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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Looking for some feedback.

We are about to buy a 150kw/450Nm with traditional suspension and we will be towing around 3-3.5 tonnes with our horse float. The thought of my wife hooking up the WDH every time is not brilliant (she wants it to be quick and easy) Does anyone tow this sort of weight without the Weight Distribution Hitch - how does it go?

The other thought is go for the Air Suspension however really don't want the extra cost of buying the 180/550 model

Any feedback welcome?
 

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I towed our caravan once (in that weight range) without my Eaz-Lift WDH attached.

Ugh...never again. No real sense of feel or direction with the steering of the Touareg because you're lifting the front of the vehicle that much.

Installation of the EazLift WDH is actually quite simple, once it's all initially set up.

It's a 3'45" video....but worth it to see how it is so easy to 'reconnect/hitch'

 
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Agree with Steve_L, if you want to tow those weights and your ball weigh is around 300kgs+ then you NEED air suspension or a weight distribution system.
You may not know but VW specifically states in their manual that WD should not be used with their towbar and seeing you are planning to buy new that fact alone should answer your question on which way to go.
BTW, I do tow a 3.2+ van and the only regret I have with my Touareg is that it does not have air suspension, towing would be so much easier with it.
TonyB
 

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Spend the extra on air suspension, you won't regret it.
 

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I have Air Suspension and tow a 20ft Caravan with a GVM of 2.6 tonnes, not quite your levels, without a WDH (naturally), and have never had a problem. As Crowboy recommends x 2
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the feedback - I have never towed a caravan and am wondering if they are more front heavy.

We currently tow 2.5 tonne horse float with our Ford Territory and all we did was put firmer springs in the back to level up the car and it tows like a dream (no light front end feeling)

Is that an option with Touareg?

I like the idea of air suspension (plus the 550nm), but am dreading if something goes wrong what it will cost to fix?

Anyone with the 150TDi towed that sorted weight?
 

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Trek, really good question which inspires hours upon hours of debate.
I have had two traditional spring suspension Touaregs, an Air Suspension Q7, and now an Air Suspension Touareg.

I have towed heavy vans with heavy ball weights for long distances with both setups, Spring Suspension with WDH, and Air Suspension.

In my experience a properly setup WDH with Springs will provide a much much better driving experience than Air Suspension will. You will experience so much more confidence in the handling and steering of the vehicle. You might hear people say that the WDH doesn't make any difference - however all I can say to that they mustn't have the system setup properly - because when those bars are working properly - there is a huge difference.

That being said, if your wife cant handle the idea of a WDH (and I can understand why she wouldn't like it), then Air Suspension might be an easier course for you to take ...... if you don't want the grief. If she is only driving short distances at low speeds, then Air might suffice. If you are going with springs, then I wouldn't suggest anyone tow that large a ball weight without a WDH.

The trick to getting the bars one easily is as the video suggests at about the 1:30 mark - use the jockey wheel to lift the van/float before putting the bars on. I always replaced the jockey wheel on my vans with a Trail-a-mate jack - which makes this process all that much easier again.
 

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Like Steve I have towed 3tn without the W.D.H. and found the car a bit spongy in the rear so I always tow with a W.D.H. the feel is much more secure
Colin
 

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Hi Trek6006,
I have a 2014, 180/550 with Air Suspension.
A year ago, I picked up a new van at ~2.5t and towed it home from Wangaratta to Canberra without a WDH, (Hayman Reece heavy duty tow bar) the trip home was simply scary. When the van was/is connected to the car, there was no dropping of the cars suspension at all, it sits perfectly level. The problem that I experienced when on the road during that first trip was the considerable 'porposing' front to rear as the car and van travelled on the great Australian [undulating]roads. I was seriously considering returning the van to the dealership, it was very uncomfortable. However, I persisted home and sought advise from a local Hayman Reece outlet, who advised me to install a WDH, not for the ride levelling functionality but to act as a dampening mechanism.
I thought about it for sometime and eventually did just that, the van and car now travel as I expected them to, steady and safe.
I would suggest that you seek the advice of someone who has experience in setting up a car/van combination (towing specialist). The set-up that I have, doesn't raise or lower either the car or the van but it does have a considerable affect on the rocking motion and thus in my mind making it safer.
 

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We purchased a 2014 180kw Touareg about 4 months ago to tow a 24' Jayco van with a 200kg towball mass and 2700kg gvm. Went with the air suspension based on the comments of this Forum's members. To say that I am very pleased with our decision is small praise. We did 2000km from Kempsey to Raleigh near Coffs Harbour, then on to Coonabarabran via Dorrigo and Tamworth on to Dubbo, Goulburn via Cowra and Boorowa. After that we just followed the highway back to Kempsey. The van just sat behind the car at varying speeds of 80 to 100kph on a mix of freeway, highways and main roads as well as some lesser roads out near Dubbo. The van appears to be very well balanced with the axles mid mounted on the chassis, not towards the back as on a lot of bigger vans. I personally feel that this feature of our van makes it inherently more stable as there is much less weight on the tow ball, which forces the vehicle's arse end down and the front wheels up, hence the need for WDH. 300 kg on a tow ball is a very significant weight and is in excess of VW recommendation of 280kg max. I also towed the van from Kempsey to Goulburn recently behind a well set up 79 series Landcruiser ute. Yes there was some minor raising (probably 1/2")of the front end but not enough to justify WDH. Again the van towed very well, but the lesser power of the 'cruiser was noticeable on hills. My main point is that the less weight on the towball, the less downward force on the rear of the tow vehicle and subsequent raising of the front wheels off level, therefore the vehicle rides closer to the level when hooked up. Another major point is that many people towing large vans do not take the trouble to have the towball set at the correct height for the van and car. Many tow balls are set lower than the connector of the trailer and therefore the front of the van has to be lowered from level to hook up. The van is always going to be unstable in this situation as it does / cannot counteract the tow vehicle to bring it back to level.
Any thoughts???????
 

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Interesting feedback to read sitting on the sideline - some strongly endorsing a WDH and others strongly endorsing the air suspension.


I followed GazzaK (air suspension only) a few weeks back towing his near 3.5? tonne van on both outback bitumen and dirt roads.... and it stuck to the road like glue, rock solid and no movement whatsoever. And spoken with others with the air suspension giving very high praise of the Tregs towing stability. In fact, I thought that was one of the Touaregs claims to fame?


I tow with air suspension, but only a 1.5 tonne camper trailer. Apart from a little weight on acceleration, you wouldn't know it was there.


Different van designs will sit and tow differently. And no matter how good the tow vehicle.... towball weight and weight distribution/balance remain very important.


Cheers Paul.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for all the feedback everyone. Seems those with 'air' do like it - I would love to hear from some 150tdi owners as to how to traditional springs feel ? And if there is enough torque for heavy towing or if it leaves you wishing you had more?
 

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I have more than enough torque out of my V6 TDI towing the van. So much so...have to 'kill the cruise control' when going uphill (towing the van) to give the poor numpty drivers behind me, a chance to get past.

the engine is brilliant...it will pull the weight without raising a sweat. And give you better economy all day everyday than a LC200 V8
 

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I tow a 3.5t boat / trailer with an R50. air suspension is perfect when in sport mode. no vagueness, have never had any issues.
I bought the R50 specifically to tow with due to the relatively high vehicle mass (2700kg ) and short distance between the tow hitch and the rear axle.
when travelling, the vehicle mass is around 3150kg ( 2 pax, luggage full fuel, 240kg on the ball) GCM around 6390kg.
to me the vehicle weight is important, as there is only 100kg or so difference between the boat / trailer and the vehicle.
imo, the R5 would be a little underpowered if towing 3 - 3.5t any distance, especially in hills.
haven't driven one, but my experience towing with the R50 would make me think you may want a bit more power.
 

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Thanks for all the feedback everyone. Seems those with 'air' do like it - I would love to hear from some 150tdi owners as to how to traditional springs feel ? And if there is enough torque for heavy towing or if it leaves you wishing you had more?
No problems at all towing a two tonne boat, hardly noticeable up hill and down dale. The 150Kw - 450Nm is plenty for towing that type of weight. Base model with steel springs.

Hard to know how 3 - 3.5T would go. My guess is that it would be OK from the power/torque point of view. However, balance and stability would depend on how well your trailer was balanced.
 

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I should clarify. Obviously the 150Kw engine would occasionally be working hard to tow the maximum rated 3.5T. It would not be the same experience as towing with a V10 TDI R50.

If you found it was slightly under powered, one option would be to consider increasing the power/torque with a engine management chip. You would not be stressing the engine etc too much because the basic V6 engine and drive train for the 150TDI is the same as the 180TDI.
 

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We purchased a 2014 180kw Touareg about 4 months ago to tow a 24' Jayco van with a 200kg towball mass and 2700kg gvm. Went with the air suspension based on the comments of this Forum's members. To say that I am very pleased with our decision is small praise.

Jayco Vans are one of the best for stability on the road, having had 4 of them in our family myself, and having 4 non Jayco Vans, all of the Jaycos I have found to be extremely well balanced. However considering that they really dont build custom vans, they can ensure this stability via their engineering design and modelling process.

When it comes to a horse float, the weight distribution, and hence weight on the ball, I assume could vary considerably, depending on the setup of the float and how many horses there are in it. As a WDH advocate whilst vanning, I have always thought it was interesting why I have never ever seen a horse float using WDH - perhaps the lower centre of gravity, less wind resistance, controlled weight balance make the float more inherently stable than a van.

I purchased my 2014 180TDI recently, and was completely dumbfounded by how little price difference owners were asking between a second hand 180TDI and a 150TDI. Perhaps you could look at a second hand 180TDI with air suspension, if you are worried about the 150TDI's percieved lack of power and air suspension.
 

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Have read all of the above and agree generally about air suspension not needing a WDH. BUT has anyone checked individual axle weights. Towing a van at 3.1T ball weight 260kg and about 60kg of stuff in the cargo area, 2 people and a full load of fuel. I'm still under my GVM but I'm 120kg over on my rear axle weight. Any thoughts
 

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I wouldn't exceed any of the ratings, especially GAWR. Its an easy one to miss, so good catch on your part for being mindful about it. While air suspension keeps things nice and level, it also makes it easier to exceed rear axle GAWR.

If this is a setup you plan on towing regularly, I'd personally go through the pain and effort to put in on the scales and get accurate numbers on GAWR front and rear, ball weight, then do appropriate calculations to make sure I'm within all limits.

I've enjoyed many safe miles towing with Touaregs (air and steel suspended) after having gone through these weighing and calculating efforts. In the end I was rewarded with safe towing, no sway and repeatable - consistent towing results.
 

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Have read all of the above and agree generally about air suspension not needing a WDH. BUT has anyone checked individual axle weights. Towing a van at 3.1T ball weight 260kg and about 60kg of stuff in the cargo area, 2 people and a full load of fuel. I'm still under my GVM but I'm 120kg over on my rear axle weight. Any thoughts
The compliance sticker on the drivers side on my 20013 180TDi 4Motion does not provide axle weights. The user manual provides the GVM and the TARE and refers to the door sticker for axle weight. So why not detail the axle weights? Maybe - and I am just thinking out loud - the axle weights are irrelevant. If you restrict the loading to be under the GVM the air suspension will distribute the loaded weight across both axles evenly - and both will be in spec. If you exceed the GVM then yes the axle weights will be exceeded. No air suspension then yes, the axle load limits are relevant.
 
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