig?

That's what has us kind of limiting our search to 19' or so.
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Old 01-28-2014, 08:20 PM   #8
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Rumor has it that the Flex is capable of towing considerably more than 4500lbs, when properly set up...
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Old 01-29-2014, 05:59 AM   #9
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Aldeanfan,

Are you bumping up against the 4,500 lb limit with that rig?

That's what has us kind of limiting our search to 19' or so.

Since I don't want to see another good discussion about the Flex get closed, I'll just say no.
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Old 01-29-2014, 10:38 AM   #10
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Aldeanfan,

Are you bumping up against the 4,500 lb limit with that rig?

That's what has us kind of limiting our search to 19' or so.
Go vintage and you'll open up your options even more. Vintage Airstreams are much lighter. Our 17' is under 3000#.
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Old 01-29-2014, 11:30 AM   #11
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Greetings from the Florida Panhandle

I love the color of your Flex. That would be my choice. As to trailer brake controllers, I would highly recommend spending the extra few bucks and get the Tekonsha P3. I have had both the Voyager and the P3. Both are good, but the P3 is more responsive.

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Old 01-29-2014, 01:25 PM   #12
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We like ours , a 2012.
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Old 01-29-2014, 02:02 PM   #13
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Makes me wish we had found an EcoBoost model when we were shopping in May of 2012. We have a 2009 Flex Limited with AWD, but no EcoBoost or tow package and only 40k miles. It has been an awesome vehicle for hauling the family, but wouldn't work as a TV for us. Enjoy!

Stay safe out there too. We live in Mableton pretty close to 285. I'm considering taking the 4x4 Expedition out to see if I can help anyone still stranded. Amazingly, there are still plenty of people who haven't made it home yet.
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Old 01-29-2014, 04:36 PM   #14
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Fast Eddie,
I have never paid much attention to the Flex model, but your photo really caught my eye. I love the 2-tone color combo. Great looking tow vehicle!
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Old 01-30-2014, 09:44 AM   #15
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Thanks for all the compliments.

Funny, never dawned on us that it appealed partly because of the way it harkens back to the station wagons of yore.

Our main ride is a Honda Element. We kind of saw the flex as a larger, heavier, AWD version of the same. We both kinda like "boxy".

And while we were Flex shopping, we came across a review that compared it to a "Mini Cooper that had swallowed a school bus".

Really not too far off!
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Old 01-30-2014, 01:19 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FastEddieB View Post
And while we were Flex shopping, we came across a review that compared it to a "Mini Cooper that had swallowed a school bus".

Really not too far off!
Nice! That's pretty much spot on
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Old 02-05-2014, 08:16 AM   #17
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Nice car. We drove them and really liked it. We had the Flex on our short list for a long time to tow our 25 Flying Cloud. Eventually, we bought the Chrysler 300 which we are just now getting ready for camping.

As to the Flex towing, I would have used it to tow our 2012 25 FC. I think it would have done just fine. We saw a Flex in Florida towing a 3 axle Airstream. When set up carefully, I think you can tow any AS with it.

Good luck! Be sure to post when you get a trailer for it.
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Old 02-06-2014, 01:58 PM   #18
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Update...

We've had our Flex about two weeks now, including our regular 100-miles-each-way-on-twistie-roads-to-Knoxville-and-back trip.

Favorably impressed overall.

Pros:

1) Rides very solidly and handles well, cornering very flat. Very quiet. Bear in mind it replaces a 21 year old Land Cruiser, and our regular ride is a Honda Element 5-speed, so I guess an improvement was to be expected.

2) Lots of power.

3) Flexible transmission. Click it into "M" and it goes into a "Grade Assist" mode that holds gears longer both uphill for easier revving and downhill for more engine braking. That was perfect for the ride up TN 68 which is quite hilly and curvy. Hit a paddle shifter and you go into manual mode. Good if you want more engine braking. Like it.

4) Lots of room - for up to 7 passengers, with easy to fold seats.

5) Lots of amenities - garage remotes, keyless entry, backup camera, power lift gate, split L/R F/R heater/AC, heated seats with adjustable lumbar support - that sort of thing. The saying comes to mind: "As you get older, what were once luxuries become necessities". I can see how the features could grow on you in a hurry.

Con:

At first blush, the Ford Sync is amazing for what it can do. On second blush, however, its not user-friendly or intuitive at all. We're pretty much an Apple family, so I guess we have high expectations. Had trouble with the very final step in getting it to navigate to an address - the screen/voice prompt just seems wrong. And I was trying to scan all FM stations, and it only wanted to scan presets. It's cool when it will stream music and podcasts from our respective iPhones via Bluetooth - except when it won't. Same with calls in and out. We're not stupid people, and will figure this out eventually, but the reviews indicating a steep learning curve were correct. And NOT the kind of thing to futzing with while driving.

We had a Tekonsha brake controller installed at a nearby trailer place and the fellow there felt the base Voyager model was just fine and what he uses. So that's what we got. With the harness in place upgrading later should be easy if it turns out to be inadequate.

As an aside, we are presently leaning away from an Airstream, and leaning towards a 21' Camplite, but that deserves its own thread.

And finally, I come from an aviation background where Operating Limitations should really be taken pretty seriously. As such, I will respect the 4,500 lb limit Ford suggests, especially since I'm new at this.

And since I think the other Flex thread got closed due to contentious opinions on this matter, I ask that this not be debated again in this thread, for fear of shutting it down.

Thanks, and more to follow as our adventure unfolds...
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Old 02-06-2014, 04:35 PM   #19
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We to are long in the tooth and find the Sync system hard to navigate and ultimately we turned it off, other than that we love our Flex
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Old 02-09-2014, 09:33 AM   #20
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If you have an aviation background think about how a 737 would fly if it was shaped like a camplite even if it was half the weight
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