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-   -   BMW X5 towing setup (http://www.airforums.com/forums/f238/bmw-x5-towing-setup-154492.html)

spreadmywing 07-29-2016 11:28 AM

BMW X5 towing setup
 
Hello all;

I just bought a 2013 flying cloud 25 rear twin. My tow vehicle is 2008 BMW X5 4.8is (gas).

CANAM RV canada, has been so generous in their helping me with questions even though I didn't buy my trailer there (they didn't have anything in stock for my choice plus we are far away). I do plan to visit them in the near future for reinforcement. They recommend a After market receiver and brake control.

The problem is my BMW dealer in Dallas is very slow in responding my phone calls and emails trying to set up installation appointment. It is really frustrating since I have made travel arrangement to pick up my AS located in another state.

is it essential that the receiver and brake control have to be installed by BMW dealer?

Thank you

Joy

LongShot 07-29-2016 11:58 AM

BMW Tow Set-up
 
I cannot speak to the BMW but having a Mercedes and getting it tow-ready, I think I can offer some helpful suggestions:
1) In a prefect world, have your delaer do this BUT be prepared to pay handsomely for the service; your automobile has a lot of driver control stuff built into to it that 'should' be incorporated into the brake controller
2) Have the hitch installed by someone that knows European cars (my dealer actually suggested I go to a hitch dealer and then back to them to do the brake controller - this saved me about $1,200
3) if you have a fairly late model, you're going to have to deal with the LED's on both the AS and your car - they tend not to play well unless you install a special circuit (not difficult, but most hitch guys have no idea how/where to do this)
4) If done correctly, your brake controller will integrate with your dynamic stability and you'll be amazed at how well you can tow
5) Make sure you get a proper weight distribution hitch set up and MAKE SURE that the hitch you install has additional bracing (mine actually has an extension to the frame)

Good luck, remember, you are the consumer and if you do not feel comfy with your dealer, call another one until you find someone that wants your business.
Best,
G.

bono 07-29-2016 12:48 PM

The hitch installation is a very easy job. Definitely, any competent hitch shop can do this. Actually, I would not have a hitch installed by BMW dealer, because I always worry that they will break something... just crappy service in CA. You will need coding after the harness is installed. You can do this at dealership or even remotely, but someone who knows the staff.

Get OEM hitch not any aftermarket product.

Get BMW Electric Trailer Brake Controller 82110420082. I did not install this permanently (this looks ugly). Just plug and tow when needed.

spreadmywing 07-29-2016 08:19 PM

thank you so much
 
This is recommended set up for my 2008 X5 towing 2013 flying cloud 25 rear twin

1. CURT Class III receiver (13077)

2. Tekonsha Prodigy Electronic Brake Control

3. Eaz-lift Elite weight distributing hitch kit 1200 Lbs.

This is the current recommended set up and will do some reinforcement work with CANAM RV in Canada when I get there in a couple of months

I may have factory installed tow package. But I am not sure since I am not with my vehicle right now. I will not see my X5 until a month later.

Bgibbs 07-29-2016 09:31 PM

Be ready for really increased maintenance if you use your X5 as a tow vehicle. Towing is not what it was designed to do.

wvspin2 07-29-2016 09:37 PM

Hi Joy,
This video is posted on YouTube:
Installation of a Trailer Hitch on a 2008 BMW x5 - etrailer.com - YouTube

I had the same problem with my 2014 VW TDI Touareg the dealer seemed numb when I asked them to install a brake controller on my vehicle. Since my vehicle already had the hitch and electrical plug factory installed, they seemed to think it had the controller built in to the specifications. I could not find anything except on line with the VW Touareg tech pages. It told me everything I needed to purchase.
It involved the purchase of two wires from VW to attach the prodigy brake controller to the already prewired connect plug on the hitch. Find a professional hitch installer near you. I have a BMW also and there is a lot of information already available on the web. Dealers just hate any type of liability, so it may be rather difficult to get them to do the installation.

I recommend the Blue Ox 1000 lbs weight sway distribution hitch. I recommend it simply because its quiet and you will be able to back your unit without removing the bars or disconnecting it from your Airstream. The 1000 lb bars are more than enough to control your hitch weight.
I also recommend the Prodigy brake controller. It works great and is easy to adjust to your unit. Have fun with your new Airstream.

Warren
FC 25BWB

jcl 07-29-2016 09:42 PM

There was no factory tow package for the X5. All models are equipped with all the coolers, etc, that you need. All variants of your model (E70) have the same tow rating.

What BMW does sell, as a dealer installed accessory, is a hitch receiver kit. You don't have to have the dealer install it (I did two myself) and you don't have to use the BMW receiver, your Curt is fine. However, the BMW receiver kit includes an electrical connection kit, which is also sold separately for those that choose a Curt or other hitch. It provides the interface between the vehicle, and the trailer wiring plug which is mounted next to the hitch. Although you can use an aftermarket wiring kit it doesn't usually integrate into the vehicle as well, it just works the trailer lights. The BMW electrical trailer wiring module tells the vehicle computer when a trailer is connected. That does things like provide different rearview camera functions on some models, disables the rear sensors of the park distance control so it doesn't beep every time you put it in reverse, and provides a Trailer Stability Control mode in the dynamic stability control. Well worth it. This electrical module does not include braking functionality, you still need the Prodigy, and the TSC does not replace your sway control in your hitch.

Installation of the electrical wiring kit usually requires programming of the vehicle so that the vehicle recognizes the module. That can be done by a dealer, or any shop with the appropriate computer.

If the trailer wiring kit is already installed you will see an electrical connector for the trailer mounted near the license plate.

If you are having other than a dealer install the wiring kit BMW has clear technical instructions. If you can't get a copy from your dealer I can provide a link. Lots of info available on xoutpost.com as well.

Hope that helps. Good luck.

Jeff

PKI 07-29-2016 09:50 PM

The Easy lift is the standard recommended by CanAm. It is my belief that the X5 and an AS are better served by the Blue Ox Sway Pro. It sidesteps the hassle of a friction Sway Control and provides a reasonably soft TV to Coach link. The CanAm folks have been doing this for a long time and their advice is not to be discounted. Also the Easy lift will be a less expensive option. If your X5 does not have the air suspension, the more rigid link of the Easy lift may be of advantage.

Suggest you do your own investigation and understand your choices. Worth discussing Bono's suggestion to use an OEM hitch with him off line. He has gone through the process and has a unique perspective that is worth your time.

Edit - see Jeff's note above. He knows what he is talking about.

Good luck with your investigation. Pat

jcl 07-29-2016 09:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bgibbs (Post 1828404)
Be ready for really increased maintenance if you use your X5 as a tow vehicle. Towing is not what it was designed to do.

How do you account for the Trailer Stability Control that BMW designed into the vehicle? Towing is one of the things it was designed to do.

Towing will generally increase fuel consumption. Service intervals are triggered based on monitoring of vehicle parameters, so oil changes will be slightly more frequent.

jcl 07-29-2016 10:14 PM

Joy

I see you are already on xoutpost. I am jcl on there as well.

The link you got in your thread there to ECS shows the wiring module I recommend.

ECS also links the BMW install instructions for the hitch, the wiring kit, and the vehicle coding instructions. If this link doesn't work it is on the ECS page.

http://bd8ba3c866c8cbc330ab-7b26c6f3...ch_install.pdf

I do like the BMW receivers over aftermarket ones, and bought two of them, but I was not towing trailers that required hitch reinforcements. I respect CanAm's expertise, and I suspect that they like the Curt when planning reinforcements.

Jeff

bono 07-29-2016 10:29 PM

Curt hitch has longer drop plates. My guess is that shorter plates serve better / do not flex that much for weight distribution purposes.

I went with ProPride hitch to eliminate sway, but my trailer is longer (33 ft).

PKI 07-30-2016 10:02 AM

OP - this note is not for you. It is for folks with new X5s who may read this thread.

The hitches offered for the F15/16 (2014 and newer) are different than what was provided for E53 and E70 models. The 2014 and newer OEM hitch is not compatible with an Airstream. No 2-5/16" ball. The Invisihitch - Execuhitch removable shank design is not compatible with weight distribution. The welded receiver aftermarket hitches are available.

Towing more than 6000lbs or 600lbs tongue weight probably needs hitch reinforcement. There is much discussion on the capacities of the X5. Investigate and understand before you proceed. With the right considerations, the X5 is a very capable tow vehicle.

Good luck and travel safe. Pat

StillRod 07-30-2016 04:59 PM

My 2012 X5d hauls our 2015 FC Rear Twin quite capably. Fuel economy suffers, just as with any vehicle, in our case ~14.5 to 15.5 mpg, depending on terrain and speed.

I opted for BMW's rebranded Tekonsha Prodigy because it included the proprietary wiring harness...worth its weight in gold. It routes from the right side of the rear compartment to the center console. I had the dealer in Minneapolis install it for me just to avoid disassembling all the trim myself. That cost about two-hours labor.

Can-Am did a great job of reinforcing the OEM hitch receiver, and just inspected it in June. Its holding up quite well.

You'll have a different torque curve than my diesel. Change your fluids regularly, including transmission and transfer case, and your V-8 should do quite well.

Ignore the ton truck crowd and enjoy yourself.

Stelear 07-30-2016 05:43 PM

We just had our hitch and brake controller installed on our '15 X5 at U-haul in McKinney. They did a very clean job.

spreadmywing 07-30-2016 05:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by StillRod (Post 1828700)
My 2012 X5d hauls our 2015 FC Rear Twin quite capably. Fuel economy suffers, just as with any vehicle, in our case ~14.5 to 15.5 mpg, depending on terrain and speed.

I opted for BMW's rebranded Tekonsha Prodigy because it included the proprietary wiring harness...worth its weight in gold. It routes from the right side of the rear compartment to the center console. I had the dealer in Minneapolis install it for me just to avoid disassembling all the trim myself. That cost about two-hours labor.

Can-Am did a great job of reinforcing the OEM hitch receiver, and just inspected it in June. Its holding up quite well.

You'll have a different torque curve than my diesel. Change your fluids regularly, including transmission and transfer case, and your V-8 should do quite well.

Ignore the ton truck crowd and enjoy yourself.

Thank you so much. it is very encouraging. I assume you had been towing your FC 25 without the reinforcement for a while? How did that go? I cannot reach CAN AM until next spring. I have a 90 day trip planned from dallas texas zigzag back to Vancouver/Victoria/Whistler area before December. So it is estimated 3500 miles/5000km trip. I hope i will be ok without the reinforcement

spreadmywing 07-30-2016 05:51 PM

Yes, the dealer where I bought the AS recommended blue OX as well. I really don't have the expertise to tell the differences. :(

Bgibbs 07-30-2016 06:58 PM

Maybe a jet ski or kayak, but not an AS. Transmission is a weak link on the X5. Expect it to be the first thing to fail. I worked on BMW's for 40 years and I have seen many X5's in the shop from towing. I would not recommend it. Get a truck!

StillRod 08-01-2016 07:50 AM

We towed our prior Airstream, a 2012 FC 19 footer, extensively before having the hitch reinforced at Can-Am. We bought the 25 afterward, so I've no experience sans reinforcement.

Reinforcement consists of welding a custom bent 2x2" square steel tube (longitudinally, north-south if you will) from the receiver to a suitable attachment point forward of the rear axle. While Can-Am specializes in this work, I can't imagine that they are the only folks capable of performing the task.

PKI 08-01-2016 09:31 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by StillRod (Post 1829260)
-- snip -- from the receiver to a suitable attachment point forward of the rear axle. -- snip -- folks capable of performing the task.

Yes, there is a shop in LA that says they can reinforce. They bolt, not weld, which is interesting. Not seen a post who used them. Believe a Bay area shop helped Bono. Lots of shops do fab work if you have a design.

Any chance you have a picture of your forward attachment point. This is the first post that suggested attachment forward of rear axle. Certainly sounds like a good approach. Pat

bono 08-01-2016 10:35 AM

These are photos of my reinforcement. I believe StillRod used the same attachment point.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f463...ml#post1707559

PKI 08-01-2016 11:09 AM

Bono - it was my understanding that you attached behind the axle and that is what I see in the photos. It is common on solid axle suspension mods to include torque arms that attach to subframe connectors, which are forward of the rear axle. It's also a common approach for the suspension on the Nascar truck chassis. Thought that might be what was done for SRs reinforcement. Pat

spreadmywing 08-01-2016 11:36 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Stelear (Post 1828715)
We just had our hitch and brake controller installed on our '15 X5 at U-haul in McKinney. They did a very clean job.


I am beyond frustration. Dallas bmw dealer quoted me $3229 for installing their receiver and brake control.

I don't know who i should ask next for the installation. U-haul? I heard both good and horrible stories about uhaul

bono 08-01-2016 11:48 AM

Get OEM hitch with OEM harness. Use reputable hitch shop in your area (you may check via yelp). BMW estimates 2.5 hrs installation time with coding. Personally, I would not got to u-haul for installation. OEM brake controller is just plug and tow to the OEM harness. You do not have to install this permanently. BMW estimates 1.25 hrs (from memory) to install the brake controller. The stealer quote is just ridiculous.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-GENUINE-...BSq176&vxp=mtr

spreadmywing 08-01-2016 12:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bono (Post 1829377)
Get OEM hitch with OEM harness. Use reputable hitch shop in your area (you may check via yelp). BMW estimates 2.5 hrs installation time with coding. Personally, I would not got to u-haul for installation. OEM brake controller is just plug and tow to the OEM harness. You do not have to install this permanently. BMW estimates 1.25 hrs (from memory) to install the brake controller. The stealer quote is just ridiculous.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-GENUINE-...BSq176&vxp=mtr

Yes, they quoted 8.5 hours at $163. I told him the suggested installation time was 2.5 hours.

jcl 08-01-2016 04:30 PM

Joy

PM sent.

The 2.5 hours standard time from BMW is for the hitch receiver, trailer electrical control, and recoding the vehicle. It does not include the trailer brake controller.

Their time is still double what it should be.

Jeff

Stelear 08-01-2016 11:02 PM

Uhaul did a great job and we were out the door with hitch and brake controller for $879.00.

StillRod 08-02-2016 06:43 AM

Brain Cramp. My attachment point is forward of the rear lateral exhaust componentry. It is NOT forward of the rear axle. I like the idea of bolts vs. welds to accommodate potential future maintenance needs.

David F 08-02-2016 07:24 AM

I also tow my Airstream with a 2008 BMW X5 4.8i. I installed a BMW (purchased through dealer parts department) receiver hitch and wiring harness/controller. The "official" BMW electric brake controller is nothing more than a mounting kit for a standard (non BMW) brake controller. I ended up using the Prodigy RF controller with stellar results. Like others have said in other threads, you must pair the RF controller to a regular vehicle and then transfer to the BMW. The trailer wiring module will not allow the brake controller to pair with the BMW.

As far as the BMW transmission suffering from trailering, it is possible just like any other vehicle, even trucks. The automatic transmission is made by ZF and is used in many vehicles, even some GM's. The key to saving the transmission is avoid high load/rpm shifting (let up on throttle and then use the steptronic to force the upshift). Also, towing will cause higher fluid temperature and quicker fluid degradation due to the heat. So, change the lifetime fluid more often and the transmission will last just fine.

spreadmywing 08-02-2016 06:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jcl (Post 1829518)
Joy

PM sent.

The 2.5 hours standard time from BMW is for the hitch receiver, trailer electrical control, and recoding the vehicle. It does not include the trailer brake controller.

Their time is still double what it should be.

Jeff


Hi Jeff

Their quote on that is down from $3200 to $1080, based on 5.5 hours labor without parts.

I am still looking for solutions.

spreadmywing 08-02-2016 06:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Stelear (Post 1829699)
Uhaul did a great job and we were out the door with hitch and brake controller for $879.00.


What kind of hitch and controller they used? Theirs or you supplied the parts?

If your TV the same as mine? X5

I got a quote from them for $675 with their uhaul brand parts. And they don't install any parts if they are not from them.

I just called one location in Dallas. Different locations might be different?

spreadmywing 08-02-2016 07:00 PM

Thank you David! So nice to see another x5 towing case!

So to clarify: there are three parts

1. Hitch receiver. Could be OEM or other brand. In my case, Andy suggested CURT class III

2. Electric harness. It is wiring stuff through the car. OEM or third party

3. Electric brake controller. Looks like to box. It will plug to the electric harness interface. Could be OEM or prodigy P3.

Correct?

So if I follow andy's advice and input from people here, it could be:

1. CURT receiver (from Andy's advice)
2. BMW OEM harness (for more signal control, from people here)
3. Prodigy P3 controller (to plug into the harness)

Then it seems there is coding in the process (which step? Who is the best to do the above job, especially coding?)

jcl 08-02-2016 07:09 PM

There is only coding involved if you use the BMW OE wiring harness. It is available separately if you go with the Curt hitch. It can be done by the dealer, or an independent shop with the appropriate computer tool. Not likely by U Haul, but that is just a guess.

Jeff

David F 08-03-2016 07:56 AM

The OE wiring harness is ready/setup for any typical electric brake controller (BMW uses prodigy). However, a set of wires must be run from the rear right electrical compartment to the controller location...a pain in the you know what. For this reason and not wanting to mount the controller, I went with the RF controller. When not towing the Airstream, the controller stays with the Airstream and I don't lose a cup holder as you would with the OE setup.

My suggestion is go OE with the receiver hitch and wiring/control module. You wont be sorry and it all is made for the truck. Get the trim for the rear bumper cutout. The receive mounting height is correct, etc. I paid $510 for the receiver/wiring/module kit from my local dealer. Installation was straightforward. I normally do my own coding, but for some reason failed in my attempt to code the trailer module. My local INDY coded the module for $60.00

Receiver kit: 71-60-2-156-525
Bumper trim: 71-60-0-035-371

spreadmywing 08-03-2016 10:52 AM

Hi David!

Thank you for your reply. How much labor cost the dealer charges? Mine for installing parts I supply is $1008 (installation alone).

They will get back to me with OEM parts and installation. But they are so incredibly slow to respond. Haven't heard from them.

Got a local hitch shop's quote

CURT class III: parts and labor: $425

$400 for prodigy RF using Bmw harness kit I provide
$285 for P3 with BMW harness kit I provide.

They have done installation on BMW X5. Sounds like he knows his stuff and has good reviews on Yelp.

He hasn't installed the OEM hitch receiver and couldn't give me an estimate on labor hours ($110/hour)

So any recommendation on RF vs P3? Both are reliable?

spreadmywing 08-03-2016 03:49 PM

redundant?
 
finally I got response from my dealer. But I think in the quote there is redundant part 71602156526 electrical kit should be already included in hitch trailer kit 71602156525?

Please verify if you know because the rep became inpatient when I asked him to confirm.

David F 08-03-2016 04:36 PM

My recollection is that the harness and control module are included in the receiver hitch part number I provided. The module is important as it turns off parking sensors when trailer connected among other important functions.

Kit comes with installation instructions. Not very difficult if comfortable doing your own occasional car repairs.

jcl 08-03-2016 04:41 PM

Both hitch kits I installed on my own vehicles (X3 and X5) included the wiring harness.

This link from ECS shows the BMW part number for the hitch kit, and notes that it includes the wiring harness.

https://www.ecstuning.com/b-genuine-...t/71602156525/

This link from ECS shows the detail of the BMW wiring kit, and notes that it is included in the hitch kit

https://www.ecstuning.com/b-genuine-...s/71602156526/


I suspect that the parts clerk who priced out those two items for you at the dealership just went off your request and doesn't know what is in the kit. Hopefully the service department is more on the ball.

Jeff

spreadmywing 08-03-2016 05:43 PM

BMW X5 towing setup
 
Finally the dealer confirmed it was redundant. But still they quote 5.5 hours labor instead of 2.5 hour suggested labor time.

Also I am a little bit confused about brake controller. Now I am inclined to install prodigy RF model. I was told just it need to screw on the trailer? Do I need BMW dealer to install this? Or coding is required for the brake controller?

Millions of thanks to you, I am getting closer to final resolution. Please bear with me!

I feel dismayed that after reading pages and pages of info, I don't seem to understand more of the fundamentals. Where did the classical mechanics, physics knowledge I learned in school go? :(

PKI 08-03-2016 07:11 PM

We have the RF brake controller and like it a lot. Hand unit takes power from a cigarette lighter socket and requires no hard wires to be connected. Brake control bolts to tongue and communicates through 7 wire conductor cable between the hitch socket and the trailer umbilical plug. The issue that you could have is mating the units. Ours went with no problems. Sometimes another vehicle is required to perform this step in activation. Also you may need to use an adapter ($40) which provides incandescent resistance that the LED tail lights on the trailer do not provide. Pat

spreadmywing 08-03-2016 08:54 PM

Thank you pat!

I watched more YouTube and found the unit was mounted on the trailer. So my question is "should I bring it to my airstream dealer for them to install and pair?"

After my BMW dealer installs OEM hitch receiver and electrical harness and programming, then their job is done?

If would be easier if both my TV and AS are at the same location. But they are not

PKI 08-03-2016 09:21 PM

We had our AS dealer source and install the RF at a cost of $600 so all including the pairing was their responsibility. You could likely source the brake control and have them do the install labor. Worth asking, especially if they are installing the weight distribution hitch. Pat

dc601 11-01-2016 07:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by StillRod (Post 1828700)
My 2012 X5d hauls our 2015 FC Rear Twin quite capably. Fuel economy suffers, just as with any vehicle, in our case ~14.5 to 15.5 mpg, depending on terrain and speed.

I opted for BMW's rebranded Tekonsha Prodigy because it included the proprietary wiring harness...worth its weight in gold. It routes from the right side of the rear compartment to the center console. I had the dealer in Minneapolis install it for me just to avoid disassembling all the trim myself. That cost about two-hours labor.

Can-Am did a great job of reinforcing the OEM hitch receiver, and just inspected it in June. Its holding up quite well.

You'll have a different torque curve than my diesel. Change your fluids regularly, including transmission and transfer case, and your V-8 should do quite well.

Ignore the ton truck crowd and enjoy yourself.

Hi I just got a 19' Bambi and I own a x5 diesel as well. Would you be able to let me how high the hitch ball should be?

Thanks!

PKI 11-01-2016 08:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dc601 (Post 1871811)
Hi I just got a 19' Bambi and I own a x5 diesel as well. Would you be able to let me how high the hitch ball should be?

Thanks!

Well, it depends on what hitch you will use on the X5 (a WDH will raise the ball when weight is transfered), your tongue weight loaded to travel (more weight depresses the ball or requires more weight transfer), the weight you load behind the wheels of the X5 (adds to tongue weight), which X5 you have (different hitches for different X5s), and if the X5 has an air suspension (with, X5 self levels and without the X5 will squat).

The short answer is the ball needs to be the height that allows the coach to be level.

An air suspension will level the X5. The ball can be at the height that levels the coach. Load the X5 as much forward as possible to keep weight on the front axle.

If you plan to tow with a WDH, you need to apply enough weight transfer to return the unhitched front axle loading, more if your rear axle is overloaded (it likely will not be) or you want to use the WDH to move more tongue weight forward.

If you do not intend to tow with a WDH and the X5 does not have air suspension, then the hitch ball will need to be higher than final ride height to compensate for squat and you will need to load the X5 as much forward as possible to keep the front axle loaded. Plan on nothing behind the rear axle.

Also, as long as the trailer has enough clearance to turn without hitting the X5, it is a good idea for the ball to be as close as possible to the bumper. Less overhang reduces the lever arm the trailer has on the Tow vehicle and improves stability. Sometimes, a new pin hole has to be drilled in the ball mount shank to move the ball closer.

Even if you do not use WDH, a sway control device is a good idea. You should consider some type of sway control.

Rig setup is a trial and error process. Spend the effort and time necessary to get it right. Your towing experience will improve considerably if you do.

Investigate your options. Understand the compromises of each and make the decision that is best and safest for you.

Good luck with your effort and travel Safe. Pat

dc601 11-01-2016 11:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by PKI (Post 1871835)
Well, it depends on what hitch you will use on the X5 (a WDH will raise the ball when weight is transfered), your tongue weight loaded to travel (more weight depresses the ball or requires more weight transfer), the weight you load behind the wheels of the X5 (adds to tongue weight), which X5 you have (different hitches for different X5s), and if the X5 has an air suspension (with, X5 self levels and without the X5 will squat).

The short answer is the ball needs to be the height that allows the coach to be level.

An air suspension will level the X5. The ball can be at the height that levels the coach. Load the X5 as much forward as possible to keep weight on the front axle.

If you plan to tow with a WDH, you need to apply enough weight transfer to return the unhitched front axle loading, more if your rear axle is overloaded (it likely will not be) or you want to use the WDH to move more tongue weight forward.

If you do not intend to tow with a WDH and the X5 does not have air suspension, then the hitch ball will need to be higher than final ride height to compensate for squat and you will need to load the X5 as much forward as possible to keep the front axle loaded. Plan on nothing behind the rear axle.

Also, as long as the trailer has enough clearance to turn without hitting the X5, it is a good idea for the ball to be as close as possible to the bumper. Less overhang reduces the lever arm the trailer has on the Tow vehicle and improves stability. Sometimes, a new pin hole has to be drilled in the ball mount shank to move the ball closer.

Even if you do not use WDH, a sway control device is a good idea. You should consider some type of sway control.

Rig setup is a trial and error process. Spend the effort and time necessary to get it right. Your towing experience will improve considerably if you do.

Investigate your options. Understand the compromises of each and make the decision that is best and safest for you.

Good luck with your effort and travel Safe. Pat

Hey thanks pat! I am using the wdh but the ball is set to the middle height. But I will definitely investigate and see. Does your x5 diesel tow well?

Thanks again
Dennis

PKI 11-02-2016 08:22 PM

Yes, Bimmer tows Glimmer quite well, but we do run Premium and not diesel. :)

Travel safe. Pat


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