Originally Posted by supziez
Tom, thank you for the super informative and insightful post.
You are correct -- this will be my first time towing, and I'm not taking it lightly. I have considered going for CDL lessons (but I don't think it ends up being practical), looking at various youtube videos, have also planned to do the empty parking lot towing/backing in/etc practice. I am however open to any courses (electronic or in-person) that you or the community may suggest.
I will reach out to Andy again -- I had previously contacted him about towing with a Q5 I had in the past, however now since the Airstream is ordered, it is more imminent for me
I'm all vaccinated, so a weekend trip to London wouldn't be bad, to get my SQ7 (when it arrives) all sorted for towing.
To be quite honest, with your vehicle recommendations I got a bit lost... I'd been under the impression that hybrids aren't great for towing, since once you lose that EV charge, you're just lugging around extra weight. So would your recommendation be to ditch the SQ7 and go for a Porsche e-hybrid? I won't commit to acting on it, but would be good to know what others think.
Thanks for the note about the Hensley Cub -- would having both physical and electronic sway control be overdoing it? The service tech at Colonial Airstream is doing some research into what the ideal combination would be for the SQ7 + International 23FB in terms of stability. I graciously accept your point about the RV dealer being happy to sell me anything, so also want to see what the community has to say -- is Physical + Electronic sway control > Physical alone?
Appreciate all of your well thought out and posted feedback! Curious about what your tow vehicle and trailer are. What are your experiences?
I didn't mean CDL commercial truck driver lessons, but the lessons that Good Sam & the RV associations etc. put on for trailer & RV owners. I recently saw an email from Good Sam about their currently COVID-online ones - but in the past & when they come back whenever deemed safe with COVID recovery, they'll have them around the country in-person again.
If the RV association one comes near you, then they had portable scales for folks to weigh their trailers & rigs at the event, & will hopefully do so again post COVID.
I think that the US-Canada border is still closed & don't know when Macron et al will reopen them, so several folks on here are planning trips to Andy post reopening. Check when they reopen the border whenever you know your timing for the AS+SQ7 being in hand, but get his WD/AS hitch reccos below.
BTW - your Q5 would've been great with anything within its 4500+/- lb rating, as is the similar Macan, such as the 16', 19' & 22' AS Bambi & sport lighter weight models. There are several members on here towing with them, but folks wanting bigger & heavier rigs need to upsize their TV.
Most people on here are towing with both WD/AS hitches & TVs with the "electronic AS" (eAS) - as we do with the F150/250 & RAM 2500 pick-ups with the built-in eAS that we've been renting a few times a year from Enterprise Truck Rentals since 2012.
However, the built-in eAS is basically opposite side braking to counter sway after it's sensed - which means it's already started, whereas the mechanical AS on the hitches either counter sway before & as it starts - either with friction or torsion bars with most all WD/AS hitches like EAZ, Equalizer, Blue Ox, etc. So the combination of eAS & mAS doesn't counter nor conflict with each other, but rather compliment & build upon each other's capabilities to stop/counter sway.
Whereas, the hitch geometry of the "Pivot Point Projection" (PPP) hitches from Hensley & ProPride prevent sway from happening at all, by keeping the trailer in line with the TV & shifting still tracking in a straight line with the TV to L & R with any side-forces (wind, 18-wheeler, etc.), & is prevented from pivoting on the ball/coupler unless & until induced to do so by the TV turning in forward or reverse. Ergo, it too doesn't conflict with eAS, & the latter compliments it if/when necessary.
The Hensley Arrow & ProPride are both heavier duty WD/AS hitches for trailers up to 10,000 lbs GTW (maybe 14,000# with PP ?), while the Hensley Cub is slightly lighter duty for trailers up to 6000# GTW with all the same parts & functionality. The big H & PP Hitches new run in the mid-$2000s up to low-$3000s now for the PP - whereas the H-Cub is only in the mid to high-$1000s new. All can be found used for less, & Hensley reconditions theirs for a new owner Lifetime Warranty (PP may do so too).
I looked at both, but since our vintage 1960
Avion T20 is only 3000-3500# wet-&-loaded - the Cub price was a major plus. However, I liked the idea of not drilling the A-frame for the Hensleys, that PP offers with its "Yoke" design, but in the end I couldn't get to fit on our old school shorter A-frame, & wasn't willing to rebuild the entire front end frame to fit it. As it was - the Cub's torsion bar brackets & adjusting jacks barely fit.
BTW - if you're old &/or have bad shoulders or back etc. - then you should seriously consider H & PP or any other hitch with adjusting jacks that you can crank with a ratchet wrench &/or a cordless drill - rather than levering/muscling up their WD torsion chains or torsion bars (H & PP offer a cheaper chain adjuster option for the younger & fitter crowd), as well as not having to undo the torsion bars in order to back-up & removing/replacing the bars & hitch head with the other models.
In my case I'm almost 69 with bad shoulders, knees & back from 11 years of youth/HS football & 26 years of Rugby XVx college/club/old boys after that - so H or PP were a no brainer for me - in addition for the easier driving/towing for both me & my wife. And I got our Cub in 2013, but was thinking ahead!
Another benefit of the Tekonsha RF brake controller mounted on your trailer A-frame/front beyond not having to damage the dash on your nice new SQ7 - is that you can transfer it to other trailers in the meantime, while not needing to worry about a brake controller in future new vehicles &/or for substitute TVs when your SQ7 is in the shop, has a breakdown or flat tire (carry a full size spare tire & wheel for both SQ7 & AS BTW - no inflatable spares nor cans of goo).
Also the brake controller handheld unit can sit ready at hand right next to you on the seat, lap, center console for use of the boost button in an emergency stop &/or for trailer only braking on downgrades etc. - rather than having to reach & find that button on the under or in-dash mounted brake controller while driving or in an emergency situation. To me its a far better design solution for actual use, as well as being out of the way on the trailer.
And to be clear - I do think that your SQ7 is an excellent choice - as are the other SQ8/RSQ8 & S6/RS6 Avant wagons & Turbo Cayennes, etc. - as I'd posted about them on here earlier this year.
Just make sure that they also install the trailer electrical hook-up at the dealer before delivery
, & try to get the combo dual 4-pin-flat & 7-blade round type of hook-up from Hopkins etc. if it fits the Q7 mounting plate (it should, & V/P/A doesn't make them, so most dealers just will try to sell you a plain Curt etc. 7-blade round only type) - so that you have more flexibility in towing light utility trailers, etc. You're better off for dealer warranty coverage of the installation to have them buy the unit - like this one below, but widely available.
Go to the actual Hopkins website &/or contact them for fitment.
My point on the other eHybrid options was that your counter of F150 Hybrid was neither the best alt powertrain choice, nor was it necessary to give up smaller mid-size SUVs with better passenger & enclosed cargo bay utility - unless you also want/need a pick-up bed for other cargo &/or work/home projects etc.
FYI - if you look back in this topic thread - there are several members on here towing with the Cayenne eHybrid that are having no problems, and all of the original C/T/Q7 base V6s were & are rated to tow the same 7716 lbs (often rounded down to 7700, but that the correct conversion from the KG used to certify their tow ratings). They don't seem to be having any issues with lugging around depleted batteries - which was also my initial concerns with them too. You could post the question on here for eHybrid towing feedback for some to chime in.
What I realized with the introduction of the 3.0L V6T base Cay engine, was that it had almost the same HP & TQ as the original CayS normally aspirated V8, but with TQ at lower RPMs, and the Cay eHybrid has used that 3.0L V6 in either SC (2015-18) or T (2019>) form with similar V8 power & TQ at lower rpm. Torque is what pulls our trailers well, & was why the 3.0L V6 & 5.0L V10 TDI diesels from V/A/P so great for towing - DieselGate problems & lack of factory & dealer support after the post legal settlement support timeframe.
The Cay eHybrid owners say - whether towing or not is that the EV & high mpg benefit is primarily at in town & local or short trips, whereas on the highway & when towing at freeway speeds &/or on grades in hills/mountains the EV power is basically a power boost, & you're otherwise recharging while cruising at set freeway speeds on gas power. The Cay Turbo/S 4.0L V8TT eHybrid is almost purely just for the power boost effect.
This was my process: After we got our restored vintage Avion back in July 2012 & actually now needed a TV, we did some rentals, testing trials/trips, & a lot of research into all sorts of purchase TV options. Initially for only 3-6+/- weekend trips per year towing to vintage trailer rallies & camp-outs - renting a TV made more economic sense, given the cost of the care & feeding of another "extra" vehicle (purchase, maintenance, fuel/oil/etc., insurance, etc.). So we initially only rented, but then more & longer trips became feasible after my wife's retirement as a hospital RN with limited & difficult to schedule time off, & 5-6+/- weekend rentals per year is about the breakeven point for us - with an added push for more comfort & not having old folks like us having to climb up into the overly jacked-up BS of today's pick-up trucks, then endure the rougher ride in them.
For our use a full sized pick-up/SUV is too big for our tiny 8' drive with mostly only 12-18" clear each side, & a narrow street (the truck rentals are a PITA), when in 2012-13 we tried towing with several rented F150 & F250s & Nissan Pathfinders with the 4.0L V6 in order to compare the towing with a mid-sized SUV vs pick-up trucks. 2012 Pathfinders with their V8s weren't rented to try out, & those truck based 2012 Pathfinders didn't have eAS on them - but the pick-ups had just started eAS about 2011-12. We couldn't pre-test towing with any Cayennes with hitches available to rent, so the Pathfinders were my kluge test case for the smaller than pick-up truck TVs.
However - while the Pathfinder was the perfect size for our driveway/street & driving comfort - it's 4.0L normally aspirated V6 5-speed Auto with 266 HP & 288 TQ was working hard on even moderate grades & constantly shifting gears on grades & at 65+/- freeway speeds (where legal towing speed with a "truck"). So that gave me pause for the older VW sourced 3.6L VR6 Base Cayenne, Touareg & Q7 - even though those had a bit more power, if they were working harder & with more road noise like the Pathfinder down-shifting & higher revs.
Also since those 2012 Pathfinders didn't have integral sway control with the tow package option - contrary to what the renting dealer told us the 1st time, we went "bare ball" on a trip SoCal/OC to the Pismo vintage rally in 2013, which was an E-ticket ride over 50-55 mph with the Avion wagging the Pathfinder's tail. So I got & installed the Hensley Cub before the next trip anyway, since we were leaning to Cay/Treg/Q7 anyway & figured we'd want it for added stability to their eAS systems. With the Pathfinder it went from Mr. Toad's Wild Ride, to docile with a bigger problem not creeping up to 75 mph on the freeway!
After 2013 the Nissan dealership was sold & stopped renting the Pathfinders, & we had to switch back to the local Enterprise Truck Rental F250 & Dodge/RAM 2500 3/4 ton trucks, which didn't really need the WD, & the mAS of the Hensley Cub never conflicted with the trucks' built-in eAS systems, nor did the mpg change hitched from unhitched - about 13 mpg gas or 17 mpg diesel with either truck - since they're waaaay overkill for our Avion.
I've probably rented +/- 30-50 different TV rentals of those F150/250, RAM 2500 & Pathfinder types since 2012, & never has any issue with the Hensley & eAS at all - & the Avion tows without any sway issues ever with high crosswinds, fast 18-wheelers, rough roads/pavement, etc.
However, if you ever rent a F150/250 in a pinch, be aware that their 2016-18 models had some electrical glitch with the trailer hook-up that would never work the trailer's main/running lights - only the brake & turn signal/emergency lights on 5 separate trucks in 2016 - even though the lights all worked fine when hooked up to another TV pulled next to us for a test - including a buddy's 2013 F250 & my `88 Westy van's 4-pin with a 7-to-4-pin adapter! So we switched to RAM 2500s only after that fiasco of no night towing BS.
FYI with the F150 Hybrid alternative that you'd mentioned in a prior post - note that the base F150s are/were only rated for 5000# GTW & 500# HW if not bought from the factory with their various higher towing options. So a F150 5-6 place crew cab that's got the 7500-8000# tow rating & comparably equipped to most any Cayenne or Q7/SQ7/Q8/SQ8/RSQ8 - actually ends up costing as much or more than the V/P/A premium SUVs, since almost everything has to be added onto the F150 as separate options - including a comparable 7716# tow rating.
For us - since I tend to keep my cars very long term (note ages below since new or 2nd owner) - staying away from the added complications for future maintenance of air suspension, turbo/super charging, loads of electronic nannies & options makes sense. Also, I felt that a more powerful naturally aspirated (NA) V8 not working as hard as a V6 NA, SC or Turbo - would be quieter & longer lived - as well as the CayS NA V8 getting better 13-15 mpg towing, vs 10-13 mpg for either the Base VR6, GTS NA V8, or Turbo/TurboS Cayenne variants. So I was very disappointed when Porsche dropped the NA V8 CayS in 2015.
The 2008-14 was my sweet spot CayS TV without AS (unfortunately all GTS came with air susp), with the back-up camera (which was an option then) &/or factory hitch (I could add aftermarket rear camera, or dealer installed factory hitch - but not both for the value, given $2k for each) - in any color but Black, & preferably not black interior (or I'd have to do seat tan covers) due to SoCal/Southwest heat). My requirements cut out 90% of Cayennes, then sellers asking over value cut out many more - when I thought my search would be easier with Cayennes being all tow ready.
However, since we're both retired now (me semi-) & will be driving the Cayenne around as a DD more now - maybe 50-70%, with only our 1973 Porsche 914-2.0, 1985 BMW 325e E30 & 1988 VW Vanagon Westfalia Camper now being Classic Cars with harder to find parts as our DDs to this point (before it was 80% for towing & driving at camp stops).
Ergo, I've become more open to next considering either the newer 2019> Base Cay 3.0L V6T, or the even more so for the 2015> 3.0L V6 SC/T Cay eHybrid where we can do almost 100% of our local DD in pure EV, while having the 3.0L V6T with EV boost on trips while towing, as well as for the now V6TT CayS. However, I'll want to have an extended test drive or weekend rental to tow our Avion with either/both as well as for the newer now 2015-18 3.6L or 2019> 2.9L V6TT Cayenne S models - before plunking down any money for one.
We'll probably start looking at new/newer Cayennes, & perhaps SQ7 & SQ8/RSQ8, & maybe even the S6/RS6 Avant &/or Panamera Sport Tourismo if they can resolve the tow hitch issue - any/all in gas &/or eHybrid variants - once the current production problems are resolved & back to normal levels, & once used prices are back to normal after same on new cars. We may end up with the SQ7 if my wife decides that we need 7 seats for kids & grandkids all in one car!
Hopefully this clarifies my TV comparisons & comments without too much TMI!
BTW - we're both all shot up too!