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Old 09-09-2014, 09:25 AM   #1
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2010 Touareg TDI to tow a 2012 25' Flying Cloud...

Talk about confusing!!! and so many thread with so little time….not to mention the various opinions on this….so here's my tale of woe and i can use all the help i can get.


i've got a 2010 TDI with fac installed towing package (non-air suspension) and now i want to tow a 25' Airstream with base weight of 5440 carry weight of 1760, for gvw of around 7200…should be no issue right?

well, what about TONGUE weight. the tongue on the A/S is around 850 and the T's max is either 616 or 770 depending on which sticker is on the receptacle.

i've researched for weeks on weight distribution hitches and i know about VW's warning against them, but what should i use to make up the between 80-234 pound tongue differential.?

any help would be appreciated.

btw, Can-Am says go with a w/d hitch but they FIRST reinforce the factory installed receptacle (without saying how they do that) and then use an EZ lift and that should work…any thoughts?
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Old 09-09-2014, 09:31 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by transform View Post
Talk about confusing!!! and so many thread with so little time….not to mention the various opinions on this….so here's my tale of woe and i can use all the help i can get.


i've got a 2010 TDI with fac installed towing package (non-air suspension) and now i want to tow a 25' Airstream with base weight of 5440 carry weight of 1760, for gvw of around 7200…should be no issue right?

well, what about TONGUE weight. the tongue on the A/S is around 850 and the T's max is either 616 or 770 depending on which sticker is on the receptacle.

i've researched for weeks on weight distribution hitches and i know about VW's warning against them, but what should i use to make up the between 80-234 pound tongue differential.?

any help would be appreciated.

btw, Can-Am says go with a w/d hitch but they FIRST reinforce the factory installed receptacle (without saying how they do that) and then use an EZ lift and that should work…any thoughts?
I would trust CanAm on this. To reinforce your hitch they will probably weld some reinforcing steel. Stock OEM hitches (especially on light vehicles) are notoriously under-engineered. They are fine for hauling a small utility trailer or even an 18 foot fishing boat, but not suitable for towing a larger Airstream without some modifications. While you can tow the 25 footer with the Touareg, you will need to watch your payload in the tow vehicle and not overload it.
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Old 09-09-2014, 09:49 AM   #3
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Can-Am has the answer, reinforce the hitch.

A modern 25' Airstream has a hitch weight near as heavy as any of them. We make an effort to balance the load in the trailer before each trip, carry bicycles on an Airstream bike rack (which reduces hitch weight).

We have a rear bed 25, the front bed models have large storage areas in front so use extra extra care when loading.
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Old 09-09-2014, 09:55 AM   #4
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Local VW dealer advised against the Touareg for our Int EB25 ... the VW warranty will not cover any issues related to towing since the hitch weight exceeds the recommendation by VW. YMMV with different dealers.
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Old 09-09-2014, 09:55 AM   #5
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Yes, CanAm is THE expert on reinforcing OEM towing strength. I've read posts that state they can almost adapt any vehicle's towing shortcomings to make them more than capable of towing a heavy trailer.

I notice you're in Santa Fe, and suspect that you've a desire to travel to areas around you, which are full of pretty steep (and long) inclines.

BUT, I've never read a post that addresses CanAm's ability to modify other important components of your vehicle; the rear end and more importantly, the transmission.

I too, live in a region where uphill towing is a significant consideration and my previous combination was a 2010 MB GL450 towing an AS FC 23. Believe me, over a period of a year and a half, I noticed a change in the way the GL's transmission went from buttery smooth shifting, to one that was much less than smooth.

My advice to you is to consider not only the hitch, but the rest of your T'reg's capability.

Good luck!
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Old 09-09-2014, 09:58 AM   #6
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Here's a link to a guy that is a full timer and tows a 23 with a toureg. I've seen a lot of good comments about can am and it looks like a 25 footer and Toureg combo puts you in a position to require assistance.

[URL]http://whereiskylenow.com/about[\URL]


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Old 09-09-2014, 10:02 AM   #7
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Of course VW would not bless the idea, but they didn't mind running an ad showing the Touareg towing a 747 aircraft. When going in for warranty work I wouldn't tell them I've been exceeding the speed limit, driving off-road, using cheap fuel, or using a weight distribution hitch.
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Old 09-09-2014, 10:07 AM   #8
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And when towing select the lower gear needed to keep from stressing and frequent gear hunting of your transmission.
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Old 09-09-2014, 10:52 AM   #9
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Tongue weight will be closer to 1100lbs from reading other posts on the forums. My 2008 Classic is slightly over 1100lbs but its the heaviest of the 25fb line.

Seems like a big hassle to get a Touareg ready tow. You'll have little to no payload left over once the trailer is hitched and two passengers from what others have said on the forums.

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Old 09-09-2014, 11:09 AM   #10
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Kelvin, it's a one-time hassle for a vehicle that reportedly tows very well.

The payload is similar, sometimes more than most 1/2 ton trucks depending on which Touareg and which truck. Our Ram is 1360 and I think that's close to Touareg. Using a good weight distribution setup putting trailer tongue load across all truck and trailer axles, it's not hard (for us) to manage.
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Old 09-09-2014, 11:42 AM   #11
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Payload for a Touareg is 1157# per VW USA website (less than a typical 1/2 ton pickups). Tongue weight of a 25 ft is over 1000#. Unlike exceeding the speed limit, driving off-road, using cheap fuel, or using a weight distribution hitch, you cannot hide a massive hitch reinforcement from your dealer. The good thing is you have a 2010, so you are almost out of warranty, so you may not care.
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Old 09-09-2014, 12:54 PM   #12
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That certainly puts it in the realm of a judgement call, six of one and half-dozen of the other. Our 25' tongue weight is only over 1000# when loaded that way or improperly weighed. When it is over 1,000# it exceeds the maximum weight recommended in Airstream Owners Manuals, which is routinely ignored.

It is not unusual to see new commonly-purchased 1/2 ton pickups less than the Touareg's 1157# payload.

Nonetheless, we are always aware of the payload capabilities of our 1/2 ton truck, load truck and trailer appropriately, and it has never been an obstacle to our travels. Most of us who use these vehicles are as well and they work very nicely, including this who use Touaregs.

As with any vehicle transferring heavy weight with a weight distributing hitch, the tow vehicle receiver and it's attachment must be capable of taking the applied torque, and when it's questionable needs reinforcement or replacement. It is generally accepted the Touareg TDI receiver needs reinforcement for a mid-size Airstream by those who use them.

Otherwise it's load capabilities are similar to a typical 1/2 ton truck, except it handles better mostly due to it's independent rear suspension giving it a wider, more stable stance and less axle weight to control.
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Old 09-09-2014, 01:11 PM   #13
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My 25' AS weighs 720lbs at the tongue. With the Hensley attached, it's 900lbs. The hitch transfers the weight even with air suspension. I have spent plenty of time at the truck scales and with a Sherline hitch scale dialing in the set-up. When I tow with the Touareg, only a full spare goes in the trunk - generator and other heavier gear goes in tubs in the trailer. I only tow with this when off-roading in the 4 corners area and traveling light. After 8 years towing, I personally can attest to their abilities and the hitch is still firmly attached. It is a very heavy duty hitch and actually also serves as a skid plate sliding down the slick rock in Moab.

But you will have to make your own decisions as to your comfort level with being at the max for hitch weight. If you do decide to go the CanAm route with additional bracing, you might wan to consider dumping the "tub" muffler on the Touareg and rerouting the exhaust so CanAm can run the bracing straight back as opposed to running it underneath the tub and reducing your ground clearance.
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Old 09-09-2014, 01:24 PM   #14
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I keep reading about reinforcing hitches on these types of vehicles and have wondered about how this affects the safety of the vehicle in the event of rear end collision. There already seem to be studies that indicate that the addition of trailer hitch alone increase the risk of neck injury in a rear ender. I assume this would be due to the hitch reducing the effectiveness of the crumple zone at the rear of the vehicle. If this is so, how does adding bracing from the hitch forward to the vehicle structure affect the safety.

Note I am not trying to fan any flames and what you do is up to you. Just wondering if anyone has thought about this when they have had their hitch modified.
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