Can You Tow It Behind a Motorhome? - 2014 Kia Forte EX Long-Term Road Test

2014 Kia Forte EX Long-Term Road Test

2014 Kia Forte: Can You Tow It Behind a Motorhome?

November 8, 2013

2014 Kia Forte

You can tow anything behind a motorhome if you load it on a trailer first. But most RV regulars see this as a huge hassle, and they'd rather not have to resort to a two-wheel tow dolly, either.

The ideal scenario is shown above. A so-called "dinghy" vehicle tags along behind on its own four wheels, ready to be unhooked and driven on side trips while the motorhome sits moored with its awnings unfurled and its sliders popped out in full relaxation mode. Flat-towing makes it unnecessary to fret about the extra towed weight, loading time and storage problem that a trailer or dolly represents.

That's all well and good, but could I tow our 2014 Kia Forte behind a motorhome?

Sorry, but the answer seems to be "no." The owner's manual in our 2014 Kia Forte does not authorize it for such duty.

This answer isn't spelled out specifically because, quite frankly, the owner's manual creates the impression that Kia doesn't even know what dinghy towing is. There's no acknowledgement that flat-towing exists beyond the need for vehicle recovery after a mechanical breakdown.

2014 Kia Forte

Terms such as "recreational," "RV" and "motorhome" are fully absent in any section that references towing. The only relevant advice comes under a section entitled "What to Do in an Emergency" in which diagrams of tow trucks feature prominently.

And there's a sketch of a car being pulled by a tow strap with the following caution: "If the car is being towed with all four wheels on the ground, it can only be towed from the front. Be sure that the transmission is in neutral. Be sure that the ignition switch is in the ACC position. A driver must be in the vehicle to operate the steering and brakes." It goes on to say that cars equipped with an automatic transmission can be towed this way no faster than 10 mph and no farther than 1.0 mile in order to "avoid serious damage."

This very limited speed and distance limitation doesn't seem to apply to the LX manual transmission version, but nothing here says it's OK to flat tow a manual-equipped Forte behind an RV at freeway speeds for hundreds of miles, either. This scenario isn't even acknowledged as a possibility. It's as if the idea that anyone might want to engage in 4-down flat-towing for purely recreational purposes is completely alien.

It's a pity. The 2014 Kia Forte is the right size and it carries an attractive price.

Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing @ 8,012 miles

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