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Old 09-16-2012, 02:01 AM   #15
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While we have a lighter TT (4000 lbs), I am headed back to the US in a few weeks to (finally) try the same TV setup. I've generally heard that the European SUV makers don't recommend WD systems because they are neither used nor tested over here.

We have the Hensley Arrow hitch, which can be used without engaging the WD function. I plan to start out by towing without WD, then dial in a small amount, and see what works.

The factory hitch setup seems pretty stout, and since I'm well under the ratings, I feel OK with careful field testing. But with your larger TT and greater tongue weight, you might be best served with the conservative approach you've described.
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Old 09-16-2012, 02:20 AM   #16
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Been There, Doing That

See my avatar and search on "withidl"; you'll find all you need to know about the X5 and it's towing capabilities.
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Old 09-16-2012, 11:59 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by withidl View Post
See my avatar and search on "withidl"; you'll find all you need to know about the X5 and it's towing capabilities.
I have read some of your postings and they were part of what convinced me to test drive the BMW. I just cannot see myself not following the manufacturer's recommendations when it comes to towing, considering potential warranty and liability issues. If BMW supported using a WD hitch I would order one immediately.
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Old 09-16-2012, 12:03 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by OrangeKid View Post
I have read some of your postings and they were part of what convinced me to test drive the BMW. I just cannot see myself not following the manufacturer's recommendations when it comes to towing, considering potential warranty and liability issues. If BMW supported using a WD hitch I would order one immediately.
Another factor is the current $4,500 rebate/credit available on X5d purchased in the month of September. My dealer told me the $4,500 applies even if I order a X5d built to my specs. I would just have to order it in September.
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Old 09-16-2012, 04:59 PM   #19
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We were told that BMW does not need a WD hitch for up trailer up to 6000 lbs.

In writing? It wouldn't concern me the way it does you (not being argumentative), yet I'd check with Andrew Thomson (Andrew_T) of CAN AM RV for context and clarification. The Moss-Magnuson Act also covers this.

Besides, how long will you keep it, and how many miles of towing?

Those are basic questions missing from the first post (and to the point). I would say that the percentage of miles towing is at the center of this concern; second, by terrain and climate within that question. Again, (as before in my attitude towards it) the # of summertime, high noon desert mountain climbs is at the heart of this.

Best luck to you in your eventual choice.

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Old 09-17-2012, 11:37 AM   #20
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CanAm RV Towing Assessment Article

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Originally Posted by OrangeKid View Post
I have read some of your postings and they were part of what convinced me to test drive the BMW. I just cannot see myself not following the manufacturer's recommendations when it comes to towing, considering potential warranty and liability issues. If BMW supported using a WD hitch I would order one immediately.
Maybe the attached article by Andy Thomson of CanAm RV will help.
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Old 09-18-2012, 01:04 AM   #21
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We were told that BMW does not need a WD hitch for up trailer up to 6000 lbs.

In writing?
Here is the official word from BMW. Check out the third bullet on the first page. It is pretty clear to me that WD hitches are not allowed.
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Old 09-18-2012, 01:07 AM   #22
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Maybe the attached article by Andy Thomson of CanAm RV will help.
I wrote a private message to Andy a couple of weeks ago but he never responded.
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Old 09-18-2012, 09:31 AM   #23
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Maybe the attached article by Andy Thomson of CanAm RV will help.
It is a very interesting article. But unfortunately it does not ease my mind about using a BMW X5 to tow my 23' Airstream Safari SE. My actual measured tongue weight is between 780 - 880 pounds. It seems such a tongue weight requires a Class 4 hitch receiver, and the BMW only has a Class 3 receiver.

I am now also checking out the Toyota Land Cruiser, although as an everyday vehicle I'm sure the X5 would be better. However, for towing, the Land Cruiser seems to meet all the requirements. However, the unavailability of a diesel engine is a liability. I understand Land Cruisers in much of the world are available with diesel engines.

In January the Jeep Grand Cherokee with a diesel engine is rumored to be going on sale. I've never been a fan of Jeeps because of their poor repair record, but it has a Class 4 hitch receiver and requires the use of a WD hitch for tongue weights exceeding 500 pounds. I'll be checking it out when it is available.
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Old 09-18-2012, 11:41 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by OrangeKid View Post
It is a very interesting article. But unfortunately it does not ease my mind about using a BMW X5 to tow my 23' Airstream Safari SE. My actual measured tongue weight is between 780 - 880 pounds. It seems such a tongue weight requires a Class 4 hitch receiver, and the BMW only has a Class 3 receiver.

I am now also checking out the Toyota Land Cruiser, although as an everyday vehicle I'm sure the X5 would be better. However, for towing, the Land Cruiser seems to meet all the requirements. However, the unavailability of a diesel engine is a liability. I understand Land Cruisers in much of the world are available with diesel engines.

In January the Jeep Grand Cherokee with a diesel engine is rumored to be going on sale. I've never been a fan of Jeeps because of their poor repair record, but it has a Class 4 hitch receiver and requires the use of a WD hitch for tongue weights exceeding 500 pounds. I'll be checking it out when it is available.
I purchased my ASCL 31' from CanAm RV back in 2001. I had the same concerns you have as my 2001 X5 states 6,000 lbs. max with max 600 lbs. tongue weight both weight bearing and weight distributed. Andy Thomson went to their London, Ontario, BMW dealer to look at the X5 (it was new on the market in 2000) and called me in Houston saying it was "built like a 1 ton truck" and would have no problem handling my 8,300 GVWR Airstream which has a 720 lb. tongue weight. Over 35,000 trouble free miles later this has been proven to be correct. Your AS is MUCH smaller than mine so it shouldn't be any problem at all for an X5.
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Old 09-18-2012, 12:44 PM   #25
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Liability Issue Question...

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Originally Posted by withidl View Post
I purchased my ASCL 31' from CanAm RV back in 2001. I had the same concerns you have as my 2001 X5 states 6,000 lbs. max with max 600 lbs. tongue weight both weight bearing and weight distributed. Andy Thomson went to their London, Ontario, BMW dealer to look at the X5 (it was new on the market in 2000) and called me in Houston saying it was "built like a 1 ton truck" and would have no problem handling my 8,300 GVWR Airstream which has a 720 lb. tongue weight. Over 35,000 trouble free miles later this has been proven to be correct. Your AS is MUCH smaller than mine so it shouldn't be any problem at all for an X5.
Hi Withidl,

I too have looked at the X5 xDrive 50i as a possible tow vehicle but the one thing we couldn't get passed was the fact that the owner's manual clearly states that the max tow capacity on this vehicle is 6000 lbs. Yes, we did contact Andy Thomson at CanAm and yes, he did assure us that it could handle the weight of a 27FB (GVWR 7600 lbs, hitch weight 770 lbs).

But we can't help but wonder:
If we were in an accident, who would be found liable and negligible for exceeding the maximum allowable towing capacity of the vehicle? Not only that but another concern of ours is what if during a hill descent our trailer brakes gave out, can this vehicle stop our 7600lb trailer?

What are your thoughts?
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Old 09-18-2012, 06:33 PM   #26
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Hi Withidl,

I too have looked at the X5 xDrive 50i as a possible tow vehicle but the one thing we couldn't get passed was the fact that the owner's manual clearly states that the max tow capacity on this vehicle is 6000 lbs. Yes, we did contact Andy Thomson at CanAm and yes, he did assure us that it could handle the weight of a 27FB (GVWR 7600 lbs, hitch weight 770 lbs).

But we can't help but wonder:
If we were in an accident, who would be found liable and negligible for exceeding the maximum allowable towing capacity of the vehicle? Not only that but another concern of ours is what if during a hill descent our trailer brakes gave out, can this vehicle stop our 7600lb trailer?

What are your thoughts?
sierrafun, Andy Thomson addressed your liability and braking concerns in his following 09-05-2010, 05:36 AM post in "Tow Vehicle Consultant" as follows:

I don't want to add to the flames here and I certainly don't have time for an endless discussion but I would like to point out something that happens on this forum.

When Withidi visited our store for two weeks I might have taught him a few things about towing but I learned a huge amount from him. He knows more about Polymers lubrication coolants and how it relates to vehicles break in etc. than anyone I have met. He was able to explain some very complex properties in ways that I could understand. He knows more about vehicles than 99% of the people that contribute here. I have used his information extensively over the years. He could be a great asset to this forum.

However since some people don't like his tow vehicle they are ready to discount everything he has to say and he likely won't return after all who needs it.

Here is a person that has been towing extensively with the same vehicle for 10 years and gives his experience and some are ready to jump all over him. It always amazes me how some people feel they are experts about a combination that they have never driven let alone pushed anywhere near its limits.

I don't know what you think would be a viable test of handling, hurricane cross winds? a tight road coarse? or the slaloms and lane changes that we test with. You choose the test take any stock 3/4 ton truck and Airstream you care to use and I will take the X5 and the same Airstream I will make that 3/4 ton and Airstream look as slow as molasses. Then I will put you behind the wheel of the BMW and you will see that driving it at the speed that was the limit of the 3/4 ton is easy as a Sunday drive in the BMW.

From a stopping distance perspective it is just no contest the BMW / Airstream stops at least 30' shorter from 65 mph. During all the solo miles that the vehicle is not towing the differences in avoidance and stopping distance are exponentailly greater there is just no contest which is the safest vehicle solo and that is far more miles than the towing miles.

In regards to liability, if you get in an accident and it is your fault you are liable. If it is not your fault then you are not. With the X5 your are far less likely to get in an accident that is your fault and far less likely to get into an accident that is someone elses fault. I can think of no situation at highway speed where I had to max out the vehicles capability where I would rather have a 3/4 ton than an X5.

Andrew T
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Old 09-18-2012, 07:40 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by withidl View Post
sierrafun, Andy Thomson addressed your liability and braking concerns in his following 09-05-2010, 05:36 AM post in "Tow Vehicle Consultant" as follows:


Here is a person that has been towing extensively with the same vehicle for 10 years and gives his experience and some are ready to jump all over him. It always amazes me how some people feel they are experts about a combination that they have never driven let alone pushed anywhere near its limits. Andrew T
Hear ye, hear ye... European car manufacturers do not support WD hitches because they are not used in Europe. It's a whole different hitch and trailer weight system over there. Have owned two Touaregs and towed two trailers and the hitches never fell off.
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Old 09-18-2012, 11:35 PM   #28
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Hi Withidl,

I too have looked at the X5 xDrive 50i as a possible tow vehicle but the one thing we couldn't get passed was the fact that the owner's manual clearly states that the max tow capacity on this vehicle is 6000 lbs. Yes, we did contact Andy Thomson at CanAm and yes, he did assure us that it could handle the weight of a 27FB (GVWR 7600 lbs, hitch weight 770 lbs).

But we can't help but wonder:
If we were in an accident, who would be found liable and negligible for exceeding the maximum allowable towing capacity of the vehicle? Not only that but another concern of ours is what if during a hill descent our trailer brakes gave out, can this vehicle stop our 7600lb trailer?

What are your thoughts?
You expressed concerns similar to mine. Based on reporting by knowledgeable members on the forum the X5 is a very capable tow vehicle. I have similar liability and warranty concerns as you do. I find it difficult to purchase such an expensive TV and use it in ways that the manufacturer expressly forbids. Two BMW dealers checked the WD hitch issue and both told me that BMW does not support the use of a WD hitch, plus I posted the explicit written instructions that BMW includes with a hitch receiver installation that clearly forbids the use of a WD hitch.

Its a shame that position BMW takes on using weight distributing hitches as the X5 is the best SUV I have ever driven.
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