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Old 01-02-2015, 01:38 PM   #57
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I definitely agree with you about the PPP hitches, they are remarkable. But that's not to say they do not have their "issues". I don't believe there is a "perfect" hitch for every situation, and if there were, very shortly there would only be that one hitch manufactured. Almost every situation is a little different.

Hi, for me, the infamous Hensley Bump as you're going down hill making a sharp turn when you hit your brakes is one that I don't care to have. The extra weight of these type hitches is another one that I don't care for. The extra length doesn't work for me either. Also the major rebuild that most people don't find out until this hitch breaks too. As for the cost, I can easily afford one, so that doesn't matter to me.
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Old 01-02-2015, 01:48 PM   #58
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At the risk of getting accused of having an agenda just because we tow with a 3500 Dodge I would comment on the braking issue. Trying to project the effect on stopping distance of a TV based on a simple analysis or on published stopping distances of an empty vehicle is pretty much impossible. Primarily this is due to the design of the vehicle in question and the way that modern ABS systems work. In the case of unloaded trucks the rear axle is so lightly loaded to begin with that that with the weight transfer that takes place during braking, the rear axle becomes extremely light unloading the rear tires. The ABS prevents lockup but the result is that the rear brakes contribute very little to overall braking.

In the old days an unloaded pickup was evil in a panic stop with the rear wheels locking up. This is why some of the earliest ABS systems were on the rear axle only of pickups.

When a load is in the bed of a pickup there is now enough load on the rear axle that even with weight transfer the rear brakes contribute more to the overall braking effort. The result is that a loaded pickup stops almost as fast as an unloaded one. You might find the article in this link interesting. It includes brake test results of 2011 model year pickups both empty and with a 2000 lb load in the bed. With the 3/4 ton trucks the loaded stopping distance only increased around 5 feet and with the 1 ton trucks the increase was around 1 ft. and the GM actually stopped in a shorter distance with the 2000 load. 2010 HD Brake Tests - PickupTrucks.com Special Reports.

I believe that most passenger vehicles have a better front to rear to weight balance and that the effects of weight transfer and the interaction of the ABS are therefore reduced. However without some real test data that is only a guess.

While this situation is not the same as towing a trailer I think it illustrates that there are many other factors in vehicle braking and trying to make projections on what will happen under different conditions is not all that easy.

Anyway I agree that each of us has our own needs in a TV and what works for us isn't the answer for many others.
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Old 01-02-2015, 01:48 PM   #59
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There seems to be several different types of towing "groups" if you will, here and so different ideas of what makes a good tow vehicle.

You have the retired and full-time or retired who travel almost as much as the full timers. Then you have what I'd call the seasonal campers. Then still, are the still working people who basically camp on weekends and vacations. Probably big differences in amount of miles towed, or kilometers, and areas of travel.

There are those with the luxury of owning a dedicated tow vehicle, and those who's tow vehicle must also be the daily driver. Many different circumstances.
Hi, I fit into the group of those who are retired and travel thousands of miles in all kinds of weather conditions. We have traveled through 14 western states and 3 western provinces so far. Anyone who has read my blog knows where we have been and what conditions we have towed in.

Right now we have three motor vehicles. My famous Lincoln Navigator which has done it's job towing my Safari for over ten years. My wife's BMW X-3 which will never tow anything. And my new F-150 which is waiting for it's turn to tow. All three vehicles are used as daily drivers too.
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Old 01-02-2015, 01:55 PM   #60
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In the old days an unloaded pickup was evil in a panic stop with the rear wheels locking up. This is why some of the earliest ABS systems were on the rear axle only of pickups.


I believe that most passenger vehicles have a better front to rear to weight balance and that the effects of weight transfer and the interaction of the ABS are therefore reduced. However without some real test data that is only a guess.
Hi, in the old days most pickups were regular cabs with an 8' bed. These could get scary in a panic stop while empty. I believe that trucks like my new F-150 are a different animal. Now it seems that four door crew cabs with short beds are much better balanced and the norm now days.
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Old 01-02-2015, 02:00 PM   #61
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Hi, for me, the infamous Hensley Bump as you're going down hill making a sharp turn when you hit your brakes is one that I don't care to have. The extra weight of these type hitches is another one that I don't care for. The extra length doesn't work for me either. Also the major rebuild that most people don't find out until this hitch breaks too. As for the cost, I can easily afford one, so that doesn't matter to me.
Well, I've never had a Hensley, but put about 50K miles on a ProPride, and was rather happy with it for the most part until I got the truck I have now. The electric brake operator was not compatible with the ProPride because of a delay, which caused "the bump" every time I hit the brakes at anything more that a very easy application. It also caused me to have to stop and readjust the hitch every time this happened. Now I have electric over hydraulic brakes and they have an inherent delay and I don't know how anyone uses a PPP hitch with them.

I was OK with the additional cost, weight, length, and difficulty sometime hitching up, but the having to stop and readjust the hitch was just too much. They do, however, totally eliminate trailer sway, and if you have not had one to play with and examine to fully understand how they work, you will never understand this statement.

Basically, with any other type hitch, the trailer is free to move around in the horizontal plane as it wishes, save the resistance of whatever friction devise is being used. With a PPP hitch, however, when the tow vehicle is straight in front of the trailer, because of the geometry built into the hitch head, the trailer is locked straight behind the tow vehicle, and only when the tow vehicle first turns, is the trailer allowed to move to the side. It's difficult to describe in words, but simple once you inspect it. It's really more that projecting the pivot point forward.
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Old 01-02-2015, 02:24 PM   #62
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This has turned into great entertainment. Little did I know what I’d start.

I’ll offer some vehicle clarification, then stand back to ponder a bit longer the question of what hitch to use.

My BMW is a 2012 X5 diesel. The E70 variant, in BMW speak. It develops 425 ft lbs of torque at 1750 RPMs. As to the brakes, I’ll share a short story. No science in this case, just empirical evidence that gives me a real sense of security when I drive this vehicle. Others may view this differently or have had different experiences.

I lived in Germany from 2000-2012 and drove this X5d for one year before returning to America two years ago. The vehicle tops out at 130 mph, and can stop impressively quickly from that speed when necessary. To be completely accurate, I should note that I’ve never actually stopped from that velocity, but many’s the time I’ve decelerated from 130-80 mph when a truck suddenly peeks out into the left lane.

About 12 years ago I had a front row (passenger) seat in my friend Bob’s E53 X5 when he had to do a “this is not a drill” panic stop from 160 kph to zero. The small Ford panel van immediately in front of us blew first one tire then two others as it skidded on sparking steel wheels between the guard rails on southbound A5 near the Swiss border, ejecting at high speed a multitude of green plastic boxes the size of beer cases out its open back doors. Bob’s fully loaded X5, probably overloaded with the driver, three passengers, roof-mounted ski box, boots, poles, food, luggage, wine, and gear, stopped effortlessly as he negotiated the slalom course provided by those green boxes that had been deposited on the Autobahn.

That experience told a lot about the BMW, in a way that spec sheets and marketing materials cannot convey, and was a contributing factor in my decision to buy a 2003 530i. BTW, the driver of the panel van walked away unhurt. The phoned his boss first, and we called the Polizei (the van driver reasoned that the police were unlikely to fire him, whereas his boss might). The road cleanup crew must have been having morning coffee at an adjacent rest area because they arrived within five minutes….unusually efficient…and southbound traffic on A5 was rolling again within 20 minutes according to the radio. Having had front row seats to this drama, we scooted off immediately and had a wonderful weekend skiing with our friends. Amazing stuff.

Thanks again for the continued commentary. I’m having fun, learning some things as this goes along. I’m still struck by the bus full of orphans image, but moving on.

Cheers!

Rod
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Old 01-02-2015, 02:34 PM   #63
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Thanks again for the continued commentary. Iím having fun, learning some things as this goes along. Iím still struck by the bus full of orphans image, but moving on.

Cheers!

Rod

Hi, I have never seen a bus full of orphans, but I've seen lots of tour busses full of Chinese.
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Old 01-02-2015, 03:09 PM   #64
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The payload sticker on the driver side door jam is exactly that: the GVWR minus the curb weight of your specific vehicle, with its options, etc. You can verify this by filling up the tank and going to a CAT scale. Published payload figures are always exaggerated (I'm pretty sure they don't include a full tank in those exaggerated figures). Door jam stickers are relatively accurate, for my vehicle it was off by 50#.
I suspect you are basing your claim on North American pickup specifications and associated marketing; lots of big claims, lots of specific vehicle options and build restrictions that reduce those claims.

But the thread is about a BMW X5d.

For the BMW X5 I am looking at (3 years newer than the OP's X5d, and the third BMW X that I will have towed with):

Curb Weight: 2236 kg/4919 lb, with 90% fuel, 68 kg/150 lb driver, 7 kg/15 lb luggage
Max Gross Weight: 2903 kg/6387 lb
Difference between the above: 667 kg/1467 lb
Permitted Load (published): 503 kg/1107 lb
Front axle permitted: 1334 kg/2935 lb
Rear axle permitted: 1633 kg/3593 lb
Total of axle ratings: 2967 kg/6527 lb

Yes, those are published figures. But so was the claim that the OP's BMW only had a payload of 1100 lbs.

Note that very similar figures can be found on global BMW sites, with small adjustments for curb and rated weights due to local markets, but with the same criteria; for all markets except North America, BMW publish approximately 1400 lbs payload.

What does the above tell us? That the difference between curb weight and GVWR is not always the same as published payload. That published payload is not always inflated. That manufacturers may have reasons to decrease published payload (fuel consumption calculations, emissions calculations, local tax rules, or whatever). Or maybe the web master guy can't add and subtract.

And vehicle options don't really enter into it with these vehicles. Within each model (35i, 35d, 50i) there are a small number of options, none of which I would typically purchase. Air suspension is about the only one with a significant weight impact, IIRC.
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Old 01-02-2015, 03:22 PM   #65
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This has turned into great entertainment. Little did I know what Iíd start.

Iíll offer some vehicle clarification, then stand back to ponder a bit longer the question of what hitch to use.

My BMW is a 2012 X5 diesel....
Yes, good entertainment!

Your BMW experience is similar to mine. My 2003 E53 was my 3rd BMW; it was followed with an X3 (which towed small box trailers beautifully, including over the Continental Divide in the snow several times) and a 535i M Sport. My wife has been presented with several options for new vehicles other than another BMW, but has turned them all down so far. I would be happy with another X5. It probably won't be a diesel in our case.

Enjoy your X5 and new Airstream. Great combination.

Jeff
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Old 01-02-2015, 03:36 PM   #66
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Hi, in the old days most pickups were regular cabs with an 8' bed. These could get scary in a panic stop while empty. I believe that trucks like my new F-150 are a different animal. Now it seems that four door crew cabs with short beds are much better balanced and the norm now days.
2014 F150 with a 6.5 foot box has a published 58/42 F/R weight distribution. Agreed that is a lot better than an older standard cab/8 foot box. I think an empty 3/4 ton will be worse than that though.
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Old 01-02-2015, 03:43 PM   #67
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At the risk of getting accused of having an agenda just because we tow with a 3500 Dodge I would comment on the braking issue. Trying to project the effect on stopping distance of a TV based on a simple analysis or on published stopping distances of an empty vehicle is pretty much impossible. ......While this situation is not the same as towing a trailer I think it illustrates that there are many other factors in vehicle braking and trying to make projections on what will happen under different conditions is not all that easy.

Anyway I agree that each of us has our own needs in a TV and what works for us isn't the answer for many others.
Absolutely no accusations from this corner

I fully agree that unloaded stopping distances are but one data point. My broader point was to think about the overall capabilities of the vehicle (including being designed for stopping from much higher speeds) and not just focus on a door jamb sticker. Also agree fully with you that everyone has their own needs. In my case, and presumably the OP's, additional TV payload isn't required for many of the items that others consider essential to take with them, for valid reasons.

Jeff
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Old 01-02-2015, 04:38 PM   #68
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I suspect you are basing your claim on North American pickup specifications and associated marketing; lots of big claims, lots of specific vehicle options and build restrictions that reduce those claims.

But the thread is about a BMW X5d.

For the BMW X5 I am looking at (3 years newer than the OP's X5d, and the third BMW X that I will have towed with):

Curb Weight: 2236 kg/4919 lb, with 90% fuel, 68 kg/150 lb driver, 7 kg/15 lb luggage
Max Gross Weight: 2903 kg/6387 lb
Difference between the above: 667 kg/1467 lb
Permitted Load (published): 503 kg/1107 lb
Front axle permitted: 1334 kg/2935 lb
Rear axle permitted: 1633 kg/3593 lb
Total of axle ratings: 2967 kg/6527 lb

Yes, those are published figures. But so was the claim that the OP's BMW only had a payload of 1100 lbs.

Note that very similar figures can be found on global BMW sites, with small adjustments for curb and rated weights due to local markets, but with the same criteria; for all markets except North America, BMW publish approximately 1400 lbs payload.

What does the above tell us? That the difference between curb weight and GVWR is not always the same as published payload. That published payload is not always inflated. That manufacturers may have reasons to decrease published payload (fuel consumption calculations, emissions calculations, local tax rules, or whatever). Or maybe the web master guy can't add and subtract.

And vehicle options don't really enter into it with these vehicles. Within each model (35i, 35d, 50i) there are a small number of options, none of which I would typically purchase. Air suspension is about the only one with a significant weight impact, IIRC.

No, this observation is not truck specific. All cars/trucks I have seen, whether American/Japanese/European have this issue, where the published payload is the Maximum payload, not applicable for majority of vehicles. Actual payload is the driver side door sticker, and user manuals refer to that figure, not the published figure -- which is usually hundreds of pounds more. GVWR minus the door sticker gives you the actual curb weight. If GVWR is 6500 and the door sticker payload says 1100, your curb weight should be very close to 5400. You can verify this at CAT scale. I have seen too many cases where someone bought a vehicle based on published payload, only to later realize the actual payload is hundreds less. You would expect the car companies to provide a range for payload, but that's not the case
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Old 01-02-2015, 04:45 PM   #69
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bmw x5d the ultimate driving machine

only when you have driven a bmw x5d do you understand the sophistication of the vehicle.
the torque, the all wheel drive, the huge brakes and the engineering make it a pleasure to drive safely. clearly there are folks on this forum who would like to compare it as a tow vehicle to a heavy 2 wheel drive pickup with a fixed rear end.

there is much more to this equation than some of the "experts" on this forum profess to know.

nevertheless i love the entertainment and the absolute conviction by those who may not know as much as they think they know.
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Old 01-02-2015, 04:59 PM   #70
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I lived in Germany from 2000-2012 and drove this X5d for one year before returning to America two years ago. The vehicle tops out at 130 mph, and can stop impressively quickly from that speed when necessary.
Cheers! Rod
Rod, like Kevin I too am one who knows what you are talking about. A few months ago we had the opportunity to drive an X5. It was 8 years old but right away it felt like a new vehicle. Very smooth and no rattles.

Took it out on the highway and I still have a smile on my face from that drive. After 20 minutes I let my bh drive it back to the dealer. No she has no clue about vehicles and generally speaking will tell you they all drive the same. But!...., not with this one. After 2 minutes on the highway she leaned over and said to me......

"IF YOU DON'T BUY THIS THING, I WILL!"

Well that says it all. A beautifully engineered vehicle that felt like it was hardly moving at 130klm's. One really needs to drive these machines to understand what they are all about.

PS.... we didn't buy this one as the colour (purplie/blue) was a bit of a turn off but we are still looking.

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