2011 Ford Focus. Building a better traveling vehicle (Small Budget build).

Travelin _man

HEY HEY HOCKEYTOWN!!
Hello, my name is Dave and I have been a long time lurker on this form and posted here and there but now I am putting together a mini build thread for my wife's 2011 Ford Focus SES. My plan for this car is to make a better travel vehicle. The car only has 72,000 and we bought it with 27,000 in 2013. We like to travel when we get a chance for we have pretty busy live with our jobs and our daughter. This build will be a budget build on adding components, and building stuff for this car. Anyways, Iv been interested in traveling around since 2011. I had a 1988 Ford Festiva that I used to drive everywhere with friends and we would just travel around Michigan. Fast forward to now, we just went camping over the weekend. My first time camping ever. We went to my wife's grandfather cabin where he has a bit of land. Had blast with family and it got me thinking. I want to do this more often. So that is what inspired me to start this mini build. Plans are to add a roof rack and basket, update the vehicles lighting, build a removable shelving unit in the trunk, add a hitch so i can purchase a small pop up for our trips and other little odds and ends. Here are some photos from this past weekend up in Rosscommon, MI. (Pictured is my in-laws camper that they bought for $ 300.00. My bother in-law and his family stayed in there).
 

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OuterLimits

I control the horizontal and the vertical
Hello, my name is Dave and I have been a long time lurker on this form and posted here and there but now I am putting together a mini build thread for my wife's 2011 Ford Focus SES. My plan for this car is to make a better travel vehicle. The car only has 72,000 and we bought it with 27,000 in 2013. We like to travel when we get a chance for we have pretty busy live with our jobs and our daughter. This build will be a budget build on adding components, and building stuff for this car. Anyways, Iv been interested in traveling around since 2011. I had a 1988 Ford Festiva that I used to drive everywhere with friends and we would just travel around Michigan. Fast forward to now, we just went camping over the weekend. My first time camping ever. We went to my wife's grandfather cabin where he has a bit of land. Had blast with family and it got me thinking. I want to do this more often. So that is what inspired me to start this mini build. Plans are to add a roof rack and basket, update the vehicles lighting, build a removable shelving unit in the trunk, add a hitch so i can purchase a small pop up for our trips and other little odds and ends. Here are some photos from this past weekend up in Rosscommon, MI. (Pictured is my in-laws camper that they bought for $ 300.00. My bother in-law and his family stayed in there).

The Focus should make for an economical travel machine. Keep an eye on gross weight, so you don't over load it, and have fun!

Cheers
 
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Travelin _man

HEY HEY HOCKEYTOWN!!
The Focus should make for an economical travel machine. Keep an eye on gross weight, so you don't over load it, and have fun!

Cheers, TR

Thank you, that was one of my concerns with towing the pop up. One of the guys on a Ford Focus Form I'm on tows a pop up with his and claims he has no problems but the caution is still on my mind. I'm considering doing air bags out back or getting a stiffer spring made for the rear.
 

kojackJKU

Autism Family Travellers!
If you can fit airbags that is a great way to go. Also, you can use a weight distribution hitch. they work wonders too.
 

p nut

butter
I hate to be that guy, but your Focus is not rated to tow. Should be in the owner's manual. I understand that people do it anyway. I could've done the same in my old Honda Civic as well. It had plenty of power to pull a small trailer with no issues. But that's rarely the problem in towing. Brakes, suspension, chassis aren't made to handle a towing load. This means lane maneuvers, emergency stops, extended steep downhills, cross winds, etc. will all negatively affect the performance of your vehicle. Especially considering you've got a little kid in there.....I would think twice. Either get a proper tow vehicle, or just do like I do--get a nice ground tent!
_
 

Travelin _man

HEY HEY HOCKEYTOWN!!
I hate to be that guy, but your Focus is not rated to tow. Should be in the owner's manual. I understand that people do it anyway. I could've done the same in my old Honda Civic as well. It had plenty of power to pull a small trailer with no issues. But that's rarely the problem in towing. Brakes, suspension, chassis aren't made to handle a towing load. This means lane maneuvers, emergency stops, extended steep downhills, cross winds, etc. will all negatively affect the performance of your vehicle. Especially considering you've got a little kid in there.....I would think twice. Either get a proper tow vehicle, or just do like I do--get a nice ground tent!
_

I have thought about a tent, wife has MS and back issues so the tent is a no go. Don't really have the cash for another vehicle as we are still paying on both her car and mine. And I just bought mine new last year. So yea, that's where I stand.
 

Lajning

Observer
Here's some more information on the subject: http://www.focusfanatics.com/forum/mk3-focus/290052-2012-focus-towing-capacity-5.html

In europe max towing speed for all trailers/caravans regardless of vehicle is 80 kph /50 mph. (There are uprated caravans and trailers that can be towed at 100kph/62mph, but not very common). A Swedish sold Ford Focus 2nd gen can tow somewhere around 1200-1500 kg / 2600-3300 lbs depending on the engine. We have a couple of ecofuel models that aren't rated to tow at all, just like your focus.

Anyhow, a 3300lbs car can safely tow a small travel trailer @ ~1500 lbs as long as you keep speed down. We do it all the time.
 

kojackJKU

Autism Family Travellers!
Do you have a camper bought yet? if not, Look at the sylvansport go. It's awesome, very lightweight and will provide comfort for you and your wife.....check it out. Also, you could get some awesome mattresses for the ground tent to that are just as comfortable as a true bed. A big cabin tent, would be just as good as a camper in your situation.
 

Travelin _man

HEY HEY HOCKEYTOWN!!
Do you have a camper bought yet? if not, Look at the sylvansport go. It's awesome, very lightweight and will provide comfort for you and your wife.....check it out. Also, you could get some awesome mattresses for the ground tent to that are just as comfortable as a true bed. A big cabin tent, would be just as good as a camper in your situation.

I have not bought a camper yet. I will defiantly look into this, thank you!
 

p nut

butter
I have thought about a tent, wife has MS and back issues so the tent is a no go. Don't really have the cash for another vehicle as we are still paying on both her car and mine. And I just bought mine new last year. So yea, that's where I stand.

I see. Well, I'd definitely make do with what you've got, but would look at alternatives to a camper (there are some pretty nice camp cots you can look into). Can't risk safety of your fam, either. Good luck and have fun getting out there!
 

Travelin _man

HEY HEY HOCKEYTOWN!!
I see. Well, I'd definitely make do with what you've got, but would look at alternatives to a camper (there are some pretty nice camp cots you can look into). Can't risk safety of your fam, either. Good luck and have fun getting out there!

No your right. The Cot deal is not a bad idea. I have some investigating to do lol
 

Travelin _man

HEY HEY HOCKEYTOWN!!
Don't mind the price you can find it for MUCH MUCH cheaper but here is one cabin tent...

https://www.amazon.ca/Ozark-Trail-P...d=1497478382&sr=1-1&keywords=Ozark+Trail+Tent

I do like those both. I'v actually been trying to talk the wife into tent camping. Once we pay off her car then we may find a SUV to tow a pop up but for now I am gunning for tent camping. That tent is only 454.00 here in the US which for a big tent like that its not terrible of a price but still not great.
 

kojackJKU

Autism Family Travellers!
I think you can even get it cheaper than that. have a look on fleabay. I think I have it in my watch list for like 289. am. But yeah...tent camping has come A LONG WAY. I have a pop up, we use it with my 10 year old who has autism and needs his own sleeping space. We are looking at getting a new Ozark 3 pod tent he has his own room in the tent then. very slick.
 

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