Considering 13' - towable by VW? - Page 4 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-08-2009, 04:59 PM   #43
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Didn't mean to sound so touchy. The horror stories were getting to me.

I find it interesting about where the VW is bought. The differences are puzzling. My car was manufactured in Brazil. Where are the Euro VWs mfrd? Anyone out there who used to work for VW that can shed a little light on this? I think I should go to the VW forums and see if anyone knows what this is all about.

I wonder if other brands of cars are different for U.S. vs Euro models?

And if you, Raya, are towing with a 4 cyl., what is so different for the VW? See, this is why I'm digging into all of this so much. Nothing is set in concrete. The numbers fluctuate all over the place.

I am putting out feelers for a small motorhome in my area and may have a lead on one. I know who owns it (compulsive about taking care of things) so if the price is right, and they can wait till I have a contract on my house, that may be the end result. They haven't posted it anywhere for sale yet, someone was at dinner with them and it was mentioned then, and I know they don't need to sell it ASAP. So, I may be able to get something. I should hear this weekend.

If I'm not thrilled with it after I get to AZ, I'll sell it. As long as it gets me to Arizona in a nice leisurely pace and continues to hold up well for a couple of months, in the event that I have to live in it till I secure a permanent residence. I have a target town/neighborhood, but need to set foot on individual properties before deciding.

One of the reasons I don't want to sell my car is that (I think I mentioned this) it gets almost 50mpg, I have no problems at all with it, and it's great for running around and carrying stuff - while still being easy to manuever and it's "zippy". And if I only do trips occasionally, it would be crazy to get rid of a car that serves me exceptionally well 95% of the time.
The last car I had was a Honda Prelude, and had it for almost 20 years till the engine blew - mechanic forgot to change the belt during servicing. Another reason I don't trust dealers or mechanics. I have to know what needs to be done and make sure it happens. You can imagine what a pain I am when I do take my car in for anything

Just had a call from Casita Trailers after looking at one locally a few days ago. Very nice people - we were trying to figure out weights with/without certain things. Still not good, but I think I'll stop by their facility on my way West. I may want to get one in the future if I ever do change my car.

I know that a lot of people buy old fiberglass "eggs" and refurbish them. Anyone know of someone who has one semi-ready to be completed that would be super light? I could only put in the bathroom, A/C and necessities and leave the rest pretty bare (I can sleep on an Aerobed). If I'm staying in RV parks along the way, then I don't need to carry a lot of water or have a lg battery/generator - I'll just hook up each night.

One last question/thought: If the trailer itself (any brand) has brakes on it, doesn't that remove most of the problem of pushing the car when going downhill?

Again, sorry if I sounded _itchy
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Old 05-08-2009, 05:34 PM   #44
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trailer brakes wont "fix" the problem. your motor will strain, torque ratings will be lower, hill climbs could get out of hand. etc. with 1000k tow rating you would get into a mess. its not just the rating that will be an issue. because your car is light and very short wheelbase it could get out of hand fast. if sway started and you were close to your cap it could get really scary really fast. i think searching for a small egg is going to be near imposable for something under 1000k with a bathroom etc. as a fellow cat lover i understand your issue with not wanting to cart the cats into hotels etc. i think the best bet is going to be ether renting a motor home or buying a motor home that can pull your gti. my lite house weighs 900 lbs empty and i cant see pulling it safely with a small gti. and it has no bathroom or ac. go for the safe route don't risk your safety. a motorcycle pop up or small pop up will work but keep in mind you have to set it up every time you want to get in it. this may also be difficult with the cats. i don't know how "trained" yours are but my cats are a pain anytime there surroundings change. i can see a cat escaping and doing the " I'm lost so I'm going to run off thing ". with a motor home you could just stop and only have to worry about the cats getting out when you get out. If you wanted to go into town for supplies you can leave the cats in the motor home and take the gti. look into how much it would cost to rent a motor home that way if it breaks down you can just call and have it fixed asap. i hope you can figure it out i know how hard it is just getting my cats in their crates.
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Old 05-08-2009, 07:15 PM   #45
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When traveling with cats, ALWAYS have two doors between the outside and the cats. Don't want to lose them or worse yet, have them get out and something eat them!

I have a 4 cylinder Saturn Vue and so am very restricted on what I can tow too. Right now, it is a teardrop basically.

I don't like the idea of a tent trailer - I can just imagine putting it up in the pouring rain - wet beds for sure.

What we have (needs an alternator) is an old VW Westfalia camper. We found it took care of all of our needs. Two beds, stand up room and a place for our potty. Plus, we could sit in it in the rain and not have to worry about wet beds getting set up.

If you find something that works, let me know because I definitely would be interested.
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Old 05-08-2009, 07:55 PM   #46
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Quote:
I find it interesting about where the VW is bought. The differences are puzzling. My car was manufactured in Brazil. Where are the Euro VWs mfrd? Anyone out there who used to work for VW that can shed a little light on this? I think I should go to the VW forums and see if anyone knows what this is all about.

I wonder if other brands of cars are different for U.S. vs Euro models?

I think they probably are, and that it has to do with some or all of the reasons I listed in my previous post. When I was in the UK, I saw many of our "same" cars but there were differences in engines, drivetrains, etc. I think it has more to do with which market it is built for, rather than where it was manufactured.

And if you, Raya, are towing with a 4 cyl., what is so different for the VW? See, this is why I'm digging into all of this so much. Nothing is set in concrete. The numbers fluctuate all over the place.

Actually, the numbers are pretty much set in concrete for whichever vehicle you have. The towing limits are listed in your owner's manual. You can sometimes tow more if you have trailer brakes, but not always (that is also in the manual).

The number of cylinders isn't what determines the tow rating, necessarily. In my case, my car is rated to tow 3500# (up to 2000# without trailer brakes). This is what is listed in the owner's manual.

My car may only have 4 cylinders, but it is a heavy car (3500#), it has a long wheelbase (115" if I recall correctly), and the engine develops a lot of torque for it's horsepower (hp is only 114). These are all favorable features for towing.

Still, I doubt I would ever tow 3500# with it, for more than about a block on flat ground. It does give me a nice margin when towing my Boler 13, which probably weighs closer to 1200# empty. And I could see towing a heavier trailer with it - just probably not up to the max rating, as I do like that safety margin.

I am putting out feelers for a small motorhome in my area and may have a lead on one. I know who owns it (compulsive about taking care of things) so if the price is right, and they can wait till I have a contract on my house, that may be the end result. They haven't posted it anywhere for sale yet, someone was at dinner with them and it was mentioned then, and I know they don't need to sell it ASAP. So, I may be able to get something. I should hear this weekend.

That sounds like it may be a good solution. One thing to check is the tow rating of the motorhome, to make sure it is capable of towing your car (and a dolly if you will use one).

One of the reasons I don't want to sell my car is that (I think I mentioned this) it gets almost 50mpg, I have no problems at all with it, and it's great for running around and carrying stuff - while still being easy to manuever and it's "zippy". And if I only do trips occasionally, it would be crazy to get rid of a car that serves me exceptionally well 95% of the time.

This is always the quandary for people like us, who only want to have one vehicle. Luckily for me, the car I love is well capable of towing many eggs. But for similar reasons as you I don't tow my boats (they weigh more and I would have to buy a truck, which I would then either have to drive all the time, or else have two vehicles, which I don't want).

I know that a lot of people buy old fiberglass "eggs" and refurbish them. Anyone know of someone who has one semi-ready to be completed that would be super light? I could only put in the bathroom, A/C and necessities and leave the rest pretty bare (I can sleep on an Aerobed). If I'm staying in RV parks along the way, then I don't need to carry a lot of water or have a lg battery/generator - I'll just hook up each night.

I just don't see any way this can work. My Boler is pretty basic, and even the factory weight rating is over 1000#. This is without a bathroom or AC or battery or "stuff." And without a 3-way refrigerator (the trailer has one, but did not have one when it was manufactured, so the factory weight does not include it). There is not much you could take out of my trailer that is not structural. The front bunk could go, and the cupboard doors could be replaced with lighter ones, but I doubt that would net you more than 100#, which would instantly be replaced by even the most minimal gear.

One last question/thought: If the trailer itself (any brand) has brakes on it, doesn't that remove most of the problem of pushing the car when going downhill?

Trailer brakes do help on hills, but not if the trailer weighs more than your vehicle can tow. You still have to pull it up hills, around corners, through windy areas, and potentially during swerves or other avoidance maneuvers. With your car's short wheelbase and light weight, I would be leery.

Raya
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Old 05-08-2009, 08:10 PM   #47
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The more I get into this, the more I think it's going to be a motorhome (small, please!).

My cats are pretty good. I take them in the car all the time for short day trips. When we did go on a 12 hr drive to NH last year, they were OK till it got dark. They REALLY wanted to get out and hunt. Lot of yowling, and me yelling back. I almost got both of them into my cousins house until they saw her son. For some reason, they freak out around guys. Well, one of them screeched and jumped off me and ran. But she meowed for awhile and got scared and when I offered her food, I was able to grab her. It was annoying and time consuming, but after all, they are just "scaredy cats"! I will probably have them chipped, if that is done for cats. But, they have never tried to get out of the car. They usually hide under the seat or under the back cover - they think we're at the vet. Even when we do go to the vet, I just carry them in and they sit on the counter while I check them in.

Anyway, back to towing etc. If I do the motorhome thing, I will have to tow my VW. So, I will get a car trailer for that - don't want to just lift one end and tow. I understand VW's aren't good on being towed (is there anything VW is good for ???). I think it will be trickier to drag the car. And the size of a motorhome does not seem as comfortable to manuever as a little camper.

Who know, I may come across some wonderful kind of old Jeep style car (I like vintage, not antique) and change everything around, but right now it looks like a motorhome.

I did check into renting one and I'm going in the opposite direction of the one-way rentals. Naturally, I'm always swimming against the tide.

This is becoming a novel - maybe I should think of a title "The trials and tribulations of towing with a VW". Probably wouldn't sell!
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Old 05-08-2009, 08:16 PM   #48
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Raya,
I was typing when you posted, so I may have rehashed some stuff. Just saw your post. All too true. But good info! I should have bought a Honda SUV, too late now.
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Old 05-08-2009, 09:37 PM   #49
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you should see if you can have a hitch put on the front of the gti and just tow it. similar to all the other cars i see towed behind motorhomes. id rather have the car on its own two feet as they say. putting it on a trailer works fine but if you can have a front hitch put on it spares the cost and hassle of loading it on and off of the trailer. it will be more stable that way also because it will be lower to the ground. the only wear will be wheel bearing and tires. as for driving it i think you would be suprised at how well a car tows behind a motorhome. those little 13 footers can be a pain to back up sometimes because they are so short, they like to start turning fast. With a hitch on the gti you can just unhitch it and then back the motorhome into the spot.
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Old 05-08-2009, 09:39 PM   #50
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Here's part 1 of my VW specs re: towing.
I will have to do this in 3 parts.

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Old 05-08-2009, 09:41 PM   #51
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Here's part 2.


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Old 05-08-2009, 09:43 PM   #52
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Here's part 3 (last)


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Old 05-08-2009, 09:48 PM   #53
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Quote:
you should see if you can have a hitch put on the front of the gti and just tow it. similar to all the other cars i see towed behind motorhomes. id rather have the car on its own two feet as they say. putting it on a trailer works fine but if you can have a front hitch put on it spares the cost and hassle of loading it on and off of the trailer. it will be more stable that way also because it will be lower to the ground. the only wear will be wheel bearing and tires. as for driving it i think you would be suprised at how well a car tows behind a motorhome. those little 13 footers can be a pain to back up sometimes because they are so short, they like to start turning fast. With a hitch on the gti you can just unhitch it and then back the motorhome into the spot.
Curtis, from what I've read, the VW Golf does not like to be towed with any wheels on the ground for any long distances. Don't know why (I don't want to have to start researching THAT too), it's just another of those "cute" VW quirks. <_< If I stumble across the reason and adaptation of this, I will consider it. But right now, just getting me into something is no.1. The car will be dragged one way or another.
Thanks for the thought.
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Old 05-08-2009, 11:39 PM   #54
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In Europe the same cars sold in the US have have a more robust tow rating, you should see what caravans are being towed with very small displacement vehicles.
Thier courts dont put up with the BS litigation we have here.
[list][*]General advice[*]Thinking of buying2009 Towcar of the Year awards
When äkoda entered three different versions of its Superb for this yearís competition, the company must have known it had a winning car on its hands. After all, an earlier version of the car had taken the overall title in 2003 and the new model had to be in with a chance. They werenít disappointed, and neither were the judges.

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Testing for The 2009 Towcar of the Year awards took place, as in previous years, at the Millbrook Proving Ground in Bedfordshire with the results of the Competition announced at the annual Caravan Club Towcar of the Year Awards ceremony at the RAC Club in London on 25th September.

Special guest, Jason Plato Ė the British Touring Car Championship winner in 2001, current driver for Seat Sport UK, and television presenter on Channel 5ís Fifth Gear Ė watched the testing regime and was on hand to present awards to representatives from the winning manufacturers at the Awards ceremony.

Attracting a healthy figure of 38 entrants from 19 different car manufacturers, competition was rife. However when all was said and done, äkoda emerged victorious with its Superb 2.0 TDI. The Superb really was the pick of the bunch, winning the class for vehicles priced between £20,000 and £25,000 and claiming the overall title.

Last years overall winner the Ford Mondeo Titanium X 2.5T had a lot to live up to this year, and came back to win its category £25,000 to £32,000. Other category winners came from a mixed background and no single manufacturer managed to dominate the awards.

Other winners were
Find out more about the 2009 Towcar of the Year awards:Greg
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Old 05-09-2009, 12:39 AM   #55
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I don't see too many of those models here in the US... or am I missing something?

(I'm aware that they tow often with cars there though)
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Old 05-09-2009, 01:08 AM   #56
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Ye olde famous tow video:

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