Towing 5000 lbs with the Sorento - Myths and facts - Kia Forum

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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-11-2017, 11:25 PM Thread Starter
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Towing 5000 lbs with the Sorento - Myths and facts

Hi I am Rocky and I'm new to the forum.
I have seen many forums questioning Towing with the Sorento with many people not finding answers due to dealerships not being helpful. Fortunately, my dealer has given me some answers. To clarify, these are for 2016 Sorento with a V6 engine rated to to 5000 lbs.

Myth 1 - As a unibody vehicle, it is not recommended to use a weight distribution system on the Sorento. WRONG!
FACT: If you plan on towing anything heavy enough to need trailer breaks, a WDS is highly recommended for added handling and safety. It is recommended to use a WDS with built-in sway control rather than a seperate sway bar.

Myth 2 - If something were to happen while towing a large load, warrantee will not cover. WRONG!
FACT: As long as you tow within the limits of the vehicle described in your owners manual, warrantee will cover. NOTE: The tongue weight of the trailer must be accounted for when calculating the GVWR of the tow vehicle (Sorento). If the GVWR of your Sorento is 1100 lbs (as my 7 seater is) and the tongue weight of your trailer is 450 lbs, you only have 650lbs left of person and cargo carrying capacity inside the Sorento. The trailer's weight can still be up to 5000 lbs.

Myth 3 - Using a weight distribution system can increase your trailer weight and tongue weight capacity by 25%. WRONG!
FACT: Using a WDS is what gets you to the max of 5000 lbs. Doing so without one would be very unsafe and ill-advised.

Myth 4 - Running wires through your Sorento for trailer breaks is very costly and can affect your warrantee.
FACT: It is difficult to run these wires and it can become a warranty complication if you have future electrical problems in the car, as this new wiring will not be covered due to them not being a standard feature of the car. The best way to avoid this is to use a wireless break control module such as the Tekonsha Prodigy RF. It is more expensive to buy, but much easier to install and avoids any future warrantee questions. It can also utilise the stock 4 pin plug with a simple 7 pin adapter.

With these clarifications, I would also like to add some advise or recommendations for towing in general as people seem to have misunderstandings. First off, it is completely normal to see higher RPMs while cruising with a trailer. This is true even in pickup trucks. The engine RPM is not the biggest concern, but more the transmission temperature. In trucks and some vans, there is a TOW HAUL mode, which is not featured in the Sorento. However, the SPORT MODE does something quite similar in that it lets the engine rev higher in order to save the transmission from having to shift often for every slight incline change in the road. It is especially important to try to avoid shifting often as the Sorento features no transmission temperature gauge. Follow these considerations and the only thing you have to keep an eye on is your engine temperature.

The Sorento is by no meens a pickup truck, but that doesn't meen it can't tow. In fact, it has won many awards in Europe for being a good tow car as pickup trucks are a rarity. However here are extra considerations when towing.

Cruising at higher then unloaded RPMs is normal, but pushing the car to tow a trailer at faster highway speeds is NOT GOOD, and that is a fact for any towing vehicle. In sport mode, the Sorento will stay on the highway mostly in 4th gear and show approximately 2800 RPM at 90 kph. This is a great towing speed on flat ground. Going any faster will cause extra stress on the vehicle and worse gas mileage...and for how much gain? In this setting, you'll see better than 20L per 100km of gas mileage. IF YOU ARE IN A RUSH TO GO CAMPING, YOU ARE DEFEATING THE PURPOSE OF CAMPING IN THE FIRST PLACE. Also, when you see an uphill coming, increase your speed to gain momentum without shifting (staying in 4th, not exceeding 100 kph) and then letting the speed bleed off slowly as you are climbing as to try to get to the top without shifting into 3rd. If you have a long steep incline, just putt putt up the hill at 70kph. IF PEOPLE BEHIND YOU GET IMPATIENT THAT EASILY, THEIR PROBLEMS WERE ROOTED LONG BEFORE YOU SHOWED UP. Camping is meant to be relaxing and the towing experience should be the same. Don't let others ruin your trip and don't wreck your car trying to content others. Besides, they're probably just jealous of your new rig :P.

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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-12-2017, 08:55 AM
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You should also discuss the tongue weight limit of the V6 Sorento. Is it 350lbs or 500lbs? Is it different in Canada vs the USA?
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-12-2017, 11:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rocky_baker View Post
Hi I am Rocky and I'm new to the forum.
I have seen many forums questioning Towing with the Sorento with many people not finding answers due to dealerships not being helpful. Fortunately, my dealer has given me some answers. To clarify, these are for 2016 Sorento with a V6 engine rated to to 5000 lbs.

Myth 1 - As a unibody vehicle, it is not recommended to use a weight distribution system on the Sorento. WRONG!
FACT: If you plan on towing anything heavy enough to need trailer breaks, a WDS is highly recommended for added handling and safety. It is recommended to use a WDS with built-in sway control rather than a seperate sway bar.

Myth 2 - If something were to happen while towing a large load, warrantee will not cover. WRONG!
FACT: As long as you tow within the limits of the vehicle described in your owners manual, warrantee will cover. NOTE: The tongue weight of the trailer must be accounted for when calculating the GVWR of the tow vehicle (Sorento). If the GVWR of your Sorento is 1100 lbs (as my 7 seater is) and the tongue weight of your trailer is 450 lbs, you only have 650lbs left of person and cargo carrying capacity inside the Sorento. The trailer's weight can still be up to 5000 lbs.

Myth 3 - Using a weight distribution system can increase your trailer weight and tongue weight capacity by 25%. WRONG!
FACT: Using a WDS is what gets you to the max of 5000 lbs. Doing so without one would be very unsafe and ill-advised.

Myth 4 - Running wires through your Sorento for trailer breaks is very costly and can affect your warrantee.
FACT: It is difficult to run these wires and it can become a warranty complication if you have future electrical problems in the car, as this new wiring will not be covered due to them not being a standard feature of the car. The best way to avoid this is to use a wireless break control module such as the Tekonsha Prodigy RF. It is more expensive to buy, but much easier to install and avoids any future warrantee questions. It can also utilise the stock 4 pin plug with a simple 7 pin adapter.

With these clarifications, I would also like to add some advise or recommendations for towing in general as people seem to have misunderstandings. First off, it is completely normal to see higher RPMs while cruising with a trailer. This is true even in pickup trucks. The engine RPM is not the biggest concern, but more the transmission temperature. In trucks and some vans, there is a TOW HAUL mode, which is not featured in the Sorento. However, the SPORT MODE does something quite similar in that it lets the engine rev higher in order to save the transmission from having to shift often for every slight incline change in the road. It is especially important to try to avoid shifting often as the Sorento features no transmission temperature gauge. Follow these considerations and the only thing you have to keep an eye on is your engine temperature.

The Sorento is by no meens a pickup truck, but that doesn't meen it can't tow. In fact, it has won many awards in Europe for being a good tow car as pickup trucks are a rarity. However here are extra considerations when towing.

Cruising at higher then unloaded RPMs is normal, but pushing the car to tow a trailer at faster highway speeds is NOT GOOD, and that is a fact for any towing vehicle. In sport mode, the Sorento will stay on the highway mostly in 4th gear and show approximately 2800 RPM at 90 kph. This is a great towing speed on flat ground. Going any faster will cause extra stress on the vehicle and worse gas mileage...and for how much gain? In this setting, you'll see better than 20L per 100km of gas mileage. IF YOU ARE IN A RUSH TO GO CAMPING, YOU ARE DEFEATING THE PURPOSE OF CAMPING IN THE FIRST PLACE. Also, when you see an uphill coming, increase your speed to gain momentum without shifting (staying in 4th, not exceeding 100 kph) and then letting the speed bleed off slowly as you are climbing as to try to get to the top without shifting into 3rd. If you have a long steep incline, just putt putt up the hill at 70kph. IF PEOPLE BEHIND YOU GET IMPATIENT THAT EASILY, THEIR PROBLEMS WERE ROOTED LONG BEFORE YOU SHOWED UP. Camping is meant to be relaxing and the towing experience should be the same. Don't let others ruin your trip and don't wreck your car trying to content others. Besides, they're probably just jealous of your new rig :P.
Great write up. Can you tell us how to get some information on this "WDS". Is this something that the dealership has to install? Also, you say void warranty on the wiring thing. On my AWD V6 (LX), i have two wiring harness junctions on the far back drivers side protected by a splash guard. Are you talking about the wiring from those connections TO the trailer (CURT or other model) that will void the warranty? Or am I good since they seem to already be wired? I always assumed everyone has those two wiring connections already run to the back, no?
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-12-2017, 12:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rocky_baker View Post

Myth 4 - Running wires through your Sorento for trailer breaks is very costly and can affect your warrantee.
FACT: It is difficult to run these wires and it can become a warranty complication if you have future electrical problems in the car, as this new wiring will not be covered due to them not being a standard feature of the car. The best way to avoid this is to use a wireless break control module such as the Tekonsha Prodigy RF. It is more expensive to buy, but much easier to install and avoids any future warrantee questions. It can also utilise the stock 4 pin plug with a simple 7 pin adapter.
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-12-2017, 12:23 PM
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Hi,
thanks Rocky for his great write up. A question before I order.
I got the following Curt part number from older threads.
Do anybody know if they are the right ones for 2018 SXL?
Hitch 13195
Cable 56151
Bracket 58001
Thanks!
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-12-2017, 01:40 PM Thread Starter
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Hahaha that's awesome. I'm french, I guess I let it show sometimes haha.
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-12-2017, 01:41 PM Thread Starter
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The tongue weight is written in your owner's manual and changes depending on the year and model. Mine is 500 lbs.
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-12-2017, 01:59 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by bad_turbulence View Post
Great write up. Can you tell us how to get some information on this "WDS". Is this something that the dealership has to install? Also, you say void warranty on the wiring thing. On my AWD V6 (LX), i have two wiring harness junctions on the far back drivers side protected by a splash guard. Are you talking about the wiring from those connections TO the trailer (CURT or other model) that will void the warranty? Or am I good since they seem to already be wired? I always assumed everyone has those two wiring connections already run to the back, no?
When I mentioned voiding the warranty, I meant that If other warranty work with electrical has to be done on your car in the future, the first thing they will do is rip out the trailer breaks as they are not a stock feature of the vehicle. You will then have to foot the bill to replace that out of your own pocket. Using a wireless break controller would avoid these troubles.
As for the weight distribution system (WDS), that is something that is NOT built into the tow vehicle. It is a specially built hitch that will slip into your 2 inch receiver and get connected to the tongue of the trailer. What the WDS does is litterally uses the tongue weight of the trailer to pull the front end of the tow vehicle down and distribute the weight of the trailer through the front and rear end of the car. This avoids rear end sag and greatly improves handling and safety while pulling a heavier load. The prefered type of WDS for the Sorento is one with built in sway control which greatly helps against trailer sway caused by crosswind and large vehicles passing.

You can install the WDS yourself or have the help of the trailer shop where you buy your camper. They will help adjust the hitch angle and torsion bars to the optimal setting for your trailer/vehicle combination. The idea is to have the tow vehicle, the torsion bars and the trailer all straight and parallel with the level ground.
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-12-2017, 02:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rocky_baker View Post
Hahaha that's awesome. I'm french, I guess I let it show sometimes haha.
We have a pretty stupid language. Good post!
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-12-2017, 02:50 PM
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I installed my own brake controller. You pull power directly from the battery. I ran it through the boot on the firewall. I pulled off the cowling and ran all my wires under the car. Nothing I did could void a warranty.
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