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Old 12-22-2013, 01:29 PM   #1
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Tow Vehicle Peculiarites

This is my first post on any type forum. Apologies in advance for any mistakes.

We have recently placed an order for a 15B. This forum, particularly the generous advice of many members has been a big influence and a great help with our decision making. Many thanks to all of you.

So my tow vehicle stuff. It is a 2013 Audi Q5 - not that commonly seen in the RV world. It is a 2.0 Litre turbocharged 4 cylinder 210 HP and 256 ft/lbs of torque at 1500 RPMs. The vehicle has a very solid feel and is very responsive. Recommended maximum tow weight is 4400 lbs. This seems like a lot for a 4 cylinder small sized SUV. I don't have complete faith in the 4400 weight and that figures in our decision to go with the 15B which we hope to maximize at about 2800 to 3000 lbs fully equipped and provisioned weight. The unusual issue with the Audi is that the manufacturer prohibits the use of any WDH. I have checked many trailer towing forums and no indication of this type of restriction with any other auto maker. Also no adequate explanation from the Audi folks.

Does anyone have any experience with this restriction and why it might apply?

Any other thoughts on the trailer - TV combination? We plan on using sway control and will be very careful with weight distribution - minimum of 325 lbs tongue weight.

Looking forward to meeting some of you at an Escape event once we are up and going.

Andrew
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Old 12-22-2013, 01:41 PM   #2
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Welcome to out little Escape world, Andrew.
Couple of points. IMHO I think the n"No w/d" from Audi is due to either it is a front wheel or all wheel drive and w/d and these do not mix. An alternative to your sway control is a Andersen set up Andersen 'No-Sway' Weight Distribution Hitch
where this hitch is anti sway with some minimal w/d shifting. Ideally you may want to wait until pick up and then determine if you need anything at all other than a ball and stinger for your receiver.
A 4 cyl tow should be fine with the 15' Escape, I towed several trailers with a 4 cyl Jeep CDR Liberty without any issue. Invest in a Sherline tongue scale seen here Sherline Trailer Tongue Weight Scales and you can probably load the new Escape to keep your tug level.
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Old 12-22-2013, 01:45 PM   #3
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Hello and Welcome,

On a guess does your TV have an automatic suspension leveling system of some type similar to Jeep, Chevy and others? If so that may be why they tell you not to use one. On a friends Chevy Suburban there is a very specific way to set it up for towing, in his if the auto leveling system is left on it will be adjusting every bump, stop, start, turn etc.

Check with Audi and find out if that is the reason and is there a way to set the system to accept a WD hitch setup. Though, looking at Audi's site you could have an S-Line suspension or ADS which has Auto or Dynamic modes.

Cypher
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Old 12-22-2013, 02:04 PM   #4
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[QUOTE=Andrew Stewart;40485]This is my first post on any type forum. Apologies in advance for any mistakes.

The unusual issue with the Audi is that the manufacturer prohibits the use of any WDH. I have checked many trailer towing forums and no indication of this type of restriction with any other auto maker. Also no adequate explanation from the Audi folks.

Does anyone have any experience with this restriction and why it might apply?

For what it's worth, my 1998 Toyota 4-Runner manual states "Toyota does not recommend using a weight distribution hitch". So the restriction is not new. I think it has something to do with limiting additional weight to the front axle, but don't know for sure.
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Old 12-22-2013, 02:08 PM   #5
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The following is from the 2009 Honda Ridgeline owner's manual:

A weight distributing hitch is not
recommended for use with your
vehicle, as an improperly adjusted
weight distributing hitch may reduce
handling, stability, and braking
performance.
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Old 12-22-2013, 02:11 PM   #6
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My RAV4 also "does not recommend". But the sentence is not highlighted in yellow like other warnings in the manual.
So, does the Audi manual actually say "prohibited"?
I think there may be issues with automated systems that determine how much power goes to which wheels.
In any event, I don't see how an Andersen WDH is somehow not a WDH for this application.
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Old 12-22-2013, 02:25 PM   #7
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Hi Andrew, and welcome to the fold.

Congrats on your purchase. The Audi should do you just great. If you are familiar with towing at all, I would recommend you give it a try without the WDH, as you might be just fine, and if desired you could add it later.

Hope to see you in Osoyoos.
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Old 12-22-2013, 02:58 PM   #8
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Andrew, welcome to the forum! Seems like there are forums for every possible interest. Have you tried the Audi forum? We may not be able to give you a definitive answer here at the Escape forum. AudiForums.com - Powered by vBulletin
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Old 12-22-2013, 03:03 PM   #9
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The Q5 is uncommon, but this size and type of vehicle is commonly used to tow small travel trailers; the RAV4s mentioned above are examples. The Honda CRV and Ford Escape are other similar vehicles commonly used to pull small trailers.

To determine the actual towing capacity, a through reading of the owners manual and examination of the operating weight ratings is required. It is possible (although not necessarily true) that the 4400 pound trailer weight (a nice round 2000 kg) is only allowed if there is little if any passenger or cargo load in the Audi.

Also check the hitch weight rating. Typical Euopean practice includes lower tongue weight than the same size of trailer would use here.

The Escape 15 Foot is so much lighter than the Q5's maximum trailer weight rating that it's likely no problem at all, but something like an Escape 19 Foot probably wouldn't have worked out.

Two points about weight distribution (WD):
  1. It is common for WD use to be banned or at least not recommended by the vehicle manufacturer, perhaps due to the dangers of poorly adjusted systems, or the tendency for owners to use WD to enable them to overload the tow vehicle without the rear end visibly sagging.
  2. WD is not only compatible with front wheel drive, where it serves to increase drive traction; it is required in some cases (such as my Sienna) to reach the maximum allowable hitch weight capacity.

Sounds like a good tug.
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Old 12-22-2013, 03:22 PM   #10
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Andrew,

Your targets for total weight and tongue weight are realistic. If you get dual batteries and propane tanks you will have to watch the tongue weight. Other 15B owners advise using the fresh water tank to balance off too much tongue weight. My Honda Pilot is not recommended for a wdh. My experience so far is that it isn't needed, although I don't doubt that those who have wdh's like them.
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