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MId-size SUV towing


dpap

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Rookie RVer question.

 

Can a 2017 KIA Sorento, AWD, 3.3 L V6, with towing limit of 5,000 lbs and tongue limit of 500lbs, safely tow a Passport Express 171EXP?

 

(At this point do not know GVWR of the Sorento)

 

171EXP empty weight is 3,612, length-20', dual axle.

 

Thanks for the help.

 

dpap

 

 

 

 

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Somewhere in the Sorneto's owners manual there is a GCVR (Gross Combined Vehicle Record). The total amount of stuff in the Sorento including passengers, added to the total weight of the loaded trailer should not exceed the GCVR. Towing when the trailer gross weight is about the max the car/truck is rated for is not the safest thing you can do. But it is doable.

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Keystone makes it difficult to find their GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating), but if you add their "Shipping Weight" to their "Carrying Capacity" that should give you a rough idea of what the maximum trailer weight would be. The Passport Express 171EXP gives 3612 + 1588 which comes out to 5200 pounds. which exceeds the tow limit that you have stated. If you didn't load the trailer to the max you might be able to stay within the specs, but pushing a vehicle to the max does not make for a fun (or safe) towing experience.

 

There are plenty of 1/2 ton trucks out there that would handle that trailer with ease. I'd consider something along those lines.

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Thank you for the experienced feedback. Very helpful.

 

Question # 2

 

Passport makes a 145EXP, same configuration but 2.5 feet shorter.

 

Empty weight - 3,120 Carrying cap.- 850, for total of 3,970.

 

A little less than 80% of the 5,000 limit in the KIA.

 

Thoughts?

 

Thanks again.

 

dpap

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dpap - Salute for doing our homework on what you can safely tow, and for understanding the importance of retaining some contingency safety margin too.

 

Just yesterday, driving along Hwy 101 in the Olympic Peninsula, I passed to SUV's with trailers behind them. IMO, both were dangerous to the point of recklessness by the drivers. One was a Mercedes SUV with a 30' + older two axle Airstreme. The rear end was so weighted down, that I was waiting to see the front tires get air as he drove at posted speed limits thru some bouncy rough roadways. (For him, I actually pulled off at a scenic lookout at Crescent Lake, to let him get way far ahead of us. I was that worried he would lose control.)

 

Later that afternoon, passed an older Honda Passport (Isuzu). It was pulling I'd estimate a 28', again double axle, rolling classic (Future opportunity to restore, to be polite:)!) Agosy trailer, with a medium size motorcycle on a carrier welded to the frame of the Agosy. He had too much tongue weight, or supposed he could have had the back of Passport loaded up to, that he was not just dragging the chain over rough sections, he was bottoming out with his hitch too. Quite the spark light show being tossed off.

 

My main reason for posting, is to salute you for doing your homework to be sure you're safe in towing.

 

Best to you, and all,

Smitty

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Thank you for the experienced feedback. Very helpful.

 

Question # 2

 

Passport makes a 145EXP, same configuration but 2.5 feet shorter.

 

Empty weight - 3,120 Carrying cap.- 850, for total of 3,970.

 

A little less than 80% of the 5,000 limit in the KIA.

 

Thoughts?

 

Based on weight this is a better choice. But now the carrying capacity issue comes into play. 850 pounds may seem like a lot, but realize that everything in the trailer, including water and propane subtract from this. This trailer as listed as having a 43 gallon fresh water tank. That is 360 pounds of water if filled. Add another 6 gallons in your hot water heater, 50 pounds. With full propane you add another 40 pounds. Right there you've used 450 pounds of your 850, which is over half. And the "empty weight" on trailers is often wrong, as that is based on no options at all. Most trailers come in heavier than the stated empty weight, and so your "carrying capacity" is reduced further.

 

If your plan is to travel very lightly, fill your water when you get there, etc., this may be doable. 850 pounds total carrying capacity is pretty low.

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Sorry for the blank post! I was having internet issues.

 

We towed an travel trailer that weighed just under 4000# with a Kia Borrego, powered by their V-6 and rated to tow 5000#. While it does the job safely, it isn't a great choice as the RV does tend to bounce the SUV around on rough roads. In addition, our Borrego gets about 22 mpg when not towing but got 11 mpg or less with the trailer. There is no doubt that you can do this, but I suggest you limit the length of travel days to no more than 300 miles as it will be tiring.

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The limiting factor when towing with an SUV always seems to be the hitch weight.

 

If you towed the full 5000# capacity, with 500# on the hitch, that's 10% of the trailer weight, which is the recommended minimum. It would theoretically work, but it's dancing on the edge. The range is 10%-15% of the weight on the hitch, so I guess you want to aim for the middle of that range.

 

But then, and somebody correct me if I'm wrong.... the hitch weight has to be deducted from the SUV's carrying capacity. If the SUV can carry 1000 lbs of load, towing reduces it to 500 pounds. Subtract a driver and passenger, and you don't have much left.

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GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating), but if you add their "Shipping Weight" to their "Carrying Capacity" that should give you a rough idea of what the maximum trailer weight would be. The Passport Express 171EXP gives 3612 + 1588 which comes out to 5200 pounds. which exceeds the tow limit that you have stated.

 

Just a clarification.. Your GVWR would be the maximum for the Sorento (curb weight + cargo capacity).. not including the trailer or tow rating. It would be the GCVR (Gross Combined Vehicle Rating) rating that would be important to know. That would be the Sorento + trailer + both of their respective cargo's.

 

So there are several max ratings that have to be considered and none exceeded.

 

The total weight of your Sorento + it's cargo (GVWR). Which as bobk3d pointed out.. would include the weight of the hitch on the back. If that's 500lbs then that would be subtracted from the cargo capacity of your Sorento.

 

The towing capacity. The maximum weight rating of your trailer.

 

The maximum weight rating of your Sorento + the maximum weight rating of your trailer cannot exceed the Gross Combined Vehicle Rating.

 

In many SUV's that is the "killer" number. Ie., Your Sorento might have a GVWR of 5200lbs. Your trailer might have a GVWR of 5000lbs. However.. the GCVR might only be 8000lbs. While your within max ratings individually and within your "towing capacity" it exceeds the combined maximum rating. Make sense?

 

I'll also X2 Jimalberta's remarks regarding using an 80% margin when calculating your weight ratings. While a vehicle CAN tow at maximum capacities it can be a real "white knuckle" affair and doesn't take into account any adverse driving conditions.

 

You're ahead of the curve though by doing your homework first! ~Cheers

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