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Discussion Starter #1
We have a wonderful 35i and love it. Looking for information from folks who are using their X5, either gas or diesel,for towing a trailer that weighs around 6000 lbs loaded. Interested in fuel consumption if you have a gasser. Have you found a suitable weight transfer hitch? How does the X5 climb hills? How does it handle going down steep grades? Have you added any tow specific reliability modifications? Really appreciate your experience.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Update

Our contacts with towing experience believe the 35I will be a wonderful towing vehicle as long as we accept that it does not have the low end torque and fuel economy of the diesel.

The Invisi-hitch may be the best solution. Waiting their info to establish some details. Local BMW dealer does not install Invisi-hitch. Hoping there is a shop in the Bay Area who does. Have found a fab shop in the LA area that can strengthen the hitch if we decide that is necessary. They bolt to the frame, which would be preferable for future repair access.

Do not believe we will need to use Hensley or Propride sway control. Still investigating Weight Distribution Hitch and Sway Control products.

If you have any towing experience, please pass it along. Your help is appreciated. Pat
 

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Invisihitch is great and increases the load carrying over the factory hitch. I have the diesel and it seems provide a good towing platform. Sorry for not many details, but I haven't had much experience towing a heavy trailer to it yet.
 

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X535i is good to tow dolly house
X535d can pull lots
Look to owner manual how big load can pull and can stop
If you go over the limits pulling no problem just how you can stop this become main question.
X5335i is a toy only and poor torque.
You going to boil water for the coffee or tea.
 

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Ive installed the invisihitch-- and Im an idiot- took 45 minutes. just amazing why this type of hitch isn't on every new BMW x5. (without the 2" receiver in, it's not possible to see.

I have the diesel and read hitch weight 800lbs and tow 6500 (but that is from memory-- see the guys at invisi.)

I only use it for my thule bile rack.. which is amazing and as an avid bike rider will stay on my x5 till fall. (folds up flat and can still use tailgate) looks amazing and if it gets tapped in p-lot. won't hurt anything- my old BMW tow hook one made me nervous as it if got hit or if it broke off in the tow eye.. ugghh - could get messy.

See picture- yes its really a bad pic, but from under the bumper you can see part of the hitch. (laying UNDER the car)
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
I have got lots of experience towing with the X5 and posted a write up with details on what I have learned.

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showthread.php?t=776263&highlight=

Clay
Clayhopper - Which brand and model of weight distribution hitch did you use? Did Invisihitch take the position that their hitch will not work with a weight distribution or anti-sway hitch?

Since you are towing on the ball, what is your experience with DHP and trailer sway control? Did you find a good installer in the Bay Area?

Thanks for posting your experience. Pat
 

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Pat,

I forget the brand of the WD hitch I used. I towed the trailer all the way from Nebraska to California with it and can tell you that they do not work on the X5 with DHP. The problem that Invisihotch has with them is that because it puts the load point farther away from the vehicle. This greatly increases the load on the vertical pin that the Invisihitch attaches with. So much so that when I tried to used the hitch the following day the receiver was bent from the load. That aside the WD hitch causes the DHP to do weird things with the balance of the X5. The DHP makes the vehicle feel very unstable because the weight is moved forward. Its constantly moving the balance of the car around to compensate for it. I do not recommend the WD hitch especially with DHP. Without the DHP I don't know what affect it would have.

I recommend DHP and Air Suspension for towing on the X5. The sway control I am currently using is a simply friction control device and have found that with DHP, the friction control device I don't have any issues. I have been forced to slow down a few times in high winds and am definitely a cautious tower and have no problem just pulling off and taking a break if things get bad. But have only had to do that once in over 2K miles towed.

I did the install of the hitch myself but I know there are installers for Invisihitch in the Bay Area. You won't need to modify the hitch at all. I am in the Bay Area and would be happy to meet if you have any questions or want to see the towing configuration in person. Just IM me.

Clay
 

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Discussion Starter #11
a towing we shall go

Well, yes you can. Our 35i brought our TT home with no problems. Climbed hills and rolled along quite well. Now, how bad will the fuel hit be? Pat
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
OK - First trip. Only 184 mile shake down cruse. Millage was 11.66 mpg on Chevron 91 octane. Driving was Interstate, 2 lane highway, city traffic, idling to wait on dump station and positioning the trailer. We are pulling an aero trailer that weighs between 5 & 6K lbs. We are happy. :) Pat

Now have a little over 5K on the clock. Millage is better. Looks like 12-14mpg is going to be the norm. We thought we had a run of 22 mpg without the trailer, but it may have been due to a short fill. Tank does not auto fill well and requires topping off to get a full tank.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Update -Finished 4600 mile trip with 3600 miles of towing from California through Colorado to Kansas, and then back on I40. Millage towing was 12. Deadheading Kansas to Texas and back the millage was 20. The 35i holds a steady 60-65 going up interstate grades and cruises well on the level. Bimmer is proving to be quite capable in performing his assigned task of travel trailer tow vehicle. This is going to work for us.

Note on the millage - you have to be careful with calculations. The tank does not fill the same each time if you let the pump auto stop. It takes some careful trimming to get a consistent fill level. An average over several tank fills is another method to mitigate this issue.

Pat
 

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Do is more logical or better to rent a truck and much cheaper?
BMW for 80.000.00$ to tow some junk very interesting
For how long is going to last engine and transmission?
3 L engine is for City driving only
 

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Look at every component in the system. My enclosed race car trailer has a 2 inch coupler. The shank on the 2 inch ball is typically rated for 5000 lbs max. That sets the maximum on what can safely be towed, not the capacity of the vehicle or hitch. There are many prior discussions of towing in this and other X5 forums which you really should look carefully at.
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
Look at every component in the system. My enclosed race car trailer has a 2 inch coupler. The shank on the 2 inch ball is typically rated for 5000 lbs max. That sets the maximum on what can safely be towed, not the capacity of the vehicle or hitch. There are many prior discussions of towing in this and other X5 forums which you really should look carefully at.
dcharnet - You make a good point. Towing is a series of interdependent solutions and expertise that must be assembled taking each element into consideration. There are many combinations and approaches that will achieve a safe outcome. Working through the opinions, prejudices, and marketing to get to the tech is challenging, but worth the effort.

FYI - there seem to be 7500# 2" hitch balls available, if 5K is not enough safety margin for your system. Pat
 

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Clay hooper. What type of sway control device do you use? What is tongue weight of your trailer? I have a 2015 x5d and use Invisahitch. Trailer was about 4800# and tongue weight of 480# measured at a truck scale. I want to lessen the sway
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Update - learning that wind and sometimes uneven road surface are unsettling to the rig and a slow down is required. Otherwise, it pulls smooth and straight. The light steering is probably an issue in holding the rig true, but prior experience with other cars that have light steering helps. ACC is a real winner and the heads up display is valuable, since it shows lane choices for direction changes.

Wondering if the run flats provide more lateral stability than non run flats. Folks with tow world experience seem to recommend light truck tires as they have less side wall flex with better lateral stability and load.

Followed a 1 ton camper up a hill at 22mph. Real ego booster knowing we could pull it with no slow down and seeing bigger is not always better. Fun to pass big rigs on steep grades, but we know they will get us on the down hill runs. Takes some time to build towing skills and understand the control limits of your rig.

Til the next trip. Pat



Pat
 
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