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Old 03-14-2017, 09:00 PM   #1
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Does anyone tow with BMW X5 Hybrid (Xdrive40e)?

We are thinking of replacing our 2012 X5 diesel, to tow the 23D. Has anyone experience with the Hybrid gas-electric, BMW or otherwise?

What kind of mileage do you get on longer trips? Have you ever been low on battery and found the torque inadequate? What do you like and not like about the hybrid power train?

Charlie
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Old 03-14-2017, 09:42 PM   #2
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It would seem improbable that after the X5d, you would be happy with an alternate power plant. But, the 40e is not a model I have researched and it might prove viable. Unfortunately, the F15 has a few other issues worth consideration with respect to tongue weight and hitch design availability. There is supposed to be an Invisihitch design that may support weight distribution. If so, it may have higher load ratings than the current 6000/600 which the OEM has. Still it will be interesting to follow any thoughts available on the issue.

An electric would certainly be fun, give appropriate range. Saw an I8 on the street this week. Very hard to ignore such a fine looking vehicle. Pat
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Old 03-14-2017, 11:22 PM   #3
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none of the euro vehicles recommend a weight distribution add on. this is because of euro rules that date back 20 years.
this is a std euro disclaimer to account for outdated trailer rules in Europe.

most of the mid scale SUV and all higher end three row SUV are more than capable . go to any of the audi, vw, BMW, or merc forums and read posts by all those that hav added these hitches with success over the years
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Old 03-15-2017, 12:36 PM   #4
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BMW forums are definitely not the place to look for information on a serious hitch setup. I am saying this from my experience. Even though I am towing Jayco trailer, I received the most valuable information here on AS forum. 99%+ of people towing in America do not thing that German SUV are capable to tow any larger trailer. Some of those 1% are here...

I have never heard about anybody towing BMW hybrid. What is the payload of 40e? It has heavy batteries on board. Is the towing capacity the same as for other X5s? Is it rated to tow 7,700 lbs in Europe?
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Old 03-15-2017, 03:25 PM   #5
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@Charlie, the Can-Am RV Center in London, ON, has been customizing hitches on cars for years enabling cars tow travel trailers. They are also an authorized dealer for selling and servicing Airstream. In addition to this Air Forum, you may want to check out the Can-Am website and give them a phone call for expert advice about a hitch and what a Hybrid gas-electric is capable of towing. http://www.canamrv.ca/
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Old 03-15-2017, 03:33 PM   #6
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The hybrid X5 has the same towing load limits as does the diesel X5. The hybrid torque (with both gas and electric) is lower, at 336 lb-ft vs 413 lb-ft for the diesel, but more horsepower: 308 hp vs 255 hp for the diesel. A possible issue is that when batteries are depleted, the hybrid figures (gas only) become 260 lb-ft and 240 hp. The hybrid uses your route in the Nav software to forecast and manage battery charge (the gas engine can charge batteries, as does downhill or braking - the motor becomes a generator).

I am looking for someone's experience with how well this charging works in actual towing experience, out west in the mountains. How often might we be inconvenienced by low torque due to battery depletion when faced with a steep mountain pass?

Our 2012 X5 diesel has been an amazing tow car for 5 years - its prodigious torque is overkill. We are looking at the hybrid for dramatic emission reduction (it is our daily drive around town), understanding that it represents a compromise in pulling power for towing.

The loading and hitch-reinforcement are another issue, if the hitch attachment differs from the 2012 diesel model. Experience here would be welcome. I have inquired on this topic to Andy Thompson at CanAm RV.
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Old 03-15-2017, 03:36 PM   #7
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Sovereign85, thanks. Yes, I have already inquired via email. They were very forthcoming with advice when we upgraded to the 23D from the 19', towing with the 2012 X5 diesel.

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Old 03-15-2017, 04:39 PM   #8
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We just bought a gently used 2010 BMW X5 with M option and will eventually get it set up by Can AM so the WDH can be used. This thread is an interesting read though re the Hybrid potential.
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Old 03-15-2017, 04:44 PM   #9
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I am suggesting keeping the diesel and still helping the environment.

Daimler is convinced that MB cannot meet future CO2 emissions standards without diesel engines. So if they thought the hybrid was the best future, diesels would be phased out quickly.

Neste MY Renewable Diesel is a low-carbon drop-in renewable diesel fuel enabling up to 80% lower greenhouse gas emissions throughout the life cycle of the fuel compared to conventional petroleum diesel.

I think you will start finding renewable diesel across the county, not just in CA, in the very near future.
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Old 03-15-2017, 05:00 PM   #10
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Daimler is convinced that MB cannot meet future CO2 emissions standards without diesel engines. So if they thought the hybrid was the best future, diesels would be phased out quickly.
Diesel and hybrid are not exclusive of each other. One can design and build a diesel hybrid.
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Old 03-15-2017, 06:44 PM   #11
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It appears that hybrid has a lower towing capacity in Europe, i.e. 6,000 lbs vs. 7,700 lbs for regular X5. Just something to consider. BMW X5 (gas and diesel) is downrated to 6,000 lbs only in the US.

Zul. Anhängelast (12 %) gebremst/ungebremst kg 2700

http://www.presseportal.de/showbin.h...-xdrive40e.pdf
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Old 03-15-2017, 07:23 PM   #12
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It appears that hybrid has a lower towing capacity in Europe, i.e. 6,000 lbs vs. 7,700 lbs for regular X5. Just something to consider. BMW X5 (gas and diesel) is downrated to 6,000 lbs only in the US.

Zul. Anhängelast (12 %) gebremst/ungebremst kg 2700

http://www.presseportal.de/showbin.h...-xdrive40e.pdf
I assume the difference is due to added battery weight in the hybrid. Our International 23D grosses at 6000lb. I am yet to learn how the hitch on the hybrid differs, if any, from the diesel, or whether load brace modification is needed.
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Old 03-15-2017, 07:32 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by rjmaype View Post
I am suggesting keeping the diesel and still helping the environment.

Daimler is convinced that MB cannot meet future CO2 emissions standards without diesel engines. So if they thought the hybrid was the best future, diesels would be phased out quickly.

Neste MY Renewable Diesel is a low-carbon drop-in renewable diesel fuel enabling up to 80% lower greenhouse gas emissions throughout the life cycle of the fuel compared to conventional petroleum diesel.

I think you will start finding renewable diesel across the county, not just in CA, in the very near future.
I am not familiar with this fuel, but I doubt I could burn it in a 2017 BMW X5. Supposedly, the VW debacle has dampened the market for diesel cars in the US? Perhaps I need to learn more, but I think the hybrid would reduce our local emissions to near zero (hydroelectric power), but maybe not reduce emissions from traveling or towing longer distances.
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Old 03-15-2017, 08:20 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by aircampr View Post
We are thinking of replacing our 2012 X5 diesel, to tow the 23D. Has anyone experience with the Hybrid gas-electric, BMW or otherwise?
Hi Charlie:

Hybrids are great in city driving since the generator is used for braking. And that means that your batteries get recharged. But hybrids add very little in highway driving as they are mostly dead weight.

If you plan to tow in the city, with lots of stop and go's, then a hybrid, with the awesome torque, would be great. But if you will be towing on a highway, then you'll be driving with dead batteries and you won't like the torque of the base engine.

Just my 2 cents, Dave
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Old 03-15-2017, 08:59 PM   #15
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Thanks Dave,
You may be right, and that is what I am trying to understand. The X5 40e uses an electric motor built into the 8 speed transmission, which can also act as a generator. By loading the gas engine it can even charge the battery on the flat - but i don't yet know how many KW it can put in, nor how far up a grade one can go with a 9KWhr battery boosting the 4cyl engine. This can all be calculated, once I learn a bit more about the 40e and remember some engineering physics.
... or find someone who has experience with the car, especially towing (maybe very unlikely!).
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Old 03-15-2017, 09:05 PM   #16
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ohmman .... may be able to help with the technical info. He is towing 22fb with Tesla X. Pat
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Old 03-15-2017, 11:55 PM   #17
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We are thinking of replacing our 2012 X5 diesel, to tow the 23D. Has anyone experience with the Hybrid gas-electric, BMW or otherwise?
I know the BMW models quite well. I have investigated the X5 40e hybrid. I have no towing experience with that particular X5 model.

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Originally Posted by aircampr View Post
The hybrid X5 has the same towing load limits as does the diesel X5. The hybrid torque (with both gas and electric) is lower, at 336 lb-ft vs 413 lb-ft for the diesel, but more horsepower: 308 hp vs 255 hp for the diesel. A possible issue is that when batteries are depleted, the hybrid figures (gas only) become 260 lb-ft and 240 hp.
You should plan on your batteries being depleted 50 km from home, when not towing. When towing, the electric range will be reduced. The hybrid advantage is short trips, and stop/start. As noted by another poster, the hybrid benefits disappear when driving at steady state on a highway. The electric motor can make a difference to acceleration, just not a sustained hill climb.

That said, 240 hp is the same as the Ram 1500 Ecodiesel, just for one comparison. People are towing up to 25 foot Airstreams with that vehicle, in the mountains, and seem to do fine. You won't win races up long hills, but the vehicle can certainly tow the sort of weight you are proposing. I know the 4 cylinder engine used in the 40e from experience driving the X1 and X3 28i models, it is essentially the same engine. Not as smooth as a BMW inline 6, but pretty good. Peak torque comes in around 1250 rpm due to the turbo, not even considering the electric motor.

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I assume the difference is due to added battery weight in the hybrid. Our International 23D grosses at 6000lb. I am yet to learn how the hitch on the hybrid differs, if any, from the diesel, or whether load brace modification is needed.
BMW applies a different GVWR to each variant of the X5, whether 35i, 35d, 50i, 40e, and with or without 3rd row seats (n/a in the 40e). That is to maintain similar payload specs across the different configurations. The 40e curb weight is around the same as the 50i, and less than either the 35d or 50i with the optional 3rd row seat. That is partly because the propulsion battery is so small.

Don't plan on use of the BMW OE hitch, due to limitations with the use of w/d equipment with the removable hitch ball. Several aftermarket hitches are available with regular square receivers. One thing to check is whether the rear pan (underbody) of the hybrid is at all different due to the battery compartment, meaning potential interference when mounting a hitch receiver.

It is an interesting vehicle to consider. The hybrid powertrain won't help much with towing, apart from accelerating from rest, but it will be much more economical when not towing. For your emissions to be near zero, considering your hydroelectric power source, you would need to keep your range down to 50 km or so between charges. That works for local shopping trips, not for road trips.

Jeff
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Old 03-16-2017, 12:30 AM   #18
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After extensive modifications, our 2015 23D International Serenity scales 6,068 pounds fully loaded for camping. Our tongue weight is 968 pounds.

We tow with my 2007 Mercedes ML320 CDI that has a 3.0L V6 turbocharged diesel coupled to the seven speed transmission. The engine is rated 221 HP and 398 ft pounds of torque between 1,400 and 22,00 rpm. We use the Tekonsha Prodigy RF brake controller because our ML was made in October of 2006 and they "forgot" to bring the brake system wiring to the driver's foot well. They corrected that error with the production that started in January 2007. The car now has 162,800 miles on it and has been maintained at the local Mercedes shop with regular 5,000 mile oil changes and the usual letter services at appropriate intervals.

We see 16 to 16.5 mph towing on the level in 7th gear and max speed for us is 55 mph. We can maintain speed on 7% grades by the engine dropping back to 4th gear and 3,1009 rpm. Going down the local mountains, I slow to 35mph and second gear. The diesel back pressurebcan control the rate of descent with very little brake input.

I would sure consider staying with the the BMW diesel for long term towing use with the 23D. The diesel powered X5 and ML of my era are well suited for the narrow body 23' twin axle trailer.
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Old 03-16-2017, 01:34 AM   #19
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ohmman .... may be able to help with the technical info. He is towing 22fb with Tesla X. Pat
Thanks, PKI. i just spent the evening reading his thread here, and found some useful info.

Jeff,

Thanks for your observations. The ECO Diesel has 420lb-ft of torque, so should tow very well. The I4 in the 40e has only 260lb=ft, so a bit marginal, unless some battery can be recharged for the occasional uphill pull. I understand the charging software uses the route elevation profile, from Nav system, to control charging from the gas engine and downhill braking to use on uphill slopes - I need to know how effectively this works.

switz,

We test drove the ML320 before buying the X5 in 2012, and it is a fine car which I expect would tow very well. In the end, we may end up buying another X5 35d, but I want to first consider whether the hybrid could be an acceptable compromise. (Or as you have done, we may just save our money and keep the 2012 going for a few more years - it has 89K mi).

Charlie
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Old 03-16-2017, 12:07 PM   #20
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Jeff,

Thanks for your observations. The ECO Diesel has 420lb-ft of torque, so should tow very well. The I4 in the 40e has only 260lb=ft, so a bit marginal, unless some battery can be recharged for the occasional uphill pull. I understand the charging software uses the route elevation profile, from Nav system, to control charging from the gas engine and downhill braking to use on uphill slopes - I need to know how effectively this works.
The torque figure matters for starting off. HP determines how fast you go up the hills.

260 ftlb of torque at 1250 rpm is pretty good. I towed with a BMW X5, E53, 3.0 gas (M54) engine. 225 hp, and 220 ft lbs of torque at 3500 rpm. It was rated to tow 6000 lbs but I never exceeded 4500 or so. We have mountains here. I thought it towed fine.

The market is in a hp and torque race at the moment. Your objective of zero emissions locally (a great goal) is not necessarily compatible with climbing hills towing as quickly as some modern vehicles with very large hp figures. I wouldn't worry about it. But then I towed 3500 lbs with a Volvo 245 wagon with 114 hp. And drove a Ford tow truck for work, powered by a 300 cid six cylinder, never thought to check the HP but it wasn't much. I just went slower on the big hills.

Jeff
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