SUV Tow Vehicle for Tab 400

Has anyone towed a TaB 400 with a newer Audi Q5 with factory installed tow package?
i have the 2.0engine with maximum tow capacity of 4400 pounds.  No weight distribution hitch allowed per manual.  Would towing the Tab 400 nearly 3000 # weight be too much for the Q5 after fully loadinging the Tab, passenger weight and fuel.?
2019 [email protected] 400 “Hazel”   Towed with a 2013 Ford F-150 STX  4X4 SuperCab 5.0L
table mod

Comments

  • VictoriaPVictoriaP Posts: 204Member
    With only a 440 pound tongue weight, that’s a bigger concern than the overall capacity to me. What year is the [email protected] 400?
    2019 320s BD Lite, white with blue (“Haven”)
    2015 Subaru Outback 3.6r 
    Pacific NW
  • NinabeanNinabean Posts: 65Member
    2019
    2019 [email protected] 400 “Hazel”   Towed with a 2013 Ford F-150 STX  4X4 SuperCab 5.0L
    table mod
  • VictoriaPVictoriaP Posts: 204Member
    I believe the tongue (dry) weight for the 2019 will max out your Audi’s limits before you load a single thing into it, if the numbers I’ve seen are correct (around 457 lbs?) Hopefully a 400 owner can chime in. There have been previous threads on how heavy the tongue weight on the 2019 gets, members have weighed them at just at or under 500 pounds with empty tanks and fairly lightly loaded.

    2019 320s BD Lite, white with blue (“Haven”)
    2015 Subaru Outback 3.6r 
    Pacific NW
  • b407driverb407driver Posts: 78Member
    @VictoriaP, is on point. I might think about it with a 2020 400 (~383 lbs tongue weight, wet), but a 2019 would not be fun, and would likely exceed limits.
    2020 [email protected] Boondock Lite w/solar, TV is 2016 Toyota 4Runner TRD
    Jeff --Front Range of Colorado
  • NinabeanNinabean Posts: 65Member
    Thank you for your input and knowledge of the info on the Tab 400. I too was unsure of the tongue weight and whether the Audi could handle it.  I am curious though what is different about the 2020 Tab that the tongue weight is so much lighter..?


    also I did take that heavy table out not that I am going to use the Audi but because I physically could not get it off the rail and set it up to be a Bed or couch.  I guess I’ll just have to “borrow” my husband’s pickup when I want to go by myself.🤪
    2019 [email protected] 400 “Hazel”   Towed with a 2013 Ford F-150 STX  4X4 SuperCab 5.0L
    table mod
  • b407driverb407driver Posts: 78Member
    2020 [email protected] Boondock Lite w/solar, TV is 2016 Toyota 4Runner TRD
    Jeff --Front Range of Colorado
  • 4ncar4ncar Posts: 541Member
    In short: nucamp relocated the heavier item(ac unit) to behind the axels, thus reliving the tongue of all the weight.
    TV- '16 Chevy Colorado LT Crew Cab-DuraMax
    2018 320S Outback
  • SactoSteveSactoSteve Posts: 25Member
    One version of the Q5 has automatic leveling, not sure if that helps compensate for the 'slightly' over rate tongue weight of the 2019 [email protected] 400?  That being said we tow our 2019 [email protected] 400 with our 2018 Q5 which does not have the leveling feature.  The rear of the Audi does lower when hooked up but the Audi doesn't sit tail low/head high by any means.  The Q5 is more than adequate to pull the 400 and we haven't noticed any handling issues, which would seem to be the concern if the tongue weight was a bad match for the tow vehicle.  It seems to tow just fine.  
    -steve
    -steve
    2019 [email protected] 400
    2018 Audi Q5
  • VictoriaPVictoriaP Posts: 204Member
    One version of the Q5 has automatic leveling, not sure if that helps compensate for the 'slightly' over rate tongue weight of the 2019 [email protected] 400?  That being said we tow our 2019 [email protected] 400 with our 2018 Q5 which does not have the leveling feature.  The rear of the Audi does lower when hooked up but the Audi doesn't sit tail low/head high by any means.  The Q5 is more than adequate to pull the 400 and we haven't noticed any handling issues, which would seem to be the concern if the tongue weight was a bad match for the tow vehicle.  It seems to tow just fine.  
    -steve

    Two potential problems with this: 1) The Q5 appears to have unibody construction, which makes going overweight more dicey than traditional frame construction. Being over the listed tongue weight can cause structural damage that Audi likely will not cover when they determine you were towing over their weight ratings. 2) If you are in an accident while trailering and insurance determines you are over the listed weight limits for your vehicle, they may deny coverage for any damage or liability. 

    “Slightly” over on the tongue weight by 5-15 pounds is one thing. 60 pounds over, which is what most 2019’s weigh in at when loaded, is a lot. 
    2019 320s BD Lite, white with blue (“Haven”)
    2015 Subaru Outback 3.6r 
    Pacific NW
  • NinabeanNinabean Posts: 65Member
    I am curious @SactoSteve if you use an anti sway bar of any kind?  Also what has been your longest tow distance?   My manual does not mention the use of them but definitely says no weight distribution hitch. Also I do not know if I have the automatic leveling system but I will assume not.  As I said earlier in this feed I did take my table out and the only thing I have on the tongue is the plastic box with one wet propane tank.
    The comment by. @VictoriaP is certainly valid and one I’ll consider.
    Thank you both for your thoughts.
    2019 [email protected] 400 “Hazel”   Towed with a 2013 Ford F-150 STX  4X4 SuperCab 5.0L
    table mod
  • JEBJEB Posts: 218Member
    One version of the Q5 has automatic leveling, not sure if that helps compensate for the 'slightly' over rate tongue weight of the 2019 [email protected] 400?  That being said we tow our 2019 [email protected] 400 with our 2018 Q5 which does not have the leveling feature.  The rear of the Audi does lower when hooked up but the Audi doesn't sit tail low/head high by any means.  The Q5 is more than adequate to pull the 400 and we haven't noticed any handling issues, which would seem to be the concern if the tongue weight was a bad match for the tow vehicle.  It seems to tow just fine.  
    -steve
    I have load leveling and a full air suspension on my Jeep.  It's nice, but it does not allow for overloading the tongue.  And you are definitely overloaded.  It might tow fine, for now, until it doesn't.  At a minimum, you are putting stress on your rear suspension components, like bushings and shocks, that they weren't designed for.  And you've probably not had the misfortune of an emergency stop yet.  An overloaded tongue during hard braking will cause the trailer to submarine, which will cause the front end of your Audi to rise, reducing steering control and braking.  An overloaded tongue is nothing to take lightly.  Plus, are you factoring in what you are carrying IN your cargo area when you say you are only "slightly" overloaded?  Most people forget about the effects of payload.  You need to be vigilant with this set up.
    2019 [email protected] 400 Boondock Lite
    2019 Chevy Colorado ZR1 Duramax
  • SactoSteveSactoSteve Posts: 25Member
    “You need to be vigilant with this set up.”. Agreed.
    Tongue wt “rule of thumb” appears to be 10 -15% of total loaded trailer weight. That is likely how Audi comes up with the conservative 440 ‘limit’ based on their max 4400 trailer weight rating. The less conservative 15% would be a 660 tongue weight.  Lets say a loaded 400 weighs 4000? That puts “rule of thumb” tongue wt in the 400 to 600 pound range.
    -steve
    2019 [email protected] 400
    2018 Audi Q5
  • JEBJEB Posts: 218Member
    edited June 12
    “You need to be vigilant with this set up.”. Agreed.
    Tongue wt “rule of thumb” appears to be 10 -15% of total loaded trailer weight. That is likely how Audi comes up with the conservative 440 ‘limit’ based on their max 4400 trailer weight rating. The less conservative 15% would be a 660 tongue weight.  Lets say a loaded 400 weighs 4000? That puts “rule of thumb” tongue wt in the 400 to 600 pound range.
    You are confusing two measurements.  Or more precisely, I was being a little loose with my nomenclature.  Tongue weight should be 10-15% of the gross trailer weight.  This has nothing to do with the hitch capacity.  On a 400, with a gross vehicle weight rating of 3500 lbs, that's a maximum of 3500 x .15 = 525 lbs on the tongue.  Hitch weight on the tow vehicle is different.  It's almost always 10% of the tow rating, max.  No range for this measurement.  So, for your Audi, with a tow rating of 4400 lbs, your hitch weight limit is 440.  You are overweight, using the dry tongue weight nuCamp posted on its website.  You are way overweight on the 440-pound hitch if you push your tongue weight to 15%.  You can play with this tongue weight a little with loading, traveling with a full fresh tank, etc., but you're still likely to be overweight.

    If you do some research on this forum, you'll find that there are only a few people who attempt to tow a 400 with a vehicle with less than a 5000 lb tow rating.  It's not because they need the towing capacity, itself.  It's because the 400 is tongue heavy and the hitches on vehicles with less than a 5000 lb tow rating usually can't take the load.
    2019 [email protected] 400 Boondock Lite
    2019 Chevy Colorado ZR1 Duramax
  • SactoSteveSactoSteve Posts: 25Member
    Interesting. Hitch weight is also a confusing area. The factory Audi “hitch” has a 7000+ (or so) rating. Probably same hitch as the Q7. So I don’t know what the Audi tongue wt rating basis really is. I believe ROW (non-US) specs are higher. 
    -steve
    2019 [email protected] 400
    2018 Audi Q5
  • JEBJEB Posts: 218Member
    Interesting. Hitch weight is also a confusing area. The factory Audi “hitch” has a 7000+ (or so) rating. Probably same hitch as the Q7. So I don’t know what the Audi tongue wt rating basis really is. I believe ROW (non-US) specs are higher. 
    I think you better do some more research.  I can assure you that no Audi has a 7000-lb hitch.  And remember, it isn't just the hitch--its the frame and the rear suspension.  They all play together.  They are all designed assuming a maximum load.  For your Q5 that load limit is likely 440 lbs.  The hitch might be exactly the same hitch that's on the Q7.  But the Q7 likely has a different suspension and a different frame and therefore can take a greater load.  You need to think this through.
    2019 [email protected] 400 Boondock Lite
    2019 Chevy Colorado ZR1 Duramax
  • SactoSteveSactoSteve Posts: 25Member
    “You need to think this through.”. 😄 and you’re helping me with that👍  Thanks!
    -steve
    2019 [email protected] 400
    2018 Audi Q5
  • JEBJEB Posts: 218Member
    “You need to think this through.”. 😄 and you’re helping me with that👍  Thanks!
    It is confusing.  The terminology doesn't help.  But keep this in mind.  Tow vehicles do not have "tongue" weights.  Only trailers have tongue weights.  Conversely, trailers do not have "hitch" weights.  Only tow vehicles have hitch weight.  The key comparison were talking about here is to make sure that the "tongue" weight (a trailer specification) never exceeds the "hitch" weight (a tow vehicle specification).
    2019 [email protected] 400 Boondock Lite
    2019 Chevy Colorado ZR1 Duramax
  • b407driverb407driver Posts: 78Member
    JEB said:
    “You need to think this through.”. 😄 and you’re helping me with that👍  Thanks!
    It is confusing.  The terminology doesn't help.  But keep this in mind.  Tow vehicles do not have "tongue" weights.  Only trailers have tongue weights.  Conversely, trailers do not have "hitch" weights.  Only tow vehicles have hitch weight.  The key comparison were talking about here is to make sure that the "tongue" weight (a trailer specification) never exceeds the "hitch" weight (a tow vehicle specification).
    And to add to that, being within those limits does not in any way guarantee that a given vehicle will 'tow OK' or not. Way too many variables, especially with the tow vehicle...
    2020 [email protected] Boondock Lite w/solar, TV is 2016 Toyota 4Runner TRD
    Jeff --Front Range of Colorado
  • ADRawliADRawli Posts: 93Member
    JEB said:
    “You need to think this through.”. 😄 and you’re helping me with that👍  Thanks!
    It is confusing.  The terminology doesn't help.  But keep this in mind.  Tow vehicles do not have "tongue" weights.  Only trailers have tongue weights.  Conversely, trailers do not have "hitch" weights.  Only tow vehicles have hitch weight.  The key comparison were talking about here is to make sure that the "tongue" weight (a trailer specification) never exceeds the "hitch" weight (a tow vehicle specification).
    That was well summarized @JEB.
    Alan & Natalie       McKinney, TX
    nüCamp:  2019 [email protected] 400 Boondock Lite
    TV: 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk 4x4    
     
    Dream big... work hard... never give up.
  • VictoriaPVictoriaP Posts: 204Member
    @SactoSteve ;Hitch weight is exactly that, the weight the HITCH only is rated for. Just means the hitch itself is capable of towing 7000 lbs. It doesn’t change your tow vehicle towing capacity. Tongue weight is mostly industry standardized at 10% of the vehicle towing capacity BUT, it’s also a function of the vehicle construction. With unibody construction, the limits can actually be lower than 10%, as they have been for years on the Subaru Outback which is often discussed here. Unibody frames can only take so much strain before they start to sustain damage. There is little margin for error with them.

    Non US specs are always higher, because towing overseas is legally mandated to be at significantly lower speed limits, over 1600 lbs requires a special license. And their safety standards are lower. 

    https://oppositelock.kinja.com/tow-me-down-1609112611

    More bad news: not only are you way over tongue weight from the trailer side, but unless you are carrying virtually nothing in the cargo area, it’s even heavier still. Everything behind the tow vehicle axle also counts towards the tongue weight. You really need to figure out your actual real life trailer tongue weight. Easiest way to to get a tongue weight scale and do it at home. Concrete data will make it easier to figure out what you need to do.


    2019 320s BD Lite, white with blue (“Haven”)
    2015 Subaru Outback 3.6r 
    Pacific NW
  • SactoSteveSactoSteve Posts: 25Member
    Yep, lots of confusing aspects and terms.  My “take aways”;
    1. the TV spec should be for rear axle weight, which would be the total contribution of TV load plus trailer weight at the tongue.  Stating a max tongue weight, independent of TV load (which would need to include occupancy) is abit miss-leading and would need to be based on some conservative assumptions for safety and liability.
    2. Hitch weight is meaningless, except, perhaps, as a measure of robustness of the hitch itself.
    3. The 2019 [email protected] 400 seems to have an unfortunately tongue heavy weight distribution.
    4. Good input on ROW #s. 😉

    I’m not going to “mod” the Audi, but it would be nice to know what the assumptions were that derived the 440 “tongue” weight limit (see #1).  I’ll keep researching.  I suspect just the 2 of us and virtually nothing in the TV provides a good deal of leeway towards an appropriate rear axle weight.

    nüCamp seems to acknowledge the 2019 situation with the 2020 mods.  I can’t help but think the spare mounted under the tongue is a fairly reasonable target for tongue weight reduction.  Too bad it doesn’t fit through the side storage door.  A rear rack mount seems like an after market opportunity to migrate trailer weight distribution?

    I appreciate the dialogue! 



    -steve
    2019 [email protected] 400
    2018 Audi Q5
  • JEBJEB Posts: 218Member
    edited June 13
    Yep, lots of confusing aspects and terms.  My “take aways”;
    1. the TV spec should be for rear axle weight, which would be the total contribution of TV load plus trailer weight at the tongue.  Stating a max tongue weight, independent of TV load (which would need to include occupancy) is abit miss-leading and would need to be based on some conservative assumptions for safety and liability.
    2. Hitch weight is meaningless, except, perhaps, as a measure of robustness of the hitch itself.
    3. The 2019 [email protected] 400 seems to have an unfortunately tongue heavy weight distribution.
    4. Good input on ROW #s. 😉

    I’m not going to “mod” the Audi, but it would be nice to know what the assumptions were that derived the 440 “tongue” weight limit (see #1).  I’ll keep researching.  I suspect just the 2 of us and virtually nothing in the TV provides a good deal of leeway towards an appropriate rear axle weight.

    nüCamp seems to acknowledge the 2019 situation with the 2020 mods.  I can’t help but think the spare mounted under the tongue is a fairly reasonable target for tongue weight reduction.  Too bad it doesn’t fit through the side storage door.  A rear rack mount seems like an after market opportunity to migrate trailer weight distribution?

    I appreciate the dialogue! 



    Not quite.  #2 is absolutely incorrect.  The hitch weight specification should never be exceeded by the trailer's tongue weight.  That's just asking for trouble.  It is an important spec and you'd be a madman to ignore it.

    #1 is again confusing terms.  Gross Axle Weight Rating (GAWR) is an important spec, but you'll rarely know what the weight on the rear axle is unless you take your fully loaded trailer and tow vehicle to a CAT scale.  For an initial look, what you care about is payload, which is what I think you're trying to talk about in #1.  Payload on a Q5 is 1580 lbs, which is the weight of everything you can carry in and on the car, tongue weight included.  Fortunately, for you, that is pretty healthy.  If the weight of you, your wife, your cargo and the tongue weight of the trailer is below 1580 combined, you should be fine as far as carrying capacity goes.

    But all of the specifications need to be observed, which is why @b407driver was absolutely correct when he said that you can't just look at one or two specs and conclude that you're safe.  Way too many variables.

    I'm sorry to break it to you this way, but you are overloaded.  Just swapping out different specs won't change that.  Your Audi is tow-rated at 4400 lbs.  Your hitch is rated at 440 lbs.  The 400 can weigh as much as 525 at the tongue.  You have a problem.

    EDIT:  Payload on a Q5 is actually about 1047, not 1580.  So, the payload consideration is even more important than I thought.  Subtracting from payload max tongue weight of 440 and about 300 for passengers and you are left with only about 300 pounds for everything else in the car.
    2019 [email protected] 400 Boondock Lite
    2019 Chevy Colorado ZR1 Duramax
  • Sharon_is_SAMSharon_is_SAM Posts: 4,511Moderator
    To summarize, the lowest weight rating will be the limiting factor.  

    So, if you have a hitch with a weight limit of 600#, but a TV with a 3500 # tow capacity, the trailer tongue weight is limited to 350# - regardless of the hitch rating.  

    In SactoSteve’s case, the limiting factor is the Audi’s tongue weight limit of 440#.  

    Sharon / 2017 [email protected] CSS / 2015 Toyota Sienna Minivan / Cleveland Heights, Ohio
       
                                           
  • SactoSteveSactoSteve Posts: 25Member
    Wrt “hitch” weight, an unfortunate term, and one I see nowhere, I believe you are saying this number relates more to chassis design than suspension design and only somewhat related to TV “payload” if at all. That is concerning, if I understand that correctly.  I interpret that as a point load factor related to the attachment point of the hitch to the chassis rather than a total weight addition to the TV.

    That being the case the only option is to lower the tongue weight. Putting the spare (say 50 lbs) in the TV, would remove that weight from the tongue but add it to the TV payload weight, but thats handled by the suspension, more so than the chassis, if I understand your concern. The suspension is designed for 5 passengers which is way more than a spare tire would add and never a factor for our travels, so we should payload leeway.  We never use the propane, (~ 37 lbs full) so that can be removed as well. We travel with gray and black empty and fresh low. So I can see reducing tongue weight by ~ 90 lbs being do-able.


    -steve
    2019 [email protected] 400
    2018 Audi Q5
  • tabiphiletabiphile Posts: 104Member
    All weight/tow capacity issues aside, you might also want to consider the reliability of the 2.0 as a concern. You do not mention the age the Q but that 2.0 TFSI has been known to have a host of issues that you should be concerned with if you will be towing at the limit. The oil consumption issue is the first one that comes to mind.
  • JEBJEB Posts: 218Member
    edited June 13
    Wrt “hitch” weight, an unfortunate term, and one I see nowhere, I believe you are saying this number relates more to chassis design than suspension design and only somewhat related to TV “payload” if at all. That is concerning, if I understand that correctly.  I interpret that as a point load factor related to the attachment point of the hitch to the chassis rather than a total weight addition to the TV.

    That being the case the only option is to lower the tongue weight. Putting the spare (say 50 lbs) in the TV, would remove that weight from the tongue but add it to the TV payload weight, but thats handled by the suspension, more so than the chassis, if I understand your concern. The suspension is designed for 5 passengers which is way more than a spare tire would add and never a factor for our travels, so we should payload leeway.  We never use the propane, (~ 37 lbs full) so that can be removed as well. We travel with gray and black empty and fresh low. So I can see reducing tongue weight by ~ 90 lbs being do-able.


    You're getting there.  Hitch weight is the static dead weight capacity of the hitch.  It is an independent specification.  The specification can be neither raised nor lowered, not even with a weight distribution hitch.  It's hard to find this spec published but as @VictoriaP pointed out it is a rarity that hitch weight is anything other than 10% of towing capacity.  I'd bet it's in your owner's manual, though.

    So, you're right--what can be altered is tongue weight, and you have a few good ideas, but you have to be careful with trying to transfer too much weight from your trailer to your tow vehicle, because then you start butting up against the Gross Axle Weight Rating for the rear axle (GAWR) and Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) and payload limits.  It happens more quickly than you think.  You'll lighten the tongue load much faster by transferring weight behind the rear axle of the trailer, such as by filling the fresh tank, putting the spare in the cargo bay, throwing camping gear on the bed.  This might sound unappealing, and it would be to me too.  But the Q5 is being pushed to (and likely beyond) its limits on the hitch, so concessions have to be made.

    EDIT:  Payload is actually a bigger consideration than I thought.  You should double-check the silver placard inside your door, but I think the payload on a Q5 is only about 1047 pounds, not 1580 as I initially thought.  Your ability to transfer loads to the tow vehicle could be restricted because allowing for the weight of two passengers and the tongue weight of the 400, you probably have only about 300 pounds left over for cargo.
    2019 [email protected] 400 Boondock Lite
    2019 Chevy Colorado ZR1 Duramax
  • SactoSteveSactoSteve Posts: 25Member
    Thanks for your help!
    What we (2019 [email protected] owners) need is a “continental” pkg for the spare.  😊  I’ve seen 320 boondock packages with a rear cargo rack. That approach seems viable.  Could still use the rear window for light and ventilation but not emergency exit.

    thanks, again.
    -steve
    2019 [email protected] 400
    2018 Audi Q5
  • N7SHG_HamN7SHG_Ham Posts: 478Member
    If you want to give up under bed storage, the spare fits there, that is where NuCamp puts it during shipment. That would reduce weight off the hitch some. But anyway you slice it I think you will be hard pressed to get with specs for your tow vehicle.
    2019 [email protected] 400 Boondock Lite
  • klengerklenger Posts: 287Member
    You could also leave the spare at home and gamble that you won't need it.  Most tire failures can still be fixed out on the road, but would certainly be inconvenient.  I doubt that removing the spare will fix the problem in this case though.   It seems to me that when nuCamp designed the 400, they simply put the rear axle way to far AFT on the trailer chassis.  Not a good design IMHO.
    Stuck between "I need to save money" and "you only live once", so I bought the Ford F150 and a nuCamp [email protected] 320 S.
    2019 [email protected] 320 S Boondock Lite / Ford F150 XLT 3.5L 4WD
    SE Tucson AZ, http://klenger.net
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