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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I’ve read post after post about towing but have not found the real world experience advice I’m looking for. We have a 2015 Touareg Executive TDI. We have been towing a 21 foot, 3000 lbs. dry weight Wolf Pup for four years, towing some 40,000 miles with that combination—as far east as Nova Scotia and as far west as Idaho and Utah (with E2 WDH and Tekonsha Primus IQ), with plenty of mountain driving. As most of you know, the Touareg tows like a breeze with the size and weight of that camper.

Now it is upgrade time and we would like to hear from those who have towed a lot with campers in the 5000 lb range. Does anyone have real world experience that would give us any reason to reconsider going bigger? More specifically, will we experience any real difference between the following two trailers:

Grand Design Imagine XLS 17 MKE (UVW: 4674; GVWR: 6395; Hitch Wt: 480; Length: 21’ 11”)
Grand Design Imagine XLS 22 MLE (UVW: 5176; GVWR: 6995; Hitch Wt: 490; Length: 26’ 1”)

We are confident the 17 MKE will be fine, but does the extra 500 lbs and more importantly, the extra four feet of the 22 MLE create any issues? Other than the weight and length (and floor plan) these two models are identical in all other ways.

Again, I’ve read all the articles and have found many of the few people who caution against towing at the 5000 lb point don’t seem to have ever actually done it. The ones who have done it sound like it’s a piece of cake. Has anyone towed extensively a Touareg TDI with 5000+ lbs of trailer weight and 26 feet of length and had problems with the Touareg? If so, what was the cause of the problem? And was it difficult to resolve?

Thanks, y’all!
 

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2015 TDI Exec R-Line
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I've towed a 33' Airstream that's normally loaded around 8500lbs give or take depending on the trip. No WDH, but OEM air suspension with my '15 TDI. Taken through many mountainous and windy roads of BC without issue. Also tow a car trailer that's been loaded to about 8800lbs briefly. Watch your speed, load the trailer properly, no abrupt movements/lane changes, and enjoy the scenery.
 

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I've towed a 24 ft, 5200 lb (loaded) travel trailer for 44K km, over the last 3 years. Just over 600 lbs on the tongue. The 3 things that improved an already good experience were,
1: to get the ball on the EZ lift wd hitch 3" closer to the vehicle (800lb bars)
2: install a Dexter K71-652 tandem kit to replace the horrendously cheap equalizer and the suspension bolts that TT's come with as a rule.
3: Change to tires with 80mph limit from 65mph. Not to drive faster, but for cushion.
It tows great, with no sway in all wind conditions (so far) and has always felt under control. My long term mileage towing is 14.7 mpg.

 

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2012 VW Touareg TDI Executive Malone Stage II, Rawtek exhaust, Deleted
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The TDI can tow like a beauty. I pull a 25 foot travel trailer with a weight distribution hitch and have no problems going 70mph. Trailer is probably about 6k which 5 bikes, fully stocked, but empty tanks. Average fuel mileage is about 13. But, it isng going to matter if you have a 15 foot or 40 footer. Remember, you're pushing a crap ton of wind. Thats what will kill your fuel mileage. Yes weight is a factor, but so is aerodynamics.
I'm going to agree with @Torque4me and get the ez hitch. Personally I don't have one yet, but going to get one. Know too many people who have them and are very pleased with them.
 

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The TDI can tow like a beauty. I pull a 25 foot travel trailer with a weight distribution hitch and have no problems going 70mph. Trailer is probably about 6k which 5 bikes, fully stocked, but empty tanks. Average fuel mileage is about 13. But, it isng going to matter if you have a 15 foot or 40 footer. Remember, you're pushing a crap ton of wind. Thats what will kill your fuel mileage. Yes weight is a factor, but so is aerodynamics.
I'm going to agree with @Torque4me and get the ez hitch. Personally I don't have one yet, but going to one. Know too many people who have them and are very pleased with them.
Great looking set up and campground.

@EddieB has a ProPride 3 and loves it
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I've towed a 33' Airstream that's normally loaded around 8500lbs give or take depending on the trip. No WDH, but OEM air suspension with my '15 TDI. Taken through many mountainous and windy roads of BC without issue. Also tow a car trailer that's been loaded to about 8800lbs briefly. Watch your speed, load the trailer properly, no abrupt movements/lane changes, and enjoy the scenery.
Thanks much. Tongue weight 10-12% I assume? My wife has expressed some reservations on the 26' length due to possible sway from windy conditions. Your 33 footer sure got her attention!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I've towed a 24 ft, 5200 lb (loaded) travel trailer for 44K km, over the last 3 years. Just over 600 lbs on the tongue. The 3 things that improved an already good experience were,
1: to get the ball on the EZ lift wd hitch 3" closer to the vehicle (800lb bars)
2: install a Dexter K71-652 tandem kit to replace the horrendously cheap equalizer and the suspension bolts that TT's come with as a rule.
3: Change to tires with 80mph limit from 65mph. Not to drive faster, but for cushion.
It tows great, with no sway in all wind conditions (so far) and has always felt under control. My long term mileage towing is 14.7 mpg.

You got me thinking about that tandem kit upgrade…
Tires are already GY Endurance
Not sure what you mean about the hitch ball
Thank you for the info!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
The TDI can tow like a beauty. I pull a 25 foot travel trailer with a weight distribution hitch and have no problems going 70mph. Trailer is probably about 6k which 5 bikes, fully stocked, but empty tanks. Average fuel mileage is about 13. But, it isng going to matter if you have a 15 foot or 40 footer. Remember, you're pushing a crap ton of wind. Thats what will kill your fuel mileage. Yes weight is a factor, but so is aerodynamics.
I'm going to agree with @Torque4me and get the ez hitch. Personally I don't have one yet, but going to get one. Know too many people who have them and are very pleased with them.
Thanks, jlb!
 

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That upgrade kit made a difference. It cushions the ride a bit and quiets the suspension down. Also the bolts are wet bolts with metal bushings. The plastic oem ones were already toasted when we did the switch. The holes in the hangers were already oblong. Now I can lube the suspension and have more control over wear.
As far as the hitch, I cut 1 1/4" off the stinger and drilled a new hole, 3" closer to the ball. That made it fill the whole length of the receiver and got the ball 3" closer to the car. That has an effect on the forces created on the vehicle by the lever length of the stinger. Hope that makes sense. Here is a pic of the finished job:
Composite material Electric blue Metal Fashion accessory Auto part
 
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