KIA Niro: Driving with a trailer

Towing a trailer requires a certain amount of experience. Before setting out for the open road, you must get to know your trailer. Acquaint yourself with the feel of handling and braking with the added weight of the trailer. And always keep in mind that the vehicle you are driving is now a good deal longer and not nearly so responsive as your vehicle is by itself.

Before you start, check the trailer hitch and platform, safety chains, electrical connector(s), lights, tires and mirror adjustment. If the trailer has electric brakes, start your vehicle and trailer moving and then apply the trailer brake controller by hand to be sure the brakes are working. This lets you check your electrical connection at the same time.

During your trip, check occasionally to be sure that the load is secure, and that the lights and trailer brakes are still working.

NOTICE- (Kia Niro EV only)

When the ambient temperature is lower than 0C (32F) and the remaining high voltage battery is low, the power of the vehicle with a trailer can be dropped, causing a trouble in acceleration or drop of the speed when driving hills.

When driving with a trailer, be sure to charge the high voltage battery more than 50% if the ambient temperature is lower than 0C (32F).

Following distance

Stay at least twice as far behind the vehicle ahead as you would when driving your vehicle without a trailer. This can help you avoid situations that require heavy braking and sudden turns.

Passing

You will need more passing distance ahead when towing a trailer. Likewise, due to the increased vehicle length, you will need to go much farther beyond the passed vehicle before you can return to your lane.

Backing up

Hold the bottom of the steering wheel with one hand. Then, to move the trailer to the left, just move your hand to the left. To move the trailer to the right, move your hand to the right. Always back up slowly and, if possible, have someone guide you.

Making turns

When you're turning with a trailer, make wider turns than normal. Do this so your trailer won't strike soft shoulders, curbs, road signs, trees, or other objects. Avoid jerky or sudden maneuvers. Signal well in advance.

Turn signals when towing a trailer

When you tow a trailer, your vehicle has to have a different turn signal flasher and extra wiring. The green arrows on your instrument panel will flash whenever you signal a turn or lane change.

Properly connected, the trailer lights will also flash to alert other drivers you're about to turn, change lanes, or stop.

When towing a trailer, the green arrows on your instrument panel will flash for turns even if the bulbs on the trailer are burned out. Thus, you may think drivers behind you are seeing your signals when, in fact, they are not. It's important to check occasionally to be sure the trailer bulbs are still working. You must also check the lights every time you disconnect and then reconnect the wires.

Do not connect a trailer lighting system directly to your vehicle's lighting system.

Use only an approved trailer wiring harness.

Have yourself assisted by a professional workshop in installing the wiring harness.

Kia recommends to visit an authorized Kia dealer/service partner.

WARNING

Failure to use an approved trailer wiring harness could result in damage to the vehicle electrical system and/or personal injury.

Driving on grades

Reduce the speed and shift to a lower gear before you start down a long or steep downgrade. If you don't shift down, you might have to use your brakes so much that they would get hot and no longer operate efficiently.

On a long uphill grade, shift down and reduce your speed to around 70 km/h (45 mph) to reduce the possibility of engine and transmission overheating.

CAUTION- (Kia Niro Hybrid only)

  • When towing a trailer on steep grades (in excess of 6%) pay close attention to the engine coolant temperature gauge to ensure the engine does not overheat. If the needle of the coolant temperature gauge moves across the dial towards "H (HOT) (or 130 C/260 F)", pull over and stop as soon as it is safe to do so, and allow the engine to idle until it cools down. You may proceed once the engine has cooled sufficiently.
  • You must decide the driving speed depending on trailer weight and uphill grade to reduce the possibility of engine and transmission overheating.

CAUTION- (Kia Niro EV only)

  • To prevent motor overheating: If you tow a trailer with the maximum gross vehicle weight and maximum trailer weight, it can cause the motor to overheat. When driving in such conditions, stop the vehicle until it cools down. You may proceed once the motor has cooled sufficiently.

    When towing a trailer, your vehicle speed may be much slower than the general flow of traffic, especially when climbing an uphill grade. Use the outer lane when towing a trailer on an uphill grade. Choose your vehicle speed according to the maximum posted speed limit for vehicles with trailers, the steepness of the grade, and your trailer weight.

  • You must decide the driving speed depending on trailer weight and uphill grade to reduce the possibility of motor overheating.

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