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Go Back   TDIClub Forums > TDI Model Specific Discussions Areas > VW MKV-A5 Golf/Jettas

VW MKV-A5 Golf/Jettas Discussions area for A5/MkV Jetta/Golf (2005/2006 PD and 2009 CR).

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Old April 4th, 2012, 08:56   #1
Sean.Mcd
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Default TOWING HELP!! 09' Jetta TDi DSG (AUTO)

HELP ASAP!!
First off, I'm not sure if this is the correct forum to post on. I'm not sure of a lot of the different acronyms and the differences in A5/MkV etc etc. I'm somewhat of a newbie. So if this is the incorrect place to post please point me in the right direction. If this is the correct place, please try to remember that I'm slightly retarded when it comes to all the technical data.
As the title says I have a 2009 VW Jetta TDI Automatic (which is DSG correct?) Its also a 2.01, and of course diesel .
Now what I want to do is to have Uhaul or a 3rd party install a trailer hitch, ball, and wiring and the whole shabang. I'm trying to tow an 8x5 Uhual pull trailer from Greensboro NC, to Phoenix AZ. It's around 2200 miles of total trip estimating 4 days of 7-8 hours of driving. Now I understand the trailer weighs approx. 850 lbs, and I have around 400-600lbs of stuff to tow. It's really not a lot of stuff,and might not weigh even that much. I'm terrible at estimating weight. I'm honestly estimating around 12-1300 lbs of total trailer weight. I never got the new manual the dealer apparently sent out, but from what I read in my current manual and the other forums the tongue weight is 200lbs and around 1000 lbs of towing weight for the automatic transmission (DSG) is max (I think the manual transmission is rated for 2000lbs). Also apparently from what I've read in the forums the EU Jettas are rated for even more.
When I phoned the dealership to get their opinion, they of course say they don't recommend towing anything with this vehicle. The few people have thought it would be kind of sketchy (though they're not VW owners). From the forums it seems like most people say it can be done, and even phoning Uhaul their computers gave me a couple options for installation of the whole package to tow the 8X5.
I guess what I'm asking is would anyone recommend that it's okay to tow this type of trailer this type of distance, with said weight, and estimated time to drive? Has anyone been in a similar situation where they towed and what (if any) were the results good and bad? What exactly should i buy if so, to tow a trailer, or should I just let Uhaul install the parts they recommended me for the whole shabang?
I'm just worried i might put too much stress on my tranny/engine and get stranded, ruin the vehicle, or it's just generally not advised.
I appreciate the any help in this matter. This is kind of my only and cheapest option to get my stuff across the country, and I'm trying to do this in around 2-3 weeks from now.

Last edited by Sean.Mcd; April 4th, 2012 at 09:02.
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Old April 4th, 2012, 09:19   #2
kjclow
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If you need it done quickly, then U-haul would be a good choice. They also warrenty their work for the life of the car. I had them install the hitch on my JSW but I did the wiring, which was a PITA. A second time would not be as bad. Much cheaper if you do it yourself or find a friend to help.

I have the JSW with a dsg and I have towed everything from the 4x6 up to a 10X8. The larger trailer was a friends and weighed a lot less than a u-haul. It was only for moving stuff around town and would not recommend that size trailer for the open road. Anyway, the 5x8 handles ok behind the jsw and would assume the same for the sedan. You'll loose about a third of your mileage, so make sure you know where you want to stop for fuel. Probably not a bad idea to not let the fuel drop below a quarter of a tank. You should also try to keep your speed around 65. Any higher and the trailer starts to feel a lot of crosswinds. make sure to load it heavier to the noise too. The one thing you should ask u-haul is if there is anything to make the ball set up fit tighter into the receiver on the hitch. With the u-haul trailers mine seems to tug more. From NC to AZ is a mighty long stretch for a trailer to keep pulling on the hitch and you feel every one.

Good luck with your move.
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Old April 4th, 2012, 10:16   #3
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Watch how you load the trailer too. Don't have too much weight forward on the tongue. If it were me I would do manual shifting when gearing up and only use 'D' on the open highway at cruising speeds.
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Old April 4th, 2012, 18:17   #4
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Here is a link to the UK VW site for the towing ratings for the Golf Estate ( Jetta Sportwagen). Auto and manual limit with brakes 1500 KG unbraked Manual 680 auto 690 KG. Both 75 KG tongue weight.

http://www.volkswagen.co.uk/#/new/go...engines/towing
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Old April 5th, 2012, 05:08   #5
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I suspect kjlow had a ball too small, which made every accelerate/decellerate thump.

if you have Uhaul match the ball size to the hitch, it should be ok.

I used to tow a kind of huge boat around, but not with the Jetta. My suggestions are as follow;

-make sure the tires are fully inflated (trailer and car)
-take it easy. steady acceleration, steady/slow stopping.
-advice to load trailer more to the front is accurate, balanced front to back or more in the back will make it unstable, sway, and cause much pain.
-have you checked into shipping? might be cheaper to pack and ship, considering cost of trailer rental, hitch installation, and reduced speed/increased worry of pulling a trailer. also, if you don't really need stuff, get rid of it before the move.
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Old April 5th, 2012, 11:21   #6
740GLE
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Maybe buy a cheaper lighter trailer use it for the trip and try and unload the trailer on craigs list once in AZ? You'd def have more up front cost but wont have to deal with uhaul.
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Old April 5th, 2012, 23:49   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meerschm View Post
-advice to load trailer more to the front is accurate, balanced front to back or more in the back will make it unstable, sway, and cause much pain.
When towing with a sedan, proper loading and balance is CRITICAL. My first towing set up (with a Chevy Caprice as prime mover) I loaded the tralier tail heavy, thinking that less tongue weight was important. Five miles onto the highway a bad sway set in and I found myself swinging back and forth across all four lanes of interstate. One of the most frightening experiences I have had while driving.

Also to consider for a long drive: mental fatigue. I'm a cross country driver and regularly make trips from South Texas to California and back....most times it's a 29 hour non stop trip. When you have a trailer you can't just set the cruise and set your mind on autopilot. It takes longer to get up and go and longer to stop. The first few fuel tanks, you're never really sure when you're going to run low. You have to manage sway and wiggle and if you get a cross wind, you'll be compensating all day.

In my experience I found that when towing, I was limited to a ten hour driving day, max. The fatigue was just too much. Just something to factor into your planning.
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Old April 9th, 2012, 12:06   #8
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1500 lbs max with no trailer brakes is about the highest recommended weight. That is trailer and load together. Load the trailer so it has about 10 to 15% of the total weight on the hitch ball, not to exceed the hitch limit of usually 200 lbs. Extra attention has to be paid while towing anything. There are those who tow more, but I wouldn't do it for a trip like this. I like to keep mine in the 1000 lb total range. I have towed a car home on a dolly before with no issues, but that was limited distance/off hours/local roads. The suggestion to buy a trailer and resell it makes sense if you can find a cheap one in good condition. I have been successful doing this. Usually quite a few to choose from on Craigslist. Good luck!

Here are mine I use:



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Old April 9th, 2012, 13:14   #9
kjclow
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meerschm View Post
I suspect kjlow had a ball too small, which made every accelerate/decellerate thump.

if you have Uhaul match the ball size to the hitch, it should be ok.
Not arguing but it was a u-haul installed hitch, ball, and trailer, more than once. So they must have trailers with slightly different sized ball receivers.
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Old April 9th, 2012, 13:45   #10
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The hitch and drawbar are universal and not dependent on U-Haul, though I agree with others that they do a nice installation on a lot of cars. I am looking at a small receiver to hold a bike rack and U-Haul will be the place to get it installed.

What is proprietary is the ball and trailer hitch side of things. Their ball is a bit larger than normal and the trailer-side hitch is matched to it. I assume that's so folks can't just go and steal or walk away with trailers. It also prevents ensures the U-Haul team sees the tow vehicle to reduce some liability.

The 5x8 trailer is a nice little unit, if not a bit heavy once you get it loaded. Don't forget, your car will also likely be loaded, so the overall weight will probably be a bit higher than expected.

If you do this, I would be interested to see some pics and to know how the trip went. Mileage numbers would be good. Thanks!
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Old April 9th, 2012, 15:53   #11
meerschm
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Default how big is your ball?


http://www.sizes.com/home/trailer_hitches.htm


http://www.uhaul.com/Articles/Tips/1...r-Instructions

helpful info. if you had a U haul trailer set up for a 2 inch or less hitch, it would work with a 1 7/8 inch ball. you might be able to crank down the hitch to take up all the slack, it is more likely that a fraction of the 1/8 inch difference would remain. after much use, i suspect the trailer half would be banged into a larger diameter. this would thump as the clearance between the ball and hitch changed from back to front,
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Old April 9th, 2012, 17:58   #12
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meerschm, thanks for the U-Haul link. I suspect there's a bit of inaccuracy in it. For example, the quote below.

"Hitch-ball sizes of 1-7/8 and 2 inches are acceptable with a U-Haul trailer coupler. A U-Haul representative can advise you on the correct ball size and weight rating for the trailer."

This may reflect the smaller trailers. I'll be honest - I've only towed the full two-axle car hauler and I towed it with a 17' U-Haul van, so the comparison may not be entirely accurate. I attempted to use the U-Haul van to tow my snowmobile trailer (2" coupler). The ball would not fit in the coupler. It was like a 2 1/16 or something. I probably could have used a sledgehammer to get it to fit, but it would have bound up on every turn and I never would have gotten them disconnected. I don't think it was a 2 5/16 - that would have been pretty obvious that it wouldn't fit before we even tried.

Perhaps they use a standard coupler size on the smaller trailers? Regardless, the links include valuable information. I think I ran across a similar thread earlier in my forum digs. Something along the lines of "show what you tow". There were several pages of pictures of tow rigs, but I can't find it again through a quick search.
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Old April 12th, 2012, 15:31   #13
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If the ball is the right size to the coupler, the only other source for the slop is that the lever lock's nut needs to be tightened.



here is an example...

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Old April 12th, 2012, 20:47   #14
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While searching for other items in the forum, I stumbled across this in the general forum.

http://forums.tdiclub.com/showthread...ghlight=struts
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Old April 14th, 2012, 10:18   #15
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If you're new to towing please get well-versed on the DOs & DON'Ts. Especially true with compact vehicles and non-brake assisted trailers. You'll be surprised at what can AND DOES go wrong. Improper tongue weight, exceeding tire load ratings and excessive speed account for the majority of trailering accidents. Google should be sufficient.

EDIT: With the distance you're planning, I also recommend periodic stops to check trailer tire pressure and feel for overly warm wheel hubs. You should know where they stand by day 2. These little trailer wheels burn through bearing grease pretty fast. Easy to maintain when it's your own, but rental units... never know what you're dealing with.
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