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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Towing with 2018 Sport Ultimate 2.0T

There are lot of posts concerning towing, but mostly with a V6. Thought I'd give some insight with a 2.0T.

I've towed my Hummingbird 16FD (~3200# loaded, ~400# tongue weight) across country and in CO mountains for nearly 15,000 miles now. I am amazed at how well this setup tows - plenty of power and stable even in cross winds. The 13-14 mpg is a little disappointing, but I gather pretty typical for any tow vehicle. The details:

I purchased the hitch parts from e-Trailer (prices almost as good as Amazon and very knowledgeable) and self-installed. I used Curt 13152 Hitch, 118269 wiring harness, and Curt 58000 mount. Took about an hour working alone. eTrailer has an excellent video.

I also self-installed a Teknosha 90195 brake controller. This took about an hour also, but does require some electrical knowledge and fishing wires through the chassis. Again, a great eTrailer video. It took some trial and error to get it setup, but now the controller works great.

I also had my RV dealer install a Progress Mfg. E2 load-leveling, anti-sway hitch for the Hummingbird. I've since made adjustments to the E2 and could have easily installed it myself.

I was concerned about transmission oil temperature, so I installed a ScanGauge OBDII display. Yikes! Consistently running over 200F and easily getting >250F on climbs. That can destroy a transmission quickly. I had a transmission cooler installed (~$300) and now the ATF temperature stays below 200F, typically well below.

The SantaFe is rated at #3500 , and I suspect my #3200 setup is about the limit. But I'm very happy with it now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Tranny Cooler

Looks like a Hayden 1679. Pretty pedestrian stuff. I now have 50K miles on the Santa Fe, 25K towing, and I'm very happy. Going over the highest CO mountain passes in the summer I have to pay attention to engine overheating, but that involves just turning off the AirCon till we crest the pass.

BTW, the Santa Fe's temperature gauge is very non-linear. It sets at the 11:30 position until the water temp hits about 240F (!), then starts climbing rapidly. If you see it reach about 2:00 start taking action to cool down. However, that's oil and water temp, not the ATF temp. ATF cooler is solid.

BTW, a ScanGauge is fantastic for monitoring this stuff. It's the only OBD reader I've found that can be programmed to read Santa Fe ATF temperature.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Tranny Cooler

It was installed by a local Fort Collins transmission shop, but can be bought many places (e.g Amazon). Just Google the Mfg & PN above.
 

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Thanks for sharing. We just bought a 2018 2.0 to tow our 1200# Aliner and am glad to hear that you're not having issues at that weight. I'd been researching like crazy trying to figure out what the actual towing capacity is for this vehicle as everything I'd been reading online was so conflicting. Is it 1650, 2000, 3500? After going through the manual I found that it was (respectively) bare, with towing brakes, and with towing brakes AND the "Trailer Towing Package". Our vehicles sales sticker said it came with the Trailer Prep Package so wasn't sure if that was the same thing. It did come wired with a 4 way and the hitch but doubt it comes with additional cooling or stronger springs.

I guess my only other concern was the limits of the GVWR, which is 5000# for this car. The car itself weighs 4000# so that leaves 1000# to play with. Add in passengers, tongue weight, bikes, generator, camping gear, etc and we should be alright. I'd guess we'd probably be around 6-700# but wouldn't leave much room for additional passengers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Santa Fe Sport Towing Specs

Yeah, the specs are very confusing. I've never been able to find what the "Trailer Towing Package" is. It's not listed on my window sticker. When shopping the dealers told me the spec for the 2.0T AWD Ultimate was 3500# and I'm sure they'd never lie :devil.

We now have nearly 25,000 miles of actual towing throughout the Mountain West plus a couple trips to the East Coast. It's only 2 of us and we are light, and travel light, so the 5000# GVWR should be good. My hitch weight runs near the 350# limit but loaded GAWR front and rear are well under the limits. Like I said before, I think I'm pushing the limit towing my 3200# loaded Hummingbird. But you should be fine, because...

The setup pulls, stops, and handles very well. I do have a load leveling hitch, electric brakes, and a tranny cooler which are a necessity at that weight. For you I'd definitely recommend the tranny cooler and probably brakes. With that you should have a great experience!
 

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