What Ford Vehicles Can Be Flat Towed?

What Ford vehicles can be flat towed?

An Image of a Ford being flat towed - What Ford vehicles can be flat towed?
What Ford vehicles can be flat towed? Image source: Joe Machens Capital City Blog.

 

Flat towing, often referred to as “four-down towing,” represents a popular towing method in which all four wheels of the towed vehicle touch the ground.

RVs, motorcycles, and other vehicles that cannot be towed with a conventional hitch frequently employ this method.

This article provides the answer to whether your Ford vehicle is suitable for flat towing!

 

What Is Flat Towing?

 

Chances are, you’ve likely encountered the concept of flat towing.

Flat towing goes by several names, including neutral towing, dinghy towing, and four-wheel towing.

So, what exactly does dinghy towing or flat towing entail, and what motivates people to opt for it?

Flat towing involves towing a vehicle behind another one, with all four wheels of the towed vehicle remaining on the ground, hence the term “four-wheel towing.”

This towing method is frequently used with an RV and offers a convenient means to bring your car on camping trips.

In contrast, dinghy towing stands in opposition to trailering, where the towed vehicle only has two wheels in contact with the road.

Flat towing is simpler, as it eliminates the need for heavy equipment such as a tow dolly or a trailer.

However, not all Ford vehicles are suitable for flat towing, so it’s essential to determine if your vehicle can be dinghy towed to prevent any potential damage.

 

 

What Ford vehicles can be flat towed?

 

Here is a list of Ford vehicles that are not suitable for flat towing:

 

  1. Ford Flex
  2. Ford Taurus
  3. Ford Expedition: 4×4 low only
  4. Ford Escape: Hybrid models only
  5. Ford F-150: Four-wheel drive only
  6. Ford Super Duty: Includes F-250, F-350, F-550, and F-600 models
  7. Ford Maverick: Hybrid models only
  8. Ford Edge: ST models only
  9. Ford Explorer: Models before 2018
    – 3.5-L engine models between 2018 and 2019
  10. Ford Ranger: 2019-2022 models with four-wheel drive only
  11. Ford Focus: Manual models before 2012
    – All 2012-2018 models, excluding ST models
  12. Ford Bronco models: Excludes the Bronco Sport
  13. Ford Fusion: Hybrid models
    – 2.7-L Ecoboost models
    – Manual transmission models:  These vehicles are not suitable for flat towing due to various reasons, such as the type of transmission, drivetrain, or specific model configurations. If you plan to flat tow a vehicle, ensure that you check your owner’s manual or consult with a dealership to confirm your vehicle’s suitability and arrange any necessary equipment or modifications.

 

Modifying Your Vehicle For Flat Towing

 

Absolutely! Installing aftermarket components like driveshaft decouplers and transmission lubrication pumps can enable your car to tow flat loads.

Both auto shops and RV dealers can install these parts for you.

However, it’s crucial to understand that these improvements can be expensive to install and maintain.

Furthermore, improper usage of these parts has the potential to cause serious harm to engine and drivetrain components.

 

Why Can’t Most Cars Be Flat Towed?

 

In this scenario, automatic gearboxes play a pivotal role as they require continuous motion for proper lubrication.

A pump, powered by the engine, facilitates this lubrication process.

However, when a vehicle is being towed, the engine remains idle, causing the lubrication pump to stop working.

As a result, the internal components of the transmission are left without sufficient lubrication.

Also, the heat generated by the spinning wheels and shafts can result in significant transmission damage.

 

Alternatives To Flat Towing

 

Tow Dollies

Tow dollies serve as excellent alternatives to flat towing.

They operate by placing the car’s front wheels on the dolly, allowing for efficient towing.

Meanwhile, the RV’s rear wheels can remain on the ground.

It’s crucial to emphasize that tow dollies are not suitable for rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive vehicles unless they have a manual transmission and have received specific approval for rear-wheel towing.

 

Trailers

Trailers offer the flexibility to tow nearly any car behind your RV, provided that the combined weight of your car and the trailer does not exceed the towing capacity of the RV.

Similar to tow dollies, using a trailer comes with a learning curve, and you may need to arrange for storage when not in use.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Which vehicles are eligible for flat towing?

 

Typically, a car with rear-wheel drive and a manual transmission, or a car with four-wheel drive and a manual transfer case that allows it to be placed in neutral, can undergo flat towing.

The best method to confirm a vehicle’s suitability for flat towing is by consulting the owner’s manual.

 

What is the easiest vehicle to flat tow?

 

Compact and subcompact cars make the best candidates for flat towing.

Some examples include specific model years of the Chevy Sonic, Ford Focus, and Ford Fiesta.

To be eligible for flat towing, a car must possess features such as a transmission disconnect and steering lockout override.

 

Conclusion

 

In conclusion, flat towing, also referred to as “four-down towing,” entails towing a vehicle with all four wheels touching the ground.

This towing method is popular among RVs, motorcycles, and other vehicles that cannot be towed using a traditional hitch.

However, it’s important to note that not all Ford vehicles are suitable for flat towing, as mentioned earlier.

If you wish to make your vehicle suitable for flat towing, you can opt to install aftermarket equipment like driveshaft decouplers and transmission lubrication pumps.

It’s essential to be aware that these modifications come with associated costs and maintenance challenges.

The primary reason why most cars cannot be flat towed is due to the requirement of continuous motion for proper lubrication in automatic transmissions.

As a result, many vehicles are not suitable for this towing method.

In cases where flat towing is not possible, tow dollies and trailers serve as viable alternatives for towing non-flat-towable vehicles.

Compact and subcompact cars are typically the easiest to flat tow, but it’s crucial to consult the owner’s manual to determine if your specific vehicle is eligible for flat towing.

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