How much can I tow? | GTAMotorcycle.com

How much can I tow?

daught

Well-known member
I am trying to find how much I can tow with my B7 A4 3.2 6 speed manual transmission.

My Canadian manual does not specify a weight. It only states I am limited to class 1 or class 2 hitch. These north american hitches drill in to the spare wheel well. I would not trust them too much.

Then there's the European hitch, which is a solid steel bar that bolts in place of the crash bar. The european manual lists the maximum towing capacity to be 2000KG with a trailer that has brakes. See the European hitch tag bellow. With an euro hitch what would be the heaviest load I could pull?

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PrivatePilot

Ironus Butticus
Site Supporter
By the letter of the law you can tow whatever you want so far as it's not deemed "unsafe", and that is open to interpretation by LEO's. So, pulling a 40' mobile home, probably gonna get nabbed. Pulling a 4 foot box trailer that's loaded or hooked up wrong and swaying all over the road could equally get you pulled over however.

Now, realistically....

Euro tow ratings are generally higher for a variety of reasons I won't really get into here, but you could certainly use it as a guideline as to what Audi deemed acceptable for the car, so ~4500#...which is actually a pretty decent sized trailer, but exceeds the 3500# max weight rating of a class 2 hitch on this side of the pond.

In the end, if you're going to put a class 2 hitch on it I'd consider a 3500# trailer to realistically be your maximum.

Take note that anything over 3000# will require trailer brakes which does add another level of complexity to the installation of the electrical on the car.

Biggest thing to keep in mind is that most cars will pull far more weight than they can stop, and wind resistance has a far bigger effect on what a vehicle can tow than weight - a 1500# empty 8' high enclosed trailer will pull like a lead sled at speeds over 90KPH, but a 3500# loaded flatbed that fits in behind the cars slipstream will pull drastically easier at speeds well in excess of 90.

So, the big question is...what are you looking to tow?
 

blackcamaro

Well-known member
Keep your GVWR in mind. You probably have around 1000lbs room to eat up but it can go pretty quickly when you start adding tongue weight, vehicle occupants, crap in the trunk etc.

B7 is a little older now so it wouldn’t be on original tires. Check whatever replacement you used has an acceptable load rating.

Both of those things I mention would concern me more for longer highway type trips. A short rip to the dump or whatever and I’d run just about anything.
 

PrivatePilot

Ironus Butticus
Site Supporter
Yes, I meant to mention GVWR, but I got distracted and submitted the post before remembering. The rear GAWR is another thing to keep in mind.

That said, with a class 2 trailer, assuming the standard 10% tongue weight, even a 3000# trailer is only exerting 300# of tongue weight on the car. Unless you have a few fat friends in the back plus a few cases of beer in the trunk, 300# isn't going to push GVWR or the rear GAWR over. ;)
 

daught

Well-known member
I am looking at my options to move to Vancouver. I don't have a "lot" of stuff, but it would add up. My bulkiest load would be my ikea pull out sofa to host all my friends that are going to visit. Realistically I will probably sell it. Next are the winter tires which I just got. Those I want to take with me. GF wants the kitchen, and I NEED my 3 bikes, and at least 3 pairs of skis, camping, mountaineering, climbing stuff. All that can go in my top box. My work tools, but all those fit on my bicycle.

Any idea how I can figure out what the class equivalent is for the euro hitch? It's just a swan neck, without square tube receiver.

B7 is a little older now so it wouldn’t be on original tires. Check whatever replacement you used has an acceptable load rating.
I have Michelin a/s 3+ tires, I will check their load rating.
 

crankcall

Well-known member
Site Supporter
the praries wont be your problem, the mountains will. And not the uphills, gearing fixes that, its the downhills. You'll cook a set of brakes on a trailer without brakes.
I had a hitch on a manual jetta, similar setup to your A4. It would be a bad idea to attempt to pull more than #2000 , which includes the weight of your trailer. And if you put a loaded top case on the car drop 500lbs off the trailer load.
This is not based on stickers and "what you can do", its based on 5 yrs of having a trailer/car combo similar to yours.

You can pull whatever you want, but you will have a potential to F'up a lot of things onroute overloaded. Rent a one way cube van, put car in cube van, go to home depot and buy some 2x6 and plywood and build a platform over the car and fill full of your stuff. No trailer to sell in Van, no wear and tear on car and a suspension / brake system designed for what your doing.
 
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TK4

Well-known member
General rule is tongue weight should be no more than 10% of your trailer GVW. Do the math backwards and that will tell you what class hitch you need.
 

Trials

Well-known member
When you say 3 bikes is that 3 motorcycles? That adds up pretty fast unless they are extremely light bikes, I doubt you have anywhere near enough car to adequately haul the load you are describing. ( if bikes = pedal bicycles that is a whole different weight calculation )

A 6x12 Uhaul enclosed trailer weighs in at just shy of 1 ton empty (is their largest available), the smallest tandem axle they rent is 5x10 and that weighs 1250 empty, is only 4 feet high and can only haul 1550, both have the aerodynamics of a brick. You don't want to be hauling a Uhaul trailer loaded to capacity with an Audi, would not be worth it. Put the whole thing including your car in a big rental truck and now you don't have enough driver license to drive the truck. I suspect you need to entertain a better moving solution.

Best luck with your move.
 

Brian P

Well-known member
Moderator
Site Supporter
Your Audi A4 is about the same size as my old Mk5 Jetta. If the brakes are any better, it won't be by much. It might weigh more, but not by much. Yours has all wheel drive, but that doesn't help with stopping.

I routinely towed an open motorcycle trailer with two bikes on it and toolboxes and spare parts etc, totalling about 1600 lbs, plus two people in the car and the car pretty full of stuff. No trailer brakes. I wouldn't want to tow any more than that. If I remember right, the European tow rating for that car with the European hitch was 600 or 650 kg without trailer brakes and I'd say that's about right. There was a higher rating with trailer brakes.

I never tried towing a U-Haul trailer. Their trailers generally seem to be really, really heavy. I know of people who have towed smaller enclosed trailers (non-U-Haul, probably lighter) with a Mk4 Jetta, and although the car did it, I don't think I'd want to cross the country and go up and down mountains with it.

If your stuff won't fit in a little trailer, you are probably into getting a moving company to ship a container cross-country for you, and drive the car separately with no trailer and no stress. I doubt if it would be horrendously expensive for a company that does this all the time to ship a container cross-country.

If nothing else ... towing a big trailer will probably add 50% fuel consumption (maybe more) and slow you down enough to add another day to the trip. Not doing so helps offset the cost of shipping a container ...
 

GreyGhost

Well-known member
Site Supporter
Sounding like a 20' sea can is a good fit (and you may even be able to take your couch)
 

crankcall

Well-known member
Site Supporter
a 20ft sea can only works if there is a place at the other end to drop a 20ft sea can, you get a 4hr window to unload it and they cant drop it on the street without permits. Its about 2600. Toronto to Van and takes two weeks ish.
A mover for the amount of stuff you describe would be in the 2K range to door to door. But your only booking part of the truck so it could take weeks,

20ft Cube van, hauls about 6,500lb payload, no special licence required. fuel bill will be about $800.
 

PrivatePilot

Ironus Butticus
Site Supporter
I would concur with the idea of renting a U-Haul and a car float and getting across the country that way. Load everything into the Uhaul including the bikes and tow the car.

What you're proposing will not work for many of the reasons that have already been mentioned.
 

daught

Well-known member
I should have been more specific especially on a motorcycle forum, I am taking 3 bicycles.

The B7 A4 has considerably better brakes than the jetta, and I upgraded mine to the S brakes which are 345mm. That's as big as the F150.

Good point about the uhaul trailers being very heavy. I started looking for aluminum open trailers.

It's definitely cheaper to ship than rent a u-haul truck. The truck is $3000 plus gas would probably be at least $1000. I looked in to shipping 3 skids and it comes to $1200-$1500ish.

Can someone recommend me a few companies to ship a sea can with? Most companies I found on google just have form and send an email back. The replies I got were over $4000. I have a driveway at both ends.
 

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