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      04-09-2012, 11:40 PM   #1
norcal_g
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All Tow Hitch Options

I've been lurking for a while and will hopefully be ordering a 2013 X3 Msport soon. One of the uses for this SAV will be to tow my weekend track car (~4,000 lbs. trailer + car) about once a month. I've been reading as much as I can about tow hitches for the F25 and have gathered the information below. Any additional information or opinions anyone can provide to help me decide which one to go with would be appreciated.

Genuine BMW "Towing and Transport" System
$1,000 installed by dealer
3,500 lb. capacity
Pros: BMW warranty, re-programming included
Cons: not completely hidden, only Class II

Curt Hitch
<$300 for hitch, wiring, ball mount
3,500 lb. capacity
Pros: Class III, can add weight-distribution system for only ~$200 to raise the capacity to 4,000 lbs.
Cons: not hidden at all, no dealer re-programming, self-install (not really a con for me, but might be for others)

Execuhitch
$800
No capacity listed
Pros: class III (I think), completely hidden
Cons: price, self-install, can't use weight-distribution system with it (?)

Does the owner's manual actually only list 3,500 lbs. as the towing capacity?
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      04-12-2012, 02:32 AM   #2
norcal_g
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I know there are some of you out there with tow hitches... I was hoping this thread could become one central location for those in the future looking at hitch options, so feel free to post pictures, opinions, anything helpful. As soon as I get more time, I'll update the OP with links to other threads and compile information further. Thanks.
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      04-12-2012, 08:28 AM   #3
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Opinion? Buy an x5.

You are going to be way over the GCVWR limit with your setup.
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      04-12-2012, 11:42 AM   #4
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Definitely appreciate the opinion, thanks! This guy (see post #9) has no problems with his setup, but those Canadians are crazy

What GCVWR is listed for the 2011+ X3?

I test drove an X5 diesel. I liked it, but you could definitely feel how big it is and not very nimble compared to the X3. 95% of the time the vehicle I buy won't be used for towing, hence my desire for the X3 instead of the X5. But obviously I don't want to do something that's not smart/safe, which is why I'm researching all of this now.

The other thing I find interesting is I know a ton of people with the original X5's that tow fully enclosed trailers without any problems. And the new X3's are about the same size as those old X5's.
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      04-12-2012, 01:55 PM   #5
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Well, people do a lot of dumb stuff. Just because you can doesn't mean you should.

Do you plan on carrying spares/tools? What about other passengers? Ever been in a good crosswind with a trailer? And that doesn't even take into account the legal ramifications if something does happen.

My actual opinion is to buy something based on a full-sized truck. Those guys using the older x5/Toureg/Cayenne are just asking for trouble. I tow a 3200 car all over the country on an open steel trailer with a diesel 2500 truck. Overkill, sure, but there is no way I'd want to go through mountains or rush-hour traffic with any less.
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      04-13-2012, 03:58 PM   #6
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Yep, I hear ya. Appreciate your thoughts and opinion.
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      04-24-2012, 02:47 PM   #7
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Towed the motorcycle to Texas last week. Not pushing the 3500 lb. limit, more like a total weight of 2000 lbs. with bike and trailer. Crosswinds? I-10 in New Mexico has 'em! Didn't notice any issues. Averaged 20.5MPG heading east, and 18.8 heading home.
The rear parking control has an issue with the trailer hitch installed. In the normal position, it's got red on the screen all the time. Upside-down and I get a beep and a red square once in a while. Remove the ball mount and all is good. There's a little cavity in the right rear of the cargo area that everything fits into.
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      04-25-2012, 01:54 AM   #8
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Thanks for the reply, Razel. Which tow hitch did you go with?

I live across the Bay from you... I'm going to have to come check out that Mojave leather! I've never seen it in person.
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      04-26-2012, 08:46 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by norcal_g View Post
Thanks for the reply, Razel. Which tow hitch did you go with?

I live across the Bay from you... I'm going to have to come check out that Mojave leather! I've never seen it in person.
I went with the BMW installation as it includes getting the software upgrade. From what I was told, it changes the bias on the braking to more rear braking when there's a trailer plugged in to the electrical outlet. There's a different camera view, and the parking alert is disabled in the rear when backing up.

As for the leather, let me know where and when.
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      04-26-2012, 08:59 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Razel View Post
I went with the BMW installation as it includes getting the software upgrade. From what I was told, it changes the bias on the braking to more rear braking when there's a trailer plugged in to the electrical outlet. There's a different camera view, and the parking alert is disabled in the rear when backing up.
Ditto - except here in Australia that is a $2200 option. The "hitch" (or towbar as we call them here) is rated at 2000kg (4400lb) braked, 750kg (1650lb) unbraked) with a 200kg (440lb) maximum towball weight. The bar is a concealed type with a vertical mounting behind the bumper bar that the 'hitch' mounts up into, fixed with a pin and clip.
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      07-07-2012, 02:31 AM   #11
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im interested in doing the same thing when i get my x3 35i too... BUMP
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      07-07-2012, 08:03 AM   #12
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Went with the BMW tow hitch option. It was $1170 installed. Took a few days for the dealer to install since they didn't have the software to do the upgrade.
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      07-07-2012, 12:27 PM   #13
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Also went with the dealer install since it involved re-programming. It's a nice set-up, with the ability to remove the shank when you're not towing, and just plug in the lights. I'm with bren on the towing weight--sounds like what you want to do is too heavy for the X3, especially if you include a passenger and any gear. Besides the x-winds, there's the issue of strain on the engine, not enough power left over to get out of someone's way, what happens on a hill, etc.
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      07-07-2012, 03:40 PM   #14
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+1 on the dealer installed hitch. We had it done at the port before final delivery for the dealer. Cost was $1050 but it was worth it considering to have someone install the Curt hitch and wiring was going to run around $800.

As far as towing capacity goes it isn't necessarily limited by the power of the engine but rather by the overall weight of the vehicle and its brakes. As you get to heavier tow weights the transmission will come into play, especially with an automatic, as it may start to slip under the additional strain of pulling something heavy.

If you're towing a trailer you shouldn't be trying to make any quick lane changes or pull across a tight opening in traffic. I see too many people pulling boats and campers around that forget they have an additional 5000lbs and 20 feet behind them.
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