Project MKVI Golf TDI: Let’s Tow!


This US style receiver bolts to the bottom of the frame rails.  (image stolen from
And here is the beautiful towbar from Westfalia that we ordered through PFJones, a friendly company that sells all kinds of towing equipment for many different vehicles and is happy to ship to the US fast and at reasonable rates.   We ordered our towbar online and had it in our hands from England to Southern California in 3 days!  If you’ve never seen one of these towbars before this is all gonna look a little weird—it took us a few minutes playing with the parts to figure out how it all worked too.  Rather than bolting up to the bottom of the car or drilling holes in the frame rails the Westfalia towbar will replace the rear bumper of our Golf and attach to existing bolt holes inside the frame rails.
The actual hitch that goes into the receiver is much different than what the American market is used to seeing… Once you get past the fact that it looks like an erect phallus you can start appreciating its geniusness!  The actual ball part of the hitch is metric since it's a Euro part but it's only a tiny bit smaller than our standard 2″ ball here in the states.  It literally amounts to the thickness of the paint on the ball and most trailer hitches can be tightened or loosened a bit to accommodate the difference in size.  That knob on the side of the hitch is a quick release to separate the hitch from the receiver and it incorporates its own lock!  That red thing is a key.  Once you figure out how to do it, attaching/removing the hitch takes seconds!  …But we'll get to that later after we install this thing!

To install the towbar we first removed the rear bumper fascia and tail lights.

Once the bumper fascia is off the actual bumper and high-density impact absorbing foam can be seen.  The steel bumper will be replaced with our towbar. We still tried to retain as much of the high-density foam as possible.
With the bumper removed you can see the openings to the frame rails–this is where our new towbar will bolt in.


  1. Don’t forget about tongue weight ! That Refrigerator is way forward of the trailer axle and may have overloaded your Golf’s safe tongue weight rating. Usually you want about 10% of the trailer’s weight on the hitch up to the maximum rating.

  2. Hi, you mention about getting a replacement European lower bumper panel with the tow bar hatch.
    I’m in England, and at least around here I’m pretty sure VW will only sell you that panel as part of the whole tow bar retrofit kit they sell. Factory fitted tow bars on mk6 Golfs are also quite rare here, so it’s not even a easy job finding one second hand. I’ve been looking for a couple of months now and still haven’t found one. 🙁

  3. Hello there
    I’m thankfully that I found this information. I really enjoyed your article. I have been seriously considering to switch to a TDI with best mpg from a pickup with terrible mileage for my daily/work commute. I wonder what tranny do you have?? I really wanted to buy a tdi with manual but very HARD to find one here in AZ. Will Auto tranny be safe for towing 1500lbs? (I don’t towing that much like what it said in your article)

  4. I have a 2015 tdi golf I am wanting to make a trip to Alaska with a small tent trailer. I find this article very helpful. Any information on fuel mileage?

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