Will 2018 Ford Expedition Battery Drain when Flat Towing it Behind an RV

Question:

Flat towing 2018 Ford Expedition Does the vehicle remain on during towing? Does this drain the battery?

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Expert Reply:

According to the 2018 Ford Expedition owner's manual:

". . . turn the ignition as far as it can go toward the off position. It does not turn fully off when the transmission is in neutral (N). If your vehicle has an ignition key, you must leave the key in the ignition while towing. To lock and unlock your vehicle, use the keyless entry keypad or an extra set of keys. If your vehicle has intelligent access, press the engine START/STOP button once without pressing the brake pedal. You do not need to leave your keys in the vehicle. You can lock and unlock your vehicle as you normally do."

The battery could drain so it is recommended that when you stop to let the vehicle run for a while so the alternator can charge up the battery. Check your owner's manual for additional information.

I should also note that I found out the only models of the 2018 Expedition that can be flat towed are models that have 4-wheel drive WITH the 4x4 Low option. None of the other models can be flat towed and would have to be placed on a trailer to transport them.

If you do have a 4-wheel drive model with 4x4 Low then your will need base plates, a tow bar, safety cables, lighting, and supplemental braking to flat tow the vehicle.

For base plates you can use # RM-524457-5. I have linked the instructions for you. Since your Expedition is nearly 6,000 pounds I recommend the Blackhawk 2 All Terrain tow bar # RM-422. It is rated for 10,000 pounds so it has more than enough capacity.

The tow bar features safety chain guides on the arms for straight safety cables such as # RM-649. For lighting a popular option is a diode kit, # RM-15267. Or you can save some money and go with a magnetic kit such as # C-ATL20A.

You may also need a high/low adapter to keep the tow bar level. I have linked a help article showing how to measure and a link to the high/low adapters we carry.

And finally, most states now require supplemental braking on the vehicle being flat towed. One of the preferred systems for our installers and what I recommend is the SMI Stay-IN-Play DUO proportional system, # SM99251. It will apply the vehicle brakes in proportion to how much the tow vehicle is braking. This is the safest way to stop and it reduces wear and tear on both vehicles.

Be sure to consult your vehicle owners manual for specific information on flat towing the vehicle. I have also included some helpful links to our series of help articles on flat towing for you.

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Michael H

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