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Old 01-12-2015, 07:14 PM   #1
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The Mrs loves her stick shift 238i convertible

Story line says it all. I've been accustomed to pulling my 2011 GMC Terrain; but alas, our bucket list of toys we could never afford while raising a family of 4 daughters (that means 4 cars, 4 colleges, and 4 weddings and a major home equity loan), has finally started to come true. At long last we found a 2008 red 328i stick shift convertible and "Momma Duke", who is right at home with anything with a manual transmission has found her second love. For me that means its time to pass on the Terrain to another worthy RVr and search for ways to do what no BMW garage will advise and that's to find a way to tow the "Little Red Thing" four wheels down. The manual 6 speed transmission makes this possible but stick shift BMW's seem so rare that little if any information seems to exist regarding baseplates and four wheel down towing. BMW would rather you trailer or ramp truck their product which creates a whole other issue for RVs and transporting a vehicle.
So, big question......has anyone out there seen or know of a baseplate or another RVr who is towing a BMW who may offer advice before I begin reinventing the wheel to create my own?
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Old 01-12-2015, 08:02 PM   #2
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Call Blue Ox and ask them.
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Old 01-12-2015, 09:02 PM   #3
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We're fulltimers and have been flat-towing a BMW Z3 M Coupe since 2003. Different model from yours, and a lot older, but we ran into the same "don't do it" advice and did it anyway. It's been towed probably 60,000 miles, and so far, so good. Except for getting beat all to hell by rocks.

Here are a couple of photos:

http://www.debcar.com/images/PB087755.JPG

http://www.debcar.com/images/PB087765.JPG

We got lucky and found someone who happened to be selling a kit they had had custom fabricated to tow their Z3 and I bought that from them. It required some cutting through the front fascia for the two receivers, and a couple of plates welded to the frame that the receivers bolt to, but otherwise works like a regular Roadmaster setup.
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Old 01-12-2015, 09:10 PM   #4
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Could you back it onto a tow dolly? Tow dollies are easily manageable and require no serious mods to the car being towed.
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Old 01-13-2015, 11:14 AM   #5
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Towing a BMW

Thanks Oatmeal, those are great words of encouragement. I new it was possible but just took some engineering. I had no luck with Roadmaster regarding a baseplate but will check with Blue Ox; perhaps they have a non-published template to make one. And then, if all else fails, I'm no stranger to modifying and welding if it comes to that.
I've been using a stone skirt/shield and it works quite well but the BMW will likely be getting a bra for the times we tow it just for a little extra margin of safety.
As for the other thread regarding a dolly; this car is not meant for towing nose or tail down I'd be skinning up my front or tail end on every bump and curb cut.
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Old 01-13-2015, 04:03 PM   #6
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A bra will do more damage than you'll want to deal with, especially with the wind buffeting behind the motorhome. Major damage if towed in a rain. Grit will get between the bra and the car dulling the finish, or worse.


A better solution might be one of those solid barriers that attaches to the tow bar.
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Old 01-14-2015, 08:22 AM   #7
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Bra issues

Thanks Monroe! That's great advice. Never had a bra on a car but can see exactly what you mean by sand and rain getting under it. Here in sunny FL the sand is a definite!
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Old 01-14-2015, 12:26 PM   #8
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Call around town for higher end auto body shops that do bmws.

It is a unibody and body shops would know proper places in frame to make attachments.

You may find one who has done one.

Frame work is what they do...
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Old 01-14-2015, 12:44 PM   #9
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I've talked to several people and the brooms that attach to the rear bumper seem to work great. They keep the dirt and grit from hitting the toad at full speed. It will still get dirty but the sandblasting effect is negated.
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Old 01-14-2015, 12:59 PM   #10
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A clear bra is a better option. Just make sure the installer uses a high-end product (3M)
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Old 01-14-2015, 09:19 PM   #11
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Facing the same quandary about pulling my Red 1978 Fiat Sport Spider Convertible as a toad. Standard transmission and no fancy clutches, etc in rear axle so towing wheels down does not present a drive train issue however do I want to subject the front suspension of a Classic Italian Sport Spider to the stresses of being castered about behind a 10+ ton 35 foot Class A?

With the 1.8 Liter TurboDiesel the Spider gets around 50 mpg on the highway so I could just be selfish and tell the wife you drive the coach and I'll take the Spider via the scenic route and meet you there.
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Old 01-14-2015, 09:33 PM   #12
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Just put it on a bike carrier...
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Old 01-14-2015, 09:51 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TQ60 View Post
Just put it on a bike carrier...
The 124 is a fairly heavy rear wheel drive car for its size coming in at about 2,400 lbs empty and almost 3,000 laden with a driver/passenger/fuel/luggage. Roomier than the MGs, Triumphs or Sunbeams too.
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Old 01-15-2015, 08:31 AM   #14
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Yes, the brooms do work

Thanks for the comment on tail brooms. I've been using one on my C23 to pull the Terrain and have not noticed any problems. It seems to do a nice job suppressing water spray also. The rear view camera helps attest to what's going on in back.
As for the advice on body shops that too is good. I'll be pulling the front under-shield to find the central jack support and get photo documentation with a good tape measure for the central support tube for engine and suspension support. That along with front grill dimensions should allow for creating or recreating a RoadMaster type baseplate that stays hidden behind the lower grill. Ah life is a challenge but where would we be if it were not for a few challenges now and then?
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