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  #1  
Old 07-09-2013, 04:01 PM
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Towing a boat - hitch options

So, I originally bought my X5 in part because I wanted something that could tow my ski boat. I finally found one with all the options I was looking for, but it didn't come with a tow hitch. It seemed like the OEM tow hitch install was a pretty straightforward bolt-in procedure, so I didn't let that stop me and pulled the trigger. Now, unfortunately, there's a problem - there are no more OEM E53 X5 tow hitches available. I've heard that for whatever reason they aren't being made any more, and every dealer in North America is sold out of them.

My question is, what are the best options for getting my X5 to tow a boat? Does anyone have experience using an aftermarket hitch to tow a heavy (~3500 lb) trailer? I wouldn't be towing more than 10x per year, but the towing would involve long drives at highway speeds, and obviously negotiating a boat ramp for launch and return. So, not exactly light duty.

Lots of the aftermarket hitch kits are rated to 5k-6k lbs, but are they reliable for heavy use? I've heard people say that no aftermarket hitch is safe for towing a boat, but these are reputable companies, and my boat weighs way less than the max ratings.

Otherwise, anyone have clues where to find an OEM hitch?
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  #2  
Old 07-09-2013, 08:35 PM
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Have you tried looking at craigslist or eBay? There were two people selling original BMW hitch for an E53 in my area.

Here's a guy that been tryiong to sell his for the pass couple of mon ths.

BMW X5 E53 Trailer Hitch
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Old 07-09-2013, 09:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by upallnight View Post
Have you tried looking at craigslist or eBay? There were two people selling original BMW hitch for an E53 in my area.

Here's a guy that been tryiong to sell his for the pass couple of mon ths.

BMW X5 E53 Trailer Hitch

excellent deal!!!
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Old 07-10-2013, 07:06 AM
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Yeah, I had actually talked to that guy about shipping it before. Unfortunately he's missing some of the wriring harness components, and I'm not sure if there are other ones that could work. What was the other listing in your area?
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Old 07-10-2013, 07:22 AM
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Have you tried ecs tuning?
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Old 07-10-2013, 08:32 AM
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Yeah, I had checked with them - they have it up on their website, but it's listed as 'backordered'. I'm guessing that they don't know when (if ever) any more will be coming in.

Anybody have experience or information on the aftermarket hitch kits? I know it's not an ideal solution, but like I said in the first post, they are rated to tow more weight than I'd need, and they aren't all made by no-name companies. Any specific reasons why they aren't recommended very often?
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Old 07-10-2013, 08:32 AM
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Yeah, I had checked with them - they have it up on their website, but it's listed as 'backordered'. I'm guessing that they don't know when (if ever) any more will be coming in.

Anybody have experience or information on the aftermarket hitch kits? I know it's not an ideal solution, but like I said in the first post, they are rated to tow more weight than I'd need, and they aren't all made by no-name companies. Any specific reasons why they aren't recommended very often?
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Old 07-10-2013, 10:11 AM
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the mounting point for aftermarket hitches are not the same as for the factory hitch - and even if the hitch is rated at 6000 lbs, if you attach it to a piece of paper, the overall rating will be of that piece of paper... since they do not attach to the points that OE engineers thought would be correct point of towing, the stress is put onto the elements that were not designed to take it, or outright to the sheet metal, which would tear up once any serious load is attached... the strenghth of the chain is determined by its weakest link...

what is he missing in reference to the harness?
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Old 07-10-2013, 10:25 AM
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X5 tow hitch

I also just purchased a X5 4.4 with no hitch. My boat weighs in at 3500 # and I just purchased and installed the Curt hitch rated at 5000#. It seems very well built and is the same brand I have used for years on my 4x4s. It still mounts to exactly the same locations as the factory hitch. Installation was not too bad took me 3 hours , but I was not rushing didn't want to scratch anything. You will need a helper the rear clip comes off as one big piece and is a hand full to line up. Hitch comes with bolts and good instructions, you will have to drill out one hole in ea of the bumper shock mount so you will need a 1/2'' shank 9/16 drill bit for that. It turned out to be a clean install. I then installed my 5 pin flat wiring harness. I had to purchase the European converter to get the trailer lights to work correctly another $30 bucks. When finished towed my boat just fine.
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Old 07-10-2013, 10:41 AM
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i see a harness on his pictures - the only thing that i do not see is the trailer module itself... you should be able to find that module on fleabay...

61356955253 | eBay
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