I tend to agree with Bumpyroad here - If you're buying a vehicle regardless for towing, buy one that is flat towable from the factory. If you know you're going to flat tow, don't buy one that requires expensive modifications to do it.
The pickup with a cap on it sounds perfect for carrying a bunch of bikes. A pickup can be very useful for lots of other things, too.
If you're comparing the cost of adding a cap to a pickup to the cost of a Remco lube pump addition to a van, don't forget to factor in the cost to install that lube pump. That will add another $1k or so to the cost of the pump (unless you're handy enough to do it yourself).
I think you'll find, you can get a cap for a pickup for less than what the lube pump would cost.
As to specific experience with a lube pump: We installed a lube pump on our Kia minivan and towed it the first year/season we owned a MH. Great product and great company that stands behind it pretty well. Worked OK for a while, but then had some leaking problems that pretty much destroyed our trust in the pump, didn't want to use it anymore. Something about watching the pump bust a leak and spew 6 quarts of tranny fluid like a huge geyser all over everything, that image is kinda burned in my head and I never could trust the pump after that, haha.
Dealer fixed it (at Remco's expense and theirs), and it has worked fine ever since that incident. However, I had/have issues trusting it since then, so we ended up trading our other vehicle in for one thats flat towable from the factory, a Ford Fusion Hybrid. Towing is a bit more stress free for us now, when we don't have to worry about that pump.
Sooo, thats why I say, if you are buying a vehicle anyway and can avoid dealing with a modification like a lube pump, you should. :)
Thats great your able to use the ReadyBrake Will. When we were setting up our FFH I e-mailed them and they were not sure it would work with an active brake system like our hybrids so I decided to use Blue Ox. Much simpler system for sure!
Ironically, conmoto, as far as the active braking system goes, its the exact opposite - Readybrake is PERFECT for such a system, better than most others.
Reason being, Readybrake really doesn't care if power braking is turned on or not. It engages brakes until there is no more 'push' on the tow bar, regardless how little or how much pressure it has to exert on the brake pedal to make that happen.
With Ford's hybrids, active power braking is on all the time, so it just means that Readybrake doesn't have to put as much pressure on the brake pedal, before brakes engage enough to make the Readybrake actuator release. No extra adjustment necessary for Active braking as is the case with other systems.
I was actually nervous also about ReadyBrake with our Ford Fusion Hybrid at first, but for totally different reasons. I knew the Active Braking wouldn't be a problem, I just wasn't sure it was physically possible to route a cable from the pedal to the front, with all the hybrid components in the way up front. Called NSA (Readybrake manufacturer), they said it had been and could be done, but it was a little tight. One RV dealer told me it could not be done, was just not enough room (read: they didn't want to do it). Another (better) RV dealer said it could be done, and they did the installation. Did a great job, too, very happy with it.
"...there's got to be other reasons why they can't put a window back there on a diesel pusher. Does the intake manifold take up most of that back wall, maybe?
The reason is simple...having a window in the back is a monumental waste of valuable real estate. My DP had a wall to wall closet in the back. Some other models use a portion of the rear for a washer and dryer and the rest as closet space.
Sorry, I don't buy that the reason is that simple.
If it is, then why is it that almost ZERO coaches ever built on a rear engine chassis offer such, yet coaches built on various front engine chassis do offer such in many floorplans?
There's got to be some reason related to the engine being back there, that they just will not put a window back there. It may well be 'cause of all the nasty diesel fumes being belched out back there, that you don't have as much of with a front engine chassis.
as I recall from my rear window days, they get so filthy while driving that you can't really enjoy the view out of them anyway.
..Not been the case for us. That rear window hasn't got any more dirty than any of the other windows on the sides. If it did, like already said, thats what Windex is for. :)
Now, it may be that with diesel pushers and all the nasty diesel fumes and smog they belch out back there would cause a rear window to get dirty quicker. Could that be the reason why nobody offers a rear window on diesel pushers? If that was the case, wouldn't newer, cleaner diesel engines they're using now alleviate some of that?
Nah, there's got to be other reasons why they can't put a window back there on a diesel pusher. Does the intake manifold take up most of that back wall, maybe?
Hilldude- I just got a Focus and was looking at your install photos. Thank You for posting them.
Why did you install the cable so far left and down of a straight pull? I am not criticizing just asking. Is there double wall above and right of the steering boot? I didn't get it up on the lift yet. Just want to be prepared when I do.
I think you'll find there are just too many things in the way under the hood, to do a 'straight pull' install like you're talking about.
No doubt a straight pull install would be best, and if you can do it that way, go for it. I think most folks that install ReadyBrake, though, end up doing something similar to Hilldude's installation, where they route the cable along the driver's side. Just too many components in the way otherwise.
Haha, you don't even want to KNOW all the obstacles and 'challenges' that were in the way with my Fusion Hybrid, and how difficult it was to route the cable around to the front with that one! Going around on the left side was only option. :)
Thank you all for your responses,
I love all of the positive info on this car. Tomorrow we will test drive the car and see what we think. Next question, what brake system to buy. I like the reviews of the SMI air force one.
I highly, highly recommend the ReadyBrake system. You just can't beat it, IMO - Very simple, cable-operated braking system with ZERO electronics to worry about failing and burning up your brakes (like is known to happen with some electronic box type systems). Costs waaaaaay less than anything else, especially if you haven't bought a tow bar yet, and you get their ReadyBrute Elite kit that comes with tow bar AND brake system for 'bout the same as you'd pay for just a tow bar from anyone else. Fairly simple installation, too - no tapping into vehicle's brake system or electronics, you just run/install a physical cable from brake pedal to front bumper, thats it.
I see that the Fusion is off your list, and you're debating between the Equinox and Jeep Cherokee. Can definitely understand that if you need a lot of storage space, the Fusion wouldn't work, as its batteries do take away some of the trunk space. I think of the two you've boiled down to, I'd prefer the Jeep, but obviously its your decision. Good luck, whatever you decide. :)
Hmmm....Makes me glad we don't have GPS units in our vehicles. We still do our 'navigating' the old fashioned way. :)
Several years ago, we made the same horrible mistake, of leaving the truck unlocked one night at a large, resort campground near the beach. Even bigger mistake: DW left her purse sitting in the truck, on the seat in plain site. Talk about just BEGGING a thief to drop by and 'shop'!
Anyway, next morning, contents of DW's purse and the glove compartment were spread out all over the seat. A few items were on the ground outside the truck at our campsite as well.
Here's the kicker: They took NOTHING! They just rifled through everything and made a mess, found nothing worthy of taking, so moved on. Like most thieves, it was clear they were looking for something they could put their hands on quickly and easily, and turn over quickly for cash (jewelry, expensive electronics, or just cold hard cash). Since they found NONE of any of those in our truck, they just moved on.
Contacted campground security next morning, they came and did a report, etc. They informed us that several folks there had been 'hit' that night in similar fashion. Thieves got a portable DVD player from one family that made the horrible mistake of leaving such in an unlocked car. We learned from that and moved on. Now, we lock our car doors ANY time we leave the car, even if its just for a few minutes. And, we keep the stuff we know thieves target (stuff they can turn around quickly for cash) out of the car in our possession, or at least hidden as best we can.
Look at it on the bright side: At least, since you accidentally left the truck unlocked, you're not having to replace a window or door lock on the truck, as would be the case if they broke their way into your truck. :)
I know some have had success doing it, but I just do not trust that ladder to handle the weight of bikes when going down the road. Too much potential for damage or injury (or worse) to folks on the road behind you to risk it.
Yes, most ladders on the back of RVs are rated to handle up to 300 lbs, and will do so OK, when the RV is parked. However, that is a STATIC load when RV is sitting STILL. HUGE difference between that, and a dynamic load constantly shifting, bouncing at high speeds going down the highway. Bicycles or any other significant weight attached to the ladder will shake, bounce, and vibrate the ladder, something it was not necessarily designed to handle.
It may well handle all that bouncing, vibration OK, or it may not. My big concern is that the bouncing and vibration will eventually work the ladder's mount points loose or break them. It just wasn't designed to be used that way, IMO.
As already said, it does make a difference if we're talking about the back of a TT or the back of a MH. The MH back end won't be subject to as much 'movement' and is a bit safer (although I personally still would not trust it).
Our solution: Install a hitch receiver on the back of our towed vehicle, and put a hitch-mounted bike rack back there to carry the bikes, behind the towed vehicle. We have found this is a much more versatile solution, as it allows us to carry the bikes on pretty much any vehicle that has a hitch receiver on the back or front. I can carry them on the back of the MH on its receiver if we're not bringing a towed vehicle, or I can carry them on the rack behind either of our other vehicles, since they both have a hitch receiver.
There are some places we camp, where we like to leave the MH at the campground, and take off to parks, remote areas with the toad where we like to bring the bikes, too. Carrying the bikes on the back of our towed vehicle allows us to do that, whereas we could not do that if they were mounted on the MH only.
...I'm just amazed this thread hasn't been 'bombed' yet, by the folks that insist no homemade device for generator exhaust is acceptable, and we all must spend $100+ on a Genturi kit or we'll kill 200 people with CO gas. :)
All joking aside, I do like to read about DIY projects like this, I think its cool. One of these days I'm gonna make a device like this for our generator. Only thing is, we almost never camp without electrical hookups, so something like this really isn't a necessity, and hence pretty far down on the project priority list.
..While we're on this topic:
Some relatives of ours recently bought a new 5th wheel, and the dealer they bought from informed them that one should NEVER travel with furnace on. Was not 'cause of same ol' tired debate about traveling with propane on, but was more something specific with gas furnaces. Something along the lines of, wind, air blowing around the righ when going down the road will cause the flame in the furnace to continually get blown out, and furnace will wear itself out prematurely if it keeps trying to re-light itself over and over.
Anyone ever heard this, or know if there's any merit to it? IMO its a bunch of bull. This approach would not be much of a problem if you have a towable RV (TT or 5er), but really ridiculous and unrealistic with a MH. I know we have on occasion drove with the furnace on in our Georgetown MH when necessary, and its worked fine.
Why, it's so light you don't need one.353,100 foot pounds of energy and no supplemental braking is needed?
It all depends on how you look at it.
If you consider legality only, then no, in many states no supplemental braking is required by law for towed motor vehicles.
If you consider braking performance, then in many states if you can stop within 40 or 45 feet (depending on the state) from 20 MPH on a dry, clean, level, hard surface, you are good.
Most other considerations (morality, fear of litigation, etc.) are purely personal preference. I have to live with myself, and you have to live with yourself. We simply can not answer for each other!
Well said, and exactly right, mowermech. :)
I had a 2012 ford fusion.. had to sell it .. could not tow 4 down .. according to the owners manuel.
You didn't have a hybrid fusion, you had one with the conventional drivetrain, which indeed is not flat towable (was at one time, but IIRC Ford changed their mind on that one).
The Original Poster is asking about the Hybrid Ford Fusion, which indeed is flat towable and always has been.
Yes, Ford Fusion Hybrids make excellent vehicles for flat towing. They've been approved/supported by Ford for flat towing for several years (since they came out basically), and have a great proven track record for such.
We have a 2013 Ford Fusion hybrid, and have been flat towing it since day 1, its been great for that. 'Tis really nice to have when camping, its ability to run silently and emission free on batteries is really nice to have at campgrounds. Its like having your own big, comfortable golf cart, haha. :)
I haven't read that much specific information on the 2014 models, but I can't imagine they'd be any different as far as flat towing goes. They're still using the same CVT transmission in them, so flat towing should not be any different.
As for the cost of the batteries if they need replacing after 8 years or 100,000 miles: If that happened, yes, it might negate some of the $$ saved in fuel mileage. However, how many actually keep a car that long? Anyone that does knows that when a car gets that many miles and 'age' on it, expensive repairs are something you just have to deal with from time to time. When the vehicle gets that old, a couple thousand for a new set of batteries is still a lot cheaper than buying another vehicle.
Also, as I recall, Ford actually rates the new Lithium Ion batteries to last 150,000 miles, so there is a really good chance you'll get a LOT more than 8 years or 100,000 miles before they need replacing. They may well last about the same as it'd be in a conventional vehicle before equally expensive repairs would be needed.
afrescop is exactly right, too - These vehicles are one of the easiest and most simple (of all automatic tranny 2WD vehicles) to tow. No pulling fuses or disconnecting battery, no need to start and run the vehicle every few hours to keep the tranny lubbed, no expensive modifications like lube pump or driveshaft disconnect needed, none of that nonsense. Just hitch it up, put it in neutral and go. Install a charge line like afrescop said (which is VERY easy and simple to do), and you can tow it all day, all night, all you want, and never have to worry about it.
Hehe, for us, one more nice thing about owning a hybrid: Where I work, to encourage folks to be more 'green', they just set up a bunch of reserved parking spots up front in the parking garage strictly for 'greener' vehicles that are considered LEFEV (low emission fuel efficient vehicles). Yep, the Fusion hybrid qualifies, they gave me a sticker for such, so I can park in the reserved spots up front. :)
We actually did not buy this car for its incredible mileage. We got it, spent the extra $$ for a hybrid, mostly because of how much simpler and eaiser it is for 4 down towing than anything else we looked at. That alone, for us, made it worth it. The mileage is just an added (very nice) bonus. That, and its just really cool having a vehicle that can run completely quiet and emission free so much of the time.
I see you live in Vermont. One thing I will caution you about, that the dealer may or may not tell you: Hybrid drivetrains do not do as well on mileage when its very cold out. There is no electrically powered heat, so when you turn on the heat inside, the gas engine is forced to come on more and burn more fuel to generate the heat for you (can't run in EV mode quite as much). Also, batteries generally are not able to store, provide power as well when its really cold, so gas engine has to do a little more of the work than electric motor does when its cold. Add that to the fact that colder air is more dense resulting in more wind/aerodynamic resistance at highway speeds...Well, in our case I've found that where I normally get about 48-50 mpg average when its warmer, now that its down to about 30 degrees here, I'm getting more like 45 mpg (how terrible, I know, hahaha).
If we have a spot on a lake, I simply pull straight in and we have the view out the front.....
...And in many campsites, that'd mean your sewer connection (as well as your neighbors) would be right outside your front door. Your 'camping' (awning) side of the RV would be up against your neighbor's, the wrong side.
LOL, if that works for you, go for it, but there's no way I'd ever set up that way unless it was a quick over-nighter and I had no other choice.
Whats REALLY nice, is when you get a site backing up to a river, and can back the MH in far enough that your back end kind of hangs over the river somewhat. Open the back windows at night, the sound of a running river that close all night is really relaxing, we sleep like babies when we can do that. :)
I love having a window on the rear wall of the bedroom in our Class A. Would not be without it.
This is/was actually a deal-breaker for us, I won't have a MH without a window on that back wall. I like being able to see behind the MH. This is especially nice to have when you get a site that backs up to a lake or river (my favorite way to camp).
'Tis one of the big reasons why I won't own a DP Motorhome and marked them off of our list early on, before even considering cost and other issues. I've yet to ever find any DP with a window on that back wall.
Anyone know why that is? Does the air intake and other things for that diesel engine back there completely take up the back wall?
I've often wondered if money was no object, if a company like Foretravel or Prevost could custom build a diesel pusher with a window back there. Or, is it just physically impossible with a rear engine chassis?
As for the people who buy new, we and I thank you very much and also for all the trips to the Dealer, getting things worked out for us and especially before we take possession of such.....
..And us folks that buy new would like to thank you for being willing to buy our used 'sloppy seconds' RVs after we're done with them, and let us get some of our $$ back out of them after we're done using them. Sure good to know that if one day we notice something thats about to break that will cost more $$ to fix than we want to put into it, we can (in some cases) just hide it long enough to sell it to some unsuspecting used RV buyer, and let them deal with that problem. :)
Soooo glad that somebody else is willing to cr*p on a toilet I've already cr*pped on for years, sleep on the same bed I've...er......SLEPT (and other things) on for several years. ;)
Hehehe, just kidding (sort of). All joking aside, one of the big reasons for owning an RV for us is because unlike a hotel, you know that only YOU and your family have stayed in it, slept in it, etc. If you buy a used RV, that whole advantage kind of goes right out the window. You might as well be staying at Motel 6 with all the bed bugs, hahaha! There's a lot to be said for knowing exactly how a unit has been taken care of, who has used it, etc. since day one.
Cars are a different story, I prefer to buy them used, and usually do. RVs, I prefer to buy new mostly for the reason alluded to above. To each their own. :)
Buyin new is like p**ssing money down the drain...
...That may be *somewhat* true, but I can think of many other ways folks p*ss money away much, MUCH worse, and most folks (possibly including yourself) would think nothing of it.
buying a gasser with your budget is just plain stupid.
...No, whats really stupid, is making blanket statements like this. Here, like in so many other cases, this blanket statement lives up to its initials very well - B.S.
There's just waaaay too many factors to consider, to make such statements. There are many very good reasons why going with a gasser makes MUCH more sense, even with a $100k budget.
I could go on and on with the reasons why, but I won't do that, as I don't want to 'hijack' this thread and turn it into a gas vs diesel debate. Just suffice it to say that to some of us, buying a diesel is 'just plain stupid' or 'not too bright', to use your words. :)
Hopefully you will get one that doesn't need much. Nothing more frustrating than buying a new motor home and it sits at the dealer for warranty work, while you would rather be using it.
That looks like a nice motor home and a decent price.
I figured for 119k it seems to fit my bill, anyone know of good dealers in the US with great prices?
..How does it fit your bill at 119k, when you said your budget was 100K? :)
I think it will be difficult to get into a new Tiffin Alegro model for $100k or less.
We looked at Tiffin as well, but found that they were out of our price range ($90k), and significantly more $$ than comparable units. Yes, they (Tiffin units) have more amenities, but IMHO the 'bang for the buck' you get just wasn't quite as good with the Tiffin units. I found we could get a coach of comparable quality with just a little less 'bling' for a good 20-30k less in other brands.
The engine will outlast the house. It revs high, can be noisy on climbs depending on the type of house, but the V-10 will last forever if you take care of it.
X3 (or whatever we're up to).
I've owned two V10s over the course of last 10 years - a 310 HP V10 in an Excursion SUV we had previously that towed our 34' RV trailer for 8 years, and now a 362HP V10 in our 36' MH for almost 2 years now. Both were/are solid as a rock, never have given any problems at all. Newer V10 with the redesigned cylinder 3 valve cylinder heads Ford came out with around 2005 is noticeably more powerful as well. The V10 in our MH seems to have more 'throat' to it than the one in the Excursion did (although the old one was plenty powerful, too).
Like Effy said, take care of this engine, and it will do just fine for you, and outlast any MH built on it.
We just upgraded to a new Class A motorhome and traded our Expedition in for the 2013 Ford CMax Hybrid. We are using Blue Ox tow bar and RViBrake2 for the CMax. Connect the CMax to the tow bar.
The CMax has the push button start. To setup the car for towing: do not press the brake pedal when pushing the start button (this will put the car in Acc. mode). Ensure that the parking brake is set, then press the brake pedal and shift into Neutral and release the parking brake. Follow directions for the brake controller. After completion verify that the brake lights on the CMax are not lit before traveling. I failed to do this and fried two tires (not cheap to replace) with the brakes being applied. Also note that the CMax will go into standby mode after approximately 1 hour, turning off the 12V outlet in the center console. I had to run a dedicated 12v adapter from the battery to use with the RViBrake2. We make it a habit not to drive more that 4-5 hours each day, and we haven't had our new RV for long, so we haven't had an issue with a dead battery as of yet. If this happens then I may consider putting in a 12v charger or direct 12v from the RV. For safety, as with any tow vehicle (toad or TT)always check everything periodically while on the road.
Me thinks, although you've not had a problem yet, you're going to soon be running a charge line (direct 12V line from MH to your Cmax's battery). Or, wishing you had.
If you have a clip-on ammeter, do this one time: Go through all the motions/procedure you mentioned above for setting it up to flat tow. Tranny in neutral, etc. Then, clip your ammeter on one of the wires going to the battery, see what kind of amp draw you have on the battery. Have someone engage the RVibrake a few times to make it engage the brakes, and watch that ammeter.
YMMV, but I found with our Ford Fusion hybrid, there was a constant 3 amp draw on the battery all the time when it was in 'flat tow' mode (tranny in neutral, ignition in ACC position). Have spoke with other hybrid owners that found the same thing as well (both Cmax and Fusion hybrid owners). And this is before even considering the amperage your RViBrake system uses.
And, remember, power braking assist stays on all the time with these hybrids, so every 2nd or 3rd time your RViBrake engages the brakes, the vehicle's brake boost vacuum motor will come on also and use battery power. And, as alluded to earlier, there is probably other systems that may cycle on and off from time to time when towing these hybrids, that would take even more from the battery.
Our first trip towing the Fusion, I did not have a charge line installed. 'Twas about a 4 hour drive, and that was all it took to run battery almost completely dead - it couldnt even operate the power locks. That was all it took for me. I installed the charge line right after that. We've never had to worry about the Fusion's battery again since then, no matter how many hours we're on the road towing.
Remember also, that starting batteries are not meant for deep cycle use, which is what you're using them for in this case if you don't run a charge line. Using a starting battery this way will shorten its life span significantly. A charge line is much, much cheaper than a new 12V battery. :)