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  #1  
Old 06-08-2021, 01:54 PM
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Question E53 3.0i 6MT Enclosed Car Trailer Towing

Don't mean to sound like beating a dead horse dead, but I couldn't find explicitly what I was looking for after a decent amount of searching.

Bought a 2005 3.0i 6MT to tow a Spec Miata with. I want to buy an 18ft v-nose aluminum enclosed trailer to tow it with - trailer 2200lb + car 2300lb + extras 500lb = 5000lb total

Not worried about the weight but drag with the enclosed v-nose. Should I be too concerned towing in New England? (rolling hills, couple steep here and there)

I've seen boats, smaller v-nose trailers on here, plenty of open car trailers.

Any enclosed trailer anecdotes with a 3.0i manual transmission?


Thanks!
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2005 X5 3.0i 6MT
2004 Honda S2000
1993 Spec Miata
2019 Tesla Model S (the wife's)

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1995 325i 5MT
1995 M3 5MT
2006 R50 MINI 5MT
2013 X1 xDrive 28i
2015 M235i 6MT
2016 340i xDrive 6MT
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  #2  
Old 06-08-2021, 02:14 PM
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Especially with MT I think you'll do fine as long as you listen to your engine and use lower gears on steeper hills.
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Old 06-08-2021, 02:31 PM
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You should be fine. That's a lot to tow with the 3.0, but it is rated for it (on the factory hitch at least, it is rated up to 6500lbs). Make sure your tongue weight is not too high, get a weight-distributing hitch, and make sure it is set up right. It takes some time but it really makes the towing itself a lot easier. You will need a brake controller as well.



The manual trans is great for towing (I have a 5-speed but I believe the ratios are fairly close to your 6-speed). First gear is a granny gear, and it makes starting out from a stop very easy. There is not a lot of extra clutch wear during towing, in my experience. There is no need for a transmission cooler or any real preparation with a manual transmission. You will probably find that you'll need to downshift a lot more than normal, and your mileage will probably be in the 9-12 range. Don't worry too much though, the car can handle it just fine.
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Old 06-08-2021, 02:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bdc101 View Post
You should be fine. That's a lot to tow with the 3.0, but it is rated for it (on the factory hitch at least, it is rated up to 6500lbs). Make sure your tongue weight is not too high, get a weight-distributing hitch, and make sure it is set up right. It takes some time but it really makes the towing itself a lot easier. You will need a brake controller as well.



The manual trans is great for towing (I have a 5-speed but I believe the ratios are fairly close to your 6-speed). First gear is a granny gear, and it makes starting out from a stop very easy. There is not a lot of extra clutch wear during towing, in my experience. There is no need for a transmission cooler or any real preparation with a manual transmission. You will probably find that you'll need to downshift a lot more than normal, and your mileage will probably be in the 9-12 range. Don't worry too much though, the car can handle it just fine.

Definitely getting a weight distributing hitch and already have the brake controller ready to go in. Definitely going to do it right from a preparedness standpoint. I have a friend towing a Corvette in a similar aluminum enclosed trailer with a Tahoe and he thinks he's low on power so he thought the X5 could only be worse. Love first gear and how much pull it has!
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2005 X5 3.0i 6MT
2004 Honda S2000
1993 Spec Miata
2019 Tesla Model S (the wife's)

Gone:
1995 325i 5MT
1995 M3 5MT
2006 R50 MINI 5MT
2013 X1 xDrive 28i
2015 M235i 6MT
2016 340i xDrive 6MT
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Old 06-08-2021, 03:17 PM
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In my opinion (been towing trailers all summer for about 4 years now, first with an older 5.3l Tahoe and now with the X) is that the automatic transmission makes towing terrible. The Tahoe was helped by using the towing mode, which keeps it from getting into the overdrive gear, or something along those lines, but mileage sucked. Towing with the MT, as with any MT car, you have total control over when you shift gears, and it just makes it seems easier, even though you do a lot more shifting. But you're not going to choose to shift your MT car from 6th to 5th if you know you need to be in 3rd or 4th to get up a hill. Most automatics have trouble selecting the right gear that you need in a timely manner, and that makes them feel all wrong.



The Tahoe also felt just like a truck, whereas the X5 feels a lot like a big car and is much better at road-handling. In my opinion the difference is even more exaggerated when towing. The X5 is just a much better towing car all around, even though it might be a little short on power. It feels much more confident than a crashy Tahoe with crappy live axle and terrible automatic transmission.



Are you planning to use the OEM tow module and wiring? What about the hitch?
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Old 06-08-2021, 03:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bdc101 View Post
In my opinion (been towing trailers all summer for about 4 years now, first with an older 5.3l Tahoe and now with the X) is that the automatic transmission makes towing terrible. The Tahoe was helped by using the towing mode, which keeps it from getting into the overdrive gear, or something along those lines, but mileage sucked. Towing with the MT, as with any MT car, you have total control over when you shift gears, and it just makes it seems easier, even though you do a lot more shifting. But you're not going to choose to shift your MT car from 6th to 5th if you know you need to be in 3rd or 4th to get up a hill. Most automatics have trouble selecting the right gear that you need in a timely manner, and that makes them feel all wrong.



The Tahoe also felt just like a truck, whereas the X5 feels a lot like a big car and is much better at road-handling. In my opinion the difference is even more exaggerated when towing. The X5 is just a much better towing car all around, even though it might be a little short on power. It feels much more confident than a crashy Tahoe with crappy live axle and terrible automatic transmission.



Are you planning to use the OEM tow module and wiring? What about the hitch?

OEM tow hitch and module already installed! So happy to have found it at a local salvage yard. Got the tow controller and it works. Brake controller waiting to go in now. Exact hitch TBD but weight distributing.
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2005 X5 3.0i 6MT
2004 Honda S2000
1993 Spec Miata
2019 Tesla Model S (the wife's)

Gone:
1995 325i 5MT
1995 M3 5MT
2006 R50 MINI 5MT
2013 X1 xDrive 28i
2015 M235i 6MT
2016 340i xDrive 6MT
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  #7  
Old 06-08-2021, 03:39 PM
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You're all set then, you'll be golden. Great work
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