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Old 08-15-2011, 04:22 PM   #1
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3,000+ Mile Trip with BMW X5 & 31’ ASCL



I’ve just completed subject trip wherein I drove about 1,300 from Houston, TX, to Tulsa, OK, then to Rockford, IL, (used Onan Microquiet 4000 genset overnight for 10 hours at Pilot truck stop) and on to Oshkosh, WI, for the EAA AirVenture 2011. Spent 9 days at AirVenture using the Onan Microquiet 4000 for A/C and Micorwave during the day because where I parked road dust prevented open window ventilation (put 63 hours on the genset using 23 gallons of gas for 0.365 gallons per hour). I then drove about 450 miles to Jackson Center, OH, for some Airstream Service work and visited relatives in the area (additional 400 extra miles with X5 un-tethered @ ~20 mpg). I returned to Houston, TX, on the way staying at a Flying J in St. Louis (ran genset for 10 hours), and then Tulsa, OK, for 6 days visiting relatives.

The following may be of interest / comparison for some:
  • Tow Vehicle: 2001 BMW X5 4.4i V8 with Sport Pkg. & Dinan making 300 hp & 350+ #/ft. of torque; curb weight 5,000#. Total miles after trip = 105,594 of which ~35,000 miles towing the ASCL.
  • ASCL: 2002 (build date May 2001) at GVWR of 8,300 pounds.
  • Hitch type = Hensley.
  • Approximate total miles traveled = ~ 3,000
  • Average speed while towing = ~ 51 mph.
  • Cruise control setting while towing was indicated 64 mph (GPS 61 mph).
  • Auto box “Manual” mode in 5th gear ~ 97% of the time; 4th gear ~ 3% of the time; torque converter un-locked 6% of the time.
  • Overall X5 mpg (EXACT basis X5 computer) = 11.8 (includes about 400 highway miles with X5 un-tethered @ ~ 20 mpg).
  • Approximate mpg while towing = 11.5.
  • X5 premium gasoline cost = $1,042.57 (~ $0.348 per mile).
  • Onan genset regular gasoline cost = $117.19 (~ $1.412 per hour).
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Old 08-15-2011, 04:27 PM   #2
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Do you know the actual weight of you AS? All very good info!!
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Old 08-15-2011, 04:35 PM   #3
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Thnxs for the update. Good info!
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Old 08-15-2011, 07:06 PM   #4
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Sounds interesting! Couple of questions, though.
- Did you do anything with the X5 suspension?
- Sorry, but ASCL??
- Have you traveled at any elevation (mountains) and if so how were the results?
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Old 08-15-2011, 07:10 PM   #5
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Hello there

This is Paula. We were your terraport neighbors in Jackson Center with the shiny trailer......wow your statistics are mind boggeling......glad you had a safe trip.....we went by the Hensley place near Flint but chose to go see our grandchildren instead......so much to do, so little time....we are now in Chicago....have Madison, Minneapolis and Omaha before going home to California.....nice to have met you, paula
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Old 08-15-2011, 07:30 PM   #6
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Nice one Withidl, loved the stats.

Just did 4,200 miles to Florida and back, by way of New Orleans, towing the 28' International Serenity with the 2011 3.5 litre Sienna. Trying to maintain 60-65mph we averaged about 12 mpg, which I was quite happy with. The AS behaved, even though the A/C took a beating, and the Sienna was great, even with three and a half people and a ton of stuff. Our only glitches were a flat (slow, fortunately) on the Sienna and a broken camera lens!
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Old 08-15-2011, 07:52 PM   #7
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Great info, thanks.

Where did you carry the genset while towing, and where did you place it while it was operating?
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Old 08-15-2011, 08:42 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darkspeed View Post
Do you know the actual weight of you AS? All very good info!!
OEM UVW = 7239#
LPG = 60#
10 gallons fresh H2O = 83#
Interior modifications (aprox.) = 100#
Approximate food, clothing, etc. = 300#
Genset, fuel tank & 5 gallons gas = 250#
Total = 8032#

I took on full water (500#) and full gasoline (150#) a few miles from the camp site so the ASCL GVW was 8,582# at the camp site (282# above its GVWR of 8,300#)
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Old 08-15-2011, 08:49 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrUKToad View Post
Nice one Withidl, loved the stats.

Just did 4,200 miles to Florida and back, by way of New Orleans, towing the 28' International Serenity with the 2011 3.5 litre Sienna. Trying to maintain 60-65mph
Not long ago we were traveling on 90 out of Buffalo. The rig kept creeping up to 70 MPH. Finally set the cruise control to keep it at 60. The 3.5 engine size seems to be a good size for towing. Ford thinks so too with their new 3.5EB.
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Old 08-15-2011, 08:50 PM   #10
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2002 31' Classic
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nilesrob View Post
Sounds interesting! Couple of questions, though.
- Did you do anything with the X5 suspension?
- Sorry, but ASCL??
- Have you traveled at any elevation (mountains) and if so how were the results?
The X5 has the optional OEM "Sport Suspension" which is stiffer, has more negative camber on the rear wheels, 19" wheels, low profile tires with a width of 255 mm front and 285 mm rear.

ASCL = Airstream Classic Limited

I've been over the continental divide 3 times and only remember having to use 2nd gear 2 or 3 times.
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Old 08-15-2011, 08:59 PM   #11
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2002 31' Classic
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteSpot View Post
This is Paula. We were your terraport neighbors in Jackson Center with the shiny trailer......wow your statistics are mind boggeling......glad you had a safe trip.....we went by the Hensley place near Flint but chose to go see our grandchildren instead......so much to do, so little time....we are now in Chicago....have Madison, Minneapolis and Omaha before going home to California.....nice to have met you, paula
Paula, I almost offered to swap you even for your "shiny" rig, but maintained my discipline. I really do appreciate your welcoming me into it with my camera as it really is something special that all should experience!
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Old 08-15-2011, 09:10 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by cmreumund View Post
Great info, thanks.

Where did you carry the genset while towing, and where did you place it while it was operating?
The genset and fuel tank are onboard (CanAm RV dealer install). You can see it at the following Airstream Forums links:

Page 2 http://www.airforums.com/forums/f448...s-68808-2.html

Page 4 http://www.airforums.com/forums/f448...s-68808-4.html
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Old 04-27-2012, 07:35 AM   #13
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Mornin'

I am new to this forum and new to Airstreams...but excited...

I am about to tow a 1974 31' AS with my 2005 X5.

Could you please tell me specifics about and modifications to your X5? What type of hitch did you use? Any brake issues on the AS? Did you use a stabilizer hitch and sway bars with that much weight?

(I know that these might be stupid questions...I simply know so little about what I am doing...)

Thanks so much for any response...
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Old 10-16-2012, 09:51 AM   #14
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2002 31' Classic
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I'm Better Late Than Never?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bamboo View Post
Mornin'

I am new to this forum and new to Airstreams...but excited...

I am about to tow a 1974 31' AS with my 2005 X5.

Could you please tell me specifics about and modifications to your X5? What type of hitch did you use? Any brake issues on the AS? Did you use a stabilizer hitch and sway bars with that much weight?

(I know that these might be stupid questions...I simply know so little about what I am doing...)

Thanks so much for any response...
Bamboo, sorry for the delayed response, but I just did a query on my logon ID and found this post that I hadn’t answered (it’s best to send a personal message on an old post because once it drops off the “Portal” screen awareness ceases).
  • Type of hitch used – I personally installed the BMW OEM hitch; 35,000 miles without a problem (it is NOT reinforced).
  • My X5 is a 2001 4.4i with Sport Package and Dinan engine and transmission mods.
  • Brake Controller – I use a Warner controller which mounts to the brake pedal which allows me to control the trailer brakes by “toeing” the upper part of the pedal which pivots at the bottom; no issues.
  • Hitch interface – I use a Hensley hitch interface which incorporates absolute mechanical no-sway and weight distribution adjusted by “jack screws”.
  • Questions – There are NO stupid questions!

Were you able to tow your 1974 AS 31’ without incident?
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