Pulling Boat w Jetta TDI?

RichS

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Ian F said:
Because Europeans don't have the legal-leaches we in the US have...

One can argue that the average Euro-driver is better trained and more responsbible than the average US driver (who generally receives no real training...).

This topic has been beat to death. Many times.

I've toyed with the idea of installing a hitch on my wagon... but the engineer in me that wants to put huge safety factors on everything and my overall distrust of the car in general forced me towards a '95 Cummins 4x4 for utility needs.

Still, the thought of dumping the POS truck and getting a hitch & trailer for the Jetta is still on the table... depending on how much the truck is annoying me at that moment...
I'm in the same shoes as you. I have a 99 Dodge Dakota 5sp 5.2L V8 that has been one of the worst vehicles that I have ever owned. For something that spends most of its life sitting it still seems to consume a great deal of money in upkeep. I have a 2000# capacity trailer that I tow almost everything in, because it can hold more that the truck and I don't care about its appearance so general abuse doesn't make me feel sick. Plus if I end up really doing it in then I can always pick up another for next to nothing compared to a vehicle. I've towed with cars most of my life, and I think most just don't give them enough credit.

Sure there are many different cars that yield different towing characteristics and that needs to be weighed in when towing anything. Drivers probably make the difference when towing anything. Some people don't have that ability to tow anything with anything.(Period)

But, like you, I'd like to get the Euro hitch setup for the car and discontinue the truck. Just haven't got there yet.
 

Honeydew

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This thread in general vw discussion shows pics of the new MKVI Golf being tested. Note the trailer hitch, it is reassuring that VW appears to be testing for towing.
 

bhtooefr

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That's because it's a Dodge, not because it's sitting around.

What you all really need is a Volkswagen Taro. ;) (The engine's actually a Toyota engine, not sure if it's turbo or not. Either way, the engine was even sold in the US, although the turbo version is EXTREMELY rare.)
 

bhtooefr

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Oh, I know. :p

My link said that much, it just didn't say that it was a Toyota 2L-T for the engine. ;) So, I added that.

Here in the US, we called it the Toyota Truck. For 1985, using the 1985 standards (not the 2008 standards,) the diesels got EPA 30/30 for the California turbo 2WD 5-spd, 31/34 for the 49-state NA 2WD 5-spd, 33/35 for the 49-state NA 2WD 4-spd, and 26/26 for the 49-state? turbo 4WD 5-spd.
 

DPM

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And if you search Youtube (or wherever) you'll find that Top Gear drove the current incarnation right to the North Pole :)
 

bhtooefr

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Hadn't heard about that, but I have seen the vid of them destroying an 80's model, and it still starting up after all they did to it. That one even had the 2L engine. ;)
 

Franko6

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Honeydew said:
This thread in general vw discussion shows pics of the new MKVI Golf being tested. Note the trailer hitch, it is reassuring that VW appears to be testing for towing.
" and why? Because there is always someone who is adamant that their viewpoint is the only one with any validity."

Reassuring...

What do you consider reassuring? As long as you adhere to VW's recommendations, you won't have trouble. That is for max tongue load of 165 lbs. That is a small and meager tow package on that Golf. I'm sure it's a reasonable hitch for the capacity of the car.

VW's recommendations: 165lb tongue weight, max
Automatics trailer weight: 1,000 lbs
Manual trailer weight: 1,000 (no trailer brakes) 1350 (with trailer brakes)

That's a very long way from towing any 18 ft boat.

And yes, there are alternate viewpoints. That is a great part of what formums are all about. But we all should moderate our wishes with reason. Just because it's got a hook doesn't mean it should carry a big load.

Take a good look at that hitch in your link. I doubt it's rated for over 1000 lbs.
 

DIESELprogrammer

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Franko6 said:
The 2002 Jetta handbook shows permissible limits and trailer weights.

Automatic without trailer brakes.... 1000lbs
Automatice with trailer brakes........!000 lbs

Manual w/o trailer brakes...............1320 lbs
Manual with trailer brakes...............1500 lbs

Tongue load............................... 165 lbs
While it is true that VW in my 03 MY Golf GLS NA owner’s manual “Recommends” a maximum towing capacity of 1000lbs (doesn’t say for auto or manual, braked or un-braked, or even max tongue weight), The figures I quoted in my earlier post was European Union government test “Ratings.” Those done under specific testing criteria by their government agency as required by law in order for a vehicle to legally be allowed to tow in Europe. You can reference to that criteria by searching the web as I did 4 years ago when I purchased my Golf.

BTW: Having researched and searched and being involved in several threads here regarding towing with a NA TDI, you are the first that I recall to state the tow figures that you have as being quoted from your 02 MY Jetta “handbook.” I would be interested to find out if anyone else has similar recommendations in their handbook – I know what mine says as stated above, and it differs drastically from what you stated yours says.
 

DIESELprogrammer

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Franko6 said:
Manual trailer weight: 1,000 (no trailer brakes) 1350 (with trailer brakes)

Take a good look at that hitch in your link. I doubt it's rated for over 1000 lbs.
So which is the correct quote from your handbook? - see your quote in my last post above.

The NA Class I hitch that is widely sold here for our TDIs is rated at 2000lbs tow gross and 200lbs tongue. The European Class II hitch that some have installed is rated to 3500lbs or 3600lbs tow gross – both weights have been stated here.
 

Geordi

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The receiver hitch I have is not the downward-facing hidden receiver that they sell in Europe with the U shaped drawbar, I have a DrawTite bar sold by Etrailer that is rated at 3500lbs (Class II) and 350lbs tongue. That is the rating of the BAR, not the car's tongue. But the car IS rated (as is the European versions) for 3500lbs max tow rating, provided the load has an acceptable tongue weight. Since I have also upgraded the hardware with my hitch installation, I am comfortable with the knowledge that the hitch can hold far in excess of that 200lb tongue that the car is rated for (according to MY book) and it has proven this on several occaisions.

For reference, I am a stage rigger by trade, so I DO know what I am doing in regards to lifting / hauling / material strengths.
 

DPM

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Franko6 said:
" and why? Because there is always someone who is adamant that their viewpoint is the only one with any validity."

Reassuring...

What do you consider reassuring? As long as you adhere to VW's recommendations, you won't have trouble. That is for max tongue load of 165 lbs. That is a small and meager tow package on that Golf. I'm sure it's a reasonable hitch for the capacity of the car.

VW's recommendations: 165lb tongue weight, max
Automatics trailer weight: 1,000 lbs
Manual trailer weight: 1,000 (no trailer brakes) 1350 (with trailer brakes)

That's a very long way from towing any 18 ft boat.

And yes, there are alternate viewpoints. That is a great part of what formums are all about. But we all should moderate our wishes with reason. Just because it's got a hook doesn't mean it should carry a big load.

Take a good look at that hitch in your link. I doubt it's rated for over 1000 lbs.
Frank, the hitch in the link is an OEM Euro-hitch. Tested and approved by a government agency not to deform up to (IIRC) 85% of the towcar's weight, as per the figures in the European owner's manual, product brochure, manufacturer's website etc.
 

Franko6

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The numbers I quoted are directly out of my 2002 Jetta handbook, section 3.2 if I remember right. I don't know where you are getting 3500 lbs.

Like I said before... those among you who feel that their little beasts are meant to be tethered to a cart, go right ahead. The automatics trannys are not going to last under heavy loading. Carrying such burdens is not what the vehicle is designed for.

I can only say this much... when I go on a run to pick up a vehicle, I'm not towing it with my Jetta. I've got a Dodge with a 24v Cummins for that job. That is what I call using the right tool for the right job.

DMP... if you say so. I still wouldn't tow that kind of weight with my car.

I'm done.
 
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DPM

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Just downloaded the UK manual for the A5 Golf. For those that are interested, the towing limits are freom as low as 610kg unbraked for the 1400 gasser to 740kg unbraked on the TDI140 4motion.

Braked, and this is quoted as startable on a 12% incline, all diesels are 1500kg other than the 4motion at 1600kg. Poor little 1.4 can only pull 1000kg.

Only one note on this, and I quote

"With increasing altitude the engine performance diminishes. From 1,000 m
above sea level and for every 1,000 m thereafter 10% of the vehicle/trailer
weight (trailer weight + gross vehicle weight) must be deducted."
 

JoeBleed

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DPM said:
Just downloaded the UK manual for the A5 Golf. For those that are interested, the towing limits are freom as low as 1344.818 lb unbraked for the 3086.468 lb gasser to 1631.419 lb unbraked on the TDI140 4motion.

Braked, and this is quoted as startable on a 12% incline, all diesels are 3306.93 lb other than the 4motion at 3527.392 lb. Poor little 1.4 can only pull 2204.62 lb.

Only one note on this, and I quote

"With increasing altitude the engine performance diminishes. From 3280.83 ft
above sea level and for every 3280.83 ft thereafter 10% of the vehicle/trailer
weight (trailer weight + gross vehicle weight) must be deducted."
Converted to SAE for the non metric crowd.
 

Geordi

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Thank you for the conversion, but I'm sure Frank will still insist that those designed and tested numbers are false, since he knows everything there is to know about towing.

Hey Frank, you've forgotten to tell us about shock-loads to the trailer system, and how a shock load can be up to 10 times the static weight of the trailer! Are the hitches on your wonderful Cummins set up for shock loading, since it's obviously designed purely for towing?
 

DPM

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You mean like this:

"A detachable towbar enables the tow ball hitch to be removed and therefore not protruding from the rear of the vehicle when not in use. The towbar integrates accurately with the vehicle ensuring a secure fitment. Dynamic stress analysis has been carried out ensuring total security. The tow bar is also corrosion protected according to factory specifications."

Source:
http://www.volkswagen.co.uk/accessories/details?part_no=ZGB1K0092155
 

Geordi

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Yea, that's the downward-facing receiver I was referring to in my earlier posting. I find it extremely satisfying that they have indeed considered the dynamic loads in their tests for ratings, especially since I just pulled that argument out of my own arse for Frank to use to continue to bash us. Very impressive that those scientist-types that were testing EXACTLY what the car was capable of, thought to test for real-world conditions. :D

BTW: Shock loading happens when your one object has distance to accelerate away from another object before being restrained by some structure. The most common form of shock loading is a fall-arrestor. You fall (accelerating away from the solid mounting point) gaining kinetic energy which must be within the load limits of the restraint... Or the restraint will fail.

For towing, the chance for shock loading is minimal unless you are using a rope instead of an actual trailer mount to tow. There is little to no flex in the metal parts normally, so no "acceleration" for the shock loading. But the back-and-forth action on the hitch (especially one that points downward) would create strong shearing forces on the bar itself. Obviously the bar has been designed to handle that. Normally the shearing forces are strongest on the pin that holds the receiver and bar together.
 

radar912

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Having read through this again I am surprised by the weight that this car is apparently capable of towing. Having said that, using any vehicle to it's absolute maximum rated capabilities is likely going to create wear and tear on the drive train rather quickly, as well, it would have to assume the vehicle is in as new condition. I have towed plenty of boats and an old 24 ft camper, mainly with cars. The camper I believe was around 4500 pds and I can tell you that when I was towing it through the Canadian rockies it pushed like a freight train going down hill most noticable in a turn and was a real load going up hill even with my heavy old Pontiac and a 455 big block motor. Has anyone pulled anything big with one of these cars an extended period and over many miles as in thousands of miles, I am curious as to how it has handled and held up over that time.
 

Geordi

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I haven't put "thousands" of miles towing my box trailer, b/c I DIDN'T want to potentially risk the transmission. That said, I DID have a vag-com active the entire time on the one long drive (500 miles) and was watching the transmission temps the whole time. At low speeds, the fluid climbed as high as 110*C, but while crusing at 75mph was running a steady 84*C and would rise a couple degrees if I had to power over a bridge or something. No hills from Savannah to South Florida. :)

Mileage was dismal at 20, but I attribute that to the 6' high and 6' wide solid wall facing the wind more than the weight. That trip, the trailer was basically empty, so had a weight of no more than 1250lbs. I've only towed it short distances loaded, and while the car handled just fine (including climbing a 300' high bridge with steep approaches) I wouldn't do it long-distance unless I had no choice.

Bottom line: It's not the frame or the hitch that is the limiting factor, or even the engine. The engine is a beast, and will pull all day long. That's what diesels excel at. The weakness is the transmission. It's a FWD. In this respect, Frank is correct, it is not built for long-term towing. Thats not to say it can't tow occaisionally, or bring a sport boat to water once a month... But not every day.

At least, I'm not offering my transmission for the longevity testing. :)
 

bhtooefr

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It's none of that. Not the frame (for a European model - PLEASE keep in mind that cars built for the US might not be the same, though,) not the hitch (those are fine,) and not the engine. Not even really the transmission, although long term, yes. (The 01M is the weak link in a 4-spd automatic TDI that ISN'T towing, though.)

It's the wheelbase, the weight, and the brakes.

The car isn't long enough and doesn't weigh enough, and doesn't have enough stopping power. Trucks are long enough, do weigh enough, and have the stopping power.
 

Geordi

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Trucks weigh enough? Are you nuts? When 60% of your truck is empty space, that doesn't equate to gross tonnage. The curb weights of lots of trucks isn't much more than our Jettas, or event the Touareg V6 gasser... Which is rated at an insane 7700lbs of tow capacity. The ENGINE can't reall pull that, yet the books for the V6 DO list that as the tow rating. Figure that one out. I'm a bit dubious about the "long enough" concept, that is more a concern if you have the trailer improperly loaded and have too much tongue weight. It REALLY becomes a concern if you are trying to stop short while turning, something you probably shouldn't be doing anyway, no matter the length. Longer wheelbases reduce trailer pushing on corners, other than that I don't believe there are any other "downsides" to a shorter tow vehicle. Stopping power is also less of a concern if you have proper trailer brakes. The best setting for trailer brake controllers is just a little bit harder than your existing built-in brakes, so when you apply the pedal, the trailer is actually braking a little stronger than needed. This keeps a "pull" force on the hitch, as well as reducing the demand on the tow car brakes. In an emergency, you want MORE braking power on the trailer, as that will also help eliminate potential sway or pushing.

But for proof the Europeans know LOTS more about towing than we do...

http://www.flicklife.com/973de8a5a2bce627e261/Future_Of_Tow_Trucks.html
 
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Geordi

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NoSmoke said:
I haven't seen any mention of insurance considerations yet. Pulling significantly overweight (over the manufacturer specs that is) is v likely to give an unpleasent result if an insurance claim is made (v bad news especially if you are sued for injury or death damages) . I once asked my insurance company what would happen if I pulled 1400 lbs with my 02 Golf and the reply in essence was "don't even think about it".

I have also heard that there are checkstops on certain BC mountain highways and, if you are caught pulling overweight, you unhitch your trailer before proceeding farther.
Show me an insurance agent that knows the manufacturer's accpetable tow ratings for every car without looking... And I'll show you a liar.

Insurance companies would be perfectly happy for you to give them all your money, and never drive or even take your car out of a ziploc bag wrapped in a bomb shelter. That way they never have to pay anything. It's easier to say "no you can't" than to do any actual work and determine what is possible and within the car's allowed capabilities.
 

radar912

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Nosmoke, your right about pulling you off the highway, a few years back a friend of mine was pulling a 16ft aluminum open boat with a 20hp motor with a pontiac firefly. He was pulled over in Comox BC and fined for towing an oversized load, the firefly was a turbo and could pull the boat no problem but they deemed it unsafe and he had to get someone else to tow his boat home. That boat in my opion was very light and easily towable but the law saw otherwise, if I remember correctly they told him if he had brakes on the trailer it would have been legal, he bought a truck to tow his boat in the end. Still looking for a long haul heavy load tower with one of these vehicles, how they have held up would be of interest.
 

TDIJetta99

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radar912 said:
..... Still looking for a long haul heavy load tower with one of these vehicles, how they have held up would be of interest.
I pulled a Honda Prelude from Rome, GA to Port Jervis, NY.. Almost 900 miles.. Does that count? Rt75 to RT40 to RT81 to RT84.. No problems on any of the hills or with any of the law enforcement... I had a trooper in VA pass me very slowly once, never got pulled over... I was able to maintain at least the speed limit on the few hills that there were on the ride. Level roads I was going about 70-75. Overall avg was 32mpg.. Not bad at all considering the Prelude+dolly weighs a few hundred more than the Jetta..

I thought I was going to have to switch tow vehicles on the way back home from Iowa.. I went out there with the Jetta and dolly to pick up my new (to me) diesel Blazer, we towed the Jetta with the Blazer (seems like a good idea right?)... Well the Blazer started studdering and cutting out halfway back, not to mention the front end was trashed (4 ball joints+ Idler arm NFG)... Turns out the fuel gauge wasn't quite right in the truck and the studdering went away after I put some fuel in it.. I know it wouldn't be advisable, but I would have towed the Blazer back home with the Jetta if I HAD to...
 

radar912

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TDIJetta99, 900 is good, have towed vehicles accross Canada so doesn't take long to get into the thousands of miles, these long hauls are where a vehicle will quickly show it's stuff. WRT the blazer, probably one of the worst examples of a truck I have seen in recent years, back in the 70s with a 350 they weren't bad but for quite some time they have been sub par, would take the volks over the blazer any day. My only point in asking about long term use is that I suspect that a heavy load on this platform will create premature failure. I know that I can jump in my pathfinder tomorrow morning and tow my boat 5000 miles without issue, not sure I would want to try this with my golf. From what I have read on these forums, most folks are more concerned with getting good mileage and maintaining their vehicles at a very high level for long term ownership and reliability. If I could recommend these vehicles for towing because I was confident it wouldn't cause damage or be unsafe I would, anyone towed 3500 pounds through the Coquihalla hwy with a Jetta, good luck. Again point being and I am siding with Frank06 on this, you stand a good chance of doing damage to your vehicle and probably yourself if you get in over your head with a heavy load, and WRT trailer brakes, not much good if a tire blows on the trailer, you will see very fast how the tail can wag the dog if that happens. Last week I towed my boat over 2 1/2 hours on logging roads with the pathfinder, no problems, the golf would not have cleared the obstacles on this road let alone handle the road. I know some have towed with success and have had no issues, your mileage may very etc, these are great cars, love my golf, perhaps I am overly conservative in its application as a daily driver and not a tow vehicle. Still feel that a good mid/fullsize car or truck would be better suited than a compact to tow, there, now I am done.
 

TDIJetta99

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radar912 said:
TDIJetta99, 900 is good, have towed vehicles accross Canada so doesn't take long to get into the thousands of miles, these long hauls are where a vehicle will quickly show it's stuff. WRT the blazer, probably one of the worst examples of a truck I have seen in recent years...
I hope you were referring to the s-10Blazer.. Not the greatest truck for much of anything truck related... The blazer I got is a 1994 full size with the 6.5TD. 190hp, 380 ft/lbs of torque and I get 24mpg unloaded.. 17 pulling a Jetta TDI. 15 pulling my camaro. From what I gather there's only a few with the diesel for the 93-94 model year.. 93 it was a Blazer, 94 the truck says Blazer on the back but has 1500 emblems on the doors, 95 they changed the interior all around and it became the 2 door Tahoe.. This is my truck
 
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