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Old 11-15-2015, 09:47 PM   #1
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Name: Ben
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SC member looking for info.

I am from upstate SC.We are considering a small ultra lite travel trailer.Our truck was rear ended recently,and we lost our tow vehicle.We bought a new loaded 2015 Kia Soul Plus.I installed a hitch, and trailer wiring harness kit, for towing.It also had a factory installed roof rack.I am awaiting an email from Air Lift about an air spring helper kit, that may work on the rear of our Soul to help with added weight while towing.I am also planning to install a transmission cooler kit next summer when we actually start towing.We are down sizing in a big way.I despise pop up tent campers.I had a bad experience camping in one.Our current vehicle is very limited.It is rated at 200lbs tongue load and 2000lbs trailer weight.While searching,I came across this resource and joined.I am hoping I can find the right trailer for us.I may even build my own trailer.I've repaired enough of them.Building one shouldn't be a enormously difficult task.
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Old 11-16-2015, 10:15 AM   #2
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Welcome to the world of Molded Fiberglass RV's Ben.
I hope future posts are related to good news, but here's the bad news first.....


As best I can find, the U.S. Kia Soul has a "Do Not Tow" rating. I looked on several Soul owners sites as well as on the KIA site.
Features & Specs | 2015 Kia Soul | Kia Cars


If you have different information from your owners manual, please let us all know.


What I fear has happened here is that the aftermarket hitch manufacturers are happy to sell KIA owners a Class 1 hitch with a rating of 200/2000 lbs., which is a rating for the hitch itself, not the vehicle. And, at a curb weight of about 2800 lbs., I certainly wouldn't suggest the 2000 lbs towing capability claimed.


With a new vehicle, the consequences of towing can be voiding of the warranty should any claims be made that can be related to towing.


And from a practical standpoint, your insurance company may question any claims made while towing. And, your attorney may have an opinion to add re: the liability you may incur by operating a vehicle outside of the manufacturers specifications.


And YES, you have a legitimate complaint against those that make and sell such hitches, but the one I have seen all included the disclaimer to not exceed the vehicle manufacturers recommendations.
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Old 11-16-2015, 11:49 AM   #3
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Name: Peter
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AIR LIFT ASSIST?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ben2go View Post
I am from upstate SC.We are considering a small ultra lite travel trailer.Our truck was rear ended recently,and we lost our tow vehicle.We bought a new loaded 2015 Kia Soul Plus.I installed a hitch, and trailer wiring harness kit, for towing.It also had a factory installed roof rack.I am awaiting an email from Air Lift about an air spring helper kit, that may work on the rear of our Soul to help with added weight while towing.I am also planning to install a transmission cooler kit next summer when we actually start towing.We are down sizing in a big way.I despise pop up tent campers.I had a bad experience camping in one.Our current vehicle is very limited.It is rated at 200lbs tongue load and 2000lbs trailer weight.While searching,I came across this resource and joined.I am hoping I can find the right trailer for us.I may even build my own trailer.I've repaired enough of them.Building one shouldn't be a enormously difficult task.
: can u tell me how and what is a Air lift assist to help with the extra weight of towing a more than 1200# trailer?
Stude
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Old 11-16-2015, 12:03 PM   #4
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Hey Bob.The manual lays out the towing guide lines.I don't have it with me,or I would get an image of it.The Soul is 4400lbs+ for the 2nd gen,not sure on the 1st gen, but the basic chassis is the same.The euro Soul has the same chassis and engine combos,except they have a turbo diesel instead of the 2.0L like mine.The other engine is a gas 1.6L.Their tow rating is higher,3000lbs if i remember correctly.I have to assume it's because people are not as sue happy in Europe as in the US.The 1st gen US models does state in the manual not to tow,but many have without any issues.I'm a member of the Kia Soul owners forum.There's some good info over there that I have been following closely.I'm not sure why Kia ok Euro vehicles to tow and not US models.Why would they build the vehicles with hitch mounting locations,if they were going to say no towing.My Soul came with fully threaded and welded inserts in the body specifically for a hitch.If the body had to be modified to install a hitch,I would not have considered it.

I looked at the Kia link you posted.There is so much info on there that is completely wrong.What is up with Kia posing that? All the info I have on my Soul came from the owner's manny and the door tags.
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Old 11-16-2015, 12:18 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stude View Post
: can u tell me how and what is a Air lift assist to help with the extra weight of towing a more than 1200# trailer?
Stude

Hey Stude.Air Lift is a company that makes air helper springs for vehicles that are used for towing.There are various kits available.I am a test monkey for them and the Soul kit.The best way I can explain it is to give you a link that shows how it works.It doesn't allow for more tow capacity.It helps level the vehicle so the suspension doesn't sag,loose performance,or ride rough.

There are also videos on you tube that show more and includes install videos.

https://www.airliftcompany.com/

Here is a lot of good info from Air Lift.
https://www.airliftcompany.com/works...g-and-hauling/

If you think this is something you'd like,and there is no kit already made for your vehicle,they will walk you step by step in measuring and setting you up with a kit.This is what I am doing.Fortunately,I am a former mechanic and have experience with these systems.I see you are in Canada,eh.No worries,there are retailers in your area.Check out their "Where to buy" section.


I guess it's a good time to say, that I am in no way affiliated with Air Lift.I have been a loyal customer of theirs since the early 90's.I have always gotten stellar service from them, and their products.I guess that's because I read the instructions.
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Old 11-16-2015, 12:37 PM   #6
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As I realize that you are new to the site you may not have been following the many discussions on manufacturers towing specifications, but I can summarize several points:


1. European specifications do not apply in the U.S. for several reasons, the least of them being differences in drivelines and brakes, differences in allowable towing speeds and differences in licensing requirements.
For examples, most European countries limit trailer towing to about 55 MPH, in the U.S. towing speeds are as high as 80 MPH and can be done by a 16 y.o. with a new drivers license. In Germany there is a separate driving test required for towing at certain speeds. Just getting a drivers license in Europe is much more complicated and expensive than in the U.S. In short, sad to say, European drivers are more respectful of the laws and limitations that they have to follow if they want to drive, than are drivers in the USA.


2. Including mounting holes for a hitch they don't sell? Actually, the hitch manufacturers back story is that they make those hitches to allow the use of accessories such as bike carriers and luggage racks that mount in these
receivers, and always refer to their disclaimer to not exceed mfg's specifications. Again, aftermarket hitch manufacturer's specifications refer to the hitch, not the vehicle to which it is attached.


3. Many peeps have successfully towed in substantial excess of manufactures specifications, but that doesn't make it the right, safe or even legal(?) thing to do. Again, ask your dealer about warranty coverage and your Insurance Agent and your Attorney about the liability issues.


4. My personal TV, a 2003 Chevy Blazer, has a factory installed hitch, with a GM label attached, stating a towing limit of 6000 lbs. Yet the manual for that vehicle states a towing limit range from as low as 2000 lbs. to no higher than 5700 lbs Again, the manual rules.


That said, if you have found a towing specification in your manual, please let us all know what it is and where it can be found, many are waiting to know.


And, if the KIA site has inaccurate information posted, I am sure that they want to know, as that is corporate liability issue.
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Old 11-16-2015, 12:43 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ben2go View Post
The manual lays out the towing guide lines.I don't have it with me,or I would get an image of it… All the info I have on my Soul came from the owner's manny and the door tags.
There have been several previous threads on this particular vehicle. I downloaded the 2015 Kia Soul Owner's manual to read for myself after seeing all the conflicting information on the internet. Here is an image of page 5-58:
Click image for larger version

Name:	Kia Soul 5.58.jpg
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Unfortunately, the globalization of automobile production has created a lot of confusion. In some cases the exact same vehicle has a different tow rating in NA than in EU. However, trailers and towing regulations are different there. In other cases, some aspects of the vehicle are the same but others (often drivetrain, suspension, and software) are different in the NA market. And, as you have already observed, we tend to be more litigious here.

I am truly sorry, Ben, and I attach some blame to etrailer. They ought at least to include a caveat to refer to the owner's manual before purchasing.
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Old 11-16-2015, 12:47 PM   #8
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I agree with all of that.We've been comparing Euro Souls to US/Canada Souls,and there doesn't appear to be any differences in anything except engines and some nicety options.I knew the Euro laws required a special training and licensing(rating) for towing.That's another issues I have seen discussed on other forums.I think the US should adopt that.I did a lot of towing in my youth,but it was due to working on farms and the summer jobs I held.Was great fun and I learned a lot,which made me safer driver.

Kia should know about the bad info.I'm sure someone has sent emails.You know there's a lot of people out there that love calling out manufactures on their errors.Plus,they approved the info to be published in their owner's mannies.
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Old 11-16-2015, 12:53 PM   #9
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Name: Ben
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon in AZ View Post
There have been several previous threads on this particular vehicle. I downloaded the 2015 Kia Soul Owner's manual to read for myself after seeing all the conflicting information on the internet. Here is an image of page 5-58:
Attachment 90563

Unfortunately, the globalization of automobile production has created a lot of confusion. In some cases the exact same vehicle has a different tow rating in NA than in EU. However, trailers and towing regulations are different there. In other cases, some aspects of the vehicle are the same but others (often drivetrain, suspension, and software) are different in the NA market. And, as you have already observed, we are more litigious here.

I am truly sorry, Ben, and I attach some blame to etrailer. They ought at least to include a caveat to refer to the owner's manual before purchasing.
I agree with most of that.I did read the tow limits in the manny.I'll have to get it when the little lady gets home from work, and make a pic of it.I wouldn't have installed a hitch if it said no towing.I wonder if the 1.6L US models are rated for no towing and the 2.0L are rated for towing. So my dear Watson,I shall investigate this information further.I guess I should have said Jon.
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Old 11-16-2015, 01:10 PM   #10
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SC member looking for info.

I looked a few pages later, and Kia seems to be talking out of both sides of their corporate mouth…

Click image for larger version

Name:	Kia Soul 5-60.jpg
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ID:	90565



It's almost like they were too lazy to rewrite everything for the NA market. They erased (in three places, I now see) information about towing limits and inserted the bold-face recommendation against towing. But several other places they do mention towing. Very frustrating!
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Old 11-16-2015, 01:45 PM   #11
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I think that the legal department would have insisted that they include both kinds of information as a part of the liability protection scheme as in:
"If you tow against our recommendation, these limits also apply"
That way it's lose/lose for the owner if they have an accident while towing.


I wrote technical/users manuals a while back and they always had to be cleared by the legal department, and we were a small company.
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Old 11-16-2015, 02:15 PM   #12
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What would be the difference in towing prohibited and towing not recommended?

Sent from my SCH-I605 using Fiberglass RV mobile app
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Old 11-16-2015, 02:29 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by redbarron55 View Post
What would be the difference in towing prohibited and towing not recommended?
Linguistically, of course, the former is a stronger statement. The latter clearly relieves the manufacturer of liability relating to any consequences of ignoring the recommendation, whether mechanical damage to the vehicle or personal injury or property damage resulting from an accident while towing. In actual practice, I have never seen anything other than the "not recommended" language in an owner's manual.

One forum member reported experiencing mechanical issues with a late-model vehicle possibly related to towing near the vehicle's rated towing capacity and over the vehicle's rated tongue weight capacity. The member had some difficulty obtaining warranty coverage for the repairs, and being a long-standing customer with that particular dealer may have carried the day.
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Old 11-16-2015, 02:34 PM   #14
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Prohibited suggests a legal consequence.
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