Trailer hitch for Niro EV?

Discussion in 'Kia Niro' started by MLB, Jun 21, 2019.

  1. MLB

    MLB New Member

    I'm looking for a hitch for my Niro EV to support a Thule bike rack. I checked with Curt and Draw-Time, and both said they do not make a compatible hitch. Has anyone mounted a hitch to this car?
     
  2. Texas Niro EV

    Texas Niro EV New Member

    eTrailer.com has a lot of hitch options for the Niro including a Class III hitch. All the Niros are basically the same and I don’t know why one of these other hitches wouldn’t work with the Niro EV. Torkliftcentral.com will build you a custom hitch but you have to take your car to their shop in Washington state.

    The fact that you can get a Class III for the Niro is very interesting. The hitch has a 525 pound tongue rating and a 3500 pound tow rating. I’m half tempted to buy one of these hitches after the power train warranty on my Niro EV expires and start using the Niro EV to pull my boat.
     
  3. sosmerc

    sosmerc New Member

    I currently tow my paddleboards and kayaks on an aluminum Triton trailer behind my 2017 Volt using a Curt hitch. The hitch was a Chevy option for the Volt, BUT not supposed to be for anything but bike rack. I have had no issues other than the decreased EV range while towing. (my last 600 mile round trip yielded 35 mpg...about a 20% penalty to my range). I am looking forward to a pure EV and have been thinking about the eNiro. I am eager to hear about others experience towing with this rig and I would hope that at some point Kia will official allow towing and perhaps even provide a factory tow option. If not, I may have to wait for the Tesla Model Y which I am pretty sure will have a tow package like the Model X at some point. But I am SO READY for a pure EV NOW and like the looks of both the Kona and the eNiro. Also, they both currently qualify for federal and state incentive programs ! We bought our Volt due to full federal and state programs as well as getting a zero down zero percent loan....it was a no brainer ! The Volt has been excellent, but the most joy comes when we run in pure electric mode and burn NO GAS!
     
  4. Texas Niro EV

    Texas Niro EV New Member

    The question begs, why is only a Class II (200 lb. tongue weight) hitch available for the Bolt EV and the Leaf but a Class III (500 lb. tongue weight) hitch available for the Niro? Well one answer is that the Niro EV is definitely a bigger car with more heavy duty suspension. The Niro EV has a GVWR of 4,916 lbs. whereas the Leaf Plus has a GVWR of 4,751 lbs. and the Bolt EV has a GVWR of 4,514.

    All three have very similar load capacities with the load capacity of the Niro EV being just a little bit higher. The Bolt EV has a load capacity of 951 lbs., the Leaf plus has a load capacity of 1,012 lbs. and the Niro EV has a load capacity of 1,062 lbs.

    There is a pretty interesting read at https://oppositelock.kinja.com/tow-me-down-1609112611. According to the article, anyone in the USA with a standard drivers can legally tow a load up 22,000 pounds. I see no reason why a responsible, licensed person can't safely tow a trailer with a Niro EV.

    For all those that are still nay sayers, here is a Kia website offering trailer hitches for the Niro in the UK, http://accessoires-kia.be/niro/transport-packs/TRPCKNIRVER7/.
     
  5. Chris Bennett

    Chris Bennett New Member

    We had a hitch attached to our Niro EV EX for our Yakima bike rack. We spoke with the local dealer who were OK with it as long as it is not being used for towing. The hitch manufacturer did a custom template when a customer brought the vehicle in and so we benefited from their efforts. The New Zealand firm who made them is 'Lock On' from Christchurch.
     
  6. Ecobrap

    Ecobrap New Member

    Has anyone bought that Class 3 hitch off E-trailer? If so, does it fit?

    I would like to get a Niro EV, but it hinges entirely on if that hitch fits or not! :)

    I would assume there are no unibody/frame differences between the gas Niro and the EV Niro, so I am really hoping it fits!
     
  7. Joel Cahalan

    Joel Cahalan New Member

    I would like an answer to this question also. We already got a Niro and I would like to order a hitch but not sure if it will fit or not...
     
  8. Ecobrap

    Ecobrap New Member

    I did a bit more digging and found this (below) on the Niro forum. Looks like the Class III fits with some modification, so probably expect to pay an extra hour or two for labor! Or prepare for a little DIY yourself. It will be a month or two until I get the car and install this, but will try to post pics and details when I do!

    From Niro forum:
    "I’m happy to report that the shop “Rack Attack” in Vancouver BC was able to order and install the Curt 13329 on our 2019 Niro EV. It took them longer than expected, having to enlarge / grind the holes on the hitch, and they completely removed the plastic mud guard. The install looks beautiful overall. 2” receiver!"
     
  9. molund

    molund New Member

    Rack Attack Vancouver quoted me $320 labour to modify and install a Curt 12171 class 2 / 1.25” inch hitch. Is that a decent price for the amount of work involved?


    Sent from my iPhone using Inside EVs
     
  10. I would check out U-Haul. They usually have the best price, and are pros at hitch installations. They did my Kona EV for $212 CAD, incl life time warranty and taxes.
    https://www.uhaul.com/Trailer-Hitches/
     
    Francois and Lektrons like this.
  11. Ecobrap

    Ecobrap New Member

    I just did the install of a Curt C13329 (525lb tongue weight, 3500lb towing capacity) yesterday evening on my 2019 Niro EV. The hitch is listed for the gas Niro.

    Unfortunately it was not as easy as expected, and I'm glad I had my fabrication guys on hand. Some cutting required, along with relocating mounting holes on the hitch. Surprising considering I thought the unibody between the gas and electric Niro's would be the same...

    Realistically I would expect 2-3hrs of labor from a shop, as that's how long it took us.

    I had my camera and documented as much as possible, and will be creating a video next week highlighting the issues and what to expect.
     
    molund likes this.
  12. Ecobrap

    Ecobrap New Member

    Here it is! Video on how to install the Curt Class III hitch on an ELECTRIC Niro!!! Enjoy!



    We are getting closer to our first towing test, so stay tuned for that!
     
    Derede Arthur, Francois and molund like this.
  13. MartyDow

    MartyDow Active Member

    Do you think you could achieve as good a result without modifying the car, only the hitch? Ideally, non-factory mods should be fully reversible...
     
  14. Ecobrap

    Ecobrap New Member

    Yes, as stated in the video, you can also drill a hole into the hitch for those studs to slot through. It will just take another hour or so, and I can't say for sure what it will do to the structural integrity of the hitch.

    If you are towing a small 1,500lb teardrop trailer, or just using it to for a bike rack, I would guess it should be fine. As for towing 3,100lbs and a lot of tongue weight (300lbs) like I plan to do, it might also be fine, but I decided to keep the hitch as factory as possible.
     
  15. MartyDow

    MartyDow Active Member

    Thanks; I look forward to hearing how that goes (3100/300 tow)...
     
  16. Texas Niro EV

    Texas Niro EV New Member

    The Leaf has an aero panel like the Niro EV but the installation instructions for putting the Class II hitch on a Leaf just say trim out an opening for the hitch after removal and reinstall the aero panel. I wonder if the same procedure can be followed on the Niro EV. There is some functionality to the aero panel and I would hate to completely remove it if I don't have to.

    I have an SUV that I keep around to tow my 3,000 boat. I never was really planning to get rid of my SUV but it's starting to look more and more like I don't need it. I'm going to be watching these posts real closely to see if it is worth the risk to put a Class III hitch on my Niro EV and get rid of my SUV.
     
    Ecobrap likes this.
  17. Ecobrap

    Ecobrap New Member

    Hey everyone,

    Yes, the aero tray can be put back in, but you will have to cut quite a bit of material away (about 5"x30"), more than I have seen in other videos. I might try it at some point, but realistically I have not noticed any efficiency decrease without it. Would be nice to have a bit of mud protection though.

    As for a quick update:

    -Hitch is installed
    -7 pin trailer plug is installed (plug and play 4 pin, then tied in a 4-7pin conversion, sourced power through the battery terminal and routed through the car)
    -Wireless Brake Controller is installed
    -Coil Insert airbags are installed (Airlift 1000, I will have an install video of these coming out once I have tested them and confirmed sizing)

    We are now just waiting to resolve some trailer issues before we do our first test at the end of the month! Follow along @Ecobrap on YouTube, Instagram, Facebook
     
  18. Texas Niro EV

    Texas Niro EV New Member

    I thought I might point out that etrailer.com is marketing several different electronic brake controllers for the Niro. Brake controllers can only be used with a 7 pin trailer connection and provides proportional control of electric or electric over hydraulic trailer brakes. Trailer brakes can be considered a necessity when towing a significant weight with the Niro.

    etrailer.com also offers surge trailer brake controllers that don’t require an electronic brake controllers be installed but etrailer.com offering electronic brake controllers for the Niro is another indication that the many people consider towing with the Niro viable.
     
  19. etcadman

    etcadman New Member

    I recently installed a Curt 12171 class 2 1-1/4" receiver trailer hitch to my Kia Niro EV. This is nice for bike racks and even 4'x8' utility trailer. As others have commented, there is some modification needed to the hitch and the plastic under-car skirt. Worked with a friend who had the right tools for these mods and we got it installed in a couple hours, could have been done in half that time. Attached are some photos. Electrical setup is with traditional 4-pin trailer connector.
     

    Attached Files:

  20. Ecobrap

    Ecobrap New Member

    Updated walkaround of our full towing setup here

     

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