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Old 07-15-2015, 12:55 PM   #1
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Towing 25 safari with 2014 BMW X5 and safety specs?

Hello all, im new here and a noivice!

I'm looking at getting a 25' safari model years 95-2003 because they are lighter than the newer models.

I already own my tow vehicle and an trying to find a good fit AS and was hoping for some feedback. Here are my specs.

2014 BMW X5
Towing capicity of 7700 lbs
600 lbs max tongue weight (this is my main issue)
BMW does not allow the use of Weight Distribution hitches

Invisihitch hitch will be installed ( exceeds all BMW max specs)

25 safari
4920 lbs dry weight
6300 lbs GVWR
680 lbs tounge

The tongue weight exceeds the BMWs weight recommendation which im not comfortable with.

That being said I am gutting the AS and doing a custom interior remodel and hoping to reduce the tongue weight to 600.

So a few questions:

If i can get that tongue weight down to 600lbs to meet the max spec would my tow vehicle be within a safe and proper range to tow the 25 safari?

Are they other ways of achieving a lighter tongue weight other than removing weight from the trailer?

Does anyone here have experience reducing tongue weights?


Thanks in advance for your help!
Jack
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Old 07-15-2015, 01:12 PM   #2
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I am in the same shoes preparing the car (X5 2011) to tow a heavier trailer. My thoughts:

- do not get Invisihitch, but get US OE hitch; many people are using WDS with US OE hitch, Invisihitch does not work with WDS and I saw a report from somebody who had some damage done to the hitch after using WDS
- use WDS with the trailer
- reinforce the hitch - find some photos from Can-Am RV

This are my thought based on the research I have done so far.
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Old 07-15-2015, 01:33 PM   #3
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hmmm interesting ill do some research.

Unfortunately the Stock hitch can only handle 6000 lbs which takes any heavy trailer out of contention. Invisihitch is the only hitch i found that can handle the max tow capacity of the SUV.
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Old 07-15-2015, 02:18 PM   #4
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This is the official rating of the hitch. I would not worry about this too much (your own decision). There are people towing 7-8k lbs trailers with US OE hitch. My concern is the tongue weight and the reinforcement should help.
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Old 07-15-2015, 03:49 PM   #5
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The factory hitch appears to be the same in Europe and the USA. My hitch on my 2012 X5d has a sticker with the 6000# and 600# limits on it. I believe the Europe limit is 7000# but I can't get an answer form BMW about why there is a difference.

The older Safari weights are intriguing, but I may now stay with my Class A, will be picking up a new-to-me toad next month.
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Old 07-15-2015, 04:08 PM   #6
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The European hitch that is rated higher is a "swan neck" style, with a metric ball, not compatible with weight distributing equipment.

Recommend you use the OE hitch, and talk to Canam about reinforcement.

The tongue weight limitation is for the standard North American hitch. If you are going to put more than 600 lbs on it then it is a good idea to consider reinforcement. Also, pay attention to vehicle payload and axle weight ratings. It is very possible to tow a heavier vehicle with an X5, but not without being aware of vehicle payload limitations.

It isn't that BMW don't permit WD equipment; it is simply that they don't know much about it, and don't consider it given that the vehicle is designed in Europe where it isn't used.

I personally wouldn't use an Invisihitch for more weight carrying capacity, as they are likely using the same attachment points as BMW use for their hitch. The strength of the receiver itself isn't the issue, as much as the interface between the receiver and the vehicle structure.

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Old 07-15-2015, 04:20 PM   #7
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The car is rated to 6k or 7.7k lbs in Europe depending on the engine version / options (transmission cooler, suspension, etc.).

Quote:
Originally Posted by TerraYacht View Post
The factory hitch appears to be the same in Europe and the USA. My hitch on my 2012 X5d has a sticker with the 6000# and 600# limits on it. I believe the Europe limit is 7000# but I can't get an answer form BMW about why there is a difference.

The older Safari weights are intriguing, but I may now stay with my Class A, will be picking up a new-to-me toad next month.
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Old 07-15-2015, 05:21 PM   #8
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Don't believe that tongue weight. At best it is the tongue weight when the trailer is at its dry weight. At worst it is an optimistic estimate that will likely not be achievable. My 2001 Safari 25 not fully loaded weighed 5940#. With no weight distrbution, the tongue weight was 860#. Most sources recommend that, for stable towing, tongue weight should be 10-15% of the Trailer GVW. If you should be successful at your effort to reach 600#, but maintain a GVW close to the GVWR you will be below 10%.

Without weight distribution i suspect you are running the risk of unloading your front axle to the point where steering will be compromised.

If you intend to tow off the hitch without some form of sway control, i further suspect that the relatively light vehicle may exhibit undesirable stability issues, particularly in emergency situations.

You should also consider the payload of your TV. Whatever the allowable payload for passengers and cargo is on the door sticker, subtract off the tongue weight and that's what you have left for people and gear.

I'm not saying it cant be done, but if possible it will take some very careful component selection, modifications, and setup to configure a safe, reliable towing solution.

Al
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Old 07-15-2015, 06:03 PM   #9
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http://www.airforums.com/forums/f238...ts-132642.html

some real life experience
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Old 07-15-2015, 08:32 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bono View Post
I am in the same shoes preparing the car (X5 2011) to tow a heavier trailer. My thoughts:

- do not get Invisihitch, but get US OE hitch; many people are using WDS with US OE hitch, Invisihitch does not work with WDS and I saw a report from somebody who had some damage done to the hitch after using WDS
- use WDS with the trailer
- reinforce the hitch - find some photos from Can-Am RV

This are my thought based on the research I have done so far.
I was the guy that posted about an Invisihitch bending when used with WD. This was not my personal experience but information from a phone call with an X5 35d owner who had actually bent an Invisihitch on his maiden voyage with SOB in tow and WD applied. It was replaced promptly but he now tows his SOB (with approx 500lb tongue weight) without WD.
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Old 07-15-2015, 10:09 PM   #11
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Actually I read about this on bimmerfest forum

Ultimate Towing Machine - Bimmerfest - BMW Forums
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Old 07-15-2015, 11:13 PM   #12
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Make sure you do the hitch at BMW - or at the very least make sure they will update the programming on the vehicle to recognize the aftermarket hitch.
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Old 07-15-2015, 11:16 PM   #13
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It not the hitch (aftermarket or OE), but electrical harness what makes the difference. You can install aftermarket piece of metal and if OE harness is used, electronics will be working.

Installation of hitch is very, very easy job in X5 - I would not do this at dealership for several reasons. Any place which installs hitch can do this, coding may be done remotely in 5 minutes.
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Old 07-16-2015, 07:59 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bono View Post
It not the hitch (aftermarket or OE), but electrical harness what makes the difference. You can install aftermarket piece of metal and if OE harness is used, electronics will be working.

Installation of hitch is very, very easy job in X5 - I would not do this at dealership for several reasons. Any place which installs hitch can do this, coding may be done remotely in 5 minutes.

Sorry but it's not the hitch or wiring of the harness to the vehicle. It is plugging the X5 into BMW's system and updating the programming for the vehicles computer to recognize when the wiring harness is hooked up. Since when hooked up the X5 will change shift patterns and driving characteristics when towing.
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