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Old 11-10-2020, 03:41 PM   #1
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Towing with 1019 Audi Q8 55 and Caravel 22FB Newbie

Hello All,

I am trying to research proper towing/payload set up for our new Audi Q8. There was another thread that seemed to be all over the place with options. So thought it would be a good idea to start a new in hopes of more accurate info for a smaller trailer.

A) We are towing a Caravel 22FB. 5000Lb loaded up and will most likely end up with a ball weight of around 700Lb.

B) Vehicle is rated at 7700 for towing with brakes and Max tow ball weight of 770.

C) Payload...There seems to be weird discrepancy here. Audi tells us 1,467 Lb for our 2019 model but door sticker says 1,102. We talked to Audi customer service today and they are holding by the 1,467#. GVR is 6,471Lb and Curb of 5,004. So I have no idea where the 1,102 came from?

Any additional info would be be Helpful. We are newbies and want to be as safe as possible with towing our new Caravel.

We thought the Audi would be a good choice for us due to all the positive experiences people have had on the forum with the Q7. My wife and I are sharing the Q8 as a daily vehicle, so decided SUV would be a better option. The Q8 is also a bit smaller in over-all size relative to its tow capacity/ball weight when compared to other SUVís in the segment. Not to mention, we got a killer deal on it because it was a left over 2019...The Q8 was kind like the ugly pound puppy that no one wanted...So I guess we had to take it home😂

Tony
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Old 11-10-2020, 04:57 PM   #2
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I think most people follow the payload sticker on the car as opposed to the published manufacturer information, as it takes into consideration all the options on an individual vehicle. For example, if you have the panoramic glass roof, it's quite heavy and would reduce your overall payload rating.

Congrats on your Caravel. I'm sure you'll love it.
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Old 11-10-2020, 05:23 PM   #3
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Dennis is correct that the door label is generally the more accurate, but sometimes for some vehicles that are not marketed for high payloads, the manufacturer uses the worst case and puts the same lowest payload on all models regardless of the options.

So your best bet is to fill the fuel tank, empty the vehicle of everything "extra" and go to the local CAT scales. Weigh the vehicle front and rear axles and then use that as your true base weight.

You have a good combination that will tow the 22 very very well and quite safely. If you don't bring a lot of gear camping you will be quite happy with your set up.

Since you want to be "as safe as possible". Get your true payload, subtract real tongue weight and then load the vehicle with as much stuff biased forward as much as you can to get to near GVWR when loaded and fully set up. Add 5-7 psi to the rear tires and take 2-3 off the fronts compared to OEM guidance for max load. Get a gentle WD hitch with good sway control and an electric brake controller.
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Old 11-10-2020, 05:55 PM   #4
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Thanks

Thank you for the comments. Our Q8 is a base version with no options. With that said, the Q8 does come with a glass roof. There is no option w/o. Due to the fact that our vehicle is considered a base I canít figure out the 1100 Max payload. We also checked a fully optioned Q8 and it list the same payload. We will head to the scales this weekend with full tank of gas and use that as a start point.

We really like the vehicle and I know that it will tow the 22FB w/o a problem if properly set up. However if the 1100 pound payload is truly accurate, I am limited to travel with me and my dog. Wife and son would probably have to Uber😂

Tony
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Old 11-10-2020, 06:33 PM   #5
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We had an Audi SQ5 for many years. They build very nice vehicles.
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Old 11-11-2020, 11:13 AM   #6
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Like you are about to take possession of a Caravel 22FB which we plan on towing with an Audi Q7. Weíve heard this is a great combination and love the Audiís comfort on long drives.

Have you checked out Audiís crazy automatic ďtrailer assistĒ mode which assists backing up the trailer, like their automatic parking function?! I believe this is only available in Europe and not yet in the US.






https://www.audi-technology-portal.d...in%20the%20MMI.
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Old 11-11-2020, 11:25 AM   #7
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Wow, I did not know they were making Audiís a thousand years ago. 😳🥺
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Old 11-11-2020, 03:25 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by tmartino View Post
Hello All,

I am trying to research proper towing/payload set up for our new Audi Q8. There was another thread that seemed to be all over the place with options. So thought it would be a good idea to start a new in hopes of more accurate info for a smaller trailer.

******[SNIP]******

We thought the Audi would be a good choice for us due to all the positive experiences people have had on the forum with the Q7. My wife and I are sharing the Q8 as a daily vehicle, so decided SUV would be a better option. The Q8 is also a bit smaller in over-all size relative to its tow capacity/ball weight when compared to other SUV’s in the segment. Not to mention, we got a killer deal on it because it was a left over 2019...The Q8 was kind like the ugly pound puppy that no one wanted...So I guess we had to take it home��

Tony
My tow vehicle is a 2016 Porsche Cayenne base model (300hp gasoline V6). The Cayenne is the same basic platform as the Q7 and Q8, so my experience with the Cayenne may be identical to what you can expect with the Q8 or Q7. With my Cayenne I have pulled a variety of Airstreams, from 22-foot to 29-foot, all over the US, coast to coast, border to border. Though my Airstreams are older vintage (1955-1975), and therefor a bit lighter than modern ones, my 1973, 29-foot Ambassador weighs in at about 6000 pounds wet. My Cayenne is rated to tow 7700 pounds, and it pulls the trailer just fine. The only time I wanted more power was when pulling this trailer up an 8% incline of winding road at 10,000 feet West of Denver, but slow speeds and high revs got us through (I had never seen an 8% incline before). Of course, you'll need a brake controller installed, and will no doubt want/need a weight distribution hitch system to level things out.
IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT INTERFACING A BRAKE CONTROLER WITH AUDI/PORSCHE/VW: It was my frustrating experience that every Porsche dealer in the USA that I contacted (and there were many) know nothing about towing with the Cayenne. Even though these cars are made with towing in mind, evidently most are used to haul groceries and to take the kids to soccer practice. So trying come up with a wiring harness to interface the Cayenne electrical system to the brake controller was an adventurous ordeal. As it turns out, the Cayenne, VW Toureg, and Audio Q7 (and presumably the Q8?) have the same wiring system, at least regarding brake controller. There is actually harness and and connector under the instrument panel near the steering column specifically for connecting to a brake controller. The problem is that the connector on this harness it is not standard for "plug-and-play" with the cables that come with any brake controllers. Like most everyone else that uses a brake controller with the Cayenne/Audi/VW SUV, I had to fabricate a cable to connect the Cayenne harness to the brake controller. This involved ordering a special VW connector from the Audio dealer parts department (right next door to the Porsche dealer). There are several internet sources for how to construct the brake controller cable for these vehicles. Anyway, that was four years ago and it's worked flawlessly since. After about 100,000 miles, I still love towing my 29-foot Airstream with my Cayenne.
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Old 11-11-2020, 03:41 PM   #9
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we pull our 22Fb sport with a Q5

no problem
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Old 11-11-2020, 05:02 PM   #10
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Wow, I did not know they were making Audiís a thousand years ago. 😳🥺
Nor did I! Ha...Was to late to edit. I guess the one is a bit close to the two on my iPad...
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Old 11-11-2020, 05:07 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by beechbaron View Post
My tow vehicle is a 2016 Porsche Cayenne base model (300hp gasoline V6). The Cayenne is the same basic platform as the Q7 and Q8, so my experience with the Cayenne may be identical to what you can expect with the Q8 or Q7. With my Cayenne I have pulled a variety of Airstreams, from 22-foot to 29-foot, all over the US, coast to coast, border to border. Though my Airstreams are older vintage (1955-1975), and therefor a bit lighter than modern ones, my 1973, 29-foot Ambassador weighs in at about 6000 pounds wet. My Cayenne is rated to tow 7700 pounds, and it pulls the trailer just fine. The only time I wanted more power was when pulling this trailer up an 8% incline of winding road at 10,000 feet West of Denver, but slow speeds and high revs got us through (I had never seen an 8% incline before). Of course, you'll need a brake controller installed, and will no doubt want/need a weight distribution hitch system to level things out.
IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT INTERFACING A BRAKE CONTROLER WITH AUDI/PORSCHE/VW: It was my frustrating experience that every Porsche dealer in the USA that I contacted (and there were many) know nothing about towing with the Cayenne. Even though these cars are made with towing in mind, evidently most are used to haul groceries and to take the kids to soccer practice. So trying come up with a wiring harness to interface the Cayenne electrical system to the brake controller was an adventurous ordeal. As it turns out, the Cayenne, VW Toureg, and Audio Q7 (and presumably the Q8?) have the same wiring system, at least regarding brake controller. There is actually harness and and connector under the instrument panel near the steering column specifically for connecting to a brake controller. The problem is that the connector on this harness it is not standard for "plug-and-play" with the cables that come with any brake controllers. Like most everyone else that uses a brake controller with the Cayenne/Audi/VW SUV, I had to fabricate a cable to connect the Cayenne harness to the brake controller. This involved ordering a special VW connector from the Audio dealer parts department (right next door to the Porsche dealer). There are several internet sources for how to construct the brake controller cable for these vehicles. Anyway, that was four years ago and it's worked flawlessly since. After about 100,000 miles, I still love towing my 29-foot Airstream with my Cayenne.
Thank you for your comments! BTW I purchased the Curt brake controller from Audi. It is supposed to be plug and play.

My biggest concern towing with the q8 is payload. There seems to be some discrepancy with the two stickers on the door. We are trying to figure it out with Audi. One number indicates 1100 pounds payload and the other is about 1500.
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Old 11-19-2020, 11:23 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by beechbaron View Post
My tow vehicle is a 2016 Porsche Cayenne base model (300hp gasoline V6). The Cayenne is the same basic platform as the Q7 and Q8, so my experience with the Cayenne may be identical to what you can expect with the Q8 or Q7. With my Cayenne I have pulled a variety of Airstreams, from 22-foot to 29-foot, all over the US, coast to coast, border to border. Though my Airstreams are older vintage (1955-1975), and therefor a bit lighter than modern ones, my 1973, 29-foot Ambassador weighs in at about 6000 pounds wet. My Cayenne is rated to tow 7700 pounds, and it pulls the trailer just fine. The only time I wanted more power was when pulling this trailer up an 8% incline of winding road at 10,000 feet West of Denver, but slow speeds and high revs got us through (I had never seen an 8% incline before). Of course, you'll need a brake controller installed, and will no doubt want/need a weight distribution hitch system to level things out.
IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT INTERFACING A BRAKE CONTROLER WITH AUDI/PORSCHE/VW: It was my frustrating experience that every Porsche dealer in the USA that I contacted (and there were many) know nothing about towing with the Cayenne. Even though these cars are made with towing in mind, evidently most are used to haul groceries and to take the kids to soccer practice. So trying come up with a wiring harness to interface the Cayenne electrical system to the brake controller was an adventurous ordeal. As it turns out, the Cayenne, VW Toureg, and Audio Q7 (and presumably the Q8?) have the same wiring system, at least regarding brake controller. There is actually harness and and connector under the instrument panel near the steering column specifically for connecting to a brake controller. The problem is that the connector on this harness it is not standard for "plug-and-play" with the cables that come with any brake controllers. Like most everyone else that uses a brake controller with the Cayenne/Audi/VW SUV, I had to fabricate a cable to connect the Cayenne harness to the brake controller. This involved ordering a special VW connector from the Audio dealer parts department (right next door to the Porsche dealer). There are several internet sources for how to construct the brake controller cable for these vehicles. Anyway, that was four years ago and it's worked flawlessly since. After about 100,000 miles, I still love towing my 29-foot Airstream with my Cayenne.


Thanks for your post! I am exploring a 2018 CPO Audi Q7 prestige, CPO Mercedes GLE AMG43, Mercedes GLE 350 4-matic, abs 2017/2018 Porsche Cayenne to tow A 2021 Flying Cloud 23í.

Airstream
2021 Flying Cloud 23FB
Hitch weight with LP batteries*: 467lbs
Unit base weight with LP batteries*: 4,806

The one thing Airstream told me is they donít like that Audi wonít let us use a weight distribution hitch (WDH) since the AS we are getting is light in the front and the WDH would be helpful.

Unsure if you ever used a WDH or other setup?
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Old 11-19-2020, 11:25 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by bcheever View Post
Like you are about to take possession of a Caravel 22FB which we plan on towing with an Audi Q7. Weíve heard this is a great combination and love the Audiís comfort on long drives.



Have you checked out Audiís crazy automatic ďtrailer assistĒ mode which assists backing up the trailer, like their automatic parking function?! I believe this is only available in Europe and not yet in the US.













https://www.audi-technology-portal.d...in%20the%20MMI.


They have a similar feature in the Ford F-150, expedition and Land Rovers I think. Guess nit Audi in the US...?
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Old 11-20-2020, 01:33 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Imdakine1 View Post
Thanks for your post! I am exploring a 2018 CPO Audi Q7 prestige, CPO Mercedes GLE AMG43, Mercedes GLE 350 4-matic, abs 2017/2018 Porsche Cayenne to tow A 2021 Flying Cloud 23í.

Airstream
2021 Flying Cloud 23FB
Hitch weight with LP batteries*: 467lbs
Unit base weight with LP batteries*: 4,806

The one thing Airstream told me is they donít like that Audi wonít let us use a weight distribution hitch (WDH) since the AS we are getting is light in the front and the WDH would be helpful.

Unsure if you ever used a WDH or other setup?
WDH and electrical trailer brakes are not used in Europe. Therefore they are not tested for it. That is why there is a disclaimer for them. The fact is we all use WDH here in NA. I had my hitch strengthened to handle the extra forces of the WDH by CanAm Rv. If you cannot make it to their facility they will ship you instructions on how to modify it. They have work with many other shops across NA to strengthen the hitches. In some cases no modification is needed.

In regard to towing with these euro vehicles many are not setup for the electric trailer brakes either. When my rear SAM went on my ML they replaced it, but then couldn't get the trailer brakes to work. They tried to get the firmware for the US version and reflashed the SAM, but still no go. After a month in the shop with many engineers from Europe and the US and even the maker Bosch involved they could not get it to work. They ended up taking one out of a used vehicle on their lot and swapping it. To this day no one knows why it didn't work. But just to give you an idea that all markets are not created equal. What is designed for Europe will need a different configuration for NA and vice versa. Unfortunately they don't modify the manual. My dealer knows full well that I use a WDH and they have no issues with it. I have even disclosed the weights with them and they don't have an issue with it, only a hand full of people on this forum do. The same ones every time that seem to complain. But in reality these vehicle do perform very nicely. They aren't the most powerful out there, but they get the job done and give you a much better ride and feel than most others. MB has been fully aware of all weights from the day I purchased the vehicle. No warranty has been denied. I change the tranny oil every 2 years just to be sure. I've got over 230k on it and have towed over 50k.

Get the vehicle setup properly and you'll be happy with the results. Give CanAm a shout for any advice you need or reach out to the others on this forum that are located in SoCal.
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Old 11-20-2020, 05:52 AM   #15
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European auto makers are not oblivious to the North American towing market. They are aware of Weight Distribution and anti-sway hitches and understand the primary purposes. For WD, it can provide an increase in trailer tongue limit if the load would otherwise exceed rear axle limits. They generally don't recommend WD on many of their vehicles when rear axle load is not the limiting factor in the NA market and WD does not provide a selling advantage. When WD is not recommended you should understand the load limits are likely based on some other factor. If the vehicle is a touring performance type, the limit is most likely concern for oversteer when towing.

Not all Receiver mounts on European vehicles sold in the US are weak, though many are, it is an effective way to further discourage the risk of towing oversized trailers as many who own these fine vehicles tend to do. No vehicle can do everything well and safely and for these midsized performance SUVs, 6000-7000 lb American GVWR travel trailer size (800+ tongue when loaded) is the range where oversteer becomes a real risk.

It is a myth that Weight Distribution hitches put more stress on receivers. They reduce the sum total net stresses imposed on the receiver and mounts, though on uneven terrain receiver twist stress is increased some. WD does increase stress on the trailer quite a lot.

Weak flexible receiver mounts should be replaced or stiffened for WD so the torque is properly transferred to the vehicle structural components so WD is effective otherwise your WD effort is partially wasted. 50-70% of WD torque can be absorbed by flex in a weak receiver mount.
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Old 11-20-2020, 06:33 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by gator.bigfoot View Post
WDH and electrical trailer brakes are not used in Europe. Therefore they are not tested for it. That is why there is a disclaimer for them. The fact is we all use WDH here in NA. I had my hitch strengthened to handle the extra forces of the WDH by CanAm Rv. If you cannot make it to their facility they will ship you instructions on how to modify it. They have work with many other shops across NA to strengthen the hitches. In some cases no modification is needed.

In regard to towing with these euro vehicles many are not setup for the electric trailer brakes either. When my rear SAM went on my ML they replaced it, but then couldn't get the trailer brakes to work. They tried to get the firmware for the US version and reflashed the SAM, but still no go. After a month in the shop with many engineers from Europe and the US and even the maker Bosch involved they could not get it to work. They ended up taking one out of a used vehicle on their lot and swapping it. To this day no one knows why it didn't work. But just to give you an idea that all markets are not created equal. What is designed for Europe will need a different configuration for NA and vice versa. Unfortunately they don't modify the manual. My dealer knows full well that I use a WDH and they have no issues with it. I have even disclosed the weights with them and they don't have an issue with it, only a hand full of people on this forum do. The same ones every time that seem to complain. But in reality these vehicle do perform very nicely. They aren't the most powerful out there, but they get the job done and give you a much better ride and feel than most others. MB has been fully aware of all weights from the day I purchased the vehicle. No warranty has been denied. I change the tranny oil every 2 years just to be sure. I've got over 230k on it and have towed over 50k.

Get the vehicle setup properly and you'll be happy with the results. Give CanAm a shout for any advice you need or reach out to the others on this forum that are located in SoCal.
This is an interesting juxtaposition and yet another reason I become concerned when someone strays from a manufacturers recommendations.
Modern vehicles are just full of all kinds electronics and software.
So many things we take for granted about our driving experiences are colored or enhanced by the addition of software.
Not only is there the dynamic of the tow vehicle and trailer that is based on complex physics, we now add software to the mix.
Is that software capable of enhancing the experience beyond the scope of envelop design or can it actually create problems.
When I see things like module replacement causing obvious issues due to software or hardware changes I wonder what else it might be doing that I do not know about...
I am a firm believer that vehicles are more and more a ďpackageĒ... So much is integrated that I am wary of modifying things...
For the record, my business was European auto repair. Iíve seen lots of examples of modifications that caused unintended consequences...
I would always advise you to tread cautiously.
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Old 11-20-2020, 07:26 AM   #17
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Welcome to the 21st century. Electronics in vehicles are here to stay. They enhance while they also take away. I've spent my life working with them and on them. They control every part of the car. Engine, transmission, brakes, steering, suspension, climate, dash display, accident avoidance, trailer controls, security, you name it. It's a different world. And yes your vehicle is prone to hackers. Even while you drive it down the road.
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Old 11-20-2020, 04:28 PM   #18
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funny! Hope your wife is a good sport!
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Old 11-29-2020, 07:14 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Imdakine1 View Post
They have a similar feature in the Ford F-150, expedition and Land Rovers I think. Guess nit Audi in the US...?


Yes! I saw this and I think you are tight not for the US test...? I believe Mercedes in Europe might also have something.

What year Q7?
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Old 11-29-2020, 07:16 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by gator.bigfoot View Post
WDH and electrical trailer brakes are not used in Europe. Therefore they are not tested for it. That is why there is a disclaimer for them. The fact is we all use WDH here in NA. I had my hitch strengthened to handle the extra forces of the WDH by CanAm Rv. If you cannot make it to their facility they will ship you instructions on how to modify it. They have work with many other shops across NA to strengthen the hitches. In some cases no modification is needed.



In regard to towing with these euro vehicles many are not setup for the electric trailer brakes either. When my rear SAM went on my ML they replaced it, but then couldn't get the trailer brakes to work. They tried to get the firmware for the US version and reflashed the SAM, but still no go. After a month in the shop with many engineers from Europe and the US and even the maker Bosch involved they could not get it to work. They ended up taking one out of a used vehicle on their lot and swapping it. To this day no one knows why it didn't work. But just to give you an idea that all markets are not created equal. What is designed for Europe will need a different configuration for NA and vice versa. Unfortunately they don't modify the manual. My dealer knows full well that I use a WDH and they have no issues with it. I have even disclosed the weights with them and they don't have an issue with it, only a hand full of people on this forum do. The same ones every time that seem to complain. But in reality these vehicle do perform very nicely. They aren't the most powerful out there, but they get the job done and give you a much better ride and feel than most others. MB has been fully aware of all weights from the day I purchased the vehicle. No warranty has been denied. I change the tranny oil every 2 years just to be sure. I've got over 230k on it and have towed over 50k.



Get the vehicle setup properly and you'll be happy with the results. Give CanAm a shout for any advice you need or reach out to the others on this forum that are located in SoCal.


Thanks! I spoke to Andy Thompson and hope to get his final suggestion once the vehicle is selected. Iím in Santa Cruz, CA so likely the Bay Area will have a shop that I could use...
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