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Old 09-15-2007, 03:27 PM
Cashemire Cashemire is offline
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Location: San Jose, California
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 34
Mein Auto: 1998 540i
Towing a Z3 behind an RV

Hey guys, hope you can help me make a decision.

I've got a 98 540 and my wife has a 99 328. We're semi-retired and were thinking about buying a class C RV and towing a small car behind us. Both our current cars are too big so we were thinking about selling my wife's 328 and buying a Z3 to tow. I know there is a problem towing automatics with the drive wheels down; how about a manual transmission? Also, has anyone ever towed one backwards with the rear wheels on a dolly? Any problems with front bumper clearance? Anyone ever used a dolly; how much effort and time does it take to hook it up and take it down?

Sure would appreciate any advice or experiences you might have to share.

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Old 09-16-2007, 11:45 AM
GH41 GH41 is offline
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Location: South Carolina
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 181
Mein Auto: Z4
I have no idea if the transmission would be damaged by towing but towing backwards on a dolley would likely kill the front lip. Cars towed behind an RV take a beating from road debri. Thats why you see econo boxes being towed. If your mind is made up to haul the Z I'd look into buying an enclosed trailer. Whatever you decide make sure you can get the car on the dolley or into the trailer. I friend of mine bought an enclosed trailer only to find out he could not get out of the car once inside. Even if he could have gotten out he couldn't get to the front to strap it down. Keeping your wifes car and buying a cheap used car might be the best way to got. GH
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Old 09-16-2007, 01:30 PM
Cashemire Cashemire is offline
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Location: San Jose, California
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Posts: 34
Mein Auto: 1998 540i
Thanks GH, you've mede some good points I need to consider. I had planned on buying a used non-classic Z to bring along but it would need to be easy to un-hook from the RV or it wouldn't be worth it. Maybe a car cover would help keep the debris away from the finish. We do want something we would enjoy driving while we're away from home.
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Old 09-16-2007, 03:18 PM
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cwsqbm cwsqbm is offline
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Location: Somewhere in the aether
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 10,464
Mein Auto: Quadricycle
Flat towing is done because its easiest - its a pain to have to take a car on and off a trailer. Also, backing up with a trailer that is shorter than the tow vehicle is difficult. Neither the auto or manual can be flat-towed in stock format, but it you did through the RV magazines, you'll find things that can disconnect the driveshaft for you. You'll also need to interface with the brakes. For protection, they do make guards that mount to the hitch to protect the front of the car. A Z3 sounds like a great toy to tow, but it really doesn't weight that much less than an E46 (compared to the RV), so don't let that be your only reason for getting the Z3.
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Old 09-16-2007, 05:39 PM
Cashemire Cashemire is offline
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Location: San Jose, California
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Posts: 34
Mein Auto: 1998 540i
Hmmm, more things to think about. Maybe I'll just have to settle for two 10 speeds on the bumper. I'll keep researching these things till I have a good plan. Thanks to the both of you for the tips; I'm sure I'll figure something out.

BTW, after seeing the ytube clip about the Z4 and the rednecks, I think I'll be towing a Z and a gun, LOL.
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Old 09-17-2007, 01:37 AM
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Bob Clevenger Bob Clevenger is offline
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Location: Ontario, Calif.
Join Date: Dec 2004
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Mein Auto: '06 650i Coupe
Do not tow an automatic transmission equipped car with the drive wheels on the road. That's a good way to destroy your transmission.

As far as manual transmission equipped cars, towing them with all 4 wheels on the road and facing in the direction of travel is feasable if you remember to put the key in and turn it to the first position so that the steering column is unlocked. Hook up the rear lights just like a trailer. Use a simple tow bar --- you may have to have one made to fit your Z3. This was once the common way of towing before the days of front-wheel drive and automatic transmissions. Don't make sharp turns or back up more than a few feet or the front wheels can get jammed over to one side. If you must back up, have someone steer the Z3 while you back up.

If you get a towing dolly, put the front wheels on it and go for it.
Bob, Lord Helpus, KtR

Monaco Blue 650i coupe; 6MT, HUD, ACC, ZCW, ZPS. Redelivered 20 July 2006
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