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Old 01-28-2014, 05:02 PM   #1
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Flat tow a 2012 VW Passat TDI stick

Hello,

I originally posted this request for information on the general forum, but thought it might be useful on this thread as well.

We are trying to find a new toad for our travels this coming summer to replace the 2007 VUE we purchased used. The number one and two vehicles we are looking at are the 2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI and the Jetta Sportswagon both with a 6 speed manual transmission. VW says you void their warranty if you flat tow any of their vehicles.

IS THERE ANY ONE OUT THERE THAT IS TOWING EITHER OF THESE VW's and if so what has been your experience and what are the specifics?

Thanks in advance for all replies.
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Old 01-29-2014, 01:48 PM   #2
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Not sure what weird thing VW has done with those vehicles that cannot be flat towed. If the gear box is in neutral I don't see what could be damaged. It would be interesting to know what the reason is.
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Old 01-29-2014, 02:49 PM   #3
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Was told towing even a Stick shift rear wheel drive vehicle can be problematic. Mechanic said the position of the shaft entering the transmission from the drive shaft. The drive shaft will be rotating. the imput shaft in the transmission will be turning. If its entering point is higher than the level of lubricate it could cause a heating problem and cause the seals to be damaged and leak. I don't know if it is gtrue but that is what VW mechanic told us. We ended up buying a Honda CR-V.
safe travels... ed
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Old 01-30-2014, 09:06 PM   #4
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I have a 2012 VW Passat SE manual that I dolly tow.
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Old 01-30-2014, 09:24 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EDALLSAILS View Post
Was told towing even a Stick shift rear wheel drive vehicle can be problematic. Mechanic said the position of the shaft entering the transmission from the drive shaft. The drive shaft will be rotating. the imput shaft in the transmission will be turning. If its entering point is higher than the level of lubricate it could cause a heating problem and cause the seals to be damaged and leak. I don't know if it is gtrue but that is what VW mechanic told us. We ended up buying a Honda CR-V.
safe travels... ed
That may be true in a rear wheel drive, but a front wheel drive has the transmission and differential, with 2 output shafts in one package. If you use the search function at the top of the page, you'll find many threads on this exact topic about VW 6 manuals.
Flat towing a VW manual transmission Jetta
flat towing 2012 VW GTI manual transmission
....and many more.
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Old 01-30-2014, 09:33 PM   #6
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Regardless of anyone towing it 4 wheel down, if VW says you will void your warranty. IMHO I would not tow it 4 down. This months FMCA mag has a list of towable cars and their restrictions.
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Old 01-30-2014, 09:51 PM   #7
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The solution is to buy a car out of warranty.
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Old 01-30-2014, 10:52 PM   #8
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Hello,
I'm towing my VW's on a tow dolly - no problems with that.

But the only reason why VW voids the warranty on their cars that have been flat towed is because of the excessive amount of force and stress on the car's structure (everytime you change direction the front tires, steering and suspension takes tremendous beatings)
tow bar plates also effects vehicle performance in case of a frontal crash.
This has nothing to do (front wheel drive stick shift models) with lubricating differential or transmission.
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Old 02-01-2014, 10:48 PM   #9
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Wingrider 07,
I have talked with no less than a dozen folks (guys) at camp grounds and RV parks that have flat towed the late model VW TDI cars like the bugs, the Jettas and the Passats. 100% of them have thousands of towed miles without one issue. Yes, they too knew of moron VOAs rules about flat towing. About 80% of the ones I've talked with went to their local dealership, walked right on by the service writer and directly to the transmission techs. All of those transmission techs told those folks that absolutely nothing will happen if you tow those versions of VW on a flat tow basis.

They would not put it in writing because it was not their place to do so. They cannot vouch for VOA and it's rules and policies. They simply know the innards of those transmissions and, know what EXACTLY is going on inside them when being flat towed. There are many folks out there that are towing the latest model VW stick units. If we didn't have a specific purpose for the toad we have now, we'd have one. Pretty tough to beat a TDI engine for performance and fuel mileage at the same time. I've owned two TDIs and nothing slows them down. Good luck.
Scott
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Old 02-02-2014, 07:58 AM   #10
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Flat tow tdi passat 6 speed

Hi Scott,

Thank you for your information on the VW TDI being flat towed. I am somewhat surprised I have not gotten a reply from someone that has actually flat towed one. I understand several have towed the 5 speed VW's but I haven't read anything on the later model 6 speed gear box.

One of the threads I read on the subject gave a VOA concern as potentially causing stress damage to the front end and frame as well as a concern the base plate could interfere with the proper operation of the air bags. I have no idea if a VW is any more or less susceptible to these concerns than any other vehicle being flat towed with a "V" type tow bar. At any rate I am so delighted with the performance of my 2012 Passat TDI automatic after 32k miles that I am seriously considering looking for a used std. shift to replace my '07 VUE as a toad.

Reading one of your thread comments you mentioned your '08 GL 1800. If you are caring it with you, how are you doing so? Assuming you are carrying it on a lift of some sort can you tell me what lift and what impact it had on your single drive axle weight limit? I have an '07 Wing I would love to carry but I have concerns about placing 1200 or so pounds solely on my Mountain Master's drive axle rated at 20k. When I last weighted fully loaded with gear, water, and fuel I had a margin of 1260 lbs left on the drive axle.

Thanks again and safe travels.
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Old 02-02-2014, 11:06 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wingrider07 View Post
Hi Scott,

Thank you for your information on the VW TDI being flat towed. I am somewhat surprised I have not gotten a reply from someone that has actually flat towed one. I understand several have towed the 5 speed VW's but I haven't read anything on the later model 6 speed gear box.

One of the threads I read on the subject gave a VOA concern as potentially causing stress damage to the front end and frame as well as a concern the base plate could interfere with the proper operation of the air bags. I have no idea if a VW is any more or less susceptible to these concerns than any other vehicle being flat towed with a "V" type tow bar. At any rate I am so delighted with the performance of my 2012 Passat TDI automatic after 32k miles that I am seriously considering looking for a used std. shift to replace my '07 VUE as a toad.

Reading one of your thread comments you mentioned your '08 GL 1800. If you are caring it with you, how are you doing so? Assuming you are carrying it on a lift of some sort can you tell me what lift and what impact it had on your single drive axle weight limit? I have an '07 Wing I would love to carry but I have concerns about placing 1200 or so pounds solely on my Mountain Master's drive axle rated at 20k. When I last weighted fully loaded with gear, water, and fuel I had a margin of 1260 lbs left on the drive axle.

Thanks again and safe travels.
Wingrider07,
Well Sir, I could tell volumes about my experience with the Wing and how we've done things. I'll make it as short and least boring as possible. We have an '04 Itasca Horizon 36GD with the 330 CAT. I acquired a used "Hydralift" for way less than 1/2 price on ebay. I did the install of it which, included the wiring and plumbing of the hydraulics.
I knew in advance that I was going to be over weight of the GAWR of the rear which, is 17,500 lbs. But, I accepted that fact. I've got bit of experience in driving and handling heavy rigs for decades. So, we carried that 900 lb. Honda Goldwing and that 300 lb. lift for well over 8,000 miles.

And, we NEVER experienced any of the issues that many who are clueless said would happen. Things like porpoising, ill handling, wandering, front end lifting, damage to the frame and or the fiberglass body and more. That motor home, always handled flawlessly with, or without the bike on the back. As I stated, I knew it was over weight but, just how much, I wasn't sure. Well, we were on a trip and filling up at Seven Feathers RV resort and Casino. They had a scale right next to the truck diesel pumps.

Well, after driving on to those scales, I found out I was over 2500 lbs. OVER the rear GAWR. So, I decided that I'd pushed my luck far enough. So, we removed the lift and sold it. Then, we acquired a new toad, a 2011 GMC Sierra 1500 4x4 extended Cab. I then acquired a "Rampage" lift for the back of that truck. I got that one for less than 1/2 price too, on Craigslist. So, now, the truck carries all the weight, not the coach. Hope this helps some.
Scott
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Old 02-03-2014, 06:43 AM   #12
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I knew in advance that I was going to be over weight of the GAWR of the rear which, is 17,500 lbs. But, I accepted that fact. I've got bit of experience in driving and handling heavy rigs for decades. So, we carried that 900 lb. Honda Goldwing and that 300 lb. lift for well over 8,000 miles.
IMO, I would never have taken that risk regardless if I had decades of experience. All it takes if for the weakest link in your axle/suspension/tires to give up and you could end up with a lawsuit if someone gets hurt.
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Old 02-04-2014, 09:44 AM   #13
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Fire Up,

Thanks ever so much for that info. I too have experience with big rigs both from an operation perspective and to a lesser degree specifications. I would not be surprised if weighted; a substantial number of RV’s axles would be found to be over the GAWR. I am sure commercial axle manufacturers build in weight tolerance that could be as much as 10%. On your Itasca you could have a tolerance of some 1750 lbs.

I have shied away from pickups for their poor fuel economy, but may have to take that solution. Based on your comments the combined weight of the bike and lift is approximately 1200 lbs. which would bring me within 100 lbs. of my GAWR. What was your opinion of carry the Wing on the Hydralift vs. the Rampage, what were the pros and cons? How much road grime did your Wing get being carried on the Hydralift?
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Old 02-04-2014, 09:05 PM   #14
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Fire Up,

Thanks ever so much for that info. I too have experience with big rigs both from an operation perspective and to a lesser degree specifications. I would not be surprised if weighted; a substantial number of RVís axles would be found to be over the GAWR. I am sure commercial axle manufacturers build in weight tolerance that could be as much as 10%. On your Itasca you could have a tolerance of some 1750 lbs.

I have shied away from pickups for their poor fuel economy, but may have to take that solution. Based on your comments the combined weight of the bike and lift is approximately 1200 lbs. which would bring me within 100 lbs. of my GAWR. What was your opinion of carry the Wing on the Hydralift vs. the Rampage, what were the pros and cons? How much road grime did your Wing get being carried on the Hydralift?
Wingrider07,
There were a few reasons for the change in the way we hauled our Wing. One, we were towing a 2011 Honda CRV EX-L 4WD and, we were carrying the Wing on the Hydralift. Well, after about 18 month of ownership of the CRV, we both just sort of, well, developed a dislike for it. There were a few reasons but, that's not important right now. And, we both really missed our truck.

And couple all that with the fact that I knew I was overweight with the bike and lift, we decided to change oars in the middle of the stream, so to speak. We sold the Hydralift and purchased the Rampage. The Hydralift is by far, the best lift/carrier on the market, bar none. It's also the most expensive. An outstandingly stable platform, seriously strong, and has the least amount of moving parts which, is a real good thing in terms of potential places to fail.

Now, just how dirty/grimey did the bike get you ask? Well, yes, it can get fairly grimey. We've ran it with a cover and without a cover. The cover is an "Ultragard" cover, sold by Wingstuff. It's a seriously thick cover, (about the thickness of a sleeping bag). Now, that cover didn't fit as snug as it should so, needless to say, the turbulence of a DP and all the junk kicked up by a constant fan of that C-7, caused lots of dust and dirt to be deposited on that Wing.

It wasn't the end of the world, about 15 minutes of washing/drying after arriving at our destination and it was all good again.

Now, as for the Rampage. In my opinion, it's the only way, on this planet, to load a 900 lb. bike into the back of a pickup for transport. It's not nearly as well designed and refined as a Hydralift but, it does work, and, keeps the bike securely locked in place while being transported. It does however, not get nearly as dirty in the back of the truck as it did on the back of the coach.

Hope this helps some. Let me know if I can help any further. Good luck.
Scott
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