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  1. #1
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    Cayenne Towing Imagine 17 MKE

    We're towing our Imagine 17 MKE with a 2017 Cayenne and a Fastway e2 round bar WDH. On our last trip we made 3 passes over the Cat scale to see how our weights worked out fully loaded. This photo shows the 3 scale results in blue and the calculated values in the green cells, along with trailer/TV capacities.

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    Tongue weight is our limiting factor, as expected. The Touareg-Q7-Cayenne platform allows 617 or 770 lb, varying by model and year for no clear reason. They're all rated to tow 7700 lb. I spent an evening browsing 60 pages of threads on it on the Airstream Forum. My take is 617 lb is the European standard 8% maximum, and 770 lb is a 10% value often assigned to accommodate the US goal of 10% minimum. It's such a mess that VW will even send you a new sticker upon request to "upgrade" your receiver from 617 to 770 lb. Anyway, I'd resolved to live within the 617 lb limit with occasional excursions closer to 770 lb, as needed.

    The scale results suggest this won't be necessary as we're only at 560 lb. Now we'll probably shift some gear out of the TV and into the pass through to put that weight on the tongue rather than directly over the rear axle. We've had no issues with sway, even in 18 mph winds gusting to 25 mph or so. It pulls well, easily accelerates up 6% grades, and braking feels strong too. We're only pulling 70% of the Cayenne's rated towing capacity.

    But I do have some questions on weight distribution. Looking at the table above, you'll see the hitch redistributed only about 80 lb to the front axle. Somehow I'd expected to see a greater weight shift. However, we're about 330 lb under both the front and rear axle weight limits. The rear fender is about 3/4" lower than unhitched and the front is largely unchanged (measurement was tough due to an uneven concrete floor near a drain). After installing the bars, the rear lifts enough to reduce the sag by more than 50%, which is what Fastway says is the goal. Here's a photo.

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    Maybe this is as good as it gets? Or should we consider an Andersen or other premium WDH? The Andersen has the advantage of being lighter and probably puts the ball a bit closer to the bumper.
    Dave and Cathy
    2017 Porsche Cayenne S
    2021 Imagine 17MKE

  2. #2
    Site Team Ynot4me2's Avatar
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    My take is the E2 is an entry level wdh. The Anderson is a superior wdh and much lighter which will lighten the load.
    Steph & Lise
    2019 F150 Lariat 2.7 EB
    2020 Imagine XLS 22MLE

  3. #3
    Site Sponsor Tigger1's Avatar
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    @dkayak
    Excellent job with your weights and analysis!

    I don’t have any experience with the E2 but unless you want the lightness of an Andersen WDH, it appears you have things dialed in. Although you are concerned with the 80# weight transfer, you mentioned the front wheel well looking good and no sway with the high winds you experienced, so maybe leave things alone for awhile. When I clicked on your photo it looks pretty level to me.

    Another thing to consider, and I admit this can be subjective, does the weight of the steering feel about the same pulling the trailer compared to no trailer.
    Last edited by Tigger1; 05-11-2021 at 12:12 PM.
    2010 Tundra SR5 DC 5.7L 4x4
    2020 Imagine XLS 22MLE
    Andersen WDH
    Dexter E-Z Flex Suspension Kit
    2018 Rockwood Mini Lite 2104s
    2014 Jayco x17z Hybrid

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    Site Sponsor NB Canada's Avatar
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    I personally don’t think his hitch is doing anything

    Only 80 pounds transferred and zero to the trailer axles?


    2021 Imagine 2400 BH
    2018 GMC Sierra 4x4 crew
    2021 Imagine 2400 BH
    2018 GMC Sierra 4x4 Crew 1840lb payload

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tigger1 View Post
    @dkayak
    Excellent job with your weights and analysis!

    I don’t have any experience with the E2 but unless you want the lightness of an Andersen WDH, it appears you have things dialed in. Although you are concerned with the 80# weight transfer, you mentioned the front wheel well looking good and no sway with the high winds you experienced, so maybe leave things alone for awhile. When I clicked on your photo it looks pretty level to me.

    Another thing to consider, and I admit this can be subjective, does the weight of the steering feel about the same pulling the trailer compared to no trailer.
    Steering feels "planted" rather than "floaty".
    Dave and Cathy
    2017 Porsche Cayenne S
    2021 Imagine 17MKE

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    Site Sponsor Tigger1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dkayak View Post
    Steering feels "planted" rather than "floaty".
    As to the lack of weight transfer does your Cayenne have an air suspension sensor system? If yes, maybe that system is trying to keep the car level. I don’t have experience as an owner just based on what I’ve read here and there.
    2010 Tundra SR5 DC 5.7L 4x4
    2020 Imagine XLS 22MLE
    Andersen WDH
    Dexter E-Z Flex Suspension Kit
    2018 Rockwood Mini Lite 2104s
    2014 Jayco x17z Hybrid

  7. #7
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    I should have noted that it does not have air suspension, so any leveling is being done by the hitch. I will say those (800 lb) load bars are carrying a noticeable load (speaking as a metallurgical engineer). They're bending elastically like big springs, and as noted before the rear is visibly lifted after putting them in place using the tongue jack. I don't have access to the measurements, which are in the unit in storage, but they reduce the rear sag by over 50%.
    Dave and Cathy
    2017 Porsche Cayenne S
    2021 Imagine 17MKE

  8. #8
    Site Sponsor Tigger1's Avatar
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    As noted by others it doesn’t appear the E2 hitch is doing much other than lifting the rear of the car. It should act as a fulcrum that pivots weight to the steer and trailer axles simultaneously.

    It seems you have done a lot of research, are other Cayenne owners using an E2 with better success?
    2010 Tundra SR5 DC 5.7L 4x4
    2020 Imagine XLS 22MLE
    Andersen WDH
    Dexter E-Z Flex Suspension Kit
    2018 Rockwood Mini Lite 2104s
    2014 Jayco x17z Hybrid

  9. #9
    Site Sponsor Tigger1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dkayak View Post
    I spent an evening browsing 60 pages of threads on it on the Airstream Forum.
    I was curious and think I just came across the same thread you referred to on airforums.com “Porsche Cayenne, VW Touareg, Audi Q7 owners”. It’s now up to 65 pages.

    I browsed the first couple then went to the last 4 or 5 pages. Many different WDHs being used. There was also many mentions of CanAm that got good reviews for fitting WDHs for these vehicles. Some said if you email Andy T. at CanAm he will tell you which WDHs he recommends to his customers. Maybe you have already considered that but just a thought.
    2010 Tundra SR5 DC 5.7L 4x4
    2020 Imagine XLS 22MLE
    Andersen WDH
    Dexter E-Z Flex Suspension Kit
    2018 Rockwood Mini Lite 2104s
    2014 Jayco x17z Hybrid

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tigger1 View Post
    I was curious and think I just came across the same thread you referred to on airforums.com “Porsche Cayenne, VW Touareg, Audi Q7 owners”. It’s now up to 65 pages.

    I browsed the first couple then went to the last 4 or 5 pages. Many different WDHs being used. There was also many mentions of CanAm that got good reviews for fitting WDHs for these vehicles. Some said if you email Andy T. at CanAm he will tell you which WDHs he recommends to his customers. Maybe you have already considered that but just a thought.
    Congratulations on not being pulled down the Airstream Forum rabbit hole! Emailing Andy is an excellent idea. Before doing so I think I'll remeasure everything on a very flat surface. I might also revisit the Cat scale. As the woodworkers say, "measure twice, cut once". Meanwhile, I'm reasonably level and both the front and rear axles are at 90% of their respective weight limits. We'll test the setup on another trip or two. As the Brits say "The proof of the pudding is in the eating". OK, done with cliches. Last trip we were passed by a longer Imagine that was swaying all over the place in a cross wind. A friend following with his 5th wheel called me called on the phone to point it out. He said we were tracking steady though.

    I'm also looking more closely into what to expect from a WDH and found this interesting description on another old thread:
    "Here's how I describe the weight distributing hitch . . . . Ron and I hitch up his trailer. The rear of the truck sits way low, the front is way high, and the front wheels don't steer or brake worth a darn 'cuz of this. We stick a long pry bar into the back end of his truck frame and pull up hard. The rear rises and the front drops. I have Ron trot along holding that bar up as I drive...the truck drives really well now, but Ron is getting tired. He chains the bar to the trailer tongue so he can take a breather. This works OK on the straights, but is a big problem on curves. We figure out a pivot system for the point the bar attaches to the truck. It turns well, but is really bumpy. Ron's Mrs. says to use spring steel bars. Duh!...Why didn't we think of that? Ron and I, and his Mrs., just invented the weight distributing hitch."

    This is a better illustration than any of the engineering diagrams out there. You're lifting the rear by bracing off the A frame with a flexible pry bar. It seems like if you get both the TV and trailer level again, you've succeeded. Weight shifts are just an outcome of leveling things out and probably depend on the suspension design, stiffness, the lengths of the various levers involved, and both the TV and trailer weights. That's why I'm interested in getting a better set of fender height measurements and then maybe also another trip to the scales.

    I also found an error in my spreadsheet in the cells that total the Cayenne axle weights. We're only 245 lb under the GVW limit, NOT 805 lb under! That makes more sense since we're 338 lb and 326 lb under the front and rear axle limits respectively. Here's the corrected table.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Dave and Cathy
    2017 Porsche Cayenne S
    2021 Imagine 17MKE

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