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Old 04-05-2012, 08:16 AM   #1
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Towing A128S with a Hyundai Santa Fe

We have a A128S a-frame on the way and are thinking about trading our 2008 Ford Ranger for a 2012 Hyundai Santa Fe. The reason for trading the TV is to get 4 doors. The Ranger is a 3.0L auto and the Santa Fe is a 3.5L auto. Towing capacity is 2240lbs for the Ranger and 3500lbs for the Santa Fe (although the Santa Fe has a condition on it's rating - if no trailer brakes then capacity is only 1650lbs - the A128S has electric brakes)

My gut tells me that despite the published ratings the truck would be the better TV however given we need 4 doors now I believe we may have to do something.

If anyone has experience pulling the a-frames or similar weight popup with a newer Santa Fe I would really appreciate your feedback.

Thanks

Randy
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Old 04-05-2012, 11:09 AM   #2
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Several A-series owners here tow their campers with mid size cars and jeeps, so they'll have practical experience to relate. It seems they do well with those TVs. They can also advise on weight-distributing hitches--whether or not you'd need one.

Meanwhile, welcome! Have fun with your new Hardside!
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Old 04-05-2012, 12:36 PM   #3
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Dry wieght of your trailer is around 1900 lbs ... which means its wieghed completely void of propane, water or any food and peripherals that you bring along. Having towed this unit with a Ranger, im sure you are aware of the wieght of this little trailer.
It can be done I quess with a SantaFe, but Im sure you will need a WDH to help push off the rear sag of the vehicle. Your towing capacity has only shot up 1300 lbs with the purchase of the SantaFe, so im sure you can pretty well judge the situation. 4 doors make you carry more payload in the truck, thus lessening the tow capacity of the vehicle.
I tow with a Frontier, which has a tow rating of about 6500 lbs. In no way could i envision myself even coming close to this limit with my truck. It could tow 5000 but not confortably.
Most consumers dont realize that towing capacity ratings of vehicles are not overseen by anyone except the manufacturer themselves. There is lots of room for slip and slide with these towing figures.

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Old 04-05-2012, 01:13 PM   #4
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D-mo and Hamguy - thanks for the quick replies and great info.

I believe the Santa Fe is uni-body and I've read on the interweb that weight-dist-hitches are not really reco'd on the SF, perhaps because it is uni-body and not a 'real frame' like the truck.

The part that worries me most about the SF is the fact that there are two ratings - one with trailer brakes (3500lbs) and one rating without trailer brakes (1650lbs). When is see caveats like that is specifications it always makes me worry (maybe for no reason). I will definitely be using the trailer brakes no matter what TV I end up with - but I would have felt a lot better if the Santa Fe did not have that 'condition' in the rating.

Still hoping there may be others out there with the Santa Fe's that can pass on experience - nothing beats 'first hand knowledge'

Randy
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Old 04-05-2012, 03:04 PM   #5
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I'm guessing that the difference in ratings has to do with stopping power more than with pulling, but other forum folks will weigh in soon. Maybe Jeep4Two, KristenDavid208, and other mid-range vehicle towers can tell you their experiences. I agree with D-mo about manufacturers' dreams of what their cars/trucks can tow. One needs more than a grain of salt. Your concern about unibody construction is appropriate, too, I think. That was one of the things that swayed us toward a pickup rather than the smaller vehicle we looked at. That vehicle had no frame to put an adequate hitch on; the truck came with one. But we pay for that choice by the gallon now...
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Old 04-05-2012, 07:05 PM   #6
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I have the A128S and stated on the camper, Dry Weight=2,158 Lbs. Cargo weight=1,036 Lbs. Full tank of water=176 Lbs. Total = 3,361 Lbs.
Now add the weight of your gear, food, and people. People are calculated at 150 Lbs. each. Say you have 250 Lbs of gear and food for a weekend camp out. You say you need four doors so I would say you, the DW and two kids, that's 600 Lbs. Now subtract 600 lbs from your TV capicity, subtract your gear and food, 250 lbs, full tank of gas, about 100 lbs. Your TV capicity is now 2,250 lbs.
You may be ok on flat level roads but you might have a problem on hilly terrain. Again, these are only estimates for 4 people and food and gear. What your real stiuation is may change the TV capicity.
One thing I have learned over the years is that the bigger TV you have, the easier it is to tow. Most of the time it will eleminate the need for a WDH and sometimes will eleminate sway, sometimes, not all the time. I like hamguy prefer a pick up, don't even know that A Frame is back there.
Just remember, be safe, it's your family.
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Old 04-05-2012, 10:12 PM   #7
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My worry is how the tongue weight might sag the rear and lift the front of the Santa Fe. Since WDH is not recommended for most uniframe vehicles I would be a little worried without hitching up before committing to a new vehicle.

Wonder if there is a way to test drive and hitch up to a Santa Fe before buying? May e a used one with the same specs and a hitch. I wouldn't tow it as a test, just see how much sag in the rear and rise in the front you get. The Santa Fe probably won't have the 7 pin wiring or brake controller so actually towing wouldn't be advisable.
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Old 04-06-2012, 12:45 PM   #8
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I own a A128S and 2001 Highlander and at least on flat land I have no problems at all. The TV sags a little, but not alot and there's no sweing at all.
I'll be going to the smokys in May and Im not sure how I'm going to do there. One thing I'll be doing is installing a transmission cooler.
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Old 04-06-2012, 03:12 PM   #9
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Sorry no Santa Fe experience here, but like edgar, I'd strongly suggest a trany cooler. There are very few places in the US where you'll travel over at least some hills. Plus, most camping is done in the heat of the summer. Electric brakes and transmission oil cooler will relieve a lot of stress on your TV. They'll save you money on repairs and the hassle of a break down on the road.

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Old 04-06-2012, 08:10 PM   #10
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Towing Help Hyundai Santa Fe

I would buy up to a solid frame suv or smaller nissan or toyota crew cab. You will have no issues with these vehicles .. lots of power .. very dependable and they tow these trailers very well, without the WDH.
No need to put the family at risk ... these vehicles bought used are more than capable and will last longer than any new kia on the road .. just simply through build quality.
Solid frame you will have to go .. in my honest opinion.

d-mo
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