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Old 07-21-2005, 12:35 PM   #29
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Norm- to my knowledge that is State specific.There are states that require you to have a brake system or brake buddy type thing in your towed ride.
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Old 07-22-2005, 10:54 AM   #30
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Love the look of the bug with the airstream. My wife had her silver New Beetle before we bought our 345 earlier this year. PO had already reinforced chassis for heavier towing so I set up her car for towing and so far it works (and looks !) great. She's really love to have a Beetle Convertible in Silver but that will have to wait for a couple of years!
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Old 07-22-2005, 11:07 AM   #31
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My tow bar

http://www.roadmasterinc.com/pdf/85-1168.pdf

This is the tow bar I use

and these tow brackets. As you can see there are four bolts per side that attach to the frame and other supports of the vehicle

http://www.roadmasterinc.com/pdfinst/154-2.pdf
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Old 07-22-2005, 11:41 AM   #32
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shadejo - nice rig! Would you share with us what you had done for re-inforcement? Many of us our limited by the low tow capacity of the frame and I for one would like to see what was done to improve the strength of the frame extensions.

Ken, thanks for the pics.
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Old 07-22-2005, 12:00 PM   #33
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Since I am not sure exactly what the underside looked like prior, I can't say for sure the exact changes. I spent some time lying on a creeper a couple weeks back and inspecting the rear for any cracks, bad welds, fatigue and found no problems. The main thing I noticed was heavy gusseting (plates with about 8 to 10 bolts - maybe some were added) on either side of the extension of the chassis. The hitch socket at the back was also tied back into the frame with some additional plating. Unfortuately I have no pictures and don't think my cheap digital camera will allow any given the fact I can't get far enough away from the areas while lying under the rig!

Incidentally, I was aware of the official 2000 lb towing limit when I bought the rig but has anyone ever understood what specifically caused that limitation? Specifically, with the large overhang I have no doubt that a heavy tongue load would be bad news. There is lots of weight from the rig itself on that chassis extension and it provides a long lever arm back to the rear wheels and tag axle. On the other hand, for flat towing, the chassis is primarily in tension (or compression on braking). It is also subject to some side loading when turning but I can't believe this is that big an issue, the extension members are still pretty large (mind you I am only towing 2900 pounds, I wouldn't recommend towing a large SUV, but then you would be asking for powertrain problems as well)

Right now, our 345 seems to be quite content with the Beetle tagging along. I'll get a chance to examine it after a longer trip shortly as we are heading from Ottawa to the East coast with it in about a weeks time.

John
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Old 07-22-2005, 01:12 PM   #34
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John,
While there is no known or official reason from JC for the limit (it is what it is) your thinking is in line with the common theories on the forum from other 325/345 owners. It is indeed a major limitation for many and any proven improvements or upgrades are of great interest.

Incidentally, we'll be heading to the East Coast next week as well. Headed to MA, NH, then Maine. Perhaps we'll see you on the road. We'll be the 345 with the [old] Beetle in tow.

By the way - welcome to the forums!
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Old 07-24-2005, 08:27 PM   #35
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Thanks Steven, was out of town for the weekend and doing some last minute maintenance on our rig.

While we will not be down MA, NH way this trip, we hope to travel in the area you are this fall! And of course, we'll be the 345 with the New Beetle in tow!

Happy travels!
John
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Old 07-25-2005, 06:24 AM   #36
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DonMar RV my local Airstream Dealer has no less than 5 New Beetle models for sale. Only one is an automatic.

The star of the mini fleet is a silver S Turbo. This Silver bug is a six speed 240 HP bullet!! It is a 2003 and is priced at $18,000 and has only 5,000 miles on it.

Give Don a call if you're looking for the ultimate toad, 803-453-5011.
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Old 07-25-2005, 07:19 AM   #37
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Sweet bug. Maybe we all have a VW story in our backgrounds? Ours was a red '63, bought the year we married. Do I ever wish we had it or could find another--also, my little '52 blue Chevy, my high school car. Whatever happened to them, I wonder!
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Old 07-25-2005, 07:36 AM   #38
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Exclamation we had ours too

smily,
we used to drag our baja bug all over the country with a small tow bar attached to welded brackets on the torsion beam, never had a failure or a weld crack.

We have had several VW's in the past and have started looking again, right now the wanna is a Jetta TDI wagon or Passat TDI, but I really want another Type 3 square back...anybody know how much they weigh or where to get the info?

And as far as towing all of the manual tranny bugs can be towed 4 down with not problems, dunno about the autostick or full automatic.

Aaron
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Old 07-25-2005, 08:20 AM   #39
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Aaron,
Good to hear that you have have some experience with this towing setup. The more I look at it the more I think modifying a Road Master or Blue Ox system for the Beetle would not work. Seems like the bar would be at such a steep angle down to the car it would encourage the Beetle to submarine under the tail of the motorhome in a panic stop. I'd need an extreme drop hitch to line it up and since the long overhang on the 345 is a "tail dragger" already I think I'd be digging holes in the pavement wherever I went.

In any case, I have the wiring harness setup and plan a test run later this week to test everything out.

The guy I bought the beetle from is working on a Notchback now. It's a mess but I've seen [and own one of] his other work so I know it will be beautiful when he's done. Think I saw a squareback up there too....very rough.

Found this guy (and his cars) through www.thesamba.com. It's kind of like this forum but for VWs and it has tons of stuff for sale on it. Also found a manual for a 61 Type 3 on this site - it looks like its 2095 lbs for the square (see pic). Not sure on the autostick. My manual is pretty vague on towing the car with this transmission.

Hey....I have a 94 Golf 4 door (gasser) for sale....not a TDI but a reliable car. I bought it new. Just needs some love.
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Old 07-25-2005, 08:37 AM   #40
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My first car

My dad mad me pay for half of the sales price.

He taught me to drive in my aunts squareback and my first car was 71 Beetle. Man I had that thing jacked up in the rear with oversize tires and air shocks.

I had to put at least three engines in it. (Did I mention I was sixteen?) The first engine was my lesson that the red light with a "G" on it did not stand for low gas. It stands for problems with the generator (AKA alternator). And any "Bug" enthusiast knows that if the generator is not turning, the fan is not turning either. (did I mention that Bugs are Air Cooled?) I got that thing so hot, it would not shut off, it was literally dieseling. I had to stall the engine to get it to shut off.
But that ol'bug sure brought the ladies in...... Amazing what you can do in a bug
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Old 07-25-2005, 09:04 AM   #41
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Ken,
Sounds like you have some campfire stories to tell.

I had a 69 in college, my sister had a 72 Super later on. My parents had a Squareback which got washed down the street in a flash flood in Philly (they actually do float). My Dad tells stories about wading out to it with a rope and tying it off to a telephone pole.

Since I brought it home most of my neighbors have come by to che it out. Everyone smiles when they see it and if they sit in it and they all say "it's smells just like my Beetle". Turns out one of my neighbors has a 66 in the backyard he's been working on over the years. I guess it truly is "the people's car".
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Old 07-25-2005, 03:09 PM   #42
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As for the first car stuff- I had a 59 Triumph TR3. Beat up quite a bit when I got it, so I learned how to do body work, interior repair, then when I blew the head...engine work.
I had it painted BR Green and drove the heck out of it..had split fire plugs from JC Whitney that made it go like a turbo, then they would burn out after 500 miles or so.
All the training I got from owning that ride made me able to tackle so many repair and upgrade jobs. My Dad got me a tool set when it broke down and tol dme to learn how to fix it. Best thing that ever happened to me.( not counting my wife and kids!)
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