Adding a 7-Way Trailer Connector on a 2013 BMW X5 to Power Trailer Brakes

Question:

I have a 2013 BMW X5 and I want to tow an Airstream Sport which needs a 7 pin connector. I already have the hitch, looking for the wiring.

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Expert Reply:

The easiest way to add a 7-way trailer connector to your 2013 BMW X5 is to start with a 4-way and then convert it to a 7-way.

You can either hardwire in a kit, like part # 119190KIT, or use the ZCI kit, part # 119250KIT, instead. The ZCI sensors that clamp to your X5's wiring to detect the current flowing through the wires instead of being spliced in. This way you don't have to cut into the BMW's wiring. I've linked videos of both wiring harness being installed on X5's similar to yours.

Then once you have the 4-way installed use our # ETBC7 kit to convert the connector. The kit includes everything to install the 7-way and all the wiring you need to power an electric brake controller. However, wiring a BMW for a brake controller can be pretty difficult because the wires you need to trigger the controler from the vehicle's stop light switch can be extremely hard to find. So I recommend only installing the # ETBC7 for the standard 4 functions of a 4-way plus the 12 volt power circuit. This only requires you to plug the # ETBC7 into the 4-way you already installed, connect a ground wire to the BMW's frame, and run the power wire to the battery through a circuit brearker. All of the wiring and the circuit breaker is included with the kit and this way there is also no cutting into the vehicle's wiring.

With a 7-way connector you'll be able to connect to the Airstream. And to power the trailer's brakes you can add the Prodigy RF, part # 90250, that installs on the trailer and connector to the X5 in inline with the 7-way connector. The conroller only needs that 12 volt power circuit to operate. I've linked an install video of the Prodigy RF as well.

This way you'll have a 7-way connetor at the back of the X5, and be able to operate the Airstream's brakes without cutting itnto the vehicle's wiring at all.

expert reply by:
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Charles S

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