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Old 04-01-2017, 02:12 PM   #1
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Towing with Q7, Touareg, Cayenne

These SUVs and another are basically same chassis manufactured by Volkswagen. They have same tow capacity of 7,700 lbs and 770 lbs tongue weight. They do not recommend use of load distribution hitch.

Does anyone have experience towing Escape 21 with one of these vehicles. Reason I ask is that last November I ordered Q7 to tow a trailer and then found out equalizer hitch is not allowed. The car will be here soon. The tow capacity on these vehicles is the same whether standard steel springs or optional air suspension.

I am considering purchasing an Escape 21. I have spent last couple months trying to find definitive answer on what Q7 can comfortable tow on a long road trip such as to Mexico, across the country or to Alaska assuming no equalizer hitch, no extra sway control, and no air suspension.

Can anyone help me with this question?

Thank you,
Bob
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Old 04-01-2017, 04:58 PM   #2
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Bob,
Welcome to our Escape world. I'm not aware of anyone towing with a Q7 as the 21' is relatively a newer model, starting in late 2013. The weights on Escape's websites would be a good beginning to discuss with the dealer and/or manufacturer of the auto. Does it have a tow package and any electronic sway control. Can a electric brake controller be installed? A class III receiver, How To Choose The Right Hitch Class: Class I, II, III, IV & V Tow Capacity Definitions
the air suspension would keep the vehicle level which is what a w/d performs in addition to other things. Is the vehicle rear wheel or front or 4 wheel drive?
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Old 04-01-2017, 05:44 PM   #3
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I forgot to say the vehicle comes with a tow package. I assume the vehicle adjust headlights to accommodate some sag, is able to counter sway, adjust power between front and back depending on conditions and is able to manage braking independent to each wheel as necessary. It can not redistribute weight to the axles like a weight distribution hitch but maybe it can manage without doing that. If it has air suspension system then that automatically adjusts everything level but I don't have that and it does not affect the tow capacity. It seems to me that maintaining stability while towing might be a lot to ask so I am asking if anyone has experience with this combination. There are 4 vehicles all from Volkswagen that have this tow capacity and restriction on using an equalizer hitch. Obviously they don't feel an equalizer hitch is necessary. I have talked to the salesmen at car and trailer places as well as at hitch companies. Car dealer says no equalizer hitch, trailer dealer say they use equalizer hitches, hitch company says they can modify the hitch so it will take an equalizer hitch if I want.
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Old 04-01-2017, 06:10 PM   #4
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Front wheel drive vehicles can act strange with a w/d set up, what do these vehicles have? What type of hitch is installed and are there specifications. Without air suspension, what impact will 500 lbs have on the rear of the vehicle, as that will be the approximate tongue weight. You can always try it without. with these Escapes you will probably go through several tow vehicles as fiberglass trailers last a long, long time.
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Old 04-01-2017, 06:38 PM   #5
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The warning in the car manual is that using a WD hitch may cause the hitch to detach from the vehicle. Power is delivered to all 4 wheels. The vehicle is not front wheel drive only.
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Old 04-01-2017, 07:08 PM   #6
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Although I don't tow with a q7 or have 21'-er, I tow my 17B with my Audi A4. It is all-wheel drive, and smaller than the Q7 but the 17B is smaller than the 21. Maybe my experience will be helpful, maybe not, but this is the internet and we're all free chime in ...

My Audi has (max) 220 ft-lbs of torque and 225 HP. It is a V6 with a manual transmission. My wheelbase is only 104" vs 118" for the Q7. I find it tows great.

At any rate, I also have a Jeep Grand Cherokee with the 4.7L V8, and given the choice, always choose the Audi because it handles so much better and has 40% better fuel economy than the Jeep (while towing). In general, the Audi is a much more relaxing tow vehicle.

If you look at the door jamb placard on the Q7/Touareg, you will find the numbers for the max front axle weight, max rear axle weight, and the total load capacity. For accurate real-world axle load, you need to go to a scale and weigh each axle.

Then you can start adding up the weight of the stuff you'll be hauling inside the car. If you pretend the weights are evenly distributed between the front and rear axle, just take half your cargo weight, add it to the axle weight you found at the scale, and see how close you are to the 'max axle weight' on the placard.

On some tow vehicles that have the restriction 'no weight distribution' that I've seen, just putting people in the front seats puts you within 100 lbs of the front axle max. So there's no usable excess weight that can transferred from the rear axle to the front. So no weight distribution hitches.

Check out the placard for axle max weights and the 'curb weight' (from magazine or dealer) and you can do a quick estimation of how many extra pounds that front axle can accommodate. Maybe there is enough cushion to put a weight-distributing hitch to even up the front and rear axle loads.
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Old 04-01-2017, 07:23 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobG View Post
The warning in the car manual is that using a WD hitch may cause the hitch to detach from the vehicle. Power is delivered to all 4 wheels. The vehicle is not front wheel drive only.
Note this is speculation on my part, but with that warning in the manual, I would assume the restriction is due to the unibody construction of these vehicles. Unlike a truck with a frame, the tow assembly's forward attachment points likely are not engineered to handle the downward thrust that a WD hitch transfers toward the front of the vehicle.

One suggestion would be to rent one, (if possible with a tow package) then go to u-haul and rent a trailer of similar capacity, load it up and see how it handles.

Another place to ask would be an owners forum for these vehicles. They would have better information about how these SUV's handle towing than this group.

Let us know what you discover!
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Old 04-01-2017, 07:30 PM   #8
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Jim99 - The warning on using WD hitch is that it may detach from the vehicle. This is because its connection to the chassis can not withstand the moment that a WD hitch places on the the hitch. It can be strengthened but that requires running structural steel tubing from the hitch to connect to the chassis forward of the gas tank. In my case, I do not want to do this, mainly because it reduces ground clearance. Maybe there is another way to do it but I have not found it. Plus, Q7 specs give criteria for towing and the Escape is within that criteria. Because I don't have towing experience with Q7, I am nervous about buying the Escape 21 and then finding out it is not comfortable.
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Old 04-01-2017, 07:46 PM   #9
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"Another place to ask would be an owners forum for these vehicles. They would have better information about how these SUV's handle towing than this group."

I have looked at the Q7 and other forums. It is hard for me to sort out but you are right, that is where I should find what I am looking for. It has been a while since I was on those forums and maybe I have learned enough since then that re reading them will give me the answer I am looking for.
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Old 04-01-2017, 08:34 PM   #10
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Jim, the Touareg/Q7/Cayenne is an all-wheel-drive (as standard equipment) vehicle with an 8-speed automatic transmission which drives a transfer case with differential - it is not a front-wheel-drive car with an extra shaft to the back, and is configured like any traditional 4X4 truck or SUV with full-time 4WD. The factory hitch is suitably constructed and rated for the towing capacity of the vehicle, so it is a Class 4, with a 2" receiver box. The hitch is bolted into the bumper mounting positions at the end of the frame rails.

A brake controller can be installed in any vehicle.
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