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Thread: X5 towing ability
09-13-2010 04:36 PM #1
X5 towing ability
Does the factory recommend the use of a weight distrubuting device on the E53s that have rear self leveling suspensions? I would like to tow 5,500 lbs., which is close to the max towing limit, but over the recommended 80% of max tow rating. I have a factory hitch. I have heard not to use a weight distrubuting hitch on the unibody X5, and/or with the self leveling suspension.
09-14-2010 11:07 PM #2
- Tampa, FL, United StatesMember No: 6805
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Re: X5 towing ability
I don't know that it would hurt, but don't know that its necessary. Unless the tongue weight is too high. The self leveling will keep it level no matter what. I've towed boats that were way more than the rating, as long as the tongue weight isn't crazy high, just starting and stopping carefully. It tows like one of those bobtail tractors that pull mobile homes. Very strong. Very good braking. Very good tracking.
My daughter has an MDX and is told not to use a load leveling hitch. I'm not sure why, but the MDX is like a big hollow box. I don't have much confidence it towing anything heavy with it.
09-24-2010 07:17 PM #3
Probably a bad idea
I presume you are towing an RV, as these tend to use weight distrubuting hitches.
From my recollection, I think the manual says no to weight distributing hitches and self-leveling. One would defeat the other.
But more importantly, unless you are launching a boat and towing short distances, 5K is too much for towing.
I yank 3500 pounds all day long with this car, with a weight distributing hitch (no self-levelling!) and it works great.
But a larger RV, particularly a boxy one with more surface area, well that might be the tail wagging the dog, particularly with the short wheelbase of the X5.
My personal preference would be to use a full-sized pickup like an F150 or the like, which can tow 8000 lbs with no difficulty, all day long.
The best lashups are where you "don't even know it's back there".
I've done the other kind - the white knuckle rides - and ended up nearly wiping them out.
It's not worth it. IMHO.
Below: Exit 29!
09-24-2010 07:24 PM #4
BTW, I've been towing the Casita for several years now without the trailer brakes connected. I just added the controller (instructions are in the Internet, it ain't easy on a BMW!) but have yet to try it. This car has a LOT of brakes on it and stops without drama, even with the trailer attached.
Also, you will understand why first gear is so low, if you have a 5-speed.
The X5 is rated for 6500 lbs. But I think the happiest rigs are when the tow is far less than the rated value. At least for long distance travel. So 6500 pounds rated is happy at 3500 pounds, but probably would be miserable at 5000 lbs. Just my thinking.
You see Canadians try these crazy lashups all the time. Triple axle Airstreams behind Mercedes Benz E class wagons - or Dodge Magnum wagons (I've seen both) or a double-axle airstream behind a Dodge Caravan (!!!). Which part of 3500 tow rating don't they get? Or do they think that is in Kilos?
Quebec tags, natch. "Ze mileage! C'est tres bien, Non?"
God smiles upon fools and children. And Quebecois, apparently. God love 'em.
09-24-2010 07:27 PM #5
09-24-2010 07:37 PM #6
Don't even know it's back there...
This has been a good lashup. There is more to towing than engine power and brakes. When the trailer gets heavier than the car, it can get hairy, and I promised myself that I would never, ever again have a rig like that.
Funny thing is, with the 3.0, we can pull away from other cars at the stoplight - pulling the trailer!
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