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Old 07-18-2015, 12:57 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Chitrailer View Post
I think this might be the only argument that matters...as I write this tears pour all over my phone.
Lawsuits and prosecutions for towing a recreational trailer weighing more than the mfr's rating are as rare as hen's teeth, so IMO the "lawyer says..." should be left out of this.

If you decide to tow something under 1000 lbs, here are some possibilities. This first one is no longer built, but sometimes you can find a used one:
2004 Columbia Northwest ALITE 400 - Tent Trailer | RVWeb.com
Then there are the pop-up tent trailers which are built to be towed even by motorcycles (gasp!) with zero tow rating (double gasp!!).
Roll-A-Home Motorcycle and Small Car Campers
Lite Tent Camper, LLC - Lees-ure Lite Motorcycle Pop Up Camping Trailers
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Old 07-18-2015, 01:11 PM   #22
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Is it just me or is this forum more about the fine art of towing or the "Lawyers club of America". Ghesssssh!
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Old 07-18-2015, 01:42 PM   #23
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Michael,

I've never owned a BMW and know very little about BMWs except your BMW is a lot more powerful than our Honda CRV and has a longer wheel base.

We towed for 7 years, made numerous loops of the USA, were on the road for 7 months a year, never had a single problem with our manual transmission, 2.4 L vehicle, drove across numerous mount ranges, pulled up gravel 18% grades, and never called our lawyer.

You made need a special hitch as Wayne suggests (MC1) but so what everyone needs a hitch. I don't believe the body structure of a BMW is any different than one built in Europe, there may be some component differences but not structure, the volumes are not high enough and in many cases the American engines are larger, the case with the Honda.. I can tell you our CRV is rated for 1500 pounds in the USA and over 3000 pounds in Europe. We choose the European rating.

Don't believe the statement about European Towing speed limits. In France the motorway towing limit for 3.5 tons (my Honda and Scamp 16 meet that req.) is 81 mph, in Belgium 74, in Portugal 62 and Germany 62. Heck trailer ST tires are only rated for 65.
We keep our speeds below 65, and after all the towing speed limit in 13 states is 55 mph.

There's some measure of LCA on this site.

Consider well, make sure you get trailer brakes and if your BMW is a convertible think twice they generally are not as stiff.
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Old 07-18-2015, 02:39 PM   #24
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(Clip) "Don't believe the statement about European Towing speed limits. In France the motorway towing limit for 3.5 tons (my Honda and Scamp 16 meet that req.) is 81 mph, in Belgium 74, in Portugal 62 and Germany 62."

This is my source for towing speed in European countries. If someone has a better/different one please post it as it disagrees with Norms comments.


Speed limits | Overseas Holidays | The Caravan Club


I have driven extensively in Europe and can concur that caravans are always pulled much slower than the general flow of traffic.



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Old 07-18-2015, 03:03 PM   #25
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(Clip) "Don't believe the statement about European Towing speed limits. In France the motorway towing limit for 3.5 tons (my Honda and Scamp 16 meet that req.) is 81 mph, in Belgium 74, in Portugal 62 and Germany 62."

This is my source for towing speed in European countries. If someone has a better/different one please post it as it disagrees with Norms comments.


Speed limits | Overseas Holidays | The Caravan Club

I have driven extensively in Europe and can concur that caravans are always pulled much slower than the general flow of traffic.
Bob,
I used the very same source (humor) but read it like a lawyer. Here's quotes from your source.

"France Speed limits when towing:
If the gross train mass of your of car/caravan is under 3.5t then the speed limits are the same as a solo car. That is 81 Mph."

Germany:
"**There is an option to drive at 100km/h (62) if your car and caravan passes a TUV test in Germany. The test costs approximately 70 and takes two hours to complete."

If you look at Belgium you'll see the 74 mph is correct and see Portugal is also correct.

I try to give accurate information. I believe I'm the one who originally posted this link when there were similar statements about European speed limits.
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Old 07-18-2015, 03:17 PM   #26
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car enthusiast info

Quote:
Originally Posted by honda03842 View Post
Germany:
"**There is an option to drive at 100km/h (62) if your car and caravan passes a TUV test in Germany. The test costs approximately 70 and takes two hours to complete."
and it appears they have the performance based TV's to cruise at those speeds.
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Old 07-18-2015, 03:21 PM   #27
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I also try to give accurate information as well.


I stated that "Most" European countries have a speed limit of about 80 kph. On the list 10 of 18 have that limit and a couple at 90, which is still only 55 mph.


Also, for France, they give an exact example for a CRV that puts that vehicle in the Over 3500 kg gross train mass classification resulting in the lower speed even if it doesn't meet that total weight.


Gross Train Mass is actual weight of the tow vehicle + maximum rated towing weight, even if the caravan does not reach that weight. It sounds unfair, but that's their law...
In short, if you have a higher towing weight rating you will usually get slowed down, at least in France.
Example
Honda CR-V 2.2 i-CTDI SE
Gross vehicle weight -2160kg
Towing limit - 2000kg
Gross train mass - 4160kg


That said, everyone knows that we each have out own agenda on this topic.



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Old 07-18-2015, 03:33 PM   #28
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and it appears they have the performance based TV's to cruise at those speeds.
A 135i laughs at that Porche Cayman
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Old 07-18-2015, 03:50 PM   #29
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Bob,

By the way the towing limit for the Honda CRV is listed at 4400 lbs in France, interesting in itself. Our trailer weighs 2600 pounds.
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Old 07-18-2015, 04:19 PM   #30
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A 135i laughs at that Porche Cayman
I believe you Mike. We have two bimmers in our extended family. The Z3 is nothing to write home about but my son in law's Z5M was a rocket. So much technology really comes through in the drive, handling, and performance.
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Old 07-18-2015, 05:10 PM   #31
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This would work nicely - and keep it all in the family so to speak - a German Eriba Puck

1971 Eriba Puck / Built In Germany

A friend of mine has a new 3 series diesel wagon and a couple of small sailboats - his dealer said they can supply the European hitch for his car. His previous car was a Mercedes wagon and had to buy a Euro version hitch for it directly from Germany and it wasn't easy to find someone willing to sell it to him. It bolted right in once he got it but it was difficult to find.

The Puck weighs about 750 pounds - your BMW would tow it with no problems - plus you can stand up in it once you pop up the roof.
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Old 07-18-2015, 05:36 PM   #32
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I gotta think towing a travel trailer behind your Bimmer is going to take the fun out of those country roads.
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Old 07-18-2015, 05:51 PM   #33
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I have to disagree Larry. As one who tows with a high performance sport sedan towing a trailer is quite satisfying. As you can see in this vid even a VW Golf has amazing control and stability in a tight cornering event.
I'm not saying to drive irresponsibly but they are fun to drive and you don't need to keep the rig in a straight line as you would, like, say a big 5er on the back of a pickup.

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Old 07-18-2015, 07:13 PM   #34
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May I suggest that we have a sticky for the never ending discussion of tow ratings and whether or not to follow them.

True, we need to caution newbies about paying attention to their owners manual as regards tow ratings, and of course we should always recommend prudence in interpretation and use of such specs.

However, for the newbie, rehashing our unresolved differences on tow ratings just confuses the issue and does little to resolve the concerns of the OP.
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Old 07-18-2015, 07:42 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by MC1 View Post
I believe you Mike. We have two bimmers in our extended family. The Z3 is nothing to write home about but my son in law's Z5M was a rocket. So much technology really comes through in the drive, handling, and performance.
The Zs look pretty cool. We are eloping in two weeks and renting a z4. Will be my first experience in a Z. Looking forward to it.
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Old 07-18-2015, 08:43 PM   #36
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This would work nicely - and keep it all in the family so to speak - a German Eriba Puck

1971 Eriba Puck / Built In Germany

A friend of mine has a new 3 series diesel wagon and a couple of small sailboats - his dealer said they can supply the European hitch for his car. His previous car was a Mercedes wagon and had to buy a Euro version hitch for it directly from Germany and it wasn't easy to find someone willing to sell it to him. It bolted right in once he got it but it was difficult to find.

The Puck weighs about 750 pounds - your BMW would tow it with no problems - plus you can stand up in it once you pop up the roof.
What a cool Craig find! Houston is a long way from Chicago and I'd check it out if I was closer. I'll keep my eyes open for one.
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Old 07-18-2015, 08:53 PM   #37
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Here's a post from the BMW 1 series forum I belong to. He had an interesting angle from Uhaul's towing limit for the 135i.
I freely admit I understand near nothing about towing. I don't endorse or reject this view, it's merely one that I thought it was one worth sharing with y'all.

"The issue with a tow rating for our BMW cars is that BMW doesn't give them a tow rating. It would be best to stay within both the rating of the car and the hitch. But no rating for our cars.

Another source of some guidance is to look at what U-Haul will rent us. It seems to be based upon the hitch. With a 2000 lb hitch, they will rent you a trailer that will carry 2000-the weight of the trailer. They care about liability so this is a data point.

When you are towing, you have to worry about starting and stopping. My 128i has more hp and torque than my primary tow vehicle. So it should be able to pull things better. But it has smaller tires, it weighs less, and it's drivetrain is probably not as sturdy. It's brakes are great for a car but will they stop a heavy trailer?

If you do not exceed the Gross vehicle rating I am sure you would be OK - trade the trailer for a full load of people and luggage. But that won't be much of a trailer. If you want to tow more than that, you might need to think about brakes on the trailer. If you did that, you should be OK - but it's up to you.

It is clearly safer to get a vehicle rated to tow. Like a X3 or X5. If I had to, I would tow a little utility trailer with my 128i but I would keep the weight low, more like 1,000 than 2,000. I wouldn't tow a camping trailer at highway speeds. I think I could get it up to speed but you also have to handle it in the wind and stop it. Maybe a pop-up."
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Old 07-19-2015, 12:14 PM   #38
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There's a Little Guy dealer in CA who also sells a Puck clone called the Meerkat. If you prefer brand new, this is the way to get a new "Puck".
California Teardrop Camper & Meerkat Trailer Dealer | Little Guy Trailers
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Old 07-19-2015, 12:39 PM   #39
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RE: UHaul


That basically means that they are passing knowing the maximum trailer towing weight limit responsibility/liability off to the customer, who may well know a lot less about towing that the peeps at UHaul.


However, I was told by my local U-Haul dealer that there is a corporate policy to not install hitches on vehicles without advising the customer of the actual towing limit for the vehicle when it is less than that of the hitch. They too understand the concepts of risk and liability. But that responsibility rests with the individual making the original sale.


Which suggests that if you rolled in with a Class-1 hitch already installed on a Smart Car that they would be happy to connect a trailer with a 2000 gross limit, without question's ?



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Old 07-19-2015, 01:23 PM   #40
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I searched for an Eriba Puck for almost 10 years and didn't find a reasonable priced one. I like the Meercat.
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