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Old 11-15-2014, 08:23 PM   #1
Tom T
 
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Input on Porsche Cayenne as TV (& 928??)

OK - not finding any Cayenne as TV specific topic on here after several searches - & not wanting to further hijack the Tow-riggers (Treg) topic - I'll start one here specifically for the Porsche Cayenne, that having filtered to the top of my WTB list for our TV & "3rd car".

Others with Cayenne questions are welcomed to post them here too, so there is an actual topic under TVs for this subject.

Note that I have read Andy T's articles on smaller TVs & will ultimately consult with him - perhaps even driving from SoCal to Ontario, CAN to get the hitch mods & set-up for safer WD/Anti-Sway towing, if I can't get it done locally with his input long distance. BTW - the Cayenne was mentioned by him as his top pick TV - price being no object, which it now is not for an older model year.

I was initially interested in the 1985-89 Porsche 928 S/S4 as a more fun dual purpose vehicle, so comments on that would be welcomed here too.

Yes Virgina, the 928 was rated to tow (private not commercial) by the German TUV (their DOT) at up to 4144 lbs under their test similar to the current US-DOT's SAE standards, with 165# HW on one of their goofy phallic arching up hitches, & they were used a lot in EuroLand & the UK for such duties. Also several folks here in the USA/CAN have outfitted them with custom made 2" receivers accessed behind the Lic plate to tow large rigs (TTs, Boats, Racer Trailers, etc.), & adding a welded tube extension following the Porsche factory hitches' welded bar forward link & bolted to the unibody structure forward of the rear axle where the factory hitch link bolts on, as a WD transfer.

Think of it as a 2+2 Corvette hatchback, with low-low CG, 2 or 4 piston Brembo disc brakes, 5.0L V8 32V 295 or 315 HP with 307 or 317 ft# TQ (former numbers are `85-86 S & latter are `87-89 S4 & 86.5 got the 4 piston Brembos from SN...1000+), with 50:50 wt dist. due to a front-mid-engine - rear transaxle layout, all came with HD AT cooler & HD radiator for the factory's 155-175 mph max rating, 100"+/- WB & short rear overhang, excellent suspension with a steering rear axle!!

A nice 928 S/S4 with an automatic - which most were - can be had with <70-80k mi in MYs `85-89 for $8,000 to mid-teens to $20,000+/- - & the 928's up to 1989 MY qualify for classic car insurance, so I can insure one for about $215 a year for 5,000 mi/yr (we currently only put <6k on our 2 DDs per year). So other than Porsche parts & repair prices & some parts scarcity for any older classic car - this seemed like a perfect car that could double as a amply powered/braked TV for our 3-8 vintage trailer outing a year, if not for longer cross country trips, & would be a very comfortable driver with or without the TT.

OK, nuff said - it lost out due to the wife wanting yet another car with a full-on back seat to seat 5 "...for the grandkid(s)!" ...notwithstanding that they're across the country in NC, but whatever - we all know how that goes with the wife!

So on to the Cayenne question - for TT background, there are some key TT numbers & info relative to TV choice & set-up further below, & here's the link for our restored 1960 Avion T20 "vintage kin" (actually a 1961 model year TT & #2 off the factory floor)....

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f417...ers-99135.html

Our daily drivers (DD) are not adequate TV's for this TT -

1.) a 1985 BMW 325e Coupe with the 2.7L 121 HP "eta" fuel efficient motor (same as the `80's 528e) - not the later more powerful 325i's 161 HP - & neither is enough oompf for my liking to tow a 20' 3000# trailer. But it gets mid-30's mpg on the freeway & high teens to mid-20's around town - depending on how "heavy" your right foot is & how bad traffic & lights are!

2.) a now restored/refurb'ed 1988 "Westfalia" VW Vanagon Camper GL with the waterboxer 2.1L flat-4 & automatic - enough said, a no go TV without a complete makeover! Oddly, even though a 4 cyl - it's gas milage is a low 14-16 city & 18-20 hwy - so not far off a V8 SUV!!

3.) a 1973 Porsche 914-2.0 "914-S" currently awaiting my returned attention to its restoration/repairs, also an aircooled flat 4 & not a TV!

Here is my thought process on this "new for us" TV question....

We've been members under the account which I set up for my wife at the above link since Feb. 2012, owners since July 2012 & rent TVs since then - so far 2013 V6 Eco F150, 2013 Nissan Pathfinders 4.0L V6 (didn't like it & reliability sucks), 2014 Dodge Ram 2500 V8s (5.7 & 6.3) - & wouldn't/can't buy/use any of them due to our narrow driveway & obstacles, narrow streets & since my wife will NOT drive any of the big trucks -
- so please pass on the "you need a pick-em-up-truck" posts!!

We passed on the classic 1960's car route, since it would cost as much as a new Cayenne or similar to get one in good enough restored driver condition & set-up for safe towing on modern freeways - even though a bitchen 1960-61 Olds 88 wagon was shown in that 1960 Avion sales brochure for our T20 posted at post #5 at the link above (it may have even been our T20 used for the ad). But we had one as a family car in which I learned to drive, & it was heavy, not a very powerful V8 with weak drum brakes, & all the electrical & vacuum powered options were a royal PITA to keep running even in the mid-to-late 1960's when we had it!!!!
... so no classic car/pick-up for us!

Ergo, what fits our needs best is a Mid-sized SUV (or wagon) with a powerful V8, great suspension & ride, strong brakes & the dreaded rear seat for 3 & bigger stowage area (relative to my 928 choice) is the direction we'll probably go. Yes - I have looked into the V8 powered Ford Explorer, Dodge Durango, Chevy/GM Trailblazer & Nissan Pathfinder options - which all have some reliability, gas mileage & quality/set-up concerns for me/us; while the Toyota/Lexus V8 Gland Bruiser & 4Runner have great quality, but ride more like the trucks on which they're based & their prices are higher than a comparable 2003-10 Cayenne with half or 1/3 the miles on the latter!

Yes, I did look at the VW Toureg & Audi Q7 "twins," but they have smaller & less powerful V8's, softer suspensions, the VW's have more quality & reliability issues, & the Q7 is heavier & longer for the 3rd row we don't need. Their V6 TDIs came out earlier - & the V10 TDI is a TQ monster - but again the costs & complexity vs. a plain ole' normally aspirated V8 is not worth it to me. Also the V6 versions of the "3 sisters" is likewise capable of towing the 7700#, but IMHO will have to work a lot harder than a V8 & be more stressed - leading to more repairs, all for just a small 2-3 mpg improvement. Plus the Cayenne S & other V8s are far more numerous & not much more cost than the V6.

And the mechanics & Cayenne S/GTS owners with whom I spoken have said that they are pretty bulletproof motors capable of 200-250k miles (many 928's I know with similar V8s have gone 200-300k+) - so long as they are properly & timely maintained, and they critical factory recco'ed upgrades were done - including the plastic coolant pipe upgrade/replacement for metal ones (also a VW/Audi V8 issue), the ignition coils' upgrades, & front upper bushings/ball joints & the kardan shaft/drive shaft & bearings replaced when needed (usually 40k+ mi) & a few others on some MYs. Owners who skimped on the Porsche priced maintenance will have problems, as will those who thrashed them without the proper care afterwards.

And yes, a Diesel of one of these would have better fuel mileage & more TQ, but at the cost of more complexity, higher maintenance costs & much higher purchase price. I can buy a lot of premium gas over the next decade for the $10k-$20k-$40k+ more that the diesels of any of those will cost over an early Cayenne S with the V8

Now that older Cayennes have followed the dreaded devaluation curve for 5-10 or so years now, so they're actually quite affordable relative to their competitors, plus they're more likely to be well maintained, babied & lower mileage than the others. So now I'm seeing values at <70-80k well cared for examples for the 2003-06 Series 1 Cayenne S in the $10-20k +/- range, & high-teens to $30k +/- for the 2008-10 Series 2 (or Series 1.5) models, but will probably continue to depreciate further in ensuing years (another 928 benefit was that they've bottomed out & will rise as collectables).

As I said, comparable Toyotas ar a bit more for 2x - 4x the miles, & the Tregs are only slightly less, but have the smaller & less powerful V8s, smaller brakes & softer suspensions - & NO, Cayennes are not simply a rebadged Treg - there are a ton of driveability improvements alone!

So what are we going to tow....

The 1960 (`61 MY) Avion T20's factory stated weights were:
2850# TW &
285# HW
- not sure if those were fully dry, with or without dry camping options.

Some resto changes made by the PO which would affect those wts. are:

1.) 2x 20# LP tanks (steel) replaced by 2x 30# (steel) at A-frame

2.) Battery box & 2x heavy old school "tractor duty" 6V lead acid batteries in series for 12v at A-frame/front wall outside removed, & replaced with 1x 12v Optima battery under dinette about 5' aft of originals.

3.) 20 gal Alum pressure tank & air pumps system & copper lines at cabinet below front window, replaced with 27+/- gal poly water tank & electric pump with PEX lines at same location.

4.) 20+/- gal Blackwater tank upsized to 25+/- gal @ rear bath.

5.) The resto removed the Princess 4-burner stove/oven & replaced with 2-burner SS RV cooktop (we may backdate to the stove), added a 1.2 CF microwave, & updated the original Norcold fridge with a current one, ditto with the 6-gal WH, wall furnace removed & cabinet door replaced (I'll add an Olympian Wave6 & shorten the door), & we added a 15" LCD TV/DVD. So I'm assuming this is a net zero on wt., since most of the copper pipes were replaced with PEX & plastic drain pipes.

Plus my additions:

6.) Tekonsha RF Controller box on a 12"x15"x3/32" steel plate mount + SS bolts.

7.) Hensley Cub hitch with the tensioner jacks (not chains) - which IIRC weighed about 76# & easy enough for me at 62 to lift & mount by myself.

8.) A rear 4" Sq RV Bumper Mounted receiver & folding aluminum 24" x 60" cargo rack modified to carry the TT spare tire under + 2 bikes or gear on top, which I've weighed & added all up to be max 176# (including the modified Curt 2" bolt on receiver with a 2nd higher receiver for better clearance) - so call it 200# at most if some other stuff loaded on rack.

While we've not yet put it on the scales to get the tongue & axle wts., I've had no problem with getting the Hensley semi-dialed in for towing, although it needs some fine tuning to resolve some bounce on washboard freeway sections, especially with the very long 3/4T Ram 2500 Crew Cab Full Bed trucks the last 2 rentals this year.

Mathematically I'd estimated that the TW is probably now in the 3000-3500# range wet & loaded, with +/- 350# HW - which is WD. The Cayenne is rated for 7719# TW & 770# HW non-WD'ed (the Cay Series 3 2011-13 may be downrated to 619# on the latter) - so we should be fine there with the Andy T./CanAm recco'd receiver reinforcements & dial-in.

We had no problem with this set-up on the 2013 4.0L V6 Nissan Pathfinders - which actually rode far better than the hard sprung & hi-lifted V8 Ram 2500s - but the V6 had to work hard on some grades, so I prefer the V8s with some power reserve & less cabin noise for us.

So if we get a Cayenne S & do the hitch mods & then weights & dial-in the Hensley Cub, then we should be okay .... unless another member with actual Cayenne towing experience has some other cautions &/or warnings/problems??

I'm also curious as to:

A.) What type of gas mileage Cayenne S V8 owners got both towing & "bare" city/street & highway?

B.) If there were any other preventative &/or extra wear related maintenance items &/or issues encountered because of the towing?

C.) Any difficulties finding competent service for them in the non-large-urban areas which typically have a bunch of Porsche dealerships & independents to work on them?
...& if you've found that in those situations if a competent VW &/or Audi shop could handle things in a pinch?

Thanx in Advance for any input.

Cheers!
Tom

PS - I'll add a pic of the T20 hitched to the Pathfinder when I can find that pic, since it's closer size-wise to the Cayenne, than the F150 & ram 2500. In the meantime here's a pic of the 1960 brochure T20, of the Hensley Cub + Tekonsha RF (note that I later had to put that taller mounting plate for the RF box, than the one shown, in order to have clearance for the side strut-bar's tensioning nut device - the later Pathfinder as hitched pix will show it), & the silver twinkie in our driveway to see why a full size pick-up/SUV is too big.
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Tom T (janabanana48's other half )
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Old 11-16-2014, 07:00 PM   #2
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Ok, found `em! Here are some pix of the A-frame with the Cub & taller mounting plate for the Tekonsha RF box (to clear the Cub's side strut tightening arm/handle), and as hitched to a 2013 Pathfinder & 2014 Dodge 2500.
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Tom T (janabanana48's other half )
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1960 Avion T20, #2 made, Hensley Cub, TV tbd- looking for 08-14 Cayenne S
1988 VW Vanagon Westfalia CamperGL (Orig Owner)
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Old 11-16-2014, 07:10 PM   #3
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1978-95 Porsche 928 - 4144# TW rating (braked)

Oh, & for the fun of it, here is an `89 928S4 that we looked at back in 2012 as a possible 3rd car which was TV capable - IIRC 317 HP & 321 ft/lb TQ 32V V8 & 4spd Auto rear transaxle for that year.

I still need to find the pix of 928s towing from Europe & the UK, & reload them on my laptop before I can post here (the HDD died & I'm still reloading & setting up the replacement).
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Tom T (janabanana48's other half )
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1960 Avion T20, #2 made, Hensley Cub, TV tbd- looking for 08-14 Cayenne S
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Old 11-17-2014, 09:10 AM   #4
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I always wanted a 928 and it did inspire my AMC Pacer redo. See avatar.

Also here is an interesting pic....



Also check out the Airstream Promo vid on You Tube. They use a couple Cayennes to show how well the Airstream's handle.

Also, as you wrote, the most knowledgeable when it comes to these vehicles towing are the folks at Can Am.
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Old 11-17-2014, 09:30 AM   #5
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Having been around Porsches and owned them for over 25 years, I say you would be a brave guy financially to tow with a 928. The cost of repairs and maintenance on that car can be a substantial investment.
But if money is flowing like water...
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Old 11-17-2014, 09:39 AM   #6
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Are you looking for us to analyze this more than you have?

BTW - I had a 2006 Pathfinder until recently. I found it to be a fine, reliable TV, and my trailer is taller/wider/heavier than your Avion. You can find some with a 5.6L V8, but they're rare.
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Old 11-17-2014, 11:36 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ericpeltier View Post
Are you looking for us to analyze this more than you have?

BTW - I had a 2006 Pathfinder until recently. I found it to be a fine, reliable TV, and my trailer is taller/wider/heavier than your Avion. You can find some with a 5.6L V8, but they're rare.
I'm looking for members on here with real world Cayenne towing experience for input, cautions, issues, horror stories, etc. As you note, I've

Our Avion is 7'-9" wide at the body, so wider than most 1960's AS in the sub-22' range from what I know, & similar to the later wider AS.

My thought on the 928 was more "occasional towing" in Central & SoCal & maybe one to ABQ NM for 2-4 vintage trailer events a year - so it's just a "wouldn't it be cool if" dream car/TV at this point.

While the Cayenne S definitely makes more sense for more & longer towing trips, esp. if we decide to go XC to our daughter's family in Asheville NC for longer visits post-retirement.

I was fine with the 2013 Pathfinder as our rental TV & preferred it over the bigger truck rentals by far. But I was nonplussed by the newer 2013 Pathfinder's cockpit setup, whining 4.0L V6 with the CVT (I think) auto on steeper grades - & V8's are hard to find, & the later 20-teens have more QC & reliability problems than yours was. I have no experience with the newer 2014> Pathfinder, which is now a lower slung unibody with no V8 option & a lowered 3500-5000# rating depending on the tow option (the Infinity twin is only 3500 max for some reason).

The Toyota 4Runner V8's are slightly easier to find, but both they & Pathfinder are taller & ride like trucks, so harder to "sell" the wife on driving them, which is half the purpose - at least in the 3rd car mode. She's still too apprehensive about towing, but that's another reason for the easier & safer Hensley Cub if she does want to try towing.
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Old 11-17-2014, 11:47 AM   #8
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it's the TV in the demo

Airstream Performance - YouTube

Power and suspension is obviously there.
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Old 11-17-2014, 12:00 PM   #9
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I would expand the search to the six cylinder models, given the low trailer weight. Better as daily drivers, sufficient power for that trailer, easier to work on and cheaper to maintain. You are coming from a 325 and a Westfalia, so going to a V8 with all the cost and maintenance issues seems like a big step. And if you add in the six cylinder options, there are lots more to select from.

Since you have a 325, why not add an X5 to your search? E53, updated version built from 2004-2006, with an inline six is rated to tow 6000 lbs, and mine did just fine with 4000-5000 lbs. If you get the OE hitch kit (can be hard to find now) you don't need any additional bracing. withidl who posts on here has the V8 in his E53, but he is towing a 31 IIRC. Worth reading his posts.

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Old 11-17-2014, 12:00 PM   #10
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Hmmmm....

That kinda looks like a 2" receiver with the rear plate cut around it?

I have watched those AS promo vids with the Cayenne (V6 I think).

I started on the 928 idea by accident when I saw a nice `86.5 928S being offered for $8000-8750 by an aircooled Porsche place in SoCal who took it in trade & didn't want to mess with watercooled. But I missed it & looked at some others like the one in my pic above, which was $16k & worth $12k due to some condition issues.

So they can be had for a reasonable price, but always have a 928 pro do a PPI on them, since the costs can kill you - just as with buying a "project" vintage AS or kin!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Road Ruler View Post
I always wanted a 928 and it did inspire my AMC Pacer redo. See avatar.

Also here is an interesting pic....



Also check out the Airstream Promo vid on You Tube. They use a couple Cayennes to show how well the Airstream's handle.

Also, as you wrote, the most knowledgeable when it comes to these vehicles towing are the folks at Can Am.
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Old 11-17-2014, 12:18 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom_T View Post
I have no experience with the newer 2014> Pathfinder, which is now a lower slung unibody with no V8 option & a lowered 3500-5000# rating depending on the tow option (the Infinity twin is only 3500 max for some reason).
We are towing a 23' an Infiniti G35 (Can Am set up). Works good.

The FX has much better rear end gearing but the heavier, larger dia tires take away some of the advantage. The FX is nice with the adjustable suspension. Keep it low and the handling with trailer in tow should be real nice.

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Old 11-17-2014, 12:20 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ALANSD View Post
Having been around Porsches and owned them for over 25 years, I say you would be a brave guy financially to tow with a 928. The cost of repairs and maintenance on that car can be a substantial investment.
But if money is flowing like water...
Alan - cool blog you've got there & saw your post about camping in Asheville NC! Our daughter & son-in-law actually moved to the Asheville area in 2011 & bought a house in Candler last year, plus my wife has 2 brothers in Kennesaw GA, so we get back to your neck at least once a year now. Maybe in the Avion at some point post-retirement & then we could do Falluminum or some vintage rallies back in the Smokies.

I'm a long term Porsche owner of almost 40 years & I still have my first `73 914-2.0 since 12/75, & it wasn't bad if not going to dealers trying to sell you extra work/parts/etc., but not in the 928 maint. cost league for sure.

The Porsche, Audi, MBZ, BMW & even VW dealers try to over sell + overcharge for more work than actually needed. For 928s & the upper end MBZs & Bimmers the dealerships were notorious for what a Service Dept. Mgr. at a local Porsche+Audi dealership whom I knew well personally called "up-selling"!

My guy Hans is an independent from Austria & factory trained on all of the above, & has taken care of my German cars since 1975 & been in business for 40+, so I'm good there & he'll take care of the Cayenne S if/when added to the "fleet."

That said - had I gone the 928 TV route, I would've: 1 - not overpaid to buy, 2 - had a thorough PPI done, 3 - had the timing belt/tensioners/water pump, ball joints/bushings, torque tube/seals & anything else needed & not done by the PO at the start as part of the acquisition cost total (ests. $2-5k). Then from there 3-5000 mi/yr or less would've been light use, even if maybe 1/2 or so was in towing duty.

So not swimming in dough, but lighter use & a great independent shop would've saved me from too much expense - so long as all those fancy electrical options were healthy!
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Old 11-17-2014, 12:43 PM   #13
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Very nice TT and good to see a VPP type hitch on it. While your long and quite interesting post on a possible TV is in a particular direction, I'd like to cover some concerns about the TT that can affect not only choice of TV, but potential difficulties in achieving best road performance. The following is offered for your reading and further research:

TW "should" be from 10-15% and I'd like to see that at 12-13%, or, 455-lbs on a 3500-lb TT. Let me recommend a SHERLINE TW gauge for you to use at home. Sean Woodruff at PRO PRIDE ships them out pronto. The rule of thumb is that a WDH once adjusted will leave 75-80% of TW on the TV, or, say 365#. But making guesses is not worth much. The recommended gauge (while not perfect) is the type tool -- such as a calibrated tire air pressure gauge or quality torque wrench -- that I would not be without.

Sherline TW Gauge

Trying to make decisions over the phone or online without good numbers is phantom-chasing. One may wind up doing the thing several times. Should be avoided.

Next time you take the TT out stop by a CAT SCALE and get a full set of readings. The TV isn't so important but for a cross check of weights. Were I on the phone with Andrew_T I'd like to be able to state a scale cross-checked set of weights (axle and tongue) as well as from a TW scale (where the TT is loaded with full propane, fresh water and permanent supplies aboard, one; and even a second set when fully loaded for a week of camping, two.) Be thorough. Use sand bags if nothing else.

Ron Gratz Weight Scale Chart

Individual tire readings are the sine qua non of the thing. I can tell if a pallet on a flatbed tractor-trailer load is off a few inches left or right at the steering wheel. If one can reload the TT to achieve more equal L-R tire loading then it is fully advantageous to do so. It might also show A-frame problems as age is a concern no matter what. Again, cross-checks to eliminate problems in set-up. Done in advance of the "dream TV" this lessens the feeling of heartbreak making that thing come together.

BRIDGESTONE How To Weigh An RV .pdf

As you are also interested in "performance" vehicles I'd also take the time to look at the brakes & suspension on the T20. Leaf-sprung is not at all in the same class as independent. One might argue that with this short length and light weight it is less of a concern. I'd agree that wind loads and road irregularities are more easily handled, but I've seen small trailed air compressors take DRW pickups off the road. I would want to eliminate or delay (with reduced pressure) the forces measured at the TV rear axle.

I'll leave the subject of what brand and spec of torsion axle to others more knowledgeable than me (on my list for my TT), but it is also the best time to upgrade to both disc brakes and wheels/tires of a non-ST spec (probably a MICHELIN; see threads on same) where tire loads are not ever more than 80% of rated capacity (15% to cut it short).

DIRECLINK Anti-Lock Brake Module

And, drum or disc, the DIRECLINK Aculink can up performance. Consult with this company on an overall strategy.

As your proposed TVs are unlikely to have integrated TT brake control/antisway, then:

DIRECLINK Brake Controller

DIRECLINK Sway Control


If electric drum brakes are retained I'd be inclined to "up" the wire gauge to the brakes. Less work for the TV makes for a better TT in a manner of speaking.

Independent Brake Wire Upgrade

Obviously, zero brake drag and perfect bearing pre-set are needed.


If leaf sprung live axles are retained then the addition of shock absorbers if not so equipped is recommended. And a first rate alignment at a big truck/trailer service shop (ask a local RV dealer to whom they send out big motorhomes for alignments).

Adding Shock Absorbers

On my Silver Streak is already present as OEM equipment the type of frame stiffening addition shown below. On a near sixty-year-old TT this would be a priority for me as I believe the entire suspension should be removed, taken apart and once worn parts are replaced, to be re-installed with the following (MOR/ryde carries a kit):

TT Frame Stiffening

Reinforcing the leaf spring mounts (gusseting) would also be on my list. A certified welder should be located. The side-side movement of a leaf sprung suspension is easily noticed on video, AND the forces at the tires only aggravate this in turns and especially in backing.


Best performance from a combination rig means more than just the "right" TV, it is also dependent on best TT road performance. You have the VPP hitch, so attend the other details ahead of time. I see our older TT's as being sort of irreplaceable. There are few, if any, comparable replacements available.

A custom hitch receiver is obviously in your future, so

The long and short of this is to take the concerns about the TT out of the equation, to take them off the decision tree in diagnosing road performance problems (which are also WD concerns in a numbers-driven set-up).

Good luck

.
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Old 11-17-2014, 12:48 PM   #14
Tom T
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcl View Post
I would expand the search to the six cylinder models, given the low trailer weight. Better as daily drivers, sufficient power for that trailer, easier to work on and cheaper to maintain. You are coming from a 325 and a Westfalia, so going to a V8 with all the cost and maintenance issues seems like a big step. And if you add in the six cylinder options, there are lots more to select from.

Since you have a 325, why not add an X5 to your search? E53, updated version built from 2004-2006, with an inline six is rated to tow 6000 lbs, and mine did just fine with 4000-5000 lbs. If you get the OE hitch kit (can be hard to find now) you don't need any additional bracing. withidl who posts on here has the V8 in his E53, but he is towing a 31 IIRC. Worth reading his posts.

Jeff
Hi Jeff,

I've tried towing with both 6 & 8 in our rentals, so I see the difference in the V8s working less hard, especially on grades, & the mpg while towing is 13-17 vs 14-16 from my own use calcs - & the 5.7L Dodge 2500 seemed to get 17 whether our trailer was behind it or not.

The smaller lighter Cayenne S V8 is 18-22 unhitched hwy - a bit better than our 4-banger Westy! So I'm not concerned so much there, as having the power reserve a V8 offers - without the added complexity of a turbo gas 6 or diesel.

There are actually far more V8 Cayennes out there than V6, the V6s tend not to have the factory tow option & not all "S" V8s do either (a $2500-5000+ addition if dealer added after the fact due to other chip, gearing, etc. changes), the V6 gas mileage is only 2-3 mpg better city/hwy, V8 vs. V6 purchase is maybe 8-10% more from what I see & maintenance costs are about the same (so long as the key coolant pipe & other fixes were done on the 03-06 S - 08-10 S were changed by the factory, but IIRC VW kept plastic coolant pipes in the Tregs).

As for cost being a big step from the current 85 325e & 88 Westy - well now that they're both officially classics at 25+ years old (almost 30 & 27 respectively) - finding parts is a hunt & priced accordingly. New window & door seals for our recent Westy resto/repaint ran $2000+!! Fortunately growing popularity & collectability of the older VW camping vans in good-great restored condition has pushed up, & ours is probalby worth all that went into it + more at maybe $35-50,000+ (I still need to get an appraisal after a finish up a few more things).

So a 5-11 year old Cayenne won't be a huge change for use, once past the initial purchase. However, I cannot get it insured as a classic for $215 a year, like the pre-90 (78-89) 928s were able to do!

I had looked at the X5, but felt the Cayenne handles better with less QC issues than the early X5 had. I agree that the straight 6 BMW is an excellent engine, but again want the reserve. X5 V8s are also harder to find than the 6s - especially with the tow option on any of them 6 or 8. I like the X5 & am in both Porsche & BMW owner clubs, so it's not a Porschephile thing on my part.

I've heard that even the early OE hitch for the X5 should have extra bracing added forward to the rear axle area for the WD use, according to CanAm. Apparently they reccommend that even on some pick-ups, & I can see where the U-Haul bolt on hitch receiver for the 2013 F150 we used first time to bring our T20 home from ABQ NM would need a bracing/transfer bar forward to the frame for WD (I had the T20 on the ball & the F150 had sway control built into it's towing function).

Now I just need to AS & kin & other trailers' towing stories & helpful hints on Cayennes to fine tune what to look for, & to give a good feeling for the choice.
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