Search This Blog

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Off-Roading & Camping in the TReg

I decided to buy the TReg as soon as I found out I was going to move to the Southwest.  After looking at the terrain, I knew I was going to need something capable of going offroad, but maintaining the ability to carve some corners up in the mountain roads...So now I've been living in southern New Mexico for a number of months now, and I'd been waiting to use the TReg for its intended purpose.

This weekend, I went on an impromptu camping trip up in the Sacramento Mountains.  The campsite was a mere 36 miles away from my house, but with the curve of the mountain roads and 30mph speed limit, it took over a hour to arrive.  Driving on these roads made me miss the grip and turning prowess of my R32, but even with the bigger tires, the big TReg handled beautifully in Sport mode.

Upon turning off the main highway, I started up a "gravel" road towards the campsite.  I use "gravel" because that's how it was described to me.  A more accurate description for the surface of the road would be "rocky trail".  There were rocks of all sizes, shapes and sharpness on the way up to the site.  At this point, I raised the suspension up to Offroad height and turned on the Comfort setting of the shocks.  With a couple of relatively smooth straightaways, and the high profile all-terrain tires I'd fitted, I was able to get up to 30-something miles per hour before my wife suggested I "back off" the accelerator.  After driving by a campsite and seeing it empty, I decided to do some exploring in the surrounding area.  I regret only doing this for a few minutes before backing in to my camping spot.

My mother-in-law had bought us a Sportz SUV tent for Christmas, and this was the first chance we got to use it.  It's a normal square tent that sleeps 6-8 people, and in addition to a screen room, has a "SUV sleeve" that connects to the back of most SUVs and allows a pass-through to the boot.  The TReg's back seats fold completely flat, and upon lowering the air suspension to the Loading Level, it's an easy task for anyone to climb into the back (including our two dogs). :-)

All in all, I'm extremely happy with the way the TReg handled the wilderness (and that it only screwed up my back for a week, sans air mattress).

Friday, December 31, 2010

Snow Drift(ing)

Forecast calls for snow this week in Southern New Mexico! After being in NJ during their recent blizzard, I was seriously missing my Treg and its chunky tires with all-wheel-drive and low-range gearbox.  I had to make due with a F-150 with no frills and 2WD.  Some power over-steering was fun, but when I got to my in-laws' yet-to-be-plowed street, I had to park the truck up the road at a school and trudge my way down the road.  I know that if I'd had the Treg right there, I could have made it up the road and kept the cuffs of my pants from being frozen and subsequently soaked.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

New Europlate

One of the best front-end features of my R32 was the europlate.  I loved the contrast of the white/blue on the red bumper.  Though it won't "pop" as much on my bland white TReg, I'm considering a couple of custom plates.  Any comments are welcome.  See below:

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Towing with the TReg

This post is about a month overdue, but getting used to a new job, base and house has kept me quite busy the last 30+ days.  In moving from from FL to NM, I had originally bought the Touareg for just this endeavor.  I wanted to tow one of our vehicles cross-country so that the driving could be split between the Wife and I.  I ended up doing 100% of the driving since the Wife wasn't comfortable at all driving with a trailer on the back.  I decided to spring for the car trailer from U-Haul instead of the tow dolly because our Jetta TDI was going to be heavily loaded with odds and ends that were packed up at the last minute.

The TReg did a great job with the extra 5,000lbs on the back.  U-Haul recommends a 55mph speed limit, but after several hours of driving and the rate I saw other trailers being towed, I was eventually comfortable with a higher speed.  Despite the extra weight and having a thirsty V8 under the hood, I still managed 10.7mpg overall on the 1800mi trip.  The only point at which I wished I didn't have a 5,000lb trailer behind me was when we hit the Rockies.  Without a brake controller, mine were working overtime on the descent and eventually wore to the brake sensor.  Likewise, on the ascent, my NA motor was struggling to get up some of the steeper inclines.  Not to say that it was difficult, just that the lack of HP at the higher altitudes while towing was painfully apparent.

I'll look to get a small trailer eventually for carting around things that won't fit in the back of the TReg, and maybe a tow dolly if I end up buying a fwd car to get my kicks on the abundant mountain roads just a 20min drive away..

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

New wheels!

It's been a while since I've posted.  I can blame the move, but laziness is just as responsible.  The new wheels were ordered from TireRack through my favorite shop, UroTuning.  They're made by O.Z. wheel, another favorite of mine, and called the Canyon ST.  The color is Matte Graphite Silver, and they're 18x8.  I wanted to go with a beefier tire than the stock setup, and decided on a 265/65/18.  I've seen up to a 285/60/18 fit with spacers on the front, and know of a few other Touareg owners who have the tire size I selected.  Still, when holding it up against the stock wheels, it's a wonder that these fit without much trouble.  The tire diameter ends up being about 3" bigger than stock, and will fill the tirewells so that the Touareg looks more like the offroad vehicle it was designed to be.

Amazingly, I was able to get all four of the wheels in the back of my R32 (which I finally have a serious buyer for.)  Here are the pics to prove it:

Monday, August 9, 2010

aFe Air Filters

Yesterday, I installed my aFe Pro Dry S air filters.  The Touareg has two air boxes, so that doubles my cost for filters. Fortunately, with the aFe as with K&N, these are guaranteed for 1,000,000 miles.  Because I'll be moving to a dryer, dustier climate this year, I opted for the dry filter over the oiled filters found in most aftermarket intakes. 

According to the quick-reference sheet included with the filters, simply banging the filter against a solid surface will get them 86% clean, taking a vacuum to the panel will get them 97% clean, and washing them in a lightly-soaped water will get you 100%.  Since these are dry filters, they are easier to clean and do not need to be "recharged" with an oil kit. They actually block 99.2% of dirt, as opposed to the 98.6% of an oiled filter.

These are a great option for any vehicle, but as there is 0% in the aftermarket for intake systems on my T-Reg, they are the only upgrade I can think of.  I'm sure they'll afford me a few more horses since they allow better breathing for the engine, but fuel economy will also increase (I'm hoping) which is good since I've been averaging 12.68mpg over the last few tanks!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Push-button start? Yes, please.

It's been a few days since I've posted an update, but that doesn't mean I haven't been busy! Since my last post, I've installed the euro-dash cover which replaces the trays above the radio with a pop-top cubby and makes the dash look super clean.

In addition to the dash cover, I received and installed my NY GIANTS hitch cover and hitch lock. A hitch cover provides me with the chance to show support for my favorite team without adding a bumper sticker (never been a fan of those). I also received my WeatherTech mats for the front and rear seats as well as a rear cargo area mat. I'll upload photos and my initial impressions of those in a separate post.

Also to be covered in a separate post is my recent GIAC tune installed by Justin @ UroTuning. I'll just say that throttle response was improved by at least 80% and the shifts are so smooth that if I didn't have an exhaust note, I wouldn't know they were happening!

My favorite (and by far most convenient) mod is the OEM push-button start that I installed yesterday afternoon. This was purchased from SpockCat on Installation instructions were very straightforward and made life 10x easier. I've only been able to start/stop the T-Reg so far, but I should be able to just turn on the ignition once I get the hang of how the two-tier button works. I've been able to unlock the vehicle just by grasping any door handle, and now I can continue to leave the key in my pocket from start to finish!