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Old 02-25-2004, 04:20 PM   #71
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This was posted on the Open Roads Forum relative to the Touareg and the Article in RV Lifestyle Magazine.

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Well the cat seems to be out of the bag and the focus is now on the tow vehicle. I did not buy this vehicle for towing. If it turns out to be inadequate, I'll buy a diesel pusher and tow it behind. The Alpenlite Aspen Travel Trailers might fit my needs and possibly the Award.

There have been several articles written substantiating significant towing ability. RV Lifestyle Magazine felt it was more than adequate to tow a 30 ft. Airstream. I questioned the magazines technical director about the article and recieved this response:

Randal,

The Airstream was below the tow rating of the Tourage. It weighed in at 6700 pounds total on the scale, about 1000 pounds under the rating for the Touareg. The weight on the rear axle showed 100 pounds over the rear axle rating, but that was with two 200 pound men in the rear seat. Most RVers do not travel with passengers in the rear seat.

In their literature, Volkswagen refers to 616 pounds weight carrying capacity for the hitch, and also an incorect figure of 616 pounds for a weight distriibuting hitch. They did not know the difference in the ratings until we showed them. Unfortunately, all their marketing information had been printed.

We found the Volkswagen Touareg one of the best tow vehicles in its price class in the 33 years we have been testing vehicles for RVs. Volkswagen sells its own aftermarket equalizer hitch receiver, made by Westfalia (part number 7L0 092 101 U), that must be installed by a VW dealer as it involves removing the rear bumper, and polystyrene foam absorption system, bolting on the hitch, torquing and stretching the bolts, installing the electronic controls and reprogramming the tail lights for towing.

Who knows whether it is rated as a Class 3 or 4. But it is rated for the 7700 pound trailer rating. It took approximately 3 1/2 hours for installation as the rear bumper has to be dismantled and the hitch receiver installed, the the inside curb side coverings in the rear had to be removed to install the electronics package that controls the tail lights and brake system. Do not attempt to install any other brand of hitch receiver. But you can use any brand of equalizing hitch head that will fit in a 2-inch square receiver. If someone tried to tow with a bumper style hitch, it would probably void the warranty. Most VW dealers know next to nothing about towing, so they try to protect themselves by telling people that they will void the warranty. This vehicle was designed to tow.

Since this is VW's first vehicle capable of towing an RV, they have little knowledge of what is involved in setting a vehicle up for towing. We had to do an instructional session with them as they did not know what an equalizing hitch did, or how a brake control system functioned. We towed our own Award 31' events trailer about 200 miles with the Touraeg using a Reese head and 1000 pound equalizer bars, with no sway control added. We used a Hensley hitch to tow the Airstream since it was already installed on the trailer for the person who had purchased it. Even at 80 miles an hour with a 31' Airtstream trailer the Touareg did not exhibit any diving or porpoising in quick lane changes. The brake control for both trailers was a Tekonsha pendulum type model. The trailers did not have water or food and clothes in them at the time of the test, but there was plenty of headroom in the Touaregs towing capacity for this addition. Both the Award trailer and the Airstream were weighed at the Flying J in London and came in at 6700 pounds each.

I towed both trailers over 200 miles of highways, secondary and back roads with absolutely no problems of fishtailing, surging, or porpoising with the combination of the Touareg and trailers. This was the smoothest shifting tow vehicle we have ever used in towing trailers. Smoothly upshifting when needed on hills, and with excellent acceleration under load for merging with traffic at on-ramps. Both Trailer Life publications of California and our magazine, RV Lifestyle of Canada have tow tested the Touareg and found it to be an excellent tow vehicle. Very comfortable solo or in towing mode. This is a great vehicle for towing a trailer from coast to coast. The last mile is as comfortable as the first. Andy Thomson, our chief hitch writer believes that the Touareg can pull much more than the 7700 pound rating that VW has given it.

Bernice Holman of the VWs Canadian PR office and Steve Keyes, the Director of Corporate Communications for USA have received copies of our article on the Touareg and feel that it is excellent. They are the people who provided the vehicle to us so that we could conduct a series of testing the Touareg for towing travel trailers. Steve tells me that they are in the process of doing a series of seminars with dealers across the country to educate them about towing.

The use of a bumper hitch or a hitch receiver not supplied by VW would probably void the warranty. Any 2-inch square weight distribution hitch head will fit VW's industry standard receiver and can be used to tow the trailer properly. For a trailer such as you are suggesting, I always suggest to the owner that a sway control system of some kind is beneficial. Reese makes an excellent Dual Cam Sway Control hitch system, and also several companies produce friction type sway control bars. The friction type bars are only guaranteed for hitch weights under three hundred pounds. The Hensley hitch is the ultimate in preventing sway from ever starting, but it comes with a price. Check out their website at www.nosway.com . All it takes is onoe accident from excessive sway or fishtailing to more than pay for the cost of the Hensley.



Garth W. Cane
Technical Director
RV Lifestyle Magazine
Taylor Publishing Group
1020 Brevik Place,Ste 5
Mississauga, ON L4W 4N7
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Old 02-26-2004, 09:06 AM   #72
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I just hung up with Garth Cane, author of the RV Lifestyles Magazine article on the Touareg, as he was driving to one of Canada's largest RV shows. Cane appeared to be lucid, knowledgeable, and honest in his assessment of the Touareg.

He is emphatic about the Touareg's capabilities as a tow vehicle. To quote, "The Touareg is the best tow vehicle I have ever driven in 3X years and I have a lot of experience.".

They took the Touareg and 30' AS through a pylon course (75' pylon spacing) at 80 MPH and did not miss a beat. I asked about the Hensley and he said, yes, it is a very good hitch and they advertise in the magazine but it is not the reason for the Touareg's success as a TV.

He also stated that they invited CBS over to the track to review the Touareg in action and that they were nowhere to be found - disappeared. Remember that CBS ran the original story. He also stated that the VWOA executive who authorized the refund to the Touareg owner who claimed to have had problems with towing his AS was fired as a result of his actions.

He said that the magazine is trying to assemble the parties to take a 34' AS and Touareg across Canada and the US to show dealers and the public what the real story about the Touareg is...

He also said the VWOA is sending troops to all their dealers to instruct them on towing. VW stands by their claims as to the Touareg's performance and specifications.

BTW, he also told me he would have no hesitation towing a 22'CCD with the Touareg, none.

If anyone wants to discuss this conversation with me personally, send me a private message.

Best regards all,

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Old 02-26-2004, 11:37 AM   #73
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From what I understand, the reason that Land Rover prohibited
weight distribution was because of the air bag suspension.
If VW has the same type of suspension then what is good for the goose is good for gander.
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Old 02-26-2004, 12:00 PM   #74
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My thing is not with a 22' unit and the VW, my issue is with towing larger coaches. I feel anything larger than 22' is getting into the realm of questionable. 30' and larger not a brite idea at all. Again, as Roger said, just because it can do it might not mean that it should. If you choose to tow with a VW, that's entirely up to you.... me, I'll let Darwinism take over from here.

About a magazine....unless it's Consumer Reports, I take little stock in a magazine that needs advertising dollars to sustain itself.
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Old 02-26-2004, 12:28 PM   #75
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Thanks, X-ray! I've been following this thread with some interest.

The comments you've passed on from Garth Cane would lead me to once again strongly consider the T-reg as a tow vehicle.

Mandolindave--I think there's a way to lock out the air suspension adjustment on the T-reg. Most of these vehicles have that in their software. I believe it's necessary when you change a tire. The next question is, would you want to? It might be a big help at certain times.

It's clear from the article that X-ray quoted that the T-reg WILL accept a weight distributing hitch setup. I have a lot of confidence that VW will come around to the notion that such a setup would not void a warranty. There's been an extensive discussion of this on the T-reg forum over on www.vwvortex.com. I've also viewed pictures that one of their forum members posted on his VW hitch installation. That is one substantial hitch! I was impressed. It's probably a lot better than the one that came bolted underneath my F350!

Keep the good info coming!

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Old 02-26-2004, 08:54 PM   #76
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Just to show my faith in this thread, Garth Cane, and the Touareg (and, of course, my desire to own the best tow rig out there), I bought a V8 '04 today - just got home with it a few minutes ago. I will order a 22' CCD tomorrow. So there!

Trust me, I fully intend to update all the naysayers later, when I have a chance to tow my 22' through the Eisenhower Tunnel...

DPeakMD: Thanks for the vote of confidence and, yes, you can lock out the air suspension to change a tire, etc.

Private message me with any questions or comments...

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Old 02-26-2004, 09:00 PM   #77
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Wow! THAT'S putting your money where ... you know where!

Congratulations! I'm sure you'll be extremely happy with your new setup.

Keep us all informed on your progress. Are you going to install your own hitch or have the dealer do it?

-Dallas
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Old 02-26-2004, 09:34 PM   #78
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You must have a death wish towing with that thing.

I don't know why you would trust a factory rating or any actual testing when you could just go by the "hunch" of a couple guys who have never tested or even driven one.

Silverado 1ton:14000# ok
tourag:7000# trailer not ok

I don't get it. The 1 ton doesn't have twice as large as rotors(maybe not larger at all, they put huge rotors on performance vehicles). Wheelbase isn't 2x. I don't get it.
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Old 02-26-2004, 09:48 PM   #79
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DPeakMD: The receiver hitch is best as a dealer installed accessory. It will be done next week. Takes 3.5 - 4 hours...

Cane was so convincing when I talked to him this morning that he dispelled my thoughts of giving up on a tow vehicle. He was emphatic about the Touareg being the best tow vehicle he had tested in over 33 years and assured me that I would not be sorry. I found this simply amazing given his exposure to every RV product out there. I certainly see the merits in what the others say about wheelbase, tongue weight, etc. and study what they say. Fortunately, my needs are pretty simple and a 22' is within the realm of my desires... I suspect the Touareg will suit me and mine perfectly. But, time will tell won't it? Gotta admit, it will end up being a large investment when you factor in the new TT. Frankly, it better work!

Anybody that read BluValley's posts knows the guy is an absolute newbie - never towed anything in his life before. Wonder how he feels now knowing he got the VWOA guy fired...

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Old 02-26-2004, 09:50 PM   #80
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x-ray, I'm on your side. Don't you get it?
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Old 02-26-2004, 09:52 PM   #81
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TBKP: Got it, thanks...
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Old 02-26-2004, 09:55 PM   #82
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Thumbs up CONGRATULATIONS

Hope you enjoy your new ride. I for one think you made a good choice. Keep us posted as to the performance. One ton trucks aren't always necessary. Marvin
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Old 02-26-2004, 09:56 PM   #83
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As long as the hitch is the factory one and you can connect a good weight hitch to it and sway, I can't see any reason why that ride couldn't handle a 22' unit. It's larger where I start to balk.......and hence my Darwin comments! I think that folks that would even have a dream of towing a 34' coach with it needs to get back on the wagon.

If the engineers at VW (pesky Germans ) did the math like most, they would have assumed a 10% hitch weight, which the 22' would fall far short. Also the 22' is pretty light...not too much more than the Bambi.


....and I have driven one......
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Old 02-26-2004, 10:25 PM   #84
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I intend to equip with the requisite hardware...

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