Towing experience with Santa Fe (07-12)? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-09-2015, 08:19 PM   #1
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Towing experience with Santa Fe (07-12)?

Hi,
This is my first post in this forum. English is not my mother tongue; please excuse any errors on my part... I have just taken delivery of my new Trillium 1300 from Great West Vans (2014). Yesterday, I drove approximatly 200 kilometers (125 miles) and I found that the rear suspension was bouncing a lot! The tongue weight with the propane tank and the battery is approximatly 200 pounds, which is not that much. The hitch height has been adjusted by the dealer. My towing vehicle is a Hyundai Santa Fe V6 2012 and has a towing capacity of 3500 lbs (tongue weight 350 lbs). Has anybody experienced this problem? Do you have any suggestions (Firestone Coil-Rite Air Helper Springs, Coil SumoSprings Custom Helper Springs for Coil Spring Suspension, using a weight distribution system). I used to tow a popup trailer with the same specs (with a Suzuki Grand Vitara) without any problem.
Thanks!
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Old 05-09-2015, 10:03 PM   #2
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My buddy tows an Escape 19 with a 2009 Hyundai Santa Fe. He's never mentioned any issues like you are experiencing.
Have you actually weighed the tongue? 12 to 15 per cent of the trailer weight is recommended. If I had to guess, I would think you don't have enough weight on the tongue.
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Old 05-09-2015, 11:12 PM   #3
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The tongue weight can be checked with a common bathroom scale.

Assuming that the weight is 10% to 15% of total trailer weight, you could improve the situation with a weight distributing hitch like the Andersen No-Sway. I used one with my previous trailer and it smoothed out the ride greatly.
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Old 05-10-2015, 05:24 AM   #4
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Good day Eric. My lovely BH is from Beauport.

On our Nissan mini van we used a WDH and still had some bounce. The van had 280,000klm's on it so I upgraded the rear shocks to heavy duty Gabriel Bruisers. Problem solved.
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Old 05-10-2015, 07:17 AM   #5
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A quick check on tongue weight issues can be done by adding weight inside the front of the trailer and see if that improves the situation. I have used as many as 4 packs of 36 one liter bottles of bottled water on the front couch to test the issue and you can always drink it afterwards.


Another possible issue is to check the hitch-to-ball connection for excessive play as well as the drawbar-to-receiver for looseness.
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Old 05-10-2015, 11:32 AM   #6
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Thanks to all for your suggestions!

I've just weighted the tongue: 243 lbs (approx 15% of the trailer weight), so probably the source of the problem is the Santa Fe soft suspension. What would be the best solution, weight distribution system, rear shock upgrade or both? Has anybody used the Coil SumoSprings Custom Helper Springs?

Regarding the weight distribution system, the trailer jack (with the wheel) is located outside the tongue. Can this configuration intervene with the use of a weight distribution system?
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Old 05-10-2015, 04:52 PM   #7
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A side mounted jack could indeed interfere with some WD hitches. Not sure if it would preclude all of them; you'd have to do some research. Maybe the HD shocks would be a good place to start after all. You know, if you have a fair bit of kid/cargo weight in the rear of your Santa Fe in addition to that hitch weight, it could be a lot for that suspension.

One more thing you can check out: the AirSafe Hitch. It has a HD air bag built into the hitch to absorb shocks, and this will dampen the transmission of motion from trailer to tug. But they are heavy units, so it would be that much more weight on your back end.
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Old 05-10-2015, 06:05 PM   #8
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I would investigate heavy duty shock absorbers and perhaps some air bags to keep the car level.
Studies have shown that air bag helper springs give about half of the stabilizing effect of the weight distributing hitch at a much lower cost.
Part of the problem is the relative frequency of the car and the trailer. Stiffer shocks will change the damping characteristics of the rear and probably damp out the undulations with no other change. This is a problem with softer riding cars when greater weights are added. Increasing the spring rate with the air bags will also shift the frequency in the right direction. With the airbags you can adjust to level the headlights and put the hitch and trailer in the right relative positions.
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Old 05-10-2015, 07:46 PM   #9
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Studies ????

[QUOTE=redbarron55;521257] (Clip) Studies have shown that air bag helper springs give about half of the stabilizing effect of the weight distributing hitch at a much lower cost.
QUOTE]

In many, many years I have never heard that suggested and I can't possible see how that's measurable, much less possible. Do you have any references for the Studies, when they were done and who did them, and the vehicles and trailers that were tested and the criteria used?

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Old 05-10-2015, 07:58 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Magee View Post
One more thing you can check out: the AirSafe Hitch. It has a HD air bag built into the hitch to absorb shocks, and this will dampen the transmission of motion from trailer to tug. But they are heavy units, so it would be that much more weight on your back end.
Not a big fan of the Air Safe. It moves the ball way back from the back of the vehicle giving the trailer more leverage acting on the TV.

And like Mike says very heavy.
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Old 05-10-2015, 08:17 PM   #11
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Bob,

Please check the studies from extensive tests in 1979 by the DOT.
http://www.edccorp.com/library/TechRefPdfs/EDC-1081.pdf
http://www.edccorp.com/library/TechRefPdfs/EDC-1082.pdf
http://www.edccorp.com/library/TechRefPdfs/EDC-1083.pdf
http://www.edccorp.com/library/TechRefPdfs/EDC-1084.pdf
This makes interesting reading with a very extensive reporting of many tests with instrumentation and inclused front wheel drive cars of the period.
I would guess that the data still corresponds pretty well and the newer cars are generally better handling.
It is also interesting to note that tests were done on the 1979 Chevy Citation at weights as high as 4000 lbs!
Now you can look at some actual studied well documented and scientific.
Just because they were made in 1979 does not mean that trailers handle much differently. I think that there have been relatively few major changes in trailer dynamics in the past 36 years. Cars yes, trailers not so much. I would think that pickup trucks have changed less than cars.
If you look at the data you will see that what I have repeated is justified by the study.
Page 30 states that no matter if load leveling is ised air shocks and heavy duty suspension should be used and the rear tires be operated at the tire manufacturers maximum ratings. In no case should the manufacturers hitch vertical load ratings be exceeded.
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Old 05-10-2015, 08:49 PM   #12
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Sorry, I can't consider testing done on vehicles 36 years ago as applicable to current production vehicles. Suspension, braking and handling in those days was akin to piloting the Queen Mary into Long Beach Harbor at night in a fog, and adding anything was apt to improve handling. And suggesting that the Chevrolet Citation had any similarities to modern day FWD vehicles suggests that you didn't have the opportunity to drive one of the Citations.


The theory and tests I am sure are valid, but the application is out of date.

But, the question was about the claim that adding air bags being 50% as effective as a WDH. And that data would have to be much more recent as vehicles have changed substantially in the past 35 years.


And cost ? There are any number of EZ Lift WDH hitches available for well under $250, Air springs cost about $200.
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Old 05-10-2015, 08:51 PM   #13
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OK Bob.
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Old 05-10-2015, 08:56 PM   #14
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As I understand it, air springs increase the stiffness, making it harder to compress the rear end. And, that would make for a harsher ride, but would bring your headlights back to level.
A weight distribution hitch takes weight from the rear of the vehicle and moves some to the front axle of the tow vehicle and some to the trailer axle, making for a comfortable, safe and secure ride.
I never tried adding air bags, but Derek did ( to his RAV4 ) and then installed a WDH ( and then bought a bigger tow vehicle ).
My WDH does what I want it to do. Levels the vehicle and gives me a safe ride.
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