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Old 05-05-2018, 11:19 AM   #15
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Reach out to Andy Thomson at CanAm RV in London, Ontario Canada. He is acknowledged in the Airstream community as a "go to" guy for his towing expertise.

In July of 2017 inquired with Andy about preferred SUV's for towing and his reply, in part, referenced the BMW X5: "The most popular one we are doing at the moment is the BMW X5 as you can still get a 3.0 Litre diesel in it. It handles as nicely as the Porsche"

Andy can be reached via email or phone through the link I provided above.


Greg
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Old 08-25-2018, 03:02 PM   #16
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As the owner of an F15 MY2018 X5d, looking at buying our first AS, I can't thank you all enough for this thread. I only wish that I had searched for it earlier this week, BEFORE I let BMW sell me and install the OEM hitch (with controller, wiring harness and both the gooseneck with ball and 2" square adapters.

I've since (today) had the OEM removed by a reputable hitch company, and a Curt Class III hitch installed in its place. All of the BMW wiring (harness and "controller") remain.

My question to you folks who have been through this war as well: Do you still need a separate after-market trailer brake controller? Or, will the BMW controller do this through the 7-Pin?

Thanks, in advance. Putting a deposit on a 22FB Sport on Monday. Can't wait to join this club after a long time of being a follower.
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Old 08-25-2018, 03:43 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by dog_tired View Post

I've since (today) had the OEM removed by a reputable hitch company, and a Curt Class III hitch installed in its place. All of the BMW wiring (harness and "controller") remain.

My question to you folks who have been through this war as well: Do you still need a separate after-market trailer brake controller? Or, will the BMW controller do this through the 7-Pin?
I haven’t worked on an F15, just earlier X5 models. For those, BMW didn’t offer a brake controller. There was an electronic module, but it was for the wiring interface, not the brakes. Did the BMW dealer list a brake controller on the invoice? Is it mounted where the driver can reach it? If so, which one?

If not, you still need one. But I suspect that there is nothing to remove, you still need the wiring interface module they installed.
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Old 08-26-2018, 06:10 AM   #18
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They've installed something called the "B-Control Unit for Trailer Hi", BMW Part #71606889589.
Can't find much information when searching the part number, and of course the dealer failed to leave any of the accompanying literature in the vehicle. I asked "where is the brake control unit?", and the service manager indicated that it was all a part of the wiring.

Could it be that the F15 is just so technically advanced that you don't need a separate controller? My guess is that all this part does is somehow communicate with the trailer lights, but I can't find a definitive answer.
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Old 08-26-2018, 10:30 AM   #19
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They've installed something called the "B-Control Unit for Trailer Hi", BMW Part #71606889589.
Can't find much information when searching the part number, and of course the dealer failed to leave any of the accompanying literature in the vehicle. I asked "where is the brake control unit?", and the service manager indicated that it was all a part of the wiring.

Could it be that the F15 is just so technically advanced that you don't need a separate controller? My guess is that all this part does is somehow communicate with the trailer lights, but I can't find a definitive answer.
No, you still need a brake controller. That is the wiring interface adaptor. It takes input from the multiplexed light/turn/brake lights and provides power to the umbilical connector. It also senses when a trailer umbilical is connected, and then enables the Trailer Stability Control mode in the DSC, turns off the rear park sensors so they don’t beep continually, changes the rear view camera, and so on. That part number is the updated number for the one I installed years ago in a 2003 X5.

BMW has offered a rebranded commercial trailer brake controller at times, but you can use any one. BMW show theirs mounted on the centre console near the transmission selector.

https://www.shopbmwusa.com/Product/2...AKE-CONTROLLER

Note that the BMW round connector on the umbilical has a pin for the brake controller, it just isn’t connected. The service manager is confused, but that isn’t unusual on this subject. BMW service training and service manuals are developed in Europe, and Europe doesn’t use electric trailer brakes as a matter of course.
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Old 08-26-2018, 11:23 AM   #20
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We decided the RF brake control was the best standard solution. It mounts as an umbilical pass through on the trailer and just requires the remote brake control to be powered from a 12 volt cigarette lighter plug in the X5. No wiring required. There are (3) 12 volt plugs within reach, so no conflict with other power requirements. The RF configuration lets you hold the brake control in your lap or place it in a similar accessible location so a reach is not required in an emergency.

Moving to trailer disk brakes and the anti-lock brake technology that is available with individual wheel braking for sway control sounds like the most effective system if an upgrade path is viable.

Good luck with your coach. Enjoy the smiles. Pat
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Old 08-27-2018, 11:20 AM   #21
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This is the adapter we use to convert the LED tail light resistance to similar for incandescent light so the electronics do not assume the bulbs are burnt out.

Trailer Connector Adapter w/ Lamp-Out Sensor Bypass - 7-Way RV to 7-Way RV - Vehicle End Item # 20142

https://www.etrailer.com/Wiring/Tow-...CABEgLxOPD_BwE

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Old 08-30-2018, 12:45 PM   #22
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Pat,
Does the adapter plug into the back of the RF brake control unit or do you plug first into the car, then plug the wire leading the the brake control unit into it?

Karl
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Old 08-30-2018, 04:01 PM   #23
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It goes into the car mounted umbilical socket.

To be clear .... there is a BMW wiring control module that plugs into an existing socket on the vehicle. From that module a BMW cable connects to the 7 pin socket that is attached near the vehicle hitch receiver. All of that should have been done by your BMW dealer prior if I understand what you contracted for them to do.

The adapter plugs into the vehicle receiver 7 pin socket and you engage the socket door on the locking ledge so it does not pull out. The RF control module umbilical plug is inserted into the adapter and the adapter door engages with the locking ledge to hold the cord in the socket. The RF control box is screwed to the trailer tongue and is permanently installed there. The coach wiring umbilical inserts into the RF control box to complete the circuit.

Do not forget to plug your remote into 12 volt power. After the RF control unit is setup, it works without the remote unit connected to power, but you will not have the ability to activate the trailer brakes manually if the remote is not powered.

Hope that helps. Pat
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Old 09-12-2018, 03:15 PM   #24
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New 23FB Flying Cloud

I guess I could post this just about anywhere, but I'm going to add to this thread on BMW X5 as a tow vehicle -

A week ago after getting the proper hitch (see above) and the rest of the tow worked out with the help of the members who responded, my wife and I drove from the Tampa area to Southaven, MS, to take deliver of a new 2019 23FB Flying Could. Love at first sight! Loooong drive, but the folks at Southaven RV and Marine took great care of us, and gave us a price that no one in Florida would come close to.

With the remnants of a hurricane sitting in central Mississippi, we towed our new AS back to Tampa on Thursday, arriving home early Friday morning. Dealer installed E2 bars, and even with the cross winds from the storm, the AS was solid on the road. MPG average was 17 with the X5 Diesel. Pretty amazing.

Spent a couple of hours on Saturday morning in the parking lot of an empty mall practicing our backing. Need some more practice to feel confident, but getting there.

So, with all of the concern as to whether or not the BMX X5 sport or diesel is a suitable tow vehicle, I can tell you that it's a GREAT tow vehicle for a 23FB Flying Cloud. Prodigy RF brake controller took some time getting used to. Learned that 5 on the dial is good for higher speeds. 2.5 is better for around town and coming to stop light stops.

Thanks to all who contributed and we'll post more on the appropriate threads as I go along. Attached is a picture of the new AS and the X5.
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Old 09-15-2018, 12:42 PM   #25
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So, with all of the concern as to whether or not the BMX X5 sport or diesel is a suitable tow vehicle, I can tell you that it's a GREAT tow vehicle for a 23FB Flying Cloud. Prodigy RF brake controller took some time getting used to. Learned that 5 on the dial is good for higher speeds. 2.5 is better for around town and coming to stop light stops.

Have you tried the boost settings? If it is too high it will definitely be a “jerk” when boosted at lower speeds. I’d suggest doing more testing on the gain and boost levels to find what works best, you shouldn’t have to be adjusting gain regularly...that is just asking for a disaster.
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