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Old 02-23-2012, 07:28 PM   #1
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VW Touareg TDI as a tow vehicle?

I'm four years from retirement and want to be able to pull a 4000-6000 lb TT then (I don't own one yet). But the car I'm driving is about to hit 200,000 miles, and I need to be prepared to invest in a potential tow vehicle in case it doesn't last four more years.

After realizing that most options are large TVs with lower mpgs for daily use or smaller SUVs that would be good family cars but have limited tow ratings, I found the diesel Touareg. It would appear to offer the best of both. Are there downsides? Can its moderate wheelbase and V6 actually tow 7700 lbs effectively?
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Old 02-24-2012, 11:11 AM   #2
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our january camping trip was over a few miles from us to Red Top Mtn State park. we got there friday.

saturday morning, i watched a couple come in towing a 27' HTT. I have no idea what that trailer weight was, but he was pulling it with this vehicle. I don't think from the sound of it, that it was deisel. but (except for his lack of backing skills and his wife's lack of directing him) they appeared to have no problems towing. they had to back UP the hill into the site they had chosen, and other than the aforementioned lack of skills, had no apparent problems with handling or power that i could see
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Old 02-25-2012, 09:31 AM   #3
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Yeah, the Touareg diesel has a tow rating of 7,700 pounds - provided it has the optional VW towing pkg (oil cooler, tranny cooler, heavier springs, etc.). Most Touaregs will not have that pkg, so pay attention when buying one - or special order a new one - to be sure it has the towing pkg. Without the towing pkg, it has a tow rating less than 2,000 pounds.

But take that 7,700 pounds tow rating with a grain of salt. That means it can tow up to 7,700 pounds provided there are no options on the truck (other than the tow pkg) and absolutely nothing in the truck except one skinny driver. For a real world tow rating, subtract about 1,000 pounds from the manufacturer's tow rating.

So with a TT weighing about 6,500 pounds, and with two adults and normal stuff in it, the Touareg should tow it without overheating anything or breaking anything, but you certainly won't be the first rig to the top of the pass.

But because of the short wheelbase of the Touareg, don't even think of trying to tow a 30' TT, irregardless of trailer weight. Keep the trailer length down to about 20 to 22 feet, not counting the hitch. On most brands, the model number will tell you the length of the box not including the hitch, but the "length" spec will be about 3' longer.

And don't skrimp on the hitch. Spend the big bucks for a ProPride hitch and you'll be a happy camper. Trailer Sway Control Hitch Guaranteed to Eliminate Trailer Sway - ProPride 3P

I just went through that exercise. My tow vehicle has a tow rating of 8,200 pounds, so I wanted a TT with a GVWR less than about 7,000 pounds. I found the Skyline Nomad Joey 196 Select met my needs with a GVWR of only 5,600. Darling Wife demanded a walk-around queen-size bed and a bathroom with a seperate shower so you don't have to sit on the pottie to take a bath. She also wanted more than normal closet space. The Joey 196S met her demands.
http://www.skylinerv.com/brochure/54...MAD%20JOEY.pdf

From the link above you can see that for a little more wiggle room (and more money) the Joey 236 has a GVWR of 6,200. That's about the max weight (and length) I'd want to tow with a Touareg.

Note that Skyline has several brand names with the same floorplans and Joey name. Nomad Joey, Aljo Joey, Mountain States Joey, and Layton Joey. Plus their Koala brand has very similar floorplans but not called Joey.
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Old 02-25-2012, 02:04 PM   #4
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Great responses - thanks! Smokey, the Joey 236 is 27'. You'd feel OK about pulling that with a Touareg?
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Old 02-25-2012, 07:19 PM   #5
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Great responses - thanks! Smokey, the Joey 236 is 27'. You'd feel OK about pulling that with a Touareg?
The Nomad Joey 236 is a traditional 24' camper plus a 3' hitch. But it has a lot more wiggle room inside than my 196s. I would tow it with a Touareg only if I could tow it with a ProPride hitch. The 196S is fine for the way we use the camper - only as a motel for two old folks when on the road. We like to have our pottie with us, even though we don't "camp out". It has all the amenities we want - after I gave the cheap stock mattress to Habitat for Humanity's Restore and replaced it with a Serta EuroTop from Sam'sClub.
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Old 02-26-2012, 07:39 AM   #6
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Something else to consider with the Toureg. We were going to get one last year to tow our new Viewfinder, but had some concerns with getting a straight answer from Volkswagen on towing.

According to the owners manual (at least for a 2011) you cannot use a weight distribution hitch. I talked to someone at the company and they said it was would be ok as long as I didn't transfer too much of the weight to the hitch. Apparently the hitch is designed for straight down weight, and an equalizing hitch puts some twist/torque on the hitch.

Since I wanted to use an sway-weight distribution hitch, we ended up ruling out the Toureg.
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Old 02-26-2012, 07:51 PM   #7
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Apparently the hitch is designed for straight down weight, and an equalizing hitch puts some twist/torque on the hitch.
That makes no sense to me, but I'm not a chassis engineer.

A weight-diistrbuting hitch takes some of the hitch weight off the ball and transfers it to the trailer axles, and it takes some of the hitch weight off the ball and transfers it to the front axles of the tow vehicle. But about 60% to 70% of the hitch weight is still on the ball, and should satisfy the hitch design requirements to have most of the hitch weight going straight down onto the ball. Yeah, 15% to 20% of the hitch weight gets transferred through the frame of the receiver to the front of the tow vehicle, and that means some torque of some sort is going on in the truck frame. But it seems silly to suggest that that little bit of torque is going to hurt the truck. Another 15% to 20% of the hitch weight is transferred through the frame of the trailer to the trailer axles, but I've nevr heard of a trailer manufacturer that says you cannot use a weight-distributing hitch on their trailers.

I tried to find a Touareg Owner's Guide online, but was not successful. The VW website is not very helpful.
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Old 02-26-2012, 08:23 PM   #8
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On my 05' Toyota 4-Runner there is a label on the hitch that says "750 lbs hitch weight limit or 1100 lbs limit using a weight distribution system. For the last 7 seasons I was pulling a 24' tt (4600 lbs and about 450-500 lbs. on the hitch ) using just a anti-sway bar. I would get some sway above 65 mph or when a semi passed me. I have a new 25' tt (5100 lbs. loaded and about 700 lbs. hitch weight )on order. I'm now going to have a weight distribution system installed.

The 05' V-8 4-Runner is rated to tow 7200, but being a shorter wheel base, I wouldn't go any larger than the 5000 tt I plan to tow. Looked at the
Touareg V-8 $$$$ As a daily driver the Toyota has a nice ride (Coil-link suspension ). In the next year or two would like to upgrade to another TV.

Toyota no longer offers a V-8 in their 4-Runner SUV. (2010 the last year) so would think about 5.7 Tundra, 5.7 Dodge Durango...or others..
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Old 03-21-2012, 07:17 PM   #9
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The questions about the T and it's suitability for WDH have been covered extensively elsewhere and the discussions on AIR (Airstream Trailer & Motorhome Owners Community) are as good as any and better than most.

You'll want to cross-reference the info to Andrew Thomson of CAN AM RV has he can whip up a set of plans for a proper hitch on this vehicle, or you can journey to his Ontario location for custom installation of same.

An Airstream is a great choice as well for it's design requires less HP to pull, and the sophistication of the chassis, etc, make it much more stable than a conventional leaf axle trailer.

A Touareg and an A/S is one impressive combination, and capable of very high mpg. Plus there are plenty of lightly used A/S trailers just a few years old at decent prices. That would be an easy choice for me, that combination.

I also highly recommend the ProPride. I own an Arrow but not for a lot longer.

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Old 03-22-2012, 07:56 AM   #10
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An Airstream is a great choice as well for it's design requires less HP to pull, and the sophistication of the chassis, etc, make it much more stable than a conventional leaf axle trailer.
But Airtream TTs are very expensive, and they don't depreciate much. That's wonderful if you own one, but a big fence in the way if you are trying to purchase one.

An Airstream 30 TT has a list price of $88,575 and a buying price of $69,995 at a Camping World in Ohio. A new "normal" TT is less than half that much. For example, a new Heartland Prowler 32PBHS has a sale price of $30,431 at that same Camping World.

Yes, I would love to have a new 20' Airstream TT, but they cost north of $40,000 whereas my 2012 20' Nomad Joey cost me less than $12,500 (plus TT&L). I could even get by with a 10-year-old 20' Airstream, but in decent condition they sell for over $20,000 which is a lot more than the hair over $12,000 I paid for my new Joey.
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Old 03-28-2012, 08:25 PM   #11
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But Airtream TTs are very expensive, and they don't depreciate much. That's wonderful if you own one, but a big fence in the way if you are trying to purchase one.

An Airstream 30 TT has a list price of $88,575 and a buying price of $69,995 at a Camping World in Ohio. A new "normal" TT is less than half that much. For example, a new Heartland Prowler 32PBHS has a sale price of $30,431 at that same Camping World.

Yes, I would love to have a new 20' Airstream TT, but they cost north of $40,000 whereas my 2012 20' Nomad Joey cost me less than $12,500 (plus TT&L). I could even get by with a 10-year-old 20' Airstream, but in decent condition they sell for over $20,000 which is a lot more than the hair over $12,000 I paid for my new Joey.
But when your Joey is in the landfill or out back of Uncle Lesters barn, that Airstream will still be going down the road.

My folks had their Silver Streak (an even better trailer) for 27-years. It's false economy when depreciation and poor build quality ensure a short comparative lifespan. One good trailer always trumps several cheap ones when it comes to money.

In the meantime the better trailers have much better road performance and better fuel mileage for a given TV. My folks also had only two TV's in that same time that accummulated nearly 400k miles (less wear & tear also).

The OP should check all combinations. A TV too big is no solution to anything if the right TT is sourced.
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Old 05-11-2012, 06:50 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by LakeSinclair View Post
I'm four years from retirement and want to be able to pull a 4000-6000 lb TT then (I don't own one yet). But the car I'm driving is about to hit 200,000 miles, and I need to be prepared to invest in a potential tow vehicle in case it doesn't last four more years.

After realizing that most options are large TVs with lower mpgs for daily use or smaller SUVs that would be good family cars but have limited tow ratings, I found the diesel Touareg. It would appear to offer the best of both. Are there downsides? Can its moderate wheelbase and V6 actually tow 7700 lbs effectively?
Hello,
We own a 2012 Touareg TDi and are picking up our Palomino Gazelle 178QB (20'8" length total weight 4475 lbs Dry weight 3175 lbs)tomorrow.
Reading some of the comments about not towing longer than 22'.
A friend of ours in New Brunswick is towing a 29ft TT with WDH with NO problem at all and I think total weight about 6500 lbs
Awesome car ( I call it car, VW calls it truck! hahaha) to drive..go for a test drive you won't be disappointed.
Good luck with your planning!
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Old 05-11-2012, 06:56 AM   #13
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You are right, that is what it says in the manual.BUT most VW dealers have no clue about towing. I got the OK from our VW dealer principal manager concerning warranty.(Got our 2012 Touareg TDI in February.The problem is the manual is translated.In Europe the don't have electric brake systems.So therefore they can't use WDH. (My brother lives in Holland and he is so jealous of our elec.brake systems here on our trailers.)
So too bad you changed your mind because it is an awesome tow vehicle.
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Old 05-11-2012, 07:02 AM   #14
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our january camping trip was over a few miles from us to Red Top Mtn State park. we got there friday.

saturday morning, i watched a couple come in towing a 27' HTT. I have no idea what that trailer weight was, but he was pulling it with this vehicle. I don't think from the sound of it, that it was deisel. but (except for his lack of backing skills and his wife's lack of directing him) they appeared to have no problems towing. they had to back UP the hill into the site they had chosen, and other than the aforementioned lack of skills, had no apparent problems with handling or power that i could see

You can't hear the diesel anymore in the new Touareg. It's a clean diesel, very quiet.
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