Sway control without weight distribution - Page 2 - Club Touareg Forums
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post #11 of 79 Old 02-02-2010
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Propride

I have one of Seans hitches and all I can say is that I can really tell a difference from my previous equalizer hitch.I have only towed it about 3000+ miles in the last 4 months.
I have played with the W/D and done some of my own testing.(I have Air in mine.)It seems that it does not or really so far in all these miles have not had any conflicts with the Air.
Here are a few pics.(Note that these were when I finished putting it together.I have tweeked things better since these picture were made.)
Also I did have a V6 Touareg and pulled a 19' Bambi without air on the vehicle and used the Equalizer hitch.I had to use the tool to get the bars on and never had a problem with sway .


I used this one with the Equalizer hitch years ago.No Air in this one.

2005 fully load V8 Touareg
2005 25'SS Airstream

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post #12 of 79 Old 02-02-2010
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Devoman, great to see you on the forums again. Sorry I haven't replied to your PM from a few days ago. Much going on here. I have contacted Sean at ProPride earlier today asking him to contribute a little more technical knowledge to this discussion. I look forward to his reply. I will say, I hate my Equalizer hitch. I should have never cheeped out when I bought my new trailer and if I start towing it with my Touareg, a Hensley or ProPride seem a no brainer to me, besides the price.


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post #13 of 79 Old 02-02-2010
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Hey Air

It has been a while.I still lurk around though to get some info every now and then but my Touareg has been great considering my first one when they first came out.
Sean is great and knows his stuff he will be a huge help for sure.
I also P.M.ed Can Am RV in Canada and hopefully he will help out some since he has set up vehicles with Air.He is a very wise one in the hitching world like Sean and has hooked up many vehicle as you already know.

I will say this though.Compared to the Hensley.It is the upgraded version.All weaknesses that were on the Hensley were fixed thru this company with a better version.it is the same concept with better and easier use.A very user friendly hitch.I recommend Propride Hitch to everyone.

I will try and hook up the vehicles together with the the new setting I have now with the W/D bars tightened up once I get a chance to take some pictures of close ups for everyone to look at.

2005 fully load V8 Touareg
2005 25'SS Airstream

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post #14 of 79 Old 02-02-2010 Thread Starter
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Wow,

This is excellent. I really hope we get some expert answers.

I sent Husky an email today with the same invite to chime in on this thread and hopefully shed some additional light on this topic.

I will also follow up with Volkswagen tomorrow as although I'm pretty sure they won't reply and likely they know about this issue, perhaps we'll get lucky and get some kind of official response.

Volkswagen has conflicting information regarding their own vehicles (W/D or not W/D) as well as certain transportation safety requirements (personal, state, provincial ,federal). It seems like a fair issue to be resolved.

Further, I re-read my last posting and would like to restate my question:
Is there a better solution for sway control for vehicles that do not need or should not have weight distribution but are interested in some form of active or better sway control?

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post #15 of 79 Old 02-02-2010
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Canada

I just noticed that you are in Canada.You should contact Can-Am Rv and talk to Andrew he knows his stuff about towing when it comes to using smaller wheel based vehicles.Here is his link.
http://www.canamrv.ca/

2005 fully load V8 Touareg
2005 25'SS Airstream

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post #16 of 79 Old 02-02-2010 Thread Starter
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I will contact him tomorrow as well.

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post #17 of 79 Old 02-03-2010 Thread Starter
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Below is the email I sent this morning to VW.

I am a member of an online forum called Club Touareg.
There has been an ongoing debate regarding Sway Control without Weight Distribution (http://www.clubtouareg.com/forums/f66/sway-control-without-weight-distribution-34061.html).

The Volkswagen manual states:
“WARNING
Never install a "weight distributing" or "load equalizing" trailer hitch on your vehicle. The vehicle was not designed for these kinds of trailer hitches. The hitch attachment can fail causing the trailer to tear loose from the vehicle."- Owner's Manual 3.4 pg. 11.

However, several people have reported seeing/having a HITCH PLACARD (sticker) stating the weight capacity the hitch with use of a weight distribution system.

As it is very difficult to find a robust sway control device that is not combined with a weight distribution system, this leaves many owners in a grey area wondering what is the proper or best thing to do for safety.

Some people on Club Touareg have reported that some RV dealers have insisted the use of a weight distribution setup primarily for SWAY application even requiring some people to sign a waiver before allowing them to take their trailer without weight distribution system (to be consistent with the owners manual). In California, RV dealers are liable for any safety issues if the trailer is not installed properly on the vehicle (including weight distribution and/or sway control). One individual claims to have received a fax from VW USA stating it was fine to put a weight distribution system on the vehicle.

I would like to invite Volkswagen to clarify and provide some definitive answers for two reasons. First, Club Touareg is about sharing and improving Touareg knowledge and with this particular issue there have not been definitive expert answers beyond personal opinion. Secondly, if you search Club Touareg you will quickly find out many people have sought out the Touareg because of its 7700 lb towing capacity. With this towing capacity and resulting tongue weight, many feel a weight distribution is imperative to travel safety. Further, most people believe in having sway control.

Cheers,

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post #18 of 79 Old 02-03-2010 Thread Starter
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Andy from Can-Am is currently out of pocket at an RV show. I have emailed him as well.

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post #19 of 79 Old 02-04-2010 Thread Starter
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Below is Andy's response. I would like to personally thank Andy for his timely detailed response.

Hi Graham

Go ahead and post this if you like.

We had a set up several Touareg's and Cayennes which share the platform. It is a vehicle I really like for towing, very stable and comfortable one of the few SUV's I would personally own. Now that they have the 3.0 Litre diesel we are doing a lot more of them. Most of our customers are towing 26 - 34' low profile light trailers with torsion axles or Airstreams in the same size range. Be careful of the trailer you choose measure the height of the floor off the ground it should be around 20", it should have torsion axles radial tires and be as aero as possible. There are some really bad towing trailers available. Length and weight are not the primary considerations.

With larger trailers weight distribution should absolutely be used! Air suspension may keep the vehicle level but it does not transfer weight to the front wheels which is necessary to keep from overloading the rear axle but more importantly for handling stability and safety. In Europe there are not equalizing hitches or electric brakes. They were both banned there 40 years ago to keep out American trailers. This means that the German VW engineers do not understand equalizing hitch systems so it is much easier for them to say don't use one than to try and understand them and all the various factors involved in them. In their defence when I see the lack of understanding and professionalism in the hitch industry I can't blame them for not wanting to be involved.

We connected an Airstream to a Touareg with 1000 lbs of hitch weight using a 1000 Pound Eaz-Lift hitch system and we were not able to flex the receiver at all the receiver is very solid but my concern is the steel may be brittle and prone to fatiguing over time. 40 years ago the conventional wisdom was you made a hitch using mild steel and enough of it to make it solid that the higher strength steels would be more likely to fatigue over time. This is something we see regularly on many other hitches.

What we do then is we strengthen the VW hitch by adding a centre bar to it that reaches up under the vehicle and fastens between the rear wheels. The way you get strength from a hitch is with distance to spread the leverage over. This may not be necessary but I don't want one of my customers to be the one to find out that it is. I don't have a picture of a Touareg reinforcement but there is a picture of one similar attached.

We use friction sway controls all the time just you need one of the better quality ones and you need to keep it dry so it does not rust then they stay quiet. It is fine to tow in the rain just dry off the bar before you store it. With thousands installed I have never seen a frame damaged. the little ball would break off first. We install two on trailers over 25' actual overall length. The Pro Pride hitch works very well and does all that the advertizing says it does. It is not absolutely necessary on the Touareg as it is a very stable tow vehicle if it is connected to a stable trailer but no matter what the combination is it still the safest set up. I would not recommend the Equal-i-zer brand hitch on one because the torsion bars have too little travel when you go through dips etc. We use Eaz-Lift 1000 lb. hitches on most of the ones we set up because I like their torsion bars, they wear less and they allow the closest ball to bumper measurements.

If you cannot find someone local to strengthen the hitch receiver we can make it up here and ship it to you for installation there.

I hope this helps you out.

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post #20 of 79 Old 02-04-2010 Thread Starter
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VW repsonded with a canned response suggesting one should speak with their local dealership as dealerships have knowledgeable and trained service departments. I have replied with an email detailing the fact that dealerships have provided mixed answers as well as dealerships suggesting one speak with VW.

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