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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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