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Hi everyone, figured I'd open up a thread for all of those who have a Travel Trailer that they would like to post about their experiences, pros/cons of your rig, tips and tricks, etc. for our 2019+ Santa Fe's.

With that in mind, I'm actually shopping around for a Travel Trailer in the next few weeks, so would love to hear your experience getting the tow hitch, brake controller, weight distribution setup, all that good stuff. Here's the two models I'm looking at, with a wife and two teenagers we really want to get a bunkhouse setup and a separate queen bed so we don't have to turn our dining area everyday into our bed at night if possible. We realized it's REALLY HARD to find a Bunk house model that will fit under the 3500 lbs. limit. We were looking at the following models:

#1: Forest River Rockwood Geo Pro G19BH
Hitch Weight: 360 lbs.
UVW: 3088
CCC: 772
GVWR: 3860

#2: Coachmen Apex Nano 185BH
Hitch Weight: 350 lbs.
UVW: 2850
CCC: 950
GVWR: 3800

I do have the 2.0t ultimate AWD, so I can pull up to 3500 towing max on the trailer. BUT...One RV dealer said to double-check the manual and dealer I bought the Santa Fe I purchased it from to see if the 3500 towing capacity either includes the passengers and cargo weight of the vehicle, or excludes it, which I couldn't get a very clear answer from the owner's manual. It has two separate areas one on page 5.133-5.140, and the other for vehicle load limits on 5.141-146. None really mention to deduct passenger weight from the total towing weight of 3500 lbs. But I do want to play it safe with making sure that we don't load more than 150 lbs of cargo in the trailer, and no more than 100 lbs in our santa fe. Also planing on having rv dealer install a brake controller and weight distribution hitch for additional safety. Passenger weight for our family of four is approx 700 lbs.

So any input would be greatly appreciated, would love to hear from folks who have similar models and how your max weight of your trailer and you particular trailer setup works for you.
 

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I sure do like the Forest River model...for some reason, it looks better built.
I would contact Hyundai's main office and ask them about weight.
The Forest model with water and pot&pans luggage ETC. could weight more than 3500 lbs.
 

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‘19 Santa Fe Ultimate 2.0T FWD (Machine Gray/Espresso Gray)
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I’m not optimistic about the safety of pulling house trailers at all with a 4 cyl engine, especially with four people in the vehicle. Sure, I can see hauling a motorcycle, or jet ski, or a load of landscaping gear.
 

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Personally I would never pull a TT with a small SUV. Brakes are too small, radiator is too small, no transmission cooler, and the list goes on. You may be able to pull it, but will you be able to stop it in a dire emergency? The smallest engine I would even consider would be a V-6. I have pulled TT's since the 80's and all have been pulled with pickups, the smallest being a 1/2 ton with a V-8.


Sorry to be so negative, but I think you would soon regret your decision in trying to use the Santa Fe as a travel trailer tow vehicle. Search the RV forums and see what they have to say. Good Luck.....
 

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I've got 35+ years of towing experience (with utility, ski-jets, snowmobile, boats, pups, Travel Trailers, dollies, etc.) and I can tell you from direct experience, many SUV and short wheel base (like Kia Sorento) vehicles are very unsafe at their max rating towing weight numbers. It isn't always about vehicle's pulling power, or braking power or cornering traction or even rear suspension weight support ability. The main concerns his "hills", "wind wall" effects. For example, a loaded 3,200 lbs "wind wall" Travel Trailer has much more wind drag of a loaded utility trailer of same scale weight numbers. A hill can make an attached trailer feel 500 lbs heavier. And a wind wall trailer can feel 800 lbs heavier than it is. Add both together and one is pulling a Travel Trailer 1,300 lbs than its scale weigh station number. And 1,300 lbs "more" on a little engine / short wheel base vehicle is a killer - to itself and to others on the road. For a little SUV (like the Santa Fe), I wouldn't pull more than 2,400 lbs (including empty trailer weight) with it. When calculating max weight number, always use "real world" - not white board unrealistic numbers... Tow Safe or don't tow at all....
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks all for your input, I agree that loading near or at max it may not be a good idea, I was just hoping to get some clarification on if you need to deduct the passenger weight from the towing capacity as it's not really clearly stated in the manual. I also realize that since our 2019 Santa fe's are very new and most likely very few are towing today in our configurations (2.0t Ultimate).

But...If we look across the pond at our friends in UK and Australia, they are running the diesel version with approx 3500 pound "caravans" (we call it travel trailers lol) and it actually runs quite well, in fact there's a YouTube video of a Tuscon of all cars towing a 3,100 pound caravan! I definitely encourage you to check out the two videos below:


[ame]https://youtu.be/9ysVn_q4mgY?t=86[/ame]

Now I do admit, USA has different legal tow ratings on cars which means that we are subject to lower tow limits to be legally safe on the roads. They are also running the Diesel version which has more torque than the 2.0t. After reading some threads in the 2013 - 2018 SFS threads it seems that other countries are less restrictive on tow weights and you can see 3500 pound literally drive effortlessly in the YouTube videos above. I also don't want to risk any dangers to the family, so if it's too much I definitely won't do it. But I was hoping that maybe some who have towed using our Santa Fe's can offer some input on their experiences.

I might be wishing for too much but it sure would be nice to use our cars to carry let's say something that's 2800 - 3200 lbs with a good weight distribution system, minimal cargo, etc. If **** too much then I may have to either settle for something in the 2500 lb range, or look to the future and upgrade to the Palisade which will definitely offer up to 5,000 capacity, but that's wishful thinking :) I do appreciate all of your inputs!
 

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Remember that auto makers promote things to sell. They don't use the product themselves in the real world. If towing a "near" 3,200 lbs travel trailer (vision "wind wall"), then get a vehicle made for towing a 5,000 lbs trailer

If wondering, I used to tow a 3,200 lbs trailer with a vehicle rated to tow 3,600 lbs (which is higher rating than the Sante Fe). On the 3rd trip out, its transmission blew. I limped the vehicle home, brought to a transmission repair place the next day and the guy told me to stop reading commercials and those false advertising flyers. And, get a real Tow Vehicle made to pull 5,000 lbs - to pull a 3,200 lbs Travel Trailer. Very expensive "real wold" lesson learned I'll share with you for free. Serious, stop trying to talk yourself into something that is unsafe to you, your family and others on the road.

More Free Advise.... Log into an RV forum (like https://www.rv.net/forum/index.cfm/fuseaction/listings/forum/26.cfm ) and ask how big of Travel Trailer you can tow with a Sanfa Fe. Then, watch all the feedback come back with Don't Do It!
 

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My favorite trailer is called a MOTEL. :=) For the money spent buying a trailer, you can stay at a really nice motel or hotel for many trips.
 

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I have been pulling all sizes of car haulers and travel trailers since 1970. First of all, the 3,500 lbs DOES INCLUDE all passengers and cargo in the tow vehicle. So you will load the tow vehicle with 500 lbs of people and gear plus the 750-1,000 lbs of "stuff " in the trailer. Add this to the weigh of the empty trailer and you are WAY OVER your stated weight limit.
You should definitely not pull a trailer the size of the one you're looking at with your vehicle. A Scamp or Escape fiberglass trailer are more the size/weight you can handle. They will not, however, have the things you want in a trailer so you have a real dilemma.
To pull the load you're looking at, a 1/2 ton pickup with a crew cab, full sized SUV with a v6 or v8, is your best bet to be safe and handle the towing/stopping tasks of a trailer with the amenities and size/weight you desire.
 

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SF not a tow vehicle

I have been pulling all sizes of car haulers and travel trailers since 1970. First of all, the 3,500 lbs DOES INCLUDE all passengers and cargo in the tow vehicle. So you will load the tow vehicle with 500 lbs of people and gear plus the 750-1,000 lbs of "stuff " in the trailer. Add this to the weigh of the empty trailer and you are WAY OVER your stated weight limit.
You should definitely not pull a trailer the size of the one you're looking at with your vehicle. A Scamp or Escape fiberglass trailer are more the size/weight you can handle. They will not, however, have the things you want in a trailer so you have a real dilemma.
To pull the load you're looking at, a 1/2 ton pickup with a crew cab, full sized SUV with a v6 or v8, is your best bet to be safe and handle the towing/stopping tasks of a trailer with the amenities and size/weight you desire.
Probably enough comments on this thread already but I owned two trailers in the past 25 years: a large 1500 lb pop up Jayco camper and a 3000 lb 18 ft Lund boat trailer. I pulled the Jayco with a V6 minivan which barely could get up steep hills and some Appalacian mountain passes. I towed the Lund boat to the Miss river with a Jeep Gr Cherokee V8 rated at 6000+ lb towing and it even struggled up a 1000 foot pass. I would never tow either of these in my 2.4L Santa Fe; I might do the 1500 lb pop up camper had I bought the 2L turbo. The problem is passengers and stuff. When we camped our kids were younger/smaller but we still could easily have 1000 lbs of people, gear, water etc besides the 1500 lb camper taxing the V6 minivan. Same with the Jeep, a great tow vehicle with the towing package but add another 1500 lb of people, gas in boat, fishing gear when 4 of us went out so that's 4500 lbs. So stay away from the size trailers listed in a Santa Fe: get a Jeep, maybe a Palisade could do it but questionable unless you are in a "no hills" area.
 

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I’ve been pulling RV’s for nearly sixty years. A full size half ton pickup with tow package is the MINIMUM for safety and tow vehicle longevity.
 

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Tow ratings are misleading for SUVs and particularly trucks. The LIMITING factor isn't tow capacity but load capacity. You do not want to exceed the max hitch weight and/or axle weights for the vehicle. My F350 is rated for about 16,500 lbs in towing but I could never tow a fifth wheel weighing that much because the 5th's hitch weight would exceed my max payload capacity. To minimize risk of sway, trailer hitch weight for a bumper pull trailer should be 10-12% (higher is better) and for 5th wheel I prefer 18-20% of total weight. Subtract weight of the bumper hitch in your calculations and DO NOT rely on any trailer manufacturer's hitch and total weight values as they are typically understated and measured when the trailer is dry with no batteries, propane tanks, and other accessories.

I would NOT tow more than 2000 lbs with the 2.0T and suggest a V6 powered Santa Fe XL for towing 3-4k lbs.


A great SUV that can tow up to 7200 lbs (4x4) mode is a 2008-2009 Jeep Grand Cherokee with the Mercedes Benz 3.0L turbo diesel. I used it to tow my Santa Fe when its engine blew and total weight with the heavy steel trailer I used was close to 6,000 lbs. I got 21 mpg towing at 55mph and could have driven faster but I one of my airbags was torn and rear suspension squat made the steering a tad squirrely over a 10,700 ft pass. I used it for years to tow a 26 foot trailer that weighed about the same and with a weight distribution hitch, it did just fine.

I towed 3200 lbs several times with my 2.0T and it was doable but the engine was overworked in my opinion by my ATV trailer loaded up with two UTVs. I didn't like the unusual burnt oil smell emitted by the engine the entire time towing and I wish I had an EGT gauge because I think the turbo was getting close to max EGTs based on the smell.

If you tow with your 2.0T, please use nothing less than 5w40 oil, 91 octane, and do at least a 2 minute idle turbo cooldown to be safe.


BTW, I bought the 2.0T Santa Fe to replace my 2007 Grand Cherokee which we use to tow snowmobiles and our UTVs. I don't even use it to tow my sleds which with trailer weight about 1800 lbs.
 

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I sure do like the Forest River model...for some reason, it looks better built.
I would contact Hyundai's main office and ask them about weight.
The Forest model with water and pot&pans luggage ETC. could weight more than 3500 lbs.
Oh it is sure to be heavier. Just with fresh and grey water (and an empty black water tank) add another 480lbs. I mean if you got skimpy with the water, had minimal supplies maybe you could get it to just under 3500, but as others have said you are asking for trouble on many fronts.

BTW both trailers are quite lovely, but you are really pushing your luck big time. But IF you have to buy one buy the lightest possible. Is there nothing else lighter? Even 3 or 4 hundred pounds would be a difference maker.
 

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You most likely can't go wrong with any of the trailers shown. We owned a really nice teardrop that we had custom built by a gentleman in Redding, CA. We pulled it behind our 1929 Model A street rod and traveled all over the country to rod runs and big car show events. We had a ball with the teardrop and if you don't mind dealing with an rv that does not have a toilet and bare minimum of amenities, you're on the right track.
I believe you need to consider price, size, shape and weight when choosing the one you want. We were very determined to buy a teardrop that actually looked LIKE a teardrop and at the time, there were very few commercial built trailers that met that requirement.
My choice would be FRONTEAR as it appears very will built, looks like a teardrop, and has storage on the front tongue. That would be my pick although I have not seen any of the units reviewed in that article.
Good luck, you're in for a lot of fun when you make your choice.

PS--to be fair to the original poster, you really should have started a new thread here instead of "highjacking" this tread to get your questions answered. It's considered rude to branch off with new issues on an existing thread. Just felt you'd want to know as it appears you are new to this forum.
 

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This thread is titled “Let’s talk travel trailer talk.” Samuel’s questions are in the right place.
 

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If you say so, I have found on many other forums that the "post educate" was to limit answers to the poster's specific question(s). Obviously, not the case here so it is what it is.
Pls excuse my lack of this forums culture.
 

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I've towed quite a bit with mine. Mostly a 5x10 utility trailer loaded with camping gear for scouts. It is usually loaded to the height of the TV, so there is no wind wall. The largest travel trailer I've pulled is a loaded Casita and I could feel it, but mind didn't lug one bit. My SF has the V6 and 5k limit. The limit assumes a 200lb driver and no other people or cargo in the TV. I would be comfortable towing a TT up to maybe 4400lbs depending on how much stuff my family hauls in the car. The stock transmission cooler on mine was horrible though. The transmission would normally run around 210F with no trailer. Coolest it would run on a flat highway was about 200. We went to Colorado last year and it hit over 240 in the mountains, again not towing. The CVVT oil temp was up in that neighborhood too. After we got back I immediately installed a transmission cooler and now it normally runs around 165F on the highway The max I've seen towing is around 185F to date.


Edit. My original transmission failed at 42k miles, but I was not towing before that point. Cooler was installed at 105k
 
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