Can An Audi Q7 Tow a 6500 lb GVWR Trailer? Almost But No

I had a great discussion with friends about towing capacities.

An Audi Q7 is likely ALMOST but not quite capable enough to tow a 6,500lb travel trailer with family. The Q7 comes in just a hair below the towing capacity of a 1/2 ton pickup. Towing 6,5000 lbs of trailer is a job for a 1/2 ton or 3/4 ton pickup. I could easily imaging towing a 5,000 lb trailer with the Q7 which says amazing things about the Q7.

Key points:
– here’s a great video demonstrating the importance of trailer weight distribution
– renting a 3/4 ton pickup is totally an option. It’s about $120/day from Enterprise rent a truck with all fees, cheaper for weekly and monthly.

Is using an Audi Q7 to tow a 5,100lb dry (6500lb GVWR) travel trailer a bad idea? We are getting such a travel trailer, a Keystone Bullet 243BHS, and want a car that’ll do the job. Having a truck (ie F150 crew cab) for a daily driver seems silly for us city folk. The Q7 3.0T (with the “55” engine and air suspension is rated to tow 7,700 lbs.

Yes it’s a bad idea. Tow capacity should be about 2x dry weight. Plus you have to add the tongue weight to the total load capacity of your Audi which will probably be fully loaded on a trip with people and luggage. also have to take your break system into consideration.

I assume the “6500lb GVWR” is supposed to refer to the trailer weight when loaded? I’m not clear on what you mean by that number based on how you phrased that sentence but I’m thinking you are confusing the meaning of GVWR. What is the GVWR of the Audi? Generally you shouldn’t try and pull anything more than 80 percent of your towing capacity and a 5100 dry trailer is probably 6k+ when loaded which is too much for a 7700 towing capacity.

As AE said, terrible Idea. What makes a proper tow vehicle is rear suspension capacity, braking system, and transmission strength. After, and only after all these comes horsepower. These features are status quo on trucks (or anything built on a truck chassis) but not on passenger cars. They could do it….but they don’t.

Unless Audi is willing to do full transmission fluid changes, I would avoid towing with Q7. A lot of Audis tote “sealed transmission/lifetime fluid”. May be fine for normal use, but towing heats up trans fluid significantly and trashes it. I was considering a Q7 but since I will be towing an rv or horse trailer, I am shopping for a pickup (F150 or Dodge Ram).

Lots of Australians tow “caravans” with underpowered crossovers/SUVs and such, but also their trailers are smaller than that.
We live in the land of (relatively) cheap F-250s. An overpowered diesel is far more fuel efficient than an underpowered Tacoma or Tundra, etc. An F-250 would be much safer and more efficient all around.

It would not be safe, reasonable or good for the car. Get a smaller trailer if you wish to tow with a car.

JR, oh physics…

the F150 isn’t that silly. We had one for years, specifically to tow our Coleman pop-up trailer. And Abigail will love it!

I was looking up info about towing 2000 lbs trailer cross country with an aftermarket installed hitch on an older 3 series BMW sedan (~130k miles) with a manual transmission. Most American forums said it’s terrible idea (few people asked in the first place, of course). But a few said it’s quite normal in Europe, where German cars are treated as regular cars, that are regularly used for vacations or relocations towing stuff. In the end I found a couple of folks who did that with similar setups, and ended up doing it without any issue whatsoever, adding a xc scenic trip to the deal (top speed climbing the steepest parts of i70 in Colorado was barely touching 40mph). Nothing suffered; all mechanics is as good as it was, and the hitch is very useful for bikes. Look up what they say about your question on European Audi forums.

Noooo! No ! No !

I saw a couple towing a big trailer with a powerful mid size car. They got in trouble as the trailer lifted the back wheels of the car going over a steep incline to a flat. It’s not a big deal if you’re going slow. They towed that way all through hilly… See more

Megan Flom
????I read everyone’s comments. I’m sad about having to buy a pick up truck to drive around most days. Oh well. Safety first!

Megan Flom buy a smaller trailer. You drive the car every day, the trailer (I’m assuming) only occasionally.

Megan Flom you can rent a pick up too. From enterprise. Do the math it’s cheaper to rent. You aren’t going to use it as much as you think you are. Pick up trucks are bizzarlly expensive right now.

Megan Flom I have a VW touareg and i believe it’s similar to a Q7 in terms of weight and footprint & stuff. tons of people tow with it in Australia – just smaller caravans than the one in the picture. If you are set on it, there is a solution there and… See more


i think this is a great video and I really like the part at ~4:10 where it demonstrates that a heavier town vehicle relative to the trailer is safer

In addition to capacity and power is center of mass. Trucks have a center of mass forward the center of the wheel base to allow for proper balance when loaded in the bed or with trailer.
When you do the same to a car .the front end gets light and you lose steering authority.
Trucks are a.good thing. Get an old Toyota, Ranger, or S10. Some light duty truck.

CS a tacoma weighs roughly the same as a Touareg – a touareg, especially a diesel, will be arguably better at towing (q7 similar?)
F150/Ram 1500 or F250/Ram 2500 yes. mid/small pickup, no

ES balance still matters. You are shifting the center of gravity of the entire train forward.
And anything with a 5th wheel is going to be better balanced regardless.
SUV can’t do that, period, the end.
As far as 150 series vs 250 series, for a 6000lbs trailer, any are fine.
A 1500 from the 90’s is fine for a 6000lbs trailer. A modern truck will have NO problem.

My point is a used Touareg like this one here:
(2014 VW Volkswagen Touareg X hatchback ) Can out-tow a small/medium sized pickup. At 7700 lbs, it beats everything ’til you hit the F150-sized trucks.
Which now that i’m re-reading Lee’s original post, is the tow rating of the beefed up Q7 they were looking at. Both of these vehicles would be very comfy for the family on roadtrips. These SUVs are a lot heavier and more planted than other SUVs of a similar size (CRV, Rav4, Outback). Plus the general safety factor is pretty high (AWD, crash ratings, etc).
Noted on the 5th wheel.
Just saying, avoid Tacoma, Ranger, S10, etc.

ES I don’t think you understand the problem.
Towing capacity isn’t everything.
Balance of the vehicle dictates the safety of the vehicle. Trucks are balanced more forward to compensate for bed and tail loads.
Also, straight axles are more safe and secure than independent suspensions under load.

you’re right, the Tacoma beats the Touareg even though their weights and towing capacities are similar, because of body-on-frame and the solid rear axle.

With a truck, you can also use a 5th wheel

My Q8 can tow anything if only I knew how to back up.

Even SUVs that can carry a reasonable tongue weight are problematic if they do not have manual transmission. My uncle burned out two automatic transmissions towing a 2000lb boat in the flat lands of Florida because his Ford Explorer(I believe) had an automatic transmission. Automatic transmissions are not designed to tow even if the body and engine is rated for it. Some have factory installed towing packages that include a modified transmission the claim to ease the problem. But I would not trust them for any real load.
If you have manual transmission maybe I’d do it as a one off. But with something you are going to own you need a truck with lots of torque and manual transmission.

Did you try the 26 ft popup with slideout? Recommended trying once…
Any small truck or medium sized car can take it and still get decent gas mileage
May be an image of floor plan, map, blueprint and text

I’m stuck on these because I drove to Burning Man and back at 50mph with a 35ft trailer, and I’d rather pull something light and aerodynamic now. The other alternative is a fiberglass trailer, they’re very lightweight too!

I’m selling mine. I love it. Tows like a dream and can run your AC off of solar!
16 ft Casita Spirit Deluxe Fiberglass Travel Trailer (like Scamp) -…

Omg I’m just dying for a good excuse to get a truck! ????

That is the stupidest idea I’ve ever heard of. Get a truck. You’re gonna kill yourself and everyone else around you.

2020 Chevy Silverado 1500 Duramax vs 2020 Ram 1500 Ecodiesel: 3.0L Six-Cylinder Diesel Engine Comparison

I once helped demonstrate ground robots with a team from Caterpillar and they had a remote controlled skid steer rubber tracked front loader, which they had rented an ordinary pickup to haul. By the end of the demo that new-looking pickup was emitting white smoke in the exhaust. I have no idea how this compares to your situation, but it can be bad if you massively overload the engine, I guess, is my take home. ????

Lee Sonko
Thank you all tremendously! You have saved our family from a grand folly, and possibly a spectacular finish! The current new thinking is getting the same RV and renting an F250 crew cab for trips. (Thank you, Chicken for the pointer!). I could tell you all about our thinking process but it’s spread over 30 pages of jumbled notes. It’s all so simple and all so complicated.

Lee Sonko Rental is the way I woulda gone.

Another good reason to follow that path: visibility. We’ve pulled a few types and weights of trailers with our Tacoma, which has easily handled a 16+ foot airstream, but like your Audi it is not wide like an F250 or even a Tundra. Even with extended mirrors, visibility was adequate but not comfortable.

DO NOT RELY ON THE ADVICE OF THE TT DEALER!!!! Their only onterest is, usually,, making sure you buy their trailer!!! Look around at what people, on the highway, are using to pull similar size/weight TTs. Dont make any commitment to pull a TT with a car, or SUV, without seeing what will, and what won’t be satisfactory….. You can’t pull a TT with ANYTHING and expect to get good MPG. Another warning!!!!! TT tires, on new TTs, are notoriously troublesome.

Lee Sonko
Followup: Audiworld online forum members offer many first-hand reports of the Q7 towing travel trailers up to 5,000 pounds and some car carriers up to 5,500(!!!). In my inexperience and lack of putting enough hours searching, I had the thought that the vehicle might handle a 6,500 lb trailer. But no, 5,000-5,500 lbs appears to be the (still remarkably high!!) limit. I tried shopping for a 5,000 lb GVWR trailer but we want larger so we’ll be renting a truck from Enterprise to haul it. And if you’re thinking “but you will die if you try to haul a 5,000 lb trailer with a Q7!” I won’t be attempting that until I’ve had a year or more of RVing to consider it first. Thanks again.

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