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Old 08-22-2015, 05:04 PM   #121
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The final drive ratio is 3.27, not 3.21, according to VW. There are two overdrives, not one; the final two gears are .83 and .69. First gear has a 4.97 ratio. This is an eight speed Aisin transmission with a very wide range, so an analysis of final drive ratios should include that. You could take a five speed, which many are more used to, and see what the equivalent final drive ratio could be to get the same overall range, as Aisin does on their web site. Looks like the 3.27 with a five speed, is equivalent to a 3.59 final drive at the low end, and a 2.38 final drive at the top end, when using the 8 speed, from a quick calculation.

The payload is 670 kg, so about 1470 lbs, not 716 lbs. 716 is rated tongue weight.

Instead of analyzing the statistics, we could refer to the first post, where the OP noted that it worked well. Isn't that what should matter?

I think that manufacturer's ratings do count, they are a great starting point. I personally wouldn't want to ever exceed axle, or tire loads, and would be very cautious about exceeding GVWR. The tongue load rating is very likely being exceeded here, which makes reinforcing the standard hitch a good idea.
As a matter of point, after seeing this post responding to what I posted I looked up the vehicle stats at VW again since I did not make up the 3.21. What I found was three different final drive ratios for a 2015 published - 3.21, 3.27 and 3.70. Reason unknown all listed as diesel model. What I meant about this information was that the rear numerical number is low for pulling. While the torque is high, that lower number would balance out against say a high torque gasser with a 3.92, or 3.75 rear. The second point related to this is the RPM at highway speed. That diesel's transmission is set up for MPG. When towing a load at its max as most are discussing here, it isn't going to be able to hold those lower overdrive gears and pull too, especially in hilly conditions. add to that the increase in RPM. Regardless of gear range, you are subject to engine RPM and torque when pulling.

There is no doubt at all that the little Touareg can tow but I am posting because I am questioning WHAT it can tow. BTW, I mentioned the 10,000# Classic as a poster before me stated that model exactly as a consideration for his purchase. I stand corrected to your point as the cargo capacity of 1400#; however, with even the International, tow capacity, tongue weight and GCWR are all violated as per VW figures. As I stated, my Airstream tongue weight is listed as 860# but is 990# CAT weighed. You said specs matter then turned around and said that the OP said it worked well so shouldn't that matter.

When I bought my first truck to get an Airstream just four years ago, there were people on here who told me that I was shaving it close with a 4.6L 3V. I thought they were wrong. It did well for me in FL on flat ground. It could have gone anywhere but perhaps a bit slower with lots of revs. This summer in W VA I realized the limitations driving out on country roads with steep inclines curves and descents. I was still in specs but at near limits for payload and nearly there on towing capacity. I cannot imagine violating by 1200-2000 lbs. It is more than just welding a few bars to the rear. What about the transmission and cooling systems?


Since being on the forum I have seen people post about towing with their Ranger, Dakota or Colorado and it just amazes me. Can it be done? Yes. Should it be done? I agree with some saying to stay in the areas we have control.

I believe the Touareg is an excellent tow vehicle for moderate towing. It is one of the few choices Europeans have to tow their also limited choice of smaller trailers with. The pics at the thread's beginning for some reason to me look to be a shorter trailer but again, get what you want and enjoy camping.
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Old 08-22-2015, 05:34 PM   #122
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What about the transmission and cooling systems?
I don't know, what about them? What did the OP say his experience was with 12,000 km of towing this combination? Are we saying that all these happy SUV owners posting about towing larger trailers are replacing transmissions and engines in between their posts of how happy they are with their rigs?

I haven't towed with a Touareg, my experience is with BMW, but the vehicles are very similar in concept. It seems there is a lot of discussion of why these vehicles can't tow, while those who have them are out towing.

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Old 08-22-2015, 05:38 PM   #123
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I believe they can tow. I do not mean to say they cannot. My point is that if the manufacturer says up to 7700# towing and 716 tongue- stay within that limit or potentially suffer issues and if discovered, legal issues in this crazy world we live.
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Old 08-22-2015, 05:52 PM   #124
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This debate can go on and on between the north and the south .

Have fun north of the 49th just don't let the cool aid spill south of the 49th.

We are a bit litigious down here so exceeding ratings can be a bit of a problem when things go wrong south of the border.
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Old 08-22-2015, 05:57 PM   #125
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We are a bit litigious down here so exceeding ratings can be a bit of a problem when things go wrong south of the border.
LOL I believe many are litigious anymore. "Hey, you served me coffee that was too hot and your food I selected bought and ate made me fat!"
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Old 08-22-2015, 06:01 PM   #126
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For those interested in capacities and quantitative estimates!

Here is a spreadsheet developed years ago by I can't remember who, but he is appreciated. It calculates towing capacity based on a number of realities, such as vehicle capacity, weight of passengers, gas, etc...

Take a look! If you make the calc's at least you have one quantitative opinion. My example is at:TowingCapacityWorksheetTundra.xls
That's for a Tundra, but you can change it...
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Old 08-22-2015, 06:42 PM   #127
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From the towing thread ...
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Originally Posted by rodsterinfl View Post
This thread [referring to this one] is actually great! Hilarious and yet important. Consider this, you are driving your tow vehicle and trailer down the road on vacation behind a 34 foot white box trailer- you are about thirty feet behind. Suddenly the box trailer breaks loose from the Ford Ranger tow vehicle. You brake and swerve your Aistream tilts and swerves and suddenly you impact the dehitched trailer just before stopping. The front of your new tow vehicle is damaged and you look over and your wife is hurt. The guy in the Ranger comes over stumped how his hitch and bumper gave way.

Now, what about the legal ramifications of violating towing specs and the safety of others?

My better half grew up helping her Father who was a very successful mechanic - cars, trucks, commercial trucks, trailers, etc. - later (because her Father told her to) she studied and became a lawyer and later still a PhD in education ...
We were talking about this thread and the ramifications of inventing your own standards because you in the absence of any scientific proof think your version of reality for whatever reason is more accurate than the consensual reality the rest of the world lives in and the legal ramifications thereof.
She got a funny look on her face and asked, "These people with the tiny TVs what do they do for rear view mirrors? Even our old narrow trailer and newer wide TV needed to use the mirrors extended."
Then quipped, "Oh they probably don't want to see. That way they won't have to watch when the trailer eventually falls off."
Recognizing that while it might be possible now, if the limits are exceeded, eventually the set up will fail similar to rodster's story above, while humorous is very plausable.
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Old 08-22-2015, 07:52 PM   #128
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So now we can't use our clip on mirrors?
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Old 08-22-2015, 08:04 PM   #129
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Hey Tino, great new rig. I sure hope to see you on the road. I also had one problem with my 2014 GC Diesel that took a bit to fix (known converter issue fixed under warranty) but it now has 80,000 k on it and has been running great. The 2012 30' Signature now has 80,000 k on it as well and has been relatively trouble free. I had to replace some rivets on the underbelly today but that's it. Left Charlottetown on Wednesday, went passed Montreal on Thursday and got back to my office for work on Friday. I saw a few Airstreams on my last trip, one that looked like the Can Am grey mini hauling a 30 footer heading west or it may have been Andreasduess hauling his 34. They went by quickly. I really appreciate your new #30 around Montreal. Jim



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Old 08-22-2015, 08:04 PM   #130
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So now we can't use our clip on mirrors?
Naw, you’re good...
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Old 08-22-2015, 08:25 PM   #131
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This is still amazing me how people in America are religious about what they are told and do not accept what they can see or experience. OK, rating... sure, there are engineers, lawyers, people from marketing, local market circumstances (other cars from the same group marked for different purposes). There are hundreds or rather thousands cars (German SUV, Japanese minivans) towing over their mfg stated ratings in the US. There are thousands of toy cars towing the trailers in Europe, even through he Alps. Have you heard about any issue related to this? I have not. I would like to hear about such issue, if there was any.

There are many happy campers towing larger trailers with their German SUVs. If you are not going to buy a German SUV to tow you trailer, please do not whine. Accept that people have different view, needs, etc. Do not whine and do not harass others about safety, unless you can refer to an accident which happened due to towing over mfg specs. Comparing German SUV to pickups is ridiculous. German car will have better brakes, MUCH better handling, lower center of gravity, better suspension, shorter overhang, etc. than any pickup on the market. The fact that you are driving a heavier piece of metal does not mean that you are better equipped.
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Old 08-22-2015, 08:39 PM   #132
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Bono, I would suggest that you get to know these forums by reading other threads and try to understand the theme... not argumentative nor into challenging every opinion thatís different from your own. Itís not a competition.

This thread was started on a question regarding a VW Touareg, lets try to remember that.

So, youíre right on everything you say, by golly! Take off in your German X5 and tow till your hearts content. Another words, let it go.
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Old 08-22-2015, 09:11 PM   #133
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This thread was started on a question regarding a VW Touareg, lets try to remember that.
Actually, no. There was no question. The OP wanted to simply share his setup and experience with the forum. He never asked for advice. That came unsolicited.
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Old 08-22-2015, 10:21 PM   #134
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Jaxon, there was no question asked by OP. Are you sure you read this thread?

I spent hundreds of hours researching this topic. This forum and other forums. There is always disagreement between pickup owners(96-99% of the users) and owners of other “inappropriate TV”.

As I mentioned, I am opened for arguments based on real life examples. If you heard about e.g. any accident where a German SUV was involved in an accident and the accident resulted from going over the mfg ratings, I would love to hear about it. I have not pulled the trigger and have not ordered the TT yet (family matters), therefore, I would be very interesting to hear about RATIONAL reasons why I should not go that way. Mfg ratings are good starting point, but I think I have considered this piece pretty well.
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Old 08-22-2015, 10:55 PM   #135
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Toureg and a 31' Airstream.

I believe I posted the following in the wrong thread when I intended it for this thread.

"There they go again...."

It is amazing how many people on this forum boisterously ignore cargo capacity weight ratings and confidently assure others that it's fine to do so, because "I know someone else who has done it and nothing bad happened to them" or "I've done it for years and haven't had a problem" {yet} or, "my vehicle is so awesome (because it's european!) that exceeding the weight ratings doesn't matter in my case" or, even better... "my vehicle has no problem pulling a large Airstream trailer, it has plenty of power to pull it and that's all that matters." Yada, yada, yada... round and round it goes on this forum. Seemingly intelligent people making <bad> but critically important towing recommendations to others that just don't know any better.

One of the biggest mistakes newbies make is thinking that because their choice of tow vehicle has the "towing capacity" to pull a trailer of xyz amount of weight, that's this is all that matters. Like they've never heard of CARGO CAPACITY???

Or, there's the crowd who thinks that as long as they put a $3000 to $4000 hitch on the back of their light-weight, short-wheelbase passenger vehicle, that they can ignore capacity ratings and exceed them confidently, because their vehicle is a special european passenger vehicle.

All I can say to those who don't know any better is DON'T BUY INTO WHATEVER PEOPLE ON THE INTERNET ARE PUSHING ON YOU, especially if they tell you it's OK to exceed manufacturer ratings for CARGO CAPACITY, GCVWR, etc.

Do you're OWN homework (away from this forum!) until you fully understand all the aspects of towing capacity, cargo capacity, and the various types of ratings that apply to towing a trailer. Determine the TOTAL weight of your people and ALL the stuff that will go into your TV (don't forget all the stuff you may likely decide you want to take along some day), and include the tongue weight of the trailer. If that total weight exceeds the Cargo Capacity rating on the sticker of the actual vehicle you intend to tow with... you're playing with fire, regardless of reassurances from people you never met and never will meet.

There is no doubt in mind that a Toureg or a Cayenne CAN safely pull a SMALLER Airstream provided the rig keeps within all of the weight ratings. But when you get up to the longer, heavier Airstreams, it is very doubtful that these will be a smart choices as a TV. I don't see how a 28' to 30' Airstream, well accessorized with two AC units, awnings, etc., along with two or three passengers, perhaps a dog, and all their associated camping stuff can be within the cargo capacity weight rating limits of such a vehicle. Tongue weight alone on the recent production 30' ers is (actually) easily over 1000#, regardless of what the Airstream literature indicates. That's certainly pushing things to the limit, more likely well beyond, everything added together.

All this anecdotal commentary of how exceeding ratings is fine so long as you have a "special hitch" or a "German passenger vehicle" or a Canadian-blessed Mini-Van is hilarious and scary at the same time.

Some people will fudge here or there, or rationalize exceeding limits in their own mind and what they do is their choice. If they are fortunate, they may get away with it for a while, perhaps a long while. But to advise OTHER people to exceed manufacturer stated limits is grossly irresponsible in my view.

Sorry folks, just had to say that. Now.... let the anectodal counter arguments come pouring in. Newbies... put on your tall rubber boots, because the bs can get high and really stinky.
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Old 08-23-2015, 12:01 AM   #136
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So now we can't use our clip on mirrors?

Of course, she was just wondering.
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Old 08-23-2015, 12:06 AM   #137
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DHart ... bravo!
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Old 08-23-2015, 09:51 AM   #138
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I still believe that the CAT scales tell the owner the story that applies to the tow vehicle. I learned about this after buying the first trailer.

Before purchasing a tow vehicle, test drive and cross the scales with only the driver and full tank of gas or diesel. The print out one receives shows the vehicle as built numbers for the front axle, rear axle and total vehicle weight. The driver's door post has a label showing the axle ratings and gross vehicle weight displayed and if designed for towing will also mention the total combined weight of the tow vehicle and trailer when all the "stuff" is loaded.

Then get down and read the weight rating affixed to the receiver, if the vehicle had one from the factory. That weight rating is with the trailer attached but before application of weight distribution.

Not discussed very often on the forum is what strength does the hitch have to handle the rotational forces associated with the application of the leverage from activation the weight distribution system. Some hitches are not rated for that leverage.

Then cross the scales with all the family (including pets) and special equipment like strollers, kid's seats etc that will be in the vehicle when towing. Include the food and water as well plus any tools or chocks etc. Cross the Cat scales again. The shock may be that the vehicle is close to load capacity before a trailer is even attached.

My German vehicles have a passenger load capacity based upon 150 pound passengers. Sadly there are not to many of those in the USA.

Unfortunately, Airstream's literature has published tongue weight numbers that are, in may cases, substantially lower than reality.

My personal experience with our 2013 25FB International Serenity with a gross vehicle weight of 7,300 pounds was, with the Hensley hitch head attached, the dealer installed street and rear awnings installed along with a 155 watt solar panel on the roof a tongue weight of 1,150 pounds.

I crossed the CAT scales when I got home and no vehicle data plate numbers were exceeded in terms of the axle ratings or gross weight of the Mercedes. I was alone in the car.

Putting my wife in the car along with a 40 pound air compressor for weight in the rear storage area and having the trailer fully loaded raised the tongue weight (measured at the same point as before) to 1,175 pounds. With the Hensley setup applying weight distribution, my front axle rating was exceeded and the gross vehicle rating was also exceeded.

The car with it's diesel engine could easily pull the load up the mountain coming out of Palm Springs, CA on I-10. So pulling was not an issue, but overloading was an issue even with the reinforced receiver on the car.

We acquired a 2012 Dodge 2500HD as the replacement tow vehicle. It's receiver was rated 1,200 pounds. I read of some weld issues on the stock receiver and was not happy to be at the stock receiver's maximum capacity. So I removed the stock receiver and added an aftermarket hitch rated for 2,550,pounds of tongue weight and up to a 17,000 pound trailer. This receiver will never be stressed even with our Classic where the tongue weight was initially (after modifications) around 1,375 pounds but has been reduced to under 1,200 pounds now. The trailer has it's own GVW of 10,000 pounds but when loaded for camping it crosses the scales around 9,250 pounds.

I believe a new prospective RVer needs to do some real arithmetic home work on both the trailer size and tow vehicle combinations before signing any purchase orders.

If they have a potential tow vehicle in their possession, then the exercise mentioned above on the Cat scales needs to be accomplished to determine what payload is available with that vehicle which in turn could set the stage for how heavy a tailer could be considered.

If the trailer is acquired first, then the tow vehicle selection will be finding one with adequate capacity for that trailer.
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Old 08-23-2015, 10:22 AM   #139
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^^^^ I nominate Switz's above post as "highly recommended reading for those new to towing and choosing".

Well thought out, clearly articulated. A good example of a guy that has decided to be on the side of "I'm going to stay within stated limits".
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Old 08-23-2015, 10:26 AM   #140
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right on post, switz.
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