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Towing with a TDI



 
 
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  #1  
Old February 13th 15, 08:40 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
vontresc
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Posts: 216
Default Towing with a TDI

Looking at getting a new vehicle this spring, and am currently looking into a Jetta Sportwagon TDI. Any of you guys use one to tow your ship? Good or bad?

Peter
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  #2  
Old February 13th 15, 09:00 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Tom Knauff
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Default Towing with a TDI

I have an older version VW Passat AWD and have owned other small vehicles. Generally, it is like the tail wagging the dog and can be a handful with gusty crosswinds and large vehicles passing.

We also own a Ford Flex wagon AWD and it does very well and has "reasonable" fuel economy.

Tom

  #3  
Old February 13th 15, 10:00 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Charlie M. (UH & 002 owner/pilot)
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Default Towing with a TDI

On Friday, February 13, 2015 at 3:40:07 PM UTC-5, vontresc wrote:
Looking at getting a new vehicle this spring, and am currently looking into a Jetta Sportwagon TDI. Any of you guys use one to tow your ship? Good or bad?

Peter


My general consideration is.......
-The longer & heavier, the better!

On the low end of the scale was using a "VW super beetle" (mid 70's?) with a heavy wooden trailer for a ASW-15 (Basil Mott....RIP...... was the car/glider owner), empty trailer on the VW on flat ground I was hard pressed to maintain 55MPH..... I was always looking to draft anything bigger/faster to shorten retrieve times....

A weak engined car can get to "cruising speed" "eventually".

I would pay attention to trailer tongue weight and keep things snug in the trailer to minimize weight shift.
  #4  
Old February 13th 15, 10:26 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
JS
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Default Towing with a TDI

This comes up repeatedly. In Europe nobody has a heavy car, and glider trailers are more common than in the USA.
Proper CG of the trailer and avoiding fiberglass top trailers help.
Jim

  #5  
Old February 13th 15, 10:45 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Dan Daly[_2_]
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Default Towing with a TDI

On Friday, February 13, 2015 at 3:40:07 PM UTC-5, vontresc wrote:
Looking at getting a new vehicle this spring, and am currently looking into a Jetta Sportwagon TDI. Any of you guys use one to tow your ship? Good or bad?

Peter


I have a 06 Jetta Sedan with 1.9 TDI. I tow a 2000 lb Avionic clamshell with ALKO running gear (hydraulic surge), with an SZD55 in it. It is well-behaved on the highway and the mileage drops from 44 to 32 (USmpg) while trailering at 65 mph. No issues. Very stable on the highway. Another in my club has a JSW and tows a Lak-12 trailer with no issues (but the length). I tow to the Ridge and in upstate NY, so somewhat hilly. I use a Bosal hitch - the drawtites with their through-sheet metal attachments seemed a bit flimsy to me.
If your trailer doesn't have brakes, I'd look for something else.
  #6  
Old February 13th 15, 10:49 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
BobW
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Default Towing with a TDI

On 2/13/2015 1:40 PM, vontresc wrote:
Looking at getting a new vehicle this spring, and am currently looking into
a Jetta Sportwagon TDI. Any of you guys use one to tow your ship? Good or
bad?

Peter


Oh Jeez...another "religious topic" question! :-)

I'm guessing you're planning on towing primarily a Libelle (or maybe that Ka-6)?

I towed for 37 years with a 2600 lb, short-wheelbase, unibody car ('72 2-dr
Ford Maverick), primarily in the intermountain west, mostly - but not always -
towing 15 meter glass in a decent trailer (estimated total weight 2500 lbs).
Prolly tied for the heaviest was an HP-14 in a homebuilt wooden trailer, which
empty likely easily exceeded 2,000 pounds, and our club's 2-32 on a woefully
(and tongue-)heavy, dual-axled open trailer. Only the 2-32 trailer (surge
brake) had trailer brakes. The only modification to the car was the (didn't
fit/some welding required) "universal" Sears trailer hitch. Engine was a 302
V8, w. 3-speed manual transmission & 2.79:1 final drive ratio. The combo w. 15
meter glider/trailer regularly got ~21+ mpg out here. Car brakes were the
usual dismal drums all around of that era, w. about 80% of one panic stop in
'em for the nekkid vehicle, before serious fading and lateral imbalances
occurred. I can recall only two times being alarmed in towing situations, one
"flutter" from the (then) unbalanced HP-14 trailer, and the other braking
related (no alarm needed, in fact). Had the vehicle not gone to that Great
Rust Bucket in the sky, I'd never have sold it for its (3rd) engine in 2009.
Highest pass traversed w. trailer in tow was the Eisenhower tunnel (multiple
times) on I-70 west of Denver.

Brakes aside, I much preferred it to the 4WD, 6-speed manual, 2007 V6 Tacoma
that replaced it (and in which, exceeding 18 mpg pulling the 15-meter glider
trailer is a bonus...). But the latter vehicle is what my wife fell in love
with for her two-hole donkey-trailering needs (even though the Maverick did
quite nicely with that, too, distinctly aided w. electric trailer brakes).

Your mileage WILL vary...

Bob W.
  #7  
Old February 13th 15, 10:55 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
[email protected]
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Posts: 11
Default Towing with a TDI

On Friday, February 13, 2015 at 2:45:41 PM UTC-8, Dan Daly wrote:
On Friday, February 13, 2015 at 3:40:07 PM UTC-5, vontresc wrote:
Looking at getting a new vehicle this spring, and am currently looking into a Jetta Sportwagon TDI. Any of you guys use one to tow your ship? Good or bad?

Peter


I have a 06 Jetta Sedan with 1.9 TDI. I tow a 2000 lb Avionic clamshell with ALKO running gear (hydraulic surge), with an SZD55 in it. It is well-behaved on the highway and the mileage drops from 44 to 32 (USmpg) while trailering at 65 mph. No issues. Very stable on the highway. Another in my club has a JSW and tows a Lak-12 trailer with no issues (but the length). I tow to the Ridge and in upstate NY, so somewhat hilly. I use a Bosal hitch - the drawtites with their through-sheet metal attachments seemed a bit flimsy to me.
If your trailer doesn't have brakes, I'd look for something else.


I have a 2009 Volks TDI Jetta Sportswagon and tow a Cobra trailer with an 18m ship. It tows great. You forget the trailer is even back there sometimes.. With 3 people in the car and the trailer, I see 28-30 mph on the highway. And the back of the Sportswagon has plenty of room for all my "glider stuff", cooler, etc.
  #8  
Old February 13th 15, 11:34 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
[email protected]
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Posts: 94
Default Towing with a TDI

Just curious, what aspect of the fiberglass top makes it less desirable? More weight?
  #9  
Old February 14th 15, 12:23 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Andrzej Kobus
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Posts: 585
Default Towing with a TDI

On Friday, February 13, 2015 at 5:26:52 PM UTC-5, JS wrote:
This comes up repeatedly. In Europe nobody has a heavy car, and glider trailers are more common than in the USA.
Proper CG of the trailer and avoiding fiberglass top trailers help.
Jim


Avoiding fiberglass top?
  #10  
Old February 14th 15, 05:26 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
[email protected]
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Posts: 11
Default Towing with a TDI

On Friday, February 13, 2015 at 4:23:37 PM UTC-8, Andrzej Kobus wrote:
On Friday, February 13, 2015 at 5:26:52 PM UTC-5, JS wrote:
This comes up repeatedly. In Europe nobody has a heavy car, and glider trailers are more common than in the USA.
Proper CG of the trailer and avoiding fiberglass top trailers help.
Jim


Avoiding fiberglass top?


As pointed out to me by a kind RAS reader, I meant 28-30 mpg, not mph! My bad!
 




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