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Old 11-07-2015, 11:45 PM   #57
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Based on the feedback I received ( including Jeff and Andy Thomson from this forum), I decided to redo the reinforcement. The main concern was about the bends which could allow some flex. These guys working on my car did not have equipment (or skills) to get smooth bends like Can-Am is providing, so there was some cutting and reinforcing the bends.

Thank you guys! I think this one looks better and will work better.







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Old 11-08-2015, 02:17 AM   #58
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Looks good!

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Old 11-08-2015, 03:15 AM   #59
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It appears that you are trying to justify pulling with your BMW no matter what. I've been pulling TTs/UTs and Slide-ons for over 25 years with domestic 3/4 - 1 ton pick-ups and have yet to see a "bent frame" other than in a major crash in which receiver reinforcement isn't going to help you anyway. There is "glamping" and then there is safety, why risk getting hurt or hurting someone else for the affluent "look" while pulling your AS? Folks that really tow will just think your a fool, I use my "Beemer" for what it is intended for, a fine driving machine...
Travel Safe...
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Old 11-08-2015, 02:32 PM   #60
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Originally Posted by Easyrider06 View Post
It appears that you are trying to justify pulling with your BMW no matter what. I've been pulling TTs/UTs and Slide-ons for over 25 years with domestic 3/4 - 1 ton pick-ups and have yet to see a "bent frame" other than in a major crash in which receiver reinforcement isn't going to help you anyway. There is "glamping" and then there is safety, why risk getting hurt or hurting someone else for the affluent "look" while pulling your AS? Folks that really tow will just think your a fool, I use my "Beemer" for what it is intended for, a fine driving machine...
Travel Safe...
Y'all can go back and read the whole thread as what the issue with the X5 hitch is which has nothing to do with the frame, why do people reinforces it, and what my opinion on the reinforcement is so I ain't gonna repeat myself.

Like I said this reinforcement is not for me so I bought a Ram 2500 Laramie Longhorn with the 6.7 Cummins. I can now give you the opinion of someone who has towed the same trailer with an X5 and an American truck which is in many meaningful ways different than what you often read on the Internet.

1) when you drop $70K on a truck and compare it against a $70K German SUV the "truck" has NOTHING to be ashamed of when it comes to luxury. The quality of the craftsmanship and materials is the same... And actually the Ram doesn't creak and rattle at all so it may even be ahead of the X5, particularly when you factor in the extra leg room. It has heated and vented seat, heated steering wheel, a voice control that actually works, an intuitive infotainment system and a bigger screen for the rear entertainment system. Oh yea: it has cup holder in every direction...

2) The Ram is as stable as the X5 but quite honestly, I would take the X5 over the Ram when it comes to safety and confidence in the drive. The brakes of the X5, for one, are orders of magnitude better than the Ram. Yes the Ram has an exhaust brake which essentially means that you don't have to use the brake while descending any hill but if you would have to do an emergency stop the X5 has far far superior stopping power.

3) The Ram shine in it's ability to keep you at a constant 65-70mph regardless what hill you throw at it. And it does it effortlessly. But that's just as an unfair comparison as comparing the luxury of a $70K X5 with a base model 2500.

I like the Ram and I like the X5: they are both phenomenal towing machine. The X5 was simply coupled with a poorly designed hitch: that's the only flaw I've experience with that car.

Again this comparison is my personal experience of towing a 7K lbs trailer with the two vehicles. Your results may vary but don't tell me you need a German car for luxury or you need an American truck for towing because I respectfully yet wholeheartedly disagree.
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Old 11-08-2015, 03:28 PM   #61
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Bono, the redo looks good. I'm envious of you towing with "the ultimate towing machine.
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Old 11-09-2015, 02:29 PM   #62
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Thank you guys! The only thing I am worrying about it the harassment from the “truck crowd”, when I am on the road. I have a thick skin, so I should survive.
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Old 11-09-2015, 03:44 PM   #63
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So let me get this straight. You are saying that you have connected a brace from the uni-body of the vehicle to a vibration dampened differential carrier as a reinforcement? So when a force is applied to the carrier it just moves and never transfers that force to the uni-body? Worse yet you state that Can-Am does this also? Then you have the gall to talk about the "Truck Crowd"? Unbelievable...
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Old 11-09-2015, 04:44 PM   #64
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I would like to ask people who are not interested in towing with BMW X5 (or other German SUVs) to refrain from comment in this thread.
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Old 11-09-2015, 04:57 PM   #65
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Great, since I am interested in you succeeding in towing with your "German SUV" I can post all I would like then!
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Old 11-09-2015, 05:28 PM   #66
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Safety should be the concern of all, its not whether you tow with a X5, Dodge Ram or a Tiger Tank, its just that you have to have a safe towing set up as we will be the ones on the road with you. No wants to see anyone hurt and I apologize if I hurt your feelings but I'd rather do that than have something worse happen because you don't want to hear what other RV'ers have to say. Good Luck...
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Old 11-09-2015, 05:56 PM   #67
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So let me get this straight. You are saying that you have connected a brace from the uni-body of the vehicle to a vibration dampened differential carrier as a reinforcement? So when a force is applied to the carrier it just moves and never transfers that force to the uni-body? Worse yet you state that Can-Am does this also? Then you have the gall to talk about the "Truck Crowd"? Unbelievable...
Yes, the brace goes to the differential carrier. Not the differential, which is soft mounted and can move relatively easily. The carrier is quite firmly mounted. It would be worth inspecting one to see how they do it.

When the vertical force from the brace (which is critical in restoring front axle loading) is applied to the carrier, it does not move appreciably. It is in fact designed to transmit vertical forces to the vehicle structure. If you look at the service manual, it advises lifting the rear of the vehicle using a trolley jack under the differential (just not the differential cover), and that action transmits the weight of the rear of the vehicle through the soft mounts, and then through the carrier mounts and rear suspension.

Yes, this is routinely done on many similar vehicles. We know how Can Am do it, for one, because there are lots of photos available from satisfied owners, on BMW X5 models, as well as on MB, VW, Audi, and so on. We aren't talking a few vehicles, we are talking many hundreds.

The potential downside of using this mounting point is if there is a resulting drone or noise in the cabin from the new transmission path for road noise. If there isn't (and there haven't been reports of such noise) then there isn't much downside to worry about IMO.

The issue with the "truck crowd" is usually a claim that such use of an SUV is somehow unsafe, or impossible. These concerns are not usually backed up with data. They often include the phrase "you can't tow with that...". It is just that people get frustrated and then it escalates.

I once rented a Genie hydraulic bucket lift (41 ft telescopic boom lift, IIRC) mounted on a trailer. It was a great way to install Christmas lights on a large house. I picked it up at the rental yard with my X5. The yard crew said something like "you can't tow with that....". It towed beautifully. It isn't just an Airstream thing, apparently.

Jeff
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Old 11-09-2015, 06:01 PM   #68
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I use my "Beemer" for what it is intended for, a fine driving machine...
My Beemer was an R50/5, from the late sixties. My Bimmers have all been fine driving machines, and two of them have done yeoman service while towing
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Old 11-09-2015, 07:04 PM   #69
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Yes, the brace goes to the differential carrier. Not the differential, which is soft mounted and can move relatively easily. The carrier is quite firmly mounted. It would be worth inspecting one to see how they do it.

When the vertical force from the brace (which is critical in restoring front axle loading) is applied to the carrier, it does not move appreciably. It is in fact designed to transmit vertical forces to the vehicle structure. If you look at the service manual, it advises lifting the rear of the vehicle using a trolley jack under the differential (just not the differential cover), and that action transmits the weight of the rear of the vehicle through the soft mounts, and then through the carrier mounts and rear suspension.

Yes, this is routinely done on many similar vehicles. We know how Can Am do it, for one, because there are lots of photos available from satisfied owners, on BMW X5 models, as well as on MB, VW, Audi, and so on. We aren't talking a few vehicles, we are talking many hundreds.

The potential downside of using this mounting point is if there is a resulting drone or noise in the cabin from the new transmission path for road noise. If there isn't (and there haven't been reports of such noise) then there isn't much downside to worry about IMO.

The issue with the "truck crowd" is usually a claim that such use of an SUV is somehow unsafe, or impossible. These concerns are not usually backed up with data. They often include the phrase "you can't tow with that...". It is just that people get frustrated and then it escalates.

I once rented a Genie hydraulic bucket lift (41 ft telescopic boom lift, IIRC) mounted on a trailer. It was a great way to install Christmas lights on a large house. I picked it up at the rental yard with my X5. The yard crew said something like "you can't tow with that....". It towed beautifully. It isn't just an Airstream thing, apparently.

Jeff
Jeff,

I was going to respond much differently in my post until the "Truck Crowd" comment. Some people on here always try and make the issue "Us vs. Them" instead of learning from everyone regardless of the type of TV they have.

As far as mounting the brace to the differential carrier, this defeats the purpose of isolating the carrier from the uni-body. Just because it has always been done this way doesn't make it the correct solution (but maybe the most cost effective). That said, here is what I would suggest as a solution. If you add a 3/8-1/2" reinforced plate between the carrier and the uni-body that extended toward the rear of of the vehicle, it would provide a mounting point for the brace. This would allow the carrier to perform as designed without adding stress to the carrier. Without seeing the way the carrier mount area is shaped I can't tell you how much work this might be. After the install a 4 wheel alignment would be required, but the suspension should perform normally. With this design the forces are applied to the uni-body directly and not through the carrier (and its isolation mounts) to the uni-body.

One other thing I noticed is that this brace only helps in the vertical axis. Horizontal stress is not addressed. In one of the posts a question was asked about adding gussets onto the side of the receiver. If exceeding design specs is the goal, then adding structural strength in the horizontal axis would be desired. Not being able to see the strength of the uni-body in this area makes it hard to come up with a solution for this. What I do know is that any solution will have to distribute the stress across a section of the uni-body since no one point will be up to the task (maybe a plate that connects between the bumper shock towers).

I apologize for being snarky, but the "us vs. them" is beyond old.
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Old 11-09-2015, 09:20 PM   #70
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...but the "us vs. them" is beyond old.
It certainly is. So for those who have no interest (or experience) in towing with anything other than a truck perhaps the best course of action would be to not comment at all. Leave these discussions for those who are interested in towing with something other than a truck. You don't see the import SUV crowd trolling the truck threads, do you? The warnings that it can't be done are boring and predictable, not to mention unfounded. As it is being done with great success.
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