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Old 02-24-2012, 11:49 AM   #161
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But I really wonder how the various components (transmission, differentials, etc.) will hold up over time. I don't know if there has been an objective look at that.
I talked to my service writer about that. (He has a camper van and a trailer himself, so he's very familiar with the mechanical demands made by TVs.) I wanted to know if there was any way to track wear on the Jetta to see if the towing was taking an undue toll on the vehicle. He said there's absolutely no way to tell, and that it always comes down to the driver's skills/non-skills, the individual TV and the people who made all the parts and have done all the mechanical work, the weather, storage, fuel quality, choice of tires, maintenance quality, and pure b*st*rd luck of having all those ducks in a row. Otherwise, he said, every driver's experience of every vehicle model's lifetime of use would be exactly the same, and plainly that's simply not true. (To his vast credit, he managed not to look at me as if I was a complete and total idiot when he explained this. Perhaps I've finally worn him down.)

ETA: Andy Thomson told me that when it's time to replace my tires (which were relatively new and bought before I even dreamed of towing an AS, i.e.: November), to call him and he'll tell me which tires to get; he said that there were much better tires for stability for the vehicle.
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Old 02-24-2012, 12:09 PM   #162
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Zlee, I have no doubt it is hard to know whether components will wear prematurely, but it could be done with a bunch of money and time. German cars have in CR's reliability ratings not done well compared to other countries' products. I hope this is not true for you, but I think you'll be keeping an eye on the Jetta to make sure it beats the odds.

I'd like to tow our trailer with a Prius, but we'd probably go up Vail or Monarch Pass at 1 mph, or roll down backwards.

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Old 02-24-2012, 12:19 PM   #163
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Payload doesn't seem to be defined well. Toyota figures payload with a full gas tank, but it has been stated that some manufacturers don't and may also figure it with no coolant. I have read that some Class A and C motorhomes have negative payload. There may not be a rule for payload.

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The brochure for my 08 2wd DC Tundra lists a payload of 1,680 lbs; yet the door sticker lists it as 1,475 lbs. I suppose the difference (205 lbs) is that the door sticker is with a full tank of gas (8x26) where as the brochure is with the tank empty, but I would think that Toyota would use the same payload definition in their brochure as is on the door jamb sticker. Go figure.

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Old 02-24-2012, 12:35 PM   #164
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Dan,

A full tank of gas (26.3 gal.) weighs 161.75 lbs, not 205. Gas is 6.15 lbs. Water is 8.34 lbs. The door sticker on ours says the payload is reduced by 107 lbs. because of options installed—running board perhaps, towing and TRD package maybe.

Somewhere, long ago, I read Toyota calculates payload with a full tank. It may be buried in the booklet I got at the dealer in 2007 that has all the specs.

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Old 02-24-2012, 12:45 PM   #165
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I THINK all manufacturers arrive at their weight figures with all fluids full, full tank of fuel, and one occupant @175 pounds. I have heard, due to Americans getting "larger", that figure may go up to 190 pounds soon (if it hasn't already). The difference in payload figures in the brochure and your label is indeed due to the options on the truck. The brochures will usually list payload for a base vehicle.
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Old 02-24-2012, 12:47 PM   #166
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German cars have in CR's reliability ratings not done well compared to other countries' products.
I'd want to look at what they were comparing it to and what years. I know my Jetta's year was considered one of the tops in class for the Jetta overall--the ones after were horribly unreliable until 2010, apparently, and this year's Jettas seem to have generated international scorn.
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Old 02-24-2012, 03:24 PM   #167
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But I really wonder how the various components (transmission, differentials, etc.) will hold up over time. I don't know if there has been an objective look at that.
I once asked Mr. T about such a thing. He said that from what he had seen over many years and millions of miles logged by customers the cars had less problems (mechanical wear issues) than the trucks. He also said that towing could increase the possibility of wear but that could apply to any vehicle. The beauty is getting 25MPG+ when not towing.

From our experience (10 years towing with a V6 Mini Van and now a V6 car) I have to say the mechanical issues related to towing have been about nil. I did add a set of coil spring isolators at a cost of $35.

There have been no drivetrain issues with either vehicle related to towing. The van had 435,000klm's on it and the car now has 205,000 klm's posted. The car still runs/looks like a new vehicle (except for the dent in the rear quarter thnxs to BH)
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Old 02-24-2012, 04:07 PM   #168
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I thought Canadians pulled their Airstreams with snowmobiles anyway.
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My dog team used to work better Gene, but the yipping when I pulled into a site disturbed all the southern tourists! Now they ride in the cab with me (the dogs, not the tourists, although of the ones I met we got on famously).

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Old 02-24-2012, 04:42 PM   #169
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Zlee,

"German cars have in CR's reliability ratings not done well compared to other countries' products."

We have had German cars since the 70's, I've never had reliability problems. We have a '99 MB C43 AMG we bought new in the spring of '99 and other than routine maintenence I haven't spent a penny or had any problems. The Benz has 137k on it and will still do 0-60 in under 6 seconds. I can't bring myself to part with it, in fact I turned down a very good offer for it Wednesday. On the other hand a friend had a VW Passat and he griped about it all the time, when quizzed about his problems most were related to proper maintenence. Don't whine when you need new tires at 30k or brakes at 50. My dad was a car dealer (Chevrolet) and I grew up in the era when tires were 10k at best, tune ups were needed every couple of thousand miles, etc. Cars and trucks used to be worn out at 60k and finished at 100. My nieghbor has a 50 Ford pickup (first car Ii ever drove) the memory is a lot better than the reality. Rides rough, bad seat, no power, no brakes! And to think people used tow Airstreams with 110 hp flathead V8's and old Chevy Blue flame 6's with really, really bad tires and brakes.
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Old 02-25-2012, 07:01 PM   #170
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Is there a website or some sort of address for this magazine?

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Old 02-25-2012, 08:21 PM   #171
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Old 02-25-2012, 08:52 PM   #172
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Zlee,

"German cars have in CR's reliability ratings not done well compared to other countries' products."

We have had German cars since the 70's, I've never had reliability problems. We have a '99 MB C43 AMG we bought new in the spring of '99 and other than routine maintenence I haven't spent a penny or had any problems. The Benz has 137k on it and will still do 0-60 in under 6 seconds. I can't bring myself to part with it, in fact I turned down a very good offer for it Wednesday. On the other hand a friend had a VW Passat and he griped about it all the time, when quizzed about his problems most were related to proper maintenence. Don't whine when you need new tires at 30k or brakes at 50. My dad was a car dealer (Chevrolet) and I grew up in the era when tires were 10k at best, tune ups were needed every couple of thousand miles, etc. Cars and trucks used to be worn out at 60k and finished at 100. My nieghbor has a 50 Ford pickup (first car Ii ever drove) the memory is a lot better than the reality. Rides rough, bad seat, no power, no brakes! And to think people used tow Airstreams with 110 hp flathead V8's and old Chevy Blue flame 6's with really, really bad tires and brakes.
I agree with the MB products... can't speak for a VW (they are a little small for me). I had a 300SD with the 5cyl turbo diesel. I had 498,000 miles on the odometer when I sold it in 9 years ago (original engine/transmission, etc... mostly routine maint). I was getting about 630 or so miles per tank (21 gal). I still see it around town from time to time. Loved that car!
Now, I would not think about towing with it, but great quality from MB!
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Old 02-25-2012, 09:10 PM   #173
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Driven VW/Audi cars 40 years to very high mileage with minimum trouble. We bought our '06 Jetta TDI new, still have it, never anything but routine maintenance.

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Old 02-26-2012, 10:09 AM   #174
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Zlee,

"German cars have in CR's reliability ratings not done well compared to other countries' products."
As much fun as it is to tell tales of high-mileage Yugos and such... you need to look at a bigger sample, which CR and such do. If they have a crappy rating on CR, it isn't because one guy had a timing belt fail at 40K... it's because a lot of people had problems.

Don't confuse 'initial quality' surveys with reliability... they measure delivery defects...
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Old 02-26-2012, 11:42 AM   #175
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Friday is correct. JD Powers does different surveys—a short term and a long term. Both are important, but unless you buy a car every year, long term is more important. I'm not sure how many people Powers surveys. CR does give some idea of how many people are enough for them to publish results.

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Old 02-26-2012, 05:14 PM   #176
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IMPO JD Powers 5 year dependability survey is the bible. It is stat driven and MUCH LESS opinion driven. CR is a popularity contest. Even JD Powers initial quality survey is a more scientifically accurate survey than CR, but still....the 5 year thing is the proof in the puddin'.
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Old 02-26-2012, 06:58 PM   #177
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Old 02-26-2012, 07:17 PM   #178
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I have been watching these threads on this issue, and it really cracks me up sometimes what people say on here without thinking.
Examples;
They just make up the numbers on the weight ratios for towing: Duh, It does not take a rocket scientist to know that these numbers come from decades of testing and real world use. Everything done to a vehicle does evenually end up back in the manufactures lap because someone or some politician is looking to get money for some reason and this has happened over decades.
Towing restrictions: when a manufacturer makes a vehicle to do something they look for all the ways someone is going to do with it that it is not meant for so they can limit lawsuits. It is called a Warning!
Another thing, when a vehicle is considered for production it has to pass 2 places before it goes into production 1 the bean counters who job it is to make sure they make money and not loose any, 2 the attorneys as they are the ones who have defend that vehicle in any and all lawsuits, and make sure the fault is on you not them.
I have spent 20 plus years in the transportation industry, and logged over a million and half miles and hauled just about everything, And I can tell you for a fact that when you exceed the perameters on something you are asking for trouble, something that could be as minor as a ticket or cut, to something as serious as loss of life and property. Now it may not happen the first time or even the first 20 times you drive, and you may get lucky enough to never have a situation in your limited travels but it only takes once.
As far as campers being checked, LOL, it happens.. New York state pulls it several times a year upstate, AZ, NM, NV, all have weight stations where they pull in all vehicles hauling trailers.. and yes they do check to see if you have overloaded your vehicle and trailer. I have seen TN & KY DOT pull over campers where they look unsafe and check them such as with a vehicle to small for the trailer.
So as far as CanAm remember they are an Canadian company and Canada laws are more liberal than here which is why CanAm does not want to venture across the boarder and open here, because what they are doing would not pass American Standards.
Everybody please remember 1 Thing?? just because it can = does not make it safe or right!
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Old 02-26-2012, 07:20 PM   #179
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I bought my Int'l BEFORE buying the TV. I think choosing a TV is broader than just what will safely and efficiently handle the weight. I didn't want a pickup as it just doesn't work for when I'm not towing a trailer. I had a 2008 MB ML --- but there is no way I would have wanted to pull a 28' trailer with it. For one thing, MB is just not all that happy about using their vehicles as trailer towers. I bought a new Infinity QX 56. All the car mags gave it rave reviews, and after 7 months with it, I definitely agree. Lots of torque, heavy duty frame, has a TOW selector (changes shift points), and it has all the goodies that make trips safer...lane departure warning, adaptive cruise, yada yada. It'll also hold my two Honda 2000's in the space behind the 3d seat (looks like the space was designed for them). I made sure that it would handle both tongue and trailer weights BEFORE I did the deal. Whatever you buy to tow just needs to meet or exceed a safe margin ....
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Old 02-26-2012, 09:48 PM   #180
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"What size truck or SUV is best?"

We all agree, it's . . . "Whatever I have."

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