will it work: towing xcountry with Elantra 2003?

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Hi,
I need to move from Colorado to Montreal, Canada. I'll take no furniture, but a 46" HDTV (150lbs), books (small office - say 5-7 small shelves of books), clothes. The trailer I'd like to use is the Uhaul 4'
x 6' Trailer (see http://www.uhaul.com/guide/?equipment=trailer4x6 ). So if it is 670 lbs when empty, then with my stuff it will be roughly 1000 lbs. Add to that some stuff in the car and no passengers.
Uhaul people say it is OK to do. My dealership said no - do not do tow a trailer period: bad idea.
I have a 2003 Elantra GT 5door, 2.0l engine, manual, which I like a lot and want to keep.
I could sell the TV, but my stuff still would not fit in the car. So I'm considering a trailer and keeping a TV, which can save me some $2K (it is a nice 46" Hitachi TV 2 year old, works perfect).
Anybody had an experience driving like this for a long distance? Thank you.
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Don't know about the Elantra but this is what I did with my 1993 Hyundai Excel, 5 speed, 1.5Litre. 8000 kms (5000 miles) across Australia and back. Towing small trailer .On board a Honda Spada motor cycle, camping gear for 3 people including eskies, tents, car fridge, portable stoves, spare fuel ,battery and other motor spares, clothes for 3 weeks travel etc.
Two on the trip across and 3 coming back. Speed on open road was 100-110 km/hr ( 60-5 MPH). On last day the temperature outside was 40deg C (100F ??) so the air con was on full.
Only problem was a bit of brake fade coming through the Alpine Way in the Snowy Mountains. Used gears to hold on steep bits so it was ok after that.
If you take it easy I can't see that you would have a problem.
Regards
Norm
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Thanks, Norm!
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In addition to what Norm said be real careful about how you load the trailer. Make sure the load is balanced over the trailer axle, not too much of the weight to the back or front, and tie down the load so it doesn't shift.
Towed a pop-up for 10 years on my '80 Civic with no problems. 1300 lbs. loaded on a 1.5L engine. Jon

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Ok, Jon, thank you. I'll load it carefully. I was just mostly concern if it will be a problem for my car to tow a 1000 lbs. Sounds like it should not. Thanks.
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my father used to tow the odd car with his 88 excel, no problems at all

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I forgot to mention
I also have a 92 excel family communal car.
Couple of months ago a friend of my son had to shift a '66 ford falcon. I didn't think about it till a couple of weeks later when I asked them how they did it.
You guessed it. They hired a car trailer and towed it with the excel for about 6 mile. I figure that has to be 2 to 2.5 ton. Reckoned they could only do about 70kmph.
I'm mad myself but not quite that mad!!
Norman Webb wrote in message

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I think you will be OK for the one trip with a few precautions. 1) Be very carefully with how the hitch is installed, make sure it is attached to something substantial. 2) Stay out of the top gear (which is probably O.D.), will use a little more gas but minimize engine/xmission wear. 3) Keep speed down to around 60MPH, keeps down RPMs and controls trailer better. Stops better also. 4) Keep hitch load to about 10-15% of total. I have even used a bathroom scales to weigh hitch. good luck, bill
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"1) Be very carefully with how the hitch is installed, make sure it is attached to something substantial"
The hitch will be installed by Uhaul. Do you think I should trust their installation? My dealership will not install a hitch on my Elantra. I have no idea how hitches have to be installed.
"2) Stay out of the top gear (which is probably O.D.), will use a little more gas but minimize engine/xmission wear."
So if I have a 5 speed manual, I should keep it in 4th?
"4) Keep hitch load to about 10-15% of total. I have even used a bathroom scales to weigh hitch. "
I do not understand this: What load is total here? So if I plan on towing 1000 lbs, the hitsh should come for 10,000 lbs load according to this?
Thank you
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He means how much force is needed to support the hitch of the trailer. So, if trailer plus load equals 1000 pounds, you'd like the weight at the hitch to be about 100 to 150 pounds. That's the point of distributing weight as mentioned by (I believe) Norman above.
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snipped-for-privacy@cs.com wrote:

Is it a hitch that you're buying or a temporary hitch? I would not recommend the latter, but if you're buying a hitch, by all means let UHaul install it. Hitches for the Elantra are a straight bolt-on affair. IIRC, UHaul sells DrawTite hitches, which are quality products.

That makes no sense to me. You can tell when the engine is straining and downshift if necessary. It seems silly to me to waste gas by keeping the car in 4th when it's not necessary.

He's referring to "tongue weight", the amount of downward pressure the trailer tongue puts on the hitch.
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Brian and everyone,
Thank you so much for your help! Yes, the hitch would be permanent that I'm buying. As a matter of fact, a week ago I called a Uhaul station in my town, gave them my car info and told them what I want to do, so they sent me potential hitch expenses. For some reason the info they sent to me is for a 2001 Hyundai Elantra 4 cyl. 4DR FWD (not my Elantra GT 2003), but I guess that does not matter. So according to this paper, I need a 24703 -2001 Hyundai Elantra Hitch ($120). With a kit, ball, coverter, hitch and wiring labor it comes to $261. One can see this 19-pound hitch at http://www.etrailer.com/Merchant2/merchant.mv?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=E&Product_Code $703 .
So you determined that the tongue weight should be 150 lbs for a 1000-pound total weight trailer. How does one measure this? I guess after I load the trailer, I could just try to lift the end and estimate it like this or use a bathroom scale?
Do I need to add any transmission cooler, or this is only for automatic transmissions?
Thanks again. Denis
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snipped-for-privacy@cs.com wrote:

http://www.etrailer.com/Merchant2/merchant.mv?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=E&Product_Code $703
cheaper, so perhaps you can negotiate with UHaul a bit. Installing one is not a difficult job to do yourself, but that's up to you.

You can use a scale if you want to be accurate, but a good rule of thumb is that if you can't lift it, there's too much weight on the tongue. From a practical standpoint, you need to be able to lift the tongue in case you need to disconnect the trailer during your trip.

Automatics only. There's no easy way to cool a manual tranny, nor is it necessary.
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Thank you, Brian. Denis
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snipped-for-privacy@cs.com wrote in

I just read this thread. No problems towing like that. The Elantra has a MAX. 200 lb. tongue weight, and a 2000 lb. MX GROSS towing weight (GROSS includes everything including the trailer.).
Not sure where you are located, but if you seriously want a hitch, I have one that I don't need any more. It has been mounted on my 2002 AND 2003 Elantra's. It is a Drawtite with 1-7/8" ball (I forget the receiver size, but you can look it up, or I will check if you are interested).
I used it to pull a 4'x8' utility trailer that I assembled myself. It was a kit from Northern Tool.
I paid about $200 for the hitch. I will consider $75 for it plus you pay the shipping. Or make me an offer. Depending on where you live, it may not be worth it with the shipping. I am in NJ.
Eric
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Eric, My Elantra 2003 manual reads that Max Towable Weight in pounds is With brake = 1874 (tongue weight = 187) W/out brake = 1000 (tongue weight = 100). I need to call Uhaul to see if the aformentioned (in OP) trailer comes with brakes, and if Uhaul will consider installing a hitch that is not theirs. I live in Colorado. I cant tell you yet if I would be interested in your hitch. Thanks. Denis
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Called Uhaul. These trailers (4x6,4x8,5x8) come without brakes. So according to my car manual, I should not exceed 1000lbs total, which makes it kind of tight since these trailers have the weight of 670 lbs-900lbs.
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snipped-for-privacy@cs.com wrote in

Yes, you are right about the tongue and max weight. I checked my manual (better than doing it from memory!!) My 4x8 utility trailer weighs only about 200 lbs. (210 to be exact with the wood base I added), so my trailer does have some room for some load.
It turns out that the 200/2000 weights I gave you earlier are for the pickup truck I now use to pull the trailer (the bumper). Sorry about that.
Oh, and if you can turn a wrench at all, you can install the hitch yourself. There are two bolts that you actually remove from the car (existing) and you mount the hitch to those with new bolts supplied by Drawtite. Another (new) bolt gets added and is secured to the U-shaped bracket supplied by Hyundai under the center of your rear bumper.
It really is very simple. I had it on and off both of my Hyundai's several times. The wiring harness is another issue :-)
The hitch can't weigh more than 50 lbs., so if you think you are interested, just let me know and I'll get a price on shipping.
My real email address is posted above, just remove the capital letters before the @ sign, and the Z's after. If you want to, you can write to me directly.
Eric
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I haven't towed with my Hyundai, but I've towed long distance with several 4 cylinder cars (all manual except the Dodge Caravan). I noticed when I was shopping that the Hyundai Elantra (2005) had a high 3086 tow rating (with brakes, 1,000 without trailer brakes). Don't know if the 2003 is the same, but your owners manual should have the ratings http://www.edmunds.com/reviews/list/top10/102426/article.html
I believe your trailer might have hydraulic brakes, which will help. As long as you take it easy on acceleration, braking, and turning, you should do fine. If it seems like the engine is straining, then drop down to 4th gear. Adjust the load in your trailer so that the weight is biased slightly toward the front, so that the tongue weighs between 10%-15% (100-150 pounds if you carry a total 1000 pound weight, trailer plus cargo). The reason for this is so the trailer doesn't act like a see-saw and cause the tongue to try to raise the back of your car, while trying to keep too much weight from pushing the back of your car into the ground and your headlights into space. I installed all my hitches except one. U-haul installed that one and it was done quite well. Keep in mind that books are a lot heavier than they look. Probably a good idea to load one box and weigh them on your bathroom scale, then multiply that by how many boxes they'll fill to get the total weight.
Another option is to buy a trailer kit and build one yourself. These would be a lot lighter than a U-haul trailer, but you'd have to find a way to provide protection from the elements. Here's a 4x8 for about $250. http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/Displayitem.taf?itemnumber 154
I once owned that, and also had this smaller one ($180), which would be easy to build a plywood box around; http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/Displayitem.taf?itemnumber 153
I had to sell each of them each time I was shipped overseas with the Air Force, but now have a boat trailer from the same company for the past 10 years.
1,000 pounds should not be a problem at all.
Good Luck,
John
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Just checked the Hyundai Canada web site and they have a trailer hitch package listed for an Elantra.. not sure why the US model would be any different...
Pete...

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