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Volkswagen GTI Towing and Hauling

The Volkswagen GTI, otherwise known as the Golf series, was introduced in 1976 as a replacement for the classic Volkswagen Beetle. Since its introduction, the Volkswagen GTI has gone through seven generations but remains a favorite small car. Just because it is small does not mean that you are limited in your options for expanding its capacity, as the Volkswagen GTI towing and hauling capacity may just surprise you.

Can you put a trailer hitch on any Volkswagen GTI?

Trailer hitches are currently only available for GTI models 1995 and beyond. Any of these models up through 2017 can be fitted with a class 1 trailer hitch, class 3 RV square bumper hitch, class 2 step bumper hitch, class 3 adjustable RV trailer hitch, or class 3 / 4 multi-fit motorhome trailer hitch. Hitches can be fit with receiver sizes of 1 ¼ inches and 2 inches, with 2 inches being the most common size available. The total tongue weight limits of available hitches range from 200 to 500 pounds. This may limit the types of trailer and loads that may be hauled by the GTI.

How much can a Volkswagen Golf GTI tow?

Towing capacities for the GTI differ by year. It might be noted that the US owner’s manual does not list a towing capacity for the GTI, but European sources state that the GTI can tow up to a certain limit. The towing capacity for models prior to 2010 is 3,086 pounds. After 2010, the towing capacity is listed as 3,527 pounds. Towing capacity may differ depending on whether you have a 1.4- or 2.0-liter engine and the type of transmission that you have. An important thing to remember is that this includes the weight of the trailer or RV as well as its contents.

What is tongue weight?

Tongue weight is an important aspect of pulling any trailer or load. This term refers to the downward force that is applied by the tongue of the trailer to the hitch of the vehicle. It is recommended that the tongue weight for any trailer is between nine and 15 percent of the gross trailer weight, which is the trailer and its load. It is important to know this calculation for your trailer and the limits of your Volkswagen GTI trailer hitch. Improperly calculated tongue weight can affect braking and control of the trailer. It can also cause the trailer to sway from side to side, creating a hazard going down the road. An easy visual check is to step back and look at the trailer and the towing vehicle. First, make certain that both the vehicle and trailer are parked on an even, hard surface, such as asphalt. If either the vehicle or the trailer is leaning backward or forward, the total weight is uneven and can cause problems. It is important not to exceed the tongue weight capacity of the trailer hitch that is chosen.