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Trailer Hitch and Weight Distribution for a 2011 BMW X5 35d

Question:

Hi, Im in the process of purchasing a 2011 BMW X5 35d as my new tow vehicle. I have a 21foot tt with a gross weight of 5500 lbs and a dry tongue weight of 390 lbs which is under the limit of this hitch. Im wondering if I will require a weight distribution setup or not. Can I use a weight distribution setup with this hitch?

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Expert Reply:

Draw-Tite trailer hitch # 75600 is rated for use with weight distribution. I tried to find towing capacity and information in the 2011 BMW X5 owners manual but could not (because it isn't listed). You can check the sticker in the door jamb to confirm but I did find a listed capacity of 6,000 pounds gross trailer weight through another resource.

To choose a weight distribution system you will need to go by the total tongue weight of the set up. This is calculated by taking the tongue weight of the trailer, when loaded and ready to tow, and adding to that the weight of anything loaded behind the rear axle of the tow vehicle.

Trailer tongue weight is typically 10 to 15 percent of the gross trailer weight. So for a 5,500 pound trailer that would be 550 to 825. But you are limited to 600 pounds tongue weight for the hitch and the vehicle.

To cover 550 to 825 pound range I recommend the Strait-Line system # RP66083. It comes with dual-cam sway control and is rated for 400 to 800 pounds tongue weight. The dual-cam sway control is recommended because it stops sway before it starts.

For a 2 inch ball use # A-90 and for a 2-5/16 inch ball use # 19286. I have included some helpful links on weight distribution and determining tongue weight for you.

To add a 4-Way trailer connector use # 119190KIT. I have linked a video showing how the wiring harness and the hitch install on a 2011 X5.

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