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Old 01-05-2015, 03:16 PM   #121
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Earl, tow ratings are all over the place, exact same vehicle different years, different country, try to make sense of it. It's been hashed and scrambled here continuously.

Axle ratings and tire ratings are consistent, I don't think anyone is doubting they are legitimate.

But we're really trying to answer the o.p.'s original request for a hitch recommendation. He's already been using the BMW to tow his Airstream and has every intention of sticking with it. He's already had the hitch reinforced to take the twisting action of w.d., which many rated stock factory hitches cannot withstand. (Check General Motors pickup truck history for an example.) And he's laughing at us arguing about anything but a hitch recommendation.

This thread is so bogged down with so many opposing expert (and not so expert) opinions I am now becoming more concerned about the basic understanding of these systems by those qualified and certified to do the work and inspections.

My background (it's been awhile) is Navy aircraft maintenance, including running the quality assurance and safety division. I've seen many wrecks of a different nature and lost some shipmates. This qualifies me for nothing here, but I have learned to keep my eyes open. Especially with regards to safety and how it can be improved.
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Old 01-05-2015, 03:21 PM   #122
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Hitch Recommendations Wanted for 25RB-BMW X5d combo

Legal has been covered. How well it drives you should leave to experience.

Rich Luhr is a contributor worth your time to listen and to read. Posts, magazine articles, podcasts and videos.

Andrew Thomson of Can Am RV is invited by Airstream to make presentations on the subject. His posts, threads and online magazine articles are worth the time.

As a business owner it is best to have the range of options available. For any of us to forever "simplify" is not to have our own or our customers best interest at heart. A more expensive and less safe choice is what truck ownership can represent

I believe you will enjoy what you find.
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Old 01-05-2015, 03:25 PM   #123
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I don't feel any modification you can do to a X5 can make it legal and safe to tow a loaded 25 foot airstream...
The X5 was designed and certified by the manufacturer to tow 7700 lbs, while respecting axle and tire limits. The various hitches that the German designers came up with do not plan on weight distribution equipment. The 7700 lb hitch isn't built to an SAE standard, they use things like TUV.

I think that modifications to allow the use of weight distribution equipment make it safer.

Legal doesn't enter in to it. GVWR and axle loads are legal issues, but aren't being debated. Tow ratings aren't legal issues so much as guidance. There isn't a published GCWR for the X5. And the concept doesn't get applied to non-commercial vehicles in any case.
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Old 01-05-2015, 03:50 PM   #124
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The X5 was designed and certified by the manufacturer to tow 7700 lbs
This is incorrect. BMW X5 is rated to tow 6000#.
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Old 01-05-2015, 04:01 PM   #125
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This is incorrect. BMW X5 is rated to tow 6000#.
No, the vehicle was designed in Germany, and that is where the 7700 lb/3500 kg rating came from. The information is widely available.

BMW NA is a marketing organization, which doesn't have design engineers and so on. They distribute the vehicles to the dealers. They locally sourced a hitch in the US that is rated at 6000 lbs, had it contract manufactured, and put that rating info in their US and Canadian owner's manuals. But they aren't the manufacturer, they are the distributor. BMW AG is the manufacturer.

You are correct that BMW NA publish 6000 lbs as a tow limit.
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Old 01-05-2015, 04:04 PM   #126
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if your philosophy is correct you would see all large AS trailers pulled with mid size SUV's.
The mistake here is that you are talking in general terms. There are many mid sized SUV's that are (off the shelf) horrid TV's ie.... older Ford Explorers and older Toyota 4Runners to name a few. The X5 cannot be compared in anyway to those crappers.

My understanding is that that X5 and a good sized Airstream is going to out perform an older Ford Explorer or 4Runner towing a Bambi in every way you choose to measure.
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Old 01-05-2015, 04:19 PM   #127
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No, the vehicle was designed in Germany, and that is where the 7700 lb/3500 kg rating came from. The information is widely available.

BMW NA is a marketing organization, which doesn't have design engineers and so on. They distribute the vehicles to the dealers. They locally sourced a hitch in the US that is rated at 6000 lbs, had it contract manufactured, and put that rating info in their US and Canadian owner's manuals. But they aren't the manufacturer, they are the distributor. BMW AG is the manufacturer.

You are correct that BMW NA publish 6000 lbs as a tow limit.
This post is the poster child of mis-information you get in the towing threads. BMW North America is NOT a marketing organization -- BMW X5s are manufactured in Greer, South Carolina at the Spartanburg BMW plant. The tow rating of X5 is clearly 6000#. Just call BMW USA and ask about the tow rating. Putting your head in the sand does not make the vehicle's tow rating more than it is.
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Old 01-05-2015, 04:27 PM   #128
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Rostam, you haven't read the older threads on this subject, have you?
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Old 01-05-2015, 05:13 PM   #129
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This is my opinion.

Hi, this is my opinion about his situation. First the BMW has the power needed. The BMW has the brakes needed. And The BMW has the handling, but not the desired ride quality. As for the rest of the car/truck/suv, or what ever you want to call it, things are what they are rated at. You can't change the rating. German ratings are for German type trailers with very little tongue weight. The American ratings are for American trailers, boat trailers, or whatever that won't need a WD hitch because the factory receiver can't take it. Or the sheet metal that it is attached to will pull out as some early reports noted.

Ratings to some people don't make sense until explained by those who built them. An example, as per Motor Trend, A Jeep Grand Cherokee with the 4.7 L V-8 had a higher tow rating than the same vehicle with the Semi-Hemi; This was because of the cooling system, not because of horsepower or torque.

Sell the OP a wiz-bang $3,000.00 hitch and send him on his merry way.
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Old 01-05-2015, 05:14 PM   #130
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This post is the poster child of mis-information you get in the towing threads. BMW North America is NOT a marketing organization -- BMW X5s are manufactured in Greer, South Carolina at the Spartanburg BMW plant. The tow rating of X5 is clearly 6000#. Just call BMW USA and ask about the tow rating. Putting your head in the sand does not make the vehicle's tow rating more than it is.
You seem very sure of yourself. If you don't believe me, you should check BMW sites for their corporate organization. The BMW manufacturing group is global, and does not report to BMWNA, which is a marketing organization. It also has a financial services arm.

As I said above, the manufacturer (BMW AG) uses 7700 lbs as a design figure. When they build all of the global X5 production in South Carolina, they put a 7700 lb tow limit on all the vehicles, except the ones that they ship over to BMWNA, a marketing organization, which sells a complementary 6000 lb hitch through its dealer network (not factory installed). And quite logically, BMWNA put 6000 lbs as a tow limit in the manuals they publish.

Of course a BMWNA-sold vehicle has a 6000 lb tow rating. That wasn't the point. The point was that the vehicle was rated 7700 lbs by the manufacturer, so all of the nonsense about brakes, cooling, etc, not being designed for anything over 6000 lbs is just that, nonsense. I have never claimed that BMWNA sell vehicles with more than a 6000 lb tow rating. Just that the vehicle has been designed and built for more than that, and that the 6000 lb limit is added on by a marketing organization.

Side note, but there is no BMW USA company. Just a website. They are called BMW of North America, even though they are not responsible for Canada or Mexico. I have always thought they were misnamed.

Here is a link for you. Note the separate companies.

BMW Group Home
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Old 01-05-2015, 05:41 PM   #131
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This doesn't look like a marketing department:

BMW Celebrates Extension of Spartanburg SC Plant



I have been by the plant dozens of times. It does exist. They do not ship cars there, they build them and ship them OUT.
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Old 01-05-2015, 05:43 PM   #132
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Beef up a Volkswagen bug and put a ppp or a Hensley hitch and hitch up that 30 foot Classic and get after it.

I still believe a bmw X5 is not safe to tow a 25 foot AS loaded to capacity and keep in mind if most trailer are loaded I doubt many are under capacity but I guess according to some air streams rating are also only for sissies.

I have read a lot of conjecture but no proof from BMW... email Germany or North America and if anyone posts a written statement that a X5D can safely tow the 25 foot airstream loaded to full capacity I will eat my words and spit out rivets haha. but till I see the proof in writing from BMW wherever I thinks all you naysayers are risking the original posters safety....
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Old 01-05-2015, 05:57 PM   #133
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This doesn't look like a marketing department:

I have been by the plant dozens of times. It does exist. They do not ship cars there, they build them and ship them OUT.
Good shot. Of course it exists. It just isn't BMWNA. It is BMW manufacturing. Look them up on BMW.com, not BMWUSA.com
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Old 01-05-2015, 06:07 PM   #134
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Hitch Recommendations Wanted for 25RB-BMW X5d combo

That's where they build the vehicle in question. I do believe you are correct about the EU tow limits as they are produced over there and that the limit is most likely reduced by the U.S. Style hitch. I did a search for differences but couldn't find any structural differences between US and EU.
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Old 01-05-2015, 06:20 PM   #135
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When they build all of the global X5 production in South Carolina, they put a 7700 lb tow limit on all the vehicles, except the ones that they ship over to BMWNA, a marketing organization, which sells a complementary 6000 lb hitch through its dealer network (not factory installed). And quite logically, BMWNA put 6000 lbs as a tow limit in the manuals they publish.
Your theory does not add up. I just finished chatting with a rep at BMW Australia and here is what she said:

Tow rating (braked): 2700 KG or 5940#
Tow rating (unbraked): 750 KG or 1650#
Max nose weight (i.e. hitch weight): 140 KG or 308#

So, its not just North America that has the 6000# rating. Its also Australia.

Where did you get the 7500# rating?
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Old 01-05-2015, 06:39 PM   #136
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This has turned into a real free for all! To the OP, go with whatever hitch you feel comfortable with, and choose whatever TV you are comfortable with. If you have no problems, life is great. If you have problems, you have nobody to blame but yourself. Everybody on this forum seems to have different ideas, which is great, and YOU be the one to make the choices required. Everybody is entitled to their opinion!!!
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Old 01-05-2015, 07:01 PM   #137
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Between reading posts about legality and warranty issues, I’ve swapped a couple of emails with a towing expert north of the border, and talked at length to a Michigan vendor about pivot point projection possibilities (I think that’s 4Ps).

I am not selling the X5d to buy a truck. I am purchasing a 25RB next week. I will tow it to the Southwest in two weeks. The X5 will be virtually empty. With all that in mind, I’ve been prepping this three-year old, 63k on the odometer X5d by:
- recently replacing all brake rotors and pads
- flushing the brake fluid
- changing the engine oil and filter
- installing new cabin filters
- replacing the windshield wiper blades
- having the transmission fluid, filter, and pan changed today
- replacing today the transfer case fluid
- replacing the differential fluids
- replacing the chipped windshield tomorrow morning
- installing four new XL rated tires 8k miles ago

I did all this because I have at least a modest appreciation for safety and risk aversion, for myself and my wife. And I assure you, that carries over into my Airstreaming.

I came looking for a hitch recommendation. I received several good suggestions...and so much more. And that’s okay with me. This has been fun.

My Take Aways from all the wranglings of the last few days are these:
- the Eaz-Lift I already own, with 1000 pound bars installed, is likely to suffice quite well
- buying a different hitch before I even try the one I already have is rather like a solution in search of a problem
- Reese SC, ProPride, and other good hitches will still be available for purchase if the friction sway control thing on the Eaz-Lift makes me crazy

As a complete aside: If it were the Germans handling the marketing in the USA, we’d likely see things like manual transmissions, cloth seats, and lots more diesel options available to us, plus factory-installed hitches….just like the ones installed in South Carolina on the X5s going back into the domestic German market. I envied my German neighbors for what they were able to order for in their domestic market, even when the products were built in the USA.

As to hitch safety, towing capacity, and all that, Germans don’t do weight distribution, and the German engineers I know personally are genetically incapable of recommending anything they can’t analyze in their own labs, or in this case on their Autobahns. (And I say that will deep respect and fondness for meinen viele deutsche Freunde).

BTW, here’s what BMW AG says about the X5 towing capacity: “Dazu kommt die Anhängerkupplung , die nicht nur eine Anhängelast zwischen 2,7 und 3,5 t.” The lesser capacity being associate with the 2.5d engines, one would presume.

As noted in an earlier post, I am truly thankful for the thoughtful advice. I read the Forum for a while before joining, but now have a much broader depth of appreciation for those who participate and the generally temperate means by which they work to make and substantiate their positions. I only hope I’ve done met that same standard.

Gratefully,

Rod
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Old 01-05-2015, 07:10 PM   #138
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Have a good trip 'Rod, if you're near Tucson send a PM, I'd love to see Andrew T.'s hitch reinforcement and meet you both.
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Old 01-05-2015, 07:22 PM   #139
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I came looking for a hitch recommendation. I received several good suggestions...and so much more. And that’s okay with me. This has been fun.

Rod
Sounds like you have a solid plan. Good luck to you. Enjoy your new Airstream.

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Old 01-05-2015, 08:30 PM   #140
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Rod,

Excellant!!!

Good luck & Sweet Streams.

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