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  #111  
Old 02-03-2021, 03:41 PM
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Tow Hitch/7-Pin Connector/Brake Controller

Generally I like to DIY whatever I can because I like working in my workshop and find it to be a great stress-reliever from my work life.

After looking into DIY'ing a receiver hitch, brake controller, 7-pin connector, and the associated wiring, I decided that it was best and safest to have a professional do the installation. There were too many stories about problems wiring in brake controllers, LED trailer lights, signal multiplexing, etc. and was worried that I'd end up with an install that didn't fully work properly.

So I had a local trailer/hitch shop do the install and they recommended a Teknosha Prodigy P2 brake controller along with a welded/bolted 10,000 lb receiver hitch.

For my first tow, I am renting a U-Haul 6x12 trailer on Friday to get some experience towing something around and so I can start to learn how to back up with a trailer.

Then in two weeks I am renting a 22' Forest River Wolfpup Model 16PF travel trailer (loaded tow weight around 4400 lbs with 400 lb tongue weight) to stay at Buttonwillow Racepark about 140 miles north of LA while I auto race for a 3-day weekend. I will be using the trailer owners weight distributing hitch with sway control.

I am looking forward to see how the E53 tows and handles that kind of weight on the freeway and especially over the Grapevine/Tejon Pass north of LA where Interstate 5 goes from 1,360 ft in San Clarita to 4,120 ft at the top of the pass and then down a fairly steep decent into the Central Valley ending at 1,500 ft.

If all goes well with towing on the trip to the Central Valley, it is highly likely that I will purchase a similar 22'/5000 lb max weight travel trailer to use for traveling around the country to auto race and for camping/hiking. Previously, we've rented various Class C RV's for camping/hiking trips and I would really like to have a rig of our own.
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  #112  
Old 02-03-2021, 07:48 PM
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Wow- so you didn’t use the OE Westfalia-made E53-specific hitch? Did you use the OE wiring harness and module ?

Love to see how the hitch is mounted.. the OE hitch is Pretty well engineered.
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  #113  
Old 02-03-2021, 08:08 PM
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I'm anxious to hear how the 3.0L does pulling the 4400 lb trailer up the Grapevine. That will be 10,000 lbs trying to go the opposite direction somewhere around Gorman.
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  #114  
Old 02-03-2021, 08:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Effduration View Post
Wow- so you didnít use the OE Westfalia-made E53-specific hitch? Did you use the OE wiring harness and module ?

Love to see how the hitch is mounted.. the OE hitch is Pretty well engineered.

I have to second this. My son and I pulled an OE hitch off an E53 parts car we purchased and I was very impressed with the engineering, design and integration.
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2005 Titanium Silver X5 4.8is (DD winter) * 2001 Steel Blue 750iL (DD summer) * 2001 Ford Excursion 7.3 L <> 2005 X5 3.0 * 2003 X5 4.4i * 2009 X3 3.0 * 2009 X5 3.0 * 2007 Toyota Avalon Limited
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  #115  
Old 02-04-2021, 04:05 PM
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Thanks for the comments!

I'll have to see about removing the rear bumper cover to take some photos of the hitch mounting points. If I had to guess, I would say that the hitch most likely mounts like the DrawTite aftermarket hitches to the rear subframe bumper mounts.

The portion of the hitch that goes under the car towards the differential is welded to the rear subframe instead of bolting to a rear crossmember like the DrawTite hitch.

The installer did use an OEM 7-pin connector, harness, and electronic module which they interfaced with the external trailer brake controller and added LED trailer light compatibility.

I'm all set to pick up the U-Haul trailer tomorrow to practice driving and backing. Then I'll let you know how it tows the travel trailer in a couple of weeks.
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  #116  
Old 03-15-2021, 09:42 PM
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Thanks to the great info in here I'm happy to report Swampy and I will be joining the cool kids club



While we wait I'm hoping to score a decent used set of something in a 265/70/17 size. We'll see if I get lucky
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  #117  
Old 03-16-2021, 12:26 PM
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I have a 2001/3.0 and had no problems towing 3 tons (car on deck trailer) over mountain passes with up to 10% gradient at it steepest, without being too much of a PITA to other motorists


I have no supporting upgrades such as air suspension, heavier springs, or equalizer hitch. Just be sure to balance the load properly.


cheers
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  #118  
Old 03-23-2021, 10:53 PM
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thStone, great job on the X5 and it looks awesome. I'm in the process of acquiring an electric brake controller and adding it to my X5. I plan to eventually start making the stock looking SUV into one of these more outdoor adventuring ones. I have some nice AT tires on it now and the 7 pin Hitch installed. I want to add the LED light bar or squared light on the roof rack as well as a few more things here and there as time goes on.
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  #119  
Old 04-04-2021, 11:23 PM
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Lift spacer

Thstone, have you seen this? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aELNPl5Qrmw
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