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Old 02-10-2011, 01:20 PM   #57
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Towing Flying Cloud 25fb with Touareg TDI

I too would like to tow a Flying Cloud 25FB with a 2011 Touareg TDI but am concerned about the 837 versus 770 hitch weight overage. If I'm using a Hensley or PP hitch and arrange items in the trailer to increase the weight (not too much) behind the trailers rear wheels, can I decrease the trailer tongue weight below the Touareg's max. My other choice would be to go with the Flying Cloud 27FB which has a 791 tongue weight, but I had to add two extra feet in length, not to mention the extra cost. Any suggestions?
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Old 02-10-2011, 03:36 PM   #58
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VW Touareg 2 towing capacity

Greeting wlanford!

Welcome to the Forums and the world of Airstreaming!

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Originally Posted by wlanford View Post
I too would like to tow a Flying Cloud 25FB with a 2011 Touareg TDI but am concerned about the 837 versus 770 hitch weight overage. If I'm using a Hensley or PP hitch and arrange items in the trailer to increase the weight (not too much) behind the trailers rear wheels, can I decrease the trailer tongue weight below the Touareg's max. My other choice would be to go with the Flying Cloud 27FB which has a 791 tongue weight, but I had to add two extra feet in length, not to mention the extra cost. Any suggestions?
You may want to get some clarifiction. When Airstream lists hitch weights, they are usually going to be 100 pounds or more below the actual hitch weight when the coach is ready to tow as when a coach is properly loaded, at least 10% to 15% of weight of posessions carried in the coach will be added to the hitch weight. To maintain stability, the usual recommendation is to never allow the hitch weight to fall below 10% of the loaded coach weight -- and my personal preference is to keep as close to 15% hitch loading as possible.

Good luck with your research!

Kevin
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Old 02-11-2011, 10:15 PM   #59
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Peeps keep inquiring about the swap from my "T-Rex" to a "F-350" as tow rig for my 25FB Airstream Classic - perhaps this text from a post I just made to a similar question will help...


Yes – I will always rave about the capability of the Touareg TDI coupled with the mighty P3 hitch and how well it has pulled my 25FB Airstream Classic all over the country - be it over mountains, desserts or the great plains....

If you look at my posts - especially where we discussed in great detail the challenges to such a setup - I acknowledged that although my Touareg had 407lbs torque, great brakes, and with the P3 hitch ROCK SOLID towing of my Airstream despite its short wheelbase - I still needed to be extremely cognizant of my weights, ESPECIALLY MY TOUNGE WEIGHT!

When I towed my 25FB Classic - it was with no more than two people in the Touareg and only 20lbs equipment in the back seat. Absolutely nothing was in the "rear storage area" of the Touareg. As for my Airstream - my front propane tanks were kept at 1/2 or below of capacity, the storage space under the front bed was kept fairly empty (15lbs of equipment) and nothing was stored in the front bedroom drawers. I also understood that I would never be able to tow with fresh water in the tanks (my Classic can accept 54 gallons) and in fact needed to make sure my black water and grey water tanks were always emptied before heading out on the road. My food, drinks & cutlery was weighed at 75 lbs (kept in the fridge and pantry) and only another 25 lbs of “stuff” around ‘n about. Any extra weight (clothes, boots, etc.) was kept aft in bags under the dinner table acounting for another 40lbs.

The 25FB Classic tongue weight as per Airstream is 780lbs - that is with no propane in the tanks, water in the hot water heater, and with only the standard "single" front window, let alone anything else in the Twinkie.

My 25FB has many options to include a few that directly affect the tongue weight - two front side windows, extra capacity 80lb propane tanks, etc. Once I loaded her up to go out and started visiting my local weigh stations, compared tongue weights, vehicle GVWR of the Touareg, etc. I realized I was far below the load capacity of my Airstream Classic and knocking right on the door of the Touareg's limits. For the record - I feel I could not have safely towed without the P3 hitch as that was the magic "puzzle piece" that made the whole package work as one.

The more I used my Airstream, the more I found I wanted to use its full capacity and invest in a larger TV. I just purchased a generator as now I can take with me more equipment and toys on the road, do some “off-grid” Airstreaming utilizing my fresh water capacity, full propane capacity, and for the first time I can store my clothes in the closets, use the under bed storage area, etc.

Long story short – was no longer willing to limit my enjoyment of my Airstream to the limitations of my tow vehicle….

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Old 02-12-2011, 01:31 PM   #60
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VW towing capacity

I am not an expert but I'll share my experience. I have logged a fair number of miles pulling a 2010 25 FB Flying Cloud with a 2010 TDI. Trips along the West coast and to the Gulf coast from the midwest. It pulls very nicely. After reviewing lots of comments and talking to others, I decided to try the equalizer hitch rather than the pp because of the weight of the hitch. So far in all kinds of conditions including high cross winds, rain, snow, ice, winding mountain roads and interstate roads with tractor trailers, I have not observed any trailer sway or inability to maintain highway speeds. I have not towed in the mountains at high Colorado altitudes.

I do try to minimize the weight of the trailer and tongue weight by traveling with empty tanks etc. Never had more than 1 passenger in the TDI.

The braking with the Tekonsha P3 controller is fine.

As you probably know, the 2011 TDI is a different vehicle from the 2010 TDI. Different transmission and the 2011 weighs about 500lbs less. Perhaps 2011 may be better, but I don't know. It has a little more pep in non towing driving based on a limited test drive but braking and handling with a trailer attached may be different.
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Old 02-12-2011, 02:20 PM   #61
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I have a 2011 Touareg TDI with factory hitch. As much as I would love to, I won't tow with it for 2 reasons.
  1. The manufacturer's sticker on the hitch says it's only rated for 616 pounds tongue weight.
  2. The manual says DO NOT use any weight distribution hitch.
Even though my daughter's boyfriend's cousin spoke to a VW engineer and he said it was ok, I don't think they would pay my legal fees if something bad happened.
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Old 02-13-2011, 09:09 AM   #62
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TDI towing and receiver stickers

VW confirmed to my dealer that the sticker is not correct. The factory supplied hitch conforms to the published specs and the owners manual which both state 770 lbs. The sticker is wrong not the hitch.

I had two prior touaregs and the stickers said 770 lbs. I ordered the TDI based the published specs of 770. When the vehicle came in with 616 on the sticker i asked the same question you are asking. I believe that the 2011 specs and the owners manual both give a tongue weight rating considerably more than what your sticker says.

VW said they were sending new stickers but I am still waiting.
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Old 02-13-2011, 09:40 AM   #63
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Take the GVWR of the Touareg, add the tongue weight of the Airstream once loaded and then the actual weight of passengers - you may find you are over the GVWR of the Touareg or if not over, not much room for anything else. Be aware of rear axle weight of the Touareg and how much of the tounge weight you can transfer to the front axles as you may be exceeding the rear axles of the Touareg.

Towing with a Touareg/Cayenne is not a "hitch and go" process - failure to pay attention to the details can cause major complications to yourself and those that share the road with you.

And I actually do know some of the Cayenne/Touareg engineers from run-in's over the years at tracks and thus have learned more and more about the actual capabilities of those two vehicles (the Q7 looses 100lbs/1000lbs due to it's larger size) and some of the stories of new vehicle verses old, use of air bags, weight distro hitches (they are seeing fatigue due to how the tow receptacle mounts to the frame of the uni-bodied SUV's) etc.

The "long and short" of it is if you are using one of these vehicles to tow - make sure you are visiting the scales or tow something with lighter tounge weights, especially if you are exceeding the 770lbs tounge weight with a load distro-hitch and if that is the case then have periodic inspections of the frame and hitch (to include where they connect).

These vehicles do tow - and tow quite well, but if you are on the envelope towing a 25FB Airstream Classic like I was, then you must pay attention!. Don't just look at pictures of Touareg's and Cayenne's or read stories of us who do/did without knowing the facts, especially when you are close to that envelope...

Enjoy
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Old 02-13-2011, 01:26 PM   #64
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How about Touareg TDI with 2010 FC 23?

OK, I originally liked the FC 25FB but came to the conclusion it would be a little too much trailer for the 2011 Touareg TDI, so now I am considering a 2010 FC 23. However, the unloaded tongue weight of the 23 is still 779 lbs. (probably 825 or so loaded) even though the trailer weight of the 23 is around 700 lbs. less. Would I still be on thin ice with the 2010 FC 23?
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Old 02-13-2011, 01:36 PM   #65
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It's the darn tounge weight - there is a 23 foot model that has only 467lbs of tounge weight (dry of course), the "23FB Flying Cloud". That would be the "safest bet" - allowing for max use of the trailer and the ability to place items in the Touareg - or you can go with a 23 or 25 footer and just be careful like I was, I just wouldn't go with any longer than 25' due to the wheel base of the Touareg.

Lot's of options, just be smart and manage the issues that each package may present!
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Old 02-13-2011, 06:19 PM   #66
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For what it's worth...

I just pulled a 23 foot international from L.A. to Denver and had zero problems with a 2008 V8 Touareg. The hitch is rated for 780lbs tongue weight. I used an Equilzer hitch which made a huge difference. I can only imagine the PP and Hensley hitches would have improved the ride even more.

But just as a point of reference - I unknowingly towed up and down the mountains without a functioning brake controller. I would NOT recommend this (I actually thought mine was working - but it wasn't due to a wiring issue). But my point is, the Touareg handled towing the 23 and even stopping it on some very steep grades with no issues - felt very comfortable back there.

The tounge weight wasn't an issue. I towed it with some water in it (about 1/2 full of fresh water) and nothing in the grey or black tanks. The Propane tanks were full. The back end sagged 2 inches when I hitched up, but the equilizer evened things out nicely front to back.

Anyway - I wouldn't hesitate to tow a 23 Airstream. I believe the International has even more tounge weight than the FC 23, but I could be wrong.

And yes - the factory hitches are rated at 780lbs. The sticker on them that rates them at 616 or so and says not to use WD hitches is incorrect. I called VW and they verified this and sent me out a new sticker. I have springs though - not the air suspension. I believe the air suspended touaregs are not supposed to use the WD hitches.
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Old 02-14-2011, 10:24 AM   #67
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John mentioned hearing about fatigue issues with the Touareg hitch/unibody structure(s). If this is the case, can anything be done to strengthen the hitch connection to the Touareg unibody when the trailer tongue weight is near (or slightly over) the 770 lb. limit? Has anyone had any experience with this sort of thing?
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Old 02-14-2011, 06:12 PM   #68
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Yes there is a guy in Canada - very famous - can modify the Toureg\Cayenne to tow with the increased tounge weights by adding additional support structures between the vehicles frame and hitch "CanAm Rv Centers" --> Can-Am RV > Home <--

This guy Rocks!!!
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Old 02-14-2011, 06:47 PM   #69
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Tow vehicles come and go but you may have your airstream for a looong time. Seriously consider that you will save money in the long run if you buy the trailer you need and find a tow rig to suit it rather than buying a trailer to match your current ride.

I also tow with a T-Reg but would not willing pull a 25 foot trailer. It's not the weight but the wheel base that is the deal breaker for me.

.02 cents.
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Old 02-14-2011, 07:08 PM   #70
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janet View Post
Tow vehicles come and go but you may have your airstream for a looong time. Seriously consider that you will save money in the long run if you buy the trailer you need and find a tow rig to suit it rather than buying a trailer to match your current ride.
Apologies, but when I read this commonly-given advice, I think about the opposite. If you can afford/are willing to get a dedicated tow vehicle, that's fine. But if you're towing with your daily driver, it's very much worth considering those other 350 days (or so) when you're not towing.

Maybe that means a slightly smaller trailer. Maybe it means vintage. Maybe that means choosing a different new tow vehicle when it comes time to purchase down the road - say, getting that Dodge Durango (6400 lbs with a V6) over a Ford Edge (3500 lbs.) Maybe it means talking to CanAm (as we did for our tow vehicle.) JFScheck put it well - it takes knowing the issues and why they exist.

Ironically, despite the heavier tongue weight, I'd bet dollars to donuts that a 23D (with a ~700 lb tongue weight) tows better than a 23FB with a sub-500 lb tongue weight...

Tom
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