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Old 03-23-2015, 01:14 AM   #15
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I would say the X5D or a similar vehicle would tow better. It would not have the same amount of engine braking on a steep descent as your diesel Ford pickup, and it will have a lower payload limit.
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Old 03-23-2015, 09:34 AM   #16
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Engine braking on the X5d is modest, but judicious use of the trailer brakes and modest speed keeps the load under good control on steep descents. The X5 has awesome brakes, and the Airstream's four brakes work quite well too.

I just take it slow to keep things from getting frightening, same as I would if using my brother's F-350 chipped diesel. It was common when I lived in Europe to see folks from flat places like The Netherlands pulling trailers across the Alps, and I've come to appreciate and emulate their approach: slow and steady, flashers on as needed, let the cars pass, stay focused, arrive safely. And perhaps most importantly: choose your route wisely. I specifically took the Airstream around Jerome, AZ, rather than through it, to avoid scaring anyone. I've driven over that pass without a trailer, but why?

Maybe we do grow wiser over the years?

Rod
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Old 03-23-2015, 10:15 AM   #17
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Adam, the BMW will have a shorter stopping distance than a large truck. It will have a faster max lane change speed, it will be at lower risk of a roll-over, it has a better suspension setup and will handle better all the while needing less fuel.
I suspect the attributes of a good tow vehicle would be different that the attributes of a good track car. Replace BMW in the statement above, with any other track car you wish (Subaru WRX STI, Mitsubishi Evo, etc), none of which are tow vehicles, and the above statements are still true.
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Old 03-23-2015, 02:38 PM   #18
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Adam, the X5 diesel has 425 ft-lb of torque. I can sail up and over 9000+ ft mountain passes with the 23D (same trailer as yours) with no strain or effort. We have never experienced brake fade coming down the other side. I usually go slower, just to conserve fuel, but the twin turbo diesel is very robust. The whole rig is very stable and inspires confidence. The software-controlled all wheel drive works great towing in snow. After driving an X5, you will likely not want to go back to any pickup from a handling perspective.

What a truck has to offer is more cargo space. Some people might prefer the truck if they need to haul a generator and gasoline, a big stack of firewood, or both mountain bikes and road bikes.

Charlie
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Old 03-24-2015, 03:24 AM   #19
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Are y'all suggesting that putting 1080 lbs. on a modded 600 lb. hitch is a good idea?

I've heard it said that it's oftentimes all about the payload. I would love to see the advertised and actual payloads - I'm not so good at all this math stuff. Is anyone willing to figure this out?
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Old 03-24-2015, 04:23 AM   #20
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I agree with Aircampr... I have a 30' Bunkhouse, and we do tow with a 2010 Ford F250 CrewCab Diesel. Great truck, and very comfortable for long hauls, but miserable mileage (8-10) when towing, and quite frankly, it's overkill. With a 23' or 25' Airstream, I would not see the necessity in using a full-size pickup except for gear. We do haul 4 kids, a few bicycles, two Honda generators, and a dog. If they made a bigger truck, I'd probably have to buy it!

However, one of the great joys of an Airstream Travel Trailer is that you can unhook and go explore with your tow vehicle. The BMW x5 or similar is a great setup for all around travel for midsized trailers.


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Old 03-24-2015, 11:23 PM   #21
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Are y'all suggesting that putting 1080 lbs. on a modded 600 lb. hitch is a good idea?

I've heard it said that it's oftentimes all about the payload. I would love to see the advertised and actual payloads - I'm not so good at all this math stuff. Is anyone willing to figure this out?
BMW doesn't put any rating for weight distribution on their hitches, so that 600 lbs is just static weight (which is highter than our Tahoe's rating btw). But he had Andy T modify it, and Andy and his crew have modified thousands of hitches and tow vehicles over the past 40 years. They know what they are doing, and if they weren't 3000 miles away I would take our next TV to them to be set up.

For now I just read Andy's column and learn. I'd love an X5 tow rig, but I can't justify a new one with 3rd row which we like to have for grandparent visits.
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Old 03-26-2015, 08:04 AM   #22
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Smile Towing with an SUV

Quote:
Originally Posted by jcl View Post
I would say the X5D or a similar vehicle would tow better. It would not have the same amount of engine braking on a steep descent as your diesel Ford pickup, and it will have a lower payload limit.
Great to receive all the information provided by the many forum participants concerned. I now understand that Airstream trailers, very heavy compared to most TT's can be hauled around by common use vehicles such as SUVs. I will consider switching our Ford 250 for a well rated SUV. When is a question. My truck has only 23,000 miles and though four model years old and was first registered only three years ago. Regardless, Depreciation sold now will be an issue. Then again driving an SUV such as the BMX X5 is very appealing. We drove like vehicles in Europe for 20 years. Paying for it is another story. Around here in up-state NY we can expect to pay @ 70K + US before sales tax (8.5%). Hard to justify spending an additional $$$$$ just for the fun. Perhaps if I can get mama to agree.


This said any comments about using a Jeep Grand Cherokee or Dodge Durango with their big V8? I believe you can get up to a 6.2 L gas engine these days maybe a bit better than the 3.0 L diesel......for towing?? We have driven diesel motor cars for twenty plus years and my gut says to stick with them?? Cheers all.


BTW, Consumer Reports likes the Dodge as a tow vehicle. Their test driver tows a 23 foot Airstream with one!!
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Old 03-26-2015, 09:48 AM   #23
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This said any comments about using a Jeep Grand Cherokee or Dodge Durango with their big V8?

BTW, Consumer Reports likes the Dodge as a tow vehicle. Their test driver tows a 23 foot Airstream with one!!
Just FYI, I believe this is the last year Durango is produced and that its being discontinued.
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Old 03-26-2015, 09:52 AM   #24
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Yes, the Durango is on the chopping block. There are some rumours that the Durango will be shifting brands and become the three-row SUV in Jeep’s lineup that consumers have been asking for, but that has yet to be confirmed.

I have mixed feeling about this - the Durango was on top of my list for next year's upcoming car purchase. It still shares much of its heritage with the big Mercedes, which would be my first choice, but then we're looking at a minimum of $65k, even off-lease.
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Old 05-11-2015, 10:06 PM   #25
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2011 BMW X5 Diesel is great TV.

I love my BMW X5d as a TV for my 23FB. The tongue weight is under the 600 lbs on this Flying Cloud rig, so it's just right. I have the low profile 20" tires on the car...swapped out the RFs for Continentals. Tows great. At 65 mph I avg 17 mpg. Without the TT, I get closer to 27. I wish I had more storage, but other than that...no complaints. Plenty pf power.
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Old 07-08-2015, 09:47 PM   #26
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x5 towing

Any issues using a WDH? I am picking up an x5d tomorrow and my trailer's hitch weight is 610#
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Old 07-08-2015, 09:51 PM   #27
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Do you use a WDH?
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Old 07-08-2015, 11:14 PM   #28
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I use an Eaz-Lift WD hitch. 800 pound bars to pull our 19 footer, and 1200 pound bars if pulling the 25er. Wouldn't be without them.
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