Hyundai Santa Fe Towing Package

azjazj Member Posts: 18
edited July 2014 in Hyundai
I'm looking for an 07 or up Santa Fe SE or Limited. How can I verify if a particular vehicle I'm looking at has the trailer prep/towing package (better fans, trans cooler (is this a better cooler or is there none without this), larger radiator)?

The 09 brochure indicates that all SE's and Limiteds have the trailer prep package. Is it really that simple for the 07s and 08s?

Obviously I'd rather not trust the salesman/dealer. Did that once before and didn't get what I was told.


  • oscar_gataoscar_gata Member Posts: 96
    I think '08's needed to have a third row to get a towing package. There should be a little supplemental radiator for the transmission that you should be able to see (besides the little ac condenser).
  • azjazj Member Posts: 18
    I found a post on another group that said trailer prep was part of the Touring package on his 07 sticker. Touring included 3rd row, rear AC and trailer wiring harness in fender.

    Unfortunately I don't want or need the 3rd row and would rather have the storage compartment :(
  • denvertrakkerdenvertrakker Member Posts: 132
    According to the '08 factory brochure, trailer prep (upgraded radiator and fans, trans cooler, prewiring) was available ONLY on SE's with the touring package, and on Limiteds with either Touring+Nav or Touring+RSE. Can't have one without the other.
  • rick2456rick2456 Member Posts: 320
    I have an 07 SE AWD, no touring package, but when I look under the wheel well, I saw the prewiring for the trailer harness....much to my suprise. It (two plug ins) is located on the wheel well towards the front of the car on the drivers side.
  • azjazj Member Posts: 18
    Can you look in through the grill and see if there is a transmission cooler as well as the A/C condenser? I'm wondering if the 07s are different than the 08s.
  • rick2456rick2456 Member Posts: 320
    I am not sure what a transmission cooler looks like, but there is a tube running in front (right side) of the radiator connected to what looks like a 4" x 8" smaller radiator type device.
  • ohiohikerohiohiker Member Posts: 4
    I am planning to purchase an 09 Santa Fe Limited without the third seat. I want the trailer towing package. The literature says that all Limited for 09 have the package but there seems to be a lot of confusion when I talk to various salespeople about this. Some say that only the 09 Limited with 3 seats have it, others say all have it and others have not a clue!! I do not want a third seat. Plan to purchase a 2500 lb pull behind trailer that will require brakiing and thus, a 7 wire harness. I am new to all of this but don't want to buy a car that doesn't have the package(ie bigger fans, etc, etc) I need to know how to tell if it has it or not.

    Thanks much. Ohiohiker.
  • azjazj Member Posts: 18
    I went through this last summer. The 09 SE and Limited both come with the trailer package. Not sure about the GLS as I wanted the 3.3 engine and 5-speed transmission.
  • ohiohikerohiohiker Member Posts: 4
    Thank you azj. I am feeling much better about this. Do you pull a camping trailer? Do it go well. I think I am going to go with the 2010 Santa FE as I can get more my choice of color and the Navigation system has a backup camera which I like. Thanks again. Ohiohiker
  • azjazj Member Posts: 18
    I pull a 1400 folding trailer. It pulls fine, even up our mountain grades. Of course it does slow down on the steeper grades.
  • nedirtbikrnedirtbikr Member Posts: 1
    I thought I was done researching and then came across this place. :surprise:

    Okay, here's my deal. I have an '02 Sante Fe. I don't really plan on hauling anything real heavy (thousands of pounds) with it. I bought a Curt hitch and will be attaching one of these bike haulers to carry the bike. The bike weighs 225# and the carrier is 37# (total of about 265#.)

    I have looked and looked and looked and can't find true confirmation. So, my question is...with the above equipment installed and the bike on the rack, do we think 265# would be too much toungue weight for the Santa Fe and the proposed hitch?

    Oh, BTW, we have the 6-cylinder SE (FANTASTIC vehicle!)

  • hambone9hambone9 Member Posts: 4
    Finding out whether your Santa Fe has the "towing package", may only be the beginning of your questions/problems!
    I have an 09 Santa Fe SE - which I've been told (and partially confirmed) does have the 'towing package'. However...
    I took the vehicle to a local trailer dealer to have a state required 'brake controller' installed. They installed the controller and wiring, but the 'ABS' & 'brake' lights in the dashboard came on and would not go off. After 5 - 6 hours of trying different things, they took it to a Hyundai dealer and had them run computer diagnois. With no success!
    Two different techs., at two different Hyundai dealerships said that the wiring on Hyundai's is so 'touchy' that you can't connect anything into them!
    The brake controller and associated wiring had to be removed before the dealer could 'reset' the on-board computer chips and get the dash lights to go off.
    If anyone out there in 'computer land' has had a similar problem and found a way around it, I'd love to know what and how!
    To anyone else out there who's thinking of buying a Santa Fe to tow anything requiring a 'brake controller' - beware!
  • azjazj Member Posts: 18
    I have an 09 SE. Put my own Tekonsha brake controller in. Used a cable from that connects the pre-wired connectors in the driver side rear fender to the Bargmann plug on the hitch for the lights. Ran 12V wiring direct from the battery to the Bargmann plug for charging the trailer battery. All work just fine. No warning lights. It sounds like you had a bad run of idiots that don't know what they're doing.
  • ohiohikerohiohiker Member Posts: 4
    Thanks Azi for the info. I am planning on buying a 2010 Santa Fe limited to pull a small camping trailer about 2500 #. Need a brake controller and was told a Class 3 hitch. I will have the RV dealer install needed hitch and controller an additional wiring. What kind of hitch do you have? What are you pulling? I am driving myself crazy trying to figure all of this out so I don't buy a car which won't work to pull the camper I want to buy. Any help you can give me would be helpful. I have heard that the Tekonsha brake controller is really a good one.

    Joyful in Ohio
  • azjazj Member Posts: 18
    Tekonsha Prodigy controller. I pull a Chalet Aspen A-frame trailer w/ electric brakes. The empty weight on the sticker says 980 lbs. I haven't had the trailer weighed but suspect it probably closer to 1500 lbs.

    I installed a Draw-Tite hitch from They show 4 different hitches. As far as I could tell they're pretty much the same. The Draw-Tite and Hidden-Hitch have a mounting bracket for the 7 pin Bargmann connector. All of the hitches hang fairly low so you do have to watch out when clearing objects. I did have to raise the Bargmann connector on the bracket so that it wasn't the lowest point.

    One other thing to watch for is that once one of these is installed you cannot use a full size tire (instead of the standard space saver) as a spare.
  • hambone9hambone9 Member Posts: 4
    Thanks for the info. I'll try it.
    Hate to say it, but you may be right about the installers.
    Next question - Hyundai rates the Santa Fe at 3500 lbs (if you have the towing package (which it has) - and 'brakes' (which I will add).
    I have a 21 ft. Aerolight trailer (1843 lbs dry weight), dual axle, that I thought the Sante Fe would be OK pulling as long as I didn't exceed the 3500 lbs.
    Then was told (by the same outfit that tried - and failed - to add the brake controller) that the trailer would be too heavy for the Sante Fe. That's made me wonder and cautious about trying to pull the trailer without researching more.
    What type of trailer are you pulling and what is the weight?
    Is this trailer too big for the Santa Fe?
  • azjazj Member Posts: 18
    Like I said it's a 99 Chalet Aspen that, according to the sticker, is 980 lbs. dry weight. I haven't weighed it but it's likely quite a bit more.

    The Chalet Arrowhead is the closest current Chalet model except I don't have that front storage compartment. They spec this at 1380 lbs dry weight.

    My SF pulls it just fine, even up our mountain grades here in AZ.
  • hambone9hambone9 Member Posts: 4
    ohiohiker -
    I'd be interested to know how the installation of the 'brake controller' goes, and what brand, etc. you installed.
    I had a horrible experience with an installer trying to install a brake controller on my 09' SE. They ended up taking everything off because of warning lights staying on (ABS & brake), so I still don't have a brake controller!
    AJI has responded, but it didn't sound like he installed a brake controller.
    Also, fyi - you don't need the wiring harness that requires taking panels off and connecting to the brake lights on each side. There are two connectors up under the driver's side rear wheel that you can connect into. (I found this out too late, and connected to the brake lights! (You probably are already aware of it, but I had to learn the hard-way!)
  • cj112800cj112800 Member Posts: 2
    I too have an 09 santa fe se, we have towed our 96 coleman santa fe camper with no electric brakes on it and all is good. We recently got a 02 coleman mesa camper wich has electric brakes. I have never messed with anything like this before and my inquiry is there a plug on the 09 se to plug a brake controller into? and if so where is it at? I really hate to take it to hyundai and pay hundreds of dollars for them to install it. any help would be appreciated>
  • ohiohikerohiohiker Member Posts: 4
    Thank you Hambone9 for your replies to my request for info. I still haven't bought a Santa Fe--I want a 2010 which seems to be in very short supply as I want an AWD. About the braking controller--my understanding from the Hyundai folk(probably not a good source of info!!) is that there is no braking anything on the car. Also about taking a Santa Fe to a dealer to install any towing equipment--I know the dealership I went to farm out the job to a local shop. I liked the 2010 because of the direct fuel engine which is supposed to get better mileage--I only buy a car every 10 years about so I want to get the one I want.
  • hambone9hambone9 Member Posts: 4
    I've given up on trying to install a brake controller into my 09' Santa Fe SE!
    I'm sure it can be done with a 'work-around' - I'm sure the good folks at can suggest ways to do it. But after spending too much time and effort ($), I sold the trailer instead.
    The final straw was an e-mail back from Hyundai, which stated, "We strongly advise against installing a trailer brake controller into the brake system of your Santa Fe. This alteration could affect the normal operation of the vehicle and the New Vehicle Limited Warranty."
    Not much help either, as I wasn't trying to install the brake controller 'into the brake system'! Hyundai, although stating that the Santa Fe will pull 3500 lbs, really don't want you pulling anything over 2200 lbs!
    So the trailers' gone!
    As for a brake controller 'plug'? Not there!! There are two 'plugs' up, underneath the drivers-side rear wheel well, but they're for 'lights' and have nothing to do with a brake controller.
    If your more persistent than I've been, contact about getting the brake controller installed. They've been very responsive and helpful throughout my ordeal. (They did some research and even called me!)
    Good Luck!
  • cj112800cj112800 Member Posts: 2
    thanks hambone9 I pretty much got the same answer from hyundai. They said to bring it in and let them look.I will try etrailer as you stated and I know what you are talking about the plugs behind the wheel that is where my harness for my 4 prong was wired at the dealer. Thanks again for your help and if I ever get an answer I will post it on here.
  • roadrunner70roadrunner70 Member Posts: 241
    i am considering a 2010 s.f. ltd w/v6. it has been a real hassle getting the fifth wire for the brake lock out (boat trailer).

    in my other cars, I had to tap into the backup light wire (2002 toyota highlander), or run a hot line from the nissan factory trailer converter, and then use a toggle switch, before I backed up (2003 murano), but had to go to the back to throw the switch before backing up.

    what are my options, if any. I have read all the posts on this board, from both towing threads. thanks, rr70
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