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Old 01-05-2007, 01:56 PM   #1
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Hi,

I've been looking through the towing threads but haven't come across anyone towing with a Hyundai Tucson?

I think I also read at one time that an Elantra could tow - any thoughts?

Last one I'd be interested in is a Toyota Matrix but I suspect it wouldn't handle it.

We have a Surfside and I believe they weigh in around 1400lbs without being loaded.....

Any input welcome! Our 2002 Aztek is having engine issues so even though it's rated to tow I think it's going to go....

Shelley
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Old 01-05-2007, 02:40 PM   #2
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Last one I'd be interested in is a Toyota Matrix but I suspect it wouldn't handle it.
My wife and I just traded in a Toyoto Matrix on a new vehicle. It had the tow package, BUT I would not tow anything with it as it never seemed to have enough power when called for. That would be the only complaint I would have against the Matrix.

The tow rating was 1500lbs and it was a stickshift.
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Old 01-05-2007, 02:55 PM   #3
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Quote:
(Last one I'd be interested in is a Toyota Matrix but I suspect it wouldn't handle it.)

My wife and i just traded in a Toyoto Matrix on a new vehical.It had the tow package on BUT i would not tow anything with it as it never seemed to have enough power when called for.That would be the only complaint i would have against the Matrix.

The tow rating was 1500lbs and it was a stickshift.
Hi Chester,

Can I ask what you opted for with the new vehicle?

My Marie and I got a Toyoto Rave 4. 3500lb tow rated 5 speed auto trany.At present time i tow my 17ft Boler with a 4.3 liter GMC Sonnoma truck stick shift rated for 4900lbs towing.
We plan on getting a newer trailer for retirement so we can travel a bit.The new unit will be lighter than my Boler so I should end up with at least a 500lb safety margin.
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Old 01-05-2007, 04:31 PM   #4
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I've been looking through the towing threads but haven't come across anyone towing with a Hyundai Tucson?
The only specs I could find rated the Tucson at 1500lbs. - sub-marginal for towing the average egg. The OEM tow hitch is a Class 1, which is pretty light duty.
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Old 01-05-2007, 06:28 PM   #5
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Quote:
...I think I also read at one time that an Elantra could tow - any thoughts?...
I think the Hyundai Elantra came up in a previous discussion because some web site listed it as a "top ten" tow vehicle - because it had an abnormally high trailer weight rating for the size of the car. I believe it basically carried the same rating in North America as it does in Europe and Australia, which is unusual, since the North American ratings are usually much lower for the same vehicle, recognizing different driving (and perhaps legal) conditions. I don't think there was anything special in towing ability about the actual car.
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Old 01-05-2007, 06:49 PM   #6
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I think the Hyundai Elantra came up in a previous discussion because some web site listed it as a "top ten" tow vehicle - because it had an abnormally high trailer weight rating for the size of the car.
The Hyundai Elantra is rated for 3000 lbs. only when the trailer has electric brakes. For unbraked tows it only rates 1000 lbs., far too low for most eggs. Personally, I think that 3000 lbs. is a bit of a stretch even with trailer brakes.
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Old 01-05-2007, 07:09 PM   #7
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Our 2001 Hyundai Santa Fe AWD has a 2200lb tow capacity, the 2006 has 2500lbs capacity (2WD 500lbs more), and the 2007 3000lbs. (All assuming electric brakes.) The Tuscon isn't as frisky, topping out at 2000lbs with only a 1 MPG advantage over my 2001 Santa Fe. So my old AWD Santa Fe and the Tuscon are just fine for most 13' trailers, but a loaded 16-footer is really pushing it. A 2006 or earlier Santa Fe with 2WD can tow a 16 footer and gets better gas mileage than either of them, the 2005-2007 Santa Fe could handle a 17' trailer.

I like my Santa Fe! I wish the used Ford Ranger I bought for towing my 5th wheel were as comfortable. If I'm lucky Hyundai will introduce a hybrid pickup that runs E-85.

Yes, I am a dreamer.

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Old 01-06-2007, 12:36 AM   #8
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The Hyundai Elantra is rated for 3000 lbs. only when the trailer has electric brakes. For unbraked tows it only rates 1000 lbs., far too low for most eggs. Personally, I think that 3000 lbs. is a bit of a stretch even with trailer brakes.
The manual for my two-ton minivan (with a 120" or 3 metre wheelbase), with a maximum trailer weight rating of 3500 lb, also calls for brakes on trailers over 1000 lb. I think many of us would be surprised to see how our vehicles are actually rated (if we were to read the manual); the Elantra's brake-related restriction is not at all low for a vehicle with a 3000 lb tow rating, and I believe it is high for a compact sedan.

Even if the Elantra is not being seriously considered, this serves as a reminder to check all of the ratings on the tow vehicle.

I still wouldn't choose it as a travel trailer tug... we're in agreement there.
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Old 01-06-2007, 02:12 PM   #9
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I understand the desire to minimize the tow vehicle, because when we were young and not poor but extended financially we did the same thing, visiting 44 of the lower 48 towing a Compact Jr. with a Peugeot Station Wagon. This was before "tow ratings", but it had an engine size of about 1.8 liters, if I remember correctly. This was a marginal setup at best, and I could tell more than a few stories that would describe how close we were 'crowding it'.

Now, we are poorer, but not financially extended at all, and my choice of a tow vehicle is made like I understand they size elevators, i.e. with a safety factor of about 3 or 4 times the expected maximum. In this realm, Detroit Iron in pickup form reigns, and diesel is supreme. It's just wonderful how a few hundred extra cubic inches and an extra ton or so can make what many describe as a 'white knuckle exerience' change into a 'piece of cake'.

What really makes this a sweet deal is the price of older Detroit Iron, including the price and availability of replacement parts. Also, don't forget the simplicity. Mileage? Funny thing, when a trailer is being towed, the heavier more powerful tow vehicle doesn't seem to be at a disadvantage.

I don't mean to disparage anyone choosing a tow vehicle based on maximum load ratings and I believe the manufacturers are serious when they establish those ratings. I just think there is a valid case for going with more than a bit of overkill in this area. Since we have done this it sure has made our travels more enjoyable.

Loren
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Old 01-08-2007, 01:43 PM   #10
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A little more background....we are presently a one vehicle household which means the vehicle has to do double duty as our commuter and an occasional tower. We have not had great luck with newer used vehicles - see the GM 3.4L engine issue on our Aztek so I am interested in a new import if possible.

The only other option I can think of is to buy a commuter focused vehicle and consider something older and larger for those times we tow. Suggestions for this would be welcome too - I remember growing up with a 1979 Chrysler Newport which towed our trailer but am not sure when things started changing so that towing became less feasible with anything other than a truck....

Thanks again!

Shelley
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Old 01-08-2007, 01:59 PM   #11
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In the two-vehicle scenario, I think a pickup truck might be the most practical choice as dedicated tug... if the cab provides suitable accommodation (I do not know how many people it needs to hold). For this purpose, I think it is a matter of picking a suitable drivetrain, and getting the most simple and affordable truck wrapped around it. A pickup should be lighter, cheaper, and longer wheelbase (good for towing) than an SUV based on the same chassis.

Excessive body size and frontal area do not matter when making a trailer-sized hole in the air anyway, and a cap (a.k.a canopy) over the box can smooth the shape out for less drag, so even a full-size "half-ton" could be decently efficient. Similarly, the unfortunate traction and handling characteristics of a front-heavy rear-drive vehicle go away (at least to some extent) when the trailer tongue weight is added.

I think the worst feature of conventional pickups is their uniformly crude rear suspensions, but they can still be made for work well.
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Old 01-08-2007, 02:33 PM   #12
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Until they repeal the laws of physics, such things as friction and momentum (mass times velocity) will suggest practical lower limits to tow vehicle size. I believe that most sane people will wish to tow a trailer that weighs less than the tow vehicle, probably by a significant margin.

That being said, I remain convinced there's some guy out there towing a house trailer with a VW beetle and claims he's never had a problem. Wishful junk science continually provides new candidates for the Darwin Awards.

It occurs to me that if someone builds a vehicle that they say can tow a trailer that weighs as much as their vehicle, then they've designed their vehicle twice as strong as it should be for most of the rest of the population.

As for tow ratings, I suppose I'm (sometimes) surprised that people choose to believe pretty much only that particular advertising claim.
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Old 01-08-2007, 05:33 PM   #13
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I don't think there's anything magical about the trailer weight being greater than the tow vehicle weight, but it does serve as a reasonable rule of thumb, only because typical passenger and non-commercial vehicles tend to be about that capable. As Steve explained, if you expect more then you are expecting the tug to be designed to work harder than it needs to for most people.

Vehicles designed to work, and specifically to tow, routinely tow much more than their own weight. The most extreme cases are large highway tractors (the truck part of a "semi" rig) which might weigh several tons but tow several times that, especially in a train of multiple trailers; of course they normally use hitches mounted over the drive axles to do this, and every aspect of the vehicle is designed with continuous hard work in mind.

That's where the pickup connection comes in: while they are just light-duty in truck terms, they can still handle more trailer (as a fraction of their weight) than a typical passenger vehicle with the same engine - it is ones of the things which they are expected to do.

Unfortunately, since businesses generally don't need very small work trucks for towing, vehicles are not made for that configuration, and there is a lack of "small" working vehicles which have a GCWR more than double the curb weight.

Back to Shelley's case... with very few current vehicles of any type under 2800 lb, she is looking to tow a Surfside only about half of the tug's curb weight, so looking for a relatively small vehicle and wanting it to tow this much seems reasonable.
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Old 01-08-2007, 06:03 PM   #14
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Been there---done that with the Dodge Voyageur and after replaceing the transmission traded to a Safarri with a 4.3 v6. Smart move Towed well. Gave good mileage, and could carry everything needed and more. After retirement didn't require a big van any more and now have a mid sized Dakota extended cab PU. Looked for a vehicle with at least a 4 litre engine so that it would hahe the pulling power. This one has a 4.7 v8 and is rated as having 230 horsepower. THe gas consumption is about the same or even a little better than with the van. It seems to me that in this case the larger engines have more torque and therefore give better mileage when towing.I only seem to lose about two mpg unless I have my foot init and then you can watch the guage drop.
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Old 01-09-2007, 06:50 AM   #15
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I agree that my comment about relative weights did not include commercial applications. Over the road trucks have several things going for them, most of which Brian mentioned. Designed from the start for the application, the hitch over the axles, professional drivers and (usually) 10 of the 16 tires on the tow vehicle improving the footprint size available for friction. (Friction of rubber is not a linear function.)

I also agree that lighter trailers can be towed by lighter vehicles. My personal thinking is that a trailer that weighs the same as the tow vehicle weighs too much. However, I don't know what percentage to recommend, and probably wouldn't make that kind of recommendation even if I had one.
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Old 01-09-2007, 08:04 PM   #16
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Until they repeal the laws of physics, such things as friction and momentum (mass times velocity) will suggest practical lower limits to tow vehicle size. I believe that most sane people will wish to tow a trailer that weighs less than the tow vehicle, probably by a significant margin.

That being said, I remain convinced there's some guy out there towing a house trailer with a VW beetle and claims he's never had a problem. Wishful junk science continually provides new candidates for the Darwin Awards.

It occurs to me that if someone builds a vehicle that they say can tow a trailer that weighs as much as their vehicle, then they've designed their vehicle twice as strong as it should be for most of the rest of the population.

As for tow ratings, I suppose I'm (sometimes) surprised that people choose to believe pretty much only that particular advertising claim.

Steve,

I'm surprised you don't know about the Hensley Arrow hitch. Why, it's well known in the Airstream world that you can, in fact, tow a 34' tri-axle Airstream (8,900 lbs GVWR) with just any old car using the HA.

Hensley has, in fact, repealed the laws of physics! And there are several articles doing exactly that; towing a 7,000 lb trailer with a 3500 lb car.

RV Life, towing with an Intrepid

Here's a photo of a 34' Airstream being towed by an Intrepid!

All kidding aside, actually the Hensley Arrow IS a superb hitch, and fools the tow vehicle into thinking that the pivot point of the hitch is actually at the rear axle, or maybe a little further up yet even than that. So it really does work, and it makes for a very stable tow vehicle/trailer combo. It's also a HUGE chunk of money, and weighs more than the tongue weight of most of our trailers alone.

I just think they're nuts, trying to tow that with an Intrepid. If you want to see it in action, click on the video on the Hensley site. It's pretty amazing.

Roger
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Old 01-09-2007, 11:17 PM   #17
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Hi Shelly, I also have a surfside tm-14 vintage 1977. I have scaled it and found that it weighed in at aprox 1700 lbs with gear. One item is that the trailer uses a 2 inch ball and calls for a class 3 hitch. Mine came equipped with trailer brakes which had never been used . hooked them up because it make a huge difference in stopping. It never fails that when you are hauling something some one out there always has to pass you and usually ends up cutting you off , requiring a heavy brake application. My tow vehicle is a 1992 ford ranger with a 4.0 liter eng. It handles the trailer easily and I usually get somewhere around 19 miles to a canadian gallon. If you need to carry passengers possibly an explorer or blazer might be the type of vehicle size to look at.
Good luck, Luc
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Old 01-10-2007, 07:52 AM   #18
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we used to tow our 75 13" Boler with a 2000 Jetta TDI.

we never had a problem and the car never made less than 35mpg over our trip from Montreal to Cape Breton, sustaining 75mph in the New Brunswick mountains.


now we got a 1980 Boler 1750 towed by my 2006 toyota tacoma 4 cyl and let's say the truck is at it's limit powerwise; sustaining 60mph is asking to drive it in third gear @ 4500rpm while in the NB mountains.

a 13" boler can be towed by almost any 4cyl cars.


for sure a Dodge RAM V10 is better but a Honda civic can do it if you are not in a hurry(manual transmission only please)

I always keep in ming that I use the car 90% of it's life without anything hooked behind it. I don't want to pay the fuel in the v10 when I only need a 4cyl.
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Old 01-27-2007, 11:36 AM   #19
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On the subject of towing, I am a long-time Ford guy and in TN., it is common to find Ford suv or trucks, big or small, with towing packages from the factory. Been that way a while, so one should be able to find used ones equiped. I like to tow with a factory pkg., for things like wire harness, factory installed reciever hitch, and tranny cooler. Most all transmissions cool with the aid of the radiator, but the towing pkg. will have a dedicated cooler.

Even the Japanese companies put pkgs. on their trucks and suv lines now. Just as a few post hint about engine trouble, etc., maybe towing heavy with a small fwd long-term is not good. Climbing mountain roads will probably strain the transmission.

When towing, check and remember "tounge weight" as well as gvw. For whatever reason, it seems the weight on those round balls has a lot to do with the subject.

If you go with a truck, new or used, it will give you some room to put a motor scooter, bike, or grill that most of our little eggs don't have room for.

I pull mine with my 2005 Expedition, which is my daily ride. My 16ft. Scamp is like pulling a little wagon with that. I think a Ford Ranger, Chevy Colorado, Toyota, etc. with a V-6 would do just as well.
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Old 01-27-2007, 01:42 PM   #20
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I tow mine with a '93 Dakota with 5.2 the V8. Sometimes I forget I'm towing something
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