Show what you tow!

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)
This is my favorite topic. I'm still towing, too. Everyone with a truck thinks I'm crazy. Here's my latest weekend of supporting a bicycling event:

I loaded 95 gallons of water (35 of it was sealed inside the car) and 350 lbs of ice the day before the event...


Then I drove to the venue at 4:30am, stopping for breakfast along the way...


I created a video walk-around of the setup, too. I had been asked for a video and eventually was able to produce one. See it at https://youtu.be/R3EReNAvScU.
 

jason_

Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 2, 2014
Location
grand rapids michigan
TDI
2015 s wagon dsg
I need to delete some exhaust components so people can hear my turbo screaming FU with 7k# behind it....car, trailer, cargo...

Sent from my 2PS64 using Tapatalk
 

Dannyboy

Veteran Member
Joined
May 25, 2013
Location
Mb
TDI
2014
2012 Golf VI, Westfalia hitch (fixed), 2006 T@B (1600lbs dry, 180lbs tongue, surge brakes).
You running DSG or manual?
I just got my westfalia hitch last week but got detachable one. Haven't installed it yet because I've got damage from 2 hit and runs that needs repairing before It goes on. Will be taking delivery of 2017 prolite, 1940 lbs dry.
 

Discovery

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2018
Location
Montréal
TDI
Mk7 SportWagen
You running DSG or manual?
I just got my westfalia hitch last week but got detachable one. Haven't installed it yet because I've got damage from 2 hit and runs that needs repairing before It goes on. Will be taking delivery of 2017 prolite, 1940 lbs dry.
12yo Prolite profile still holding up well!



What model is yours?
 

Dannyboy

Veteran Member
Joined
May 25, 2013
Location
Mb
TDI
2014
12yo Prolite profile still holding up well!



What model is yours?
I was getting the Evasion model but the deal fell through due to damage found on the axle( axle was bent,obviously taken a hit). Probably why it was on cheaper side. I was looking at the Profile and Escapade models but the toilet shower is at the back making it a squeeze for a 6' tall guy and wide shoulders. I found Evasion had the toilet/shower right in the tallest part of the trailer in the middle which I could happily use. Also the wife liked it more
 

PB_NB

Veteran Member
Joined
Nov 20, 2007
Location
Vancouver, B.C.
TDI
1999 New Beetle
Vandermic07 - Prolite uses electric brakes on each axle.

We looked at these before getting our Camplite. We were about to pull the trigger but found the build more suitable for us with the Camplite. Mainly due to the sensitivity to glues and plastics and off-gassing. Also, I hit my head on the light fixtures at 6'-0". The Camplite gives us 7' to the ceiling.

Most RV trailers will have brakes and usually they are electric. Not too many surge brakes being spec'd on RV trailers anymore.
 

vandermic07

Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 5, 2011
Location
West Central Pennsylvania
TDI
01 Golf 5 spd, 03 Jetta Wagon
I am looking to get a Euro hitch for my Jetta Wagon. I looked on PFJones link above and found a Golf Estate. Will these hitches work on the Jetta Wagon? I emailed PFJones and they were concerned about the bumper clearance but said it would bolt directly up. I want to make sure since it is a big spend to get one from the UK.

Also what do i do about an 1 7/8 ball since these are 50mm?
 

romad

Top Post Dawg
Joined
May 27, 2011
Location
Prescott, AZ
TDI
2005 Jetta GLS Wagon "Cranberry"
I am looking to get a Euro hitch for my Jetta Wagon. I looked on PFJones link above and found a Golf Estate. Will these hitches work on the Jetta Wagon? I emailed PFJones and they were concerned about the bumper clearance but said it would bolt directly up. I want to make sure since it is a big spend to get one from the UK.

Also what do i do about an 1 7/8 ball since these are 50mm?

Yes, they will work. I have a Bosal. Basically the steps are these:
1. Remove bumper cover.
2. Raise rear, put on jack stands and remove rear wheels.
3. Remove bumper and discard (or save if you decided to remove the hitch).
4. Slide arms of tow bar into the two channels.
5. Look in wheel wells and locate tape covering bolt holes. For a wagon use captive nut location B on the bars. The below diagram is from the installation instructions for my 2005 MkIV wagon.




6. Tighten the 4 bolts
7. Modify bottom of bumper cover as needed for hitch.
8. Reinstall wheels and cover.


There are two major sizes of hitch balls and couplers: 1.875" (47.6mm) & 2" (50.8mm) in these United States. So you'll need to replace your 1.875" coupler(s) with a 2" coupler. The coupler can be adjusted slightly for the smaller (0.8mm) ball.


For the electrical connections, I used the repair wires and connectors shown in this picture:



I used a Hopkins powered convertor and with the above repair wires & connectors, there isn't any splicing or tapping the Jetta wiring. I use an power plug for the power outlet on the left rear.
 
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vandermic07

Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 5, 2011
Location
West Central Pennsylvania
TDI
01 Golf 5 spd, 03 Jetta Wagon
Thanks Romad

PFJones had me concerned about the bumper length. Im not even sure if they are different looking a the pics on the web compared to my wagon. I cant locate any bosals for sale. PFJones sells westfalia, Witter, and Brink, Not sure if they are close to the Bosal? ID parts doesnt have any on there website.
 

3L3M3NT

Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 16, 2008
Location
Sturgeon Bay, WI
TDI
04 Jetta GLS TDI, 04 RTDI
Thanks Romad

PFJones had me concerned about the bumper length. Im not even sure if they are different looking a the pics on the web compared to my wagon. I cant locate any bosals for sale. PFJones sells westfalia, Witter, and Brink, Not sure if they are close to the Bosal? ID parts doesnt have any on there website.
I wasn't able to find a Bosal for my 04 R32, but found that Westfalia makes one for my car and was able to order it through Darkside Developments. I gave them the part number to the hitch and they sent me a price for the hitch and how much to ship it to me. Granted it wasn't the cheapest option, but it was my only option.

Overall I'm very happy with the fit and finish of the hitch and glad I was able to find a hitch that fit on my car.
 

romad

Top Post Dawg
Joined
May 27, 2011
Location
Prescott, AZ
TDI
2005 Jetta GLS Wagon "Cranberry"
Thanks Romad

PFJones had me concerned about the bumper length. Im not even sure if they are different looking a the pics on the web compared to my wagon. I cant locate any bosals for sale. PFJones sells westfalia, Witter, and Brink, Not sure if they are close to the Bosal? ID parts doesnt have any on there website.

The concern on the bumper was that beginning in 2003 US MKIV wagons had a slightly deeper bumper cover than the earlier models. There is less clearance between the ball and the cover on the later version, but I haven't had a problem on my '05:





The closest to the Bosal I have is this Westfalia at PF Jones and the install instructions can be found here.
 

romad

Top Post Dawg
Joined
May 27, 2011
Location
Prescott, AZ
TDI
2005 Jetta GLS Wagon "Cranberry"
Romad

Thanks for posting the pics. I will be able to use these to compare to PFJones pics to see if they are similar.

What are your chains attached to?

Since I didn't use the mounting bracket for a European electrical connector, I used the hole where the bracket would have gone for the right side chain, and the pax side vehicle tiedown loop for the left chain. If I have to tow a trailer having a chain hook that won't fit through the bracket hole, I have a quick link that fits and the chain hook connects to the link.


Here are 2 pictures of the bracket
 
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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 finally ready to clear out of a storage unit I started renting last year. Here's my second load. The spare wheels/tires were great for stabilizing the heavy tool cabinet.



My clutch did not enjoy backing this up my inclined driveway. HAHA!
 

nicklockard

Torque Dorque
Joined
Aug 15, 2004
Location
Arizona
TDI
2010 Touareg Tdi w/factory Tow PCKG
Towing with 335d

Well she's a little dirty, but this is what I'm towing with my car:
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A close-up view of some towing hardware:
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Source album here on google pics.
My setup is:
  • Execuhitch Hidden Hitch Replaced with Stealth Hitch (see update notes below)
  • Air shocks in rear suspension of TV for load (ride attitude) compensation. Kept front coilovers for good ride control
  • Hensley Arrow Cub anti-sway hitch + 600 lb tension (each) load leveler spring bars. The Hensley Arrow projects the hitch rotation point forward by 52". In this case, it puts it right ahead of the TV's rear axle centerline about 1/2"--functionally, it does what a 5th wheel apparatus does, but without raising the TV's Center of Gravity.
  • Hayes Swaymaster gyroscope & GPS based electronic anti-sway brake system (interjects full brake command on sway algorithm output in emergency; passes-through on 'normal' conditions)
  • Tuson DirecLink 200E OBD-based smart brake controller (always proportional to TV brake pedal % with user-selected biasing values for highway speeds & for slow speeds)
  • 10" electric brakes (brand unknown)
  • TheUltimateTrailer.com OHT4-X model, air-bagged, RO-RO trailer. Trailer has onboard 12V compressor + manual fill & vent auxillaries
  • LED lighting on 7-pin connector: turn signals, brake & running lights
  • Break-away emergency brake controller with recycled lithium ion motorcycle battery (can also run compressor for limited time)
  • Upgraded tires to Nokian cLine 195/70R15 on upgraded 15" rims (e-trailer I think)
  • Custom, shortened stinger I drew & had fabricated locally
Tow limits are:
  • Car - 3890 lbs
  • Towbar -4000 lbs
  • Stinger-4000 lbs
  • TV tires-1929/tire
  • TV gross axle limits-2145 lbs front; 2662 lbs rear
  • TV% of axle limits(%Safety margins) for F/R - 88% (12% reserve safety margin @ max tongue load) (front and rear)
  • TV ride attitude @ max tongue loads - level @ 101 psi to air shocks
  • TV corner balances under tow - +/- 50 kg range (needs improvement)
  • Trailer Chassis limits - 4300 lbs @ perfect mass distribution; 4150 lbs under typical loading conditions (tolerance 75 lbs? CAD model & actuals testing not yet completed)
  • Trailer airbag limits - 5000 lbs at 90 psi
  • Trailer brake limits - 4000 lbs
  • Trailer wheel limits - 4080 lbs
  • Trailer tire limits - 3996 lbs @ max pressure
  • Net limit 3890 lbs
Trailer rides @ 16.5" off deck. Empty trailer's center of gravity is below axle center-lines because I placed a custom rack for water & tools under there. Even stock it's Cg is very close to axle center-lines.
Heaviest loads carried so far:
  • Moving load--I carried an 8' tall stack of friend's furniture & applicances weighing ~ 1750 lbs about 7 miles
  • Static (test) load -- I lifted a friend's 3600 lb car to test airbags & where load Cg must be to overcome their de-leverage factor.
Planned & completed upgrades & when I might do them:
  • When I specc'ed this out and started the build I decided to future proof it as much as possible, so there is spare room & load capacity to change e-brakes to hydraulic disc brakes with accumulator & ABS(expensive upgrade). I may do this when towing commercial loads if I ever encounter ice, snow, scary driving conditions, etcetera-- if I calculate it substantially reduces risks.
  • There's also room to do one more '+1' tire diameter up-size with higher load index but requires addition of 1/2" hub spacer with longer lug studs
  • Within 90 days I will soon be adding 60 gallons fresh water + 60 gallons gray water tanks under the deck w/filla & drain ports easily accessed from the A-frame tonguer
  • Soon adding a custom sheet metal, locking tool box for carrying load straps, torque bars, general tools weighing ~21 lbs
    I rigged up a temporary solution using a Harbor Freight locking briefcase & magnetic couplings. I may still fab up a custom box of sandwich/aluminum construction because room is tight for all the straps and accessories.
  • Soon revising the A-frame's stock spare tire coupler/mount to an angle iron based (more rigid) bar for partly under-the-deck spare storage. This will form the back rigid base of the toolbox as well. DONE. Will add pic later.
  • Soon revising my under-deck water rack (trim back for Cg shift toward ideal & keep 13" as special tool racking, etc... DONE
  • Soon revising the trailer jockey wheel to a 10" pneumatic, high caster European-style jockey wheel. DONE, but non-pneumatic. Will post item/ catalog # later
  • Designing a power movement system for jockey wheel--not ready for release yet
But for my needs so far, I am very satisfied with this setup. The biggest risk is forgetting I'm towing a load. It's very smooth in all regards including braking.

13 October 2019 updates: The lock cylinder and vertical nipple of the Execuhitch failed in rotation, causing the nipple to fall out. This failure happened at around 1 mph, so no damage to my car. My chains engaged the load, and I pulled it to the side of the yard I was at. I had been hauling yard debris to the dump, approximately 2000 lbs.

I think there were two causes: Execuhitch design shortcomings and torque forces exerted by the Hensley hitch. 1.) The Execuhitch design depends exclusively on soft carbon, 1000-series steel. The Execuhitch has a keyed dowel pin, also soft steel. The purpose is to prevent rotation. It is a v-shaped with a U at the top which rides in a female V in the lock hitch. This is the interface that failed when the dowel pin twisted and deformed badly, also damaging the lock cylinder permanently. 2.) The Hensley hitch also induces high torque moments under very certain scenarios: when braking with low TT brake bias, or TT brakes non-functional while doing moderate turns. Lastly, though I'm not sure this contributed, I had been running the Hensley hitch without load leveler bars. The weight of the HH may have causes the keyed dowel pin to engage with the V at a less-than-ideal angle, allowing it to walk out. I will be studying this further with close measurements of angles and such at various load leveling tensions.

I replaced the Execuhitch with a Stealth Hitch. Stealth Hitch has updated the lock cylinder to be made of billet 316L Stainless Steel. All internals are also 316L. The male nipple is a larger, more robust pin design with larger engagement surfaces. I think it's a big improvement. It might not be enough on its own, but I'm going to keep a close eye on it.
 
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brnsgrbr

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 13, 2009
Location
Washington State
TDI
2002 GOLF GTI converted to GTD
Mkiv Gross axle limits front and rear? Especially curious about the axle stub limits of the rear? And how the wheel bearings factor in?


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

penclnck

Member
Joined
May 9, 2001
Location
Knoxville, TN


Out of town friend text messages me with some pins to be had for cheap. I snagged a trailer and hit the road. The point of contact may have more money pits as well. Saving some slices of Americana history.
 

penclnck

Member
Joined
May 9, 2001
Location
Knoxville, TN
5X8, it "handled" just fine, wasn't swaying or anything. Empty, I was able to cruise along at 70 to 75 MPH with out issue. When the pins loaded up, I was pushing the limits of what the engine could handle and still do 70 MPH uphill in 5th gear (east Tenn). Still handled fine. It wasn't windy, that would of be a bit interesting.

The only thing that raised a few hairs was on my final exit, it is a long downhill ramp and the brakes were fading at end end there. I planned ahead and left myself a lot of extra room for stopping for just such a thing so it was a "non issue" but not a pleasant feeling.

I've got the Bosal kit on there, but not the quick release one.







 

Geordi

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 4, 2002
Location
Somewhere between Heaven and Hell. But it is reall
TDI
14 JSW DSG, 03 Wagon 01M, 400k and IPT performance auto!
The reasons for what you felt are largely that Uhaul trailer. They WAY overbuild their equipment - especially the trailers - and that thing EMPTY weighs about 1600 lbs. A normal 5x8 made by Diamond Cargo or someone similar doesn't have 1/2" thick walls and double wall steel tubing under the floor. A Diamond Cargo 5x8 would weigh about 900 lbs - I know b/c I have both a 4x6 and a 5x10 that my TDI has pulled, and the 5x10 is 1100 empty.

Also... I know they have that dumb "45mph" sticker on the fender, and no, I don't respect that either... But their gear really isn't supposed to be rolling at 70 when loaded. That's the top end for me too, b/c the wind resistance adds a LOT of load on that flat front, but the tires also aren't rated for that kind of speed. If one lets go and you are able to maintain control... You are still looking at about a 5 hour delay while they send out a truck.

Be careful with Uhaul gear, you never know what kind of gorilla had it before you and filled it with concrete blocks or something WAY over the weight limits. I've worked logistics and am pretty good at estimating weights and sizes, and it stuns me what I see at storage yards being unloaded from Uhaul gear.
 
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ranger pete

Veteran Member
Joined
Jul 29, 2011
Location
connecticut
TDI
2011 JSW 6MT
My pride and glory!
I made it myself, it took me exactly one year to make it:eek:
Sorry I do not have better picture where them both are.

Here are summer evening in Estonia.


It is mobile bathing tub:D

That is brilliant!!!!

People get rid of hot tubs all the time on craigslist free.

I have an old utility trailer.



Hmmmmmmm?



I assume you heat with wood. Would like to hear more about the heating system and how you control it. I assume it is a wood stove with a coil in it and a circulator pump.
 
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