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Old 02-24-2008, 12:47 PM   #43
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The authority on pulling with small-mid SUVs would be Andrew T. I'd suggest checking out any posts pertaining to towing through his profile. Once you get close to what you want to do it might be a good idea to PM this thread URL to him and ask for insight.
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Old 02-24-2008, 04:30 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by davidachoi
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?
Have the work done by the BMW dealer with experience setting up trailers for towing. Or.... go see the guy in Canada who sets up Sedans to pull 34 footers... Does the BMW have a transmission cooler. Would be a good addition, with temperature gauge.
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Old 02-24-2008, 04:53 PM   #45
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Good recommendations!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Over59
Have the work done by the BMW dealer with experience setting up trailers for towing.
I haven't met a car/truck dealership person who really understands how we tow, weight distribution, etc. I hope there are many exceptions out there. It still would pay to ask whether the dealership has an employee who tows more than a boat or popup camper -- or can they recommend somebody in the area. Some RV dealers actively re-sell tow vehicles on the lot. They might be a bit better but are usually from the school of 3/4-tonners.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Over59
Or.... go see the guy in Canada who sets up Sedans to pull 34 footers...
That is Andrew T mentioned in the previous post. Larger wheels/lower profile tires and careful selection of weight distribution gear for the particular combination are some of the things I read. It would be worth a phone call as you get close to your final selections.
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Old 02-24-2008, 05:02 PM   #46
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x5'ers hopin' not to stub a tow...

dpeakmd tows a mid 70s 31 ftr with an x5 and a haha...

he has also towed with a yuk-on and an f-350.

so perhaps he can give you some info on the receiver issue and x5 set up...

http://www.airforums.com/forums/members/dpeakmd-9.html

interestingly he's not posted on using this rig,

but he seemed happy with it last year at the rusty water rally...

david'....

your trailer isn't too much for the bimmer but i'd want a haha and custom fabricated receiver...

and brakes on the trailer that can keep up with the tv, which for me, means discs...

oh and a first class brake controller and adequate tire package and

modification to the brakelight/wiring harness, and some big honky mirrors, and so on...

anyway consider pm'ing him about this.

cheers
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Old 02-24-2008, 07:29 PM   #47
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There is some good advice here so far. Whether you tow with a 250 pick up, SUV, sport sedan, or vintage vehicle there are many advantages of getting a towing specialist to advise and setup your "combination".

Generally speaking, many would say that by using one the job gets done right the first time. One dosen't have to go through the time and expense of "try n test", "re try n test", multiple times to get the comb dialed in optimally. Even worse, without professional intervention a great number of combos never get past a "marginal" rating.
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Old 02-25-2008, 08:37 AM   #48
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x5 towing...

Good morning David, My x-5 was a 2000 and a great car. My Bambi was a 2007. I pulled the AS out to Indiana and back to upstate ny and I did notice the short wheel base on the X5 again a sense of pushing the rear end of the car around corners. Another thing to remember is storage. The 19 is limited in storage both inside and out. The x5 has very little storage room once filled with family. If you can swing it I would get a pick-up truck with a long bed in the back and use that for storage. Hope this is of some help. Randy

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Old 02-25-2008, 05:27 PM   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arm4
I pulled the AS out to Indiana and back to upstate ny and I did notice the short wheel base on the X5 again a sense of pushing the rear end of the car around corners.
I'm surprised by that. I tow my Overlander with a relatively short wheelbase vehicle, and I'm always impressed by how neutral the handling is. The Airstream does not push in turns. Of course, having the weight distributing hitch set precisely, with enough tension to transfer weight to the front of the tow vehicle, helps a lot.

I actually enjoy towing on winding roads.

My impression is that the X5 will be a very impressive tow vehicle provided that everything is set up carefully. I would also consult Andrew T - actually, his people set up my combination and he test drove it personally, and Can Am would be my first call with a new tow vehicle.
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Old 02-25-2008, 05:40 PM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arm4
...a sense of pushing the rear end of the car around corners...
i'm gonna speculate the issue here is mismatched brakes...

the x5 has amazing stopping power...

the bambi with drum brakes and trailer tires, does not.

so even a small tap on the bimmer brakes may result in 'push' from bambi, and especially in the curves.

i was in j/c a couple of years ago and meet someone towing with a porsche cayenne...

he has having the disc brake upgrade done to his bambi after an 'exciting'' nearly sideways moment on the interstate.

no amount of controller adjustment would enable the trailer drums to match braking response with the porsche...

so again 'setup' is more than a hitch and some specs...

and towing is about more than moving forward calmly without traffic on flat smooth roads.

cheers
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Old 02-25-2008, 07:33 PM   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlbertF

I actually enjoy towing on winding roads.

My impression is that the X5 will be a very impressive tow vehicle provided that everything is set up carefully. I would also consult Andrew T - actually, his people set up my combination and he test drove it personally, and Can Am would be my first call with a new tow vehicle.
Agree AlbertF...

The X5 does have impressive brakes but with it's SUV platform and 4,500lb dry weight stopping distances are around 130' (60' to 0).

Our lighter, performance sport sedan with the aggressive braking system (60' to 0) stopping distances are 10% shorter than the X5 when running solo.

We too have no braking or handling issues with the 23 in tow. The direct action Jordan brake controller and, like you AlbertF the Can Am set up has much to do with it.
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Old 02-25-2008, 09:48 PM   #52
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An earlier post in this thread mentioned Automobile Magazine's praise for the X5's towing prowess. Keep in mind, these are the same people who praise any BMW, Toyota or Honda product no matter how poorly it does in their testing.
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Old 02-26-2008, 12:04 AM   #53
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BMW X5 tow vehicle?

Hi, I would stick to 19' or less in size and weight to tow with a BMW X5. Just for some compairison; My wife owns a BMW X3 and I would not tow anything with it. I know everyone is going to say that an X3 is a different animal but, an X3 is only 3/4" narrower, 1" less in height, and 4"s shorter in length. Next to my Navigator, [which tows a 25' Safari GVWR 6,300 lbs.] Our X3 is tiny. And an X5 isn't that much bigger. Power wise, handleing, and brakeing are great on BMWs. Our X3 will put you through the windshield from just looking at the brake pedal. So as 2air said, you need to maximize the brakes on the trailer to try and keep up. As for the pushing on turns, I think the four wheel independent suspension has something to do with that. I just can't picture a BMW X5 towing a trailer near the same size and weight of my trailer. [My opinion]
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Old 02-26-2008, 06:44 AM   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Journalist
An earlier post in this thread mentioned Automobile Magazine's praise for the X5's towing prowess. Keep in mind, these are the same people who praise any BMW, Toyota or Honda product no matter how poorly it does in their testing.
It's good to see I'm not the only one noticing these things. Sometimes I wonder how much the foreign car manufacturers budget to pay off the American magazine writers.
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Old 02-26-2008, 09:29 AM   #55
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"Foreign" cars

Just an observation, I travel in Europe frequently and the Germans, Italians, and English are avid campers. I've seen a variety of Audi's, BMW's etc towing successfully - I'm sure as has been said above, the proper combination of towing equipment and knowledge is just as important as the vehicle's birthplace. Just my opinion.
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Old 02-26-2008, 12:25 PM   #56
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I'm off the boards for a day and then I get all this great response. Thanks, everyone. I will definitely think about all the things you all said here. It was all very informative. I've read the board here and the X5world boards and it seems like if you balance the towing with the proper brakes and WD, then it should be no problem. I will have to post pictures when I get my set up. I have to get my trailer first. I should be getting it in the next week or two. But then again, it's been that way for the past month.
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