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2706RE: [bmw e28] towing

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  • Bob Sutterfield
    Aug 16, 2004
      I installed a hitch on our 535iS. It's made by Da'Lan for the US rear
      bumper. The BMW hitch will only work with the Euro rear bumper. The Da'Lan
      hitch provides a 1.25" receiver, with a standard carrier for a standard
      ball. BMW offers either a fixed or receiver style hitch for E28s. I prefer
      the receiver style so I can remove the carrier and ball, because I often
      knock my shins on the ball when it's in place.

      The Da'Lan hitch installation requires drilling two holes in the trunk floor
      (between the spare tire well and the rear valance) and two in the bottom of
      the rear bumper. This is nerve-wracking but not difficult, and the
      directions provided are simple and clear. I used a Reese wiring kit, which
      draws power from the taillights and turn signals, terminating in a flat
      four-pin connector. My wires ride in the spare tire well when not in use,
      and exit under the trunk lid beside the latch when needed. I decided not to
      drill another hole to bring the wire out more neatly beside the hitch; it
      doesn't bother me much to have it dangling over the license plate when the
      trailer is present.

      The BMW hitches are rated at 1800 kg draw weight which is 3968 lbs. The
      Da'Lan hitch is rated at 2000 lbs draw weight and 200 lbs hitch weight. We
      use it to pull our equipment trailer to events like driving schools and
      autocrosses. It carries eight mounted track tires/wheels (enough for her
      car and mine), tools, spare parts, fuel, coolant, air tank and compressor,
      floor jack, shade shelter, folding chairs, bicycle, cooler, all the
      necessities of life at the racetrack. It weighs less than 1000 lbs fully
      loaded and I can hitch/unhitch it and roll it limited distances around the
      paddock myself.

      Ours is an open trailer and rather low, so its wind drag is less than that
      of an enclosed box unit. I notice its effect on acceleration but it's not
      too bad. I have towed up to only about 100mph on the open highway so I
      haven’t tested its effect on top speed. The ride is affected, a different
      rhythm going over surface undulations, but not objectionable. Fuel use is
      greater at highway speeds, maybe 1 mile per gallon, difficult to measure.

      I don't have a trailer photo on a website but I can email it to anyone who
      might be interested.
      Bob Sutterfield
      88 E28 535iS lachssilber-met
      83 E21 320i opalgrün-met (new to me)
      87 E30 325iS zinnoberrot (ex)
      93 T4 EV MV Weekender alpinweiß
      BMWCCA #169277 GGC/RMC
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