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Hey @Vic - welcome to the thread.

You go into a few questions here so I will try my best given your drivetrain.

I don't think there will be a significant difference with the geometry and accessibility of suspension coils between the 4Motion and the FWD version. I am not a certified VW Tech, but, if you can access the rear coils like I did, then you can probably install the airbags without a hitch. (get it?)

With that said, I would go into page two of this thread, and compare my coils with yours and how accessible they are. I have a few pictures on that page showing what the access to the coils look like. Again, if yours looks like those, then you should be fine.

I have no idea why they would be unsafe to install on the REAR axle suspension, on a FWD vehicle. Maybe the eTrailer rep is confused? I can't imagine, mechanically - why it would be any different. I also cannot find anything on the link that you provided for the airbags, the same ones I used - that they are strictly designated for only for the 4 wheel drive model Atlas.

They just go on the rear wheels, not on the front wheels. Maybe there is some confusion there.

I cannot speak from experience for a wired-harness type of trailer brake. I use the Bluetooth Curt Echo brake control and it has worked flawlessly.

I don't have any experience with the electronic sway control. I use friction control mounted between the head of the WDH and the trailer frame.

I have no experience with Gen Y hitch, although I am sure it does what it claims to do.

Here are the upgrades I would consider worth it if I owned your vehicle - towing anything heavier than 4K lbs (including cargo):

  • Airbags
  • Weight Distribution Rated Receiver - Draw Tite - made for atlas.
  • Weight Distribution Hitch
  • Oversized Weight Distribution Shank so that the trailer sits level (in rise position)
  • Friction sway bar.
  • Curt Echo brake controller
This is what I would get, and not necessarily what I would advise you to get. This is basically my set up and it drives fine. I tow close to 5,000 lbs.

I cannot tell you how your vehicle would handle with that set up, as I can only speak from experience on how my vehicle handles. Given that you do not have 4Motion, here are the things I would be cognizant about when trailering with any camper:

Dispersed / off the beaten path / into the woods camping - this may pose more of a challenge since extra traction might be required in certain situations when pulling your rig in and out of your camping sites. What would I probably do with FWD? Probably stick more to campgrounds with pavement, developed roads, developed dirt roads. Not a big sacrifice.

I cannot tell you how the vehicle would handle going 60 MPH - given that it's FWD - and you have weight on the ball hitch. I can tell you that my front axle is lighter than my rear axle - and I would imagine that it would be the same for you.

Even on my Atlas with 4Motion - I have felt the front wheels slip slightly when trying to go over, for example railroad tracks at just the right degree of incline on a turn, however the vehicle still moving forward - with weight on the ball. I am sure the 4Motion kicked on in that situation and was able to keep things going in a forward direction. If you have less traction on the front end, and the vehicle is limited to FWD, I would imagine in that specific situation you might feel the wheels grab the road a bit more differently than I would. You initially ask if there might be a limitations given both vehicles - I cannot imagine much more differences. So again - in your case, I would just be cautious on where I camp - and watch any steep inclines around your or approaching inclines and think about your angle of attack. That's about it.

I would not buy that tekonsha brake controller. Just appears to be more complicated than the Curt echo. That is a technology nearing end of life.

Also, for your information - I did use weight distribution on the OEM factory hitch for a few months with no problem - towing about 5,000 lbs. However, only for peace of mind, I decided to upgrade and install the weight distribution receiver hitch (properly rated) - below the OEM hitch. Yeah, I have two hitches and it doesn't look too bad.

For reference, my camper is about 4,100 lbs dry. After I load it up, we are approaching 5,000 lbs - which includes a 100 lbs generator and gas.

Hope this helps.
Hey @Vic - welcome to the thread.

You go into a few questions here so I will try my best given your drivetrain.

I don't think there will be a significant difference with the geometry and accessibility of suspension coils between the 4Motion and the FWD version. I am not a certified VW Tech, but, if you can access the rear coils like I did, then you can probably install the airbags without a hitch. (get it?)

With that said, I would go into page two of this thread, and compare my coils with yours and how accessible they are. I have a few pictures on that page showing what the access to the coils look like. Again, if yours looks like those, then you should be fine.

I have no idea why they would be unsafe to install on the REAR axle suspension, on a FWD vehicle. Maybe the eTrailer rep is confused? I can't imagine, mechanically - why it would be any different. I also cannot find anything on the link that you provided for the airbags, the same ones I used - that they are strictly designated for only for the 4 wheel drive model Atlas.

They just go on the rear wheels, not on the front wheels. Maybe there is some confusion there.

I cannot speak from experience for a wired-harness type of trailer brake. I use the Bluetooth Curt Echo brake control and it has worked flawlessly.

I don't have any experience with the electronic sway control. I use friction control mounted between the head of the WDH and the trailer frame.

I have no experience with Gen Y hitch, although I am sure it does what it claims to do.

Here are the upgrades I would consider worth it if I owned your vehicle - towing anything heavier than 4K lbs (including cargo):

  • Airbags
  • Weight Distribution Rated Receiver - Draw Tite - made for atlas.
  • Weight Distribution Hitch
  • Oversized Weight Distribution Shank so that the trailer sits level (in rise position)
  • Friction sway bar.
  • Curt Echo brake controller
This is what I would get, and not necessarily what I would advise you to get. This is basically my set up and it drives fine. I tow close to 5,000 lbs.

I cannot tell you how your vehicle would handle with that set up, as I can only speak from experience on how my vehicle handles. Given that you do not have 4Motion, here are the things I would be cognizant about when trailering with any camper:

Dispersed / off the beaten path / into the woods camping - this may pose more of a challenge since extra traction might be required in certain situations when pulling your rig in and out of your camping sites. What would I probably do with FWD? Probably stick more to campgrounds with pavement, developed roads, developed dirt roads. Not a big sacrifice.

I cannot tell you how the vehicle would handle going 60 MPH - given that it's FWD - and you have weight on the ball hitch. I can tell you that my front axle is lighter than my rear axle - and I would imagine that it would be the same for you.

Even on my Atlas with 4Motion - I have felt the front wheels slip slightly when trying to go over, for example railroad tracks at just the right degree of incline on a turn, however the vehicle still moving forward - with weight on the ball. I am sure the 4Motion kicked on in that situation and was able to keep things going in a forward direction. If you have less traction on the front end, and the vehicle is limited to FWD, I would imagine in that specific situation you might feel the wheels grab the road a bit more differently than I would. You initially ask if there might be a limitations given both vehicles - I cannot imagine much more differences. So again - in your case, I would just be cautious on where I camp - and watch any steep inclines around your or approaching inclines and think about your angle of attack. That's about it.

I would not buy that tekonsha brake controller. Just appears to be more complicated than the Curt echo. That is a technology nearing end of life.

Also, for your information - I did use weight distribution on the OEM factory hitch for a few months with no problem - towing about 5,000 lbs. However, only for peace of mind, I decided to upgrade and install the weight distribution receiver hitch (properly rated) - below the OEM hitch. Yeah, I have two hitches and it doesn't look too bad.

For reference, my camper is about 4,100 lbs dry. After I load it up, we are approaching 5,000 lbs - which includes a 100 lbs generator and gas.

Hope this helps.
@alramos, I think I've read every one of your posts, they've all been incredibly helpful. Like @Vic, I'll also be towing with FWD, so I read the above with particular interest.

I'd echo your puzzlement on why eTrailer would say that the airbag helper springs shouldn't be used on a FWD vehicle and already have mine installed in anticipation of the new TT I have on order. I think you also nailed the type of situations that those of us who have FWD will need to avoid, but those should be manageable with a little planning and caution along the way.

If you don't mind, I have a couple of additional follow-up questions for you...

You don't mention it above, but I recall from earlier posts that your trailer tongue weight is slightly over 500 lbs. Have you measured it with batteries and propane, and do you know what kind of squat you're getting on the back end of your TV with that loading? Based on your posts, you seem to be having good success.

On your WDH setup, do you limit the amount of tension you're putting into the system in order to mitigate any potential impact to the uni-body frame, or is that not a concern? I know you solved the hitch risk by installing the Draw Tite, but I'm wondering about the frame of the Atlas itself.

And then finally, I'm also a fan of the anti-sway friction bars as they are super simple, and I've used them effectively in the past. I've seen a lot of threads where people talk about them needing to be unhooked to backup, etc., but when I used them, I never needed to set the friction high enough for that to be an issue. What's been your experience there?

Thanks again for all the useful information. It is appreciated!
 

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2018 V6 SE with Tech. and 4MOTION®
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27 Posts
Discussion Starter · #62 · (Edited)
@alramos, I think I've read every one of your posts, they've all been incredibly helpful. Like @Vic, I'll also be towing with FWD, so I read the above with particular interest.

I'd echo your puzzlement on why eTrailer would say that the airbag helper springs shouldn't be used on a FWD vehicle and already have mine installed in anticipation of the new TT I have on order. I think you also nailed the type of situations that those of us who have FWD will need to avoid, but those should be manageable with a little planning and caution along the way.

If you don't mind, I have a couple of additional follow-up questions for you...

You don't mention it above, but I recall from earlier posts that your trailer tongue weight is slightly over 500 lbs. Have you measured it with batteries and propane, and do you know what kind of squat you're getting on the back end of your TV with that loading? Based on your posts, you seem to be having good success.

On your WDH setup, do you limit the amount of tension you're putting into the system in order to mitigate any potential impact to the uni-body frame, or is that not a concern? I know you solved the hitch risk by installing the Draw Tite, but I'm wondering about the frame of the Atlas itself.

And then finally, I'm also a fan of the anti-sway friction bars as they are super simple, and I've used them effectively in the past. I've seen a lot of threads where people talk about them needing to be unhooked to backup, etc., but when I used them, I never needed to set the friction high enough for that to be an issue. What's been your experience there?

Thanks again for all the useful information. It is appreciated!

Good morning @Bill B -

I have yet to weigh the tongue weight after loaded up with what we usually have going into the trailer. I do have the larger 30 lb propane tank on the tongue, along with 2 - 12 V batteries, and the motorized tongue jack - all of which are adding to the load proportionately. I have loaded the tongue normally - "weight carrying" as what VW recommends, and with my set up, the squat is significant, in particular without the airbags inflated. In fact, it's the kind of squat I see all around me on other trailering vehicles when driving to and from camping destinations. Doesn't look safe in my opinion. It strikes me immediately as if the steering axle is compromised, or would be if a maneuver would have to be made. This is corrected significantly when the airbags are inflated, and when the weight distributing hitch is engaged. After this, I would say that the rear wheel well might be about an inch lower than the front wheel well. If it's anymore it's not significant and hardly noticeable from a profile view of the vehicle and trailer. We are connecting and loading up on Thursday so I will try and remember to measure the differences.

All of the above is with the "typical load." If I am obligated to fill the water tank and drive a few miles before we arrive to our site, the squat will start to resemble how it appears without the WDH hitch engaged - even when it is engaged. I am sure this is part to the fact that the fresh water tank is mounted in the front third of the trailer. It's that much more weight - about 300 lbs I believe. Surprisingly, the Atlas drives pretty much the same - if not more "stable feeling" - since it's heavier behind the vehicle - and less bouncy, if you can imagine that. But as I've mentioned previously, this is reaching and exceeding the upper limits of what the Atlas is rated for and I would not drive long distances with the tanks full. From what I understand, anything attached or mounted to the trailer tongue, including the weight distributing hitch technically adds to the overall weight of the trailer, not specifically to the tongue, or the ball itself. In short, any weight near or mounted on the tongue should be holistically applied to and included as part of the trailer weight.

If you are curious as to what I think the ball weight of my set up is - after doing some math a few times I would guess the weight is now approaching 600 lbs. However, I have to stop guessing and just weigh it soon. After realizing that the WDH rated hitch was more than capable of handling that tongue weight, it incentivized me even more to move forward with it.

When we picked up the trailer at the RV dealer, the gentleman that did our orientation seemed well versed with connecting the hitches, and he instructed me to let 4 links "hang" from the spring bar hook and - connect on the 5th link. This is counting from the end of the chain. I have found that to be the right tension. I once tried to hang on the 6th link, and it felt to tight, and visually it appeared too tight, with the bars starting to bend inordinately higher towards the trailer frame. I didn't like the way it looked. The bars should be close to parallel to the trailer frame, and to the road. Ours bend upward a bit towards the end fo the bars, but not much. I am not concerned about creating too much pressure or tension against the frame of the vehicle. The hitch itself is equidistant attached directly on the parallel vehicle chassis beams with four bolts. Again, not an engineer here, but the pressure if anything appears to be more equally applied to the frame since there are four points of distribution now spread evenly along a larger surface area below the frame (rectangular). This as opposed to the tubular design coming off the OEM hitch, with two smaller surface areas working on opposites sides of the tubes - attaching to the frame itself. I liken it to a "flattening, pulling downward pressure / force - on one reinforced piece design for the draw-tite; versus a "twisting downward pressure @ two points design - separated from the frame. I think because of the cylindrical design of the tube where the OEM hitch is mounted to, it inherently creates that twisting pressure - which the Draw-tite hitch circumvents. It's almost as if the draw-tite behaves more in line with being part of the frame, attaching both beams in the rear, vs a "floating" tube coming into the back attaching into the frame. I would imagine with the latter, over time and trailering heavier weights - it can be possible to damage the frame at those two junctures on either end. I also assume that's why VW mentions the terrifying description "tear away" in the manual when not recommending WDH on the OEM receiver. I am paraphrasing here, but the word "tear" is somewhere in there.

Have I over thought this? Probably. Do I lose any sleep over it now? Not at all.

With the friction control, I usually disconnect the bar when backing up, as I can see, in a sharp, backing up angle how it can place a larger amount of pressure on the ball connections if you reach the point in which the frame of the bar itself cannot contract anymore. There would be no place to go or "slide" and you can potentially tear off a ball either on the frame or the WDH head. In the heat of the moment with backing up, worrying more about the angle of the trailer going in, I will forget what the sway bar might be doing. I don't want to find the bar broken after successfully backing up the trailer. I don't think it's a function of setting the tension on the bar high for it to break or bend when backing up. I just think you run out of sliding room and the bar will just stop. That's where I think it can be damaged itself, damage the trailer frame, or damage the WDH head. The bar tends to groan loudly when making turns in campgrounds and around our neighborhood. I usually leave it in my trunk and only connect right before I am about to drive on the highway. You don't need it for "around the town" driving or local driving. I only connect it if I am going to go over 50 mph. Right as I am checking in to campsites or filling up the water tank, I use that opportunity to disconnect the sway bar so I can get into the business of backing in faster.

Al
 

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Good morning @Bill B -

I have yet to weigh the tongue weight after loaded up with what we usually have going into the trailer. I do have the larger 30 lb propane tank on the tongue, along with 2 - 12 V batteries, and the motorized tongue jack - all of which are adding to the load proportionately. I have loaded the tongue normally - "weight carrying" as what VW recommends, and with my set up, the squat is significant, in particular without the airbags inflated. In fact, it's the kind of squat I see all around me on other trailering vehicles when driving to and from camping destinations. Doesn't look safe in my opinion. It strikes me immediately as if the steering axle is compromised, or would be if a maneuver would have to be made. This is corrected significantly when the airbags are inflated, and when the weight distributing hitch is engaged. After this, I would say that the rear wheel well might be about an inch lower than the front wheel well. If it's anymore it's not significant and hardly noticeable from a profile view of the vehicle and trailer. We are connecting and loading up on Thursday so I will try and remember to measure the differences.

All of the above is with the "typical load." If I am obligated to fill the water tank and drive a few miles before we arrive to our site, the squat will start to resemble how it appears without the WDH hitch engaged - even when it is engaged. I am sure this is part to the fact that the fresh water tank is mounted in the front third of the trailer. It's that much more weight - about 300 lbs I believe. Surprisingly, the Atlas drives pretty much the same - if not more "stable feeling" - since it's heavier behind the vehicle - and less bouncy, if you can imagine that. But as I've mentioned previously, this is reaching and exceeding the upper limits of what the Atlas is rated for and I would not drive long distances with the tanks full. From what I understand, anything attached or mounted to the trailer tongue, including the weight distributing hitch technically adds to the overall weight of the trailer, not specifically to the tongue, or the ball itself. In short, any weight near or mounted on the tongue should be holistically applied to and included as part of the trailer weight.

If you are curious as to what I think the ball weight of my set up is - after doing some math a few times I would guess the weight is now approaching 600 lbs. However, I have to stop guessing and just weigh it soon. After realizing that the WDH rated hitch was more than capable of handling that tongue weight, it incentivized me even more to move forward with it.

When we picked up the trailer at the RV dealer, the gentleman that did our orientation seemed well versed with connecting the hitches, and he instructed me to let 4 links "hang" from the spring bar hook and - connect on the 5th link. This is counting from the end of the chain. I have found that to be the right tension. I once tried to hang on the 6th link, and it felt to tight, and visually it appeared too tight, with the bars starting to bend inordinately higher towards the trailer frame. I didn't like the way it looked. The bars should be close to parallel to the trailer frame, and to the road. Ours bend upward a bit towards the end fo the bars, but not much. I am not concerned about creating too much pressure or tension against the frame of the vehicle. The hitch itself is equidistant attached directly on the parallel vehicle chassis beams with four bolts. Again, not an engineer here, but the pressure if anything appears to be more equally applied to the frame since there are four points of distribution now spread evenly along a larger surface area below the frame (rectangular). This as opposed to the tubular design coming off the OEM hitch, with two smaller surface areas working on opposites sides of the tubes - attaching to the frame itself. I liken it to a "flattening, pulling downward pressure / force - on one reinforced piece design for the draw-tite; versus a "twisting downward pressure @ two points design - separated from the frame. I think because of the cylindrical design of the tube where the OEM hitch is mounted to, it inherently creates that twisting pressure - which the Draw-tite hitch circumvents. It's almost as if the draw-tite behaves more in line with being part of the frame, attaching both beams in the rear, vs a "floating" tube coming into the back attaching into the frame. I would imagine with the latter, over time and trailering heavier weights - it can be possible to damage the frame at those two junctures on either end. I also assume that's why VW mentions the terrifying description "tear away" in the manual when not recommending WDH on the OEM receiver. I am paraphrasing here, but the word "tear" is somewhere in there.

Have I over thought this? Probably. Do I lose any sleep over it now? Not at all.

With the friction control, I usually disconnect the bar when backing up, as I can see, in a sharp, backing up angle how it can place a larger amount of pressure on the ball connections if you reach the point in which the frame of the bar itself cannot contract anymore. There would be no place to go or "slide" and you can potentially tear off a ball either on the frame or the WDH head. In the heat of the moment with backing up, worrying more about the angle of the trailer going in, I will forget what the sway bar might be doing. I don't want to find the bar broken after successfully backing up the trailer. I don't think it's a function of setting the tension on the bar high for it to break or bend when backing up. I just think you run out of sliding room and the bar will just stop. That's where I think it can be damaged itself, damage the trailer frame, or damage the WDH head. The bar tends to groan loudly when making turns in campgrounds and around our neighborhood. I usually leave it in my trunk and only connect right before I am about to drive on the highway. You don't need it for "around the town" driving or local driving. I only connect it if I am going to go over 50 mph. Right as I am checking in to campsites or filling up the water tank, I use that opportunity to disconnect the sway bar so I can get into the business of backing in faster.

Al
Thanks @alramos, this is all great information. My biggest takeaway is that if I follow some of the recommendations I've read from you and others, I will probably be in better shape when I tow than I might have initially worried. So time to start moving my energy to planning some great adventures and just adjust as needed!

On your setup, if you have two batteries and a 30 lb propane tank on the tongue, I suspect you're right in being at least in the 600 lb range, and maybe even more? It's really encouraging to hear that with the airbags and WDH you're seeing only minimal sag. Personally, I'm starting to come around to really seeing the merits of a second receiver with a WDH, to slightly unload the rear end, but more importantly to keep my front drive wheels firmly planted. Like you mention, seems like there are significant safety benefits here. It might also allow me to put some other necessities (like our bikes!) on the tongue that I'd otherwise avoid.

Thanks also for your comments on how you use the friction bar. I think at this point, I'm clear on starting with the airbags and friction bar and will upgrade to a second receiver and WDH if needed. You mentioned connecting and loading up on Thursday -- hope you're going somewhere nice and safe travels to you. Thanks again for all your help!
 

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Wow, thanks to everyone for sharing some great insights. I'm just getting back into the trailering game after years in a tent, I've got the v6 awd with the package. We're looking at a light hybrid, kz 160, about 2800 dry, hitting about 3600 loaded. I found out about the wdh issue pay Atlas purchase, and feel the same"it says no in the manual" as many have already mentioned. We're not going to be close to the tow max, my initial intent was to tow with just brake controller, but considering all the info I just read I'm curious on the following options:
Just brake controller (bc)
Bc, sway bars
Bc, sway bars, air bags
Bc, sway bars, air bags, wdh
Bc, sway bars, wdh
@Brancozorus you mention welding some additional sway points on your set up. Care to share a pic?
Thanks in advance for help.
Hey there, sorry for the delay I was out of town without the ball. here is a pic of the ball with the welded tab. You can purchase a curt sway control tab or you can just get a local fab shop to cut a piece of metal and weld it on. Thats what I did and just used the specs from the Husky sway control manual found here: Husky Towing 34715 Weight Distribution Hitch Sway Control Kit
1467


The nice thing about this option is you can choose a hitch with the correct rise height to keep the trailer at the right down angle. I used a 4" rise and the trailer sits nicely with an ever so slight front down which is what you want. I however I have a trailer that lifted so it sits a bit higher than other trailers.

Your trailer is similar weight and size to mine. If you haven't bought a WDH yet and you're concerned about using one because it says don't in the manual, I think you will be very happy with just one sway control (right side) and the airbags. Ive run just this and though its slightly more "bouncy" than the WDH it does an awesome job and I'm confident with it with the peace of mind of the WDH issue.

The airbags are super easy to install, toughest is getting them into the spring, then just buy a T so you can fill both bags at the same time and have equal pressure. The bags are also cheaper than a WDH and at least adds another feature to the SUV. In the event you have a full car or need to put some heavy cargo in the back you always have the option of filling the bags.
 

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2019 Atlas ESL
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Hey @Vic - welcome to the thread.

You go into a few questions here so I will try my best given your drivetrain.

I don't think there will be a significant difference with the geometry and accessibility of suspension coils between the 4Motion and the FWD version. I am not a certified VW Tech, but, if you can access the rear coils like I did, then you can probably install the airbags without a hitch. (get it?)

With that said, I would go into page two of this thread, and compare my coils with yours and how accessible they are. I have a few pictures on that page showing what the access to the coils look like. Again, if yours looks like those, then you should be fine.

I have no idea why they would be unsafe to install on the REAR axle suspension, on a FWD vehicle. Maybe the eTrailer rep is confused? I can't imagine, mechanically - why it would be any different. I also cannot find anything on the link that you provided for the airbags, the same ones I used - that they are strictly designated for only for the 4 wheel drive model Atlas.

They just go on the rear wheels, not on the front wheels. Maybe there is some confusion there.

I cannot speak from experience for a wired-harness type of trailer brake. I use the Bluetooth Curt Echo brake control and it has worked flawlessly.

I don't have any experience with the electronic sway control. I use friction control mounted between the head of the WDH and the trailer frame.

I have no experience with Gen Y hitch, although I am sure it does what it claims to do.

Here are the upgrades I would consider worth it if I owned your vehicle - towing anything heavier than 4K lbs (including cargo):

  • Airbags
  • Weight Distribution Rated Receiver - Draw Tite - made for atlas.
  • Weight Distribution Hitch
  • Oversized Weight Distribution Shank so that the trailer sits level (in rise position)
  • Friction sway bar.
  • Curt Echo brake controller
This is what I would get, and not necessarily what I would advise you to get. This is basically my set up and it drives fine. I tow close to 5,000 lbs.

I cannot tell you how your vehicle would handle with that set up, as I can only speak from experience on how my vehicle handles. Given that you do not have 4Motion, here are the things I would be cognizant about when trailering with any camper:

Dispersed / off the beaten path / into the woods camping - this may pose more of a challenge since extra traction might be required in certain situations when pulling your rig in and out of your camping sites. What would I probably do with FWD? Probably stick more to campgrounds with pavement, developed roads, developed dirt roads. Not a big sacrifice.

I cannot tell you how the vehicle would handle going 60 MPH - given that it's FWD - and you have weight on the ball hitch. I can tell you that my front axle is lighter than my rear axle - and I would imagine that it would be the same for you.

Even on my Atlas with 4Motion - I have felt the front wheels slip slightly when trying to go over, for example railroad tracks at just the right degree of incline on a turn, however the vehicle still moving forward - with weight on the ball. I am sure the 4Motion kicked on in that situation and was able to keep things going in a forward direction. If you have less traction on the front end, and the vehicle is limited to FWD, I would imagine in that specific situation you might feel the wheels grab the road a bit more differently than I would. You initially ask if there might be a limitations given both vehicles - I cannot imagine much more differences. So again - in your case, I would just be cautious on where I camp - and watch any steep inclines around your or approaching inclines and think about your angle of attack. That's about it.

I would not buy that tekonsha brake controller. Just appears to be more complicated than the Curt echo. That is a technology nearing end of life.

Also, for your information - I did use weight distribution on the OEM factory hitch for a few months with no problem - towing about 5,000 lbs. However, only for peace of mind, I decided to upgrade and install the weight distribution receiver hitch (properly rated) - below the OEM hitch. Yeah, I have two hitches and it doesn't look too bad.

For reference, my camper is about 4,100 lbs dry. After I load it up, we are approaching 5,000 lbs - which includes a 100 lbs generator and gas.

Hope this helps.
Hey @Vic - welcome to the thread.

You go into a few questions here so I will try my best given your drivetrain.

I don't think there will be a significant difference with the geometry and accessibility of suspension coils between the 4Motion and the FWD version. I am not a certified VW Tech, but, if you can access the rear coils like I did, then you can probably install the airbags without a hitch. (get it?)

With that said, I would go into page two of this thread, and compare my coils with yours and how accessible they are. I have a few pictures on that page showing what the access to the coils look like. Again, if yours looks like those, then you should be fine.

I have no idea why they would be unsafe to install on the REAR axle suspension, on a FWD vehicle. Maybe the eTrailer rep is confused? I can't imagine, mechanically - why it would be any different. I also cannot find anything on the link that you provided for the airbags, the same ones I used - that they are strictly designated for only for the 4 wheel drive model Atlas.

They just go on the rear wheels, not on the front wheels. Maybe there is some confusion there.

I cannot speak from experience for a wired-harness type of trailer brake. I use the Bluetooth Curt Echo brake control and it has worked flawlessly.

I don't have any experience with the electronic sway control. I use friction control mounted between the head of the WDH and the trailer frame.

I have no experience with Gen Y hitch, although I am sure it does what it claims to do.

Here are the upgrades I would consider worth it if I owned your vehicle - towing anything heavier than 4K lbs (including cargo):

  • Airbags
  • Weight Distribution Rated Receiver - Draw Tite - made for atlas.
  • Weight Distribution Hitch
  • Oversized Weight Distribution Shank so that the trailer sits level (in rise position)
  • Friction sway bar.
  • Curt Echo brake controller
This is what I would get, and not necessarily what I would advise you to get. This is basically my set up and it drives fine. I tow close to 5,000 lbs.

I cannot tell you how your vehicle would handle with that set up, as I can only speak from experience on how my vehicle handles. Given that you do not have 4Motion, here are the things I would be cognizant about when trailering with any camper:

Dispersed / off the beaten path / into the woods camping - this may pose more of a challenge since extra traction might be required in certain situations when pulling your rig in and out of your camping sites. What would I probably do with FWD? Probably stick more to campgrounds with pavement, developed roads, developed dirt roads. Not a big sacrifice.

I cannot tell you how the vehicle would handle going 60 MPH - given that it's FWD - and you have weight on the ball hitch. I can tell you that my front axle is lighter than my rear axle - and I would imagine that it would be the same for you.

Even on my Atlas with 4Motion - I have felt the front wheels slip slightly when trying to go over, for example railroad tracks at just the right degree of incline on a turn, however the vehicle still moving forward - with weight on the ball. I am sure the 4Motion kicked on in that situation and was able to keep things going in a forward direction. If you have less traction on the front end, and the vehicle is limited to FWD, I would imagine in that specific situation you might feel the wheels grab the road a bit more differently than I would. You initially ask if there might be a limitations given both vehicles - I cannot imagine much more differences. So again - in your case, I would just be cautious on where I camp - and watch any steep inclines around your or approaching inclines and think about your angle of attack. That's about it.

I would not buy that tekonsha brake controller. Just appears to be more complicated than the Curt echo. That is a technology nearing end of life.

Also, for your information - I did use weight distribution on the OEM factory hitch for a few months with no problem - towing about 5,000 lbs. However, only for peace of mind, I decided to upgrade and install the weight distribution receiver hitch (properly rated) - below the OEM hitch. Yeah, I have two hitches and it doesn't look too bad.

For reference, my camper is about 4,100 lbs dry. After I load it up, we are approaching 5,000 lbs - which includes a 100 lbs generator and gas.

Hope this helps.
[/QUOTE
Hey @Vic - welcome to the thread.

You go into a few questions here so I will try my best given your drivetrain.

I don't think there will be a significant difference with the geometry and accessibility of suspension coils between the 4Motion and the FWD version. I am not a certified VW Tech, but, if you can access the rear coils like I did, then you can probably install the airbags without a hitch. (get it?)

With that said, I would go into page two of this thread, and compare my coils with yours and how accessible they are. I have a few pictures on that page showing what the access to the coils look like. Again, if yours looks like those, then you should be fine.

I have no idea why they would be unsafe to install on the REAR axle suspension, on a FWD vehicle. Maybe the eTrailer rep is confused? I can't imagine, mechanically - why it would be any different. I also cannot find anything on the link that you provided for the airbags, the same ones I used - that they are strictly designated for only for the 4 wheel drive model Atlas.

They just go on the rear wheels, not on the front wheels. Maybe there is some confusion there.

I cannot speak from experience for a wired-harness type of trailer brake. I use the Bluetooth Curt Echo brake control and it has worked flawlessly.

I don't have any experience with the electronic sway control. I use friction control mounted between the head of the WDH and the trailer frame.

I have no experience with Gen Y hitch, although I am sure it does what it claims to do.

Here are the upgrades I would consider worth it if I owned your vehicle - towing anything heavier than 4K lbs (including cargo):

  • Airbags
  • Weight Distribution Rated Receiver - Draw Tite - made for atlas.
  • Weight Distribution Hitch
  • Oversized Weight Distribution Shank so that the trailer sits level (in rise position)
  • Friction sway bar.
  • Curt Echo brake controller
This is what I would get, and not necessarily what I would advise you to get. This is basically my set up and it drives fine. I tow close to 5,000 lbs.

I cannot tell you how your vehicle would handle with that set up, as I can only speak from experience on how my vehicle handles. Given that you do not have 4Motion, here are the things I would be cognizant about when trailering with any camper:

Dispersed / off the beaten path / into the woods camping - this may pose more of a challenge since extra traction might be required in certain situations when pulling your rig in and out of your camping sites. What would I probably do with FWD? Probably stick more to campgrounds with pavement, developed roads, developed dirt roads. Not a big sacrifice.

I cannot tell you how the vehicle would handle going 60 MPH - given that it's FWD - and you have weight on the ball hitch. I can tell you that my front axle is lighter than my rear axle - and I would imagine that it would be the same for you.

Even on my Atlas with 4Motion - I have felt the front wheels slip slightly when trying to go over, for example railroad tracks at just the right degree of incline on a turn, however the vehicle still moving forward - with weight on the ball. I am sure the 4Motion kicked on in that situation and was able to keep things going in a forward direction. If you have less traction on the front end, and the vehicle is limited to FWD, I would imagine in that specific situation you might feel the wheels grab the road a bit more differently than I would. You initially ask if there might be a limitations given both vehicles - I cannot imagine much more differences. So again - in your case, I would just be cautious on where I camp - and watch any steep inclines around your or approaching inclines and think about your angle of attack. That's about it.

I would not buy that tekonsha brake controller. Just appears to be more complicated than the Curt echo. That is a technology nearing end of life.

Also, for your information - I did use weight distribution on the OEM factory hitch for a few months with no problem - towing about 5,000 lbs. However, only for peace of mind, I decided to upgrade and install the weight distribution receiver hitch (properly rated) - below the OEM hitch. Yeah, I have two hitches and it doesn't look too bad.

For reference, my camper is about 4,100 lbs dry. After I load it up, we are approaching 5,000 lbs - which includes a 100 lbs generator and gas.

Hope this helps.
Wow @alramos thank you for taking the time to reply. This is way more information than what I was expecting.
I’ll follow advice and will keep an eye on this thread. I’m sure there will be more little helpful tips to follow. As you know, @Bill B is dealing with the same situation. Thanks to his advice I ended up posting here. Definitely great help. I’ll keep you posted on every move I make. Thank you again and stay safe
 

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Wow @alramos thank you for taking the time to reply. This is way more information than what I was expecting.
I’ll follow advice and will keep an eye on this thread. I’m sure there will be more little helpful tips to follow. As you know, @Bill B is dealing with the same situation. Thanks to his advice I ended up posting here. Definitely great help. I’ll keep you posted on every move I make. Thank you again and stay safe
I think alramos covered it but I just wanted to give my 2cents on the FWD and a heavier tongue weight. I have a 4motion and on my first trip I ran the setup "naked" as i call it. Hook up the trailer and thats it. No WD hitch, airbags, sway. Only the brake controller. I weighted my tongue at 450lbs with significant sag on the back end. I found on slight incline and a bit wet ground my front wheels slipping and the back had to kick in. I also found less feel of steering control, the wheel just felt looser...if that makes sense.

So if you do plan on being at the top of the tongue weight with FWD, I would for sure use airbags or WDH or both to keep that front end down and give you traction or else you may find yourself spinning out in wet, gravel going uphill. Another thing to consider to traction when parking the trailer, the weird angles and elevations you have to get the trailer into to park it really affects which wheels get traction so something to consider as well. If you're mainly on flat, paved campsites I'm sure you'll be fine, but if you're planning on any gravel, dirt or wet conditions you may run into some traction issues.

I use the Tokensha Prodigy, I had it from a previous vehicle so just bought an adapter cable from eBay and used the factory harness. Works well but if i needed to buy a new one I would give the wireless one a shot for sure.
 

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I think alramos covered it but I just wanted to give my 2cents on the FWD and a heavier tongue weight. I have a 4motion and on my first trip I ran the setup "naked" as i call it. Hook up the trailer and thats it. No WD hitch, airbags, sway. Only the brake controller. I weighted my tongue at 450lbs with significant sag on the back end. I found on slight incline and a bit wet ground my front wheels slipping and the back had to kick in. I also found less feel of steering control, the wheel just felt looser...if that makes sense.

So if you do plan on being at the top of the tongue weight with FWD, I would for sure use airbags or WDH or both to keep that front end down and give you traction or else you may find yourself spinning out in wet, gravel going uphill. Another thing to consider to traction when parking the trailer, the weird angles and elevations you have to get the trailer into to park it really affects which wheels get traction so something to consider as well. If you're mainly on flat, paved campsites I'm sure you'll be fine, but if you're planning on any gravel, dirt or wet conditions you may run into some traction issues.

I use the Tokensha Prodigy, I had it from a previous vehicle so just bought an adapter cable from eBay and used the factory harness. Works well but if i needed to buy a new one I would give the wireless one a shot for sure.
Hey @Brancozorus thank you for the input. Anything helps, even more when it comes from experience.
 

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Hi all,

New to the forum. Considering purchasing a 2021 Atlas SEL/SELP 4motion v6 (with tow package). All the info in this thread has been helpful in our decision thusfar, so I thought this would be a good place to raise a few towing related questions. Part of the reason I am purchasing a new vehicle is for towing a 21ft bowrider boat. Boat is a Sea Ray 210 with EZ Loader Trailer setup from the factory for this particular boat. I have not weighed the boat/trailer, but based on my research the wet weight of the boat+trailer leads me to an estimate of 4,600-4,800 lbs. I've ordered a tongue weight scale to check TW. Based on the boat/trailer manuals, we should be looking at a TW of 230-460lb (5-10% of total weight on tandem axle boat trailer). While these estimates seem to fall within the technical limits of the vehicle, I am slightly concerned with being so close to the limits and the associated difficulties (rear sagging, loss of control, performance on ramps etc.). To get ahead of any questions related to towing experience, I have towed similar weights, between two boats, gooseneck/fifth wheel, etc., for 10+ years, usually with 1/2-3/4 ton pickup trucks and full size SUVs.

I have seen the previous posts (and several other threads) regarding airbags/WDH when towing similar loads, but most of the information on this forum (absent a few posts) seems to be related to travel trailers and the like. I do not believe boat trailers (with surge brakes) will accommodate a WDH setup. Wondering (i) if anyone has experience towing similar weight boats, (ii) would you recommend towing this (admittedly ballpark) weight with the Atlas, and (ii) how you outfit your Atlas for towing.

Thanks!
 

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Hi all,

New to the forum. Considering purchasing a 2021 Atlas SEL/SELP 4motion v6 (with tow package). All the info in this thread has been helpful in our decision thusfar, so I thought this would be a good place to raise a few towing related questions. Part of the reason I am purchasing a new vehicle is for towing a 21ft bowrider boat. Boat is a Sea Ray 210 with EZ Loader Trailer setup from the factory for this particular boat. I have not weighed the boat/trailer, but based on my research the wet weight of the boat+trailer leads me to an estimate of 4,600-4,800 lbs. I've ordered a tongue weight scale to check TW. Based on the boat/trailer manuals, we should be looking at a TW of 230-460lb (5-10% of total weight on tandem axle boat trailer). While these estimates seem to fall within the technical limits of the vehicle, I am slightly concerned with being so close to the limits and the associated difficulties (rear sagging, loss of control, performance on ramps etc.). To get ahead of any questions related to towing experience, I have towed similar weights, between two boats, gooseneck/fifth wheel, etc., for 10+ years, usually with 1/2-3/4 ton pickup trucks and full size SUVs.

I have seen the previous posts (and several other threads) regarding airbags/WDH when towing similar loads, but most of the information on this forum (absent a few posts) seems to be related to travel trailers and the like. I do not believe boat trailers (with surge brakes) will accommodate a WDH setup. Wondering (i) if anyone has experience towing similar weight boats, (ii) would you recommend towing this (admittedly ballpark) weight with the Atlas, and (ii) how you outfit your Atlas for towing.

Thanks!
Hey! welcome!

I don't have/tow a boat but I think as far as towing and capacity you'll be in good shape if your estimates are accurate. My first thought would to not use WDH, not only because of the surge brakes, but chains and spring bars would be in the water quite a bit when loading and unloading. Also, keep in mind your tongue weight will change the second you unload the boat, honestly im not sure how the WDH would react. (spring bars go loose perhaps?) In this setup I would recommend the air bags if your concerned about sag, as the boat comes off or starts to float you wont see much of a change in the ride height of the back.

The AWD on the Atlas is really good, if you put it into off road mode I think it would do a great job of pulling the boat out of the even on a wet incline boat launch. If you were to put a bit more aggressive tires on it it would do even better.
 

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Hey there, sorry for the delay I was out of town without the ball. here is a pic of the ball with the welded tab. You can purchase a curt sway control tab or you can just get a local fab shop to cut a piece of metal and weld it on. Thats what I did and just used the specs from the Husky sway control manual found here: Husky Towing 34715 Weight Distribution Hitch Sway Control Kit
View attachment 1467

The nice thing about this option is you can choose a hitch with the correct rise height to keep the trailer at the right down angle. I used a 4" rise and the trailer sits nicely with an ever so slight front down which is what you want. I however I have a trailer that lifted so it sits a bit higher than other trailers.

Your trailer is similar weight and size to mine. If you haven't bought a WDH yet and you're concerned about using one because it says don't in the manual, I think you will be very happy with just one sway control (right side) and the airbags. Ive run just this and though its slightly more "bouncy" than the WDH it does an awesome job and I'm confident with it with the peace of mind of the WDH issue.

The airbags are super easy to install, toughest is getting them into the spring, then just buy a T so you can fill both bags at the same time and have equal pressure. The bags are also cheaper than a WDH and at least adds another feature to the SUV. In the event you have a full car or need to put some heavy cargo in the back you always have the option of filling the bags.
Thanks for the response! It's really helpful.
 

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Hey! welcome!

I don't have/tow a boat but I think as far as towing and capacity you'll be in good shape if your estimates are accurate. My first thought would to not use WDH, not only because of the surge brakes, but chains and spring bars would be in the water quite a bit when loading and unloading. Also, keep in mind your tongue weight will change the second you unload the boat, honestly im not sure how the WDH would react. (spring bars go loose perhaps?) In this setup I would recommend the air bags if your concerned about sag, as the boat comes off or starts to float you wont see much of a change in the ride height of the back.

The AWD on the Atlas is really good, if you put it into off road mode I think it would do a great job of pulling the boat out of the even on a wet incline boat launch. If you were to put a bit more aggressive tires on it it would do even better.

Thank you for the response. This is very helpful. I am planning on doing a test tow, or at least a hookup, with a friend's Atlas (same specs as my hopeful purchase) to get a feel for how it tows, but sounds like airbags may be a smart addition to avoid too much rear sag. Based on earlier posts, it seems like the airbags are a fairly simple self-install, assuming no significant suspension changes going into the 2021 model year.
 

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Hello all! The wife and I just purchased our first RV. Our TV is a 2018 SEL Premium Atlas W/4Motion and towing package.

I’ve seen snooping around this forum for the past month trying to figure out the best way to tow our RV it is a 2021 Forest River Surveyor Legend 19BHLE... 3800 dry weight . You have all provided excellent information regarding towing with the Atlas. Do any of you have a recommendation of what type WD hitch/sway bar to use for those who prefer to use the factory tow equipment and no after market hitch installed.
Thank you!
 

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Discussion Starter · #73 ·
Hello all, not sure how I've missed the activity on the forum; somehow - I have not been getting the updates when someone posts or replies. I will have to double check my e-mail settings to make sure they aren't headed to spam. Apologies if I've missed a question in a post directed at me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #74 ·
Hello all! The wife and I just purchased our first RV. Our TV is a 2018 SEL Premium Atlas W/4Motion and towing package.

I’ve seen snooping around this forum for the past month trying to figure out the best way to tow our RV it is a 2021 Forest River Surveyor Legend 19BHLE... 3800 dry weight . You have all provided excellent information regarding towing with the Atlas. Do any of you have a recommendation of what type WD hitch/sway bar to use for those who prefer to use the factory tow equipment and no after market hitch installed.
Thank you!
Congrats on the new RV!

I checked out the Surveryor line of RVs and always like them - well equipped for the range of models.

Not sure if you've already moved forward with your hitch and sway bar set up, as I see you posted this almost a month ago. For reference, I have a Curt Weight Distribution Hitch and Sway bar - WDH head is built to accommodate sway bar on either side on my particular WDH. I was using this on the OEM receiver hitch with no problems before I switched over to the aftermarket hitch.

Hopefully you've been able to enjoy your camper, or are soon about to be.
 

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so took our 'new to us' trailer (2013 apex nano 151) out for it's maiden voyage, not too crazy a drive but a good chunk of it was along the 401 east of toronto. took the good advice of Brancozorus and put on the sway, just waiting for the airbags to be delivered. the sway is really subtle, but when a big truck goes by you, it barely shimmies. makes for a lot nicer tow. decided on the curt echo for a controller. its so simple. its really sensitive, so i'm still playing the ideal settings but i think its about 30% with a sensitivity around 3, doesn't jam the brakes on too hard that way.
the atlas worked great. it chugged along at 105kmh and seemed pretty happy. you feel like you're getting horrible mileage, but its not a big tank. thats really the only thing, i'd want to make sure i knew where the gas stations are if I was driving in more desolate areas (or carry a small jerry can).
there are some really long, but not too steep hills on the 401, where you could tell it was working harder. the trailer is 2900# and we were probably towing about 400# of gear, and it was pretty smooth. looking forward to airbags, i think that will make a big difference. if you're looking for a controller, i'd totally go with the echo. its so easy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #76 ·
so took our 'new to us' trailer (2013 apex nano 151) out for it's maiden voyage, not too crazy a drive but a good chunk of it was along the 401 east of toronto. took the good advice of Brancozorus and put on the sway, just waiting for the airbags to be delivered. the sway is really subtle, but when a big truck goes by you, it barely shimmies. makes for a lot nicer tow. decided on the curt echo for a controller. its so simple. its really sensitive, so i'm still playing the ideal settings but i think its about 30% with a sensitivity around 3, doesn't jam the brakes on too hard that way.
the atlas worked great. it chugged along at 105kmh and seemed pretty happy. you feel like you're getting horrible mileage, but its not a big tank. thats really the only thing, i'd want to make sure i knew where the gas stations are if I was driving in more desolate areas (or carry a small jerry can).
there are some really long, but not too steep hills on the 401, where you could tell it was working harder. the trailer is 2900# and we were probably towing about 400# of gear, and it was pretty smooth. looking forward to airbags, i think that will make a big difference. if you're looking for a controller, i'd totally go with the echo. its so easy.
Glad to hear you had a great experience on your first outing. Initially, I felt the same about the MPGs and the size of the tank - but after seeing how other SUVs do with campers of all sizes, I've realized the Atlas actual does relatively well in comparison. Lot's of other trucks are sub -10 MPGs when towing. I am almost always above 11 MPGs. Although you are right about making sure you are within eyesight sometimes of the next gas station.

Funny you mention the echo sensitivity. I feel at times I am still trying to dial it down also. Last time I was out it felt a bit jerky and the brakes were locking in a bit too harsh. Other than that, it works well for what it does.
 

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i read something about the sensitivity, and the point was to ensure its plugged into the truck first then the trailer. can't recall what i did last time. just seems a little sporadic. but it stops.
 

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Hi, I am from Canada Alberta, my native language is not English, so ,don't laugh at me my bad English, but I still like to share some of my towing experience
Nice to meet all of you here, I am not new to this forum, get lots help from here, from the first time install a brake controller by my self to now towing a 2018 passport 175bh trailer (dry weight 3200 lb hitch weight 410lb), I have a 2018 Atlas with OEM hitch package, I installed another hitch same as Alramos, Draw- tite for Atlas, https://www.etrailer.com/Trailer-Hitch/Draw-Tite/76176.html, yes just for peace of mind to use WDH, anyway, 4 bolts on the frame should be better than 2 bolts at the end of the frame oem one.
before this trailer, I had a 2016 palomino rl 14m ( 2300 lb), I use OEM hitch and fraction anti sway bar, it was feel really good when loaded I can get as less as 16mpg when there was no wind, and average 13.4mpg, I converted them from L/100km, it is really easy to get 110km/h on highway.
I end up with 2018 passport 175bh, towing feel totally different, with almost empty water tank, and 450lb person, and 300lp cargos, with the aftermarket hitch WDH and anti sway bar and I get 12.3 mpg best and 10.2mpg worst, I can feel more heavy than before I hardly can speed up to 110km/hour, pedal is so heavy. the stability is ok , but more affect by bigger truck pass though,
I think I already reach the maximum towing ability, I am so curious you guys like Almamos can tow more than 5000k without any pressure. even some people think to buy something dry weight 3800lb,
personally I think, this vehicle is still a passenger car, not good for towing, the 3.6 engine power is limited, and the payload weight is limited, before decide to towing a heavy trailer. better check with this website, TowCalculator.com I got a number as here
1505

  • I think the payload is pretty high, only 7% room left maybe already 100% , are we already in the risk use this small car towing such heavy trailer.
  • I watched my oil temperature when towing this 3200lb. you can find it in off-road display it is as high as 118 C , how about yours, is this the engine oil temp or transmittion oil temp is it too high?
  • After use draw-tite hitch, my 10 hole hitch shank is very lower close to ground, even I install the WDH on the very top of this hitch shank. its bottom some times scratch the curb ground, would air bag help this? my trailer is 15inch tire, and when use WDH it is still more than 5 inch difference from front to end.
I am new to towing just from this spring, for covid-19 working at home I have some time to play trailer, and this passport is my third one and I think it would be the last one, I like the room and the size of this 8feet wide trailer, just a little bit concern if my Atlas can really handle this, I don't believe my car, I don't believe myself, I always come here to find more confidence. I am still on the fence if I should return this lease car or keep it next year. I really like this Atlas as a passenger car. I switched from a 2012 4runner, I couldn't find any other better suv like this, really like the drive feeling on highway, never feel tired and anxious on long distance travel.

Thanks again, my friends from this forum, and thanks Atlas let me enjoyed full camping season, and here share of my 3 trailer with Atlas for memorizing this wonderful and horrible covid-19 season, wish next year I could towing my trailer to US, wish no covid-19 in the word anymore, just wish.
1506
1507






1508
 

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Hi, I am from Canada Alberta, my native language is not English, so ,don't laugh at me my bad English, but I still like to share some of my towing experience
Nice to meet all of you here, I am not new to this forum, get lots help from here, from the first time install a brake controller by my self to now towing a 2018 passport 175bh trailer (dry weight 3200 lb hitch weight 410lb), I have a 2018 Atlas with OEM hitch package, I installed another hitch same as Alramos, Draw- tite for Atlas, https://www.etrailer.com/Trailer-Hitch/Draw-Tite/76176.html, yes just for peace of mind to use WDH, anyway, 4 bolts on the frame should be better than 2 bolts at the end of the frame oem one.
before this trailer, I had a 2016 palomino rl 14m ( 2300 lb), I use OEM hitch and fraction anti sway bar, it was feel really good when loaded I can get as less as 16mpg when there was no wind, and average 13.4mpg, I converted them from L/100km, it is really easy to get 110km/h on highway....
Welcome Albertain. I understood your post just fine!

thanks for the info on your setup, one of the concerns I had with adding the second hitch was the height of the shank. The airbags will help with some sag for sure but if your WDH is setup correctly you shouldn't see much rear sag, that part of the point of it. The airbags take some of the pressure off the hitch (in turn the body) by allowing more weight on the rear end without the sag. It may help, and for $150 and 1 hour install maybe its worth it to try but you may gain an inch or so in height.

as for trading it in after the lese, IMO the Atlas is fine as an around the province tow vehicle. Would I tow at (or above) capacity for thousands of consecutive miles? no. but that's just me, if you are doing serious long haul towing frequently, get a truck or a V8 SUV.

That being said well see how the Atlas evolves over the next couple years, I've looked at a couple 2020s and the hitch looks different, so maybe they have made some changes. I haven't seen the manual to see if they still mention that WDH issue (if that's even a thing). Also more aftermarket parts become available, maybe an aftermarket transmission oil cooler, or some power increasing mods for the engine. The VR6 has been around a long time. Im actually hoping that they put the diesel that was in the Toureg in the Atlas, that would be great and would make it a good daily driver and better power for towing. Not holding my breath though....

Happy RVing!
 

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Hello all! The wife and I just purchased our first RV. Our TV is a 2018 SEL Premium Atlas W/4Motion and towing package.

I’ve seen snooping around this forum for the past month trying to figure out the best way to tow our RV it is a 2021 Forest River Surveyor Legend 19BHLE... 3800 dry weight . You have all provided excellent information regarding towing with the Atlas. Do any of you have a recommendation of what type WD hitch/sway bar to use for those who prefer to use the factory tow equipment and no after market hitch installed.
Thank you!
Hello! We must be twins! My wife and I just purchased that exact trailer and have the same model Atlas, though its the 2019 model. I too am wondering about the best hitch setup. Our trailer is scheduled for delivery in a few weeks and I'm trying to get this all straightened out! What did you end up trying, and how did it go?
 
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