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Old 10-21-2013, 06:53 PM   #1
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Fall in Utah

Just returned from our fall trip to the national parks in Utah. 3,000 (roughly) miles, three weeks and 17 mpg with our Santa Fe and Escape 15B. Hwy 12 from Capital Reef to Bryce was a killer! 9.600 foot pass and 12% grades. It was beautiful but we were glad it wasn't busy that day as we were down to 25 mph at some points. Don't think the Santa Fe could have handled a 17B! Summary of our trip and slide show at

https://sites.google.com/site/ouresc...national-parks

Three of our favorite Escape pictures from the trip. One is near Capital Reef having gone through silt from recent rains, one at Red Rock Valley leaving the Bryce Canyon area and the last looking out our back window at the Aspen in Great Basin National Park Nevada at 7,900 feet.
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Old 10-21-2013, 06:58 PM   #2
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I am surprised. What have you got under the hood?
My buddy tows a 19 with his Santa Fe. Well, he did, until it went into the shop for four months ( see Highlander/Pilot thread ).
We traveled Vancouver to southern Alberta, through Idaho and and eastern Washington State and he had no issues. Kept up with me in my RAV4 V6 and 17B.
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Old 10-21-2013, 07:46 PM   #3
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Pictures pretty as postcards! Look at all the wonderful memories you've made. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 10-21-2013, 08:01 PM   #4
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Love the pictures! I was just there two weeks ago (sans Egbert) on a 4,200-mile trip. There are no words and barely any pictures to do Bryce justice. I missed Capitol Reef...maybe next time.
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Old 10-21-2013, 08:48 PM   #5
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Thanks for the report - nice photos.

Quote:
Originally Posted by techfan View Post
Hwy 12 from Capital Reef to Bryce was a killer! 9.600 foot pass and 12% grades. ... we were down to 25 mph at some points. Don't think the Santa Fe could have handled a 17B!
Were you down to 25 mph (40 km/h) because the Santa Fe couldn't go any faster with the trailer, or that was as fast as you were willing to go? For instance, I have heard of some people who pick an engine speed and are unwilling to use any engine speed faster than that; others will not use full throttle (foot to the floor).

Sorry if you mentioned this before (I can't remember everyone's rig...) but what engine and transmission are in the Santa Fe? It looks like 2012 may have had a 2.4L four or 3.5L six, and my guess would be that this is the six-cylinder and 6-speed automatic transmission.

12% is an extreme grade for a highway. It would take 40 kW (54 hp) just to raise three tonnes (3,000 kg or 6600 lb, my rough guess for Santa Fe plus trailer weight) up a 12% grade at 40 km/h.... in addition to the power normally required to roll the rig along a flat highway at the same speed. High speeds just are not going to happen up that grade.

One thing about trailer size is that length itself matters very little to how hard the trailer is to pull - a 17B would have the same aero drag (or less) and the rolling drag wouldn't matter much, so it's just a matter of the extra weight. Adding 440 pounds (200 kg) - the difference between similarly equipped 15' and 17' models - would need another 3.6 hp (2.7 kW) at 25 mph (40 km/h). Of course, most of us fill up the extra space with more heavy stuff...
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Old 10-21-2013, 09:31 PM   #6
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Santa Fe Data - we have a 2012 3.5L V6 6 speed transmission. This vehicle has been a disappointment in that we average 13 mpg city not 20. Highway is more like 22 not 26 and I drive conservatively. The transmission left to itself searches and surges a lot. On Hwy 12, I know not to expect highway speeds, but at 30-35 mph it would exceed 4,500 something I don't like to do so 25mph or so kept the RPM's at about 3,500. My comment about pulling at 17 is that there are many times when the Santa Fe has all it can handle with the 2,800 pound load and so we are glad that we have some reserve by not having gotten the 17. My other choices at the time were the RAV4 Limited (6 cylinder) (no longer made) or a Honda Pilot with towing capacity of 4,500 pounds. I think either would have been better. We have had other issues with the Santa Fe and like owners in another thread, have had little satisfaction from Hyundai. There is no doubt that when you have most of a 3,000 mile trip ABOVE 6,000 feet that you are not going to travel at highway speeds especially on highway 12 in Utah. In another thread there has been discussion of tow vehicles. If I were to choose now, I would opt for a larger tow capacity and give myself more leeway.
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Old 10-21-2013, 10:59 PM   #7
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A great trip report. Lucky you got in the national parks before the government closed them.
I for one appreciate you honest opinion on the Hyundai Santa Fe as a tow vehicle. I would trade it off while it's still worth something and find a tow that can handle your next mountain pass.
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Old 10-21-2013, 11:13 PM   #8
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My buddy is looking to trade his Santa Fe. So we were checking out vehicles on the web and came upon a column about Hyundai reducing the price on the Santa Fe by $6,000, which, of course, impacts the price of used vehicles.
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Old 10-22-2013, 09:22 AM   #9
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The toughest pull I've done is here in the east. Going into Ricketts Glen State Park in PA from Red Rock is a 18% 2 mile grade. That does slow down my RAV4 and 17B!
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Old 10-22-2013, 09:26 AM   #10
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Quote:
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The toughest pull I've done is here in the east. Going into Ricketts Glen State Park in PA from Red Rock is a 18% 2 mile grade. That does slow down my RAV4 and 17B!
When you get on to super steep grades like this, any vehicle is going to slow down while towing. It becomes more a matter of gearing down low enough to pull up the hill and not worrying to much about how fast you get there.
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