Club Touareg Forum banner

1 - 20 of 24 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

I bought my 2014 new with a view to towing a travel trailer. Well, almost 6 years later I am finally getting around to actually doing it. For someone who's never towed anything, it's all quite intimidating.

The trailer I am looking at is 22' long, dry weight is 3074lb.

I've scoured the forums and just want to confirm what I think I've found.

1. My 2014 came with the tow hitch, but I had to buy the 7-pin socket and the hitch ball and mount which I added a couple of years back (bought with the VW gift cards from TDI-gate). It seems like I will need to activate the towing electrical with the dealer or someone with a VAG-COM?

2. It sounds like I SHOULD be using a weight distribution hitch with the 2014? If so what is recommended?

3. I'm planning on buying the Curt Echo Wireless Trailer Brake Controller.

Are these three things all I need to get towing?

Many thanks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
323 Posts
Yes, I'm towing a 20 foot toy hauler with my 2014 TDI. I use a light duty WD hitch and a wired brake controller. I used the forum DIY to install the brake controller with minimal effort.

It all works pretty well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
438 Posts
1- no need to activate anything.. plug in and tow
2- you only need a WDH if the load exceeds tongue-weight (which is around ~750-800lbs on the stock Touareg)
3- wireless brake controller by Curt should be fine
 

·
Registered
2012 Touareg TDI
Joined
·
5 Posts
As a bit of a potentially comical aside, if you've ever at all dipped into video games, there's a PC game series by the name of Euro Truck Simulator (see also American Truck Simulator). As you'd probably expect, you drive around a semi truck and trailer in a simulation-type setting, running loads, backing in trailers, negotiating traffic, etc. Getting a couple hours of that in really helped with the first couple times I pulled a trailer in my life - even perfectly backed a trailer in on my first attempt doing so. It definitely helps wrap your brain around trailer mechanics so you aren't thinking about it all the time. Sounds silly, I know, but it's just a thought.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
438 Posts
^LOL thats awesome
Hey I believe you though, I used to play Sports Car GT back in the 90s with a Mad Katz steering wheel and brake/gas pedal controller. My dads mind was blown when I knew how to drive his Camaro when I was 14. My biggest issue was getting used to the clutch (which my Mad Katz controller didn't have) hehe
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Thanks all. I just tried plugging my Touareg into a trailer and as volkswagens-for-life said, it all works fine. Not sure where I read on these forums that the electrical had to be activated via Vag-com.

And thanks RegularJoe, that’s worth a try!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
688 Posts
Thanks all. I just tried plugging my Touareg into a trailer and as volkswagens-for-life said, it all works fine. Not sure where I read on these forums that the electrical had to be activated via Vag-com.

And thanks RegularJoe, that’s worth a try!
I think it depends on your hitch. If it is factory, it seems odd to me that the trailer light connector is missing. A factory hitch (or kit) will include the harness, module, hitch and 7 pin connector. The 7 pin may be hidden. But if it's missing maybe someone removed it.

as to the trailer brake controller. I use a Techonsha P3. I bought the connector and pins online (the dealer wanted a fortune for the pig tail that had to be cut and spliced to the controller). Instead I just used the harness from the Tekonsha P3 and crimped the pins on, pinned it correctly and it became a plug and play install after that.

I created a post for mounting the P3 out of the way as once it's setup you really don't need to mess with it. Where I mounted Tekonsha P3 brake controller on T3


What I tow:

235657
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
149 Posts
When I setup my 2012 which had the hitch and the 7 pin plug I did have to set it with the VCDS to get the trailer module to send the brake signal to the controller.
Also my module would not "see" the LED lights all of the time and I used an adapter on the trailer to get it to work.
I have a P3 on my 2016 Town and Country minivan and use the REDARC Pro Tow on the Touareg because it made a neater installation.
However the P3 is a much better controller and works more smoothly and still have good braking force.
The Touareg is a very good TV especially for a trailer in the class you are looking at.
I tow a Modified 16' Scamp that is heavier than most and I use a Reese Mini 350 Weight Distributing hitch, which is no longer being made. The newer light WDH with sway control might be better as there is less chance of one of the bars coming off when going over a "hump" as they are retained in their saddles.
I got 20 MPG towing over 7500 miles on our recent trip from Florida to Big Sur California stopping to see the sights along the way, of course.
Before you leave on a trip towing and packing the rear make sure that your DEF tank is full as the usage increases towing
 

·
Registered
2014 Audi Q7 TDI
Joined
·
67 Posts
Watch out for those wireless curts, you loose the ability to use flashers.. as both lights on at same time it thinks is braking.. Someone complained they hit stopped traffic and tried to turn on flashers to warn those behind him and the trailer started surging with the flashers.

I'm using a RedArc TowPro Elite and it works great.. towed much more than that with no WD just fine.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
With the weight I am looking at (trailer I'm close to buying now is 3455lb dry with 1447lb cargo capacity. Hitch weight is 502lb. I assume that hitch weight is dry?

Do I need a weight distribution / stabilization system? And if so, what do people recommend. The RV dealers all seem to push the EAZ-Lift R3. Do I choose a hitch based on the tongue weight of the trailer, or the maximum tongue weight of the Touareg? Is there any downside to buying a hitch with a tongue weight limit of say, 800lb (closest to the Touareg tongue weight limit of 770lb) or do I need to match it closer to the trailer?
 

·
Registered
2014 Audi Q7 TDI
Joined
·
67 Posts
yeah that dry weight w/out batteries, water storage, LP tanks or any of that figured in..

I would definitely try to pull it off w/out a WD hitch first.. dunno what VW did but Audi quietly added a disclaimer to the manual ~2012 saying do not use WD hitches and physically nothing changed between that and previous years w/out the disclaimer.. and AFIK, the Touareg has the same hitch mounted the same way.. I ran across a photo once showing a broken hitch on an Audi, broke it clean off going over a speed bump.. you gotta get out and disconnect em for going over uneven terrain or backing up or your gonna break something.

FWIW, I don't use any WD w/my bigger load, but I'm on Air so YMMV.. on a frame rail truck a WD makes sense, but not so much on a Unibody SUV with a giant sunroof.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
688 Posts
With the weight I am looking at (trailer I'm close to buying now is 3455lb dry with 1447lb cargo capacity. Hitch weight is 502lb. I assume that hitch weight is dry?

Do I need a weight distribution / stabilization system? And if so, what do people recommend. The RV dealers all seem to push the EAZ-Lift R3. Do I choose a hitch based on the tongue weight of the trailer, or the maximum tongue weight of the Touareg? Is there any downside to buying a hitch with a tongue weight limit of say, 800lb (closest to the Touareg tongue weight limit of 770lb) or do I need to match it closer to the trailer?
I added a picture in my post above of the trailer I pull... about the same weight as you're looking at.

If you have a 2014 your max tongue weight should be 618 lbs (though I could be wrong, check the sticker on your hitch.... if you don't have a hitch I recommend a genuine VW as they are built heavy duty nearly 80 lbs). At close to max tongue weight the Touareg will squat noticeably. Check out some of the pictures in this thread: What do u tow? Post pic of trailer.

Most weight distributing hitches (WD Hitch) come with the 'hitch' (also called the Shank by some people). This is because the hitch insert has to have provisions for mounting the weight distribution bars to it.

Depending on the WD hitch you can choose the load rating of the distribution bars. For the trailer you mention 600 lbs might be a good starting place. You might be able to go to 800 lbs bars.

The down side to buying a WD hitch with load distribution bars that are too big is that it will apply more load to the front wheels than needed; causing additional stress on the hitch. Also when going up or down hills (like at exit ramps or into gas stations etc..) it will prevent flexing of the hitch area.

It is best to measure the weight of the tongue as you intend on loading it and then get WD load distribution bars as close to this as possible.

Also as to a brake controller... I highly recommend the Tekonsha P3. Once it is setup correctly it works very well. As I mentioned above in a referenced post, I mounted my brake controller out of sight as once it is set it just works seamlessly.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Hi all,

I bought my 2014 new with a view to towing a travel trailer. Well, almost 6 years later I am finally getting around to actually doing it. For someone who's never towed anything, it's all quite intimidating.

The trailer I am looking at is 22' long, dry weight is 3074lb.

I've scoured the forums and just want to confirm what I think I've found.

1. My 2014 came with the tow hitch, but I had to buy the 7-pin socket and the hitch ball and mount which I added a couple of years back (bought with the VW gift cards from TDI-gate). It seems like I will need to activate the towing electrical with the dealer or someone with a VAG-COM?

2. It sounds like I SHOULD be using a weight distribution hitch with the 2014? If so what is recommended?

3. I'm planning on buying the Curt Echo Wireless Trailer Brake Controller.

Are these three things all I need to get towing?

Many thanks.

Things to note when towing:
Blu-Def: As previously mentioned it drinks it up depending on the load and Altitude. When towing long distances, I carry a box with me. (it's expensive on the road)
Tail Gate: Careful when you plug up your trailer, you might trigger the automatic lift gate and bonk your head, it hurts. Once connected, you have to manually open and close the trunk. VW safety feature I assume.
Total Load: I know VW says near 8,000 lbs total, but when you read the manual they include total weight capacity. Passengers, luggage, etc. I assume this is a 'liability' issue.

Personally I've towed a 2,000 lb box trailer with 2,000 lbs of crap and towed a 4,000 lb car on a 2,200 lb trailer. No performance issues, extra blue def and gas with the lighter load mostly due to climbing 7,000 ft and poor aerodynamics, the car trailer not so much.

Have fun!
 

·
Registered
2014 Audi Q7 TDI
Joined
·
67 Posts
yeah beware the countdown is not going to be near accurate when towing, Ive had the 1200 mile warning come up for DEF while on the road.. and then 400 miles later its at 300 mile warning.. and that was the original pre-fix tune, im sure its worse post-fix.

I filled up at a truck stop w/pump DEF, was cheaper than any I've bought out of a box.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
144 Posts
there's a PC game series by the name of Euro Truck Simulator (see also American Truck Simulator). As you'd probably expect, you drive around a semi truck and trailer in a simulation-type setting, running loads, backing in trailers, negotiating traffic, etc. Getting a couple hours of that in really helped with the first couple times I pulled a trailer in my life - even perfectly backed a trailer in on my first attempt doing so. It definitely helps wrap your brain around trailer mechanics so you aren't thinking about it all the time. Sounds silly, I know, but it's just a thought.
The key is that the direction the trailer turns doesn't just depend on the direction your steering wheel is turned. It depends on the steering wheel, and the angle between car and trailer. At one angle turning the steering wheel one way will cause the trailer to turn to the left. At a different angle, turning the steering wheel the same way will cause the trailer to turn to the right.

When I setup my 2012 which had the hitch and the 7 pin plug I did have to set it with the VCDS to get the trailer module to send the brake signal to the controller.
Also my module would not "see" the LED lights all of the time and I used an adapter on the trailer to get it to work.
I have a 2014 TDI like the OP, Exec. I bought a resistor pack anticipating problems with LED trailer lights, and it turned out I didn't need it. I plugged in the trailer with LED lights and the car detected the lights just fine.

I dunno if this is something they upgraded on the 2014 model. Or if they upgraded only on the Exec (which has LED tail lights). So I'd try plugging in the trailer normally first, and get the resistor pack only if it turns out you need it.

Do I need a weight distribution / stabilization system? And if so, what do people recommend. The RV dealers all seem to push the EAZ-Lift R3. Do I choose a hitch based on the tongue weight of the trailer, or the maximum tongue weight of the Touareg? Is there any downside to buying a hitch with a tongue weight limit of say, 800lb (closest to the Touareg tongue weight limit of 770lb) or do I need to match it closer to the trailer?
If you have the factory hitch, you should have a tow ball in the rear of the car next to the spare tire. There's a warning in the manual about not using a tow ball mount which extends more than x inches back from the hitch receiver. Something like 6-3/4" between mount pin and centerline of ball. When I shopped for a different tow ball & mount (the factory is 2", I needed 2-5/16"), I couldn't find any which met that specification. So I bought one which came closest to it (within an inch). The length of the ball mount can increase the torque it places onto the hitch receiver, same as tongue weight, so there could be an issue if the mount is too long (holds the ball too far away from the car).

The 618 lb vs 770 lb rating on the tongue weight turns out to be administrative. The U.S. typically uses 10% of the trailer weight as tongue weight. The EU typically uses 8%. 8% of 7716 lb = 617 lbs. 10% is 770 lbs. There is apparently no engineering reason for the difference, they were numbers picked out of the blue to comply with local standards. For a while, if you asked, VW would send you a sticker to cover up the 618 lb tongue weight rating with one saying 770 lb tongue weight.

Do be aware that tongue weight counts against the tow vehicle's GVWR. On the Touareg you only have something like 1300 lbs between the curb weight and GVWR. So if you put on a hitch with max tongue weight, that leaves enough for just the driver and 1-2 passengers, or 1 passenger and some cargo. Furthermore, the axle weight ratings on the Touareg are even tighter, meaning the passenger must be seated in the front. I have a spec sheet with these values somewhere that I downloaded years ago, but I can't find it right now. But with your trailer weight, you shouldn't have problems unless you're planning to load up the back of the Touareg with cargo. (Cargo should go in the trailer, secured above the wheels.)


I would definitely try to pull it off w/out a WD hitch first.. dunno what VW did but Audi quietly added a disclaimer to the manual ~2012 saying do not use WD hitches and physically nothing changed between that and previous years w/out the disclaimer.. and AFIK, the Touareg has the same hitch mounted the same way.. I ran across a photo once showing a broken hitch on an Audi, broke it clean off going over a speed bump.. you gotta get out and disconnect em for going over uneven terrain or backing up or your gonna break something.

FWIW, I don't use any WD w/my bigger load, but I'm on Air so YMMV.. on a frame rail truck a WD makes sense, but not so much on a Unibody SUV with a giant sunroof.
While I can't speak for VW, as someone who studied structural engineering, the issue with a weight distribution hitch is that it turns the car/trailer into something called a statically indeterminate system. With a regular ball hitch, the contact points between the wheels and ground are free to move independently (car tilts or trailer tilts independent of each other). The WD system restricts the pitch motion between the trailer and car so they can only pitch in unison. This can dramatically alter the loads placed on the hitch and the mounting points for the hitch onto the car.

WD hitches are almost non-existent in the EU. They rely on air suspensions to level out the vehicle. (Which IMHO is a vastly better way to do it - the engineering calculations for a ball pivot hitch are trivial compared to those for a WD system.) So the warning about not using a WD hitch is simply because the VW designers never considered the possibility of adding a WD hitch. They cannot guarantee the car can withstand a WD hitch, so they state not to use one to absolve themselves of liability if you do.

That's not to say a WD hitch will not work on a Touareg. Lots of people have used them, apparently without any issues. Just that it is not a use case which the structural engineers who designed the hitch and mount took into account. So there's no guarantee that it will not cause problems under the Touareg's rated loads. Without having crunched the numbers, I'd say if you do opt to use a WD hitch, consider reinforcement like what CanAm has done for the Touareg. They weld on a piece of metal which vastly increases the moment arm that the vehicle frame has to prevent the hitch from twisting, greatly strengthening the system against the kind of torques a WD hitch will impart onto the hitch.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Hi all,

I bought my 2014 new with a view to towing a travel trailer. Well, almost 6 years later I am finally getting around to actually doing it. For someone who's never towed anything, it's all quite intimidating.

The trailer I am looking at is 22' long, dry weight is 3074lb.

I've scoured the forums and just want to confirm what I think I've found.

1. My 2014 came with the tow hitch, but I had to buy the 7-pin socket and the hitch ball and mount which I added a couple of years back (bought with the VW gift cards from TDI-gate). It seems like I will need to activate the towing electrical with the dealer or someone with a VAG-COM?

2. It sounds like I SHOULD be using a weight distribution hitch with the 2014? If so what is recommended?

3. I'm planning on buying the Curt Echo Wireless Trailer Brake Controller.

Are these three things all I need to get towing?

Many thanks.
While probably not ultimately necessary, the Stabilizing/leveling kit really makes the towing experience much more comfortable. We have a 20ft. Trailer and the instant pucker effect while driving across windy Wyoming and getting hit by a mega crosswind Is scary. The stabilizer makes things easier so if you can do it... I recommend it. The rest works great... still dont understand the VW wizardry that can tell you which trailer bulb is out.. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
Some brilliant advice and information here. Thank you so much everyone. What a great community. It does all make me even more nervous to tow though, and still not sure exactly what way I should go. I did connect up a trailer and all the lights did work fine.
 

·
Registered
2014 Audi Q7 TDI
Joined
·
67 Posts
if you've never towed anything before, thats normal.. it took at least 10k miles before my paranoia subsided and I trusted in my and my vehicle's abilities.. eventually you just develop a new driving style that is automatic and you'll have a new problem of driving around like you got a trailer in tow when you dont.

Last October I was taking the back way to Mesa Verde w/my big toy hauler behind me at dusk, came around a corner doing about 50mph to see two deer in the road.. hard braking and some emergency maneuvers I managed to pull off just clipping one of em at like ~15mph, do damage.. everyone safe.. there was no sway control involved and I was incredibly impressed how well this machine did.. everything in the trailer not bolted down was thrown all arround end ended up the front.

With this toy hauler I bought a hitch w/a friction sway connector and planned on hooking all that up.. but after towing it across the midwest twice I realized I didnt need it, and didnt want to get out and disconnect it when it was called for.. I installed my RedArc TowPro button within reach so if the trailer ever starts swaying I can quickly and manually articulate the trailer brakes, never needed to use it though.. but its nice to have for insurance, this is another reason why I dont like the wireless curt.. you can only adjust stuff through an app which you should not be operating while driving.

Now I've got >100k miles towing under my belt, with cars, trucks, suv's.. pulled mega 30ft campers to tiny lil cargo trailers, its just second nature now and towing gives me absolutely no stress.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
688 Posts
I felt the same way towing the first time with the 24’ trailer I posted above. Except in my case my first tow was a 1500 mile trek down the east coast.

What I did was get everything configured and then went on a 40 mile round trip to get accustomed to everything and tweak mirrors etc.

I tow with a WD hitch with 600 lbs bars. My tongue weight measured 400 lbs as measured with wood and a 500 lb bathroom scale from Amazon. Measured at the ball not st the tongue jack.

The WD hitch I use is almost identical to this one (but probably 20 years old) https://www.etrailer.com/Weight-Distribution-Hitch/Curt/C17051.html

Once you log 100-200 miles with a WD hitch you won’t be as nervous.

As mentioned I use the Tekonsha P3 as it works very well. It has three brake boost modes that make it quick to adjust to loaded vs unloaded trailers or different axle count.

As to stress on the hitch caused by a WD hitch.... on the flat it actually reduces the twisting caused by the ball mount. It can increase loads going over or up hills. But that is why they use springs for the load bar. It evens that out.

I ran a 1500 mile trip with no issues others have tun more.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
WD hitches are not about "leveling out the vehicle". Air springs and WD Hitches have a different purpose.



<snip>
WD hitches are almost non-existent in the EU. They rely on air suspensions to level out the vehicle. (Which IMHO is a vastly better way to do it - the engineering calculations for a ball pivot hitch are trivial compared to those for a WD system.) So the warning about not using a WD hitch is simply because the VW designers never considered the possibility of adding a WD hitch. They cannot guarantee the car can withstand a WD hitch, so they state not to use one to absolve themselves of liability if you do.
<snip>
 
1 - 20 of 24 Posts
Top