Launching and towing boats - Kia Forum
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Unread 03-24-2019, 01:34 PM Thread Starter
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Question Launching and towing boats

Hi everyone, great forums with loads of info but I've been unable to find anyone discussing the sorento to tow and more importantly launch/retrieve a boat. I've got a 16.5' fishing boat - 2,000lbs + gear so call it 2500lbs.

I'm already pretty sure I'll be want to add some airbag springs as gleaned from the forum (can't post links yet but was these topics: "sorento-2016-v6-towing-capacity-5000lb" and "does-anyone-tow-their-2016-sorento")

But if anyone has any experience they'd like to share or thoughts on the subject I'd love the hear them. I'm mostly worried about the low hitch location on steep ramps/low water situations and also the lower ride hight on not so steep ramps where I might have to back in quite a ways before the boat will float off.


Looking forward to any and all input.
Thanks
Sean

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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Unread 03-24-2019, 02:07 PM
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I have a 16’ Lund that I tow once and a while with my 2016 sorento 2.0T. The sorento pulls it just fine, not as good as my Ram Cummins though 😉 I do find it quite noisy (hitch noise) but that’s to be expected when the cabin is not seperated from the hitch like in a truck.
As for boat launches I will only take it to launches that get deep quickly as there is not a whole lot of ground clearance and I don’t like dunking the rear of the sorento too far into the water.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Unread 03-24-2019, 04:57 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by egger8787 View Post
As for boat launches I will only take it to launches that get deep quickly as there is not a whole lot of ground clearance and I don’t like dunking the rear of the sorento too far into the water.
Yeah I think that's my biggest concern at this point. unfortunately a truck is out so I'm torn between the kia which I love when not towing (based on test drive) and a Grand Cherokee or the new Subaru Ascent. Need one vehicle to do it all - daily driver and towing the boat when at the cottage.

Thanks for the reply, really appreciate it. Anyone got any experiences to share?
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Unread 03-24-2019, 07:49 PM
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17' Princecraft (aluminum) on a steel trailer, fully loaded with fishing gear, trolling motor, dual deep cycle batteries, etc etc etc, towed all over the place last year with a 2018 v6.
Tows fine, if the trailer is set properly (tongue weight) the rear moves very little when the trailer is added so I'd not even consider air-bags or anything else.
I open the rear hatch when backing down the ramp so visibility is great.

Longer wheel base than my old Blazer zr2 (s10 style with v6) and a softer suspension but tows very well.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Unread 03-24-2019, 08:52 PM
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Sorento
Ground clearance 7.3"
Departure angle 21 degrees
Towing capacity 5,000 lbs

Jeep Grand Cherokee V6
Ground clearance 8.6"
Departure angle 24 degrees
Towing capacity 6,200 lbs

The JGC is just more capable for what you want to do.

The JGC was on my short list to buy, but the Sorento won out due to features, good reviews and budget.
Since I bought the Sorento, I now work at a Jeep dealership. The JGCs in the lot just look so drool worthy.
JGC Limited with Luxury package would be my choice (LED headlights and pano roof is the tell tale)
PM me if you need some tips on finding a JGC.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Unread 03-24-2019, 09:46 PM
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I have a 16.5 aluminum boat that I've been towing with the Sorento for 3 years now. imo, you don't need any special springs or anything like that. Just get an adjustable ball mount like this:

https://www.westmarine.com/buy/maxxh...hoC9rkQAvD_BwE

That takes care of the low mount height. The chains can be a bit finicky to keep up off the ground while staying loose enough to easily get them unhooked. But that's about the only issue I've had.
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Unread 03-25-2019, 05:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rejesterd View Post
I have a 16.5 aluminum boat that I've been towing with the Sorento for 3 years now. imo, you don't need any special springs or anything like that. Just get an adjustable ball mount like this:

https://www.westmarine.com/buy/maxxh...hoC9rkQAvD_BwE

That takes care of the low mount height. The chains can be a bit finicky to keep up off the ground while staying loose enough to easily get them unhooked. But that's about the only issue I've had.
I had to flip my drop hitch upside down (not all do that so make sure you check)
As for the chains, look up "safety chain hanger" there are several styles available, Chain-up looks pretty decent
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Unread 03-25-2019, 11:38 AM Thread Starter
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This is great stuff everyone. Making me feel a lot better about the Sorento. I know it's not a the best boat hauler but if it can handle 90% of the ramps I end up at I'd be happy until I move out of the big city can switch to bigger options.

Anyone else with feedback? How about towing it over some rougher roads like you'd typically find going into a fishing resort (logging roads for example)?
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Unread 03-25-2019, 05:32 PM
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Do you have AWD? I've spent a lot of time on boat ramps and with FWD, you've already shifted weight to the rear with the tongue weight and then on a boat ramp, even less down force on the front wheels. If it's in a tidal area, good chance that silt and sand has been deposited on the ramp at high tide, perhaps creating some interesting traction issues when you go to put in at low tide. If it's an inland lake with good ramps (grooved concrete is best), even FWD only would be fine but AWD is a much better combination for potentially getting out of tricky situation (like dropping the trailer off the ramp).
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Unread 03-25-2019, 06:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tom4416 View Post
Do you have AWD? I've spent a lot of time on boat ramps and with FWD, you've already shifted weight to the rear with the tongue weight and then on a boat ramp, even less down force on the front wheels. If it's in a tidal area, good chance that silt and sand has been deposited on the ramp at high tide, perhaps creating some interesting traction issues when you go to put in at low tide. If it's an inland lake with good ramps (grooved concrete is best), even FWD only would be fine but AWD is a much better combination for potentially getting out of tricky situation (like dropping the trailer off the ramp).
+1 on the AWD for any type of boat ramp launch. A 2500lb boat to tow is no big deal for the V6. If it's something you do frequently, just make sure you change the transmission fluid on the "severe service" schedule.

Cheers!

2013 Sorento EX V6 AWD
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