Considering a Touareg TDI

eagle

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Hi, all.

My family and I pull a popup camper with our Hondy Odyssey, and we think it's time to upgrade the tow vehicle so that we can upgrade our camper.

I personally love VW TDIs, and I love DSGs. Wife & kids want a Suburban, but I don't see that -- the thing is enormous, and it's a "gallons per mile" kind of thing while towing. I get that everything suffers when you're towing, but if I'm starting out at 29 mpg in a Touareg TDI then it might be okay.

Anybody here take advantage of the Touareg TDI's 7700 pound tow capacity? I'm looking at getting a hybrid trailer or smaller travel trailer in the 4-6000 pound range, and the Treg should be able to pull that. I'm hoping to get some real-world feedback.

There's a local 2014 Touareg TDI for sale with about 80k miles, for $22k. I'm not sure how that is price-wise, but I'm considering it for now. We are a family of 5 (2 adults, 3 kinder ages 11, 10, and 7) with a small dog (a pug). I'm hoping the Touareg TDI will be large enough for us, with enough interior cargo capacity.

We do take an annual trip of substantial length (1,000 miles one-way, 2500 r/t) that goes through the mountains, and we tow on that trip.

I'd like this vehicle to last us for 10 years or more (until the youngest is out of the house).

Any thoughts on pulling a 6000 pound trailer with a Touareg TDI DSG? Any thoughts on having 3 teenagers in the second row seat in a Treg?

Thanks.

Edited to add: I would also appreciate some guidance about ways to tell whether a particular Touareg has had a hitch added to it or whether the hitch is part of the towing package. When I see a hitch by itself (no trailer light connector) then I assume this was added by a third party. Thanks.
 
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mannytranny

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Well, first off the trans isn't a DSG.

You should be good with respect to rear seat space. It is plenty big back there. It's definitely not huge in the cargo area, but I assume a lot of stuff would be going in the trailer too.

I've not towed with mine yet, but my gut feeling is that a 6000lb trailer turns into a 7000 lb loaded trailer and there is nothing quite as stressful as towing that close to the limit of the vehicle.

Also, FWIW, the Suburbans aren't totally terrible with mpg. You'll see over 20 on the highway pretty easily without a trailer, even in a 6.2 L version.
 

eagle

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Thanks, not sure how I missed that the transmission wasn't a DSG. Anyway, yes, plenty would be going into the trailer. We're going to go sit in one to see what we think of it... it's just hard to imagine the kids as fully grown.

And yes, I would hopefully be looking at a trailer in the 3500-5000 pound range, and stay away from 6000 pounds. Our Odyssey has a 3500 pound capacity (includes the people in the van as well), and we easily tow a 1,425 pound (dry weight) trailer with it. I've been to CAT Scales and have weighed the rig and we are well under the van's tow capacity. I would want to be well below the Touareg's as well.

Thanks for your thoughts.
 

oilhammer

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outside St Louis (where it's safe)
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There are just too many to list....
Sprinter. :D

I love mine, and if you really think you need 4WD, you can get those too. Although they are only available with the V6.

5000 pounds is the tow limit on the 2500 however. I've pulled about 4k pounds and it had no issues at all. Mine is a 2WD 4cyl.

You'll want to get the wife something smaller for daily driving duties, though. My wife drives a Passat for that.

The Sprinter will inhale your teenagers, your teenagers' friends, a bunch of camping equipment, room to move around, and is easy to get in and out of with large objects. Fuel economy depends on engine and equipment and how loaded it is. Mine gets 24-28 MPG. Mine is the smallest one, and it seats 10. With room to spare.

 
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35 Yr Dsl Veteran

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I towed a 6,000 lb. travel trailer (a nice Keystone Bullet) with our 2010 BMW X5 d35 that had an I-6 3.0 twin turbo diesel. The HP and torque were similar to the Touareg TDI, but the rated towing capacity was actually lower than Touareg at 6,000, so we were at the max. rated.

The MPG dropped from normal 29 MPG hwy to 13-14 MPG, so be prepared! :mad:

BTW: We also towed same trailer with 325 HP Powerstroke F-350, and MPG dropped from normal 16.5 MPG highway to the same 13-14 MPG.

The nice thing about the Touareg vs, the X5, is Touareg has 28 gallon tank, whilst the X5 had only a 22.5 gallon one. The F-350 was nice because it had a 38 gallon tank.

In the meantime, we now have a Thor Gemini Class C with Ford Transit 350 HD chassis an 3.2L I-5 Powerstroke that gets 17 MPG hwy!
 
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eagle

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Sprinter. :D

I love mine, and if you really think you need 4WD, you can get those too. Although they are only available with the V6.

5000 pounds is the tow limit on the 2500 however. I've pulled about 4k pounds and it had no issues at all. Mine is a 2WD 4cyl.

You'll want to get the wife something smaller for daily driving duties, though. My wife drives a Passat for that.

The Sprinter will inhale your teenagers, your teenagers' friends, a bunch of camping equipment, room to move around, and is easy to get in and out of with large objects. Fuel economy depends on engine and equipment and how loaded it is. Mine gets 24-28 MPG. Mine is the smallest one, and it seats 10. With room to spare.

For us, a 4WD is not required but would be nice. That annual trip we take is generally at Thanksgiving or Christmastime, and is to Wisconsin. Usually we deal with snow and ice while we are there. Sometimes we make that trip in July instead, which is what we did this year.
 

bobbiemartin

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2013 Touareg TDI, 2012 Tiguan TDI
Anybody here take advantage of the Touareg TDI's 7700 pound tow capacity? I'm looking at getting a hybrid trailer or smaller travel trailer in the 4-6000 pound range, and the Treg should be able to pull that. I'm hoping to get some real-world feedback.
We have a 2013 Touareg TDI that we used to tow a Casita travel trailer. The Casita loaded probably weighed about 3300-3500 pounds. It did fine, we went all over the Southeast with it. The problem you may have is tongue weight. As I recall, the Touareg max tongue weight is just over 600 pounds. Americans tend to want 10-15% tongue weight while Europeans seem to get by just fine with half that. I don't know if you will find a suitable size trailer with that little tongue weight. Keep in mind if you pile a bunch of stuff in the back of the Touareg you will reduce the tongue weight capacity. We have had lots of tow vehicles including Suburbans and various trucks. With what you have (kids, camper, etc) a 2500 Suburban would certainly do better loaded, much more people and cargo room, trailer capacity, etc. but it doesn't drive like a Touareg unloaded. I wouldn't even consider a 1500 Sub for your needs and a 2500 won't get near the economy of a TDI Touareg. You might want to look around for a Diesel Ford Excursion. I have a friend with one and he loves it. That would do anything you want, but they are not cheap.

Here is out Touareg with the Casita
Edited to add: I would also appreciate some guidance about ways to tell whether a particular Touareg has had a hitch added to it or whether the hitch is part of the towing package. When I see a hitch by itself (no trailer light connector) then I assume this was added by a third party. Thanks.
I don't know for sure, but I think all later USA spec Touaregs came with the hitch and 7 pin trailer wiring. You will need to add a brake controller and run the wire for the electric brakes to the trailer connector. I used this Redarc controller, it tucks under the dash with only a knob exposed. I placed it right next to the light switch, it's out of the way but accessible when you need it.
 

eagle

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We have a 2013 Touareg TDI that we used to tow a Casita travel trailer. The Casita loaded probably weighed about 3300-3500 pounds. It did fine, we went all over the Southeast with it.
Thank you for the useful and thoughtful reply.

The problem you may have is tongue weight. As I recall, the Touareg max tongue weight is just over 600 pounds. Americans tend to want 10-15% tongue weight while Europeans seem to get by just fine with half that. I don't know if you will find a suitable size trailer with that little tongue weight.
Good call on the tongue weight. I'm still pretty new to all that. Most of the trailers we are looking at are in the 3000-5000 pound range*(dry weight; 3900-5500 pound GVWR), with a 325-450 pound tongue weight.

Keep in mind if you pile a bunch of stuff in the back of the Touareg you will reduce the tongue weight capacity.
I hadn't thought of that, but I did know that all of the stuff in the vehicle (people, pets, and luggage) counts toward tow capacity. Makes sense that stuff in the back would count toward tongue weight capacity.

We have had lots of tow vehicles including Suburbans and various trucks. With what you have (kids, camper, etc) a 2500 Suburban would certainly do better loaded, much more people and cargo room, trailer capacity, etc. but it doesn't drive like a Touareg unloaded. I wouldn't even consider a 1500 Sub for your needs and a 2500 won't get near the economy of a TDI Touareg. You might want to look around for a Diesel Ford Excursion. I have a friend with one and he loves it. That would do anything you want, but they are not cheap.
Yeah, I have lots of competing desires here. I'd like overall and in-town fuel economy, tow capacity, room for the 5 of us and the quadruped, blah blah blah. We're going to go sit in a Touareg tonight and that will give us an idea of whether a vehicle of that size would work at all. It very well might not and a Suburban might be a much better fit overall, I dunno.

I don't know for sure, but I think all later USA spec Touaregs came with the hitch and 7 pin trailer wiring. You will need to add a brake controller and run the wire for the electric brakes to the trailer connector.
Thanks for that. I have a Tekonsha Prodigy P2 brake controller in the van and would remove it to reinstall in the next vehicle.

Thank you again, bobbie, and thank you to all of you who have commented. I have gotten a LOT of great feedback in this post.
 

Mythdoc

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Tennessee
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2011 Touareg, 2015 Q5, 2015 Golf
You will find a lot more information at clubTouareg dot com

Short answer is a Touareg sounds excellent for your needs. But do more research at the forum I mentioned above.
 

oilhammer

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outside St Louis (where it's safe)
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There are just too many to list....
You may as well buy a G-van before a Suburban. Takes up no more space on the ground, same powertrain choices (G-vans actually get a couple the Suburban does not), and has nearly double the interior volume.
 

35 Yr Dsl Veteran

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You may as well buy a G-van before a Suburban. Takes up no more space on the ground, same powertrain choices (G-vans actually get a couple the Suburban does not), and has nearly double the interior volume.
Or a Transit van with the wonderful 3.2L I-5 Powerstroke. Our Class C RV with one gets an awesome 17 MPG. Our last Class C (a 1994 w/7.3L non-Powerstroke IDI engine) averaged only 10.5 MPG.
 

oilhammer

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There are just too many to list....
Nah, we deal enough with those Transit turds here at the shop. The I5 might be great, but the transmission it is bolted to, and the week long process to get one out, leaves me with too sour a taste in my mouth.

The only thing I know about the I5 diesel is: the EGR coolers SUCK, and they all fail. And the SCR system is even more troublesome than the rest.

This is BS:





You have to completely remove the middle subframe to get the transmission out. You cannot even SERVICE the transmission without doing this. And the steering gear assembly and control arms are all attached to this subframe. The bolts that go through the control arms and subframe are threaded into welded in inserts in the unibody rail. The threadlocker they use is stronger than both the bolts AND the body. Plus, the bolts rust and seize inside the sleeves in the control arm bushings. So, you have to cut the control arms off, cut the bolts off, if you are lucky, you do not damage the subframe in the process. Then, depending on how many bolts broke off in the unibody rail, you have to cut between one and four holes in the rail to torch off the inserts and weld new ones back in place, then weld the holes back up in the rail. We'll have one rack tied up for a whole WEEK dealing with these things. And not only does the subframe need to come off to replace the transmission (or even service it!), you also have to take the damn thing down to replace the DPF on the diesels when it fails, or the catalysts on the gassers when they fail.

We just installed a new rack in the shop JUST for Transits specifically, because they are such time sponges. They eat rear brakes and tires like crazy, too.
 
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oilhammer

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outside St Louis (where it's safe)
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There are just too many to list....
Hairline is about as receded now as it was a decade ago... and no gray, although my brother who is seven years my junior is mostly gray. If you met my sister-in-law you'd know why.

I fortunately almost never have to work on a Transit. But I feel for the guys here that do. Nobody wants to. And they always lose.

I actually have not much of an issue with the newer cars, just an issue with consumers' expectations of them. We had a period of reasonably priced, easily serviced, long lasting vehicles, that has since passed by. The regulatory additions, the wallet crushing systems, and the invasion of Chinese parts, has made a lot of newer stuff pretty expensive to own long term.

We just put a $750 radio and $120 control head in a 2015 Malibu. Both made in China. The radio module wigged out and took out the control head. The new radio comes with no software, have to program that. GM gets $40 per VIN for the privilege of allowing us to install the software. All said and done, the $30k car that the owner is STILL MAKING PAYMENTS ON sucked over a grand from their bank account just to make the radio work. Ridiculous. Again, I have no problem with this. Easy job. Only need one tool, plus the scan tool of course, takes maybe an hour... most of this is waiting for the software to do its thing. Do not even get my hands dirty. I'd do that all day, and earn a decent living, but I feel downright awful for the owner.
 

mannytranny

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Unreal BS with the work on the Transit. In a few years a trans repair will total the vehicle!
 

oilhammer

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Location
outside St Louis (where it's safe)
TDI
There are just too many to list....
Unreal BS with the work on the Transit. In a few years a trans repair will total the vehicle!
They already are. The fleets are pissed. There is several class action lawsuits looming. Several of our fleets have either shortened their expected life cycle until replacement, or ditched them altogether. One has had a multi-decade history of Ford vans (the old E-vans). The last of their surviving old vans have had a lengthened stay, they used to cycle them every 150k miles. Now they have some with over 1/4 million. And their Transits are being cycled out at 100k. All their new vans are Chevrolet Express 2500s.

Speak of the Devil:



LOL, that just came in this morning about 20 minutes ago. Rear brakes are metal-to-metal. Isn't even due for an air filter yet!
 
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jason_

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grand rapids michigan
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2015 s wagon dsg
I feel so good I finish putting together my old 76 Chevy step van,

All aluminum body, 2 ton chassis, roll up back door, 7ft tall, duals, ripped out the 350 sheety for the inline 6 to make room for an air compressor, and double gm single wire alternators, , in front of a nv4500. Plenty of fuel tank that my twin cylinder Miller generator/ac/dc/welder shares fuel with too...

Awesome service vehicle. Seems it's a million times better then this new stuff....





Sent from my 2PS64 using Tapatalk
 

35 Yr Dsl Veteran

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Ft. Pierce & Lake Placid, FL
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They already are. The fleets are pissed. There is several class action lawsuits looming. Several of our fleets have either shortened their expected life cycle until replacement, or ditched them altogether. One has had a multi-decade history of Ford vans (the old E-vans). The last of their surviving old vans have had a lengthened stay, they used to cycle them every 150k miles. Now they have some with over 1/4 million. And their Transits are being cycled out at 100k. All their new vans are Chevrolet Express 2500s.

Speak of the Devil:



LOL, that just came in this morning about 20 minutes ago. Rear brakes are metal-to-metal. Isn't even due for an air filter yet!
Must have been OPERATOR ERROR! :D
 

eagle

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I thought I'd update the group. We went and drove a Touareg the other day. Boy, I LOVED it, but it's just too small for the 5 of us. It's a great vehicle -- if only it was 6" longer and 3" wider, or if we were a smaller family, it would be perfect for us.

Back to the drawing board for me. We're probably looking at a Suburban, really.
 

Matt-98AHU

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2014 Passat SE DSG, 2005 Passat wagon, 2004 Touareg V10.

Here is out Touareg with the Casita
I don't know for sure, but I think all later USA spec Touaregs came with the hitch and 7 pin trailer wiring. You will need to add a brake controller and run the wire for the electric brakes to the trailer connector. I used this Redarc controller, it tucks under the dash with only a knob exposed. I placed it right next to the light switch, it's out of the way but accessible when you need it.
Do I need my eyes checked, or is that a Tiguan, not a Touareg?
 

bobbiemartin

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Do I need my eyes checked, or is that a Tiguan, not a Touareg?
Egad, you're right. We used the (CJAA TDI converted) Tiguan until we bought the Touareg. Both are black and when I was trying to find a pic I saw that and thought it was the Touareg. I guess I didn't take any good pics of the Touareg, this is the best one I found.
 

ksa63

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We have been towing a 28foot Airstream weighing about 6000+lb with more than 1000lb tongue weight. The trailer tows like a dream with the Treg.

We have an Eaz-Lift Weight Distributing hitch system that uses 1200lb bars and 2 friction type sway controls. We also have a user installed Redarc brake controller (mounted beside the shift lever). The hitch has been reinforced by CanAm RV in London Ontario.

Our Touareg came with the hitch receiver and 7 pin wiring harness installed.



Will try to edit the pic for correct orientation when I get a chance.
Edited and cropped.
 
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35 Yr Dsl Veteran

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We have been towing a 28foot Airstream weighing about 6000+lb with more than 1000lb tongue weight. The trailer tows like a dream with the Treg.

We have an Eaz-Lift Weight Distributing hitch system that uses 1200lb bars and 2 friction type sway controls. We also have a user installed Redarc brake controller (mounted beside the shift lever). The hitch has been reinforced by CanAm RV in London Ontario.

Our Touareg came with the hitch receiver and 7 pin wiring harness installed.


Will try to edit the pic for correct orientation when I get a chance.
But..... what kind of MPG do you get? Towing our 6,000 lb. RV with our BMW X5 diesel, MPG dropped from nominal 29 MPG highway to 13-14. Was even lower with cross-winds. Could not even get into highest gear then. :eek:
 

ksa63

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But..... what kind of MPG do you get? Towing our 6,000 lb. RV with our BMW X5 diesel, MPG dropped from nominal 29 MPG highway to 13-14. Was even lower with cross-winds. Could not even get into highest gear then. :eek:

Just did a trip return trip to Ottawa on the week end and tracked mileage for the trip one direction. 353km (219.72 Miles) from Orillia to Richmond fairgrounds, filled in Richmond immediately after unhooking and put in 50.49L (11.1 Imperial Gallons or 13.34 US Gallons). That is 14.28L/100Km (19.78 Imperial MPG or 16.47 US MPG) My return trip was actually going much better but I did not fill once back so I could not track it accurately.



I figure I am averaging about 15 Miles per US Gallon when Towing. I think it would be somewhat better had VW not had to do the emissions changes.

Kevin
 

hagar

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I thought I'd update the group. We went and drove a Touareg the other day. Boy, I LOVED it, but it's just too small for the 5 of us. It's a great vehicle -- if only it was 6" longer and 3" wider, or if we were a smaller family, it would be perfect for us.
Back to the drawing board for me. We're probably looking at a Suburban, really.
Consider a GL Bluetec. I love mine, bought a used one 2 years ago and had no problems with it. Big, but not Suburban big, but bigger than the Touareg.
 

35 Yr Dsl Veteran

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Just did a trip return trip to Ottawa on the week end and tracked mileage for the trip one direction. 353km (219.72 Miles) from Orillia to Richmond fairgrounds, filled in Richmond immediately after unhooking and put in 50.49L (11.1 Imperial Gallons or 13.34 US Gallons). That is 14.28L/100Km (19.78 Imperial MPG or 16.47 US MPG) My return trip was actually going much better but I did not fill once back so I could not track it accurately.



I figure I am averaging about 15 Miles per US Gallon when Towing. I think it would be somewhat better had VW not had to do the emissions changes.

Kevin
You figure? Didn't actually calculate average of several tankfuls?

I doubt MPG change with the "fix". I get 33-35 on hwy with my 2012 "fixed" one. My very similar BMW X5 d35 3.0L I-6 averaged only 29 MPG all highway driving.
 

ksa63

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You figure? Didn't actually calculate average of several tankfuls?
I doubt MPG change with the "fix". I get 33-35 on hwy with my 2012 "fixed" one. My very similar BMW X5 d35 3.0L I-6 averaged only 29 MPG all highway driving.
Most of my fuel usage when towing is “mixed” towing and unhooked local driving. I almost never have one tankful that is ALL towing mileage. On those tankfuls where I have actually filled and the usage has been towing only I have exceeded 15 US MPG. So my estimate should be conservative.
My overall average is better than 30MPG Imperial. I often get 35MPG imperial on mostly highway trips. See my Fuelly link below if you would like to see my mileage results. I have never exceeded 30US MPG that I can recall.
Kevin
 

35 Yr Dsl Veteran

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Most of my fuel usage when towing is “mixed” towing and unhooked local driving. I almost never have one tankful that is ALL towing mileage. On those tankfuls where I have actually filled and the usage has been towing only I have exceeded 15 US MPG. So my estimate should be conservative.
My overall average is better than 30MPG Imperial. I often get 35MPG imperial on mostly highway trips. See my Fuelly link below if you would like to see my mileage results. I have never exceeded 30US MPG that I can recall.
Kevin
I get 41 to almost 45 MPG all highway driving with my 2012, when you figure in imperial gallons.
 
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