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Old 03-12-2016, 02:36 PM   #1
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BMW X5 tow vehicle for a 19' Bambi

I am thinking of replacing my tow vehicle.
The BMW X5 diesel with 440 ft lbs of torque, looks like it would do the job, but I was wondering whether the realively short wheel base on the X5 would be adequate for the single axle Bambi? My current TV is an extended cab short bed 1/2 pickup truck with a weight distribution hitch and a brake controller. I have had zero problems with this setup and am seeking the forum's advice before I change.
I have a friend who tows his 5700# bass boat with his BMW X5 diesel and he has no problems but he has four axles and my Bambi only has one.
Does anyone in the forum tow a Bambi with an X5?

Rod Pease
19' Bambi
2001GMC Z-71 5.3L 3.73
5W-30 Synthetic
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Old 03-16-2016, 08:55 PM   #2
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Rod - we tow our 23 with a 35i and like our rig, but the 23 is a dual axle configuration like your friend's boat trailer. However, folks seem to have no problem pulling the single axle configurations, so it's hard to believe that you would have a problem.

Your bigger concern may be that BMW is a challenge to set up for towing. The X5 is more than capable, but the factory hitch for an F15 is not compatible with the Airstream 2-5/16" hitch ball. Spend some time investigating what is required to have a third party install a hitch.

You might consider a Jeep Grand Cherokee as a less troublesome alternative.

Good luck, Pat

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Old 03-16-2016, 10:59 PM   #3
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I towed (not an Airstream, but a wide variety of trailers) with an earlier version of the X5, with a similar wheelbase. There were no issues whatsoever with stability, likely helped by the very short rear overhang. I look at the ratio of rear overhang (axle to hitch ball) as a percent of wheelbase, not just at wheelbase. The X5 is a very stable platform, and handles very well. Because it handles well without a trailer, it has a head start on handling well with a trailer.

The issue to watch for is how much stuff you want to bring with you in the vehicle. Payload is the number to watch. We travel light, so wouldn't have concerns with an X5. Others who prefer to bring along back up power, and lots of toys, will soon run into the payload limits.

Add to that the complications of the new removable hidden hitch. Since the F15 is built on the same platform as the E70, I would look to see if an E70 hitch could be adapted, or go aftermarket.

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Old 03-17-2016, 07:04 AM   #4
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X5D Bambi Thanks for the info

Thanks it sounds l like the X5 will do the job nicely, we also travel light and I am sure we can stay under the vehicles payload capacity.
It helps that the hitch weight of my Bambi is low (<200#). I had to special order 200# WD bars from my trailer outfitter-for my 1/2 ton pickup the tow current vehicle, they were the lowest weight made. My set up worked well with many thousands of miles towing, so I can't complain.

From the research I have been doing on this and other forums weight distribution may not be necessary or even advisable with the BMW X5.

I will do more research in to hitch configurations (F15/E70)
Rod Pease
19' Bambi
2001GMC Z-71 5.3L 3.73
5W-30 Synthetic
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Old 03-17-2016, 08:13 PM   #5
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We've towed both the single axle Sport 22 and the current 23 FB with an F70 diesel, and have been completely happy with the choice. As you note, the torque alone is outstanding in real world towing. You'll find considerable discussion on whether to use WD, because of the German manufactures not using or being familiar with it. That said, most German SUV tow-ers I talk with use it successfully, without harm or unnecessary wear. But as you say, the low tongue weight on the Bambi may make worth trying with and without for comparison.
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Old 03-17-2016, 08:42 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Rod Pease View Post
I am thinking of replacing my tow vehicle.
The BMW X5 diesel with 440 ft lbs of torque,
Crem de Crem! Just get the set up right.

Airstreams..... The best towing trailers on the planet!
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