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I have a 2015 xdrive35i and I want to get a camping trailer. What would you recommend for the max trailer weight? I know nothing about this sort of thing - my husband passed away this year and I still want to take my 8 year old camping (we live in Utah) so I am going to sell our 21 foot trailer and get something I can manage by myself. I was going to have the dealer install a hitch and am not sure if I need the brake installed too - I'm nervous ... any advice or help would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!
 

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I have towed race cars in covered trailers for years with X5s. I recently traded a '13 35i in for a '15 35d. Both are excellent tow cars, but the greater torque in the diesel makes for more relaxed and quieter towing with less shifting, which is important to balance. My rule of thumb for SAFE towing over longer distances at highway speeds is about 75% of capacity. The capacity is 6000, so that is around 4500. That figure includes weight of trailer, contents and car occupants and contents ("combined load.")

There is lots of uninformed noise on this forum about how an X5 will tow 7200 lbs with the right hitch. Ignore that. The problem is not the hitch. It is the comparative weight and mass of the tow vehicle and the thing towed. If you are towing 7200 lbs with a vehicle weighing around 5000 lbs, you exceed the safety factor for dynamic stability and braking and are asking for trouble. I would say a combined load of 5000 pounds max is the safe limit. Remember that means the trailer, contents, and all of the weight being carried in the car.
 

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I have towed race cars in covered trailers for years with X5s. I recently traded a '13 35i in for a '15 35d. Both are excellent tow cars, but the greater torque in the diesel makes for more relaxed and quieter towing with less shifting, which is important to balance. My rule of thumb for SAFE towing over longer distances at highway speeds is about 75% of capacity. The capacity is 6000, so that is around 4500. That figure includes weight of trailer, contents and car occupants and contents ("combined load.")

There is lots of uninformed noise on this forum about how an X5 will tow 7200 lbs with the right hitch. Ignore that. The problem is not the hitch. It is the comparative weight and mass of the tow vehicle and the thing towed. If you are towing 7200 lbs with a vehicle weighing around 5000 lbs, you exceed the safety factor for dynamic stability and braking and are asking for trouble. I would say a combined load of 5000 pounds max is the safe limit. Remember that means the trailer, contents, and all of the weight being carried in the car.
Thank you so much.
 

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I currently am towing a 27ft Travel Trailer with my 35d and it comes in at around 7200lbs loaded up. I have about 3000 miles on it by now and if you get the right setup and are smart about things it tows just fine. Keep looking around and you will find lots of success stories towing with the X5. It really comes down to being smart and not over stepping your ability. I am actually heading out on another 800 mile round trip next week. If you have any questions just PM me and I will help anyway I can. My wife and 11 year old son love it.

Clay
 

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This really is a complicated topic. For instance, I have a 20' covered race car trailer. It takes a 2 " ball. The shank on a 2 inch ball is rated for 5000 lbs. Ergo, my weakest link has a 5000 lb rating. Dynamic stability/ relative mass is a big factor in wind on highways. Once the trailer starts swaying, the only thing holding it to the road is the tow car. I would never exceed 5000 lbs with my "7200 lb-rated vehicle" unless it was a slow, short tow on county roads to the lake. I stand by my comments. You need to educate yourself.
 

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As previously mentioned, this is a complex subject. It does not have to be outside the understanding of anyone, but the difference between European tow concepts, lawyer influence, and our bigger is better mentality adds to the confusion. If you have a 21, you are used to a lot of goodies that go away with smaller trailers. That may just not be a problem. Depends on what you want and need. There are several towing threads on the forum here. Search on "towing" and read up a bit. The issue may not be what can the X5 tow, but rather what can you handle. Without a partner, you will not have someone to help you back the rig. Not impossible to resolve, but a second set of eyes helps a lot. The 35i has plenty of power to tow, but it is a bit thirsty unless you keep the speed down.

There are two general approaches to hitches for the X5. The BMW hitch and the Invisihitch are hidden hitch designs. They consist of a mount with a socket that locks in the ball unit and allows it to be removed when not required. The hitch is not significantly visible when the ball unit is removed. These hitches do not accommodate standard hitch components like you see on pickups. The BMW hitch is a 2" fixed ball only. The other approach is a hitch with a standard 2" receiver that will accommodate the standard hitch components, but it hangs below the bumper and is visible. All of these options are expensive. While a DIY can be installed for less than $1000, the package can get up to $2000 quickly. Brake control is likely a Prodigy RF (wireless) and is $3-600.

See if the smaller trailers like a Casita, R-pod, or Bambi would met your needs and budget. Also, consider renting to try before you buy. The easier approach might be to rent an RV for your camping if you stay local.

We tow a 23 ft Airstream. It weighs 4800 dry and when loaded is likely close to the 6000 capacity that is listed for the X5 in the US. Works for us and the CanAm folks would set you up with an even bigger package if you needed it. However, the 4500 limit is a good recommendation. You might even drop that to 3000. It solves a lot of problems if you can make that solution work. And besides you can always get a bigger one later if you find you can handle it. Don't forget to remember that narrow and lower will be easier to tow. It's not just the weight. It's also the hole you punch through the air.

Good luck with your investigation. Don't assume or believe anything anyone tells you - verify. Pat
 

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Never ever tow a trailer without trailer brakes ... Ever! Some of the prices you have been quoted here are nuts, no way in heck should a brake controller cost you $3-600. ... Go find an independent hitch installer, probably get everything for $1,500 out the door installed. You can get a weight distributing hitch with equalizer bars that will make towing much more stable. Getting a smaller, lighter trailer is a good idea, remember the shorter the trailer the harder they are to back so look for something with a longer tongue. They make trailers like an R pod with a slide that would be a great roomy set up for you and your child, and keeping weight on the lower side. Something like this http://forestriverinc.com/product-details.aspx?LineID=173&Image=5054&ShowParent=1&ModelID=974#Main it loaded would weigh 3900 lbs with a hitch weight around 300 lbs. not advocating this brand, I'm sure there are lots to choose from out there just using as an example.

Sure you can tow heavier but it's simple, lighter is less stressful and also does not require perfect loading. A max load trailer must be have perfect weight distribution on the axles and tow vehicle or it can be dangerous.
You will be able to enjoy tons of fun and travel many miles safely with a correctly sized trailer that doesn't push everything to the maximum. Remember trailer brakes are a MUST!
Sorry for your loss, good luck and have fun!
 

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I currently am towing a 27ft Travel Trailer with my 35d and it comes in at around 7200lbs loaded up. I have about 3000 miles on it by now and if you get the right setup and are smart about things it tows just fine. Keep looking around and you will find lots of success stories towing with the X5. It really comes down to being smart and not over stepping your ability. I am actually heading out on another 800 mile round trip next week. If you have any questions just PM me and I will help anyway I can. My wife and 11 year old son love it.

Clay
Hey Clay I have 2015 x5 35i. I need to be able to tow upto 5000lbs. Can you please let me know what setup you have right from the hitch to wd to sway control, brake control and wiring. Pls need your help for safe towing totally confused reading all over the place. Where do you get the installs done?
 

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