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Old 08-14-2003, 09:24 PM   #15
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Land Rovers and hitches.

67 Caravel,

We have a '67 Globetrotter and we use an equalizing hitch. The reason LR says no to this kind of hitch is the load leveling air springs which is an option on the Discovery. Our dealer says there is no way to lock it in place other than fully extended 4X4'ing. We have the middle Disco, model SE, and switched from the 18 inch wheels to 16. (Just because there is more choices)
We had a Range Rover '99 4 liter SE model before. We towed it behind our S.O.B. motorhome. You have a button to push to lock the suspension in place. This also goes for using a load leveling hitch. Disco has coils all the way around, so no probllem.
We just towed our Globetrotter to Southern Colorado with the EqualizeHitch brand equalizer hitch with 600 lb bars. Flawless towing at 65 and getting 12.5-13.9 mpg
You will find with a equalizing hitch you have much less porpoising going over bumps.
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Old 08-15-2003, 06:42 AM   #16
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Very helpful. We'll get this thread back on track.

I will discuss the towing topic with the VW factory folks and, so it seems, the A/S factory. Here's why...

The A/S brochure that the dealer gave me and referred to shows the following specs for the 22' CCD:

Hitch Weight: #480
GVWR: #5,300
UVW: #4000


---
The Spec Sheet that I just downloaded (pdf) from the A/S site shows the following:

Hitch Weight: #620
GVWR: #5,600
UVW: #4,210
Axle System: Single
(I included this since it seems to put into question other spec details. Clearly this is not a single axle trailer...)


---
Pics of the Touareg show it towing a 25' A/S...

I've determined that my A/S dealer does not give accurate info, the factory brochures contradict one another, that good marketing might be at play, and the real experts are the users of the products.

I guess I should ask, is there a Touareg owner out there towing a 22' who has experience to share?
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Old 08-15-2003, 06:59 AM   #17
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I've found that the brouchures are usually the correct numbers. The Safari 6-Sleeper is another great example where the web does not fully sync or match the brochure.

So, what I did was call Airstream. They sent me the specs on the 2004. Now I am not saying that the specs on the web are wrong compared to the 2003 brouchure since they could have made changes and the 2004 specs are not out in a brouchure. Keep in mind I can tell of one change and that is the belly pan (not that that could account for all that extra weight though, but you see where I am going with this).

At any rate, call Airstream and they can email you the specs and options......


As for the VW, I agree it's a good tow vehicle, but so is my full size '96 Impala SS. The Bambi makes the rear end (with good cargo coils) sag until the bars are in place, then it goes back to a stock stance.

Even with airbags or what VW has placed into the rear suspention, you still need to consider the fact of the weights on the tires. I am positive that if I installed airbags in the rear springs of my car, I could move the trailer without the weight bars, however, the bars as an indirect benefit add some stability to the rig. I know cause we've been towing with station wagons cars and trucks that could all handle the hitch weights and I will tell you that all, even the 2000 Silverado 3/4 ton behaves better with the tongue weights spread across all axles.

No slam on VW cause those pesky Germans (and I am one of those Germans) built and engineer some great suff....however, this is their first attempt at building a real tow vehicle. I would not take what the factory or the dealer says as law in regards to what you need to tow a 5300lb trailer. I think they have most of it and you can get the rest of the feedback here.

As I practice what I preach, my vote is weight bars, sway control and a decent brake controller.

Now from the orig post, I can't see where VW is gonna be able to place a hitch on the VW with the fancy exhaust system it has.

Eric
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Old 08-15-2003, 07:10 AM   #18
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BTW, the Tahoes and Suburbans that have lower tow ratings have the smaller engines. Only the Suburban can get the larger V8s.

What you get with the trucks (keeping in mind that I very much like the VW too) is a real full frame and not unibody. Second, the trucks are near the same heights as the campers. Wind resistance is diminished, and fewer bugs hit the trailer. Safety, I would think might be better in the truck cause of it's size and weight. Also, I am sure there are many other reasons, but the last one that comes to mind is the fact that GM (Ford and Dodge) have individually over 40 years of truck experiance each. Most have heavy duty commerical truck divisions. So you have access to the vast exp of that as well incorporated into your trucks.....

As someone said this is VWs first run, but I will say from Chevy exp, not as well built as the VW. Germans cars have a bit more attention to detail.

The VWs cost is almost the same as the GM truckline depending on what options you choose. The thing to consider though is overall operating costs. Oil changes, service, etc. Now the VW might not have as many service needs until it gets older making it less, however, oil changes, brakes, etc will cost more. So the real operating costs might be close if you account for fewer more costly visits with VW as opposed to possilbe more frequent (and less expensive hopefully) visits to the GM dealer.

Just my .02... The final choice in the end is of course yours.

Eric
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Old 08-15-2003, 07:44 AM   #19
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& what about the "chic" factor...
The real reason is the poser power of trendy imports, no way will they ever match a full size US truck or SUV.

Hart
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Old 08-15-2003, 07:51 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally posted by Silvertwinkie
Also, I am sure there are many other reasons, but the last one that comes to mind is the fact that GM (Ford and Dodge) have individually over 40 years of truck experiance each. Most have heavy duty commerical truck divisions. So you have access to the vast exp of that as well incorporated into your trucks.....
Eric
IMHO, WHERE you're going to be towing is as or more important when choosing your tow vehicle than the vehicle's features themselves. Having had the extraordinary experience of having to swap out a water pump on a Ford 400 in a '77 F-250 in a side-of-the-road campground passing through Boontoolies Montana, I was able to walk into the local NAPA store and buy one off the shelf. Additionally had I needed it, there was a Ford dealer less than 30 miles away. There are even more GM dealers than Ford dealers in small town U.S.A.

Regardless of the quality of engineering, cars & trucks break. Even those that are regularly serviced experience breakdowns. Towing extracts a heavy toll on equipment. At least for the next couple of years, there won't even be many Volkswagen dealers who have much experience servicing the Touareg, much less independent shops. It's not a big deal if you're always within towing range of your selling dealership, but I can tell you from experience that waiting around for days for parts, and then having doubts about whether or not they'll be installed properly is NOT my idea of a good time!

I have had LandCruisers (which I think are one of the best around), and a veritible parade of other Toyota pickups (I have a rusted out '87 now that's been in the shop three days this week waiting for parts 'cause the local Toyota dealer 30 miles away had to order the transmission kick-down cable it needs), and other foreign sedans (my wife's commuter car is a '98 Civic), but I wouldn't even consider a Toyota, Volkswagen, or Land Rover as a tow car while living in the rural Midwest, or if I had plans to tow anything out of my own area.

Roger
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Old 08-15-2003, 08:05 AM   #21
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Roger,

Broke down in and near Las Vegas TWICE in my 1992 Dodge B350 Maxiwagon. How many do you think they made? Right - many thousands. A very common US workhorse type vehicle.
Las Vegas is a bustling metropolis of business and has a great economy.
Once my fuel injection went out, another time my EGR melted.
The fuel injector took 3 days to get.
The EGR assembly took 2 days to get.
total of 5 days hotel, and I don't even like gambling. Both are common parts, according to the 3 local Dodge dealers, but they don't stock them.
So, what i am saying is that the parts ( quality OEM parts, that is) availability for domestic cars is as spotty as it is for imports. Perhaps a waterpump for a GM is easier to get than that for a Touareg, but honestly, I have not had one fail in any of my 4 vehicles in a good 10 years.
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Old 08-15-2003, 08:39 AM   #22
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Originally posted by uwe
Roger,
So, what i am saying is that the parts ( quality OEM parts, that is) availability for domestic cars is as spotty as it is for imports. Perhaps a waterpump for a GM is easier to get than that for a Touareg, but honestly, I have not had one fail in any of my 4 vehicles in a good 10 years.
And we service our vehicles regularly, and hope that it never happens, but... you COULD find someone with Dodge experience to replace those parts, and they DID stock the common repair/replacement parts; brakes, brakelines, wheelbearings etc. There is no doubt that in a major metro area, you'll be able to find someone with HYUNDAI and probably even YUGO experience if you need it. Obviously there are some parts for any make/model of vehicle that you'll have to get from warehouse distribution or even the factory, but the parts that commonly fail are more readily available for domestics just because there are so many more of them around. What are the odds of finding someone in rural Nebraska, or North Dakota with Volkswagen experience? I think there are less than a half-dozen Volkswagen dealerships in the entire state of Iowa. It's a problem if you break down in between them.

Roger
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Old 08-15-2003, 08:40 AM   #23
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Owner of broken down vehicle in a parts store in Podunk, ND: "I need a water pump for a Toyota".

Counter man: "A toy what?"
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Old 08-15-2003, 08:47 AM   #24
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Roger,

My wife broke her back in an equestrian accident about 6 years ago (no neurological damage thankfully). The basis for selection of our current Land Rover Discovery was because of seats - specifically for support and comfort. Having lived within 20 miles of a LR dealer during the last 6 years (we've now owned three LR's), service was not a problem. In fact, LR service is legendary (they have come to my house and exchanged my car with a loaner for an oil change, for instance). But, alas, we are seeking something with a bit more dealer base so we can tow and travel for the reasons you mention. LR always falls near the bottom of service polls. But, they have a very high level of repeat buyers. I asked the local LR dealer how they would service me in a breakdown if I were, say, 200 miles away and they told they would come and get the car and leave me a loaner and return mine when fixed. That is service.

Just as I would never own a diesel for the aforementioned reasons (prior posts), safety and comfort are as important as anything. Sorry to say that most of the American vehicles continue to be cheap and uncomfortable. This coming from a person who worked for one of the Big 3 for years and loved the affiliation.

UWE is correct in his post. There are no guarantees. But it seems that the more you pay the better service you can expect... I promise you that Mercedes would not leave you stranded anywhere (do they make a tow vehicle?)... LOL.
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Old 08-15-2003, 08:55 AM   #25
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Roger,

UWE is correct in his post. There are no guarantees. But it seems that the more you pay the better service you can expect... I promise you that Mercedes would not leave you stranded anywhere (do they make a tow vehicle?)... LOL.
I agree, and if you're always towing within 200 miles of your dealer, then it's no big deal. It's when you take off for the summer for parts unknown that you're gambling.

Mercedes makes their G-wagens that have something like 5 or 6k of towing capacity. Good luck there! My wife has similar back AND hip issues. We bought an Excursion LTD, and I'm pleased to report that I have found the fit, finish, ride, comfort level and overall quality are every bit up to par with the the imports. Further, there is a difference between a tow car that is built and CAN tow X amount of lbs versus a vehicle that was built TO tow X amount of lbs.

And I'll grant you that LR is one of the best-built 4x4s. But they were built to be a 4x4, not a heavy-duty tow vehicle; particularly the RR & Discos. With the Defenders, you can get the Salisbury axles and some upgrades that make them more competent haulers. The lady who bought my Bambi drove her Disco out from Seattle, and I did the hitch setup for her. Nice ride.

<OK... .... soapbox off>

Roger
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Old 08-15-2003, 09:06 AM   #26
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Well, not to start the big three discussions, but as far as I know all the GM parts I've needed local or remotely for my my Chevys or Oldsmobeaters have always been readily availible. Of course, with anything, I'd expect in rural USA a bit harder time....anything can happen.

My exp has been however, buying a car/truck that has been around for many years (Silverado, Caprice, F-150, RAM, etc) you find that most parts are interchangeable withing the lines (cost savings to the manufac) the less hassle you will have getting the needed parts.

For example. I have a 1980 Old and 2 1996 Impala SSs. The cars basically are the same (minus a number of things). They have been selling B Body cars like this for over 20 years (stopping in 1996). Parts are everywhere since besides we civillians, police and taxis used may thousand of these vehicles over a 20 year period. There are more 3rd party vendors as well as genuine GM parts as well.

I am positive there are similar stories in the Ford and Dodge camps.

Eric
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Old 08-15-2003, 09:15 AM   #27
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Diesels are not the same noisy, smelly beasts that they were 5 or more years ago. The Duramax and Powerstroke are very good. The Cummins is a very good engine, but very noisy. Diesel gets better gas mileage and has fewer issues. Our family has owned 3 diesels (Mercedes granted) and each has lasted well over 200k miles. Our 1982 300DT-- in line 5 turbo is still humming along happily.

I hear you on the quality issues about the domestics.

BTW, the oil filters I was talking about earlier were for the Benz. $15 a filter. Not like any filter I have ever seen. Dad takes it up to the UP often. If and when he runs into trouble or needs stuff, he has to get it from Green Bay, WI which is about 100 miles away (one way) from him. I would assume VW, Audi, Toyota, Honda (non domestics) have somewhat similar issues.

I by no means say that they VW or others are not good vehicles, they are and everyone has opinions and due to inflation, my .02 costs $1.50 so pay up all!

Eric
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Old 08-15-2003, 10:00 AM   #28
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Does the Touareg have some sort of self leveling suspension? If so, that would explain why they would not recommend a weight distributing hitch - they would be fighting each other.

On the relative costs of ownership, I have owned several VWs and VW products over the years and have always found them to be very expensive to own. In fact, my wife now drives a Mercedes because, except for the initial price, the cost of ownership is no more (and probably less) than any VW I have owned. Of course, I am a statistical sample of one.

My daughter has a Jetta diesel, and loves it.

Mark
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