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Old 03-27-2005, 02:43 PM
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 221
withidl is on a distinguished road
X5 Towing Capabilities - 31' Airstream

I've made numerous posts on Bimmer.org regarding towing and the capabilities of the X5, but because a "picture is worth a thousand words" I'm attaching one of my assembly for those who might be interested.

Following are some statistics on the assembly:

*2001 April build
*All options except phone & load floor
*4.4i with Sports Package (rear axle has air suspension)
*Dinan throttle body, engine & trans software (298 hp & 350+ #' torque)
*Current miles = 60,369 (engine oil consumption = 1 pint every 6,500 miles)
*Hitch is the BMW OEM hitch (I installed it)
*Average city mpg = 13 to 17 (basis number of stop lights)
*Average highway mpg = 18 to 22 (basis wind direction)
*Average towing mpg = 8 to 12 (basis wind direction)

*2002 (May 2001 build) 31 foot Classic Limited
*GVWR (gross vehicle weight rating) 8,300# (have loaded it to 8,900+#)
*Tongue weight 750 to 1,000 pounds (weight distributed)
*Miles towed by X5 = 20,706

Hensley Arrow
*Towing interface (orange component between the X5 & Airstream)
*Totally negates sway via mechanical geometry (no friction involved)
*Incorporates weight distribution springs with jack screws
*Web site = http://nosway.com/

Attached Images

Last edited by withidl; 03-27-2005 at 11:52 PM.
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Old 03-27-2005, 09:43 PM
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Location: X5world
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e53fanatic is on a distinguished road
whoaaa.... .
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Old 03-27-2005, 09:48 PM
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Awesome, thanks for sharing

Welcome to X5world !!

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Old 03-27-2005, 10:59 PM
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Location: Florida
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bs90143 is on a distinguished road
I tow a 24ft boat all the time and never have a bit of problems. By looking at your picture and from the experience I have had with my X5, the bimmer is a great vehicle to tow with. This is no lie, I swear. My bimmer pulls my boat FAR better than my dad's H2 Hummer. In fact we bought the hummer to tow the boat with and ended up towing the boat with my X5. Last week my dad traded in his hummer on a F250 so he could pull the boat with his own vehicle instead of using mine. TRUE, THE BIMMER TOWS BETTER THAN THE H2
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Old 03-27-2005, 11:49 PM
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Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 221
withidl is on a distinguished road
The low profile tires (keeps the X5 lateral motion in check) and relatively short distance from the hitch ball to the rear axle (short lever arm) when compared to most other tow vehicles (Surburban, pick-up trucks, etc.) mitigates sway by not allowing the trailer to "wag the dog". The transmission's manual mode when used with cruise control allows max throttle without "working" the transmission.

I don't believe BMW realizes the capabilities of their vehicle, just as other manufacturers don't really understand towing, but they seem to have stumbled into creating a really excellent tow vehicle when configured correctly (i.e. sport package, air suspension).
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Old 03-28-2005, 03:23 AM
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JCL JCL is offline
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Location: Vancouver, Canada
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JCL will become famous soon enoughJCL will become famous soon enough
Excellent information, well presented

Some really good info here from withidl.

I agree that the X5 is an excellent tow vehicle (I don't tow anything that heavy, but I have been impressed within the limits of my 3.0/5000 lb tow rating. The very short distance from the axle to the hitch centreline is a really big factor in the stability.

I think the published BMW limit has more to do with the preparation carried out by the average owner towing, and BMW needing to make sure there are large safety factors. I don't think many owners, if any, take as much care in setting up for towing as withidl does, from the sway bars to the trailer loading regime. The manufacturer needs to address the liability risks created by the lowest common denominator driver.
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Old 10-10-2005, 08:28 PM
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Supposedly...2002 and newer models with the V8 can tow up to 7700 pounds...Thats pretty impressive.
2002 X5 4.6is
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Old 10-15-2005, 08:02 AM
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Location: Australia
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I tow a 2.4 tonne (5300lb) van with the 3.0D and it performs brilliantly - including great fuel consumption considering. I use trailer brakes and a weight distribution hitch. I find it surprising that when you put your boot into it the engine noise inside the car is still very low, unlike other cars I have used. Makes for nice low stress driving.
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Old 10-15-2005, 09:50 AM
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YankeeBimmer is on a distinguished road
Good god that's HUGE!
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Old 10-15-2005, 11:23 AM
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Indianapolis, IN
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Mr. D is on a distinguished road
What do the other campers think when the X5 comes rollin' into the KOA? I'd love to see the looks...Ha Ha!! I love it!!!
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