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X5 E70 (2007 - 2013)
E70 BMW X5 produced between 2007 and 2013. Discuss the E70 X5 with other BMW owners here.

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  #1  
Old 05-01-2010, 07:13 PM
charleyamn charleyamn is offline
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Question Anyone Tow Horse Trailers with X5

My wife and I are considering purchasing an X5 (diesel), but need it to be able to tow a horse trailer. The trailer probably weighs in about 2500 pounds and two horses weigh in at about 3000. Then there is some gear. That puts us very close to the 6000 pound rated capacity.

I currently tow the trailer with a Yukon XL without any difficulty (other than horrid gas mileage).

Does anyone have any experience towing a trailer that heavy and that large (it is VERY tall, and so has a good amount of wind resistance)? It has electric brakes on it.

Any opinions on using the X5 in this manner?

Here's hoping for positive responses, because the alternative is another Yukon and we'd really like the BMW...

Thanks,

Charley
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  #2  
Old 05-01-2010, 08:04 PM
Funf Dreisig Funf Dreisig is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charleyamn View Post
....
Does anyone have any experience towing a trailer that heavy and that large (it is VERY tall, and so has a good amount of wind resistance)? It has electric brakes on it.

Any opinions on using the X5 in this manner? ....
I tow a heavy duty 5x9' utility trailer and load it with a couple of tons of road base/gravel/sand etc. This isn't a high windage horse trailer. But is is about the same dead weight load you describe. Search on 'trailer funf' for my previous posts including a picture of our 35d and trailer.

Our 35d tows this trailer fully loaded better than our previous 4.4i (V8). And it gets better MPG. BUT... even empty, the 35d MPG drops from 24-26mpg to more like 18-20mpg. When loaded, we get between 15-18 MPG.

Funf Dreisig

Last edited by Funf Dreisig; 05-01-2010 at 08:12 PM.
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  #3  
Old 05-01-2010, 10:11 PM
ard ard is online now
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I'd be really careful with your estimation of weights.

I always recommend a healthy 'overhead' between max trailer weight and 'rated tow capacity'. The X5 just doesn't seem engineered to tow 6k loads like real trucks.

The strain on the driveline and suspension will lead to much faster failures- all IMHO.

Towing a trailer here or there for 10 miles around the neighborhood, versus multi-hour road trips to horse shows every weekend for the summer are different things. If it feels like a stretch, it is.

A

PS I've always suspected that the reason BMW will not sell an X5 with a trailer hitch is so they can avoid the requirements that they certify a maximum weight rating (ie CVWR, and the rest of the alphabet soup)...unlike all the Fords and Yukons that are rated to pull trailers....
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  #4  
Old 05-01-2010, 11:44 PM
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cablue cablue is offline
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We have horses and there is no way I'd use my x5 to pull them. We keep our suburban for towing. You have to remember you're pulling a live load that shifts and moves. I don't think it would be safe IMO
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  #5  
Old 05-02-2010, 01:19 AM
335i 335i is offline
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I would be in agreeance - I don't think I would be using it to tow at it's max capacity for a long drive.

My father has a big Ford F250 dually, and pulls a 5th wheel for vacations, and before he traded up with his last trailer, he did careful calculations to make sure he wasn't at or really close to the tip top of what the truck is rated to pull.

He also did upgrades to the transmission (added transmission cooler, and beefier torque converter) and engine since they would be on long drives and pulling in hills, etc.

There's likely going to be long term effects when pulling at the max it is rated for IMO
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  #6  
Old 05-02-2010, 06:14 AM
charleyamn charleyamn is offline
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Thanks, folks, for getting me to agree with my gut feeling.

I sooooooo wanted to get the X5, but since I need whatever vehicle I get to be able to pull the horses, it's just not going to work.

Sad...

Charley
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  #7  
Old 05-02-2010, 09:15 AM
ard ard is online now
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Good decision.

I was trying to find out what BMW says about towing, trailer hitches, loads, etc...

All I could find is a line in the manual that warns the owner to "consult the manual" for information on reduced vehicle loading when towing a trailer. Unfortunately there IS noting else! Zip.


If I was interested I'd ask BMW for more details, but I am sure one would get the old "contact your dealer, they are the best source of technical details on your new X5" run-around.
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  #8  
Old 05-02-2010, 10:36 AM
Funf Dreisig Funf Dreisig is offline
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My personal experience towing heavy loads behind our 2001 4.4i and 2009 35d makes me think that the advice in this thread is overly cautious.

I've towed many heavy loads with both our 4.4i and 35d in our 5x9 utility trailer that I had special built with a capacity of 5000lbs. Since getting our 35d I've made several runs down to the local quarry here in the Texas hill country for a couple of tons of road base, gravel, sand etc. Elevation en route ranges between 800-1,100 ft every few miles. I set the CC on 55 or 60mph (which ever is the speed limit). The 35d simply keeps on pulling regardless of the steepness on the hills. Typical weigh-in at the quarry is 6,540lb (i.e. 35d + trailer) and weigh-out at 10,860 (i.e. 35d + trailer + gravel). Note: I'm not estimating these weights; I weigh in and out at the quarry just like the big boys So I wouldn't shy away from using a 35d as a tow vehicle based on weight alone.

IMO the real question is how often will the 35d be used for towing and for how many miles. If the towing miles will be 10-25% of the total miles. And the towing trip lengths were under 200mi one way*, I'd feel comfortable using a 35d. OTOH if I were towing heavy loads for longer distances and/or a higher percentage of the total miles driven, I'd consider a dedicated tow vehicle.

Funf Dreisig

* I chose these numbers because they are the upper range of my personal experience of %miles and trip lengths. They may be conservative.

Last edited by Funf Dreisig; 05-02-2010 at 02:01 PM.
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  #9  
Old 05-02-2010, 01:29 PM
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finnbmw finnbmw is offline
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Isn't the X5 diesel rated up to 6,500 lbs, 500 lbs more than the gasoline versions? I tend to agree with Funf, I believe you can use the X5 for serious towing, if you recognize the following:

- You will put more strain on your transmission and brakes, so keep an eye on transmission temperature and in downhills on your brakes
- Towing in the mountains is entirely different than towing in flat topography
- Speed "kills", i.e. do not drive fast. I tend to keep it at 60 mph or lower, even in 70 mph zones
- Change transmission fluid more often
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  #10  
Old 05-02-2010, 01:49 PM
335i 335i is offline
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I don't think anyone was trying to discourage towing with the X5d, but the OP was going to be at around 6,000 lbs loaded, which is the max it is rated to pull. I don't think they were going to be driving short trips either. I think the X5d would be great for towing, but I wouldn't be buying it with the intent to tow constantly, let alone at the max it is rated for.
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  #11  
Old 05-02-2010, 02:14 PM
Funf Dreisig Funf Dreisig is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 335i View Post
I don't think anyone was trying to discourage towing with the X5d, but the OP was going to be at around 6,000 lbs loaded, which is the max it is rated to pull. I don't think they were going to be driving short trips either. I think the X5d would be great for towing, but I wouldn't be buying it with the intent to tow constantly, let alone at the max it is rated for.
I agree.

FWIW I added comments about my personal X5 towing experiences because the OP didn't post the length or frequency of the towing trips in question and these threads are often read by non-members who may not fully appreciate the context of the replies.

Funf Dreisig
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  #12  
Old 05-02-2010, 02:43 PM
ard ard is online now
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Originally Posted by finnbmw View Post
- Change transmission fluid more often
Not according to those geniuses at BMW- no need before 100,00 miles- the engineers have decided, who are we to argue? Tow 6000 lbs every minute of every day and there is no need at all to consider anything past the 'factory recommended' service. Brilliant.

Couldn't resist...

A
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  #13  
Old 05-02-2010, 05:50 PM
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cablue cablue is offline
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I don't know if any of you have experience in towing horses, tho. I would NOT use my X5 for towing horses. I would other things. Really, there's no way I'd do that. Horses can shift about while towing. Horse trailers are tall with an uneven load. Stabilizer bars could be used, but I still would not do that. Rarely do I see horse trailers being towed by something as small as an X at different shows we're at. There's a reason for that. Sure, it would be nice not to need that extra large vehicle for towing. I strongly argue against using it for towing horses.
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  #14  
Old 05-02-2010, 06:22 PM
Funf Dreisig Funf Dreisig is offline
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.....Horses can shift about while towing. Horse trailers are tall with an uneven load....
That's what ratchet tie down straps are for. Keep the load low and not shifting about

Sorry, I couldn't resist.

Seriously I'm not advocating X5s as tow vehicles for horse trailers. Just that X5s in general, and 35Ds in particular, are pretty capable tow vehicles up to their 6,000 lb rated load

Funf Dreisig
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  #15  
Old 05-02-2010, 07:27 PM
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soldmystang soldmystang is offline
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Originally Posted by cablue View Post
We have horses and there is no way I'd use my x5 to pull them. We keep our suburban for towing. You have to remember you're pulling a live load that shifts and moves. I don't think it would be safe IMO
i tend to believe i would second this opinion. my wife tows her ponies with a 3/4 ton Suburban. truthfully my F350 diesel does a better job.
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  #16  
Old 05-02-2010, 07:30 PM
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soldmystang soldmystang is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Funf Dreisig View Post
My personal experience towing heavy loads behind our 2001 4.4i and 2009 35d makes me think that the advice in this thread is overly cautious.

I've towed many heavy loads with both our 4.4i and 35d in our 5x9 utility trailer that I had special built with a capacity of 5000lbs. Since getting our 35d I've made several runs down to the local quarry here in the Texas hill country for a couple of tons of road base, gravel, sand etc. Elevation en route ranges between 800-1,100 ft every few miles. I set the CC on 55 or 60mph (which ever is the speed limit). The 35d simply keeps on pulling regardless of the steepness on the hills. Typical weigh-in at the quarry is 6,540lb (i.e. 35d + trailer) and weigh-out at 10,860 (i.e. 35d + trailer + gravel). Note: I'm not estimating these weights; I weigh in and out at the quarry just like the big boys So I wouldn't shy away from using a 35d as a tow vehicle based on weight alone.

IMO the real question is how often will the 35d be used for towing and for how many miles. If the towing miles will be 10-25% of the total miles. And the towing trip lengths were under 200mi one way*, I'd feel comfortable using a 35d. OTOH if I were towing heavy loads for longer distances and/or a higher percentage of the total miles driven, I'd consider a dedicated tow vehicle.

Funf Dreisig

* I chose these numbers because they are the upper range of my personal experience of %miles and trip lengths. They may be conservative.
Funf buddy, i generally agree with your opinions. but apparently your significant other is not of the equine owning type. whole different world bucky. engineering be damned. live, expensive, members of the family.
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  #17  
Old 05-02-2010, 08:11 PM
Funf Dreisig Funf Dreisig is offline
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Funf buddy, i generally agree with your opinions. but apparently your significant other is not of the equine owning type...
Say what bro'... to hear her tell it, my significant other owns a 'horse's ass'. But luckily she allows him to drive her 35d on occasion

Funf Dreisig

Last edited by Funf Dreisig; 05-02-2010 at 08:14 PM.
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  #18  
Old 05-03-2010, 01:44 PM
pebbrb05 pebbrb05 is offline
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Tow 6000lb/600 TW Airstream. 13mpg. Hardly realize towing except for gear hunting in hills. Use manual shift then. 07 X5 4.8i sport.
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Old 05-05-2010, 07:20 PM
MnRiverman MnRiverman is offline
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Towing horse tailer

Get some actual weights - weigh the trailer and both horses. 3000lbs for two horses is quite a bit.
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Old 05-05-2010, 07:25 PM
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Get some actual weights - weigh the trailer and both horses. 3000lbs for two horses is quite a bit.
no it isn't actually. it may be toward the top end of the average but not out of the ordinary. i personally still believe the wheelbase is insufficient for a horse trailer.
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Old 06-21-2010, 10:44 PM
CBurrus90 CBurrus90 is offline
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I am also looking tat getting an X5 for pulling my horse trailer. I haven't decided on the X5or a Range Rover, but I do and have towed my horses with a lot of different vehicles. I've gone with an F-1,2, &350 all of which are pretty easy tows, a few of my friends have Dodges, and I've also done pulling with an explorer, navigator, and touareg. In my experience among all of these my VDub pulled better than all of them except the F350s. The VW has a stance and height similar to the BMW and many other comparable specs. so I would imagine it to at least perform as good if not better, obviously... I've seen many X5 s easily pulling trailers at various shows... But driving a trailer with an suv is certainly a different game than with a truck, but if you're already pulling with one it's not much of an adjustment.

Yes horses move, but most horses relax in the trailer after you start moving. If they don't maybe you should re-think your driving style, a jerky driver WILL lead to jerky restless haulers, which can also lead to trailering problems.

Another thing to take into account is the type of trailer you're hauling. Is it slant, strailght load, or stock? Is it a 1, 2, or 3 horse trailer? Where are the axles, i.e. how much tongue weight does it put on the vehicle? Is it steel, aluminum, or composite/alloy?

My trailer is a steel 3 slant that stands almost 8' tall and more than 6' wide, it is a beast of a trailer for sure! Not as fancy as alum but it works...

Also many people I know that use sway bars and WDHs don't often use them for thier horses.
And if I recall correctly you aren't supposed to use sway bars with SUVs anyway....

P. S. There are a few horse trailers designed abroad that use lower tongue weight and extremely better engineering so undue stress is removed from the tow vehicle. Brenderups are the main ones in the US but you could deff check them out as an option!
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  #22  
Old 06-21-2010, 11:01 PM
ard ard is online now
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I've got a three horse slant gooseneck that has a max gross weight of 14,000 and an empty weight of ~4k (by memory)...and its aluminum too. (Exiss)

Cannot imaging pulling a three horse slant bumper pull with the X.
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  #23  
Old 06-22-2010, 05:28 AM
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Marlbro Marlbro is offline
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Originally Posted by charleyamn View Post
Thanks, folks, for getting me to agree with my gut feeling.

I sooooooo wanted to get the X5, but since I need whatever vehicle I get to be able to pull the horses, it's just not going to work.

Sad...

Charley
Although it pains me to say it !!!!
buy a Range Rover with a 4.0 V8 diesel - they are the grand daddy of Horse pulling Royalty (but will break down often)

Actually i think I read somewhere on here that Land Rover are not yet selling Diesels in the states. Is that right ??? (big mistake on their part)
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Old 06-22-2010, 05:39 AM
CBurrus90 CBurrus90 is offline
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What?, your X doesn't have a gooseneck?!...
Couldn't resist...

My steel trailer's max is 7k with 3 horses and tack, the trailer weighs about 2500 lbs empty. The big problem with European vehicles is a difference in tongue weight, in the EU all non comercial trailers have a set tongue weight of 3.75%of the weight of the trailer and contents. In America though tongue weights range from 10% to 20%, somtimes less sometimes more, total weight. The UK X5 has a gvwr of 3500 kg because of that. But there isn't really a way to alter tongue weight with all three horses but hauling 2 and putting the heaviest horse over the axles and the lighter behind is usually good enough to lower the tongue weight to about 5%. Also by using a braked trailer you can pull more since you don't have to stop it or support most of the weight, you just have to move it.

Alum is marketed as "light" but they have to use almost twice as much alum than with steel.
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