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Old 01-16-2013, 04:57 PM
invisihitch invisihitch is offline
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Location: Atlanta
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 426
Mein Auto: 2012 X3
This is a sophisticated group of hitch talkers! OK, here is what I know about the questions that were raised regarding the X5 towing capacity and the comparative capacities of the hitches themselves. Please keep in mind that BMW worldwide does not actually manufacture any tow hitches. Each of the BMW national companies contracts with a hitch manufacturer for its "Original Equipment" hitch. The requirements vary in the different regions around the globe. And then, of course, the process is price competitive within any specific region.

X5 International Towing Capacity: I am 100% certain that we had to dynamically load test and certify our X5 invisihitch for 3,500 kg (7,716 lbs) for BMW outside of North America. I found a link to BMW's X5 international catalog (pdf) in english. It's the only thing I could quickly find online that shows an international tow rating for the X5. If you scroll about half way through BMW's X5 international catalog you will find a section entitled "Standard/Optional equipment"... see the 2nd page of that section, bottom right corner for a reference to "towing a max load of 3,500 kg." Here is a link:

Capacity of the U.S. Dealer Hitch:
I cannot speak for the manufacturer of the hitch that BMW currently contracts for in North America. For obvious reasons, that hitch manufacturer is not going to release their test data to me. What I can tell you is that BMW does not use that hitch on the X5 outside of North America. Outside of North America, dynamic load testing is required (as opposed to only static load testing that is required in North America). And outside of North America, the X5 can be tow rated for up to 7,716 lbs, as opposed to the North American tow rating of 6,000 lbs.

Capacity of the invisihitch:
I can speak with clarity about the specs of the invisihitch. It was tested and approved by BMW for the full 3,500 kg (7,716 lbs) international tow rating of the X5. It is constructed of 3/8" wall steel throughout. That's stout for a hitch. But really good hitch design is not just about wall thickness and weight. The ballmount-latching mechanism of the invisihitch is precision CNC milled instead of relying on a sliding cross-pin that yields forward/aft play. There is no play when the ballmount is latched into the our receiver. This is a key factor in enabling the invisihitch to pass the six-week Euro dynamic test (2 million cycles of slamming 7,700 lbs forward-then-aft repeatedly at 2 second intervals).

Plus, you don't have to look at our hitch when you aren't using it. After all, it's a trailer hitch, not a fashion statement.

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