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Complete Towing Setup Including a Transmission Cooler for a 2012 Ford Escape AWD 3.0

Question:

I have a 2012 Ford Escape AWD, 3.0 V6, that doesnt have a tow package and Id like to set it up for towing. Id like to set up the wiring harness with something like or if possible use the Hopkins 4 pole / 7 pole plug combination. What are your recommendations: I also plan on setting it up for electronic braking and a transmission oil cooler etc. Thanks in advance for all your help.

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Expert Reply:

I would be happy to help you set your 2012 Ford Escape up for towing. You're going to need a hitch, a couple of wiring harnesses, a brake controller and ball mount. Plus the requested transmission cooler. Since your Escape does not have the towing package you are going to need two separate wiring harnesses to have a connector like the Hopkins 7- and 4-Pole Trailer Connector Socket w/ Mounting Bracket item # HM40975. You will also need to hardwire in your brake controller since you do not have the port from the factory that will allow you to use a plug and play adapter. I have linked all of the parts you need below along with installation videos so you can follow along with the process and see what the final results will be.

For your hitch receiver you will want the Draw-Tite Max-Frame Trailer Hitch Receiver item # 75751. This hitch is custom fit and bolts directly to your Escape with included hardware. I have attached a picture below of what this hitch will look like once installed.

The first wiring harness you will need is the Tekonsha T-One Vehicle Wiring Harness with 4-Pole Flat Trailer Connector item # 118551. This custom-fit T-One connector plugs into your vehicle's wiring harness, which is located behind the driver's-side and passenger's-side tail lights. This harness will provide you with a 4-Flat vehicle connector.

The second harness you will need is the Universal Installation Kit for Trailer Brake Controller - 7-Way RV and 4-Way Flat - 10 Gauge Wires item # ETBC7. The kit includes a pre-wired 7- and 4-way trailer connector that mounts easily at the rear of your vehicle with an included bracket. This kit is designed for use on a vehicle with an existing 4-way flat trailer connector and plugs directly into it.

For your brake controller I recommend the Tekonsha Prodigy P3 Trailer Brake Controller item # 90195. This is a proportional brake controller that activates your trailer brakes in proportion to your Escape's braking action. It automatically adjusts the trailer's braking based on deceleration of your Escape. The brakes activate immediately, there is no pausing like with time-delayed brake controllers.

To round out your towing setup I recommend the Curt Towing Starter Kit for 2" Hitches item # C45534. This towing kit will provide you with a 2" ball and a fixed ball mount with a 3/4" rise and 2" drop. It also includes a hitch pin and clip, hitch receiver lock with keys, hitch cover, and a storage case.

The Derale Series 9000 Plate-Fin Transmission Cooler Kit w/ NPT Inlets - Class I -Extra Efficient item # D13611 is a 11" Wide x 3-7/8" tall x 1-1/4" deep, radiator-style heat exchanger that improves the performance and overall functioning of your Ford Escape's transmission. The radiator-style, plate-and-fin heat exchanger provides increased surface area so that fluids can spread out along the finned chambers to cool faster.




Draw-Tite Hitch on a 2012 Escape
Draw-Tite Hitch on a 2012 Escape
(click to enlarge)
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Jerred H

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