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Go Back   TDIClub Forums > TDI Model Specific Discussions Areas > VW MKIV-A4 TDIs (VE and PD)

VW MKIV-A4 TDIs (VE and PD) This is a general discussion about A4/MkIV Jetta (99.5-~2005), Golf(99.5-2006), and New Beetle(98-2006). Both VE and PD engines are covered here.

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Old June 1st, 2020, 09:10   #61
PB_NB
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Hi Ed, this is what mine looks like:



With the detachable goose neck, you wouldn't see the hitch at all.
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Old June 1st, 2020, 14:51   #62
nayr
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Old June 1st, 2020, 20:36   #63
Rrusse11
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"uhaul bolts to tow hook and body mostly, westfalia replaces rear bumper entirely.. uhaul screws your departure angle
and is barely suitable for a bike rack let alone any serious towing.. this is a case of getting what you pay for."
nayr

Thanks nayr, your pics have made my point. There is no comparison between
the euro style frame mounted, bumper replaced, hitch; and the "usual"
American type IMO.

Ed,
If you can find someone to make a similar custom hitch for <$300, go for it.
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Old June 2nd, 2020, 17:05   #64
rwthomas1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Genesis View Post
On this one you're wrong.

That trailer (it's right outside my back door) puts ~250lb (by my pin scale) on the ball EMPTY; gross on the trailer (empty) is under 2k. Right where it should be; about 12%.

Unlike most this one is actually built right in terms of balance right out of the factory. Yes, I checked it before plunking down the money. Who you buy a trailer from matters.

Fully loaded at 7k gross with the load properly distributed in the trailer I'm just under 1k on the ball. 15%. I moved my entire house over the space of a month or so between Florida and Tennessee (multiple trips, of course) with this rig. No 1/2 ton class truck I've ever seen will carry that safely on the stock suspension. The 1/2 ton class Chevys (e.g. 1500 Suburban, Silverado, etc) from the era of my truck (mine is a half-ton Suburban) are only rated for 500lbs on the ball weight-carrying but are also rated for 7000lbs of trailer and 12k GCWR -- it's not the receiver that can't deal with it, it's the rear suspension -- the springs are nowhere near stiff enough and the lever arm is just too long. You can bag the rear suspension or change the springs and a bunch of other stuff (but changing the springs destroys the ride quality when you're not towing, never mind violating the placarded maximums for the vehicle and thus potentially voiding your insurance if there's a wreck) or buy a weight distributing hitch. The hitch is cheaper than properly doing the suspension work (by a lot) and you get sway control at the same time.

You can safely pull a 7000lb BOAT behind that truck without weight distribution due to the aerodynamics and how a boat's load is distributed -- you can run 7% or so of a boat-and-trailer on the ball (I owned a 23'er that scaled right at 7k full of fuel and such) and you won't have trouble, never mind that nearly all boat trailers are surge braked simply because electric brakes with immersion tend not to last very long.

If you have a truck rated to carry 1k on the ball then you can pull a 7k load properly distributed without WD and it'll be fine but there are darn few 1/2 ton trucks in a stock configuration that are rated to do that. Mine sure as hell isn't.

The premise behind WD is that it takes a significant part of the load off the ball and shifts it forward; it's a leverage trick, basically. Most also come with some sort of sway control but not all. The receiver portion still has to be able to handle the total dynamic load placed on the towing vehicle (as well as however the hitch is attached to the vehicle), of course and the trailer has to be able to mount the brackets required as well. If you're going to try to pull half or more of the mass of your vehicle, as the OP appears to be intending to try to do, and especially if the tow vehicle is short-wheelbase, then stability is at a premium. You definitely do not want the trailer driving the car!
Well, easy fix. My stock GM truck 07 Silverado was rated 500lbs on tongue, 1K with a weight distributing hitch. Max tow 7700lbs. Replaced stock hitch with a Curt, rated for 1K on tongue, w/o WDH, 10K pull. The hitch increased the tongue legally to 1K. The max pull remained 7700lbs. Added SumoSprings bump stop levellers. Didn't change ride, addressed squat. Those two mods were cheap, State Police inspected and signed off, commercial service for 7yrs setup like that.
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Old June 2nd, 2020, 17:17   #65
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Watching this post closely. About to pull 1400lbs of motorcycle and open trailer 2hrs with the Jetta. US type of hitch, but it doesn't seem to deflect when I step on it or even sink the rear all that far (250lbs). Ideal tongue weight at 140lbs is within rating on drawbar. Should be good, I'll take it really easy.

RT
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Old June 2nd, 2020, 18:22   #66
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You should be ok pulling an open trailer with a motorcycle on it. There's not a lot of windage there and the weight is reasonable. Just be reasonable with the speed. Those are "easy" loads

Interesting with the urethane bump stop replacement concept. That's cheap and since it doesn't wreck the ride quality unloaded I might have to add 'em....
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Old June 2nd, 2020, 18:48   #67
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the MK4's solid rear axle dont squat that much, and if it does squat it dont throw off the camber like a MK6 w/IRS will.. so helper bags are less of a requirement and more of a nice to have just for adjustable dampening to stiffen up the back when you want to load the hell outta it.

I remember I found the bags when someone used em to go to Canada in a MK4 Wagon, he filled the back up with engine blocks and drove it back to USA.. despite over a thousand pounds in the back he crossed the border perfectly level and was waved right on through heh.. you come through a border crossing with a sagging suspension they gonna wanna take a good look.
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Old June 3rd, 2020, 09:55   #68
Ed27
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Default How did it tow?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rwthomas1 View Post
Watching this post closely. About to pull 1400lbs of motorcycle and open trailer 2hrs with the Jetta. US type of hitch, but it doesn't seem to deflect when I step on it or even sink the rear all that far (250lbs). Ideal tongue weight at 140lbs is within rating on drawbar. Should be good, I'll take it really easy.
RT
How did it tow? Do yo have pics of the tow bar setup?
Ed
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Old June 3rd, 2020, 10:22   #69
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Ok,
The question 1 is the euro hitches have a gross pull weight of ~3600 US LBS and the tongue of ~165 US lbs did the difference of pull weight counter balance the tongue weight?
Question 2 has anyone actually used/pulled with a Curt/Uhaul hitch and been disappointed with the weight difference?
Ed
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Old June 3rd, 2020, 11:06   #70
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Hi Ed, towing in Europe has different standards and conditions, Capping the maximum speed at 60 mph for a rig is one factor in Trailer sway reduction. Having a low tongue weight percentage like 5% seems a bit strange for our standards where we tend to want more than 10% and up to 15% of the trailer weight.

I suspect that this is one reason why the tongue weight max of the Bosal is lower.

The other may be a design limitation to prevent the goose neck from accidentally popping out. I work with detent pins and find that over time they can loose there ability to be trusted. Although one of the designs has the goose neck permanently bolted to the hitch crossframe so that should limit the tongue load.

You can see that many TDI'ers have used this hitch with great success so you have a good user experience base to draw from.

I guess that is a question for Bosal or Westfalia.

When I had mine made, we took the connection design from this style of hitch in how it connects to the chassis. Then we added the receiver based on what we see in North America. This was driven by our inability to source a hitch to pull our trailer.

I had a little Curt hitch on my near new 2000 GTI that we pulled a little 1,000 lbs Coleman tent trailer around and it did okay. The weird part is that the car was pushed down in the back like we were overloaded. The car had a VR6 in it so there was no issue with moving it around and with the VR6 brakes stopping the extra 1,000 lbs was no problem. Just very squatty in the rear. I had a 4 pin trailer plug installed and this kept blowing fuses in the car, it seems that the parking lights are split into 2 x 5 amp fuses which caused half the parking lights in the car to be out most of the time.

One interesting thing to note is that when we got the little Curt hitch, it was rated for 1,500 lbs and 150 lbs tongue. So something must have changed in the 15 years since we had ours.

I didn't really do anything else with this rig and sold it a few years after we got it and went to a Vanagon conversion.

When we did up the Beetle, we wanted the rig to sit level and focused on the various weights much more than before. I also had the TDI club members to draw info from. We were very concerned about stopping and control. We already had a ton of power so that helped.

With anything, we didn't want to run at the maximum so we went a bit extreme so we always had a buffer.

I hope this helps a bit!
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Old June 3rd, 2020, 11:57   #71
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PB NB,
Exactly my thoughts on not having the maximum weight. Thank you for the personal experiences with the Curt hitch. I am finding that diy custom hitch are the end result of not having a readily available hitch for the weights needed to tow. On the other hand, I have read posts of people reinforcing the bolt points of the Curt/Uhaul hitch have not had any problems but have stayed within the maximum trailer weight.
Ed
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Old June 3rd, 2020, 12:32   #72
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This subject raises a lot of debate and discussion.
Fundamentally, safe towing is about few factors:
  • Speed
  • Physics of mass distribution relative to linked bodies
  • Math of 2nd order levers
  • Wind effects, road conditions
Speed is by far the most important. Instabilities grow exponentially beyond 55 mph. When I see people towing at 85 or 100 mph I want them arrested, as they are putting many lives in danger.
Mass distribution is pretty simple: you want the mass to be aggregated as much as possible, and the center of gravity to be just forward of the trailer's axle centerline. This will yield maximum stability. For *most* trailer designs, the exact position that yields 'acceptable' stability is when >7% of the trailer's net mass is on the tow ball (most people simplify this to say "10% of load mass", but it's a bad over-simplification, and I don't like it. I prefer to do the actual math using spreadsheets.
Wind effects and road conditions aren't much in our control, but we can slow down to give us more time to predict, avoid, and react appropriately if needed.

If I had time, I'd start a YouTube channel on this topic, as I feel there is an ENORMOUS amount of agenda-pushing, commercial propaganda, and value-less gnashing of teeth on this topic. It's just 5th grade physics mostly.

Be safe, slow down, get the most safe equipment you can afford to, study it, and make yourself checklists, and respect your personal limits.
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Old June 3rd, 2020, 16:59   #73
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VR6's got the worst brakes and suspension of em all.. same as the 2.Slow for some stupid reason.

The Tounge Limit on the hitch is a factor of safety on rear axle/suspension.. not strength of the gooseneck, that thing mounts solid w/no slop or play at all like a normal US receiver hitch.. I left mine on permanently because I figured it'd **** someone's front end up if they rear ended me.. it feels like its a solid part of that car thats for sure.

If you tow bag it up a little bit, and dont ride with a bunch of crap in the car so the car is still under its gross rated weight you can push that tongue weight up a little bit, and honestly I'd rather be too tongue heavy than light.. but ultimately everyone is responsible for their load and its saftey, so the onus is on you to have a properly loaded rig thats not going to put anyone else at risk.
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Old June 3rd, 2020, 18:25   #74
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nayr View Post
VR6's got the worst brakes and suspension of em all.. same as the 2.Slow for some stupid reason.

The Tounge Limit on the hitch is a factor of safety on rear axle/suspension.. not strength of the gooseneck, that thing mounts solid w/no slop or play at all like a normal US receiver hitch.. I left mine on permanently because I figured it'd **** someone's front end up if they rear ended me.. it feels like its a solid part of that car thats for sure.

If you tow bag it up a little bit, and dont ride with a bunch of crap in the car so the car is still under its gross rated weight you can push that tongue weight up a little bit, and honestly I'd rather be too tongue heavy than light.. but ultimately everyone is responsible for their load and its saftey, so the onus is on you to have a properly loaded rig thats not going to put anyone else at risk.

I did get rear ended with my Euro swan neck, it helped. As nayr points out
there is NO slop. The removable neck is a waste of money IMO, as I've
referenced with my current setup, it bolts on rock solid, and I just leave it
in place. Get the tongue weight at a minimum of 10% and then adjust your
rear suspension to suit; shocks, springs, spacers, whatever. You want it
level.

Upgrade your brakes, and have a good clutch, it's nice to have
some extra power. Stick to the speed limits and learn to drive an extra
couple 100 yds ahead. Anticipation will go a long way to alleviating potential
problems IMO. I'll cheerfully admit to still learning how to drive a trailer.
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Old June 4th, 2020, 13:51   #75
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Nicklockard,
"Be safe, slow down, get the most safe equipment you can afford to, study it, and make yourself checklists, and respect your personal limits." Exactly!!
You need to do a YouTube on it!!!
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