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Old 11-29-2020, 11:38 PM   #1
La Lata
 
2021 20' Caravel
San Francisco , California
Join Date: Aug 2020
Posts: 25
Angry 2020 BMW X5 xDrive40i + 2021 Caravel 20' Electrical Problems

I'm wondering if others have run into the issues I describe here with a combination of a 2020 BMW X5 xDrive40i, 2021 Caravel 20' with 2 90W Solar Panels and Lithium batteries.

- 20 minutes after leaving the dealer post purchase we got an error that said "Trailer Electrics Overload" on the dash. After turning off the car and starting again, it went away, but started up a second time after about 20 minutes. It has not happened again. As a guess of a solution, I bought one of these: https://www.etrailer.com/Accessories...on/FR69SR.html and it hasn't happened again, but not sure if this even mattered. BMW could not figure out what might have cause that error even after running diagnostics on it.

- a couple months later, I found the trailer camera and brake controller had no power when I started the car. I removed the Furrion adapter and the camera had power, but not the brake controller. After getting BMW to finally tell me what fuses are for the 7-way (bmw.com/fusecard is broken), I found fuse 213 15amp had blown. I replaced it and it blew a second time. It has not blown after I decided not to use the Furrion adapter, but as you can tell I have limited evidence that was the problem.

I'd love to hear from others who have seen these issues and may have answers or advice.

Thanks,
Gerardo
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Old 11-30-2020, 11:17 AM   #2
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2021 20' Caravel
Pittsburgh , Pennsylvania
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gcapiel View Post
I'd love to hear from others who have seen these issues and may have answers or advice.
We just purchased a 2021 BMW X5 xDrive45e (plug-in electric) and should be picking up our '21 Caravel in the next 2 weeks. I'll update after our maiden 2-hour drive home.

We also plan to have the Curt Echo brake controller in-line with the 7-way so that may be an interesting wrinkle....

Best,
PJ
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Old 11-30-2020, 11:25 AM   #3
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The BMW site is up today.

I don't have experience with either vehicle or trailer, but I'd suggest looking at the amp rating for your camera and trailer brakes.

To me, a 15 amp circuit seems too small to handle both circuits. That's probably because my EOH brake actuator requires a 30 amp fuse (Tuson Actulink 1600).
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Old 11-30-2020, 02:12 PM   #4
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2021 25' Globetrotter
Cleveland , Ohio
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I pulled a 2021 FC23 with a 2020 BMW X5. No Issues. If you're blowing fuses, when the trailer is plugged it's likely there is a short in the trailer. Might be worth while to see if the 7-way cord on the trailer is being cut anywhere between the plug and the electric box. Likely the propane cover.
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Old 11-30-2020, 02:19 PM   #5
La Lata
 
2021 20' Caravel
San Francisco , California
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Looks like the Tekonsha Trailer Brake Control - Proportional 90250 requires 20 amp, so that may be part of the problem, though it was fine on three prior trips. Any thoughts on other ways to handle?
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Old 11-30-2020, 02:22 PM   #6
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2021 20' Caravel
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Did you try putting your VIN on https://www.bmw.ie/en/topics/owners/fusecard.html ? It doesn’t work for me.
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Old 12-01-2020, 09:26 AM   #7
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2008 16' Bambi
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My TV is a 2017 X5d for my 2008 Bambi 16. I use a Curt Echo wireless brake controller. No electrical issues with my set up. I have read elsewhere that lithium batteries in the trailer may impact the TV.

My set up is still a single lead acid battery and I hope to make improvements to lithium and solar so Iím interested to hear how this turns out for you.
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Old 12-01-2020, 10:33 AM   #8
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Before the blown fuse I was thinking that the solar might have gotten the battery voltage high enough to cause the error.
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Old 12-02-2020, 09:49 AM   #9
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2021 20' Caravel
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Trailer Amperage Draw

I've been DMing with the OP since we have other stuff to talk about, but here's a summary of what I think is the issue. Others here will have more details to fill in, so please feel free to do so.

Seems like the factory X5's 7-way fuse is a 15 amp. OP's brake controller (and my Curt Echo) recommend a 30 amp fuse in the 7-way.

As I understand it, while towing, the Airstream will power the fridge (new 12v models) and charge the batteries off the 12v (plus maybe more?) each adding amperage load to the circuit.

So, my guess is that the times when the fuse did not blow, the amperage draw was less than 15 amps (i.e. if batteries were fully charged).

I emailed Curt to get the amperage draw on the Echo and am going to call my BMW dealer to try and get an answer if there's any danger (re: wiring gauge/fire hazard) for putting a 30 amp fuse in the 7-way slot (happy to hear any thoughts on that!)

More when I get answers...
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Old 12-02-2020, 11:47 AM   #10
La Lata
 
2021 20' Caravel
San Francisco , California
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So today, I again got the original "Trailer Electrics overload - Trailer not lit or only partially lit. Turn off electrical devices in trailer. Have the problem checked by your service center" error message.

I stopped getting this error message when I've used the Furrion Adapter (etrailer Item # FR69SR). But as posted before, this week the Furrion is blowing the 15 amp fuse. Why this did not happen on two prior trips I don't know. Maybe the Furrion adapter became damaged with the elements.

I did kill the power in the trailer which would power down the fridge, but that didn't make a difference. What I do know is that the Trailer Electrics overload message seems to go away after turning off the car, unplugging/replugging the 7-way, driving a little bit again and repeating. But it's annoying having to pull over and you do have loss of the read view camera and lights, so not safe driving with the Trailer electrics error message. I wonder if the solar and lithium batteries is part of the problem here.

Good luck getting information from BMW. When I brought the car in and told them about the Trailer electrics overload error a couple of months ago, they couldn't figure it out from the logs. Hopefully, the Airstream dealer can figure it out.

Thoughts?
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Old 12-02-2020, 12:13 PM   #11
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This might not be helpful but....I had a similar problem with a big box trailer (28' fifth wheel) and Dodge Ram that I used to own. I keep blowing the trailer fuse to the 7 pin plug. Could not figure out why. Since I lived in the country, I decided to drive down a bumpy road with my trailer lights on and noticed they would flicker when I hit a bump. Come too find out I had a ground in my trailer wiring. Traced the wires and found where one of the wires was rubbing against the frame. You cannot do this since everything is enclosed. Do any trailer lights flicker as you are driving down the road? It seems like a reach but maybe it is the plug (trailer or BMW). I had a trailer plug go bad on my Mercedes ML350 and it caused me a few anxious moments (the Mercedes dealer eventually tested each pin and found that I had a ground in my ML wiring harness. Took them 6 hours to find the location of the ground). Or, a wiring harness issue? Maybe the dealership could help you with looking for a ground and check that all the pins on the trailer plug were working correctly? Since I am a better mechanic than electrical this might not be good advice. I know this is a reach, just trying to help. Good Luck
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Old 12-03-2020, 08:26 AM   #12
La Lata
 
2021 20' Caravel
San Francisco , California
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One more theory is that the Airstream Connected is also adding to the load. I disconnected it yesterday and so far so good with the “Trailer Electrics Overload” error, but it’s so intermittent that I’m not yet convinced especially given the router is 12W max.
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Old 12-03-2020, 08:43 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Demi View Post
We just purchased a 2021 BMW X5 xDrive45e (plug-in electric) and should be picking up our '21 Caravel in the next 2 weeks.

Demi, I would love it if you did please report back on your set up and your experience towing. We are due to take delivery of an X5 45e in 2 weeks and we are considering purchasing a 19 ft Caravel. With the Caravelís 5000 lb GVWR and the X5ís 7200 lb tow capacity (with factory hitch), I probably shouldnít be worried at all, but I have read conflicting information about max tongue/hitch weight (550-595) and ability to use a W/D hitch. Specs for the 19CB Caravel show a hitch weight of 550 unloaded, so hitch weight could be close to or over max even though over 2000 lbs to spare on trailer weight??

In any event, Iím thinking the hybrid electric motor should be great for towing.
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Old 12-05-2020, 09:38 AM   #14
La Lata
 
2021 20' Caravel
San Francisco , California
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So, Iíve gotten the Trailer Electrics Overload error once since unplugging the WiFi. As usual it seems to get fixed by reinserting the 7-way. Iím starting to wonder if itís related to the 7-way being a bit loose. The blown fuses have not happened since removing the Furrion adapter and I wonder if that device just went bad and had nothing to do with resolving the Trailer Electrics Problem except for a tighter fit connection on 7-way.

Gerardo
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Old 12-05-2020, 03:16 PM   #15
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Have your pins checked.
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Old 12-06-2020, 05:32 AM   #16
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There are issues with towing in regard to the newer euro 6 vehicles. Here is a video from Charles Sterling explaining the issue.

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Old 12-06-2020, 07:27 AM   #17
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There are issues with towing in regard to the newer euro 6 vehicles. Here is a video from Charles Sterling explaining the issue.

Thanks for sharing the video. Excellent source of information.
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Old 12-07-2020, 01:34 AM   #18
La Lata
 
2021 20' Caravel
San Francisco , California
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Ok, big clue today. We hit a big bump and the Trailer Electrics Overload message came on and the camera and trailer lights went out. I now think itís purely an issue with the 7-pin connector becoming loose. Iím taking it to the dealer on Tuesday and will hopefully learn more.

Thanks for all the ideas, particularly those suspecting the 7-way pins.
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Old 12-16-2020, 10:05 AM   #19
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2021 20' Caravel
Indianapolis , Indiana
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Thanks for this heads up. I have a 2018 I35 and will be picking up a 2021 Caravel 20 ft in February. I am using a Curt Echo. BMW installed the trailer wiring harness.
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Old 12-16-2020, 07:25 PM   #20
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1957 22' Custom
San Diego , California
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2019 BMW X5 40i here. Ours has a factory trailer package, which includes a built-in Pollak-brand 7-way socket located near the hitch receiver. We use the same old Tekonsha P2 brake controller we used on our last tow vehicle, hard-wired to the built-in under-dash wiring. For what itís worth, we havenít had any blown car fuses. But please note that our trailerís constant 12v circuit from the tow vehicle only powers our trailer batteryís trickle charger, not any other trailer circuits. On one trip we did get an error warning when using the left turn signal, and found that our trailerís left turn/stoplight had stopped working. It turned out that the trailerís 7-way plug was faulty. Splicing in a new 7-way trailer plug solved the problem.
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