Hi. I wanted to know how much weight my 1988 735i BMW can tow. I can't find
the info in the manuals or online. I also don't see any metal sticker or
label inside the door where Uhaul says it is. I may be moving from FLA to NJ
and need to know if I can tow ANY trailer. I was also thinking of renting a
truck and towing the car. Uhaul said I can use one of their larger trucks
and tow my car on a trailer with all four wheels off the ground. They said
they would help me determine how much weight I could put in the car, if any.
But I basically need to know if I could tow any size trailer with this car.
I currently have no hitch. The car is in good shape, with 138,000 miles with
regular service all these years. I had the front end totally rebuilt 3 years
ago. I've had it up to 110 MPH with no sway or trouble. I will also be
putting on new Michelin tires before the trip. Distance is about 1,100 miles
from Orlando to NYC area. Many thanks to anyone who can help.
I do not know what you can tow with your car, but it it were my car AND I
had enough stuff to stuff into a UHaul, I would not hesitate to put the car
on a trailer and drag it.
Last time I checked, UHaul trailers have what is called a Surge Brake. This
means that when you apply the brakes on the truck, the trailer catches up,
compressing a cylinder that applies braking pressure to the trailer brakes.
The trailer brakes work from a surge of pressure that results from the
trailer moving slightly faster than the tow vehicle (UHaul truck). Typical
trailer brakes work off of an electronic controller in the tow vehicle that
sends a signal via the trailer connector to the trailer brakes. This is a
"better" system because a surge brake equipped trailer can be difficult to
back up in a parking lot, or anyplace where backing up might be desirable.
But, all UHaul trucks can pull a surge brake trailer without the added cost
of a brake controller, so UHaul uses surge brakes on its trailers. The only
thing you need to keep in mind with the UHaul trailer is that you may not be
able to drive in reverse. Some surge brake systems have a valve that you can
turn to shut the surge-thingy off, allowing you to go in reverse if you need
to. You have to get out of the cab to flip the valve, then drive backwards
as needed, then get out again and flip the valve back to its normal position
so the trailer brakes work properly on the highway.
Get the UHaul, and wear out their equipment. Save your stuff for your
A BMW with a trailer hitch on the back looks silly.
Sounds like what we in the UK call 'overun brakes'.
The towing hitch on the trailer has a limited travel backwards on a sliding
coupling. A strong spring keeps it normally in the forward position, but any
rearward travel of the hitch under braking, compresses the spring, allowing
the sliding part to act on a hydraulic master cylinder, or mechanical
linkage to apply the trailers brakes.
To reverse, a simple hand operated mechanical flipover spacer on the hitch
itself prevents the hitch from sliding back, thus disabling the brakes.
In practice though, on level ground the trailer can usually be reversed
without flipping the spacer. The spring built into the coupling is usually
strong enough to allow gentle reversing without the brakes coming on.
Thank you all for your help. I'm going to either drive a truck and tow the
car behind it or use PODS for my stuff and drive the car. My best to all.
That sounds like the best idea yet. Put your stuff in a POD and have them
come get it, while you take a leisurely drive up the coast in your car
loaded down with your golf bag.
Have you ever actually driven a UHaul truck loaded down with crap and a car?
It is a seriously unenjoyable experience. Noisy, hot, uncomfortable, and not
You are right. I drove trucks for years and also buses, but I really want to
enjoy the trip. I never drive straight through (1,100 miles) so if I got a
nice hotel, the truck could be broken into during the night. It's easier
just to have some CD's and a bit of luggage with me in the car. Sorry, I
don't golf. But I play a mean game of ping pong. The PODS estimate for me
was $2,500 and that included my piano, computer equipment, and tons of
network books. I'd take my pc's in the car. Actually, I had regular movers
move me down (and they broke stuff and had their hands out for $100 tips
every 3 hours) and I drove down last June 2005. Since decided FL is too damn
hot and sticky. No offense to the person who told me to put more New Yorkers
in the trunk and go home. You can have this swamp for all I care. I think
God took an iron, sprayed it green, put it on "steam", and pressed this
whole place flat. There isn't a hill or non-palm tree (barely) within 200
miles. Then he sprinkled every square mile with bugs and spiders. I'll take
NJ autumns, dry weather, and mountain foliage. I had a place on the ocean.
Thanks again and Yankees are good. :-)
Gee it must be bad if you are hanker to go back to New York! 30C+ and
saturated in the summer -20C (like Stalingrad and Napoleon's retreat from
Moscow) in the winter. Crawling with vermin, smells like a sewer (when you
arrive), sprinkled with criminals and taxi drivers who want to know where
Wall Street is or go on scenic trips rather than drive straight down an
avenue... [space for other contributors favourite recollections of NY].
OTOH anyone can buy a gun in Florida, and if your brother is the Governor he
can help get elected president...
Still probably both better than Los Angeles
I should have been more precise. I lived an hour south of NYC on the NJ
coast. The weather is NOT that bad in winter. Some winters we get less than
6 inches the whole season. Average Jan. daytime is near 40 F and May thru
Nov are awesome. Yes, a week of 90's every other summer. How's that compare
to down here in FLA???? I have 6 pistols, shoot weekly at the Police range,
can hit a dime at 30 feet, and have cops in the family that will get me my
carry permit up there. I already carry down here. Beautiful .45 ParaOrdnance
13+1. So no criminals are going to bother me, unless they shoot me in the
back. Sorry for the confusion. The city of NY itself?? Yes, you are pretty
much on the money. Thanks to all. Enjoy.
On Sun, 20 Aug 2006 19:35:57 GMT, "Anthony Wilson"
Wow, hope this wasn't derived from what I said. My comment was that
you could take a load of New Yoricans (NY Puerto Ricans) with you.
They've figured out they couldn't hack it NY and they've brought the
crime here with them...
It's okay. I thought you were kidding and so was I. It is really not my
favorite climate, but I wasn't offended. Just for fun. LOL. Have a good one.
(I didn't know what "Yoricans" meant. I really don't get into NYC much.)
Forgive my top-posting, but I lived in Roxbury Twp. from 1956 to 1962 and
then moved to Monmouth Cty (Asbury Park). It is very built up now but was
lovely back in the 50's when I was a kid. NOW I hope you see what I'm
talking about. Thanks. In fact, Lake Hop. used to have an amusement park
called Bertran's Island. Now it's all condos I heard.
wrote in message
Re: Surge brakes.
Not to be a wet blanket, but the OP might want to check the legality of
surge brakes in the states he intends to travel. They are not legal for a
trailer GVW of over 2000lbs in some states, Ohio for example.
The reason is this. In the event of a break-a-way, surge brakes do nothing
to stop the trailer. Electric brake systems have a battery and safety cable
that pulls a pin, engaging the trailer brakes, powered by the small trailer
I suspect enforcement may not be a high priority, but he should know ....
maybe ask at the U-Haul place where he intends to rent the trailer.
That's incorrect on all the trailers with surge brakes I'm familiar
with. In case of a break away the safety chain automatically activates
the brakes. I've never experienced it in practice, but looking at it it
was very easy to figure out how it worked.
BTW, doing a search on the net it appears the Euro spec E32 735 is rated
to tow 2000kg/4400 lbs.
Don't be such a pussy. There's absolutely no problem pulling a trailer
with surge brakes behind a BMW. I've done it on several occasions, with
no problems what-so-ever, including backing up. I was even going to haul
another E34 behind my own this weekend, but unfortunately I couldn't
find a suitable trailer.
FWIW, I own a boat trailer with surge brakes and backing it is not
difficult at all. You simply take one of the two safety chains off and
stick the S-hook into a little hole that temporarily prevents the surge
mechanism from sliding backwards. Easy peasy.
Of course this is a minor inconvenience, but I find that you really only
need to pin the brakes if you intend on backing it up a hill. On the
flat or down hill there is not enough thrust into the brake mechanism to
actuate the brakes.
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