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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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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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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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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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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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Discussion Starter #8
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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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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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.
True, and the chances that you run into any electrical problems in a KIA are slim to none for the life of the car. And if the dealership tried to charge me for warranty work, I don't care what changes I've made, upgrading the coin-operated juke-box radio, or whatever, they'll have a fight on their hands.
 

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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.
Great info!!! do you have an example picture? I will google it so if you don't, no worries !!!
 

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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.
If the highway has posted minimum speeds, let's say 60 or 65MPH, is it safe to go 60 mph (96.56kph), or would that be pushing it?
 

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If the highway has posted minimum speeds, let's say 60 or 65MPH, is it safe to go 60 mph (96.56kph), or would that be pushing it?
I have regularly towed at 65 to 70 mph in eco and standard and the car is not hunting for gears. I just took it in for transmission service after 7000 miles of Southwest mountain pass driving including wolf creek pass in Colorado all through Yellowstone and Wyoming then up to Washington a few weeks later. The Kia dealership had no warnings or concerns about the condition of the oil or how it was driving short of the transmission service bulletin that they did by replacing a sensor.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
If the highway has posted minimum speeds, let's say 60 or 65MPH, is it safe to go 60 mph (96.56kph), or would that be pushing it?
That's a pretty fast minimum limit! Here in Canada most highways are maximum 100 kph (62 mph) with a minimum of 60 kph (37 mph). I'm sure you could pull a trailer at 60 mph if you wanted to, you'll just burn quite a bit more gas for a small speed gain. If those speed minimums are popular around your area, I would make an effort to chose a trailer with a narrower profile (e.g. Jay Feather 7 series is only 7 feet wide vs the standard 8 feet) or shorter rounded cabin (example Jayco Hummingbird series is about a foot shorter). These seem like small differences but at higher speeds, the difference becomes evident.
 

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Brake controller and pics?

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.
Hi,

Any chance you can share details and/or pics of how you ran the wire? Please explain to me as if I'm in Junior Kindergarten.

Also, which brake controller did you use?

My current planned setup to start towing with a 2016 Sorento V6 EX is:
1) Curt Class 3 Hitch receiver, #13195
2) Curt wiring ( 4 way), #56256
3) 7 way adapter + unknown brake controller
4) Curt WD&Sway kit, #17022 .

Any suggestions/criticism is appreciated:)
 

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I have a 5x10 trailer I occasionally tow with my 2017 sorento. I would say trailer brakes are almost mandatory for anything but a very small trailer. Even with the trailer empty it pushes quite hard during braking as the sorento brakes are Ok for itself but vastly inadequate for towing.

As for weight distributing hitches it would be nice especially since most all trailers are designed to err on the side of way too much tongue weight with the axle too far back. However there isn't really room for it as the trailer hitch is already so low. The bottom of the ball of my hitch often scrapes the ground going in and out of parking lots. Add in a wds and itll be scraping everywhere. Now granted I live in Texas and they dont know how to pave roads here. They think every intersection and driveway entrance needs a 4' deep ditch. Why they cant just pave it flat like the rest of the civilized world I'll never know.


Towing speed. 55mph??? Uh yeah no not here. Speed limits are 70+ on the freeways and 55 will get you killed here. I have towed my 5x10 long trips and the sweet spot for mileage is around 75mph. Above or below that it drops. I was getting 32mpg at 75 mph on a trip to Wichita KS.

Yeah and never tow in eco mode. It upshifts way too quickly and lugs the engine. Much better in sport as it holds the gears longer. And going up hills manually downshift and you can keep speed up.
 

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Regarding weight distribution. Has anybody found a real answer on if we can use them on the Sorento?

My dealership couldn't give me a straight answer.
The manual doesn't mention it.
No hitch I can find for it lists as rated for WD hitches.

My thought is that it can't handle one.

Is there anybody who pulls smallish travel trailers with the Sorrento (3500-4500 lb range) who can comment on the sag when not using WD? We are looking at upgrading from our little popup, and I can't figure out if I can use WD, I'll use sway dampers either way but would like to have some real info on WD
 

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I have a 5x10 trailer I occasionally tow with my 2017 sorento. I would say trailer brakes are almost mandatory for anything but a very small trailer. Even with the trailer empty it pushes quite hard during braking as the sorento brakes are Ok for itself but vastly inadequate for towing. …..
1,000% agree. I've done towing for 30+ years and during those years, I often tell people to forget about trailing braking / towing laws in their specific area. Seriously.... re: In my specific region, the law states that any loaded trailer (including weight of the trailer) 3,000+ lbs needs its own brakes (on the trailer). IMO, this law should be trashed and replaced with something that makes "safe towing" sense. For me, I simply take the vehicle's rear cargo's max weight carrying capacity (aka: Payload Capacity) number. If trailer weight is more weight than cargo capacity, then attached trailer is putting too much stress on the factory vehicle's brakes. With this in mind, "in my safe towing world" any of the trailers that can carry over 1,500 lbs has their own brakes. Yes. Two of my five trailers have their own full electric / adjustable brakes. IMO, this safe towing rule should be the law across all regions - not just in California USA. This works for me - after replacing several front warped brake rotors - from using NO &/or improperly sized brakes on the attached trailer.
 

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1,000% agree. I've done towing for 30+ years and during those years, I often tell people to forget about trailing braking / towing laws in their specific area. Seriously.... re: In my specific region, the law states that any loaded trailer (including weight of trailer) 3,000+ lbs needs its own brakes (on the trailer). IMO, this law should be trashed and replaced with something that makes "safe towing" sense. For me, I simply take at the vehicle's rear cargo's max weight carrying capacity (aka: Payload capacity) number. If trailer weight is more weight than cargo capacity, then attached trailer is putting too much stress on the factory "vehicle" brakes. With this in mind," in my safe towing world" any of the trailers that can carry over 1,500 lbs has their own brakes. Yes. Two of my five trailers has their own full electric / adjustable brakes. IMO, this safe towing method should be the law across all regions - not just in California USA. This works for me - after replacing several front warped brake rotors - from using NO &/or improperly sized brakes on the attached trailer.
Here its 4500lbs which is too much even behind a 1 to truck.. I will say that they are really cracking down on trailers here in TX. IIRC its anything over 4500 lbs now has to be inspected every year which I see way more need for inspecting trailers than I do for cars.

I need to decide if I want to switch to a torsion axle for my 5x10 utility trailer or just buy an axle with brake flanges. I ordered my trailer and didn't realize they used axles without the brake flanges...

If there is a low profile weight distributing hitch I would love to have one but until then they just hang way too far down on a Sorento.
 
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