gallery > Towing Setup 10/12/19

What's your towing setup?

My 2016 Focus RS is only 1 of 703 made for North America. And the RS wrecked thread on continues to be updated with more casualties. At 3 years old next month, my RS only has 5488 miles (as of 10/13/19). Having the tow rig & trailer will minimize mileage gain while racking up autox wins out of town.

My tow rig consists of a 2017 Ford F150 Supercrew XLT FX4 painted in Magnetic Metallic with a 5 liter V8 engine, 6-speed auto, 3.31 rear, 4wd with locking rear diff, 36 gallon fuel tank, Blind Spot Monitoring, and obviously a trailer tow package (including brake controller). The previous owner added LT295/60/R20 Nitto Trail Grapplers M/T. This makes the speedometer read 4 mph higher than GPS. I will soon fix this with a correction device. The truck looks to have been well cared for with only 47k miles at the time I purchased it.

Even though this truck has a folding bed cover, I opted to have a spray-in bedliner installed ASAP. The next mod was a Weigh Safe 6 inch drop hitch (steel variant). This hitch has a hydraulic system with a gauge that indicates actual tongue weight. Estimated weight for the trailer + my RS = 5400 lbs. The safe range for tongue weight is 10-15% of the gross trailer weight (trailer/load) = 2200 + 3200 = 5400 x (0.10 to 0.15) = 540 to 810 lbs. I opted to run 700-800 lbs which put the rear tires of my RS near the start of the dovetail section of my friend's trailer.

Even though the trailer is level by using the 6 inch drop hitch, I also need to keep the rear of my F150 FX4 from sagging. I opted to install the Timbren Rear Axle SES Suspension Upgrade. It consists of a set of rubber springs, top brackets, and lower plates with u-bolts. This system replaces the factory rear bumpstops. The setup dramatically reduces rear sag, keeps the front of the truck from aiming at the sky, headlights hit the road where they are supposed to, and the ride quality is outstanding - loaded or unloaded.

In tow mode and maintaining a speed of 65 mph I was able to achieve 14.6 mpg both days to and from the track to my house. Any slower and I would have either been shot at or run over on the interstate and near New Orleans.

The tow straps are from the Mac's Pro Pack Premium Tie Down Strap Kit. I chose 8 foot ratchet strap length, 40 inch axle/wheel strap length, and Direct Hook ratchet end style. Once the straps are tightened down my RS never moved. Take care in making sure the straps are not on the 6 o'clock position of the wheel. They need to be at an angle to maintain tension. I use small spring clamps to tidy up any loose ratchet strap length.


1. Thanks to my buddy John for letting me borrow his car hauler trailer!
2. First mod on the F150 FX4 was a spray-in bedliner. Second was a Ford Performance oil catch can.
3. In picture #9 you can see that plastic ramps are needed under the rear of my F150 FX4 so that my RS doesn't scrape on the trailer ramps.
4. In picture #10 below you can see that I was able to rotate the wheels/tires after the Saturday race while on the trailer. (Not ideal)