So, what's your gas mileage? - Page 7 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-30-2011, 01:36 PM   #85
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It is sad... While the tow rating from the MANUFACTURER has gone UP with every new model of the A platform (Jetta/Golf), the US tow rating keeps going DOWN! They must not be exporting the ones that are made from that special type of metal that allows you to tow.
In Europe, they tow just about anything with anything from what I have read. Of course, the trailers are all smaller as are the cars.

For over ten years, CanAm RV in Toronto has been fabricating and installing hitches to match trailers with tow vehicles that they think will do the job. HERE is a link to a video of a Jetta towing a small non fiberglass trailer that probably weighs more than any fiberglass trailer weighs. They also have configured Jaguars, Chrysler 300 and other autos for towing. I think they do it if the specs lend itself to towing, ratio, engine, wheelbase, etc. and the trailer itself. They get alot of criticism for doing it, but they have a good track record. And they have never been sued for wrecklessness by any of their customers.

Look under TOWING on their web site for more videos. I am not promoting wreckless behavior. I'm just saying they are doing it and so far, successfully. Maybe their customers are better drivers.

Hmmm???

D*
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Old 09-30-2011, 01:59 PM   #86
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Originally Posted by CallDon

In Europe, they tow just about anything with anything from what I have read. Of course, the trailers are all smaller as are the cars.

For over ten years, CanAm RV in Toronto has been fabricating and installing hitches to match trailers with tow vehicles that they think will do the job. HERE is a link to a video of a Jetta towing a small non fiberglass trailer that probably weighs more than any fiberglass trailer weighs. They also have configured Jaguars, Chrysler 300 and other autos for towing. I think they do it if the specs lend itself to towing, ratio, engine, wheelbase, etc. and the trailer itself. They get alot of criticism for doing it, but they have a good track record. And they have never been sued for wrecklessness by any of their customers.

Look under TOWING on their web site for more videos. I am not promoting wreckless behavior. I'm just saying they are doing it and so far, successfully. Maybe their customers are better drivers.

Hmmm???

D*
I will say that most European caravans are lighter than an equivalent length North American trailer, but they aren't all small. I have seen many 18-22' caravans in Europe being towed by compact cars, like VW Golfs and such. They have very low tongue weight... And you can see why, because the axles are usually dead center. Also, they all have surge brakes. The ones I looked at closely were very different than NA surge brakes... They were cable operated.
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Old 10-01-2011, 03:24 PM   #87
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I will say that most European caravans are lighter than an equivalent length North American trailer, but they aren't all small. I have seen many 18-22' caravans in Europe being towed by compact cars, like VW Golfs and such. They have very low tongue weight... And you can see why, because the axles are usually dead center. Also, they all have surge brakes. The ones I looked at closely were very different than NA surge brakes... They were cable operated.

Cable operated???? Sounds like technology is a tad behind for trailers. Ancient VW's had cable brakes. Model A Fords had mechanical brakes operated in a similar fashion by rods instead of cables. In fact, Henry Ford didn't switch to hydraulic brakes until the late 1930's.

Oh well, if it works, ...........
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Old 10-01-2011, 04:40 PM   #88
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Originally Posted by BCDave

Cable operated???? Sounds like technology is a tad behind for trailers. Ancient VW's had cable brakes. Model A Fords had mechanical brakes operated in a similar fashion by rods instead of cables. In fact, Henry Ford didn't switch to hydraulic brakes until the late 1930's.

Oh well, if it works, ...........
It might seem so, but in my experience most hydraulic surge brakes don't work at all after a few years. Corrosion and neglect renders them useless. Cable operated brakes are simpler, more reliable, and much lighter weight.
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Old 10-02-2011, 01:08 AM   #89
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Let's get back to gas mileage. Andy Thomson of Can-Am RV has a series of articles regarding towing with cars and vehicles that get better gas mileage. Can-Am RV has been doing it since the late 1970s when cars were first downsized. They take into consideration such things as engine, rear ratio, wheelbase, shape of TV and shape/weight of the trailer among other things. You can read many of his "Hitch Hints" articles online to see what they are doing. I spent some time this afternoon reading but i haven't read them all yet. He sent me the raw footage several years ago when they used a Dodge Intreped to tow an Airstream. It's controversial but they have over 30 years of satisfied customers.
RV Lifestyle - Hitch Hints & Wagon Masters

Interesting articles from Andy.

Don
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Old 10-02-2011, 07:32 AM   #90
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Great Articles

Don,

Thank you for pointing to this marvelous series of articles; I'll definitely read them all.

I have added a link to the article where he discusses the VW 4 cylinder diesel. His description of an appropriate hitch is interesting.

RV Lifestyle - Hitch Hints

It's too bad the whole articles are not there but I plan to subscribe so I can go into their archives and read whatever's there.

Thanks again
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Old 10-02-2011, 09:27 AM   #91
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Don,

Thank you for pointing to this marvelous series of articles; I'll definitely read them all.

I have added a link to the article where he discusses the VW 4 cylinder diesel. His description of an appropriate hitch is interesting.
Can-Am RV shot most of the video for some of the Hensley Arrow Hitch demonstration videos several years ago, which is how I became aware of them. They were towing an Airstream with an Intrepid. But they do not always use the Hensley. They also use traditional weight distributing hitches, sometimes customizing them for the cars, especially the unibody cars.

HERE is a LINK to a Jetta towing a "Visa" travel trailer, smaller, shorter, but I bet still weighs more than fiberglass.

And HERE is a LINK to a Buick Rendezvous towing a 25' Airstream

And HERE is a LINK to the page with all the various towing videos.

This kind of information is sure to bring discussion. One or two guys on the Airstream lists were calling Andy Thomson all sorts of names around ten years ago. I suppose they still are. So Can-Am RV just kept working with RVs and TVs and owners with success. It's probably gonna be 3 or 4 years before I get my fiberglass trailer. But knowing that there are more options for tow vehicles is nice. They way technology is going, who knows what is coming up over the next two or three years.

D*
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Old 10-02-2011, 10:47 AM   #92
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Its to bad they do not put the date articles were written - yesterday or 10 years ago? Lots of changes in the cars/trucks in that time span.
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Old 10-02-2011, 11:15 AM   #93
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It is sad... While the tow rating from the MANUFACTURER has gone UP with every new model of the A platform (Jetta/Golf), the US tow rating keeps going DOWN! They must not be exporting the ones that are made from that special type of metal that allows you to tow.
Yes, the differences between North American versions and European versions must only be a different type of metal that is only available in Europe.

To quote Wikipedia about the Jetta:

-The new model is larger and cheaper to produce than the previous Jetta...
-Production of the vehicle is at Volkswagen's Puebla, Mexico, facility.
-The sixth generation Volkswagen Jetta was primarily designed by Volkswagen Mexico under the supervision of Volkswagen Germany and 70% of the parts are designed and manufactured in Mexico.
-This forced many cost-cutting measures to be made for the North American models...
-The North American version also loses the multi-link rear suspension of the previous generation.

From a Car and Driver website:

-And while all Jettas come out of the same Puebla, Mexico, plant (Chinese production comes later), the models destined for Europe and the U.S. differ significantly.
-But the European Jetta keeps the Golf’s multilink rear axle; U.S. models get a specially developed torsion-beam rear axle. ... goes quite well with the comfy U.S. suspension
-The EU Jetta’s electric power steering goes out in favor of hydraulic power steering, which is less precise and less efficient—but cheaper.
- The engines and transmissions are different in the North American and European models as well.
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Old 10-02-2011, 01:29 PM   #94
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In Europe, they tow just about anything with anything from what I have read. Of course, the trailers are all smaller as are the cars. D*
It is good to travel to Europe to add value to just "read" comment, George.
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Old 10-02-2011, 01:32 PM   #95
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Yes, the differences between North American versions and European versions must only be a different type of metal that is only available in Europe......................
-The EU Jetta’s electric power steering goes out in favor of hydraulic power steering, which is less precise and less efficient—but cheaper......
I have US 2006 Jetta TDI and as far I know it has electric power steering.
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Old 10-02-2011, 01:45 PM   #96
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I have US 2006 Jetta TDI and as far I know it has electric power steering.
George.
They seriously cheapened the new Jetta. You can still get the multi-link rear suspension and rear disc brakes in the US, but only in the high end trim level. The went back to hydraulic steering, no hood struts, cheaper trunk hinges, cheaper interior materials, etc. They also started using the 18-year-old 2.0 (2.slow) engine as the base model, instead of the 5-cylinder 2.5.

VW decided that they can't compete with BMW 3-series in the US... and must drop back down and compete with the Corolla and Civic. The Jetta/Golf is seen as a more upscale car in Europe, but is seen as an economy car in NA.

In previous models, the US and Euro models were much more similar, other than more engine option in Europe (particularly diesels and smaller gasoline engines) and different emissions control systems. They also had more high end options in Europe, like wood accents, solar sunroof, NAV systems, etc.

EDIT: Yes, your 5th gen Jetta has electric power steering.
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Old 10-02-2011, 02:19 PM   #97
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Cable operated???? Sounds like technology is a tad behind for trailers.
No, Yurpeen trailers aren't as modern as that - most use rod-operated brakes! Some do change to a cable next to the wheels.

I think there are plusses and minuses to both electric and mechanical surge brakes - but each continent has got used to one of the two and can't see the advantages of the other.
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Old 10-02-2011, 03:45 PM   #98
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Its to bad they do not put the date articles were written - yesterday or 10 years ago? Lots of changes in the cars/trucks in that time span.
If i were buying today, I would strongly consider the 2012 Passatt TDI.

Don
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