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Trailer Hitch, Wiring, and Brake Controller for Towing with a 2018 BMW X5  


I need to tow a trailer with brakes with my 2018 X5. What do I need.


Expert Reply:

To tow a trailer with any vehicle you need a trailer hitch, ball mount kit, and wiring. Since you are needing to tow a trailer that has brakes with your 2018 BMW X5 you will also need a brake controller.

The trailer hitch that I recommend using is the Curt # 13077 which pairs nicely with the Curt ball mount kit # C45036. This trailer hitch has a 6,000 lb towing rating and a 600 lb tongue weight rating but you will want to compare these with the weight ratings of your X5 in your owner's manual and go with the lower of the 2 ratings. Also be sure to check out the linked ball mount article to make sure that the 2" drop of the ball mount is correct for your towing application.

Then for wiring we have the upgraded Tekonsha # 119250KIT which installs by clamping around your wiring instead of splicing. This option includes wiring that runs to your battery to draw power for your trailer lights.

The typical brake controller installs in the cab of your vehicle and attaches to pre-existing wiring under your driver's side dash. Since the stop light switch (which tells the brake controller when you are braking) is very difficult to find on your 2018 X5 I recommend using the Tekonsha Prodigy RF # TK94FR instead. This is an alternative controller that actually installs on the trailer and only needs the trailer lighting functions and the 12V function to operate properly.

To complete your wiring so that it is compatible with the RF you will need the Adapter # 37185 which you will then simply run wire from the black wire on the adapter up to the positive terminal on your battery with a 40 amp circuit breaker # 9510 in-line to protect the circuit. You can use the Easy Mount Bracket # C58000 for a clean looking installation of the adapter.

Some videos and articles have been linked to assist you with the installation.

expert reply by:
Jon G

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