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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
We plan to tow a travel trailer (liklely Airstream 23 feet or less, GVWR 6000 or less, TW 600 or less) with our 2016 Touarge TDI and I would like to make sure we are as safe as posible when towing so a coupel of questions.

1. VW says (both manual and reps at VW Americal) that use of wieght distributing hitches is NOT allowed becuase Touareg was not designed for that kind of hitch and using one could result is the hitch assembly separating from the vehicle. I‘d love to know if anyone here has experience with using a weight WDH on a Touareg or if anyone has seen (or heard of) hitch assembly separatring from a Touareg becasue a WDH was used.

2. Beacuse of the restriction on using weight distribution hitches, I have to use a sway control only solution. I plan to get an electronic sway control unit (Tucson or Lippert) which is Installed on the travel trailer and senses sway (using the on-board gyroscope and accelerometer) and it automatically applies the trailer’s own brakes as needed to counter sway. I would love to know if anyone here has experience with using an electronic sway control systems.
 

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There are a bajillion threads on this matter - people will go one way or another on the matter but the fact is there have been ZERO reported "separations" due to using a WDH. Everybody that uses one loves it on the Touareg. It also ups the ball weight from 770lbs to 1200.
 
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I think you’ll be more than fine without the WDH. I have no issues with my 33’ Airstream (6100lbs dry). No WDH or anti sway bars.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
There are a bajillion threads on this matter - people will go one way or another on the matter but the fact is there have been ZERO reported "separations" due to using a WDH. Everybody that uses one loves it on the Touareg. It also ups the ball weight from 770lbs to 1200.
Thanks for your reply. It is good to know that using a WDH with a Touareg does not create any problems as a practical matter in the real world. Just curious, do you use either a WDH or anti-sway bars with your trailer? If so, what do you use?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for your reply. It is good to know that using a WDH with a Touareg does not create any problems as a practical matter in the real world. Just curious, do you use either a WDH or anti-sway bars with your trailer? If so, what do you use?
Also meant to ask. Does your Touareg have a TW of 770? My 2016 Touareg TDI came with a factory hitch , wiring and 7-pin connection. The sticker on the hitch shows max trailer weight of 7700 and max TW of 616 Lbs.
I think you’ll be more than fine without the WDH. I have no issues with my 33’ Airstream (6100lbs dry). No WDH or anti sway bars.
Thanks for your reply. You really experience no sway with cross winds up or when huge trucks go by at high speed? I have heard the same re Airstreams not feeling sway unlike boxy trailers from a few other Airstream owners.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Agree with jimbuffalo2! Especially if the Touareg is “fixed”. They drink DEF when towing.
Thanks for your reply. My Touareg is “fixed” so will definitely pack some DEF and make sure it is easy to access the reservoir when towing.
 

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Thanks for your reply. It is good to know that using a WDH with a Touareg does not create any problems as a practical matter in the real world. Just curious, do you use either a WDH or anti-sway bars with your trailer? If so, what do you use?
I do not tow with one and never have - I've always just trucks properly setup to tow. Heaviest I've towed w/ the Touareg was a 6k lb car/trailer combo. Through the catskills. With the cruise control at 75. No problems. I noticed there were a couple times the trailer would sway a bit but if I slowed to 65-70 I couldn't induce any real sway.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for the quick reply. Just to make sure I’m clear, you have in fact towed a 6,000 pound trailer (which is the max I’d be pulling) through the Catskills with a Touareg without a WDH or ant-sway bars and had no problems. Is that right?
 

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Yeppers. Passing every single car, truck, semi, diesel etc in sight too. Heck even had the air conditioning pumping the whole trip. Like I said there was the occasional sway at 75 going but it was completely manageable. I think it was a freak crosswind. Likely the sway was due to me not being able to get the trailer/ball weight setup as properly as I wanted (pinched for time), but slowing to 65mph resulted in 0 swaying what so ever. I didn't have time for that bs though so most of the trip was 75mph up and down the mountains.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks again for the quick reply. This is very encouraging. I’m hearing similar reports from other people especially Airstream owners. So just curious, were you towing an Airstream? I hear those tow a lot better than other trailers due to lots of featured built into them.
 

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Airstreams DO tow really nicely

I was pulling a car trailer w/ a huge heavy car on it.
 

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Thanks for your reply. You really experience no sway with cross winds up or when huge trucks go by at high speed? I have heard the same re Airstreams not feeling sway unlike boxy trailers from a few other Airstream owners.
If a long tractor trailer (b-train) passes, there is definitely some sway, but it’s pretty uneventful and corrects quickly. I see the truck coming and I counteract the sway by gently turning towards the oncoming truck. Otherwise, I’ve been very impressed with how well such a long trailer tows. The aerodynamic shape of an airstream must help when compared to other boxy designs. Tongue weight is around 800lbs when I have it loaded as I normally do. It’s a front kitchen rear bed model, with the 3 holding tanks behind, in between, and in front of the axles. They’re also very low to the ground compared to most other trailers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
If a long tractor trailer (b-train) passes, there is definitely some sway, but it’s pretty uneventful and corrects quickly. I see the truck coming and I counteract the sway by gently turning towards the oncoming truck. Otherwise, I’ve been very impressed with how well such a long trailer tows. The aerodynamic shape of an airstream must help when compared to other boxy designs. Tongue weight is around 800lbs when I have it loaded as I normally do. It’s a front kitchen rear bed model, with the 3 holding tanks behind, in between, and in front of the axles. They’re also very low to the ground compared to most other trailers.
Thanks again. Very helpful.
 

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I have a 2016 TDI and towed a 23' Airstream from Austin to Vegas. Freeway through northern New Mexico and Arizona at high altitude and high speed. Into a headwind at times. Mostly couldn't feel a bit of sway. The only time I did was on a large radius curve with the expansion joints setting up vertical undulations while changing the angle into the wind. I hit the accelerator a bit to pull harder and it settled right down. No issues at all with semis. Drinks DEF a lot. Sometimes less than 500 miles for 2.5 gallons. Yes, I typed that correctly. Will be towing again later this month.
244192
 

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I have a 2016 TDI and towed a 23' Airstream from Austin to Vegas. Freeway through northern New Mexico and Arizona at high altitude and high speed. Into a headwind at times. Mostly couldn't feel a bit of sway. The only time I did was on a large radius curve with the expansion joints setting up vertical undulations while changing the angle into the wind. I hit the accelerator a bit to pull harder and it settled right down. No issues at all with semis. Drinks DEF a lot. Sometimes less than 500 miles for 2.5 gallons. Yes, I typed that correctly. Will be towing again later this month.
View attachment 244192
Ooopppsssss. Yes, I have a weight distribution hitch and it works like a charm. As does the Auto Cruise Control while towing. Side and rear warnings are disabled while towing. I used the stock side mirrors and the rear facing camera on the Airstream and it worked just fine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Ooopppsssss. Yes, I have a weight distribution hitch and it works like a charm. As does the Auto Cruise Control while towing. Side and rear warnings are disabled while towing. I used the stock side mirrors and the rear facing camera on the Airstream and it worked just fine.
Hi Mike. Thank you so much. You are a God send! Which WDH are you using? Trailer shop here says WDH is fine as long as its spring loading is not too high. Were you similarly advised by anyone (such as a trailer shop, VW dealer, or Airstream dealer) in that regard?
 

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I have a 2016 TDI and towed a 23' Airstream from Austin to Vegas. Freeway through northern New Mexico and Arizona at high altitude and high speed. Into a headwind at times. Mostly couldn't feel a bit of sway. The only time I did was on a large radius curve with the expansion joints setting up vertical undulations while changing the angle into the wind. I hit the accelerator a bit to pull harder and it settled right down. No issues at all with semis. Drinks DEF a lot. Sometimes less than 500 miles for 2.5 gallons. Yes, I typed that correctly. Will be towing again later this month.
View attachment 244192
Great looking Touareg and LOVE the airstream. Absolutely gorgeous.
 
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