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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > X Series > X5 E70 (2007 - 2013)

X5 E70 (2007 - 2013)
E70 BMW X5 produced between 2007 and 2013. Discuss the E70 X5 with other BMW owners here.

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  #26  
Old 01-16-2013, 02:12 PM
BJacobsen BJacobsen is offline
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Daryl from Invisihitch:

I have a question I am hoping you can answer. I am planning on buying a 2013 X5 in the next few months and need to tow a larger size boat. The boat is about 4,500-5000 pounds with the trailer. My question is whether there is a difference in load capability between your hitch and the BMW stock hitch? I thought I saw you indicate that your hitch would allow up to 7,700 pounds and the bmw would only allow 6000. Is that really the case?

Thanks Brian
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  #27  
Old 01-16-2013, 05:57 PM
invisihitch invisihitch is offline
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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:
http://www.bmw.com/com/en/newvehicles/x/x5/2010/_shared/pdf/x5_catalogue.pdf?download=true

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.

Cheers,
Daryl
daryl@invisihitch.com
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  #28  
Old 01-16-2013, 07:04 PM
blue dragon blue dragon is offline
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^^ Thank you for the responses! Its great to see a vendor contribute like this.
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  #29  
Old 01-16-2013, 07:21 PM
digdesign digdesign is offline
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Yes good to know.
I wish your website had better information and photos. I just bought a BMW hitch this week, had I known this I may have gone with the invisihitch.

It sounds like another benefit of the invisihitch is that you can remove it. Because the BMW hitch requires me to cut my bumper I'll have to leave it on the vehicle when I sell it on.
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  #30  
Old 01-17-2013, 03:24 AM
invisihitch invisihitch is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by digdesign View Post
I wish your website had better information and photos.
You have no idea how much I share your view. [facepalm at the current site]

Design of an entirely new invisihitch website is underway. The new site may not launch until Spring, but my fervent hope is that it will represent the company much more appropriately.

Daryl
daryl@invisihitch.com

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  #31  
Old 01-17-2013, 06:29 AM
jashearer jashearer is offline
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Thanks for the photo Daryl.

Cheers to you to being a great contributor and sponsor!!!!



This is the picture of the BMW hitch for comparison, construction actually seems more similar than different, both worlds better than the other choices in my opinion. The fact that yours is hidden is a big plus for most folks.

Jay
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  #32  
Old 01-18-2013, 03:46 PM
invisihitch invisihitch is offline
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Thanks Jay. Very much appreciate the encouraging words. And I agree that the two hitches are very similar in their overall design approach. But in my opinion their construction is actually more different than similar.

As for the similarities, it is not by coincidence that the high-level designs of the two hitches are so similar. BMW imposes several design constraints that we must work within if we want our hitches to be BMW OE hitches. To point out one such set of constraints, the hitch must attach to the vehicle at the rear chassis studs and only at the rear chassis studs. The flat plates that rest on the chassis must be of a minimum area, and the hitch must not touch any frame member or body panel elsewhere. (The purpose of this particular set of constraints is to fully preserve the function of the vehicle's crumple zones in the event of a rear-end collision). Hitches that do not satisfy all of BMW's design constraints will never be offered by BMW anywhere in the world so, of course, we all comply. And once you satisfy all of the constraints, you end up with pretty similar looking products.

As to construction, however, I will point out that there are no welds on the invisihitch that are load bearing or subjected to shear forces. Instead, our steel plates completely collar the hitch beam at every connection. Our welds simply keep the collars from sliding on the beam; they are not load-bearing welds at all. The same cannot be said of the other hitch. The most obvious example can be seen in the center of the two hitches. In an emergency braking situation with a heavy trailing load, those center welds on the competitor's hitch will bear the full force of 6,000 lbs trying to torque those welds off. In fact, normal repetitive towing with stopping and starting will constantly try to rock those two welds back and forth.

If a hitch ever fails, you want it to fail through deformation. That is to say, you want it to bend... bend very badly even. You never want a hitch to suddenly break and fail catastrophically in a way that could detach the trailer and the safety chains in the same moment. Our construction technique of collaring the hitch beam is done with purpose. It precludes catastrophic failure at any weld point. It is also one of the things that enables us to achieve the 30% higher international tow rating on the X5. But we do the same thing on all our hitches, even those for the Z4 that likely will never carry anything heavier than a bike rack.

I suspect this is far more than you wanted to know about hitch construction. But it's important stuff if you happen to make your living designing trailer hitches. Or if you tow heavy...

Daryl
daryl@invisihitch.com

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  #33  
Old 01-24-2013, 01:28 PM
invisihitch invisihitch is offline
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"Any thoughts on a group buy for the invisihitch setup with factory wiring harness? I'm thinking of getting one by summer time but would move more quickly if there was a deal."

I have been wanting to respond to this and now I can.... We have had a couple of meetings here about offering this type of Group Buy to members of the bimmerfest community, and it is definitely something we would like to do. After all, the pairing of the oem harness with our X5 invisihitch was an idea that was brought to us and then urged on by members of this community. And it has been a very successful product pairing indeed.

There is just one issue we will have to work through internally before we can offer a discounted Group Buy to the community. That issue relates to the price-protection provisions that appear in some of our agreements with dealers. Basically, we guaranteed minimum advertised retail pricing in some cases, with the dealer getting to approve any advertised discount in advance. We certainly desire to stay whole with our dealers, so regardless of whether a Group Buy here would constitute advertising a discounted retail price, we will be seeking their concurrence before doing it. Based on discussions we have already had with dealers, my guess is that we will reach an understanding whereby we can run a short-term Group Buy for this community, provided that it takes place before the prime towing season (hitch-buying season). But we do need to work through this issue properly and completely with our dealers. This may take another couple of weeks, at which time I hope to post a more exciting follow up.

Daryl
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  #34  
Old 01-24-2013, 03:05 PM
BeamerandBimmer BeamerandBimmer is offline
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Daryl,

Thanks for your participation. One of the only complaints that I have with my invisihitch is that I lost the tow hook mounting points. Not a huge deal, but I thought you might want some feedback.
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  #35  
Old 01-25-2013, 10:13 AM
invisihitch invisihitch is offline
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BandB -- Thank you. Yes, I completely agree. Although the hitch's safety-chain eyelets are certainly more than strong enough to pull the vehicle rearward onto a flatbed or out of a ditch, you shouldn't be forced to go that route if you don't want to. The appropriate threaded tow eyes will be added to the invisihitch at the factory tow-eye locations.

Thank you for bringing this up!
Daryl
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  #36  
Old 01-26-2013, 10:04 AM
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gresch gresch is offline
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Count me in for a group buy if you're able to do it.
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  #37  
Old 01-27-2013, 12:49 PM
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quackbury quackbury is offline
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To the OP. If the ONLY thing you will carry on the hitch is bikes, have you considered the nifty BMW rack that screws into the rear tow hooks?

Sent from my HTC Inspire using BimmerApp
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  #38  
Old 01-31-2013, 07:03 AM
troymi troymi is offline
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Update on group buy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by invisihitch View Post
"Any thoughts on a group buy for the invisihitch setup with factory wiring harness? I'm thinking of getting one by summer time but would move more quickly if there was a deal."

I have been wanting to respond to this and now I can.... We have had a couple of meetings here about offering this type of Group Buy to members of the bimmerfest community, and it is definitely something we would like to do. After all, the pairing of the oem harness with our X5 invisihitch was an idea that was brought to us and then urged on by members of this community. And it has been a very successful product pairing indeed.

There is just one issue we will have to work through internally before we can offer a discounted Group Buy to the community. That issue relates to the price-protection provisions that appear in some of our agreements with dealers. Basically, we guaranteed minimum advertised retail pricing in some cases, with the dealer getting to approve any advertised discount in advance. We certainly desire to stay whole with our dealers, so regardless of whether a Group Buy here would constitute advertising a discounted retail price, we will be seeking their concurrence before doing it. Based on discussions we have already had with dealers, my guess is that we will reach an understanding whereby we can run a short-term Group Buy for this community, provided that it takes place before the prime towing season (hitch-buying season). But we do need to work through this issue properly and completely with our dealers. This may take another couple of weeks, at which time I hope to post a more exciting follow up.

Daryl
Can you offer any potential timing for a decision? Thanks.
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  #39  
Old 01-31-2013, 08:09 AM
PAX5 PAX5 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by invisihitch View Post
Thanks Jay. Very much appreciate the encouraging words. And I agree that the two hitches are very similar in their overall design approach. But in my opinion their construction is actually more different than similar.

As for the similarities, it is not by coincidence that the high-level designs of the two hitches are so similar. BMW imposes several design constraints that we must work within if we want our hitches to be BMW OE hitches. To point out one such set of constraints, the hitch must attach to the vehicle at the rear chassis studs and only at the rear chassis studs. The flat plates that rest on the chassis must be of a minimum area, and the hitch must not touch any frame member or body panel elsewhere. (The purpose of this particular set of constraints is to fully preserve the function of the vehicle's crumple zones in the event of a rear-end collision). Hitches that do not satisfy all of BMW's design constraints will never be offered by BMW anywhere in the world so, of course, we all comply. And once you satisfy all of the constraints, you end up with pretty similar looking products.

As to construction, however, I will point out that there are no welds on the invisihitch that are load bearing or subjected to shear forces. Instead, our steel plates completely collar the hitch beam at every connection. Our welds simply keep the collars from sliding on the beam; they are not load-bearing welds at all. The same cannot be said of the other hitch. The most obvious example can be seen in the center of the two hitches. In an emergency braking situation with a heavy trailing load, those center welds on the competitor's hitch will bear the full force of 6,000 lbs trying to torque those welds off. In fact, normal repetitive towing with stopping and starting will constantly try to rock those two welds back and forth.

If a hitch ever fails, you want it to fail through deformation. That is to say, you want it to bend... bend very badly even. You never want a hitch to suddenly break and fail catastrophically in a way that could detach the trailer and the safety chains in the same moment. Our construction technique of collaring the hitch beam is done with purpose. It precludes catastrophic failure at any weld point. It is also one of the things that enables us to achieve the 30% higher international tow rating on the X5. But we do the same thing on all our hitches, even those for the Z4 that likely will never carry anything heavier than a bike rack.

I suspect this is far more than you wanted to know about hitch construction. But it's important stuff if you happen to make your living designing trailer hitches. Or if you tow heavy...

Daryl
daryl@invisihitch.com

Very interesting. Extremely informative. Nice job, Daryl.

BTW, there is been no mention of this so far, but a properly installed tow hitch requires coding in order for the car to recognize the installation AND for the rear camera to work properly (nice feature BTW)! This would be a significant EXTRA cost for those that have their local dealer do it (will they even code an aftermarket installation???). It would be nice if the Invisihitch can offer a solution to this as well, e.g. coding instructions using free available software ...?

Please count me in on the group buy.
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  #40  
Old 02-01-2013, 09:16 AM
invisihitch invisihitch is offline
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Coding the hitch harness

Quote:
Originally Posted by PAX5 View Post
Very interesting. Extremely informative. Nice job, Daryl.

BTW, there is been no mention of this so far, but a properly installed tow hitch requires coding in order for the car to recognize the installation AND for the rear camera to work properly (nice feature BTW)! This would be a significant EXTRA cost for those that have their local dealer do it (will they even code an aftermarket installation???). It would be nice if the Invisihitch can offer a solution to this as well, e.g. coding instructions using free available software ...?

Please count me in on the group buy.

Thanks PAX. As to the willingness of dealers to do the coding, I know of only one BMW dealer nationwide who has refused to code the vehicle to add the OEM hitch harness merely because the hitch beam was the invisihitch and not the dealer's hitch. All other BMW dealers have been happy to do the coding. Some dealers even install our invisihitch instead of BMWNA's hitch because their customers are happier with it. So in general you will find that we do quite well with BMW dealers. Many are aware that we are a BMW supplier outside of North America.

If you don't want to utilize your dealer for the installation and/or coding, many independent BMW service centers have the coding equipment and may be a less expensive alternative to your dealer.

As for DIY coding, yes, you can add the AHM Unit option yourself if you have the requisite knowledge, software, and cable. I will have to give some thought to whether a company who is a supplier to BMW should be providing such instructions. In the meantime, I want to offer one caution to the DIY coders for adding the hitch option: If other modules are not brought up to the latest revision before you add the hitch option, you MAY end up with non-functioning brake lights on the trailer. We have not identified which out-of-date module causes the fault, so you may or may not be fine by coding the hitch module without bringing everything up to date first. If you do experience the problem, all other trailer lights and all the advanced functions of the harness will work properly, and so you may get a false impression that the coding was successful, but the trailer's brake lights will not be working and you will get no dash alert of the fault. So please check your trailer brake lights after coding. It is an easy thing to miss since everything else will work and checking the brake lights requires two people. So please check your brake lights with the trailer attached after coding! (Actually, it's not a bad idea to perform this check even if a service tech coded your vehicle for the hitch module. Every once in a while a tech may take a shortcut).

Daryl
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  #41  
Old 02-01-2013, 09:30 AM
PAX5 PAX5 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by invisihitch View Post
... In the meantime, I want to offer one caution to the DIY coders for adding the hitch option: If other modules are not brought up to the latest revision before you add the hitch option, you MAY end up with non-functioning brake lights on the trailer.
Daryl
daryl@invisihitch.com
It is precisely for this reason that the cost of installing a(n) (aftermarket?) hitch can become prohibitive. My dealer has warned me that they'll do the coding, but it may take up to 2 hrs or more because ALL modules need to be updated in order for it to be done properly. At $100+/hr this adds up quickly. I believe that the coding is already included as part of a dealer OE install.
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  #42  
Old 02-01-2013, 10:03 AM
invisihitch invisihitch is offline
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Having your dealer bring the vehicle's software up to date should either be covered under your service warranty or not (depending on the status of your particular coverage). That issue is independent of programming the hitch option, which is not covered as "software maintenance." The rules are the same, regardless of which steel beam you are installing. If you are covered, you can always force the issue if necessary by bringing your vehicle in for a software update prior to bringing it in for hitch coding.

Or you could talk to your SA about the invisihitch. They wouldn't be the first dealer to install and code either hitch for the same price...

Your mileage may vary, but I do not yet know of a dealer who "throws in" the software maintenance when installing the BMWNA hitch but charges for it when installing the invisihitch. In both cases, it can turn out to be a hidden cost if you are out of coverage on the software maintenance and you aren't savvy enough to know that you need to negotiate it up front.

Daryl
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  #43  
Old 02-01-2013, 10:07 AM
troymi troymi is offline
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So Daryl,
What is the status of the group buy discussion?
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  #44  
Old 02-01-2013, 10:14 AM
invisihitch invisihitch is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by troymi View Post
So Daryl,
What is the status of the group buy discussion?
Here is an update on where things stand: We have now had discussions with every dealer with whom we have price-protection in place. The good news is that all are amenable to our offering a discounted Group Buy... within certain constraints that they all need to agree on. So at this point, our efforts are turning to negotiating the specific constraints so that everyone is comfortable.

I expect this process will go smoothly and have a good outcome. Timing is harder to predict, but my best estimate right now is that next week will be filled with emails and conference calls, with the final terms worked out by the end of the week.

Thank you for your interest! I assure you, this is receiving my best effort. It shouldn't be much longer.


Daryl
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  #45  
Old 02-01-2013, 10:23 AM
PAX5 PAX5 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by invisihitch View Post
Having your dealer bring the vehicle's software up to date should either be covered under your service warranty or not (depending on the status of your particular coverage). That issue is independent of programming the hitch option, which is not covered as "software maintenance." The rules are the same, regardless of which steel beam you are installing. If you are covered, you can always force the issue if necessary by bringing your vehicle in for a software update prior to bringing it in for hitch coding.

Or you could talk to your SA about the invisihitch. They wouldn't be the first dealer to install and code either hitch for the same price...

Your mileage may vary, but I do not yet know of a dealer who "throws in" the software maintenance when installing the BMWNA hitch but charges for it when installing the invisihitch. In both cases, it can turn out to be a hidden cost if you are out of coverage on the software maintenance and you aren't savvy enough to know that you need to negotiate it up front.

Daryl
daryl@invisihitch.com
You're correct, Daryl. I should have clarified that my perspective was because my car is outside of the 50K manufacturers warranty period. Any coding is done at the "normal" hourly dealer rates.

This is good stuff ... I appreciate the full disclosure of this post!
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  #46  
Old 02-01-2013, 10:45 AM
invisihitch invisihitch is offline
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PAX5 -- If you are inclined to code the hitch option yourself, there are other X5 owners on this forum who have done so successfully and would probably be willing to provide some guidance. It is not complicated. I believe I saw in the thread entitled "Coding" that blue dragon coded his own hitch, so you may want to PM him.

Even if your software is not up to date, applying the hitch option works most of the time. You just need to check the trailer brakes afterward to make sure an older module is not preventing the trailer brake lights from operating. If they are working, you are good to go. If not, I know of no workaround. You would have to get your software updated and then re-apply the hitch coding.
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  #47  
Old 02-03-2013, 04:09 PM
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gresch gresch is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by invisihitch View Post
Here is an update on where things stand: We have now had discussions with every dealer with whom we have price-protection in place. The good news is that all are amenable to our offering a discounted Group Buy... within certain constraints that they all need to agree on. So at this point, our efforts are turning to negotiating the specific constraints so that everyone is comfortable.

I expect this process will go smoothly and have a good outcome. Timing is harder to predict, but my best estimate right now is that next week will be filled with emails and conference calls, with the final terms worked out by the end of the week.

Thank you for your interest! I assure you, this is receiving my best effort. It shouldn't be much longer.


Daryl
daryl@invisihitch.com




Count me in once all the logistics are worked out. I hope you have time to ramp up production before you open the flood gates for orders
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  #48  
Old 02-05-2013, 02:34 PM
mgarciah mgarciah is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by invisihitch View Post
PAX5 -- If you are inclined to code the hitch option yourself, there are other X5 owners on this forum who have done so successfully and would probably be willing to provide some guidance. It is not complicated. I believe I saw in the thread entitled "Coding" that blue dragon coded his own hitch, so you may want to PM him.

Even if your software is not up to date, applying the hitch option works most of the time. You just need to check the trailer brakes afterward to make sure an older module is not preventing the trailer brake lights from operating. If they are working, you are good to go. If not, I know of no workaround. You would have to get your software updated and then re-apply the hitch coding.
Brake light doesnt work because the AHM (trailer module) comes programmed for europe by default, so it comes ready to handle the 7 pin connector that comes with the OEM harness, in US and in Latin America the OEM harness comes with a 7 to 4 pin adapter because we use the four pins connector, but the adapter is not enough, in 4 pins connector brake lights are left turn and right turn on together, in europe (7 pins) there is a separate cable for brakes, so you need to code your AHM and change it from "ece" which means europe to "us", this will tell the AHM to turn on LT and RT on brakes.
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  #49  
Old 02-05-2013, 03:53 PM
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dkreidel dkreidel is offline
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Daryl, Will your hitch fit my 2013 X5M?

Thanks

Dick
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'11 Z4 - mojave over beige • 6 speed manual • Münich delivery

...and a bunch of old English motorcycles
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  #50  
Old 02-05-2013, 04:23 PM
invisihitch invisihitch is offline
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Location: Atlanta
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 279
Mein Auto: 2012 X3
Quote:
Originally Posted by dkreidel View Post
Daryl, Will your hitch fit my 2013 X5M?

Thanks

Dick
Yes. We have an invisihitch for the X5M that looks just like our X5 hitch. The height of the hitch beam behind the bumperskin is offset on the X5M by about one-quarter inch... other than that the two hitches are identical. (The small height difference is to accommodate the different rear fascia of the X5M, so please be sure to clearly specify X5M when ordering).

There are actually three slightly different invisihitches for the X5 [E70] family:
X5
X5 with M Sport fascia
X5M

All have the same tow rating, and all are available with the same OEM harness. The very slight differences in height are for aesthetics... we like the opening to our receiver to be exactly flush with the underside gravel guard of the vehicle.

Daryl
daryl@invisihitch.com
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