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Hyundai Santa Fe Towing Questions



  • heygoobheygoob Posts: 2
    Thanks again to you and to kdahlquist for getting the word out that there IS a harness available and especially what part number to ask for. My dealer had to order it but it came in the next day and when I went to pick it up the two parts guys were thanking ME for educating them about the part. One of them had told me 4 days ago that I had to buy the $397 hitch in order to get the harness and the labor to install both brought the total to about $650 cuz they had to "run wire all the way to the engine compartment"!! Guess they weren't appreciative enough that they could give a guy a break on the part though. Charged me $87.96 w/tax but would rather pay that for the plug and play convenience rather than splice or use the T-one connectors that require removing parts from the rear cargo area. I had a $159.00 Valley hitch installed yesterday and am pleased that it is hardly noticeable. Yes, I actually paid U-haul $30.00 labor to install 4 bolts but I feel less ashamed after watching the guy struggle with lining up the holes and trying to get the bolts to thread while burning his hands on the mufflers. I'll install this harness tomorrow morning and I'll be ready to tow. My installation instructions inside the box also call this harness part number U8610-2B100 even though the box is labeled U8612-2B000. No wonder the Hyundai parts guys are confused. Thanks again.
  • Glad it all worked out for you...That bit with the box having different part numbers than the instructions is really poor planning by Hyundai for the dealers and customers as well.

    I used a small jack and 2x4 to get the bolt holes lined up...those hitches are heavy!to position the hitch correctly
  • Right now I tow a covered trailer with a harley inside. I think it's around 2,000lbs. My SF Limited does fine, I have the tow pkg. Transmission hunts a little bit, gas milage goes to 14 on the highway....but there's a lot of windage back there.

    My question would be more concerned with getting that 3,000lb boat and trailer up the launch ramp!!!

    Any experiences in this area?? AWD vs FWD??? What troubles do the FWD folks have??
  • I bought the AWD in large part for that very reason. I have a small boat (14' runabout with 40 horse OB), and we used to have trouble getting it out of the water with a 2005 Honda Odyssey minivan. You had to be very, very careful on the throttle to keep the tires from slipping on wet ramps, and sometimes needed one or two guys pushing to help things along. AWD spreads the torque among four wheels instead of two, and I have never had a problem getting the boat out with my Santa Fe.
  • Well, the progressive rate coil springs are on the Santa Fe. There is no ride difference with normal highway driving; increases rear end by about 1 1/4 inches. It does not present a problem for the front end. My travel trailer has a tongue weight of 500#. My Santa Fe still has some rear end sag but that was expected with the weight of the trailer tongue. I took the trailer for a test run and there was a big difference. Less jerking and bounce from the trailer. I would recommend uprgrading springs to others who have a tongue weight of 300# or less. I think you will see a big difference in upgrading your rear coil springs. The install was $80.00 at Macs Springs in Highland, California. They did a great job and kept the old springs for me in case I ever need them.

    If you call Valley Spring (see the above posting) ask them for someone in your area that could install them. Bill at Valley Spring recommended a couple of shops that sell his companies springs, also Big O Tire. I went with the spring shop, it was cheaper by a couple hundred dollars. Total cost of the springs and install, $430.00. I was pleased with the result.
  • That's a great result. I am a little confused about recommending them for those who have tongue weights of 300# or less. Wouldn't these be for those who have tongue weights of 300# or more?

    Is there a part number for those springs? Also with a 1 1/4" rear ride height increase does the Santa Fe look funny "jacked up" and do the headlights throw the same distance?

    Keep up the great info :-)
  • No, the Hyundai looks the same, I think better. I thought the rear end was too low with the stock springs. The springs are for anyone wanting more rear end support and less sag. They are progressive springs that get stiffer with increased weight on the back end, in our case a trailer tongue. I think for anyone experiencing any kind of sag due to a heavy sag would find these helpful. Although the Santa Fe has a tow capacity of 350/3500, I think those are inflated numbers. So, the springs help with the weight and gets my vehicle closer to level. That's about all I can tell you.
  • Sorry, you also asked about a part number and if the headlights are any different. No difference as far as I can tell. You can't tell the vehicle is a little higher in the end unless you get out a measuring tape. No part number, the coils are made by a company near Sacramento. You tell them the vehicle, VIN number and they fabricate the coils. I told the guy at Valley Springs that I would provide feedback to others if they worked. I was happy with them, so I am glad to pass the information along to you.

    Valley Springs was recommended by a trailer supply company and I talked to the recommended installer prior to ordering. The installer said that he has been very happy with the coils that Valley Springs makes. On the day of installation, I told the installer who I was and where I had gotten the springs. He didn't even need to see them. He said if Valley Springs made them they would work. And they did.
  • I notice I keep stating "springs." These are progressive rate rear "coil" springs to replace the factory springs on the Santa Fe. The spring rate for my Valley Springs is 485# per inch. See earlier posts for Valley Springs contact information if interested. I feel much better about my Santa Fe as a tow vehicle after installing these springs.
  • I have an '07 Santa Fe 3.3l 2wd. I am thinking of buying a small travel trailer (not a Pop-up) that would probably have a tongue wieght of #300. I have read earlier posts on sagging problems in the rear. My question is: Has anyone really tried a W/D? I know it probably would void the warrenty but is the unibody chassis so weak it could not take a slight distribution of weight?
    Thanks for any help...
  • davesuvdavesuv Posts: 149
    Looking at the way my Class III Hidden-Hitch (model 87414 from attaches to the car, I would not want to put any significant torque on this hitch, which is what the weight distributing hookups do. The two attachment bolts on each side are only spaced a few inches apart. Any significant torque at this site would place severe stress on the chassis over a limited area.

    Although I haven't seen them, you can probably buy or have made up a hitch that is designed for weight distribution. It would have more widely spaced attachment points on the chassis to spread out the stress over a larger area. Have you talked to a hitch specialty shop that can make custom hitches?

    2007 Santa Fe AWD Limited with Touring and Premium packages
    Dark Cherry Red with beige leather interior
    Build Date - 8/1/06, Purchase Date - 10/06 11,600 miles
  • Can anyone direct me to a link with a description of the "towing package?" I have looked at the hyundai website and cannot find it. All the specs are for 2,000 with trailer brakes. My boat is bigger than that and NO trailer brakes. I like everything I've seen about the Santa Fe, just can't find the info about the towing package: what it includes, how it improves the specs, etc. With Ford Escape and Toyota Highlander it is very clear. Anyone know the link?
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    This may help: 2007 Hyundai Santa Fe Towing Package

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • I don't have a link for you, but I can tell you that my 2007 Santa Fe Limited AWD has the Touring Package, which according to the window sticker includes "tow prep." It is rated to tow 3,500 pounds.
  • Thanks,

    I found that on here, but where is it at Hyudai. If dealers are selling it as an option, why is it not listed as an option? I found one place where it listed "tow prep" as part of the touring option, but didn't say what was included. Ford and Toyota include (if I remember right) beefier alternator, cooling fans, transmission cooler, hitch and wiring. Is there no official Hyundai site that explains the available options?
  • Well, I know I've seen it somewhere. I suggest you call or email Hyundai, however, and I'm sure they'll tell you. I know for sure that my Limited AWD has "tow prep" listed on the window sticker, and I know it has a transmission cooler. I've looked at a number of 07 Santa Fes, and the ones with touring had the transmission cooler (visible just behind the grille), and ones without Touring package did not have the transmission cooler.

    Regardless of what the exact equipment differences are, vehicles with Touring have a higher GVWR and higher rated towing capacities. My data plate, for example, shows a GVWR of 5,556 pounds. Without Touring, GVWR is 5,291 pounds.

    On page 2-29 of my owner's manual, there is a chart listing towing specifications. It says that with the 3.3L engine (SE and Limited models), the maximum towable weight is 3,500 pounds, and the maximum tongue weight is 350 pounds. Just below the chart are the following statements:

    - Without Trailer Package: Towable Weight is 2,000 lbs(907.4kg)
    - Boat Trailer Weight: Maximum towable weight + 1,000 lbs(453.7kg)

    So it may not be on a website anywhere, but the owner's manual clearly states that the SE and Limited are limited to 2,000 pounds without the trailer package (tow prep), and 3,500 pounds with the trailer package. Those numbers go up 1,000 pounds for boat trailers.
  • This is from the Hyundai press release about the 2008 Santa Fe.
    the Trailer Prep Package that includes a transmission cooler, upgraded radiator, upgraded fans and trailer pre-wiring, allowing the vehicle to tow up to 3,500 pounds

    2008 Santa Fe

  • For those of you have have installed hitches, do you recommend the DrawTite or Hidden Hitch brand? Also, is the small round hole on the rear bumper the area the wiring now comes through or does the wiring have to hang out the back like on the older model SFs?

    I've been reading towing posts and wondered if it is better to go with the plug-n-play Hyundai wiring or use whatever wiring kits the hitch installation guys recommend???
  • The DrawTite and Hidden Hitch models are essentially identical. I can't tell the difference, anyway. I put the DrawTite on mine, and it was an easy install.

    The small round hole in the bumper is NOT for wiring -- it's for a tow/recovery hook. The hook is in the jack storage compartment in the back of your Santa Fe, if you ever need it.

    There are several ways you can do the wiring. If you use a universal harness, it will connect to one of your taillights, and the pigtail will be inside the cargo area. When you need to use it, just pull it out and close the hatch on it.

    If you use the Hyundai factory harness, as I did, the pigtail will be underneath the vehicle. I bought this mounting bracket from e-trailer for $3.10:

    It attaches (with supplied bolts) to the hitch, and the 4-pin flat connector snaps into it. It's a very neat, clean installation that keeps your trailer connecter right where you need it, and it's not dangling or anything.

    If you order from e-trailer, you get free shipping on orders of $150 or more. Since the hitch only costs $120-130, and shipping would easily be $25+, buying some accessories like the mounting bracket, receiver cover, ballmount and balls from e-trailer makes sense.

    I recommend the Hyundai factory harness, by the way. It's a little pricy at $81 retail, but installation couldn't be quicker or easier -- just plug it in. Any other harness will require splicing, or accessing a taillight. The Hyundai harness also has the advantage of being covered by the Hyundai warranty, and it won't void your factory warranty on other electrical system parts.
  • Thanks for the info! I think I will go ahead and get the Hyundai harness to keep from voiding any warranty.
  • Yesterday I had a Draw-Tite hitch installed with the Hyundai wiring harness kit. However, when my husband got home from work, he wasn't too thrilled with the look of how far the mounting bracket sticks out. Is there a workaround for this?
  • gizzer777gizzer777 Posts: 335
    I have the Drawtight hitch on my 07 SF, and did not see that it stuck out...can't imagine it being mounted wrong...4 holes. It has to go under the mufflers so that sort of dictates the shape. I actually thought they did a pretty good job with it...can't think of any work around only fits one way
  • It's not the hitch itself that sticks out -- it is the mounting bracket for the electrical connections that sticks out pretty far. I found something on etrailer called a Mag-Flat bracket ( Would this work in place of the metal bracket to tidy the look?
  • gizzer777gizzer777 Posts: 335
    Ya got me there...never bothered me...why not call and ask...they are very helpful.
  • gwillygwilly Posts: 51
    I installed my 7 way electrical in the bumper:

    I went ahead and drilled a hole, using a bi-metal hole saw bit to drill through the plastic bumper in that beveled oval area that does not have any metal behind it

    I then carefully drilled 4 holes around the big hole and just put the screws through into some nuts with washers(this part was for meticulous hands and fingers). I think it looks relatively clean. I'm sure by now if I put it under the hitch bar it would have been ripped off by now.

    I put a link below to some photos which are about 1/2 way down on the page. (post 107)
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    You can right click/copy the underlined post number and paste the shortcut in your post and the software will format it nicely for you. Like so:

    gwilly, "Hyundai Santa Fe Owners: Photo Gallery" #107, 22 Mar 2007 9:04 am

    Nice pics. :shades:
  • I have a 2008 Jayco HW Select tent trailer that I purchased thinking that the Santa Fe could tow it with ease. The trailer ended up weighing approx 3200lbs (specs said 2600) and the tongue weight was a massive 500 lbs (specs said 300). I had a pair of progressive rate coil springs added which helped with the rear end sag. However, it always felt that the trailer was in control of the Hyundai and that's not good. I opted to keep the Santa Fe as a second vehicle and bought a Tacoma Pre-Runner as a tow vehicle. It made a world of difference. The Hyundai has the power and tow package to pull, but I don't think it has the necessary wheelbase for a large boat or even a larger size tent trailer. Keep it small and light. Good luck. I continue to believe that the Santa Fe is a great car for the money. My family loves it.
  • When I spent some time examining the hitch setup I noticed that the hitch bolts are mounted not just to the underbody, but there is a sheet metal tube that that the bolts actually screw into. Looks like the tubt runs all the way to the rear axle area. I did try a 600/6000 lb equallizer hitch for a brief time. I was fearful of it twisting the light car frame, so I took it off. Also, my tent trailer rides low to begin with and a W/D hitch was discouraged by the Jayco dealer?? However, I have seen other posts where people are using them. I would recommend a light trailer with a tongue weight of less than 300#. Look at forums for the VW Tourareg. It is a unibody car, and users swear that it can hold up to a W/D hitch. Perhaps the German engineering is better than the South Korean, but it's worth a look for comparison. What seemed to help with overall towing satisfaction on the Santa Fe was a higher rise on the shank. I went to U-Haul and bought a 4" rise that put the ball height at 22". Coupled with the increase in height gained from the aftermarket progressive rear coil springs, it made for a much nicer towing experience. I still went with the Tacoma 2007 as a primary tow vehicle and am happy with that choice. If I hadn't had the opportunity for the Tacoma I would still be towing with the Santa Fe. I just didn't believe that the Santa Fe could hold up to towing over the life of the warranty/financing. We still have the Santa Fe and it's a great car. Good luck.
  • I have a 2007 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited AWD with Touring. Shortly after taking delivery in May of 2007, I bought the Hyundai plug-in trailer wiring harness from the dealer for about $82 and installed it myself. It has worked fine until last night.

    Last night, I got home and parked the car in the garage at about 6:00 p.m. At 8:00, I went to put some boxes in the garage and noticed that my Santa Fe's parking lights were on. That was strange, as I knew I hadn't left them on. I then noticed the smell of burning plastic. I walked around to the driver side just in time to see white smoke start pouring out from the left rear wheel well. I ran and got my keys so I could get it out of the garage. As I was getting into it, I heard a loud POP. Everything seemed to work fine, and I backed it out of the garage. The smoke stopped, but it continued to smell awful.

    This morning I took it to the dealership. They found that the black box housing the trailer circuitry (the aforementioned $82 part) had gotten water into it, shorting it out and starting a fire. The pop I heard was the box exploding. No damage was done to the vehicle, thankfully, other than the smell. The dealer replaced the part and coated it with silicone to help keep it from happening again.

    So -- anyone who has the Hyundai trailer wiring harness installed -- you might want to check and make sure it is well sealed against water intrusion.
  • gogregogogrego Posts: 15
    I pull a 3500# 2007 Funfinder 189FBS (18'-9" with slideout) Trailer with my 07 Santa Fe Limited AWD with trailer pkg. and it pulls it great! I have taken it up twice to the yosemite area from the coast. I just keep it at 60mph max. I have the levelizer bars and sway control. It is rock steady even with high cross winds. The trailer is tandem (4 wheels) so tongue weight is low and ofcourse it has electric brakes. The trailer place installed an adjustable electronic brake control under the dash. I get 13-14mpg on flat highway and going up the foothills towards yosemite it drops to 9-12mpg. I've rechecked the bolted connections to the frame and they are fine. Don't worry be happy and take it slow. Afterall in California the speedlimit towing a trailer is 55 mph. Checkout my profile for a picture with trailer:

    Also I'll add the AWD on this vehicle is excellent. I pull a small trailer with a ATV quad on pismo beach. Never get stuck. Last weekend took its first trip to snow to Sierra Summit skiing. Handles great in snow.

    I couldn't be more pleased with this car. 16,500 miles and counting.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    You can add bigger pictures with the album link on your CarSpace page btw.
  • I just ordered a new 189FBS Fun Finder to be towed with my '07 Santa Fe.

    My question is where do I find a harness for a brake controller?
  • rjr2565rjr2565 Posts: 27
    Would the 2008 Santa Fe SE AWD have the trailer wiring to the rear so that I could purchase just a wiring harness kit. I do not want to add the touring package to the cost of the Se model. I just want to tow a 5X8 Aluminum trailer with a 600 lb ATV.
    Would appreciate any information. Thanks RJR2565
  • All 2008 Santa Fe's have the trailer wiring to the rear, but only the 3rd row models have the larger radiator and trans oil cooler. The 5-passenger model SE can only tow 2,000, versus the 3rd row's 3,500 capacity.
  • amzeusamzeus Posts: 8
    I have the 2007 Santa Fe Limited w/touring (7-passenger). I see that there is already a 4 pin connector, however, I want to install a brake controller & a 7-way connector. Is there pre-wiring there for the brake controls, or does that have to be installed separately? Thanks.
  • There should be a 4-pin connector as well as a 2-pin one. Usually, light duty truck and SUV trailers use hydraulic surge brakes, so you don't need a trailer brake controller. If you do have electric brakes on your trailer, sorry to say but you need to install an aftermarket trailer brake controller. What are you towing?
  • amzeusamzeus Posts: 8
    Thanks for the reply. I see the 4-way trailer connector, but I couldn't find the 2-pin. What is the 2-pin for anyway?

    I have a pop-up camper with electric brakes. The controller I know I need, it was the wiring I was wondering about.

  • gwillygwilly Posts: 51
    The 2 pin should be strapped up next to the 4 pin up under the rear left side of the Santa Fe. It is constant 12V dc and Ground. I actually have a pop-up fleetwood tuscon and used my meter to figure out what all the pins did. I still ran the brake control wire from the back up to the front using 12-3 black wire and mounted the brake controller on the fuse cover on the left side under the dash.

    Personally, I would recommend a professional to do the job, unless you like getting dirty and strained neck muscles. It was definitely a project.
  • I just had a CURT Hitch and wiring harness installed on my 2008 Santa Fe for $290.00. The dealer wanted over $400.00 for the hitch and harness.

    The harness is installed inside the vehicle and requires that I hang the trailer connector out of the tailgate.

    Does anyone know if there is a way to pass the cable from the inside to the outside of the vehicle?
  • rjr2565rjr2565 Posts: 27
    I have an 08 Santa Fe and I'm having a hitch installed by the Hyundai dealer next week. I'll ask the service manager about your problem. It sounds like the wrong harness was installed. I would not think that the wiring is going to last to long with the hatch closing on it all the time.
  • Make sure that your dealer is aware if the recall on the Santa Fe Wiring Harness. Have them refer to Technical Service Bulletin 08-01-001 dated March 2008 --- Trailer Hitch Wiring Harness Replacement Procedure (Campaign 082) --- The part number of the NEW harness is U8612-2B001 (Santa Fe CM Direct to Junction Box). The OLD part number was U8612-2B000
  • rjr2565rjr2565 Posts: 27
    Thanks for the info. When I made the appointment I mention the recall and they were aware of it. But I will double check the harness replacment number.
  • jake54jake54 Posts: 2
    I installed my own hitch and the previouse hyundai harness. Whats the pocedure for getting the new replacement?
  • kdahlquistkdahlquist Posts: 130
    "I just had a CURT Hitch and wiring harness installed on my 2008 Santa Fe for $290.00. The dealer wanted over $400.00 for the hitch and harness.

    The harness is installed inside the vehicle and requires that I hang the trailer connector out of the tailgate."

    Your dealer gave you the wrong harness. The one you got plugs into the taillight wiring, which leaves the harness in the cargo area. The newer one became available in May of 2007, but a lot of dealers apparently still have the old one in stock, or don't know about the new one. The new one plugs into the prewiring pigtails that are mounted to the inside of the body just behind the driver's side rear wheel. The harness stays outside the vehicle, and the 4-pin flat trailer connector attaches to a bracket on the hitch.
  • bcme136bcme136 Posts: 21
    I did the same. Anyone comment?
  • e2be2b Posts: 1
    Hello. I'm a newbie here on the forum. I have a new '08 Santa Fe 3.3L GL (Canadian model) and would like to buy a hitch for it. If I look on they have 4 different types for the 2007 but only 2 come up for 2008. I thought the body frame is identical on the 07 & 08, will the Hidden Hitch or Drawtite not fit on my '08? Mostly concerned about the look, want it to be hidden as much as possible. Planning on mounting a bike rack, an upright snowboard carrier (if I can find one!) and possibly an enclosed cargo carrier or 2-wheeled flat bed (for dirt, camping gear, etc.). Also, my model says it has a towing prep kit, does this mean it's pre-wired or do I still need to buy the harness from Hyundai? Thanks for any suggestions and info.
  • jeandkejeandke Posts: 3
    Just got a new trailer harness and was wondering where is the best place to mount the black box that comes with the harness any ideas?
  • rjr2565rjr2565 Posts: 27
    Is anyone having problems getting a hitch and harness installed by dealers on the 08 Santa Fe. My dealer service manger keeps telling me that since the recall on the harness, Hyundai has not been sending the replacement harness to its dealer's.
    I've been waiting six weeks. I would appreciate any feed back from other 08 owners if you are also having this kind of trouble. Thanks, rjr2565
  • amzeusamzeus Posts: 8
    Yeah, I am too. I have a US model 2007 Santa Fe Limited w/ Touring (towing) pkg. My harness blew, melted the lower bumper slightly. I have been waiting for about 6 weeks as well. I've been told that this part is on back-order. It will come, but don't know when. If you want one sooner, you can buy an aftermarket one with the custom Hyundai connectors - Valley T-connector wiring harness part# 30159 (at least that's the number on, or part 118415 (for vehicles without tow pkg).
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