Crossover SUV Towing
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Thread: Crossover SUV Towing

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    Corndog Hater ColonyPark's Avatar
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    Crossover SUV Towing

    We have a 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe AWD 7 passenger with the 3.3L V6. Hyundai rates it to tow 5,000lbs. We bought this vehicle mainly for the extra cargo room. The towing rating was a bonus as I had hoped to get a utility trailer for hauling lumber, mulch, etc. I still don't have that utility trailer. We have toyed with getting a travel trailer something like this:

    Rockwood Mini Lite Travel Trailers by Forest River RV

    But might prefer something a little bigger:

    Rockwood Mini Lite Travel Trailers by Forest River RV

    I have serious reservations about towing anything "substantial" with the Santa Fe, much less buying the camper in the first place. Obviously I need a WD hitch and anti sway setup, amongst other things. I am a member of the Hyundai forum and there are some folks towing with theirs, but they are adding air bags to the rear suspension as well as other mods and I am not about to do anything like that. We have never been truck people, but if we do decide to get a camper, I think we should get a truck or SUV. My wife is a strictly by the numbers person. I finally have it ingrained in her brain that just because Hyundai says 5,000lbs, DOES NOT mean you can go buy a 5,000lb trailer and hook it up and go, there are other things that factor into the 5,000lbs. Safety, first and foremost! Obviously, if we went with the bigger trailer, towing with the Santa Fe is out. I am just looking for some real world towing advice, and maybe some of you have pulled something with your crossover. Thanks!
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    Jamie

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    If safety is first,,, then 5,000 pounds means:
    trailer weight
    ALL cargo (in SUV and trailer!!)
    Passengers weight

    Just because you move the 300 pound generator from the trailer to the SUV does nothing to improve the transmission in the SUV,,,,

    Loading 6 passengers in the SUV,,,,, well,,, the engine gotta move that weight also,,,,

    Maybe the wife can leave behind the china plate setting for 8???

    Do not forget the weight of the fishing rods,,,, I mean EVERYTHING!!
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    Zebrafive's Avatar
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    My wife has a 2010 Mercury Mariner with a 3.0 V6, rated to tow 5000lbs. So far the most we have towed with it is a 5x8 utility trailer, weighing maybe 2000lbs tops, with the load we had in it, probably less. Towed fine at that weight.
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    Corndog Hater ColonyPark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CADplans View Post
    If safety is first,,, then 5,000 pounds means:
    trailer weight
    ALL cargo (in SUV and trailer!!)
    Passengers weight

    Just because you move the 300 pound generator from the trailer to the SUV does nothing to improve the transmission in the SUV,,,,

    Loading 6 passengers in the SUV,,,,, well,,, the engine gotta move that weight also,,,,

    Maybe the wife can leave behind the china plate setting for 8???

    Do not forget the weight of the fishing rods,,,, I mean EVERYTHING!!
    It took a bit, but I finally got all of this through to Mrs. CP and she realized it did make sense. I will be showing her this thread though too. Thanks
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    Jamie

    2011 JD 1026R - w/60" NON-AutoConnect MMM, FEL w/WR Long Toothbar, 47" Front Mount Snowblower, 54" Front Mount Blade w/ Rubber Edge, 48" KingKutter Tiller & Brush Hog, CountyLine Carry All and CountyLine 60" Rear Blade, Pat's EZ-Change Quick Hitch System
    1990 JD 185 - 46"MMM w/Power Flow Bagger

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    I'd go over and chat with the folks at RV.net. They tend to be a little overly paranoid IMO but when you are looking at things like max capacities when hauling around tons of "stuff" that can be a good thing.

    There are smaller trailers meant to be towed with the Crossover vehicles.

    I have an 8800 lb 26' RV that I tow with my Tundra and previously towed with an F250. Either truck handles it fine but things can get interesting at times. Things like a the crosswinds you get when a tractor trailer blows by you or even if you get multiple trucks passing you on both sides can cause you to need to pull over and change your under-roo's. Most trailers act as huge sails when broadsided by wind and those manufacturer's weight rating don't account for crosswinds at all.
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    To be honest that would scare me. Even if following the specs for weight, things quickly become very different at highway speeds, cross winds, etc. I've passed units like you are speaking with when I was in my big truck and just the wind coming off my truck would make the little SUV with camper trailer start swaying.

    Heck even with my F-150 with trailer tow package I would not want to go much over a 5k# camper. I have this thing that I want my tow vehicle to be heavier than what I am towing. Yeah, they say I could pull an 8k# trailer with ease but I won't do it.
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    Corndog Hater ColonyPark's Avatar
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    Thanks folks great info here. Mrs. CP has never driven with anything being towed and I have limited experience. I have really been watching the highways for what people are towing and with what it's being towed. I would say 95% of what I have seen are full size trucks and SUVs as tow vehicles. That says something to me. And coaltrain's comment about towing something so much bigger than the tow vehicle is a thought that has gone through my head. We aren't looking to buy the Hilton on wheels. But the thought of even a small camper behind that Santa Fe makes me shake my head. It will be definitely taller than the roofline of the Santa Fe. What's even worse is that I don't get a lot of vacation and if the winter is bad, I may use up my vacation then. I came out of this winter with 1.5 days of vacation to use the rest of this calendar year. So Mrs. CP thought she might do some traveling with the boys on her own. That makes me very nervous. But even with a truck or Tahoe, I will probably still be very worried. Ok, maybe I won't let her read this thread!


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    Jamie

    2011 JD 1026R - w/60" NON-AutoConnect MMM, FEL w/WR Long Toothbar, 47" Front Mount Snowblower, 54" Front Mount Blade w/ Rubber Edge, 48" KingKutter Tiller & Brush Hog, CountyLine Carry All and CountyLine 60" Rear Blade, Pat's EZ-Change Quick Hitch System
    1990 JD 185 - 46"MMM w/Power Flow Bagger

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    Tongue weight is big factor as well. My wife and I have thought a small hard side pop up would be great. I've seen Honda Odysseys pulling some pretty good size campers. I'm rated to tow 3500. I have the full tow package, yet my tongue weight is limited to 350 pounds. I've seen pop up campers where the tongue weight empty is 325. Add some cargo to the camper and LP tanks and I'm over.




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    Quote Originally Posted by ColonyPark View Post
    Thanks folks great info here. Mrs. CP has never driven with anything being towed and I have limited experience. I have really been watching the highways for what people are towing and with what it's being towed. I would say 95% of what I have seen are full size trucks and SUVs as tow vehicles. That says something to me. And coaltrain's comment about towing something so much bigger than the tow vehicle is a thought that has gone through my head. We aren't looking to buy the Hilton on wheels. But the thought of even a small camper behind that Santa Fe makes me shake my head. It will be definitely taller than the roofline of the Santa Fe. What's even worse is that I don't get a lot of vacation and if the winter is bad, I may use up my vacation then. I came out of this winter with 1.5 days of vacation to use the rest of this calendar year. So Mrs. CP thought she might do some traveling with the boys on her own. That makes me very nervous. But even with a truck or Tahoe, I will probably still be very worried. Ok, maybe I won't let her read this thread!
    IME, trailer height has never really been an issue (other than it killing gas mileage).

    Back in the day, it used to be that smaller tow vehicles dragged pop-up tent trailers. My dad did that for years with his old AMC station wagons and you still see it quite a bit. Trailers have however, continued to get longer, taller and heavier. It's kind of amazing what is currently available.
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    I think you've largely got it covered in this thread, but my general thoughts on all of it are:

    - Towing is towing. It doesn't matter what the tow vehicle or the item being dragged.
    - A 5000 lb rating is the ability to tow UP TO 5000 lbs when properly loaded and configured.
    - Tongue weight counts toward your cargo weight. If you move something heavy from the back of the vehicle to the trailer, you increase the amount being towed and decrease the amount being carried by a portion.
    - Passengers count toward cargo weight.
    - A WDH is almost certainly going to be necessary in your particular configuration, anti-sway is likely to be useful as well.
    - Lighter is better. When you're considering taking on the task of towing, look for the lowest profile and lightest weight you can get without sacrificing build quality and strength. Not only does it help you stay within the tow limits of the vehicle (don't forget to include the cargo that will go in that trailer), but it will keep the gas mileage in a little better position.
    - Brake controllers work better than surge brakes. It's a $150 add-on to put a brake controlled into your vehicle (assuming you're already set up with a 7-pin harness). It's worth it to use the electric brake model trailers over the surge brake model trailers.
    - Slow down. Towing takes a LOT more distance to stop, even with a trailer that has its own brakes. Take your time and allow more travel time to get to your destination and back home again.
    - Be mindful of the stress you're putting on the tow vehicle. Especially if you're towing near or at capacity, you may not have an external transmission cooler or secondary oil cooler to keep the engine bay temps down. Towing through the hills can really work a tow vehicle that isn't equipped with this sort of stuff. Once again, take your time and don't overwork the vehicle.
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