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Old 10-15-2015, 06:39 PM   #15
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I believe the difference in vehicle tow rating is the (tow)rating of the receivers fitted in Europe v US. The US version is rated lower than the Euro version (bono is probably right in that it is 6000lbs not the 6600 I stated) The vehicle that it is bolted to is the same (obviously).

The euro hitch has a tongue weight limit of 120 kilogram, that is 264#. It would be very difficult to find a 7700# camper with 264# tongue weight. Also euro Airstreams are narrow body.
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Old 10-15-2015, 06:39 PM   #16
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The trailers in Europe are different then the American trailers. the axles or centered on the Euro trailers reducing the tongue weight and the towing speed limit is 45 M.P.H.

Here in America we tow at much higher speed and the tongue weight is at least 10%.
It takes a lot more power to move even an Airstream at 55 M.P.H then at 45 M.P.H. as speed increases the areo drag is exponentially increased.

So don't exceed the manufactures spec's in America and have a great trip.
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Old 10-15-2015, 07:04 PM   #17
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A tongue weight limit on Euro hitch is actually 150 kg (330 LBS). I know this exactly as until recently I had this Euro hitch installed in my car and need to switch to US hitch.

https://imgur.com/a/MtZIO

The speed limits for towing depend on the country - generally, 45-55 mph.
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Old 10-15-2015, 07:22 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohiobrits View Post
I believe the difference in vehicle tow rating is the (tow)rating of the receivers fitted in Europe v US. The US version is rated lower than the Euro version (bono is probably right in that it is 6000lbs not the 6600 I stated) The vehicle that it is bolted to is the same (obviously).
Here's some dialogue on this topic over on Bimmerfest. I had to smile, there are lots of "experts" over there also and the thread turns into a discussion of Airstreams, 23 v 25, tire upgrades etc. Where have we seen that before?
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Old 10-15-2015, 08:25 PM   #19
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bono,

I'm sure you already looked at your X5 manual. Out of curiosity I dug out a 2014 copy of the US X5 manual I had downloaded last year. The load capacity is, as you say, the same for all X5 versions (1,110/503 without 3rd row seat, slightly higher with 3rd row seat 1,350/612). This matches your tire label give or take a few pounds.

This is an odd way to calculate payload, typically you get a range of curb weights and a GVWR and have to go look at your specific tire label to see your payload for your particular build and options.

There is no way every single X5 with the many option combinations can all have the exact same payload.

Weigh it if you can and let us know. I for one am interested to see what you find. You may get a surprise and find your actual payload is something more. I think your theory that the label is a conservative generic low end value to save them having to calculate it out for each build would seem to be correct.

A trip over the CAT scales will reveal all.....maybe
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Old 10-16-2015, 02:54 AM   #20
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For our 2007 BMW X3, the payload sticker is the same as the published number in the spec sheets. This particular vehicle was special ordered, and has practically every option available (panoramic sunroof, premium package, active steering, etc). It appeared to me that BMW printed a standard payload label for the doorframe and just made sure that no combination of options exceeded the design weight target. It is a reasonable approach if actual payload is not considered a marketing/competitive feature that will get them more sales.

While the door stickers are better to rely on than spec sheet numbers, they are not necessarily serial number specific. There was a recent thread with a poster who wondered why his new truck had a payload sticker that didn't seem to follow that rule. He ended up talking to factory engineers (RAM, IIRC) and they advised that their in plant system that printed the labels was not interfaced to the actual build consist computer, so they calculated the payload using a 'typical' option list.

The real way to check is to weight the vehicle as others have suggested. Full tank of fuel. Use the door frame label for GVWR, that is a firm number. The difference is payload.

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Old 10-16-2015, 03:04 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by Ohiobrits View Post
I believe the difference in vehicle tow rating is the (tow)rating of the receivers fitted in Europe v US. The US version is rated lower than the Euro version (bono is probably right in that it is 6000lbs not the 6600 I stated) The vehicle that it is bolted to is the same (obviously).
It is true that the receivers are different.

The base vehicles are the same (all built in one place) but specific equipment can be different. An example is the smaller engines offered in Europe, which have correspondingly smaller differentials. Those smaller engines make less heat, and so have smaller cooling systems. Some BMW E70 diesels sold in non NA markets had rear differential failures, and while it may be a coincidence, BMW went to a larger differential after two years of production. The North American models always had the larger differential.

In considering a new F15 X5, I was playing around with payload, GVWR, and tow ratings. I noted that for Euro and North American versions of the same vehicle, I could find models with the same published GVWR, to the kg. This was by selecting engines that were common between the markets. I then went to the parts books for each model, and compared them to see what was different, with the Euro model having a larger published tow capacity. I was interested in cooling systems, transmission, differentials, and so on. I matched the vehicles up right down to part numbers. That isn't to say that they don't have different computer programs (since they do) and that might be a factor, but the things that I worried about looked good. I was not going to use the Euro hitch (no WD, tongue weight limit) so I would use a North American dealer-supplied hitch, with reinforcement.

Jeff
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Old 10-16-2015, 03:16 AM   #22
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I would really love to know.

Are there ANY differences in manufacturing? Something about right vs left hand drive? Different bolts from different suppliers for US vs Euro versions? Some analysis of general road conditions/expectations? Driver habit studies?

I can't imagine it's arbitrary even though it sounds that way. If t really were arbitrary why change the rating at all? ��
An anecdote. An earlier X5, in this case a 2003 E53 model. The door sticker did not mention tow rating. The owner's manual did not mention tow rating. It did talk about GVWR (no GCVWR), and it did talk about roof rail load rating, but not towing. Zip.

There was no factory hitch offered, but there was a dealer supplied BMW hitch, which in my case I installed myself using the BMW tech info. There was a full page in the instructions about applying the weight capacity sticker when installing the hitch. This hitch had a 6000 lb rating, 600 lb tongue weight max, max offset for drop and extension from the pin, 1600 lb rating with no brakes, and 3200 lb rating (IIRC) for off road use, presumably related to bounce. But all of this was a hitch rating, not a vehicle rating. It was widely regarded as the vehicle rating, but was simply a result of the decision by BMW NA to outsource a 2" square receiver hitch to a Northeastern US fabrication shop. I think the decision to design that receiver for 6000 lbs instead of the 7700 lbs the vehicle was designed for was very arbitrary, given that the receivers used the same mounting bolts. BMW even went cheap on the instructions; the ones that came packaged in the hitch box showed the Euro swan neck style hitch.

I can imagine the product meeting at BMWNA, which is a marketing organization, not the product engineering and development group. "We need a hitch. What type? Make it a Class III" (which is what they advertised it at). Some product development person went back to his desk, and did research on what a Class III hitch was. He decided it was 6000 lbs, and that was that. Having worked with German design engineers, I can imagine that if they wanted to make it 7701 lbs there would have been no way, but as long as they were under the vehicle design number, they were fine.

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Old 03-19-2016, 11:16 PM   #23
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It took me a while to get to CAT scales, but finally I got there:

Total weight of the vehicle with passengers and cargo: 6,080 lbs
Rear axel: 3,240 lbs
Front axel: 2,840 lbs (I just deducted 6,080 – 3,240, as they said they could not weight front axel… do not ask why)
Approved gross vehicle weight (per manual): 6,261 lbs
Remaining payload: 181 lbs

I had 2 passengers in the back who weigh total 450 lbs and would not travel with us when towing. This gives me more less 650 lbs payload available. I expect that the trailer which I will be towing will have tongue weight in the range of 800-900 lbs, so I might be 150-250 lbs over approved gross vehicle weight.
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Old 03-20-2016, 10:29 AM   #24
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The Airstream literature tongue weight of our 2015 23D was 720 pounds with a GVW of 6,000 pounds.

After all of our extensive modifications and installing a Hensley Arrow hitch, the camping ready tongue weight (all our stuff and food) with full fresh water and full propane in the two 30 pound steel tanks is 928 pounds with a total scaled weight of 6,068 pounds.

By careful placement of the Honda 2,000 watt generator, air pump, camping chairs,and grill etc inside the Mercedes ML320 CDI (competitive model to the X5) we do not exceed the axle and tire ratings of the car.

We tow at 55 mph and follow the advice of the yellow caution speed limit signs. The decrease in fuel economy to go 65 mph is significant (nearly 25%) and there is a lot more wear and tear on both the driver and the vehicle.

The setup takes patience, but is worth the effort.
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Old 03-20-2016, 05:50 PM   #25
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I will be buying Jayco trailer with 650 lbs dry tongue weight. I am planning to remove the battery from to tongue and move it to inside the trailer in the back (switching to lithium battery) and also I will travel only with one propane tank.

I will have Propride installed, so I will not need that much tongue weight to have the setup stable.

These are the plans... will see how it works in a couple of months.
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Old 03-20-2016, 06:16 PM   #26
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I will be buying Jayco trailer...
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Old 03-20-2016, 06:36 PM   #27
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In my experience with owning, racing and paying for BMW's for the last 25 years you might want to look elsewhere for a tow vehicle. It's like making something do what it is not really set up for. Can you do it ? Sort of.
X5's based on what model and tires you have on it are engineered with negative camber. One of the reasons they handle so well. Some have more than others. Some based on your options - sports pkg, tire and wheel setup, runflat tires have more or less negative camber.
I towed a race car on a open trailer with total weight of 4,000 lbs from Durango, CO to Virginia International Raceway in 2005. When I got into Erie, PA I noticed a funny noise as I drove slowly down a off ramp. Upon examination, I saw the rear tires had become bald on the inside shoulder. Cord showing and everything pretty ugly. I was then stuck in Erie, PA for two days waiting for special tires which they all need. Not fun. BTW the race went in much the same way. But besides the point.
I would say if you are towing short distances and back on a infrequent basis, you can probably get away with it. Would not do it with the runflats, if you have them.
Too stiff a sidewall. Too much heat generation. Too expensive to replace,can't be repaired, etc.
I bought a 2015 1500 RAM oil burner which is excellent. 18mpg on a 1,800 mile tow last summer. It hardly knows my 25' Safari is back there. Cost $33K loaded. Probably still worth that now.
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Old 03-20-2016, 07:06 PM   #28
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Re: my post above.
I was towing with a 2004 X5 4.6 with sports pkg, staggered 20" wheel and tire combo.
Had a friend that towed open trailer with a Z3 racecar. With a X5 3.0. Mostly local around Ohio. Did OK.
Also a longer wheelbase also adds stability to the tow. Coming down a hill pulling a 7,500 lb load is a handle under braking. The AS wants to shove the rear end of a short wheelbase tow vehicle towards the outside of the turn.
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