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  #11  
Old 11-22-2016, 03:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MudyOvl View Post
Thecastle, what MicroLite do you have? I have a 2015 23LB. Are you using a WDH? Curious how that is working for you.

Oh yeah, back to the post. I tow a 23' 23LB trailer. I typically get about 13 mpg. I get 22 mpg during my typical commute. I have a long road trip coming up and will log the mileage.

-CAD
We have a MicroLite 21DS. Yes, I did get a weight distribution sway reduction hitch. We have blue OX SwayPro weight distribution hitch. Our trailer unloaded is ~4300lbs with ~430lbs tongue weight. Fully loaded its ~5300lbs and from what I had read anytime the trailer is more than 1/2 the weight of a tow vehicle its a good idea to get one. So we purchased the trailer with the blue OX SwayPro.

I can't give a before and after comparison as I never towed the trailer without a weight distribution/anti-sway hitch. But what I can say is that you can most certainly tell you have a trailer. But we tow nice and level (we do have the self leveling suspension) and the trailer isn't bothered by trucks or passing. The only time things got a little hinky is when I passed a lumber truck at 85mph, the trailer began to sway a bit (maybe or learning on how to set it up). Otherwise it seems pretty easy to deal with it, no white knuckles. I like the fact we can backup too with out taking off the anti sway.

How do you like your 23LB?
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  #12  
Old 11-25-2016, 06:29 PM
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Thecastle, we love our 23LB. It tows great with no WDH or Sway control. The BMW trailer control SW does a super job of counteracting any sway from wind or trucks. I've thought about the Propride hitch, but worry since its 100+ lbs. weight will push us over the 600 lbs. tongue weight limit on the X5. Do you find the WDH counteracts some of the tongue weight by moving some of the weight to the front axle?
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'09 X5 X-Drive 35D
'05 Porsche Cayenne
'95 LR Disco I-SOLD
'62 Apache Eagle Pop-up Camper-SOLD
'15 Flagstaff Micro Lite 23LB (Our HoW, House on Wheels)
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  #13  
Old 11-28-2016, 01:36 PM
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I've been really happy with the overall towing performance of the 35d. Smooth, stable, a little hunting for gears, yes. Never thought to try towing in Sport mode, as a few guys in an Airstream forum have recommended.

The trailer is about 5200 lbs loaded. The pricey Hensley-Arrow hitch (earlier Pro Pride design) adds 90 lbs of tongue weight, but I've appreciated the "no-sway" design with two different medium-sized SUVs towing medium-sized trailers. The X5's towing MPG averages 17, which easily beats the 12 MPG I got with a 4.6L gas V8 Ford.

Have close to 10,000 towing miles on the 35d, (112k miles total) in both plains and mountains driving. The transmission slips a bit when cold, and I still worry it will be the weak link, even if we make it to 150k miles.

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  #14  
Old 11-29-2016, 09:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thecastle View Post
I don't see a lot of threads on the X5 showing actual towing experiences and I thought I'd start one for people researching the vehicle. I have a 2008 X5 with the 4.8i and I added the BMW hitch. It was a great choice as the hitch system detects when you've installed the hitch shank into the car. It shows when your backing up to a trailer indicators on how to align the car to hitch it up. Awesome feature makes hitching a cinch.

I have a 2017 Flagstaff Micro Lite 21DS which dry weighs 4300lbs and at max weighs 5400lbs well with in the towing capabilities of the car. I use an anti sway weight distribution hitch. The trailer for the most part stable behind the car. The mirrors are perfect and allow a good view around the sides of the trailer. The car was able to keep it going at a steady 65mph-70mph even in very hilly terrain. However I had to keep it in 5th on flat terrain to keep it at 65mph, and manually downshifted to 4th and sometimes 3rd to keep it at speed on hills. Liked that the cruise control didn't kick off when manually shifting the transmission.

I did find that when in drive the car was very aggressive about downshifting on hills and would reluctantly upshift, when it did it would go to 6th and immediately back down to 5th. Found it better to manually shift, to keep the car from hunting and constantly shifting.

Also,now take this with a grain of salt, a lot depends on your trailer, terrain and speed. My micro lite is 8 feet wide and 11 feet tall of brick wall with lots of projections. At 65mph on hilly roads of I averaged 7.5mpg. On flatter ground at 70mph it was about 8mpg. This setup drinks gas.... I'm thinking stops at every 120 miles when I go to glacier next year.... normally I get about 13 around town and about 17-18 on the highway. I'm thinking a tune might help fuel economy if it adds enough low rpm torque to allow me to cruise in a higher gear.

One other bad thing, when backing up the trailer, and only while backing up if you turn the car off. Then back on after backing up, it smokes.... dunno why, I'm going to replace my ccv. It never smokes otherwise. Just when idling and backing up slowly. It's definitely oil you can smell it clearly. Dosent smoke when not towing and when driving forward while towing.

All in all a great but thirsty tow vehicle.
I towed for years with X3, E53 X5s, and E70 X5, including the 4.8i and X5M. as far as speed, stability, towing comfort, and braking, all of them punched above their weight class. But all of them lost their cool in the mtns (Summer heat, not fall or early spring). The E53s (4.4 and 4.8is) would max out coolant temps (260 if I recall) and go into limp mode, and the E70 4.8i would hit limp mode in stop and go traffic in the foothills out of Denver. The M had a recurring engine malfunction warning and reduced power mode whenever towing; never figured what was going on there. Usually happened towing at altitude and on boost for several minutes. Had to move to a truck to get away from these issues but definitely loved how they tow when they are not heat stressed. I bet I would have had no problems in flat land or low altitudes.
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Last edited by RickM5X3; 11-29-2016 at 09:36 PM.
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  #15  
Old 12-01-2016, 02:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Whizzo View Post

Have close to 10,000 towing miles on the 35d, (112k miles total) in both plains and mountains driving. The transmission slips a bit when cold, and I still worry it will be the weak link, even if we make it to 150k miles.
Nice setup there!
It is worth noting that when the engine is cold and ambient temp below 60F the tranny will hold low gear longer and will keep the TQ unlocked for a long time. As a matter of fact even at 50F my 35D will rev all the way to 3500 RPM before it will upshift. The transmission control module is so precisely calibrated that it will detect less than 1% slippage and set a code or limp mode if excessive.
I have ~550ft/lbs torque for over 15 k miles and at least 2k miles towing 5-6k lbs with any negative affects yet to come.
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  #16  
Old 12-01-2016, 08:01 AM
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Yup, my 335D does the same thing when cold. I'm running a Stage 2 tune that allows some ear activity on a cold start to speed up engine warm up. Then it switches completely off for improved fuel economy and CBU prevention.
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  #17  
Old 12-31-2016, 10:55 AM
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Just an update, I've been working on improving my X5's fuel economy. I just got back from a 500 mile trip towing my Microlite 21DS. Since my last trip I replaced my coolant, alternator (belts and tensioners), CCV, power steering fluid, MAF Sensor, front lower control arm replacement, alignment, oil change to liqui moly, added Lucas oil leak stop, Lucas oil fuel cleaner, increased the tire inflation pressure. So now my car is averaging 8.1 mpg vs 7.3 (towed at 70mph). Which is a 10% improvement in fuel economy. My car already had all diffs replaced with redline, transfer case done, transmission fluid change, spark plugs, air filters, etc. in the last 2000 miles, which happened before my 1st trip.

I'm going to try a tune next since I've now replaced every fluid in the car. I'm hoping with an engine tune which advances timing, and is optimized for 93 octane like we have here, I might break into the mid 8's- 9 mpg range. My next trip in 3 weeks will be a drive to big bend national park which is about 1200 miles round trip from our house.

My friend also went to the same camp ground towing his 35 foot travel trailer with a ford f-150 ecoboost 3.5L and averaged 6.5mpg, so I'm doing okay. My father in law towed his travel trailer which was 14 feet long and 8 feet high with his 2016 Chevy duramax and achieved 12mpg on the same trip. Vs is my 21ft trailer that is 10 feet high and 8.1mpg on a gasoline v8. Granted his trailer was considerably smaller and lighter. It was a custom made converted cargo trailer with no projections out the sides (awnings, etc.).

Last edited by Thecastle; 12-31-2016 at 11:02 AM.
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  #18  
Old 01-01-2017, 11:22 PM
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Two points of comparison

Trailer: 20x8.5" enclosed car hauler, approx 9.5"high by 25' long and 4500lbs with race car. It has a 4ft v-nose.

Our ML350 (W164, wimpy 3.5l gas) towing this trailer got 13.5mpg (Danby CT-Boston ) at 65mph (45mph on the bigger hills). Without the trailer we get 24mpg on the highway at 70mph.

My 2011 X5-D get 27-28 without the trailer at 75-80 mph (Knoxville to Boston thru the Blue Ridge mountains). Haven't towed with the trailer yet but expect to get in the mid-teens this summer.

I can't imagine the load that would drop mileage to 7-8mpg!
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  #19  
Old 01-06-2017, 05:03 PM
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"The trailer is about 5200 lbs loaded. The pricey Hensley-Arrow hitch (earlier Pro Pride design) adds 90 lbs of tongue weight, but I've appreciated the "no-sway" design with two different medium-sized SUVs towing medium-sized trailers. The X5's towing MPG averages 17, which easily beats the 12 MPG I got with a 4.6L gas V8 Ford."

Whizzo, Can you post a few pics of your Hensley setup hitched to the X5 and a few pics of your X5 hitch? I would like to see how you set it up. Thanks!
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'09 X5 X-Drive 35D
'05 Porsche Cayenne
'95 LR Disco I-SOLD
'62 Apache Eagle Pop-up Camper-SOLD
'15 Flagstaff Micro Lite 23LB (Our HoW, House on Wheels)
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  #20  
Old 01-06-2017, 09:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MudyOvl View Post
Whizzo, Can you post a few pics of your Hensley setup hitched to the X5 and a few pics of your X5 hitch? I would like to see how you set it up. Thanks!
Sorry, this is the only image I have of the hitch. Straight dealer install, with factory trim piece and cutout. I can no longer take a picture of the Hensley hitch setup, as I've sold the X5.

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