Best Trailer Hitch for the Ford Escape

ford escape

The Ford Motor Company is one of the pioneering native-born automobile manufacturers in the United States. For roughly a century, Ford has been competing with local old-school makers like Fiat Chrysler, Chevrolet, and General Motors. It is still one of the most affluent multinational American companies that pit against the best car-makers worldwide; especially against Japanese, German, and South Korean manufacturers.

Ford has produced a total of 22 sports utility vehicles (SUVs) since 1972. However, only 9 have survived ongoing circulation. Among them is the Ford Escape, first introduced in 2001 and co-developed with Japan’s Mazda Tribute. This SUV model has three generations of advancement that eventually produced the latest 2018 version.

2018 Ford Escape Specs & Towing

According to US News car review in 2017, the 2018 Ford Escape ranked 5th in the category of compact SUVs. You could say that this car is well-rounded enough to handle cross-country driving. It is one of the few models you can specifically use for pulling campers on the off-beat track.

This model can tow a fully-loaded trailer weighing anything between 1,500 lbs to 3,500 lbs. If you already own a 2018 Ford Escape, check out its specific four-cylinder engine types and its equivalent towing capacity:

  • 2.5-liter Duratec = 1,500 lbs
  • 1.5-liter EcoBoost = 2,000 lbs
  • 2.0-liter EcoBoost = 3,500 lbs

Your Lightweight Caravan Options

Considering the information featured earlier, it’s pretty obvious that the Ford Escape can only accommodate single-axle lightweight trailers. Crucial to your search for the ideal Ford Escape trailer hitch is knowing what kind of wagon you either already own or plan on purchasing for your outdoor vacation. These are the following basic trailer examples that yield less than 3,500 lbs of maximum loaded trailer weight:

Teardrop Trailer

Characterized by its namesake shape, the teardrop trailer is typically the smallest type of hard-side camping wagons. It can bunk an average of 2 to 3 adult vacationers.

  • Average weight: 850 to 1,000 lbs
  • Average length: 5 to 6 feet
  • Leading brands: Little Guy or Camp-Inn

Soft-top Trailer

This kind of trailer is distinguished by its inflatable textile enclosure, comprising roughly 70% of its overall structure. Around 3 to 6 adult campers can sleep altogether inside this wagon.

  • Average weight: 1,200 to 2,100 lbs
  • Average length: 6 to 10 feet
  • Leading brands: Livin’ Lite or Jumping Jack

A-frame Trailer

You’ll be able to identify this trailer by its peculiar solid triangular roof shape. Due to its fairly limited interior space, it can only accommodate a maximum of 4 inhabitants.

  • Average weight: 2,000 to 3,300 lbs
  • Average length: 12 to 14 feet
  • Leading brands: Chalet or Rockwood

Pop-up Trailer

This trailer basically differs from soft-top campers in terms of its solid collapsible segments. At least 40% of its overall frame is comprised of weatherproof fabric. Due to its flexible size range, it can accommodate up to 6 adult campers.

  • Average weight: 2,300 to 3,500 lbs
  • Average length: 8 to 14 feet
  • Leading brands: Jayco or A-Liner

Top 5 Trailer Hitches for 2018 Ford Escape

Between choosing the right Ford Escape tow hitch and an ideal vacation trailer, the latter may prove to be trickier and (arguably) more interesting. However, it doesn’t always follow that choosing the right wagon coupler for your vehicle is less important. In fact, what keeps the towing vehicle and the trailer together from point A to point B is crucial for a successful off-road holiday.

There’s an option for purchasing a 2018 Ford Escape that already includes a tow hitch package. But with this preference, you don’t get to know or decide the quality that pulls your vacation trailer. If you intend to purchase a hitch receiver apart from the vehicle, the following brands might help narrow down your personal inquiry:

Curt 12111 Class 2

CURT 12111 Class 2 Trailer Hitch

This model represents a highly competitive brand known for bringing together material quality and performance. In terms of durability, the Curt 12111 Class 2 sports a co-cured rust-resistant liquid Bonderite coating. It’s not only capable of holding out against weathering but it also retains the fresh exterior appearance as if it was just bought yesterday after a year of usage.

As far as strength is concerned, it performs well enough to qualify in accordance with SAE J684 standards. The retail price is arguably reasonable, but there is little doubt that a number of consumers express specific complaints in terms of DIY installation. While some explicitly mentioned enlarging the holes on the vehicle’s frame, others mentioned arduously working their way through the muffler.

Pros

  • Durable material
  • Aesthetic design

Cons

  • Difficult installation

Tyger Auto TG-HC3F0048 Class 3

Tyger Auto TG-HC3F0048 Trailer Hitch (Class 3 Combo with 2' Receiver Cover and Pin Lock for 2013-2018 Ford Escape)

What makes this model so interesting is that manufacturers are keen to point out that it specifically fits the 2018 Ford Escape.  They are also transparent enough to provide impressive details that indicate good towing performance. Apart from meeting the criteria of SAE J684, it also surpasses the numbers of most generic brands in terms of yield and tensile strength.

Due to the lack of external reviews, it is logical to assume that keen buyers will be wary of the partiality on behalf of the advertised product. As far as online commerce is concerned, the Tyger Auto TG-HC3F0048 didn’t get enough peer reviews to warrant being highly credible. 

But regardless of the possible doubts cast upon the product’s integrity, you will be pleased to know that a hitch pin lock, bolts, brackets, washers and even fish wire bolt leaders are included in the package. 

Pros

  • Excellent strength
  • Comprehensive kit

Cons

  • Insufficient reference

Reese Towpower 06147 Class 2

Reese Towpower 06147 Class II Insta-Hitch with 1-1/4' Square Receiver opening

This model is just one of the many hitch receivers that guarantee an easy no-drilling installation. It does not come as a complete surprise how manufacturers also coin the moniker “insta-hitch” (short for ‘instant’) considering how consumers testify to its quick assembly timeframe. You can expect setup to be completed in less than 2 hours tops.

When it comes to material quality, you can never go wrong with Reese Towpower 06147 Class 2. Unlike the previously mentioned models, this one exceeds the benchmarks of SA J684, CSA, and V-5. Unfortunately, its capacity is limited to 300 lbs of tongue weight. It may be too much to invest considering that this model is more expensive than the rest of the products featured in this article.

Pros

  • Superb quality
  • Easy to install

Cons

  • Very costly

VXMotor Class 3

VXMOTOR 2013-2018 Ford Escape SEL / SE / S / Titanium Class 3 III Matte Black Trailer Towing Hitch Mount Receiver Rear Bumper Utility Tow Kit 2'

Like the Tyler Auto TG-HC3F0048, external references assessing this model are practically non-existent. Fortunately, the manufacturers are very transparent in terms of its possible limitations. For one thing, they openly admit that the VXMotor Class 3 only fits into one type of Ford Escape – the most expensive Titanium make.

Having 350 lbs of maximum tongue weight may be impressive enough. But you can increase it up to 500 lbs with the help of a weight distribution hitch. Its retail price may be subject to argument, but it is definitely worth the price if you the value guaranteed free shipping.   

Pros

  • Heavy lifter
  • Free shipping

Cons

  • Only for Titanium version

Reese Towpower 81378 Class 2

Reese Towpower 81378 Class II Step Bumper Receiver Hitch

If you are looking for a product that is nearly ten times cheaper than the average cost of the brands mentioned earlier, you can never go wrong with this model. Unlike frame hitches, a step bumper hitch is small and does not require painstaking modifications to the vehicle’s underbelly. For such a small component, this step bumper hitch can sustain Class 2’s (arguably) highest tongue weight.

Some enthusiasts with a working knowledge of car mechanics can compare how easier it is to install a step bumper hitch to a traditional type bolted at the frame. Unfortunately, the Reese Towpower 81378 Class 2 can be a bit problematic in terms of user-friendliness. Among the chief complaints mentioned by most consumers is that requires you to carefully drill holes onto your bumper frame. 

Pros

  • Very cheap
  • Highly durable

Cons

  • Requires drilling

Last update on 2018-09-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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