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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 03-10-2011, 07:24 AM
F150 Duke F150 Duke is offline
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Would you tow a 23' 5,000lb boat with an X5?

Hello All!

I am looking at purchasing either a 2012 X5 50i, 35i or 2011 X5 35d. I like the MPG of the 35i, and 35d. However, I like the power of the 50i and 35d. The downside to the 35d is I live in MN where is extremely cold 6 months out of the year which isnít always too kind to diesels and makes them run louder or rougher. Plus the 35d has a bit more of a metallic sound to it. The 35i is nice that itís gas and has pretty good MPG, just worried about if itís enough power to tow my 23í 5,000lb boat during the summer months.

I would be towing about once a week from May until October for about 25 minutes each way on the highway. Going to the lake itís a very slight uphill grade, with some steeper grades on the highway. Wanted to know if anyone here had any experience towing with the 35i. I feel like my safest bet of MPG and ability to tow is the 35d. But then I run the risk of being outdated quickly this fall with the 2012 potential for a new engine and transmission. Then I also run the risk of hating the sound and rough running of a diesel when itís below 10 degrees here for at least 3 months in MN.
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  #2  
Old 03-10-2011, 07:40 AM
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  #3  
Old 03-10-2011, 07:44 AM
daus318 daus318 is offline
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Yeah of course, it's capacity is 6,600 lbs. Not sure about the cold weather issues, but I would opt for the 35d since you'll be towing so often.
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Old 03-10-2011, 08:14 AM
diesaroo diesaroo is offline
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I would...but methinks the diesel will give better mileage not only in general, but while towing. Oh and make sure you get the factory hitch.

The X5 is not rated by BMW to tow 6k lbs without the factory hitch. The aftermarket ones look pretty weak...not as beefy as the OEM.
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Old 03-10-2011, 08:39 AM
MnRiverman MnRiverman is offline
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I tow a 24' Pursuit CC with my '11 X5d and it does fantastic - better than my V8 4Runner did. I was amazed at how well it did both on and off the freeways. I have had zero problems with cold wx this winter.

Last edited by MnRiverman; 03-10-2011 at 08:41 AM.
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  #6  
Old 03-10-2011, 09:03 AM
F150 Duke F150 Duke is offline
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Thanks for responding guys! Fun to see a fellow Minnesotan on the boards. Iím leaning towards the 35d because while Iím sure Iíd love the 50i, Iím getting tired of bad fuel mileage as I avg 14 MPG in my 5.4 V8 F150. The 35i leaves me leery about its ability to realistically tow the boat back and forth from Lake Minnetonka on a weekly basis in the summer. While the 35d had a metallic sound, it really wasnít any louder than my V8 truck is now.
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  #7  
Old 03-10-2011, 11:56 AM
335i 335i is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by F150 Duke View Post
Thanks for responding guys! Fun to see a fellow Minnesotan on the boards. Iím leaning towards the 35d because while Iím sure Iíd love the 50i, Iím getting tired of bad fuel mileage as I avg 14 MPG in my 5.4 V8 F150. The 35i leaves me leery about its ability to realistically tow the boat back and forth from Lake Minnetonka on a weekly basis in the summer. While the 35d had a metallic sound, it really wasnít any louder than my V8 truck is now.
I actually like the sound of the diesel - but it's personal preference. IMO, if you've got a good brake controller, and you're towing once a week for a short distance, you should be fine.

BUT, is that 5,000 lbs the LOADED boat? Or is that empty? Makes a difference. Also, take into consideration that it will be slightly heavier pulling it out of the water if you have added anything to the boat, have people/pets in the boat, or have any carpet or pads on the trailer, etc. Also, even after you run your bilge pump, there is almost always some amount of water left until you pull the plug out. All things that can be overlooked or forgotten..

BTW, I haven't had any trouble in cold weather, and haven't noticed it running "hard", etc. From my experience, the diesel is solid. Overall mileage for me (combined city/hwy) is just over 26 mpg.
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  #8  
Old 03-10-2011, 12:18 PM
Lunablue Lunablue is offline
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I tow at least 2000 miles per year (900 each way from Ct to SC). Boat+trailer+fuel+stuff= approx 4000lbs. OEM Factory hitch. (see my other posts for pics) 15 hwy MPG when towing. Bought the diesel specifically for this. Towing is very comfortable. Love the low RPM diesel rumble. No cold weather issues...or any issues actually.
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  #9  
Old 03-10-2011, 12:28 PM
F150 Duke F150 Duke is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 335i View Post
I actually like the sound of the diesel - but it's personal preference. IMO, if you've got a good brake controller, and you're towing once a week for a short distance, you should be fine.

BUT, is that 5,000 lbs the LOADED boat? Or is that empty? Makes a difference. Also, take into consideration that it will be slightly heavier pulling it out of the water if you have added anything to the boat, have people/pets in the boat, or have any carpet or pads on the trailer, etc. Also, even after you run your bilge pump, there is almost always some amount of water left until you pull the plug out. All things that can be overlooked or forgotten..

BTW, I haven't had any trouble in cold weather, and haven't noticed it running "hard", etc. From my experience, the diesel is solid. Overall mileage for me (combined city/hwy) is just over 26 mpg.
It's a 23' Sea Doo Challenger 230SE on a tandem axle trailer with surge brakes, so no controller needed. Itís 4,420 lbs dry on the trailer per the Sea Doo site. Then Iím guessing about 580lbs worth of fuel (30 gallon tank) and then an oar, 12 life vests, 4 noodles, 1 cooler, 1 tube with tow rope and then a boat cover thatís probably 50 lbs at worst. Then in the X5 itíll be me, my wife, and one or two bags that weight less than 25 lbs total. I think that would worse case put me at 5,500 lbs.

Iím positive that Iíll know itís back there, but cannot imagine that it would be unsafe or exceed the specs set forth by BMW. Iím just starting to think itíd be a lot better to have the extra 125 lbs of torque in the diesel when getting on the highway and holding speed. Per mapquest itís 30 minutes spanning 19 miles.
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  #10  
Old 03-10-2011, 04:30 PM
UncleJ UncleJ is offline
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I'm guessing, but I am thinking you don't want to use the Ford truck because it isn't a crew cab and you want to haul the family along with the boat. The truck would in my mind the best tow vehicle. Otherwise the diesel would be the best choice, remember you probably aren't towing the boat in the winter (unlike out here). I used to tow a 17' Boston Whaler Montauk behind my '68 2002 from the Bay Area to Tahoe worked a treat but the wear and tear on the 2002 was significant.
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  #11  
Old 03-10-2011, 04:56 PM
ANZAC_1915 ANZAC_1915 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by F150 Duke View Post
Itís 4,420 lbs dry on the trailer per the Sea Doo site.
By "on the trailer" do you mean including the weight of the trailer?

The important aspects of towing are brakes, hitch/frame capacity and cooling capacity.

You also need to make sure you are within the total weight capacity of the vehicle.
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  #12  
Old 03-10-2011, 07:22 PM
F150 Duke F150 Duke is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UncleJ View Post
I'm guessing, but I am thinking you don't want to use the Ford truck because it isn't a crew cab and you want to haul the family along with the boat. The truck would in my mind the best tow vehicle. Otherwise the diesel would be the best choice, remember you probably aren't towing the boat in the winter (unlike out here). I used to tow a 17' Boston Whaler Montauk behind my '68 2002 from the Bay Area to Tahoe worked a treat but the wear and tear on the 2002 was significant.
Yeah the wear and tear is one thing I'm worried about. The truck is a 2005 F150 SuperCrew 5.4 V8 fully loaded. I bought it new in 05 and it's fully loaded. I'm just ready for something new/different and it has 90,000 miles. It's also my daily driver to work during a 45 minute commute to downtown Minneapolis and it gets old driving something that big every day. The mid-sized SUV approach would be a bit more comfortable and I'd like to have better fuel mileage. Which puts me in the 35i or 35d bucket.

I'm justifying the $60+k expense by saying we're going to keep this thing 6-7 years which is about the norm for how long we keep our vehicles. Not sure that we'd have the boat that long, so it might only be 3 years of towing, but I'm guessing that would wear on it quite a bit. I know it's worn on the truck the last two years.
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  #13  
Old 03-11-2011, 07:11 AM
1buck01 1buck01 is offline
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I doubt you'll have any problems - FYI gasoline weighs 6lbs per gallon- so 30gal is 180lbs not 580lbs-

As for Factory Hitch- I dont buy that its the better choice, there are other options that are excellent quality as well- Curt hitch products are very good- and priced much better than BMW dealer prices- check on amazon for direct pricing, and compare with Etrailer which is another good place to get low prices. And if you want a top of the line hitch product, look at the Execuhitch- which is the cleanest install and most tech savvy set up Ive seen yet (basically not visible when the hitch is disconnected) Total installed price is just under $1,000- but you will want a proportional brake controller to manage the electric brakes on your trailer.

As for brake controllers- I just purchased ( but yet to install) a Teknosha prodigy RF proportional controller- which eliminates the hassle of hard wiring a brake controller in the vehicle- you have a hand held remote controller that plugs into a cigarette lighter( in the console). Yes, the Prodigy RF system is $350( discounted) which is twice as expensive the less featued Curt or Prodigy controllers, but getting those wired up will cost you more time and money- so for me it was a wash.

heres a thread you can read if you like all about hitches: http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...light=pictures

good luck

Quote:
Originally Posted by F150 Duke View Post
It's a 23' Sea Doo Challenger 230SE on a tandem axle trailer with surge brakes, so no controller needed. It's 4,420 lbs dry on the trailer per the Sea Doo site. Then I'm guessing about 580lbs worth of fuel (30 gallon tank) and then an oar, 12 life vests, 4 noodles, 1 cooler, 1 tube with tow rope and then a boat cover that's probably 50 lbs at worst. Then in the X5 it'll be me, my wife, and one or two bags that weight less than 25 lbs total. I think that would worse case put me at 5,500 lbs.

I'm positive that I'll know it's back there, but cannot imagine that it would be unsafe or exceed the specs set forth by BMW. I'm just starting to think it'd be a lot better to have the extra 125 lbs of torque in the diesel when getting on the highway and holding speed. Per mapquest it's 30 minutes spanning 19 miles.
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  #14  
Old 03-11-2011, 08:08 AM
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djfitter djfitter is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1buck01 View Post
I doubt you'll have any problems - FYI gasoline weighs 6lbs per gallon- so 30gal is 180lbs not 580lbs-

As for Factory Hitch- I dont buy that its the better choice, there are other options that are excellent quality as well- Curt hitch products are very good- and priced much better than BMW dealer prices- check on amazon for direct pricing, and compare with Etrailer which is another good place to get low prices. And if you want a top of the line hitch product, look at the Execuhitch- which is the cleanest install and most tech savvy set up Ive seen yet (basically not visible when the hitch is disconnected) Total installed price is just under $1,000- but you will want a proportional brake controller to manage the electric brakes on your trailer.

As for brake controllers- I just purchased ( but yet to install) a Teknosha prodigy RF proportional controller- which eliminates the hassle of hard wiring a brake controller in the vehicle- you have a hand held remote controller that plugs into a cigarette lighter( in the console). Yes, the Prodigy RF system is $350( discounted) which is twice as expensive the less featued Curt or Prodigy controllers, but getting those wired up will cost you more time and money- so for me it was a wash.

heres a thread you can read if you like all about hitches: http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...light=pictures

good luck
I didn't think/know that boat trailers had electric brakes. Mine had surge brakes.

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  #15  
Old 03-11-2011, 08:55 AM
diesaroo diesaroo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1buck01 View Post
I doubt you'll have any problems - FYI gasoline weighs 6lbs per gallon- so 30gal is 180lbs not 580lbs-

As for Factory Hitch- I dont buy that its the better choice, there are other options that are excellent quality as well- Curt hitch products are very good- and priced much better than BMW dealer prices- check on amazon for direct pricing, and compare with Etrailer which is another good place to get low prices. And if you want a top of the line hitch product, look at the Execuhitch- which is the cleanest install and most tech savvy set up Ive seen yet (basically not visible when the hitch is disconnected) Total installed price is just under $1,000- but you will want a proportional brake controller to manage the electric brakes on your trailer.

As for brake controllers- I just purchased ( but yet to install) a Teknosha prodigy RF proportional controller- which eliminates the hassle of hard wiring a brake controller in the vehicle- you have a hand held remote controller that plugs into a cigarette lighter( in the console). Yes, the Prodigy RF system is $350( discounted) which is twice as expensive the less featued Curt or Prodigy controllers, but getting those wired up will cost you more time and money- so for me it was a wash.

heres a thread you can read if you like all about hitches: http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...light=pictures

good luck
The reason I feel the OEM hitch is the best is not only because it's approved, but looking at the execuhitch site, I can't tell onto what chassis member it attaches to, can you enlighten me?

The OEM hitch completely replaces the back bumper crash member and bolts into the frame rails with eight bolts. It may not be the most "attractive" solution, but if I were towing anywhere near the vehicle's capacity, I would want all the factors of safety I could get.
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Old 03-12-2011, 07:12 AM
UncleJ UncleJ is offline
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Another thing to consider with a new car is that the factory hitch, dealer installed, will be covered under warranty for any problems. That should also be the case with aftermarket stuff (Magnasson/Moss Act) but there would be less of a push back from BMW for sure if it were their hitch.
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Old 03-12-2011, 03:16 PM
Norm37 Norm37 is offline
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Best not to tow the boat until after the break in period on the X5.

Break in advice for a Porsche that would also apply to BMWs.

Read reply #151

http://townhall-talk.edmunds.com/Web...f9dd9b/149#149
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  #18  
Old 03-13-2011, 11:39 AM
UncleJ UncleJ is offline
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Would apply to any car IMHO. Good advice that has been around for years. Followed that break in with my '64 'vette 327 and never had a problem at all.
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  #19  
Old 03-14-2011, 05:21 PM
1buck01 1buck01 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by diesaroo View Post
The reason I feel the OEM hitch is the best is not only because it's approved, but looking at the execuhitch site, I can't tell onto what chassis member it attaches to, can you enlighten me?

The OEM hitch completely replaces the back bumper crash member and bolts into the frame rails with eight bolts. It may not be the most "attractive" solution, but if I were towing anywhere near the vehicle's capacity, I would want all the factors of safety I could get.

Let me clarify that I dont have any relation to or incentive from Execuhitch. I bought their product and had it installed by them and have been so far impressed with the people, the technology and the design (the practically invisible profile).

D-roo: To answer your question- the Exec hitch framework is the similar to OEM hitch mounting; the rear bumper crash member is removed and replaced with the hitch frame member which bolts right back into same place. Visually looks about the same as a Curt class 3 receiver. I watched the install. Also they supply a BMW UTI controller with factory wiring harness which plugs right into the factory plugs. The key bit of technology difference in the execuhitch product is in the receiver mechanism- which is European style vertical receiver with an electronic verto locking mechanism to lock the receiver arm in place. You can view online. I believe the hitch system is rated at 8800lbs.

BTW- Execuhitch is the OEM supplier for BMW Germany and BMW South Africa, and they are currently working on BMW NA to get it approved here as an OEM supplied product.

Last edited by 1buck01; 03-14-2011 at 05:22 PM.
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  #20  
Old 03-14-2011, 08:28 PM
diesaroo diesaroo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1buck01 View Post
Let me clarify that I dont have any relation to or incentive from Execuhitch. I bought their product and had it installed by them and have been so far impressed with the people, the technology and the design (the practically invisible profile).

D-roo: To answer your question- the Exec hitch framework is the similar to OEM hitch mounting; the rear bumper crash member is removed and replaced with the hitch frame member which bolts right back into same place. Visually looks about the same as a Curt class 3 receiver. I watched the install. Also they supply a BMW UTI controller with factory wiring harness which plugs right into the factory plugs. The key bit of technology difference in the execuhitch product is in the receiver mechanism- which is European style vertical receiver with an electronic verto locking mechanism to lock the receiver arm in place. You can view online. I believe the hitch system is rated at 8800lbs.

BTW- Execuhitch is the OEM supplier for BMW Germany and BMW South Africa, and they are currently working on BMW NA to get it approved here as an OEM supplied product.
Well that sounds better than it initially did as far as replacing the rear crash member with a square tubular piece of steel. This may have been asked before: where do you hook in your trailer safety chains? The ball mount may be attached both mechanically and electronically, but what is to prevent you from losing your trailer if the trailer tongue pops off the ball during towing?

I see that they have a south african manufacturing facility, but did not find anything showing that they are a supplier to BMW.
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  #21  
Old 03-15-2011, 03:54 PM
1buck01 1buck01 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by diesaroo View Post
Well that sounds better than it initially did as far as replacing the rear crash member with a square tubular piece of steel. This may have been asked before: where do you hook in your trailer safety chains? The ball mount may be attached both mechanically and electronically, but what is to prevent you from losing your trailer if the trailer tongue pops off the ball during towing?

I see that they have a south african manufacturing facility, but did not find anything showing that they are a supplier to BMW.
re safety chains- I'll try my best to articulate accurately-...the rear bumper which faces outward isn't cut out, but the skirt which is underneath is cut away right around where the receiver arm drops down- and there are mounting holes situated on the receiver either side of the receiver to clip in or hook your safety chains to.
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  #22  
Old 03-16-2011, 09:35 AM
diesaroo diesaroo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1buck01 View Post
re safety chains- I'll try my best to articulate accurately-...the rear bumper which faces outward isn't cut out, but the skirt which is underneath is cut away right around where the receiver arm drops down- and there are mounting holes situated on the receiver either side of the receiver to clip in or hook your safety chains to.
Well it is beginning to sound like a viable alternative, but clearly execuhitch needs to update their website as none of this info is available online.
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Old 03-17-2011, 04:55 AM
genew genew is offline
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Originally Posted by F150 Duke View Post
Hello All!

I am looking at purchasing either a 2012 X5 50i, 35i or 2011 X5 35d. I like the MPG of the 35i, and 35d. However, I like the power of the 50i and 35d. The downside to the 35d is I live in MN where is extremely cold 6 months out of the year which isnít always too kind to diesels and makes them run louder or rougher. Plus the 35d has a bit more of a metallic sound to it. The 35i is nice that itís gas and has pretty good MPG, just worried about if itís enough power to tow my 23í 5,000lb boat during the summer months.

I would be towing about once a week from May until October for about 25 minutes each way on the highway. Going to the lake itís a very slight uphill grade, with some steeper grades on the highway. Wanted to know if anyone here had any experience towing with the 35i. I feel like my safest bet of MPG and ability to tow is the 35d. But then I run the risk of being outdated quickly this fall with the 2012 potential for a new engine and transmission. Then I also run the risk of hating the sound and rough running of a diesel when itís below 10 degrees here for at least 3 months in MN.

I don't tow with my X5 so I shouldn't be posting here in this thread but I have many friends who are rver's who do tow. Almost every one of them started out towing with vehicles that were towing at the max allowed and they all stated yes I can do that easily! Well now they have all upgraded their towing vehicles so they will not be towing at or near the max. I know towing a rv is different than towing a boat maybe but just wanted to input my info in this thread. Take it for what it's worth, probably not to much.
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  #24  
Old 04-15-2011, 04:38 PM
YuCrew YuCrew is offline
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Towing

I tow a 23-1/2 boat with a 1999 ML430 and plan to order TOMORROW a 2012 X5, gas. Based on all my research, I expect to have zero problems towing that load with the X5. The only debate in my mind is factory hitch or Drawtite. It's reported the Drawtite requires NO cutout and unlike the factory hitch, you get to keep and re-install the OEM bumper OVER the Drawtite (rather than "remove and discard the steel bumper" which is what the factory hitch install instructions say). I can't help but wonder if theoretically you have a more protective rear bumper with the factory bumper crossbar AND the Drawtite crossbar. I believe with the factory hitch you lose access to something (tow hook?) but I can't confirm that yet. Makes sense if there is a feature in the factory bumper, you discard it and lose it with the OEM hitch.

Other thoughts (including those who've done it) would be most welcome. I've done lots of research on it.

The Drawtite on my ML430 has performed flawlessly and it's 12+ years old.
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  #25  
Old 04-15-2011, 05:14 PM
ANZAC_1915 ANZAC_1915 is offline
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Draw tite looks like less ground clearance.
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