2009 Ford Escape Towing Capacity + Charts!

The 2009 Ford Escape had a pretty impressive towing capacity, especially for the size of these vehicles, having the ability to pull up to 3,500 pounds if you have the right engine option equipped in your vehicle, along with the optional trailer package that was available.

You will need to know a little bit about these vehicles in order to get an accurate trailer weight rating because some models were only able to achieve a 1,000 or 1,500 pound rating, depending on certain variables.

Your owner's manual is a great resource and contains a ton of information about your vehicle. I recommend that you read through it and make sure that you adhere to all of Ford's recommendations.

2009 Escape Overview

Overall Capacity: The overall towing capacity for the 2009 Ford Escape ranged from 1,500-3,500 pounds and really the only determining factor for your maximum trailer weight rating was the engine that you had equipped in your vehicle.

The hybrid models did not have a trailer weight rating listed in the chart and in fact, the chart noted that the hybrid models were not recommended for towing, however, I was able to find a 1,000 pound weight rating for hybrid models in the hybrid owner's manual that I linked to at the bottom of this article. 

There was a little bit of conflicting information, so I'm not sure which source was correct, but I thought I would mention it anyway.

Capacity By Trim Levels: There were four different trim levels available for the 2009 Escape, just like we saw for the 2008 model years and if we look at each of the trim levels listed below, we can see a maximum trailer weight rating range according to what engine option was available for each trim level. Both of the XLS trim level options had a maximum capacity of up to 1,500 pounds and this is because they only had the option of the 2.3 liter engine.

The XLT and Limited trim levels had a capacity range of between 1,500-3,500 pounds because both trim levels had the option of having either the 2.3 liter engine equipped or the 3.0 liter engine equipped.

  • XLS (Manual Transmission): 1,500 lbs.
  • XLS:1,500 lbs.
  • XLT: 1,500-3,500 lbs.
  • Limited: 1,500-3,500 lbs.

By Engine Options: Comparing the two different trim levels side-by-side, we can see that the 3.0 liter engine had a far superior maximum trailer weight rating capacity than the 2.3 liter engine by 2,000 pounds.

  • 2.3L (4 cylinder): 1,500 lbs.
  • 3.0L (V6): 3,500 lbs.

The Tow Chart:

The towing chart for the 09 models was a little bit different from we saw with other earlier model years, but has some similarities like the engine options that are listed on the left, followed by the axle ratios for the rear axle and then next to that the gross combined weight ratings.

The maximum trailer weight ratings are listed on the right of the gross combined weight ratings and then we can see the different trim levels that had the engine options specified along with all of the other options in the chart on the farthest right column of the table. Note that the 3,500 pound rating is available for vehicles that have the Class 2 trailer package installed.

* Hybrid models have a tow rating of 1,000 pounds per the hybrid owner's manual.

2009 Ford Escape Towing Chart
2009 Escape Trailer Tow Package Note
Ford MTW Definition

What You Need To Know About Your SUV To Get Your Maximum Trailer Rating:

Even though the chart for the 2009 models did not line up with the chart that I have listed in the example below, it still outlines the areas of information that you are going to have to research about your particular vehicle in order to get the appropriate maximum trailer weight rating that is listed in the chart.

Escape Chart Explained
  • Standard or Hybrid model - You will need to specify whether you have a hybrid model or a standard model. Standard models use only a gasoline engine, while hybrid models use a combination of the gasoline powered engine with electric power as well.
  • The engine you had equipped - The engine that you have equipped is the most important variable when it comes to the weight rating specifications and you will need to know what you have equipped in your vehicle in order to plug that into the data in the chart.
  • Front-wheel drive or four-wheel drive - You will also need to specify whether you have a front-wheel drive model or if your vehicle is equipped with a four-wheel drive option instead.
  • Automatic or manual transmission - It would be helpful to also plug in whether you have an automatic or manual transmission equipped, although it is not necessary in order to get your trailer weight rating.
  • Axle ratio - The axle ratio is also another element that you don't necessarily need to plug into the chart in order to get your rating because all of the axle ratios were the same for automatic transmission models and the only different axle ratio was equipped on manual transmission models.

Nearly all of this information can be found using an online vin decoder, like this one that will use the vin of your vehicle and decode the information from it. This will tell you specific details about your vehicle like the engine that you have equipped, the drive train configuration and many other details that you need to know.

This is massively helpful for those of you out there that are not as knowledgeable about vehicles and is really a quick and easy way to find out all of this information.

2009 Escape Trailer Tow Packages...

The trailer tow package that was optional for these vehicles was labeled as the 536 package and came equipped with the hitch receiver, a 4 pin wiring harness to connect your trailer lights and an automatic transmission oil cooler. I found a table that outlines what the equipment consists of and posted a screenshot of that in the table below.

2009 Ford Escape Trailer Tow Package Options

Hitch Receiver Weight Limits: There was also an additional table that laid out the hitch weight capacity limits, but did not apply to these model year vehicles because the maximum trailer weight rating was specified at 3,500 pounds, which you would not need to use a weight distributing hitch for, in most cases.

Ford Escape Receiver Hitch Capacity

Trailer Brakes: There was also an additional note in the owner's manual that talked very briefly about trailer brakes and how certain states require that you have trailer brakes installed on your trailer if they weigh over a specified amount of weight. You will have to check your specific state's requirements, as each state can differ. 

It also states that these vehicles are not equipped to accommodate electric trailer brakes, which means that you will have to have the brake controller and a 7 pin connector installed by a third party (or yourself) in order to use trailer brakes with these vehicles.

2005 Escape Trailer Brake Warning

Now The Certification Label...

Ford Certification Label

GCWR, GVWR & GAWRs: The gross combined weight ratings were provided in the charts and it made finding that data very easy and convenient, but finding the gross vehicle weight ratings or the gross axle weight ratings were not as easy. In fact, the gross vehicle weight rating and gross axle weight ratings were not listed anywhere in any of the resources I used for this article.

These two metrics are actually found on the certification label that is located on the driver side door pillar of your vehicle and will look like the label that I have shown in the image above. If you look towards the top of this label, you will find both metrics listed in both pounds and kilograms.

Axle Code: The axle code is also listed at the bottom of this label and is a two-digit code that will tell you the axle ratio for your rear axle, if you need that particular information. In this case, we did not need the axle ratio because all the automatic transmission models use the same axle ratio and the only differentiating axle ratio that we saw was for the manual transmission models. 

Helpful Resources I Used For My Research:

Below is a list of the four different resources I used to gather the information for the 2009 Escape and all of these resources had their strong points when it came to searching for the data that I was looking for.

Most of the information in this article came directly from the 2009 guide, including most of the images and charts, but you can also find a lot of this information in the owner's manual. The brochure really shined when it came to comparing the different trim levels and what options were available for each trim level.

Last updated on May 5th, 2022 at 06:07 pm

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