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Old 05-14-2021, 05:22 PM   #1
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2021 20' Caravel
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Can BMW X5 XDrive 50i Safely Tow FC23 FB?

Hello - Iíve read thru the comments here and thought maybe someone would have an update on the how well the BMW tows an Airstream. I own my first BMW (2019 X5 50i V8) that I got with a factory installed tow package. We are getting ready to purchase our first Airstream (clap clap) and Iím trying to figure out which trailer would be best for our tow vehicle without taking any risk.

Caravel 16. 3,500 GVWR / 430 tongue
Caravel 20 5,000 GVWR / 565 tongue
Flying Cloud 23FB 6,000 GVWR / 464 tongue

Iíve read the 80/20 rule on calculating max towing. My BMW has a tow limit of 7,200 and 1349 payload.

Does anyone own or know someone that has my model BMW and can share how well it tows what type Airstream? Iím in love with the FC23...it would be perfect for the three of us (mom, dad, baby) but maybe we should be safe and go with the Caravel 16?

Thank you for sharing thoughts, expertise here.
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Old 05-14-2021, 05:50 PM   #2
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2019 27' Globetrotter
McHenry , Illinois
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There are plenty of BMW owners on the forum to weigh in but I can offer a comparison. We towed a FC23FB with a VW Touareg TDI and it was a great combination. It had a 7700 lbs. tow rating with 770 lbs. tongue capacity. Payload was 1168 lbs. The 23í with dual axles is very well balanced giving you a lower tongue weigh. FYI, the ďactualĒ tongue weight on ours was closer to 650 loaded.

Good luck with you decision!
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Old 05-15-2021, 12:20 PM   #3
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We had a previous-generation 2009 X5 3.0L diesel, and towed a 4000 lb GVWR Sport 22 FB (single axle) for three years. Handling, power, and braking were all very good. Overall, we found the X5 platform a fine towing experience. Of course, your newer model gas V8 has substantially better HP and torque than our smaller diesel.

Older X5 towing discussions centered around limitations (6000 lb rating) of the previous generation factory hitch, and some had it modified/reinforced. With your newer hitch and higher factory ratings, you have more room for towing choices than we considered.

At the FC 23 FB's max GVWR of 6000 lbs, you'd be at 83% of your X5's tow rating - and you'd have little left for payload. We currently tow that same model trailer, at around 5200 lbs loaded (72% of your max). Some would say that's a reasonable TV/TT match, others would discourage you from towing the 23 with a medium-sized SUV.

IMHO, after two additional years pulling the larger Airstream, it's certainly the biggest trailer I'd personally tow with an X5. We did end up trading our X5 for a light duty (half ton) diesel pickup, and we are very happy with that choice, for towing the 23.

Best wishes in your search.
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Old 05-15-2021, 12:58 PM   #4
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Yes, with a properly set up WD hitch, and consideration of the maximum cargo weight you will put in the X5 when towing.

My upper limit for an X5 would be a 27. Others have successfully and safely towed much larger trailers.
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Old 05-15-2021, 09:40 PM   #5
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2021 20' Caravel
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffmc306 View Post
There are plenty of BMW owners on the forum to weigh in but I can offer a comparison. We towed a FC23FB with a VW Touareg TDI and it was a great combination. It had a 7700 lbs. tow rating with 770 lbs. tongue capacity. Payload was 1168 lbs. The 23í with dual axles is very well balanced giving you a lower tongue weigh. FYI, the ďactualĒ tongue weight on ours was closer to 650 loaded.

Good luck with you decision!
The 'actual' tongue weight is really good information to have! Thanks for that!
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