Audi Allroad: the ultimate tow car? - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 12-07-2011, 06:00 PM   #15
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Engine wise, it specs pretty close to my RAV4 (269HP, 246 ft-lbs ) & I dragged a Escape 17B 20,000 miles so far including both east & west coast mountains...
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Old 12-09-2011, 12:15 AM   #16
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Allroad acquired, all clear ahead!

After a few days and late nights of shopping, researching, inspecting and purchasing my Allroad, I have more to report.

Yes, there are only two hitches available, a cheap Class I and a stronger Euro hitch that's out of production, list priced $1,200 if you can find one. I'm confident in the one-ton Curt hitch. It's equivalent to the hitch on my Forester, and equal to the weight of my lightweight Scamp 16 , which has no bathroom, oven, fridge or water tank.
Towing with the Subaru, I never felt that the hitch was the weakest link.

Neither was the available power, which was adequate for the 60 MPH speed limit that we all advise each other to observe at all times (wink). But the necessary 200 pounds of tongue weight was too much for the Forester's springs, causing the car go tail-heavy, planing nose-up like a speedboat.

By all indications, this Audi will be a fabulous tow car. It's got self-leveling air suspension, good for at least 300 lbs on the tongue. Stability control is on guard at all times. The brakes are the size of LP records. The power is way beyond adequate. Best of all, the cabin is a wonderfully quiet, spacious and serene place to sit and watch the world go by. Audi interiors are like Heaven's taxicabs, as lovely and comfortable as anything Mercedes or Lexus has to offer.

I'll report back this spring. We're planning on a spring break trip to Zion and the Grand Canyon. Another 500-mile drive in the Forester didn't seem so tempting, with its wind noise and slab seats. This time, the pleasure will begin the moment we leave the driveway.
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Old 12-09-2011, 03:45 PM   #17
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$$$$$ Good Luck

Call your Audi dealer or local garage and get pricing on replacing those air shocks, transmission fluid change, head light bulbs, brake calibers, etc. to find out what you may be facing. European cars have a ride and feel that is very seductive, but they do break a little more frequently than your domestics or Japanese/Korean vehicles. And when they do -$$$$$$!.
If you are a crack mechanic it is possible to offset some of these costs. One thing I did years ago was to get a business license for "Performance Auto Repair". I was then able to purchase parts for my Porsche and Volvos wholesale. I would do the repairs and charge myself and pay the bill. Though I could have cheated on taxes, I didn't. My sole purpose was to take the dent out of the high price of parts. Again, something you may want to consider if you make this purchase if you feel confident doing your own repairs.
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Old 12-09-2011, 04:22 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill in Pittsburgh View Post
Call your Audi dealer or local garage and get pricing on replacing those air shocks, transmission fluid change, head light bulbs, brake calibers, etc. to find out what you may be facing. European cars have a ride and feel that is very seductive, but they do break a little more frequently than your domestics or Japanese/Korean vehicles. And when they do -$$$$$$!.
If you are a crack mechanic it is possible to offset some of these costs. One thing I did years ago was to get a business license for "Performance Auto Repair". I was then able to purchase parts for my Porsche and Volvos wholesale. I would do the repairs and charge myself and pay the bill. Though I could have cheated on taxes, I didn't. My sole purpose was to take the dent out of the high price of parts. Again, something you may want to consider if you make this purchase if you feel confident doing your own repairs.
I remember years ago a friend approached me with a "idea" where we would each exchange homes and then rent each other's house back to one another. He was so interested in getting the deduction he failed to realize he would also have income. So writing off repairs made by yourself would also result in you having to report as income the same amount. Known as a "Whipsaw" in taxes or wash effect which is -0-. The reason all this is knowledge is because I worked for IRS for 38 years before retirement 5 years ago.
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Old 12-09-2011, 06:21 PM   #19
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Congratulations on the new ride!

Looking forward to seeing photo's of the rig.
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Old 12-09-2011, 06:42 PM   #20
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I'll look forward to hearing more, too. We're looking ahead to a new (used) car in another year or two. Figuring on getting more time from the 03 Forester first. Right now the more recent Subaru Outback is tops on the list.

I sure did love my VW TDI, though - I'm curious, did they send the diesel Allroad to north america, or are they all gas?
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Old 12-09-2011, 06:48 PM   #21
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My '08 Highlander may not have the leveling suspension, but I think it has all the rest of the features you mention in the Audi. Great engine and transmission, superb ride, wonderful brakes, all-wheel drive... and a 5000 lb. tow rating.
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Old 12-09-2011, 07:03 PM   #22
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John, I appreciate & drive sporty wagons and have considered Audi Avants & Allroads. An AudiWorld Member was making heavy-duty hitches for the Allroad, but he may be out of stock. You might jump to the end of the 10 page forum thread at Who wants a trailer hitch? There is now a better option available. - AudiWorld Forums
- - -
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Old 12-09-2011, 08:51 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by jen b
I'll look forward to hearing more, too. We're looking ahead to a new (used) car in another year or two. Figuring on getting more time from the 03 Forester first. Right now the more recent Subaru Outback is tops on the list.

I sure did love my VW TDI, though - I'm curious, did they send the diesel Allroad to north america, or are they all gas?
Jen, they did not send the diesel here. I had a VW TDI, too... And now have a new (2011) Outback. Yep, no more "death on wheels" towing with a Scion! I've gotta say that I'm really happy with the Outback.

I have enough experience with Audis and VWs that I won't own them any more. They're great when everything is working, though.

Re: US hitches vs Euro hitches. I recommend spending the money on a Bosal or Westfalia Euro hitch. They mount much more securely to the car. VWs and Audis usually don't have good mounting points for a US style receiver hitch. I admit that I don't know about the Allroad, though. People have had problems with bending and tearing of sheet metal where the hitches attach. Euro hitches mount to the bumper mounting points. Very secure.

EDIT: Just looked up the installation instructions for a US hitch on the Allroad (www.curtmfg.com). Unfortunately, they install completely into sheet metal. All holes must be drilled. Based on my experience with VW/Audi and installing hitches on them, I would highly recommend going with a Euro hitch.

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Old 12-09-2011, 09:28 PM   #24
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Jesse, thanks! I have definitely made a note of your experience with the new Outback. I'd be pretty happy with the 4 cylinder, but may have to compromise with my husband who wants 6. It's annoying they don't come in manual in the 6 cylinder version. We'll probably end up going in that direction, with a 2-3 years used Outback.
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Old 12-10-2011, 01:56 PM   #25
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Thanks, everybody, for your constructive advice and questions. Regarding hitch choice-- the techs at my local hitch shop in Denver have installed Curts on several Allroads. I may seek a second opinion. But the Curt seems similar to the hitch they put on my Forester, 5,000 trouble-free tow miles ago. I doubt I'll ever get a bigger trailer. If I do, an upgraded hitch would be a small part of that purchase.

You always have to consider repair costs with used cars, especially with one so packed with tech. That's why, just a year ago, I advised a friend not to consider a used Allroad. Here's what gave me assurance about this 74,000-mile car:
-- the seller was a meticulous industrial engineer with a car hobby, and the paycheck to support it properly
-- Last summer he put $4K into maintenance, including timing belt and associated parts, control arm bushings, torque converter replacement with an upgraded model, and air suspension bag replacement with aftermarket parts that have a lifetime warranty. Then his wife got pregnant with their third child, forcing the sale.
-- For everything else, there's a transferable, comprehensive 3-year extended warranty.

Hours of web research told me that almost all Allroad owners experience early air shock failure. If they're stuck with the dealer's $1000-a-wheel solution, they run away screaming. Those who get through that challenge love their cars and find them reliable.

One thing I am sure of-- This car will be the most relaxing and comfortable way to tow a tiny trailer on long road trips. It's quiet, smooth and sumptuous. The Bose stereo make music that had me turning off talk radio and singing aloud. It's just marvelous, amplified by the fact that I paid the price of the cheapest, meanest new Kia or Suzuki available.

I'll miss the Forester's tall roof and large windows, but you can't have everything. It was a good car, versatile but not great in any one area. Our '04 Foz has reached the point where the rubber gaskets of the frameless door windows have shrunk, so wind noise is very loud on fast cruises. If someone doesn't mind that, or wants to correct it with new gaskets, I plan to be selling it, including the tow setup, in the spring.
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Old 12-10-2011, 02:09 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by John McMillin
But the Curt seems similar to the hitch they put on my Forester, 5,000 trouble-free tow miles ago.
I am a big fan of Curt hitches. I have installed and used six of them on my personal vehicles over the years. The problem is where the hitch mounts to the car. Your Forester has a nice solid frame in the back for the hitch to bolt onto. The Audi has the sheet metal that the spare tire sits in. This is sheet metal that you can deform by standing on it.

I had a curt hitch installed on my VW the same way. I isn't have a problem, because I kept the tongue weight way down and towed carefully, but there are many cases where the hitch ripped right out of the car. Sometimes while towing, sometimes while carrying a bike rack. I just want to make the point that you can't compare one Curt hitch to another.... You must consider how they mount. In this case, it does not at all mount where Audi wants you to mount a hitch.
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Old 12-10-2011, 03:09 PM   #27
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Good advice, mcbrew, I'm listening. Then again, if I listened to all the warnings on forums, I never would have towed with the Forester, either.

How about this hitch?

file:///Users/johnmcmillin/Desktop/EuropaParts.com:%20Trailer%20Hitch%20(C5%20allroad )%20-%20027-193%20-%20Bosal.webarchive

They;re closed today, but I'll check it out next week.
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Old 12-10-2011, 03:23 PM   #28
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It may be that you can't judge all Curt hitches by one purchase.
I have had Reese, Hidden Hitch, Drawtite, and Curt over the years.
All of them performed well. The Curt was (I think) the lowest priced of the bunch. The Curt is solid and fits well but it has had a CRONIC rust problem. My Curt is 5 years old. I have even switched it from one car to another and repainted it completely, I have scraped and touched it up several times. If I were to get real quiet, I suspect I could hear it rusting in the garage from where I sit in my den!
On the other hand...
The Hidden Hitch on my Ranger is eleven years old, and still has a legible label! The Drawtite was great as long as I owned it. The Reese has IMHO while still a great hitch has long since slipped from the lead in quality.
If you buy a Curt, use POR15 or have it powdercoated before installing it, but to reiterate....
"It may be that you can't judge all Curt hitches by one purchase."







Quote:
Originally Posted by mcbrew View Post
I am a big fan of Curt hitches. I have installed and used six of them on my personal vehicles over the years. The problem is where the hitch mounts to the car. Your Forester has a nice solid frame in the back for the hitch to bolt onto. The Audi has the sheet metal that the spare tire sits in. This is sheet metal that you can deform by standing on it.

I had a curt hitch installed on my VW the same way. I isn't have a problem, because I kept the tongue weight way down and towed carefully, but there are many cases where the hitch ripped right out of the car. Sometimes while towing, sometimes while carrying a bike rack. I just want to make the point that you can't compare one Curt hitch to another.... You must consider how they mount. In this case, it does not at all mount where Audi wants you to mount a hitch.
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