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Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone,

We have a 2001 Passat wagon with the VR6 and 4Motion, and I am
looking to have a trailer hitch installed but am having trouble
finding answers to these questions ...

1. Was there an OEM hitch available for this car?

2. There seem to be plenty of aftermarket options, and I'd appreciate
hearing about anyone's experiences with them. I did read the Da'Lan installation article by Mr_Mike, thanks!

3. Should I also install a transmission cooler with the hitch? My
experience with other cars is that this is an essential component,
but I'm having trouble locating anything that seems appropriate.


Thanks very much!
-Dan
 

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In Europe, Westfalia make hitches for our V6 (not VR6) 4-Motion Passat but they aren't available here in North America. Trust me the only way you can get one is going to Europe and bringing it back which some people here have done.


In North America, you can look at CURT and Da'lan (same company). Both are Class 1 hitches where as the Westfalia is a Class 2. They attach by bolting through your spare tire well - a shitty deisgn in my opinion but really the only 'legal' option. The Westfalia's aren't legal here since you have to remove your low impact bumper strip and it is replaced by a solid piece of steel (so I've heard)

I have done a ton of research but haven't made the leap yet. Hoping to go to Europe soon and maybe the wife will let me pick one up :whistle:
 

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I really like my Da'lan/Curt. It's the best North America design IMO.

Also, for wiring, make sure you get a kit that has isolators on it. This keeps a trailer wiring problem from affecting your car's electricals.

What are you planning on towing. I think you'll be fine as long as you're not towing anything too heavy. I just use mine for the occasional Uhaul trailer. BTW, tongue weight rating is 200lbs and the towing capacity is 2000lbs on the Da'lan.

-Mark
 

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hitch rating

the VW german brochure list the b5 as having a unbraked trailer rating of 650kg and 700kg for the 4motion... with a hitch weight of 75 kg.


so watch that you don't overload it
 

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I installed a Hidden Hitch a few years ago, and have been pleased. Cheaper than other options, I think it was $99, and the install was pretty easy. I only used it for infrequent light towing, and carrying a bike rack.
 

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ghostrider1 said:
the VW german brochure list the b5 as having a unbraked trailer rating of 650kg and 700kg for the 4motion... with a hitch weight of 75 kg.
This is assuming the hitch can handle the weight. The German brochure assumes that you have the German hitch which isn't available in the US. We are limited to a class 1 hitch which is 200lbs tongue weight and 2000lb towing. Still, I wouldn't tow anywhere near this with my B5.



-Mark
 

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The 4Motion Dalan hitch is different than the FWD. It attaches to the tow-ring as a major load carrier... me no likey. The FWD Dalan that uses the distributed load over the well carrier is a solid design and worked very well on my 98 FWD.... even though most don't like drilling that many holes in their car :( The hidden-Hitch is plain scarry. It clamps to the bumper shock strut bodies... wouldn't tow more than ~800lb with it (actually it wouldn't ever make it on my car).

I currently have the Westfalia European hitch on my 01 4Motion... had a friend buy it and ship it over for me...
 

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They have updated their design, but that's still scarry. The aluminum bumper isn't by any means a load bearing structure. It only serves it's purpose in low impact collisions, and in one direction.

That bumper is held on by gas filled struts... again only intended for one purpose, compression in an accident. They are not intended for the off-axis or tensile loads that the hitch mount exerts on them.

Additionally... you've also just negated the function of your bumper. It's been bolted to the chassis directly so even in a small fender bender, you are now going to transfer all those loads into the unibody via connections that are not designed to carry them. This design is even worse than the one I was refering to. The older one didn't impede the bumpers impact absorbtion capability. Cross your fingers that it never happens.
 

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pass-variant said:
Just make nice with one of our German or British members :)
I think I'd rather get it myself then I know I am getting the right one and not getting ripped off but do you really think someone would go to the effort to send me one?:hmmm: I know 'glockfan' got you yours but he was an american in germany ;) Piss me off cause I went to Italy and Switzerland in 2003 and never even heard of Club B5 then :banghead:
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks to all of you for replying!

Because the trailer I'm interested in towing is likely on the heavy side of teh Class 1 scale (1650 lbs or so), I'm going to first weigh it to find out for sure, and then work on getting a Westfalia hitch if using the Passat for this purpose still makes sense.

Thanks agsain!
-Dan
 

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I have researched it to death. Westfalia in the US won't import it or sell it. A Westfalia dealer here in Ontario also can't get it brought in. Places in London will ship it to North America but as you have to buy the unit in British Pounds and with the shipping it was over $800 CDN not including some duties I am sure the Canadian government would impose. The best place to buy it, (also won't ship to NA - yes, I have emailed them too) is www.atu.de and it was under 200 Euros. They are prevalent in Germany and in Austria. I even emailed and telephoned a place in Paris but without being there, it was futile. Emailed (in spanish) a Westfalia dealer in Spain as my parents were there a couple of months ago but they never responded and obviously didn't want any business. The best is if you know someone in Germany who could go and get the unit at ATU. I am sure they would likely have to order it too which would make picking it up while on vacation quite tricky. Hope that helps. Damn I still don't have this hitch and I really really really want it - I don't want to compromise and get a crappy NA hitch. If I am getting one I'd like to have it by this summer as I am starting house construction on a new place and having a trailer would be awesome. :confused: :confused: :confused:
 

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Also take a look at Biltema. They are a store in Scandanavia/Russia and they sell hitches that are very similar to the westfalia in the way they mount to the car.

http://www.biltema.no/carparts/carpart_info.asp?iSecId=450&strCarId=Volkswagen&iItemId=113729&iRelItemId=52729

I was going to have my friend in Norway mail be one, but the cost of shipping was more than the hitch. The hitch is about 1100 kroner, which is about $165.00.

I decided to buy the Da'lan, which IMO is the best engineered option in the US. The Hidden-hitch didn't really impress me in the way they bolted to the bumper supports.

-Mark
 

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Should be next week and I'll get my Westfalia hitch - woohoo!!!
Got a fellow PW member in Austria to purchase it and I have a friend going skiing in Austria this week. The exchange should happen tomorrow and I'll be anxious to see it in person....




Have been working on the wiring and finally have it all figured out. Not as easy as pass-variant's on a 2001 as the rear of the light changed on the 2002 with the addition of side markers, but definately do-able with clipping into the back of the taillights. Do not want to and do not have to splice into existing wiring. I'll post all the info when I have it hooked up and working in a few weeks.... Damn I also have to go buy my trailer too - got my eyes set on a beautiful high quality black utility trailer to match the car....
Looking at these: http://www.miskatrailers.com/product_details.asp?utility=4x8_Boxer&pid=14&cid=23
 

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pass-variant said:
Congrat's... the install is a piece of cake.
I owe you one! Making 'nice' with a member here wasn't so hard after all. The courier in Austria was supposed to drop it off Friday but looks like it'll be Monday. My buddy arrived yesterday and is taking the train to Innsbruck on Tuesday. He knows a shipper who'll ship it by bulk freight for a half decent price (I hope!)

>Dave
 

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Congrats on your new arrival. :D

When you install your wiring, make sure you install a kit that features some sort of isolation circuitry, especially if you are going to be pulling "electrically questionable" trailers. I installed a standard wiring kit on my '98 and had a heck of a time at a local Uhaul. Something on the trailer was causing electrical problems on my car. My door chime was sounding when whenever I hit the brakes. :O My car had difficulty starting with the trailer connected.

Once we found a good trailer, there wasn't an issue. Regardless, I'm going to add some isolation so the trailer can't load my car's lighting.

-Mark
 
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