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Old 01-20-2020, 11:18 AM   #1
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2020 16' Basecamp
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Basecamp Measure Hitch weight

Hello community,
We will tow the BCX mainly with a 2012 VW Touareg TDi which hopefully will be ‘comfortable’ but our second tow vehicle is a ‘97 toyota LandCruiser (stock height, 32 inch tires). The LC is more sensitive to the hitch weight. Has anyone actually weighed their BC or BCX tongue weight on a scale? Any reported weight would give me an idea, please just mention if the trailer is empty, tanks full, etc... thank you
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Old 04-30-2020, 04:57 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BornAFrog View Post
Hello community,
We will tow the BCX mainly with a 2012 VW Touareg TDi which hopefully will be ‘comfortable’ but our second tow vehicle is a ‘97 toyota LandCruiser (stock height, 32 inch tires). The LC is more sensitive to the hitch weight. Has anyone actually weighed their BC or BCX tongue weight on a scale? Any reported weight would give me an idea, please just mention if the trailer is empty, tanks full, etc... thank you
Hi! I am going to pick up a hitch weight scale in about an hour to check it prior to our first trip here tomorrow.

I can let you know after the fact! Currently trailer is loaded with our regular supplies dishes, bedding, personal items and both propane tanks full but no water.

Note, we are towing our Basecamp with our 2018 Q5 and an Andersen weight distribution hitch. The Q could handle the trailer fine without, but did have some decent sag in the rear that we wanted to fix.

Having the beauty of a diesel T-reg you'd be towing like a dream and still getting decent mileage! Love the TDI's wish we could have gotten our Q5 as one.
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Old 05-06-2020, 07:30 AM   #3
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Thank you Dasponto. The Touareg TDi pulls it really nicely, still get about 22-24mpg depending on highway cruise speed. BC empty, sag is at 1.5 inches. I looked at the distribution hitch, but VW manual says not to use one. Curious as to your feedback on this. Also, what route did you go for a brake controller? Still curious about the hitch weight if you’ve measured it. Thank you.
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Old 05-07-2020, 10:24 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by BornAFrog View Post
Thank you Dasponto. The Touareg TDi pulls it really nicely, still get about 22-24mpg depending on highway cruise speed. BC empty, sag is at 1.5 inches. I looked at the distribution hitch, but VW manual says not to use one. Curious as to your feedback on this. Also, what route did you go for a brake controller? Still curious about the hitch weight if you’ve measured it. Thank you.
Does your Touareg have factory Air? Assuming not if you are seeing sag.

Not sure why the manual says not to use one, I will reach out to my contacts at VW/Audi this week and see why that is (on the board for the Audi Club of Western Canada).

When we had our factory hitch installed, they also installed a brake controller for us - I have to check but I am pretty sure its a Curt. They installed it into a compartment left of the steering wheel so it is nice and hidden out of sight.

We just got back from our first outing to the rockies, with the weight distribution hitch and it towed worlds better, way more stable and less bounce. On the prairies we were averaging 19mpg and once we hit the mountains it dropped to 17mpg. Cruising at an aveerage speed of 65mph or so.

Hitch weight when we left measured in at 444lbs. Tank was empty, propane full and just our regular stuff loaded, no bikes or anything yet. With the fresh water tank full I could see that dropping a bit as it is in behind the axle slightly.
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Old 05-09-2020, 12:58 PM   #5
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No factory air on the Touareg. I bought it from the VW TDi settlement reconditioning inventory. It just passed 50k miles. Shocks and springs should still be good, not much aftermarket to put a heavier rate set.
It appears to me that most unibody manufacturers do not recommend or even forbid the use of a distribution hitch, as the unibody structure is narrowly designed as far as rear side to side torsion. The Touareg can pull 7700lbs and tongue weight of 770lbs, so the BC is well within the range save for the heavy tongue weight of the BC. I was hoping to keep it closer to 350lbs.
The Land Cruiser body on frame should be fine with the distribution hitch. Maybe the Touareg too: please keep me informed if you find something about that. We had a van before, this is our first trailer, so we can benefit learning from the community. Thank you for the info!
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Old 05-11-2020, 09:37 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by BornAFrog View Post
No factory air on the Touareg. I bought it from the VW TDi settlement reconditioning inventory. It just passed 50k miles. Shocks and springs should still be good, not much aftermarket to put a heavier rate set.
It appears to me that most unibody manufacturers do not recommend or even forbid the use of a distribution hitch, as the unibody structure is narrowly designed as far as rear side to side torsion. The Touareg can pull 7700lbs and tongue weight of 770lbs, so the BC is well within the range save for the heavy tongue weight of the BC. I was hoping to keep it closer to 350lbs.
The Land Cruiser body on frame should be fine with the distribution hitch. Maybe the Touareg too: please keep me informed if you find something about that. We had a van before, this is our first trailer, so we can benefit learning from the community. Thank you for the info!
Yeah did some research and digging and chatted with my friend at a local VW shop and its the unibody vs. frame on that they say is the reason for not using a WDH. That being said, when digging through my research they indicate that the unibody isn't designed to handle the torsion forces created by a WDH. Which really to me is kind of funny, because the forces a trailer is going to put on a hitch and frame of the vehicle alone is way more than any WDH would (towing, braking, etc.) I have yet to find any one with a real world example of damage caused by a WDH hitch as well and my contact didn't seem to concerned either.

The amount of improvement on our towing with the Q5 and given that the trailer is well within the limits (NA Capacity 4500lbs, EU Capacity 5200lbs). I am not overly concerned. I did see one person have a custom brace added to their hitch, but even they said it was overkill.

I will have our mechanic check the hitch and points periodically to keep an eye on it regardless. But the OEM hitch is also a full crash bar replacement, not just a bolt on Curt hitch which also I feel makes a big difference.

Seems to be a number of threads on the Touareg forum for towing and WDH's as well.

https://www.clubtouareg.com/threads/...bution.278442/

Is one, people towing with it - it won't level the vehicle like a frame on vehicle, but does balance the load out and help with porpoising.
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Old 05-11-2020, 11:31 AM   #7
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Basecamp X tongue weight with trailer in working order:
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Old 05-27-2020, 05:56 PM   #8
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Thank you Terry.
Still surprised a 2500lbs Trailer has a near 500lbs tongue weight.
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Old 05-28-2020, 09:26 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by BornAFrog View Post
Thank you Terry.
Still surprised a 2500lbs Trailer has a near 500lbs tongue weight.
Pushing 500lbs is definitely loaded a bit front heavy if the spec is 440lbs.

We will measure ours again tomorrow before we head out to the mountains again, but we've been able to keep it in at the 440 or so.
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Old 05-28-2020, 09:36 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Dasponto View Post
Yeah did some research and digging and chatted with my friend at a local VW shop and its the unibody vs. frame on that they say is the reason for not using a WDH. That being said, when digging through my research they indicate that the unibody isn't designed to handle the torsion forces created by a WDH. Which really to me is kind of funny, because the forces a trailer is going to put on a hitch and frame of the vehicle alone is way more than any WDH would (towing, braking, etc.) I have yet to find any one with a real world example of damage caused by a WDH hitch as well and my contact didn't seem to concerned either.
You are spot on that WD reduces static tension on both hitch and frame, but the dynamic forces while driving with WD often greatly exceed without WD. The worst imbalances occur while navigating deep swales and especially laterally uneven terrain when most WD hitches (Andersen is an exception) impart significant twisting moments on the receiver TV frame and trailer frame.
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Old 05-28-2020, 10:39 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by BayouBiker View Post
You are spot on that WD reduces static tension on both hitch and frame, but the dynamic forces while driving with WD often greatly exceed without WD. The worst imbalances occur while navigating deep swales and especially laterally uneven terrain when most WD hitches (Andersen is an exception) impart significant twisting moments on the receiver TV frame and trailer frame.
Interesting, thank you very much for the reply!
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Old 07-26-2020, 06:59 PM   #12
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Pushing 500lbs is definitely loaded a bit front heavy if the spec is 440lbs.

We will measure ours again tomorrow before we head out to the mountains again, but we've been able to keep it in at the 440 or so.
Have to wonder if he has 2 AGM batteries under the galley? That would be around 150 pounds.

I'm perplexed as to why Airstream would build a trailer most large CUVs can easily tow the gross weight of and then make the tongue weight to where they can't. Stuck on trucks as TVs? Move the batteries off the tongue Airstream! Tell the bean counters 2 meters more of copper opens millions of vehicles to towing a Basecamp.
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Old 07-26-2020, 07:05 PM   #13
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Have to wonder if he has 2 AGM batteries under the galley. That would be close to 200 pounds.

I'm perplexed as to why Airstream would build a trailer most large CUVs can easily tow the gross weight of and then make the tongue weight to where they can't. Stuck on trucks as TVs?
We have the two agm batteries, x package and full solar. Fully loaded with pots, pans dishes etc and it's the 444lbs measured.
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Old 07-26-2020, 08:14 PM   #14
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We have the two agm batteries, x package and full solar. Fully loaded with pots, pans dishes etc and it's the 444lbs measured.
Our Sport 22 has a published TW of 422 lbs. And my scale reads it at 500 lbs. It is easy to add 20% to the Airstream published numbers. We don't carry anything special or any fresh water. Just some clothes and linens under the Front Bed.

If you add more batteries up front, that weight can add up quickly!

Higher weights (unexpected) do tend to make the decision to pull a lightweight trailer more challenging!
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Old 07-26-2020, 08:29 PM   #15
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Our Sport 22 has a published TW of 422 lbs. And my scale reads it at 500 lbs. It is easy to add 20% to the Airstream published numbers. We don't carry anything special or any fresh water. Just some clothes and linens under the Front Bed.



If you add more batteries up front, that weight can add up quickly!



Higher weights (unexpected) do tend to make the decision to pull a lightweight trailer more challenging!
There's only room for two agm batteries that come with the solar package.

Im sure changing the loading can quickly change the hitch weight. Especially on a single axle.
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Old 07-26-2020, 09:04 PM   #16
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There's only room for two agm batteries that come with the solar package.

Im sure changing the loading can quickly change the hitch weight. Especially on a single axle.
Load distribution is the key in this case. I am not sure if you carry fresh water and if the Basecamp fresh water tank is fore or aft of the axle. On mine, the tank is forward of the axle so I can add another ~100 lbs to the tongue with water on board. Your Q5 will do better than my Honda in that weight range as I would have reached my max TW at 600 lbs.

Whenever shifting loads to the rear, it is important to maintain a TW in the 10 to 15% range of the trailer weight, higher is better. If the Basecamp is coming in at Max Weight of 3,500 lbs. and the TW is 500 lbs. you are doing really good in that category! You will probably come in with an actual weight less that 3,500 lbs so you will be above 15% TW. Combine that with the WDH and you won't even feel that 80 kph cross wind while cruising on Hwy 2
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Old 07-26-2020, 09:39 PM   #17
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No factory air on the Touareg. I bought it from the VW TDi settlement reconditioning inventory. It just passed 50k miles. Shocks and springs should still be good, not much aftermarket to put a heavier rate set.
It appears to me that most unibody manufacturers do not recommend or even forbid the use of a distribution hitch, as the unibody structure is narrowly designed as far as rear side to side torsion. The Touareg can pull 7700lbs and tongue weight of 770lbs, so the BC is well within the range save for the heavy tongue weight of the BC. I was hoping to keep it closer to 350lbs.
The Land Cruiser body on frame should be fine with the distribution hitch. Maybe the Touareg too: please keep me informed if you find something about that. We had a van before, this is our first trailer, so we can benefit learning from the community. Thank you for the info!
BornAFrog, your Touareg TDI is a great tow vehicle! We used our 2016 TDI to pull our Flying Cloud 23FB using a Blue Ox SwayPro WD hitch. The actual loaded tongue weight was close to 700 lbs. We used 1000 lbs bars on the hitch. *All European manufacturers say not to use a WD hitch because they’re not allowed in Europe - they use surge brakes on their trailers.

I picked up a Tekonsha Prodigy P2 electric brake controller using the VW plug under the instrument cluster. eTrailer has a video of how to install it on a VW Touareg and how to make a pigtail to connect to the factory plug.

Hope you have many great times in your BCX.

-Jeff
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Old 07-26-2020, 09:53 PM   #18
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Our TDI did a great job of pulling our Camplite 13QBB (Same dimensions as a Bambi 16) but lighter.

Class 3 Hitch
Prodigy P3 Controller
Standard Hitch (No WDH needed)
Adjustable Sway Control (Very basic)

Pulled this little rig all over the PNW for 4 years.

This TDI is heavily modified otherwise I wouldn't do this.

We could cruise all day at 65mph getting 30 mpg. (50 mpg without the trailer)

Torque of a small block V8. Brakes inspired by Porsche Cayenne Turbo S, Fully adjustable coil over suspension Increased load range tires and a bunch of other things.

I think the TDI is a great power plant for towing as you might have guessed and the T-Reg (cousin to the Cayenne) is a fantastic vehicle for towing and a Basecamp will not stress this out in the least.
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Old 07-26-2020, 11:33 PM   #19
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Load distribution is the key in this case. I am not sure if you carry fresh water and if the Basecamp fresh water tank is fore or aft of the axle. On mine, the tank is forward of the axle so I can add another ~100 lbs to the tongue with water on board. Your Q5 will do better than my Honda in that weight range as I would have reached my max TW at 600 lbs.



Whenever shifting loads to the rear, it is important to maintain a TW in the 10 to 15% range of the trailer weight, higher is better. If the Basecamp is coming in at Max Weight of 3,500 lbs. and the TW is 500 lbs. you are doing really good in that category! You will probably come in with an actual weight less that 3,500 lbs so you will be above 15% TW. Combine that with the WDH and you won't even feel that 80 kph cross wind while cruising on Hwy 2
Fresh water tank is nearly directly over the axle. Just but a little bit behind.
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Old 07-28-2020, 03:21 PM   #20
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Thank you Dasponto. The Touareg TDi pulls it really nicely, still get about 22-24mpg depending on highway cruise speed. BC empty, sag is at 1.5 inches. I looked at the distribution hitch, but VW manual says not to use one. Curious as to your feedback on this. Also, what route did you go for a brake controller? Still curious about the hitch weight if you’ve measured it. Thank you.
I would assume that means it is a unibody. A WDH shouldn't be used with a unibody. WDHs put forces on unibody frame rails that they were never engineered to withstand.
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