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View Full Version : Towing with a 99 B5 A4 Avant Q1.8t APR1 Springs/dampers, hitch recs? or buy a BMW X3



jws
03-12-2016, 01:16 PM
I am considering towing a little pop up trailer (w/ trailer brakes) with my 1.8t B5 A4 APR stage 1 Avant Quattro. The trailer weighs about 1200 lbs.

I have read a few threads on this topic and have gleaned that towing ratings in Europe are more generous (but this may require expensive euro hitch)

I would also want to tow my boat about 5 miles to the boat ramp. The boat/trailer/motor is just shy of 3000 lbs which checks out fine for UK tow recommendations. Not sure about tongue weight.

What would be a low budget but solid setup? I have stock springs and dampers. I would be looking at springs, dampers, and hitch (custom). I still have original stock clutch 112K miles, so this may need an upgrade in the near future as well (A friend has an S4 with 300K miles with original clutch).

Or should I ditch my beloved Avant and get a BMW X3? I can trade my Avant and pony up $6K - $8K for an BMW X3 with ~70K miles.
jws

walky_talky20
03-12-2016, 02:12 PM
I think the pop-up is fine. No worries. The boat is probably not the best idea. If what you are towing is approaching the weight of the tow vehicle, and your tow vehicle has a short wheel base, things can get dicey.

That said, if your boat has trailer brakes, and the tongue weight is dialed in correctly, and you would only be towing a short distance in good weather at under 50mph...then you're probably a good candidate to pull this off. I would definitely advise a hitch that bolts to the bumper mounting points - not one that just grabs the sheet metal of the spare tire well.

tar
03-12-2016, 02:13 PM
Keep avant, buy 4k truck to tow with.

And build avant!

jws
03-12-2016, 02:18 PM
Keep avant, buy 4k truck to tow with.

And build avant!

Need room for the kids when towing the pop up.

tar
03-12-2016, 02:40 PM
4 door truck! Seats 6 usually. Room in bed for more stuff.

jws
03-12-2016, 02:44 PM
I think the pop-up is fine. No worries. The boat is probably not the best idea. If what you are towing is approaching the weight of the tow vehicle, and your tow vehicle has a short wheel base, things can get dicey.

That said, if your boat has trailer brakes, and the tongue weight is dialed in correctly, and you would only be towing a short distance in good weather at under 50mph...then you're probably a good candidate to pull this off. I would definitely advise a hitch that bolts to the bumper mounting points - not one that just grabs the sheet metal of the spare tire well.

Is that hitch the euro spec hitch -- uber expensive. Has anybody modified reinforced the US spec hitch? Is there a robust hitch available in the US? Or am I looking at $850 - $1000?

Yes, the boat trailer has brakes.

30mph max to local boat ramp. My biggest worry is slipping the clutch and getting into the torque/power band enough to pull the boat out of the water, and the parking brake holding while I start the car.

I read somewhere about an 85% rule. If it means the trailer should be less than 85% tow vehicle weight, it should be close. the Avant is ~3350lbs, boat is 1470lbs, motor is ~450lbs, fuel ~240lbs. trailer ~ 600 lbs, plus misc and extras. Tongue weight looks to be ~ 240lbs.

walky_talky20
03-12-2016, 04:17 PM
There are people that have made DIY hitches more in the Euro style. Here's one on an Allroad (an Audizine member was actually making these and selling them):

http://i1277.photobucket.com/albums/y487/theguilfoyle/P1000650_zpsf3bbebff.jpg

For the B6 and B7 chassis, Curt makes 2 designs. The first one (applicated for models up to 2006) just bolts into the spare tire well sheet metal:
http://www.amazon.com/111643-Class-Trailer-Hitch-Old-Style/dp/B000A0Q1CQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1457827833&sr=8-1&keywords=CURT+Trailer+Hitch+%23111643

Their other design bolts to the frame rails. At least one 2006 owner has installed this 07-08 version without issue:
http://www.amazon.com/111643-Class-Trailer-Hitch-Old-Style/dp/B000A0Q1CQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1457827833&sr=8-1&keywords=CURT+Trailer+Hitch+%23111643

I couldn't find examples of a B5 DIY hitches, but I'm pretty sure I've seen them before.