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I plan to use my new to me 2012 TReg TDIv6 to tow my travel trailer/camper (5500lbs). I'm doing some weighing and plan to get/keep my tongue weight down with cargo management/relocations. First measure has tongue weight at the ball area before diet of hitch at 850lbs (using 4 ft beam on blocks & bathroom scale 1 to 3 ft). Currently have a spare tire, 30lb propane tanks and battery on the camper hitch. And I will have a bicycle rack on the back bumper (hitch welded to frame rails) loaded that will offset weight also, not measured yet. I plan to use Weight Distribution & sway control arm with EAZ Lift hitch.

The car came with aftermarket 20" rims that appear identical to some Q7 rims. Anybody have any experience with differences and which rims might be better for towing? Considering buying a used set of 18" rims to use for towing & winter. Would lighter or narrower be helpful?

Thanks, Tim
 

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Before looking at "lighter/narrower' being suitable/acceptable.... consider tyre availability and choice options and price for the rim size you're considering.

I went from a 21" setup to 19" Porsche Cayenne rims, same stud pattern/offset etc etc. It gave me a very acceptable and choice of available tyres, that fall within budget, especially considering availability in remote areas.

Overall width difference of these versus OEM is minimal.
 

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I tow a 24' enclosed trailer with 20" wheels on my '13 TDI. The question I have is what is wrong with the 20" tires and wheels you have?

I have Michelin Premieres (275/45R20). They are a really good all around tire that does everything I ask it to (though tread life is about 20K-25K miles). The thought of tires never crossed my mind while towing.

I've found there are some decent options for the 20" wheels. But it depends on what your needs are. If you plan on traveling roads with potholes you may want something with more sidewall and be willing to trade off a little bit of sway.

I've lately been considering All Terrain tires and there are about 3 all terrain tires I've found so far in the stock 275/45R20s (Cooper Zeon LT, General Grabber, and one or two others....). In all season or snow tires there are a lot of options for 20". My concern has been the pot holes and having a bigger selection of tires in the size and load range I want. I've found 265/60R18 to have quite a few sizes as these are popular truck/suv sizes.

I think you may want to better define what you need. Load range wise an LT which appears to closely align with 107 to 111 load rating range.....
 

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Discussion Starter #4
They are aftermarket and I'm not sure of the strength like I would for the factory. Another person I talked to mentioned he had different experiences between 2 sizes when towing a large camper. Good point, I should check the load range of the current tires.
 

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Some wheels will also have the load rating usually in kg. Cast or stamped on the inner portion of the time. Often on the backside of the spokes.
 

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I plan to use my new to me 2012 TReg TDIv6 to tow my travel trailer/camper (5500lbs). I'm doing some weighing and plan to get/keep my tongue weight down with cargo management/relocations. First measure has tongue weight at the ball area before diet of hitch at 850lbs (using 4 ft beam on blocks & bathroom scale 1 to 3 ft). Currently have a spare tire, 30lb propane tanks and battery on the camper hitch. And I will have a bicycle rack on the back bumper (hitch welded to frame rails) loaded that will offset weight also, not measured yet. I plan to use Weight Distribution & sway control arm with EAZ Lift hitch.

The car came with aftermarket 20" rims that appear identical to some Q7 rims. Anybody have any experience with differences and which rims might be better for towing? Considering buying a used set of 18" rims to use for towing & winter. Would lighter or narrower be helpful?

Thanks, Tim
I think getting the tongue down "near" 770 and using weight distribution will be enough. No need for extremes. It will be fine. No racing of course :)
 

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They are just OEM Pirelli Scorpion Verde or something like that. There is nothing special about the tires. The MPG gains are because they have less rolling resistance and less unsprung weight I believe. They are narrower and lighter so you get better MPG. Its the change from OEM 20's to OEM 18's that caused the increase, not a special tire selection.
 

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What you have will probably work, the issue is sidewall height and risk of blowout. If you plan to go to 18" wheels (good used OEM's can be found for less than $100), consider the Continental Terrain Contact AT in 255/55-18. They are among the few V-rated All terrain tires that are also rated for the load and tire pressures of the Touareg. Tire Rack has the 2016 version on sale for under $160/ea. We are running these on my son's 2004 V8 Touareg and my wife's 2013 Volvo XC60. Our commute includes a road that drops 2000' in 6 miles with 108 turns. These tires are amazing in the corners wet/dry/icy, better than the the Conti Extremecontact DWS on our vehicles. Better yet, go a little larger with a set of 19" Cayenne wheels (also less than $100/ea on eBay) and mount a set of 255/55-19 Conti Terrain Contact tires. We are running these on our 2008 V10 TDi Touareg which tows our large Sundowner horse trailer with 2-3 Icelandic horses inside.
 

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Assuming your wheel and tyre load ratings are withing range, your 20" wheels will probably be fine if you are sticking to the black top.

If any of your towing will be off road or even corrugated dirt/gravel road, then I'd suggest the extra side wall height of the 18" combination will be better suited. A little more protection for the wheel, especially if you need to air down. I specifically looked for a Treg with 18" wheels for this reason (not that we do much towing off road... yet).
 

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I put nitto terra grapplers (275/45R20) on my 20 inch rims after I downgraded from 21's to 20's. Really good and strong tyre. Towed my 22ft 2.7T caravan around in Queensland Australia and they didn't miss a beat. I highly recommend them. I'm presuming you can get them in states where you are from. Check them out and save yourself having to buy new rims and tyres.
 

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All things equal 18in wheels will be more comfortable.. and are significantly cheaper.. your not gonna get extra sway properly inflated.

Personally, I'm less concerned about wheel size for towing on-road.. and more concerned about that space saver spare wheel, thats not something I would want to use w/a trailer hooked up.. so get a 5th wheel if your gonna downsize and toss a full size spare on your trailer.. or be prepared to leave the trailer behind while you go get your tire fixed.
 

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I put nitto terra grapplers (275/45R20) on my 20 inch rims after I downgraded from 21's to 20's. Really good and strong tyre. Towed my 22ft 2.7T caravan around in Queensland Australia and they didn't miss a beat. I highly recommend them. I'm presuming you can get them in states where you are from. Check them out and save yourself having to buy new rims and tyres.
How do they hold up when most of the tread is worn?

Some tires get softer rubber as they wear others become harder and have less traction. Which way do the Nitto’s wear?
 

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How do they hold up when most of the tread is worn?

Some tires get softer rubber as they wear others become harder and have less traction. Which way do the Nitto’s wear?
I have travelled about 40,000km on mine and I actually had a service done on the car yesterday and they said I still have 5mm of tread left so they are wearing quite well for all terrain tyres on a big heavy car. Look, its hard to say whether they have gotten worse or better. When you have 800nm's of torque on tap, no tyre is going to grip really well if you give it the beans around corners etc. but based on my experience, they seem to be the same as when I got them. They are two years old now. No all terrain tyre will be as good as a dedicated road tyre (in my case I had 21 inch pirelli scorpion road tyres and they are definitely better than these nittos on the road) but that's the price you pay for having a tyre that does go off road. Hope this helps.
 
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