Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 09-15-2012, 08:03 PM   #1
OrangeKid
 
2013 23' Flying Cloud
Portland , Oregon
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 166
BMW X5d and Weight Distributing Hitch

We have downsized and moved from a large house with a 3 car garage in Las Vegas to a condo with one parking space in Portland, OR. We would like to replace our 2009 Honda CR-V everyday vehicle and 2006 Sequoia SR5 4WD tow vehicle with one vehicle suitable for both towing our 2007 23' Airstream Safari SE and everyday driving around Portland. For those unfamiliar with Portland there are a lot of narrow streets with heavy traffic. The Sequoia feels ponderous and oversized on Portland streets.

About a year ago we considered a VW Touareg diesel. What stopped us was the warning in the owners manual not to use a weight distributing hitch on a VW Touareg and our local Airstream dealer recommendation against using a Touareg to tow our Airstream. Although others have towed Airstreams similar to ours with a Touareg I could not bring myself to use such an expensive vehicle against the manufacturers recommendation.

Another family in our condo tows a similar 2011 23' International using a BMW X5 with a turbocharged V8. I decided to look in into the X5d. Today we took a test drive and loved the X5. Handling is superb, its quiet even on Portland's roughly paved streets and highways, it has plenty of power and acceleration and it is the right size for every day driving around the Portland metropolitan area.

BMW seems to have all the equipment necessary to tow including a hitch receiver, 7 pin harness, brake controller and so on for dealer installation. We were ready to go forward ordering one until I asked about a weight distributing hitch. We were told that BMW does not need a WD hitch for up trailer up to 6000 lbs. After the hitch receiver is installed the vehicle's computer is programmed that it has a hitch receiver. The X5 we are considering does not have air suspension. We were also told that the hitch receiver is attached to the bumper.

So we are now reconsidering. The salesman is going to check with BMW engineering as well as with several hitch shops around town. They are also willing to bring an X5 to my Airstream so we could hitch it up without the WD hitch and see if it would work. The dealer did print up the "BMW X5 (E70) Trailer Hitch Guidelines and Cautions". The third bullet states "Do not use weight distribution equipment".

My question is how should we proceed? Are there any other suggestions for a diesel powered TV that could serve both as an everyday vehicle as well? I have heard that Jeep Grand Cherokee s coming out with a diesel for 2014. We are not interested in a pickup or very large vehicles like Yukon/Tahoe, Sequoia or Expedition. We would consider a Toyota Land Cruiser but for the fact it it not available with a diesel in the US.
__________________

__________________
OrangeKid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-15-2012, 08:27 PM   #2
Rivet Master
 
1974 Argosy 20
2014 20' Flying Cloud
Kooskia , Idaho
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 4,591
The Grand Cherokee, either with the Pentastar V6 or the Hemi V8 are very nice tow vehicles, and available with full air suspension in the Overland models. I have the Hemi 8 and like it very much. It is rated at 7500# towing capacity. But even the 6 would have done the job, it is rated at 5000#. Both can use any WD hitch system, in fact it is required if the tongue weight is above 500#.

The Diesel will be interesting but that is in the future.
__________________

__________________
idroba is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-15-2012, 08:41 PM   #3
Rivet Master
 
ROBERTSUNRUS's Avatar

 
2005 25' Safari
Salem , Oregon
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 7,268
Images: 18
Blog Entries: 51
Hi, I would ask the dealers of VW and BMW if their tow ratings are for Caravans. The European trailers have much less tongue weight. Notice the axle location on Caravans. And they don't use WD hitches.
__________________
Bob

2005 Safari 25-B
"Le Petit Chateau Argent"
[ Small Silver Castle ]
2000 Navigator / 2014 F-150 Eco-Boost / Equal-i-zer / P-3
YAMAHA 2400 / AIR #12144
ROBERTSUNRUS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-15-2012, 09:12 PM   #4
2 Rivet Member
 
2008 19' Bambi
Windcrest , Texas
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 36
Images: 1
I don't understand what the major concern is. If the manufacturer does not recommend a weight distribution hitch, maybe you just saved a ton of $$$ by not having to use one. Then again, it may have something to do with European standards for towing. You are right to be sure of what is needed by American standards and your own safety.
__________________
Silver Dolla is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-15-2012, 09:13 PM   #5
2 Rivet Member
 
Budget M3's Avatar
 
1960 22' Safari
Colo Spgs , & Tucson
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 90
As a new AS owner, I also did a lot of research on TV's. I like the euro SUV's--X5, Touareg/Cayenne/Q7, and the ML/GL's. All are available now with a diesel, and all are available both with & without air suspension.

They all have pitch/yaw/sway/stability control and traction control built into the computer. My understanding is that the electronic controls are the reason why the manufacturers do not recommend WD hitches--they mask the symptoms normally read by the computer which causes the controls to work improperly. THey are all conservatively rated to tow between 6000-7700 lbs. I would drive each one and see which one you like best around town, then choose that one. Good luck!
__________________
Budget M3 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-15-2012, 11:11 PM   #6
Rivet Master
 
ROBERTSUNRUS's Avatar

 
2005 25' Safari
Salem , Oregon
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 7,268
Images: 18
Blog Entries: 51
Hi, to some degree I agree with you, but electronic controls can't transfer hitch/tongue weight back onto the front axles. Also it has been stated in earlier models that the factory receivers can't take the stress of a WD hitch, so many have been modified. [extra braces added]
__________________
Bob

2005 Safari 25-B
"Le Petit Chateau Argent"
[ Small Silver Castle ]
2000 Navigator / 2014 F-150 Eco-Boost / Equal-i-zer / P-3
YAMAHA 2400 / AIR #12144
ROBERTSUNRUS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-15-2012, 11:39 PM   #7
2 Rivet Member
 
Budget M3's Avatar
 
1960 22' Safari
Colo Spgs , & Tucson
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 90
I guess it depends on how close to the limit you are. Cayenne/Touareg/A7 are rated for 7716lbs, so towing half that leaves plenty of margin IMHO. As you get closer to the max, however, I agree that safety dictates you may want to add some form of sway control. Just be aware that you will effectively disable any benefit of the electronic controls, and may even mask a situation that the electronic controls would otherwise be able to handle...not to mention warranty issues for newer vehicles that modify the factory hitch itself.
__________________
Budget M3 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-15-2012, 11:49 PM   #8
Rivet Master
 
2006 22' International CCD
2007 Base Camp
Elk Valley , British Columbia
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 657
The key part to the formula is the tongue weight... If you drop 800lbs on the rear-end, it will break.
__________________
Friday is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-16-2012, 12:12 AM   #9
2 Rivet Member
 
Budget M3's Avatar
 
1960 22' Safari
Colo Spgs , & Tucson
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by Friday View Post
The key part to the formula is the tongue weight... If you drop 800lbs on the rear-end, it will break.
Roger that!
__________________
1960 Safari 22
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8461/7...b54edd52_b.jpg
Budget M3 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-16-2012, 12:13 AM   #10
OrangeKid
 
2013 23' Flying Cloud
Portland , Oregon
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 166
Quote:
Originally Posted by Friday View Post
The key part to the formula is the tongue weight... If you drop 800lbs on the rear-end, it will break.
The tongue weight of my Airstream is listed as 600 lb by Airstream. But that is dry weight. By the time you add two batteries and two 7 gallon propane tanks as well as load the trailer, our actual measured tongue weight is between 780-880 lbs. I would never tow without a weight distributing hitch.
__________________
OrangeKid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-16-2012, 12:14 AM   #11
OrangeKid
 
2013 23' Flying Cloud
Portland , Oregon
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 166
Quote:
Originally Posted by Silver Dolla View Post
I don't understand what the major concern is. If the manufacturer does not recommend a weight distribution hitch, maybe you just saved a ton of $$$ by not having to use one. Then again, it may have something to do with European standards for towing. You are right to be sure of what is needed by American standards and your own safety.
The actual measured tongue weight of our Airstream is between 780-880 lbs. I would never tow without a WD hitch.
__________________
OrangeKid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-16-2012, 12:16 AM   #12
OrangeKid
 
2013 23' Flying Cloud
Portland , Oregon
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 166
Quote:
Originally Posted by idroba View Post
The Grand Cherokee, either with the Pentastar V6 or the Hemi V8 are very nice tow vehicles, and available with full air suspension in the Overland models. I have the Hemi 8 and like it very much. It is rated at 7500# towing capacity. But even the 6 would have done the job, it is rated at 5000#. Both can use any WD hitch system, in fact it is required if the tongue weight is above 500#.

The Diesel will be interesting but that is in the future.
I have considered Jeep Grand Cherokee several times in the last couple of years. It meets all my criteria except for having diesel engine. I might just keep the Sequoia for another year and see if Jeep does indeed come out with a diesel option.
__________________
OrangeKid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-16-2012, 12:25 AM   #13
2 Rivet Member
 
Budget M3's Avatar
 
1960 22' Safari
Colo Spgs , & Tucson
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by OrangeKid View Post
I have considered Jeep Grand Cherokee several times in the last couple of years. It meets all my criteria except for having diesel engine. I might just keep the Sequoia for another year and see if Jeep does indeed come out with a diesel option.
If you are willing to go for a used Jeep, they made a diesel during the Daimler-Chrysler years. The engine is basically a 6-cylinder Mercedes turbo diesel. They are rare and quite desirable, but relatively expensive for a used Jeep. 42 for sale right now nationwide on Autotrader...maybe one is near you?

Find Your Car: Used Jeep Grand Cherokee Listings Near Colorado Springs, CO 80903 - AutoTrader.com
__________________
1960 Safari 22
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8461/7...b54edd52_b.jpg
Budget M3 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-16-2012, 12:42 AM   #14
OrangeKid
 
2013 23' Flying Cloud
Portland , Oregon
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 166
Quote:
Originally Posted by OrangeKid View Post
I have considered Jeep Grand Cherokee several times in the last couple of years. It meets all my criteria except for having diesel engine. I might just keep the Sequoia for another year and see if Jeep does indeed come out with a diesel option.
I checked on line rumors and apparently the Jeep Grand Cherokee diesel is slated to go on sale this January in the US. I'll check it out after the new year.
__________________

__________________
OrangeKid is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:45 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.