my new golf tdi, towing my airstream

VeeDubTDI

Wanderluster, Traveler, TDIClub Enthusiast
Joined
Jul 2, 2000
Location
Springfield, VA
TDI
‘18 Tesla Model 3D+, ‘14 Cadillac ELR, ‘13 Fiat 500e
I just spent the past two hours looking at Scamps, thanks to this thread. :eek:
 

gforce1108

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Aug 2, 2006
Location
Newburgh, NY
TDI
04 Jetta GLS BEW, 14 Audi A7 V6 TDI
I just spent the past two hours looking at Scamps, thanks to this thread. :eek:
I did that earlier this year :) I was looking for a camper to tow with my Passat and the Scamp fit the bill. Even thought about a road trip to Minnesota to pick it up, but since my girlfriend can't drive a manual we bought a Nissan Frontier to tow with. I can tell you - 10MPG towing sucks. Couldn't justify 50k for a Tuareg TDI when the Frontier was 1/2 that.
 

eric 2010 golf

Active member
Joined
Jun 5, 2010
Location
Pittsburgh
TDI
2010 Golf 6-sp manual
I have a light hardside trailer, and a popup. I tow currently with my 2010 Golf TDI, taking delivery of my 2016 GSW (that's really not gonna be a good abbreviation, I know someone will come up with something less DOOMey) TDI hopefully in the next ten days. I get 32 mpg towing the popup in Ohio, where it's flat. 27 in PA, which is home.

EPA rates the GSW larger inside than a touareg. Later this year, it will be available in 4-motion. I have towed with now 3 generations of these cars, lots of miles and weights MUCH greater than they are supposedly rated for (in the US), and they are amazing tow vehicles. I am worried about pushing the hitch so much further back from the axle, because this will affect stability and vehicle balance (further from the fulcrum will make it affect the front wheels more and interfere with the car's ability to stabilize the trailer, but the return to trailing-arm suspension should fix most of this), but I need the extra space inside the car and for the first time in decades, I have a garage that will fit the larger car.
 

J.R.

Veteran Member
Joined
Sep 2, 2015
Location
Vancouver
TDI
2017 Sportwagon TDI?
Airstreamer, I'd be very interested to here more information on the custom Class III hitch CanAm made for you if you have any? I've got an email in to them as well.

I'm currently towing (short trips to the hardware store, dump or local camping) a Jumping Jack 6X8 utility/tent trailer with a Suzuki SX4 (manual) but we're strongly considering a GSW TDI (manual) for our next car in a couple years for longer camping trips. So far it's looking like our only option for an efficient wagon/hatch/CUV with a manual that has room for the family, get's good mileage for it's main commuting use and can handle occasional light duty towing (unless Mazda gets it's act together and brings their diesel here in the CX5 and with a stick).

Either way a small turbo diesel seems like a great light duty tow engine. Great efficiency when not towing but enough grunt to haul smaller stuff around and with a turbo to lessen the effects of high altitudes when towing through mountain ranges.
 

J.R.

Veteran Member
Joined
Sep 2, 2015
Location
Vancouver
TDI
2017 Sportwagon TDI?
As for the question of towing weights for Golfs in North America, IMO if you're using the OEM Westfalia or something like the custom Class III hitch of the OP with a weight distributing hitch, sway bars etc, you should be fine staying under the everywhere-else-in-the-world rating of 3500#'s.

With the lesser Class I hitches that don't allow for weight distribution etc predominantly found in North America, I'd stay under the 1000#'s un-braked / 2000#'s braked.

You'll want to watch tongue weights on both.

Here's some great videos on their towing capabilities when properly equipped:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8H65PMTcXOU
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PKTCXFtior4
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AAH-8_x4SuE

(No youtube/media/video tag coding on TDI forum?)
 
Last edited:

ksmoker

Veteran Member
Joined
Jul 19, 2013
Location
Central VA
TDI
05 Passat
I'm sure I'm about to get ripped for towing this much weight without extra braking, but I've been doing a fair amount of this. Carefully.


Sent from my SCH-I545 using Tapatalk
 

turbovan+tdi

Top Post Dawg
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Mar 23, 2014
Location
Abbotsford, BC.
TDI
2003 TDI 2.0L ALH, auto, silver wagon, lowered, Colt stage 2 cam, ported head,205 injectors, 1756 turbo, Malone 2.0, 3" exhaust, 18" BBS RC GLI rims. 2004 blue GSW TDI, 5 speed, lowered, GLI BBS wheels painted black, Malone stage 2, Aerotur

J.R.

Veteran Member
Joined
Sep 2, 2015
Location
Vancouver
TDI
2017 Sportwagon TDI?
I'm sure I'm about to get ripped for towing this much weight without extra braking, but I've been doing a fair amount of this. Carefully.


Sent from my SCH-I545 using Tapatalk
Low speed, on quieter residential streets for short distances while leaving lots of space and you should be fine.

Cross-country on highways....not so much:p
 

J.R.

Veteran Member
Joined
Sep 2, 2015
Location
Vancouver
TDI
2017 Sportwagon TDI?
Up to 80 mph. It drove like a dream.

Sent from my SCH-I545 using Tapatalk
Yeah the stopping was more what I'd be worried about....

People do dumb @#$% like pulling in front of you and slamming on their brakes when you're towing.

Towing ~3000lbs un-braked behind you in a scenario like that would not be good!
 

ksmoker

Veteran Member
Joined
Jul 19, 2013
Location
Central VA
TDI
05 Passat
I understand what you're saying. The car actually braked much better than I expected, although an urgent brake-while-turning scenario would certainly be a problem. I'm planning on getting a tow dolly with brakes, and with that setup, I'll be 100% confident. I basically just wanted to try flat towing to see how the golf would handle that kind of weight in acceleration, handling, etc, before I invested in a dolly.

Sent from my SCH-I545 using Tapatalk
 

J.R.

Veteran Member
Joined
Sep 2, 2015
Location
Vancouver
TDI
2017 Sportwagon TDI?
Yeah it's largely the stopping i'd be concerned with. It's at the upper limits of what the OEM towbar and car can/should tow, but it's certainly capable of it.
(You're using the OEM/Westfalia towbar, correct?)
The brakes on the other hand... best case scenario in emergency stopping would be fried pads/rotors. Worst case.... :(
 

ksmoker

Veteran Member
Joined
Jul 19, 2013
Location
Central VA
TDI
05 Passat
My hitch is home built. 2x2x.25" angle iron and 2x2" square tube. All fastened with grade 8 bolts AND welded.

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ksmoker

Veteran Member
Joined
Jul 19, 2013
Location
Central VA
TDI
05 Passat
For those of you who tow brake-worthy loads, do you think surge brakes are good enough? It seems like a brake controller would be a much better idea...

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J.R.

Veteran Member
Joined
Sep 2, 2015
Location
Vancouver
TDI
2017 Sportwagon TDI?
Here's what I'm towing (currently with Suzuki SX4, soon to be GSW TDI)



 

vwUMO

TDIClub Enthusiast
Joined
Aug 5, 2003
Location
Maine
TDI
2003 JSW TDI 5MT ,2012 Jetta TDI 6MT, 2013 jetta TDI 6MT
Here's what I'm towing (currently with Suzuki SX4, soon to be GSW TDI)
Very impressive! We are looking for a T@G for next camping season. motivated after seeing all of these trailer pics!
 

J.R.

Veteran Member
Joined
Sep 2, 2015
Location
Vancouver
TDI
2017 Sportwagon TDI?
Thanks guys. The thing I love about the Jumping Jack is that the tent is removable, leaving you with a very high quality and useful utility trailer as well. It's like a lightweight camper and utility trailer in one :)
 

DerekG

Veteran Member
Joined
Sep 8, 2013
Location
Oklahoma
TDI
'13 4dr Golf TDI 6-speed manual
For those of you who tow brake-worthy loads, do you think surge brakes are good enough? It seems like a brake controller would be a much better idea...

Sent from my SCH-I545 using Tapatalk
No question, trailer brake controller. You can fine tune it to your driving style and terrain. Also, I've never experienced any tail-wagging, but being able to brake the trailer separately to combat a scary situation like that would be ideal.
 

eurojet

Member
Joined
Aug 16, 2014
Location
Newmarket Ontario
TDI
2016 Ford F150 Screw 2.7EB 2015 Jetta Tdi, 2011 Audi A3 tdi
i just bought a 2016 Forerst River wolf pup 16bhs
I made a custom hitch based on the Westifalia but with a 2" receiver, thicker steel and larger/higher grade bolts. I will be using WD hitch and Brake controller
Had it welded by a chassis builder shop (cause I cant weld)
looking forward to the summer time

http://postimg.org/image/vhyt58f3j/
http://postimg.org/image/h6jwe2mb3/
 

VocalVirgo

Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2002
Location
Hollywood, CA
TDI
2014 Jetta Sedan Value Edition, Platinum Grey, 6MT
i just bought a 2016 Forerst River wolf pup 16bhs
I made a custom hitch based on the Westifalia but with a 2" receiver, thicker steel and larger/higher grade bolts. I will be using WD hitch and Brake controller
Had it welded by a chassis builder shop (cause I cant weld)
looking forward to the summer time

http://postimg.org/image/vhyt58f3j/
http://postimg.org/image/h6jwe2mb3/
That trailer weighs 3097 lbs. empty and the tongue weight is 377 lbs. Now I think that's pushing towing beyond safety. That trailer is wider than most other brands as well. What is your custom hitch rated for?
I'm all for towing, but...
 

eurojet

Member
Joined
Aug 16, 2014
Location
Newmarket Ontario
TDI
2016 Ford F150 Screw 2.7EB 2015 Jetta Tdi, 2011 Audi A3 tdi
like i mentioned , the hitch is based on the Euro hitch design , but made with thicker 3/8 steel which slides into the frame of the car and is attached with weldnuts using 1/2" grade 8 bolts . I used a chassis builder to weld everything (since i cant weld)
Euro hitch rated for 3500# and they don't use trailer brakes or weight distribution.
(I will also be using helper air springs if needed) but i don't think i will needed with the weight distribution. I will be using weight distribution with antisway. Trailer brake controller , so the trailer with stop via its own brakes and the jetta only will be stopping the jetta if by some chance the trailer brakes fail, the car can stop the trailer at least once safely
The trailer is not wider then most it is on 7' feet wide most are 8' wide, plus this has a rounded front to help with wind /aerodynamics

If you look up CanAm RV they have down custom hitches for small vehicles , also larger vehicles and have videos to go along with it . They did a MK5 jetta and these people towed a larger trailer then mine all over the place .

I was planning on getting a larger tow vehicle (SUV, but not a large one there is no need for a V8 or pick up truck to tow travel trailers ) only issue is I am stuck with the TDI due to the scandal (but that is another story)
 

eric 2010 golf

Active member
Joined
Jun 5, 2010
Location
Pittsburgh
TDI
2010 Golf 6-sp manual
not stuck

I am a proud TDI driver. I am not stuck with my car, just biding my time until the one I ordered is disentangled from the EPA. Over the past two decades, my TDI vehicles have towed my cargo and recreational trailers close to the European weight limits and far exceeding the US DOT ones. I have carefully towed and added brakes to trailers to assure that doing so was safe for myself and others. In that time, trailering with my Golfs has saved many hundreds of gallons of fuel over the vehicles I would have had to own based on US standards, and I would have hated every mile. I have owned some very nice and extremely capable trucks during this time and when the task could be handled by the Golf, it always was. I had an Explorer Sport trac, an F150, and an Avalanche (my favorite of them all) and I used them when the Golf was out of its league. I can honestly say that the Golf controlled a trailer better than any of them. The lower center of gravity, more powerful brakes, tighter suspension and steering, and tighter steering radius made towing much more secure, and daily driving FAR more efficient and vastly more enjoyable. Now that I own only one vehicle, my TDI is the best choice.

There is no possible way for a vehicle with "cleaner" emissions to burn 3 or 4 times the amount of fuel and emit less pollutants, and there is no way that 11 MILLION cars around the world were polluting 30 to 40 TIMES the stated levels for over 8 years with no one except WVU noticing. I know that VW did something shady. I also know that it has been overblown and the truth of what was happening will likely never see the exposure in the media like the transgression itself. I am disappointed they lied and cheated. I am not personally hurt much by it (except in the trade value of my car, which I have hopes they will mitigate when the new car is released).

I look forward to my probably one-of-a-kind SEL wagon with the manual trans, HUGE sunroof, and NO fancy headlights to blind oncoming drivers and NO features to slam on my brakes. I will retain human control of this car to the greatest extent possible given the state of the US auto industry in 2016.

A new hitch from PF Jones is in the plans, as well as the Heads Up brake controller from my current car. Until then, I will drive the 2010 that's a bit smaller and bide my time.
 

PB_NB

Veteran Member
Joined
Nov 20, 2007
Location
Vancouver, B.C.
TDI
1999 New Beetle
We are considering a Safari Condo which has a dry weight of 1700 lbs. Problem is finding a good Class 2 hitch for the Beetle.

We looked at the Airstream and they are really nice but the same issue is finding a good hitch to pull the ~3000 lbs. I don't really see any issues with the car other than the connection of the hitch to the unibody due to the lack of frame rails.

Perhaps someone can suggest a hitch manufacturer with some better options.

I have contacted Can-Am and await their response.
 

SilverGhost

Veteran Member
Joined
Mar 25, 2005
Location
Back in So Flo - St Lucie
TDI
'05 Golf - totaled :(, wife's '13 Beetle - buy back, TDIless
Older Beetle is same basic structure as Jetta and Golf. Main difference is overhang length so that the hitch clears the bumper.

As for the newer Beetle - not approved for towing so we are stuck with Curt hitches.

Jason
 

Bob Clark

New member
Joined
Mar 17, 2017
Location
Alexandria VA
TDI
VW MkVI - Golf & Sportwagen
It is very important, not only to take note, but also to follow the guidelines on the towing capacity of our car. This is not only for our safety, but also of our passengers and the cars we are going to use the road with.

Thanks,
Bob Clark
---------------------------
http://www.alexandriavatowing.com
 

PB_NB

Veteran Member
Joined
Nov 20, 2007
Location
Vancouver, B.C.
TDI
1999 New Beetle
The trouble that we all face is that the is no towing maximum weights listed for our cars. My owners manual says "not available at time of printing".

That could be read as "you can't tow anything" or "hang on while we figure it out".

I can't imagine that my little TDI isn't capable of towing anything when Toyota gives the Corolla a 1,500 lbs. limit...

Then I look across the pond to our friends in Europe pulling bigger trailers and that the Golf is rated as the number 1 tow car in 2015.

Is VW selling us cars in North America that are so different that they can't tow anything?

It all comes down to evading possible Warranty issues and adding a trailer will only put a strain on one of the weaknesses designed into our cars.

We are left with common sense. We opted to get a Class 3 hitch installed into the car and into the chassis bumper mounts. Then we installed a brake controller for the trailer brakes. I the trailer brakes fail, we installed a set of big brakes to stop the car and trailer.

We also load balance to keep the tongue weight under 200 lbs and the trailer doesn't exceed 2,000 lbs loaded.

This setup is amazing. The braking is confident, the handling is great and the power of the TDI moves us along very well.

I couldn't imagine pulling my trailer with a Honda Civic but at least Honda has the balls to list a weight of 1,500 lbs. for their car!
 
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