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Old 07-27-2020, 08:04 AM   #1
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2010 19' Victorinox
Asheville , North Carolina
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tow setup - 2015 Touareg TDI and 19 ft AS

Thank you all for the great info on towing with the Touareg TDI. We now have 2010 19 ft AS that we will pick up in the next 3-4 weeks. In the meantime, I am preparing my Touareg for the tow. I have a few questions:


Does the factory tow package with 7 pin connector (already installed on my TDI) include the brake controller? I have ready it does not and one needs to be installed to send the signal.


What hitch height do I need to be ready for to accept the trailer?



Should I go ahead and get a WDH or Anti-Sway hitch before I pick it up, or wait until I get it home and take it to a shop?


I am most concerned about the brake controller working. We will have about a 4-5 hour inaugural trip home with the AS.
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Old 07-27-2020, 09:49 AM   #2
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Get into your owners manual about the brake controller. If you have one, there should be readily available controls in plain sight in the vehicle. All brake controllers I am aware of have a means to manually adjust the gain (response) and to manually apply the trailer brakes (critical in a sway event).

If you don’t have one, again check your owners manual for a port where you might attach an after-market controller. As an example, my original Nissan truck came with a pigtail harness that I simply connected to a Prodigy P3 and I was in business...

While I generally avoid dealerships, a call to the service manager at your local Volkswagen dealership might save you some time...
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Old 07-27-2020, 10:32 AM   #3
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Had a Touareg TDI - Brake Controller help

mbsprouse, congratulations on your new Airstream!

We had a 2016 Touareg TDI and towed a Flying Cloud 23FB with it - great tow vehicle.

There is a factory pigtail under the dash/instrument column for a brake controller. Mine was wrapped with white foam and tucked way up above the steering column. It took some work to get at.

eTrailer has an excellent video on installing a Prodigy P2 brake controller on a VW Touareg showing where the pigtail is and how to make a connector plug to connect any brake controller. I bought the connector parts from my local VW dealer but you can find them online too. I recently gave away the pigtail to a fellow forum member with a Touareg or you could have it!

Some tow without a weight distribution hitch but we chose a Blue Ox SwayPro. Our tongue weight on the FC23FB was 700 lbs loaded. We used 1000 lbs bars. Your new AS might have less tongue weight so you could get lighter bars.

We had a bad experience with sway because the original 550 lbs bars were too light. The dear wife said she never wants to experience that again; couldn't agree more. I'd recommend a good WD hitch with sway control to prevent an undesirable event. Also, I had not set the gain high enough on the brake controller so I wasn't able to manually engage the brakes on the trailer to stop the sway.

When sway starts you want to accelerate and engage the trailer brake to "tighten the string" - think of the tow vehicle and trailer as a string. When you pull on both ends you tighten the string and eliminate the sway. Don't apply the tow vehicle brakes; take you foot off the gas and continue to apply the trailer brakes until the sway is eliminated and you regain control. We were lucky to avoid an accident; rookie mistake but you only do it once (hopefully). Once we got it dialed in, everything was fine on future trips.


Good luck with your new setup!
-Jeff
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Old 07-27-2020, 10:59 AM   #4
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Edit: Jeff beat me to it.

The VW won't have a brake controller installed but VW does offer a pigtail to do so. We used a Tekonsha 90250 Prodigy RF Electronic Brake Control instead. Much easier, not wiring or drilling into the dash. It appears that this may not be produced any longer. Get one if you can find one.

We use an Andersen hitch. Super easy to use and set up. We have had great success with it and love it.
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Old 07-28-2020, 11:40 AM   #5
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Touareg brake controller

I have a ‘65 Caravel and bought a 2014 Touareg new to tow it. I called every dealership and ultimately Germany and no one could tell me if it had a built in brake controller. I bought a Tekonsha prodigy brake controller but could never get it to work.

The receiver is sitting new in the box. I tow without it and do fine- I think because my Caravel is so small -17ft...I imagine you’d be okay at 19 feet too. I’ve never had any problem. Maybe it’s a mistake and I should try and get someone to try and make the Tekonsha work!
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Old 07-28-2020, 12:38 PM   #6
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My 2014 Touareg TDI did not come with a brake controller, so I got a Prodigy RF that plugs into the cigarette lighter outlet and connects to the trailer brakes via radio-frequency signal. It's adjustable with a power booster dial on the side. I've not had any difficulties with it, and no installation hastles.
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Old 07-28-2020, 12:45 PM   #7
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We tow a Flying Cloud 23FB with a 2013 TDI, so we had a similar situation. We had an EZ Lift 1000 lb WDI and antisway bar and Prodigy brake controller installed by a local shop that works with the local Airstream dealer. This setup has worked like a charm for us.



From the situation you describe for the pickup of the AS, I'd get the WDI and brake controller installed before you pick up. You'll have a much more pleasant experience on the way home. If you're buying from an AS dealer they will adjust the hitch height, otherwise the shop installing the WDI can advise you.
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Old 07-28-2020, 01:49 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cinesilver View Post
I bought a Tekonsha prodigy brake controller but could never get it to work.

The receiver is sitting new in the box. Maybe it’s a mistake and I should try and get someone to try and make the Tekonsha work!
If it's the wireless model, you'll need to do the initial pairing of the handheld to the tongue mounted box while it is plugged into a domestic truck, not a German SUV.

I had the trailer hitched to our Cayenne, so I just backed my GMC up close to it and plugged the box into the truck, paired the handheld and then plugged the controller back into the Cayenne. Works great.
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Old 07-28-2020, 02:05 PM   #9
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Orangeville , Ontario
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mbsprouse View Post
Thank you all for the great info on towing with the Touareg TDI. We now have 2010 19 ft AS that we will pick up in the next 3-4 weeks. In the meantime, I am preparing my Touareg for the tow. I have a few questions:


Does the factory tow package with 7 pin connector (already installed on my TDI) include the brake controller? I have ready it does not and one needs to be installed to send the signal.


What hitch height do I need to be ready for to accept the trailer?



Should I go ahead and get a WDH or Anti-Sway hitch before I pick it up, or wait until I get it home and take it to a shop?


I am most concerned about the brake controller working. We will have about a 4-5 hour inaugural trip home with the AS.
You need to add the brake controller.....the posts above are good info!

The hitch height should come from the model trailer you pick.....in the owners manual.

I have a WD hitch with anti-sway friction part added to it.....it is recommended. The installation manuals for the hitch you buy will give you all the info you need to set up......but will require some fiddling to perfect.

Don't forget towing mirrors! Most like the milenco brand.... I have the Milenco aero grand mirrors, and like everything about them. Cheaper mirrors can be had.... Most seem to move to the Milenco for the Touareg at one point.

Cheers, Scott
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Old 07-28-2020, 08:05 PM   #10
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I installed a P3 controller and light controller in my Beetle TDI so I could tow with it. Trailer brakes in are required in our area when the trailer weight exceeds 1,400 kgs (3,080 lbs). Most trailer manufacturers install brakes on each axle even lighter than that. My Beetle weighed 3,600 lbs and my trailer weighed 2,000 lbs so I had a good margin but the heavier trailers will tend to push the tow vehicle.

It may require that the wiring for the trailer be routed all the way from the driver seating area to the 7-way connector, but at least you will only have to do it once. Or look at some wireless options as suggested above.

You will want to engage the brakes on you trailer for normal stop and go traffic as well as coming down some big hills. The T-reg brakes are great but adding 4 or 5k pounds of extra weight will make its brakes work overtime.

One of the most important things is to be able to activate the trailer brakes independently if the trailer starts to sway. You may be able to bring it under control but without trailer brakes, you just have to ride it out and hope for the best.

Best thing is to be safe out there and enjoy the travel and the destination with your new Airstream!
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Old 07-28-2020, 08:31 PM   #11
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The swaying issue may be caused by:
1. improper internal weight distributing
2. The AS trailer may not be level with your TV

I never use WDH in my 27 years of towing trailers. all is needed is the make sure that 60% of cargo weight is between axle and tongue. 40% goes to back. I just put heavy stuff up front and light weight in rear. it works. I never had any swaying issues when i follow the 60/40% rule.

make sure that the trailer is level when towing or trailer is slanting down very little toward...

many will disagree with me but my towing for 27 years without swaying issues should tell you something. I will tell you that maybe longer than 20' will always need some form of WDH. I do not have white knuckles while towing.

Also get wireless brake controller. it is Kinda cheaper than installing brake controller with wires. Plus if you sell or get rid of your TV, all you have to do is carry the remote with you to next TV.

just a plain common sense.
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Old 07-28-2020, 08:58 PM   #12
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Same here...been towing Airstreams thousands of miles without a WDH. Pack correctly as stated in previous reply. We also tow our custom 2017 Bambi with a Touareg. They are prewired for brake controller. Go to uTube. If you're handy you can do it easily. Small hands are a bonus. Mine aren't and my girlfriend had to find the harness under the dash.

The Touareg is a great tow vehicle for a 19' Airstream.
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