Would you tow Escape 19 with a 2013 Santa Fe Sport 2.0T? - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 03-23-2013, 02:48 PM   #1
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Would you tow Escape 19 with a 2013 Santa Fe Sport 2.0T?

Yes, this is the short wheelbase version, but equipped with the 2.0 turbo engine.

This engine has more torque than the V6 equipped on the new LWB version of Santa Fe which is now rated for 5000lb.

This variation is only rated to tow up to 3500lb but the Escape recommends 4000lb. The dry weight starts at around 2500lb so by the time you add more options and your own stuff, I will probably get to 3500lb level pretty quickly.

Payload rating appears to be plenty, at 1400lb+.

We will only be able to use the trailer max. 2 weeks at a time and most trips will be 1 week long. We only have 4 weeks of vacation per year to work with, so it will be these trips plus some weekenders. This probably means we wont be carrying a lot of stuff in the trailer.

I am sort of set to buy either 2013 Santa Fe LWB V6 or 2013 Highlander V6. But since we are only towing 4 weeks per year, I'm trying to see if I can do with a smaller vehicle. We rarely use the rear seats, never-mind the 3rd row which I will end up getting if I get these V6 crossovers.
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Old 03-23-2013, 03:05 PM   #2
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God forbid if you have an accident, you may have a legal mess on your hands. Check with your insurance company. You may be better off renting a vehicle that is within the specifications, if as you say it is only being used 4 weeks a year. The website does not show any towing spec's, just 19" wheels, front wheel drive and cvt type transmission. Nice car but doesn't appear suitable for towing. The v-6 states it can tow 5000, why not that?
Also a possibility Escape may not sell you a 19' knowing you are exceeding the limits, they asked me what my tow was right away.
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Old 03-23-2013, 03:10 PM   #3
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God forbid if you have an accident, you may have a legal mess on your hands. Check with your insurance company. You may be better off renting a vehicle that is within the specifications, if as you say it is only being used 4 weeks a year.
Is it still illegal if the actual weight of the trailer is below 3500lb?

But as I mentioned before, I am more a less set to get crossovers that can handle 5000lb. I'm just looking at other (less likely) options to see if it is feasible.

I am set on buying a crossover of somekind for my daily needs so there's no point getting a rental. I might as well get something that can pull the trailer in the first place.
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Old 03-23-2013, 03:17 PM   #4
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They go by gross trailer weight, what the maximum allowed weight is, which is 4000 lbs. not the actual weight of the trailer. Just like your tires, they have to be rated for the maximum speed of the vehicle, not just if you promise to keep it at 55 mph.
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Old 03-23-2013, 03:20 PM   #5
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They go by gross trailer weight, what the maximum allowed weight is, which is 4000 lbs. not the actual weight of the trailer. Just like your tires, they have to be rated for the maximum speed of the vehicle, not just if you promise to keep it at 55 mph.
I see. So the 3500lb vehicles are out of the question in that case. Oh well.

Thanks for the info!
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Old 03-23-2013, 03:25 PM   #6
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Again this is just my opinion, you do not have to listen to it. It is just some information you can choose to follow or ignore. The 2.0 looks like a nice car.
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Old 03-23-2013, 03:40 PM   #7
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The website does not show any towing spec's, just 19" wheels, front wheel drive and cvt type transmission. Nice car but doesn't appear suitable for towing. The v-6 states it can tow 5000, why not that?
Also a possibility Escape may not sell you a 19' knowing you are exceeding the limits, they asked me what my tow was right away.
Didn't see this part of the message before.

If you equip it properly, you can get a version that has 4WD, a 2.0T engine with 264HP and 269lb torque, 184.6-inch wheelbase (Highlander has 188.4-inch), and is officially rated for 3500lb. The engine is obviously up to its task but who knows where is the weakest link.

I was thinking of this because I'm trying to get the smallest (and the most economical vehicle) while still being able to handle the trailer. LWB version seems to be plenty, but the SWB version appears to be just a bit shy of what Escape 19 demands, even though it has enough engine to handle it.

So that's a good point on the Escape potentially not selling me a trailer with the SWB version...
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Old 03-23-2013, 03:45 PM   #8
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Ditto what Jim says. Any vehicle rated 3500 or 3600 towing capacity is insufficient for a 19'. That 4000, well, I can't think of any vehicle being used to tow a 19' that is rated a mere 4000 either. Maybe someone out there has one.

I take it you don't want the long-wheelbased version which would be sufficient. Or maybe you are considering that.
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Old 03-23-2013, 04:19 PM   #9
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Why not the Escape 17'? you would be ok with that combo!
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Old 03-23-2013, 04:25 PM   #10
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yhbae, I just went through this same process. I ended up with a Nissan Frontier. Not the best for fuel economy, but cheaper up front to make up for it. Not suitable if you need to seat more than 2 people, though. Other cross-overs you might want to look at: Nissan Pathfinder, Ford Explorer, Ford Flex, Chevy Traverse. None of them are small vehicles, though. As far as I could see, there are no small vehicles sold today rated to tow 4000lbs.
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Old 03-23-2013, 04:26 PM   #11
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The engine is irrelevant to towing safety (unless you break down in the middle of the road); safe towing capacity is related to the ability of the tug to control the trailer and support the tongue weight, which in turn depends on factors such as wheelbase and suspension.

Despite assertions in forums, I have never seen any indication of any legal requirement regarding tow capacity. The numbers posted on a non-commercial vehicle placard are for axle load and gross vehicle weight (not gross combination weight) - those are what is enforceable.

As is so often the case, what is legal is almost irrelevant, since what is rational and safe is more conservative than any legal limit.
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Old 03-23-2013, 04:35 PM   #12
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You may be better off renting a vehicle that is within the specifications, if as you say it is only being used 4 weeks a year.
This makes sense, but it is difficult to rent a vehicle which is set up for towing, and expensive to rent a heavy-duty pickup that is set up from a company that caters to industrial clients. The Escape could be equipped with hydraulic surge brakes, or a remote-controlled trailer-mounted electric brake controller (Tekonsha Prodigy RF), but it would still be necessary to find SUVs or pickups in rental fleets with hitches and trailer wiring from the factory... and even then the rental agreement may forbid towing. I would look into the details before pursuing this plan.
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Old 03-23-2013, 05:13 PM   #13
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You will travel without the anxiety and white knuckles of towing on the edge, if you get 5,000 lb. tow capacity. It's worth it.
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Old 03-23-2013, 08:38 PM   #14
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My goal was to find the smallest (most economical) vehicle possible while still tow 5000lb safely. I did do some research and found out that just about all vehicles are either 3500lb-class or 4500lb+ class. The latter groups include vehicles like Highlander, Santa Fe LWB, Pilot, Pathfinder, Traverse, Explorer, etc. All of them are long and features 3 rows of seats. We are empty nesters, so 99% of the time, there's only two of us in the car. So although 3 rows might be nice for those 0.5% of the time, its not really needed.

I've looked at both Escape 17 and 19 carefully. I really want the 19 - our camping style needs a bed and a dining table separate and the table needs to be of a decent size. And it needs to have a shower/toilet. 19 fits the bill, 17 does not.

So given this, I believe the only choice I have is to get one of the 4500lb+ capable vehicle. The front runner right now is the Santa Fe LWB - it really is nice, better IMO than all other 3 row crossover. Toyota will release a new Highlander soon, so that will be a factor as well. Pilot is really dated compare to the Santa Fe if you compare them in person. I haven't checked out the Pathfinder yet but I am somewhat biased here, since I owned two Nissans in the past and both gave me a lot of trouble and both were purchased new.

So for now, the leading candidates are 2013 Santa Fe LWB, 2014 Toyota Highlander (don't even know what it looks like yet) and perhaps 2013 Pathfinder.

Another possibility I'm looking into is the Audi Q5 2.0T. This one is rated at 4400lb. Does anyone see any issues pulling the Escape 19 with the Q5? Surprisingly, the wheelbase of Q5 is LONGER than the Highlander! Plus, I always wanted to try out an Audi before I die.
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Old 03-23-2013, 08:57 PM   #15
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Check out Phil Edmonston's truck and car guides.

As for the Audi, I recollect ( and it may have been Phil ) on a radio show where the Audi line was not recommended. Tended to fall apart shortly after the warranty expired.
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Old 03-24-2013, 07:34 AM   #16
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I think you are missing the Toyota 4 Runner as a choice. I think the 4 Runner maybe the most common tow vehicle in use. There are many of us who tow without a WDH.
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Old 03-24-2013, 08:14 AM   #17
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"My goal was to find the smallest (most economical) vehicle possible while still tow 5000lb safely."
"I've looked at both Escape 17 and 19 carefully. I really want the 19 - our camping style needs a bed and a dining table separate and the table needs to be of a decent size. And it needs to have a shower/toilet. 19 fits the bill, 17 does not.
"
These two thoughts contradict one another, the smallest and most economical tow vehicle that will tow an Escape 19, which is basically your hotel room with a kitchen are opposite one another. Towing over mountains and for hours on end is not for a small vehicle nor is it economical. Your towing mileage will drop dramatically because you are bringing along another vehicle behind you, your lodging for your trip. You do not want to cut your margin of safety because sometimes you will need 4 wheel drive, you will need to get out of a mud hole after a rain, unless you are planning on staying only on paved surfaces, you will need a versatile vehicle. You will need bigger brakes due to a 3500# vehicle pushing you down the road.
It would be better to think about getting the biggest and most safe type vehicle that you may ever need that can handle your Escape under any type of situation and have good brakes and good electrical that will charge your trailer and that can handle thousands of miles of towing without undue strain or stress on the vehicle or it's occupants.
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Old 03-24-2013, 09:42 AM   #18
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The Ford Ranger has/had a very economically priced used selection. From 2008 until they stopped making them most Rangers came with tow packages.
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Old 03-24-2013, 10:38 AM   #19
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Quote:
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...My goal was to find the smallest (most economical) vehicle possible while still tow 5000lb safely.
Whether this works depends on how much "hooked vs unhooked" driving you do. The larger trucks often have better mileage when towing than the smaller vehicles. I know I take quite a hit with the RAV4 & my Escape 17. 24-25MPG highway unhooked, but down to 15MPG when towing. For me it works well because I often drop the trailer & drive around the area plus it is my daily driver when home. If most of your driving is towing, a larger vehicle might actually do better...
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Old 03-24-2013, 03:48 PM   #20
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I think you are missing the Toyota 4 Runner as a choice.
I think the 4Runner is a valid choice, but since the idea was to find the smallest and most fuel-efficient vehicle (with 5000 lb towing capacity), the Highlander would make the list instead (from the Toyota lineup).

The Highlander is not much more fuel efficient than the 4Runner, not much lighter, and slightly shorter in wheelbase, so perhaps the 4Runner - which is certainly suitable for towing - should be considered anyway.

These are getting to be pretty hefty choices for "smallest"...
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