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  #1  
Old 06-24-2020, 02:09 PM
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New to Towing ??

My X5 is 01,30, auto. It has 256K miles, original engine, tranny and drive train except for front axles, they were replaced at 188K.
Runs fine, minus a 1092 issue.
That being said, what is a fair amount of weigh you would tow with this X. Trip is FL to ME , staying off 95. What should I check out?
I will be adding a tow hitch system to the X as it never had one.
I know the max is 5K pounds, but really? This old?
Thanks for advice.
J
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Old 06-24-2020, 02:31 PM
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My suggestions:

Get ONLY the OEM hitch, wiring harness and trailer module. They're expensive but worth it. They routinely sell for > $600 on Ebay, but you can do better at a junkyard, or with someone in your area who is parting one out with an OEM hitch...Get every piece - like 10 pieces to the hitch.

In addition, with your car's age and miles, I would:
- replace oil, trans fluid and diff fluid
- replace trans cooling lines.
- take a hard look at the cooling system and replace it, incl radiator, if more than 100k miles old.

I ruined my transmission on a non-x5 by towing with old trans fluid.

I'd like to see what other say, but I think I would trailer straight up 95 and not go on the surface roads. I would try to manage speed and traffic, but I think you might put more stress on the X5 towing on surface roads with more start/stop, more hills, etc.

I think with an OEM hitch you can pull up to 6,000 lbs, although maybe the early owners manual said 5,000 lbs. 6,000 lbs might be pushing it in your situation, but you should be able to pull 5,000 no problem.
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Old 06-24-2020, 03:22 PM
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its a small b.whaler with motor. maybe 3K pounds. additional 500 with a dual sport thrown in. I know that NJT does't allow towing. I was thinking Blue ridge, the back way into ME> You're right. I have been doing fluids, tranny religiously every 60-70, but probably better to rent small Penske and tow it that way. Thanks guys.
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Old 06-25-2020, 09:48 AM
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I have a 2003 3.0 with the 5-speed and I use it primarily for towing a 19-foot camper trailer. I have the factory hitch, a Tekonsha proportional brake controller and weight distributing hitch. I don't have the factory wiring harness though -- it is spliced in and throws a brake light error on the dash, but the PO did that and it has never given me any trouble. I have not been able to justify the $300-400 for the factory tow module and wiring harness yet, but I may someday.



The trailer is just under 3,000lbs unloaded, but when filled up with fluids and food it's probably closer to 4k, plus the family and the sups on top of the car. It's totally capable of handling that much weight. I don't even feel like there's an issue. I do think the weight distributing hitch is very helpful for stability.



It definitely runs out of steam when climbing steep grades at elevation. The highest we tow over is almost 5,000 ft. I have to downshift to 3rd to maintain speed. At sea level or even flat ground at grade it has plenty of guts though. But as far as stability goes, it is more than enough tow vehicle for what i am towing. I have even forgotten to hook up the brake controller a few times and it has plenty of brakes for the trailer.



Mileage sucks. I think typically it is around 12mpg towing on average, but have gotten 10-11 a couple of times.



You're well within the manufacturer's limits on towing, but given the age of the car I might worry about the tranny especially.
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Old 06-25-2020, 10:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bmwtvboy View Post
being said, what is a fair amount of weigh you would tow with this X. Trip is FL to ME , staying off 95. What should I check out?

The freeway will be a lot flatter and smoother than any side roads, almost always easier on the car. The engine should give you some feedback on what speed it likes to go and I would use my foxwell scanner to monitor tranny's temp.
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Old 06-25-2020, 12:18 PM
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Agree with 95 easier. But less traffic, high speeders , etc. I believe NJT doesn't allow any towing. It's just a little 13'Boston Whaler with 40HP motor. Might throw a 475lb motorcycle in the bow area. That's it, don't think thats more than 3K. I will check n redo Tranny fluid if necessary. Getting 19-21mpg with respectable driving. Thanks guys.
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Old 06-25-2020, 02:23 PM
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If you do get a factory hitch, make sure you get a complete set of hitch hardware, and all fasteners. It is quite a complicated installation and has lots of parts. The E53 was one of the very first SUVs with serious towing ability, and they massively overbuilt the hitch to make sure it would not tweak the frame. I found missing fasteners that had never been installed on my hitch when I bought my X, over ten years after the hitch had been installed.
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Old 06-26-2020, 02:15 PM
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I regularly tow a 1300 pound Waverunner and trailer, and often tow a 5' x 9' utility trailer loaded to about 3000 pounds. Never had any issues, but I leave the transmission (GM 5L40E) in "sport" mode to boost the shift point up for a little more power out of the engine. I've never changed the transmission fluid, changed diff and TC fluids at 100,000 mile intervals, replaced the radiator at 299,000 miles and run 5W-50 Castrol Edge in the summertime.


Bought a new aluminum trailer for this year and was surprised it was 30 pounds heavier than the old steel one. Biggest issue is wind resistance. The X5 does a great job of pulling the air stream back down behind the vehicle. That air stream though, slams into the front of the trailer really hard. The roof top carrier doesn't help any either. With the waverunner and carrier, I average about 17mpg at 70mph. At least the two big poodles in the back seat keep the windows up



2002 X5 3.0 378,100 miles
2014 428i 67,000 miles


2004 325i Sold at 123,600 miles
2001 325i Sold at 66,000 miles


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