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Using a Bike Rack on a 2015 BMW X5 With Park Assist


I just bought a 2015 BMW X5 and I want to make sure I get the best hitch bike rack that fits two bikes that is not going to set off the reverse sensors that are features on my vehicle annoying beeping noise. Do I need a hitch riser?


Expert Reply:

I have some potential solutions for you, however with anything in the trailer hitch, there's a good chance that the sensor will pick up the hitch rise.

The sensors are tuned to look in a fairly wide cone around the four broadcast points, and its difficult for them to not work. Even though this is kind of the point of the feature, its' extremely annoying when you're trying to use the utility aspect of the vehicle.

You can turn the sensor off manually when you get into the vehicle, but this can become repetitive on multi-stop trips.

I don't recommend using a hitch rise, but you're right in that its' the easiest way to get above the sensors. I've included a picture that details the outward locations of these sensors to help you see where things may sit.

Prior to any purchase, you'll want to verify the towing and tongue capacity of your vehicle in its owner's manual or with your manufacturer.

For this, I recommend Roadmaster's High-Low adapter, part # RM-048-10. When using this adapter, your tongue weight capacity will be lowered by 50%, so you'll need to choose a lighter bike rack than you normally would.

A rack that will help get the distance up would be either a hanging rack or a U bar platform rack.

Based on pure weight needs, I recommend the Kuat Beta, part # B202-2 as a hanging rack and the Kuat Transfer 2, part # KU74FR as a platform rack.

At 12.6 pounds, the Kuat Beta, part # B202-2 is hands down the lightest dual arm rack on the market, and sitting at 41 inches tall at the outside of its cradle, the Beta can handle 2 40 pound bikes easily across its dual arms. It includes an integrated cam lock anti-rattle feature, and can tilt away from the vehicle. Depending on your bumper's height, this can allow for rear access while the hitch is installed, even on the riser.

The Kuat Transfer is a great choice if you'd rather opt for a platform style rack. In this application specifically, the U-shaped bar is an advantage because you can step into the rack to load the rear bike, which will be easier at its increased height. This assembly will be about 24-5/8 inches tall with the rise.

In either case, you'll want a simple hitch lock for the riser to keep the entire assembly from walking off, and I recommend the Roadmaster Trailer Hitch Locks, part # RM-316. This can be used with either the Kuat Beta or Transfer. If you go with the Beta, you can use part # e98891 as a cable lock for added security on your bikes.

I've included video reviews of these products so you can get an idea of their performance and features in action, and make the best choice for you and your bikes.

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