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Old 07-11-2011, 08:47 AM   #1
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BMW X5 OEM Hitch says NO WD device - Help

I have a 2008 BMW X5 with 4.8 V8 and the OEM hitch.

The car has self-leveling suspension (tow rating of 6000 lbs)
and the hitch receiver is rated at 600 lbs tongue weight

Why the no WD from BMW?

Are others using a WD hitch with the X5?

Help please as the GAWR for the rear of my X5 will not handle the tongue weight without the WD hitch.

Thank you for any advise you can give or experiences shared!
-Todd
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Old 07-11-2011, 08:57 AM   #2
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It's been done, with much bigger trailers than your 16-footer.

Forums member withidl tows a 31' classic with a V8 X5 and has provided quite a bit of info about it. He had it set up by Can-Am RV.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f463...tml#post890902

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f463...ase-77087.html
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Old 07-11-2011, 09:16 AM   #3
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Several folks are doing this on non-ladder frame vehicles. Check the threads, as suggested.

Some have done fine. But if I recall correclty (or maybe it's just from rally conversations I've had), some have had failures. It all depends upon how the hitch is designed and the directions from which it's designed to take loads. No doubt it would void your warranty, but you're probably out of warranty anyway? Before you become a test pilot, I'd sure have some deep personal conversations with folks having several years and many thousands of miles of experience going against factory recommendations. Those factory engineers no doubt have actually tested this, and there's probably a pretty good reason they explicity advise against it rather than remaining silent on the topic.

It may also have to do with the self-leveling suspension - the WD loads may "confuse" the system. Some folks have reported better results with the self-level system turned off. Again, lots of discussion on this topic.
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Old 07-11-2011, 09:53 AM   #4
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It's a German thing.

In a nutshell, use one or keep your tongue weights to 750 or less WHILE maintaing balanced load on front and back axels of tow vehicle, air bags don't count.

Don't be one of the goofballs I see driving around in their German SUV with the ass sitting low and front bumper in the air.
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Old 07-11-2011, 10:04 AM   #5
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It's a German thing.
You can always tell a German.....BUT, you can't tell 'em much!!
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Old 07-11-2011, 11:31 AM   #6
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My view....

WDH is very popular in North America.

The rest of the world is not up on the idea, have little information about the concept, and have done little to no testing with the actual hardware. Therefore they simply say no to WDH.

Another great example is the Honda Ridgeline. Honda says no WDH yet any engineer can look at the structure of the vehicle and see that it is up to the task. Thousands of Ridgeline owners are successfully using a WDH with their vehicles and TT's.

If you are going to try something like this I would get professional advice.
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Old 07-11-2011, 12:01 PM   #7
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Another great example is the Honda Ridgeline. Honda says no WDH yet any engineer can look at the structure of the vehicle and see that it is up to the task. Thousands of Ridgeline owners are successfully using a WDH with their vehicles and TT's.
Ironically, my Honda Odyssey has less structure in the back than a Ridgeline, yet the Odyssey manual doesn't forbid WDH. (The CamAm hitch modifications put a big chunk of extra structure back there.)

My understanding of this (based on discussions with several vehicle dynamics engineers) is that some manufacturers are worried about improperly set-up WDH (hence the warnings not to use one), even if they know that a properly set up device makes for safer towing.

Tom
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Old 07-11-2011, 12:25 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by DKB_SATX View Post
It's been done, with much bigger trailers than your 16-footer.

Forums member withidl tows a 31' classic with a V8 X5 and has provided quite a bit of info about it. He had it set up by Can-Am RV.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f463...tml#post890902

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f463...ase-77087.html
I couldn't have said it better! See my avatar for my assembly. ABSOLUTELY get a Hensley (or equivalent); it's pricey but worth MUCH more than its price!

I'll be making an approximate 3,000 mile round trip to the EAA event in Oshkosh, Wisconson, in a couple of weeks and have complete confidence in my 2001 X5, Hensley and 2002 ASCL 31'.

PS. Your X5 has (especially with the Sport Package) extreme negative camber on the rear wheels. This causes the inside of the tread to wear out (about 23,000 miles the way I drive) WHY BEFORE the outside tread. I've been able to DOUBLE the tread life by having the rear tires "flipped" on the wheels, thereby positioning the essentially unused outter tread on the inside while the worn inside tread suffers essentially zero wear on the outside. At $250+ per tire, flipping them really pays off if you don't mind the somewhat less cosmetic appearance of the inside tire wall.
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Old 07-12-2011, 12:15 PM   #9
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I couldn't have said it better! See my avatar for my assembly. ABSOLUTELY get a Hensley (or equivalent); it's pricey but worth MUCH more than its price!

I'll be making an approximate 3,000 mile round trip to the EAA event in Oshkosh, Wisconson, in a couple of weeks and have complete confidence in my 2001 X5, Hensley and 2002 ASCL 31'.

PS. Your X5 has (especially with the Sport Package) extreme negative camber on the rear wheels. I've been able to DOUBLE the tread life by having the rear tires "flipped" on the wheels, thereby positioning the essentially unused outter tread on the inside while the worn inside tread suffers essentially zero wear on the outside.
Thnxs Withidl... a great tip that I will try on our G35 as we have the same rear tire wear issue.
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