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      06-13-2012, 10:30 AM   #1
glitched79
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Towing with a 328i

Maybe this is a silly question...

I know it's frowned upon, but is it possible to tow a SeaDoo-type jet boat with a 2012 328i?

I'm sure the engine is powerful enough to pull it. I guess the bigger question is can the car's frame support a class 2 trailer. And are there even any class 2 trailer hitches available for the 328i?

The gross trailer weight would be just under 3,000lbs for the smallest SeaDoo jet boat, which is all I'm interested in towing.

Let's have an honest discussion about the capabilities of our 328s.
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      06-13-2012, 12:45 PM   #2
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The maximum towing weight should be listed in the spec.
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      06-13-2012, 01:36 PM   #3
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Not just about towing capacity, think about the drag on the car and don't forget it's a 4 banger now.. I'm sure a jet ski is fine but I would guess a jet boat is pushing it.. But i would talk to your service department about it.
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      06-13-2012, 03:30 PM   #4
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I doubt 3000 lbs is going to be a problem for the 328i, I towed more with lesser cars.. What's more important is if the hitch is capable of doing this.
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      06-13-2012, 03:41 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisny
Not just about towing capacity, think about the drag on the car and don't forget it's a 4 banger now.. I'm sure a jet ski is fine but I would guess a jet boat is pushing it.. But i would talk to your service department about it.
There is ABSOLUTELY no worries about the engine's capability. The number of cylinders is irrelevant, especially when it has more power and most importantly, more torque than the old 6 cylinder 328i.
The Auto Box though, will it need to be driven in manual mode perhaps? How much stick can it take?
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      06-13-2012, 06:08 PM   #6
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I'd first contact a UK member of the board and have them give you the max towing limits in their owner's manual. I haven't seen towing limits listed in the US versions for decades.

The two limiting factors will be:

#1 The tounge weight. Most BMW cars are limited to 75kg (165 lbs). Weight the tounge of your trailer to make sure you will be under that. If it's over by much at all I'd just forget it.

#2 The max UNBRAKED towing limits of the F30 will not be close to 3,000 lbs. It will probably be in the high 1,000 lbs range (maybe 1,600 -1,800 lbs.). But, the BRAKED trailer limits will probably be in the 3,500 lb range. Even my 138 HP/ 138 FT-LBS E36 318ti has an BRAKED towing limit of 3,306 lbs. You will need to add trailer brakes if you want to meet this limit.

And for the hitch itself, the US made ones (u-haul, Curt, etc..) are mostly class I, as you've probably seen. You might need to order a real Euro hitch (Westfalia, Witter, Bosal, Thule, etc.) to get the max towing capability. Check their websites for limitations on their hitches. For example, Westfalia has F30 hitches in their online catalog but they don't list max weights, yet. But, their E90 hitches in both fixed and detachable versions have max limits of 165 lbs tounge (75 kg) and 4,000 lbs trailer (1,800 kg). That will do the trick.

You can buy euro hitches at http://www.pfjones.co.uk. They will ship to the US for about $220.

I've towed with my 318ti for many years and find it very useful Here's my 5x8 Aluma that puts any SUV to shame. When things are too big for the family Suburban, we use this (and get better fuel mileage than the Subruban could get) Good Luck!

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Last edited by CirrusSR22; 07-01-2012 at 10:33 AM.
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