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)
It's done!













The MaxxFan, which is intended for RVs, moves so much air through my tiny trailer that 50% is still sufficient to blow quite a stream of air out of the screen opening in the teardrop door! :ROFLMAO: My onboard battery will run the fan at 50% for about 14 hours. I'm camping in it this Saturday. It's supposed to drop into the sixties that evening; so, I'll probably be able to run the fan at lower speeds and conserve the battery. (y)
 

AGTDI

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 22, 2021
Location
AG CA
TDI
2002 Jetta Wagon
It's done!













The MaxxFan, which is intended for RVs, moves so much air through my tiny trailer that 50% is still sufficient to blow quite a stream of air out of the screen opening in the teardrop door! :ROFLMAO: My onboard battery will run the fan at 50% for about 14 hours. I'm camping in it this Saturday. It's supposed to drop into the sixties that evening; so, I'll probably be able to run the fan at lower speeds and conserve the battery. (y)
Way cool.
Excellent execution on a great idea.

Is there room to stash a folding table under the body, above axle?
 

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)
Thanks!

Is there room to stash a folding table under the body, above axle?
I doubt it. There's what seems to be about 2-4 inches of clearance between the axle and frame, maybe less with a heavier load. However, I don't know how much that moves while underway...



Even if it would fit, I think I'd rather just have it ride inside as a base for other cargo. Under the trailer, the table (trailer) would get trashed pretty quickly as soon as I ran over anything from rain, puddles, tar, roadkill, etc.
 
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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
Looks like you could fit something about 2-3" high under the floor (about the height of the frame). But not sure of what you would want to stash under there. Thou if you want to expand on camping ability maybe a fresh water tank and/or insulate the floor? A few gallons of water for clean up etc would be nice.

Jason
 

AGTDI

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 22, 2021
Location
AG CA
TDI
2002 Jetta Wagon
Looks like you could fit something about 2-3" high under the floor (about the height of the frame). But not sure of what you would want to stash under there. Thou if you want to expand on camping ability maybe a fresh water tank and/or insulate the floor? A few gallons of water for clean up etc would be nice.

Jason
Locking pelican case with lead slinger and ammo, some cliff bars, and a couple of your favorite gentlemen's magazines.
 

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)
Yes!

Looks like you could fit something about 2-3" high under the floor (about the height of the frame). But not sure of what you would want to stash under there. Thou if you want to expand on camping ability maybe a fresh water tank and/or insulate the floor? A few gallons of water for clean up etc would be nice.
Believe it or not, I considered adding a trap door for two reasons: 1) Extra escape path in case my rear door is blocked or jammed; 2) Someplace to lower my legs to make getting dressed a tad easier. The main reason I didn't do it is because the treated plywood was still moist from manufacturing when I bought it. I was going to let it dry first, but I didn't want it to warp, especially if the floor and the "door" warped in different directions. :oops: Instead, I installed it with the hopes that it would dry straight. It appears to have worked. I could still do a "plunge cut" with a circular saw to cut a floor door. I'll have to think about it, should I decide to do more camping in the future. For now, this is just an overnighter.

Locking pelican case with lead slinger and ammo, some cliff bars, and a couple of your favorite gentlemen's magazines.
Magazines are still a thing? :p
 

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
Well, how about a trap door on one side and tank/storage on the other side? OH, and I have seen some interesting hinge designs that would make getting a case out or putting it back a breeze. I looked into ideas for wife's Kitchen Aid mixer.

Jason
 

jmodge

Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 18, 2015
Location
Greenville, MI
TDI
2001 alh Jetta, RC2 5speed daily commuter and 2000 alh Jetta 5spd swap, 2" lift, hitch, stage 3 TDtuning w/502's backroad cruiser
Yes!



Believe it or not, I considered adding a trap door for two reasons: 1) Extra escape path in case my rear door is blocked or jammed; 2) Someplace to lower my legs to make getting dressed a tad easier. The main reason I didn't do it is because the treated plywood was still moist from manufacturing when I bought it. I was going to let it dry first, but I didn't want it to warp, especially if the floor and the "door" warped in different directions. :oops: Instead, I installed it with the hopes that it would dry straight. It appears to have worked. I could still do a "plunge cut" with a circular saw to cut a floor door. I'll have to think about it, should I decide to do more camping in the future. For now, this is just an overnighter.



Magazines are still a thing? :p
Something I do to strengthen those cheap pressboard shelves in bookcases might work for your door. I rip pieces of hardwood with the crossgrain running vertical. Then I glue, clamp, and pin nail the hardwood to the shelves. No more warping. I did the same to a commercial solid wood door I found on craigslist for my work bench. Except in that case I used 1/8"x2" hot roll, glued and screwed.
wood, aluminum, steel in flat, angle, or channel. You could come up with something to strengthen the edges.
 

TornadoRed

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Aug 3, 2003
Location
Saint Paul (ex-San Diego)
TDI
2003 Golf GL 5-spd, red; 2003 Golf GLS 5-spd, indigo blue; 2003 Jetta TDI wagon, Candy White (SOLD); 2003 Jetta TDI wagon, silver
Yes!



Believe it or not, I considered adding a trap door for two reasons: 1) Extra escape path in case my rear door is blocked or jammed; 2) Someplace to lower my legs to make getting dressed a tad easier. The main reason I didn't do it is because the treated plywood was still moist from manufacturing when I bought it. I was going to let it dry first, but I didn't want it to warp, especially if the floor and the "door" warped in different directions. :oops: Instead, I installed it with the hopes that it would dry straight. It appears to have worked. I could still do a "plunge cut" with a circular saw to cut a floor door. I'll have to think about it, should I decide to do more camping in the future. For now, this is just an overnighter.



Magazines are still a thing? :p
If you think you might someday need an escape, just keep a hatchet in the trailer.
 

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)
Not a lot of room to swing a hatchet inside. But my Dewalt 4" circular saw would do the trick! :oops:
If you think you might someday need an escape, just keep a hatchet in the trailer.
It's a "back-of-the-mind" type of thing that would be more of a concern if I was camping with younger folks who like to prank. Short of malicious actions, I'm fairly certain that I could just kick the door until the latch breaks.

Here are some photos from my first night in my "tiny travel trailer."

My load to get to the venue, carrying too much stuff, of course...


Here's the interior after removing excess gear and inflating the mattress...


Oddly enough, the mattress is a PERFECT fit; it even follows the contours of the rounded corners!

I added a tarp in case of light rain...


I have 32-Ah of onboard LiFePo4 battery and can back-feed the lighting circuit to give me a "porch light" for the evening...


The next morning...


Sleep was surprisingly good. I bumped the wall a few times and I found my feet pressing against the door from time to time, but none of it was unbearable. The combination of insulated walls/ceiling and the fan blocked out all outside sound. During the night, it got cool enough to turn the fan to minimum speed. With the fan noise reduction, I could hear sounds such as insects, passing cars, and a morning generator that was 100ft away. However, it all sounded far away and was minimally intrusive. For reference, the road in the background is the way in and out of the park. So, every vehicle passed within 20 feet of me and was barely noticed.

We were in a park that closes at 7pm and reopens at 7am. We had permission to stay overnight while our club was setup for our emergency comms exercise. I awoke at 7:10am which is about an hour later than usual. I'm not sure if the first cars through the gate woke me, perhaps the generator, or if it was just time. I just sort of woke up, heard some faint sounds, and saw soft light above the MaxxFan (I was in the shade). So, I don't think anything external disturbed me. (y)

Overall, I think this conversion works well. I'm 6 feet tall and may have been more comfortable in a 5x8 conversion. I think anyone under 5'11" would be quite comfortable in a similar 4x6 conversion as long as it has a rounded nose extension (my floor length is 6'2"). Regardless, it worked for me and the lighter trailer tows well behind my Mk7.

Cheers!
 

J_dude

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2020
Location
SK Canada
TDI
2003 1.9l “Jedi”
Not a lot of room to swing a hatchet inside. But my Dewalt 4" circular saw would do the trick! :oops:

It's a "back-of-the-mind" type of thing that would be more of a concern if I was camping with younger folks who like to prank. Short of malicious actions, I'm fairly certain that I could just kick the door until the latch breaks.

Here are some photos from my first night in my "tiny travel trailer."

My load to get to the venue, carrying too much stuff, of course...


Here's the interior after removing excess gear and inflating the mattress...


Oddly enough, the mattress is a PERFECT fit; it even follows the contours of the rounded corners!

I added a tarp in case of light rain...


I have 32-Ah of onboard LiFePo4 battery and can back-feed the lighting circuit to give me a "porch light" for the evening...


The next morning...


Sleep was surprisingly good. I bumped the wall a few times and I found my feet pressing against the door from time to time, but none of it was unbearable. The combination of insulated walls/ceiling and the fan blocked out all outside sound. During the night, it got cool enough to turn the fan to minimum speed. With the fan noise reduction, I could hear sounds such as insects, passing cars, and a morning generator that was 100ft away. However, it all sounded far away and was minimally intrusive. For reference, the road in the background is the way in and out of the park. So, every vehicle passed within 20 feet of me and was barely noticed.

We were in a park that closes at 7pm and reopens at 7am. We had permission to stay overnight while our club was setup for our emergency comms exercise. I awoke at 7:10am which is about an hour later than usual. I'm not sure if the first cars through the gate woke me, perhaps the generator, or if it was just time. I just sort of woke up, heard some faint sounds, and saw soft light above the MaxxFan (I was in the shade). So, I don't think anything external disturbed me. (y)

Overall, I think this conversion works well. I'm 6 feet tall and may have been more comfortable in a 5x8 conversion. I think anyone under 5'11" would be quite comfortable in a similar 4x6 conversion as long as it has a rounded nose extension (my floor length is 6'2"). Regardless, it worked for me and the lighter trailer tows well behind my Mk7.

Cheers!
Very cool!!
 

AGTDI

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 22, 2021
Location
AG CA
TDI
2002 Jetta Wagon
Overall, I think this conversion works well. I'm 6 feet tall and may have been more comfortable in a 5x8 conversion. I think anyone under 5'11" would be quite comfortable in a similar 4x6 conversion as long as it has a rounded nose extension (my floor length is 6'2"). Regardless, it worked for me and the lighter trailer tows well behind my Mk7.

Cheers!
Super cool.
Thanks for the extensive review and pics.
 

GlowBugTDI

Veteran Member
Joined
Jul 20, 2018
Location
Cambridge, MN
TDI
2001 Beetle GLS TDI (BIODSL). Glow Bug TDI (sold)
Not a lot of room to swing a hatchet inside. But my Dewalt 4" circular saw would do the trick! :oops:

It's a "back-of-the-mind" type of thing that would be more of a concern if I was camping with younger folks who like to prank. Short of malicious actions, I'm fairly certain that I could just kick the door until the latch breaks.

Here are some photos from my first night in my "tiny travel trailer."

My load to get to the venue, carrying too much stuff, of course...


Here's the interior after removing excess gear and inflating the mattress...


Oddly enough, the mattress is a PERFECT fit; it even follows the contours of the rounded corners!

I added a tarp in case of light rain...


I have 32-Ah of onboard LiFePo4 battery and can back-feed the lighting circuit to give me a "porch light" for the evening...


The next morning...


Sleep was surprisingly good. I bumped the wall a few times and I found my feet pressing against the door from time to time, but none of it was unbearable. The combination of insulated walls/ceiling and the fan blocked out all outside sound. During the night, it got cool enough to turn the fan to minimum speed. With the fan noise reduction, I could hear sounds such as insects, passing cars, and a morning generator that was 100ft away. However, it all sounded far away and was minimally intrusive. For reference, the road in the background is the way in and out of the park. So, every vehicle passed within 20 feet of me and was barely noticed.

We were in a park that closes at 7pm and reopens at 7am. We had permission to stay overnight while our club was setup for our emergency comms exercise. I awoke at 7:10am which is about an hour later than usual. I'm not sure if the first cars through the gate woke me, perhaps the generator, or if it was just time. I just sort of woke up, heard some faint sounds, and saw soft light above the MaxxFan (I was in the shade). So, I don't think anything external disturbed me. (y)

Overall, I think this conversion works well. I'm 6 feet tall and may have been more comfortable in a 5x8 conversion. I think anyone under 5'11" would be quite comfortable in a similar 4x6 conversion as long as it has a rounded nose extension (my floor length is 6'2"). Regardless, it worked for me and the lighter trailer tows well behind my Mk7.

Cheers!
If you ever decide to make a build thread or release a blueprint/plans for this set up i would totally subscribe to your thread! This is awesome and I'd love to build one someday to go places. Possibly my only change would be to find a way to drag my atv along with me... maybe use a 2 place trailer and convert.
 

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
Aerodynamics seems to really affect TDI MPG- My more "square backed" A4 Golf got 42 MPG towing a motorcycle on a trailer, thanks to the bike neatly tucking into the A4's wake. But put a motorcycle and sidecar on the same trailer and MPG drops to the mid 30s. On a later Golf 7 thanks to it's more rounded rear MPG dropped to the mid 30s with just a solo motorcycle and 30 MPG or so with a sidecar. I suspect in going after the last possible MPG or so VW between Golf 4 and Golf 7 so rounded the rear of the car that MPG is actually worse when towing.
 

Lightflyer1

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Sep 13, 2005
Location
Round Rock, Texas
TDI
2015 Beetle tdi dsg
If you are driving a brick wall down the road, it doesn't matter so much if you are towing another brick wall. If you streamline the tow vehicle and put a brick wall behind it, expect a drop in economy. Or tow below 50 mph where wind resistance doesn't matter as much.
 

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)
Thanks!

Super cool. Thanks for the extensive review and pics.
I appreciate that!

If you ever decide to make a build thread or release a blueprint/plans for this set up i would totally subscribe to your thread! This is awesome and I'd love to build one someday to go places. Possibly my only change would be to find a way to drag my atv along with me... maybe use a 2 place trailer and convert.
I didn't put a build thread here since there doesn't seem to be an appropriate place for it. But I did share my plan and SLOW progress in the "Teardrops and Tiny Travel Trailers" forum at https://www.tnttt.com/viewtopic.php?f=42&t=69973. This build took a LONG time since I was not a motivated builder. The good news is that you get to skip the long periods of inactivity by reading it after-the-fact. ;)

Thanks for your interest!
 

GlowBugTDI

Veteran Member
Joined
Jul 20, 2018
Location
Cambridge, MN
TDI
2001 Beetle GLS TDI (BIODSL). Glow Bug TDI (sold)
If you are driving a brick wall down the road, it doesn't matter so much if you are towing another brick wall. If you streamline the tow vehicle and put a brick wall behind it, expect a drop in economy. Or tow below 50 mph where wind resistance doesn't matter as much.
Ya, sadly my bug is very rounded....
I still got decent mileage for towing but it was low 30's. I was doing 65-70 for a lot of it tho and not taking forever to speed up either. She actually got moving pretty quick honestly.
 

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)
HAHA!

Ya, sadly my bug is very rounded....
I still got decent mileage for towing but it was low 30's. I was doing 65-70 for a lot of it tho and not taking forever to speed up either. She actually got moving pretty quick honestly.
The TDI stills rules for fuel economy, even with a trailer. My Stage 2 GTI averaged just 21.7 mpg on last year's coast-to-coast trip while towing this trailer...



There was a climbing stretch along I-15 from St. George, Utah where I averaged just 16 mpg! Let me say that the Golf's 13.2-gallon tank does not last very long at that consumption rate! :oops: Most of my other fill-ups were closer to 23-24 mpg. I shared a "wrap-up" blog entry HERE, if you're interested.
 

JELLOWSUBMARINE

Veteran Member
Joined
Mar 3, 2014
Location
yes
TDI
2011 Jetta Sportwagen, 6M, red/tan, navi, pano, 83 5m diesel pickup, 82 p/u trailer,.04 5.5 TDI Passat wagon (gone), 80,81,82 diesel p/u (gone), 80,82 sportruck (gone), 59 passthru bus (long gone), 79&87 westy (gone), 57 baja bug (long gone), 73 914
Eco hitch on the JSW 6m. 300 tongue 2000





Pulled an unloaded 6x12 extra height single axle (parachute) back home 60 miles. Did great but ran 5th gear @60 - 65mph


More realistic


Although no longer my trailer, the guy I sold it to did a nice job finishing it up



 
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Drclaw

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 29, 2018
Location
MA
TDI
2014 Jetta Sportwagen
Ive posted a few times before about towing etc.. I have a 2014 6MT sportwagen. It has the torklift 2" receiver/hitch and IDparts towing spring package with Koni reds installed. Been driving on that setup for about 2 years but havent towed. I think a 5x8 aluminum utility trailer is my best bet, something like this https://www.cmtruckandtrailersales.com/2022-primo-5x8-utility-trailer-r6an|Mef.html but open to suggestions. I dont have a place to store it inside. I plan on using it for dump runs, project materials from box stores, home reno stuff, etc... I also dont have the wiring harness installed and could use some thoughts on what hardware I need there and if anyone can point me to an install video that would be appreciated. Thoughts?
 

TornadoRed

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Aug 3, 2003
Location
Saint Paul (ex-San Diego)
TDI
2003 Golf GL 5-spd, red; 2003 Golf GLS 5-spd, indigo blue; 2003 Jetta TDI wagon, Candy White (SOLD); 2003 Jetta TDI wagon, silver

Drclaw

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 29, 2018
Location
MA
TDI
2014 Jetta Sportwagen
I guess if you can afford it, then buy it. But that seems like a lot of money for a very nice trailer that will only see occasional use.
Should hold resale value pretty well and I'd rather buy once cry once vs a steel trailer that's gonna rust and be trash in 5 years
 

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
$3K for a 5' x 8" aluminum flatbed is getting to be the norm. Steel trailer life is all over the map, I've got a 4' x 8' Carry-On that was relegated to yard duty after 5 years and at the other extreme a 6' x 12' Shor'Land'r that's still hauling on the highway and looks good after 15 years.
 

Drclaw

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 29, 2018
Location
MA
TDI
2014 Jetta Sportwagen
$3K for a 5' x 8" aluminum flatbed is getting to be the norm. Steel trailer life is all over the map, I've got a 4' x 8' Carry-On that was relegated to yard duty after 5 years and at the other extreme a 6' x 12' Shor'Land'r that's still hauling on the highway and looks good after 15 years.
A Tractor supply or har or freight steel trailer with nothing included starts at $900-$1000. Then you have to add decking, sides etc. Prob close to $1500 when all said and done. 2x as much for an aluminum version with aluminum decking, ramps, sides etc seems fair.
 
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