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Old 09-04-2022, 09:00 PM   #61
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Originally Posted by parmm View Post
I was way down in the low 30 mpg with my old VW Passat
TDI diesel. When I wasn't towing it was up in the mid 40s. Was running on used cooking oil.
Diesels are the exception, of course. I should have limited my claim to the gas powered SUVs I'm familiar with.

I drove TDI Golf and New Beetle cars for ten years, enjoying the performance and mid-40s fuel economy. Was I into it? I drive out of my way to municipal fueling stations to stock up on biodiesel, five cans at a time! I quoted Willie Nelson's biofuels book to strangers. But I wouldn't do that again, because of their maintenance needs and terrible ozone problem in my region.
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Old 09-04-2022, 09:32 PM   #62
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One of the paradoxes of towing is how so much is mirrored and revered, in terms of technique (backing up, anyone?), and even the physical forces involved. The video demonstration showed how sway is eliminated when a trailer is centrally weighted. In an unhitched car, centralized weight makes a car more nimble but less stable. That's why the new Corvettes are mid-engined, like so many race cars that turn a lot on rally and road circuits. The most inherently stable cars are those that hang their engines ahead of the front wheels, like Audi.
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Old 09-04-2022, 10:13 PM   #63
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Originally Posted by theremin View Post
Somebody posted this link a while back, but I'll repost it because it really explains a lot about weight distribution between TV and trailer as well as distribution on the trailer itself. Having too-light suspension in the back can cause the same issues as too much tongue weight too.
I don't do too well on a treadmill either!
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Old 09-05-2022, 07:59 AM   #64
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I tow with a 2012 VW Touareg and it gets 20 MPG towing and ~ 30 normally (highway) 25-7 mixed. The car is heavy and AWD and Diesel.
I towed the same FrankenScamp with a 2016 Town and Country and it was OK, but the engine and transmission was much busier going up grades, downshifting two gears etc.
The T&C got about 16 MPG towing and ~ 28 not.
We have towed all over the country with both vehicles and the Touareg wins in comfort and towing etc. The T&C wins on space to put camping stuff and now the fuel cost are in it's favor Diesel more expensive than the difference in MPG.
But if you towing a long distance the comfort might be worth the difference. Personal decision here.
I have also towed with a VW Sportwagen Diesel 2.0 and it had plenty of power, but no weight equalizing hitch and even with air bags in the rear was not as comfortable tow vehicle as the T&C. I got about 25 MPG with the 2.0 TDI.
All in al the VW Diesels did a little better job than the gas T&C, but the size of the TV does make a difference.
I have found that a small equalizing hitch makes the towing much more comfortable and probably safer. The hitch seems to help with the bobbing under tow as you go over undulations and bumps. Of course it needs to match the vehicle and trailer weights and be adjusted correctly.
Also you need to be aware that many manufacturers have gone to electronic stabilization with modules and tuning that must occur at the time of manufacture for the vehicle to meet it's publicized towing rating and the dealers are mostly ignorant of their products requirements and specifications.
Many Fords fall into this category. Although the dealer can add the trailer hitch and wiring for the trailer they cannot add and program the module and the computers to meet the manufacturer's specifications.
Be sure to check the actual specifications for the vehicle you are interested in!
The smaller SUV fall into this category and if you are looking in the 3500 lb range a vehicle without the factory towing package is probably limited to 1500 lbs.
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Old 09-05-2022, 11:16 AM   #65
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The only problem with the VW diesels is finding someone to work on them. The dealer service rate is out of sight and you need the VAG-com computer to do anything yourself. That was why I gave up on mine, had to drive half way across the state to get to a mechanic I trusted.
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Old 09-05-2022, 11:33 AM   #66
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Originally Posted by John McMillin View Post
I would never doubt that you can safely tow a trailer that's 1/3 your rated capacity. I'm trying to find a way to use all the vehicle's tow capacity most efficiently, with safety.
Instead of a SUV, have you considered a mid-sized crew cab pickup like the Chevy Colorado or the GMC Canyon. They are both rated to tow a 7000 lb trailer. And they don't handle like a pick-up, but more like a Honda Odyssey van. And both are available with a diesel if you want it. And I am really impressed with their 3.6L V6 gas engine. Curb weight is 4364 lbs.
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Old 09-05-2022, 11:55 AM   #67
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But I wonder if the European cars spec the same as similar US models? I do know that accident investigations and accident fines over there are much more tougher than ours!
European towing speed limits are much lower.

European 'caravans' generally have a longer tongue, the axles farther back, and a low center of gravity, this lowers the tongue weight required for stability at those lower speeds, but makes the trailer trickier to back up.
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Old 09-05-2022, 04:38 PM   #68
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Originally Posted by theremin View Post
The camper I pulled before the Scamp was a 19 foot "box" trailer that weighed in at about double the weight of the Scamp. Needed an equalizing hitch/sway bar. It pulled OK, but not great.

Before that one, I pulled a good sized Airstream that weighed in at about 6500 pounds dry. I pulled it for years with an F150 with tow package and a 351 V8. It towed fine--at least I thought it did until I traded for a Dodge 2500 with the hemi. The Dodge pulled the Airstream without any of the white knuckle factor that I had at times with the Ford. The Ford was pulling at much closer to capacity than the Dodge was. It wasn't the drive train that was the big difference--it was the overall mass of the truck/stiffness of the frame that did it.

YMMV, but for me, I don't like getting close to the capacity of the tow vehicle. The vehicle might pull it OK, but it's when that big truck comes around you, or you have to stop suddenly or there's a heavy crosswind or whatever that makes me much happier to pull well under the max that the TV manufacturer states.

Dave
I do not understand if someone is looking for a vehicle, why buy something that is at your tow weight limit? My truck tows #7500 pounds, but I would not dream of towing at close to the max weight on propose.
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Old 09-05-2022, 05:39 PM   #69
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Personally I've had no bad experience with passing trucks or sidewinds during thousands of miles towing a lightweight 16' trailer at highway speeds- even with a humble, underpowered, underweight Subaru. I wouldn't make that car choice again, but it always behaved in a safe manner. Perhaps because we never felt any hubris about what we were doing. No excessive confidence, and no feeling that there was nothing to worry about back there.

Summing up all the forum talk I've read, and that's a LOT, here's the two messages that stand out:

1) Fiberglass trailers are easier to tow than other trailers of similar weight, such as box trailers, stock trailers and open flatbeds, because of the their excellent aerodynamics.

2) Don't try towing one of these trailers that's more than half your vehicle's rated weight, or else!

I can't make those two ideas fit together in my mind- can you?
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Old 09-05-2022, 05:52 PM   #70
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VW and service can be a issue. Lots of people have horror stories.
Personally I have put a lot of miles on VWs over the years and have done most of the work on them myself.
The Diesels can be expensive to repair VW or others as well.
With my 2.0 TDIs I put close to 300,000 miles a 2009 Sportwagen and had a great guy in Louisville, KY. to do the timing belt replacements and replace the DPF.
Had a 2013 Sportwagen that we had 120,000 miles on.
The Touareg has close to 150,ooo miles and so far (knock on wood) running OK.
Today most cars are expensive to get repaired and perhaps have better trained technicians than VW, but who knows for sure,
I never really thought my wife and I were VW people, but counting the VWs we have had we must be. We seem to like the way they drive.
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Old 09-05-2022, 07:33 PM   #71
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Originally Posted by John McMillin View Post
Personally I've had no bad experience with passing trucks or sidewinds during thousands of miles towing a lightweight 16' trailer at highway speeds- even with a humble, underpowered, underweight Subaru. I wouldn't make that car choice again, but it always behaved in a safe manner. Perhaps because we never felt any hubris about what we were doing. No excessive confidence, and no feeling that there was nothing to worry about back there.

Summing up all the forum talk I've read, and that's a LOT, here's the two messages that stand out:

1) Fiberglass trailers are easier to tow than other trailers of similar weight, such as box trailers, stock trailers and open flatbeds, because of the their excellent aerodynamics.

2) Don't try towing one of these trailers that's more than half your vehicle's rated weight, or else!

I can't make those two ideas fit together in my mind- can you?
You either need a smart car or F350. Depends on who you listen to.
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Old 09-05-2022, 07:37 PM   #72
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That's great to hear, RedBarron! Have any of your VWs shown any signs of extra wear and tear from towing? That can be hard to judge, but some things would be obvious. Many here may not realize what a powerful car the Tuareg was.

Our Tiguan did a fine job, but that mode is underrated for a Casita and the stronger first-gen models are getting old. We did try an Audi Allroad, the original model, and that was a mechanical and financial disaster. Based on that and other experiences, we're ruling out VWAG products and looking at other brands. My wife and I had been "VW people" to the extreme, but we're over it, and looking elsewhere.
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Old 09-05-2022, 07:38 PM   #73
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Absolutely!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith2000 View Post
You either need a smart car or F350. Depends on who you listen to.
You drive the F-350, tow the trailer and carry the Smart in the bed, for road-hugging weight, right?
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Old 09-05-2022, 10:03 PM   #74
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You drive the F-350, tow the trailer and carry the Smart in the bed, for road-hugging weight, right?
With the right setup the smart tows the trailer with the F350 on the custom hitch mounted storage. Duh.
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Old 09-06-2022, 08:39 AM   #75
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Originally Posted by jgilliam1955 View Post
I do not understand if someone is looking for a vehicle, why buy something that is at your tow weight limit? My truck tows #7500 pounds, but I would not dream of towing at close to the max weight on propose.
Several reasons to buy within your tow rating without a lot of overkill...


It is important to get a vehicle which fits into your garage, your lifestyle and your budget.
Many people can tolerate driving an oversized vehicle on a daily basis, some even like it, but some simply can not tolerate the driving characteristics or the inconvenience of cab access, etc.
Another reason to get a rightsized TV is the fact that towing is often only a few days a year and not worth the sacrifice.
Some of these reasons are the same as those for buying a smaller(rightsized) fiberglass travel trailer.
Often going too large on either can turn a fun travel adventure into a daunting chore.
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Old 09-07-2022, 11:51 AM   #76
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Several reasons to buy within your tow rating without a lot of overkill...


It is important to get a vehicle which fits into your garage, your lifestyle and your budget.
Many people can tolerate driving an oversized vehicle on a daily basis, some even like it, but some simply can not tolerate the driving characteristics or the inconvenience of cab access, etc.
Another reason to get a rightsized TV is the fact that towing is often only a few days a year and not worth the sacrifice.
Some of these reasons are the same as those for buying a smaller(rightsized) fiberglass travel trailer.
Often going too large on either can turn a fun travel adventure into a daunting chore.
All that rings true for me. Unless our lifestyle changes with retirement, we won't be towing that many days a year. I'm anticipating no more than 5000 miles per year, maybe less. And we're planning to resettle to Seattle, which doesn't have the wide parking lots and streets of Denver, where we live now. And we are not tall people, so climbing into a full-sized pickup can be a struggle. And to answer jgilliam's comment, if you can tow 7000 lbs, why mess around with a 3000-lb trailer?

Our 2013 Tiguan was an excellent tug for our old 16' Scamp, with power to spare and utterly stable at speed. It was rated at 200 lbs, the same weight as that trailer. The Casita 17 we want is a thousand pounds heaver, so that option is gone. We don't want to tow anything beyond posted limits, but our experience makes comfortable towing right up to the full rating.
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Old 09-07-2022, 03:37 PM   #77
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Originally Posted by floyd View Post
Several reasons to buy within your tow rating without a lot of overkill...


It is important to get a vehicle which fits into your garage, your lifestyle and your budget.
Many people can tolerate driving an oversized vehicle on a daily basis, some even like it, but some simply can not tolerate the driving characteristics or the inconvenience of cab access, etc.
Another reason to get a rightsized TV is the fact that towing is often only a few days a year and not worth the sacrifice.
Some of these reasons are the same as those for buying a smaller(rightsized) fiberglass travel trailer.
Often going too large on either can turn a fun travel adventure into a daunting chore.
Thanks for your answer. I should of mentioned my truck is a Chevy Colorado which is a mid-size truck. I agree with you about the oversize or full-size trucks. They are to tall for me & would not fit in my parking area.
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