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Randy Forbes
12-19-2003, 02:31 PM
Does anybody know (for sure) the the Trailer Towing Module is the control to activate the electric brakes?

Today I bought the factory hitch kit for my 2002 X5 4.4 and I notice that the "seventh pin" in the supplied harness is wired.

The module was included in the kit, but the description is vague (to me, anyway).

Thanks!

Emission
12-21-2003, 11:42 PM
Does anybody know (for sure) the the Trailer Towing Module is the control to activate the electric brakes?

Today I bought the factory hitch kit for my 2002 X5 4.4 and I notice that the "seventh pin" in the supplied harness is wired.

The module was included in the kit, but the description is vague (to me, anyway).

Thanks!

Jon Shafer used to tow his bike trailer with his X5. Drop him a PM... (and post the results here - please).

MGR8
12-22-2003, 05:13 AM
I can't say for sure, but I am guessing that you don't have the module for ebrakes.

Prior to getting my X5 I had 2 Ford Expeditions that I pulled a 8x20 enclosed trailer (7K). The ebrake module was in the cab and allowed for adjustments depending on load and emergency engagement. If your pullling anything over 3K I would suggest ebrakes. Not that you can't stop what your pulling, but it will heat up your brake trying ...

Let us know how the install goes (if it is going to be a DIY), I sold my large trailer and now pull my motorcycle with a small rail trailer ..... no lights at this time. I don't have a problem with the price of the harness, but $150 to install it ..... highway robbery! I only paid $160 for my hitch installed!!!! I will probably do it myself.

MGR8

Randy Forbes
12-22-2003, 05:13 PM
Thanks for the help!

I will have to have the electric brakes operable as I intend to pull a 31' enclosed trailer. Fom Michigan to Florida, the trailer will be empty (well, no car anyway). On the return trip, my 2400 Lb Healey will be riding inside. The trailer's owner has it balanced for his F Production "Spitwad" but figured we could compensate for the heavier Healey (for appropriate tongue weight).

I'll let you know how it goes, I'm planning on doing the install Friday.

MGR8
12-23-2003, 06:25 AM
That is a BIG trailer for your X5 .... I would strongly suggest weight distribution bars and sway bars. If that trailer get away from you I am not sure the X5 has enough weight to get it back ... you are along for the ride.

My 20' trailer could move my Expedition around pretty good. Just a suggestion.

MGR8

Randy Forbes
12-23-2003, 07:58 AM
That is a BIG trailer for your X5 .... I would strongly suggest weight distribution bars and sway bars. If that trailer get away from you I am not sure the X5 has enough weight to get it back ... you are along for the ride.

My 20' trailer could move my Expedition around pretty good. Just a suggestion.

MGR8

It has them fitted already, but THANKS!

I have it from "unofficial sources" that the X5 was tremendously underrated as regards its towing capacity.

A "well respected" BMW driver (that just won a touring car championship) uses an X5 to tow a Catarmaran that weighs 9 or 10k Lbs. His claim is that the X5 is the best thing he's ever used as a tow vehicle (gave up a 1 ton GMC in favor of it).

On the straight and narrow, I'm not too concerned. Unfortunately, it's not all straight (and level...) between here and the Healey!

Emission
12-23-2003, 08:19 AM
When it comes to towing, there are quite a few variables. Weight is one, wheelbase is another.

I have a good friend who bought a camper/trailer to tour the country with his family over a three month period in the summer. He planned on towing it behind their new Land Rover Discovery II. Unfortunatley, a few "test trips" proved the trailer wanted to control his short-wheelbase Disco II! He ended up "trading" his Disco II for the summer with a neighbor with had a Suburban! So, they ended up traveling the country in a 85,000+ mile Suburban (with a new trailer in tow) while his neighbor had a brand-new Land Rover for three months!

The Disco II was not a good tow vehicle for his trailer.

Randy Forbes
12-23-2003, 12:12 PM
When it comes to towing, there are quite a few variables. Weight is one, wheelbase is another.

The Disco II was not a good tow vehicle for his trailer.

I have to agree. I once towed an MGBGT (with an aluminum V8) on an open trailer from Slidell back to Breaux Bridge (both in Louisiana) using an International Scout! White knuckles all the way home. The Scout had an enormous engine, something like 403 ci so when the tail started wagging the dog, I would just put my foot in it and "tug" the thing straight! Good time to assure clear distance ahead. It was mostly an issue when passing from the asphalt roadway to the concrete overpasses, it would just upset the thing.

I'm planning on doing a test run with the trailer owner's Spitwad on board, he wants me to take it to a level parking lot near his home so we can ballast the trailer to get the right tongue weight (simulating the Healey's weight).

I am also curious about how useful the X5's mirrors will be. Is anyone aware of suitable "temporary" mirrors that won't do any damage to the paint?

FireFly
12-24-2003, 10:29 AM
Is the trailer single or double axle? Trailer swag is almost always a result of improper load balancing, creating a tongue weight outside the acceptable range.

If too much weight is toward the back of the trailer, the tow vehicle and trailer may sway side to side at high speeds. If too much weight is forward, it will put too much down force on the rear of the tow vehicle and create problems when braking.

I have no doubt the X5 can handle the task with the proper set up.

Randy Forbes
12-24-2003, 03:18 PM
New information seems to indicate the truck portion of the wiring may need to be added.

The harness included in the hitch kit does indeed have "pin 7" wired from the trailer's recepticle to the 12 pin (vehicle) harness plug, but there may not be any wiring on the truck's side of the mating plug.

I won't know for sure until sometime Friday morning...

turbosteve
12-30-2003, 01:45 PM
I installed the trailer hitch and wire harness, time consuming but not all that difficult. Not sure about the electric brakes. I tow a 27' Formula Boat with Dual Axle trailer and it works perfect! Actually better than my old 3/4 ton Suburban did. Good luck, let me know if you have any Q's. :drive:

JoshS
02-17-2004, 05:30 PM
Sorry, I'm way behind on this thread -- I've been looking for hitch info for a friend of mine with an X5 and came across it.

Randy, I also think that you crazy (CRAZY!) to try to pull a 31' enclosed trailer with an X5. "Underrated" may be true as far as weight, but you have a very short wheelbase truck pulling a very long trailer -- and that truck isn't all that heavy either. It will truly be "the tail wagging the dog." Sure, the X5 might have plenty of power (although I doubt it, enclosed trailers have horrible drag) and it might have plenty of brakes (with trailer brakes) and it might be beefy enough to not overheat anything like the engine, tranny, or diff, but you can't overcome physics.

The wheelbase and weight of the X5 is just WAY too small for a long, heavy trailer to have the "can't even tell it's back there" feeling which (after 100K miles+ of towing trailers) is pretty much the only way to go if you're going to be doing this even close to regularly.

If you do try it, be very careful if it gets windy or when passing busses or semis, especially when going downhill. And please use load distribution and sway control.

Man, the thought of it is terrifying.

NJT
12-30-2004, 02:36 PM
I agree.

I tow with my (currently for sale) 2004 Dodge Ram 2500 with Cummins and 8ft bed (7600lb empty) and it pulls pretty good.....but I can still feel my 26' enclosed. I can't imagine the X5 coming close to even pulling that thing empty let alone with GVW maxed out.......not only insufficent torque but weight also! You'll get 'pushed' around pretty good!!!

Just my opinion.

rtkane
12-31-2004, 06:25 AM
The answer is no... it is not wired for electric brakes. You'll need to have a brake controller installed (I'd recommend the Prodigy by Tekonsha) and the installer will have to tie in the ebrake controller to the 7 pin plug. They'll have to run it from the LED 3rd brake light to get it to work properly. They'll have to get to the light control module in the footwell of the passenger compartment--Pin 10 of connector X12 on the LCM. Look at step 24 in this document (http://www.bmwmotorsports.org/crew/ucrewx5/pdf/X5+Electric+Trailer+Brake+Controller+Installation. pdf).

crash8168
12-31-2004, 04:28 PM
no electric brakes with the standard kit. the module allows the lights to work correctly.

keeper15
06-26-2006, 11:37 PM
:rofl: Great to hear about the install of the Prodigy Controller....any info will help with my install.:yikes:

You got power from the light module and brake actuation from the 3rd brake light.

Did you route the wire from brake light a way that hides it?

Also on the light module any pics on location and connection tecnique

thanks
soon to be hauling a Popup Trailer!!!:thumbup:

quackbury
06-27-2006, 09:32 AM
Randy, I also think that you crazy (CRAZY!) to try to pull a 31' enclosed trailer with an X5. "Underrated" may be true as far as weight, but you have a very short wheelbase truck pulling a very long trailer -- and that truck isn't all that heavy either. It will truly be "the tail wagging the dog." Sure, the X5 might have plenty of power (although I doubt it, enclosed trailers have horrible drag) and it might have plenty of brakes (with trailer brakes) and it might be beefy enough to not overheat anything like the engine, tranny, or diff, but you can't overcome physics.

The wheelbase and weight of the X5 is just WAY too small for a long, heavy trailer to have the "can't even tell it's back there" feeling which (after 100K miles+ of towing trailers) is pretty much the only way to go if you're going to be doing this even close to regularly.

If you do try it, be very careful if it gets windy or when passing busses or semis, especially when going downhill. And please use load distribution and sway control.

Man, the thought of it is terrifying.
Please let us all know the dates and route you will be travelling, so we can make sure none of us, our wives or children, are on the same roads that day!

Seriously, with all you are going to spend on the ebrake install, etc., why don't you just (A.) borrow / rent your buddy's tow vehicle along with his trailer, or (B.) have the Healey shipped by Horseless Carriage or somebody.

After all, there really is a difference between being a macho "sure I can do it" kind of guy, vs. taking risks with your lives, others lives, AND your X5 and Healy. (If you don't care about the first 2, maybe the last will make you think twice).

Just my 2 cents. Flame away. :flame:

Randy Forbes
01-10-2007, 10:29 AM
Please let us all know the dates and route you will be travelling, so we can make sure none of us, our wives or children, are on the same roads that day!

Seriously, with all you are going to spend on the ebrake install, etc., why don't you just (A.) borrow / rent your buddy's tow vehicle along with his trailer, or (B.) have the Healey shipped by Horseless Carriage or somebody.

After all, there really is a difference between being a macho "sure I can do it" kind of guy, vs. taking risks with your lives, others lives, AND your X5 and Healy. (If you don't care about the first 2, maybe the last will make you think twice).

Just my 2 cents. Flame away. :flame:
Thanks for your dubious concern, but right at three (3) years ago, the Healey arrived safe & sound via Passport Transportation (since purchased by FedEx).

It was the possibility of undesireable weather conditions through the hills of Tennesse & Kentucky that made Passport an easy choice.

I have since used my newest X5 to tow the Healey on an open trailer and truly can say "I didn't even know it was there".

Duncan24v
01-28-2007, 02:15 PM
The X5 is very capable when proper components are installed such as OEM hitch and wiring harness and a capable brake controller. Agressive downhill descents should still be approached with caution due to the short length of the X5. When I haul my tractor I usually have to go down a steep gravel driveway, and if you use the downhill descent button you will find that the X5 will maintain stability and guide you safely without stress.