Comparing mid-size SUVs for towing -- Hyundai vs Kia leading

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DebiT
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Comparing mid-size SUVs for towing -- Hyundai vs Kia leading

Post by DebiT » Sun Apr 07, 2019 6:10 pm

I'm a long-time RVer with my husband, who recently passed away. I'll be selling our Class A RV, which is more than I want to deal with in terms of upkeep, etc, and looking to buy a very small used trailer towable by a probably new SUV with a suitable tow package. I'm not as concerned about buying this new, since I'll likely drive it for 10 years or more, as I am with getting the features I need for problem free towing. (We used to have a boat, and I remember that picking the vehicle well made all the difference). I'm a Consumer Reports sort of shopper, liking to start with specs to make sure a vehicle has what I need. This mode has served us very well over the years, as evidenced by our 2 old but reliable cars (also to be sold).

By sorting on the Consumer Reports website on towing capacity and reliability of mid-size SUV's, some front runners appear, able to tow 5000 lbs and with overall reliability scores of 78 to 96. These are Subaru Ascent rated 96, Toyota Highlander rated 85, Hyundai Santa Fe rated 81, and Kia Sorento rated 78. The range of prices as listed are all about $30-$45K, with the Kia Sorento having a wider range of $25-$46. Bear in mind that as I start inquiring more, the prices will sort out, since I want towing packages. Another article said the Kia is redesigned in 2019, not sure if this is accurate or not. If so, that is a concern.

Since I'm overall a very low mileage driver I am very attracted to the Hyundai and Kia warranties, which are 5 yr /60K basic, and 10 yr/ 100K powertrain. The other 2 are 3/36K and 5/60K.

My questions: based on the differences in warranties, what do you think of the Hyundai and Kia? Would that be enough to tilt your decision to those two, and if not, why not?
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Teague
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Re: Comparing mid-size SUVs for towing -- Hyundai vs Kia leading

Post by Teague » Sun Apr 07, 2019 6:50 pm

Sometimes folks buy the tow vehicle before selecting the boat/trailer/whatever, and run into all sorts of problems.

Keep in mind that "towing capacity" as stated by car makers is only one part of the puzzle. And it's usually not the limiting factor. Trailer tongue weight is more often the limiting factor. (The tongue weight contributes to vehicle payload - most folks run out of payload before they hit the advertised "towing capacity.")

Then of course there are axle weight limits, tire weight limits, and so on. But those don't come into play as often.

I know I haven't addressed your stated question, but I wanted to make sure you were aware of the above before pulling the trigger on a vehicle.
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JaneyLH
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Re: Comparing mid-size SUVs for towing -- Hyundai vs Kia leading

Post by JaneyLH » Sun Apr 07, 2019 6:55 pm

I'm sorry to hear of the loss of your husband, and impressed you are planning to carry on with RVing on your own. Good for you! The towing rating of 5,000 lbs. is just part of the story. You also have to consider hitch weight and payload (how much weight you can actually carry in the tow vehicle, including the hitch weight). With a small trailer, you will likely have to carry more weight in the SUV for all the "stuff" we seem to need when camping. (Our experience when we had a lightweight a-frame trailer.) Have you identified the specific trailer you plan to acquire? Many people make the mistake of buying the tow vehicle, then find it is insufficient to tow the trailer they buy. It's best to make the decision of trailer/tow vehicle at the same time so you know you will be safe and happy. :D

Our rule of thumb is that the loaded weight of the trailer (don't forget water if you plan to fill up at home) be not more than 75-80% of the maximum towing weight advertised by the manufacturer, and that hitch weight should be about 12% of the fully loaded trailer weight. We were just out weighing our trailer today and found that the trailer labeled as 4400 lbs. by the factory actually weighed 1000 lbs. more -- because of the added weight of the options (oven, microwave, air conditioner, TV, etc. etc.) We tow with a V-8 5.7-liter Jeep Grand Cherokee advertised to haul 7200 lbs. and we figure we are at the upper limits of safety and we can't carry much of anything except ourselves and a couple of camp chairs in the Jeep itself.

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Re: Comparing mid-size SUVs for towing -- Hyundai vs Kia leading

Post by vitaflo » Sun Apr 07, 2019 6:58 pm

If you're not buying it new, then the Hyundai/Kia warranties aren't totally transferable. If buying used the powertrain warranty goes from 10yr/100k to 5yr/60k. You'll need to buy new to get 10yr/100k. So that's something to consider.

Also, FWIW, the Sorento and Santa Fe are basically the same car. They're built on the same platform and in the same factory. Most Hyundai and Kia cars are like this (Hyundai owns a good chunk of Kia and they share all their car designs).

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Re: Comparing mid-size SUVs for towing -- Hyundai vs Kia leading

Post by il0kin » Sun Apr 07, 2019 7:45 pm

How many pounds will the new trailer be? Brakes and suspension design are just as important as power. I don't think mid-size SUVs are really the best vehicles for long distance towing, they aren't designed for it even though they can do it. Front wheel drive, softer springs, unibody frame.. not ideal to tow.

i'd tell you to focus more on body on frame SUVs with the drive wheels in the rear. I drive a Nissan Frontier (midsize truck) and it tows very well.

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Re: Comparing mid-size SUVs for towing -- Hyundai vs Kia leading

Post by DebiT » Sun Apr 07, 2019 9:58 pm

il0kin wrote:
Sun Apr 07, 2019 7:45 pm
How many pounds will the new trailer be? Brakes and suspension design are just as important as power. I don't think mid-size SUVs are really the best vehicles for long distance towing, they aren't designed for it even though they can do it. Front wheel drive, softer springs, unibody frame.. not ideal to tow.

i'd tell you to focus more on body on frame SUVs with the drive wheels in the rear. I drive a Nissan Frontier (midsize truck) and it tows very well.
I am going to be looking at very small trailers, under 2000 lbs dry, so I assume about 3000 lbs loaded. I don't know yet if they have their own braking system. These vehicles says they are rated for 5000 lbs. The Hyundai and Kia do have front-wheel drive. Can you help me understand why that is a concern?

I should also mention that this isn't for long-distance towing. Most of my trips will be at 45 miles one-way. Perhaps 150 miles one way maximum, occasionally.
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Re: Comparing mid-size SUVs for towing -- Hyundai vs Kia leading

Post by jbranx » Sun Apr 07, 2019 10:06 pm

This thread is now in Personal Consumer Issues Moderator Jbranx

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Re: Comparing mid-size SUVs for towing -- Hyundai vs Kia leading

Post by letsgobobby » Sun Apr 07, 2019 10:16 pm

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Re: Comparing mid-size SUVs for towing -- Hyundai vs Kia leading

Post by DebiT » Sun Apr 07, 2019 11:11 pm

I am really appreciating what I’m learning so far on this thread. I do understand that I need to pick my trailer before my vehicle. However, for the sake of discussing what I need to understand about my vehicle, let’s assume that I’ve picked a trailer weighing 2000 lbs dry, about 15 feet long, minus hitch. And let’s assume short trips, usually 60 miles 1 way, occasionally 150 miles one way.

Given that, It sounds like a rough assumption of tongue weight would be 15% of fully loaded trailer . And it sounds like “if” I were buying a new trailer, or initially relying on a sellers description of their trailer weight based on a brochure, that I would need to be sure the trailer dry weight included all of the trailer “options”, such as microwave , refrigerator, or anything else. And thanks to Google, I now see the FWD doesn’t offer as much control when towing anything as RWD or AWD. So that’s crucial.

Thanks for all the help so far

Deborah
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Re: Comparing mid-size SUVs for towing -- Hyundai vs Kia leading

Post by letsgobobby » Sun Apr 07, 2019 11:38 pm

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Re: Comparing mid-size SUVs for towing -- Hyundai vs Kia leading

Post by DebiT » Sun Apr 07, 2019 11:50 pm

letsgobobby wrote:
Sun Apr 07, 2019 11:38 pm

Ignore dry weight. Wet is all that matters. 2500 wet = 375 lb on the tongue which should be just fine for any of the midsize SUVs you mentioned if equipped with towing package. Four runner is very capable but has the worst road manners of any you mentioned.
OK, before I turn in for the night, I have to ask .... what do you mean by road manners? My brain is so fried by all of these numbers that I can't figure it out!
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Re: Comparing mid-size SUVs for towing -- Hyundai vs Kia leading

Post by tibbitts » Mon Apr 08, 2019 12:00 am

My main suggestion is to not accept any substitute for a factory towing package. Relatively few small SUVs are sold with factory towing packages. Dealers will sometimes claim to add-on the equivalent - receiver, transmission cooler, etc. - but often they don't actually do the work (sub it out) and do not use factory parts.

Consider how you're going to manage the mirrors, and how you're going to integrate a rear-view camera if you plan to do that.

Can you give an example of a model or two of trailer that you're considering?

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Re: Comparing mid-size SUVs for towing -- Hyundai vs Kia leading

Post by DebiT » Mon Apr 08, 2019 12:48 am

I haven't found specific models yet, but can.come back here with some over the next few days. Do you know which makes of mid-size SUVs do offer full factory towing packages?
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Re: Comparing mid-size SUVs for towing -- Hyundai vs Kia leading

Post by letsgobobby » Mon Apr 08, 2019 12:54 am

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Re: Comparing mid-size SUVs for towing -- Hyundai vs Kia leading

Post by DebiT » Mon Apr 08, 2019 12:07 pm

I really do need to investigate both vehicles and trailers at the same time. I am looking at very small trailers, 13-16', like Scamp or Casita, possibly Jayco. Dry weights of 2500-3000 lbs, tongue weights as high as 350 lbs wet. Short trips, 60-150 miles 1 way, like KOA, nothing rough

Learned so far that I need to investigate mirrors (had forgotten about those), transmission coolers and brake controllers (are those ever factory, from dealers like Hyundai, Kia, and Toyota, or always after market?). Need to insure AWD or RWD. Need to also take a look at Toyota 4Runner, but I think it may be overkill for what I want to do.
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Re: Comparing mid-size SUVs for towing -- Hyundai vs Kia leading

Post by Quickfoot » Mon Apr 08, 2019 12:33 pm

I'd also reconsider the vehicle, both Hyundai and Kia are under investigation because their vehicles have twice the average risk of catching fire. Twice the risk is still small but it is significant that it is much higher than other manufacturers and is a risk you should consider. It's possible elevated risk could be contained to fire risk but it's also possible they are at higher risk in other areas as well. It may be Hyundai or Kia is the right choice for you but it's always good to make an informed decision.

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Re: Comparing mid-size SUVs for towing -- Hyundai vs Kia leading

Post by il0kin » Mon Apr 08, 2019 12:57 pm

DebiT wrote:
Sun Apr 07, 2019 9:58 pm
il0kin wrote:
Sun Apr 07, 2019 7:45 pm
How many pounds will the new trailer be? Brakes and suspension design are just as important as power. I don't think mid-size SUVs are really the best vehicles for long distance towing, they aren't designed for it even though they can do it. Front wheel drive, softer springs, unibody frame.. not ideal to tow.

i'd tell you to focus more on body on frame SUVs with the drive wheels in the rear. I drive a Nissan Frontier (midsize truck) and it tows very well.
I am going to be looking at very small trailers, under 2000 lbs dry, so I assume about 3000 lbs loaded. I don't know yet if they have their own braking system. These vehicles says they are rated for 5000 lbs. The Hyundai and Kia do have front-wheel drive. Can you help me understand why that is a concern?

I should also mention that this isn't for long-distance towing. Most of my trips will be at 45 miles one-way. Perhaps 150 miles one way maximum, occasionally.
You noted this lower down, but yes, FWD is not as stable and can contribute to swaying (swaying = rollover crashes). Drive wheels in the rear is always preferable for towing if possible but AWD is an acceptable substitute. I see that you are looking at fairly short trips so if the weather is bad from a precipitation and wind perspective, just stay home.

You need to make sure your tires are also capable of holding the weight you will be towing although most of the trailer load is handled by the trailer tires and those should be fine from the factory.

What is your budget for the vehicle and are there any must-haves? Would a mid-size pickup truck be amenable to your lifestyle? My Frontier was under $30,000 brand new with 4x4, a V6 and a crew cab and has a towing capacity of 6100 lbs. I have towed 4000 lb trailers and barely notice them. Not great gas MPG but you're never going to get much for MPG when towing an RV anyways.

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Re: Comparing mid-size SUVs for towing -- Hyundai vs Kia leading

Post by randomguy » Mon Apr 08, 2019 1:06 pm

Quickfoot wrote:
Mon Apr 08, 2019 12:33 pm
I'd also reconsider the vehicle, both Hyundai and Kia are under investigation because their vehicles have twice the average risk of catching fire. Twice the risk is still small but it is significant that it is much higher than other manufacturers and is a risk you should consider. It's possible elevated risk could be contained to fire risk but it's also possible they are at higher risk in other areas as well. It may be Hyundai or Kia is the right choice for you but it's always good to make an informed decision.
I don't think the SUVs being looked at share the power train that caused problems in pre2016 Kia's/hyundias. This is a lot different than say buying a CR-V today which has a known issue with that specific model.

Unfortunately I can't think of any makers without major issues. Toyota had defective gas pedals that killed people. Pretty much every Japanese car maker installed exploding airbags. Honda had a defective rear seat in their minivans. GM did deadly ignition switches. Ford did tires that broke apart. Tesla's catch on Fire. VW have springs that break. And so on. It is very hard as an individual to evaluate them and decide who is putting our defective cars.

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Re: Comparing mid-size SUVs for towing -- Hyundai vs Kia leading

Post by vested1 » Mon Apr 08, 2019 1:49 pm

Of the trailers you mentioned I'll put my vote in for a Casita 17' Spirit Deluxe. The 17' length includes the hitch and tongue, so the trailer itself is more like 14.5". The Casita I referred to has a base price of around 16.5k, but other options may make the purchase of a new one at around 20k. The Casita has an enclosed bathroom with a toilet, sink, and shower. Ours had (recently sold) a furnace, roof AC, nice sized fridge, microwave, led lighting, kitchen sink, 2 burner gas stove and hood, a full bed and a single bed when the two tables are folded down, an awning, fantastic fan, electric tongue jack, upgraded tires and suspension, and a flat screen T.V./DVD player.

https://casitatraveltrailers.com/

The Casitas have great resale value as well, so you won't get a used one much cheaper. Both the Casita and the Scamp require that you install trailer brake electronics and wiring in your tow vehicle to activate the brakes on the trailer. A sway bar is also a good addition to eliminate fish tailing in high wind. We pulled the Casita with a full sized pickup (GMC 1500 2WD), but we've seen many being pulled by an SUV, which I don't particularly recommend.

Since you haven't bought your tow vehicle yet I would consider a used truck, such as a V6 Toyota Tacoma with a tow package and possibly 4 wheel drive (optional). However, if your trips are relatively short distance as you mentioned, an SUV would do a fine job, although the strain on the transmission may eventually take a toll.

BTW, I have one of the vehicles you mentioned, a 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe UL, which has a tow package and a 5,000 pound towing capacity. We also have the Toyota Tacoma I listed, and would opt to use that over the Santa Fe for towing without any doubt.

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Re: Comparing mid-size SUVs for towing -- Hyundai vs Kia leading

Post by researcher » Mon Apr 08, 2019 3:12 pm

DebiT wrote:
Sun Apr 07, 2019 9:58 pm
I am going to be looking at very small trailers, under 2000 lbs dry, so I assume about 3000 lbs loaded. I don't know yet if they have their own braking system. These vehicles says they are rated for 5000 lbs.

I should also mention that this isn't for long-distance towing. Most of my trips will be at 45 miles one-way. Perhaps 150 miles one way maximum, occasionally.
The fact is...
Virtually ANY mid-size or larger truck/SUV will safely and comfortably transport a ~3000 lb trailer on a 45 mile trip.
Don't let some of the advice here convince you otherwise, or get you confused/discouraged.

I think Hyundai/Kia are fine vehicles, but I wouldn't focus on just those because of the long warranty.

Here would be my top 3 choices, in order...
1) Honda Passport (SUV version) or Honda Ridgeline (truck version)
2) Hyundai Santa Fe or Kia Sorento
3) Toyota Highlander

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Re: Comparing mid-size SUVs for towing -- Hyundai vs Kia leading

Post by DebiT » Mon Apr 08, 2019 4:07 pm

Thank you, researcher. It occurred to me that what I should do is find a Casitas and/or Scamp forum, and ask the people there what they use. I know bigger would be even better, and I don't want to make a big mistake, but I also know I don't want to drive a big truck. I've done it before, and a big van too, and it's not what I want. What remains to be seen is whether what I'm willing to drive will safely pull what I'd like to camp in.

Thanks to everyone on this thread. I definitely got reminded of several issues that I do need to keep in mind, regardless.
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Re: Comparing mid-size SUVs for towing -- Hyundai vs Kia leading

Post by vested1 » Mon Apr 08, 2019 6:42 pm

DebiT wrote:
Mon Apr 08, 2019 4:07 pm
Thank you, researcher. It occurred to me that what I should do is find a Casitas and/or Scamp forum, and ask the people there what they use. I know bigger would be even better, and I don't want to make a big mistake, but I also know I don't want to drive a big truck. I've done it before, and a big van too, and it's not what I want. What remains to be seen is whether what I'm willing to drive will safely pull what I'd like to camp in.

Thanks to everyone on this thread. I definitely got reminded of several issues that I do need to keep in mind, regardless.
Here is a link to one of the forums where you can ask your questions after joining.

http://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/

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Re: Comparing mid-size SUVs for towing -- Hyundai vs Kia leading

Post by DebiT » Mon Apr 08, 2019 8:23 pm

Thank you, it is so funny that I had just happened upon this. I'm so pleased, and I had no idea there were so many brands. I think I'll take this discussion there, and continue to learn about both trailers and proper vehicles.

Thanks everyone for all your help.

Deborah
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Re: Comparing mid-size SUVs for towing -- Hyundai vs Kia leading

Post by tibbitts » Mon Apr 08, 2019 10:17 pm

I had an extended cab 1/2 ton truck for a 3500lb dry trailer, and that trailer was really enough for the truck - certainly the truck was not overkill. So, on the one hand I'd be conservative, but on the other hand, every inch in length and width and every pound of weight reduction make the combination easier to handle.

Another thing to be careful of: excess hitch capacity. I went with too heavy capacity on my hitch, based on the "bigger is better" theory. The hitch head was heavy - probably heavier than you would want to lift - but the main issue was that the spring bars were too stiff, causing pretty much every other component to bend first, including the truck frame. A lot of dealers will stock, for example, 1000lb head/bar sets, and it will cost them less to provide you with them than what you really need.

How did you decide on moving from a class A to a trailer vs. say small motorhome or some other RV type?

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Re: Comparing mid-size SUVs for towing -- Hyundai vs Kia leading

Post by DebiT » Mon Apr 08, 2019 11:08 pm

Thanks, I’ll be saving that info. Trailer choice based on economics plus the convenience of having a vehicle. And frankly, since I’m having to downsize , my favorite beach front sites have an 18 foot limit, so why not, since it’s just me
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Re: Comparing mid-size SUVs for towing -- Hyundai vs Kia leading

Post by researcher » Tue Apr 09, 2019 7:55 am

DebiT wrote:
Mon Apr 08, 2019 4:07 pm
Thank you, researcher. It occurred to me that what I should do is find a Casitas and/or Scamp forum, and ask the people there what they use. I know bigger would be even better, and I don't want to make a big mistake, but I also know I don't want to drive a big truck. I've done it before, and a big van too, and it's not what I want. What remains to be seen is whether what I'm willing to drive will safely pull what I'd like to camp in.
Something to keep in mind as you hear from others...
The total combined weight of your rig is almost certainly going to be lower than most of those you will hear from.
- Your GCWR is likely ~800+ lbs lower than most others right off the bat, since you are a solo traveler weighing xxx lbs, while ost others will have 2-6+ occupants weighing upwards of 1000 lbs.
- You will be staying at full service campgrounds and traveling with dry tanks, which will save you another ~200 lbs.
- Given that you are a solo traveler and not boondocking/dry camping, you will likely be schlepping a lot less stuff with you.

The point is, don't let people convince you to buy more vehicle than you need.
You don't need a big truck or body-on-frame SUV to solo travel in a Casita-like camper.
The Honda Passport/Ridgeline or Hyundai/Kia SUVs will serve you just fine.

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Re: Comparing mid-size SUVs for towing -- Hyundai vs Kia leading

Post by RickBoglehead » Tue Apr 09, 2019 8:09 am

As others have stated, wet weight is all that matters.

Ignore what trailer or vehicle salespeople tell you. They have only their wallet well-being in mind.

Figure out your trailer, don't buy it, then use the wet weights to determine an appropriate RWD or AWD vehicle. Read the PAYLOAD sticker on the vehicle, don't rely on manuals or websites.

Putting near 500 pounds on a tongue will make many vehicles point towards the sky.
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Re: Comparing mid-size SUVs for towing -- Hyundai vs Kia leading

Post by DebiT » Tue Apr 09, 2019 8:17 am

Thank you. It makes sense to figure everything out first, at both ends, and then decide. I'll be keeping this thread
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Re: Comparing mid-size SUVs for towing -- Hyundai vs Kia leading

Post by RickBoglehead » Tue Apr 09, 2019 8:27 am

DebiT wrote:
Tue Apr 09, 2019 8:17 am
Thank you. It makes sense to figure everything out first, at both ends, and then decide. I'll be keeping this thread
Just so you know, that kind of logic is simply, well it's simply AWESOME!

I participate in a truck forum, and I would estimate that the vast majority of owners buy a truck, buy a trailer, have no clue of their capacity, and tow over capacity. Others buy both, then find out they've screwed up. Many buy the truck, and find out they can't buy the trailer they want.

Kudos to you!
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Re: Comparing mid-size SUVs for towing -- Hyundai vs Kia leading

Post by letsgobobby » Wed Apr 10, 2019 12:14 am

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Re: Comparing mid-size SUVs for towing -- Hyundai vs Kia leading

Post by researcher » Wed Apr 10, 2019 9:33 am

letsgobobby wrote:
Wed Apr 10, 2019 12:14 am
You see how you went from "under 2000 lb dry" to "3000 lb"? And 3000 lb dry is 500 lb of hitch weight wet/loaded up. Really nail down that trailer first.

I'd really think about a half ton pick up with towing package if it otherwise fits your needs. They ride well and are very versatile. If you get a crew cab you can pull a couple friends anytime.
The OP does not need a full-size half-ton truck to tow a fiberglass Scamp/Casita trailer!
This is overkill...no reason to deal with an unnecessary, oversized, unwieldy tow vehicle.

The lightest Casita weights 1970 lbs with a hitch weight of 215 lbs. The biggest/heaviest Casita is 2480 lbs and 365 lbs, respectively.

Even after options/propane/batteries/gear/ect, weights will be WELL UNDER the capacities for the mid-size vehicles suggested.

For example, the Honda Ridgeline (excluding the vehicle curb weight)...
- Can handle a total of 5556 lbs, including the trailer (GCWR)
- Can handle 1589 lbs of weight in the vehicle, which includes occupants/gear/tongue weight (GVWR)

The OP is a solo traveler driving only ~45 miles with the trailer.
If she weighed 500 lbs and planned to schlep another 500 lbs of gear with her, she would still have over 500 lbs of tongue weight capacity & 4500 lbs of trailering capacity.

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Re: Comparing mid-size SUVs for towing -- Hyundai vs Kia leading

Post by DebiT » Wed Apr 10, 2019 9:57 am

I'm now making a chart of all possible fiberglass trailers, with weight. Scamp and Casita probably out, but there are others. However they do creep up to 3000 lbs, so am also branching out to look at other SUVs that are rated for 6200 lbs. What I do not want to do is drive a truck full time. Been there years ago, first a Silverado, then a full size Dodge van (both tow vehicles for a boat). I am going to figure out a safe compromise, even if I end up in a full size SUV. Because I also don't want to attempt to buy a used older truck just for towing. One thing I am is a researcher and very detailed oriented. I understand (to a point) about truck chassis vs car chassis, and now about FWD being no good for towing. Learning as I go.
Age 60, complete retirement not til 70, target is 50/50 -- Stock US 30, Intl 15, REIT 5. Bonds US 45, cash ~5

letsgobobby
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Re: Comparing mid-size SUVs for towing -- Hyundai vs Kia leading

Post by letsgobobby » Wed Apr 10, 2019 10:45 am

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researcher
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Re: Comparing mid-size SUVs for towing -- Hyundai vs Kia leading

Post by researcher » Wed Apr 10, 2019 11:05 am

letsgobobby wrote:
Wed Apr 10, 2019 10:45 am
For sure but a pickup truck is a great vehicle and could be less money than a midsize SUV.
Per the OP...

"...I also know I don't want to drive a big truck. I've done it before, and a big van too, and it's not what I want."

"What I do not want to do is drive a truck full time. Been there years ago, first a Silverado, then a full size Dodge van. I am going to figure out a safe compromise, even if I end up in a full size SUV. Because I also don't want to attempt to buy a used older truck just for towing."

btenny
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Re: Comparing mid-size SUVs for towing -- Hyundai vs Kia leading

Post by btenny » Wed Apr 10, 2019 11:16 am

I suggest you go look at and drive a late model Jeep Grand Cherokee. It is a much more robust tow vehicle than the mid size SUVs you are considering. It is also a vary nice around town SUV that has great road manners when towing. There are lots of them used or new set up with factory tow packages. The V6 model tows 6200 pounds and comes in lots of variations from basic (Laredo) to luxury (Summit). It is available in 4WD or RWD. It gets 17 MPG around town and 25 MPG on the highway.

Or if you want even more towing capacity you can get the V8 model that tows 7200 pounds. I have a 1999 model that I use to tow my big boat that weighs 6200 pounds.

http://www-5.jeep.com/en/jeep-capabilit ... erokee4Tab*
http://www-5.jeep.com/en/jeep-capabilit ... erokee3Tab*

Good Luck.

letsgobobby
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Re: Comparing mid-size SUVs for towing -- Hyundai vs Kia leading

Post by letsgobobby » Wed Apr 10, 2019 11:31 am

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DebiT
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Re: Comparing mid-size SUVs for towing -- Hyundai vs Kia leading

Post by DebiT » Wed Apr 10, 2019 12:01 pm

And how would I get the trailer home, if I don't have the vehicle? Clearly, I need to decide on both before buying either.

I keep hearing about the Grand Cherokee. I'm also a consumer reports kind of person, so there are a lot of variables here. But if I can buy an extended warranty, that would be helpful.

I know a small pickup would cost less, I know an old used truck would cost less. I am going to buy one vehicle, new with full dealer warranty for as long as possible, and drive it until I don't care about camping anymore. I am going to know what trailer I will be buying, and I might even buy that new, as foolish as it may be, because it will make my life easier, and because I will keep that for a very long time as well.

Researching both, will decide about both before buying, and am continuing to learn more about various SUV chassis, so this is all helpful
Age 60, complete retirement not til 70, target is 50/50 -- Stock US 30, Intl 15, REIT 5. Bonds US 45, cash ~5

randomguy
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Re: Comparing mid-size SUVs for towing -- Hyundai vs Kia leading

Post by randomguy » Wed Apr 10, 2019 12:37 pm

DebiT wrote:
Wed Apr 10, 2019 12:01 pm
And how would I get the trailer home, if I don't have the vehicle? Clearly, I need to decide on both before buying either.

I keep hearing about the Grand Cherokee. I'm also a consumer reports kind of person, so there are a lot of variables here. But if I can buy an extended warranty, that would be helpful.
I am betting every trailer retailer will hold it for you for a week while you wait to get a car to pull it. If your down in the <3500 range most of these options do it easily with a big margin of error. Start wanting to do 5k and those margins start to drop. It sounds like you don’t need/want the best possible towing car. You want the best possible drive around car that can also tow occasionally.

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DebiT
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Re: Comparing mid-size SUVs for towing -- Hyundai vs Kia leading

Post by DebiT » Wed Apr 10, 2019 3:52 pm

Yes, that can occasionally tow, but tow safely. I am realizing my favorite beach spot entails a decent "uphill both directions" grade coming and going, but even so, it's one or two miles. Bottom line, once I get trailer completely nailed down, all of this will fall into place. Getting up to 6200 lb or more towing capacity is probably going to smart, and will probably be plenty.
Age 60, complete retirement not til 70, target is 50/50 -- Stock US 30, Intl 15, REIT 5. Bonds US 45, cash ~5

letsgobobby
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Re: Comparing mid-size SUVs for towing -- Hyundai vs Kia leading

Post by letsgobobby » Wed Apr 10, 2019 3:57 pm

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randomguy
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Re: Comparing mid-size SUVs for towing -- Hyundai vs Kia leading

Post by randomguy » Wed Apr 10, 2019 4:37 pm

DebiT wrote:
Wed Apr 10, 2019 3:52 pm
Yes, that can occasionally tow, but tow safely. I am realizing my favorite beach spot entails a decent "uphill both directions" grade coming and going, but even so, it's one or two miles. Bottom line, once I get trailer completely nailed down, all of this will fall into place. Getting up to 6200 lb or more towing capacity is probably going to smart, and will probably be plenty.
. If you only need 3k, do you really need a 6k limit or is 5k enough l? You can always talk yourself into more car and end up never using it. Up to you if you want to pay that price or not.

btenny
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Re: Comparing mid-size SUVs for towing -- Hyundai vs Kia leading

Post by btenny » Wed Apr 10, 2019 5:24 pm

Debit. Have you ever done camping by yourself? I know you can do the camping part fine but can you do your own trailer setup and tear down and trailer hook up and so forth? Are you good at trailer towing and backing it up and parking it? Do you have the driving skills to do this trailer setup in tight spots? A lot of my older friends are stopping camping and RVing due to these issues that they cannot do any more.

I ask because I have issues now each time I use my boat trailer and tow my boat. Thankfully in my case I only do this twice a year. I have been towing for 55+ years but now I have trouble hooking up and unhooking the trailer hitch. The tongue weight is too big to allow me to easily turn the crank to raise and lower the tongue wheel. It just takes a lot of muscle. Plus in my case the the tongue ball gets stuck in the hitch sometimes and I cannot get it off without a lot of messing around.

And in the camping thing you have crawl under the trailer to set the jacks and hook up the water hoses and sewer pipes and electrical cords. It is a big deal for many people. Can you do that work? I cannot do that stuff any more.

I am just thinking you might want to rent a trailer and try out some of these issues before you buy. Then if it is too difficult you might rent a park model at your favorite spot instead of buying a trailer. That approach might solve a lot of towing issues. That way you have no need to tow. You just rent a nice park model for the summer and then drive over and camp as you find the time or desire.....

There is also the hire it done tow option. In Arizona some people who trailer camp hire a tow person to move their trailers to the camp grounds each summer. Then they drive up on weekends and use the campers. The tow guys have big nice heavy duty pickup trucks that they use. They charge fees for tear down and towing and setup. It sounds painless and easy.

Just some thoughts.
Good Luck.

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DebiT
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Re: Comparing mid-size SUVs for towing -- Hyundai vs Kia leading

Post by DebiT » Wed Apr 10, 2019 7:13 pm

These are some good points. I won't be really able to answer them until I start looking at actual trailers, seeing how they are set up, and walk myself through it. I'm not worried about driving it. I used to tow our boat, back it down the ramp, mirrors only with the van, and I don't think that would be too hard. I've set us up for camping many times by myself, and while I don't love it, I've managed it. The places we would go are fairly crowded, which in my mind has meant there are some highly motivated people willing to help if I've ever had trouble backing up.

The one unknown at this point is the whole trailer hitch hook up / unhook thing. That I don't know. That's something I would have to check out on the models I start looking at, and see what sort of assistive ideas there are for that. I'm 61, pretty strong, but that one I do not know.
I remember with the boat it was quite annoying, now that you mention it. It's a good point. This is what I love about these forums. Filing this away.
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vested1
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Re: Comparing mid-size SUVs for towing -- Hyundai vs Kia leading

Post by vested1 » Thu Apr 11, 2019 9:20 am

I would suggest two things that will help you with hitching up your trailer. If the vehicle you buy doesn't have a backup camera, or has one that isn't capable of providing great visibility of the hitch, I would buy a portable one. The one I had included a monitor with a 9V battery and a magnet so that I could place it on the tailgate, and a receiver that plugged into the cigarette lighter.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07443ZB6J/re ... 0308570a1e

The second suggestion is an electric tongue jack, which works off the trailer battery, raising and lowering the hitch with zero hand cranking needed. I would insist on this as a permanent feature of your new trailer.

Between the backup camera and the electric tongue jack you will cut your hookup time tremendously and add a greater level of safety. I would also make a checklist to be checked off every time before moving the trailer.

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Re: Comparing mid-size SUVs for towing -- Hyundai vs Kia leading

Post by letsgobobby » Thu Apr 11, 2019 10:13 am

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vested1
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Re: Comparing mid-size SUVs for towing -- Hyundai vs Kia leading

Post by vested1 » Thu Apr 11, 2019 2:32 pm

letsgobobby wrote:
Thu Apr 11, 2019 10:13 am
vested1 wrote:
Thu Apr 11, 2019 9:20 am
I would suggest two things that will help you with hitching up your trailer. If the vehicle you buy doesn't have a backup camera, or has one that isn't capable of providing great visibility of the hitch, I would buy a portable one. The one I had included a monitor with a 9V battery and a magnet so that I could place it on the tailgate, and a receiver that plugged into the cigarette lighter.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07443ZB6J/re ... 0308570a1e

The second suggestion is an electric tongue jack, which works off the trailer battery, raising and lowering the hitch with zero hand cranking needed. I would insist on this as a permanent feature of your new trailer.

Between the backup camera and the electric tongue jack you will cut your hookup time tremendously and add a greater level of safety. I would also make a checklist to be checked off every time before moving the trailer.
stabilizer jacks can be maneuvered using a power drill. i would never hand crank mine unless my drill ran out of power.
I was referring to the hitch, not a stabilizer jack. My electric tongue jack also had the option of using a hand crank in case DC power was lost.

letsgobobby
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Re: Comparing mid-size SUVs for towing -- Hyundai vs Kia leading

Post by letsgobobby » Thu Apr 11, 2019 2:51 pm

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btenny
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Re: Comparing mid-size SUVs for towing -- Hyundai vs Kia leading

Post by btenny » Thu Apr 11, 2019 3:04 pm

All these power options are convincing me I am old far* who does not know about the latest gadgets. The power adapter for the tongue lifter is neat. I am going to look into getting one of those for my boat.

Debit. Make sure the trailer you buy has one of those electric jack lifters. Then get a good power torque drill to help with the leveler jacks. And get some heavy duty rubber gloves and a pair of big plumber pliers to use when hooking up the water and sewer. These will make hookup a lot easier.

Good Luck.

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Re: Comparing mid-size SUVs for towing -- Hyundai vs Kia leading

Post by spammagnet » Sun Apr 14, 2019 10:41 pm

How much a vehicle can pull and how much it can carry are two different things. Take care to determine whether the cargo capacity of the vehicle you buy can carry the tongue weight of your trailer plus you and all the stuff you put in the vehicle. It adds up. The manufacturer's cargo rating typically accounts for a driver and a full tank of gas, but may vary. Read the details in the owner's manual or towing guide, available online.

The cargo capacity is the limiting factor more often than is the towing capacity. That is, among people who understand the difference and do the research. It's simple math but a lot of people are unaware of it.

Edit: Don't take the trailer salesperson's word for it as to whether the vehicle in question can (or should) tow the trailer you're considering. Determine that fact independently before you buy one or the other.
Last edited by spammagnet on Mon Apr 15, 2019 6:37 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Comparing mid-size SUVs for towing -- Hyundai vs Kia leading

Post by spammagnet » Sun Apr 14, 2019 10:50 pm

DebiT wrote:
Wed Apr 10, 2019 7:13 pm
The one unknown at this point is the whole trailer hitch hook up / unhook thing. That I don't know. That's something I would have to check out on the models I start looking at, and see what sort of assistive ideas there are for that. I'm 61, pretty strong, but that one I do not know.
Depending on the weight of the trailer you may need/benefit from a sway bar and weight distributing hitch. Those can have quite a bit of tension and maybe require some strength to engage. There are various designs, some of which are easier to engage than others. If you need one, get hands-on demos from a trailer dealer before deciding which you choose. You probably can find videos on YouTube, as well.

There are many web forums like Bogleheads dedicated to different RV manufacturers. In my experience, participants there are knowledgeable and want to help. A few hold strong opinions and don't hesitate to share them, but they're in the minority (as is true here.)

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