Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 08-01-2020, 09:20 PM   #1
New Member
 
Currently Looking...
Fort Collins , Colorado
Join Date: Jul 2020
Posts: 3
2020 X3 towing a new 16RB

Have been reading these forums for a while going down the various rabbit holes around hitch types, whether WD is necessary, sway control, etc, etc. Endless variables to consider, but I wanted to post our proposed setup and get some feedback -

We have a 2020 BMW X3 xdrive30i with the factory tow package, which has a max tow of 4400lbs and max tongue at 440lbs

This is plenty for the Bambi 16RB we’re looking at, and seems like a safe margin under the max

I’m in the process of wiring in a brake controller, as anyone with a BMW knows they make it a real PITA to do, but after piecing together a bunch of info from X5 and X3 forums I’m gonna just wire in a redarc. Etrailer suggested a wireless, but leaving braking up to Bluetooth seems insane to me.

We live in Colorado, so lots of up and down hills, and lots of wind, and lots of highway miles.

The other variable with this is the BMW Trailer Stability Control, which is why (as I understand it) BMW says no WD hitches under 6000lbs or so. Apparently a WD hitch would interfere with this system working, as it would mask the symptoms? The stability control system would actually independently brake the trailer if sway happens, and ultimately the car too if the trailer brakes alone cannot resolve the problem. ** Edit - there is some info online that suggest maybe this is WDH advisory is no longer true on the new G01 models, and after reviewing the manual I can’t find anything against it.

Originally I was just gonna get a Weigh Safe ball hitch and run with that, thinking if I kept the tongue weight in check I’d be fine, but it seems like some other BMW owners still use WD/sway control systems.

So - after all that, any thoughts? Do I run on the ball and trust the computer to manage sway? Does the trailer even weight enough to require WD?

Any feedback appreciated, have spent hours and hours reading about this stuff and am just confusing myself even more
__________________

prolix21 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2020, 09:42 PM   #2
Rivet Master
 
Halford1's Avatar
 
2017 16' Sport
Canyon Country , California
Join Date: May 2019
Posts: 569
My Explorer rows 16’ Bambi without any issues. I use wireless brake controller and love it! I never use WDH and I do the internal weight distributing carefully by placing heavy stuff close to tongue and light stuff toward rear. People here will scream that I’m doing it wrong but I never had any swaying issues on long trips. I have been towing for 27 years and had several sways which was solved by moving heavy stuff from rear toward front.
__________________

__________________
2014 Ford Explorer XLT with factory installed Tow Package.

2017 M16 Bambi
Halford1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2020, 10:15 PM   #3
jcl
Rivet Master
 
Currently Looking...
Vancouver , British Columbia
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 2,299
My background is 6 BMWs, towed with two of them (X5 and X3), installed my own hitch receivers and wiring (ex mechanic), no experience with the 2020 model.

My last 5 BMWs had TSC as part of the DSC.

I would use WD equipment with sway control on a new X3. BMW tech info comes from Germany, where their design engineers are, and where they don’t use WD, but have trailers with much less rotational inertia and, thus, lower design tongue weights. I see no reason for conflict between the TSC (which is activated in a sway event) and WD equipment (which helps prevent that event). Think of TSC as being like ABS. All going well, you will never need either. Driving such that you need to rely on it is a poor plan IMO.

I would be surprised if your TSC activates trailer brakes, especially since there isn’t an integrated trailer brake control. Not clear how it would do that. Recall that in Europe, where the BMW design engineers work, they use trailer surge brakes. My TSC activated the tow vehicle brakes only, I also tested it, on snow with a large box trailer, and couldn’t get it to activate. I was able to activate DSC, TC, and ABS in controlled skid pad conditions; just not TSC. You would know if it did activate, as the warning light would come on on the dash.

I would use a wireless brake controller. Braking doesn’t depend on the wireless connection, it is an inertia switch. The wireless connection is to tune it, not activate it, in normal circumstances. Yes, wiring it in can be more difficult than it should be. With earlier models there was a BMW branded third party controller, which helped. Also, wiring diagrams which indicated which terminal of the LCM to use as a signal. Not sure about the current model.

Part of the reason for the recommendation to use WD equipment with your vehicle is that you have very good solo vehicle handling in part due to well balanced design front-rear solo vehicle weight distribution, likely close to 50:50. Keep it, don’t waste it. That means using WD when towing. That handling benefit can help avoid a crash or dangerous situation.

Jeff
jcl is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-02-2020, 11:22 AM   #4
New Member
 
Currently Looking...
Fort Collins , Colorado
Join Date: Jul 2020
Posts: 3
Thanks Jeff, this is all really helpful - the info around towing on a X series seems to vary wildly between years/models and it seems very few people use them as TVs so the info is a bit sparse on forums. Dealers also seem to have NO IDEA about towing and BMWs, which is why we opted for the factory tow package to avoid misinformation.

Some BMW literature I read had suggested the TSC had some ability to activate the trailer brakes independently, but it was a typical BMW tech post that didnít reference model years or models, so who knows. The lack of into probably, as you suggest, makes relying on that system for sway control a poor choice. Our manual for our X3 says barely anything about towing, we just know it has TSC and various other bells and whistles that tow model enables.

Iíll do some more homework on WD hitches, but your point about the 50/50 weight is also one I hadnít considered. I know the G01 is nearly perfect 50/50, someone on one of the BMW forums recently weighed thereís and it wasnít even 1 lb off.

I actually found that 4 pin BMW branded brake controller interface and was able to find the male connector type on ECS so Iíve ordered that and some pins and was going to see if I could wire up my own adapter, as I also found the tow harness wiring diagram on newtis.info - if it looks risky Iíll just go wireless
prolix21 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-2020, 06:56 PM   #5
1 Rivet Member
 
Currently Looking...
Dublin , California
Join Date: Aug 2020
Posts: 6
Prolix21 - Your post and the feedback from JCL and Halford1 are of huge interest to me. I'm looking to tow a 2018 Bambi RB16 w/a 2019 X3. In short, its reassuring to know it is possible to tow an RB16 w/an X3. And added WD is okay.



As for tow packages and WD, does it matter if its factory installed as opposed to after market (i.e. Stealth Hitch)? Trying to get to the bottom of this question.



Like Prolix21, lots of info online that lends itself to further confusion. Would appreciate any further insight here. And, Prolix21, look forward to hearing how it all works out for you. Cheers!
PressLuck is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-2020, 07:12 PM   #6
jcl
Rivet Master
 
Currently Looking...
Vancouver , British Columbia
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 2,299
Various hidden or stealth hitch receiver designs prioritize removable ball assemblies over receiver strength, and so aren’t suitable for WD equipment.

I would use a traditional receiver design intended for WD use. It needs to be able to handle the torque of the WD bars. It would matter less to me whether it was from the dealer or aftermarket.

I do like the factory/dealer wiring modules on BMW vehicles, whether the receiver selected is from BMW or not. The ones I installed were far better integrated than the aftermarket offerings.
jcl is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-2020, 07:51 PM   #7
Rivet Master
 
2018 25' International
Slidell , Louisiana
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 1,923
Jeff - jcl provided some great guidance in my opinion, I will try not to be too redundant. I will add to some of the comments:

Quote:
Originally Posted by prolix21 View Post

The other variable with this is the BMW Trailer Stability Control, which is why (as I understand it) BMW says no WD hitches under 6000lbs or so. Apparently a WD hitch would interfere with this system working, as it would mask the symptoms?
I doubt the BMW engineers would claim passive sway control interferes with the active asymmetric braking feedback control they use. I can tell you it does not unless the passive resistance is not proportional with hitch angle. The Recurve sway hitch is an example so you may want to avoid that one.


Quote:
The stability control system would actually independently brake the trailer if sway happens, and ultimately the car too if the trailer brakes alone cannot resolve the problem. ** Edit - there is some info online that suggest maybe this is WDH advisory is no longer true on the new G01 models, and after reviewing the manual I canít find anything against it.
As you and others surmised it does not make use of the trailer brakes. Lot's of problem still to be worked out before this will be a reality.

Quote:
Originally I was just gonna get a Weigh Safe ball hitch and run with that, thinking if I kept the tongue weight in check Iíd be fine, but it seems like some other BMW owners still use WD/sway control systems.

So - after all that, any thoughts? Do I run on the ball and trust the computer to manage sway? Does the trailer even weight enough to require WD?

Any feedback appreciated, have spent hours and hours reading about this stuff and am just confusing myself even more
Jeff is spot on, you want some modest WD with good sway support. This will give you a margin of safety to stably travel at US speeds of up to and a tad over 75 mph. If you tow without WD and sway control you will want to keep your speeds below 62-65 mph at all times to avoid disappointment or worse.
__________________
Brian
BayouBiker is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-2020, 08:19 PM   #8
Rivet Master
 
Halford1's Avatar
 
2017 16' Sport
Canyon Country , California
Join Date: May 2019
Posts: 569
I mastered the swaying issue by using 60/40 weight method. I would say that 50/50 is very dangerous and it would not work with Bambi 16' since that the axle is between the rear bumper and the center of AS rather than at the center of Bambi. There is no way to make it 50/50 with Bambi.

Found an article:
The Ford Trailer Sway Control (or TSC) system is standard on many of Ford's new vehicles, including the F-150 and Super Duty pickup trucks and Escape, Expedition, and Explorer sport utility vehicles. TSC uses the AdvanceTrac with Roll Stability Control System (or RSC) to help keep the truck and trailer combination in control.

This is what I have and I do not use any WD or Sway control bars... I do not have any issue with 18 wheelers speed pass me or I pass them... it all narrow down to the 60/60 internal Weight distributing. it would only work for 16' and 19' Airstream trailers.

If I plan on getting longer AS, i may resort in using some form of WDH system but I am not going to focus on that now.

It also comes to how much skill and knowledge of towing one has in towing 16' and 19' AS. I have had 27 years experience in towing with various of trailers, not once with any form of WDH.
__________________
2014 Ford Explorer XLT with factory installed Tow Package.

2017 M16 Bambi
Halford1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-2020, 08:38 PM   #9
Rivet Master
 
2018 25' International
Slidell , Louisiana
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 1,923
hartford, I'm fairly sure they were referring to the X3 weight distribution. The trailer net stability is maximum with 15% tongue weight which is about 60/40 if I understand the description. As long as the tow vehicle inertia relative to the trailer and also vehicle tire cornering stiffness is high you won't see issues with sway at normal highway speeds, so that seems consistent with your experience.
__________________

__________________
Brian
BayouBiker is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
New bambi 16rb owner needing guidance/mentoring! SUP'n Woman Generators & Solar Power 5 08-05-2020 07:19 PM
New to Travel Trailers - 2019 Bambi 16RB chs_stream Member Introductions 11 06-25-2020 10:58 AM
2020 Bambi 16RB weight question splat matt 2005 and newer - Bambi all models 61 06-20-2020 03:24 PM
How much Tow vehicle for a Sport 16rb? fishbisquit 2005 and newer - Bambi all models 86 12-02-2019 08:18 PM
Sport 16RB vs 22FB w/ Highlander OldExplorer Towing, Tow Vehicles & Hitches 27 03-14-2018 09:13 PM


Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by the Airstream, Inc. or any of its affiliates. Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:47 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.