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Anyone towing with their Q5?

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Old 09-18-2011, 05:36 PM   #1
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Default Anyone towing with their Q5?

Hi all, we are looking to replace my wife's E53 X5 3.0 and want to be able to tow a small (18ft, 3200lbs w/trailer) ski boat. I have an 01.5 S4 so naturally I wanted to look at Q7's. We drove a 3.6l, and she loves the interior and the way it drives, she is not sold on the overall look of the Q7 however so we drove an E70 X5 3.0si. Although esthetically it is really nice and had decent power, the iDrive system is not very intuitive and the interior seems to be a little cheaper then our previous model.

We had originally thought that the Q5's were too small for our needs, but have now decided to give them a good look and am wondering if anyone has been in a similar situation, or has owned either the Q7 or X5 and now owns the Q5? Specifically, is there a tow hitch available from Audi or a high quality aftermarket set up? Is anyone currently towing with their Q5, and what is the max rated tow capacity/braking capacity while towing?

Thanks for any input!
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Old 09-18-2011, 08:32 PM   #2
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Max rated tow capacity for 2.0T or 3.2 is 4400 lbs. I have a 2.0T coming with a trailer hitch, wish I could tell you about it, but I have to wait until mid-November.
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Old 09-19-2011, 03:10 AM   #3
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Yes - tows like a champ!

Click the image to open in full size.

I use an aftermarket tow bar that I fitted myself - there is plenty of information on the forum on towing and tow bars.

All the best with your decision.
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Old 09-19-2011, 03:56 AM   #4
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I use a Curt hitch that I installed after market. I thought I'd save some $$ but turns out that after installation, costs, ordering a harness from the UK and doing the software coding I just saved a couple of hundred bucks. Go with the Audi hitch to save yourself some headaches, it's worth the cost. Best to get all the specs from the dealer. Found this online:
Towing Capacity: 4400 lbs Tongue Weight: 440 lbs.
Towing Capacity: Brake(2000kg), Unbrake(750kg)
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Old 09-19-2011, 05:09 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrustyNoodle View Post
Yes - tows like a champ!

Click the image to open in full size.

I use an aftermarket tow bar that I fitted myself - there is plenty of information on the forum on towing and tow bars.

All the best with your decision.
That has to be at 4400lbs? How does the Q5 handle that load on start, stops and hills?
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Old 09-19-2011, 05:54 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrV View Post
I use a Curt hitch that I installed after market. I thought I'd save some $$ but turns out that after installation, costs, ordering a harness from the UK and doing the software coding I just saved a couple of hundred bucks. Go with the Audi hitch to save yourself some headaches, it's worth the cost. Best to get all the specs from the dealer. Found this online:
Towing Capacity: 4400 lbs Tongue Weight: 440 lbs.
Towing Capacity: Brake(2000kg), Unbrake(750kg)
Thanks for the info. After searching the forum, it seems like the Audi hitch is a little less expensive to install when you have the S-line due to the "trap door" already on the S bumper cover, which is great because I'm looking at the S-line anyway.

I can't seem to find any definitive info on the the EBC. Does the OEM hitch come as a package with the EBC, or is it not actually a controller but instead an interface? Sounds like it is integrated with the ECU because some of the posts indicated that it affects engine and tranny settings. Is it simply a module that plugs into a harness in the back, and then you buy a brake controller separately?
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Old 09-19-2011, 05:58 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1atlas View Post
That has to be at 4400lbs? How does the Q5 handle that load on start, stops and hills?
I agree, that is a cool picture, pretty impressive!

I second the question but mostly in relation to the stopping, did you do some type of EBC, or do you have a trailer with surge brakes? I have no doubt the Q5 can pull, I am concerned about trailer sway and stopping if towing long distances, over mountain passes, etc.
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Old 09-19-2011, 03:10 PM   #8
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No EBC for the OEM trailer hitch on my 09 Q5. At least that's what the receiver label states.

The ECU connection does provide info on blown signal lights on the trailer though. Nice!
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Old 09-20-2011, 09:16 AM   #9
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I had a factory hitch installed on my '10 Q5. I use it to tow ~1500 lbs of motorcycles and trailer. If not for the image on the MMI when I put it into reverse, it's hardly noticable.

I'm also using one of these cusioned ball mounts and it makes the braking/accleration transitions pretty quiet: http://www.etrailer.com/Ball-Mounts/...all/AMSC4.html
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Old 09-20-2011, 12:06 PM   #10
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I'm towing a 1300 pound camping trailer and it is fine. Drops gas mileage somewhat but not terrible. At 4400 rating I'd not want to tow more than 2200 which is half. From Seattle most directions involve mountains and I want plenty of wiggle room. This is a 2.0 and you don't even know the trailer is there. The big mirrors are great, too.
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Old 09-20-2011, 12:08 PM   #11
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My brake is mechanical so no controller required. Best way to go in my opinion/situaiton.
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Old 09-20-2011, 05:25 PM   #12
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You guys even notice thats a V6 3.0 TDI Q5 in the pic? 500mn torque thats no pony.
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Old 09-20-2011, 07:20 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by allgrrl View Post
I'm towing a 1300 pound camping trailer and it is fine. Drops gas mileage somewhat but not terrible. At 4400 rating I'd not want to tow more than 2200 which is half. From Seattle most directions involve mountains and I want plenty of wiggle room. This is a 2.0 and you don't even know the trailer is there. The big mirrors are great, too.
allgrrl in Seattle
Hey, I'm in Oly and agree, lots of "hills" and mountains! I'll most likely be going with a 3.2, and am wondering if towing a 3000lb 18ft ski boat and trailer over to Chelan would be possible? Not on a regular basis, maybe once a year when we want to actually experience sunshine, mostly just shorter trips to lakes or the sound which I have no doubt it could handle. I'm thinking an OEM hitch and a trailer with surge brakes would most likely suffice with the weight I'll be towing.
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Old 09-21-2011, 03:50 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1atlas View Post
That has to be at 4400lbs? How does the Q5 handle that load on start, stops and hills?
In the rest of the world, the Q5 is rated at a towing limit of 2400kg (5280 lb) with the correct tow hitch fitted (like the factory installed swivel hitch or appropriate after market hitch). My set up has the full 2400kg tow rating and I estimated this load at around 2000kg (4,400 lb) so not a problem there!

The trailer had surge brakes which as always are a little clunky but very effective. So braking was no trouble at all though as always you need to drive accordingly. I was more concerned about the Camry breaking loose than anything else.

With the factory fit, dealer fit (if done properly) and DIY fit (again if done properly), the trailer control module is fitted which interfaces with the car's electronics including the ESP which has a specific function to control trailer sway. I have the trailer control module all rigged up and I didn't experience any untoward trailer sway.

the whole set up tows like a champ!

Quote:
Originally Posted by OlyS4 View Post
Thanks for the info. After searching the forum, it seems like the Audi hitch is a little less expensive to install when you have the S-line due to the "trap door" already on the S bumper cover, which is great because I'm looking at the S-line anyway.

I can't seem to find any definitive info on the the EBC. Does the OEM hitch come as a package with the EBC, or is it not actually a controller but instead an interface? Sounds like it is integrated with the ECU because some of the posts indicated that it affects engine and tranny settings. Is it simply a module that plugs into a harness in the back, and then you buy a brake controller separately?
The trailer control module does not include electronic brake control. You'd need to fit this separately however the wiring plugs are already fitted under the dash to make this process easier - there are a few forum threads around from others who have done this.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jusforfun View Post
You guys even notice thats a V6 3.0 TDI Q5 in the pic? 500mn torque thats no pony.
Too right! No problem with take-offs or hills with this baby!


Quote:
Originally Posted by OlyS4 View Post
Hey, I'm in Oly and agree, lots of "hills" and mountains! I'll most likely be going with a 3.2, and am wondering if towing a 3000lb 18ft ski boat and trailer over to Chelan would be possible? Not on a regular basis, maybe once a year when we want to actually experience sunshine, mostly just shorter trips to lakes or the sound which I have no doubt it could handle. I'm thinking an OEM hitch and a trailer with surge brakes would most likely suffice with the weight I'll be towing.
If you're going to be towing at altitude (or even if you're not) then I'd recommend the 2.0TFSI engine. It produces more torque at lower rev's than the 3.2FSI so would probably be better suited to towing. The difference at altitude would be even more pronounced with the 3.2FSI getting a little breathless (like us all).
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Old 09-21-2011, 04:26 AM   #15
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You are correct - if towing is a priority, a turbo is the better choice for high altitude towing and a turbo diesel is even better

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Old 02-19-2012, 06:42 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by 1atlas View Post
That has to be at 4400lbs? How does the Q5 handle that load on start, stops and hills?
What exactly is required to tow with the Q5? Our Q5 has the factory tow package on the window sticker. From what Iíve read here, it appears that the Q5 has the hookup for lights, but not for electronic braking and the computer has the mapping for towing and the sway control. Is that correct? Would Audi service have the required accessories for brakes or would it be better to go to a trailer company for their professional assistance?
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Old 02-21-2012, 02:35 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cains10 View Post
What exactly is required to tow with the Q5? Our Q5 has the factory tow package on the window sticker. From what Iíve read here, it appears that the Q5 has the hookup for lights, but not for electronic braking and the computer has the mapping for towing and the sway control. Is that correct? Would Audi service have the required accessories for brakes or would it be better to go to a trailer company for their professional assistance?
The factory tow is what they call "tow preparation" which seems to imply just bolt holes and a tee in the wiring harness. I had a tow hitch installed on my 2012 Q5 and the total cost ended up being about $1600 for parts and labor. Actually cost more than the trailer I'm going to use it with.

One warning if you go this route, there is a removable plate in the back-bottom of the vehicle. The dealer took this plate out for the hitch and electrical plug to come through and then left the plate out when done. Interestingly, the plate has an outline on its back side to cut out for a proper fit around the tow hook. I'm still trying to get the dealer to finish the job and do that cutout as to me it looks very unfinished just having the entire plate out. If this doesn't resolve soon I'll have to get the Dremel out and do the cutting myself.
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Old 02-21-2012, 11:41 AM   #18
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Default Q5 towing

I tow somwhat regularily with my 2009 3.2. Installed the Audi hitch myself soon after I got the car. Very easy install.

I have towed a small 17' boat on several 300+ mile trips, a small utility trailer with misc stuff on board and a small Kubota tractor/front end loader 600 miles. Heaviest load has probably been 2000 lbs. No problems whatsoever with handling or acceleration. Gas mileage suffers a little but no more than wiht a stiff headwind.

I have used my Q5 to put a 26' 5000 lb boat in and out of the water with no problems but I only take it about 2 blocks, very slowly. Definitely looks like the tail wagging the dog. Pulls it right out even on a steep slippery ramp.
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Old 02-21-2012, 01:42 PM   #19
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I rented a 2.0TDi a couple years ago to tow a car up to england to get tuned. A total of 24 hours of towing with it during th trip with no problems.

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 02-22-2012, 01:30 AM   #20
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Old 02-22-2012, 01:30 AM
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