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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just purchased a 2014 Touareg sport V6 and would like to tow a travel trailer. The trailers we were looking at were 25ft, around 5000lb with a tongue wt of 400lb. Do people pull there trailers without the weight distribution or is it safer to ignore VW’s warning and use one anyways? My first priority is my family’s safety.
 

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I dont beleive the 400lbs tong wt... The realty is probably around 900lbs with the trailer loaded. I tow a jayco 5600lbs 25 ft long and the tongue wt is 1150lbs (I weighed it).

I recommand to use weight distribution, I do use it since 2014 (My touareg is 2014) and 3 trips from quebec canada to california and return with stops in naples florida without any problem and lot of fun.

enjoy your rig
 

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There are SO many threads on this already, but the short is you are good to use WD. Many, many folks here including myself do. VW lawyers and lobbyists from the Euro "caravan" aka travel trailer industry mandate this verbiage. In Euro WD is illegal as this industry successfully lobbied against WD out of fear from competition from American trailer manufacturers. Europe has a different take on how to balance a trailer, which is why some Tregs also have a 616 lbs sticker for max tongue load (616 lbs equals 280kg, 7,716 lbs (max tow cap) equals 3,500 kg, 8% of 3,500 kg is 280kg). Also note that you need a commercial license to operate a trailer over 3,500 kg...so the max specs of the Treg are by legal constraints and not necessarily engineering constraints.

The key to using WD is the quality of the hitch / sway system and the setup. For something as lightweight as what you have, a basic Easylift system would work fine. Not too much on the WD bars (don't hurt yourself, setup should be easy to get needed results).

Remember, you are NOT using WD to level the Treg, you are using to transfer a SMALL amount of static load such that in an emergency braking scenario the dynamic load will be sufficient to keep weight on your front axel for turning and braking.
 

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ignore VW’s warning
I believe the warning is only for Tregs with air suspension.
The OP does not indicate if their Treg has air.
 

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@ Serge90

When we were looking at trailers a few years back I always took a Sherline scale with me and was blown away by how much Jayco put on the tongue. It is possible to get a different manufacturer with the same floor plan, but MUCH better tongue weight.

You are running 20% tongue? I bet that is really stable, but man that is a BIG percentage.

400 lbs is likely the manufactures published BS rating for the OP, his is likely higher, but I am running a 28 foot bunk house (32' overall) that loaded is 7,500 lbs and the tongue (also weighed) is 800. This setup has some serious spread axels on it, however...that was Keystone's trick...that and everything is aluminum or fiberglass.


I should add my trailer's published BS rating for tongue is like 525 lbs or something...
 

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Definitely should invest in a scale, too many people just guessing at it. Usually higher than you think. Should be no issues running WD.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for all the information. If I'd have known it was this complicated I would have gone with a truck but I do like my touareg. :)
 

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Thanks for all the information. If I'd have known it was this complicated I would have gone with a truck but I do like my touareg. :)
Doesn't matter what you tow with, being safe and understanding what you are towing is most important.

Most folks do the full size truck to tow just about anything, and if that works for them that is great. However, many of these same folks have to deal with instability, sway, terrible braking, and really get worked up with towing because the full size trucks advantage stops with size and ratings. (These are the people who are petrified by wheel base length, sway, and transmission issues or transmission coolers, or suspension airbags for sag). If you want to enjoy towing and not have to stress (once you are setup) the Treg is your ticket as it came from the factory ready to tow. I can't tell you how many folks in full size trucks have commented on how there is no suspension sag when I am hooked up, or saw me on a hill climb and stop to chat about what is under the hood.

I have been in several situations that underlined the Tregs towing prowess, be it high winds, emergency braking, or rapid acceleration to merge with traffic...all met with outstanding results. For the small weight (7,500 lbs) that I tow, I couldn't ask for a better tow vehicle. Obviously full size trucks have a place when properly outfitted, but I don't have the need for that.
 

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Tongue weight...! Don’t get me started!!
Every ... and I do mean every trailer in North America has the axles too far back. I understand it depends what is been towed and where its C of G is and its position on the trailer should go, but!
If you look at “the rest of the world” trailers, most have the axles central so it takes the weight of what is towed and minus a little bit for tongue weight.
North American trailer manufactures err so much on caution and possible litigation that they position the axles so far back so the trailer is stable whether it is empty or full, towed by an ol’ wifey, or numpty who thinks he knows better.
This is possibly why tongue weights go through the roof. Most people don’t care or know any better. Use a graduated scale and measure the tongue weight and adjust the load accordingly. It will be stable with the right amount of tongue weight to stop it fishtailing and will not overload the vehicle that is towing it and you will not require some huge behemoth to pull it.

I suggest everybody towing should measure their tongue weight. 620 lbs max. You can use a bathroom scale and lever principle or there are proper post style scales that you lower the tongue over the top and read the graduated scale.

I have designed, built a few different trailers (17) in the UK and Canada over the last 30 years and really, it is a minefield with lots of hearsay, conjecture and feeling based on very little facts and no proper testing.
:) complaining over :)
 

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My Jayco 28DSBH (33 ft long) has published tongue weight of 680 lbs. Of course, this is without cargo (the trailer is 6400 lbs dry). Ready to camp, it is around 800 lbs (CAT scale measured), with overall weight of 7,200 lbs. This is with ProPride hitch which is almost 200 lbs. The same trailer may be 1,200 lbs tongue weight, depending where you put your stuff. I do not have battery on the tongue - I have lithium batteries inside the trailer under the bunk beds. Heavier stuff goes above the axles.

 

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My Jayco 28DSBH (33 ft long) has published tongue weight of 680 lbs. Of course, this is without cargo (the trailer is 6400 lbs dry). Ready to camp, it is around 800 lbs (CAT scale measured), with overall weight of 7,200 lbs. This is with ProPride hitch which is almost 200 lbs. The same trailer may be 1,200 lbs tongue weight, depending where you put your stuff. I do not have battery on the tongue - I have lithium batteries inside the trailer under the bunk beds. Heavier stuff goes above the axles.

Hey that is pretty good for any manufacturer and it's a Jayco even!

Didn't realize the pro ride is that heavy. When I mentioned my hitch weight I should have said I included the hitch, distribution bars, and sway control on the tongue before weighing as the 800 lbs is my all in weight. Actual loaded tongue goes down to around 600 lbs once the WD is hooked up (measured via vehicle weight, less empty weight, less contents when loaded). I have never weighed my easylift hitch, bars, and sway separate, but suspect them to be around 100 lbs total.

Lithium batteries? I am going to have to look into that. That sounds interesting, would love to relocate too as I have several places I could put them to get them off the tongue.
 

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@ Serge90

When we were looking at trailers a few years back I always took a Sherline scale with me and was blown away by how much Jayco put on the tongue. It is possible to get a different manufacturer with the same floor plan, but MUCH better tongue weight.

You are running 20% tongue? I bet that is really stable, but man that is a BIG percentage.

400 lbs is likely the manufactures published BS rating for the OP, his is likely higher, but I am running a 28 foot bunk house (32' overall) that loaded is 7,500 lbs and the tongue (also weighed) is 800. This setup has some serious spread axels on it, however...that was Keystone's trick...that and everything is aluminum or fiberglass.


I should add my trailer's published BS rating for tongue is like 525 lbs or something...
In general, empty Toy Haulers are at LEAST 20%. Mine was..Add the two propane bottle on the tongue, and two batteries, and full water tank and no other cargo, and it climbs to over 25%!!!! Even a small 20 footer with a 4700 pound empty weight can have massive tongue weights. It's all about using the tongue scale and careful planning before that purchase.

The manufacturers are NOT clear on this and are deliberately vague about tongue weights, trailer sales people will shrug their shoulders, or just tell you everything will work out if you load correctly, which they cannot tell you how to do that.
 

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Generally, travel trailers are terrible designs. It seems the design approach is everything has to be 6" above the axles for the sake of a flat floor and simple build. The result is a ridiculously high center of gravity and poor handling that mandate ludicrous tongue weights. Which I'd never do to a unibody SUV.

The healthy aftermarket for sway control products and the countless YouTube videos offering advice on getting your trailer under control tell a sad tale of poor design and incompetent motorists.

My trailer manufacturer (Trailex, 5,500 lbs loaded) told me to keep tongue weight between 200 and 300 lbs. I'm at 250-300, depending on whether I toss stuff in the front end of the trailer. That's 5% - 5.5%. Never a hint of sway.

The crap you see rolling on American highways is truly amazing.
 

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There is a huge thread on airforums.com, regarding towing with Tregs, Cayennes and Q7's. Pretty much anything that can be discussed has been on this thread. Go to airforums.com and do a search on Touareg and you'll find it. The OP was Knuff.
 

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Jayco is VERY clear on tongue weight of the new trailer. They say what is does not include (fresh water, propane, etc.) and dealer installed accessories. IMO the buyers do not make the effort to understand this.

The manufacturers are NOT clear on this and are deliberately vague about tongue weights, trailer sales people will shrug their shoulders, or just tell you everything will work out if you load correctly, which they cannot tell you how to do that.
 

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Yep, I have 400Ah lithium installed and 640W solar panels. I do not carry generator, even though I am boondocking 99% of the times. I am using microwave (kids), however, can't use air con.

Re ProPride - it weights 200 lbs, but adds 1 ft, so this makes the weight lower at the end of the stinger.

Hey that is pretty good for any manufacturer and it's a Jayco even!

Didn't realize the pro ride is that heavy. When I mentioned my hitch weight I should have said I included the hitch, distribution bars, and sway control on the tongue before weighing as the 800 lbs is my all in weight. Actual loaded tongue goes down to around 600 lbs once the WD is hooked up (measured via vehicle weight, less empty weight, less contents when loaded). I have never weighed my easylift hitch, bars, and sway separate, but suspect them to be around 100 lbs total.

Lithium batteries? I am going to have to look into that. That sounds interesting, would love to relocate too as I have several places I could put them to get them off the tongue.
 

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To be honest I do not understand what you are coming from. Of course, if you need slide out, the trailer will have higher center of gravity. You can have lower center of gravity with e.g. Airstream without slide out. Trucks have also higher center of gravity than e.g. German SUV, but most Americans are claiming than only trucks can tow larger trailers (which is not true).

Unibody is more rigidity than chassis on frame. Therefore, I do not know why you "would never do to unibody SUV". With unibody chassis the challenging part is the tow bar / mount of tow bar. Many SUV due to aesthetic reasons have long drop plates, etc. which do not work well with weight distribution. Therefore, "Can Am" hitch reinforcement soles the issue.

5% tongue weight? Sure, no problem... on utility trailer. Travel trailer will need more TW than utility trailer. The higher the speed, the higher the tongue weight needed. I am towing 60 mph on cruise control for many reasons (I understand that stability depends on speed, I have over 7,000 lbs behind me, which I feel respect about, my trailer trailer are rated to 65 mph, etc.). Most of the guys who tow anything, have a little clue... the solution appears to be, to get truck (half or 3/4 ton, hitch up and go...). After few hundreds hours research and almost two years towing large trailer with SUV I can say that towing is almost like science. There are some many variables and shockingly many guys do not understand simple terms like payload or tongue weight. IMO, there should be a requirement to get a proper driving licencee for towing larger trailers.


Generally, travel trailers are terrible designs. It seems the design approach is everything has to be 6" above the axles for the sake of a flat floor and simple build. The result is a ridiculously high center of gravity and poor handling that mandate ludicrous tongue weights. Which I'd never do to a unibody SUV.

The healthy aftermarket for sway control products and the countless YouTube videos offering advice on getting your trailer under control tell a sad tale of poor design and incompetent motorists.

My trailer manufacturer (Trailex, 5,500 lbs loaded) told me to keep tongue weight between 200 and 300 lbs. I'm at 250-300, depending on whether I toss stuff in the front end of the trailer. That's 5% - 5.5%. Never a hint of sway.

The crap you see rolling on American highways is truly amazing.
 

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Gents, the Can Am thing really isn't a good idea for the Treg. You are paying someone to screw with a design that was tested and developed by real engineers, over several years, and who knows how big of a budget.

If I understand they weld your hitch to your subframe. So how do you do a sub frame alignment after the fact? What was already a monster task will become a crazy even: dropping the gas tank for example.

Globally people have towed crazy stuff with the Tregs including a 747...no one has broken a receiver or the frame it is bolted to.


The hitch is bolted into a substantial member of the unibody that runs from bumper to bumper. I would describe this "frame" as being shaped like an "00" or number "8" when cut through. Both ends have a plate welded to the member and the entire thing is encased in sheet metal. These members are the reason the Tregs strength is completely in the floor. You could literally cut the roof, doors...everything off to the floor and drive it around without it breaking in half. There is no need to have someone mess with a design this robust by welding a metal tube from your hitch to your sub frame.

++End or rant++
 

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Do you need Can Am reinforecement? I don't know. Did I see receivers with signs of stress due to use of weight distribution? Yes. Did german engineers designed this hitch for tongues weight above 600 lbs? Probably, but since weight distribution hitches are not allowed in Europe, I believe more a guy who is in this business for almost 50 years. Is there any issue with alignment? Not at all. I am running staggered setup. 325/35/20 tires in the back. Doing alignment every 6 months to my specific specs, as bmw specs are very wide. No problem.
By the way, my reinforcement is bolted, so no maintenance problem.

Gents, the Can Am thing really isn't a good idea for the Treg. You are paying someone to screw with a design that was tested and developed by real engineers, over several years, and who knows how big of a budget.

If I understand they weld your hitch to your subframe. So how do you do a sub frame alignment after the fact? What was already a monster task will become a crazy even: dropping the gas tank for example.

Globally people have towed crazy stuff with the Tregs including a 747...no one has broken a receiver or the frame it is bolted to.


The hitch is bolted into a substantial member of the unibody that runs from bumper to bumper. I would describe this "frame" as being shaped like an "00" or number "8" when cut through. Both ends have a plate welded to the member and the entire thing is encased in sheet metal. These members are the reason the Tregs strength is completely in the floor. You could literally cut the roof, doors...everything off to the floor and drive it around without it breaking in half. There is no need to have someone mess with a design this robust by welding a metal tube from your hitch to your sub frame.

++End or rant++
 

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Don't forget to consider overall payload capacity. That's tongue weight of trailer, the stuff you have in the vehicle, and the people in the vehicle. My 2014 Touareg has a payload of something like 1190 pounds. Put 3 adults in there at 500-600 pounds and a trailer tongue weight of 600 pounds and you have reached the payload capacity of the vehicle. And longer trailers are harder to control with a short wheelbase vehicle.

My Touareg pulled my 23FB Airstream without an issue, but for longer trips we wanted to be able to haul a generator and additional cargo, so the payload of the vehicle became the limiting factor.

I have no doubt the engineering payload is higher than the published payload. But if anything ever happens and you end up in court it is the published number that is what the jury will have to consider unless you can get one of those engineers to testify on your behalf and be accepted as an expert witness. Just because something is technically feasible does not mean it is a good idea to do it.

I've been in 2 wrecks, neither my fault. A head on collision where a girl fell asleep at the wheel, and the other where a drunk driver hit me. Lawyers involved both times. My take away is I never want to be on the defending side of a situation; and definitely not if I know I've exceeded published specifications.
 
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