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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi guys,

I'm a newb here. Hoping some of you more experienced guys can give me some advice.

I have never had any prior experience with towing trailers before.
I will be getting a 24 feet Pontoon later in the summer and will need to get a trailer hitch installed on my 2019 X5.

I went to my Dealer here in Toronto and they quoted me $4300 to get a trailer hitch installed($3300 for parts and $994 for labor), which was way more than what I expected. I remember the option to get a trailer hitch if you were to order a new vehicle was only $800 or so.

So I called up my local U-Haul and they can do the same job for $800. Of course they will be using different parts.

So here is the question: Which option would you recommend to go with? Does it make any difference who installs the hitch?
I think maybe the BMW factory installed hitch will allow you to have the anti-sway feature making towing safer. Will the H-Haul trailer hitch do the same?
At the same time, is there warranty issue I have to worry about if I get it from U-Haul?

Thank you in advance guys!
 

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Nuclear engineer
02/2012 X5 35d M57Y CPO 116K miles NOKIAN WR G3 30K miles
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$4300 is outrageous. Mine was dealer installed six years ago for $1500. There are hitches and there are ‘hitches’, and there is proper interfacing with the X5 native systems. The BMW wiring will enable a number of features of the DSC that make towing easier and safer.

Here is the installation instructions and cautions for a BMW receiver hitch.


Note that weight distribution systems are prohibited. The X5 is NOT a body on frame vehicle and the uni-body is far too stiff and brittle to pass that huge moment to the front suspension.

BMW X5 (E70) Trailer Hitch Guidelines and Cautions Page 1 of 2
These Guideline Sheets should be left in the vehicle (for customer reference) after installation of the Trailer Hitch ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- -----------
 The BMW X5 Trailer Hitch is rated Class 3 (gross trailer weight 6000 lbs., maximum
tongue weight 600 lbs.). Never exceed these specifications. This rating is based on a standard equipped vehicle with driver. Additional passengers and/or cargo will reduce maximum vehicle/trailer ratings.
 Do not exceed gross vehicle weight or front/rear axel weights as specified in the vehicles Owners Manual and displayed on the Safety Certification Label located on the drivers door jam.
 Do not use weight distribution equipment.
 
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$4300 is outrageous. Mine was dealer installed six years ago for $1500. There are hitches and there are ‘hitches’, and there is proper interfacing with the X5 native systems. The BMW wiring will enable a number of features of the DSC that make towing easier and safer.

Here is the installation instructions and cautions for a BMW receiver hitch.


Note that weight distribution systems are prohibited. The X5 is NOT a body on frame vehicle and the uni-body is far too stiff and brittle to pass that huge moment to the front suspension.

BMW X5 (E70) Trailer Hitch Guidelines and Cautions Page 1 of 2
These Guideline Sheets should be left in the vehicle (for customer reference) after installation of the Trailer Hitch ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- -----------
 The BMW X5 Trailer Hitch is rated Class 3 (gross trailer weight 6000 lbs., maximum
tongue weight 600 lbs.). Never exceed these specifications. This rating is based on a standard equipped vehicle with driver. Additional passengers and/or cargo will reduce maximum vehicle/trailer ratings.
 Do not exceed gross vehicle weight or front/rear axel weights as specified in the vehicles Owners Manual and displayed on the Safety Certification Label located on the drivers door jam.
 Do not use weight distribution equipment.
+1 on this. Best to pick the option when you buy, but that isn't possible now. Definitely $4300 is way out of line. Get more quotes from hitch specialists and at least one independent BMW mechanic that has done it before. Don't necessarily go with the cheapest approach and don't let someone learn it on your dime.
 

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I used a U-Haul hitch on my Outback years ago (it was very cheap - less than $300 installed). This didn't include any wiring; I didn't need to haul a trailer - just a bike rack. Only minor annoyance was the painted-on U-Haul logo:

1034655


Fast forward to 2021... On my 2018 X3, I called a few Truck Accessory businesses in my area and found a place that would order and install a Draw-Tite hitch. Curt Hitch was another option and I've seen some threads about Stealth Hitch as well. etrailer.com was also mentioned by another member as a do-it-yourself option. Here's the link to my forum thread with more details and pics: Curt Trailer Hitch?

Good luck!
 

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Wow… configuring it from the factory for $500 seems more and more like a steal.
 
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In different markets, BMW has different trailer hitches. THe price quoted is probably for the electrically retractable gooseneck ball hitch. You would need to get some clarification of what exactly BMW was offering to you. In the US and Canada the more common hitch has a square receiver. BMW Canada may have been retrofitting the full OEM trailer package, which also includes bigger brakes, the wiring harness, rear bumper cover, and the hitch itself...

There are various aftermarket hitches that can work for you, and an electrical package that will enable the lights and brakes to work, too, but the ONLY electrical package that will automatically enable all of the OEM functionality is that from the factory.

You might want to look into the Stealth Hitch. Stealth Hitches - The Hitch Made to be Hidden - Premium Hidden Hitches
 

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Nuclear engineer
02/2012 X5 35d M57Y CPO 116K miles NOKIAN WR G3 30K miles
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
$4300 is outrageous. Mine was dealer installed six years ago for $1500. There are hitches and there are ‘hitches’, and there is proper interfacing with the X5 native systems. The BMW wiring will enable a number of features of the DSC that make towing easier and safer.

Here is the installation instructions and cautions for a BMW receiver hitch.


Note that weight distribution systems are prohibited. The X5 is NOT a body on frame vehicle and the uni-body is far too stiff and brittle to pass that huge moment to the front suspension.

BMW X5 (E70) Trailer Hitch Guidelines and Cautions Page 1 of 2
These Guideline Sheets should be left in the vehicle (for customer reference) after installation of the Trailer Hitch ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- -----------
 The BMW X5 Trailer Hitch is rated Class 3 (gross trailer weight 6000 lbs., maximum
tongue weight 600 lbs.). Never exceed these specifications. This rating is based on a standard equipped vehicle with driver. Additional passengers and/or cargo will reduce maximum vehicle/trailer ratings.
 Do not exceed gross vehicle weight or front/rear axel weights as specified in the vehicles Owners Manual and displayed on the Safety Certification Label located on the drivers door jam.
 Do not use weight distribution equipment.
Thank you sir! I have not even hooked up a trailer once in my life. you seem you have a lot of knowledge in this area.
I just want something that is safe and not get ripped off while getting it.
the boat i will tow will be around 2600lbs. it will not go near the 6000lb tow capacity
do you still think it's worth the money to get it done by the dealer?
thank you sir!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
In different markets, BMW has different trailer hitches. THe price quoted is probably for the electrically retractable gooseneck ball hitch. You would need to get some clarification of what exactly BMW was offering to you. In the US and Canada the more common hitch has a square receiver. BMW Canada may have been retrofitting the full OEM trailer package, which also includes bigger brakes, the wiring harness, rear bumper cover, and the hitch itself...

There are various aftermarket hitches that can work for you, and an electrical package that will enable the lights and brakes to work, too, but the ONLY electrical package that will automatically enable all of the OEM functionality is that from the factory.

You might want to look into the Stealth Hitch. Stealth Hitches - The Hitch Made to be Hidden - Premium Hidden Hitches
Hi Jim,
I found the parts they quoted me. They quoted higher than the MSRP plus 5 hours for installation. I cant believe they would quote me higher than the MSRP.... what kind of dealer does that.
The following are the parts they quoted me
I don't think those are retractable right?
I just want to tow a 2600lb boat safely without having to get ripped off.

U Haul uses the following
plus ball mount/ hitch ball and pin & clip

Do you think it's worth it to go with the dealer?
I cant tell how different they are.
what would you do if you were towing a 2600lb pontoon?

thank you Sir!
 

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The 2021 MY of X5 sold in the USA does not come with the trailer make ready...it MIGHT in Canada...that will make a difference in how easy it is to install the hitch, at least the electronics...the hitch itself (I think) will bolt on regardless.

And regardless of what others have said, in the USA, the 2021 X5 with the towing option gets larger brakes. Now, are the stock ones capable? Maybe, especially if you're not driving in the mountains or pulling near the maximum load capacity. Depends on if you have the base brakes or are already upgraded.

Earlier BMW MY X5's tended to have the towing make-ready...that is no longer true, at least in all markets.

Prior to the G05 X5 series, other companies made an electronics module that was available to get the OEM trailer functionality which includes:
  • disable the rear PDC sensors
  • enable the vehicle towing stability program
  • enable a special rear camera view and tongue alignment guide
  • iDrive monitoring of the trailer lights

Without programming AND the OEM module, you won't be able to enable any of those things. You can get the lights to function with various trailer interface kits.

Some hate the look of the OEM hitch sold in NA. BMW offers at least three versions of hitches in different markets:
  • the NA receiver
  • the manual, removeable gooseneck hitch
  • the automatic retraction goosenek hitch (a pretty pricey option)

The Stealth Hitch emulates the functionality of the manual, removeable gooseneck hitch, but has two options:
  • a receiver for use with a bike rack
  • a ball for use pulling a trailer (note, you don't put an adapter in the receiver part...you remove it entirely)

In the US, the OEM trailer hitch doesn't include the kick to open hatch sensor. One person has a thread where he describes what he did to retrofit the OEM parts, and it kept the kick to open functionality. Note, the gooseneck hitches seem to retain that, but not the US receiver hitch.

BMW OEM parts, installed by a BMW dealer would get you warranty coverage, should you need it, on the package. That usually isn't a big deal, but it is a potential issue.
 
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