Can I tow with an Audi Q5? - Escape Trailer Owners Community
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Old 03-03-2021, 12:05 PM   #1
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Can I tow with an Audi Q5?

I am wondering if I can tow any of the available Escape Campers with an Audi Q5? I don’t want a giant vehicle and it looks like the Q5 is the smallest vehicle with a hearty towing capacity.
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Old 03-03-2021, 12:51 PM   #2
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Tow Rating(s):
Sea Level - 4400 lbs
@ 3200 feet elevation - 3960 lbs
@ 6400 feet elevation - 3520 lbs
@ 9600 feet elevation - 3080 lbs

Highest paved roads in the US are about 11,000 feet. Highest paved roads in the eastern US are around 4000 feet.

Based on that alone, the Q5 can tow an Escape 17 in the eastern US. I would not consider it adequate in the western US. I also think it would be marginal for an Escape 19 given how fast they are hedging on the vehicle capabilities with elevation.

Audi expressly forbids use of a WDH, which I personally would consider a no-go condition. I don't want to decide a rig needs a WDH and then not be able to use it.

Max tongue weight is 440 lbs. That should be fine for a 17, probably OK but kind of near the expected amount for a well optioned and loaded 19.

My overall take, it's not going to be a great tow vehicle for any full size RV. It can pull the Escape 17, but not in the Rockies. When you consider how limited Audi is with regards to elevation, it makes me wonder if they would really be comfortable with this vehicle pulling a large cross section trailer even in the east.
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Old 03-03-2021, 12:57 PM   #3
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Thank you for the intel. Any suggestions on smaller sized vehicles that will have towing versatility?
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Old 03-03-2021, 01:17 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CheyeEscape View Post
Thank you for the intel. Any suggestions on smaller sized vehicles that will have towing versatility?
Which Escape are you looking to tow? That will be a big factor.

Would a mid-size pickup fit your needs, or do you need an enclosed trunk?
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Old 03-03-2021, 03:28 PM   #5
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The SQ5 has a larger tow rating, with the 3.0 V6 engine and 335 hp. I would definitely look at that if I wanted a small Audi SUV that I could tow with.
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Old 03-04-2021, 02:15 AM   #6
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imho, good tow vehicles are trucks and truck based SUVs that are primarily RWD with optional 4x4, and a frame to distribute the stress of towing.

SUV candidates include Ford Expedition, Chevy Tahoe, or on the smaller size, Toyota 4Runner, Dodge Dakota. any of these shoukld have the factory tow options which usually includes beefier electrics, and prewiring for 7-blade with user installed brake controller.

old school RWD vans make good tow vehicles too, but they are becoming rarer as the newer vans are more commercial oriented.
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Old 03-04-2021, 06:52 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by John in Santa Cruz View Post
imho, good tow vehicles are trucks and truck based SUVs that are primarily RWD with optional 4x4, and a frame to distribute the stress of towing.

SUV candidates include Ford Expedition, Chevy Tahoe, or on the smaller size, Toyota 4Runner, Dodge Dakota...
There's no Dodge Dakota any more, and when there was it was a pickup truck, not an SUV. John, did you mean a Dodge Durango? The Durango is a good choice, but doesn't meet your criteria unless you're talking about an old one, since it has been a unibody since the 2011 model year (on the same platform as the Jeep Grand Cherokee).

The Tahoe is also available as a Yukon or Escalade.
In the truck-based body-on-frame SUV category, there is also the Toyota Sequoia, Nissan Armada, or the smaller Lexus GX or Lexus LX.

The Jeep Wrangler and (not yet available) Ford Bronco also meet the design criteria... but I doubt that anyone will suggest them as optimal tow vehicles.


When I hear of a single documented case of damage to a unibody vehicle caused by towing within the vehicle's rated limits using a properly installed hitch, perhaps that will be the start of convincing me that body on frame makes any difference in towing.
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Old 03-05-2021, 12:26 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
There's no Dodge Dakota any more, and when there was it was a pickup truck, not an SUV. John, did you mean a Dodge Durango? The Durango is a good choice, but doesn't meet your criteria unless you're talking about an old one, since it has been a unibody since the 2011 model year (on the same platform as the Jeep Grand Cherokee).

The Tahoe is also available as a Yukon or Escalade.
In the truck-based body-on-frame SUV category, there is also the Toyota Sequoia, Nissan Armada, or the smaller Lexus GX or Lexus LX.
yeah, I did mean the Durango. and I'm probably thinking of 10 years ago now that you mention it.



Quote:
...When I hear of a single documented case of damage to a unibody vehicle caused by towing within the vehicle's rated limits using a properly installed hitch, perhaps that will be the start of convincing me that body on frame makes any difference in towing.
vehicles used for heavy duty like towing, the parts wear out faster, bushings and stuff. simpler and stronger the better.
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Old 03-05-2021, 06:07 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by John in Santa Cruz View Post
vehicles used for heavy duty like towing, the parts wear out faster, bushings and stuff. simpler and stronger the better.

Ladder frames are simpler, but unibodies are a lot stronger. If you look at the eigenfrequencies of unibodies vs. ladder frame vehicles, the unibodies can be several factors stiffer.
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Old 03-05-2021, 02:51 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by John in Santa Cruz View Post
... vehicles used for heavy duty like towing, the parts wear out faster, bushings and stuff. simpler and stronger the better.
What does that have to do with unibody versus body-on-frame construction? A typical unibody commercial van has the same rear axle and suspension design as a body-on-frame pickup, and could have the same front suspension if desired. The rear suspension of my front wheel drive unibody van is simpler than even a beam axle on leaf springs.
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