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Towing with BMW X5 - any experiences?

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Towing with BMW X5 - any experiences?

Old 05-26-2017, 12:12 AM
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Default Towing with BMW X5 - any experiences?

Has anyone here used a BMW X5 for towing? Was it a positive or negative experience? What do you think the real world towing capabilities are? (I know the THT conventional wisdom is to buy a one-ton dual-axle truck for any towing...)

I have a 2012 X5 xDrive50i (V8). It has 400 hp, 450 ft-lbs of torque, huge brakes, and the same heavy duty ZF 8HP transmission used in the Ram 1500 Diesel, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Range Rover Sport, etc. The vehicle is rated for 6,000 pounds in the U.S. and 7,700 pounds in Europe with no actual differences in equipment. I'm hoping I can tow a Grady 225, Robalo R227, Scout 242 Dorado, etc., any of which are 4,000 pound boats, which means 5,500 including aluminum trailer and fuel. If that's stupid then I will focus on smaller boats like the Grady 205, Robalo R207, Scout 222 Dorado.
Old 05-26-2017, 08:09 AM
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I have the same BMW X5 year and all. I would not tow with it very far, just due to the smaller wheel base. Will it tow it YES, plenty of power and torque YES. I do my long distance towing with the Escalade same power just a bigger wheel base. The X5 TT V8's are really trying to be a sports car. lol
Old 05-26-2017, 09:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Johninsc View Post
I have the same BMW X5 year and all. I would not tow with it very far, just due to the smaller wheel base... I do my long distance towing with the Escalade same power just a bigger wheel base.
The 2012 X5 and 2017 Escalade have the same 116" wheel base!
Old 05-26-2017, 09:28 AM
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boss has a X5D and tows a 19' 5000lb ski boat -- said he didnt like towing far distances either but i think its an experience factor
Old 05-27-2017, 09:18 AM
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It might pull fine, but stopping and quick maneuvers can be problems. I've pulled similar with Acura MDX, Tahoe, ok but not very stable. Pull with a Suburban, Denali XL, or large Escalade with tow packages, and you will not go back. I am speaking of long trips and traffic which is a reality now anywhere you go. 15 or 20 mile trip to the ramp from home would be fine.
Old 05-27-2017, 09:27 AM
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All good feedback. Thanks guys! I would be trailering from SF to local ramp (5 minutes) or California Delta (1 hour) or Monterey Bay (2 hours) or Lake Tahoe (3 hours). The added consideration is most of these trips involve hill or mountain passes.
Old 05-28-2017, 07:17 AM
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My Escalade is 2008 I had no idea the wheel base was that close. I towed my boat 4500 miles last year so maybe the X5 would be ok. I think for your short distance you would be fine. Report back and let us know how it does.
Old 05-29-2017, 09:53 AM
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I think the X5 is better off on a flat bed than towed. They don't look as dignified or sporty getting towed.
Old 05-30-2017, 04:10 AM
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Originally Posted by mr_mbuna View Post
All good feedback. Thanks guys! I would be trailering from SF to local ramp (5 minutes) or California Delta (1 hour) or Monterey Bay (2 hours) or Lake Tahoe (3 hours). The added consideration is most of these trips involve hill or mountain passes.
As was said (and IMHO), it's more trying to be a sports car than a truck. I'd be inclined to go with more truck (1/2 ton) than the X5. I think you'd be fine on the pulling side, but I guess I wouldn't want that much boat pushing me around on the downhills.....but again, this is my "seat of the pants" opinion.

Did ou ask on any of the BMW websites?
Old 05-30-2017, 04:56 AM
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Way too big. Down size to a Rav4. 🙄

I have the 3.0 and a Ram 1500 so the Ram takes care of the two toes a year that I do.

Regarding towing with an SUV I would:
1. Try it and see how it feels.
2. Take it slow and extra caution.
3. Limit long distance towing.
4. Stick to smaller boats. Specially a trailer boat, makes everything simpler.
5. Would not ask anything about towing in THT. 😳
Old 05-30-2017, 10:36 AM
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Originally Posted by pgkeating View Post
Did ou ask on any of the BMW websites?
I did -- the general consensus there is that the X5 is a robust tow vehicle up to and even over its U.S. rated capacity. (The European test seems more rigorous - it's a dynamic load test where hitches are put on a machine that slams them with a 7700-pound load every two seconds for two weeks. It seems U.S. ratings are lower because we can't be trusted not to drive at 90 MPH.) There are OEM and aftermarket hitch options. The vehicle can be equipped with a self-leveling rear suspension (but mine doesn't have this). The vehicle's software has a trailer mode which will use the backup cameras to guide you towards the hitch, tweak some stability control routines, and give you the option of disabling the button that opens the rear hatch (e.g., in the case it would hit your trailer or bike rack). That said, BMW owners being BMW owners, there is 5x more discussion of how to make a hitch look good versus its capabilities. (To be fair, BMW did a really poor job designing the X5 hitch -- you have to cut the lower valence of the rear bumper.)







I am buying a Robalo R227 so I'll report back in a month or so.
Old 05-31-2017, 06:30 PM
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I had a 2011 BMW X5 35i and I towed a 20ft Sea Hunt hundreds of miles with no problem, it felt very stable and never had any trouble with power or braking.
Old 05-31-2017, 07:23 PM
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The X5 needs the third row seat to justify towing, that is the only way you can get the HD suspension and leveling air shocks
Old 05-31-2017, 07:37 PM
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I tow a Pursuit 2470 on a aluminum tandem trailer with a 2011 X5d and am very close to the max of 6000 lbs. The trailer has disc surge brakes on both axles and the X5 tows amazing well and stopping capability is very good. Mileage is a different story - around 12 - 13 mpg. I wouldn't want to head across the country with it but flat land towing is certainly no problem.
Old 05-31-2017, 11:08 PM
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Good to know, MnRiverman! My parents have a Pursuit 2470 so I'm familiar with it - that's a bigger boat than the R227. I expect you're actually around 7000 pounds if you carry fuel and water and gear. Impressive! I'd love to see a photo if you have one around.

I get 11 MPG in the city and 17 MPG on the highway with my X5 50i unloaded, so I expect the MPG while towing will be truly atrocious.
Old 06-01-2017, 06:27 AM
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The boats you are looking at (GW 225, R 227) will be north of 6K lbs on the trailer.

Not saying you can't tow with an X5, but your estimate of 4-5K is light.
Old 06-01-2017, 09:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Parthery View Post
The boats you are looking at (GW 225, R 227) will be north of 6K lbs on the trailer.

Not saying you can't tow with an X5, but your estimate of 4-5K is light.
I estimated 5,500 because the boats are 4,000 dry... but you're probably right that full of fuel, water, and gear they could be 6,500.
Old 06-02-2017, 05:29 AM
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Originally Posted by mr_mbuna View Post
I estimated 5,500 because the boats are 4,000 dry... but you're probably right that full of fuel, water, and gear they could be 6,500.
My boat is 1900 lbs dry weight (without engine). All-in with the engine, trailer, fuel, gear, etc it is roughly 4K lbs for towing.

A good rule of thumb is to double the dry weight of the hull to get a close estimate of trailering weight.

The R227 has a spec dry weight of about 3700 lbs, but Robalo says that includes the engine weight. So the estimate of 6500 lbs for trailering is probably pretty close.
Old 06-02-2017, 09:20 AM
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BMW hitch:
My sister has a 2012 and it came with a factory class 3 receiver that looks proper and sturdy.

About 2013/ 2014 in a former job, I had BMW put a dealer installed hitch on a new delivery X5 for a co-worker and it was very different! It was near out of sight under body, had an arched part that connected and had a class 3 receiver tube on the end you would connect. It's what the dealer said was the hitch for the X5 however I wouldn't want to push it to the limits...

Any insight on this?
Old 06-02-2017, 12:42 PM
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We have a 2015 diesel X5 and I installed an Invisihitch hidden hitch on it. I think it is rated for 7700 pounds.

It pulls my small boat without any problems at all. It pulls my 23 Parker fine as well, although that trailer has EOH brakes to help with stopping.

I have not made a long tow using the X5 with either boat yet. All tows so far are less than 20 miles at highway speeds.

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