Show what you tow!

Nevada_TDI

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Aug 17, 2008
Location
Reno, sort of...
TDI
2001 Jetta TDI
One of my reasons for updating the suspension on the Jetta, was to be able tow a pop-up trailer. I will be running a toned down Stage 4 tune so I should have no issues.
I wanted to ask two questions if possible: 1) who owns a pop-up trailer and what model is it, 2) How did you set up the wiring for operating trailer brakes?
 

nayr

Veteran Member
Joined
Mar 26, 2013
Location
Denver, CO
TDI
2014 Audi Q7
I would check out the RedArc Tow Pro Elite for a MK4, the controll unit can be remote installed with an ethernet cable.. wire up the brake module in the rear would reduce runs to just power and cat5.. I'd think u can get brake signal from lights? check its manual and it should give yeh an idea on wiring.

also the controll head is tiny and would not interfere with the driver at all in a car.
 

mr.mindless

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 23, 2006
Location
Rochester, NY
TDI
2002 Galactic Blue Jetta GLS
Most pop ups I’ve seen have surge brakes, but they have been neither new nor fancy.

As for wiring, I see no benefit to a remote control unit at the rear. You either need the modulated brake power from dash area to hitch plug, or you need strong 12v supply plus a control cable to that remote unit. I can’t think of a spare 30a circuit to the rear to borrow. Though the benefits of the small control head may make something like that completely worth it.


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[486]

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Mar 1, 2014
Location
MN
TDI
02 golf ALH
I can’t think of a spare 30a circuit to the rear to borrow.
on stripping out my golf I found the cigarette lighter plug in the back has a nice fat wire (fused to only 10a) going to it, forget if it's ign switched or not

either way, I'd put the same money down on a good brake controller rather than a gimmick brake controller
running a couple fat wires is not hard at all, all the plastic trim comes out easy. Factory harness runs along the driver's side.
 
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kjclow

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Apr 26, 2003
Location
Charlotte, NC
TDI
2010 JSW TDI silver and black. 2017 Ram Ecodiesel dark red with brown and beige interior.
IIRC, the cigarette lighter in the back of my 2000 beetle was always hot. Although as you mentioned, if you want or need more power, you'll have to run the wires.
 

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
When I had my Golf I ran an extra large gauge wire for the trailer brakes. There are a couple spots for circuit breakers on the relay panel of a MkIV. I just added a 20a circuit breaker like the power windows use.

Jason
 

Fix_Until_Broke

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Aug 8, 2004
Location
Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, USA
TDI
03 Jetta, 03 TT TDI
Extended the tongue on my trailer this weekend. The goal was to reduce wag and take weight off the ball so it's not so critical on how the weight is loaded on the trailer. Wag is gone, however there's a lot of flex in the longer tongue. When lightly loaded (500lb) it was very bouncy/jerky/tuggey.

TBD if I keep it this way, add some reinforcements to stiffen it up or shorten it some.

 

Fix_Until_Broke

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Aug 8, 2004
Location
Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, USA
TDI
03 Jetta, 03 TT TDI
Upon closer inspection tonight, I found a wrinkle and a slight bend in the new tongue. Guessing that the left side hit a pothole and the right side kept going which did it (while loaded too).

Going to order up a pair of 6' pieces of 2x4x1/8 tube and parallel the existing tongue to make a 6x4 beam with 4 vertical webs which should stiffen things up quite a bit.

Living up to my screen name :)

 

Nevada_TDI

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Aug 17, 2008
Location
Reno, sort of...
TDI
2001 Jetta TDI
Once again another question from the uninformed one: "How much weight can we really tow with our MK4 Jetta's?" I guess I am not talking excessive GVWR here just more "safe limits". With 200 pounds on the tongue, not expecting to break any land speed records, a clean Stage 3 tune, and appropriate springs and dampers on all four corners, what are our little cars comfortably capable of, and do we need a six wire connector or a seven wire connector for power, brakes, and etc.?
 

PB_NB

Veteran Member
Joined
Nov 20, 2007
Location
Vancouver, B.C.
TDI
1999 New Beetle
I think these cars are very capable. We just returned from a quick trip involving freeway and winding highways and the car did very well in all respects.

Our trailer is about 2,000 lbs. and has electric brakes. It has a very large frontal exposure much like a great big sail so pushing the brick through the air at 65 to 70 mph gets the boost to sit around 5 to 10 psi. The car isn't maxed out but is working to maintain that speed.

Compared to other rigs out there, this really isn't too different but on a smaller scale.

Common sense and not exceeding your own abilities should be the deciding factor. There are more small trailers (sub 2,000lbs) being added to the market all the time so this seems to be a positive direction for the industry.

I am still waiting for the day when I see a 1992 Corolla chugging up a hill dragging a little Boler or something like that.
 

coalminer16

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Dec 11, 2008
Location
Central Wisconsin
TDI
Golf 2004
You don't need brakes until over 3000 pounds. I would feel comfortable up to that without much issue. But - depends on where you are driving too. Pulling up or going down a long mountain pass with high wind conditions may change a persons mind quickly.
 

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
You don't need brakes until over 3000 pounds. I would feel comfortable up to that without much issue. But - depends on where you are driving too. Pulling up or going down a long mountain pass with high wind conditions may change a persons mind quickly.
Depends on your state, too. Some require trailer brake at 1500 or 2000lbs. But then I wouldn't tow that much weight with such a small car without adding brakes.

Jason
 

jason_

Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 2, 2014
Location
grand rapids michigan
TDI
2015 s wagon dsg
In my opinion Brakes should be required on anything behind the vehicle that exceeds the manufacturers capacity of what can be carried inside the vehicle.



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casioqv

Veteran Member
Joined
Aug 18, 2015
Location
California
TDI
2009 Touareg TDI
Extended the tongue on my trailer this weekend.

Nice, I have a tongue about that long on my sailboat trailer to get it deep enough for launching, but it also makes towing with my '01 Golf really nice. The tongue weight is so low I can easily move the trailer without a jack, and it doesn't sag the stock rear springs... yet no sway coming down steep grades.
 

ThatGTI

Member
Joined
Oct 18, 2016
Location
Miamisburg, OH
TDI
MK6 GTI
I went and towed my dad's boat around the block yesterday just to see what it was like and to get some pictures. I never went over 25MPH and didn't go far. Even though it was a short trip I still got many stares haha. Pulling it didn't seem too much worse than the 2,000lb pop-up I normally tow. Only thing was the trailer didn't have brakes, so stopping a 3,000lb car and 3,500lb boat and trailer was pretty sketchy.
 
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TDIJetta99

Top Post Dawg
Joined
May 17, 2005
Location
Port Jervis, New York, USA
TDI
03... Faster than yours =]
Depends on your state, too. Some require trailer brake at 1500 or 2000lbs. But then I wouldn't tow that much weight with such a small car without adding brakes.
Jason
Here's a good reference regarding trailer brake requirements.. it varies greatly from state to state.. Seems a few states require brakes if the total trailer weight is over 40% of the tow vehicle's weight regardless of anything else

https://drivinglaws.aaa.com/tag/trailer-brakes/
 

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
Two states required new trailers have brakes 1500lbs or more. Most states seem to agree on 3000lbs or 40% of towing vehicle weight.

I wish there was federal (DOT) standard so this wouldn't be so confusing.

Jason
 
Joined
Aug 26, 2006
Location
Pemberton BC
TDI
2013 Golf TDI 6spd Manual
I was lucky enough to find a Tesla model X owner that didn't want to keep the 2" detachable Bosal hitch adapter they come with, which is not sold to the public. It's shown below on my 2001 TDI Golf, next to the padded carrying case it comes with. I haven't tried it yet, but I'm looking forward to seeing how well this works in practice. This essentially gives a real class III hitch on the MKIV with all OEM grade parts, nothing custom. It has a lot of internal moving parts in the attachment mechanism, so I'm a little worried about long term reliability as I mostly use this for launching my sailboat in salt water.


I'm also looking into getting (probably renting) a fiberglass trailer like what CGDoig has above for a road trip...


Hi, just wondering how you're getting along with the 2'' receiver from Tesla? i was inspired by your post and have found one. Planning on this set up for my mk6 Golf. Would be great to hear about your experience with it so far. Thanks.
 

sandmansans

Veteran Member
Joined
Nov 3, 2013
Location
NJ/PA
TDI
2014 Jetta
Hey. Long time since I've logged in. I hope you all are having fun towing safely and that the VW gods are treating you kindly.

Lol I wanted to share this with you guys. My friend sent me this picture from a construction site in Kentucky...lol this has to be someone from this club. The plate reads Kentucky.

That shackle is HUGE. for those of you that don't know or are having a hard time putting this into perspective, shackles a quarter of this size are used to recover vehicles stuck in mud or sand. Lol I'm pretty sure if it weren't so heavy, someone would've stolen it by now

Enjoy!


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sandmansans

Veteran Member
Joined
Nov 3, 2013
Location
NJ/PA
TDI
2014 Jetta
That's gotta slow the car down a bit.
200lbs, easy
Lol that's what I was thinking, but my buddy who's as stout as me said that he might not be able to lift it.. he's the one that snapped the pic and 200lbs is fairly easy for the both of us.

Also, it's hard to see in this picture as I cropped out a part of the picture that would identify the job site, but the ass end is sagging wayyy down lol

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Stealth TDI

Pre-Forum Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 13, 1998
Location
Newport News, VA
TDI
2017 GTI APR Stage 3 (395 hp/376 lb-ft)
I'm still small-car towing, too. I got "stoned" in Hampton, VA last Saturday, Monday, and Tuesday:





I picked up three loads at 840, 920, and 980 lbs. My second load was accidentally too high at 1250 lbs (tough to judge when the bucket is dumping). My lowered trailer fenders were rubbing the tires, even when parked. So I shoveled out ~300 lbs and all was good. Now i know the limit on my modified trailer. HAHA!

Scott
 
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