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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.
I have a similar question to Surveyor. Wondering about WDH used with a 2021 Atlas SE with factory hitch. I have been told by the trailer dealership that use of a WDH with unibody vehicles is not recommended, and will potentially void the VW warranty. Or is the Atlas not a unibody vehicle?

Advice here is greatly appreciated! THANKS.
 

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I have a similar question to Surveyor. Wondering about WDH used with a 2021 Atlas SE with factory hitch. I have been told by the trailer dealership that use of a WDH with unibody vehicles is not recommended, and will potentially void the VW warranty. Or is the Atlas not a unibody vehicle?

Advice here is greatly appreciated! THANKS.
Yes the atlas is a unibody and the factory doesn't recommend WDH using the factory hitch. However it may be ok with the draw-tite aftermarket hitch. Read through this thread, especially alramos and my posts. All the info is there to make your decision, it all boils down to your risk on the vehicle and risk towing.
 

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Hi everyone, i just joined this forum and oh my god there is so much great information, particularly this thread! I was not sure if I should start a new thread or continue this one. Thanks to all that maintain and contribute to this real life knowledge-base for noobs like me!

I own a 2019 Atlas AWD/V6 with factory tow. We just put a down payment on the same trailer as @alramos a Coachmen Apex Nano - model year 2021 208BHS. We are also a family of 4 (but no dog... yet :) ) Expected possession date in a couple of weeks.

DW on the trailer is around 4k#, GW 6k# and TW 518#, slightly more than the rated factory hitch.

Like many on this thread, i am concerned about WDH, VW recommendations and so on. I reached on to an RV dealer and they mentioned for these types of German vehicle manufacturers (yes I know the Atlas is built in TN) many of then have this no-WDH recommendations because of some EU laws etc.

Anyways, I own the Atlas, i love it and no plan on changing the vehicle. I don’t plan on loosing my deposit either on the camper we just bought (I really like that model because of the double bunks for my growing 2 boys), unless I am still uncomfortable about going the WDH way since the GW is way above the rated Atlas. And if at all possible I would like to use the OEM hitch and not have a second hitch. Having said that, and as I wrote above, LOTS of great into in the forum and thread.

Some folks here mentioned the Draw WDH has a back plate, and higher grade 5 bolts going through the frame (and 4 vs 2 bolts in OEM - did i get that part right?)

What prompted me to write is to ask about knowledge and experience regarding hardening/strengthening of the OEM hitch. I searched the forum and could not find info/experience on that. Has anyone done that? The RV dealer (mentioned above) offers that option by welding a big rectangular frame member behind/below the hitch carrier, below the exhaust muffler and welded to the floor/frame (in front of the muffler). I already asked the question about the practicality of this, especially when having to remove the muffler (i am not sure if there are normal repairs or tech bulletin calling for muffler removal), and the dealer said it would be “interesting” to remove but the exhaust/muffler would probably outlast and/or need to remove the muffler unlikely. He sent me an example of that reinforced hitch (he said that picture was from a Touareg, but the install is similar on the Atlas).

Let me know! Looking for as factual-as-possible information. I am no engineer either so trying to understand what that strengthening piece actually does and would it upgrade the hitch to be more capable of WD (and I am not sure if the OEM bolts as part of that upgrade are — or can be? —upgraded from the OEM lower grade bolt setup).

Cheers!

1750
 

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Hi everyone, i just joined this forum and oh my god there is so much great information, particularly this thread! I was not sure if I should start a new thread or continue this one. Thanks to all that maintain and contribute to this real life knowledge-base for noobs like me!

I own a 2019 Atlas AWD/V6 with factory tow. We just put a down payment on the same trailer as @alramos a Coachmen Apex Nano - model year 2021 208BHS. We are also a family of 4 (but no dog... yet :) ) Expected possession date in a couple of weeks.

DW on the trailer is around 4k#, GW 6k# and TW 518#, slightly more than the rated factory hitch.

Like many on this thread, i am concerned about WDH, VW recommendations and so on. I reached on to an RV dealer and they mentioned for these types of German vehicle manufacturers (yes I know the Atlas is built in TN) many of then have this no-WDH recommendations because of some EU laws etc.

Anyways, I own the Atlas, i love it and no plan on changing the vehicle. I don’t plan on loosing my deposit either on the camper we just bought (I really like that model because of the double bunks for my growing 2 boys), unless I am still uncomfortable about going the WDH way since the GW is way above the rated Atlas. And if at all possible I would like to use the OEM hitch and not have a second hitch. Having said that, and as I wrote above, LOTS of great into in the forum and thread.

Some folks here mentioned the Draw WDH has a back plate, and higher grade 5 bolts going through the frame (and 4 vs 2 bolts in OEM - did i get that part right?)

What prompted me to write is to ask about knowledge and experience regarding hardening/strengthening of the OEM hitch. I searched the forum and could not find info/experience on that. Has anyone done that? The RV dealer (mentioned above) offers that option by welding a big rectangular frame member behind/below the hitch carrier, below the exhaust muffler and welded to the floor/frame (in front of the muffler). I already asked the question about the practicality of this, especially when having to remove the muffler (i am not sure if there are normal repairs or tech bulletin calling for muffler removal), and the dealer said it would be “interesting” to remove but the exhaust/muffler would probably outlast and/or need to remove the muffler unlikely. He sent me an example of that reinforced hitch (he said that picture was from a Touareg, but the install is similar on the Atlas).

Let me know! Looking for as factual-as-possible information. I am no engineer either so trying to understand what that strengthening piece actually does and would it upgrade the hitch to be more capable of WD (and I am not sure if the OEM bolts as part of that upgrade are — or can be? —upgraded from the OEM lower grade bolt setup).

Cheers!

View attachment 1750
Hi Gina welcome and congrats on the 208. I actually sold my jay feather and I spent a good month mulling over the 208 or the 194 but eventually landed on the 194 as it was just too close to the capacity for my cumfort. I wanted to be able to carry a decent amount of cargo.
I haven’t received it yet, most likely I’ll go pick it up in April when the snow is gone.

Anyways about your question...I’ve thought about reinforcing the factory unit but I think I’m going to just get the curt aftermarket. It’s not too expensive and probably be the same cost to have someone reinforce the stock one than buying a new one. I In my conversations locally no one offered to reinforce it anyways I think they just may be more reluctant to modify for liability reasons. I also have a lease and would be able to remove the after market when the vehicle goes back. However I wouldn’t worry about the muffler access. They won’t need to be replaced for a long time and a few bolts extra won’t make much of a difference.

I have looked in the underside of the vehicle and though some say it’s only one bolt in my model I can see two bolt locations on both sides. It’s tough to see but a flashlight and the right angle you can see it.

I think either way you do it, after market or reinforcing it will be fine. The factory hitch is probably fine. But you won’t find any documentation saying so other than the manual and the curt wdh. Everything else is based on individuals cumfort level and things to reduce any risk. You’ll have to find your own comfort level with it all.
 

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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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Hi everyone, i just joined this forum and oh my god there is so much great information, particularly this thread! I was not sure if I should start a new thread or continue this one. Thanks to all that maintain and contribute to this real life knowledge-base for noobs like me!

I own a 2019 Atlas AWD/V6 with factory tow. We just put a down payment on the same trailer as @alramos a Coachmen Apex Nano - model year 2021 208BHS. We are also a family of 4 (but no dog... yet :) ) Expected possession date in a couple of weeks.

DW on the trailer is around 4k#, GW 6k# and TW 518#, slightly more than the rated factory hitch.

Like many on this thread, i am concerned about WDH, VW recommendations and so on. I reached on to an RV dealer and they mentioned for these types of German vehicle manufacturers (yes I know the Atlas is built in TN) many of then have this no-WDH recommendations because of some EU laws etc.

Anyways, I own the Atlas, i love it and no plan on changing the vehicle. I don’t plan on loosing my deposit either on the camper we just bought (I really like that model because of the double bunks for my growing 2 boys), unless I am still uncomfortable about going the WDH way since the GW is way above the rated Atlas. And if at all possible I would like to use the OEM hitch and not have a second hitch. Having said that, and as I wrote above, LOTS of great into in the forum and thread.

Some folks here mentioned the Draw WDH has a back plate, and higher grade 5 bolts going through the frame (and 4 vs 2 bolts in OEM - did i get that part right?)

What prompted me to write is to ask about knowledge and experience regarding hardening/strengthening of the OEM hitch. I searched the forum and could not find info/experience on that. Has anyone done that? The RV dealer (mentioned above) offers that option by welding a big rectangular frame member behind/below the hitch carrier, below the exhaust muffler and welded to the floor/frame (in front of the muffler). I already asked the question about the practicality of this, especially when having to remove the muffler (i am not sure if there are normal repairs or tech bulletin calling for muffler removal), and the dealer said it would be “interesting” to remove but the exhaust/muffler would probably outlast and/or need to remove the muffler unlikely. He sent me an example of that reinforced hitch (he said that picture was from a Touareg, but the install is similar on the Atlas).

Let me know! Looking for as factual-as-possible information. I am no engineer either so trying to understand what that strengthening piece actually does and would it upgrade the hitch to be more capable of WD (and I am not sure if the OEM bolts as part of that upgrade are — or can be? —upgraded from the OEM lower grade bolt setup).

Cheers!
I wouldn't consider towing that trailer with the Atlas. You are at the absolute limits in most regards and over the tongue weight. The Atlas max payload is a paltry 1,113 lbs (1,080 on some) With 518 on the tongue, even if you ignored that being over the max, your payload in the Atlas is now 595lbs. That's people and cargo. You are pretty much maxed out with 4 people and a couple of bags. And there's really not much capacity to carry stuff in the trailer based on weight. You'd need to pack pretty light.
 

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Thanks for the info @Brancozorus !
Since my original post here, I've spoken to a lot of folks with Atlas that are towing a wide variation of trails. What I was told (repeatedly) is:

(a) Do not add a WDH to this unibody vehicle. It has nothing to do with European standards; rather, the restriction exists so you do not damage your vehicle's frame. Folks looking for stability and anti-sway properties with unibody tow vehicles use the Gen-Y Glyder (Torsion-Flex) Ball Mount (2" Shank), 2" drop The best cushion trailer hitch Check the max. weight to your vehicle, or speak to their customer service to confirm. They're very helpful.

(b) You'll need to add a 7-pin connector so your brake controller will work. This Pollak is the model that is compatible with the Atlas Pollak 11-893P RV 7-Way Socket (Oem Style)
 

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Since my original post here, I've spoken to a lot of folks with Atlas that are towing a wide variation of trails. What I was told (repeatedly) is:

(a) Do not add a WDH to this unibody vehicle. It has nothing to do with European standards; rather, the restriction exists so you do not damage your vehicle's frame. Folks looking for stability and anti-sway properties with unibody tow vehicles use the Gen-Y Glyder (Torsion-Flex) Ball Mount (2" Shank), 2" drop The best cushion trailer hitch Check the max. weight to your vehicle, or speak to their customer service to confirm. They're very helpful.

(b) You'll need to add a 7-pin connector so your brake controller will work. This Pollak is the model that is compatible with the Atlas Pollak 11-893P RV 7-Way Socket (Oem Style)
Thanks, haven't seen that ball hitch before. You're correct twisting up the unibody is the biggest concern. Ive spoken to the RV place and a local shop that specializes in towing and trialers and both think its fine as long as you're within the allowable specs, setup and the WDH properly (most people dont). Again just people comfort level I suppose.
 

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I am also going to start towing 4100lb (dry) trailer on my 2019 FWD Atlas with tow package... we can compare notes soon - I am in the installation process
I bought the Gen-Y glider with 6" drop- as I need to get 4" raise- and that looks great - they have hitch adaptor to add sway control as well .

where I got stuck is on the break-controller install... I bought the Curt Spectrum 51170, with the VW atlas harness 51522 - and was really surprised that it did not fit the VW atlas connector.
Did anyone here saw the VW atlas break controller connector like the one in the picture here (VW connector is identified as part number - 1J0971974 ) - is it possible this is not the right cable (it does have 4 wires - that are similar to the descriptions I have seen).
connector 4.jpeg connector2.jpeg
 

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I am also going to start towing 4100lb (dry) trailer on my 2019 FWD Atlas with tow package... we can compare notes soon - I am in the installation process
I bought the Gen-Y glider with 6" drop- as I need to get 4" raise- and that looks great - they have hitch adaptor to add sway control as well .

where I got stuck is on the break-controller install... I bought the Curt Spectrum 51170, with the VW atlas harness 51522 - and was really surprised that it did not fit the VW atlas connector.
Did anyone here saw the VW atlas break controller connector like the one in the picture here (VW connector is identified as part number - 1J0971974 ) - is it possible this is not the right cable (it does have 4 wires - that are similar to the descriptions I have seen).
View attachment 1851 View attachment 1852
You'll need to get an adapter made up which is expensive. This one works with the Tokenesha, if you have a curt you may be best to cut that off and solder on the correct male connector.

 

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You'll need to get an adapter made up which is expensive. This one works with the Tokenesha, if you have a curt you may be best to cut that off and solder on the correct male connector.

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You'll need to get an adapter made up which is expensive. This one works with the Tokenesha, if you have a curt you may be best to cut that off and solder on the correct male connector.

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thanks! I bought the Curt already (beacuse
You'll need to get an adapter made up which is expensive. This one works with the Tokenesha, if you have a curt you may be best to cut that off and solder on the correct male connector.

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thanks
You'll need to get an adapter made up which is expensive. This one works with the Tokenesha, if you have a curt you may be best to cut that off and solder on the correct male connector.

thank you @Brancozorus - for you super fast response. It seems that I did identify the right cable - right? as I already have the Curt - where do I find the documentation - what is each wire function in this connector. Also - do you recommend cramping or soldering ?
Last - the Curt is asking for 30 Amp circuit breaker - but I did not see anyone installing it - any thoughts on this ?
Ran
 

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I am also going to start towing 4100lb (dry) trailer on my 2019 FWD Atlas with tow package... we can compare notes soon - I am in the installation process
I bought the Gen-Y glider with 6" drop- as I need to get 4" raise- and that looks great - they have hitch adaptor to add sway control as well .

where I got stuck is on the break-controller install... I bought the Curt Spectrum 51170, with the VW atlas harness 51522 - and was really surprised that it did not fit the VW atlas connector.
Did anyone here saw the VW atlas break controller connector like the one in the picture here (VW connector is identified as part number - 1J0971974 ) - is it possible this is not the right cable (it does have 4 wires - that are similar to the descriptions I have seen).
View attachment 1851 View attachment 1852
Funny you mention this as I exactly bought that Curt 51522 yesterday with the intent to cut the Curt end and splice it to my Tekonsha P3 harness (I thought the ebay harness for the Tekonsha was too expensive at $60) only to find out the same as you that the Atlas end of that 51522 is probably made for the Audi Q7 and older Touareg. I went to my local VW dealer to just buy the VAG male connecter and 4 terminals and the package was going to cost me $75... so what I did is i cut the OEM trailer pig tail on the Atlas and made up my own 4 pin connector (i had spare parts) to the P3. Looks almost OEM and it did cost me a dime.
 

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thanks! I bought the Curt already (beacuse

thanks

thank you @Brancozorus - for you super fast response. It seems that I did identify the right cable - right? as I already have the Curt - where do I find the documentation - what is each wire function in this connector. Also - do you recommend cramping or soldering ?
Last - the Curt is asking for 30 Amp circuit breaker - but I did not see anyone installing it - any thoughts on this ?
Ran
I crimped mine, soldered, and heat shrink

the 30amp fuse is already there if you have factory tow on your Atlas

i actually burned mine while cutting the OEM connector - so don’t me dumb like me and cut 1 wire at a time (i cut the whole things and stupid me of course shorted 2 wires...)

it’s built with a relay already and has a 15amp fuse also
 

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I crimped mine, soldered, and heat shrink

the 30amp fuse is already there if you have factory tow on your Atlas

i actually burned mine while cutting the OEM connector - so don’t me dumb like me and cut 1 wire at a time (i cut the whole things and stupid me of course shorted 2 wires...)

it’s built with a relay already and has a 15amp fuse also
What Gina said...

Im surprised the curt doesn't work. It looks like it should. As for finding out which wire does what. Do a quick search on youtube for Atlas brake controller and a guy tests the leads.
 

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What Gina said...

Im surprised the curt doesn't work. It looks like it should. As for finding out which wire does what. Do a quick search on youtube for Atlas brake controller and a guy tests the leads.
yeah test the leads - i think i saw the same vid that @Brancozorus mentions but that guy seemed to have reversed the red/wht and red/blk leads (he was using a RedArk controller), at least the +12 was different for me when connecting to the P3 harness (on the wiring diagram that came with the P3).

the connector for the touareg/Audi is different that Atlas - the last two digits of the VAG part #
 

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I wouldn't consider towing that trailer with the Atlas. You are at the absolute limits in most regards and over the tongue weight. The Atlas max payload is a paltry 1,113 lbs (1,080 on some) With 518 on the tongue, even if you ignored that being over the max, your payload in the Atlas is now 595lbs. That's people and cargo. You are pretty much maxed out with 4 people and a couple of bags. And there's really not much capacity to carry stuff in the trailer based on weight. You'd need to pack pretty light.
Thanks for the message @Tim K . I have not towed anything yet, maybe a dumb question but by loading a bit more in the back of the trailer, could that reduce the TW? Or folks don’t do that because of x-y-z reasons?
 

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If you improperly load your trailer it can become really dangerous. it may be possible to shift some of the load rearward to lessen the tongue weight but doing so can also affect the towing characteristics of the trailer. You can google "reduce trailer tongue weight" for suggestions. I'm not an expert by any means so I'm not going to give advice.
 

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Hi everyone, i just joined this forum and oh my god there is so much great information, particularly this thread! I was not sure if I should start a new thread or continue this one. Thanks to all that maintain and contribute to this real life knowledge-base for noobs like me!

I own a 2019 Atlas AWD/V6 with factory tow. We just put a down payment on the same trailer as @alramos a Coachmen Apex Nano - model year 2021 208BHS. We are also a family of 4 (but no dog... yet :) ) Expected possession date in a couple of weeks.

DW on the trailer is around 4k#, GW 6k# and TW 518#, slightly more than the rated factory hitch.

Like many on this thread, i am concerned about WDH, VW recommendations and so on. I reached on to an RV dealer and they mentioned for these types of German vehicle manufacturers (yes I know the Atlas is built in TN) many of then have this no-WDH recommendations because of some EU laws etc.

Anyways, I own the Atlas, i love it and no plan on changing the vehicle. I don’t plan on loosing my deposit either on the camper we just bought (I really like that model because of the double bunks for my growing 2 boys), unless I am still uncomfortable about going the WDH way since the GW is way above the rated Atlas. And if at all possible I would like to use the OEM hitch and not have a second hitch. Having said that, and as I wrote above, LOTS of great into in the forum and thread.

Some folks here mentioned the Draw WDH has a back plate, and higher grade 5 bolts going through the frame (and 4 vs 2 bolts in OEM - did i get that part right?)

What prompted me to write is to ask about knowledge and experience regarding hardening/strengthening of the OEM hitch. I searched the forum and could not find info/experience on that. Has anyone done that? The RV dealer (mentioned above) offers that option by welding a big rectangular frame member behind/below the hitch carrier, below the exhaust muffler and welded to the floor/frame (in front of the muffler). I already asked the question about the practicality of this, especially when having to remove the muffler (i am not sure if there are normal repairs or tech bulletin calling for muffler removal), and the dealer said it would be “interesting” to remove but the exhaust/muffler would probably outlast and/or need to remove the muffler unlikely. He sent me an example of that reinforced hitch (he said that picture was from a Touareg, but the install is similar on the Atlas).

Let me know! Looking for as factual-as-possible information. I am no engineer either so trying to understand what that strengthening piece actually does and would it upgrade the hitch to be more capable of WD (and I am not sure if the OEM bolts as part of that upgrade are — or can be? —upgraded from the OEM lower grade bolt setup).

Cheers!

View attachment 1750
Not sure if this is timely or not for your purposes, but I've been scouring the internet for info as well on the "hardening the factory towing" towing question, and found this post on the Airstream Towing forum. There is actually an interesting thread all about the Atlas and towing various Airstreams with additional explanations offered on the EU laws barring WDH overall, etc. Overall it gives similar perspectives as in this thread (thanks to all for the great info!!!) but has one specific post, #26 which shows what some guy did to actually shore up the factory hitch.

See here. https://www.airforums.com/forums/f463/anyone-tow-with-the-vw-atlas-194906-2.html#post2433448

I tend to think there are still many unanswered questions on this issue (from a purely academic POV, I have not yet towed anything with my Atlas, although am planning to):

1) Does anyone know of regulatory actions or class action lawsuits taken up on this issue? Seeing that the WDH is recommended for towing safely when the weight of the trailer is over 1/2 the weight of the tow vehicle, which on my Atlas sits at nearly 6,000 lbs, the prohibition in the manual could in theory eliminate towing anything 3,000 and higher. Because of that, I would argue that the advertised towing capacity of 5,000 is misleading; I wonder if that is maybe worth a look by a regulator? Especially since other manufacturers in the same class with unibodies take the opposite approach and RECOMMEND the WDH at any weights approaching the max capacity rating advertised (see Chevy Traverse); and I mean come on, all of us here agree the Atlas is better than the Traverse, can I get an amen??

2) Doesn't the concept of a WDH actually make it easier on the towing vehicle by reducing the sagging stress on the back and keeping it distributed without stressing the frame as much in any one spot? In reading on the subject, I am not finding a concrete yes or no, just the inferences from the prohibition here that it would cause damage as opposed to some general trailering websites which say that the WDH reduces stress on the vehicle. The fact that other manufacturers running unibodies in this class at the same towing rating who recommend the WDH when the weight of the trailer is towards the upper limit muddies the water even further. I would think the majority of the stress is on the actual WDH (given the size, materials, weight, components), and not on the frame of the towing vehicle.

Never knew this stuff could be so interesting. Can't wait to see if a class-action comes about because of this thread!
 

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Not sure if this is timely or not for your purposes, but I've been scouring the internet for info as well on the "hardening the factory towing" towing question, and found this post on the Airstream Towing forum. There is actually an interesting thread all about the Atlas and towing various Airstreams with additional explanations offered on the EU laws barring WDH overall, etc. Overall it gives similar perspectives as in this thread (thanks to all for the great info!!!) but has one specific post, #26 which shows what some guy did to actually shore up the factory hitch.

See here. https://www.airforums.com/forums/f463/anyone-tow-with-the-vw-atlas-194906-2.html#post2433448

I tend to think there are still many unanswered questions on this issue (from a purely academic POV, I have not yet towed anything with my Atlas, although am planning to):

1) Does anyone know of regulatory actions or class action lawsuits taken up on this issue? Seeing that the WDH is recommended for towing safely when the weight of the trailer is over 1/2 the weight of the tow vehicle, which on my Atlas sits at nearly 6,000 lbs, the prohibition in the manual could in theory eliminate towing anything 3,000 and higher. Because of that, I would argue that the advertised towing capacity of 5,000 is misleading; I wonder if that is maybe worth a look by a regulator? Especially since other manufacturers in the same class with unibodies take the opposite approach and RECOMMEND the WDH at any weights approaching the max capacity rating advertised (see Chevy Traverse); and I mean come on, all of us here agree the Atlas is better than the Traverse, can I get an amen??

2) Doesn't the concept of a WDH actually make it easier on the towing vehicle by reducing the sagging stress on the back and keeping it distributed without stressing the frame as much in any one spot? In reading on the subject, I am not finding a concrete yes or no, just the inferences from the prohibition here that it would cause damage as opposed to some general trailering websites which say that the WDH reduces stress on the vehicle. The fact that other manufacturers running unibodies in this class at the same towing rating who recommend the WDH when the weight of the trailer is towards the upper limit muddies the water even further. I would think the majority of the stress is on the actual WDH (given the size, materials, weight, components), and not on the frame of the towing vehicle.

Never knew this stuff could be so interesting. Can't wait to see if a class-action comes about because of this thread!
All good points, and I hear ya. Ive towed with no air bags and no WDH on my Atlas at about 450lbs tongue weight and I am not doing it again. I don't think its safe. I added the air bags which helped immensely but I think now Im looking at getting the draw tite hitch rated for WDH to sit below the factory hitch in combination with the bags. The bags will prevent most of the downward sag and then keep the WDH isn't set too aggressively picking up the last inch or two of ride height. Im sure the reasoning is all a commination of the arguments however you can argue for/against each. The one thing people go back to is the manual says don't, but not why.

here are my thoughts on things:

If it was about the unibody then why does draw-tie make a WDH rated receiver? Im sure they wouldn't take that liability if they didn't think it could handle it. But also VW brags about how "stiff" and strong this unibody is.
So its just the hitch then?, why didn't they install a WDH rated receiver? probably because they didn't want people towing over 5000lb capacity. With WD you could creep up on total trailer weight by offsetting, and though the Atlas can handle WDH up to and slightly over and could physically tow probably 7500lbs it would then be too much.
In Europe they don't allow WD so the atlas got the same rules though its clearly made and designed for north America. Its typical for "German" cars to say no to WDH. They probably didn't "do the math" and thought they could safely say 5,000lbs and throw a cheap hitch on there. The thing doesn't even come with the 7pin connector for petes sake....
Its more dangerous to tow without sway and WDH on 3500lbs+, Just the wear on your poor back tires alone. IMO if you stay within the rating (500lbs hitch and 5000lbs towing) and use a WDH with the draw tite receiver (and bags if you so desire) then it will be fine.

but in the manual its says no.....but the manual also says lots of stuff to not do that we do regularly.

Anyone else only installing the VW factory roof rack? because I'm sure in the manual it says that's the only one that's approved.... catch my drift
 
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