Installing a Trailer Hitch?

Discussion in 'Hyundai Kona Electric' started by Soona, Mar 18, 2019.

  1. Pivot5.5

    Pivot5.5 New Member

    These instructions and pictures were spot on! I just the exact same draw Tite install. The 3 cutouts worked perfectly! I added one more small 3/4” cutout to the grey exterior fascia and it greatly reduced interference with the receiver tube and allowed all the clips back in. I also lifted up gently on the receiver before tightening the bolts, this helped the fascia clear the hitch at the rear. I actually used a spare tire jack under the hitch receiver to hold it up while tightening.
    Thanks for the how to!!! Cheers
     
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  2. Vincent Harris

    Vincent Harris New Member

    Hi Geoff,

    Hoping you haven’t moved on from this yet ‍♂️

    I have a Auto Hal Hyundai KONA 4WD Trailer Hitch.
    Cat No J78 https://www.google.ie/search?q=auto...oECAsQAQ&biw=414&bih=606#imgrc=C1jCrvSuUVNtCM

    Looks a lot different to the Curt.

    My question is,
    Are there multiple options for attachments for different connection options.

    Or just the one option.

    Don’t want to proceed with removing bumper etc until I am sure I have correct part to install.

    Hoping you can help.

    Regards
    Vince
     
  3. Stephen Freeland

    Stephen Freeland New Member

    I performed the install with the Curt hitch receiver on my Kona Electric earlier this summer. It's been a while and I can't say for certain that there's only one set of attachment points on the frame, but just going from memory I can't imagine how the part in the picture you linked could possibly fit. As I remember, on each side's frame rail, there's one large opening on the top face where the bolts are fishwired in, and two smaller holes on the outer face where the threaded parts of the bolts stick out and through the holes on the hitch receiver.

    That being said, you don't need to take off the bumper to figure out if the part is compatible -- it's just two plastic panels under the body attached with some screws and trim fasteners. It shouldn't take more than half an hour to take apart.
     
  4. Geoff Marshall

    Geoff Marshall New Member

    There are only two bolt holes on the unibody on each side. It's a tight fit. Looking at the Curt and the frame, I almost couldn't believe it would work. The shape has to be precise. If the shape is much different, I would not bother to proceed.

    Not saying it won't work, though.

    You need fish wires and square washers to pull the bolts through the frame. If you do not have fish wires, you will not be able to get the bolts down the frame tube to the mounting holes. The Curt hitch came with the wires and instructions.
     
    electriceddy likes this.
  5. Moorerp

    Moorerp New Member

    Hey Geoff, quick question. I've been to Curt's website to look for the #115201 hitch that you installed, and I can't seem to find it. The hitch Curt's search function brings up for the 2018 and 2019 Kona SEL is #11529

    Would you take a peek at that link and tell me if that looks like the hitch you put on your Kona?

    Many thanks for that and all the effort you've made to document your installation,
    Randy
     
  6. TheLight75

    TheLight75 Member

    The 11529 fit well on my Kona

     
  7. jeff10236

    jeff10236 Member

    For those who haven't yet installed a hitch and are thinking about it, I'd be VERY careful about installing a hitch on a Kia anywhere but at the dealer.

    I had a 2016 Kia Sorrento (FWD, V6). I had a hitch installed at Uhaul. I bought a pop-up camper (it weighed about 2200LBS, the tow rating on my FWD Sorrento was 3500, with the same car but with AWD it would be rated for 5k), and the RV dealer had to replace the wiring harness since Uhaul installed a 4-pin harness and my camper with brakes needed a 7 pin harness.

    Fast forward about 3 years and my Sorrento was having AC issues that the dealer had loads of trouble figuring out, but eventually they found out it was electrical. Apparently, some junction boxes (I think that is what they called them, it has been over a year) totally burned out and nearly caused a fire. They claimed the RV dealer miswired the harness for the trailer lights and brakes. Mind you, it is little more than a plug and play harness (if my understanding is correct) and even if my understanding is not correct, the RV dealer has been in business for over 50 years, and installing the wiring for trailer brakes/lights/brake controllers is part of their business, I think they probably know what they are doing. However, Kia didn't want to pay the $8000 bill for fixing the electrical system, according to a lawyer friend of mine it was pretty much a coin toss if the judge would believe Kia or the RV dealer and me (and if I relied on Kia to sue the RV dealer even though my gut told me Kia was full of it, the RV dealer had their own experts and again, coin toss), and I didn't have the money to pay both a lawyer and for my repairs if I lost.

    So, in my experience, Kia will go out of their way (more than most manufacturers) to blame problems (if they are expensive enough anyway) on anything they can to get out of paying a large warranty claim. Had I had the dealer install my hitch and wiring, if they claimed it was the install, then the dealer telling me it was the install would have been liable anyway (they'd have to pay it through Kia's warranty, or themselves for their own negligence).

    After being burned, I'm not sure I'll ever buy a car/SUV/truck to tow unless it has the tow equipment already installed, or barring that, that I can have it installed by the dealer I purchase from. Even just for a tow rack, and never installing the harness, I don't trust them to try to pull something, and if they can give a reasonable sounding explanation for how your install messed up whatever went wrong it can be hard to win (in my case, the dealer got lucky/I got very unlucky I guess that it was electrical and the trailer wiring was related electrical work). I definitely will never trust Kia to do the right thing if the issue with the car can be made to sound like it could be related to any aftermarket work, and even if I decide to trust other manufacturers (millions of hitches are out there, many are not factor or from the car dealer, most people don't have issues), I'll never trust Kia in that case*.

    *Note: not only do I not trust them in the case of anything aftermarket on the car, it has soured me on Kia customer service. I trust the cars, I just bought a Hyundai Sonata (mechanically the same car as the Kia Optima), but with my CS experience, I will NEVER buy a Kia and add anything to it other than at the dealer, but I might just never buy another Kia.

    *Note 2: I wanted to take my car to another dealer for a 2nd opinion re. if the repair would be covered by the warranty (Kia didn't send someone to the dealer to determine that it wasn't covered by the warranty, they relied on the opinion of the dealer). However, since it wasn't going to be a covered repair, the dealer insisted I pay around $2K just to get my car back to cover all the time they spent diagnosing the issue and the time it would take to put everything back on the car they had taken off. I didn't have $10k lying around to get the car out in case the other dealer also said it wasn't covered by warranty. This situation also has caused me to refuse to do business with the dealership group as well (no Kia, Toyota or Chevy from them in my future, though they call me and email me every month or two trying to get me to buy something from them, and I tell them each time why I won't).

    Sorry for the long rant...

    TL/DR:
    If you buy a Kia, and you want a hitch, I strongly recommend having the dealer do it or it may be very costly in the end.
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2019 at 3:24 PM
  8. electriceddy

    electriceddy Well-Known Member

    Sorry about your bad news and thanks for the heads up.
    One question, which dealership group? If you don't want to name them an approximate location would work;)
     
  9. TheLight75

    TheLight75 Member

    Hi Vince,

    By the looks of that hitch, I take it that you are located in Europe somewhere?

     
  10. jeff10236

    jeff10236 Member

    Hmm, I posted all that about the Kia and somehow missed that I was on the Kona (Hyundai) subforum of the Hyundai/Kia part of the forum. Still, Kia is partially owned by Hyundai so I don't know if their customer service is tied together (I know their finance companies are). Anyway, I'd rather not call out the dealer group on a public forum, and they don't sell Hyundai, but if you are in or near Central Maryland and want to avoid them, PM me and I'll give you the name
     
    electriceddy likes this.
  11. Moorerp

    Moorerp New Member

    OK, just finished my install and wiring with the Curt 11529 and the Hyundai Ebay harness previously mentioned in the thread. So it's my turn to add a bit of detail to the thread for folks that are considering doing this themselves. Dag (Ebay harness + Draw-tite hitch) and Geoff (Ebay harness + a Curt hitch with a different number, but apparently identical to the 11529) have already provided enough photos of the process, so I won't add any except for one that shows how to pop the plastic clips that hold the underside plastic fairings on. Mostly I'll just add some details and a clarification or two.
    1. You'll have to remove a lot of these stupid plastic clips, and although it is super simple to do, you can avoid breaking the first one you try if you know how to remove them before hand. Insert a flat-bladed screwdriver between the collar and the button and twist. The button pops up and you can just pull it out.
    2. When fishing the bolts through the frame rail, do it the way the Curt help video tells you to do it:
    3. You'll have to cut out bits of the plastic fairings if you want them to fit back on your car after you install the hitch: Geoff has good pictures of all 3 of these cutouts. I had to cut out a good bit more of the screw mount contact point than Geoff did and there was still a small gap between the two fairings when I was done. You could solve this problem by cutting off that corner of the hitch before you install it if you've got metal removal tools. As far as I can tell, it serves no functional purpose for the hitch.
    4. Remember there are 4 screws holding the silver fairing in place when you try to remove it the 2nd time. I didn't, and now those 2 top screw mounts don't exist anymore. Plllbbbbbbb.
    5. On to the wiring. First, and most consequential, both Dag and Geoff reported that the right turn signal wire is red, but it my 2019 Kona, it was red/pink (red with a light pink stripe). The stripe is really hard to see; it looks red at casual observation. An easy way to do a preliminary distinction between the reds is to compare sizes. The two turn signal wires are both thicker gauge wire than both of the other (pure) red wires in the signal bundle. The left turn signal wire on my Kona was blue/pink as Dag reported.
    6. When you're powering the harness, it matters which of the two connections is power and which is ground- follow the colors. In many situations it doesn't matter when there's only power and ground wires in a circuit, but it does in this one.
    Mine turned out pretty satisfactorily. if you run into unanswerable questions, send me an email and I'll help if I can. It's all still very fresh in my mind at the moment.

    cheers,
    Randy
     
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