Towing Options for the 2013 Ford Escape

An important factor to consider when buying a new vehicle is: Will it meet my towing needs? If you enjoy taking your boat out on a river to go fishing, if you have a pop-up camper, or even if you think you might need to tow a rental trailer to move furniture or other belongings, you need to make sure that your vehicle will be able to handle whatever you throw at it.

There are many different towing options on the Ford Escape, which are dependent on which engine the vehicle is equipped with, and whether or not the Class II Trailer Tow Prep Package is equipped. This article will help to clear up any confusion about what the Escape is capable of.

You can use the links below to jump to different sections of the article, or simply scroll down to read the full article.

2.5L Duratec Engine – 1,500 Lbs
1.6L EcoBoost Engine – 2,000 Lbs
2.0L EcoBoost Engine – 3,500 Lbs (with Trailer Tow Package)

2.5L Duratec Engine – 1,500 Lbs

The 2.5L Duratec Engine is the engine that comes standard with the Escape S, which is the most basic trim level on the 2013 Escape. When equipped with the 2.5L Duratec, the Ford Escape is rated to tow up to 1,500 pounds.  If you are looking for more features in your Escape (things like Sirius XM radio, dual zone climate control, or a power driver’s seat), you’ll probably want to go with either an Escape SE or an SEL, which come standard with the 1.6L Engine, but can be equipped with the 2.0L  Engine with the Trailer Tow Package. 

Without the Class II Trailer Tow Package, the Escape does not come factory-equipped with a trailer hitch, but at Ken Wilson Ford, we can have a after-market trailer hitch installed on your vehicle prior to the you, the owner, taking delivery of the vehicle.

To give you an idea of how much you will be able to tow with the 2.5L Duratec, here are a couple of common towed items that weigh less than 1,500 lbs:

  • Small Pop-up Campers  – typically around 700-900lbs, but check the documentation of your pop-up camper to confirm the weight
  • 4’x8′ Rental Cargo Trailers – Typically weigh around 850 lbs unloaded, which would give you around 650lbs to load in it
  • 4’x7′ Rental Utility Trailers – Typically weigh around 650 lbs unloaded, which would give you around 850 lbs to load in it.

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1.6L EcoBoost Engine

The 1.6L EcoBoost Engine comes standard on the SE and SEL trim levels of the 2013 Ford Escape. This engine is rated for towing up to 2,000 lbs. Again, trailer hitches do not come factory installed unless you get the Class II Trailer Tow package, which is paired with the 2.0 EcoBoost Engine, but you can get an after-market trailer hitch installed. At Ken Wilson Ford, we will even have it installed for you before you, the owner, take delivery of the vehicle.

To give you an idea of what a 2013 Ford Escape with the 1.6L EcoBoost Engine is capable of towing, here is a small list of things that weigh less than the 2,000 pound tow rating:

  • Small to mid-sized boat (up to approx 14 feet) with trailer  – This is extremely variable, depending on the boat, the hull materials, the trailer, the motor, and a number of other factors, but by my research, it looks like you can probably find a small boat and trailer combo that clocks in at under 2,000 pounds. Be sure to check the weight of everything before you buy, though, to make sure that the Escape can handle it.
  • 5’x10′ Rental Cargo Trailer  – Typically around 1,250 lbs unloaded, with a max load weight of around 1,550 lbs, although you would want to be sure not to overload the trailer
  • 5’x8′ Rental Utility Trailer – Typically around 1,000 lbs unloaded, with a max load weight of around 1,800 lbs

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2.0L EcoBoost Engine – 3,500 Lbs (With Trailer Tow Package)

If you have a mid-size to large pop-up camper, or a mid-size boat (up to around 20 feet) with a trailer, you can get the Class II Trailer Tow Prep Package, which is paired with the 2.0L EcoBoost Engine, and will allow you to tow up to around 3500 lbs. This package is available on the SE, SEL, and Titanium trim levels, and includes not only a more powerful engine, but also the addition of Trailer Sway Control. TSC works with the Traction Control System standard on every Escape to monitor the amount that the trailer is swaying behind the vehicle, and then applying a small amount of braking to individual tires to compensate for any variation. The bottom line is, Trailer Sway Control allows you to maintain greater control over both the vehicle and the trailer, especially for trailers on the heavier end of the spectrum. Keep in mind though, that all the advanced technology in the world can’t overcome really bad driving – if you are towing something behind your Escape, regardless of how big it is, please drive carefully.

To give you an idea of what you can tow with the Class II Trailer Tow Prep Package, here is a short list of items that typically weigh under 3,500 lbs:

  • 15′-25′ RV Camper Trailers – The weights of these are going to vary greatly by manufacturer, so be sure to check any documentation to be sure that it weighs under 3,500 lbs. Also, keep in mind that these are the unloaded weight ratings, and that once you add things like your clothes, toiletries, and other items, you may have just added a couple hundred pounds to the trailer.
  • Mid-size boats, up to around 20 feet – Again, there are a lot of variables at stake here, including the hull material, motor size, and trailer size, so be sure to check all documentation to confirm the weight of the boat and the trailer.
  • 6’x12′ Rental Cargo Trailer – These typically weigh around 2000 lbs unloaded, which would afford you another 1,500 lbs of things loaded in.
  • 6’x12′ Rental Utility Trailer – These typically weigh around 1750 lbs unloaded, which would give you another 1750 lbs of weight to load in it.

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If it sounds like the Ford Escape is going to meet your towing needs, feel free to Browse our New Ford Escape Inventory to find your next vehicle.

For more information on the many features of the 2013 Ford Escape, check out our 2013 Ford Escape Shopping Guide

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17 thoughts on “Towing Options for the 2013 Ford Escape

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  6. I like your article on towing. I been looking at Escapes and wondering if it would tow my trailer. I have a 6×10 trailer rated at 3500#. Empty it weighs 880#. I use it for firewood. I weighed it once loaded with stacked firewood. I was shocked to find it was 3440#. I pull my trailer now with a 04 Ranger. Ford no longer makes the Ranger and I don’t want a full size truck. I thought the Escape with the 2.0 would do the trick.

    • Your Escape with a 2.0L EcoBoost with the Class II Trailer Tow package should be able to handle 3,440 pounds. That being said, that’s close to the peak of what it’s rated for, so you’ll definitely notice the car working a lot harder than if you had a bigger or more powerful vehicle.

      Another option to look into is an Explorer or a Flex with the tow package. These are bigger vehicles, but with the Class III Tow package, they are rated at 5,000 lbs and 4,500 lbs, respectively.

      There are ways to configure an F-150 where it is pretty similar to a Ranger (Regular cab, short wheelbase, etc), or you might look into getting a Certified Pre-Owned Ranger.

      Hope that helps!

  7. Any chance Ford will bring the Rangers back?

    • Well, there is still a version of the Ranger internationally (outside the US), but it’s a lot closer to an F-150 than the American version of the Ranger we all know and love. (Wikipedia article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ford_Ranger_(T6) )

      Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem likely that Ford will be bringing back the Pre-2011 American version anytime soon. 😦

      • I seen pictures of the internationally Ranger. It is awesome, and Ford is making a BIG mistake not selling it in the U.S.

  8. Well, I can’t speak for Ford, but personally, I’m in agreement with you there.

  9. I have a 2013 Edge with 2 liter Eco Boost. I now want to tow a travel trailer up to 3,500 lbs total. Can a transmission oil cooler be added by a Ford dealer? Radiator? What about after market

    • Sorry it took me so long to get to your question!

      I believe that your Edge already has a transmission cooler. With the 2.0L EcoBoost, the vehicle is only rated to tow up to 1500 lbs.

  10. I currently own a 2013 Escape SEL, 2.0l 4wd, but it did not come with the Tow package. Can you add an aftermarket trailer hitch that will still meet the 3500 lbs Tow capacity?

    Thanks,
    James

    • No, unfortunately, without the tow package, the vehicle is only rated to tow 2000 lbs, even if you’ve got an aftermarket hitch rated for 3500 lbs.

      The reason is that the trailer tow package adds more than just the hitch – it also adds things like Trailer Sway Control and the wiring harness for the 4-pin connector.

      • Thanks for the very quick response. I thought I could hook up an aftermarket class III hitch and still keep the rating, as the tow package only adds the 4-pin connector, and sway control. Any idea what would cause the 1500lbs discrepancy in the rating between the two?

        • No, I’m not sure exactly. My best guess is that it has something to do with the way the onboard computer is programmed – trailer sway control mostly has to do with controlling the brakes to reduce sway, but it might be something to do with the way the engine is tuned. I can’t find anything in any of Ford’s literature about exactly where that discrepancy comes from.

          Sorry it took me so long to get back to you.

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