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Old 10-11-2007, 09:54 AM   #29
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Muddy, I have a 2005 4Runner with the v8. I get 21 to 22 MPG on the highway and 16 to 18 in the city. I towed a tandem axle Uhaul 6x12 trailer with it through the mountains and averaged 15mpg and on the flats got 18mpg. I don't think thats much different then a V6 would give and the power is significantly better. That said, I'm looking at a 25 Airstream and I don't feel comfortable with the short wheelbase on the 4Runner and the 7300 lb towing capacity so I'm probably going to move to a diesel pickup. The 4Runner is a wonderful vehicle and if it works for you I would definitely go with it and would not hesitate for 1 second to go with the v8. I had the same concerns as you when I bought it but now I'm super happy I didn't get the v6. By the way, when I bought mine they were offering significant rebates on the v8's due to the high gas prices so you may be able to get into one for about the same price as a v6.
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Old 01-13-2008, 06:09 PM   #30
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Newbie with X5-27' 1976 Overlander question

I've just put a down payment on a 1976 27' Overlander. I see that the dry weight is 4700 lbs. plus the hitch weight of 500 lbs. The X5 4.4 2004 has a tow capacity of 6000 lbs. Safe or unsafe? I'm just nervous about it. I'd like to go to Yosemite and Sequoia so the Sierras is high on the list of places to go. Any opinions would be appreciated.

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Old 01-13-2008, 09:11 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by davidachoi
I've just put a down payment on a 1976 27' Overlander. I see that the dry weight is 4700 lbs. plus the hitch weight of 500 lbs. The X5 4.4 2004 has a tow capacity of 6000 lbs. Safe or unsafe? I'm just nervous about it. I'd like to go to Yosemite and Sequoia so the Sierras is high on the list of places to go. Any opinions would be appreciated.

David
Not sure on the x5 but the numbers look tight. It will be very important to have it set up properly by a pro. Take no chances, I tow in mountains frequently and it challenges your skills and equipment to the max. With all gas engines let it rev, gear down and be prepared to run in the power band, probably in excess of 3500/4000 rpm for extended periods of time. Good luck.
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Old 01-13-2008, 09:41 PM   #32
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trailer options

I would buy the trailer that you want and fits your needs in 5 years. We bought a 16' bambi because it was cute, but after 18 months found out it was way to small. We now have a 25' safari and will never need bigger. get the trailer you need then pick a tow vehicle that will be ideal. The BMW will pull a 25 footer for year or two OK but you will eventually want a bigger rig like a tundra. We towed the 25' with a tacoma and it did fine just wanted more umph and got a tundra.

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Old 02-23-2008, 12:21 PM   #33
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Bmw X5

I have not had any expierence with the X5 and towing. I did have a X5 a couple of years ago and miss it greatly.

The one thing that can be sure to help in the towing situations is a low center of gravity (they place the engine extremly low), and great breaks.
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Old 02-23-2008, 02:26 PM   #34
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23' Safari SE and 2002 BMW X5

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Old 02-23-2008, 05:07 PM   #35
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Towing involves two parts, pulling and stopping. I would have far less concern for your safty if you bought a used 1/2 ton extended cab pickup. No one in our unit has downsized their TV that I know of. Many have upsized after a few seasons. I think the BMW would last alot longer. It's great towing a small boat trailer but I worry about being able to stop the AS in an emergency. What's the tongue limit on the BMW?
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Old 02-24-2008, 03:26 AM   #36
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I've done a lot of research on this forum and even more on the X5 forum on the X5 towing capacities. It seems like the X5 is able to pull more than one would typically think. The car is extremely heavy with unibody construction. Also, the installation of the trailer hitch is extremely important since it involves accessing the frame of the car and such. Basically, don't get your hitch set up from U-Haul, but at the dealer. I've read several people pull fairly large boats with the X5 and older Mercedes 500ML pull some heavy AS and boats. The thing to watch for with the X5 is the transmission. You should keep it on manual mode so that the car doesn't search for gears and burn out or put excess wear on the transmission.
I still haven't received my trailer, yet. It's almost a month past due date, but I guess we've been getting a lot of rain in So. Cal and polishing an AS should be done above 70 degrees. At least, that's what I'm told the hold up is. I bought my AS almost 6 weeks ago, and I'm dying to get it. Even though I have nowhere to go with this awful So. Cal weather.
Does anyone know much about the braking systems? I know there are two braking systems. The first one is the emergency brake system that activates if the trailer and TV are separated. But the other brakes, are they manually controlled, controlled electronically by the car, or controlled by a pendulum apparatus like seatbelts? And do sway bars actually give more support to the trailer or is it just to prevent sway when a truck passes you, so you don't overcompensate? I still haven't towed my trailer yet, so I'm a bit worried.
Oh, and lastly, the BMW tow capacity is 6000 lbs. The GVWR on my AS is 6200 lbs. That basically means that with the trailer tanks completely full and the trailer loaded, would reach all the way up to 6200 lbs, right? I'm safe and likely to stay within safety limits as long as I don't overload my trailer with rocks and empty out my tanks, right?
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Old 02-24-2008, 06:53 AM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidachoi
Does anyone know much about the braking systems? I know there are two braking systems. The first one is the emergency brake system that activates if the trailer and TV are separated. But the other brakes, are they manually controlled, controlled electronically by the car, or controlled by a pendulum apparatus like seatbelts?

And do sway bars actually give more support to the trailer or is it just to prevent sway when a truck passes you, so you don't overcompensate? I still haven't towed my trailer yet, so I'm a bit worried.

Oh, and lastly, the BMW tow capacity is 6000 lbs. The GVWR on my AS is 6200 lbs. That basically means that with the trailer tanks completely full and the trailer loaded, would reach all the way up to 6200 lbs, right? I'm safe and likely to stay within safety limits as long as I don't overload my trailer with rocks and empty out my tanks, right?
David, to your question on braking:
There is just one brake system on the trailer - usually activated by 12vdc. A controller in your truck senses braking force (using brake signal and an accelerometer) and then activates your trailer brakes. The emergency feature is simply a breakaway switch which turns on the trailer brakes should the trailer become separated from the tow vehicle. The 12v battery on the Airstream takes over at that point.

You'll need a controller like the Prodigy. Some high end trucks like the X5 have built in braking controllers and/or unique connectors so do some research on that in the X5 towing forums.

your question on sway bars:
Sway bars do not, on their own, give any support. That is the job of weight distribution bars which shift tongue weight off the rear and move it to the front wheels and trailer wheels. You will want both sway control and weight distribution. Take a look at a set up like the Reese DualCam which combines both sway control and WD in the same bars, at a reasonable price.
Reese Hitches.com
This is something you may want to buy at your Airstream dealer or expert towing specialist so that it is installed and set up properly.

your question on loads:
- First estimate your total trailer weight. You said the dry weight (UBW) of your overlander is 4700lbs. So you can put up to 1300lbs of stuff in the trailer before you hit your 6000lb towing capacity. Add the weight of your gear and any fresh, black and gray fluid weight to the 4700lb UBW to get yout total trailer weight. Looks like you have a large margin if you travel with empty tanks. Be sure to include 100 lbs or so for a weight distributing/sway hitch set up.

- Next, estimate the weight of the stuff you will put in the X5 plus, 2/3 of the trailer's tongue weight. Make sure this total vehicle weight does not exceed the X5's GVWR.

- You can double check this if you can find a combined vehicle weight rating for the x5 (may be called GCVWR or GCWR). Make sure your estimated total trailer weight and total vehicle weight is under the specified combined weight rating.

.....Scott
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Old 02-24-2008, 08:04 AM   #38
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I had a 19 safari and towed it with a 2000 x5...

Good morning...and welcome to the great "towing adventure"! I used my x5 to tow my bambi and here is my experience. I found the wheel base of the x5 to be to short for towing my trailer. I noticed that when i applied the brakes when i was turning that it was about to roll over the rear end of the car. Not a good feeling. I would not recommend the combination. I now have a 25 fb and tow it with a Chevy Avalanche....works just right. I wish you best of luck with your new family and your memories be blessed with great "airstream" experiences....I just returned from the Sarasota Rally and as always the people were great. The trailer is wonderful and the people that own them make them wonderful....hope this helps. Randyhttp://www.airforums.com/forums/images/smilies/wally.gif
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Old 02-24-2008, 09:13 AM   #39
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Why not look for a 21ft Sovereign,1987 to 1995==Twin axle-3,900 lbs-Same holding tanks as a large trailer--,larger shower than most --easy to tow and and park,--Great little Trailer with goor room inside
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Old 02-24-2008, 11:47 AM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arm4
I used my x5 to tow my bambi and here is my experience.

I found the wheel base of the x5 to be to short for towing my trailer. I noticed that when i applied the brakes when i was turning that it was about to roll over the rear end of the car.
Wondering if you may have had a set up/ brake adjustment issue???

In contrast this smaller BMW X3, set up optimally, apparently works very well with this dual axle Airstream.

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Old 02-24-2008, 11:54 AM   #41
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Thanks, Scott.
I think you answered my question that I've been saving for, for my AS restoration guy. I now completely understand what all the X5 forums were talking about (Prodigy & Reese hitches). Now I have another question about where to get these things installed. My AS guy seems to know a lot about AS, but not a lot about X5's pulling AS. So he hasn't been the best source of towing info. What type of chain store should I go to, or what type of retailer should I be looking up in the yellow pages to find the right retailer to install the Reese hitch and Prodigy brake system?

Arm4, when you were pulling your 19 Safari, what year X5 and engine size was yours? And what year was you 19 Safari? How heavy do you think your 19 Safari was? I know there are some variations with the X5 and AS years. How long/far did you pull the 19 Safari with the X5? Did you always feel unsafe?
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Old 02-24-2008, 11:57 AM   #42
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Road master, I see that your TM is a high import sport sedan. What car are you using to pull your 23' Safari and how heavy do you think your AS is?
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