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Old 06-25-2019, 12:08 AM   #21
jcl
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I may be an outlier, but I prefer the BMW inline sixes to the V8 models, even for towing.The new 40i has 335 hp, with peak torque coming in at 1500 rpm (not as good as my twin turbo 3.0 was, but pretty good). The torque figure plateaus right to 5200 rpm, double that of the diesel. The 40i has significantly more power than the diesel had in the last generation X5. Less than the V8, and much less than the M, but still more than enough IMO.
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Old 06-25-2019, 12:46 PM   #22
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I test drove new G05 40i and it does not feel as good as my diesel. You need to really push the pedal harder to feel the torque/power. 50i (4.4 liter) is a beast. It is pulling, and pulling and pulling.

I would not compare 40i (twin-scroll turbo) to F15 35d (single turbo). We could compare 40i with 40d, which never made to the US. For me diesel wins (if it is available ), unless you can afford V8.
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Old 06-30-2019, 11:27 AM   #23
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Towing with a BMW X5

I recently set-up my 2016 X5 (F15) with the V8 4.4 for towing. Currently towing a 2015 19' International Serenity CB. After much research I went with an aftermarket hitch from Stealth Hitch. They happen to be local for me, just outside of Atlanta and did an excellent job on the install. I went with the OEM wiring harnesses and they also programed it for me to recognize the trailer and do all of the stuff mentioned already in the post. I went with the Curt Echo Mobile break controller, it was recommended to me by a different local hitch dealer, and it works like a charm. It uses Bluetooth and a cell phone app, no wiring at all. My wife had it working before I even stood up from plugging it into the 7 pin connector on the vehicle(no joke).

https://stealthhitches.com
https://www.etrailer.com/Brake-Contr...SABEgKmXvD_BwE

I was on a trip in the North Georgia mountains last week, and the X5 is an excellent tow vehicle, what needs to be watched, as I see mentioned on may posts is payload. Hope this helps.
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Old 06-30-2019, 01:16 PM   #24
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I Tow With A 2018 BMW X5 35d

I PM'd you if you are interested in discussing our experience towing with an X5.

Andrew
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Old 06-30-2019, 03:48 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mgomel View Post
-- snip -- did you have BMW install the necessary equipment? -- snip --
MGOMEL - no, I did not. BMW had very little information. My sales rep put me in touch with one of his customers who towed a car once or twice a year. My service writer commented that off road help was similarly not well supported.

Most helpful info came from BMW owners who posted here and on Bimmerfest. Ref - JCL and Bono. Look at the older threads as well as recent adds. Do your research in depth and include the VW, Audi, and Porshe threads.

Cables and module board came from the BMW parts counter. An aftermarket hitch was the only solution in 2015. The 23CB tongue weight must be considered. The RF brake controller from Tekonsha was easy to install and works well. There is a towing software upgrade that may or may not be required. Use a third party installer to set it all in place if you do not have the expertise, but pick that resource with care.


Good luck with your investigation. Hope to see you safely down the road with your Shiny. Pat
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Old 07-01-2019, 12:32 AM   #26
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1957 22' Custom
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We bought a 2019 BMW X5 40i (gas I6) with the tow option. We compared tow capacity and low-rpm torque for all mid-size SUVs. For the X5 it’s 7,200 lb and 330 ft lb @ 1,500 rpm. The Mercedes GLE (V6), 7,200 lb and 354 ft lb @ 1,600 rpm, and the Porsche Cayenne (V6), 7,700 lb and 332 ft lb @ 1,340 rpm, have similar specs.
But when the time came to install an electric brake controller, it turned out that no one — not BMW or aftermarket — makes an adapter or controller to plug into BMW’s uniquely-shaped controller socket that hangs by 4 wires under the dash, and is new for 2019. I don't know if Mercedes or Porsche have similar adapter availability issues.
The BMW dealer's parts and service people helpfully contacted their factory people, but came up empty-handed. So I made my own adapter plug. If anyone else does what I did, please do it at your own risk.
First I bought a universal-type 4-wire brake controller plug with loose pigtail wires (Tekonsha #7894, $5.99 on Amazon), and also ultra-small 2.5mm diameter male bullet terminals to solder to the ends of the pigtail wires. (BMW’s socket takes 2.5mm size; standard 4mm automotive bullet terminals are too fat.)
To make a plug, I first made a dummy holder from a piece of plastic to establish spacing and orientation, drilling 4 holes 1/4 inch apart with a 7/64 drill bit. (Oddly, the BMW socket uses non-metric spacing, exactly 1/4 inch between socket holes.) The plug wires must line up in a straight row, in this order:
(1) The Tekonsha red pigtail wire (stoplight current) goes to the BMW black wire. (2) The black pigtail wire (12v+ input current) goes to the BMW red/gray-striped wire. (3) The blue pigtail wire (output to trailer brakes) goes to the BMW blue wire (blue for both). (4) The white pigtail wire (12v- ground) goes to the BMW brown wire.
With the 4 pigtail wires in my dummy holder, I molded a rubber plug from Versimold ($17.95 on Amazon), which permanently holds a shape once heated to 250F. I hung my old Tekonsha P2 controller under the far-left side of the dash and plugged it in. Success!
This took about 2 weeks of tinkering. Alternatives: (1) amputate BMW’s socket and crimp-splice the controller harness to the wire stubs; (2) use a wireless brake controller, which still needs wired 12v+ current.
Too much information? Here's the bottom line: the X5 turned out to be a good choice for us. The towing mode includes a camera pointed down at the hitch -- helpful in hooking up. Be sure to look at Consumer Reports tests and Youtube video reviews for more opinions about the X5 and comparable SUVs.
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Old 07-01-2019, 03:42 PM   #27
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And that kind of sums up the BMW package. An excellent tow vehicle, but one that is not well supported by the OEM when it comes to the extra bits you need to tow a travel trailer.

Thanks to all the BMW folks who have shared their info. It's not that hard to pull a package together, but it does take research and some time.

Oh, that RF brake control just plugs into one of the 12 volt lighter sockets. No hard wire required. Problem is, there is no electric over hydraulic compatibility with the RF control. Not a problem unless you want to upgrade from drums to disk brakes. Pat
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Old 07-20-2019, 04:01 PM   #28
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For other X5 owners…
We are towing our 2019 NEST with our 2009 X5 35d. The X5 has the “factory” hitch and wiring harness installed by our BMW dealer prior to delivery in 2009. We are using a Tekosha Prodigy RF brake controller mounted on the NEST’s tongue. The NEST’s 7 pin cable plugs into the Prodigy and the Prodigy’s cable plugs into the X5’s 7 pin socket beside the 2” receiver. The Prodigy is controlled wirelessly via a hand held unit plugged into the 12V power point in the back of the console.

We’ve only towed the NEST once so far — 180 miles back from the dealer. But that trip included a line of thunder storms running parallel and frequently crossing our route home. Since this was our first time towing our NEST I kept speeds to 65 mph even in the numerous 75mph stretches. Much of the time I was running with cruise control to keep my lead foot in check. The X5 35d towed the NEST almost effortlessly despite the hilly terrain.

p.s. I’ve towed numerous 4-5,000 lb loads with our X5 and our heavy duty 5x9 utility trailer. But these loads have a much lower center of gravity and shorter wheel base than the NEST. So it took a few miles to learn the effects of passing trucks, etc.
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Old 09-01-2020, 09:48 PM   #29
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Smile BMW X5 Experience

Hello,
So glad to find experience towing an Airstream with a BMW X5. We have a 2018 X5 35diesel. And we have looked at Airstreams and our favorite is the Flying Cloud 23FB. We are in the market now.

Our big concern is the adequacy of the X5 as a tow vehicle for the 23FB. The X% is rated at ~6000 #s and the 23FB weighs about 6000 #s. Is that cutting it too close and we should downsize our Airstream or get a larger TV?

Or with the right hitch and weight distribution equipment should we do fine with our original choices?

If that is the case what type of aftermarket hitch, weight distribution equipment and brake controller would you recommend? Would I need to change the rear suspension or change from the standard tires?

Thanks for assisting a newbie. We are located in So Cal in Laguna Niguel if there is a trailer modification shop you would recommend.

Thanks again, Barry


Quote:
Originally Posted by jcl View Post
Worth doing a search on X5 towing.

The X5 is an incredible tow vehicle. Several are posting here that have X5 tow vehicles. There have been multiple generations, and there are some differences between generations of the X5. Which generation are you planning on using?

You should plan on not purchasing the latest BMW dealer hitch with the removable ball as it does not accommodate weight distribution equipment. I would use an aftermarket hitch if it is a late model X5.

Plan on using the BMW wiring interface kit as it doesn’t just provide a connection for the trailer lights, it tells the vehicle computer when a trailer is connected and does things like turn off the rear park distance sensors, enables the trailer stability control mode in the vehicle dynamic stability control computer, and so on. I have installed multiple BMW hitches on different model years, but not on the newest model; I believe they are similar.

You will need a brake controller. It can be wired into the X5, or you can go with a wireless version.
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Old 09-02-2020, 11:31 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thewarden View Post
I tow a 27FB with a Cayenne with no problems at all. The tongue weight of a 23FB is about 1/2 of the 27FB,(under 500lbs). I think you will find the X5 to be an exceptional TV for your 23FB. As jcl said, the newer BMW hitch does not allow for WD so it is best to go with an earlier model that has a hitch receiver.

As far as brake controllers, I went with this https://www.etrailer.com/Brake-Contr...sha/90250.html rather than going through the trouble of getting one wired in under the dash and it works great. Very easy to install and set up and when you are not using it the remote goes into the glove box.
The Warden,

What can you tell me about towing your 27FB with your Cayenne Turbo? I started another thread yesterday asking for input on that exact subject... I'm looking at buying a 27FB with plans to tow it with my '09 Cayenne Turbo S - which I believe yours is based on the torque figure you gave further down in this thread.

Did you use a WDH? If so, which one and how does it work? Did you reinforce the hitch a la Can Am RV? Do any weight redistribution in the trailer (ie: move batteries, lighter propane tanks, etc.)? Have you ever weighed your rig on a scale? If so, what was your tongue weight?

Cheers,
qwertyd10n
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Old 09-02-2020, 12:10 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmcdonald View Post
Hello,
So glad to find experience towing an Airstream with a BMW X5. We have a 2018 X5 35diesel. And we have looked at Airstreams and our favorite is the Flying Cloud 23FB. We are in the market now.

Our big concern is the adequacy of the X5 as a tow vehicle for the 23FB. The X% is rated at ~6000 #s and the 23FB weighs about 6000 #s. Is that cutting it too close and we should downsize our Airstream or get a larger TV?

Or with the right hitch and weight distribution equipment should we do fine with our original choices?

If that is the case what type of aftermarket hitch, weight distribution equipment and brake controller would you recommend? Would I need to change the rear suspension or change from the standard tires?

Thanks for assisting a newbie. We are located in So Cal in Laguna Niguel if there is a trailer modification shop you would recommend.

Thanks again, Barry
Works great if you're traveling light. Payload was the issue for us, when we loaded up with bikes and gear etc We have an F350 Diesel now.
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Old 09-02-2020, 05:01 PM   #32
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I think my trailer could be a benchmark in the sense that any Airstream should tow better than SOB and most of the AS trailers are not as heavy as mine trailer.

My trailer: 33' long, tongue weigh 800-850 lbs, trailer usually weights 7,000-7,200 lbs, however, this summer we were very heavy pushing over 7,500 lbs and going up 9% grade Monitor Pass, when towing through Sierra Nevada.

I have over 20k towing miles with vehicle and trailer. I did not tow any other trailer neither I used other tow vehicle, but I difficult for me to imagine that you could be more comfortable and having better control. The car is 9 years old I am thinking about changing it for another X5. However, the price difference is not justified and there is no diesel option. I am sure the newer X5 tow as good as the previous generations.



Quote:
Originally Posted by bmcdonald View Post
Hello,
So glad to find experience towing an Airstream with a BMW X5. We have a 2018 X5 35diesel. And we have looked at Airstreams and our favorite is the Flying Cloud 23FB. We are in the market now.

Our big concern is the adequacy of the X5 as a tow vehicle for the 23FB. The X% is rated at ~6000 #s and the 23FB weighs about 6000 #s. Is that cutting it too close and we should downsize our Airstream or get a larger TV?

Or with the right hitch and weight distribution equipment should we do fine with our original choices?

If that is the case what type of aftermarket hitch, weight distribution equipment and brake controller would you recommend? Would I need to change the rear suspension or change from the standard tires?

Thanks for assisting a newbie. We are located in So Cal in Laguna Niguel if there is a trailer modification shop you would recommend.

Thanks again, Barry
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Old 05-25-2021, 10:54 AM   #33
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2020 22' Caravel
Boston , MA
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X5 (6 cylinder) and X7 (V8) experiences with Caravel 22FB

Quote:
Originally Posted by qwertyd10n View Post
The Warden,

What can you tell me about towing your 27FB with your Cayenne Turbo? I started another thread yesterday asking for input on that exact subject... I'm looking at buying a 27FB with plans to tow it with my '09 Cayenne Turbo S - which I believe yours is based on the torque figure you gave further down in this thread.

Did you use a WDH? If so, which one and how does it work? Did you reinforce the hitch a la Can Am RV? Do any weight redistribution in the trailer (ie: move batteries, lighter propane tanks, etc.)? Have you ever weighed your rig on a scale? If so, what was your tongue weight?

Cheers,
qwertyd10n

--

Most of these German SUVs do not have great tongue weight capacity with the OEM hitch receivers - I would def recommend working with Andy Thomson at CanAm RV to get a safe WDH setup -

last summer, we pulled our AS Caravel 22fb with an aftermarket Uhaul non-WDH, 700lb tongue weight 2inch hitch receiver, and a Curt Echo brake controller - did get some swaying occasionally esp when driving past large 18 wheelers and during gusts.

we upgraded our TV to a 2021 X7 M50i - an awesome SUV.
OEM hitch receiver.

Bad news: 606lb tongue weight for BMW factory hitch receiver is disappointing (why is this less than 10% of the stated tow weight of 7507lbs????)(the Range rover hitch receiver is superior and is the strongest of all non truck SUVs)

Andy Thomson of CanAM RV in Canada - the foremost expert in Airstream towing with SUVs and non-pick up trucks - has been very helpful.

our WDH, based on Andy's recs, installed at Lebanon Maine Airstream:

1. Eaz-Lift Elite Model
* 1200 bars
* two friction sway controls (does anyone have experience installing two of these, rather than one driver or passenger side control?)
2. Can-Am custom shank (to replace Eaz-Lift shank)
* Can be ordered from Andy Thomson at Can-Am
3. Reese WD Snap-up brackets (replace Eaz-Left snap u- brackets)

our brake controller

1. Curt echo - please use tape to secure the clips - this can easily uncouple during your drive - a very poor design (SEE PHOTO FROM OUR X5 SETUP)

2. no one in the boston area would install a more traditional brake controller and risk voiding the BMW warranty.


we will test our new WDH assembly this weekend for our first trip! will let you all know - but our drive home from Maine to Boston was very smooth with the WDH and double sway controls.

Dan
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Old 05-26-2021, 06:09 PM   #34
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Towed a 23d w my 2012 X5D. No problems whatsoever. Upgraded to MB GL this year when I passed out of warranty on X5. MB rated at 7500, BMW rated at 6k. Again no problemo.
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Old 05-28-2021, 12:45 PM   #35
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2007 23' Safari SE
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X-5 Diesel

I just purchased a used 2007 23ft Safari SE. I'm pulling it with a 2015 BMW X-5 Diesel. I just towed it from Southern California to Northern California over 400 mile and pulled great!! I got close to 17MPG. It's going to be great to be a Airstream Owner!! Look forward to the forum..
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Old 05-30-2021, 06:52 AM   #36
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We were happy campers w the X5D. Yes you are operating at OEM limits…payload will always be worrisome. We ran w empty tanks and Equalize anti-sway WD hitch. Only variation from previous owners Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT was we had to flip the shank on the X5 so it was pointing down. This resulted in angst pulling in and out of gas stations due to proximity of downward pointing shank to ground. We had to get a new Curt shank, 6 holes, 1 up and 5 down instead of traditional L shape. Oddly enough new shank also worked perfectly on new Mercedes GLS. Perfect trailer/TV alignment. Absolutely no problems w either vehicle on 23CB International Serenity.

PS: BayouBiker assisted greatly in addressing initial BMW/23 angst. Many miles on both BMW and MB TVs w nary a problem.

PSS: we too got the momentary 18 wheeler suction twitch on BMW. Never a real problem once I learned to anticipate it. Twitch completely disappeared on MB GLS. I’m no expert just giving my real world observations.

PSSS: Yep, a truck TV would address everything..and nope, until MB/BMW builds a truck we are sticking w AS 23 which is the german SUV sweet spot.
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Old 07-13-2021, 01:19 PM   #37
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2020 22' Caravel
Boston , MA
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2021 X7 m50i - our first season towing a Caravel 22FB

Our first season with our 2021 M50i X7 towing our Airstream Caravel 22FB...

the V8 is a beast, with 523hp and 533lb-ft on tap, dynamic handling package with four wheel steering...it feels like a sports sedan.

a big upgrade from our 6 cylinder 2018 X5 twin turbo -

our setup:

1. factory hitch receiver
2. EAZ lift 1200 WDH
3. Custom CanAm RV shank - thank you Andy Thomsen
4. Bilateral sway friction bars

it has been awesome - rock solid on the road, about 10-11 mpg...we drive in sport mode suspension (w/o lowering) and have been very happy.

and cannot beat the comfort and amenities compared to a traditional TV e.g. truck or truck-based SUV
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Old 11-24-2021, 07:57 AM   #38
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Great combo, now you just need the twin axle 23 and you’ll be all set!
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Old 11-24-2021, 08:16 AM   #39
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1967 17' Caravel
Austin , Texas
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Heading out today for Thanksgiving gathering with our 1967 Caravel behind our 2015 X5 (I6). Love the combo and rock solid with no weight distribution or anti-sway devices employed. The rf brake controller works perfectly all the time.
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Old 11-25-2021, 04:10 AM   #40
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2014 23' International
Saint Petersburg , Florida
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mgomel View Post
Does anyone tow with a BMW X5? If so, did you have BMW install the necessary equipment?

I'm new here - in process of purchasing a 23CB Flying Cloud and just trying to figure out what I need to do in the way of the hitch, etc

Thanks.
We towed a 23d with a 2014 X5 3.3d. The max rated tow is 6000 lbs and the hitch weight was 600. We had no problems towing, mileage was 14-15 under tow. We inherited an equalizer WD/AS hitch rated at 6000 and the X5 never even twitched. I only upgraded to a beefier SUV because I was paranoid about the tongue weight of the CB. That being said after about 5000 miles up and down east coast the trusty X5 never missed a beat. BayouBiker (on this site) and Andy from CanAm both gave great advice in setting it up.
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