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Really want one but, can I tow it?

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megan_hslib View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote megan_hslib Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Really want one but, can I tow it?
    Posted: 13 Apr 2019 at 8:06am
I love the R-Pod and I really want one. But even after reading everything about towing and getting input from people on RV forums, I'm still unsure.  I get everything from "sure, that's fine" to "OMG you can't tow anything but maybe a tiny teardrop. Go buy a giant truck" (as if that's in my budget).

So I'll ask the experts who actually own and tow them.  I have a 2018 Hyundai Santa Fe LE. It's the full size 7 passenger one.  V6 engine.  I don't have the "tow package" but with this model of the Santa Fe, all that means is that the wiring isn't back there. It has what it needs to tow 5,000 once I have the stuff properly installed.  Gross vehicle weight on the door is 5512. Front axle is 3071 and rear 3064.  I have not loaded the vehicle with people and stuff and weighed it yet as has been suggested.  I'm not really sure where to do that.  

Most of the time, it will just be me and my husband.  We have 4 tween/teen kids, but when they come with us, they tent camp.  Sometimes we'll have a guest or two that will want to sleep in the camper with us.  I live in coastal VA, and most camping is done in the Blue Ridge area of the state.  So there will be some "mountain" driving, but it's not MOUNTAIN driving, like when I drove a rented C-class klunker over the Teton pass and thought I was going to die (LOL).  

So, what do you think?  Do I need to stick to looking at little tear drops and pop-up or A-frames?  Or can I tow one of these?
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Richand Cindy View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Richand Cindy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Apr 2019 at 8:28am
What is the recommended towing capacity of the vehicle as is?  That is what you go by.  I am not sure about the Hyundai Sante Fe but for most vehicles not having the factory tow package means more than just missing the wiring.  Usually there is a larger cooler for the transmission and a different gear ratio.  If the factory specs say you can now tow 5000 lbs than yes you have more than you need. BUT adding "stuff" does not increase the original towing capacity.  It also voids any insurance claims as insurance companies go by the original factory towing specs.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote GlueGuy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Apr 2019 at 9:25am
I would look at the components that would be added to your Santa Fe for the "towing package". Things like a larger radiator, transmission cooler, oil cooler, suspension upgrade, and so on.

Depending on the source, I see that the Santa Fe is rated at either 2000 Kg (~~ 4400 lbs), or 5000 lbs. It's hard to tell from here what your Santa fe is rated at. If you are going to pull a 179, or 18x, or 19x, you'll probably want the version of the Santa Fe that is rated at 5000 lbs. If you don't have that version, I would check with your Hyundai dealer to see if your Santa Fe can have the required components added (sometimes it might be too expensive to do this). 

If your Santa Fe is rated at the 2000 Kg limit, you might possibly be able to do the above, but you may be close to your limit. The pulling limit is one thing, the other thing is the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating), or the maximum weight you can carry in your Santa Fe. You will need to know what the empty weight of the Santa Fe is, plus all the people and cargo you intend to carry, plus the tongue weight of the chosen trailer. Add all that up, and you will get the GVW (Gross Vehicle Weight). If that is more than the GVWR, then you got some splainin' to do (as Ricky Ricardo used to say).

So right now, I would say I don't have enough information.
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Happy Tripping View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Happy Tripping Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Apr 2019 at 9:52am
Originally posted by megan_hslib

I love the R-Pod .. But ... I'm still unsure.  I get everything from "sure, that's fine" to "OMG you can't tow anything but maybe a tiny teardrop. 

Travel trailer towing is not rocket science. You will get the same mix of responses here because the variables are really pretty standard. 

Yeah, you can add things and tow an r-pod with your SUV's towing capacity and probably have no problems, as long as you don't stretch the limits too far for too long (but even the Blue Ridge area has some pretty steep roads).  

Is it optimal? Since it lacks a tow package, of course not.

What is your threshold for uncertainty? Mine is pretty low, so I automatically want a factory towing package if I am going to be towing a travel trailer. A factory towing package and a 4500 lb towing capacity has taken me cross country and to Yellowstone without excitement.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote lostagain Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Apr 2019 at 10:33am
You should be able to look up your vehicle's towing capacity and tongue weight capacity by the VIN on several web sites. It may also be worth going to your local Hyundai dealer and asking them to look it up, also based on the VIN.  While you are there, you can ask them what you can add to try to duplicate the towing package.  Don't bother asking them the price as they will likely be far higher than an independent shop.  But once you know what you will need, you can get it priced by your own mechanic.
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megan_hslib View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote megan_hslib Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Apr 2019 at 11:25am
Originally posted by Richand Cindy


What is the recommended towing capacity of the vehicle as is?  That is what you go by.  I am not sure about the Hyundai Sante Fe but for most vehicles not having the factory tow package means more than just missing the wiring.  Usually there is a larger cooler for the transmission and a different gear ratio.  If the factory specs say you can now tow 5000 lbs than yes you have more than you need. BUT adding "stuff" does not increase the original towing capacity.  It also voids any insurance claims as insurance companies go by the original factory towing specs.


It’s 5,000 lbs as I stated in my post. All models of the 2018 Santa Fe have a tow capacity of 5,000 lbs whether you have the factory tow package installed or not.
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megan_hslib View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote megan_hslib Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Apr 2019 at 11:27am
Originally posted by Happy Tripping


Originally posted by megan_hslib

I love the R-Pod .. But ... I'm still unsure.  I get everything from "sure, that's fine" to "OMG you can't tow anything but maybe a tiny teardrop. 

Travel trailer towing is not rocket science. You will get the same mix of responses here because the variables are really pretty standard. 
Yeah, you can add things and tow an r-pod with your SUV's towing capacity and probably have no problems, as long as you don't stretch the limits too far for too long (but even the Blue Ridge area has some pretty steep roads).  
Is it optimal? Since it lacks a tow package, of course not.
What is your threshold for uncertainty? Mine is pretty low, so I automatically want a factory towing package if I am going to be towing a travel trailer. A factory towing package and a 4500 lb towing capacity has taken me cross country and to Yellowstone without excitement.


But with my vehicle, the tow capacity doesn’t change whether you have the factory “tow package” or not. I asked this question when I bought it. One with the tow package was not available. I know what needs to be added.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote lostagain Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Apr 2019 at 11:31am
Then you should definitely buy a Pod.  Case closed.  Wink

Consider getting a transmission cooler at some point if you are giong to be traveling in mountains with steep grades.  The after market coolers are easy to install and are not costly.  Your transmission will thank you.
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megan_hslib View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote megan_hslib Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Apr 2019 at 11:41am
I think maybe my question should have been, can anyone share experiences of towing a pod with a mid-size SUV with a tow capacity of 5,000 lbs. I think it can work out. I just wanted some info from people with first hand experience. 😊
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Post Options Post Options   Quote podwerkz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Apr 2019 at 11:52am

Short answer: NO.

Your stated totals include 2 adults, 4 kids, and maybe a guest or two. Add up the weights of 6 or 8 people, all of their stuff, plus food, water, provisions, supplies, PLUS a trailer that accomodate the needs of 6 or 8 people and all that stuff....plus a 4-man tent and sleeping bags, matts or cots, pillows, clothing for 6 or 8 people, and all the other stuff that kids need to bring.

And add the weight of a WD hitch (which you WILL need) and the weight of water in the holding tanks (if used) that 6 or 8 people would need for a long weekend...with the weight of all that plus the trailer itself, you will quite likely blow right past the max limits for tongue weight, axle weights, towing weights, and total weights. Then there is the 'frontal area' rating. See if the Santa Fe has a restriction for towed frontal area. Add in fairly steep mountain grades, ascending AND desending, and you will very likely have problems.

Given that the V-6 powered Santa Fe is a good people mover, but not really a tow vehicle, as equipped, or even with a few wiring upgrades, and the darn thing is still fairly new and under warranty, if it were me, I would not do this. The entire rig will be overloaded.

You might find a small teardrop or a pop-up that would be more suitable. I know you don't want to hear this, but that is my opinion, based on years of experience with trailers.

Since you can't financially upgrade the tow vehicle, you should downgrade the trailer you attempt to pull with that SUV.

A POSSIBLE option might be that IF your husband drove the SUV and pulled the smallest r-pod with a minimum of supplies, provisions, and water on board, and then you and the kids and any guests loaded up in a car that you rent for the trip, and load up all your provisions in that vehicle, and caravan together, then it might work for a long weekend or a week long trip, a few times a year. On those trips when it is ONLY you and your husband and you pack very light, it MIGHT be doable.

But be sure to check your owners manual and warranty booklet for any chance that warranty coverages on expensive things like engines and transmissions can be denied by towing if there is no factory towing package. Remember, that vehicle is a uni-body construction, it is not a body-on-frame truck.


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