Towing with VW Jetta TDI - Page 5 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-08-2014, 11:02 AM   #57
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I have to agree that auto makers are putting a "world" focus on the cars they produce. Ford uses that term world cars. The high mileage and rather nice Fiesta was available in Europe for a few years before it came here. The center mounted gauges that have become common allow for drivers side to be left or right depending on market. There are more diesel offerings in Europe than here and have been for years, so the advances and refinements in diesel have had a lot of time to mature based on real world experience.

Shops and owners groups that are focused on specific task or model are a great resource, often the best resource. Our Ford dealer did some wiring to replace the failed trailer tail light module of our Escape, I was impressed with the quality of the work and asked about them installing the electric brake controller. They recommended going to a couple of the local trailer places because they really have a lot more experience and will do a better job.

I think the same is true of hitches, fiberglass work, or painting fiberglass. Find the folks with enough experience to have developed solid skills or knowledge. Do some research (yea internet) ask questions of the professionals at the shops, owners on forums and one can reasonably expect good results from your choices.

As to Canadians national temperament all I can say is they make pretty good neighbors and excellent hosts when I have visited. Money is pretty cool looking too :-)

TDI or Pilot tough but fun choice.
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Old 06-08-2014, 01:39 PM   #58
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Andrew, What specific model is the trailer?
The video says it was a "Swift Expression 442" which is no longer made, so there isn't much useful info online about it. The current equivalent seems to be the Challenger 442. And, yes, there really is only 121kg (267 pounds) payload - the tow vehicle must be able to tow the trailer's maximum weight as shown on its data plate and not just its weight at the time, so by limiting the payload, smaller tow vehicles can tow the trailer. MTPLM (Maximum Technically Permissible Laden Mass = GVW) is king!

Highway speeds probably cover a wider range in Europe than in North America. Trucks (18-wheelers, etc) are physically limited to 56mph by a compulsory governor and may not be able to maintain that speed up hill, so towing at 60 mph is just a bit above truck speeds. Cars will go up to 80mph but not a lot above that.
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Old 06-08-2014, 02:17 PM   #59
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WOW, that payload could really limit one's RV'ing to little more than weekending.

Thanks again for the information. It helps show that there really are a lot of differences between RV'ing in Europe vs. NA.

Just to ask, is there a special test or license endorsement required for towing at or near those loads.
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Old 06-08-2014, 03:31 PM   #60
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Challenger 442

Andrew,

Thanks for the link to the Swift Challenger 442. It's a rather interesting trailer with wet shower, twin or full sized bed, no structural wood and the ability to heat from 0 to 70F in four hours.

The payload is interesting. It does seem light to me though actually I've never weighed our's independently but I suspect it's more. A worthwhile testfor the next time we're home.

Thanks again.
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Old 06-08-2014, 03:38 PM   #61
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Andrew,

I just read thru the features in the Swift trailer, very impressive.
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Old 06-08-2014, 04:19 PM   #62
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Just to ask, is there a special test or license endorsement required for towing at or near those loads.
That's an embarrassing question. Understanding what entitlement drivers have to tow trailers is so complex in Britain that the government had to create an online tool to help work it out! It does not use the driver's leg length or grandmother's age, but those are about the only factors that are irrelevant.

Really old farts like me can tow trailers up to 7700 pounds, while younger farts can be limited to total train weights (GCVW?) of 7700 pounds and maximum trailer weights no more than tow vehicle unladen weight. 'Responsible' trailer towing is recommended to be maximum trailer weight no more than 85% of tow vehicle unladen weight. Those ratios may sound horrendously high to North American ears but are exactly the sort of ratios that apply to a NA pickup truck towing its maximum trailer.

Since we only have smaller tow vehicles, it isn't a huge restriction that only a commercial heavy truck licence holder can tow trailers above 7700 pounds.
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Old 06-08-2014, 05:55 PM   #63
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Thanks Again Andy
But where does the age vs. weight fit in. Is it where they ask when you first got your license?

I just saw an ad here last night for the new Dodge diesel pick-up and they are claiming 9200 lbs tow capacity.....

I know from my many trips across the pond that pick-ups are few and far between over there. What vehicles are commonly used to pull the heavier (?) 8 meter caravans with 1500 kg weight limits?
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Old 06-09-2014, 01:01 PM   #64
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The age restriction was basically that older drivers could tow almost any weight but younger drivers had a lower weight limit. I don't think for a moment that this was reflecting their abilities, just that the government didn't think they could remove anyone's existing entitlement, so they said "from today, new licence holders can tow up to xxxx". We do now have a trailer-towing driving test for those who want/need to tow above their weight limit and I suspect one day that will become compulsory for all tow-ers.

It reminds me of the French who realised they couldn't prohibit people from distilling their own alcohol so passed a law in the early 1900s removing that right for those born after the law came into effect. No problem with that law since clearly no person thought their children were competent to distill, though obviously they themselves were....

So I can remember when our neighbour in France almost had his dad at home on life support, since he was the last family member alive with the right to distill and, of course, subsequent generations were distilling 'in his name' and would have to stop when he died. "Greater love hath no man than that he let his son distill in his name" - though I think the King James words are marginally different.

Heavier trailers are towed by large (well, large for us) SUVs. Land Rovers have always had tow ratings of 3500kg/7700lbs and things like V10 diesel Volkswagen Touaregs are probably most tow-ers dream tug.
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Old 06-09-2014, 04:33 PM   #65
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Actually that all sounds very progressive, if not a bit confusing.

Some used to dread the parallel parking requirement to get a drivers license in CA until they dropped it many years ago.

Lets see, for a trailer towing license one of the driving test requirements would be to either turn TV and trailer around in three moves, or back it out of a 500' long dead end street.... with Bentleys on one side and MB's lining the other LOL....
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Old 06-10-2014, 04:13 AM   #66
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'Responsible' trailer towing is recommended to be maximum trailer weight no more than 85% of tow vehicle unladen weight. Those ratios may sound horrendously high to North American ears but are exactly the sort of ratios that apply to a NA pickup truck towing its maximum trailer.

Most 1/2 tons and up are rated to pull a fair amount more than their own weight, not even close to the same ratio.
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Old 06-10-2014, 06:54 AM   #67
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As to Canadians national temperament all I can say is they make pretty good neighbors and excellent hosts when I have visited. Money is pretty cool looking too :-)
So true RD.... Like any place we too have the odd bad apple but gererally speaking Canucks make good neighbors. As for our money..... Compared to the US bills ours our pretty, but not worth as much
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Old 07-25-2014, 02:23 PM   #68
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We have a 2005 Jetta TDI with an automatic transmission. We have towed our tent trailer (1500 lb) behind it since it was new with no problems and over rough terrain. It nows has over 100,000 miles on it and the only thing we have replaced is the battery. I can't understand the posters who say this vehicle cannot tow. I asked our VW dealer about towing with it and he said up to 2000 lb. As far as I'm concerned it tows trailers with no problems.
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Old 07-25-2014, 06:46 PM   #69
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What "the posters" say is of little import. And what the dealer sez is of only slightly more concern.
What your owners manual say about towing with your exact vehicle is "The Word"?
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Old 07-27-2014, 10:40 AM   #70
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VW Jetta TDI towing Alto

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