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Old 03-13-2003, 08:55 PM   #1
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Towing '62 bambi with a VW

Hi there:

I am purchasing a '62 Bambi, empty at 1,900 lb. I am interested in towing it with a 2000 VW Jetta. Is this totally out of the question? It seems light and I would have to add a tow package. Any input would be helpful. I will only tow it a couple of times a year so I don't want to buy a new vehicle. Maybe I should simply rent a truck for those occasions. Any suggestions?


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Old 03-13-2003, 09:34 PM   #2
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1959 22' Caravanner
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Uhhh I was going to comment but maybe I shouldn't. Ahhh what the hell!

I'm already going to hell because of VW's...In particular my moms Jetta that thankfully is long gone. I have a whole list of new cuss words I developed while doing such mundane taskes as replacing a timming belt that lead to a water pump, just a Quick
Weekend Job, the whole weekend and included drilling out 3 allen head bolts out of the crank and removing every acessory on the engine so I could get the water pump housing off the side of the block to drill out the 6 of 10 6mm studs that broke. Your deity of choice ears are still burning.

Hay I have a spare fried Jetta Auto tranny ( #4 in 80k) laying in the garage awaiting the lawsuit to finish with a Mr. Transmission franchise in Knoxville TN. After we finish with that your welcome to have it for parts. It was sort of baffling to us how we were charged $400 to tear down this tranny that blew 250 miles from home to find out what it was going to take to fix it. Get a $1600 quote after we got another 400 miles up the road in a rental. Tell the guy to throw the tranny in the trunk, I'll come get the car.

The next day I come to Pick it up and last thing the guy says to me is "We assembled it so it wouldn't leak all over the place." I thought that was very thoughtful at the time course I had 4 hous sleep in the last 30 and had drove 1,240 miles in the last 24 and had another 250 to go in the next 3 towing the car home on a Dolly behind a 1975 GMC Jimmy I bought for a Dollar ( and it's been 100 times more reliable the the VW). I then went and loaded the complete transaxle by my loansome.

Next morning that popped in my head went outside in my house coat, pulled the dipstick and found there were so thoughtfull they even installed the dirtty AFT as well.

Uhhhhh My experiance with VW's (uhh let me make the list me and my family have owned. 68 Square back, 73 412 wagon, 82 vannagon, 83 GTI, 63 bus, 87 Jetta ohh and there was Porsche's as well, 56 Speedster, 65 356c Cabriolet (I came home in that one) and a 72 914, that they do not make good tow vehicles for any more then about 1,000lb especially if they are auto.
While 1900lb doesn't sound like a huge amount you also need to figure in things like wind drag and the fact that the car still won't out weight that camper by much if at all when it's packed and ready to go. There is also the issue of the unibody and getting a suitable hitch that can handle 300lb of tounge weight and 3,000+ pounds of camper.

Course I may have a more unatural hatred of the Jetta then most. I am forever damned because of one.

1959 22' Caravanner
1988 R20 454 Suburban.
Atlanta, GA
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Old 03-14-2003, 11:01 AM   #3
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2004 25' Safari
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In a word, no.

I would not tow it with a Jetta. I would trade the Jetta for even a V6 (Rear wheel drive) SUV before trying with a Jetta.

I know Toaster would not agree and I respect his comments because he knows his stuff.

I think that VWs are nice cars. I have had 2 friends own them. One was the scraccio (sp?) and the other has a similar Jetta to yours. They have had zero problems. The friend with the scraccio got rid of it cause it was just too darn old w/ over 140k on it.

Although the Jetta does have an avail V-6, the most I would ever consider towing with it would be jet skis. The car is just not designed for the added weights and stresses of towing a trailer that when full could weigh upwards of 2500lbs.
And then last but def not least important, brakes. I don't think VW designed the car for the additional weight and even if the trailer has brakes, you still need to consider the possibility that being as old, they could fail and then the Jetta would need to deal with it. Last, hills and mountains. I don't feel the Jetta will like those with it's new found friend behind.

Cooling, gearing and if I recall, the Jetta is front wheel drive, making the trans also not up to the task. My girlfriend has a V6 Accord and I'd tell her the same thing I'm telling you. Then there is the issue of the car being unibody. A car/truck with a full parimeter frame is what I suggest and what most you will find have. There are some that don't. I haven't done it, wouldn't and wouldn't suggest it.

Now I know that you have seen the folks here talk about pulling with an Intrepid, Yugo, etc. I cannot tell you that is bad. Again, I have not tried it, nor would I or suggest others do the same.

Myself, when doing things that are out of the norm, I put my safety and the saftey of the others around me as my first concern.

In good conc, I could not say thumbs up on the Jetta.


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Old 03-14-2003, 06:43 PM   #4
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Don't think new just to tow a couple of times a year.

For less than 5K you can get a suburban or pick up that will tow it great and belive me you will find other uses for the "tow vehicle" once you get it.

Here are links to a couple I found near LA.

White with tow package and dual AC Blue with a recent rebuilt engine

Extend cab pickup with custom paint
Brett G
WBCCI #5501 AIR # 49
1978 Argosy 28 foot Motorhome

Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something. -- Plato

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