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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm looking at pulling a mini winnie with my Touareg. I'm getting mixed info. about using sway bars but it seems like mostly not necessary for smaller trailers. I'm also curious about the electric trailer brakes and if adding a module is necessary for my TDI. Here are the trailer specs and I'm well within the towing capacity of the vehicle.

Base Weight (lbs / kg)
2980 / 1351.7

Hitch Weight (lbs / kg)
320 / 145.2

Length (ft-in / m)
19' 2'' / 5.8

My main question is do I need to use a sway bar hitch for something this small and do I need to add the electric trailer brake module to tow this trailer? If I do need to install an electric trailer brake module, what is recommended for the VW?

Thanks for your help!
 

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I have a '13 TDI Sport and I JUST (as in yesterday) purchased a trailer as well that's about the same size (3170lbs, 370lb tongue weight, 23' 1" length). I believe VW recommends NOT using a stabalizer/sway bar with any trailer. As far as brake controllers, yes, you'll need one but I think you can pretty much use whatever you like. I need to get one myself, before Friday in fact. etrailer.com is a pretty good resource for such things.
 

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2014 Highline TDI Black and (RIP) 2011 Execuline TDI - Toffee Brown Metallic
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I have a reasonable degree of experience towing larger trailers, but limited with my Touaregs. I have towed a loaded snowmobile trailer with my Treg, which would be just under 2000 lbs. Easy tow with the TDI, and that was on snow covered mountain roads.

Brake Controller
- YES. If you are towing a trailer over 2000 lbs you need trailer brakes. Your trailer almost certainly has brakes, and you need a brake controller. I have used Tekshona and Curt on other vehicles. They work about the same. I will allow others more knowledgeable to chime in with their specific brand experience on towing with a Treg.

Sway Bar - MAYBE. VW recommends against the use of weight distributing hitches ("WDH"). You will find mixed opinions here on that issue. A sway bar is a different thing, although WDH also prevents sway. I personally would not bother with it as I am comfortable with a big trailer and know how to handle a bit of sway: slow down. Don't wait until you have too much sway as you are borderline at risk of losing control. If you have not towed before, the sway bar may give you a bit more comfort. There is no downside to its use.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I have a reasonable degree of experience towing larger trailers, but limited with my Touaregs. I have towed a loaded snowmobile trailer with my Treg, which would be just under 2000 lbs. Easy tow with the TDI, and that was on snow covered mountain roads.

Brake Controller - YES. If you are towing a trailer over 2000 lbs you need trailer brakes. Your trailer almost certainly has brakes, and you need a brake controller. I have used Tekshona and Curt on other vehicles. They work about the same. I will allow others more knowledgeable to chime in with their specific brand experience on towing with a Treg.

Sway Bar - MAYBE. VW recommends against the use of weight distributing hitches ("WDH"). You will find mixed opinions here on that issue. A sway bar is a different thing, although WDH also prevents sway. I personally would not bother with it as I am comfortable with a big trailer and know how to handle a bit of sway: slow down. Don't wait until you have too much sway as you are borderline at risk of losing control. If you have not towed before, the sway bar may give you a bit more comfort. There is no downside to its use.
I have towed a lot of trailers, but they all had surge brakes. The electric brakes are new territory for me.
 

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2014 Highline TDI Black and (RIP) 2011 Execuline TDI - Toffee Brown Metallic
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You will enjoy the electric brakes. You can fine tune the brake pressure via the controller so it is not pushing your vehicle or dragging the trailer. It does make for a more comfortable drive.

Even my 1800-1900 lbs loaded snowmobile trailer was pushing me a bit on the snow covered roads when applying the brakes. I adjusted my driving accordingly by allowing more space and using the manual shift to allow that sweet TDI to take the load.
 

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No need to manual shift, towing mode does perfect.

Electronic brake controller an absolute must. I like Tekonsha
 
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Reactions: Mike in Anchorage

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No brakes on a snowmobile trailer. Only 800 lbs empty, but 1900 lbs with two sleds. it does push you
I was replying to the op but 1900 lbs you'd barely even know it's back there. I was pulling my 5k lb boat with blown out surge brakes for a while and barely noticed it back there
 
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2016 TDI Lux, white with beige interior
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Easy peasy, lemon squeezy! You're gonna love that thing for towing. I tow about 6k pounds on a 2016 TDi. I do use a weight distribution hitch to keep even level. The stock connector on the back works well with the electric brakes, but I have a Prodigy radio brake controller as well. Brakes are really weird at low speed - either on or off. The controller keeps that squirrelyness to a minimum if I set it lower for in-town speeds. I'd post a pic, but HEIC pics aren't allowed on this site yet and I'm too lazy to convert to another file type.
 

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No brakes on a snowmobile trailer. Only 800 lbs empty, but 1900 lbs with two sleds. it does push you
I should reiterate. The 'let tow mode' shift comment was towards you but the brake controller comment was not :D
 
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Reactions: Mike in Anchorage

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Whoa... easy boys.
First of all,, his trailer is light.... single axle... depending on where he's towing, and his local laws, he may not need any brakes on it.
So I would start by asking.... are there brakes on the trailer?
If so, and given that you have an Exec, you should already have the tow module\setup. All you'll need to do is add the plug adapter both at the rear and under the dash (if you end up adding a brake controller).
If you have surge brakes or no brakes, no need for the brake controller setup (read as trailer has no brakes, or is fancy euro surge brake setup, or is a boat trailer, etc)
Also no to sway control on something that short\small.

So show us what you've got and we'll guide you.
 

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2015 (2016 MY) Touareg SE 3.0 V6 TDi 262PS
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In Europe, where the Touareg was designed, there's a statutory limit of 750 kg (1,653 lbs) for unbraked trailers - that's fully laden maximum design weight - so anything over 750 kg needs brakes - the OP's trailer is probably double that when laden.
 

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In Europe, where the Touareg was designed, there's a statutory limit of 750 kg (1,653 lbs) for unbraked trailers - that's fully laden maximum design weight - so anything over 750 kg needs brakes - the OP's trailer is probably double that when laden.
Regardless of what your regulations are on that side of the pond, or what mine are on this side of the border, his may be different and will apply instead of "ours"..... here are my local requirements

Brakes
If your trailer has a gross trailer weight, vehicle and load of 1,360 kilograms or more, it must have brakes strong enough to stop and hold the trailer.
But yes, I agree, that he will more than likely need brakes.... but it's the states, so you never know. :p
 

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I actually just read his post while paying attention.... it sounds like he's got a Micro Minnie instead.... but with dual axles and that length, it's got electric brakes for sure....

So he will need to add brake controller setup and 7-pin tow plug adapter to the rear unless a previous owner already did all or some of that.
 

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I actually just read his post while paying attention.... it sounds like he's got a Micro Minnie instead.... but with dual axles and that length, it's got electric brakes for sure....

So he will need to add brake controller setup and 7-pin tow plug adapter to the rear unless a previous owner already did all or some of that.
The Exec model has the tow package already installed.
 

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Ok, then you only need to add the electric brake controller.
You'll need to locate the OEM 4 wire plug under your dash, above the pedals... on the left hand side... some people find it by pulling out the fuse panel to make it easier.... you really have to poke around for it if you look from below.
 
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