Audi Allroad: the ultimate tow car? - Page 3 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 12-10-2011, 03:48 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by floyd View Post
The Reese has IMHO while still a great hitch has long since slipped from the lead in quality.
I think so too. My 1st hitch receiver was a Reese that I installed in 2003 when my Honda Odyssey LX was new. The front mounting tabs broke away from the rest of the receiver last year. I could not find a Reese at that time for the Odyssey from any source, but Curt makes one. My local trailer place keeps them in stock because the Odyssey is such a popular vehicle, and many owners want a receiver just for a bicycle rack.
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Old 12-10-2011, 04:21 PM   #30
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Another Curt Perspective

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, "It may be that you can't judge all Curt hitches by one purchase."[/ Floyd QUOTE]

Floyd,
We've had a Curt hitch for about 5 years, traveled about 80,000 miles and live two blocks from the ocean when we're not traveling. It doesn't have a spec of rust. I don't know why the difference.
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Old 12-10-2011, 10:52 PM   #31
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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, "It may be that you can't judge all Curt hitches by one purchase."[/ Floyd QUOTE]

Floyd,
We've had a Curt hitch for about 5 years, traveled about 80,000 miles and live two blocks from the ocean when we're not traveling. It doesn't have a spec of rust. I don't know why the difference.
Mine is my first hitch made from round pipe with curves. makes me wonder if it is a different quality stock than the square stuff?
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Old 12-11-2011, 08:02 AM   #32
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Floyd,

You are correct, our hitch is made from square and plate stock. Maybe that is the difference.

Norm
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Old 12-12-2011, 12:06 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by Frederick L. Simson View Post
My 1st hitch receiver was a Reese that I installed in 2003 when my Honda Odyssey LX was new. The front mounting tabs broke away from the rest of the receiver last year. I could not find a Reese at that time for the Odyssey from any source, but Curt makes one.
The Reese was square channel. The Curt is round but straight, not curved.
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Old 02-28-2012, 03:46 PM   #34
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Trailer: 1985 Scamp 16, 2013 VW Tiguan SEL
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Well, here it is two months later. I'm understanding now why everybody isn't towing with an allroad. Choosing a hitch will drive most folks mad and screaming towards the nearest truck dealership. Not me, though. Today, my car is filled with two different hitches, and I'm driving around Denver to consult the experts about which is the best.

1) The boys at the hitch specialty shop didn't approve of the expensive Bonsal hitch I obtained by mail order. Yes, it's stronger, with that direct subframe connection, but it has no provision for safety chains. It's a metric ball that's very close to two inches, but they warned that an insurance company might try to escape liability after an accident if they saw a mismatched hitch setup. Instead, they recommended the Curt Class I receiver hitch, like I used with the Forester.

2) At my usual Audi specialist garage: Just the opposite opinion. They didn't think much of the Curt mounting system, with just four bolts. They've had customers use the hitch to tow small parts trailers, but a one-ton load would rip out the mounting points. "That's very thin metal under the spare tire," said one mechanic. They would weld on some attachment points on the Bosal for safety chains, solving one of my problems. But it still won't take hitch accessories like my bike rack and, crucially, my EZ Hitch, a V-shaped steel plate that mounts on the receiver hitch and protects the bumper while directing the trailer tongue to the right spot behind a long car backing up. I usually camp on gravel or dirt driveways, so rolling the trailer to the car isn't an easy option.

By noon, I was deeply confused. The Curt hitch would have big operational advantages over the Bonsal, but might not be safe. Looking for a tie-breaking vote, I dropped by another indy Audi shop. And what did I hear?

3) "We send all out customers to that same hitch shop. They have so much experience." Eight allroad owners were referred there, and none came back with problems. Some towed large loads to and from racetracks and estate sales. There's no particular problem with weak metal in the spare tire well, he said.

So now is decision time. Do I want to put up with difficult hitch-ups and lose the use of my bike rack, or worry about a stray chance of hitch failure? I'm trying not to be swayed by the price, but it's worth noting that the Bonsal costs about $600 more, installed, than the Curt. The choice would be automatic if I wanted a bigger trailer, or to add bathroom and water tanks to my Scamp, but I really don't see that happening. Money's tight, and the extended warranty on my Audi is voided when I tow more than 2,000 lbs.

What do you'all think? I'm about to choose the Curt, but I could see it either way. That's the problem!
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Old 02-28-2012, 04:30 PM   #35
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Money's tight, and the extended warranty on my Audi is voided when I tow more than 2,000 lbs.
If money is tight you may want to totally reconsidering towing with the Audi as you probable already know repair costs are a lot higher on them than your Subaru..... its just a thought.
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Old 02-28-2012, 04:51 PM   #36
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Money's tight for all of us, or we'd be towing Airstreams, or flying and staying in resort hotels. Or towing often enough to dedicate a truck for the purpose.

I've heard the warnings about Audis, and I responded to them in a previous post on this thread that described the excellent repair history of this particular car. The Forester wasn't exactly trouble free for 120K, either-- the head gaskets failed early, and the center differential, plus a catalytic converter replaced under warranty. And it has its limits as a tow car: the rear suspension squats under a 180-lb tongue weight, and power is just adequate. And it matters to me that the Forester is not nearly as nice a place to spend a long vacation drive as the quiet, smooth, luxurious Audi.

The car decision is made. This Audi will be our family's largest car for a few years. I still welcome advice on the hitch choice...
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Old 02-28-2012, 05:44 PM   #37
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I may have mentioned this already, but I owned a VW (a chassis that was sold under the Audi name as well) and used a Curt hitch. If I had it to do over again, I would go with the Bosal hitch. I didn't have a problem, but I've seen more than one VW where the hitch ripped out of the floor. One from a trailer, the other from a bike rack.
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Old 02-28-2012, 07:04 PM   #38
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That's interesting,very interesting, mbbrew. I take that warning seriously.

What model and year VW was that? Please provide specifics. A Golf or Jetta is a different beast than an allroad. I've heard that Audi made an additional 900 welds to the standard A6 Avant chassis to strengthen it for offroad use as an allroad. It's a heavy, stout car. But when two qualified mechanics disagree so much, I really wonder.
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Old 02-28-2012, 07:28 PM   #39
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I'm not sure if you read my earlier post and link to the Audiworld thread: "Who wants a trailer hitch? There is now a better option available"

An AudiWorld Member was making heavy-duty hitches for the Allroad and much is discussed on the design & engineering of hitches for the Allroad in the 10 page thread. Contributors to this thread may well be able to help you sort it out.

see Who wants a trailer hitch? There is now a better option available. - AudiWorld Forums
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Old 02-28-2012, 08:57 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by John McMillin
That's interesting,very interesting, mbbrew. I take that warning seriously.

What model and year VW was that? Please provide specifics. A Golf or Jetta is a different beast than an allroad. I've heard that Audi made an additional 900 welds to the standard A6 Avant chassis to strengthen it for offroad use as an allroad. It's a heavy, stout car. But when two qualified mechanics disagree so much, I really wonder.
Both cars in question were A4 chassis. Not the same as yours, but they are also used by Audi (TT) and are used in AWD applications, just not here in the US. I wouldn't bet that the trunk pan/spare tire well is any thicker in the Allroad. These were not welds that failed... This was sheet metal ripping.
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Old 02-28-2012, 09:27 PM   #41
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A difficult choice

I'm aware of that thread, Mark, the first batch was sold out by the end of November, just before I bought my car. It did look like a better design. I don't have time to wait for another production run, though. We've seta goal of a Grand Canyon visit late in March, timed to my kid's school vacation.

That's more disturbing news, mcbrew. I'd like to find a way to add some metal structure to the inside of the wheel well to distribute those forces, without losing space for the spare.

Conversely, I have a plan to bore out the EZ Hitch's mounting plate to the proper diameter, then saw it in half. You could slip the pieces over the ball and weld them back together in the proper place below the ball-- maybe, if you had good industrial metalworking tools. I'll ask my mechanics about that tomorrow.
The EZ Hitch is so helpful, I can't imagine getting along without it. It gives me the ability to back the car to the trailer, alone, without tears.
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Old 02-28-2012, 10:46 PM   #42
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John,
First let me say I'm not a mechanic or an expert but I've towed thousands of miles, everything from utility trailers to a 32-foot sailboat. I tow a 16' Scamp Deluxe, self-contained, with an air conditioner, that might weigh almost double yours, with a VW Touareg and a Curt hitch. I think you will be fine with the Curt. Keep in mind that most of the weight of the trailer is borne by the axle and you will have 100-300 pounds of tongue weight, so the sheet metal would have to be pretty thin for that setup to damage it. Obviously there are other forces at work, but if you can jump up and down on the hitch, you can probably tow your Scamp. And if Curt made hitches that ripped out of cars, they probably wouldn't be in business very long. Just doing go towing a 6-up horse trailer with it.
I recommend a backup camera (I have heard wired is better than wireless). Mine works great for hooking up the trailer.
I also recommend the Audi factory tow control module and wiring harness and a 7-pin connector. The VW tow control module does nice stuff like turn off the rear collision sensors when the trailer is connected and it connects the trailer wiring to the car alarm so the alarm goes off if it's enabled and somebody disconnects your trailer. I'm sure the Audi module is similar. The 7-pin connector will allow you to install a brake controller (which will save wear and tear on those expensive Audi brakes) and will be safer. It will also charge the Scamp's battery when you're driving (a 4-pin connector will not).

Bill

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Originally Posted by John McMillin View Post
I'm aware of that thread, Mark, the first batch was sold out by the end of November, just before I bought my car. It did look like a better design. I don't have time to wait for another production run, though. We've seta goal of a Grand Canyon visit late in March, timed to my kid's school vacation.

That's more disturbing news, mcbrew. I'd like to find a way to add some metal structure to the inside of the wheel well to distribute those forces, without losing space for the spare.

Conversely, I have a plan to bore out the EZ Hitch's mounting plate to the proper diameter, then saw it in half. You could slip the pieces over the ball and weld them back together in the proper place below the ball-- maybe, if you had good industrial metalworking tools. I'll ask my mechanics about that tomorrow.
The EZ Hitch is so helpful, I can't imagine getting along without it. It gives me the ability to back the car to the trailer, alone, without tears.
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