Weight distribution mod for hitch - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 10-25-2012, 04:46 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by honda03842 View Post
I appreciate people who are willing to step out of the box because they can make a difference. Best in your pursuit.

The suggestion of talking with Can-AM RV is a good one. They tow up to 25 foot Airstreams with a Jetta TDI. The following is a cut from one of their articles.

"When I mention that we are towing with a Jetta Diesel the first assumption is that it is a very small car to be towing with. Most people don¡¯t realize that the Jetta grew up a couple of years ago, and it is now a far more substantial vehicle with independent rear suspension. As well, the Diesel engine grew to 1.9 litres with 100 HP and 177 lbs ft of torque at just 1600 RPM.

The Jetta¡¯s wheelbase is 101.5¡± and the rear overhang is 45¡±, or 44% of the wheelbase. This is more of an overhang that we would normally like, but combined with the independent suspension and the very tight tire and wheel combination it handles very well. It is not quite as stable and aggressive handling as the PT Cruiser, but if you did not do the direct comparison you would find it excellent. The ride is neither harsh nor soft, just a nice balance. The Jetta is a comfortable car to drive long distances. It is also very quiet, with the diesel only noticeable during cold starts.

Interestingly, in Europe, where they don't use equalizing hitches and unbelievably still use mechanical trailer brakes, the Jetta has a 3000 lb. towing recommendation. In North America it is rated at only 1000 lbs., likely because they don¡¯t see the towing capability as a marketing advantage. We were able to install a very solid hitch platform on the Jetta that reaches forward of the rear wheels - we use a 550lb. Eaz-Lift hitch with a welded ball mount."


The following is a link to the article that has this quote. I have numerous links to Can-AM if you like. Send me a PM and I'll send them to you.


RV Lifestyle - Hitch Hints

Definitely I'll be interested in your project. Like you, we tow with a vehicle that many feel unfit for the job, even after 30-40,000 miles.
Thanks, I've already read that article, and spoken with Andy. I've done a TON of research and reading for months.

If I was anywhere near the East Coast I'd simply take my car there to have him set it up. It was that article and talking to Andy that made me decide to add a WDH, which was the initial point of this thread.

I'll keep you posted. I read about your experience with the sheet metal in the trunk of your Jetta (at least I think it was you). That was one of the things that made me lean towards the Westfalia hitch . It's a far superior setup. I also plan to add to it and add another attachment point farther up the frame ahead of the rear wheels.
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Old 10-25-2012, 05:54 PM   #16
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Just finished reading a magazine on that very issue it is common in the EU & UK to only have class 2 they don't even know what class 3 is.
Nobody in Europe knows or uses classes for hitches. If you sell a hitch for a vehicle, it must be able to carry the full towing capacity for that vehicle - it is not legal to sell a hitch rated for less than the vehicle.

On the overall subject, I will be fascinated to know what North American trailer will come close to the European towing capacity without hugely exceeding the European tongue weight. For the 2.0 TDI, max tongue weight (165lb) is 5% of max towing capacity (3300lb).
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Old 10-25-2012, 05:56 PM   #17
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Jon,

It wasn't me that had a problem with the sheet metal. We have towed extensively including one bumpy 1000 mile long dirt road without issue.

I regularly check the hitch tomake sure it's always tight. Certainly if it loosened it could cause a problem.

As far as I can tell the Honda has stood up very well, now at 175,000 miles. I've been hoping Honda would introduce their diesel CRV in the USA.

Looking forward to your experience with the TDI.
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Old 10-25-2012, 07:03 PM   #18
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In my opinion, towing with a "mini-SUV" (mine's a '97 Kia Sportage 4 cyl.) isn't exactly a walk on the wild side. As small as they are, small Sport Utes are still workier than a passenger car- I'm not thinking it's apples-to-apples to compare them.

My tug/tow setup is very similar in size/weight to Norm's, and I think we're both well within at least spitting distance of mfr.'s recommendations per weights etc.

Anyway...

Per this quote:

Quote:
Originally Posted by ostojo View Post
I also plan to add to it and add another attachment point farther up the frame ahead of the rear wheels.
Isn't this a unibody vehicle, which by definition has no "frame"???

Francesca
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Old 10-25-2012, 07:38 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Francesca Knowles View Post
My tug/tow setup is very similar in size/weight to Norm's, and I think we're both well within at least spitting distance of mfr.'s recommendations per weights etc.
Only if you consider towing more than a 1000lbs over is within spitting distance.
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Old 10-25-2012, 09:39 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Carol H View Post
Only if you consider towing more than a 1000lbs over is within spitting distance.


Don't know about folks from Norm's neck of the woods, but you'd be surprised how far we Hadlockians can spit...

By the way, per an earlier reference to someone's problems with undercarriage etc. that the O.P. confused with one of Norm's posts:

If memory serves, I think the member involved there was Norman Choiniere (sp.?)...seems like he had a W/D hitch installation do considerable damage to his vehicle, which I believe was a CRV...

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Old 10-25-2012, 09:45 PM   #21
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For the record I don't use a weight distribution system. I simply keep the tongue weight to 200 lbs.
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Old 10-25-2012, 10:08 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by honda03842 View Post
For the record I don't use a weight distribution system. I simply keep the tongue weight to 200 lbs.
I didn't think you did, Norm- neither do I...and W/D systems are really the subject of the thread, though somehow we always seem to get sidetracked into weight limit discussions!

Back on track:

Hey, Jon!

It's still unclear to me why you think it necessary to install a W/D hitch on this car- especially since we don't even know what it is you want to tow!

Francesca

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Old 10-25-2012, 10:16 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Francesca Knowles View Post
By the way, per an earlier reference to someone's problems with undercarriage etc. that the O.P. confused with one of Norm's posts:
If memory serves, I think the member involved there was Norman Choiniere (sp.?)...seems like he had a W/D hitch installation do considerable damage to his vehicle, which I believe was a CRV...
Perhaps there was someone with a CRV with a W/D issue but I believe the OP was referring to a post by Barrie Bochoff titled "Jetta Towing Issues... caution" who towing his Trillium with a Jetta, couldn't say enough good things about it until a year later then the hitch started to ripped out from its attachment points on the car. He retired the Jetta from towing.
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Old 10-25-2012, 10:27 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Carol H View Post
Perhaps there was someone with a CRV with a W/D issue but I believe the OP was referring to a post by Barrie Bochoff titled "Jetta Towing Issues... caution" who towing his Trillium with a Jetta, couldn't say enough good things about it until a year later then the hitch started to ripped out from its attachment points on the car. He retired the Jetta from towing.
Abo-slutely right, Carol! Guess I thought the O.P. was confusing the two "Norms"...

Just looked at Barrie's thread, and it looks like the hitch involved wasn't a W/D, but sounds like the problem was definitely related to attaching to the sheet metal body of the vehicle. Jetta towing issues.... caution

Best expressed by member McBrew on page two of that thread, I think- here quoting:
" The problem is that most people are not using the correct mounting points. The German hitches bolt to the bumper mounting points and are rated to tow around 3,500 pounds, depending on then year, engine, and transmission. US hitches for Jettas/Golfs mount to the thin sheet metal of the spare tire well on the left and the tow hook on the right. "




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Old 10-26-2012, 08:33 AM   #25
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Here is some info from another Norm, using a w/d hitch will add more stress to a receiver and it's attachment points. If a receiver failed just due to use, it will fail earlier if a w/d hitch is in place.
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Old 10-26-2012, 08:56 AM   #26
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I'm picking up my new-to-me 2010 Jetta TDI on friday. I'm planning on installing a Westfalia hitch (or towbar as the Europeans refer to it). It is the factory recommended hitch and is rated high enough for my needs and would have a nice clean install.

I'm not really interested in discussing the towing capabilities. I've done my research and I've decided that I'm towing a trailer with it. I haven't selected the trailer yet but it will be within the European specs VW advertises for tow weight and tongue weight. Before you jump down my throat about towing with a car watch this: Practical Caravan - Volkswagen Golf 2.0 TDI review - YouTube

The Official Website for Volkswagen UK : Volkswagen UK

I will be using the factory OEM hitch (ordered from Europe) that VW used to get these numbers. The hitch is in 2 parts. It has a removable "swan neck".



My question is about the fact that I'd like to have weight distribution on the hitch. Something like this setup:



No, I'm not planning on towing a 4000lb airstream, but I'd love to have a hitch like this.

Basically I'm thinking about cutting the swan neck of the Westfalia hitch and welding on the shank (or the slot for the shank to fit into) from the weight distribution hitch.



Something like this:



That way the whole thing would pop on and off easily. I'd have it welded by a professional welder.

Does this seem like it'll work well? I'd like some intelligent feedback from some more experienced towers out there. Thanks!
1st. what trailer will you be towing and what is its weight, and tongue weight?
2nd. do you need a weight distribution hitch? or want it?

as i understand it most small trailers, that is light trailers, don't need,,,or do particularly well with a weight distribution system.

so in a sense, i think your putting the cart before the horse a little.

if i were you i would do this.
determine exactly what trailer i want to pull. find out its total weight....its tongue weight... calculate how much additional you will add...such as food, drinks,,clothing, television,, radio,,,fishing equipment,,,weightlifting equipment,,,,you get the picture,,,what every your going to take.

then determine if your actually in the ballpark for what the tow vehicle will do. and if you need or don't need a weight distribution hitch.
until you know exactly what your pulling,,, there is no way to determine what you need.
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Old 10-26-2012, 10:15 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Francesca Knowles;341834
Best expressed by member McBrew on page two of that thread, I think- here quoting:[B
" The problem is that most people are not using the correct mounting points. The German hitches bolt to the bumper mounting points and are rated to tow around 3,500 pounds, depending on then year, engine, and transmission. US hitches for Jettas/Golfs mount to the thin sheet metal of the spare tire well on the left and the tow hook on the right. "[/B]
Francesca you've got it. It simply highlights the fact that VW isn't building the cars it sells in NA to tow. If they were they would be providing better reinforced attachment points to allow a NA style hitch to be installed as other foreign automakers that have rated their cars to tow in NA do. You can install a German hitch to the VW but that requires that another mandatory safety feature in NA be cut out of the rear bumper area. It leaves one to wonder what other components on the car being sold in NA differ from the European model that VW feels makes it not worthy of towing in NA and perhaps the reason why they haven't made the small change to their design to allow a NA style hitch to be installed securely.

I also dont use a WD hitch either and agree if you need one you probable have another serious problem with your set up that needs to be addressed. Actually my cars manufacture actually states in the manual they are not to be used.
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Old 10-27-2012, 06:13 PM   #28
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WD hitch

Can-AM RV made our hitch and we also use a Eaz-Lift elite hitch setup on our car

P.S. as you can see hitch is not just bolted at the back but runs forward to be reconnected to the car
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