Can you tow a Kia Soul behind an RV without damaging it? Many vacationers have asked, and want to know before hooking up their vehicle. Towing with an RV can be convenient, but you have to make sure you know what your vehicle can handle before you cause serious problems to the drivetrain. In this case, we are talking about Kia’s small SUV, the Soul.
Table of Contents
- Can A Kia Soul Be Towed Behind An RV?
- What is flat towing, and how can I flat tow my Kia?
- Why can’t I tow the rest of the Kias?
- What happens if I flat tow a Kia that I shouldn’t?
- How do I prepare a manual Kia soul for towing?
- Can I dolly tow a Kia Soul?
- How do I prepare a Kia Soul for a dolly tow?
- How do flat towing and dolly towing compare, generally?
- Why would you want to tow a vehicle behind an RV?
- Are manual Kia Souls common?
- What are the best vehicles to tow being a motorhome?
Can A Kia Soul Be Towed Behind An RV?
A Kia Soul can always be dolly towed behind an RV, and rarely flat towed For dolly towing, simply having a dolly and a couple of people will work. A flat tow requires a manual transmission or dual-clutch edition of Kia Soul, which are possible, but not common.
We’ll explain a bit more about how towing works with certain vehicles. We’ll also describe how to make a manual Kia Soul ready to tow. Towing can be easy, but some vehicles just aren’t designed by a towed in certain ways.
We’ve done towing. We’ll use resources from towing experts as well as Kia’s knowledge of their vehicles. You’ll also learn about which vehicles might be better for towing behind an RV than a Kia Soul.
What is flat towing, and how can I flat tow my Kia?
Flat towing is common in the RV world. Flat towing involves having all four of the towed vehicles’ wheels on the ground, as opposed to raising them. To others, it might appear that the towed vehicle is following rather closely, but in reality, it’s being moved by the RV in front.
A couple of Kia Souls can be flat towed, but not all of them. The potential Kia Souls are any manual model and the Soul Turbo with a Dual Clutch Transmission.
Why can’t I tow the rest of the Kias?
The major reason why you shouldn’t tow a Kia with an automatic and non-dual clutch transmission is that the vehicle’s drivetrain won’t allow the wheels to spin freely.
Technically speaking, you can’t shift the regular, automatic Kia Soul’s transfer case into neutral – a gear in which the wheels could move with just momentum.
A transfer case in an automatic transmission is much more common on trucks and large SUVs that can switch between 4WD High and Low easily. These often have a button near the steering wheel that lets the driver select between 4WD gears, including one that says “Neutral.” Most Kias will not have this switch because they are most commonly 2 wheel drive vehicles.
What happens if I flat tow a Kia that I shouldn’t?
You’ll probably cause damage to the drivetrain – and pretty quickly too. Most Kia Souls are not geared to allow the wheels to move without the engine running. An attempt to turn the wheels without the vehicle in the drive will hurt the axle and the rest of the drivetrain, causing serious damage to your vehicle.
How do I prepare a manual Kia soul for towing?
The first thing we suggest here, just to make sure, is to check your manual. Some vehicles might have specific instructions for how to prepare for towing – especially flat towing.
You’ll want to start by putting your keys in the ignition and turning them into auxiliary or accessory mode. This allows you to unlock the gearbox. You’ll want to put your manual Kia Soul into neutral for the purpose of flat towing.
You might also want to disconnect the neutral, or black end of your battery to avoid any complications. This is done by opening the hood and removing the black cable from the battery terminal.
For a relatively rare Kia Soul with the dual-clutch transmission, you’ll want to turn the transfer case to neutral.
Your Kia Soul will also need a couple of pieces of equipment.
Base Plate Kit
A base plate kit is a steel plate that attaches to the underside of the vehicle being towed. The base plate kit is not intrusive when you aren’t being towed, so don’t worry about leaving it on all the time. These can sometimes be installed by vehicle owners, but we suggest letting a professional do it right the first time.
The two bar connects to the RV and the Kia Soul and needs to hold all the weight. Tow cars can come with lights to ensure that your towed vehicle is visible to others, especially at night.
While your Soul is towed behind you, it doesn’t have its own brake. You can get an electronic braking system that plugs into the Soul that enforces braking rather than dealing with the oddities that occur when you brake with a vehicle towed behind you.
Consider these backups in the event the tow bar fails. Safety chains are connected to a solid part of the vehicle, like the control arms underneath the car, to keep the towed vehicle from rolling away or flipping.
You’ll want a lighting system to be placed in the back, and sometimes in front of the Kia Soul. Most states require some level of lighting system on a towed vehicle, regardless of how it is towed.
The whole setup should run you less than a few hundred dollars.
Can I dolly tow a Kia Soul?
Dolly towing requires a different set of hardware for your RV. This method lifts the vehicle off the first two tires, leaving only the back wheels on the ground.
The good news for a dolly tow is that it is possible. The disadvantage is that you’ll need both a dolly cart capable of holding your Kia Soul and safety cables, which costs more money than the hookups for a flat row.
Since the rear wheels of a Soul spin anyway, this will not be a problem in most cases. We still suggest checking your manual just in case.
A towing dolly will require you to link up safety cables under the vehicle – often to the control arms that help you steer your tires.
It is worth noting that you can’t use a tow dolly with all vehicles. They are generally recommended for vehicles weighing under 5,000 lbs. Thankfully, the Kia Soul fits that weight category.
How do I prepare a Kia Soul for a dolly tow?
Towing with 2 rear wheels in a tow dolly is easier. You’ll actually want to put the vehicle in park, as the rear wheels will spin freely when provided with momentum by the RV.
You’ll also want to be sure that your parking brake is not engaged, and lock the steering wheel as well so the vehicle doesn’t make an attempt to control itself.
How do flat towing and dolly towing compare, generally?
Keeping in mind that there are few instances in which you’ll actually be able to flat-tow a Kia Soul, we can still provide comparisons between the methods.
Flat towing disadvantages:
- Probably not possible with your Kia Soul, unless it’s manual
- Requires a base plate for your Soul, which in most cases will need professional installation
- Flat towing makes driving the RV more difficult, as it has additional height closer to its rear, and people don’t always use an electronic brake controller
Flat towing advantages:
- Will wreck the drivetrain of a vehicle or Soul if not done properly
- Generally cheaper equipment than dolly towing
- Requires only one person to hook the car to the RV trailer.
Dolly towing disadvantages
- Requires more equipment for the RV itself
- Has the potential to cause uneven treadwear over a long distance, because only the back wheels are running
- Needs more than one person to setup
- Requires backing up precisely with the dolly
- Equipment is potentially more expensive
Dolly towing advantages
- It will probably be much better for any non-AWD car
- Doesn’t require a base plate or anything on the Soul itself
- Easier to control with only two additional wheels on the ground
Why would you want to tow a vehicle behind an RV?
RVs are big vehicles. They aren’t especially easy to maneuver and they use extra fuel compared to most cars. Driving your RV to a grocery store a few miles away could present a challenge for parking and cost more in gas.
Towing a vehicle with your RV gives you the option to hop into a smaller, more efficient vehicle when you are going on a trip that doesn’t require a whole kitchen.
Are manual Kia Souls common?
Not especially, but they make a great, inexpensive and reliable vehicle if you are looking for an easy car to flat tow. Souls get great gas mileage, and you’ll pay even less for gas with a manual – in addition to probably paying thousands less for the manual transmission itself.
You can certainly find one! Just find the right year and you’ll be alright.
What are the best vehicles to tow being a motorhome?
We have a whole list here.
Generally speaking, any vehicle with 4WD and a neutral capable transfer case will be good for the purpose of flat towing. Our list includes the Jeep Wrangler and Chevrolet Colorado, both of which had neutral options and are relatively light – though not lighter than the Soul.