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Parts Needed to Flat-Tow a 2016 Ford Focus

Question:

Hello ... looking to purchase a 2016 automatic Ford Focus hatchback as a toad to my Sprinter Chassis Winnebago Reyo motor home with hydraulic brakes and a 7 pin hitch wiring connector. Appreciate some recommendations on toad brake system, base plate, tow bar, wiring harness and anything else you think I may need by manufacturer and part/model number. Im pretty handy with tools and DIY projects so disassembling/reassembling the Focus fascia, headlights, and installing wiring and system assemblies/brackets on a more involved initial set-ups should not be a problem. Rather spend my time on an intense initial set-up and have very little or nothing to do when using as a toad! Think I prefer a proportional braking system and maybe something I can fine tweak from the mortorhome drivers seat or one with a gyro ginch force stopping detection. Im initially impressed with you website and the few videos I have watched. So any other specific videos or tech links would also be much appreciated. Thanks!

1

Helpful Expert Reply:

In order to flat-tow a 2016 Ford Focus with all four wheels on the ground you are going to need a base plate kit, tow bar, safety cables, supplemental braking system, wiring harness, and possible high-low adapter. Before getting started, I highly recommend taking a look in the owner's manual for any specific procedures that must be done while in tow.

For a base plate kit, I recommend the Roadmaster EZ5 Base Plate Kit part # RM-524443-5 as long as you do not have adaptive cruise control. This kit has removable arms for a clean look while not installed. For a tow bar that is compatible with this base plate kit I recommend the Roadmaster Falcon All Terrain Tow Bar part # RM-522 as it has extra-long telescoping arms which allow for better maneuverability and easier towing.

For a set of safety cables I recommend the RoadMaster Single Hook Safety Cables part # RM-643 because the coiled design will prevent them from dragging. For a supplemental braking system I recommend the Roadmaster InvisiBrake Supplemental Braking System part # RM-8700 with the Roadmaster Stop Light Switch Kit part # RM-751454 which will be out of sight once installed. This is a proportional system that will work the hydraulic brakes you have on your motorhome. Unfortunately, we do not really have anything that will allow you to adjust the system from inside the tow vehicle.

For a wiring harness that will work with the 7-way you have on your motorhome I recommend the Roadmaster Diode 7-Wire to 6-Wire Flexo-Coil Wiring Kit part # RM-15267. I have attached a help article that will help you determine if a high-low adapter is needed in addition to a list of our selection.

helpful expert reply by:
1
Conner L

Question:

1. Looking at installing the SMI Stay-IN-Play DUO Supplemental Braking System (Item # SM99251) instead of the recommended Roadmaster InvisiBrake Supplemental Braking System (RM-8700) as there is a nice installation video for my toad on your web site and I like the features of the g-force actuation and an on-off system switch. Also if I understand it correctly, have 7 pin connector on motorhome which can provide 12V positive directly to trickle charge my toad battery (see related question 3 below) instead of using the motorhome running lights the InvisiBrake does. Your web site says the SMI Stay-IN-Play DUO is confirmed to fit the 2016 Focus. Is there anything I'm overlooking here or not understanding or will the SMI Stay-IN-Play DUO work just as well? 2. Understand regardless of the supplemental braking system chosen I need the Roadmaster Stop Light Switch Kit (# RM-751454) because my battery will be disconnected and there is no power going to the brake lights. Per Focus owner's manual the battery is disconnected on the negative terminal when the Focus is being towed. (Believe they say this because it is a manual disconnect/reconnect which can cause a connection spark if done on the positive side.) I'm thinking of installing the Roadmaster Battery Disconnect Switch (RM-766) on the positive side which looks like it uses an enclosed relay. Is this ok for my application? Also, is it correct to install any of the toad set-up 12V needs on the always hot side of the relay like the stop light switch and SMI Stay-IN-Play DUO? 3. With the toad battery being disconnected and the stop light switch and SMI Stay-IN-Play DUO drawing 12V power from the toad battery believe I need to be concerned about the toad battery going dead over time. Should I be installing a trickle charger from the motorhome? Is Roadmaster Battery Charge Line Kit (RM 156-25) correct for my set-up? 4. Unsure if I need a different wiring kit than that recommended Roadmaster Diode 7-Wire to 6-Wire Flexo-Coil Wiring Kit (RM-15267) to bring the charge line from motorhome 7 pin connector (using pin 4 I believe which is labeled “Aux 12V+ Charging” on my motorhome for the trickle charge line) to the RM156-25 6 pin side or do I do this by wiring to the corresponding pin off the 6 pin side? Sorry to say I'm not that familiar with 6 pin connector ends. Is it keyed? 5. The safety cables you folks recommended was the RoadMaster Single Hook Safety Cables (# RM-643) because the coiled design will prevent them from dragging however I noticed that the recommended Roadmaster Falcon tow bar includes Cable guides channels to hold and protect wires and safety cables. Will the coil cables fit in these channels or should I purchase uncoiled safety cables? If uncoiled, can you recommend length and part number. 6. What motorhome hitch to receiver and drop receiver to tow bar locked pins would you recommend? Prefer if I can get set of two with matched keys. Also, see related question 8 below, are the combined lock pins and anti-rattle mechanisms strong enough for my application? If so, please recommend which one(s). 7. My motorhome 2" hitch centerline is approximately 20.25 inches from the road. I’ll measure the base plate when installed on the Focus and order the proper drop receiver at that time but for now can you recommend a dual receiver where I can install a Thule T2 Classic (2 bikes) Rack on the receiver upper portion and the tow bar on the lower? 8. Do you recommend hitch Anti-Rattle tightening brackets for my set up? If so, how many? Is it one for motorhome to receiver, and second for receiver to tow bar? (BTW Thule T2 bike rack already has an anti-rattle pin attachment with a lock.) 9. And lastly, what kind of rock guard would you recommend for my set-up that I could install later? Is the Roadmaster Tow Defender Protective Screening (# RM-4750) a good choice? This would maybe be a later purchase. Thanks for your attention here to my additional very detailed questions. I want to make sure I'm understanding things correctly for what I need before placing an order!

1

Helpful Expert Reply:

1) The SMI Stay-IN-Play DUO Supplemental Braking System part # SM99251 is also another excellent option for your Focus. If the towed car's brake lights do not illuminate when its engine is off, then a stop light switch kit part # RM-751454 is still required for proper notification. Other than the stoplight switch you will not need anything else to install the SMI Stay-IN-Play on your Focus.

2) The Roadmaster Automatic Battery Disconnect part # RM-766 is not a requirement but it will make disconnecting the battery cable very easy. However, Roadmaster only advises this cable be used on the positive battery terminal so I cannot recommend using it on the negative battery terminal. Insead you would use something like the Deka Lead Quick-Disconnect Battery Terminal part # DW05312. The stop light switch kit part # RM-751454 and any of the other accessories will need to be hooked up to the positive battery terminal.

3) The 12 volt pin inside the 7-way on your motorhome can in fact be used to provide a trickle/maintenance charge to the toad's battery. However, this may or may not provide adequate charge for the braking system and stop light switch so I do recommend using the Roadmaster Battery Charge Line Kit for Towed Vehicles part # RM-156-25 with the Roadmaster Battery Charge Line Kit for Motor Homes part # RM-156-75.

4) The Roadmaster Diode 7-Wire to 6-Wire Flexo-Coil Wiring Kit part # RM-15267 is still correct for your setup. The Roadmaster Battery Charge Line Kit listed above will actually attach to the 6-way on the vehicle and the 7-way on the motorhome similar to how the 12 volt circuit is normally ran. It will however replace this. The charge line kit will not be keyed once installed but the standard 12 volt pin may.

5) The RoadMaster Single Hook Safety Cables part # RM-643 will work with the Roadmaster Falcon All Terrain Tow Bar part # RM-522. You can also use non-coiled like the RoadMaster Single Hook Safety Cables part # RM-645 if you choose. It is really just preference but I will say the coiled cables have a smaller footprint when in storage as well.

6) In order to lock the high-low adapter to the motorhome and the tow bar to the high-low adapter I recommend the Roadmaster Trailer Hitch Locks part # RM-316. These locks are both keyed alike and will be more than capable for your setup as this was their intended purpose. For an anti-rattle device you would want to use part # RM-061.

7) In order to carry the Thule T2 Classic 2 Bike Platform Rack part # TH9044 on the back of your motorhome while also towing your Focus I recommend the Roadmaster Dual Hitch Receiver Adapter part # RM-077-4 which will provide either a 4" rise or 4" drop.

8) The Roadmaster Quiet Hitch part # RM-061 can be used on both the shank of the high-low adapter and the shank of the tow bar for maximum effectiveness. Therefore, you would want to use two of them.

9) Unfortunately, the Roadmaster Tow Defender Protective Screening part # RM-4750 or any of the other protective devices we offer can't be used with the Roadmaster EZ5 Base Plate Kit part # RM-524443-5. You would need to use the Roadmaster EZ4 Base Plate Kit part # RM-524443-4 instead. If you were to do that then the Tow Defender Protective Screening is an excellent option but you will want to take a peek in your owner's manuals as some vehicle manufacturers will restrict the use of a protective cover due to loss of airflow.

helpful expert reply by:
1
Conner L

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