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Old 06-30-2015, 07:36 AM   #11
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Based on your numbers, your Tongue weight is too much for the vehicle, and that is dry. Secondly I would think your gvwr of the BMW will be over when the family is in there along with the loaded tongue weight. Your go over the manufacturer weight ratings of the vehicle and you are breaking the law.

I would also think there is a clause in your vehicle insurance policy that addresses this and they might not pay should you be involved in an accident and are found to have exceeded the capacity of the vehicle.

I have seen it first hand. Auto accident involving an obviously overloaded vehicle coming down a hill and could not stop. Long story short, Police Motor Carrier unit on scene weighing the vehicle and its load after it was uprighted. Thousands in fines and clean up costs and lord only knows what the cost of the injuries were.

If you are unwilling to get rid of the X5 then maybe think about a vehicle just for towing.

I did not feel comfortable towing with my Suburban as I was too close to its ratings so I bought a used F-350 DRW Diesel just to tow with. It is a small price to pay for the safety of my family and everyone else out there on the road.
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Old 06-30-2015, 07:42 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by bono View Post
The car is rated to tow 7,700 lbs trailer. I am going to use weight distribution system to decrease the tongue weight.

I am just curious, which part means breaking the law?
Weight distributing hitch does not decrease the tongue weight. It helps to distribute the tongue weight to the front of the vehicle to prevent the rear from sagging so much. The hitch actually adds weight as it is a big chunk of steel added to the TV.
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Old 06-30-2015, 08:09 AM   #13
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Thank you! I appreciate your opinion. Unfortunately, I do not believe that an average heavy truck is better TV than X5. Every single heavy truck available on the market will take longer to stop than BMW X5. Adding the trailer does not change this fact.

BMW X5 has lower center of gravity, more precise steering, increased roll stability and stiffer chassis than many trucks given as examples of great TV. It is far less likely to be in that ditch upside down than a heavy duty pickup, which many consider a very suitable TV.

I will research a little bit more about the risks related to increased tongue weight.

In the mean time, if you could suggest any alternative to 28DSBH, I would appreciate this. Again, I am going to use the maximum of the towing capacity of the vehicle. I will not go with any pop-up, etc.

Thank you!
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Old 06-30-2015, 08:13 AM   #14
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I'd never consider towing that TT with an X5!

I have a 2015 28DSBH and my tongue weight loaded up and ready to go is between #975-#1100 ! That's modest loading too as I could pack more in there!

I traded my 1500 in (bought a 2500) because I didn't like the towing experience so I can only imagine how terrible it would be with an shorter, SUV.

The X5 can tow no doubt, but it needs to be a smaller TT. I'd think somewhere in the #3500 range (16-20 feet...hybrid type) which will allow your tongue weight to be 12%-15% of total TT weight. Even this will be close but I'd think it would be good depending on loading habits.

The 2016s are heavier than my 2015 too so I'd think your tongue weight would be #1000 minimum once loaded. I'd rethink the purchase, look for a dedicated TV, or look at smaller trailers.

Hope it all works out for you and your family to enjoy camping in a TT.
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Old 06-30-2015, 08:13 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bono View Post
Thank you! I appreciate your opinion. Unfortunately, I do not believe that an average heavy truck is better TV than X5. Every single heavy truck available on the market will take longer to stop than BMW X5. Adding the trailer does not change this fact.

BMW X5 has lower center of gravity, more precise steering, increased roll stability and stiffer chassis than many trucks given as examples of great TV. It is far less likely to be in that ditch upside down than a heavy duty pickup, which many consider a very suitable TV.
I'm going to grab a coffee and watch the replies to this one!
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Old 06-30-2015, 08:26 AM   #16
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Just my opinion but anyone that insists they are going to "use the maximum of the towing capacity of the vehicle" is a fool especially since they are new to TT'S You have been given some very good information and advice from those with far more experience than you have. If your not going to listen then at least take into consideration the safety of your family.


Also as you state " I am going to use weight distribution system to decrease the tongue weight. The name says WEIGHT DISTRIBUTION NOT WEIGHT REDUCTION
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Old 06-30-2015, 08:29 AM   #17
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I'm going to grab a coffee and watch the replies to this one!
I am going to do the same.

But I am glad he is on the west coast as I wouldn't want to be any where near him when some 80000 lb Tractor trailer goes past him and sucks him over.
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Old 06-30-2015, 08:36 AM   #18
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Probably would be wise to find a trailer, when loaded has a tongue weight around the 600lb limit you are trying to find to match the tow vehicle.

I think may of us have put our faith in the printed tongue weight of the travel trailers. But like previous folks have mentioned, if we are traveling with propane, battery, and a furnished trailer, that tongue weight shoots up pretty fast. Whatever is printed on the brochure becomes useless.

Although our tow vehicles can operate in excess of the GVWR capacity, I think it wise to consider the safety of the occupants traveling in the tow vehicle. Is traveling overweight more dangerous than within the engineered capacity of the vehicle? Ya, probably.

If I'm asking the opinion of folks who have the experience and they share their wisdom and experience with me, I will give that due consideration. I think the masses recommend a tow vehicle more suited for heavy trailer towing.

While the X5 is capable of towing, there is no doubt that the size trailer you are considering will be a pretty big load for the vehicle. And when wet and loaded, will be around 8,000lb with 900 - 1000lb on the tongue.

On paper, my trailer and tow vehicle should line up pretty well. But going down the road with my family in the vehicle, I would feel more safe with an HD pick up.

In the end, you just won't know what you got until you go down the road with it for a while. Just be prepared - That tongue weight listed for all these trailers is not real world numbers. 600lb listed tongue weight will turn into 1,000lb real quick when you get loaded up.

Good luck.
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Old 06-30-2015, 08:51 AM   #19
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Tongue weight too heavy will reduce your steering and braking capabilities; it is not safe. As well, you would be wearing out your suspension components at best, and at worst, risking a failure of a component while you're driving.

As has been mentioned, a weight distributing hitch does not reduce tongue weight. The WDH itself typically weighs around 100 pounds; it ADDS to tongue weight in fact!

If you want to keep within you're vehicles limits, you need to look for a trailer that weighs about 4000 pounds when fully loaded. You'd be at a 600 pound tongue weight using 15%. If you go heavier, you risk being over the max tongue weight of your vehicle (once you swap out the hitch as you said your current hitch maxes out at 250 pounds tongue weight). Some trailers simply do not lend themselves to a 10% tongue so even if you think you can keep it at 10%, it may be impossible so assume 15%.

With a 4000 pound loaded trailer, you're looking at a trailer of about 3000-3200 dry weight. And that means the weight on be yellow sticker of the trailer, not the weight in the brochure or web site.

There is also payload. If you go with the original trailer you're looking at, it will end up likely around a 900 pound tongue weight. In that size of an SUV, you're probably over your payload already which means you can't even add a driver to the vehicle. When the manufacturers design these things, they usually only allow room for a driver and possibly a passenger in their numbers. So it wouldn't be out of line for your payload to be 900 pounds or less.

Look on the stickers on your driver's side door and there should be one that tells you something like "do not exceed X pounds".
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Old 06-30-2015, 08:54 AM   #20
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Like you, Bay Area residents ... and unfortunately many of California state campgrounds DO restrict and audit length - because of either campsite depth and/or road challenges getting to and navigating within the campgrounds ~ Big Basin is an example. This is why we settled for the 25' and even then experience restrictions. For years, when our son was small and with our dogs, we settled with a lighter TV (4-Runner) and tent-trailer (pop-up) that we still own and he now uses. To be honest, that was more like "camping" but as empty-nesters, now we want to accommodate both blistering summers AND stormy winters!

BTW, although when we bought our current TT, our TV was adequate (GMC 1500) but with plans to traverse the Rockies, we upgraded it and are amazed as the improved towing experience ... well worth it! We especially like the exhaust-braking with the diesel ~ it performed perfectly as we navigated the Grapevine (I-5 north of LA).
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