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Old 04-14-2016, 11:09 AM   #127
PKI
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Originally Posted by AS_X5 View Post
-- snip -- lease on a 2016 X5d turbodiesel, and the dealer installed a new-fangled hitch (Invisihitch?) -- snip -- rated to 6,000#, with 600# tongue weight. -- snip -- does not accommodate weight distribution system (WDS/sway control). Looking at an adapter plate that turns it into a standard 2" receiver so we can use the old ball mount and WDS ball. -- snip --
You may have a problem - note the distance from the plate bolting surface to the ball center line. It is a very tight configuration. Then calculate the distance the WDH ball will be from the plate surface when the adapter and WDH are installed. My guess is that it is about 12in more than the OEM location. Every inch added increases the lever arm and therefore the loading that is placed on the ball mount connection to the hitch cross member.

Now, you may not have a problem, if the connection design is over engineered and over built. That is not likely, but maybe.

Suggest you see if the connection is bolted or welded to brackets welded to the cross-member. If it is bolted, you can have an adapter constructed that locates the 2x2 receiver under the vehicle and with a shorter lever arm. The intent would be to keep the ball as close to the bumper as possible while still having enough clearance for the trailer tongue when making a tight turn. Note that the hole which locates the WDH ball mount in the receiver can often be moved to a location on the shank that reduces the lever on the assembly. Same concern with turning clearance applies.

You may be better off to take the X5 to a hitch shop and have a Curt or Draw-Tite hitch with a standard 2x2 receiver installed in place of the OEM hitch. Would cost about $850 +/- $250. Not sure how much the change would impact the end of lease residual value. Might require the OEM to be replaced.

Interested to hear how this works out for you. Any chance you have run your prior rig across a CAT scales. We are challenged to manage the 600# tongue weight limitation and would expect that might be an issue for you as well.

Good luck with your investigation. Pat
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Old 04-15-2016, 12:36 AM   #128
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Pat, thanks again for the great advice.

Clearly it's not as simple as fitting an adapter, so I'll have to take it to a shop and see if they can do what you say. If it doesn't work out I'll get a real hitch installed.

The only reason I'm trying to make this work is that they included the $1500 BMW hitch and installation in the price of the car for my lease, which means I barely paid for it. I'll have to go back to them and convince them to take a significant loss, buy a Curt unit, and install it. With all they've put me through I have no problem forcing that through - maybe that will make their engineers in Munich take notice of our real towing requirements.

The one unanswered question is whether the new X5s do indeed come with some kind of unibody weight distribution that negates the need for aftermarket. But I doubt it.

Thanks again!

Tim
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Old 04-15-2016, 12:38 AM   #129
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Also, though I too am concerned about tongue weight being over 600#, please note that our AS has the bedroom and storage in the rear. Apparently this was different for other 23FBs. It's listed at 457# tonge weight with full propane, so we might be fine.
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Old 04-15-2016, 10:56 AM   #130
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Folks at the dealership would not care about your issues. For sure nobody in Munich would care either. Re Curt hitch - check the design before going any further whether it makes sense to install this with intention to use weight distribution hitch. The Curt hitch for E70 does not require bumper cut as the OE hitch requires, but it has longer drop plates which even in the OE hitch are problematic when using WDS. Hence, the OE hitch needs to be reinforced. If F15 Curt design is similar, using WDS may cause you troubles.
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Old 04-16-2016, 11:34 AM   #131
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Also, though I too am concerned about tongue weight being over 600#, please note that our AS has the bedroom and storage in the rear. Apparently this was different for other 23FBs. It's listed at 457# tonge weight with full propane, so we might be fine.
Are you sure you have a 23FB. Bed in back would be a D model. FB has the bed in front with the Pano window and the toilet/shower in the back of the trailer. D has a heavier hitch weight. FB has a 457# dry weight and that is supposed to include propane, but not fresh water. It also does not include the hitch and that should be part of the tongue weight on the BMW as well, due to the hitch restrictions. Gets to 600 quick. If you reinforce then lots of options open up. However, with a leased vehicle, reinforcing is not a good idea. Pack light. Move heavy items to the center of the coach. Use as little WD as possible and bias the tow vehicle load forward as much as possible to help return weight to the front axle so you can minimize to WD.

The stability control offered for most vehicles operates the TV brakes and suspension and torque vectoring on the BMW to maintain direction. That does not do much for the coach. Some day we will see electronic sway control that is integrated between the TV and TT. There is TT control on some new trailers, but it's not a normal option. Give it a few years and we'll see more.

Travel safe. PAt
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