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Old 01-09-2013, 07:23 PM   #1
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Jacksonville , Florida
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Touareg and Safari LS 25

I bought a 2013 Touareg TDI (7700lb tow capacity and 616 Tongue weight limit) to pull a 2004 Safari LS (5300lb dry weight and 6300lb Gross). I got the brake controller and sway bar installed. When I went to pick up my new vacation dream machine the hitch guy let me know he weighed the tongue on his scale at 850lb. I called Airstream. They were so good about using my VIN # to look up the trailer and go over the specs with me and walk me through the 10% rule etc... but couldn't really recommend a path out of here. BTW VW prohibits used of load leveling hitches and insist on use of only the official VW hitch.
I'd love to hear from someone who really know the murky underworld of tongue weights and towing.
Thank you

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Old 01-09-2013, 08:47 PM   #2
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I'm not surprised. I think Airstream significantly underestimates their tongue weights on recent trailers. The situation is made worse by certain designs. For example, my trailer has its main storage up front, which results in a situation where anything placed in that storage area results in greater tongue weight. I also switched out my mattress to a higher grade mattress which also resulted in greater tongue weight given the FB configuration.

I thought about the VW, Land Rover, etc. as my tow vehicle but ended up ruling them out for this reason. I knew the tongue weight was an issue, as I noticed it even with my prior 3/4 ton truck.

My guess is that even though it is technically not recommended, you would be OK with a good weight distributing hitch. There are numerous members on this forum that have 'stretched' the limits of recommended tongue weight/towing capacity to a much greater extent than what you are talking about.

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Old 01-09-2013, 10:46 PM   #3
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I am towing a 23D International with my 2012 Treg and I don't think the 25 will work. As you already know VW says no weight distribution. I bought one anyway with my AS and only used on the way home from Tampa to Winston Salem, NC. It drove terrible with the WD. Tows my 23D great without it.

The problem is the trailer hitch is bolted to the Treg frame with only 4 blots on both sides below the tail lights. The WD over time will torque the bolts out of the frame?

But! Have not heard or ever seen it happen...
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Old 01-10-2013, 05:37 AM   #4
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Don't you find it interesting that Airstream used a WDH on the Porcshe (same as T-Reg) when doing handling tests.

Airstreams..... The best towing trailers on the planet!
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Old 01-10-2013, 06:04 AM   #5
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Whew, there are a lot of details to go over, but I'm going to try to keep this simple. To start, I have towed my trailer with a 2000 Excursion with 7.3 liter diesel, a 2005 F-150 with 5.4 liter gas V8, and now a 2010 Touareg diesel and I average 15,000 miles of towing per year.

Let me assure you that you bought a phenomenal vehicle. It's difficult for me to explain how this vehicle can tow so well, but it does. I was uncertain about how it would perform in the western mountains, and it was better than the Excursion beast.

You will not be able to tow your trailer without a weight distribution hitch. I've dropped my trailer on the ball just to move it in the driveway and the rear suspension squats far too much for towing.

There is a lot of controversy with the Touareg. Yes, the owner's manual says not to use a weight distribution hitch. The fear, as mentioned above, is that the Touareg is a unibody with no frame. Since a weight distribution hitch torques weight through the receiver to transfer more weight to the front axle, the connection point between the hitch/bumper and unibody could fatigue from all that twist.

Many Touareg owners using weight distribution hitches say it's not a problem. With the amount of miles I tow, I wasn't taking any chances and had CanAm RV reinforce the hitch by running steel from the receiver to the suspension mounts. That takes any twist on the unibody out of the equation. It's a fairly simple addition that any competent welder can perform.

There's also controversy with the hitch rating. One place in the manual says 616 and one place says 770. The sticker on the receiver says 770. No, that still doesn't cover our hitch weight, but it works.

Another issue with the Touareg is the load carrying capacity. The sticker in my door says 900 some pounds, so I'm over my load carrying capacity with just me and the dog. This summer I brought Mom & Dad with me to Yellowstone and threw the kayak on the roof, so I was way over, without issue.

This is getting long, so I'll stop here and let some discussion form. In short, the numbers don't add up, yet the Touareg is, by far, the best tow vehicle I've had yet.

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Old 01-10-2013, 06:28 AM   #6
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^^^ Sweet setup Steve. If I ever retire, that's what I'd like to have.
Gary & Debbie
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2011 Chevy Traverse 3.6L AWD Hensley DirecLink McKesh
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Old 01-15-2013, 02:39 AM   #7
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Call Andy at CanAm, 1-866-226-2678, he is an expert at towing and set-up.

Also, I have owned a 2012 Touareg TDI and a 2012 23ft International since March 2012, it's been a great experience towing and traveling.....

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Old 01-15-2013, 06:27 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by TinLoaf View Post
The sticker in my door says 900 some pounds, so I'm over my load carrying capacity with just me and the dog.
You have a very big dog.
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Old 01-24-2013, 09:40 AM   #9
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Touareg Towing Vehicle

Hi there!
I'm new here and I have the same issues with the Touareg and a 25ft or larger AS. I am looking into buying a 27ft Eddie Bauer and drive a 2012 Touareg V6.

The T2 Touaregs with Air Suspension cannot use the WD to my knowledge because the Suspension is trying to level the rig. The WD counteracts this...
Now to the Towing capacities. I posted this in the Touareg Forum and learned a lot there.
Touaregs were build for the European Market and the Trailers there have a different setup. Toungue weight is at around 300lbs (my old TT in Germany hat a TW of 205lbs)max leaving sufficient weight for passengers and cargo. (919lbs max cargo - 205lbs TW = 714lbs)

The US System works differently and I learned this after I bought the Touareg and fell in love with Airstreams...
From what I learnt now: Yes towing 7700lbs with the Touareg is doable and ok, but the Tongue Weight and remaining weight for passengers and cargo will pretty much rule out any longer vacation with AS and family.

I won't go into the different tongue weight labels on the Touaregs. It is a controversy but I believe the 616lbs limit has good reasons and the 770lbs are not correct.

I am now on the market for a good, dedicated TV-ideas are welcome.
The Touareg will either have to go or will be my daily driver to work...
Thank you!
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Old 01-24-2013, 11:49 AM   #10
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Not a Touareg...........BUT Somewhat Equilalent

See my avatar and do a search on "withidl" for many posts on my assembly which I've towed more than 35,000 miles. The X5 hitch attaches to the unibody via replacement of the bumper shocks and bumper with heavy square steel inserts which are held in place with 8 bolts each side. BMW only rates the hitch for max 6,000 weight carrying or distributed with a max tongue weight of 600 weight carrying or distributed; BUT my assembly is usually around 8,000+ with 900+ tongue; never a single problem; CanAm RV assembled to include a Hensley interface.
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Old 01-24-2013, 01:39 PM   #11
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We pull our 19' Bambi International with an 04' Cayenne Turbo with no issues. We have the factory installed hitch via the Porsche dealership. We also called Andy at CanAm and he suggested the EZ Lift WD Hitch and anti-sway, which we also had installed. We're a bit smaller than the lengths you're talking about, but the Cayenne tows like a dream. We definitely suggest contacting Andy for his advice.
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Old 01-24-2013, 03:34 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Oldgrumpy View Post
I won't go into the different tongue weight labels on the Touaregs. It is a controversy but I believe the 616lbs limit has good reasons and the 770lbs are not correct.

I am now on the market for a good, dedicated TV-ideas are welcome.
The Touareg will either have to go or will be my daily driver to work...
Thank you!
Here's the reality short and sweet.

Yes the Touareg will pull your trailer. How well depends on whether you have a V6, V8, or TDI.

The true tongue weight in the US is 770lbs. Believe it or not.

I don't know how big your family is but sounds like it is more than two so you will probably exceed the Touareg's GVWR.

With the EB 27' you might find you're happiest with a 3/4 crew cab or 1/2 ton with max payload and max tow package for family, gear and stuff.

I have been towing with Touaregs for 8 years now and find that they are very capable vehicles. I tow with a V10 diesel but it is with only two people and a full size spare in the truck. I use a Hensley hitch with the air suspension and it all works fine, but it took some time at the scales to get the right settings. By carefully loading gear in the trailer I can also redistribute weight. This works for me but I mostly use the Treg for short trips and a F150 Ecoboost for longer trips and more stuff. Good luck with your final choice!
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Old 01-24-2013, 04:33 PM   #13
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I'd listen to Tin Loaf and forget the rest. To ease your mind more, talk with Andy at Can Am.
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Old 02-09-2013, 02:07 PM   #14
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Thank you guys for all the help.

Unfortunately the AS deal fell through and we are on the market for a trailer-again. We decided to go wit the Touareg after modifying it and let the lease run out. After that it'll be a used F-150...
After all this, I have to admit, it is very hard to not only secure a loan but also to find a family sized trailer for our specific needs. At one point we were throwing ideas like rebuilding an old trailer with the modern look interior around... Sounds really tempting as it give me financial flexibility but is this even possible? Can you rebuild a Excella with the modern interior of a CCD??

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