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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
hi everyone, im thinking about putting a hitch on my 97 528i but im wondering how big a trailer can it pull. I have a 5x8 standard trailer and a 6x8 9feet tall trailer with a widge front. Do anybody know if this will work or will it kill my bimmer??
 

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BMW offers a trailer hitch in Yurrip, but not here, because of liability concerns. Hopefully, one of our friends across the sea will be able to answer your question.
 

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Gearhead
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YOU can pull a single axle trailer, but not a double axle trailer.

The trailer itself needs to accomodate a 2" ball receiver ONLY. That's the ball size suitable for a class 1 & class 2 hitch rating. If the trailer has a hitch cup to fit over a 2, 5/8" ball, then this trailer is sized for a class 3 rating, which is too heavy for the car.

What are you going to load in the trailer?
 

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Freude am Fahren
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Frame strength is the major limiting factor in addition to transmission heat management. If youre serious about hauling, get a GMC Diesel.
 

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Bimmerholic
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The only thing my E39 hauls is azz. Plus groceries.

Sorry, couldn't resist. :D
 

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Corey
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OK, so out of all the E39's I would say yours is least suited for towing... but that being said it still has towing capabilities. It all depends on the weight of the trailer your towing. The 540s power plant is capable of hauling over 7,000lbs.- that's with the steptronic (although the steptronic would need a cooler). That doesn't mean the car can handle the much weight. Our engines and trannys are capable of hauling around a couple thousand lbs, you just need to make sure not to over do it. The chassis components aren't as suitable for towing as out power-plants. I have a hitch on my 528, but I don't tow with it. I use my Nissan Armada with a 10,000 lbs tow limit to tow my stuff around. For those of you that say our cars aren't suitable for towing, well consider that fact that a hyundai elantra with a 2.0 4cylinder engine and trailer brakes can tow over just over 3,000lbs.
 

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When I lived in Germany, you'd see BMWs towing camper trailers all the freakin' time.

$8/gallon + BMW being an everyday car over there = not uncommon.

Must've been hell on the E39 cooling systems though, yikes.


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Older than old school
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Frame strength is the major limiting factor in addition to transmission heat management. If youre serious about hauling, get a GMC Diesel.
Ignoring for the moment the merits of the Dodge/Cummins with manual transmission combo, you also have to take into consideration whether it's an unbraked trailer or has some sort of braking system, either electric or intertial.

You have to be concerned about tongue weight (maximum allowable = 10% of the trailer's loaded weight) being added to the overall gross vehicle weight. The vehicle's gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) is listed on a plaque, probably in the door frame, and in the owner's manual.

There have been a few threads about trailering with an E39, so a few people have some experience with it (including Dhoang, evidently), and they can probably answer specific questions about what you plan to tow.

There are also discussions of aftermarket hitches that you could find with a search. I believe the BMW is only rated to use class I and class II trailer hitches.

In general, the biggest cause of failure in tow vehicles is heat, either in the engine or transmission. Manual transmissions can handle the heat better than automatics, and so you have to take extra care to protect the operating temperature of automatics. Given the BMW's spotty record with the engine cooling system, I'd say some upgrades are in order there as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
No more then about 200 to 300 pds. A photo booth.

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Older than old school
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Should be no problem. I know there's a US aftermarket supplier that makes an E39-specific trailer that you can bolt on yourself. You have to drill a couple of holes in the trunk floor, as I recall.
 

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Curt mfg makes a hitch for the e39. My 2 cents - Limit your trailer to 1500 lbs total and the tongue weight to 200 lbs - get a trailer with decent wheels/tires (not little itty bitty ones).
 
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