Kia Rondo as Tow Vehicle - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 11-01-2008, 11:07 PM   #15
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You are absolute correct Pete.

On my Escalade which has an automatic leveling system, the air shocks did indeed return the Excalade to level after adding the 450 pound hitch weight. The problem was that a 550 pound load was added to the rear axle and 100 pounds was subtracted from the front axle (based on actual weights).

I now use a WDH. It doesen't completely compensate for this weight distribution, but it does balance it out a little better.
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Old 11-02-2008, 01:29 PM   #16
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I put Firestone Ride-Rite air bags on my old Dodge truck, replacing 16-year old air shocks -- The axle stud the shocks were attached to was bent so far I was surprised it hadn't broken.

Lots of problems with air bags -- One leaked, so I was constantly having to air it up -- If you go for anything that lifts the frame, you must empty the bags before lifting and then pump up the bags before driving -- Failure to do either may result in damage to the bag -- On my half-ton Dodge truck, it was hard to keep the minimum pressure without getting a harsh ride (Air bags are springs, not shocks).

If I ever want to have overload compensation in future, it will be with the overload springs that only come into play when a load is greater than the stock springs -- Also, they will be a lot less expensive!
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Old 11-02-2008, 01:48 PM   #17
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I started this thread mainly to point out another possible vehicle for people in my families situation. Generalizing here - I find there are two trains of thoughts when it comes to tow vehicles here on FGRV.

First, there are people who believe you should have a tow vehicle that well exceeds the trailer specs so there is a good margin of safety when towing - for example Pete likes to pull his Scamp with a full size dodge truck. He can pull that trailer across the country and the truck would hardly notice it.

On the other hand there are people (like myself) who use their TV as their primary vehicle and cannot justify having a large vehicle that is under utilized when they aren't towing - probably less then 5% of my miles will be towing. Most urban dwellers would have no use for a full size truck in the city and even a mini-van might be overkill.

There is no question the Rondo falls into the latter category but for a family who has a 13' with trailer brakes this might be a good choice.
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Old 11-03-2008, 04:08 PM   #18
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You are right!

However, in a sense you are wrong -- My full-sized 82 Dodge D150 truck had a tow capacity of only 2,000 lbs and for my first three years of full-timing I was ignorantly pulling a Jayco 16' that had to have weighed about 2,400 lbs with my gear in it, plus a lot of extra stuf in the truck bed.

I believe the limit on the truck was the small manual clutch -- The engine was the venerable Slant-Six, but even with the 318 V8, the limit was still 2K -- With the V8 and an auto trans the limit became 3.5K.

I had to have several clutch jobs done, plus replace the main bearings -- When I got rid of the truck, it had a blown head gasket and one of the piston rods was very worn and making a lot of noise -- The truck only had 215K miles on it -- Had I not been towing, esp over the limit, I would have expected to get 300K and more out of that engine...

Also, on a wet gravel road in BC, I had the trailer slide out and yank the truck like you wouldn't believe (1,700 vs 4,500 lbs!) -- I realized that I had a lot of weight in the truck -- So, I moved tools and heavy stuf as far forward as possible, including putting the spare tire on front of truck -- I shortened my overhang by four inches by moving receiver hitch and by shortening ball mount bar -- All became noticeably more stable.

Think about what it means to put a tow vehicle that has a shorter wheelbase and is lighter in front of a 13' Egg on a wet curved gravel road (And I was doing LESS than the speed limit at the time).

Now I have a so-called "small" truck, a '98 Ranger -- It is rated to tow almost three times as much as the Full-sized Truck -- Has a longer wheelbase, bigger 6-cylinder engine with better fuel and ignition system, bigger rear differential, same diff gear ratio but lower gears in transmission and weighs almost as much.

The Devil is indeed in the details...

BTW, the reason I posted about WDH, air springs, etc., was for general information and not for the Rondo -- And Brian B-P informed me that the Owner's Manuals for the CA and US versions do differ in towing capacity, although we don't know why.
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Old 11-03-2008, 09:50 PM   #19
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I misunderstood what Brian told me -- Here's the straight scoop from him on why the tow capacity specs SEEM to differ:

"The Rondo manual is quite clear, and shows that both web pages are correct: the U.S. page shows the 1000 lb rating for trailers without brakes (and says to refer to the manual, where more detail is available); the Canadian page shows the 2000 lb (for V6) rating for trailers with brakes, and has a footnote to that effect."

I will add that I believe trailer brakes are a good thing!
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Old 11-03-2008, 10:43 PM   #20
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I 3rd the motion... trailer brakes should be standard on all FG's trailers.
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