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Curt Trailer Hitch Installation - 2013 BMW X5

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How to Install the Curt Trailer Hitch on a 2013 BMW X5


Shane: Hey guys, Shane here with etrailer.com. Today, I'm going to walk through how to install the CURT class three trailer hitch receiver on your 2013 BMW X5.Looking for a hitch for this vehicle, in my opinion, you're going to want one that is going to maintain a nice clean look on the vehicle. You can see how the CURT hitch fits on there. It's nice and flush with the edge of the bumper. The receiver or the cross tube is completely hidden behind our bumper fascia. So, we're not really seeing much, again, maintaining the nice clean look of the BMW itself.This hitch is going to be a steel construction, black powder coat finish.

It's really going to help resist any rust or corrosion. Adding a hitch like this to your BMW is going to allow you to do a lot of different things. Maybe you're carrying bikes and you don't want to load them in the vehicle. Maybe you want to put a cargo carrier on, to get some of your cargo from inside the vehicle, put it on the cargo carrier so you can make more room for your passengers and make your ride much more comfortable. Maybe you're pulling a small trailer.

This hitch is going to allow you to do all of that.This is going to be a class three hitch, two inch by two inch receiver tube opening, reinforced collar to give us a little extra stability there. Hitch pin hole is going to be five eighths inch in diameter. It's going to take a standard five eighths hitch pin. Hitch pin and clip does not come with this hitch, however you can find them here ar etrailer.com. We're going to have rolled steel style safety chain loops.

It's going to accept many different size safety chain hooks. Can you see there, we've got plenty of room.Now, I'm going to give you a few measurements to help you when deciding on any of your hitch mounted accessories you may need, such as a bike rack, a ball mount or cargo carrier. From the center of our hitch pin hole to the outermost part of our bumper, it's going to be about four inches. This number is important for any of your bike racks or cargo carriers that may fold up against your vehicle. You want to make sure they're not going to make contact.

From the ground to the top, innermost part of our receiver tube is going to be about 13 and a half inches. Keep that number in mind for any of those hitch mount accessories that may require a little bit more ground clearance. As far as our weight capacities go, we're going to have a 600 pound max tongue weight, which is a downward pressure on the inside of the receiver tube.So when you're loading the cargo carriers, bike racks, you want to make sure you're not exceeding that downward pressure. 6,000 pounds gross towing weight, which is going to be how much it can pull. It's going to be the trailer, plus the load included. You can use weight distribution with this hitch, however, the weights are going to say the same.Now that we've gone over some of the features, let's walk you through how to get it installed. Start our installation inside the rear cargo area of our vehicle. On both sides, we need to remove this panel.We're going to pull up this foam pad on the passenger side. Driver's side it doesn't cover. We're going to unplug our taillight. Down on the bottom there's going to be a little tab. Push up on it, pull out. We're going to take an eight millimeter socket. We're going to remove this nut, this nut and this nut.We'll slide our tail lights out, set them aside in a safe place. We're going to take a strap, we're going to hook it right up here. And then right on my tailgate.In each wheel-well you need to take a small drill bit, we're going to drill out the center of the bottom two rivets. Then we're going to need to pop this panel loose all the way up to about here. If you find you're having trouble and it's not popping loose, what you can do is there's a push pin fastener here and there's one in here, you take those two off, you can pull your wheel well liner out, reach in behind and you can push the little tab to release it.Take an eight millimeter socket. We're going to remove this bolt right here. Then we need to remove our reflectors. Sometimes you can reach up behind, there's little clips. You can take a trim panel tool like this, get it in from that side. We'll release them and then slide it out. You want to make sure you're not prying from this side, because you can see right here, it hooks into the fascia. You try prying from this side, it's going to break that tab off. Take an eight millimeter socket, remove the bolt underneath the reflector.Now what I like to do before I go down to the bottom of the fascia and remove the bolts, take a little bit of tape and run it right along this edge, so that when we're taking it off and putting it on, this piece right here is not going to scratch the paint. If your BMW has one that's painted here, I recommend not only putting it here, but also putting it on this edge. You can use electrical tape. I'm using painter's tape.Take an eight millimeter socket, on the bottom of the fascia you're going to remove the bolts that run from one side all the way to the other.Now it's a good idea to have a second set of hands when you start pulling your fascia off. If you don't, take the box that your hitch comes in, set it underneath, but as you're pulling one side off, you can set it on the box and go over to the other side and you're not letting your fascia touch the ground.Keep in mind if you have sensors, on your passenger side there's going to be a plug back here, so don't just take your fascia once it's loose and pull it off. You don't want to damage that plug. What we're going to do, now we're going to start here and we're just going to pull up.And if you noticed, I was having a little bit of trouble right in here. These little flaps lock into these tabs in this black piece. If you can get it out enough, you can take a small screwdriver, I recommend a plastic trim panel tool, and if you slide it right down on each one of these slots, it'll push that little tab down and unlock your fascia. Once you get up here, where the taillight sits, take that trim panel tool, and you're going to pop them loose like this.As you move to the center of your fascia, you're going to have little fasteners that lock into place. We're going to push these apart to unlock those. You need to get that tab up above it. Try to pry the two sides apart, you want to get that up on top of those.You're also going to have another little stop right here in the center. So it may take you a minute, just take your time. And we're going to slowly slide our fascia back. Set it down on our box. And we'll come right over here, and we're going to disconnect our sensor wire plug. There are tabs on both sides, push them together or push them in and pull down. And then we can set our fascia aside, so it doesn't get damaged.Then we're going to start removing our bumper core. On the top two bolts on each side, you're going to have a plastic cover. Take your 18 millimeter socket, if you spin it just once, just to loosen it, you can take them off by hand. You're only going to have these on the top four bolts. Take your trim panel tool. On the passenger side of the bumper core, you need to pop this wire off. This is your sensor wire. And then we'll just work our way across and just un-clip it, to get it out of our way, so we don't damage it.Take an 18 millimeter socket. We're going to remove the four nuts, holding our bumper core in place on each side of the vehicle. I will suggest leaving one of them a couple of threads on, so your bumper core just doesn't fall off when you are doing the other side. And we'll slide our bumper core back.You're going to need to pull up on this plastic edge, or this plastic piece here, to get it over this edge. And then we can slide it off and set it aside. It will not be re-installed.What I will suggest, is over here on this side where your wires connected, go ahead and un-clip that too. Take it and wrap it down around your exhaust and heat shield, so it doesn't get caught underneath your new hitch when you put it in place.Now that we've got that moved, we'll go ahead and set our hitch in place. We're just going to line it up with the factory bolts. And we're going to take conical tooth washer, teeth facing towards the hitch, and we're going to put one on each one of the studs on each side of the vehicle. Once you get those on, you're going to take the nut and install on each one of those studs. Take a 19 millimeter socket, we'll tighten them all into place.Now we're going to come back and torque all of our hardware to the specifications in the instructions. Then what we'll do is we'll just reverse our steps for putting our wire back in place. Keep in mind, the fastener that was on the side of the bumper beam will not be going back into place. So what I suggest, if you have a zip tie, maybe taking a zip tie and just doing it loosely here, just to help keep it away from the exhaust.Next what we need to do is we need to trim the bottom of our fascia. You're going to find the center. It's going to be four inches wide, two inches by two inches, and you're going to go 2.25 inches up, and you're going to cut that square out. I'm going to use a rotary tool with a plastic cutting blade.Once you get it trimmed, we're going to go ahead and put the fascia back in place. Before doing that, what I suggest. And you can actually do this before when you put the tape here, go ahead and run a piece right along here, so that as you're putting it on, if this comes up, again, it's not going to damage the paint on this edge.To start reinstalling our fascia, we're just going to go in reverse order. We're going to start with our plug. We're going to slide our fascia into place. We're going to start in the center and work our way out. When you take it off, again, you start from the outside and work your way in, so we're just doing it opposite.After you get your fascia re-installed, the two rivets that you took out of each wheel well, your kit's going to come with two fasteners that look like this. They'll just have a Phillips head screw on them. These are plastic, so if you ever need to remove them, just make sure when you turn that, you turn it easily, you don't have to put a lot of pressure on it. All you do with these, you're going to push them in and then push the center in like that.Once you get all of your fascia re-installed or reattached, you go ahead and reinstall your tail lights. Once you get your fascia reattached, you have your taillights back in place you're ready to go.Again, I'm Shane with etrailer.com. I hope this video has helped you, whether you're still deciding or installing the CURT class three trailer hitch receiver on your 2013 BMW X5..


Scott W.

11/30/2020

Excellent video.

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