Audi Allroad: the ultimate tow car? - Page 5 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-05-2012, 11:31 AM   #57
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Name: Jesse
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Originally Posted by Carol H
Andrew I can see where the comments made by McBrew may have created some confusion for you as to what the normal practices are in regards to installing hitches in North America.

Just like in Europe the hitch company's do build North American style hitches that are designed specifically for each vehicle type and manufactures attachment points and towing capacity - although as you point out we have three classes of hitches so in a few cases you may have a hitch installed that is rated a bit higher than what the tow capacity set by the vehicle manufacture but in that case you are still limited to towing to the manufactures tow cap - you can also put a hitch on that is rated lower but of course you would be limited to the hitch tow capacity rating in that case. It is also not the common practice of a hitch manufacture to build a class of hitch for a specific vehicle that is greater than the class that has been set by the vehicle manufacture. For example if the tow capacity of the vehicle falls into a Class II hitch they will not build a Class III hitch for that vehicle. Just like in Europe we are suppose to attach the hitch where the vehicle manufacture has made provisions for it on the chassis- such a pre drilled holes etc.

If a person installs on a North American built vehicle a North American style hitch that was specifically designed for their vehicle and its attached per the vehicles manufactures attachment points - there should be no issues with vehicle failure - providing the owner maintains the hitch and the person is not towing something over the vehicles &/or tow hitches set weight capacities.

The problem is that some people want to use a style of hitch such as the Euro style that the vehicle manufactures in North American do not design their cars to use. As a result many of the Euro style hitches do not match the attachment system that North American vehicle manufactures do put on their vehicles at the factory. Additionally in many cases in order to install a Euro style tow hitch on a North American car they actually need to cut away parts of the car - most often structural components of the rear bumper area - components that are required by law to be built into all North American cars for safety reasons. It is my understanding that what McBrew is suggesting is due to the fact people need to beef up attachments points etc & cut parts away to use the Euro hitch on a North American built car - its the cars failure not the hitches. I suspect that a few car designers in North America may not totally agree with that analogy of the problem.
Carol, not sure what part of my post(s) you were referring to.

Many US-made hitches (Curt, Hidden Hitch, DrawTite, etc) are not designed to use existing mounting points.. Especially on small cars and foreign cars. There are a few reasons for this. One is that a lot of small American cars don't have a good place for a hitch to install. Most cars that are sold in Europe do, no matter where the car is made. Another reason many American hitches won't just bolt up to an import car is that it might be in conflict with American bumper standards. It's not that a Euro hitch won't bolt up... It will... But they usually bolt up where the bumper goes, and sometimes quirks moving the bumper shocks that are necessary to conform with US bumper standards. I personally don't care, because the car is designed to pass Euro safety ratings with the hitch installed.

There usually is no cutting or custom work required to install a Euro hitch. They just bolt up. There is often custom drilling or cutting required to install an American style hitch, though. Such is the case with the Audi in question, because the hitch bolts to the thin sheet metal of the spare to well, instead of where Audi wants you to mount a proper hitch.
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Old 03-05-2012, 02:10 PM   #58
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Name: Carol
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As post #47 clearly shows the suggestion that the Euro Hitch "just bolt up" does not hold true in this case. Actually very familiar with the Audi and the last time I checked they are of European design as well. Actually have gotten to ride in one of the first R8 5.2 convertibles shipped to Canada. To bad it cant tow as that would indeed be the ultimate tow vehicle - although the owner might protest if I suggested it, as they don't even like me towing with my Outback as far and as much as I do. They are a big fan of the Outback but are of the opinion that I over abuse my vehicles :-)))

My concern with this tread is that people who are new to towing and or live in another country may be lead to believe through the comments made here in regards to using a Euro hitches on a NA built car, that we have no standards/legislation in regards to hitches & that if they install a Euro hitch its not going to change the vehicle's safety features which are in fact legislated or better known in the US as a legal requirement. Worse still someone from outside NA appears to think as a result of comments made here that vehicle manufactures don't strength test the tow capacity of their vehicles or its ability to safely tow without failure with the class of hitch & within the tow cap specs they have set.

Jesse I suspect you and I are never going to totally agree on this topic. I also have no doubt that with specific vehicles especially with those built or designed in Europe a good case can be made for the use of a euro hitch vs a NA designed hitch and it may in fact be very justifiable. My concern over this thread is the same as when people make suggestions to those new to towing that is ok to tow over a vehicles towing cap or/or make *big* changes to how they stow their trailer to get the tongue weight down, without also giving a warning that if one follows that advise they may be compromising their safety &/or their legal liability.

I know I am staring to sound like my mother so will leave it at that.
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Old 03-05-2012, 03:41 PM   #59
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Exactly - (or Eggs-acktly?) What she said, X2!
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Old 03-05-2012, 08:35 PM   #60
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Name: Jesse
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Carol, please understand that I am also concerned for the safety of others. That is exactly why I was pushing for a Euro style hitch for this European vehicle. There are already many cases of American style hitches failing on similar vehicles because they DO NOT use manufacturer approved mounting points.

Having said that, I use an American hitch (Curt) on my American built (Japanese designed) car -- a Subaru Outback. Yes, there are European hitches for this car with a greater tow rating (up to 4,400 pounds for an H6 powered Outback), but I feel comfortable with the way the Curt hitch attaches to the frame rails on the Outback. Curt does rate the hitch to a higher weight limit than the car is rated for in the US (350/3,500), but I am not suggesting that anyone exceed the limit that Subaru's North American division uses.
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Old 03-05-2012, 09:00 PM   #61
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I've bought and installed several North American hitches on a variety of vehicles and all of them were designed specifically for the vehicle. They bolted up without any modifications or fabrication of any kind. None of them were odd vehicles but the hitches were very specific. (Volkswagon Jetta, Ford Aerostar, Toyota Tacoma).
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Old 03-05-2012, 09:48 PM   #62
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BC Paul
I've bought and installed several North American hitches on a variety of vehicles and all of them were designed specifically for the vehicle. They bolted up without any modifications or fabrication of any kind. None of them were odd vehicles but the hitches were very specific. (Volkswagon Jetta, Ford Aerostar, Toyota Tacoma).
Must be a different model year Jetta... Ours required (if I remember correctly) seven holes to be drilled. None went into any existing holes. All of them bolted to sheet metal. It was better on the Scion xD, where it bolted to a tow hook on both sides, as well as six existing threaded holes. The Outback required drilling, but seems very secure. All of our trucks have been more straight forward... Even the Sprinter van, though it did require enlarging two of the existing holes.

Here's one of our VWs with a Curt hitch:





Here's the xD... Hard to see, but if you look carefully, you'll see where it bolts to the tow hooks on either side.

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