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Let me throw my hat into the VW Touareg towing ring...

Yesterday I took the family to pick up our new 2021 Ibex 20BHS. We brought it home from Ohio behind the 2012 Touareg without WD and without sway control. The RV dealer agreed that if the owners manual said not to use WD then it was probably not a good idea and didn't try to pressure me into it. With all the differing opinions online, I figured I'd try it without and make my own decision.

The weather was calm, no breeze - no crosswind, no headwind. It was okay up to 65mph but at 70mph the trailer would start to sway. So 65 was the limit - unless I came up behind a semi, then the trailer would start to sway from about 200' behind the semi and even down to 50mph.

The steering was light. Not so light that I would call it vague, but lighter than I'd like while towing.

Acceleration (TDI) was unexpectedly bad. I'm used to the Treg feeling zippy but I had to nearly floor it to gain speed. It felt like I was driving with the parking brake on.

All told, it was a little disappointing.

I'll try getting WD with sway control before I throw in the towel. I'll let you guys know how it works.

238581
 

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You're mad that you towed a trailer that weighed more than your CAR weighs and it felt slower than not having a load on it?? 馃槙
 
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Discussion Starter #3
You're mad that you towed a trailer that weighed more than your CAR weighs and it felt slower than not having a load on it?? 馃槙
Not mad, just disappointed. I expected more from the TDI. That's all.

I've towed some very underpowered setups so I have valid fears. The TDI is probably more than capable but I need more towing time with it to gain confidence.
 

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Not mad, just disappointed. I expected more from the TDI. That's all.

I've towed some very underpowered setups so I have valid fears. The TDI is probably more than capable but I need more towing time with it to gain confidence.
Ah, so you're inexperienced, I see now. I can assure you, as somebody thats towed with diesel f250s, cummins, tahoes, gas pickups etc that my Touareg pulling my 5k lb boat is more sure footed than any other vehicle I've owned. It also accelerates far better under load. And handles light years better. And brakes light years better. And gets light years better mileage. And is light years more comfortable.

Its a 225hp, 4,700lb suv pulling more than its weight off the rear bumper. Keep your expectations in check.
 

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If it starts to sway over 65 then a WDH and sway control is needed. Also check the tongue weight as the trailer is likely not balanced properly
The WDH will also help get the trailer more level, not that it looks too far off. Looking at the clearance over the wheels on the car it needs the WDH.
What year and suspension?
I tow a much lighter Scamp and it is like it is not there.
 

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Reviewing the pic you attached, it also looks like your trailer is setup incorrectly. You shouldn't have nearly that much sag for a 5k lb trailer unless there is a stupid amount of tongue weight or its setup incorrectly.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
In the pic, the only thing inside the trailer was two folding chairs the dealer gave us. Nothing in the tanks, cupboards, etc. The Touareg had about 3/4 tank of fuel, several blankets and folding chairs in the trunk and no one inside. I should have mentioned (but didn't because I thought it was in my sig. but it's not) it's a 2012 with spring suspension, 3.0 V6 TDI.

The tech that did the setup said he would have preferred we were getting WD so he could fine tune. He gave us the only drawbar they had which he said was 1-3" below what he'd like.

Seriously guys, I've towed a lot - and I mean A LOT - just not with the T-reg. I've mostly towed my popup which has a 7' box and weighs maybe 700lbs. You can't see it in the mirrors. It's really like it's not there. So my Touareg towing experience is very limited.

Anyway, I've towed some sketchy setups in the past. I'm not trying to brag because some of it's just embarrassing. The T-reg with the Ibex felt like excess tongue weight and not the 550lbs or whatever the Ibex is advertised at.
 

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Have you considered ESC 鈥渆lectronic stability control鈥 these system are very adept at detecting lateral movement of the trailer and rectifying sway using the trailer brakes.
 

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I just checked the specs of your trailer and the dry tongue weight is listed at 512#. I have had many trailers and all of them have been over what the spec sheet lists so the first thing you need to do is weight that tongue. My trailer weighs right at 4200# and tongue weight is around 470# (100 pounds over the spec sheet). I get quite a bit of sag at that weight but towing performance, acceleration and braking is not an issue. My trailer is also low profile so it isn't affected by the wind as much as yours.

You can add sway control without the weight distribution if the MFR warning bothers you (that's what I started with). I, like you, was hesitant to go against the manual but ultimately decided to go with an EAZ-Lift 600# WDH. I wanted the spring bar weight to be below the rated tongue weight to put minimal stress on the hitch and give me just enough lift to help with the squat. After hours of reading differing opinions here and talking with engineers about how a WDH works (I work in Aviation Maintenance), I feel that as long as you do not go above the rated weights for your TREG then you should be fine. I'll let you know how it goes as I have new 600# bars on order (I used to tow with another vehicle using 1K# bars on the same WDH)
 

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Ah, so you're inexperienced, I see now. I can assure you, as somebody thats towed with diesel f250s, cummins, tahoes, gas pickups etc that my Touareg pulling my 5k lb boat is more sure footed than any other vehicle I've owned. It also accelerates far better under load. And handles light years better. And brakes light years better. And gets light years better mileage. And is light years more comfortable.

Its a 225hp, 4,700lb suv pulling more than its weight off the rear bumper. Keep your expectations in check.
I too was concerned about having enough power and control when towing our 3370kg van, so I bought an R50......... problem solved 馃榿
 

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I have a similar sized trailer that probably has a bit more tongue weight than yours (612# according to manufacturer, have not weighed it). I towed it with the Touareg for a while but never got comfortable at highway speeds with it from a steering and sway perspective and ended up buying a GMC Savana 2500 Van to tow instead. I do have WDH though with sway control which probably helps some and never really had concerns with acceleration.

238639


238640
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Have you considered ESC 鈥渆lectronic stability control鈥 these system are very adept at detecting lateral movement of the trailer and rectifying sway using the trailer brakes.
Actually, yes. I like the Hayes unit since it's plug-n-play. I'm considering this in conjunction with WD. My plan is to try WDH first since it's a cheaper option and will help with the rear end sag. If it doesn't also correct the sway potential, I'll add the Hayes ESC.

I just checked the specs of your trailer and the dry tongue weight is listed at 512#. I have had many trailers and all of them have been over what the spec sheet lists so the first thing you need to do is weight that tongue. My trailer weighs right at 4200# and tongue weight is around 470# (100 pounds over the spec sheet). I get quite a bit of sag at that weight but towing performance, acceleration and braking is not an issue. My trailer is also low profile so it isn't affected by the wind as much as yours.

You can add sway control without the weight distribution if the MFR warning bothers you (that's what I started with). I, like you, was hesitant to go against the manual but ultimately decided to go with an EAZ-Lift 600# WDH. I wanted the spring bar weight to be below the rated tongue weight to put minimal stress on the hitch and give me just enough lift to help with the squat. After hours of reading differing opinions here and talking with engineers about how a WDH works (I work in Aviation Maintenance), I feel that as long as you do not go above the rated weights for your TREG then you should be fine. I'll let you know how it goes as I have new 600# bars on order (I used to tow with another vehicle using 1K# bars on the same WDH)
Oddly enough, after all my research and price comparisons, I decided yesterday on the EAZ-Lift 800# WDH since it's rated at 501-800 lbs and the tongue weight should always be in that range.

I feel like a lot of the acceleration woes come from the height and width of the trailer (8' wide and 11'3" tall according to the manufacturer.) I'm considering the Aeroplus wind deflector from Purple Line - (Aeroplus | Roof-Mounted Wind Deflector | Trailer Accessories | Purple Line) It's designed for Euro-style vehicles and mounts on the roof rack. It looks like the perfect thing to take the edge off the massive box of the camper - and without modifications to the TV.
 

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A wind deflector will help but the sway control and how you load the TT will be your best defense against sway. They say that you should have 60% of your cargo weight forward of the TT axle, it's one of the reasons it's important to weigh your TT empty then loaded.
 

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Weight distribution and anti-sway are different. Anti-sway bars are just a friction pad or dampener to resist the trailer turning from side to side.

The tech that did the setup said he would have preferred we were getting WD so he could fine tune. He gave us the only drawbar they had which he said was 1-3" below what he'd like.
If the tow ball was low, that could account for the sag. Proper tow ball height (either via a raised tow bar, air suspension, or WD) is especially important on dual and triple axle trailers. You want your trailer running level so the load is equally distributed between the two axles. If your setup is sagging in the middle, the tongue is too low and most of the trailer's weight is on the front axle. That moves the trailer's pivot point forward to the front axle. That has the same effect as increasing the weight hanging off the rear (since a greater fraction of the trailer is behind the new pivot point), which is the most common cause of sway.

I would try a tow bar which raises the ball up to the proper height first, since that's considerably cheaper than a WD setup. Load up the trailer as if you were going on a trip, measure how high the ball is off the ground. Compare that to how high the trailer says the tongue should be off the ground, and buy a tow bar which lifts the ball by that amount.

The reason VW says not to use a WD hitch is because they don't use those in Europe. A WD hitch transforms tongue weight into torques transmitted through the hitch to the vehicle's frame, to level out the vehicle and trailer. Since Europe doesn't use WD hitches, VW's engineers never calculated if the hitch can withstand those torques. So in the absence of knowing, VW simply says not to use WD. You can use WD if you like, and many people have reported using it successfully. But it will always be an open question if it will hold up during emergency maneuvers. I've seen a modification where a bar is welded to the hitch, traveling underneath the fuel tank, and to the vehicle frame. That would tremendously increase my confidence in the hitch's ability to handle WD torques.

I tow a boat which is right at the 7700 lb tow limit. The Touareg handles it like a champ. I try to keep it at 55 mph for safety (idiot drivers keep cutting into my safe stopping distance in front, even though I'm in the slow lane). But I've gone 65-70 mph without problems. Only time I noticed some sway was on a particularly windy day.
 

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Weight distribution and anti-sway are different. Anti-sway bars are just a friction pad or dampener to resist the trailer turning from side to side.


If the tow ball was low, that could account for the sag. Proper tow ball height (either via a raised tow bar, air suspension, or WD) is especially important on dual and triple axle trailers. You want your trailer running level so the load is equally distributed between the two axles. If your setup is sagging in the middle, the tongue is too low and most of the trailer's weight is on the front axle. That moves the trailer's pivot point forward to the front axle. That has the same effect as increasing the weight hanging off the rear (since a greater fraction of the trailer is behind the new pivot point), which is the most common cause of sway.

I would try a tow bar which raises the ball up to the proper height first, since that's considerably cheaper than a WD setup. Load up the trailer as if you were going on a trip, measure how high the ball is off the ground. Compare that to how high the trailer says the tongue should be off the ground, and buy a tow bar which lifts the ball by that amount.

The reason VW says not to use a WD hitch is because they don't use those in Europe. A WD hitch transforms tongue weight into torques transmitted through the hitch to the vehicle's frame, to level out the vehicle and trailer. Since Europe doesn't use WD hitches, VW's engineers never calculated if the hitch can withstand those torques. So in the absence of knowing, VW simply says not to use WD. You can use WD if you like, and many people have reported using it successfully. But it will always be an open question if it will hold up during emergency maneuvers. I've seen a modification where a bar is welded to the hitch, traveling underneath the fuel tank, and to the vehicle frame. That would tremendously increase my confidence in the hitch's ability to handle WD torques.

I tow a boat which is right at the 7700 lb tow limit. The Touareg handles it like a champ. I try to keep it at 55 mph for safety (idiot drivers keep cutting into my safe stopping distance in front, even though I'm in the slow lane). But I've gone 65-70 mph without problems. Only time I noticed some sway was on a particularly windy day.

100%. I didn't mention this in my post but that would definitely account for the sag and the tail wagging at highway speeds.
 

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100%. I didn't mention this in my post but that would definitely account for the sag and the tail wagging at highway speeds.
I鈥檇 have to agree, treg has air suspension, once at correct height van was sitting flat, weight was about 300kg on my 3350kg van, drove from Myrtleford to Albury then up highway to turn off to Tumbarumba, section to Tumbarumba was typical county road, winding, narrow with guitar a few steep grades. I set the cruise control to 100ks and it was unflinching in carrying out its duty, hardly knew the van was there!!

set your van up to be level and ensure weight distribution is correct, I don鈥檛 believe you need sway control or levelling gear if you have air suspension.

I also don鈥檛 believe in having too much power R50 馃挭
 

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Let me throw my hat into the VW Touareg towing ring...

Yesterday I took the family to pick up our new 2021 Ibex 20BHS. We brought it home from Ohio behind the 2012 Touareg without WD and without sway control. The RV dealer agreed that if the owners manual said not to use WD then it was probably not a good idea and didn't try to pressure me into it. With all the differing opinions online, I figured I'd try it without and make my own decision.

The weather was calm, no breeze - no crosswind, no headwind. It was okay up to 65mph but at 70mph the trailer would start to sway. So 65 was the limit - unless I came up behind a semi, then the trailer would start to sway from about 200' behind the semi and even down to 50mph.

The steering was light. Not so light that I would call it vague, but lighter than I'd like while towing.

Acceleration (TDI) was unexpectedly bad. I'm used to the Treg feeling zippy but I had to nearly floor it to gain speed. It felt like I was driving with the parking brake on.

All told, it was a little disappointing.

I'll try getting WD with sway control before I throw in the towel. I'll let you guys know how it works.

View attachment 238581
Just completed 1500 km of freeway, rural Highway and mountain travel with WDH with variable height. Set it up with a tape measure And scale addressing hitch height and ball weight
Never had a waggle - acceleration and hills no probs.
238664
98915180-6247-4746-8527-DCF2844BCF36.jpeg
 

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Get a Blue OX weight distribution hitch (adjustable shank height), with 750 pound bars. Sway and level trailer problem solved. It is SO easy to hook up and release, and simply tries to force the trailer to be on center, regardless of what the tow vehicle is doing. It is not reactive, it's pro active. There are other systems, but I sold my Andersen WD hitch and went to the Blue OX, because of how easy to use (connect and disconnect is just plain easy). And I can back up with it connected. Not all WD systems allow backing up.

Further, make CERTAIN that your trailer tires are ST (Special Trailer), and at MAXIMUM cold pressures!!! If the trailer tier is 50 psi MAX, make it SO!!! My own trailer is dual axle, it has very stable behavior, even at 10% tongue weight of 500 pounds, which is typical. But the tires are 15 inch, load range E, 80 psi cold. Very stiff side walls. Also add 5 psi to your Treg REAR tires cold pressure. If that's normally 39 psi (like mine) then inflate to 44 psi.

As far as acceleration, it is what it is, for real. 0-65 is not 9 seconds, but it sure gets there anyway, it doesn't need to be speedy when towing no thanks.
 
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