BimmerFest BMW Forum banner
1 - 20 of 21 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
23 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Morning all;
Just new here to both the forums and the BMW X5 itself...
For most of us up here in the Great White North, getting ANYTHING can be a pain! Usually at almost twice the price as our cousins south of the border pay, and usually limited on suppliers to boot!

So, I have been doing some reading (massive amounts of info on here) and while in the process of installing a hitch and wiring harness I have decided to buy in the USA and see where I end up...

My Bongous (FedEx cross border shipping) is setup via Florida and my GetBMWParts.com account is active with help from Jason. First order placed (BWM Harness 71602156526) and we will see where it goes from there. Pricing gone up since the new year...oh well...still just over $200 USD compared to local $355CAD (plus taxes which are 15% in NS)

Now the hitch itself...now thats been fun too! Only found two locations in Nova Scotia that would entertain installing a hitch on an X5 at $355 + 2 hours labour. Both dealers close to me (1 hr drive south or 1.5hr drive west) were outrageous on pricing, let alone 2-3hrs install times quoted. And then they say "well...according to our information, that hitch isn't designed for that vehicle" so no guaranties. Looks like a Draw Tite it is then, getting installed Jan 12 in Dartmouth.

Oh joy, oh bliss...whatever have I gotten myself into!

Guessing once I get the physical things in place, the software shall be an even more enjoyable adventure!

All the best to everyone in the new year!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,363 Posts
Why not go with the OE hitch or invisihitch? The hitch install is also something you can do yourself if you are the DIY kind of person.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
23 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Original Equipment BMW & Invisi are both priced to high for my liking: BMW quoted $800 + install time and I have yet to find a Canadian supplier for Invisi and shipping to NS is just NUTS. Love their product tho, nothing to see here...would never know she could tow. Maybe if the dealers had been a little more reasonable I might have considered a bit more ....Nah, still too much $$$$ for it.

Normally I would do it my self but this time of year mother nature has other ideas and I need a hitch asap...winter is strong but short and trailers don't pull themselves!

Right now I'm more interested in learning about programming so this will be an interesting spring all around! Learning German will be different but I have a neighbour who is from the home land so I won't be stuck on translation.

One question on another topic tho...
Does anyone else find that the X5 35i has a delay when you press the GO pedal?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,985 Posts
pro tip, getbmwparts is not the cheapest source these days, they don't even have the prettiest website anymore, that honor goes to BMW of Alexandria (Virginia). This guy devoted a lot of time making a price comparison tool of US dealers: http://www.bmwpnpc.com/ That trail hitch (71602156526) on average should cost around $190 from the average 3 lowest retailers.

For me and for the items I buy, I usually find BMW of Fairfax (Virginia) or Husker Parts BMW of Lincoln (Nebraska) as the cheapest sources, taking into account shipping costs. Dealers would bundle shipping costs to save you money or have different thresholds for free or discounted shipping to USA locations.

Btw, so how much is your local labor to install? The most expensive part of the install would be programming labor, not necessarily bolting the hitch onto your bumper mounts which you can do yourself. You'll definitely going to want programming if you want your rear camera and sensors to not go nuts and don't forget to activate the trail hitch line-up view. The latter, I believer only an indie is willing to activate. I believe it's built into BMW software already, just dealers here haven't been willing to activate that feature.

Also, IMO, the best hitch out there is Invisihitch, and for good reason. There's minimum bumper modification needed. OEM requires cutting the entire rear bumper and Curt requires trimming of the rear plastic skid plate.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
23 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
pro tip, getbmwparts is not the cheapest source these days, they don't even have the prettiest website anymore, that honor goes to BMW of Alexandria (Virginia). This guy devoted a lot of time making a price comparison tool of US dealers: http://www.bmwpnpc.com/ That trail hitch (71602156526) on average should cost around $190 from the average 3 lowest retailers.
I didn't see either Dealer pop up in my searches tho...and most were all around the $200 USD mark for BMW Electric Kit

Btw, so how much is your local labor to install? The most expensive part of the install would be programming labor, not necessarily bolting the hitch onto your bumper mounts which you can do yourself. You'll definitely going to want programming if you want your rear camera and sensors to not go nuts and don't forget to activate the trail hitch line-up view. The latter, I believer only an indie is willing to activate. I believe it's built into BMW software already, just dealers here haven't been willing to activate that feature.
The hitch itself will be getting installed and I will be doing my own electrical/wiring/programming when I receive the "Electric Kit"

You guys don't realize how good you have it state side with CHEAP shipping...most places ship for free down there in the lower 48! The Trailer harness is $12USD to ship to Florida to a holding company then I have to pay FedEx another $46USD (thats almost $70CAD) to ship it across the border and up to me.

To get the HITCH from the US would be crazy expensive because of weight.

Doing the best we can with what we have....but I will make note of your supplier http://www.bmwpnpc.com/ for future reference.

As for programming...I'm game to try almost anything once! Just takes patients and LOTS of reading! Can't be that hard right??!?!?!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,985 Posts
bmwpnpc isn't a supplier. It's just a source that pings each known online BMW dealer parts website for pricing. You simply enter the part number and it tells you what every dealer is offering.

I don't know how to relate to your shipping cost issue. If I were in your shoes, I would open a PO BOX at the boarder town in Maine and get all US items shipped there. Then once a month or so, I'll drive in to collect the items and fill up on cheaper gas. Also, you may be able to use the PO Box to sign up for a UPS my choice account. Along with UPS My Choice and FedEx that recognizes a PO Box, you can get items drop shipped to local UPS and FedEx stores in the US where they'll hold it for you for about a week.

My Choice is a premium service, FedEx drop ship is a free service.

If you're going to do the boarder crossings this frequently, invest in a Nexus membership.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,498 Posts
(...)
Also, IMO, the best hitch out there is Invisihitch, and for good reason. There's minimum bumper modification needed. OEM requires cutting the entire rear bumper and Curt requires trimming of the rear plastic skid plate.
Unless you want to use weight distribution... yeah, I know what people are saying that BMW is saying about weight distribution (which is usually not correct).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
841 Posts
Welcome to the scrum, @Cruisin_Newfie!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
23 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
If I were in your shoes, I would open a PO BOX at the boarder town in Maine and get all US items shipped there.
Yeah...Calais is about a 5 hr drive away...don't go there that often!

Also, you may be able to use the PO Box to sign up for a UPS my choice account. Along with UPS My Choice and FedEx that recognizes a PO Box, you can get items drop shipped to local UPS and FedEx stores in the US where they'll hold it for you for about a week.
Most online vendors don't like shipping to a PO box, that's why I opened a Fedx bogus account in FL to re-route to here.

Trying it out and see what happens! Worst case I will be wrong....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Morning all;
Just new here to both the forums and the BMW X5 itself...
For most of us up here in the Great White North, getting ANYTHING can be a pain! Usually at almost twice the price as our cousins south of the border pay, and usually limited on suppliers to boot!

So, I have been doing some reading (massive amounts of info on here) and while in the process of installing a hitch and wiring harness I have decided to buy in the USA and see where I end up...

My Bongous (FedEx cross border shipping) is setup via Florida and my GetBMWParts.com account is active with help from Jason. First order placed (BWM Harness 71602156526) and we will see where it goes from there. Pricing gone up since the new year...oh well...still just over $200 USD compared to local $355CAD (plus taxes which are 15% in NS)

Now the hitch itself...now thats been fun too! Only found two locations in Nova Scotia that would entertain installing a hitch on an X5 at $355 + 2 hours labour. Both dealers close to me (1 hr drive south or 1.5hr drive west) were outrageous on pricing, let alone 2-3hrs install times quoted. And then they say "well...according to our information, that hitch isn't designed for that vehicle" so no guaranties. Looks like a Draw Tite it is then, getting installed Jan 12 in Dartmouth.

Oh joy, oh bliss...whatever have I gotten myself into!

Guessing once I get the physical things in place, the software shall be an even more enjoyable adventure!

All the best to everyone in the new year!
Hi There,

Happy New Year!

I got my hitch and the trailver module from Jason @ GetBMWParts.com, shipped to my cousin in US (but I also have a cross border fake addres) and he shipped the both to me

I had them installed by an indy shop in Montreal (Kroenberger) for a more than reasonable price, and until I had the module programmed, I had two small issues:

1) high battery drain error
2) left turn not working

Had the module re-programmed and it it has been great ever since, and also the gearbox handles the trailer a lot better. I love it

The newer models have better camera resolution, so the zoom feature has been disabled (after 2010 if i recall this correctly)

Cheers
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
23 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Programming trailer module

I had two small issues:
1) high battery drain error
2) left turn not working

Had the module re-programmed and it it has been great ever since, and also the gearbox handles the trailer a lot better.
Who did your trailer module programming?
I Have the cable enroute and am hoping to do some changing myself. Still lots to read tho...

The newer models have better camera resolution, so the zoom feature has been disabled (after 2010 if i recall this correctly)
??so you don't have the "zoom" function? How is the camera working with this setup?
Also, read somewhere that when you connect the trailer plug that the rear hatch lift gets disabled...same for yours?

Tks for the info!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
324 Posts
??so you don't have the "zoom" function? How is the camera working with this setup?
Also, read somewhere that when you connect the trailer plug that the rear hatch lift gets disabled...same for yours?

Tks for the info!
Mine is a 2/11 production date 2011 x5d and I don't have the zoom function after dealer update. I questioned them when I saw that it wasn't there and was told that it wasn't available. To be honest it never really bothered me enough to look into it more. I can see the trailer ball well enough to just back up to the 2 different trailers that I use easy peasy.

My rear gate also functions normally when hook up to a trailer. Just remember to double-check that it will not hit anything if opened. ; )
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
23 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
Bend over Canada

Part 2 of buying in America...living in Canada...:mad:

Well folks... just rec'd notification that my "package" was delivered to the FedEx Bongo location...This is the BMW trailer harness I ordered from getBMWparts.com since that name popped up the most here on the forums with lots of good recommendations. The next closest was bmwpartssource.com which quoted about $230USD shipped here ... tried to save $40 and cost me more...

E70 Trailer wiring harness: $188 USD + $12.95 shipping USPS + $2.95 handling ==$203.90 USD ( not too shabby considering USPS had it in FLorida in just a couple days! So about $ 270 Canadian.

FEDEX (bend over, here comes the fun!!!) had "quoted" just over $45 USD + $5 handling on their online site for Bongo/FedEx cross border handling:
My "actual" is: (all USD remember...)
Box fee $5
Shipping $83.31 (10 pounds!!! damn!!! heavy wires??? Julio hiding in there too?):dunno:
Fuel Surcharge $ 8.75
Loss Protection $6.85
Duties/taxes $41.55
for a love you very much total of $145.46 USD == Canadian: $192 FOR SHIPPING FROM THERE TO HERE !!!!!

Plus my $270 CAD for the actual item gives me a $460 trailer harness!!!!:bawling:
Not even close to my projected costs:yikes:

Next time I guess I will be asking the weight and size of ANYTHING to be considered buying in the USA !!!!

They say if you live long enough you will learn it all so I hope I don't live too long...it'll cost me a fortune!!!:wow:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,985 Posts
From here to Calais is about 5 hours drive one way... not that short...
but worth $200 of shipping expense no? Especially if you can allow your items to collect in a PO BOX so you can grab in 1 trip.

Anyways, I like my suggestion as noted above. Especially for FedEx packages, you can have it rerouted for free to a local USA FedEx office. UPS, you have to sign up for membership to have it routed from PO BOX to a local UPS store for pickup.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,217 Posts
Probably $60 in gas roundtrip - have little in tank on Canada side, then fill up full with cheaper US fuel.
Then, time lost (depends). On the other hand, treat it as road trip.
I would have done it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,498 Posts
From another perspective, do you have any experience with buying a new car in Canada and importing into the US? It was looking at this yesterday and it appears that Mercedes GLS is cheaper in Canada (at the moment) and what is also important for me you can order AMG external package, which is for some reasons not available in the US.

Is this something worth considering or this is a painful process? I recall that in the US there are some restrictions on buying a new bimmer and exporting (not sure whether this works in practice).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Who did your trailer module programming?
I Have the cable enroute and am hoping to do some changing myself. Still lots to read tho...

??so you don't have the "zoom" function? How is the camera working with this setup?
Also, read somewhere that when you connect the trailer plug that the rear hatch lift gets disabled...same for yours?

Tks for the info!
You can attempt to do he programming yourself if you are already setup and have done some previously. That was my original intent as well. Bluedragon has a post with what needs to be changed/added, not complicated at all (I will try to find the post)

Because the programming was included in the cable installation I chose to let the mechanic do it.

Regarding the cable install, it is very easy actually, the only ****ty part is removing the bumper.

This the document I gave to my mechanic as he's never done a cable harness install before, so we did it together. It is a lot better written compared with the BMW documentation.

Programming was done in Montreal, but any of the guys doing remote programming can do it for you if wanted

Because the camera on the newer models has higher resolution, the zoom function is not needed anymore. You can see very clearly the hitch & ball as you approach.

The gate opens without any problems (I am pulling a boat and never had any issues), I never heard of being disabled

Hope this helps, and good luck!

KT
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,217 Posts
Because the camera on the newer models has higher resolution, the zoom function is not needed anymore. You can see very clearly the hitch & ball as you approach.
My rear view camera is really good, but Zoom function is still very helpful,especially when approaching at an angle.
It also allows stopping when receiver ball is exactly under trailer tongue - probably not easy without it.
 
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
Top