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Old 01-15-2013, 02:33 PM   #1
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Towing with '06 Kia Sedona Minivan

We have a 19' Prowler with a dry weight of 3100lbs. We're going to add AC ~100lbs and with luggage ~200lbs, we're at ~$3400 pounds. Limit posted for my class three hitch is 3500. I know it's close and I FULLY ACCEPT any risks by towing close to the posted limit of my vehicle. We're still covered under powertrain and plan on offing the van for a truck in a couple years.

I still don't want to blow it up. She has plenty of power to pull the trailer up hills @ 7000+ feet, so that's not a concern. I know the main concern is the transmission. So I'm going through the process of prepping the van to tow as well as it can.

What I've done:
Wired 7 pole trailer connector
Brake controller in place (electric brakes on trailer work GREAT)
Weight distribution hitch

What I'm planning on donig very soon:
Drain and replace transmission fluid
Tranmission cooler
Basic tune up (plugs, MAF, air filter, oil change)

I still need to play with the weight distribution hitch as I have it at the highest setting and the trailer is level but the fan is still squatting a little in the back. I was planning on lowering the hitch a notch or two to see if I can get the van and trailer even. Sound right?

Also, if it is still squatting, are there any suggestions? I've seen ads on here for air bags. And they are pretty cheap too.

I'm not too concerned about brakes. The trailer brakes work great and I use very little of the van's braking system. I DON'T ENGINE BRAKE WHILE TOWING.

So with all this said, any suggestions on either what I have already done, am planning on, or anything else I can do? I know the best answer is, "Buy a truck", but I don't have the resources fo rthat now.
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Old 01-15-2013, 02:54 PM   #2
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Near as I can tell, you have 350 Pound Tongue Weight limit, 3500 Pound Towing limit. Both are important. Easy to exceed. Have seen things on this forum about being at total gross wt and issues with it.
I will leave it to those that know.

Happy trails.
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Old 01-15-2013, 03:16 PM   #3
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I found the GCWR for the 07, cant find for the 06.

http://auto.howstuffworks.com/auto-p...cle/gcwr19.htm

Says total for car/trailer would max at about 8000.
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Old 01-15-2013, 04:36 PM   #4
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Thanks CampDaven - that's some good info. The 07 is the same as the 06 as the 06 model came later than normal (introduced the same time as the '07 Hyundai Entourage). I'm keeping the tounge weight down as much as I can (I believe it says on there 600) and I will definately stay below the 8000 GCWR.

Trans cooler and fluid will come at the beginning of the month.

Then the fun install jobs come!
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Old 01-15-2013, 06:46 PM   #5
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How to properly setup a W/D hitch. Might be helpful. As long as you stay within your towing ratings as stated in your owners manual your rig will be OK. Good Luck! Enjoy your adventures!
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Old 01-15-2013, 07:12 PM   #6
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I'm thinkin you'll reach max on the trailer, so putting what you can in the van may be a good thing. I've heard that trailers usually leave the lot above their dry weight.
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Old 01-15-2013, 08:01 PM   #7
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While you may get by with this for a short time, I certainly would be looking for a larger tow vehicle.

Ken
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Old 01-15-2013, 09:31 PM   #8
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Agree with TXIceman...

you are putting a lot into the van....
None of which will help your resale, in fact it will probably kill your resale...

why not look into trading now ?

I can tell you a minivan does NOT like towing - I ruined one years ago in one trip,
tranny did not like the extra load...

given interest rates at an all time low, with your trade in, you might be surprised what you can do...

good luck... won't hurt to look into and you'll never know until you ask !
If it is not to be, then continue on with your mods to the minivan
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Old 01-16-2013, 09:48 AM   #9
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Just a thought.

You will be surprised how fast the weight goes up as you load even just the essentials. Pots, pans, plates, utensils, lawn chairs, hoses, electric cords, on and on
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Old 01-16-2013, 11:01 AM   #10
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We're not in the position to buy another vehicle right now. Looking 1.5-2 years down the road for that.

Ray, thanks for the info on the W/D hitch. I'll take that in when I look to tweek my setup.

So, as asked in OP, any other ideas aside from tune-up/transission cooler/fluid other than buying a bigger tow vehicle?
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Old 01-16-2013, 11:19 AM   #11
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My biggest concern would be getting stopped in an emergency situation such as when when Joe Stupid pulls out in front of you, etc.

I'd stay at 55 with lots of space in front of you.
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Old 01-16-2013, 11:39 AM   #12
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My biggest concern would be getting stopped in an emergency situation such as when when Joe Stupid pulls out in front of you, etc.

I'd stay at 55 with lots of space in front of you.
Believe me, I do stay at nice low speeds and give plenty of room in front. not in a hurry.

I will say though those trailer brakes stop me supprisingly quickly and smoothly.
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Old 01-20-2013, 08:38 AM   #13
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Why do you state in all caps that you don't engine brake when towing? I assume you mean you don't downshift to a lower gear to help control speed. Why not? It's a very effective means of using the engine's compression to help brake the vehicle. Especially when descending a steep grade. I don't know how many times I've followed vehicles down a mountain where they're brake lights are on the whole time. You can smell the hot brake smell from 100 feet back. I downshift a few gears and barely touch the brakes on the way down. My truck is at 161,000 miles and still on the original brake pads. The dealer just looked it over and said they were fine.
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Old 01-20-2013, 11:00 AM   #14
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You need to go ahead and plan your funeral. Sounds like suicide.
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