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Tow With your E39? - READ THIS!!

BMW forum 5 series car: E12, E28, E34, E39, E60, E61, F07, F10, F11

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Postby Hearty » Wed, 06 Sep 2006 11:40:14 UTC

Admin wrote:
Hearty wrote:I think it might be to encourage users to add a little cash towards the considerable cost of keeping the site running!

AKA putting a little something back . . .

I paid ten quid as I find the site to be very helpful. I've saved that at least ten times over from advice and help from people on this site, so why should it be free to anyone, really.

BTW this was a much worse rant, but I've edited it to something more reasonable.


Thanks :)


:oops: shucks, Matt
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Postby silverbeemer525 » Mon, 11 Sep 2006 23:33:46 UTC

I fitted my Brink towbar myself, so spotted the washer problem at the time and fitted bigger ones before doing any damage. I checked it the other day: all is fine and the nuts are tight. As well as the 3 nuts on the end of each chassis longitudinal, there are 2 vertical bolts going into ironware that sits up the inside of the longitudinals.

Incidentally, the towbar inner beam, across the car, is pretty substantial, I couldn't believe the weight when I (tried!) to lift it in place. I reckon my car rides half an inch lower at the back now!
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Postby Andy5Z » Tue, 12 Sep 2006 08:14:24 UTC

Ok, picked up car from Stealer on Thursday and in between huge mouthfuls of humble pie he explained what they'd done and I'm pleased to say that they seem to have got it right this time. Towed my 'van from sussex to somerset on saturday without a hitch (no pun intended!!) and it reminded my why I love this car's towing performance so much - more power and torque than any 4x4 (except maybe the very latest - at £40K!!) and 25.6mpg towing my 1650Kg van at 60-65ish, wafting along effortlessly on early (6am) empty main roads was a real pleasure! How often can you say that of the A303? !!!

Anyway finally heard from original towbar fitters insurance company who are prepared to do nothing untill I proove their client was to blame - so county court here we come!! Watch this space!
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Postby rcw1725 » Thu, 23 Nov 2006 09:43:30 UTC

Hi
Thank,s for all the replies, makes a lot of interesting reading.
I used to work in a bmw dealership & know that bmw towbars that i fitted where all westfalier & are of a good standard & never had any problems.
But i have not seen a witter or brink detachable towbar fitted {i know that they are avalible}
I would like to know how they compare to the westfalier.
I have know been put of by the brink because of previous post.
Just need to know what the witter one is like know.
Regards RAY.
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Postby scas » Sat, 25 Nov 2006 01:32:34 UTC

have had a bosal towbar fitted for the last 3 years and when the discovery is being used for something else i and the (lovely)wife use the bm, the bar removes the dampers so its bolted to the frame, only rated at 1.4 tonnes but the hb 510 with 2 17 hands weighs roughly 2.7 tonnes all in. never had a problem. only thing is together with the 1.7 tonnes dry of the car (525tds estate sorry touring) which is vaguely 2.2 tones with all the crap, and the 2.7 of the trailer if i get stopped at a weighbridge i need a different licence, also the cars faster at towing but god you need to rev it compared to the land rover or even the transit 115.
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Postby dlevi67 » Sat, 25 Nov 2006 09:23:21 UTC

scas wrote:have had a bosal towbar fitted for the last 3 years and when the discovery is being used for something else i and the (lovely)wife use the bm, the bar removes the dampers so its bolted to the frame, only rated at 1.4 tonnes but the hb 510 with 2 17 hands weighs roughly 2.7 tonnes all in. never had a problem. only thing is together with the 1.7 tonnes dry of the car (525tds estate sorry touring) which is vaguely 2.2 tones with all the :banned:, and the 2.7 of the trailer if i get stopped at a weighbridge i need a different licence, also the cars faster at towing but god you need to rev it compared to the land rover or even the transit 115.


No you don't. If you have a standard UK "car" licence, that covers vehicles with a trailer up to 12 tonnes overall weight (or 8.25 tonnes depending on when you passed your test). See here

Another interesting thing - that most law and regulation enforcers seem to ignore - is that in some parking lots there is a weight limit of 1.5 tonnes, which means that any E39 or E60 (or E-class, or...) is theoretically parking illegally
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Postby scas3 » Sat, 25 Nov 2006 22:57:51 UTC

sorry they keep booting me off the server but a uk license is the same as mine 3.5 tonnes max combined weight , your link shows a c+e license for up to that limit
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Postby nvHerman » Sun, 26 Nov 2006 09:32:56 UTC

I believe that you can use a Cat. B (standard car) licence for a Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) of up to 3.5 tonnes (big Transit, or 3-series Sprinter etc.), between 3.5 and 7.5 tonnes you need Cat. C1 (light-heavy commercial), which you used to get as standard when you passed your Cat B test. C1+E lets you run a combination with a Gross Train Weight (GTW) of 8.25 tonnes (7.5 tonne max. towing vehicle with 750kg trailer). Heavier than this and you need to take full LGV (Cat. C + E licence).

Nobody has so far pointed out that for anything above 3.5 tonnes (with or without a trailer), you'll need a tachograph and an Operator's (O) Licence.

But they have to catch you first.....

Are you allowed to pull a trailer that weighs more than your car, for safety reasons?

I know trucks do this, but they have trailer braking systems that are instant-on, not ones that activate the trailer brakes by hitch pushing against tow ball.
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Postby blondini » Sun, 26 Nov 2006 10:29:14 UTC

scas wrote:have had a bosal towbar fitted for the last 3 years and when the discovery is being used for something else i and the (lovely)wife use the bm, the bar removes the dampers so its bolted to the frame, only rated at 1.4 tonnes but the hb 510 with 2 17 hands weighs roughly 2.7 tonnes all in. never had a problem. only thing is together with the 1.7 tonnes dry of the car (525tds estate sorry touring) which is vaguely 2.2 tones with all the :banned:, and the 2.7 of the trailer if i get stopped at a weighbridge i need a different licence, also the cars faster at towing but god you need to rev it compared to the land rover or even the transit 115.


Scas# this is frightening. You have a towbar rated at 1.4 tonnes and you use it to pull a horsebox weighing 2.7 tonnes loaded? You are also exceeding the maximum towing weight of your vehicle...

Do you really think this is safe? If you get stopped at a weighbridge you might be needing a barrister not a different licence. I honestly hope you see sense before there's a tragedy, otherwise you deserve to get caught.
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Postby tertiary » Sun, 26 Nov 2006 17:51:23 UTC

i regularly tow with a 530d touring and while it may not be as heavy as scas' the horsebox plus 2 ponys must weigh close on 2 tons and ive also never had a problem
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Postby G-A-R-Y » Sun, 26 Nov 2006 19:54:11 UTC

nvHerman wrote:I believe that you can use a Cat. B (standard car) licence for a Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) of up to 3.5 tonnes (big Transit, or 3-series Sprinter etc.), between 3.5 and 7.5 tonnes you need Cat. C1 (light-heavy commercial), which you used to get as standard when you passed your Cat B test. C1+E lets you run a combination with a Gross Train Weight (GTW) of 8.25 tonnes (7.5 tonne max. towing vehicle with 750kg trailer). Heavier than this and you need to take full LGV (Cat. C + E licence).

Nobody has so far pointed out that for anything above 3.5 tonnes (with or without a trailer), you'll need a tachograph and an Operator's (O) Licence.

But they have to catch you first.....

Are you allowed to pull a trailer that weighs more than your car, for safety reasons?

I know trucks do this, but they have trailer braking systems that are instant-on, not ones that activate the trailer brakes by hitch pushing against tow ball.


I think you are right on most points here. We'll probably get a policeman from this site to interpret/explain the law as they understand it. But that's the problem, even the police are unsure. A mate of mine tows a twin axle caravan with the big Landcruiser. They weigh 3 tons and the van 2. Police stopped him and prosecuted him. At court it was thrown out, Turns out, you can tow such an outfit with your basic "old type" car licence. It's not a goods vehicle and it's not "for hire or reward"

Tachographs: We use/have 7.5 tonne trucks. We DO NOT have to use a tacho because we deliver our own goods within a 25 mile radius of our operating centre.


Q: Are you allowed to pull a trailer that weighs more than your car, for safety reasons?

A: YES. A Land Rover Discovery weighs, 2 tonnes but is plated to tow 3.5. which happens to be the legal max allowed in the UK, but he "Caravan club" recommend the 85% rule. Doesn't figure, does it.

All cars have a weight plate some where, this shows/states the legal loading/towing capacity.

This is how I understand/interpret the law. If you understand or get around it in another way, please tell.
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Postby dlevi67 » Sun, 26 Nov 2006 22:16:56 UTC

nvHerman wrote:I believe that you can use a Cat. B (standard car) licence for a Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) of up to 3.5 tonnes (big Transit, or 3-series Sprinter etc.), between 3.5 and 7.5 tonnes you need Cat. C1 (light-heavy commercial), which you used to get as standard when you passed your Cat B test. C1+E lets you run a combination with a Gross Train Weight (GTW) of 8.25 tonnes (7.5 tonne max. towing vehicle with 750kg trailer). Heavier than this and you need to take full LGV (Cat. C + E licence).

Nobody has so far pointed out that for anything above 3.5 tonnes (with or without a trailer), you'll need a tachograph and an Operator's (O) Licence.

But they have to catch you first.....

Are you allowed to pull a trailer that weighs more than your car, for safety reasons?

I know trucks do this, but they have trailer braking systems that are instant-on, not ones that activate the trailer brakes by hitch pushing against tow ball.


With the Cat B test you also get (got?) B + E and C1 + E...

AFAIK you only need a tacho and an operator licence if you intend to use the vehicle for hire or reward (i.e. as a professional driver, rather than incidentally to another activity). The bigger issue (as Blondini points out) is that maximum towing weight for a 5er is somewhere around 1800-2000kg and tow hitch max load is 1400, so 2700 is way out.
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