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Curt Trailer Hitch Installation - 2018 BMW X5

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How to Install a Curt Trailer Hitch on a 2018 BMW X5


Hey everyone. Shane here with etrailer.com. Today I have a 2018 BMW X5 , and I want to walk through how to install the Curt Class Three trailer hitch receiver. Adding a hitch on the back of your BMW, it's going to give you a lot of different options. Put a bike rack on, so we're not trying to load the bikes in the vehicle. Cargo carrier.

We can get cargo from inside the vehicle, put it on the cargo carrier to make more room for our passengers, or maybe you want to pull a small trailer. You can see this is what our hitch is going to look like when it's installed. The cross tube is going to be completely hidden behind the bumper fascia. Only thing we really see is our receiver tube, so it maintains a nice clean look on the back of the BMW. Steel construction, black powder coat finish.It's really going to help resist rust and corrosion.

It's going to give us a two inch by two inch receiver tube opening, reinforced collar, give us a little extra stability there. Hitch pin hole is going to be 5/8 inch in diameter. It's going to take a standard 5/8 hitch pin. Hitch pin and clip does not come with this hitch, however, they can be found here at etrailer.com. This is how you're going to secure any of your hitch mount accessories onto your hitch.

We're going to have rolled steel safety chain loops. You can see very large openings to accommodate different size safety chain hooks.I'm going to give you a few weight capacities and measurements to help you when deciding on any of your hitch mounted accessories, like bike racks, ball mounts, and cargo carriers. From the center of our hitch pin hole to the outermost part of our bumper is going to be about four inches. That number is important for any of your hitch mount accessories that may fold up against your vehicle like cargo carriers or bike racks. You want to make sure they're not going to make contact.

From the ground to the top innermost part of the receiver tube is going to be about 14 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 going to be the downward pressure on the inside of the receiver tube. So when you're loading the bike rack, cargo carrier, or pulling a trailer, you want to make sure you're not exceeding that downward pressure. We're going to have a 6,000 pound gross trailer weight. It's going to be the trailer plus a load included.That's how much the hitch can pull. You want to make sure check the vehicle's owner's manual to make sure the vehicle can withstand that amount of weight. You're going to go with the lowest number between the vehicle and the hitch. You can use weight distribution with this hitch. The numbers are going to stay the same. Now that we've gone over some of the features, let's walk you through how to get it installed.To start our installation we're going to take a 5/16 socket, we're going to remove all the bolts that run along the bottom of our bumper fascia. Then we're going to take a small drill bit. You're going to have a rivet here and a rivet here in both wheel well. We need to drill out the center and remove those.When you run your drill bit through, if the top of it doesn't fall off, take a trim panel tool, just kind of run up behind it and pop off the top there. Then we need to pull out on our fascia. We're going to get our liner pulled out a little bit. We're going to ask some clips that are holding this trim piece in place. A little tab right there, you reach up back behind there, push on that tab. You can pop that one out. Now, we're only going to be able to get to two of them. Actually this one is pretty tight in there. You're going to have one right up here like that. Get that one to pop loose. What we're trying to get to is that bolt right there.We'll take the same 5/16. We need to remove that bolt on each side. Now, your directions tell you to only remove these two rivets here. What I'm finding is we can't pull this trim piece out far enough to get our fascia unhooked. So we have a third rivet right here on each side. We're going to have to drill that one out. Now, you're only going to have a rivet for these two in each wheel well in the kit to replace them. So you're going to have to pick up two more if you remove those. My opinion, I would suggest removing those because if you don't, you're going to have a hard time getting this out and you could potentially scratch your paint work on the vehicle.After you get that third rivet out, pop this out. Be careful. There's a little rubber O ring. This white clip right here, it actually goes around there, but it might be sticking on the body of the vehicle. So just take it off, slide it back over the clip so it's ready to be put back on. One thing that we need to take off is there's a pushpin fastener right down here at the bottom that's holding the bottom of the wheel well liner onto the bottom of the fascia. We're going to have one of these on each side. Just take your trim panel tool and you're going to pry out the center of it and then the base. It's just a pin, little plastic pin. You want to take that out on each side.Next we need to remove our reflectors. There's a tab on one side. This is the passenger side. This tab locks onto the fascia like this and on the backside, you're going to have a clip like you did on your wheel well trim and this tab right here. I'm showing you this because you're not going to be able to see what I'm doing, but we're going to do is we're going to reach up above the exhaust, take a screwdriver and push on that, take a trim panel tool from the outside and push between the reflector and the body and push that in and pop this end out, then we'll slide it out. Now with our screwdriver in place, we'll take a trim panel tool. We're going to slide it right on the inside here, then we're going to slide it out like that. Same socket, we're going to move the bolt behind each reflector.inaudible 00:06:31 in the back of the vehicle, remove your side panels on each side, we're going to take the same socket, we're going to move the two bolts that are holding our taillight in place and disconnect the wiring. To disconnect your wiring, you're just going to push that center tab there and pull out. We're just going to pull back on the taillight and we'll set it aside. Repeat the process for the passenger side. Same socket, we're going to move the bolt underneath each tail light. Now we're going to start removing our fascia. It's a good idea to have an extra set of hands to help you. If you don't, take your box that your hitch comes in, slide it right underneath the bottom of the bumper fascia. What we're going to do is we're going to start on the very outside on one side and work our way to the center. The box is so that when we get one side off, we can set it on the box and we don't have to worry about scratching it on the ground. All we're going to do is pop it out like that.When you get to here, this piece may be a little bit difficult to get off. If you take a trim panel tool, kind of shove it down underneath this, it'll pop loose. Make sure you don't just go and try and pull it off. That's when you start damaging everything. What we want to do is these two tabs that are over top of those clips, if you can't just pop it out, take a trim panel tool, pry off one side, you might go get it to pop up a little bit easier. You're just going to work your way across. There we go.Pull our fascia out, set it down on the box. Over on our passenger side, we're going to have some wiring for our sensors. This is going to be our wiring. Here's a clip. It pops into this plastic piece here. If you can get your trim panel tool in there and pop it out, it might make it easier. You're going to have a tab here and tab on the bottom. Push those two down. We have this wire that runs across right here. Then it connects right onto our bumper beam. We need to take a trim panel tool. We're going to pop it off there.I'm going to go ahead and slide it off right here just so it hangs down low enough that we can get our bumper beam off. I'll take an 18 millimeter socket. We're going to remove the four nuts on each side holding our bumper beam in place. Careful when you take your last one off, because the bumper beam will come loose and we want to make sure it's not going to fall off. Repeat taking the four off on the other side of the vehicle. Slide this off. This will not be reinstalled. We're going to take our hitch, but I suggest is taking this wire, we're going to go top. We're going to line up with the inaudible 00:10:29, slide it into place. Conical tooth washer, teeth towards the hitch. We're going to put one on each of those studs. We're going to follow it up with a nut.With a 3/4 inch socket, we're going to come back, we're going to tighten all of our hardware and then torque it to the specifications in the instructions. Once you've torqued all your hardware, you can reinstall your fascia in reverse order from the way you took it off. Keep in mind it may require a little bit of trimming down here on the bottom. That actually looks like this one is already trimmed out. So if you have to do trimming, just make sure you follow your instructions. Our two new rivets that we're going to be putting in on each side are going to look like this. All we're going to do is we're going to slide it in, and we're going to push that center in. For a third one that we had to take out that doesn't come in your kit, you can either buy another one of these for each side, or you can get one of these and you can probably rent a rivet gun from your local auto parts store. These are going to be 1/4 inch thick by 5/32 by 3/8.We'll put these in first in our lower two holes. Make sure you get the center of pushed all the way in. You might have to use your trim panel tool to get them to push in. You just want to make sure you get them all the way in and then for your other one, if you're doing a rivet like this and you've rented a gun, you're going to slide it in, you're going to slide it up into the hole. Once you got everything put back in place, you're ready to go. That's going to do it for a look at installation on a Curt Class Three trailer hitch receiver on a 2018 BMW X5.


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