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Old 04-29-2019, 10:20 AM   #1
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Information on VW Toad

I am in the process of setting up our 2002 VW Cabrio as our toad to pull behind our 2006 Safari Trek RB2. I have the Cabrio Owners Manual, it is not specific on the details to flat tow it. The Cabrio has a 5 speed Manual Transmission, I have already purchased the Blue OX base plate for it.
Anyone with knowledge/experience in towing this vehicle could you please provide me with the details for towing, eg. key in ignition? is it required to charge the battery after towing for 5 - 7 hrs etc., HELP PLEASE
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Old 04-29-2019, 01:49 PM   #2
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Tomsol, there are dozens of threads here on this and other RV forums on towing volkswagens and some of them can get contentious. Why? Because VW has NEVER officially approved their cars to be towed ...even the manual transmission ones.

Many participants on this and other RV forums yell and scream that you should only tow vehicles that are listed on the FMCA or Motorhome Magazine dinghy towing guides and if listed there, should have written instructions in the owner's manual on the procedure. That is true. If the car is listed, it will have instructions in the owners manual as the manufacturer has officially approved and sanctioned that the car can be flat towed.

But, there will NOT be any information or instructions printed in any of the VW owners manuals and neither will any VWs be listed on the dinghy towing guides of the FMCA or Motorhome Magazine. Again, the dinghy towing guides only list vehicles that the manufacturers have given official approval for towing 4-down. VW never has. That's why you don't see instructions in the owner's manual.

However, as you will find out when doing a search, both I and others have written VW and received responses that it's acceptable as long as the car is FWD and has a manual transmission. Many FWD VWs with manual transmissions are being towed 4-down especially the older ones.

As with many FWD manual transmission vehicles, the procedure is simple. 1) leave the steering column unlocked by inserting the key in the first position in ignition, and 2) leave the transmission in neutral, 3) make sure the parking brake is fully released.

I'm sure that those towing VWs will chime in to give you more detailed instructions.
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Old 04-30-2019, 07:09 AM   #3
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Smile VW Toads

Thank you Theroc for your detailed explanation. I did not do enough research and was not aware that VW had not Officially approved their vehicles to be flat towed. I only used the Remco site to verify that it was okay to do so.
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Old 04-30-2019, 08:26 AM   #4
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I have heard anecdotal suggestions to keep your speed to under 65MPH. That is my plan with my 2007 Beetle 5 speed.
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Old 04-30-2019, 08:27 AM   #5
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I have heard anecdotal suggestions to keep your speed to under 65MPH with manual VWs. That is my plan with my 2007 Beetle 5 speed.
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Old 04-30-2019, 12:32 PM   #6
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Hi again, Tomsol.

Yes, I understand that Remco as well as many well-meaning posters here on the forum will always say "check your owner's manual" as a standard response. Again, and I'm sure it's obvious, if a manufacturer does not officially address the "flat-towing behind a recreational vehicle" issue in their owner's manual, then that vehicle will not be listed in either of the well-known dinghy towing guides that are published annually (FMCA and Motorhome Magazine). Volkswagen has never officially endorsed flat-towing behind a recreational vehicle so their owner's manuals will not give specific flat-towing instructions for that purpose and, again, none of their vehicles have ever been listed in the dinghy towing guides.

I've written to VW twice about the towing issue as I at one time wanted to tow a Jetta TDI. The first time I wrote, they gave me a "no" as I think they misunderstood my question and thought I was talking about their dual-clutch manual automatic transmission. I wrote again after another poster posted their response from VW and did get a "positive" response that both their FWD 5 and 6-speed manuals are flat-towable.

Here is that other poster's (ranchgal) response from VW ...go HERE

I received a similar response the second time I wrote.

However, the last reply in that thread gives another response from VW and actually does say to consult the owner's manual pertaining to towing and disabling the KESSY system (VW's keyless entry and ignition system). I don't think they had KESSY in 2002 so I don't believe it's something you have to worry about.

BFlinn181's response in that thread gives some guidance on how to tow as he stated that he tows a 2000 TDI Beetle. Hopefully, he'll chime in to this thread and give you further guidance and maybe answer more of your questions.

Have fun towing your Cabriolet and safe travels always!
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Old 05-01-2019, 11:33 AM   #7
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Hi ! Welcome to IRV2! We're sure glad you joined the gang!

Noticed you are kinda new on IRV2 and wanted to say hello!

Sorry I can't help with the VW! Have fun and keep her between the ditches!

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!
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