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Old 01-02-2015, 01:00 PM   #61
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Hi, for me, the infamous Hensley Bump as you're going down hill making a sharp turn when you hit your brakes is one that I don't care to have. The extra weight of these type hitches is another one that I don't care for. The extra length doesn't work for me either. Also the major rebuild that most people don't find out until this hitch breaks too. As for the cost, I can easily afford one, so that doesn't matter to me.
Well, I've never had a Hensley, but put about 50K miles on a ProPride, and was rather happy with it for the most part until I got the truck I have now. The electric brake operator was not compatible with the ProPride because of a delay, which caused "the bump" every time I hit the brakes at anything more that a very easy application. It also caused me to have to stop and readjust the hitch every time this happened. Now I have electric over hydraulic brakes and they have an inherent delay and I don't know how anyone uses a PPP hitch with them.

I was OK with the additional cost, weight, length, and difficulty sometime hitching up, but the having to stop and readjust the hitch was just too much. They do, however, totally eliminate trailer sway, and if you have not had one to play with and examine to fully understand how they work, you will never understand this statement.

Basically, with any other type hitch, the trailer is free to move around in the horizontal plane as it wishes, save the resistance of whatever friction devise is being used. With a PPP hitch, however, when the tow vehicle is straight in front of the trailer, because of the geometry built into the hitch head, the trailer is locked straight behind the tow vehicle, and only when the tow vehicle first turns, is the trailer allowed to move to the side. It's difficult to describe in words, but simple once you inspect it. It's really more that projecting the pivot point forward.
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Old 01-02-2015, 01:24 PM   #62
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This has turned into great entertainment. Little did I know what I’d start.

I’ll offer some vehicle clarification, then stand back to ponder a bit longer the question of what hitch to use.

My BMW is a 2012 X5 diesel. The E70 variant, in BMW speak. It develops 425 ft lbs of torque at 1750 RPMs. As to the brakes, I’ll share a short story. No science in this case, just empirical evidence that gives me a real sense of security when I drive this vehicle. Others may view this differently or have had different experiences.

I lived in Germany from 2000-2012 and drove this X5d for one year before returning to America two years ago. The vehicle tops out at 130 mph, and can stop impressively quickly from that speed when necessary. To be completely accurate, I should note that I’ve never actually stopped from that velocity, but many’s the time I’ve decelerated from 130-80 mph when a truck suddenly peeks out into the left lane.

About 12 years ago I had a front row (passenger) seat in my friend Bob’s E53 X5 when he had to do a “this is not a drill” panic stop from 160 kph to zero. The small Ford panel van immediately in front of us blew first one tire then two others as it skidded on sparking steel wheels between the guard rails on southbound A5 near the Swiss border, ejecting at high speed a multitude of green plastic boxes the size of beer cases out its open back doors. Bob’s fully loaded X5, probably overloaded with the driver, three passengers, roof-mounted ski box, boots, poles, food, luggage, wine, and gear, stopped effortlessly as he negotiated the slalom course provided by those green boxes that had been deposited on the Autobahn.

That experience told a lot about the BMW, in a way that spec sheets and marketing materials cannot convey, and was a contributing factor in my decision to buy a 2003 530i. BTW, the driver of the panel van walked away unhurt. The phoned his boss first, and we called the Polizei (the van driver reasoned that the police were unlikely to fire him, whereas his boss might). The road cleanup crew must have been having morning coffee at an adjacent rest area because they arrived within five minutes….unusually efficient…and southbound traffic on A5 was rolling again within 20 minutes according to the radio. Having had front row seats to this drama, we scooted off immediately and had a wonderful weekend skiing with our friends. Amazing stuff.

Thanks again for the continued commentary. I’m having fun, learning some things as this goes along. I’m still struck by the bus full of orphans image, but moving on.

Cheers!

Rod
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Old 01-02-2015, 01:34 PM   #63
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Thanks again for the continued commentary. Iím having fun, learning some things as this goes along. Iím still struck by the bus full of orphans image, but moving on.

Cheers!

Rod

Hi, I have never seen a bus full of orphans, but I've seen lots of tour busses full of Chinese.
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Old 01-02-2015, 02:09 PM   #64
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The payload sticker on the driver side door jam is exactly that: the GVWR minus the curb weight of your specific vehicle, with its options, etc. You can verify this by filling up the tank and going to a CAT scale. Published payload figures are always exaggerated (I'm pretty sure they don't include a full tank in those exaggerated figures). Door jam stickers are relatively accurate, for my vehicle it was off by 50#.
I suspect you are basing your claim on North American pickup specifications and associated marketing; lots of big claims, lots of specific vehicle options and build restrictions that reduce those claims.

But the thread is about a BMW X5d.

For the BMW X5 I am looking at (3 years newer than the OP's X5d, and the third BMW X that I will have towed with):

Curb Weight: 2236 kg/4919 lb, with 90% fuel, 68 kg/150 lb driver, 7 kg/15 lb luggage
Max Gross Weight: 2903 kg/6387 lb
Difference between the above: 667 kg/1467 lb
Permitted Load (published): 503 kg/1107 lb
Front axle permitted: 1334 kg/2935 lb
Rear axle permitted: 1633 kg/3593 lb
Total of axle ratings: 2967 kg/6527 lb

Yes, those are published figures. But so was the claim that the OP's BMW only had a payload of 1100 lbs.

Note that very similar figures can be found on global BMW sites, with small adjustments for curb and rated weights due to local markets, but with the same criteria; for all markets except North America, BMW publish approximately 1400 lbs payload.

What does the above tell us? That the difference between curb weight and GVWR is not always the same as published payload. That published payload is not always inflated. That manufacturers may have reasons to decrease published payload (fuel consumption calculations, emissions calculations, local tax rules, or whatever). Or maybe the web master guy can't add and subtract.

And vehicle options don't really enter into it with these vehicles. Within each model (35i, 35d, 50i) there are a small number of options, none of which I would typically purchase. Air suspension is about the only one with a significant weight impact, IIRC.
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Old 01-02-2015, 02:22 PM   #65
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This has turned into great entertainment. Little did I know what Iíd start.

Iíll offer some vehicle clarification, then stand back to ponder a bit longer the question of what hitch to use.

My BMW is a 2012 X5 diesel....
Yes, good entertainment!

Your BMW experience is similar to mine. My 2003 E53 was my 3rd BMW; it was followed with an X3 (which towed small box trailers beautifully, including over the Continental Divide in the snow several times) and a 535i M Sport. My wife has been presented with several options for new vehicles other than another BMW, but has turned them all down so far. I would be happy with another X5. It probably won't be a diesel in our case.

Enjoy your X5 and new Airstream. Great combination.

Jeff
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Old 01-02-2015, 02:36 PM   #66
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Hi, in the old days most pickups were regular cabs with an 8' bed. These could get scary in a panic stop while empty. I believe that trucks like my new F-150 are a different animal. Now it seems that four door crew cabs with short beds are much better balanced and the norm now days.
2014 F150 with a 6.5 foot box has a published 58/42 F/R weight distribution. Agreed that is a lot better than an older standard cab/8 foot box. I think an empty 3/4 ton will be worse than that though.
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Old 01-02-2015, 02:43 PM   #67
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At the risk of getting accused of having an agenda just because we tow with a 3500 Dodge I would comment on the braking issue. Trying to project the effect on stopping distance of a TV based on a simple analysis or on published stopping distances of an empty vehicle is pretty much impossible. ......While this situation is not the same as towing a trailer I think it illustrates that there are many other factors in vehicle braking and trying to make projections on what will happen under different conditions is not all that easy.

Anyway I agree that each of us has our own needs in a TV and what works for us isn't the answer for many others.
Absolutely no accusations from this corner

I fully agree that unloaded stopping distances are but one data point. My broader point was to think about the overall capabilities of the vehicle (including being designed for stopping from much higher speeds) and not just focus on a door jamb sticker. Also agree fully with you that everyone has their own needs. In my case, and presumably the OP's, additional TV payload isn't required for many of the items that others consider essential to take with them, for valid reasons.

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Old 01-02-2015, 03:38 PM   #68
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I suspect you are basing your claim on North American pickup specifications and associated marketing; lots of big claims, lots of specific vehicle options and build restrictions that reduce those claims.

But the thread is about a BMW X5d.

For the BMW X5 I am looking at (3 years newer than the OP's X5d, and the third BMW X that I will have towed with):

Curb Weight: 2236 kg/4919 lb, with 90% fuel, 68 kg/150 lb driver, 7 kg/15 lb luggage
Max Gross Weight: 2903 kg/6387 lb
Difference between the above: 667 kg/1467 lb
Permitted Load (published): 503 kg/1107 lb
Front axle permitted: 1334 kg/2935 lb
Rear axle permitted: 1633 kg/3593 lb
Total of axle ratings: 2967 kg/6527 lb

Yes, those are published figures. But so was the claim that the OP's BMW only had a payload of 1100 lbs.

Note that very similar figures can be found on global BMW sites, with small adjustments for curb and rated weights due to local markets, but with the same criteria; for all markets except North America, BMW publish approximately 1400 lbs payload.

What does the above tell us? That the difference between curb weight and GVWR is not always the same as published payload. That published payload is not always inflated. That manufacturers may have reasons to decrease published payload (fuel consumption calculations, emissions calculations, local tax rules, or whatever). Or maybe the web master guy can't add and subtract.

And vehicle options don't really enter into it with these vehicles. Within each model (35i, 35d, 50i) there are a small number of options, none of which I would typically purchase. Air suspension is about the only one with a significant weight impact, IIRC.

No, this observation is not truck specific. All cars/trucks I have seen, whether American/Japanese/European have this issue, where the published payload is the Maximum payload, not applicable for majority of vehicles. Actual payload is the driver side door sticker, and user manuals refer to that figure, not the published figure -- which is usually hundreds of pounds more. GVWR minus the door sticker gives you the actual curb weight. If GVWR is 6500 and the door sticker payload says 1100, your curb weight should be very close to 5400. You can verify this at CAT scale. I have seen too many cases where someone bought a vehicle based on published payload, only to later realize the actual payload is hundreds less. You would expect the car companies to provide a range for payload, but that's not the case
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Old 01-02-2015, 03:45 PM   #69
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bmw x5d the ultimate driving machine

only when you have driven a bmw x5d do you understand the sophistication of the vehicle.
the torque, the all wheel drive, the huge brakes and the engineering make it a pleasure to drive safely. clearly there are folks on this forum who would like to compare it as a tow vehicle to a heavy 2 wheel drive pickup with a fixed rear end.

there is much more to this equation than some of the "experts" on this forum profess to know.

nevertheless i love the entertainment and the absolute conviction by those who may not know as much as they think they know.
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Old 01-02-2015, 03:59 PM   #70
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I lived in Germany from 2000-2012 and drove this X5d for one year before returning to America two years ago. The vehicle tops out at 130 mph, and can stop impressively quickly from that speed when necessary.
Cheers! Rod
Rod, like Kevin I too am one who knows what you are talking about. A few months ago we had the opportunity to drive an X5. It was 8 years old but right away it felt like a new vehicle. Very smooth and no rattles.

Took it out on the highway and I still have a smile on my face from that drive. After 20 minutes I let my bh drive it back to the dealer. No she has no clue about vehicles and generally speaking will tell you they all drive the same. But!...., not with this one. After 2 minutes on the highway she leaned over and said to me......

"IF YOU DON'T BUY THIS THING, I WILL!"

Well that says it all. A beautifully engineered vehicle that felt like it was hardly moving at 130klm's. One really needs to drive these machines to understand what they are all about.

PS.... we didn't buy this one as the colour (purplie/blue) was a bit of a turn off but we are still looking.

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Old 01-02-2015, 04:12 PM   #71
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This has been a very interesting discussion!! One thing that I would like to bring to the table is the subject of LIABILITY. If you knowingly overload, or exceed the gross combined vehicle weight, of the tow vehicle and trailer, you are opening yourself up to a liability issue if you are in an accident. We all know how insurance companies like to refuse claims, and how vehicle manufacturers like to refuse warranty claims. I would hate to be in a situation where I was being sued for an accident, that was caused by an improperly loaded vehicle. Just "because you can", will not cut it in a court of law. Just my thoughts.
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Old 01-02-2015, 04:13 PM   #72
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only when you have driven a bmw x5d do you understand the sophistication of the vehicle.
the torque, the all wheel drive, the huge brakes and the engineering make it a pleasure to drive safely. clearly there are folks on this forum who would like to compare it as a tow vehicle to a heavy 2 wheel drive pickup with a fixed rear end.

there is much more to this equation than some of the "experts" on this forum profess to know.

nevertheless i love the entertainment and the absolute conviction by those who may not know as much as they think they know.
I think you are missing the point here. No one here is saying BMW X5 is not the ultimate driving machine. We are saying its not the ultimate towing machine -- Its only rated to tow 6000#. A less refined pickup can tow 10,000#. A much less refined heavy duty pickup can tow a lot more.
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Old 01-02-2015, 04:22 PM   #73
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I have no beef with trucks being used as tow vehicles - that's a personal choice.

What I do take issue with is posts that perpetuate myths that have been proven wrong time after time again - the "the brakes will fail" myth is just one of many, closely followed by the "insurance won't pay out" myth, closely followed by the "it's illegal" myth.

Most of these are posted without specifics, but embellished with dire and increasingly colourful warnings of the potential consequences - I've seen posts that threaten everything from vehicle impounding to now killing orphans. When asked, none of the posters is ever able to back these up with facts that go further than "car manufacturers know best" or "I don't need math to know what I know".

If I am a person new to towing, who comes here looking for help, I'd be scared out of my wits, and quite unnecessarily so.
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Old 01-02-2015, 04:25 PM   #74
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No, this observation is not truck specific. All cars/trucks I have seen, whether American/Japanese/European have this issue, where the published payload is the Maximum payload, not applicable for majority of vehicles. Actual payload is the driver side door sticker, and user manuals refer to that figure, not the published figure -- which is usually hundreds of pounds more. GVWR minus the door sticker gives you the actual curb weight.
Well, I guess you haven't seen many BMWs then. Or Touaregs. I only have one of those at home today. The published payload for my vehicle on the BMW site is the same as all the third party web sites. It is the same as the owner's manual I have in my hand. I walked downstairs and read the door sticker again. And surprise, it is the same info on the door sticker. To the kg and lb. Same story with axle ratings, GVWR, and curb weight, all the figures match.

Now, with that out of the way, we still have the situation whereby the published payload does not equal the difference between the published GVWR and the published curb weight. Even after accounting for fuel and driver. There are two figures, the inferred (calculated) payload, and the published one. And they differ by 360 lbs for the X5d. Can't seem to blame it on the door sticker.
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Old 01-02-2015, 04:31 PM   #75
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Same here. Door sticker, manual and website all agree.
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Old 01-02-2015, 04:40 PM   #76
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Well, I guess you haven't seen many BMWs then. Or Touaregs. I only have one of those at home today. The published payload for my vehicle on the BMW site is the same as all the third party web sites. It is the same as the owner's manual I have in my hand. I walked downstairs and read the door sticker again. And surprise, it is the same info on the door sticker. To the kg and lb. Same story with axle ratings, GVWR, and curb weight, all the figures match.

Now, with that out of the way, we still have the situation whereby the published payload does not equal the difference between the published GVWR and the published curb weight. Even after accounting for fuel and driver. There are two figures, the inferred (calculated) payload, and the published one. And they differ by 360 lbs for the X5d. Can't seem to blame it on the door sticker.
I actually looked at a Touareg 2 years ago, and it had the exact same issue. Door sticker payload was lower than the published figure in VW website. My recommendation to anyone buying a vehicle is to see the door sticker of a similarly equipped vehicle before buying and not rely on the published figure as your situation seems to be the exception rather than the norm.
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Old 01-03-2015, 07:43 AM   #77
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Oh boy!...here we go.


I vote not to close this thread. Just clean house.

Bob
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Old 01-03-2015, 07:53 AM   #78
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Oh boy!...here we go.


I vote not to close this thread. Just clean house.

Bob
Yep, going the way of all tow vehicle threads. People ask for opinions of tow vehicles, then people give their opinion, and other people don't like those opinions because they differ from their own opinion, and arguments start, then escalate.

I think everyone should learn the hard way which vehicle will work for them, and which will not, just like I did.
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Old 01-03-2015, 08:17 AM   #79
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Entertaining nevertheless. I do not know why anyone asks for tow vehicle advice. It seems impossible to trust the answers because, repeatedly, they are all over the map. The only real conclusion is that you need to try your existing tow vehicle under a variety of conditions and see how it goes. If you are in the market for a new tow vehicle do not come to this forum for advice. Too bad, because before I bought my AS I used the forum advice for my hitch and bought a ProPride. I have not regretted that decision and I am sure it is why I am completely happy with my Silverado 1/2 ton.
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Old 01-03-2015, 08:17 AM   #80
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Yep, going the way of all tow vehicle threads. People ask for opinions of tow vehicles, then people give their opinion, and other people don't like those opinions because they differ from their own opinion, and arguments start, then escalate.

I think everyone should learn the hard way which vehicle will work for them, and which will not, just like I did.

For the record - I have no problem with varied opinions - it's what makes the forums so valuable. My specific problem is the trolling behavior that violates the rules we all agreed to in order to participate here - it's what makes the forums unnecessarily and frustratingly tedious.

Your strategy for selecting a hitch sounds like a good one :-)

I really appreciated the value of the discussion here in making my selection (as a complete rookie). There was always some heat along with the light but overall, the approach was fairly civil. That's when the forums work best in my opinion. At the end of the day, there are many "right" answers...

Now about that OP.....

Stay salubrious everyone!
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