Tow Capability for short distance hauls

This might be a no-brainer, but I don’t know so I’ll ask: For the two times a year I need to tow my 3600lb boat over a 10 mile flat road (storage barn to lake), would you trust a Ford Escape Titanium with the 3500 lb tow capacity? Looking to purchase pre-owned Escape for this purpose in hopes of better mileage for the 98% of the other times I drive it with out towing. Would like your input, thank you…

No, I would not. A quick google search says it has a towing capacity of 2,000lbs.


Every now and then we take our chances, I was willing to tow a skid steer and trailer at 6500 lbs, for 24 mile round trip with my 15 year old vehicle rated at 5k lbs, 2 years ago, no issues yet, braking was the biggest low point. If you take it easy PrOBABLY be ok, but I if you are worried would rent a pickup from uhaual for 19.95 plus .65 a mile. Might seem a little pricey but cheap insurance vs burning a tranny.


Thank you, I have been googling a lot and with the Titanium ego boost engine it does say 3500. But is that realistic…

If you have trailer brakes, I think you will be OK. 2000 lbs is about the limit for trailers that don’t have trailer brakes and that would be for a larger vehicle, 1000 lbs for smaller vehicles.

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I do have trailer brakes so that is a positive.

If the Titaninum model actually has a 3500 tow rating and your boat and trailer weight 3600 lbs you should be fine.

If the tow rating is actually 2000 lbs as Kurt posts, that is too much extra for my taste. It isn’t just about power, it is about tongue weight and braking, too.


Have you checked if there is a towing service to move this boat 2 times a year . It might not cost that much and then you would not risk damage to the vehicle running gear.

When we were looking at a boat and RV camper the place we were going to store for the winter had a service to prep and transport both to where our space was for a very reasonable fee.


My thoughts were if I bought the vehicle and it just couldn’t pull the boat up the ramp, I could in the future perhaps borrow or rent a truck. But would that one time I tried it ruin my vehicle if it was overexerted?

There could be a number of reasons that it could pull the boat up the ramp, including loss of traction. Generally you can pull hard for thirty seconds with out damage. If you are making progress but don’t quite make it all the way, set the brakes and let it idle for ten minutes, then repeat for 30 more seconds. How much time are you allowed to block the ramp?

Its all about heat control. Pulling up the ramp, assuming an automatic transmission, the torque converter will be slipping. Slipping generates heat. If you don’t let it slip for too long, it won’t generate enough heat to take the ATF to overtemp. AS you approach the overtemp limit, you stop and give it time to cool down, but you want the engine running to keep the fluids circulating so they can pull the heat away from the interior of the transmission and into the radiator for cooling.

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This is encouraging as well because I can use the neighbors private ramp and not have to hurry. Thus protecting vehicle by allowing time needed to get out of lake.

Had the 2wd ranger at the time, manual trans, pea gravel launch was an issue to get the boat out. Cement launches no problem. So the gravel launch spinning the tires and smoking the clutch. Luckily the launch was associated to a bar with a deck. 6 guys came off the deck, sat in the back of the truck and got right out.

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Interesting. We don’t have a cement launch at my lake. That might not be good…

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Might want to look at 4wd then. There are some crossover 4wd and AWD vehicles that do pretty good on gas. A good set of off road tires on the rear might also work, just get an extra set of steel wheels so you don’t have to live with them year round.

Since the neighbors let you use their ramp, any chance you could talk them into pulling your boat out of the lake and then hooking it up to your vehicle to tow to the storage yard? Maybe a friend or coworker has a 4wd truck with a hitch that would help? Just in case your vehicle can’t get enough traction.

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We have had a sand launch up at the cabins, Hired a bud with 4wd truck to pull the boat, he had a stroke and much more long story, Here is our boat launch

Good points, thank you

That is quite a launch haha. Makes mine look a bit more fancy.

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One more suggestion, get a heavy duty tow strap. They aren’t that expensive and if you get stuck trying to pull the boat out, maybe someone could be on standby to pull you and the boat out with the tow strap. If you make it, then no worries.

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Thanks for extra ideas

For that short distance what I would be more concerned about is the tongue weight of the trailer and the class of hitch to be able to handle the tongue weight.