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Discussion Starter #1
Working on getting the Touareg ready to tow our new van when it is built.
The van manufacturer recommends the tow bar height for their van as 450mm to the base of the hitch pin.
I have a VW tow bar installed and with the R Line suspension set to Normal the base of the hitch pin is 360mm from the ground.
If I turn the tongue up side down the base of the hitch pin is 425mm from the ground, I have seen DO35 Hitch Pins with a taller base which will probably get me to the 450mm required.

Is there a mechanical reason why I should not turn the tongue up side down, don't want cause a failure of the tongue ?

Kym
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20200327_151351.jpg
 

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When I bought my caravan it was constructed with a 6 in section A frame. My towball was fitted exactly like yours. The caravan manufacturer wanted to fit the Alko coupling on the upper surface of the A frame which was way too high for my towball. In the event, he agreed to mount the coupling from the lower faces of the A frame, which would have been slightly high for an air suspension (no droop), but the droop on my steel suspension brought the whole rig level.
I wonder how some of these high couplings comply with trailers built to the requirements of VSB1, as below. (Underline by me)
"Ball couplings on towbars are required to be installed so that the height of the centre
of the body of the ball coupling is between 350mm and 420mm from the ground
when laden (Refer to ADR 62/01)
. Alternatively, if complying with the requirements of
ADR 62/02 the maximum height of the centre of the body of the ball coupling may be
increased to 460mm. However, the ball may be installed at any other height, provided
it is also capable of being adjusted to at least one height within the 350-460mm
range." Perhaps I am interpreting it wrongly?
As far as I know, reversing the hitch is quite common and I have had to do this on my launch model. In this case the hitch pin was supplied as the inverted case, with the centre of the ball at 460mm - too high for me.
I have turned it and am now hoping the new ball height of 390 mm will give me back a level set-up. In the manual, the range of acceptable towball heights is similar to VSB1 ( or somewhere near).
Hope this helps
Steve
 

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MY18 - Black V6 TDI Touareg
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Mechanically I would think that the tongue is as strong either way.
However I don't recall ever seeing one installed as in your first picture, my natural instinct would be as per picture 2 (with the ball above the tongue always).
(Q: Do you have Air suspension? are you at Load/Normal/Raised height)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks Steve I believe they have set the height at 450mm to the base as this suites the Landcruiser 200 series which appears to be the most common tow vehicle ! They make a Off Road and Semi Off Road van and the height is the same for both.
Thanks gatkins the first photo is how it was installed by the dealership and I have seen a number of Touaregs towing with it in that position. The R Line has Air Suspension and the photos were taken with no load and set at Normal.
 

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There should be no mechanical issues turning it upside down. With that said, it seems odd to me that they specify the height of the base of the hitch pin instead of the height of the top of the ball. The height of those can vary from the base. Either way if you are in the ballpark, it should be fine.
 

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Evening Touareg drivers,
Prior to our Touareg our tow vehicle was Ford Territory, the van is off-road van which measured (when level) 580mm Ground to towball centre!
Was impossible to comply with 350-420 range,replaced with DO35 pin hitch!
This option gives much improved articulation together with easier connection/ disconnection.
Only the 50mm towball has the limitation fixed to the range 350-420!
We continue to use the DO35 on the Touareg and wouldn’t have it any other way!
Hope you solve your dilemma before your trip!
Cheers,
Mick.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I will be seeking confirmation from the van manufacturer exactly where their measurement is taken.
Thanks Mick our new van comes with the DO35 Hitch as standard.
Have you turned your tongue upside down or are you using another tongue, any chance of a photo ?
I don't recall seeing the 350-420 information in the owners manual guess I'll have another look.
Thanks
Kym
 

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Hope this helps:

From the VW Touareg Service Manual "Towing"

Ball mount
Fig. 108 Dimensions of the ball mount support.
236215

 Please first read and note the introductory information and heed the WARNINGS
If you must tow a trailer, you must have the necessary electrical wiring and socket together with a
suitable trailer hitch installed. Because towing a trailer places a great deal of stress on the vehicle, the
attachment of a trailer to the vehicle and the dimensions of the receiver and ball mount are very important
so that the extra forces the vehicle has to withstand can be properly handled.
Depending on its equipment, certain parts required for the installation of a trailer hitch may already
have been installed at the factory. If your vehicle does not already have the preparation package
installed, your authorized Volkswagen dealer or authorized Volkswagen Service Facility can install the
necessary parts and equipment including the proper trailer hitch for you.
The receiver used requires both a ball mount and a ball that meet special requirements regarding
geometry and size. This applies to both the height of the ball above the surface where it attaches
⇒ fig. 108 (A), and the pin-to-ball distance (B).
These dimensions are important because they help determine the way that the forces that arise during
towing are applied to the receiver and its attachments to the vehicle. If you buy a different ball mount
and ball, make sure that they meet the following specifications.

Ball mount dimensions
 The drop height (A) from the center of the ball to the center of the hole for the securing pin on the
ball mount must be at least 11 /4 inches (32.3 mm) and at most 27 /8 inches (73 mm).
 The pin-to-ball distance (B) from the center of the ball to the center of the hole for the securing pin
on the ball mount must be no more than 61 /8 inches (157.3 mm).
 The ball diameter must be no more than 2 inches (51 mm).
Volkswagen recommends that you have an authorized Volkswagen dealer or an authorized
Volkswagen Service Facility install the electrical system and socket.
A ball mount and ball combination that does not meet these specifications can damage your vehicle
and may even fail in use ⇒ .
Never install a “weight distributing” or “load equalizing” trailer hitch on your vehicle. The vehicle is not
designed for this kind of trailer hitch ⇒ .
 

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I wouldn't get to ahead of things until you actually pick the van up and more importantly load the van with everything you would normally travel with, from there you need to hook the van up and insure the van is level. I can tell you from experience that I needed to fit a HR adjustable hitch to the Touareg, I use a DO35 and the standard VW hitch installed as per photo 2 above was still about 80mm to low for my 'semi offroad' van.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
What a can of worms ! ! !
Still seeking a drawing from the caravan manufacturer as the salesman now tells me that 450mm is for their Off Road van and their Semi Off Road model is 150mm lower at 300mm which seems a bit strange as the Off Road van only sits 100mm higher. Questioned exactly where the measurement is taken and still waiting a reply, frustrating when you are given incorrect or vague information.
If the 300mm to the base of the hitch pin is correct then I am 60mm too high with the standard tongue as in photo 1 of my original post.

I'm beginning to think that paulie0735's idea of waiting may be the best way to tackle this, whatever the correct level is at empty the whole van will sit lower when loaded.

"
236217
"
"Ball mount dimensions
 The drop height (A) from the center of the ball to the center of the hole for the securing pin on the
ball mount must be at least 11 /4 inches (32.3 mm) and at most 27 /8 inches (73 mm). "
From SteveL's post - this diagram would suggest the centre of the ball needs to be 32.3 to 73mm below the centre of the securing pin hole
BUT
the wording could be interpreted as meaning the centre of the securing pin hole needs to be 32.3 to 73mm below the centre of the ball !
So which is correct ? ?
The VW fitted tow bar made by Best Bars NZ has the centre of the ball 32.3mm above the centre of the securing pin hole ! Have VW got this wrong ? ?
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20200330_145936.jpg
 

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236220

Only part of WDH I use is the hitch , chains,bars,draw bar clamps aren’t used.
As seen above,nice and level with 235kg tow ball weight.
Distribution of caravan weight is possible,works for me anyway.
This is the same configuration as I had with previous tow vehicle,such a dream ride with the Touareg of course!
Any more pictures needed, just ask!
Cheers,
Mick.
 

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Working on getting the Touareg ready to tow our new van when it is built.
The van manufacturer recommends the tow bar height for their van as 450mm to the base of the hitch pin.
I have a VW tow bar installed and with the R Line suspension set to Normal the base of the hitch pin is 360mm from the ground.
If I turn the tongue up side down the base of the hitch pin is 425mm from the ground, I have seen DO35 Hitch Pins with a taller base which will probably get me to the 450mm required.

Is there a mechanical reason why I should not turn the tongue up side down, don't want cause a failure of the tongue ?
8F724C72-81DF-4CBF-8600-58E80455765E.jpeg

Kym View attachment 236205
View attachment 236206
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks Mick
Continue to get conflicting information from the salesman.
Will get a accurate drawing when the design team draw up our van 4 weeks prior to the build start date (build date has been pushed out by a month due to the virus).
I will then determine if I need a adjustable hitch mount, trying to avoid the extra weight and length if possible.
Kym
 

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Hi KandC,
We have a 2016 Touareg V6 Wolfsburg and tow a 2019 3.2T (loaded) JB ‘on-road’ van (which is more like any other manufacturers semi-off-road van). We’ve done about 16,000km on 3 trips
Firstly, our towball was too low and the dealer mounted the DO35 pin the same as your photo 2, ie ‘upside down’, so it’s apparently fine.
Secondly, it still wasn’t quite high enough so I bought a 5-hole adjustable height 4T hitch. So then I could adjust it anytime I needed.
Finally, I’m with Paulie0735. You can’t really tell until you get it loaded ready to travel. So don’t get too specific about it yet. We had some horrible sway problems that required rearranging the van loading, and I adjusted the hitch height then too.
Now it travels fine at 100km/h unless it’s steep downhill, the road is too windy or there’s gusty or diagonal wind, etc.
Hope to see you on the road.
Good luck,
Cheers, Brett
236299
 

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I'd have to agree with Paulie and Brett. You can't be sure if the nose height of the van until it's loaded. Here's
236302
a pic of the recommended angles that my chassis manufacturer (AustrailRV) recommends as they suggest slightly nose down is okay.
236303
 

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I'd have to agree with Paulie and Brett. You can't be sure if the nose height of the van until it's loaded. Here's View attachment 236302 a pic of the recommended angles that my chassis manufacturer (AustrailRV) recommends as they suggest slightly nose down is okay.
View attachment 236303
Maybe so however, I agree with drawbar slightly lower,I’m concerned with Bretts comments regarding their van being unstable going downhill or with side winds!
We travel with one of those spring tongue weighing gauges, not perfect but close enough when I’ve compared to weigh bridge scales.
We have another aid with the luxury of Dexter ESC, (Alko).
I’m happy towing our van anywhere in any conditions, when driven responsibly, never any unexpected swaying.
Cheers,
Mick.
 

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........................I’m concerned with Bretts comments regarding their van being unstable going downhill or with side winds!
.................................
I think what he was referring to is, that he adjusts his speed according to the prevailing conditions.

We certainly did the same with our T2/7L and the caravan (Steel sprung with WDH). Yet to experience the air suspension of the Touareg with caravan connected.
 

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That’s good Drewza, yes slightly down. I wish I had a chassis manual like that.



Mick, thanks for your polite concern, Steve_L is right. We are constantly aware that the van might be slightly different on any day due to different winds, loading (eg half full water tanks), rutted or unsealed or winding roads, etc. We don’t ever get uncontrolled sway and we have trailer ESC on the tow truck and ESC on the van. So we’re happy to sit on 100km/h most of the time. But 100km/h with a 3T van, 3.1m high, downhill with a 35km/h cross or corner wind isn’t comfortable for us (and most vans I’d reckon).

Basically we try to drive safely according to the conditions.

Cheers, Brett
 
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