Towing Vehicles

Discussion about camping gear you recommend or have questions about, or camping techniques that have worked well for you. Maybe even gear that is well suited to the Fish Creek experience.
mistermatt1984
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Towing Vehicles

Postby mistermatt1984 » Mon Jul 08, 2013 2:02 pm

Another year at FCP has passed and again, I did not achieve the goal of bringing a jet ski. So this year I declared sweeping declaration. It has to happen, and in planning early I have been looking at new vehicles because I will likely be getting one before next year. I've always been a fan of the TDI VW Jetta's. Partly because 40+mpg. No thank you 15mpg while towing Chevy Equinox. During my searching yesterday for a towing capacity, I found something that will definitely open the eyes of some Airstream Owners on this site. Maybe not for the good, but definitely eye opening.

Image
Image

I can't say it's eye opening for the right reasons. But it put my mind at ease about towing something that is less than 800lbs.
Besides if that wasn't enough. Well then there was this too.

Image
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Re: Towing Vehicles

Postby iloverollins » Mon Jul 08, 2013 2:49 pm

Hi,

So you're saying that the VW Jetta can tow up to 800 lbs and that the pictures below are legit? The mini Airstream & the Sea Ray?

My dad's 1984 SeaRay is 19ft long and it weighs with the trailer approx 2500lbs. I have a hard time believing this....hahaa...but I am with you, if I could downsize my car for better gas mileage year round and still tow my 4800 lb camper with a jetta, I'll be singing and driving too! hahaa
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Re: Towing Vehicles

Postby mistermatt1984 » Mon Jul 08, 2013 3:54 pm

I don't think he would have anything to gain from lying about it. I would think one would be more than capable to tow a teardrop. The only thing I would do, is add different rear suspension to support the stuff I would have in the car. Tongue weight would be a drop in the bucket. Also saw an aftermarket kit for larger rotors and brakes.

Here is a link to the site I found the photos on.
http://forums.tdiclub.com/showthread.php?t=333675
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Re: Towing Vehicles

Postby CampADK » Mon Jul 08, 2013 7:17 pm

Won't catch me towing even a 16ft Airstream with a small car! Lol.

Probably towing 3500-4000lbs with gear with a vehicle capable of 1000lbs. Don't follow him on hills lol. Would never buy that car from him used. If he is in an accident towing like that he will need a good lawyer! Hope he didn't waste money on an extended warranty also! If your trailer weighs say 3500 lbs then the tow vehicle should be capable of 5000lbs towing to be safe. Lastly he will be getting about 2 miles to the gallon towing! Lol

We towed our 900lb teardrop with canoe and 2 bikes with a 1000lb towing capacity. It sucked more gas than our 5.7L RAM!

In his mind this setup works likely because the trailer would move. He had no Idea about towing capacity or safety.
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Re: Towing Vehicles

Postby mistermatt1984 » Mon Jul 08, 2013 8:07 pm

That Golf in this case is a Diesel so the return on milage isn't poor. I think I read he was averaging 30. I agree, the Golf seems awful small in this case. Electric brakes are making a huge impact on that towing combination. I read the Golf rides extremely well but agreed, even in my mind that is too much weight.

Another case with someone pulling a 560 tear drop with a 6 speed manual jetta doing 55 mph was getting 42 mpg.

http://www.campinnforum.com/ubbthreads/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=15138

I would that that is much better than that other trailer scenario.
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Re: Towing Vehicles

Postby Gail & Steve Collins » Mon Jul 08, 2013 8:11 pm

CampADK wrote:In his mind this setup works likely because the trailer would move. He had no Idea about towing capacity or safety.

I'm with you on this, Dave. The car is way too small and under powered for the trailer. I can't make out any anti-sway devices on the hitch system. That's a double no-no. Even a small trailer like that one can toss a small car around big time. Small passenger cars have a 1,000 or 2,000 pound max towing capacity for a reason. That's unsafe, period.

As for mileage, my '12 Super Duty gets over 21 mpg on the highway, about 17 around town, and a very respectable 13.4 towing in the Adirondacks. It would probably be closer to 15 if towing on relatively flat terrain. But then we're dragging a 12,000# fifth wheeler. If we still had the Sunline, I expect we'd see 18+.
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Re: Towing Vehicles

Postby iloverollins » Tue Jul 09, 2013 8:53 am

:D
Last edited by iloverollins on Tue Jul 09, 2013 9:19 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Towing Vehicles

Postby iloverollins » Tue Jul 09, 2013 9:18 am

Ok, I just read all the forum information. Seems legit...so....i stand corrected. The car wasn't modified other than the hitch added.

So, if you do this, you'll have to give us your critique as well!
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Re: Towing Vehicles

Postby kkirsch » Tue Jul 09, 2013 1:01 pm

For years we tent camped and used our 15 ft Whaler with a 70 hp outboard as a trailer towed behind a 1983 Honda Accord that maxed at 76 hp. It was loaded with 4 people, all our equipment for 2 weeks (including wood back then) and on top of towing the whaler we had a 16 ft canvas canoe on top. Granted we had to down shift comming up by Blue mountain but never had a problem in cross winds or over heating. Besides that, the car could pull that boat out of any launch and even pulled it out of the water on a beach one time. Normally we would be around 40 MPG but towing the boat would bring that down to a nasty 35 mpg. Now that we have a camper we have a minivan with a small 6 banger in it which sucks down 28 mpg while towing and 32 - 34 other times. We probably could tow a bigger RV but what we have suits us well and need not worry about getting into any site. Would imagine that pictured Airstream would be easier to tow than the box we have. If you don't worry about pushing 80 down the highway or drag racing, that Volkwagon should be able to do the job. Just make sure they fit it with a good equalizer hitch that fits the car correctly.
By the way when we finally got rid of that Honda it had just over 400K on it and still had the original clutch that showed no sign of fading and had plenty of pad left on it.
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Re: Towing Vehicles

Postby mistermatt1984 » Tue Jul 09, 2013 3:48 pm

iloverollins wrote:Ok, I just read all the forum information. Seems legit...so....i stand corrected. The car wasn't modified other than the hitch added.

So, if you do this, you'll have to give us your critique as well!


I will never be doing anything like that. My limit will be a jet ski trailer with some gear in the car. I might end up having a double trailer but that will be getting close to pushing my comfort limit.
In Europe these Volkswagens are actually pretty popular for towing. They actually give out the towing capacities but won't in the US.

I just looked up the Golf rankings in the UK after I did my Jetta research. Umm Wow!
http://www.volkswagen.co.uk/new/golf-gti-vii/which-model/engines/overview

The VW Euro site says the car can tow 1600kg with 12% inclines with Brakes on the trailer. 1600kg is 3500lbs.
680kg unbraked or 1499lbs.

I am starting to see why so many like Volkswagen.

Ironically, in the UK the Jetta TDI has a 105hp counterpart. Gets 54 mpg on diesel fuel. Is rated to tow 1400kg or 3,000lbs if the trailer is braked. The 140hp TDI can tow 1500kg or 3300lbs.
With no brakes on the trailer, it can tow 690kg or 1500lbs.

Based on the Euro rankings, that airstream doesn't seem so far fetched.
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Re: Towing Vehicles

Postby CTDave » Tue Jul 16, 2013 4:12 pm

I feel like I'm on the edge but so far very comfortable-

I have a 08 Grand Cherokee with a V6. I have a weight distribution hitch, sway control and transmission cooler. My trailer is 3000 empty. I have no idea how much gear I carry but I would guess 750lbs.

My mileage without the trailer is about 21 highway, I'm getting just under 15 with the gear and trailer. Empty at 70mph=1500 RPM's (level ground). Trailer and load at 60mph=2500 RPM's (level ground) It does work harder going up big hills but so far I've been able to stay under 3000RPM's and I just let the speed drop down until I get to the top. I've figured out its not the weight its the wind resistance (Jayco17z) Under 50mph hills don't really matter.

I don't mind taking my time and enjoying the scenery. I just hope I'm not beating on my Jeep.

Camp on :adkeuro:
mistermatt1984
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Re: Towing Vehicles

Postby mistermatt1984 » Tue Jul 16, 2013 4:21 pm

I gave up on the TDI. So many HPFP problems. I am looking at a Cruze Eco for now. If I want later I will get something else.
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Re: Towing Vehicles

Postby CTDave » Tue Jul 16, 2013 4:39 pm

If we're talking mileage and non towing my everyday vehicle is a Prius. Man you cant beat this car, tons of room, comfortable, fill it up for 35.00 bucks (87 Octane) and go 500 miles. My friends do call it the Barbie Dream Car however........


I have a 2010, zero problems...nothing...have about 90K on it. I drive a lot for work.

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