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Old 04-15-2015, 09:59 AM   #43
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Originally Posted by AirFoiler View Post
I'm not sure. At least by late January 2015 when I called them for coverage.
Nice; thanks! I'll call them to check/verify.
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Old 04-15-2015, 10:36 AM   #44
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I'll just add one more thing....just because nothing bad has happened, that does not mean it's not going to happen.
Can I hear an "Amen Steve?"

I SAID,... can I HEAR an "Amen Steve."

AMEN STEVE!!!

And TY too!
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Old 04-15-2015, 12:07 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by AirFoiler View Post
You hit the nail on the head. In my case with the X5d's U.S. rating of 6,000 lbs and European rating of 7,700 lbs.

And I picked up my X5d from the BMW South Carolina factory where all X?'s are made for the world (70% are exported). The line literally has a U.S. left side drive followed by a European right side drive. It was very impressive. And I left with confidence that there are no structural differences between the U.S. and European X vehicles. Hitches are a dealer mounted and are not similar.

My hitch is a masterful collection of steel and elegant welds from Canam RV. :-)
I am on my 5th BMW now. I have installed (dealer supplied) hitches on several BMWs. Had one X5, an E53 model. For the new F15, I did a parts number breakdown to determine the differences between the North American and European models for the systems that I was particularly interested in (suspension, powertrain, cooling). I fully agree that not everyone wants to go to this level of analysis. That's cool.
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Old 04-15-2015, 12:28 PM   #46
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Originally Posted by rostam View Post
This issue has been discussed to death yet it is still brought up in these conversations.

The vehicle may be the same but the trailers are certainly not the same....<snip>
You keep arguing the same tired points.

The tow limits for this particular vehicle don't specific trailer design. They specify only trailer weight, tongue weight, and maximum hitch ball offset from hitch pin, horizontal and vertical (for the dealer supplied hitch). They don't specify towing speed or maximum grade (except that the Euro test is at 12% grade as published).

The rest of the world (not just Europe) gets as hot as the US, and as cold.

The 15% difference between trailer and vehicle weights isn't a manufacturer spec. It is a regulation in some countries, and relates to having surge brakes, wherein the tow vehicle activates the trailer brakes without having electrical control. We are discussing manufacturer's recommendations. And I can't use surge brakes at this weight of trailer because it is illegal in my jurisdiction.

BMW has never offered a factory hitch for the X5 on any of the three different X models I worked on. They have various hitches sold by the regional marketing arm (not the factory) and installed by the dealer or end user.

If I buy an X5 in North America, the ROW ratings do not apply to me. But the vehicle is the same, which was the point. It helps me to make an engineering judgement. At the same time, if I buy a vehicle in Europe and take it on a trip to North America, the Euro ratings apply to me.

And none of those ratings define what is ultimately safe, they simply provide manufacturer's recommendations.
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Old 04-15-2015, 04:02 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by dznf0g View Post
"The manufacturer of this vehicle also says I should only use their branded engine oil, buy only OE parts, have all service done at their dealer, and so on. Those are manufacturer recommendations that relate to safety and vehicle maintenance standards, and I made a judgement in each case as to whether I will follow them, as the situation dictates."

True, there are "recommendations", as you describe relative to oil, etc., but that shouldn't be confused with owner manual statements like "Never exceed...". Those are definitive statements, no recommendations.

The english language is still definitive, regardless of those how would try and change it like, "it depends what the definition if 'is' is".

Fair comment. There is more to this story.


The owner's manual statement that I recall and went back now to ensure I quote correctly is " For your own safety: use only brake pads that BMW has released for your particular vehicle model." That seems pretty definitive. At the time, I was changing out my new OE brake pads due to the high dust levels, using what I considered to be a quality pad from a reputable supplier, with similar braking performance but without the black dust. I evaluated the risk and proceeded, just as I am sure many others here have done with there vehicles.

I can't point to the owner's manual towing limit for that specific X5 vehicle, because the owner's manual is silent on the subject of towing. This is part of the disinformation campaign that has been seen again in this thread (not from you). Perhaps because it isn't a factory hitch but rather an OE hitch that is dealer installed, or perhaps because they just don't care, but the entire owner's manual, including the weights and capacities section, doesn't list a towing limit. They do list approved GVW, axle weights, roof weight limit, and so on. This is the infamous "6000 lb tow rating" limit that is referred to for this vehicle. It was published by BMW in a technical service bulletin that makes up the installation instructions for the OE 6000 lb hitch. That hitch kit includes a label with that limit, to be affixed by the dealer. So what we have here is a limit that appears to be dictated by the hitch itself, and not the vehicle. I don't know what the actual upper tow rating limit of the vehicle is, just that it is offered with a 7700 lb hitch in other markets, and in some versions, with an optional even higher HD package that is a zero cost factory option, not available for retrofit. I suspect that option is a label that has European tax implications, but don't know definitively. But it was free at time of vehicle order.

Given that the vehicle is offered by the factory with up to a 7700 lb hitch, and that the specific receiver offered to me is rated less, I choose not to blindly ignore the 6000 lb rating, but rather look for ways to overcome the limiting factor, the stock hitch. Similar to how many have installed Curt hitches on GM trucks when concerned about welds. Almost exactly the same, in fact.
This isn't to say that everyone should ignore manufacture recommendations. But the specific question was "why would you want to exceed the tow capacity" and the short answer in this case is, because it wasn't well founded. In this case, the absence of a higher tow rating in this market did not suggest a limit for the vehicle. It simply failed to recommend it. That isn't the same as recommending against it, which is the mistake that many make in jumping on the bandwagon (again, not you).
Cheers
Jeff
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Old 04-15-2015, 04:27 PM   #48
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I'll just add one more thing....just because nothing bad has happened, that does not mean it's not going to happen.
I think that is a fair statement. My comment is that it is presumably directed at those that tow with what some consider to be undersized tow vehicles.

For a moment, consider the statement's application to those towing with 3/4 and 1 ton pickups. I suggest it is equally applicable.

One of the reasons for these debates is to help newcomers figure out what direction to head with tow vehicle selection.

An oft repeated recommendation is to "just get the HD pickup". I agree that heavy duty pickups can be great tow vehicles. But the risk here is that newcomers may come to think that because they selected that HD pickup, they don't need to worry about some of the other things that contribute to safe towing, such as weight distributing hitches, sway control, correct tire pressures, and so on. A HD pickup can create a false sense of security, more so for those new to towing.

If we compare tow person A, with a matched up X5D and a largish trailer, but within the weight limits relating to axles, tires, and GVWR, and an appreciation of set up, to tow person B, who has a HD pickup and doesn't know axle weights, doesn't use weight distributing equipment or sway control, and perhaps feels very confident ("I don't even feel it back there....") then who is safer for the rest of us on the road? I would rather follow person A. More predictable. Perhaps less likely to be going the same speed down a mountain pass as their large engine allowed them to climb it, whether or not that is a reasonable speed for a descent.

I think it is more about how you use the equipment than what the equipment is, within reason. I don't often see people with "smaller" tow vehicles ignoring the use of weight distributing hitches and sway control, for example, but I often hear people with HD pickups post about how they don't need those things. When I hear that a truck is so stiffly sprung that it doesn't drop at all with 1000+ lbs of tongue weight, then I wonder how safe it is with no trailer or weight in the box. When I hear that air bags "fix" the problem of headlights pointing skyward, I wonder about the effective centre of mass of the tow vehicle. Etc.

Anyway, food for thought.

I appreciate the original question that started this thread. Using scare tactics doesn't help the discussion IMO, but if we have a reasonable discussion then new members can better make up their mind. My $0.02.

Jeff
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Old 04-15-2015, 04:34 PM   #49
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I've read these arguments for a long time, and most seem to be an attempt to justify the author's choice in tow vehicle, and I really don't care what you folks drive and tow with. I've chosen my tow vehicle based on actual weights and towing capacity needed.

Additionally, I've seem many weight tickets posted of setups using 1/2, 3/4 ton, and large SUV's. Have actually posted a few myself.

However, I have yet to see a posted actual weight ticket of a setup using one of the "argued capability" type vehicles.

I do agree with you that no matter the tow vehicle, a properly setup hitch, and proper tires adjusted with proper air pressure are all required for safe trailer towing, and I don't remember anyone actually advising to the contrary.
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Old 04-15-2015, 06:04 PM   #50
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However, I have yet to see a posted actual weight ticket of a setup using one of the "argued capability" type vehicles.

While not a pdf scan of an actual weight ticket, this thread does include a pdf with measured weights for an X5D, and a 25FC. I don't agree with the label calculated tongue weight (I think it is better termed "tongue weight transferred to tow vehicle" but the actual measured weights hitched and unhitched are all there.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f238...ts-132642.html

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Old 04-15-2015, 08:20 PM   #51
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This entire conversation isn't as concerning to me as whether insurance will pay for damages and medical expenses, as to whether you can be held personally liable for your actions. I think all of that ties to the expertise of the legal folks who may or may not get involved.

If the party who is harmed goes after you from a personal liability standpoint, your case is severely weakened if it can be proven that you knowingly exceeded your tow vehicle's limitations, or didn't provide due diligence in reviewing the towing information available by the vehicle manufacturer. Be aware though it also has to be proven that exceeding those limits are a contributing factor in the accident.

In today's litigious society with the potential of jury involvement, it really only becomes a matter of convincing the majority of a jury that you were aware of the limitations, you knowingly ignored those limitations without expert substantiation, or cannot provide proof that ignoring those limitations had no impact upon the incident for which legal action is being taken.

It really comes down that most folks who don't pull trailers are probably not aware of manufacturers towing limits and whether you have exceeded your tow capacity. It really comes down to attorneys getting involved who may or may not know intricacies and have the ability to deal with them. Much like the commercials I see on TV from local attorneys who specialize in law suits when a big truck is involved. You can be sure they are going to investigate everything from the load in the truck, driver's logs, and service/inspection records, just to name a few things.

Finally like anything else, the depth of the pockets have a lot to do when legal matters prevail. In defending yourself, you have nothing to win which in some cases puts you behind the 8 ball. When you see big companies settling and unwilling to defend themselves (even if they would prevail) you have to realize that they realize that the cost to defend may be greater than a settlement prior to going to trial.

My advice is if you are towing over your vehicles stated limits, you might want to carry some personal liability insurance.

Jack
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Old 04-15-2015, 08:26 PM   #52
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Agreed, JCL's comments certainly sound reasonable.

But when he makes reference to axle loading, GVW, - and I would imagine GCVW would fall in the same category - are you saying that your TV & trailer trailer combination do comply in these areas?

If so, then I agree your assessment sounds reasonable, and so maybe manufacturer's tow ratings (3500# for Sienna?) might only be relevant if your vehicle were still under warranty, and it were an issue relating of a warranty claim rather than an insurance claim.

I'm still not entirely sure though, and I guess that's why I fall the category you describe (i.e. wanting to feel more comfortable - maybe I worry to much about these things!)

Brian.
Hi Brian,

The Gross Combined Weight rating doesn't get a mention in any of the State or Provincial laws I've researched so I'm still in line with my insurer's advice of staying legal.

I know that you've spoken before about staying well within published recommendations and I'd imagine that you are representative of most RVers out there. Some of us have ended up going against conventional wisdom but, despite the warnings sometimes issued, I'm still here to tell my tale
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Old 04-15-2015, 09:51 PM   #53
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Insurance coverage if exceeding rated tow weight

If we are all really concerned about SAFETY and not just numbers on paper, let's go to the track. If you show me that your over-spec big rig stops faster and straighter, slaloms faster and tighter, and accelerates faster than my under-spec small rig I'll trade my Lexus RX350 for an F250 to pull my FC20. Takers?


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Old 04-15-2015, 11:59 PM   #54
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If we are all really concerned about SAFETY and not just numbers on paper, let's go to the track. If you show me that your over-spec big rig stops faster and straighter, slaloms faster and tighter, and accelerates faster than my under-spec small rig I'll trade my Lexus RX350 for an F250 to pull my FC20. Takers?
Thank you for identifying specific characteristics that you believe define safety.

I'm not buying that following the owners manual results in a safe towing set up because of the wide variability in the conservativeness of manufacturer tow ratings. I'm not saying it is wise to deviate from the owners manual. I just don't think the owners manual by itself either sufficient or necessary (safety engineering words).
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Old 05-11-2015, 10:00 AM   #55
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To the best of my knowledge, having been an insurance adjuster for 30+ years i have yet to have seen a stupidity exclusion in a policy
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Old 05-13-2015, 01:16 PM   #56
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In 40+ years of dealing with adjusters it's clear that that exclusion does not apply to adjusters either. 😉


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