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Old 04-25-2012, 07:20 PM   #1
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Best Set-Up for Cayenne Turbo & 19' Bambi

Hello all!

I have been seriously considering getting into the Airstream lifestyle and was wondering if anyone could help be better understand what exactly I need to get regarding the hitch and a possible anti-sway system.

Below are the Stats:

Tow Vehicle: 2004 Porsche Cayenne Turbo w/air suspension
Tow Capacity: 7716 lb.
Tongue Weight Capacity: 770 lb.

Trailer: 2009 Airstream International Bambi 19'
Trailer GVWR: 4500lb.
Tongue Weight: 510lb
Length: 19'

I also have a Thule cargo box on the roof of the Cayenne that has climbing/camping gear and a full size spare.

I have not installed a hitch yet, which I was planning to have installed at an authorized Porsche dealership. Any advice regarding the type of hitch (other than factory) and possible anti-sway system would be appreciated. I have read numerous conflicting reports and would appreciate some sound advice, which is usually the result of some experience, regarding what I need. I also do not want an overkill type of set-up, just a set-up that is safe, reliable, and affordable. Also, any advice relating to hooking up the trailer and how it could effect the air suspension would be greatly appreciated.

I have seen a lot of recommendations for CanAm however my passport just expired and I may be purchasing a trailer before I have a chance at renewing the passport.

Thanks,

Dean
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Old 04-25-2012, 07:27 PM   #2
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Old 04-25-2012, 07:44 PM   #3
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Hi Dean - you can find a lot of info on the web about setting up your rig, but you'll need to google Touareg instead of Cayenne This board has a lot of towing info including after market hitch installations Club Touareg - Volkswagen Touareg Owners Community

Many of us tow with Touaregs and depending on the size and weight trailer you have in mind, you may not need much modification.

Some things to consider:
  • The OEM hitch (which can be installed aftermarket) is rated for extra weight (instead of the standard 5000 lbs often installed by hitch purveyors).
  • You will need to add a brake controller
  • You will need to have your vehicles computer reprogrammed to accommodate the trailer brakes and lights (your dealer can do this).
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Old 04-25-2012, 07:50 PM   #4
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You are well within the ratings of your Cayenne, so it's not as big a job as you think. What Janet said is about all you need to worry about.

As far as the hitch.....If you want to be spendy, I'd look at Hensley or ProPride. If reasonableness is you budget goal, then I would recommend a Reese Dual Cam with 600# spring bars.
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Old 04-25-2012, 08:23 PM   #5
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Thanks for the responses!

The Porsche Dealership wanted to charge $481 to install a digital brake controller. Is that reasonable or should I do it myself? Ive seen wiring kits and DIY instructions; do they all require mounting a type of module like a Prodigy or Tekonsha? What exactly is the brake controller doing? I assume it allows the car to tell the trailer to apply brakes, but is there anything else?

Thanks Again
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Old 04-25-2012, 10:24 PM   #6
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You can wire the brake controller yourself. There is a connector buried up under the dash wrapped in foam. You will need the opposite end of the plug connector available from Porsche parts dept. Then its just a matter of attaching the wires together. Doing it yourself will help you better understand how it works and the setup.

The OEM hitch is very strong and probably worth having it dealer installed. The air suspension can handle the tongue weight of a Bambi without a WD hitch and you could just add a sway bar.

However, if you are going to be carrying a lot of gear, including a full spare, you may want to consider getting the WD hitch. And go to truck scales to weigh before and after hook-up to get to know the axle loads so you can dial in the proper weight distribution. Which may mean transfering some gear from the car to the trailer
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Old 04-26-2012, 05:31 AM   #7
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MOJO is right about the WD...BUT if you are taking the TW figure from the printed information, I doubt it is accurate...plus, it's not going to take much to take up that 260lb "buffer" you have stated between TV tW capacity and stated AS tongue weight.
You really should get the RGAWR from Porsche and get the vehicle and trailer loaded for travel, including people, fuel, and whatever else and get it weighed.

Air suspension, regardless of what vehicle it is on "will handle it", but it will also mask a multitude of sins relative to proper axle loading and weight distribution.
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Old 04-26-2012, 09:26 AM   #8
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I have read a few posts that indicated a weight distribution hitch could cause undo stress on the hitch (specifically relating to Touregs and Cayennes), and it was suggested to take the trailer to CanAm to have support welds added. Is that really necessary for a 19' Bambi (in all discussions the concern was for 23' trailers or bigger)? I am also assuming that this means I would be looking at a Hensley or ProPride? The owner that is selling the trailer I am interested in also has a Reese Anti-Sway system that they would be willing to sell. Am I safe to assume that a factory installed hitch, a brake controller, and the Reese Anti-Sway set-up is sufficient? But if I want to do better, add a Hensley or a ProPride and have hitch supports welded? Am I limiting where I can travel with the Reese system?

I appreciate all the insight and FYI I have emailed Andy for his input, but he is also a retailer and I am sure he will want to sell me something I also need to make a decision by tomorrow and I will be unable to make it into Canada before I have to pick up this trailer.
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Old 04-26-2012, 10:12 AM   #9
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Reese is a fine hitch and I am keeping mine. I am now using a Hensley ONLY because I found a smokin' deal on a used one. I, personally, would be hard pressed to spend the money on a new one. Albeit, I have only towed about 150 miles with the Hensley so far. I may be more high on the HAHA or PP after driving in some bad weather, etc.

I am no Expert on the Cayenne/Toureg so I'll let others advise. I thought that some improvements had been made in the structure....but I see you have an '04.
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Old 04-26-2012, 10:31 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pdozanne View Post
The Porsche Dealership wanted to charge $481 to install a digital brake controller. Is that reasonable or should I do it myself?
That's one reason I sold my Porsche!! If you don't feel like installing it yourself, any RV dealer or large UHaul dealer can do it for far less.
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Old 04-26-2012, 12:48 PM   #11
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There was a video floating around here comparing an SOB trailer and Airstream being towed by a Porsche through a slalom course. The SOB almost did not make it.

Perry
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Old 04-26-2012, 01:45 PM   #12
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Thanks for the sound advice. This is where I'm at, opinions PLEASE!

I found a local Hensley Arrow WD hitch, basically brand new for $900. Do I HAVE to reinforce my hitch before using this set-up? See OP for stats on my set-up.

I am also considering the Tekonsha Prodigy RF Brake Controller for ease of installation and I dont want anything physically installed in the vehicle cabin, and this set-up is perfect for that. Any horror stories about this thing?


Any thoughts, opinions, and experiences would be greatly appreciated!!!!

I am already impressed with the helpfulness of the Airstream community

Thanks,

Dean
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Old 04-26-2012, 02:19 PM   #13
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Great deal on the Hensley.....almost as cheap as the one I found.
I will defer to the Porsche experts on the receiver issue.
With the Hensley, you did eat up about 85 - 90 lbs MORE of your Receiver capacity and Rear axle rating, but it is probably worth it.

Don't have any experience with that model brake controller.
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Old 04-26-2012, 06:29 PM   #14
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I think you are starting to go down a path that does not have to be taken. You have an excellent tv that well exceeds the basic requirements of the job that has to be done. Get a Reese dual cam hitch, prodigy p3 brake controller, hook it all up yourself with the excellent instructions provided by the suppliers, and get streaming.
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Old 04-27-2012, 03:58 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by pdozanne View Post

I appreciate all the insight and FYI I have emailed Andy for his input, but he is also a retailer and I am sure he will want to sell me something I also need to make a decision by tomorrow and I will be unable to make it into Canada before I have to pick up this trailer.
I think you will find Andy will be very helpful whether you need to buy something from him or not. If you need specialty parts Can Am may just send them to you and you could have them installed locally. You have so much margin with that TV and the small Airstream. Best of luck with the set up.
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Old 04-28-2012, 01:23 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pdozanne View Post
Thanks for the sound advice. This is where I'm at, opinions PLEASE!

I found a local Hensley Arrow WD hitch, basically brand new for $900. Do I HAVE to reinforce my hitch before using this set-up? See OP for stats on my set-up.

I am also considering the Tekonsha Prodigy RF Brake Controller for ease of installation and I dont want anything physically installed in the vehicle cabin, and this set-up is perfect for that. Any horror stories about this thing?


Any thoughts, opinions, and experiences would be greatly appreciated!!!!

I am already impressed with the helpfulness of the Airstream community

Thanks,

Dean
Dean,

Thats a GREAT deal on the Hensley, you won't be sorry if you decide to get it.

I would give Can-Am a call and see if they recommend the re-inforcements for the factory receiver with your trailer.
If so I'm pretty sure they could be shipped along with the instructions, I recall reading posts that others have followed that procedure.

No advise on the wireless controller, using a Hensley TruControl Gold now and only have experience with that and the hard wired Tekonsha's.

Bob
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Old 04-28-2012, 06:12 PM   #17
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Here is that video. Maybe you can find out which hitch they used to do these tests.

Perry

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Old 04-28-2012, 08:11 PM   #18
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At 1:29, it looks like a Reese dual cam.
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Old 05-11-2012, 08:03 PM   #19
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Finally getting back to update everyone on the hitch. We ended up hearing back from Andy at Can-Am and decided to go with an Eaz-Lift WD hitch w/ 800lb load bars. Also went with the Prodigy RF brake controller against Andy's recommendation. I have to say, it was virtually plug and play - nothing installed in my cabin, I can dial in my brake boost, and powered my LED's on the trailer (keeping me from having to change bulbs). I also purchased a Husky Sway Control and just installed it the other day. I have not yet had the chance to test it on a long trip.

Thanks for all the advice!
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Old 05-18-2012, 12:38 PM   #20
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Good luck - don't forget to post a few pictures of your setup!
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