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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

It has bothered me for some time that my 2013 TDI fitted with a genuine VW tow hitch has a placarded tow ball weight limit of 280Kgs (617 lbs) whereas the earlier models have a 350 Kg (771 lbs) limit.
I could really make use of a heavier tow ball limit to the extent it may end up turning me away from Treg's altogether and look elsewhere.

Does anyone happen to know exactly why VW chose to lower the Tow ball limit on the T3's?

It cannot be due to the Air suspension on mine as I have mates with T2's with air and a 350Kg tow ball weight limit.

Can we bully them into changing back to the heavier weight? (I know, since when do they listen to the customers?)

Thanks in advance.
 

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I know I'll get flamed for this, but you can put as much weight back there as you'd like to. At some point it becomes and unsafe situation for you, your vehicle, and other drivers. But the only thing stopping you is a sticker with some letters and numbers on it.

I assume it was factory installed? Maybe VW AU/NZ has different requirements? Its 350KG here in the US and i assume they are made the same way since they are made in the same factory.

Now - if it's not factory installed, maybe that's the difference?

Dunno. What is it that you want to tow?
 

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Now that's interesting, 350kg in US for the same vehicle?
 

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The single fact that you can be sure about is that no one, including VW is sure about what the proper tongue weight is on the touareg with the factory hitch.

It changes year to year, I had 3 drivers manual updates on my old '13 touareg from VW within a span of 6 months..

I would think that not exceeding 350kg would be a "safe" limit depending on how much the tongue weights are enforced in your area.
 

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Don't get too excited Singh...

From my US Spec 2014 TDI:

Not to get off topic, but I couldn't help but notice that your hitch sticker has a protective anti-copy watermark in the background . I find that interesting as I have never seen that before...my older Treg's have a basic white sticker that look (almost) like an envelope label...no watermark (and yes it came new that way).

Is the watermark ("VOID" written in the background) a new thing for the industry or VW or??? I have never seen this before.

Just for example here is mine without the watermark.
 

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The single fact that you can be sure about is that no one, including VW is sure about what the proper tongue weight is on the touareg with the factory hitch.

It changes year to year, I had 3 drivers manual updates on my old '13 touareg from VW within a span of 6 months..

I would think that not exceeding 350kg would be a "safe" limit depending on how much the tongue weights are enforced in your area.
X2

The conflict/confusion of information is not only between regions & models.
My manual states
1. Max 140kG ball load and then states that at this load as a minimum should be applied when towing, and certainly not to be less than 4% of trailer weight.
2. Hitch has sticker says 350kG
3. Sales brochure says 350kG
 

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Discussion Starter #8
What is it that you want to tow?
We currently have a 3.4 Tonne Caravan and when it is fully loaded the ball weight is 270 Kg. Thinking more into the future when / if we upgrade the caravan, we may need a heavier tow ball weight perhaps around 320 Kg so 350 Kg capability would be handy.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Interesting replies already, thanks guys.

The sticker on my tower states a 280Kg limit as does my manual.
My tow bar is an outrageously expensive genuine item fitted by the dealer when I purchased the vehicle.
 

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Europe has a"standard" for tongue weight. USA also has general rule of thumb standard.

USA - 10%-15% of tow weight for tongue weight calculation . Using 15%, this would make the max tongue 1157 lbs at max tow capacity of 7716 lbs for the Touareg.

Europe - 8% of tow weight for tongue weight. Period. .08 X 7716= 617 lbs.... And there you go. It's a mathematical standard formula. Period.

If VW says 616 lbs max, then it means they multiplied 3500 kg times 8% and got 280 kg tongue weight, which is 616 lbs.

This seemingly low tongue weight limit has been debated for a long time. A LOT of threads here at CT. Also the whole Weight Distributing Hitch debate, to use or not to use... Ultimately it will be up to the owner how they decide to tow and how comfortable they are if they decide to break the rules.

And my factory hitch also lists 7716/616 (3500/280) as max ratings.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks TMJ,
I think I may have seen most of the posts on the subject I think.
We don't use a WDH with the air suspension on our Treg and from memory the owners manual doesn't recommend a WDH.
I guess everyone would agree there is no problem putting 350 Kgs on any Treg's tow ball and I would be comfortable with that keeping in mind other limits such as max axle load and GCM.
In Australia at least I am not aware of our Police or other authorities weighing tow ball's to ensure compliance.
I guess I am more concerned with being 'legal' in the event of having to make an insurance claim, although I suppose if the tow bar fell off, the caravan and it's contents would 'explode' making a post accident weighing impossible!

I am still interested in knowing why it would seem that VW lowered the limit weight on the tow ball with the introductions of the T3's.
 

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Thanks TMJ,
I think I may have seen most of the posts on the subject I think.
We don't use a WDH with the air suspension on our Treg and from memory the owners manual doesn't recommend a WDH.
I guess everyone would agree there is no problem putting 350 Kgs on any Treg's tow ball and I would be comfortable with that keeping in mind other limits such as max axle load and GCM.
In Australia at least I am not aware of our Police or other authorities weighing tow ball's to ensure compliance.
I guess I am more concerned with being 'legal' in the event of having to make an insurance claim, although I suppose if the tow bar fell off, the caravan and it's contents would 'explode' making a post accident weighing impossible!

I am still interested in knowing why it would seem that VW lowered the limit weight on the tow ball with the introductions of the T3's.
Garry

A least they went to the trouble of matching the values in your manual & on the towbar.

Like you I think that I have read just about every post relating to ball loads and then the same for WDH (I have steel suspension) and I feel that TMJ has hit the nail on the head, there are so many changeable parameters when towing that it would be close to impossible to prescribe something that accurately took account of these variables. Much easier to just use a formula prescribed by someone else.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks Ewhen,
Trust you guys are well.
Thanks for the input.
As a matter of interest a mate's Cayenne has a hitch fitted and it also has a weight limit of 616 lbs (280 Kg).
I had already sent an email to VW Aust asking this question. If I hear back from them I will certainly post the reply here.
 

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Interesting replies already, thanks guys. The sticker on my tower states a 280Kg limit as does my manual. My tow bar is an outrageously expensive genuine item fitted by the dealer when I purchased the vehicle.
Sticker on the Rline states the same as yours GazzaK, although the part number is different
I wonder if people can buy directly from best bars in NZ where they could get a better deal
 

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Singh

If you look at the Pics in the previous posts they have a "made in Germany", sounds like Aussie Tregs get one from NZ, probably fitted by dealer.
 

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Singh If you look at the Pics in the previous posts they have a "made in Germany", sounds like Aussie Tregs get one from NZ, probably fitted by dealer.
Yep, appears yanks get german made and we are blessed with kiwi engineering
Mystery remains why its 70kg less than T1/T2
 

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Treat this info how you will, but I haven't found any thread, report, or hearsay on any Touaregs having failed hitches.. Does this mean everyone stays under the weight limit? I know there are a lot of people using WDH in the North America, so why haven't there been reports of failed Touareg hitches? I think the hitches are much stronger than the limits listed in the manual.

If anyone knows of hitch failures, I would like to know about it.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Agree entirely TMJ.
Still itching to know why they reduced the limit though.
 

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The ball limit isn't just about the strength of the hitch. It may also be related to to the vehicle suspension and handling, axel limits, tire limits etc. It is also often a very arbitrary number that may not have gotten a lot of engineering and testing time.
 
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