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Old 05-31-2024, 12:22 AM   #1
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Towing Basecamp 20X with BMW X7 and Stealth hitch?

Hi all!

First of all, this is my *first* post in 4+ years because, excitedly, I have a new Airstream! I sold my 2018 Sport 16RB during the pandemic because we were having a baby. Now, that baby is 3.5 and we have a 3 week old.... obviously perfect timing to buy another AS

We bought a Basecamp 20X (2024) in the Bay Area

My question this time around is regarding tow vehicles. I previously towed my 16 with a Jeep GC and it towed super easy, like a dream. Here's my current scenario:

- We currently own a '22 BMW X7 xDrive40i + M Sport Package. Its a great car, low miles (14k) on a lease which we were planning on purchasing outright when it expired at the end of this year
- Unfortunately, when we bought it in '22, there were limited X7 options so we couldn't get one with a hitch/ tow package
- The only option now is to add a Stealth Hitch. It generally has a good reputation here and on Bimmer post (although I did see someone write about theirs failing which scared the hell out of me). I was quoted a Stealth install by a local licensed Stealth shop and it was reasonable.
- Basecamp GWVR is 4300 lbs/ tongue weight is 500 lbs. The X7 from factory is rated at 7500 lbs/ 606 tongue weight or after-market at 5900 lbs/600 tongue weight. The Stealth hitch is rated for 8000 lbs weirdly (which doesn't make sense since I would assume the X7 rating is the one to look at).

I usually deal in excessive margins (more than 10%). This *does* pass the smell test but having no experience with Stealth hitches, I'm a bit nervous. The other issue is that BMW doesn't allow WD hitches so I can't use my beloved Equalizer that I had on my 16RB.

I plan on towing myself, wife, and 2 little ones. Short trips (weekenders). I'm a very obedient driver - always go 55!

My current game plan is:

- Add Stealth hitch (w/ wiring package)
- Add Curt manual sway control (https://www.curtmfg.com/weight-distr...n/sway-control) since I can't have a WD
- Add Curt Echo brake controller

My questions:

- Any concerns with this setup?
- Any other options?
- Anybody out there with a similar setup?
- Anybody out there towing an AS Basecamp or otherwise WITH a WD hitch anyway?

Thank you!
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Old 05-31-2024, 05:30 AM   #2
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I would get a different tow vehicle.
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Old 05-31-2024, 09:33 AM   #3
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The X7 is a very large and heavy vehicle, with plenty of power.

Will the dealer sell you a receiver from the BMW accessory catalogue? They're over a thousand dollars if available, but the design seems a lot stronger than the Stealth unit (which is not weak, but I don't like the removable component).

In particular, I'd expect that the BMW receiver will take a reasonable amount of torsion from a weight distributing hitch before it flexes. This is because it has bars that install into the frame rails, rather than simply being bolted onto the bumper flanges at the end of the frame rails. It's built with a 2" internal receiver tube, but the rest of the unit is very much a European design.

If you can't get a BMW receiver, I'd suggest finding someone who would modify the Stealth unit with a proper fixed receiver. But you will need to find a shop that does custom trailer hitch work.

You could buy the Stealth receiver, but you'd be hoping that you don't need a weight distributing hitch for optimal stability. The 20X is not exactly the small and light trailer that the original Base Camp was.
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Old 05-31-2024, 10:37 AM   #4
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It isn't a straightforward answer. There is the BMW factory way, the BMW option via the parts department way, the Stealth way, and then the custom hitch way.

Firstly, my experience is with multiple X5s, not the X7, but they are built on the same platform. Mine weren't the latest generation. The G07 has been built since 2019, but had a facelift in 2022, apparently not including changes to the rear apron which is the part that has historically mattered most for fitment.

The M Sport option is an additional complication. That relates to physical interference with the rear air diffuser/apron around the hitch receiver. The usual solution is to trim the plastic, but I haven't done that on a G07. I had a 5 series M sport.

1) If it is possible to use a factory BMW (OEM) part, I would do so. I am not a fan of the Stealth hitches due to their design, I think that they put looks over function. The limitation on WD with these hitches is due to the drop in the receiver, which isn't strong in bending. If you reinforce it you negate the advantage of the removable receiver.

2) There is a BMW OEM part, but you would have to confirm if it is the same for the 2022 model. Also, there is the M Sport question. See Real OEM, and try this link here:

https://www.realoem.com/bmw/enUS/sho...diagId=71_1119

3) The OEM part appears to be the detachable style. If so, there is little to choose between that and the Stealth hitch.

4) You can contact E Trailer and see their web site for receiver options. They list your vehicle, and show the Stealth option. https://www.etrailer.com/hitch-2022_BMW_X7.htm A question for them would be whether the wiring kit they sell works with the X7 if the particular vehicle doesn't have the factory prewire. A note is that the Stealth hitch prohibits towing with the 2" reciever, so no WD. They only support towing with their detachable ball; the detachable 2" receiver is for a bike rack only.

5) BMW used to include the trailer prewiring whether or not one bought the trailer hitch. I understand that changed. If you don't have the trailer pre wiring, that will be why the dealer won't install the OEM part. The part is designed to be retrofit (there are two tow ratings, with and without factory trailer package). If the dealer won't do it, you perhaps could still purchase the part and either install it yourself, or have an independent garage install it.

6) The BMW factory trailer package doesn't just include the pre wiring, it also includes marginally larger rear brakes. That changes the tow rating by a small amount. There is a change to the transmission cooler, but I wouldn't worry about that at this trailer weight.

7) If you reach out to CanAm RV in London Ontario, they are likely to have done the most installs of a hitch on this model. They will likely know what fits, and are generous with their advice. If they have made a custom hitch up before, they can likely sell and ship you one for local install.

8) The usual BMW boards will have more specific information. Here is one thread: https://g07.bimmerpost.com/forums/sh....php?t=1687716

I wouldn't have any concerns about towing with the X7. I would personally try and use a Drawtite or Curt receiver hitch (look at E trailer for the X5, they show it there) over a detachable hitch. It would depend on how closely it fits the X7, and in particular the X7 with the M Sport package. And if you were able to use the OEM trailer wiring (it seems you can't), the vehicles usually require recoding by the dealer. That recoding invokes a trailer stability control algorithm in the dynamic stability control system; can change the rear view camera for hitching; disables the rear hatch swipe foot to open feature; and so on. Recoding on previous models hasn't been to add those features, they were all there, it was simply to tell the vehicle that they should be activated when a trailer is connected to the factory wiring harness. Worth doing if possible given your specific vehicle wiring.

Jeff
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Old 05-31-2024, 01:21 PM   #5
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We tow our 25' (7300 GVWR, 885lb tongue weight) with our Audi Q7 (7700, 770). It was set up by Can-Am with their custom hitch and EAZ-lift WD, Husky anti-sway bars. After one season in all sorts of terrains, we've had no issues. Before that for two seasons we towed our 16' Bambi with similar weights as your Basecamp without WD or sway control and had no issues. So I'd think your X7 would be more than capable and WD may not be all that necessary. But I'd second @tcl and contact Can-Am, they are very approachable even if you don't speak Canadian.

As far as WD not allowed, here's a quote from Can-Am which I assume applies to BMW:
Quote:
The only reason Audi and some other European manufacturers don't recommend the use of weight distribution is not due to any issues with safety, durability, or performance but stems from trade regulations. The EU outlawed weight distributing kits (despite their vast safety advantage) in the 1960s when it was feared that when American RV companies would flood the fledgling European market. Trade protection was enacted and has stayed in place ever since. The founder of Eaz-Lift and Can-Am's founder were well acquainted in those early days.
Is there any way to trade-in your vehicle early for a similar model with a factory hitch? It might cost some, but it seems like the best way to go.
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Old 05-31-2024, 05:05 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffKim View Post

As far as WD not allowed, here's a quote from Can-Am which I assume applies to BMW:

Re WD, that is true as far as the vehicle structure goes. The limitation in this case is the detachable receiver hitch, which is not sturdy enough for WD.
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Old 06-01-2024, 03:14 PM   #7
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Call Andy Thomson at Canam

Andy Thomson at Canam in London, Ontario, Canada would absolutely know the answers to your questions.
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Old 06-01-2024, 06:13 PM   #8
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Andy Thomson at Canam in London, Ontario, Canada would absolutely know the answers to your questions.

Been trying to get a hold of him for 3 days busy man! Ha
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Old 06-01-2024, 06:46 PM   #9
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I tow with a BMW X5 diesel. I wouldn’t use the Curt brake controller because it works on your phone and you don’t have a handheld device to brake in an emergency. I have used the Prodigy rf for over a decade with great success.
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Old 06-05-2024, 07:45 AM   #10
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Thanks everyone for your inputs.

Update: decided to trade in my vehicle for a similar BMW but with the towing package. Feeling much more comfortable with that setup. Couldn’t get anybody to get comfortable with the Stealth (including Can AM).
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Old 06-05-2024, 08:30 AM   #11
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Thanks for the update. This sounds like the best solution. I'd second the Prodigy P3 brake controller, there should be an adapter for the BMW.
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Old 06-05-2024, 10:25 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daamor View Post
Thanks everyone for your inputs.

Update: decided to trade in my vehicle for a similar BMW but with the towing package. Feeling much more comfortable with that setup. .

If you must have a BMW, then that is the right choice. Use a FACTORY BRAKE CONTROLLER as well. After-market controllers should only be used when you cant get a factory version.

Factory ones are flush to the dash, you cant bash your knee on it and they wont interfere with airbags, no wire splice cutting, and will probably work better. Worth every cent.
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Old 06-05-2024, 01:10 PM   #13
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If you must have a BMW, then that is the right choice. Use a FACTORY BRAKE CONTROLLER as well. After-market controllers should only be used when you cant get a factory version.

Factory ones are flush to the dash, you cant bash your knee on it and they wont interfere with airbags, no wire splice cutting, and will probably work better. Worth every cent.
It would be nice if a factory controller was offered. As an aside, with our Audi Q7 when we took it in for service the service guy thought our brake controller was a radar detector. We don't have any issues with our Prodigy, it's mostly out of the way, works well.
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Old 06-06-2024, 09:25 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Daamor View Post
Thanks everyone for your inputs.

Update: decided to trade in my vehicle for a similar BMW but with the towing package. Feeling much more comfortable with that setup. Couldn’t get anybody to get comfortable with the Stealth (including Can AM).
Thanks for the update. That is exactly what I would have done, but I was hesitant to suggest a trade of a near new vehicle.

Enjoy your new combination!

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Old 06-06-2024, 11:56 PM   #15
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Quote:
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It would be nice if a factory controller was offered. As an aside, with our Audi Q7 when we took it in for service the service guy thought our brake controller was a radar detector. We don't have any issues with our Prodigy, it's mostly out of the way, works well.
Agreed. I'm not even sure there *is* a "factory" brake controller. The issue with BMW also is that nobody that is associated with BMW - salespeople, service, parts, BMW genius, corporate, etc. - have any friggin clue about how to tow vehicles, ha.

One cool thing: the new vehicle we are receiving has a cool trailer mode which automatically backs up trailers into a parking spot. I don't plan on tempting fate too much but the novelty is interesting, ha.
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Old 06-07-2024, 05:44 AM   #16
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Nice move. It is a wonderful tow vehicle and a fantastic all round car.
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Old 06-07-2024, 08:12 AM   #17
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Agreed. I'm not even sure there *is* a "factory" brake controller. The issue with BMW also is that nobody that is associated with BMW - salespeople, service, parts, BMW genius, corporate, etc. - have any friggin clue about how to tow vehicles, ha.

One cool thing: the new vehicle we are receiving has a cool trailer mode which automatically backs up trailers into a parking spot. I don't plan on tempting fate too much but the novelty is interesting, ha.
We're thinking of replacing our Q7 with 135k miles sooner than later. BMW doesn't have quite as much towing capacity (as stated), but with "cool trailer mode" that might make it something to consider. I see it's rated "best SUV for towing" (not exactly clear, why).
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Old 06-11-2024, 08:22 PM   #18
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An important update to this thread! I’ve been racking my brain trying to find the official stance on wt distribution on my new BMW X7 (2024). I’ve talked to 10 dealers, BMW genius, etc and I got canned answers ranging from BME generally not accepting wd hitches to “no idea”. From this forum, I know in the past the “NO WD” has been stamped on the hitch prominently so I decided to look at mine today. The text is very difficult to access (bends around the hitch) BUT I was able to make out some cool info that says “”wt. distribution allowed” - also in French, which I speak). See for yourself!
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Old 06-11-2024, 10:03 PM   #19
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We tow our FC 25FB with our Audi Q5

Like many others, Andy at Can-Am reinforced our Q5 so that can easy tow it
i never had any issues.

we also use EAZ-lift WD 1000 lb bars and 2 Husky anti-sway bars
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Old 06-15-2024, 09:35 PM   #20
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Success! Picked her up yesterday and the BMW towed like a dream!
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