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Old 10-12-2019, 09:28 PM   #1
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Newbies Need Tow Vehicle Advice

Hey folks...
We are brand newbies and have just purchased our first Airstream - a 22 foot Bambi. We’ll be weekend travelers September - May and in summers will go cross country from NC to California to visit our kids June-August. We’ve done lots of research on tow vehicles, and are trying to decide between a used Touareg TDl and a used Ford F-150 crew cab. Would love pros / cons and suggestions. Thanks!
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Old 10-12-2019, 09:46 PM   #2
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Ford F-150 for a variety of reasons. Power, wheel base, weight would be the first three. A Volkswagen would never even cross my mind.
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Old 10-12-2019, 09:46 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by SFGambill View Post
Hey folks...
We are brand newbies and have just purchased our first Airstream - a 22 foot Bambi. We’ll be weekend travelers September - May and in summers will go cross country from NC to California to visit our kids June-August. We’ve done lots of research on tow vehicles, and are trying to decide between a used Touareg TDl and a used Ford F-150 crew cab. Would love pros / cons and suggestions. Thanks!
The F-150 will quite possibly be more dependable than the diesel Touareg and for sure will have more cargo capacity.
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Old 10-12-2019, 11:15 PM   #4
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I guess it depends upon what you want to do. The F150 Super Crew has tons of room. I love having a pickup for not just towing, but for hauling things in the bed. Generators, lawn chairs, tools, etc would all have to be in the back of your SUV. Enough room? Also if the bed of the truck gets dirty, just power wash. The F150 3.5 liter Ecoboost with 10 Speed is a towing beast. It tows my 28AS wonderfully. And I like it as a daily driver.

The Touraeg doesn’t have the power or the room that an F150 has. And if you wants a diesel the F150 diesel pulls more than the Touraeg.
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Old 10-12-2019, 11:27 PM   #5
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The Toureg ia a far superior tow vehicle than the F 150. Look at the numbers. It has better axle capacity, better power, all wheel drive, independent suspension, lower center of gravity. There is no comparison.
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Old 10-13-2019, 10:30 AM   #6
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Another advantage you would have with the Ford F150 is that it has a longer wheelbase than the Toureg. That translates into much more stability if/when the trailer swings due to side winds, semi/bus passing by, etc.

If you are going to do longer distance trips with the Bambi, you will have a much easier time finding automotive repairs in rural or wilderness areas for a Ford truck than a German SUV. This is even more true for a Taureg which was produced in very low quantities compared with VW's Passat, Beetle, Golf, etc. Thus parts are even harder to find out on the road outside of metropolitan areas. Just try to get emergency parts for a Taureg on a trip to Yellowstone, or Bryce Canyon,

Finally, aftermarket accessories for towing are not nearly as available for a Taureg as they are for the most-purchased vehicle in the USA. All sort of hitch accessories, wiring assemblies, mirror extensions, rear view cameras, etc. bolt right onto an F-150. Just try to find them or customize them to fit a Taureg though!

(note - our family tows our 30' 1964 Airstream Sovereign flawlessly with a 2004 Dodge Ram 2500 3/4 Ton Diesel Quad Cab. We also love our 2015 VW Passat - but maintenance is even challenging near our home just 75 miles SE of Sacramento [have to remove 12 bolts and an airflow skid plate just to change the oil - or the fact that only my wife's wrists are small enough to reach through a 12" series of openings to change a turn signal bulb]).
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Old 10-13-2019, 10:55 AM   #7
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F-150 IMHO - we love our truck
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Old 10-13-2019, 11:15 AM   #8
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First of all, you are not going to get an unbiased response. I doubt you will find anyone who has actually owned and/or towed with both. With the possible exception of Andy Thomson at CanAm RV. Most will be recommending what they own, just human nature.

Also consider the use of the vehicle when you are not towing the trailer. Comparing two pickups is an apples to apples situation, however you are comparing a pickup to an SUV, so more than just towing performance needs to be taken into account.

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Old 10-13-2019, 11:39 AM   #9
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We have a 2013 Porsche Cayenne diesel which we purchased prior to ever thinking about an buying an Airstream. It’s the same drivetrain as the Touareg diesel you’re considering. We get 27mpg in everyday driving, and with 406 ft lbs of torque, it’s got great acceleration.

In 2016 we purchased a used 2015 International Signature 27FB from a private party in Augusta GA. I had never towed anything in my life. We live in AZ, drive to Augusta and pulled it home. It was equipped with an Equalizer hitch.

There were no issues. We have since driven the Million Dollar Highway in Colorado, pulled it through the Canadian Rockies to Jasper, as well as Tioga Pass into Yosemite NP; all very challenging climbs. It’s been perfect. We’ve never felt a tinge of sway ever.

When you unhook, you have a great driving vehicle that handles exceptionally well, is fun to drive, and turns on a dime. That’s something that important to me. Personally I don’t want a truck but don’t fault those who do.
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Old 10-13-2019, 12:01 PM   #10
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If you are new to backing up trailers, you’ll love the backup assist on the newer F150’s. It makes backing up a trailer vastly less stressful if you don’t do it all the time.
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Old 10-13-2019, 12:12 PM   #11
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As you can see from my Avatar, I pull a 27FB with a Cayenne (a fancy version of the Toureg). We have towed many thousands of trouble free miles. Hands down, the Toureg is a much better handling vehicle than the F150 for towing and when unhooked at your campsite, the Toureg makes a much better run around vehicle than the truck.

The only downside for us is the cargo capacity. With the heavier tongue weight on the 27 FB we have to be mindful of what we take with us so as not to overload the rear axle. As you are towing a much smaller AS, you will have none of those concerns.

By the way, I have towed extensively with both the Cayenne and a diesel pickup. Hands down, the Cayenne handles and brakes better than the truck and is a far more comfortable vehicle when you are not towing. As far as power is concerned, the TDI Toureg will out perform the truck as well, (better power to weight ratio), and it has ample HP and TQ to tow your 22 with ease. It is rated to tow 7700lbs so you are well within its capacity ratings. While the F150 has a higher tow rating, so what, you do not need it.

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Old 10-13-2019, 03:55 PM   #12
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F-150 with3.5 ecoboost engine with towing package. You just can’t say F150 anymore. They are not all made the same. F-150s are rates anywhere from being able to tow 7,700 lbs to 12,500 lbs. it all depends as to how your truck was built and with what towing package and what engine you truck has in it. Don’t get taken by a salesman at a dealer or car lot. They’ll tell you anything to sell you a vehicle.
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Old 10-13-2019, 05:49 PM   #13
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If you want a suv, try expedition.
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Old 10-13-2019, 06:42 PM   #14
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F-150 with3.5 ecoboost engine with towing package. You just can’t say F150 anymore. They are not all made the same. F-150s are rates anywhere from being able to tow 7,700 lbs to 12,500 lbs. it all depends as to how your truck was built and with what towing package and what engine you truck has in it. Don’t get taken by a salesman at a dealer or car lot. They’ll tell you anything to sell you a vehicle.
+1. You really want a F150 with the max tow package. I also found that upgrading the stock shocks to Bilstein helps a lot with my FC25 in terms of porpoising. That may not be necessary with a smaller trailer, though. I needed to make sure my truck has a payload capacity above 1,800 pounds according to the driver door sticker. For me, that was a F150 Supercrew XLT with the 302A package. I also think you’d find you really appreciate the Supercrew cab with the back doors. We store all kinds of things there that we don’t want in the bed.

I also like the fact the a Ford truck you can get fixed anywhere in the country easily and that parts are readily available.
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Old 10-13-2019, 08:00 PM   #15
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Towed a FC23FB with a Touareg TDI

Quote:
Originally Posted by SFGambill View Post
Hey folks...
We are brand newbies and have just purchased our first Airstream - a 22 foot Bambi. We’ll be weekend travelers September - May and in summers will go cross country from NC to California to visit our kids June-August. We’ve done lots of research on tow vehicles, and are trying to decide between a used Touareg TDl and a used Ford F-150 crew cab. Would love pros / cons and suggestions. Thanks!
SFGambill, as others have pointed out there are advantages to both options. We bought a 2016 Touareg TDI when they came available after the emission repair was finalized. It’s a wonderful vehicle, tons of power, comfort and stable. It towed our FC23FB with ease.

We got 16 MPG towing and mid to high 20’s without. We eventually traded for a Ram truck because we upgraded to a 27’ Globetrotter which exceeded the Touareg’s 770 lbs. tongue weight capacity. I still miss the smooth ride, handling and luxury of the Touareg but the Ram now meets our needs and is a sweet ride. By the way, if you think you’ll ever go bigger like we did, skip the half ton and go for the 3/4. We didn’t and regretted it. *Now driving a 2500.

Bottom line, the Touareg is more than capable up to a 23’ Airstream and if you go see Andy at Can Am, a 25’.

Good luck!
Jeff
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Old 10-14-2019, 10:02 AM   #16
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Reworked VW Diesels !

I hope "Diesel-Gate" is over. The stats are impressive on the New V-8 "Clean Turbo Diesel". Is it set up on a Uni-body and transaxle drive train? It is hard to beat any of the upgraded half-ton pick ups and SUVs with a touring car. There is still a lot to learn about them.
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Old 10-14-2019, 10:18 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SFGambill View Post
Hey folks...
We are brand newbies and have just purchased our first Airstream - a 22 foot Bambi. We’ll be weekend travelers September - May and in summers will go cross country from NC to California to visit our kids June-August. We’ve done lots of research on tow vehicles, and are trying to decide between a used Touareg TDl and a used Ford F-150 crew cab. Would love pros / cons and suggestions. Thanks!
My wife has a sensitive back, so a pickup was out of the question. We test drove every brand of pickup, every model- light duty, heavy duty, air ride, magnetic ride, etc. Nothing worked for her. Especially given you're riding for hours while towing.

We tow our 27' FC with a GMC Tahoe (gasoline). We've done scores of mountain passes with no issues, and it's comfortable. I would assume similar to a Touareg.
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Old 10-14-2019, 10:41 AM   #18
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Thumbs up Miss my TDI, love my 150!

I'll spare you the TDI vs ecoBoost debate but what I can offer IMHO is that I had the Touareg TDI and now the 150 (HDPP). I love and miss my TDI because it is a capable TV and my favorite DD as I still work any decades away from retiring The one factor that almost always inevitably people will exceed first is...PAYLOAD, then everything else follows it.

The TDI has 1156# of payload, but with 4 of us and our golden, there's no room other than a snack bag and everything must go into the TT. I didn't buy a TT so I can hike over things to get to the bathroom or shift things around to get a bottle of water so the hunt was on. After countless months of researching, I found an F-150 XLT with HDPP (Heavy Duty Payload Package) w/o all the fancy gizmos and w/o having to go up the F250/350 line, I'm happy with the 2541# payload So now we bring almost too much crap

Best wishes on your decision and remember, before you talk to the car/truck sales guy, make him open the driver door and then look at/by the door jamb and read that payload sticker first!
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Old 10-14-2019, 11:29 AM   #19
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I have owned both a TDI Touareg and an Ecoboost F-150. I never towed with the Touareg. The Touareg was awesome when it was not in the shop, but for me that was a big issue. Parts were often difficult to source and even tires were unusual sizes on the Touareg. If you ignore the reliability issues, it is my favorite vehicle I have ever owned. F-150 is a much better choice from a reliability point of view but you still need to watch payload. We just moved from an F-150 to a F-250 for this reason.
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Old 10-16-2019, 06:58 PM   #20
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Tow Vehicle for Airstream 22' Sport Bambi

We needed an SUV to tow our Airstream. We bought a used Mercedes ML 350 which has a 7200 lb. towing capacity. Our 22' Airstream fully loaded doesn't weigh more than 5000 lbs. The Mercedes has worked wonderfully!
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