BMW X3 as a tow vehicle for Escape 19 - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 04-14-2016, 09:40 PM   #1
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BMW X3 as a tow vehicle for Escape 19

Can it be towed? The X3 is rated at 3500lb. Escape 19's dry weight is 2610, GVWR is 4000lb. We don't have any passengers with us, not much cargo either. We weigh 250lb combined.
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Old 04-14-2016, 10:08 PM   #2
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My tug is also rated at 3500 pounds, and I have considered the 19', concluding that it can be done within limits but restraint would be required in trailer equipment and cargo.

A significant factor to consider is that while my van can tow a 3500 pound trailer while carrying half a ton of passengers and cargo in the van at the same time, that is not true for most vehicles. The combined weight of the X3 with (skinny) people and (minimal) cargo, plus the Escape with optional equipment, fluids and cargo, must be within the Gross Combined Weight Rating of the X3.

I would also be concerned that this is a substantial trailer for a relatively short tow vehicle to handle. My van doesn't need a weight-distributing hitch (WDH) or sway control device for a 3500 pound trailer with 350 pounds of tongue weight, but that may not work for the X3. Adding hardware (such as a WDH) may not produce acceptable stability and control, and that hardware will add undesired weight.
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Old 04-15-2016, 01:53 AM   #3
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I would say

Just because you can

Does not mean it is a good idea.

;-)
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Old 04-16-2016, 03:08 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yhbae View Post
The X3 is rated at 3500lb.
In a quick web search, I only found trailer weight ratings of 3000 pounds, not 3500 pounds. That might not seem like a huge difference, but for a 19', it's the difference between possible and impossible.

Of course a more authoritative source is called for. Unfortunately, the BMW USA site doesn't list a trailer towing capacity for the X3, and the 2016 owner's manual from the same site doesn't even mention the possibility of towing a trailer, let alone define limits. The BMW Canada site is broken, and unable to deliver specifications. This isn't looking good...
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Old 04-21-2016, 05:28 PM   #5
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I've got the number from 2016 towing guide which lists all models from al manufacturers. I assumed it is correct. Still, I won't go with this setup since even if I do manage to stay below 3500lb, it will be too close.

I may end up trading my X3 eventually for something bigger then consider either Escape 21 or Oliver.

Thanks for the help guys.
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Old 04-21-2016, 09:43 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yhbae View Post
I've got the number from 2016 towing guide which lists all models from al manufacturers. I assumed it is correct. Still, I won't go with this setup since even if I do manage to stay below 3500lb, it will be too close.
If it lists all manufacturers, then it is a list that someone (usually an RV or truck magazine) put together... such as the Trailer Life 2016 Guide to Tow Ratings. These routinely contain errors, especially for manufacturers not based in North America and for models (from anyone) less commonly used for towing. It looks like it was close enough in this case to arrive at the same conclusion.

The "2016" (data up to 2015 models) Trailer Life guide does list 3500 lb for the BMW X3, but to their credit I checked a few other vehicles for which I know the ratings and all were plausible... except one (the Jeep Wrangler).
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Old 05-23-2016, 02:53 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yhbae View Post
Can it be towed? The X3 is rated at 3500lb. Escape 19's dry weight is 2610, GVWR is 4000lb. We don't have any passengers with us, not much cargo either. We weigh 250lb combined.
I would not be comfortable with cutting so close, especially if your towing trips might include higher elevations where air is thinner and your engine generates less power.
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Old 05-23-2016, 04:46 AM   #8
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Is the dry weight of 2610 pounds based on actual weighing or an estimate based on ETI's listed dry weight of 2510 pounds? If it is an estimate you can probably expect the trailer to weigh 300 to 500 pounds more than you would think. Threads such as trailer weights in the real world are instructive.
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Old 05-23-2016, 07:07 AM   #9
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I'll throw in my $.02 worth and you can not take that to the bank. What your trailer's r GVWR of 4000# should be the deciding factor, not what it actually weighs nor that you do not carry a lot of "stuff". No law enforcement person is going to carry around a scale except those state troopers out for over weight trucks. But there is a label on the trailer that says 4000# and that label is what licensing authorities will base your fees upon, the max weight, not the empty weight. Some states have 3000#, some have 3500# some have 4000# cut off for inspection or other rules, this number is what the unit is rated for, not it's actual weight.
Therefore if you are using a tow vehicle only rated to pull 3500# and you hook up to a trailer rated at 4000#, you will be towing beyond your limit, irregardless of what the unit actually weighs. These are the numbers that would be used if there were any accidents or claims submitted as they are fixed by the manufacturer, not reduced by the consumer.
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Old 05-24-2016, 01:27 AM   #10
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We are thinking about buying a 19 feet version of Escape. We have not quite decided what vehicle will be optimum for our use. We would prefer something which is fairly comfortable and relatively quiet for long trips and has more than adequate power.

Suggestions will be appreciated.

I was wondering if it will be impossible to safely tow a camper 3500-4000lb loaded with a Lexus LS 430 or 460. Both have fairly decent size 8 cylinder engine and we can get higher capacity transmission cooler, radiator, alternator etc.
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