From digest.v5.n251 Wed Sep 18 17:53:08 1996
From: "Carl Buckland" <buckland_at_xmission.com>
Date: Wed, 18 Sep 1996 17:11:38 +0000
Subject: Trailer Hitch for M3
Joe U inquires...
Subject: E36 Trailer Hitches
>I can't be the only BMW nut out there that owns a Jet Ski water craft.
>Well....I'd like to use my M3 to haul the "Ski" out to the big lake
>(Lake Michigan). I can't seem to find anyone who sells a high quality,
>non-obtrusive trailer hitch that clears the rear apron on my "M".
>Anyone out there know of a solution?
to which Lowell responds...
I don't mean to sound rude, but you must be kidding!!
Why on earth would you tow ANYTHING with your M3? Please don't do
it, that car is way to good to go and put it through such
torture. I doubt there would be any hitches that would clear the
rear apron without bottoming out going over dips in the road.
No offense intended, but please reconsider. I have a alternate car
that means much less to me that will be used for towing, maybe you
should do the same, even though that does mean not being in your M3.
Good Luck with whatever you decide to do.
Brand spanking new 96 M3, thanks to Steve Diamond!
96 Toyota Celica GT
Dear Joe, Lowell, and all other BMW enthusiasts,
I installed a trailer hitch last July, and have gotten so much use
out of it that I wish that I had done it much earlier. Lowell, I
know that you think that it is blasphemous to even think of putting a
trailer behind your car, but trust me, the more you use your car,
the more you will realize that it has a very small carrying capacity.
Faced with the decision of either towing a small trailer, or
leaving the car in the garage and having to drive your father's '79
Suburban, the trailer option will start looking more attractive.
I drive all over the West for racing and BMW driving schools. I can
get a lot of junk into the M3, but it will only hold 4 race tires (6
if you also put an R1 in the spare hold, and another one in the
trunk). Putting tires inside of your back seat, although an option,
fast becomes not only a dirty proposition, but also is very hard on
your back. Plus, your wife will get tired of having the car so full
of rubber that she gets claustrophobic (trust me on this one, too).
I finally decided that a small, flatbed "tire trailer" was needed.
I had a whole litanny of reservations.....how will the hitch look on
the car? How much will the trailer slow down freeway travel? How
much will the weight of the receiver/hitch affect the handling of the
car? I really had no choice, so I went forward.
First, the hitch. I went to Casady's, here in Salt Lake, who has a
great reputation, and was once able to figure out a way for me to haul a
5000 pound Cobalt boat behind a '71 Riv' boattail (now there is a
story, for another time). I told him I wanted to tow about 1000 lbs,
and I wanted a hitch that "looked cool."
Scott Casady, 1-801-533-8050, gave me everything that I wanted, and
more. He welded a square receiver box onto the spare tire hold, and
only had to cut a very small (and not visable) hole in the bottom of
the rear wind valance, thru which he ran a big bolt, up to the bumper
frame. The box is black, and barely even visible (someone asked me
if it was some kind of DTM ground effects tunnel). It is NOT
unattractive, and will hold far more than the 900 lbs that my loaded
tire trailer weights.
A trailer hitch then slides in and out of the box, to be used only
when needed. I have two different sized balls, so that it will be
available for multiple duty.
The trailer that I use is 66 inches wide, and about 6 feet long. It
is a flatbed, with a tire rack welded in the front. It will hold 7
tires (I put the 8th in the spare hold), which is about right for a
long weekend at the track. At the back of the trailer, I mounted a
Truck Box, that I use to store tools, jacks, car covers, etc. It is
SO nice to get to an event and not have to load and unload the car
every time, plus we have a place to store our stuff during the event
the trailer tires are 15", and are on leaf springs. They are
adjusted for slight toe out, so that they follow the car very
precisely. The 15" tires allow me to tow the car at rediculous
speeds, although I am now an 80 mph -kind-of-guy, as the long arm of
the law seems to really notice our ilk, and I am tired of fighting
tickets. 80 seems to be "the speed limit" here in the West.
Obviously, I can't wait to dump the trailer when I get to my
destination, because it IS 900 lbs, and any car will be affected by
the added weight. However, you will be surprised at how little you
will feel the trailer, once you are up to speed. The braking
distances go up a bit, but not all that bad. My car is much lower
than stock, yet I have never had the receiver box drag. It sticks
out just slightly less than the valance, and is about as low as the
Cars to are to USED, even M3's. If you have to leave it in the
garage when stowage is needed, you will find the trailer a great
alternative. If you race, you will really have no choice, unless you
buy a tow truck and a car trailer, and that is even more of a pain.
I love to drive my M3 long distances, and if I had to drive a truck
with a trailer, I would miss out on the long miles of pleasureable
driving. Sure it is more fun to just FLY in the M3, unencumbered
with a trailer, but you have to do what you have to do.
By the way, the H&R coilovers work perfectly with the trailer. The
rear end, despite the tongue weight, doesn't drop at all. the car
remains basically flat, and rides just fine.
[ Help ]
Carl R. Buckland
1000 Boston Bldg
Nine Exchange Place
Salt Lake City, Utah 84111
E Mail buckland_at_xmission.com