jadnashuanh
Posts: 4161
Joined: Thu May 22, 2014 2:07 pm
Location: Nashua, NH USA

Trailer Hitch

Fri Jul 06, 2018 9:46 pm

I have an Invisihitch on my GT and was just on their website to check on something and found that they list the i3 as an application. Not sure how long that's been there, but it would give people another option for carrying a bike rack verses some of the others out there. When not using it in that manner, the receiver can be removed so unless you are laying on the ground, you'd never see that it had a hitch. I don't think I'd want to try to actually pull a small trailer, but you can swap out the receiver for a ball attachment, at least on the one I have on my GT. On my GT, I have a trailer wiring harness that triggers the car's stability control, shuts off the rear PDC sensors, and changes the rear camera view, but I doubt that logic is in the i3 as there's no factory option for one anywhere, unlike the other ICE vehicles.
Jim DeBruycker
2011 535i x-drive GT, 2014 i3 BEV

Jki3
Posts: 11
Joined: Wed Jun 27, 2018 9:53 pm

Re: Trailer Hitch

Sat Jul 07, 2018 12:04 am

I took a look at the execuhitch.com site and found no listing for the i3.
Any link or info?
Since mine is leased, concern over a hole in rear bumper at time of return exists.
Thanks

viking79
Posts: 110
Joined: Wed Apr 16, 2014 3:04 pm

Re: Trailer Hitch

Sat Jul 07, 2018 3:04 am

The used hitch I bought was from someone leasing. They had bought a spare used bumper cover to cut the hole in for the hitch so they could restore their original cover for lease return.

It is a torklift. I am not sure best place to get a spare cover though. https://torkliftcentral.com/2014-2017-b ... ohitch-reg

Jki3
Posts: 11
Joined: Wed Jun 27, 2018 9:53 pm

Re: Trailer Hitch

Sat Jul 07, 2018 12:38 pm

The ecohitch is one I had my eye on but it requires a very visible hole in the lower rear bumper skin. My guess is that it would be a $700 ding at lease return for a hole in the bumper. That along with the high cost of the hitch had dissuaded me from considering a hitch. Mine is a 2018 and it's a bit different afaik. Even if old bumpers fit, the least expensive used bumpers were still around $300 that I've seen. If paint doesn't match, then we are talking about a repaint just to make it acceptable. North of $1500 just to be able to use my bike rack? Doesn't make sense particulary since I'm ususally carrying 1 road bike.

Of course I'd like to drive the i3 as much as possible, but my X has a hitch that cost $120 that I installed myself. It's ICE but it'll take 10 yrs to make up for the difference in fuel savings on the short trips I will take in the X versus driving the i3.

I'm almost able to stomach the $600 hidden hitch but that's even a tough one. The likelihood of anyone noticing a 3x3 inch hole under the rear in front of the bumper skin at lease return is a chance I could take.

viking79
Posts: 110
Joined: Wed Apr 16, 2014 3:04 pm

Re: Trailer Hitch

Sat Jul 07, 2018 2:50 pm

The bumper cover is only black, the colored insert is swappable. I imagine the newer car is different cover, might be harder to find. It does make an expensive hitch setup, can recover half or so reselling at end of lease.

jadnashuanh
Posts: 4161
Joined: Thu May 22, 2014 2:07 pm
Location: Nashua, NH USA

Re: Trailer Hitch

Sat Jul 07, 2018 3:55 pm

http://www.invisihitch.com/hitches/

These guys have been around for a number of years and have an international presence.

The main part of the hitch is entirely behind the bumper cover...you need a fairly small hole underneath to access the locking pin (keyed) and the release (spring loaded), and the shaft slides up into the main part of the hitch through that hole. So, when not being used, the cutout is entirely underneath, not through the vertical, painted, bumper cover.

If you're interested in utilizing the built-in trailering functions in vehicles that have them (like my GT), there are only two smart wiring harnesses available: the OEM one made by Westphalia, and the aftermarket one made by RightConnections. The later is the only one that will work without having to program anything...this includes, as I mentioned, enabling the trailer stability control logic, turns off the rear PDC sensors (if present), and enables a special trailer rear view camera view. I don't think there is one for the i3.

FWIW, even though I've not towed anything (yet) with my GT, I did want the wiring harness functionality. Like what is required in Europe when a bike or something similar can obstruct the rear lights, I run a light bar on the harness that duplicates the rear lamp functions for the extra safety, and it also shuts off those pesky PDC sensors (only) in the rear when plugged into the trailering harness. Yes, it was not cheap. I picked up the harness while traveling in England, where it is made.
Jim DeBruycker
2011 535i x-drive GT, 2014 i3 BEV

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