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Old 09-14-2020, 06:15 PM   #1021
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Really? I am frequent visitor on this forum for the last 5 years, even though I do not tow Airstream. I do not remember even one example of "SUV combinations going out of control and crashing". Maybe the admins do not want me to see this content?
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Old 09-14-2020, 06:19 PM   #1022
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Or perhaps you only see things that fit your perspective.
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Old 09-14-2020, 06:23 PM   #1023
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Hahaha, always pleasure to discuss with BayouBiker about real things, not his imagination...
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Old 09-14-2020, 07:05 PM   #1024
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May I remind you that it was you claiming "this forum includes many examples of SUV combinations going out of control and crashing.". Please provide just one.

I dont know your setup, but I know that I don't want to be in any truck in any emergency situation.
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Old 09-14-2020, 07:16 PM   #1025
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Under the engineering and scientific method, it is your job to demonstrate the opposite. It is not my role to provide you with the information sufficient to contort to your viewpoint. If science were easy I'd be without a job.
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Old 09-14-2020, 08:01 PM   #1026
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Wait, do you want me to provide a mathematical equation confirming that BMW X5 is great tow vehicle? Sorry, I am a better driver than theoretical mathematician (even though I am fairly good in math). I do not need to be a scientist to know whether a tool is good or not.

Obviously, your science does not work perfectly. If it would, I could not enjoy towing my trailer.
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Old 09-14-2020, 10:47 PM   #1027
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Originally Posted by BayouBiker View Post
Under the engineering and scientific method, it is your job to demonstrate the opposite. It is not my role to provide you with the information sufficient to contort to your viewpoint. If science were easy I'd be without a job.
It is your claim that the vehicle is unstable. The burden of proof is on you. But I am sure you know that.

Those towing haven't found the same problems as you claim to have uncovered. There isn't a reason to assume the vehicles are unstable. And when you are shown skid pad videos, you disparage them.

I have seen an example of an SUV with crash photos on this forum. IIRC, it was a Tahoe with a rental Airstream. Lots of variables there. I wouldn't put a Tahoe up against a competent European SUV in towing. I had two Expeditions, but at least they had IRS. The Tahoe handles more like a US pickup in my experience (not towing), but doesn't have the benefit of space for oversized cargo.
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Old 09-14-2020, 11:43 PM   #1028
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My Audi Q7 rig ... and issues with it

OK so I just spent a day pouring over this thread. Aside from the infighting, it's a ton of better knowledge than I can get from my local RV dealer. Thank you!

I have a question about my rig, hoping someone might be able to offer up some advice before my family and I drive cross country in it.

I recently bought a 2007 19í Airstream Bambi. Dry weight 3625, GVWR 4500. It came with a Equal-i-zer Sway Control bar (which Iím guessing is also a WDH):
https://www.equalizerhitch.com/store...led-hitch-ball

I drive a 2013 Audi Q7 Prestige S-line, so itís got 333hp V6. No air suspension, however. (Andy at CamAm thought this was a good thing, dunno why). Factory tow package, so itís rated to 6600 total / 660 tongue.

Question I have is can I use that sway bar/WDH with the Q7, or do I need just a straight-up ball?

Two concerns:
  1. Use of a WDH hitch on a Q7. Manual does not endorse this, however, from what I can tell most people on these boards who use one do NOT have air suspension. Like me. So maybe if you donít have one, you need the WDH?
  2. When attached, the ball is far out of range of Audiís recommended distance. See the photos below.

I guess I have a few options:
  1. Say to hell with it and drive cross-country with my current Sway bars and 10Ē distant ball.
  2. Go to a machine shop and chop down the shank which maybe gets me to 8Ē
  3. Ditch the sway bar and just buy a ball hitch.
Iím not trying to win any performance awards. I just want to drive my airstream cross-country with my kids and wife. Stick to highways and probably 3-4 hours a day of driving.

Thanks for any pointers!

Drew





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Old 09-15-2020, 05:56 AM   #1029
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In the case you have already spoken to Andy I would follow up with another call. That limitation of the towing ball to hitch is I agree not to be exceeded, and cutting the receiver bar is also bothersome. Your right to take this seriously and your safety is paramount. Your trip may require a new towing setup. WD is a good thing, towing on the ball for a long trip needs further investigation. Does your vehicle manual prohibit WD ( a call to your dealership may help too ) I have towed for a short distance 50 miles without WD, in my case with my setup ( Ram 1500 and 16í Airstream ) itís a better safer ride with it. Write down your points before speaking with Andy.
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Old 09-15-2020, 08:29 AM   #1030
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One of Andyís recommendations will be get a EazLift WD and two sway devices and his shank, pretty certain. Thatís what I did
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Old 09-15-2020, 04:51 PM   #1031
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You've gotten some good advice already. The Equalizer hitch is less than ideal for your situation primarily due to stiff bars, the longer extension due to the design and the lack of precision in setting tension. Garfish's suggestion is a very good one. The Audi guidance about the distances apply at max towing limit and with no sway control. The geometry is intended to minimize both sway and oversteer when towing near 6600 lb. The recommendation to avoid weight distribution applies at or near (>90%) max limit as well. You are well away from that and can safely make some compromises. WD will improve towing performance so use it and consider making a switch to the Eazlift with the supplemental sway control or similar with more forgiving tension bars and compact design as Garfish suggested.

It is always best of course to get the ball as close to the bumper as possible.

Air suspension stiffens the spring rate but is not a substitute for WD which restores some of the load to the front axle. Air suspension makes it harder to know if you have WD tension correct, that is one reason Andy reacted as he did.

You could ditch the WD hitch and go with two friction sway control bars only, but your setup would benefit with a bit of WD.

If you follow Andy and Garfish's advice you'll have a nice setup.
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Old 09-16-2020, 09:39 AM   #1032
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I am pulling a 2010 19ft AS with a VW Touareg TDI very similar to your Audi. I even Looked at the Q7s before deciding on the VW. I am using a Lift-Eaz Recurve R3 that looks similar to your equilizer hitch. I have wondered about the length of the shank on mine as well. I'm not sure it is 10" out like your photo, but it is definitely longer than the 6.9" to the center of the ball. The Q7 and VW TDI tow packages are very similar. My VW was very stable with this setup. It took a few tries to get the ball height and angle right. My maiden voyage with it was driving across NC from Raleigh to Asheville. It was a very smooth tow on the highway/ interstate. I think the WD on the hitch and anti-sway is what gave me the smoother ride versus using the straight ball (which I almost had to do).
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Old 09-16-2020, 11:00 AM   #1033
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AirDrew View Post
OK so I just spent a day pouring over this thread. Aside from the infighting, it's a ton of better knowledge than I can get from my local RV dealer. Thank you!

I have a question about my rig, hoping someone might be able to offer up some advice before my family and I drive cross country in it.

I recently bought a 2007 19’ Airstream Bambi. Dry weight 3625, GVWR 4500. It came with a Equal-i-zer Sway Control bar (which I’m guessing is also a WDH):
https://www.equalizerhitch.com/store...led-hitch-ball

I drive a 2013 Audi Q7 Prestige S-line, so it’s got 333hp V6. No air suspension, however. (Andy at CamAm thought this was a good thing, dunno why). Factory tow package, so it’s rated to 6600 total / 660 tongue.

Question I have is can I use that sway bar/WDH with the Q7, or do I need just a straight-up ball?

Two concerns:
  1. Use of a WDH hitch on a Q7. Manual does not endorse this, however, from what I can tell most people on these boards who use one do NOT have air suspension. Like me. So maybe if you don’t have one, you need the WDH?
  2. When attached, the ball is far out of range of Audi’s recommended distance. See the photos below.

I guess I have a few options:
  1. Say to hell with it and drive cross-country with my current Sway bars and 10” distant ball.
  2. Go to a machine shop and chop down the shank which maybe gets me to 8”
  3. Ditch the sway bar and just buy a ball hitch.
I’m not trying to win any performance awards. I just want to drive my airstream cross-country with my kids and wife. Stick to highways and probably 3-4 hours a day of driving.

Thanks for any pointers!

Drew





Hi Drew, Tom here.

Sooooo ..... you got the Q7, no surprise here!
A good choice IMHO & your rig looks good too!

Many of us prefer the steel springs because they won't ever fail on the road, nor need new pumps, air bags, controls, ECUs, etc. - which are very expensive from Audi, Porsche, etc. - & they are tricky to get properly set-up after any maintenance, etc. When they work, they're whiz-bang, but when they don't they're a Royal PITA. there is also a debate as to whether steel springs are more stable than AS when towing & trailer side-forces are added to the vehicle's loading in tight turns, esses, emergency maneuvers, etc. - of which I'm not sure on that debate.

I tend to keep my cars long term, so don't want to be 10 years down the road when parts go NLA - & had been looking for a 2010-14 Cayenne S V8 with steel springs, rear camera & factory hitch (I will resume whenever we're ready to go trailering again post-COVID problems).

You're well within the Q7's limits with your 4500# GTWR & just make sure to load the trailer evenly so that you don't have too much weight forward where the Hitch wt. goes up. IIRC it's HW limit is around 680 on the Q7, which is a tad less HW & TW limits than the Cayenne & Touareg, the Q7 being longer & heavier with the 3rd row. You can get a Sherline Hitch Scale to get the hitch wt. as loaded .

https://www.sherline.com/product/she...-weight-scale/
.

Also, the Q7 - & its cousins Cayenne & VW Touareg are all allowed to use WD Hitches, & your hitch has or had a sticker with both weight bearing & weight distributed weight limits. V/P/A just never bothered to update their manual translations for the US market, from the Euro/UK one where WD is legally blocked since th e1960s in order to protect their light weight trailer/caravan makers, from the big-bad USA makers of heavier trailers & using WD on cars etc. I & others have covered this numerous times in this topic's thread, so read back if you want more info.

However, that doesn't look to me like the original factory hitch receiver in the top pic (but not enough in pic to be sure). I don't recall that distance from hitch decal on the factory Q7 hitches either, but that could just be my half-zymers.

PS - I just noticed the "Westfalia gmbh" on the decal, so that probably is the proper factory hitch, but worth double checking, & also to have the Q7 checked over & serviced before your CA-NY-CA trip.

Unless you bought the Q7 new with the known factory hitch option or installed by your selling dealer, then you can check your window sticker for the options if you have it, or have the Audi dealer run one on their system for you from your VIN, &/or check the service records if a prior owner had a hitch factory installed. The V/P/A SUVs all detect the trailer when hitched into the factory receiver, & automatically put the vehicle into tow mode (changes braking, suspension, shift points, engine performance, etc.) - which you want to have set while towing.

If not, then you can get the original factory hitch with all of the electronics from Audi & have it installed & the onboard ECUs reprogrammed for the hitch, because the aftermarket hitches won't do the automatic rest of the vehicle's systems to tow mode (there is no dash button to do so manually AFAIK).

Also, if that isn't the factory hitch, then the 6" limit isn't applicable, but may be a good recco for any hitch.

As for the WD hitch - I'm not as familiar with that Equalizer, but if they have the option to buy another tow bar that isn't adjustable height with the bolts/flange/etc., then you could just get one for your drop/lift height to keep your trailer level given your now known TV Q7's receiver ht. Then it presumably won't sit so far out as in your 1st pic.

Otherwise, if you're going to upgrade your hitch, then I'd recco going with the Hensley Cub good for up to 6000# trailers & 600# HW - with the option for crank jacks to adjust the tension bars infinitely & easily, without messing with trying to lift & adjust chains manually by link or half-link to get the Q7 leveled. And the Cub eliminates sway by its design - whereas the EAZlift, Equalizer, Blue Ox, EAZ etc. WD/AS hitches only resist sway with a friction pad or two. You also just leave the Cub on the trailer & don't have to take the heavy & greasy hitch head & spring bars on & off the trailer when parked - you just pull out the tow bar "stinger", which has none of the 6" issue to the ball, due to the stinger & the Cub head encloses the ball, with the PPP swing arms.

Yes, it is more expensive than the EAZ, & close to but still more than some of the others noted above - but it has a lifetime warranty, & you can get a new Cub for $1500-1800, & they may have some refurb'ed ones for less also with the life warranty. Call Terry P at Hensley to see what they have. If you're handy, then you can install it yourself in a 1/2 or full day (I did ours & I'm 68, 63 then), or you can take it to the trailer shop to install when they do the wheel bearings, brakes, lights, etc. & safety inspection before your trip (you can have the Cub shipped to the shop).

You will be able to tow MUCH more easily & confidently - with zero sway at any speed, will have a tighter turning radius than with the other WD/AS hitches due to its geometry/swing-arms, will gain clearance to open your rear hatch (I think - it does for the rented pick-ups' tailgates & rented Nissan Pathfinders' Hatches that we've used so far), able to easily adjust the TV & AS for level & WD with the adjustment jacks, not have to mess with the hitch head/torsion bars when unhitched (it even comes with a vinyl cover for the hitch head).

It made a HUGE difference when we were towing our 1960 Avion T20 with several rented 2013 Nissan Pathfinders - went from squirreley over 55 to absolutely dead stable at freeway speeds & up (oops! ).

https://hensleymfg.com/products/the-hensley-cub/

https://hensleymfg.com/product/hensl...trailer-hitch/
.

If your Q7 doesn't already have a brake controller installed, then I'd recco the Tekonsha RF installed on the AS's A-Frame, with the hand controller plugged into your round 12v power/cig lighter receptacle in the cabin, & kept close at hand in your lap or on the center console, in case you need bump the trailer brake boost button in a hard stop or whatever (the dash mounts require you to look for & reach for the button on the unit installed under the dash.

The RF also eliminates the need to install one under the dash & use the additional factory adapter pig-tail for the Q7's wiring harness (same thing for Cayenne & Touareg). It's an easy self install, & easy to use - or have your trailer shop do it (hopefully you found one, or used the recco I gave you before).

https://www.tekonsha.com/products/br...RB508pViEKmVBf

Google around for best price, sales, etc.

Here's my Hensley Cub & Tekonsha RF on our Trailer A-frame, but note that I had to use that steel plate to lift the Tek RF above the Cub's control strut adjuster because vintage trailers like ours have shorter A-frames, than newer ones like your AS. So you can probably mount yours directly on the A-frame, or on the front frame of the body, or use a similar steel plate (the Tek RF is fairly light).




For your Q7's electronics, you will probably/possibly need one of these adapters to bypass the lights-out program of the Q7 going to the trailer, as many Q7/Cayenne/Touareg owners on here have found. It's also discussed earlier in this long topic.

https://www.etrailer.com/Wiring/Tow-Ready/20142.html
.

Hopefully, that gives you some guidance on setting up your Q7 & AS for years of safe, easy & fun towing.

For more Q7 specific input, look up some of the other Q7 owners posting before on this topic, & try PMing them for any other detailed questions or feedback.

Safe Travels to Go Get Gramma!
Tom
///////
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Old 11-15-2020, 12:54 AM   #1034
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I have finally narrowed down my tow vehicle choices for our new 2021 Flying cloud 23FB which we will get sometime in mid Jan / Mid February...

Airstream
2021 Flying Cloud 23FB
Hitch weight with LP batteries*: 467lbs
Unit base weight with LP batteries*: 4,806
Note: I’m having the factory install solar so the LP batteries will be replaced.

Your thoughts on these three vehicles?

Option 1
2018 Audi Q7 3.0 Premium Plus or Prestige
Payload: 1,541*lbs
Horsepower: 333*hp
Engine: 3.0*L V6
Torque: 325*lb-ft
Towing Capacity 7,700
Length: 199.6
Width w/o mirrors: 77.5
wheelbase: 117.9

Option 2

Mercedes GLE AMG43
V6 Cylinder Engine Turbocharged
Engine Type: Twin Turbo
Horsepower 385 @ 6100
Torque 384 @ 2500
Towing Capacity 7,200
Length: 189.6
Width w/ mirrors: 76.2
Wheelbase: 114.8

Option 3

Porsche Cayenne
Engine: 3.6*L V6
Horsepower: 300*hp @ 6,200*rpm
Towing capacity: 7,716*lbs

Question

1) Which vehicle do you think I should consider as it is me, my wife, and our 3 year old daughter.

2) If an Audi Q7 would you suggest getting adaptive suspension or NOT? It seems to come on some of the Q7 Prestige vehicles.
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Old 11-15-2020, 06:24 AM   #1035
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If the Cayenne has enough interior space for you and the price is similar I would suggest it. The handling is excellent, the 3.6 has plenty of power without the complexity of turboís. A steel spring suspension handles better and is easier to tune the hitch for than air suspension.

If youíre looking for a good used one also look at
Dodge Durangoís. They are the same chassis as the Mercedes, wonderful ZF 8speed transmission. The 3.6 V6 has plenty of power the Hemi is a beast. This is an article on the 300 with the same drivetrain.
https://rvlifemag.com/chryslers-300-sedan/
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Old 11-16-2020, 07:53 AM   #1036
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This has been a very good thread. I have read it at least twice front to back.

I am towing with a 2016 Touareg V6 gasser. I very much appreciate Andy's advice - based on decades of experience and analysis, and the engineers on this thread.

We want stick with one vehicle (otherwise we have to store one vehicle for 6 months). The Touareg/Audi/Porsche SUV's are very comfortable, solid feeling, and handle very well both with and without the trailer.

Not sure there are 2 people who have the same opinion, so in the end, I made a decision on what to do. I chose 3 people/organizations- CanAm, my VW Service manager, and Colonial AS Service Manager and tech (who just happened to also be a certified VW tech). Slight variation between them, but basically the same - the Touareg is a good tow vehicle and with a few changes, it is a safe and comfortable TV.

I am towing an AS FC 25 RBT.

My hitch is a ProPride 3P

To reduce tongue wt, I went to Lithium batteries moved to under the front dinette bench (this way I do not loose any storage space). Prior to this change, I swapped my 30lb LP for 20lb tanks (I had plenty of LP with the 20 lb tanks).

I installed new Michellin tires on the Touareg.

I removed the spare and put it on a roof rack on the Touareg.

I carry a Honda generator in the rear of the trailer just above the rear axil, and travel with a full fresh water tank, and empty gray and black water tanks. (side note, while at the AS dealer, I had time to study the cut away trailer in the show room. I noticed the gray and black water tanks are over the rear axil, so they mosts effect tow weight, not tongue weight).

Loaded weight is 6300-6500 lbs. We carry little in the Touareg.

Tongue wt is 800-850 lbs (I find little seesaw at this wieght). My target is 12-13% TW, and can modify by where I carry the generator and how much water to carry.

In hilly terrain, I switch to manual shifting - HOWEVER, my wife prefers to use the Cruise control and it seems to work very well and shifts when needed. I prefer the manual shift option.

What I have left to do is to have the CanAm mod (in Spring). I am considering leaving the AS spare at home. The new Goodyear Endurance seem to be a very good tire and much more reliable than the Marathon. Maybe when the trailer tires need to be changed, I will switch to Michelin LT 16".

So far, I have towed 7,000 miles. My only other experience towing was a 12' enclosed trailer with my Honda Ridgeline. This tows easier with seeming less resistance. I have zero sway, and during the latest tropical storm in Florida, I drove 60 miles to Tampa Airstream and did not feel any movement from 20-40 MPH wind. I credit this to Airstream's low center of gravity and aerodynamic shape. Also, the ProPride really works.

Adding up all the additional costs (change to Hensley/ProPride hitch, new tires on TV, Lithium batteries, extended warrantee on Touareg, and future hitch mod), it is about $10K. Still cost effective. If this works out, we would like to switch to a diesel version for our next TV.
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Old 11-16-2020, 08:43 AM   #1037
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flathead1984 View Post
This has been a very good thread. I have read it at least twice front to back.

I am towing with a 2016 Touareg V6 gasser. I very much appreciate Andy's advice - based on decades of experience and analysis, and the engineers on this thread.

We want stick with one vehicle (otherwise we have to store one vehicle for 6 months). The Touareg/Audi/Porsche SUV's are very comfortable, solid feeling, and handle very well both with and without the trailer.

Not sure there are 2 people who have the same opinion, so in the end, I made a decision on what to do. I chose 3 people/organizations- CanAm, my VW Service manager, and Colonial AS Service Manager and tech (who just happened to also be a certified VW tech). Slight variation between them, but basically the same - the Touareg is a good tow vehicle and with a few changes, it is a safe and comfortable TV.

I am towing an AS FC 25 RBT.

My hitch is a ProPride 3P

To reduce tongue wt, I went to Lithium batteries moved to under the front dinette bench (this way I do not loose any storage space). Prior to this change, I swapped my 30lb LP for 20lb tanks (I had plenty of LP with the 20 lb tanks).

I installed new Michellin tires on the Touareg.

I removed the spare and put it on a roof rack on the Touareg.

I carry a Honda generator in the rear of the trailer just above the rear axil, and travel with a full fresh water tank, and empty gray and black water tanks. (side note, while at the AS dealer, I had time to study the cut away trailer in the show room. I noticed the gray and black water tanks are over the rear axil, so they mosts effect tow weight, not tongue weight).

Loaded weight is 6300-6500 lbs. We carry little in the Touareg.

Tongue wt is 800-850 lbs (I find little seesaw at this wieght). My target is 12-13% TW, and can modify by where I carry the generator and how much water to carry.

In hilly terrain, I switch to manual shifting - HOWEVER, my wife prefers to use the Cruise control and it seems to work very well and shifts when needed. I prefer the manual shift option.

What I have left to do is to have the CanAm mod (in Spring). I am considering leaving the AS spare at home. The new Goodyear Endurance seem to be a very good tire and much more reliable than the Marathon. Maybe when the trailer tires need to be changed, I will switch to Michelin LT 16".

So far, I have towed 7,000 miles. My only other experience towing was a 12' enclosed trailer with my Honda Ridgeline. This tows easier with seeming less resistance. I have zero sway, and during the latest tropical storm in Florida, I drove 60 miles to Tampa Airstream and did not feel any movement from 20-40 MPH wind. I credit this to Airstream's low center of gravity and aerodynamic shape. Also, the ProPride really works.

Adding up all the additional costs (change to Hensley/ProPride hitch, new tires on TV, Lithium batteries, extended warrantee on Touareg, and future hitch mod), it is about $10K. Still cost effective. If this works out, we would like to switch to a diesel version for our next TV.
I am towing my 2016 FC 26U with a 2016 Touareg TDI with hitch reinforcement done by CanAM...not too long ago! Andy is an extremely knowledgeable person and CanAm did an absolute fantastic job with the hitch reinforcement and setting up my Treg and 26U! I am extremely happy with my setup and would definitely recommend the hitch reinforcement through CanAm!
Richard
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Old 12-03-2020, 09:09 AM   #1038
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Posting for a friend...2019 Q7 2.0l towing new Basecamp20X

A very good friend is taking delivery of a new Basecamp 20X end of December and is contemplating purchasing a slightly used 2019 Q7 2.0 Premium Plus with Class4 hitch and tow package (40K miles), and purchasing a new Equalizer E4 WDH. I know there are several folks here with lots of experience so hoping to get some advise before he pulls the trigger on the tow vehicle...Appreciate your help!
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Old 12-03-2020, 12:00 PM   #1039
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Tow vehicle is a great match, the hitch not so much. I'd suggest something more flexible and easier to adjust, something with Sway damping more independent from WD.
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Old 12-03-2020, 09:05 PM   #1040
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What is the meaning of the Cayenne hitch weight limit?

The hitch weight limit on the Cayenne is listed at 617. If I assume a 30% weight reduction on the hitch by using a distribution hitch, is it a reasonable estimate to say I could put a trailer with up to 880 lb hitch weight on it?

Obviously, would measure, but trying to get a ballpark figure here.
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