Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 04-23-2012, 11:22 AM   #1
1 Rivet Member
 
2012 27' FB International
Seattle , Washington
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 14
Advice on Tow Vehicle - X5 or ML350?

Hello,

We're excited to buy our first travel trailer and we've decided on the 27' International. We're looking at towing it with either the BMW X5 diesel or the Mercedes ML350 Bluetec. The trailer has a dry weight of about 5500 pounds. The BMW specs say it can tow 6,000 pounds but I understand that's a conservative estimate and that it can tow more. The Mercedes can tow 7200 pounds which may make it a safer bet. I've looked through the forums and I've found members who tow a 19' trailer with an X5 but I haven't seen anything bigger. Because we don't want to have to buy and store a pick-up truck, we have decided a diesel SUV is the way to go. Does anyone have experience towing with either of these vehicles? Any feedback is greatly appreciated. I'm going car shopping today to have a preliminary look and I'd like to buy something this week. Thanks in advance to anyone with advice!
Lisa
__________________

__________________
SeattleMum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-23-2012, 11:40 AM   #2
Rivet Master
 
Road Ruler's Avatar
 
Currently Looking...
St. Catharines , South Western Ontario
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 2,364
Images: 39
I'd luv to have one of those vehicles as a TV. They are top rated for handling and performance. Someone here on the forum has been towing a 31' for some time. Maybe they will chime in. Getting the hook up right is very important with these vehicles to take advantage of the performance/potential.

I thought this was an impressive video from another forum member showing how well the ML tows an Airstream. Windy day towing in Nebraska - YouTube
__________________

__________________
Airstreams..... The best towing trailers on the planet!
Road Ruler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-23-2012, 11:45 AM   #3
2 Rivet Member
 
easplund's Avatar
 
2014 28' Land Yacht
Phoenix , Arizona
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 36
Images: 3
I have an ML320 CDI with which I tow my 23' International. I have a Hensley hitch also. The only problem that I have had is that I sometimes forget that the Airstream is back there. However, I would be very uncomfortable with putting the 27' International back there, as it is much heavier than the 23' and has a much greater tongue weight. I have seen a number of people on here who are doing it, though.
__________________
easplund is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-23-2012, 11:57 AM   #4
4 Rivet Member
 
withidl's Avatar
 
2002 31' Classic
Houston , Texas
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 440
Images: 1
See my avatar, and then do a search on "withidl". I've towed a 2002 31' ASCL with a GVWR of 8,300# over 35,000 miles with a 2001 X5 4.4i gas engine with Dinan enhancements. I now have 107,000 miles on the vehicle and only us it to tow the AS. If you decide on the X5 diesel (N/A in 2001), send me a personal note and I'll give you my phone number so you can call me; I'll tell you what you need to do.
__________________
withidl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-23-2012, 12:06 PM   #5
Rivet Master
 
mutcth's Avatar

 
2007 23' Safari SE
Central , Connecticut
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 1,632
You should also look at a VW Touareg and Audi Q7 to cover all the choices.

I've extensively driven both the X5 and ML (and the VW) but did not tow with any of them. ML has simpler controls and a softer ride while the X5 is more expensive and sporty. The VW might actually be the most rounded, but bringing up towing a 27 with one is an eternal hot topic here.

Tom
__________________
Now: 2007 Safari SE 23' "Anne" towed by 2011 Dodge Durango "Herman"
Before: Argosy Minuet and T@B, towed by various Honda Odysseys
mutcth is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-23-2012, 12:38 PM   #6
Moderator
 
blmitch5's Avatar

 
2006 19' International CCD
Olathe , Kansas
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 4,221
Images: 1
I'd think about going to
http://www.canamrv.ca/towing/
Email Them and they can give you advise on your choices. Towing 27' will require some modifications and without them I wouldn't do it. Good luck but I'd give them a call before you buy something.
__________________
Get involved and sign up for a Rally!
http://www.airforums.com/forums/calendar.php
WBCCI 4973
blmitch5 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-23-2012, 01:38 PM   #7
Rivet Master
 
Road Ruler's Avatar
 
Currently Looking...
St. Catharines , South Western Ontario
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 2,364
Images: 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by withidl View Post
See my avatar, and then do a search on "withidl". I've towed a 2002 31' ASCL
I new you were out there withidl, just couldn't get your name to register.
__________________
Airstreams..... The best towing trailers on the planet!
Road Ruler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-23-2012, 03:28 PM   #8
1 Rivet Member
 
2012 23' International
Meridian , Idaho
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 11
We have a 2012 ML 350 Bluetec that we use to pull our 23FB. We also have the ProPride hitch.

So far, we love this setup. Lots of power, very easy to handle, and the ML350 is a great vehicle when not towing.

I was asking Andy at CanAm about reinforcing our receiver because the ML350 has a reputation for being weak in that area. After looking at one, he told me that the 2012 is much stronger in that regard than the earlier models, and we did not need to reinforce it. This was welcome news!
__________________
blurb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-23-2012, 04:13 PM   #9
2 Rivet Member
 
easplund's Avatar
 
2014 28' Land Yacht
Phoenix , Arizona
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 36
Images: 3
Quote:
Originally Posted by blurb View Post
I was asking Andy at CanAm about reinforcing our receiver because the ML350 has a reputation for being weak in that area.
I have heard this too, but I don't see what is weak about 1/2" steel welded to heavy-duty 3" steel tubing. There was a recall on certain years of the ML/GL with the factory tow package, definitely on 2008s, because of a batch of hitches with improper welds, so maybe that is where it got started.
__________________
easplund is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-23-2012, 04:22 PM   #10
1 Rivet Member
 
2012 23' International
Meridian , Idaho
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by easplund

I have heard this too, but I don't see what is weak about 1/2" steel welded to heavy-duty 3" steel tubing. There was a recall on certain years of the ML/GL with the factory tow package, definitely on 2008s, because of a batch of hitches with improper welds, so maybe that is where it got started.
What Andy said in particular is that the tube is larger now and the welds go all the way along the seam where the receiver is welded to it instead of just 1/3 of the way. I have never seen the older receiver design, personally.
__________________
blurb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-23-2012, 05:32 PM   #11
3 Rivet Member
 
jmcarter's Avatar
 
2010 28' International
Richmond Hill , Georgia
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by Road Ruler
I'd luv to have one of those vehicles as a TV. They are top rated for handling and performance. Someone here on the forum has been towing a 31' for some time. Maybe they will chime in. Getting the hook up right is very important with these vehicles to take advantage of the performance/potential.

I thought this was an impressive video from another forum member showing how well the ML tows an Airstream. Windy day towing in Nebraska - YouTube
Know several folks tow quite successfully with the ML350 Bluetec (with 455 ft lbs of torque the uphills should be a cinch) and I'm the midst of a purchase myself, got great advice from Andy (theres a another thread on the ML going into more specifics) but if you get squeamish about it you could always go with the larger GL Bluetec, they have a longer wheelbase and get the better engine along with a big design for MY2013. BTW, it's a GL in the "windy" video.
__________________
jmcarter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-23-2012, 05:50 PM   #12
Prairie Schooner II
 
Jim Flower's Avatar

 
2012 30' International
1997 25' Safari
1967 20' Globetrotter
Burlington , Ontario
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 1,182
Quote:
Originally Posted by SeattleMum
Hello,

We're excited to buy our first travel trailer and we've decided on the 27' International. We're looking at towing it with either the BMW X5 diesel or the Mercedes ML350 Bluetec. The trailer has a dry weight of about 5500 pounds. The BMW specs say it can tow 6,000 pounds but I understand that's a conservative estimate and that it can tow more. The Mercedes can tow 7200 pounds which may make it a safer bet. I've looked through the forums and I've found members who tow a 19' trailer with an X5 but I haven't seen anything bigger. Because we don't want to have to buy and store a pick-up truck, we have decided a diesel SUV is the way to go. Does anyone have experience towing with either of these vehicles? Any feedback is greatly appreciated. I'm going car shopping today to have a preliminary look and I'd like to buy something this week. Thanks in advance to anyone with advice!
Lisa
Check out the blog by Rich Luhr in the e version of Airstream Life. "Man in the Maze".
__________________
Jim
Jim Flower is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-23-2012, 06:22 PM   #13
4 Rivet Member
 
TerraYacht's Avatar

 
2005 30' Land Yacht 30 SL
Castro Valley , California
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 335
I have a first gen X5 with the 6 cylinder engine and will order a new X5 diesel soon, just waiting for the small refresh for 2013 model year. BMW will have a new gen X5 for the 2014 model year but not much detail has been leaked yet. The fact we are replacing our 2001 X5 with the "same" model is evidence of our liking: even as an SUV (or SAV) it drives like a Bimmer.

However, I think you would be pretty close to the limits if you hitch up a >700# tongue weight and a dry weight that is just a couple hundred pounds below the nominal capacity of the vehicle.

Before we found & bought our Class A Airstream we consided buying a TV and a trailer, but I am glad we found the Class A and didn't invest in two separate vehicles.

In additon to the "usual suspects" for towing, we also consdered the Cayenne because it is rated for 7700# if I remember correctly.
__________________
Cliff & Andrea,
2 cats, but they stay home
TerraYacht is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-23-2012, 07:19 PM   #14
Prairie Schooner II
 
Jim Flower's Avatar

 
2012 30' International
1997 25' Safari
1967 20' Globetrotter
Burlington , Ontario
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 1,182
Also google Mercedes towing airstream YouTube, I don't know how to add the link, and you will find a really nice setup. Jim
__________________

__________________
Jim
Jim Flower 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 06:28 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.