What can be confusing is that it appears the Kia Telluride manual (even after the 350 to 500 fix is applied) is mixing a spec with a safety recommendation. There is no federal law on towing. What is considered legal and safe varies from state to state. In general, 1,650 lbs with a 500 lb tongue weight will let you pull a utility trailer with modest load or a small boat and that only requires a 4-pin connection in all states. So it appears Kia took the lowest common denominator and built this tow option. Need for 7-pin is determined by whether the trailer has a brake system (more on that below). Many states require by law a trailer brake when you tow over 3,500 lbs., like a small RV travel trailer or pop up or a larger boat. However, some states don’t require a trailer brake until 5,000 lbs or in Massachusetts’ case the law doesn’t require a trailer brake until you hit 10,000 lbs.! So in the case of MA you would be legal to tow up to 5,000 lbs with a 500 lb tongue weight with a 4 pin and and no brake system AND within the Kia spec but apparently beyond Kia’s safety recommendation. However, if you had plates from another state you would be violating their law with no brake system and deemed unsafe.Does the Palisade have the trailer brake controller or did you install it yourself?
I'm very new to towing and I am very very confused with the Telluride towing package ?
I do not plan to tow a lot.Only a flatbed utility trailer or one of those U-Haul Cargo trailers that we will have to use to haul all of our belongings when me and my family move to a new home.
So my questions are:
1) Do most flat bed trailers and cargo trailers come with a 4 pin connector?
2) How to go about installing or adding a Trailer brake controller if towing more than 1650 lbs,since it is not safe to haul more than that weight without the brake controller?
Also,is the 1650 weight limit the gross or just the trailer weight?
Any help is appreciated.
The general consensus by most states is that a brake is needed at 3,000-3,500 lbs. All this said, do not confuse proper weight distribution or a weight distribution system with needing a brake.
Finding a place to install aftermarket wiring for a 7-pin connection and an aftermarket brake controller is very common if you don’t want to do it yourself. But if you are pulling a small trailer, jet ski, etc you don’t need it because those trailers don’t have brakes.
I get why Kia saved money and effort on designing this option in their California US design HQ . . . because most people don’t buy a midsized SUV to haul trailers all day every day as they are more used for people hauling. The folks that are looking to haul 3,000-5,000 lbs are likely taking RVs or recreational boats and toys but not all the time. So they catered to their most common scenario assuming more serious haulers will have no problem going aftermarket or will buy a larger SUV or Truck. (In my opinion an oversight.). Unfortunately, they misled their buyers a little by advertising a robust towing capability and even marketing with a horse trailer behind, but lacking in an easy way to deliver this from the factory.
I just wish Kia had made the wiring harness plug and play for an easier aftermarket DIY 7-pin connection. UHaul or any RV dealership will usually have services to install if you can’t find a mom and pop place.
Here’s the quickest answer to your question. Based on your usage description you don’t have to spend any more money. UHaul has automatic hydraulic surge brakes on their trailers and don’t require an electric braking system (powered by a 7-pin controller) therefore small UHaul trailers only require a 4-pin connection.
1. Small utility trailer, 4 pin is fine. If you want to rent an enclosed cargo trailer from UHaul, look at how many axles. In general a single axle 4x8 enclosed UHaul will keep you at or under 1,650 lbs while a 5x8 enclosed trailer will still only have a 4-pin and loaded up you will be really close or just slightly over 1,650.
2. But if you bump up to a 5x10 enclosed dual axle UHaul trailer you will still only need the 4-pin and you will be able to carry up to 2,800 lbs. with no brake controller. You will still be legal because UHaul uses an automatic hydraulic surge brake. You will also be within the Kia spec because the trailer has a “brake system.” But you will be paying more for tolls and gas.
3. You bump up to a 6x12 enclosed dual axle UHaul. All the same applies as scenario #2 and you will still be legal towing up to 4,400 lbs because UHaul trailers use automatic hydraulic surge brakes. But with more weight you will spend more on gas and the same on tolls.
4. You buy your own enclosed 5x10 or larger, you buy/rent a small travel trailer, or want to pull a larger boat. Now you should expect to spend a few hundred dollars on 7-pin wiring and a brake controller. These trailers typically require electric braking systems and should to remain safe and legal and within spec.
There is debate online as to whether smaller UHaul cargo trailers are legal in most states because they only require 4-pin and use automatic hydraulic surge brakes. But the way the laws are typically written, the states require brakes on the trailer. It doesn’t specify if they are actively controlled by the vehicle or not. Looking back at Kia’s choice of words I think it was deliberate to say “brake system.” Because that doesn’t directly translate to brake controller unless you are talking about scenario #4 above. So according to Kia’s verbiage you are safe and legal with their tow option if you rent from UHaul. But you have to spend more if you plan to haul a horse trailer as the ads suggest.
With all that said above, I was only referring to the tow “option” (hitch receiver and 4-pin wiring). I am not addressing the tow “package” (tow option with self-leveling shocks). In my opinion the specs do not change. The package is just an added cost for a convenience feature that makes weight distribution more complicated.