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Old 04-11-2008, 04:10 AM   #1
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new owner of '75 w/ tow vehicle question

Hi folks, I'm Denbear, new owner of a '75 Overlander 27'. I'm going to have to buy a vehicle for towing because my '03 Audi Allroad 2.7 won't work. Turbos + towing = trouble. But an Allroad w/ the 4.2 V8 would match up really nicely, I think. This is real long shot in the dark ... anyone have any experience towing w/ one?
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Old 04-11-2008, 06:17 AM   #2
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Welcome to the Forums. We're glad to have you with us.

27' trailer/short wheelbase tow vehicle is not the ideal combo.

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Old 04-11-2008, 06:35 AM   #3
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I don't think I would try it, but first, can you answer these questions?
Does the Allroad have at least a 7200# tow capacity?
Does it have an air ride suspension?
How long is the wheelbase?
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Old 04-11-2008, 07:09 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Denbear
Hi folks, I'm Denbear, new owner of a '75 Overlander 27'. I'm going to have to buy a vehicle for towing because my '03 Audi Allroad 2.7 won't work. Turbos + towing = trouble.
Welcome...guess I better tell my Duramax it can't tow any more...

Bill
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Old 04-11-2008, 07:28 AM   #5
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Regardkess of specifications other similar vehicles like the BMW X5, VW T-Reg, Porsche Cayanne, and Mercedes ML have a proven track record for towing, when set up optimally. Turbo powerplants like you say have issues that sometimes do not work well for towing.

These offshore designed vehicles seem to have one thing in common and that is roadability (handling and tight suspension), which is a benefit when the vehicle is applied to towing duties. The other benefit of a vehicle like the Audi is that it is fun to drive when not towing which for most of us is most of the time.

It is impossible to know how any said vehicle will handle any said TT. To know exactly how one tows and feels you need to hook one up and go for a test drive.

Here is a blurb from one of the online reviews....

Audis Allroad Has Proved Itself As The Premier League All Terrain Estate. With a 4.2-Litre V8 Engine, It Puts Even More Distance Between Itself And The Rest. By Andy Enright

We all take it for granted that there arent too many sound, logical reasons for buying a huge 4x4. Theyre heavy, often dull to drive, can be a nightmare to manoeuvre through cities and they chug out more CO2 than most of us care to countenance. There has to be a better way. At least thats what Audi thought when they launched the Allroad range of 4x4 estates.


After all, with many customers quite willing to part with over £50,000 for an upspec Mercedes M-class, BMW X5, Range Rover or Porsche Cayenne, it makes sense to offer an equally well-appointed 4x4 estate to remind these high living larrikins that a more socially acceptable alternative does exist. Already available in either 180bhp 2.5 TDI guise or 250bhp twin-turbo petrol 2.7-litre V6 form, the Allroad has carved out a small niche for itself as the premier all terrain estate, above more modest pretenders such as the Volvo XC70 and the Subaru Forester.
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Old 04-11-2008, 10:03 AM   #6
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Welcome to the Forums!!!

The 4.2 V8 is a strong engine. But there's more to it than that....

Assuming it's rated to tow your weight, remember to make sure that when you add the tongue weight of your trailer to the vehicle it doesn't exceed the GVWR of the Allroad when you take into account your weight, your passengers and any gear you'll have in there. That's a real limiting factor when using any of the vehicles described above. Use actual measured weights for your trailer. Don't believe what's in print.

Assuming that's all good, take a close look at the hitch. The Europeans take a much different approach to towing than we do. Their trailers typically have very little tongue weight. They use a single ball mount that's often removable or swings up and hides under the bumper (some are even electric!). No weight distributing hitches are used since the trailers have surge-type brakes built into the hitch. There are reports of LR's bending their hitch mounts.

Obviously our trailers have more tongue weight, we use weight distributing hitches and some form of electrically controlled trailer brakes.

Make sure that the receiver hitch is VERY beefy and joins to multiple SOLID mounting points around the rear axle. Your Allroad will be unit body. That's a lot of stress on the body/frame combo and you want to be sure that the forces are handled well. I'm not sure about the Audi, but if you look at an X5 hitch, or a Tourareg/Cayenne hitch, they are huge hunks of steel that end up replacing a good portion of the rear 'frame' of the vehicle. It's usually an expensive option for these vehicles.

Next challenge you'll have is for trailer brakes. Hopefully there's an easy aftermarket plug-in available, but I doubt it. Audis and VWs share common DNA and I've read that it's not a plug and play with the Tourareg. These vehicles have very sophisticated electronics anymore. It's important to make sure you don't cause problems with the vehicle's brake and stability systems. Even the amp draw of the trailer lights can be problematic on these vehicle's electrical systems. Too much, or too little (i.e., all LED systems can give errors when it 'thinks' there's no trailer plugged in, or 'diagnoses' a light bulb's out).

I would strongly recommend that you consider towing only with a 3P/Hensley style hitch with that length of trailer and this style vehicle. You'll probably have an automatically adjustable air suspension. That can be problematic with weight distributing hitch set up. I feel it's another reason to consider a P3/Hensley where the two functions (sway control and WD) are separate.

I would also want to make sure that your transmission offers a towing mode, or sport/manual mode that locks up the torque convertor. Towing places a much higher load on the drivetrain than just driving. All of this is pretty much for granted on an American pickup, but may not be on these vehicles.

Consider a good clamp-on towing mirror such as the McKesh. You may not find any of the cheaper clip on your existing mirrors styles even made for the vehicle.

If that hasn't talked you out of it! Go for it! Just be aware of the potential issues before you run out and make some salesman's day!
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Old 04-11-2008, 01:29 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Denbear
... I'm going to have to buy a vehicle for towing because my '03 Audi Allroad 2.7 won't work. Turbos + towing = trouble. But an Allroad w/ the 4.2 V8 would match up really nicely, I think...
hi denbear and welcome to the forums...

audi driver here 25+ years.

my daily ride is a c5 platform avant with the 4.2 v8, although it has a little more juice than the a/r version.

the a/r version of the 4.2 has ~300 hp/300 ft/lbs torque, which is plenty for towing...

while the v6 turbo is ~250 hp....

BUT for towing the 2.7t is actually a better choice for several reasons.

-turbos are GREAT for adding power, and this model can be chipped, exhaust modified, or a larger turbo added easily
-while the 4.2 has virtually NO power enhancement options, for less than 6-7k$...
-the 2.7t has better gearing and a final drive ratio better suited for towing
-a 6 speed manual was available ONLY with the 2.7t engine and is a better tranny for towing
-the 5 speed tiptronic z/f tranny (used with the 4.2) is a WEAK LINK for towing, (or regular driving with the 4.2)
-there is NO ROOM to add extra cooling capacity anywhere under the hood, no room for extra tranny cooling either.
-there are NO 4.2 replacement engines available for this model...

so IF the engine gets toasted, the only option is a rebuild, there are NO CRATE 4.2 replacement options.

now for the limitations with towing for ANY c5 audi wagon model...

-wheel base is 109 inches, very very short.
-the wagon (with any drivetrain) is rated for 3300 lbs max towing.
-the wagon payload (people, fuel, cargo and hitch/tongue wt) is 1200 lbs...
-the oem audi receiver is CLASS 2, is rated to 33-3500 lbs and 300 lbs of tongue...
-which is WAY UNDER the 500-600 lbs tongue mass for the overlander...
-the oem audi receiver has been DISCONTiNUED by audi, so FINDING one is virtually impossible.
-the unibody attachement areas for the wimpy d/cd audi reciever are buried under the rear bumper/facia and require a LOT of effort to access...
-there IS NO ROOM for a beefier modified receiver in that area.
-access to and wiring for the the brake/lights towing connecter is terrible.

-a custom fabricated receiver could be added UNDER the wagon, but the gas tank, exhaust, suspension and quattro differentials are ALL in the way...

there is a SIGNIFICANT about of aluminum used in the audi body/shell/platform...

which CANNOT be welded to, or simply bolted to for hitch/receiver attachment...

-this model does have an adjustable air ride suspension, that would need to be UP all the time for an underbelly/receiver

the mid 70s overlanders have a dry weight of 4500 lbs and a tongue wt of 500-600lbs...

so with water, gear, and food the trailer will weigh nearly DOUBLE the towing capacity for these wagons.

anyone suggesting the allroad is a reasonable, safe tow vehicle for THAT trailer is totally WACKED OUT!

the comparisons to other euro models (for towing) is also totally useless, irrelevant and misleading.

an a/r CAN be used for towing SMALL trailers or boats but 3000 lbs is really the LIMIT and finding a receiver now is almost impossible.

IF you wanna tow with a vw/audi platform get a t-rex/q7/cayenne, any of these can JUST handle the overlander...

although the oem receiver for the vw/audi/porsche suv is NOT a huge chunk of steel, and they DO NOT support using w/d hitches.

i've posted pictures of the receiver and it's attachment (for the t-rex/q7) in other threads...

but don't waste time or money or endanger the trailer, wagon or PEOPLE trying to make the allroad work.

cheers
2air'
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Old 04-11-2008, 03:05 PM   #8
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Thanks for the feedback, guys. Bless you 2air' for that total-insight-package. You da Man! I love this Allroad, & would've happily sold mine & bought a 4.2 if it would've been a suitable match. Ohh well. Anyone curious about what an Allroad is ... go to Youtube.com , enter Audi Allroad, select Audi Allroad Quattro (promotional).
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Old 04-11-2008, 03:26 PM   #9
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Den,

I tow my 1975 Ambassador with a 1/2 ton Chevy Silverado crew cab and 4.8 litre V8. I have had little trouble pulling it fully loaded (Minus water tank), and think you would be fine with something similar.

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Old 04-11-2008, 05:56 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Denbear
... I love this Allroad, & would've happily sold mine & bought a 4.2 if it would've been a suitable match...
yep d'bear...

the a/r is close to the perfect swiss army driving tool...

for EVERYTHING but towing a 5,000+ lb, 27 foot trailer.

and the avants DO look great in front of 'streams...

cheers
2air'
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Old 04-11-2008, 05:57 PM   #11
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Towing with an Audi...
Made me recall this thread.
which included this picture. I'm not an Audi-phile and have no idea of the relationship between this and an Allroad. Maybe it's different.
http://i20.photobucket.com/albums/b2...rstream/17.jpg
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Old 04-11-2008, 07:41 PM   #12
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ok, one mistake in my first post...

the 4.2 motor as used in the a/r is still available (as a replacement) but in very limited quanities and at the current exchange rate is $$$$

Quote:
Originally Posted by RedSHED
relationship between this and an Allroad. Maybe it's different...
yeah red' i considered linking that thread too...

it is somewhat different, that was really a class ONE receiver added to the a4 avant...

it bolts on (poorly) and with a 2000/200 lb limit IS beer tab strong...

below are the 2 versions of an a/r receiver, the euro model (pic 1) has the ball integrated...

the usa model doesn't (2nd photo)

also attached is the 17 PAGE installation guide for those that are interested, it is a LARGE FILE...

the euro bumper doesn't have impact shocks like the usa certified bumper, so there are 2-3 steps different...

but basically the tail lights, amp/cd changer, air compressor, rear bumper, all the facia and about 30 other bits must be removed...

it is a very involved installation, but very integrated once finished....

while the usa spec'd version is no longer available

the euro version can be 'gray market' acquired for 1200-1400 $, PLUS shipping and import fees...

these receivers were/are rated at 3300lbs with a 300 lb tongue, although in europe the rating is a bit higher.

there is NO place for typical w/d or antisway 'accessories' because that isn't the intended use...

see the diagram of the finished product and a photo too!

cheers
2air'

hey d'bear,

don't let us scare ya off, questions like this are important and finding a safe tow vehicle is too!
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Old 04-11-2008, 08:43 PM   #13
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Maybe you should do one of those things where you take the Audi body and bolt it to a pickup truck frame or something.

Looks like an Audi,
smells like an Audi,
Drives like a barn.
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Old 04-11-2008, 09:14 PM   #14
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I'm very pleased to found this forum, truly a wealth of insight & experience for an AS novice. Most appreciative of a kind nudge in the right direction. Guess I'll likely be buying a Tundra.
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