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  1. Hello All, Anybody towing a Elite 2 with a Volkswagen Touareg TDI? How does it do? Thanks
  2. Did you try Search? It is pretty lame but it works fine for an unusual word like your Touareg. Try reading: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/forums/search/?&q=Touareg &type=forums_topic&nodes=12&search_and_or=or I don’t recall all the concerns, power and fuel economy are good. The issues I can think of are marginal tongue weight and cargo volume, no weight distribution and a lack of dealers (or capable euro service shops) in the boonies if you have a breakdown, and parts availability when it does happen. I guess it depends on where you plan to camp, how you spec your trailer, and how many people and their “stuff” you plan to carry. If you plan to explore remote areas like Alaska or even Wyoming, you should get a vehicle that can be fixed in any average small town. I have no Touareg experience, though I lusted very heavily for one when they first appeared. I have owned two VAG vehicles and would not touch another with a thousand foot pole😬. John Davies Spokane WA
  3. Bill, I'm the guy David referred to in his comments about the Touareg. I towed with a 2015 Touareg TDI that I leased. Towed my Elite II over 20k with that Touareg and put over 70k miles on the vehicle in 3 years. I replaced it with a new 2016 Touareg TDI that I purchased in January 2018 after VW released them for sale. I've already towed my Ollie over 5,000 miles with the '16. John is a very knowledgeable and valuable member of the forum, but I don't agree with his conclusions about the reliability or lack of reliability of the Touareg. Consumer Reports rates the '16 Touareg a 5/5 for reliability--its highest rating. The Landcruiser is unrated because of lack of data. The 2016 Tundra is rated 4/5. There are a lot of reasons to like the Touareg. First, the fit and finish of a German-made vehicle are outstanding. Second, the handling is far superior to any SUV other than a Porsche or Audi--and that's true when you're towing as well. Third, the gas mileage (diesel) is great--I get up to 32 mpg at freeway speeds when I'm not towing and 16 to 19 mpg towing depending on speed and how much mountainous driving I'm doing. I got over 18 mpg in Colorado this summer/fall on two-lane highways towing my Oliver. The only downside I've found is the relatively small cargo area. I use a Yakama cargo box to carry bulky items to solve this problem. The only issue I've had with either Touareg was with the emission controls on the 2015. VW paid for some repairs/replacement to the emission controls under warranty that would have cost about $1500 had they not been covered. After that experience, I decided to modify my '16 when I bought it to simplify the emission control system. I followed the advice of another TDI (Audi Q7) owner I met at the Oliver Rally this spring. My 3.0 litre TDI now has 305 horsepower and 490 lb-ft of torque compared to the 240/406 in the stock tune. Before doing this, I spent a lot of time talking to the manager of the service department at my Audi/VW dealer and he consulted with the VW warranty people before assuring me that I could make these modifications without affecting the warranty. The engine runs so much better now and the extra torque makes towing the Ollie a breeze. If you want to talk to me about any of this, please send a personal message to me and we can exchange phone numbers.
  4. Thank you all for your valuable input on my Touareg tow vehicle. We have decided to purchase a 2021 Ram 2500 Cummings for payload and safety reasons, I know it is a little over kill and we are ok with that. Hopefully mpg will not be that bad. We will keep our Touareg as it has been a great car and Volkswagen has been very good to us with all the emissions issues they had, This Forum Group is the best! Hope to see you on the road and meet up in mid Sept. Travel on.
  5. John, Thanks for your post--lots of great information. For me, the first question I had to answer about a tow vehicle was whether I wanted a pickup. I didn't want to buy a dedicated tow vehicle--whatever I purchased would have to serve as my daily driver as well as my tow vehicle. I already had an old air-cooled Porsche 911 and I didn't want to fill our three-car garage without providing room for my wife's car! Since the early 1990's, I've driven Audi sedans with a couple of VW's thrown in. I drove a number of pickups while shopping for a tow vehicle and decided that I didn't want to drive a pickup every day. The Touareg is still big and unwieldy compared to the Audi I traded (and even more so than my '86 911), but it provides comfort and handling that is significantly better than a pickup, in my opinion. Having owned German cars for decades and having used an Audi/VW dealer for service, I agree that the cost of maintenance and repairs can be daunting. In my early years of Audi ownership, I traded when the warranty expired. However, the quality and reliability of the Audi's and VW's have improved significantly over the years. While I haven't driven any of these cars more than 100,000 miles, I haven't had any significant repairs on any of these cars for 10+ years. The link you provided in your post pointed to information from a buying guide for the second-generation Touareg--it was specifically related to a buying guide for the 2009-2010 Touareg. Here's some information from a Motor Trend review of the 2013 Touareg. http://www.motortrend.com/cars/volkswagen/ "While the first-generation Touareg (2004-2010) came with intriguing tech such as 4XMotion four-wheel drive (with low range!) and 4-Corner Air Suspension with Continuous Damping Control, the second-gen (2011-current) boasts items of interest such as VW’s first (but not only) production hybrid powertrain and an enormous panoramic sunroof (standard on Lux trim). Carried over from Gen 1 to Gen 2 is the optional 3.0-liter turbodiesel V-6 replete with a meaty 406 lb-ft of torque and 7716-pound tow rating. We recently hosted a 2013 Touareg TDI, now rated for 240 horsepower (up from the previous 225 hp) courtesy of exciting efficiency enhancements including friction reduction, lighter pistons and connecting rods, separate cooling cycles for the cylinder heads and block, an optimized timing chain cycle, and a water pump able to disengage itself to decrease engine drag. These lessons learned will likely trickle into other VW engines. And yes, selective catalytic reduction is used, so the diesel exhaust fluid (“AdBlue” to VW) level will need to be minded and topped off. (The filler location is in the spare-wheel well.)" VW has apparently had some issues with timing chain tensioners, but I don't think the problems apply to the diesel engine in my 2015 Touareg TDI. A class-action lawsuit was filed a couple of days ago in New Jersey relating to timing chain tensioners. The Touareg models involved are 2008-2013. I plan to visit with the service manager at my VW dealership after reading your post. I want to make sure that the timing chain tensioners are checked (assuming that this can be done during normal maintenance). Your comments about driving in the west are accurate. For me, it's a matter of assessing the risk and comparing the risk to the benefits of driving what I want to drive. I left home (Iowa City, Iowa area) in early October last year in my '86 Porsche 911. I left I-80 in Grand Island, NE and drove through the Sandhills of NE (where getting anything but a Big-3 pickup serviced or repaired would be a problem) and then drove into the Black Hills in SD. I knew that I was taking a risk if I experienced mechanical issues, but the joy of driving the 911 through the Sandhills and Black Hills was more than enough to allow me to accept the risk. I feel the same way about the experience of towing with the Touareg compared to towing with a pickup--but that's purely a personal preference.
  6. I tow with a 2015 VW Touareg TDI. I'm waiting for VW to engineer a fix to solve their problem with emissions testing that will satisfy the courts. I towed my Elite II 12,000 miles last year and 4,000 miles in January and February this year. The towing capacity is 7700 lbs. It has 240 h.p. and 406 lb.-ft. of torque. The 8-speed transmission is a plus. I have averaged up to 19 mpg towing in Iowa driving on 2-lane highways with rolling hills. I've averaged 14-15 mpg towing in Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, etc. The Touareg is a great tow vehicle. I've driven Ford, Chevy and Dodge Ram pickups and prefer the Touareg because it is more stable, handles better, and is less affected by windy conditions. I wish VW hadn't done what it did with the emissions issue. If I have to part ways with the Touareg, I'll replace it with another SUV--an Audi Q7, another Touareg or a Mercedes GLE350 4Matic. The downside to towing with an SUV like these is the lack of cargo capacity compared to a full-size pickup. Others have commented on the forum about how difficult it would be to find someone to fix a German SUV in the sparsely populated parts of the West. I understand that concern, but there is no perfect tow vehicle. You have to decide on the pros/cons as they relate to what you want in a tow vehicle. I don't want to drive a pickup on a daily basis and I don't want a tow vehicle that sits in storage except when I'm traveling with my Ollie.
  7. I have a 2013 Touareg TDI (which has had the modifications) and I plan to drive down to Tennessee from Vermont in March to get my Elite I. The Touareg is an amazing tow vehicle and it should do just fine. You could argue that if a Touareg can tow a 747, it can handle an Olie.
  8. Geoff, I tow with a Touareg TDI. Also a 3.0-liter V-6 diesel. 240 hp/406 ft-lbs torque. 7700 lbs. towing capacity--616 lbs. max. tongue weight. Curb weight of the Touareg is just under 5,000 lbs. I tow with the standard bulldog hitch. I've towed many miles over varied terrain including mountain passes. I've been very happy with my choice of a tow vehicle and have enjoyed taking the Touareg on jeep trails at Canyonlands National Park. You should be fine with your JGC. Do some more reading about the Andersen Weight Distribution hitch-you'll find lots of info on this forum. Lots of pros and cons. VW won't permit the use of a weight distribution hitch with the Touareg, so I didn't have to make a choice. I've had no sway issues and I don't think I would choose the Andersen hitch if I could use it and had the ability to choose to do so. Don
  9. John, All tow vehicles have their compromises. As long as you are okay with keeping your weight down, your Touareg will do great towing an Elite II. We tow with a 2018 BMW X5 35d. It has 255 hp at 4,000 rpm and 413 ft lbs of torque at 1,500 rpm. Very similar to yours. Our limiting factor is the carrying capacity at 1,109 lbs. If I recall correctly, yours should be in the low 1,200 lbs. The 1,109 lbs. has been more than enough for us but, we purposely travel light and equipped our trailer to keep the tongue weight low. If you would like to discuss our experience further, please message me your contact information. Andrew P.S. @DavidS from Salt Lake tows with an 2017 gas Audi Q7
  10. I would suggest that you consult the Touareg Club Forum for additional info on this subject, they have some interesting comments. However, as is generally the case there are lots of questionable statements. For example, Can you use a WDH? What is the Tongue Weight Capacity, etc? We Tow with a GL 450 (gas), which does a good job. IMO, one of the "For Most Authority on RV Towing," is Andy Thompson at Can Am Airstream in Ontario Can. I suggest you ask him for his opinion, he done the research and testing and "Thinks Outside the Box." Please report back to us on what you find out!
  11. Forgot to list the engine in my 2014 Touareg 3.0 TDI V6 diesel 240 hp at 4000rpm, 407ft/lb Torque at 2000 rpm. Rated to tow 7716# with 616 TW. Thanks for reminding me John.
  12. Hi and welcome. You need to tell us what year and which engine, there have been a huge number of different diesels, including the unfortunate VW Touareg V10 Diesel vs Boeing 747. John Davies Spokane WA
  13. I was in Cornwall and missed this discussion. David is correct—VW/Audi forbids the use of a weight distribution hitch. I’ve towed many miles with tow Touareg TDI’s with the standard bulldog hitch. The Touareg/Q7 platform is great for towing an Elite II. If you can find a good used ‘15 or ‘16 TDI, that’s what I’d recommend, but the gas engine will do the job as well.
  14. I tow with a 2015 VW Touareg TDI (you probably will never be able to purchase a new one because of the VW diesel scandal and VW's decision to exit the diesel market in the US). When I drove from Iowa City to the Oliver factory to look at Olivers, I averaged 29.5 mpg on the way down and 30.5 mpg on the way back. I drove around 75-80 mph on the interstates. My everyday mileage that includes city driving is usually between 26 and 27 mpg. I towed my Elite II between 7,500 and 8,000 miles this year. I towed in the mountains of Colorado, Wyoming and Utah. No issues towing up mountain passes. The Touareg will tow faster uphill than is safe for me. My mileage varies with terrain. I've experienced 19 mpg towing in Iowa with rolling hills. On longer trips, I average 16.5 to 18 mpg. I tested the Dodge Ram with the small diesel. I liked the pickup, but I decided to buy the Touareg because it fit in my garage and was a better choice for me when not towing the Ollie. The Touareg is very comfortable for 4 people. The main drawback is the lack of cargo space.
  15. While the Elite II weighs under 4700 lbs. dry, it will weigh more when you're out exploring. Mine typically weighs between 5100 and 5500 lbs. depending on what's in the tanks (fresh water, grey and black). My tow vehicle is rated at 7700 lbs. and 660 lbs. tongue weight. I wouldn't be comfortable towing unless I had at least 1,000 lbs. more capacity than what I am towing. You also need to consider what your tow vehicle is rated for the weight of what you have in the vehicle plus the camper. Many Oliver owners who frequent the forum are very happy towing with heavy duty pickups--F250s and F350s for example. Others, like me, sought a tow vehicle with adequate capacity that has better handling characteristics. Mine is a VW Toureg TDI. It has the same towing capacity as the Audi A7 and the Porsche Cayenne (both of these vehicles also tow Ollies). I've been warned by members of the forum about the likelihood of breaking down in the middle of nowhere. Hasn't happened to me or anyone else I know who has chosen this type of tow vehicle. I guess time will tell. So, my advice is to pay attention to the numbers. Buy a tow vehicle that has more than adequate capacity to tow the Ollie. Second, chose something you are comfortable driving. Third, talk to people who tow with the vehicle you are considering. Fourth, don't assume all pickups have adequate towing capacity--some don't. Fifth, if you want to tow with an SUV, your options are very limited. Mercedes, Audi, VW and Porsche are the only manufacturers of SUV's that I'd consider. I've owned Suburbans, but the last time I checked, they didn't have the towing capacity to make me comfortable. I've towed my Elite II about 16,000 miles in my first year of ownership of my camper with my VW Touareg TDI and I have been very satisfied. I've towed in the mountains of Colorado, Utah and Wyoming and I've yet to find a mountain pass that made my Touareg breathe hard and my descents have been comfortable and safe because of the excellent handling and braking characteristics of the Touareg.
  16. Don Thompson tows with an 2016 VW Touareg TDI, and he is very happy with it. Before buying, I posted about wanting to tow with an SUV, an Audi Q7. Don Thompson responded and our conversations made me confident that this type of SUV makes a very good tow vehicle. I am very happy with the Audi Q7. Although they switched to a pickup, Reed & Karen Lukens used to pull with a Mercedes ML350 Diesel, and were very happy with its performance. I think you will be happy with a Touareg.
  17. We have finally given up our resistance to a pickup truck and are buying a 2018 Ford F-150 with the 3.5L EB and max trailer package. I’m sure we could’ve managed with the Touareg but we have big aspirations for long, mountain-heavy trips and the greater capability and storage margins give us comfort. Funny, I never used to notice these things and now they are every third vehicle I see.
  18. Thanks Bill. I guess the capacity number is less important than the other max tow features like rear diff, brake controller, and engine/trans. coolers. I can feel myself getting carried away with seeking the max tow rating. Last week I was fine with a Touareg...
  19. All great picks. We did the Navigator L for a while and it did a great job - it is the fancy version of the Expedition Max . The L/MAX get a 28 gallon tank and the smaller versions get 23 gallons. The nice thing about an SUV, is your payload is all for payload. With a truck, you have to spend some payload on a cap/tonneau cover first. The only time it didn't feel good is with "M+S rated" all season in a blizzard with high wind. Once I had the actual Blizzak snow tires on, things felt way better. We now pull with a truck as someone _really_ wanted my Navigator. Life has changed for me and I no longer need to go to the airport as much, and then COVID happened so I don't go at all, so we went with a much bigger truck. Upsides for the truck for towing is you don't hear the hitch receiver clanking around, so it's quieter. Also, propane/gasoline runs are less sketchy with a truck bed. Also, while the Oliver is narrow enough that the Navigator mirrors could see past it, I do love the tow mirrors now. Ram's online guide will diverge from the sticker. I haven't towed with the Q7, but we had 2010 Touareg Diesel that turned some of the best towing mileage I have seen (22 mpg with an enclosed car hauler). I think we saw around $30k of warranty work as each computer box on it died over the course of a year - I suspect because the dealer killed the battery at one point and didn't jump it correctly. While on the road, there are a lot more GM/Ford/Chevy dealers than VW group. If it were me and I could wait, I'd look at what a 2021 F150 Ecoboost looks like in terms of payload and price once optioned out the way I want it. Maybe even take a look at the hybrid version. If Titan brings their 40/48 gallon tanks to the 2021, combined with the onboard generator, that'd be pretty appealing.
  20. Donthompson towed his LEII with a VW Touareg TDI and was really happy with it. Mossey
  21. There are a number of owners towing with an SUV. The ones with the Audi Q7 and VW Touareg tow without the Andersen because the manufacturer says don’t use a WDH. There are also half ton truck owners towing without the Andersen. I would check to see how your suspension handles the tongue weight when you set the trailer on your hitch. The Andersen can correct any excess dip you may have. Airbags work too. I’ve not towed without the Andersen. I got it for my first truck, a Tacoma, then just kept using it on my two Rams. Mike
  22. Hi Don, this is good to hear. Do you have the Andersen hitch with you Touareg/Elite II?
  23. If having something more nimble is what you want - I'd take a look at folks that are towing with more 4x4 friendly TVs like John's LC200, the Touareg mafia (it is a very capable offroad platform), and even the Jeep Gladiator if you can make the payload work. We're still trying to figure out what to do if we go somewhere and I need to take off on a trip and don't want to leave the wife without a car. It looks like Uber/Lyft/Rental cars will be the best option.
  24. Vector, I may be in the minority, but I don't believe it's necessary to have a heavy duty (3/4 ton) pickup to tow an Oliver Elite II. I tow with a 2015 VW Touareg TDI (turbo diesel). It has a 7700 lb. towing capacity and I tow without an equalizer hitch. The standard bulldog hitch works well. The diesel provides the grunt to pass with the Ollie on two-lane roads and gets me up to cruising speed very quickly. I checked my mileage yesterday after returning home from a campground in NE Iowa about 120 miles from home and I averaged 19.5 mpg towing the Ollie. I was on 2-lane roads most of the time driving between 55-58 mph and interstate for about 40 miles towing at 65 mph. The Touareg's only negative is that you don't have the cargo space available in a full-size pickup, but if you have or are buying an Ollie, you've already made the choice to go "small". When I'm not towing, I have a very comfortable, luxurious SUV as my primary vehicle that averages 26 mpg in my everyday driving and around 30-31 mpg when traveling long distances at sustained speeds of 75 to 80 mph. It really does double duty! Don
  25. The Fronty with 4.0L has 261HP and torque @ 281 lb-ft. The Tundra 5.7L has 381HP and 401 lb-ft of torque. The Touareg has 406 lbs-ft of torque, very impressive! My guess is the Touareg diesel is running closer to max torque RPM (probably lower RPM) at tow cruise compared to the Tundra gas 5.7L at tow cruise. Just a guess.
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