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Author Topic: Any towing tips??  (Read 339 times)

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June 19, 2017, 04:50:26 PM

bascule

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Any towing tips??
« on: June 19, 2017, 04:50:26 PM »
I've been towing a long time, so not expecting any major hassle at all, but if there are any particular X5-related foibles to be aware of I'd be grateful!

Truck is a 3.0d with a manual box (lovely!), remapped to around 238BHp, and towing a medium size 2 berth van (max rating of 1180Kg, so not too bad at all) - I'm expecting it to be a complete doddle.

Are the genuine beemer extension mirrors worth having?  (Anyone selling any?!) or shall I just use the usual cheap and cheerful ones?

Thanks!

June 19, 2017, 05:11:11 PM
Reply #1

Horizon

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Re: Any towing tips??
« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2017, 05:11:11 PM »
I've been towing a long time, so not expecting any major hassle at all, but if there are any particular X5-related foibles to be aware of I'd be grateful!

Truck is a 3.0d with a manual box (lovely!), remapped to around 238BHp, and towing a medium size 2 berth van (max rating of 1180Kg, so not too bad at all) - I'm expecting it to be a complete doddle.

Are the genuine beemer extension mirrors worth having?  (Anyone selling any?!) or shall I just use the usual cheap and cheerful ones?
I've just started caravaning a few months ago, only managed 3 outings so far. I have a 3.0 X3 218 bhp and pull a 5 birth caravan, it pulls it no problem, no long queues behind me 😜😜😜😜
I passed my Class One HGV when I was 22 and tramped around Europe for a couple of years.
As for the mirrors, I got a cheap set, but they are ok as the van is only 7'1" wide so the normal mirrors are good for 80% of driving. With the X5 being wider than mine it would be even better.
I'm having my gearbox serviced tomorrow, as it will be under more load towing the van, so want to have it in the best state possible. We're off to Scotland on the 30th for a few days, so that will tell of its up to it.😀

Thanks!
excuse the reply being in the quote box 😬😬😬

BMW E83 X3.  3.0d M Sport, 2008 in black
BMW E93 330i Convertible  Msport fully loaded.in Black
VW Golf 2.0 TDI 140 GT in White. ( now sold )
Now Sold 55 plate, X5, 3.0 D Sport. Silver

June 19, 2017, 05:33:12 PM
Reply #2

bascule

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Re: Any towing tips??
« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2017, 05:33:12 PM »
Cor that's a biggun!

Having your gearbox serviced, is that an auto or manual?  Do you know if either of them should have an auxiliary oil cooler fitted for regular towing?

I kind of assumed that with a manual I'd be ok..

June 19, 2017, 05:42:59 PM
Reply #3

Horizon

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Re: Any towing tips??
« Reply #3 on: June 19, 2017, 05:42:59 PM »
Cor that's a biggun!

Having your gearbox serviced, is that an auto or manual?  Do you know if either of them should have an auxiliary oil cooler fitted for regular towing?

I kind of assumed that with a manual I'd be ok..
Mines an Auto so will generate more heat when under load, you shouldn't have any worries with the manual.
As BMW say the aut boxes are sealed for life ( haha ) and mines approaching 100k , thought it was overdue an oil change. I had my E53 done at 93k and they said the oil looked OK when it came out, so I'm hoping this will be the same. It shifts great now, so hopefully no surprises 😬
BMW E83 X3.  3.0d M Sport, 2008 in black
BMW E93 330i Convertible  Msport fully loaded.in Black
VW Golf 2.0 TDI 140 GT in White. ( now sold )
Now Sold 55 plate, X5, 3.0 D Sport. Silver

June 19, 2017, 07:12:23 PM
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sid10

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Re: Any towing tips??
« Reply #4 on: June 19, 2017, 07:12:23 PM »
Hi I have been towing a twin axle caravan for the last 11 years , the BMW extended mirrors are the best you can get for the car as the others wobble and move all of the time . Just got rid of my caravan as the teenagers now wont be seen dead in the van .
  Best advise is to buy a torque wrench and ensure that you use it every time you go out as the bolts have a tendency to work themselves loose , tyre pressures on the car & van & keep a careful eye on the rear tyres mine ate them in 5-6000 miles .
  I fitted runflats to the car as I was worried it wouldnt stop if we had a blow out plus you cant tow with a 50mph spare wheel .
                         sid10

June 19, 2017, 09:41:47 PM
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bascule

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Re: Any towing tips??
« Reply #5 on: June 19, 2017, 09:41:47 PM »
Thanks for that Sid - Which bolts do you mean can come loose, normal wheel bolts? 
Happy to grab a torque wrench if thats a frequent thing for sure.  What do you torque them at?

My car has a full-size spare not a space saver, so I would hope to be ok with that..

Thats a worrying tyre wear too!!

June 19, 2017, 09:51:07 PM
Reply #6

X5Sport

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Re: Any towing tips??
« Reply #6 on: June 19, 2017, 09:51:07 PM »
Is the spare the same size as the road wheels fitted?  The norm is to fit a 17" spare with all roadwheels except on the 4.8is (due to brake size).  If you have 19" staggered wheels and a 17" spare you are limited to 50mph/80kph.  It's not that it might be a space saver, it is if it is a different rim/tyre size.

Torque is 140Nm on a torque wrench.
:type:

June 19, 2017, 10:28:14 PM
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sid10

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Re: Any towing tips??
« Reply #7 on: June 19, 2017, 10:28:14 PM »
Hi caravan wheel nuts , the Superstorm ones were 110 so just check in the manual as they are all different over tighten them and you are in for more trouble . I bought my torque wrench out of Aldi for £20 worked just as well as any . BMW mirror extensions off eBay about £75 they have left and right side on them giving good vision behind the caravan as well . Bought some milenco ones at first thought the caravan had fell off at one point due to them vibrating so much .
 Ensure the safety brakeaway cable is put on a separate hole as now it is fine able if it is wrapped around the towbar , 3 points on your licence also aside for no extended mirrors .
 We alway parked the caravan facing the house making it more difficult to steal , you can get roof kits also with your postcode on for £25-30 .
   We sold the caravan last week time for a 2 seater convertible now ! Good luck .
         Sid10

June 20, 2017, 05:21:20 PM
Reply #8

Horizon

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Re: Any towing tips??
« Reply #8 on: June 20, 2017, 05:21:20 PM »
Hi caravan wheel nuts , the Superstorm ones were 110 so just check in the manual as they are all different over tighten them and you are in for more trouble . I bought my torque wrench out of Aldi for £20 worked just as well as any . BMW mirror extensions off eBay about £75 they have left and right side on them giving good vision behind the caravan as well . Bought some milenco ones at first thought the caravan had fell off at one point due to them vibrating so much .
 Ensure the safety brakeaway cable is put on a separate hole as now it is fine able if it is wrapped around the towbar , 3 points on your licence also aside for no extended mirrors .
 We alway parked the caravan facing the house making it more difficult to steal , you can get roof kits also with your postcode on for £25-30 .
   We sold the caravan last week time for a 2 seater convertible now ! Good luck .

         Sid10
Sorry to hijack the thread, concerning the breakaway cable being clipped on to the cars towbar instead of looping it around the tow hitch.
At work we have the bolt on type tow bar, and I always use the hole in the bracket to clip the breakaway cable to.
I was surprised when I fitted the Westfalia detachable that there wasn't provision for this.
The guy we bought the caravan from said to just loop it around the tow hitch, I wasn't convinced.
Where do others secure it to when using detachable tow bars.
I may have to modify my setup.
BMW E83 X3.  3.0d M Sport, 2008 in black
BMW E93 330i Convertible  Msport fully loaded.in Black
VW Golf 2.0 TDI 140 GT in White. ( now sold )
Now Sold 55 plate, X5, 3.0 D Sport. Silver

June 20, 2017, 05:40:30 PM
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sid10

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Re: Any towing tips??
« Reply #9 on: June 20, 2017, 05:40:30 PM »
Hi I used a heavy duty cable tie over the fixing point of the tow bar then just attached the breakaway cable to that!

June 20, 2017, 05:56:43 PM
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Horizon

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Re: Any towing tips??
« Reply #10 on: June 20, 2017, 05:56:43 PM »
Cheers, I may use that idea, I will have a butchers at weekend. 👍
BMW E83 X3.  3.0d M Sport, 2008 in black
BMW E93 330i Convertible  Msport fully loaded.in Black
VW Golf 2.0 TDI 140 GT in White. ( now sold )
Now Sold 55 plate, X5, 3.0 D Sport. Silver

June 20, 2017, 08:22:16 PM
Reply #11

gmc15

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Re: Any towing tips??
« Reply #11 on: June 20, 2017, 08:22:16 PM »
If no suitable place to fix the breakaway cable to then it is acceptable to wrap it around ther towbar - especially if it is a detachable type.

https://www.caravanclub.co.uk/advice-and-training/technical-advice/breakaway-cables/

If the towbar was a factory fit when the car was first specified then it will probably have additional cooling (larger fan). If the bar was an aftermarket fit then it probably won't have additional cooling. Ther is a big debate on having additional cooling for the gearbox and the general concensus is that your warranty may be invalidated if you have any gearbox problems after towing without additional cooling. Most X5's that have aftermarket towbars fittted do not have the cooling system uprated and tow without any problems. :)
2003 4.6is - now gone :(  xdrive40d now here  :)

June 20, 2017, 10:05:15 PM
Reply #12

Horizon

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Re: Any towing tips??
« Reply #12 on: June 20, 2017, 10:05:15 PM »
If no suitable place to fix the breakaway cable to then it is acceptable to wrap it around ther towbar - especially if it is a detachable type.

https://www.caravanclub.co.uk/advice-and-training/technical-advice/breakaway-cables/

If the towbar was a factory fit when the car was first specified then it will probably have additional cooling (larger fan). If the bar was an aftermarket fit then it probably won't have additional cooling. Ther is a big debate on having additional cooling for the gearbox and the general concensus is that your warranty may be invalidated if you have any gearbox problems after towing without additional cooling. Most X5's that have aftermarket towbars fittted do not have the cooling system uprated and tow without any problems. :)
The uprated towing of the factory fit kit is 3.5 tonne, most will only pull a 1.5 /1.8 tonne caravan, so the standard cooling set up will be more than adequate.
BMW E83 X3.  3.0d M Sport, 2008 in black
BMW E93 330i Convertible  Msport fully loaded.in Black
VW Golf 2.0 TDI 140 GT in White. ( now sold )
Now Sold 55 plate, X5, 3.0 D Sport. Silver

June 21, 2017, 06:48:38 AM
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gmc15

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Re: Any towing tips??
« Reply #13 on: June 21, 2017, 06:48:38 AM »

The uprated towing of the factory fit kit is 3.5 tonne, most will only pull a 1.5 /1.8 tonne caravan, so the standard cooling set up will be more than adequate.
[/quote]

I've towed my vans with an E53 3.0d, an E53 4.6is and an E70 40d, all with aftermarket towbars fitted and no cooling upgrades. Never had any problems ;)
2003 4.6is - now gone :(  xdrive40d now here  :)

June 21, 2017, 01:11:50 PM
Reply #14

chrisn7

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Re: Any towing tips??
« Reply #14 on: June 21, 2017, 01:11:50 PM »
My car is the E53 3.0d , fitted with a Witter aftermarket towbar and detachable hitch. The caravan is a twin axle 1900Kg. The car tows fine with no cooling or other problems.

I highly recommend the BMW mirrors as they are a doddle to fit, give good visibility and don't vibrate or wobble - expensive, but worth it for the lack of hassle.

I would also recommend using the BMW trailer module (plenty on Ebay) and the correct BMW harness from this to the 13 pin plug, rather than aftermarket wiring. Apart from being a lot neater, the module does a lot  of useful things like cancelling the PDC gong when reversing amongst other similar aids.

Modern towbars should have a dedicated eye welded on, in which case a caribiner type breakaway cable is a must. Looping round the towbar should only be done if there is no eye and then a clip type cable must be used. VOSA have been active in checking for overweight vans, defective tyres, wrong cable, wrong attachment and lack of mirrors - 4x4s are not exempt from mirrors - there are specified distances you should be able to see behind the van. Non -compliance  = fines and points.

Using a tie wrap to attach the cable is just downright dangerous - in a detachment, the cable is supposed to pull the caravan brakes on, then break itself. A cable tie is more likely to break first without doing anything at all