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Old 04-01-2019, 10:17 PM   #1
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Low Brake Controller - Kia Sorento

Anyone experience a brake controller installed so low it scraps? We have a VERY steep driveway, and I find when I have my 2 dogs or roughly 200lb in the very back of the car the brake controller scraps the bottom of my driveway.

Not sure what the solution is, doesn't appear like the controller can be moved. Would stiffer shocks or raising the car a few inches be an option (I know nothing about cars)?
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Old 04-01-2019, 11:16 PM   #2
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First, that's not the controller, it's just the receptacle for the cable to the trailer.

That is unusually low. It looks like the Curt hitch receiver, with an inappropriate receptacle mounting bracket on it. The similar Draw-Tite receiver has a tab on it to mount a better-placed bracket.

There are alternate brackets which might work better. You might consider this one:
6 and 7-Way Trailer Connector Mounting Box, 2-1/2" (Draw-Tite 18156) / 118156 at Draw-Tite.
That one's for a square receiver tube, but might work okay for the round tube... so maybe a better fit would be
6 and 7-Way Trailer Connector Mounting Box for Round or Square Tube Hitches
(eTrailer Item #18159)
/ Draw-Tite 118159.

The cable is also hanging very low to the left of the receptacle - that should be tied up out of the way.
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Old 04-01-2019, 11:24 PM   #3
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Five pin connector

Obviously you are referring to the five pin connector, and yes it needs to be moved. If I understand correctly is scraps even without a trailer, even if it will somehow survive your dogs it will probably will not survive once a trailer is connected. Also the hanging wire (at the left of the second picture) needs to be secured.
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Old 04-01-2019, 11:27 PM   #4
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Obviously you are referring to the five pin connector, and yes it needs to be moved.
7-pin (not 5)... but yes. When looking for brackets, the receptacle it has to fit is the 7-way blade-type or "RV" connector.
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Old 04-01-2019, 11:28 PM   #5
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Another U-Haul install?
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Old 04-01-2019, 11:30 PM   #6
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Thanks, this was installed by Trademasters a couple weeks ago. I'll follow up with them in the morning. I assumed they did it correctly at the time, after reading both of your comments I'm reconsidering.
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Old 04-02-2019, 12:08 AM   #7
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factory hitch on my F250...

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Old 04-02-2019, 06:09 AM   #8
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I'm assuming by the pictures that the 7 pin is like an L bracket and has a flat plate that is currently mounted to the bottom of the Curtis tow bar. If that's the case I would think easiest fix is unbolt the tow bar and then screw mount that on top instead of bottom.
Plus yes when it comes to anything with trailer hitches avoid Uhaul at all cost, I can speak from experience.

Enjoy the journey,

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Old 04-02-2019, 01:19 PM   #9
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Thanks for the suggestions. I called Trademasters this morning and they're going find a new place for it. I'll be sure to mention the hanging wires when I'm there.
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Old 04-02-2019, 01:34 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by stratos175 View Post
Plus yes when it comes to anything with trailer hitches avoid Uhaul at all cost, I can speak from experience.
Why are they so bad I wonder? Ordering and installing the right towing equipment is not rocket science. Low paid and low skilled employees that just want to rent vehicles and not work on them?
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Old 04-02-2019, 01:39 PM   #11
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You might also have the installer show you where the controller is mounted near the steering wheel and how it operates. Installers generally have a set of lights that they plug into the receptacle so that when you turn on signals and step on the brakes you can see everything is working.
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Old 04-02-2019, 02:16 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by stratos175 View Post
I'm assuming by the pictures that the 7 pin is like an L bracket and has a flat plate that is currently mounted to the bottom of the Curtis tow bar.
That seems like a reasonable guess, since there are no straps or clamps around the receiver tube, although the eTrailer photos of the Curt receiver for the 2016 Kia Sorento do not show a mounting plate built onto the bottom, and without a clamp or strap there would be no way to mount the bracket unless a plate was welded on by the receiver manufacturer; however, it could be another brand of receiver. Even if there is a plate on the bottom, it would have been intended for only a flat (e.g. 4-pin) connector, or for a different bracket that doesn't hang down like that.

The receiver is designed to be as low-profile as possible, keeping everything up tightly against the bottom of the bumper - having a receptacle bracket hanging down is ridiculous. With other vehicles, and other receiver designs, this can be reasonable; often in designs for vehicles with higher bumpers the receiver box itself is below the structural tube, so the receptacle can be down there, too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by stratos175 View Post
If that's the case I would think easiest fix is unbolt the tow bar and then screw mount that on top instead of bottom.
I hope that the bracket wasn't mounted to the tube of the receiver by drilling holes in the tube and using self-tapping screws, which is what I think you're suggesting. If that was done, I doubt that it is acceptable.

The problem with higher mounting locations is that the 7-pin receptacle is quite deep, so it if at the same height as the receiver tube it projects rearward quite a bit (okay in John's F-250 because the receiver box is behind the tube, but not in the Sorento configuration with the box in line with the tube); that's why the mounting box style that I suggested works - it turns the receptacle sideways. It can't be above the tube without cutting into the bumper.

One reason that I use eTrailer listings for reference is that they provide lots of information about the installation, including links to instructions from the manufacturer and photos of the receivers themselves and as installed on the vehicle. None of the instructions for the hitches for this vehicle include a receptacle bracket, and the only photos showing installed wiring show a 4-pin flat on the bracket included on the Draw-Tite model (a bracket which is not this receiver).

It will be interesting to hear how this bracket was mounted to the receiver, and what the more appropriate replacement is.
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Old 04-02-2019, 02:35 PM   #13
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We had a Kia Sorento that was used to tow our Lance 1575. I loved the Sorento and it did a great job towing that trailer. However, the hitch height on the Kia Sorento is crazy low. You will absolutely have problems if you don't move that connector. We had ours mounted up behind the hitch. It was a little more difficult to hook up to, but not that big a deal. Just make sure it's mounted close enough to the center of the hitch area that you trailer connector cable can easily reach it. I good hitch installed should be able to find a spot to mount it that is higher than the bottom of your hitch.
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Old 04-02-2019, 04:03 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
That seems like a reasonable guess, since there are no straps or clamps around the receiver tube, although the eTrailer photos of the Curt receiver for the 2016 Kia Sorento do not show a mounting plate built onto the bottom, and without a clamp or strap there would be no way to mount the bracket unless a plate was welded on by the receiver manufacturer; however, it could be another brand of receiver. Even if there is a plate on the bottom, it would have been intended for only a flat (e.g. 4-pin) connector, or for a different bracket that doesn't hang down like that..
It's an OEM receiver from Kia, they installed it at the dealer. Your suggestion about turning it sideways seems to be the only available solution.

In terms of how it's mounted, it appears its screwed to the bottom of the receiver with the L bracket. Whether they existed or they drilled the holes, I have no idea.
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Old 04-02-2019, 05:10 PM   #15
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New "tow-ready' trucks are coming with the 7 pin connector attached much higher up on the bumper, or the body panel just above it. I saw a mod on the Tacoma Forum a couple of years ago where the old location (next to the receiver) was moved higher. Involved some drilling, but it solved the problem.
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Old 04-02-2019, 06:16 PM   #16
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I remember my dad towing with our family sedan and opening the trunk and plugging in the trailer cord inside and then closing the trunk. I think it was wired to one of the tail light assemblies.
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Old 04-02-2019, 06:32 PM   #17
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I remember my dad towing with our family sedan and opening the trunk and plugging in the trailer cord inside and then closing the trunk. I think it was wired to one of the tail light assemblies.
That is the way my friends with a Scamp do it, although it is an installed 7 pin receptacle. They tow with a Toyota Sienna van. The hitch is quite low, and the built in 7 pin mount would be the first thing to hit the highway.
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Old 04-02-2019, 11:12 PM   #18
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It's an OEM receiver from Kia, they installed it at the dealer. Your suggestion about turning it sideways seems to be the only available solution.

In terms of how it's mounted, it appears its screwed to the bottom of the receiver with the L bracket. Whether they existed or they drilled the holes, I have no idea.
The Kia website shows what might be a different hitch, possibly because the Sorento has a mid-generation "facelift" for 2018 which changed the rear fascia, but it's at least similar. It also shows only a 4-pin connector available, so it would make sense that any provisions for mounting a connector (receptacle) on the receiver would only be intended for the flat 4-pin (like the hitch on my Sienna... which is why I was aware of the sideways mounting box).

The type of bracket used for the 7-pin may be the same style as intended by Kia for the 4-pin, using a plate and holes provided for that purpose, but it would hang down much further than with the 4-pin... too far. The bracket for the 4-pin might even turn up instead of down, because the 4-pin receptacle is so much smaller and the wires so much more flexible that it can be much closer to the receiver tube so that it doesn't stick out too far.
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Old 04-03-2019, 12:01 AM   #19
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I have an appointment at Trademasters on Friday to get it resolved.
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Old 04-03-2019, 12:03 AM   #20
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