Show what you tow!

GreenGoop

Member
Joined
Aug 3, 2021
Location
IL
TDI
15 VW Golf 6 spd MT
Hi all. I have a 15 VW Golf TDI 6spd MT.

I commited to buying a utility trailer that serves as a primitive RV called Taxa Woolly Bear. It is 1270lbs empty and 140lbs tongue empty. You can see pictures, specs and diagrams here: https://taxaoutdoors.com/habitats/woolly-bear/

Loaded it will be 2000lbs and 250-300 tongue weight.

My hitch is a EcoHitch rated for 2000lbs and and 300 tongue.

I am in the US where the VW is "not recommended for towing" and am getting pushback from every angle - online, uhaul (who I asked to install my brake controller and 7 way pin), even the trailer manufacturer themselves.

My biggest concern is the tongue weight. I will be lugging this around US forest roads for an entire year, doing a tour of forests and sleeping there.

I'm not afraid of the 2000lbs tow weight as much as the tongue weight since even in EU the Golf is only rated for 165lbs tongue weight (but a whopping 3600lbs tow weight).

Based on posts here and elsewhere, it seems doable, at least short term. But I will be towing this every 2 weeks to different forests. It's going to be a decent amount of stress on the body where the hitch itself connects, but am hopeful. If the part where the hitch connects to the body breaks on me mid-drive, it will be catastrophic for me. So I nervous and going in blind. But this is a trip I *need* to do for myself.

The Woolly Bear trailer will be ready for pickup on August 17 (2 weeks). Quite nervous.

When transporting it, I plan to unload the battery, cooler, and any heavier items from the trailer and into the car to lessen to tongue weight load as much as I can because I feel that's the weak spot based on VW EUs max recommended rating of 165lbs tongue.

I will provide update(s) as to how it's going once am on the road with it.

Thanks to all the confidence boosting posts here. I was on the edge of canceling my order until I saw similar VWs tow even heavier things here. But I'll be towing a lot more frequently than some of you, I feel.

My biggest fear is if something breaks, it will take the muffler with it, or worse, send the trailer careening into a car behind me or causing the trailer to sustain significant and costly damage.

I will update when I can.
 

GreenGoop

Member
Joined
Aug 3, 2021
Location
IL
TDI
15 VW Golf 6 spd MT
So as you can see above I got the trailer/"RV", 1300lbs empty, with the tent and gear is currently around 1700? Tongue weight dry is 140, with all closer to 200 is my guess.

I will weigh at a CAT scale when I can.

As far as towing it goes, it's my first time towing. It was both harrowing and safe feeling. It *does* have trouble going up even slight inclines if you're not already going, and for the first time in my life I smelled burning clutch when I was backing it up a very slight incline on a gravel road to load gear into it.

Engine temps went from 208-212F without the trailer, to 220-238F with the trailer (redline starts at 260F and ends at 280F by the dummy temp gauge on the dash it looks like).

It has magnetic breaks and stopping power was more than adaquate, but if someone pulled in front of my out of a driveway and I had to quickly stop it may be a disaster. Otherwise for all other occasions breaking feels good.

I took it from Houston, Texas, to a forest in New Mexico. Going on the rocky roads was very scary. You can see it does dip the rear end of the car a bit so I'm scared I'll damage the exhaust system maybe on a taller rock.. I'll have to get rear suspension air bags installed when I can for this.

Had othet thoughts but am short on time. Taking this to a forest in Texas next week so will provide more info/update then.

Edit: from my voice notes (these were made when the trailer was practically empty save for the battery put in and some minor gear - - without the 200lbs tent, 100lbs water, and 100lbs or so of gear. Will test this out geared up on the highway next week).
MPG went from 58-60mpg highway to about 35-40 if I recall.

Handled well.

Gearing (manual transmission) - about same gear ratios. Needed to stay in first gear longer, otherwise all gears remained at their respective speeds as with no load and 6th gear was normal/great.

Acceleration was great too, but I drive sane anyway unlike most Americans who have a lead foot.
 
Last edited:

Mozambiquer

Vendor , w/Business number
Joined
Mar 21, 2015
Location
Versailles Missouri
TDI
1998 VW Jetta TDI. 1982 VW Rabbit pickup, 2001 VW Jetta TDI, 2005 VW Passat wagon TDI X3, 2001 VW golf TDI, 1980 VW rabbit pickup,
I just bought a 5x10.5 trailer and am using it for the first time today. I went to get a tool box, about a two hour drive. So far, so good.
 

gearheadgrrrl

Veteran Member
Joined
Dec 15, 2002
Location
Buffalo Ridge (southwest Minnesota)
TDI
'15 Golf DSG, '13 JSW DSG surrendered to VW, '03 Golf 2 door manual
So as you can see above I got the trailer/"RV", 1300lbs empty, with the tent and gear is currently around 1700? Tongue weight dry is 140, with all closer to 200 is my guess.

I will weigh at a CAT scale when I can.

As far as towing it goes, it's my first time towing. It was both harrowing and safe feeling. It *does* have trouble going up even slight inclines if you're not already going, and for the first time in my life I smelled burning clutch when I was backing it up a very slight incline on a gravel road to load gear into it.

Engine temps went from 208-212F without the trailer, to 220-238F with the trailer (redline starts at 260F and ends at 280F by the dummy temp gauge on the dash it looks like).

It has magnetic breaks and stopping power was more than adaquate, but if someone pulled in front of my out of a driveway and I had to quickly stop it may be a disaster. Otherwise for all other occasions breaking feels good.

I took it from Houston, Texas, to a forest in New Mexico. Going on the rocky roads was very scary. You can see it does dip the rear end of the car a bit so I'm scared I'll damage the exhaust system maybe on a taller rock.. I'll have to get rear suspension air bags installed when I can for this.

Had othet thoughts but am short on time. Taking this to a forest in Texas next week so will provide more info/update then.

Edit: from my voice notes (these were made when the trailer was practically empty save for the battery put in and some minor gear - - without the 200lbs tent, 100lbs water, and 100lbs or so of gear. Will test this out geared up on the highway next week).
MPG went from 58-60mpg highway to about 35-40 if I recall.

Handled well.

Gearing (manual transmission) - about same gear ratios. Needed to stay in first gear longer, otherwise all gears remained at their respective speeds as with no load and 6th gear was normal/great.

Acceleration was great too, but I drive sane anyway unlike most Americans who have a lead foot.
Are those coolest temps or oil temps?
 

Mozambiquer

Vendor , w/Business number
Joined
Mar 21, 2015
Location
Versailles Missouri
TDI
1998 VW Jetta TDI. 1982 VW Rabbit pickup, 2001 VW Jetta TDI, 2005 VW Passat wagon TDI X3, 2001 VW golf TDI, 1980 VW rabbit pickup,

I really haven't pulled much with my TDI yet... But it allowed me to sell my truck, so that's good.
Heaviest load I did was hauling an ALH engine and manual transmission from near Springfield Illinois back home. Also had a set of tires on the trailer.
I averaged 26 mpg towing.
This was a table my wife found. Not very heavy at all. I got 32 mpg pulling that one.
 

AGTDI

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 22, 2021
Location
AG CA
TDI
2002 Jetta Wagon

ccbutler3

Active member
Joined
Aug 2, 2019
Location
Baltimore, MD
TDI
03 ALH Manual Wagon
you got a build thread on this somewhere?
No thread of the build but here’s two albums of start to finish the project withFantastic execution on a fantastic idea.
I love the mini woodstove.

you got a build thread on this somewhere?

Fantastic execution on a fantastic idea.
I love the mini woodstove.
Thanks! I have no build thread or anything but I attached two albums of everything pretty much I did. Photos are out of order, sorry!

Not sure exactly what she weighs but I’d imagine 1500+ish, I’ll have to CAT scale it.

I Redid the exterior last year in full West System Epoxy system, fiber cloth and epoxied entire roof. I had the year before some water intrusion due to inferior original paint.

Short list of build:
-Fully Welded Steel frame and roof rack
-1” foam board insulation
-Teardrop Window
-MaxxFan Deluxe
-Victron MPPT Charge Controller
-Waterproof Fuse Panel
-LED Interior Lights
-2x Battleborn 100ah Heated Batteries
-12v National Luna 50l Dual Fridge Freezer (no longer the cooler as pictured)
-Victron 1200a Inverter
-Victron External Charger (never needed)
-Tembo Tusk Cooler Slide w/ Cutting board
-Pelican Case for the Batteries
-Dickinson Newport Solid Fuel Heater
- Custom Conduit Tube for Stove Pipe
-Rhino Rack Pioneer Rack
-Ostrich Awn 270 degree self supporting awning
-Heavy duty awning mounts for Ostrich Awn
-Wall Kit for Awning
-Aluminum Box fold out shower curtain
-10 gallon sun heated Road Shower
-5 gal locking Jerry holder
-20lb propane tank on locking holder
-Tembo Tusk propane skottle for cooking
-3 Renogy Eclipse 100w panels with port for folding 4th panel once set up
-Shower head for road shower
-3500lb galvanized axle with Nevr Adjust Brakes
-Bluetooth Trailer Brake Controller
-Reese Light Duty weight distribution system
-Spare Tire
-Tri Fold bed that turns into couch
-UPOL Raptor bedliner
-UPOL Raptor Jeep wheels
-215/75/R15 General Grabber A/Ts
-LED brake lights and Side Markers
 

AGTDI

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 22, 2021
Location
AG CA
TDI
2002 Jetta Wagon



Thanks! I have no build thread or anything but I attached two albums of everything pretty much I did. Photos are out of order, sorry!

Not sure exactly what she weighs but I’d imagine 1500+ish, I’ll have to CAT scale it.

I Redid the exterior last year in full West System Epoxy system, fiber cloth and epoxied entire roof. I had the year before some water intrusion due to inferior original paint.

Short list of build:
-Fully Welded Steel frame and roof rack
-1” foam board insulation
-Teardrop Window
-MaxxFan Deluxe
-Victron MPPT Charge Controller
-Waterproof Fuse Panel
-LED Interior Lights
-2x Battleborn 100ah Heated Batteries
-12v National Luna 50l Dual Fridge Freezer (no longer the cooler as pictured)
-Victron 1200a Inverter
-Victron External Charger (never needed)
-Tembo Tusk Cooler Slide w/ Cutting board
-Pelican Case for the Batteries
-Dickinson Newport Solid Fuel Heater
- Custom Conduit Tube for Stove Pipe
-Rhino Rack Pioneer Rack
-Ostrich Awn 270 degree self supporting awning
-Heavy duty awning mounts for Ostrich Awn
-Wall Kit for Awning
-Aluminum Box fold out shower curtain
-10 gallon sun heated Road Shower
-5 gal locking Jerry holder
-20lb propane tank on locking holder
-Tembo Tusk propane skottle for cooking
-3 Renogy Eclipse 100w panels with port for folding 4th panel once set up
-Shower head for road shower
-3500lb galvanized axle with Nevr Adjust Brakes
-Bluetooth Trailer Brake Controller
-Reese Light Duty weight distribution system
-Spare Tire
-Tri Fold bed that turns into couch
-UPOL Raptor bedliner
-UPOL Raptor Jeep wheels
-215/75/R15 General Grabber A/Ts
-LED brake lights and Side Markers

Excellent.
I see a lot of good thought went into this.
I hope you get tons of use out of it.....let me know if you get tired of it, LOL.
 

ccbutler3

Active member
Joined
Aug 2, 2019
Location
Baltimore, MD
TDI
03 ALH Manual Wagon
Excellent.
I see a lot of good thought went into this.
I hope you get tons of use out of it.....let me know if you get tired of it, LOL.
Thanks brother I appreciate you! Will do… someone at this point would have to “make me an offer so ridiculous I’d be forced to consider it”, as Dr. King Schultz from Django would say haha
 

AGTDI

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 22, 2021
Location
AG CA
TDI
2002 Jetta Wagon
Thanks brother I appreciate you! Will do… someone at this point would have to “make me an offer so ridiculous I’d be forced to consider it”, as Dr. King Schultz from Django would say haha
truth.
It is hard to put a price on a labor of love.

memories, love, and time are the only things money cant buy.
But poor uses of money have bought me some good memories.
 
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