2004 Ford Escape Towing Capacities

The 2004 Ford Escape is a much smaller SUV than some of the other models that Ford makes and I was quite surprised to see that these vehicles are any sort of towing capacity whatsoever, considering their size.

If properly equipped, some of these vehicles were able to achieve a 3,500 lb maximum rating, which is quite impressive, given their size, but other models were only able to achieve a mere 1,000 lb rating, so there was quite a substantial difference in the numbers, but it was pretty easy to figure out what accessories you needed in order to achieve the highest rating.

I recommend that you read through your owner's manual to become familiar with your vehicle and that you abide by all of Ford's recommendations and requirements when it comes to your SUV.

2004 Escape Overview

Overall Capacity: The towing capacity for the 2004 Ford Escape ranged from 1,000-3,500 lbs. and came down to which engine you had equipped and whether you had the class II trailer package installed on your vehicle.

Capacity By Trim Level: I listed the three different trim levels that were available for these SUVs and decided to break down their capacities by trim level. I found a section in the brochure that lists which trim levels used what engine and used that data to give you a breakdown of how each trim level compared.

  • XLS: 1,000-3,500 lbs.
  • XLT: 2,000-3,500 lbs.
  • Limited: 2,000-3,500 lbs.
2004 Escape Trim Levels and Engine Options

By Engine Options: There were only two different engine options available for these vehicles and most of them used the larger 3.0L engine that had the higher pulling capacity anyway. The 2.0L engine had a really weak rating and would only be good for very light loads.

  • 3.0L (V6 Engine): 2,000-3,500 lbs.
  • 2.0L (4 Cyl. Engine): 1,000 lbs.

The Very Simple Tow Chart:

The chart for the 04 Escape's was very simple, as there was not a lot of variables that clouded the chart up like multiple engine options, axle ratios, etc. We can see the two different engine options listed on the left, along with FWD and 4WD models to the right of that and of course, the maximum trailer weight ratings on the far right-hand side.

The tongue weight rating was set at 10-15% of your trailer's total weight with a maximum weight limit of 300 pounds, which is shown in another table in this article.

2004 Ford Escape Towing Capacities
2004 Escape Tongue Load Weight Rating

04 Escape Trailer Package & Hitch Receiver Weight Limits:

There was only one trailer package option for these vehicles and I was able to find a chart that lists what was included with this package and if we look at the first image below, we can see that an engine oil cooler was part of the package, along with a 4-pin trailer wiring harness and a hitch receiver. The package was referred to as the 536 package.

The second image is giving us the maximum hitch capacity rating, which was set at 3,500 pounds and lines up with the maximum weight limit in the chart that we saw for models that had the 3.0 L engine equipped, along with the additional trailer package that was available.

2004 Escape Tow Package Options
2004 Escape Hitch Capacities

What About Trailer Brakes?:

There was just this simple note on trailer brakes that only mentioned that you can use trailer brakes with these vehicles, or should I say these vehicles are capable of running trailer brakes that are mounted on the trailer itself.

Ford Trailer Brakes Note

The Certification Label...

Ford Certification Label

GVWR & GAWRs: The GCWRs were provided for us in the charts, like most other Ford vehicles, but the GVWR and GAWR specs were not listed in the owner's manual, brochure or the guide. These two figures are actually printed on the vehicle, making it convenient enough for most people.

The certification label can be found on the driver side door pillar or sometimes the door itself, which resembles the illustration that is displayed above and will contain all types of really beneficial info that you can use later on. The GVWR and both of the GAWRs will be one of the first pieces of information on these labels and will be listed towards the top of this label.

Axle Code: You can also find your axle code for your vehicle on this sticker, but it will be on the opposite side of the sticker, right at the bottom. There will be a code that will represent what axle ratio your vehicle's rear axle is using but for these model year SUVs, there was no need to decipher this code as the chart specified weight ratings for all axle ratios.

GCWR: The GCWR figures were listed in the chart, which I already mentioned and for the '04 Escapes, ranged from 4,180-7,480 pounds.

Resources For This Article:

Most of the information for this article came from Ford's tow guide that I have linked to below and is where I gathered the majority of the images from for this page. The brochure was helpful when it came to looking up the different trim levels for these vehicles and what options were available for each trim level.

The owner's manual had a ton of information in it as well and covered everything about these SUVs, so it was great for looking up the remaining information that I needed to complete the research.

Last updated on April 27th, 2022 at 07:02 pm

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