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Hi all

 

I have an aftermarket westfalia towbar on my 2019 g31 520d with some dedicated canbus (but not OEM) electrics. All lights etc works fine , but the car doesnt detect it's towing and turn on the enhancements (stability and possibly suspension adjustments ? ). I can't really find any detail on what towing mode actually is ??!!

 

I'd like to investigate whether it's possible to add the OEM loom and what parts I would need ? Or is there an aftermarket electrics kit (13 pin) that will support the car detecting towing mode.?

 

Thanks

 

A

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If the car detects a trailer light out it will also have activated the trailer stability program but you wouldn't notice until you have a problem. Once it detects a load from a light it is on.

 

I retrofitted the OEM module, I bought the plug and pins then spliced it into the westfalia loom my car had, after that I added the entry to the vehicle order with NCS expert and default coded the car.

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As above those things won't tell you unless there is an issue.  They will be working away in the background.

 

When you hitch up, presumably it disengages the rear parking sensors and the towball symbol appears in the idrive instead of the 'radar' scan type image.  Pull a bulb out on the trailer and see if the car detects it.

 

The Westfalia kit is about the best you can buy, assuming the electrics are Westfalia too.

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I have a factory fit towbar & wiring on my G30. When my caravan is connected it brings up a warning on the idrive saying that a trailer is attached (in case I hadn't noticed!). This stays on the screen until I  press ok on the controller knob. Then the rear parking sensors are disabled and trailer stability mode is activated.

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I've had the Westfalia kit fitted too, and I don't get any warnings about towing either.  Everything in the van works as expected, fridge turns on, ATC is working, all pins appear to be connected on a tester.  But put the car in reverse and the sensors go loopy as if I'm about to hit something.

 

I'll be interested in hearing if you get this resolved, as I may go down the same route.

 

This was my order form, it wasn't some cheap knock-off:

 

BMW 5 Series Estate G31 2017 Onwards Westfalia Detachable Towbar

CODE: 303412


Options: Mobile fitting:  13 Pin (+£200.00) ,  BMW 5 Series 13 Pin Electrics (16-):  Vehicle Specific Kit (13PIN353) (+£154.87)

 

 

Edited by Saftlad

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2 hours ago, Saftlad said:

I've had the Westfalia kit fitted too, and I don't get any warnings about towing either.  Everything in the van works as expected, fridge turns on, ATC is working, all pins appear to be connected on a tester.  But put the car in reverse and the sensors go loopy as if I'm about to hit something.

 

I'll be interested in hearing if you get this resolved, as I may go down the same route.

 

This was my order form, it wasn't some cheap knock-off:

 

BMW 5 Series Estate G31 2017 Onwards Westfalia Detachable Towbar

CODE: 303412


Options: Mobile fitting:  13 Pin (+£200.00) ,  BMW 5 Series 13 Pin Electrics (16-):  Vehicle Specific Kit (13PIN353) (+£154.87)

 

 

It has to detect 2 loads when it does bulb checks, a tester may not be enough to do this. If it still does it with a load attached I would be asking what's up with it?

Edited by GoNz0

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8 hours ago, Saftlad said:

I've had the Westfalia kit fitted too, and I don't get any warnings about towing either.  Everything in the van works as expected, fridge turns on, ATC is working, all pins appear to be connected on a tester.  But put the car in reverse and the sensors go loopy as if I'm about to hit something.

 

I'll be interested in hearing if you get this resolved, as I may go down the same route.

 

This was my order form, it wasn't some cheap knock-off:

 

BMW 5 Series Estate G31 2017 Onwards Westfalia Detachable Towbar

CODE: 303412


Options: Mobile fitting:  13 Pin (+£200.00) ,  BMW 5 Series 13 Pin Electrics (16-):  Vehicle Specific Kit (13PIN353) (+£154.87)

 

 

 

As the rear parking sensors aren’t disabled I’d get in touch with The electrics manufacturer, ECS in the U.K. maybe? Do you have a reverse camera? If so do you get a tow hitch symbol on screen when in reverse?

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@Saftlad, do the reverse sensors on the car fail to disengage when the van is hitched up or when connected to the tester? 

 

The testers are notorious in not providing enough electrical load when connected to certain cars. LEDs in testers and on some trailerboards or caravans do not have enough electrical load to work in some situations. 

 

Does your caravan has LED reverse lights but conventional filament bulbs for other circuits that could be your issue. As said above usually these systems need to detect the electrical load (resistance) from any two of the external lighting circuits on the caravan so the car knows is towing something. Perhaps it's looking specifically for the load across the reverse light circuit.

 

I would get in touch with the folk that supplied the wiring kit you have fitted in your car. It's not working as intended.

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13 hours ago, Matthew Ashton said:

 

As the rear parking sensors aren’t disabled I’d get in touch with The electrics manufacturer, ECS in the U.K. maybe? Do you have a reverse camera? If so do you get a tow hitch symbol on screen when in reverse?

Thanks all.

 

No tow-hitch symbol on the screen when selecting reverse.  I bought the lot with fitting from PF Jones over a year ago, so I'm not sure they'll look to any fix.

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I note on the Westfalia website for the kit it has the following info:

 

Quote

The ISO 13 pin series of vehicle specific kits are high quality ISO 13 pin electric kits and contain all the components necessary to provide all legal light functions required for towing in the UK. This kit utilises CAN bus technology, it will integrate with your vehicle and provide all legally required towing functions. A software update should be performed if you wish to activate additional user benefits and safety features. AN ADDITIONAL CHARGE MAY BE MADE FOR THE SOFTWARE UPDATE. The kit also contains all the components necessary to provide full power supply and reverse light functions to European specification caravans and all UK specification caravans manufactured from January 2009. Turn signal failure is indicated by the vehicle's own warning device.

 

For those of us with the aftermarket fitting, it may be that we need to get this enabled by BMW etc.  I've asked Westfalia to confirm this and will update then

Edited by Saftlad

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Westfalia have confirmed that the car will need to be coded by BMW to disable the sensors and enable towing mode to be activated.

 

No idea how much they will try to charge for the update :(

 

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16 hours ago, Saftlad said:

Westfalia have confirmed that the car will need to be coded by BMW to disable the sensors and enable towing mode to be activated.

 

No idea how much they will try to charge for the update :(

 

 

Call the mobile fitter as they sometimes have the technology to do the coding. If you look at someone like Trident Towing, they advertise this ability so it can be done outside of the BMW network. 

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