Towing with VW Golf GTI - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-22-2015, 03:00 PM   #15
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Please, lets not open the US vs. European towing differences discussion.
There are a lot of differences ranging from vehicle differences, to drivers license requirements to towing speeds.
Actually most European countries have much lower speed limits when towing, many as low as 45 MPH.
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Old 09-22-2015, 04:00 PM   #16
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Please, lets not open the US vs. European towing differences discussion.
There are a lot of differences ranging from vehicle differences, to drivers license requirements to towing speeds.
Actually most European countries have much lower speed limits when towing, many as low as 45 MPH.
Fair enough. I'm not sure what you do when your manual is junk though. I've e-mailed VW, I'm certain they'll just say don't do it, because why would they say anything else? I already own the car, it's not like they have a sale to make. Will be interesting to find out though.

Is there anywhere else a tow limit number would be put other than the manual? Like, if you were to get pulled over, what would a police officer look at to determine overweight? The manual? Or is there a plate in the car somewhere?
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Old 09-22-2015, 05:40 PM   #17
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Right now you will be lucky to get anyone at VWofA to even answer the phone. You might check on the VW sites and see if anyone has an owners manual with a later printing date that has the towing information.


For starters, when asking VW, as the tongue weight is usually 10% of the towing weight I would use that in the question and ask them to verify that 2000 lbs was an OK weight, if not, what is?


In the U.S. your are not apt to get pulled over for a weight check unless you were towing something really out of line, but.... that would be a question asked in a court of law or by your insurance company should something unfortunate happen.
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Old 09-22-2015, 08:29 PM   #18
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Right now you will be lucky to get anyone at VWofA to even answer the phone. You might check on the VW sites and see if anyone has an owners manual with a later printing date that has the towing information.


For starters, when asking VW, as the tongue weight is usually 10% of the towing weight I would use that in the question and ask them to verify that 2000 lbs was an OK weight, if not, what is?


In the U.S. your are not apt to get pulled over for a weight check unless you were towing something really out of line, but.... that would be a question asked in a court of law or by your insurance company should something unfortunate happen.
Yeah, the whole thing is frustrating. I wish there was some kind of standard rather than just relying on manufacturer good graces. I mean, I read threads about people towing a Scamp 13 cross country regularly in a Honda Fit, which is like my car with half the power and half the brakes.
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Old 09-22-2015, 08:39 PM   #19
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There are a lot more variables that power and brakes that have to be considered, such as transmissions, drive line components etc. precluding any sort of general formula for towing capacity. The new SAE formula has performance specifications to determine max towing weight, but mfgs can still assign a lower weight due to non performance issues.
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Old 09-22-2015, 10:17 PM   #20
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Maybe you can find a less useless (maybe slightly newer?) copy of your manual online?

Iím new here myself, but Iíd be a lot more comfortable with towing information about my specific car than with general guidelines about cars its size. Thatís a lot of guesswork, and there are pretty large variations between tow ratings between generally similar vehicles. We looked into this pretty extensively when we decided to buy, since we wanted to know how much the trailer would limit our future vehicle purchases. The variations really surprised us.

The general guidelines also surprised us. The laws in our state allow trailers up to 10,000 lbs to go unbraked. But our car manual recommends adding brakes at 1000 lbs. We went with the manualís suggestion rather than the stateís .
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Old 09-23-2015, 06:09 AM   #21
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I Think you should go to TDIclub.com. There's guys have forgotten more about diesel than Diesel ever knew.
He's got a "GTI", not a TDI. Big difference besides the engine.

Joe
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Old 09-23-2015, 07:33 AM   #22
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Other than the engine not that much difference.
You might look at the VW Great Britian site for towing ratings in kilograms.
Of course no one here would agree that these ratings apply in the US since .......
Since VW US dropped the ball why not pick it up from our British brothers?


Sent from my SCH-I605 using Fiberglass RV mobile app
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Old 09-23-2015, 07:58 AM   #23
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Quote: "Since VW US dropped the ball why not pick it up from our British brothers?"

Yep, that sounds like the perfect defense to use in court, 'VW dropped the ball".
Sorta like suing Starbucks for refusing to take a five pound note for your morning coffee because your Bank card didn't work.

For starters, UK has a towing speed limit of 60 MPH, in some states the towing limit is as high as 80 mph etc.etc.....
UK Speed Limits


BTW: Didn't someone here spend a ton of $$$ adding European towing parts to their VW, must be a few more differences.
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Old 09-23-2015, 09:23 AM   #24
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I don't know about the legal liability. They can sue you for anything. I tow a 16 foot Casita with an Acura RSX which is the same as a Honda Civic but with 200HP full on. If it is windy, rainy or too late I don't drive. Never go over 50. Electric brakes. Only problem is the weight on the hitch so I take the propane tanks off and pulled the front A/C out which never worked well anyway. I keep it dry with no fluids and empty. I have no idea what the trailer weighs. I get 24 MPG highway.....towing..... Sounds like the VW would work too.
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Old 09-23-2015, 09:29 AM   #25
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Fortunately the O.P. has already ruled out second guessers.


BUT, admitting to not knowing ones own trailer and hitch weight hardly makes one an authority on how others should tow.


And, at about 2000 lbs empty, your 16' Casita is already 500 lbs over the towing capacity of an RSX.
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Old 09-23-2015, 11:21 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by Azmordean View Post
I currently drive a 2011 Golf GTI. I suddenly find myself with a hankering for a small camper -- I'm leaning toward something like a Scamp 13.

Here's some info I've dug up so far:


My car has the exact same engine as the VW Tiguan, which is rated at 2200lb. The engine makes 200hp and about 210 torque. More than a lot of small SUVs. With some of the mods I'm planning that'll be closer to 250hp / 280 torque, so I'm doubting power's an issue. I'd include trailer brakes with any trailer, so I don't think braking would be an issue either. I have a hitch mount on my car already (Class 1, rated to 2000lb).

My inclination is a little Scamp weighing 1200-1500 shouldn't be an issue. It'd be nice if the manual had the actual tow ratings of course. I know these cars in Europe can tow. I'm not worried about my warranty (it's just about done anyway), I'm more interested if the towing is possible as a factual matter. I can't conceive a reason it wouldn't be based on the above, but would love some thoughts from folks towing small trailers with small cars.

First off lets look at some facts:

A 13' Scamp loaded for camping is going to weigh more than 1500lbs.
See the thread Trailer Weights in the Real World - 13' Scamps weighed in at between 1620lbs to 1950lbs. I know of another that weighed in at over 2000lbs loaded with no water in the tanks.

The Golf GTI is built in Mexico not Europe. There are differences between the European built Golf vs the one built for the NA market and the engine is not the only thing different. Suspension is also different amongst other things. North American's like a softer ride.

Your Golf may well have the same engine as the Tiguan but thats about it when it comes to similarities. Engine power is not the only factor that goes into determining a vehicles suitability for towing. The body design of the two vehicles is totally different. For example there are many differences between the Tiguan and the Golf specs: ground clearance, Curb weight, wheel base, length, payload, to name just a few - all of which can and will impact how well a vehicle tows are does not tow.

In Europe they have across the country towing speed limits. In a greater part of Europe towing speed is 80 kph (50 mph). Even the famous Autobahn which is well known for high speed driving is only 50mph when towing. Anyone who has towed a trailer for more than a week or two knows that speed impacts towing in a big way and not just gas milage. If towing at speeds at 50mph or less you could tow just about anything with LOTS of vehicles rated to tow nothing here in NA .... BUT when towing at highways speeds of 65 mph and some places greater that all changes fast and not in a good way.

In Europe they use a very different hitch system - both in design and how they attach them to the vehicle than we do in NA. You will not see anything in Europe that looks anything like the NA Class I hitch you have attached to your Golf.

Hitch attachment points on the car are often very different than those used in NA and each hitch installed in Europe has stamped right on it what its max tow rating is and that rating will match exactly what the auto manufacture has stated the car can tow - No more. You get caught with a hitch on a car in Europe that was not designed specifically for that car and stamped as such, you have yourself a REAL big problem. We have a member here who like the OP thought they would test the waters in regards to towing with another popular VW that is used for towing in Europe often. Results in regards to keeping the trailer attached where not so good. The nice part of the story is they where good enough to come back to the list and share the real life story of what happened. See the thread Jetta Towing Issues ......caution.

Although we have a lot of nice well meaning folks here, you can be sure that none of them will help pay for any legal fees to defend your decision in a Civil personal injury legal case should you seriously injured or killed someone.

Before this thread dies out someone here will ask they be shown proof that there has every been anyone sued for having caused an injury or death to someone as a result of towing with a vehicle that was not rated to tow anything or an over weight trailer. No one here will be able to respond with direct evidence for two reasons. One is that in order to do a complete search of all civil personal injury case details, one would need to pay for access to the data base which the information is obtainable - does not appear in my time here that we have many if any practising personal injury lawyers hanging out here that would have that access. Secondly, there are so many personal injury civil cases launched everyday in NA that few make the papers and they are more often than not settled before they even go to court and the settlements are often done with a non disclosure clause. So not much out there on the public internet for Google to find for you
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Old 09-23-2015, 11:32 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by Felix47 View Post
I tow a 16 foot Casita with an Acura RSX which is the same as a Honda Civic but with 200HP full on. If it is windy, rainy or too late I don't drive. Never go over 50. Electric brakes. Only problem is the weight on the hitch so I take the propane tanks off and pulled the front A/C out which never worked well anyway. I keep it dry with no fluids and empty. I have no idea what the trailer weighs. I get 24 MPG highway.....towing..... Sounds like the VW would work too.
Real good thing you live in California were they restrict towing speeds to 55mph and it is more often than not sunny out.

Highly recommend you travel only in California. If you were to venture outside of that state you may find yourself parked on the side of the road a lot waiting for the wind and rain to stop or waiting for a ticket to be written for driving to slow.
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Old 09-23-2015, 12:15 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by Azmordean View Post
Hey everyone! I've been lurking here a while, and decided to finally sign up and ask my question. I currently drive a 2011 Golf GTI. I suddenly find myself with a hankering for a small camper -- I'm leaning toward something like a Scamp 13.

I can't conceive a reason it wouldn't be based on the above, but would love some thoughts from folks towing small trailers with small cars.
Good day Jim. I am a big fan of towing with a performance based car and one who actually is doing it. Handling, power, reliability, is top notch.

There are many historical cases of Golfs towing trailers all over the world including North America. Here are some great examples and very few are under 1,000lbs. https://www.bing.com/images/search?q...er&FORM=HDRSC2

Like any car or TV the key is in the set up. On our car we use a custom 2" receiver and a WDH that spreads out the tongue weight on the car for an optimal balance. Good luck with your Golf towing research. If you set it up right, in the end you should have a great towing rig. Note..... recommend the use of a highly rated towing professional to advise on your rig and set up.
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