2011 Ford Escape Towing Capacity (+Charts)

The 2011 Ford Escape had a similar towing capacity to the other earlier model years and that was mainly due to the fact that they shared a lot of the same engine options, which carried over to these vehicles sharing a lot of other data as well.

The maximum weight that these vehicles could pull was 3,500 pounds, which is quite a feat, especially considering their size. On the flip side of that though, some models were only able to achieve a 1,000 pound rating, so you really need to look at the data in order to see what was needed to achieve the higher ratings, if that's what you're going for. Let's dive in!

Read through your owner's manual, as it is the most valuable asset that you have for your vehicle and be sure that you adhere to all of Ford's recommendations and requirements.

2011 Escape Overview

Overall Capacity: The overall towing capacity for the 2011 Ford Escape still have the same range as other similar model years, which was between 1,000-3,500 lbs., depending on the engine that was equipped, whether you had a standard or hybrid model and to get the highest ratings possible, you had to have the optional trailer package equipped as well.

Capacity By Trim Levels: There were a total of five different trim levels available for the 2011 models, three trim levels that were available for the standard models that used a gasoline engine and then there were two hybrid models on top of those. I wanted to compare the different trim levels and their respective capacity ratings and I did this by looking at what engine options were available for what trim levels.

Looking at the data below, we can see that the XLS trim levels had the lowest ratings, next to the hybrid models and was set at 1,500 pounds. The hybrid models (which were the standard hybrid model and then the hybrid limited model) both had a capacity rating of only 1,000 pounds.

The XLT and limited trim levels had the highest capacity ranges out of all the other trim levels, between 1,500-3,500 pounds and again this was dependent upon the engine that was equipped and whether you had the optional trailer package installed.

  • XLS:1,500 lbs.
  • XLT: 1,500-3,500 lbs.
  • Limited: 1,500-3,500 lbs.
  • Hybrid: 1,000 lbs.
  • Hybrid Limited: 1,000 lbs.
2011 Escape Engine Options and Trim Levels

By Engine Options: I also wanted to break down the different engine options that were available to get a better comparison of the data overall. There were two engine choices available for these vehicles which was the 2.5 liter engine, which is a four-cylinder engine and then a larger 3.0 liter engine which happened to be a 6-cylinder engine.

Now the 2.5 liter engine was available for the standard models and the hybrid models, so I just wanted to note that because hybrid models that had the 2.5 liter engine equipped only were able to achieve a 1,000 pound rating while the standard models that had the gasoline powered engine were able to achieve a higher 1,500 pound rating.

If you were fortunate enough to have the 3.0 liter engine installed in your vehicle, then you were able to achieve that 3,500 pound rating, if you had the optional trailer package equipped as well.

  • 2.5L (Hybrid) (4 cylinder): 1,000 lbs.
  • 2.5L (4 cylinder): 1,500 lbs.
  • 3.0L (V6): 3,500 lbs.

The Tow Chart:

The tow chart looked a little bit different from other similar model years but the data in it was almost exactly the same, with maybe the exception of the axle ratios and the gross combined weight rating specifications. The only major difference was that the heading color was orange and that's about it.

We still see that the chart is divided up into automatic and transmission models, with the automatic transmission models listed at the top of the table and then the sole manual transmission model that's listed at the bottom of the table.

If we look at the entire table we can see the engine options posted on the left and then the maximum trailer weight ratings posted on the right, just like other model years with the axle ratio and gross combined weight ratings sandwiched in between those two metrics. There are also additional notes that apply to the maximum trailer weight ratings that you will want to look at that can be found at the bottom of the table.

2011 Ford Escape Towing Chart
2011 Escape Trailer Package Details
Ford MTW Definition

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

There were only two main elements that you needed to know about your vehicle in order to get an accurate maximum trailer weight rating and this was the engine that you had equipped in your vehicle and then whether you had a standard or hybrid model, which only applies to vehicles that had a 2.5 liter engine because there was a 500 pound difference between the two models even though they both shared the same engine.

Other than that, all of the other information in the chart is optional and you really don't need to use it in order to figure out what your trailer weight rating was. I thought I would explain how to read the chart anyway, for those of you out there that may be wondering about some of the additional information that's actually shown in the chart.

Escape Chart Explained
  • Standard or Hybrid model - You will need to specify whether you have a standard model that uses a gasoline engine or if you have a hybrid model instead.
  • The engine you had equipped - You need to verify whether you have a 2.5 liter engine equipped or a 3.0 liter engine equipped.

Sometimes trying to verify the engine that you have equipped in your vehicle is not as easy as it sounds and some people get confused when they pop open the hood of their vehicle and look in the engine bay.

If you are having trouble finding out what type of engine you have, then I would recommend using your vehicle's VIN instead to try to get the information that way. You can plug your VIN into a VIN decoder, which can be found online, and these will tell you the engine that was equipped in your vehicle from the factory, along with a bunch of other useful information that you can use at your disposal.

2011 Escape Trailer Tow Packages...

Making our way down the list, we come to the trailer tow package that was available for the 2011 Escapes and I was able to find a chart that lays out the four different components of what's included in one of these packages.

By the looks of it you get the basic things you need like the trailer wiring harness, which happens to be a four pin wiring harness and then a hitch receiver which you will absolutely need. There is also an automatic transmission cooler (for automatic transmission models only) and then there is another note that just says trailer sway control and I'm not sure what that entails, but that's what's listed.

2011 Escape Trailer Tow Package Options

Hitch Receiver Weight Limits: I also wanted to include an additional table that I found that talks about the hitch receiver weight capacity limits for the weight carrying hitches which is what most of these vehicles will use and then a weight distributing hitch which is not really needed with these vehicles because their maximum trailer weight rating was so low.

Typically, for other Ford vehicles, if they have a higher weight rating then Ford will specify using a weight distributing hitch in order to achieve these higher ratings, but in the case of the 2011 Escape, this was not the case and this chart is more of a supplementary type of information image than anything else.

Ford Escape Receiver Hitch Capacity

Trailer Brakes: Moving onto trailer brakes, which are necessary for heavier loads but for the 2011 models, there was no specified weight limit for your trailer before you had to have trailer brakes installed, like we see with later model years. All I was able to find was this little note in the owner's manual that says that the trailer brakes must be installed properly and that you will have to comply with your local laws, and that's about it.

So I guess all you have to do is check to see what your local state requires as far as trailer weight and trailer brakes go and then make sure that you comply with your state's regulations.

There was one other piece of information that I found that was listed below that talks about how the electrical system on these vehicles is not designed to have a brake controller or a 7 pin wiring harness connected, both items which will be needed when using electric trailer brakes, so you will have to install these yourself or have a shop do it for you.

2011 Escape Trailer Brake Notes

Now The Certification Label...

Ford Certification Label

GCWR, GVWR & GAWRs: The gross combined weight rating specifications were actually provided in the chart which makes it really convenient for those of you out there that need those specifications, but finding the gross vehicle weight ratings or even the gross axle weight ratings is a different story because they are not anywhere in any of the literature or the chart but instead can be found on the vehicle itself.

If you open your driver side door and look for a label that looks like the one shown in the image above, it is referred to as the certification label and is where you'll find these two figures listed.

Axle Code: I also wanted to mention that the axle code can be found on the certification label, but this is just for reference because we did not need to know the axle ratio for our vehicle in order to get our maximum trailer weight ratings from the chart.

Helpful Resources I Used For My Research:

I went ahead and provided the four different resources I used when researching the information for these vehicles and I highly recommend that you check each one out, (or each one that applies to your specific vehicle) because they are full of information about your vehicle.

Last updated on May 12th, 2022 at 10:53 pm

Want To Share This?