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Old 09-04-2015, 12:50 PM   #239
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VW Touareg and 31 foot Airstream

If anyone comes here to learn about Touaregs and Airstreams, it's a remarkable disappointment.

We already know why it can't be done, it's been reposted several times a week in the hijack of other threads. Many of us come here to learn how it can be done.

Hundreds are towing Airstreams with their Touareg, Cayenne, or Q7. Including Tino, the o.p. These are not laying in heaps along the roadside. Perhaps someone can explain that.
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Old 09-04-2015, 01:48 PM   #240
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Specific question...
Please post your experience with VW USA with regard to warranty claims coverage due to power train damage or failure. We like the VW Touareg, but have been told by two different dealers' service managers that VW USA will NOT cover ANY damage to the powertrain caused by pulling our 25EB. Apparently, they can read the vehicle computer to see the load parameters.
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Old 09-04-2015, 02:09 PM   #241
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mefly2 View Post
Specific question...
Please post your experience with VW USA with regard to warranty claims coverage due to power train damage or failure. We like the VW Touareg, but have been told by two different dealers' service managers that VW USA will NOT cover ANY damage to the powertrain caused by pulling our 25EB. Apparently, they can read the vehicle computer to see the load parameters.
I am not sure what is stored during normal operation unless there is a fault. When I was deciding between the German SUVs VW was the only one that specifically states not to use a WD so I stayed away from it. I have had the ML350 in 3 times for issues directly related to towing under heavy loads on steep grades. While they understood what I was doing (25' Airstream at my stated dry weight of 5,800 pounds) they did not at any point say they would not fix it under warranty. I took it upon myself to prevent such an instance from happening by moving back to the 2500HD. By most accounts all the German 3.0 turbo diesels seem to be rock solid but when pushed above their intended use, especially over their respective ratings it is one's own risk if the dealer balks. Your are, after all, at their mercy. I learned this the hard way years ago when I put an aftermarket tune on a crappy made 6.0 Powerstroke Ford that they took the opportunity to deny service when it had nothing at all to do with the failure.
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Old 09-04-2015, 02:40 PM   #242
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VW Touareg diesel and 31 foot Airstream

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If anyone comes here to learn about Touaregs and Airstreams, it's a remarkable disappointment.

I disagree. I never would have even considered a Touareg or similar SUV prior to this thread, or have an idea what limits I would set if I were to do so. If I were still working I'd be all over a diesel Touareg with a 25' - but not larger thanks.
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Old 09-04-2015, 02:46 PM   #243
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Originally Posted by dkottum View Post
If anyone comes here to learn about Touaregs and Airstreams, it's a remarkable disappointment.

We already know why it can't be done, it's been reposted several times a week in the hijack of other threads. Many of us come here to learn how it can be done.

Hundreds are towing Airstreams with their Touareg, Cayenne, or Q7. Including Tino, the o.p. These are not laying in heaps along the roadside. Perhaps someone can explain that.
No one has said that it can't be done. Some have said that it's not a good idea and that they would not use the combination. I believe that the combination works, but can be improved. This isn't black and white as so many want to frame the discussion. Whenever you take a machine beyond it's design limits things are going to break or wear out faster. I have been modifying vehicles my entire life and getting them to do things they were not designed to do (as may others here have). My current truck is no exception. If it can be modified to exceed the manufactures maximum CGVWR of 18,000 lbs, why can't we discuss doing the same to the Touareg? Some of the changes I would look at would be engine tuning to get more power and torque, a larger exhaust system to reduce EGR temps at load, a larger transmission cooler to maximize life, a good gauge set to monitor vital systems and most of all the exhaust brake to increase downhill control. All of these modifications have been done to my old truck and it has increased driveability by an order of magnitude. Wouldn't they improve the Touareg as well? All these parts are available with the exception of the exhaust brake for the Touareg. In all my research on the Touareg that is the one thing that no one seems to have done. It puzzles me why something hasn't been modified to work. Maybe the boffins at CanAm might look into this and see if it's doable with an off the shelf solenoid operated exhaust brake. If the OP likes his current setup, would he like it more with these modifications?
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Old 09-04-2015, 04:01 PM   #244
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Tuco, good question on the exhaust brake. We have a Ram 1500 with similar dimensions, torque and weights to the Touareg family. It's a gas engine with compression braking. It handles like a typical truck so I don't attempt fancy maneuvers at speed, but it has the power (at higher rpm than diesel) and plenty of brakes for any grade we have been on, and we have been on some good ones.

The compression braking of our gas engine is good, but I have no issues with applying some truck/trailer brakes whenever I want to maintain a lower speed. I know the little truck could stop the whole thing easily and quickly, even on grade if I had to because I've done it. It is presumed the trailer's drum brakes would fade with steady pressure on a long grade.

My feeling is with the relatively light weight of the Touareg/Airstream combo (2,000 lbs less than a heavy duty pickup), braking would be more than adequate even without compression or exhaust brakes. And the braking is applied somewhat evenly to all eight wheels, not just two.

If the Airstream's drum brakes were prone to fade, a change to disc brakes could easily happen. Eight fade-resistance braked wheels slowing or stopping the Airstream at will is pretty good, probably very good.

So would an Airstream conversion to disc brakes be a reasonable and effective alternative to an exhaust brake for Touareg family owners? Would it be needed?
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Old 09-04-2015, 04:05 PM   #245
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Somebody gave these numbers - I did not verified them

Touareg weighs ~5,000#, 70-0mph 177 feet
An F250 weighs - 8,500#, 70-0mph 221 feet

If you are doing 70 mph and there is somebody standing 200 feet away and you can't avoid the crash... do you think that person will appreciate F250 weight and would think: yeah, I wouldn't be hit by Touareg, but Touareg is lighter than F250, so it is OK than I am dead.

The fact is that Touareg needs less distance to stop. If it was heavier, maybe the engineers would improve the brakes. But does it matter?
This scenario would end up with the truck killing the guy and the Touareg killing or putting him in the hospital. At 70 MPH you are traveling at >102 ft/sec which gives the Touareg driver ~.2 seconds to go from bored to panic stop mode before it was to late. Human reaction times are not that fast unless you are expecting it or are just exceptional. I noticed that you did not answer the other scenarios in the post. I'll give you the stopping distance solo, the downhill control and braking ability the truck wins hands down and the stopping distance with 8800# in tow on flat land is still undecided (not enough data/info).
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Old 09-04-2015, 04:29 PM   #246
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Originally Posted by dkottum View Post
Tuco, good question on the exhaust brake. We have a Ram 1500 with similar dimensions, torque and weights to the Touareg family. It's a gas engine with compression braking. It handles like a typical truck so I don't attempt fancy maneuvers at speed, but it has the power (at higher rpm than diesel) and plenty of brakes for any grade we have been on, and we have been on some good ones.

The compression braking of our gas engine is good, but I have no issues with applying some truck/trailer brakes whenever I want to maintain a lower speed. I know the little truck could stop the whole thing easily and quickly, even on grade if I had to because I've done it. It is presumed the trailer's drum brakes would fade with steady pressure on a long grade.

My feeling is with the relatively light weight of the Touareg/Airstream combo (2,000 lbs less than a heavy duty pickup), braking would be more than adequate even without compression or exhaust brakes. And the braking is applied somewhat evenly to all eight wheels, not just two.

If the Airstream's drum brakes were prone to fade, a change to disc brakes could easily happen. Eight fade-resistance braked wheels slowing or stopping the Airstream at will is pretty good, probably very good.

So would an Airstream conversion to disc brakes be a reasonable and effective alternative to an exhaust brake for Touareg family owners? Would it be needed?
I think its a fantastic alternative in a pinch (expensive though). What I have found is that the exhaust brake supplies a steady braking effect allowing downhill speed control without brake input. When the brakes are applied it feels more like slowing to a stop on flat terrain. With the smaller diesel engine in the Touareg I have no idea what the amount of braking you would get (TDR forum members say the brake effect on my 5.9 is ~190hp). I would hope that the reduced weight of the rig might compensate for the reduced braking from the smaller engine. If I had the money I would add disk brakes to the trailer, but I do have to watch my penny's. Something I did find on the TDI forum was information to upgrade the Touareg's brakes to larger rotors and bigger pads. This would also add more braking if an exhaust brake was not an option. On the funnier side a few years ago a forum member here asked about an exhaust brake on the TDI forum's and a guy responded with a picture of a drag chute (classic)!

Edit: One thing to consider with the brake only option is wear on the pads. I had issues with my pacbrake for the longest time and pad wear on the truck was excessive. An updated maintenance schedule for brakes would be advised.
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Old 09-04-2015, 04:46 PM   #247
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European experience

i live in texas and love towing my 1965 caravel that is 17' long and weighs about 2500# with my 2011 BMW X5 diesel.

i am in europe at the moment and have just driven from marseille to madrid. it is about 800 miles and it is the end of the major summer vacation time. i saw lots a lots of trailers on the drive. they were all being pulled by small vehicles of many types. a lot of small suv's and minivans. some cars too. no wd hitches. saw some VW's, some audi's, very few porsches and loads of bmw's of all types. many of the vehicles here are diesels.
NEVER once saw a truck towing.

they were travelling at reasonable speeds and for those of you who dont know, the costa brava is very windy. it is also very hilly.

i did not see one accident. also never saw any orphans killed when their bus was compromised by this irresponsible towing behavior.

just saying !!!

ps. i am not trying to re-ignite the truck crowd, the max towing capacity crowd, the extreme safety crowd, the "your insurance wont cover you" crowd, the warranty crowd, or the "we dont care what they do in europe of canada" crowd. they have already dominated this thread and loudly voiced their opinions.

just reporting what i have observed.
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Old 09-04-2015, 05:04 PM   #248
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I tow a 28' Avion with an F-150 and feel confident with the truck/ trailer combination and am within its trailer and tongue weight rating. I have made my living in the construction world for most of my adult life and have towed ridiculous weights in relation to the trailer and truck at different times and been successful, but I stressed about it which will wear you out. Vehicle/ trailer combinations should allow you to feel confident without feeling so confident that you go faster and drive to aggressively because you bought the largest vehicle on your dealers lot.
The biggest reason I wanted to stay within the approved limits of my tow vehicle is if a horrible accident were to happen and I was the cause of great personal loss, injury or death my conscience would be hard enough to deal with, I don't even want to think about an attorney wielding my disregard for the owners manual as a reason to take everything I have worked for away from me and potentially put me in jail.
It is possible to tow lots of weight with a Touareg and you can be very successful doing it, but you are taking a grave risk if it is outside of what the manufacturer has approved it to be used for.
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Old 09-04-2015, 05:20 PM   #249
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mefly2 View Post
Specific question...
Please post your experience with VW USA with regard to warranty claims coverage due to power train damage or failure. We like the VW Touareg, but have been told by two different dealers' service managers that VW USA will NOT cover ANY damage to the powertrain caused by pulling our 25EB. Apparently, they can read the vehicle computer to see the load parameters.
Does the warranty statement say that towing voids the warranty?

It would be interesting to hear their justification. The engine can only make the power it can make. What they may be referring to is the time at higher power levels, getting at load factor or duty cycle. You should ask them what the limits are for warranty coverage, in hard figures and in writing. Then ask them how that relates at all to their responsibility to represent the manufacturer who offers the warranty, which is to cover defects in materials and workmanship.

Then you could contact VW and ask them if they know that their dealers are avoiding their responsibility to deliver warranty services as per their dealer license agreements.
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Old 09-04-2015, 05:23 PM   #250
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A couple of thoughts.
I see a lot of comments about those dreaded 7% grades.
And comments about the need for engine brakes and heavy duty braking systems.
But is it necessary to go down those grades at 60+ MPH?
Or is it possible to go down them like they did in 1975 when they used a big GM wagon to pull my 27' Overlander up and down those same grades - slowly?
I get the impression that some people want to go up and over Donner, Rabbit Ears or the Ike tunnel as fast and as carefree as crossing Nebraska - thus the need for huge TVs.
Secondly, I also see people here who are almost OCD about all the safety stuff.
More power to them. May they forever keep the shiny side up and may they live long and prosper.
And yet, towing a trailer of any sort is inherently more dangerous than just driving a car.
I sometimes wonder why would they even bother to do it.
Maybe they do that mental math or a cost/benefit analysis and decide if they do this + that X factor1 X factor 2 they will be "safe enough" and just go for it.
But do they ever think there are others out there who feel "safe enough" with a different formula?
I do understand that people like to do the right thing.
But I don't understand why your right thing must be my right thing if I feel just as safe as you do.
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Old 09-04-2015, 06:08 PM   #251
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i saw lots a lots of trailers on the drive. they were all being pulled by small vehicles of many types. a lot of small suv's and minivans. some cars too. no wd hitches. saw some VW's, some audi's, very few porsches and loads of bmw's of all types. many of the vehicles here are diesels.

NEVER once saw a truck towing.
just reporting what i have observed.
I lived in Germany for 6 years and never saw a puckup truck. They pretty much don't exist in Europe (not like found in the USA or Australia).
Also check out European towable RVs, very small and very light - like Casitas here.
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Old 09-04-2015, 07:03 PM   #252
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Euro trailers have a different design. The axles are more forward hence the Tongue weight is significantly lower than North American trailers. It's usually under 300#. They are also narrower hence have less wind resistance. The terrain is also more forgiving there, the towing speed is lower, and travel distances are shorter. Most vehicles are also diesel and have manual transmission. Bottom line, everything towing related seems different.
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