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Old 01-10-2021, 01:22 PM   #41
New Member
St Albert , Alberta
Join Date: Jun 2020
Posts: 4
Payload and GVWR

This is still one of the best resources I've found:

The FC 23 FB has one of the lowest hitch weights of the dual-axle airstreams at 467 lb. We tow comfortably behind a 2017 Canyon and still have room for 350 lb of gear in the bed. The Equal-i-zer hitch makes a big difference especially with cross winds. The downside is corrugated roads: one section of a highway we travel regularly induces motion sickness because the whole vehicle combination rocks as one.

The X5 is rated similarly at 800+ lb of payload. Work through the spreadsheet calculating people & gear.

What some people miss is that you may get pulled over the scales in some jurisdictions with a travel trailer, and your axle weights shouldn't be exceeded.
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Old 01-10-2021, 02:47 PM   #42
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2009 23' Flying Cloud
Phoenix , Arizona
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 16
German SUV's tow trailers well, with limitations

I tow a 23D with a VR6 VW Touareg rated for 7710 lbs. and 770 lbs. tongue weight. It tows, handles, climbs hills and brakes well. I personally wouldn't tow a larger Airstream with my SUV (or a 1/2 ton pickup), though many folks do.

Compromises exist with my setup (as with any TV and Airstream combination). They are similar to those you might need to make. Payload and storage space will be limited for generators, grills, propane tanks, kids, dogs and water. My wife and I travel light and don't usually fill our water tanks at home. We sometimes carry a generator; not the acclaimed Honda 3000, that would weigh too much.

Airstreams outlast tow vehicles. I recommend you purchase a tandem axel 23 foot trailer (Easier backing, more room, 4 brakes, additional tire loading margin) and have Can Am RV install your hitch to support either 23 foot model with the intent of also using a load equalization sway prevention hitch (probably with BMW air lifts disabled). You can research European standard "surge-break-only, 8.5% - 10% tongue weight" towing standards that forbid equalization. US "12% to 15% tongue weight with electric or hydraulic brakes" towing standards welcome equalization. German owner guides should have been adjusted for the US use model, but weren't. Your actual loaded tongue weight will be more than the Airstream specification, especially for the 23FB. It's tempting but ill-advised to try to whittle down and justify tongue weights and payloads. A better option; Can Am can make your SUV a safe vehicle that is pleasurable to drive while towing.

If you have summer performance or run-flat tires you might replace those with light truck tires and include a full size spare.

Traveling short distances doesn't allow cutting corners on safety and stability for your family. You will eventually travel in windy or stormy conditions.
2009 Flying Cloud, Anderson Hitch
2016 VW Touareg, Can Am Modification
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Old 01-10-2021, 03:27 PM   #43
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2015 23' International
Lake Forest Park , Washington
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Posts: 136
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I just replied briefly to your 16' vs 19' thread. While we started with a '07 19' Safari, and 2012 X5 Xdrive 35D, we upgraded to '15 23D International (with Blue Ox WD hitch), then later traded the Xdrive35D for a 2017 X5 Xdrive40e hybrid. We had CanAm RV install a Curt ClassIII hitch, which they reinforced to accommodate loads from the WD hitch.

For the two of us this is a great combination which tows with confidence. We accept the payload limitations of the SUV, and appreciate it fuel economy and drivability. We have friends who are similarly satisfied with a diesel Touareg towing a 23FB.

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Old 01-10-2021, 07:56 PM   #44
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2014 23' FB Flying Cloud
Springfield , Massachusetts
Join Date: Jun 2017
Posts: 14
One limitation of many responders oaths forum is that their experience of different tow vehicle and trailer combinations is limited; often to a particular combination they use now. I am not an extremely experienced RV camper, as some are on here, but I have 30+ years experience running a service department for BMW, Land Rover, Mercedes and other high end SUV makes. Our company also transports collector cars all over the northeastern US, so we have a lot of experience towing 8-15,000lb bumper pull trailers.

About 6 years ago my wife decided she wanted to get a 23 foot Airstream camper. We set off on the 200-mile journey to Colonial in New Jersey to bring it home. Even though our company has Chevy trucks for moving trailers like this, she wanted to move her Airstream with her Supercharged Range Rover, which based on its ratings was more than up to the task.

The Range Rover has somewhat more size, power and tow capacity than your BMW. We have had them too, and are familiar with both.

We pulled the camper home with the Range Rover and we took it on one trip to Vermont, at which time I suggested we should really try pulling it with a company truck (2500 Chevy with 10,650GVW) There was such an obvious difference to her, that she never moved the trailer with the Range Rover again.

If you were to try your BMW and a 2500 truck like we use I think you would discover that specifications like "300 horsepower" mean very different things, in a BMW or in a Chevy truck. The numbers may seem similar but one tows like it's not there, the other not so much.

There was a lot of discussion in this thread about which vehicle has the better ability to stop the rig, if the trailer brakes fail. Again, a test of two rigs will make it abundantly clear that there is really no comparison The brakes on the 2500 truck have far greater capacity to absorb heat and stop a heavy load.

The stability control in a modern GM or Ford truck is far better than the BMW. While I agree the BMW will tow your trailer, if you had the choice of a better sited rig, I cannot imagine why you would use the BMW.

One of the posters made a comment about weight distribution and better equipment making more difference for inexperienced drivers. Many of the people who tow RVs don't tow all the time. I think his advice is wise. But a better rig is better all the time.

Before you settle on the BMW it might make sense to rent a 2500 type truck and experience the difference. Some RV dealers can show this.
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Old 01-11-2021, 06:30 AM   #45
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2018 25' International
Slidell , Louisiana
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What you describe John, are tow vehicle mass and inertial moment, the two most important properties for towing quality and safety. Vehicles that are too light and too short for the trailer cannot and will not tow comfortably or safely by objective measures, and very little can be done to change that because you can't cheat physics. Sure some people will claim their undersized system tows well, but with nothing to compare it to, the claim is subjective and not particularly useful. Now in the case of the X5 towing a 23' Airstream it is nearing its limit but it will still do fine with a competent driver. The trailer is a bit larger and will compete with the X5 for dominance. The driver will have to actively manage the trailer so the trailer will not overpower the vehicle. If the driver does that, and here a proper set up will help dramatically to tame the trailer and keep it in alignment, then it will tow nicely despite the vehicles inertia deficits. As one increases trailer size this issue gets worse and risks multiply.
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Old 01-11-2021, 08:31 AM   #46
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2015 23' International
Lake Forest Park , Washington
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John and Brian make valid points. Towing the 23D with the X5, we are not the fastest rig on the road, and we drive quite conservatively. We travel in the mountains a lot, over high passes, etc., and have had no uncomfortable moments with the X5ís.

The X5 is our only vehicle, and we prefer it to a truck for daily driving and for driving at destination when unhitched. I agree that tow vehicle preferences vary widely, and they are an essential consideration when contemplating purchase of a trailer. Crandell5 is wise to inquire of others experience and advice.

Johnís recommendation to test drive a TV/trailer combination is a good one - but this requires a knowledgable and accommodating dealer, like CanAm RV.

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Old 01-11-2021, 12:21 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by epsudduth View Post
you seriously need a different tow vehicle than a bmw! No kidding. No offense.
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