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Can a Kia Carnival Tow a Travel Trailer or Popup Camper?

The Kia Carnival has a maximum towing capacity of 3500 lbs. However, this towing capacity drops to 1650 lbs if the load being pulled relies on the vehicle’s brakes rather than its own. It is powerful enough to tow a small camping trailer.

Kia Carnival Engine

The Smartstream G3.5 GDi V6 engine is used in all trim levels of the Carnival. The engine is a six-cylinder engine with a gasoline direct fuel injection system, part of Hyundai’s Smartstream engine family of gasoline and diesel engines. The Carnival’s engine gives a power output of 290 horsepower at 6400 rpm and 262 pound-feet of torque at 5200 rpm.

Towing with the Carnival

If you plan on towing with the Carnival, a towing hitch is available as an option while purchasing the vehicle. Moreover, the car has a rearview camera available, which closely monitors the towing hitch when connected to the trailer. It is highly recommended to purchase safety chains for the Carnival in case the tongue between the trailer and the vehicle gets damaged to prevent it from scraping the ground or the trailer wandering into another lane.

Towing in a vehicle fresh out of the dealership is highly advised against as a new engine requires time to break in. The manufacturers suggest refraining from towing during the first 1200 miles of the vehicle as doing so leaves your engine and transmission to severe damage.

After the vehicle has appropriately worn in, it is highly recommended to keep the vehicle operating speed under 60 mph. The vehicle’s load-bearing components are already overworked whilst towing that maintaining a high speed would wear out the components more quickly. Additionally, the air conditioning should be turned off on hot days whilst towing as the engine would be more prone to overheating when the vehicle is both towing and has air conditioning on.

Frequent towing with the Carnival would mean frequent maintenance of the engine, transmission, brake pads, etc. Furthermore, it is recommended to retighten the bolts of the towing hitch after 600 miles of trailer towing.

The Kia Carnival is a five-door minivan built by the South Korean car manufacturer Kia. It was introduced in 1998 and has entered its fourth generation in 2020. The Carnival was also known as the Sedona in some markets but the Sedona nameplate is slowly being phased out.

The Kia Carnival is available in 5 different trims, the base LX, the 8-passenger LX Seat Package, the mid-level EX, the high-end SX and the top of the line SX Prestige.

In conclusion, the Carnival can be a handy towing companion as well as an excellent passenger carrier due to its 8 passenger seating capacity and its 3500 maximum braked towing capacity (upon being equipped with a proper towing hitch).

However, it is recommended that you don’t drive too fast whilst towing as the vehicle does not have a cooling system; hence the engine might overheat.