2018 Ford Escape Tow Package, What’s Included?

The 2018 Ford Escape was still pretty capable when it came to its overall towing capacity and to my surprise, there were even two different tow packages that were offered for these vehicles. Each towing package came with its own specific components, one package having a lot more than the other.

You will need to study the data in the chart and know a little bit about your vehicle, specifically what engine you have equipped, in order to figure out what components you might have in your package. Let's dive in to see what I found out!

What the 2018 Escape Trailer Tow Package Includes:

There were two different towing packages available for the Ford Escape and these were labeled as the 534 package and the 536 package. The 536 package also shared some of its contents with the Lincoln MKC and had a lot of the same equipment except for one thing which was exclusive for the MKC vehicles.

.2018 Ford Escapes that had the 534 tow package equipped only had a 4 pin trailer wiring harness and a hitch receiver included in the package. 2018 Ford Escapes that had the 536 package equipped had a 4-pin trailer wiring harness, a hitch receiver, an automatic transmission oil cooler, a trailer sway control feature and was equipped with paddle shifters.

The transmission oil cooler and paddle shifters were only available for models that have the 2.0 EcoBoost engines.

The 534 package was only available for models that had the 1.5 L EcoBoost engine equipped, whereas the 536 package was available for models that had either the 2.0 L or 2.3 L EcoBoost engine equipped.

2018 Ford Escape Trailer Tow Package Equipment

(1) Available with 2.0L/2.3L EcoBoost® I4 only. Available as dealer accessory with 2.5L I4 engine. (5) MKC only.
(13) Available with 1.5L EcoBoost I4 only. (14) Escape 2.0L I4 only.

A 4-Pin Trailer Wiring Harness: The 4-pin trailer wiring harness was a feature for both the 534 package and the 536 package and it's basically a 4 pin connector that is located at the rear of your vehicle next to the hitch receiver.

This allows you to connect your trailer's electrical connector to your vehicle's electrical connector and will synchronize your vehicles lights with your trailer's lights.

4 Pin Wiring Connection

The Hitch Receiver: A hitch receiver was also listed in both tow packages and both packages utilize the same hitch, which was a Class 2 hitch receiver. The hitch receiver is the main component in all tow packages and it mounts on the chassis of the vehicle, underneath towards the rear and is fastened to the vehicle using many strong bolts.

This allows your vehicle to have a well anchored attachment point where you can pull additional weight behind your vehicle without any problems, assuming that you stay within the weight ratings of your vehicle's capabilities.

Escape Trailer Hitch

A Word on Hitch Class: Like I mentioned earlier, both packages use a Class 2 hitch receiver which has a maximum gross trailer weight rating of 3,500 lbs. and a maximum tongue weight rating of up to 350 lbs.

This is more than adequate for the 2018 Ford Escape's towing capacity rating, which maxes out at around 3,500 lbs. depending on the model and engine configuration that was used.

Class II Hitch

Your Hitch Receiver Dimensions: You will want to take note of your hitch receiver's interior dimensions because not all of them are the same and if you are planning on ordering accessories to go with your hitch, you will want to make sure that they match the inside dimensions of your hitch receiver.

Typically, a Class 1 and Class 2 hitch receiver will have a smaller interior measurement than a class 3, 4, or 5 hitch, which typically uses a 2" interior tubing dimension. A Class 1 and Class 2 hitch will typically use a smaller 1-1/4" interior tube dimension.

Class II Hitch Receiver Size

An Automatic Transmission Fluid Cooler: The auxiliary automatic transmission fluid cooler was only available for the 536 towing package and more specifically, models that have the 2.0 L engine equipped. The automatic transmission fluid cooler is basically a smaller radiator and works the same way to help cool down the transmission fluid temperature as it flows through the cooler. Below are images of two different types of transmission oil coolers and typically they will look like the smaller one that is shown.

Escape Automatic Transmission Cooler Example(1)
Escape Automatic Transmission Cooler Example 2

A Trailer Sway Control Feature: The trailer sway control feature is actually a feature that came with the vehicle itself and works automatically to help reduce trailer sway when it is detected. Essentially, it works by applying brakes to individual wheels and reducing the amount of torque that the engine puts out, which is another way of just slowing down your vehicle to try to reduce the amount of trailer sway.

The owner's manual specifically states that this feature will not correct trailer sway 100%, it just reduces it when it is detected and really it is up to the driver to identify problems like these and correct them, which is usually associated with higher speeds and/or uneven trailer loads.

Trailer Sway Feature Escape

Paddle Shifters: Paddle shifters were also another feature for models that have the 536 package equipped, but they were exclusively found on 2.0 L engine models, as no other models were listed as having this feature. For those of you out there that aren't familiar with what paddle shifters are, they are basically just buttons on your steering wheel that allow you to switch gears easily, instead of using the traditional gear shifter.

110V/150 Watt Inverter: The 110-volt outlet was not for the Ford Escape, but rather for the Lincoln MKC, which was noted in the table that I found and have listed at the top of this article. Since the two vehicles share the same tow package chart for this specific model year, they shared a lot of things in the package, but not everything.

Information Sources Used in This Article:

Doing the research for this article was actually pretty easy, especially since I only had to use two different sources of information to gather all of my data. The two sources of information were the 2018 Towing guide that Ford publishes, which you can find online, and the owner's manual, which is also helpful when it came to some of the more technical details.

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