2019 – Project: Our “new” 2017 Ford C-Max Energi

2017 Ford C-Max Energi

Having moved from the 5th wheel/pickup combination to a motorhome our next big move was getting a vehicle to tow behind the motorhome. We wanted something we could pull with all four wheels on the ground, not needing any kind of trailer. There are several candidates, most notably a Jeep Wrangler – a legendary “towed.” We decided that the Jeeps are too high and difficult for us to get in and out of at this stage of life. As I researched I found that Ford hybrids can be flat towed so we narrowed our focus to those vehicles. We found this very low mileage 2017 Ford C-Max Energi and decided this was the one.

The Energi is a “plug-in hybrid.” That means that you can plug it into an outlet and the batteries will deliver around 20 miles of electric only travel. After that the car acts as a regular hybrid, running the engine or using the batteries (or both) as needed. The car is very quiet to operate and drives great. It also has more technology than we’ve ever had on a vehicle. We really like the vehicle and are a bit surprised that 2018 was the last year Ford made a C-Max.

The next step was getting it ready to tow. That is a rather big deal as a front base plate has to be installed. Also, a braking system, tail lights, and tow bar is needed. We went with the popular Blue Ox baseplate and tow bar. Then we got the best braking system available for a car being towed behind a diesel motorhome; a SMI Air Force One. This system uses the power from the motorhome air brakes to operate the car brakes proportionally to the brakes being applied on the motorhome. None of this was inexpensive – but it was all part of the process of moving from a pickup pulling a big 5th wheel to a motorhome pulling a small car.

Later on I plan to do an article comparing the 5th wheel experience with the motorhome experience. I may have more to report on towing the C-Max. For now, we have just one tow under our belts. That through Houston I45 traffic to Conroe. That’s a tough drive in any kind of vehicle.


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