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Trailer Wiring Harness for 2008 Ford Escape


Why wont Tow Ready 118457 work on a 2008 Ford Escape but it will work on the Focus? What is different about the wiring of the cars that the Escape requires the harness that connects to the battery but the Focus does not. Thanks


Expert Reply:

The plugs on the # 118457 and the # 118551 are identical, so technically the 118457 would work on the 2008 Escape, but there's a good reason why the Engineering folks at Tow Ready specifiy that only the # 118551 should be used on the 2008 Ford Escape.

In the opinion of the engineers, the wiring system of the Escape didn't have the capacity to feed the vehicle lamps AND the lights used on a trailer. If a powered converter like the 118551 is used, the power to actually illuminate the trailer lamps is pulled directly from the battery, while the connection to the taillights is used to tell the unit when and what lights are on. This also serves to isolate the sensitive and expensive to repair electrical system from any short circuits that might occur in the trailer wiring.

An additional reason is that the Focus has a 1000 lb towing capacity, while the Escape has a towing capacity of up to 2000 lbs, depending on how it's equipped. Larger trailers typically have more elaborate lighting systems. More lamps equals more power draw, which is why the direct connection to the battery becomes more important.

For this reason, I'd recommend going along with Tow Ready's recommendation of using the # 118551 on your 2008 Escape. I've linked you to an install video showing the recommended wiring harness being installed on a 2008 Ford Escape. I've also linked you to a FAQ article that I hope you'll find helpful.

expert reply by:
Mike L

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