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My experience towing 4200lb RV trailer with. 2020 S AWD

Harmoniums

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I have a 2020 Telluride S with dealer added official Kia towing hitch.
I added a seven way connector with 12V connected to the aux pin.

For a brake controller I used a Curt Echo wireless.

Trailer is a new Coachmen Catalina expedition at 3870lb dry, 480 tongue.

We loaded just over 300lb of cargo, a lot of which I put behind the axle as it was so close to max tongue weight dry.

Kia squatted so I could just get 2 fingers between rear wheel arch and top of tire, unloaded I can get a fist in there.

Driving to the scale I had way too much sway at conservative highway speed, so I pulled off and put more of the cargo weight in front of the axle, sway abated and we got to the scale.

My numbers,

Kia + passengers, 5100lbs

trailer by itself, 4200lbs

Kia + passengers + hitched trailer tongue weight was 5560, of which 2360 on front wheels, 3200 on rear.




So all told 460 on tongue and 4200 total tow.

I was in spec for max GVWR and like 3-4lb over for rear axle.

I shifted a cooler to the back of the trailer and called it good.

we towed up hill 6000 feet and covered 200 miles and then did the reverse home.

The Kia was too high in the front and a bit floatey, the trailer swayed time to time, enough to pucker but I never felt totally out of control.
We kept it to 65mph on the flat and down hill.
Sway was worse down hill.
Curt controller worked perfectly, I felt I had adequate braking power.

I feel I was really at the limit if not a bit over it here truth be told.
I have a 600lb Weight Distribution hitch coming in on Wednesday and I’ll install that, I think I’ll go easy on the amount of tension, this being unibody, maybe only 300lbs, but that will help with my rear axle weight plenty.

After that try again with a trip to the scales and a slight change in cargo distribution to account for the new tongue weight of the hitch, hopefully it’ll not sway any worse and if anything g improve.
If not I’ll get a different tow vehicle
 

alexdrums

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I am guessing you will have a totally different experience with the weight-distribution hitch. Let us know how it goes. Also, I am assuming you don’t have the tow package with the self-leveling suspension?
 

jw_tx21

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No self leveling suspension, just a model S with the Kia hitch bolted on.

You might want to add airbags in the springs. Someone else did this to help with the leveling aspect. If you need the post, I can attempt to find it.
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Harmoniums

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You might want to add airbags in the springs. Someone else did this to help with the leveling aspect. If you need the post, I can attempt to find it.
Yeah I saw that thread, got those airlift bags coming in on Tuesday.
I’ll install them, but I’m hoping the new weight distribution hitch takes most of the squat out of the rear and they’re not really needed.
 

Jrod75

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Thank you SOOOOO MUCH Harmoniums!!! I have read and read to the end of the internet about real world experiences on how the Telluride tows. Especially at max rated towing of 5000 lbs. so much hearsay out there and people talking out of their bums about how it should handle. Almost NO real work experiences and honest reviews especially towing in mountainous terrain. I want to buy the Telluride as an occasional tow vehicle to tow the family camper we want to buy along with it. 4 pin connector pissed me off but am most likely gonna get the 7 pin with the 2021. Being in Southern AZ we will be towing up some serious mountains and we’re looking to get a trailer that weighs around 3200 lbs. After people and cargo we would be right around 4000 lbs (right at that magic 80% rule). I was hoping the Telluride would suffice for our occasional outings. Once a month at the most. Any thoughts out there?? More input? Concerns?
 

Harmoniums

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Update, I installed the airlift bags and the weight distribution hitch and got it all setup.
With the hitch set up I don’t need the bags, the car squats an inch and that’s OK with me.

After install, I put a trial load in it and got it weighed:

Tongue weight 460, trailer weight, 4140 by itself, 3700 on its axle hooked up To the Kia.

So I’m ok on all specs and it felt balanced OK.

Rear axle hooked up (without the kids this time) is 2680, so I got lots of margin to it’s max of 3200lbs even with the kids back in. Front axle is 2540 now.

Drove great at 65-70 mph, sway almost gone, may experiment with more sway bar tension and front loading the trailer to reduce to zero.

I’m a lot more confident in this setup now, it was like night and day compared to last weekend.
 

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Jrod75

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Once again, great information. Glad to hear it drives nice and with almost no sway. Please post again after you take it on a trip to update your experience. I’m really curious how the Telluride handles some mountainous roads and inclines and declines. It’s supposed to have engine brake assist, I’m wondering how hood Kia did with the programming and heating to assist on the descents and curious also about pulling that load up some inclines. I know the axle ratio is designed more for driving around town than towing. I’m just curious if it’s up to the task for the occasional towing I plan on doing. My planned set up should be just under 4000 lbs. including gear and passengers inside the vehicle. Palomino Solaire 147X is the camper I plan on going with.

Thank you so much for the pictures too! Almost no pictures of Tellurides towing campers. Not only did you post great info and photos, but your rig looks GREAT too!! I can’t wait to get my set up. Gotta get a SXP tow package in Moss Green first which is proving to be much more difficult than I originally thought. And with Covid I guess everyone in America decided now is the time to buy a camper and I can’t find the one I want within 1500 miles of me. Maybe 2021 will be better. 🙄
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elopomorph

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I am considering towing a 4,000 pound boat. So I will need to launch the boat at a somewhat wet ramp. Has anyone out there had any experience towing a 4,000 pound boat with with the telluride? Any problems?
 
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Sportshot2

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Update, I installed the airlift bags and the weight distribution hitch and got it all setup.
With the hitch set up I don’t need the bags, the car squats an inch and that’s OK with me.

After install, I put a trial load in it and got it weighed:

Tongue weight 460, trailer weight, 4140 by itself, 3700 on its axle hooked up To the Kia.

So I’m ok on all specs and it felt balanced OK.

Rear axle hooked up (without the kids this time) is 2680, so I got lots of margin to it’s max of 3200lbs even with the kids back in. Front axle is 2540 now.

Drove great at 65-70 mph, sway almost gone, may experiment with more sway bar tension and front loading the trailer to reduce to zero.

I’m a lot more confident in this setup now, it was like night and day compared to last weekend.

Very thorough job of getting the T equipped to handle your desired load. I am concerned that maybe your safety chains are too short. Do you have enough slack to make Sharp turns.
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2020Telly

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Update, I installed the airlift bags and the weight distribution hitch and got it all setup.
With the hitch set up I don’t need the bags, the car squats an inch and that’s OK with me.

After install, I put a trial load in it and got it weighed:

Tongue weight 460, trailer weight, 4140 by itself, 3700 on its axle hooked up To the Kia.

So I’m ok on all specs and it felt balanced OK.

Rear axle hooked up (without the kids this time) is 2680, so I got lots of margin to it’s max of 3200lbs even with the kids back in. Front axle is 2540 now.

Drove great at 65-70 mph, sway almost gone, may experiment with more sway bar tension and front loading the trailer to reduce to zero.

I’m a lot more confident in this setup now, it was like night and day compared to last weekend.
That looks like a proper tow setup on an S! Nicely done. @Harmoniums how do you like the Echo brake controller? Any issues?
 

Orcadriver

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That looks like a proper tow setup on an S! Nicely done. @Harmoniums how do you like the Echo brake controller? Any issues?
I'm interested in hearing about your experience with the Echo brake controller, too. I love the wireless concept, but would appreciate some first-hand reports on its performance and reliability.
 

Harmoniums

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I'm interested in hearing about your experience with the Echo brake controller, too. I love the wireless concept, but would appreciate some first-hand reports on its performance and reliability.
Ran flawlessly, no issues at all.
No disconnects experienced except for the one I forced to see how it handled.
It gave instant feedback of the problem.
 

Orcadriver

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Ran flawlessly, no issues at all.
No disconnects experienced except for the one I forced to see how it handled.
It gave instant feedback of the problem.
G
Ran flawlessly, no issues at all.
No disconnects experienced except for the one I forced to see how it handled.
It gave instant feedback of the problem.
Thanks for the report!
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Sleepman

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G

Thanks for the report!
Am new to the Telluride and camping. Your insight helps, I have a 3200 camper, and maybe should consider a distribution hitch. Did you have the trailer brake module installed? or us the Echo one that is discussed?
 

Ruby

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Update, I installed the airlift bags and the weight distribution hitch and got it all setup.
With the hitch set up I don’t need the bags, the car squats an inch and that’s OK with me.

After install, I put a trial load in it and got it weighed:

Tongue weight 460, trailer weight, 4140 by itself, 3700 on its axle hooked up To the Kia.

So I’m ok on all specs and it felt balanced OK.

Rear axle hooked up (without the kids this time) is 2680, so I got lots of margin to it’s max of 3200lbs even with the kids back in. Front axle is 2540 now.

Drove great at 65-70 mph, sway almost gone, may experiment with more sway bar tension and front loading the trailer to reduce to zero.

I’m a lot more confident in this setup now, it was like night and day compared to last weekend.
Thanks for the info. Can you tell me the make model of your weight distribution hitch and sway bar. We have a 2020 Telluride S AWD and looking to tow Tab 400 with GAWR of 3,900 pounds and gross dry weight of 2,957 pounds and loaded tongue weight of approximately 400 pounds. Wanting to make sure we can comfortably tow in mountains and high desert.
 

Sleepman

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Am new to the Telluride and camping. Your insight helps, I have a 3200 camper, and maybe should consider a distribution hitch. Did you have the trailer brake module installed? or us the Echo one that is discussed?
I had a controller from previous just used velcrow to attach under dash firmly. the car comes with a controller harness that is under the dash, so I wired the 4 wire pigtail included with the tow package to the controller. then just pluged it into the under dash harness, very simple and works fine. My tow package on the 2021 has the 7 pin round plug, and includes a 4 wire adapter cable so the brake controller is plug and play. tested it this weekend. works good. I did notice I have some swaying at 65 plus speeds on interstate. probably need a stablaizer hitch.
 
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