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Old 02-12-2013, 03:16 PM   #29
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Having towed with both a Dually Cummings and a high torque gas SUV (QX56) there's really no comparison between the two. Towing our 28 ft International was fine but downshifting at the slightest hint of a overpass or grade was disconcerting and sometimes annoying. The Cummings never knew the AS was back there. That said, if we were camped somewhere for an extended period of time the Dually was tiresome for my wife to drive and park, which led to our transitioning over to a nice SUV. I felt the redesigned 2012 ML was too small for our AS and we bought a QX as a bridge vehicle (I'm not frivolous by any means, there were some unique circumstances that minimized the depreciation on the QX) and now we've just moved into our 2013 GL Bluetec and we are ecstatic with our choice. Both of the redesigned M-B models are light years ahead of their preceding models and have vastly improved hitch structure (and yes, I've had conversations with Andy as well), so think its just a matter of your needs and what the TV's other purposes are. Think your current ML is adequate for a 23/25 with hitch reinforcements but torque curve being placed higher in the RPM curve will be very noticeable compared to a diesel (new Bluetec V6 has the whole 455 lbs on tap at 1600 RPM).
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Old 02-12-2013, 08:13 PM   #30
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Hitch Beef up?

JM, so did you beef up the hitch for the new GL?

I had a 13 GL on order then my neighbor had to move overseas, he had a crazy clean 12 model so I bought it when my build date got moved back to later March. GL is a awesome vehicle, have not towed with mine yet.
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Old 02-13-2013, 05:31 AM   #31
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JM, so did you beef up the hitch for the new GL?

I had a 13 GL on order then my neighbor had to move overseas, he had a crazy clean 12 model so I bought it when my build date got moved back to later March. GL is a awesome vehicle, have not towed with mine yet.
Based on my conversation with Andy there is no urgency to do any additional mods an my 13 model, he's just going to add one longitudinal brace to combat twisting since I have a lot of tongue weight. He indicated that I should just keep an eye on it until we get up there during our summer Michigan trip. Based on what I've read I think you better call Andy to get some particulars on reinforcing yours sooner rather than later on a 12 model. He can probably recommend a place in Texas for the mods, hope it doesn't require relocating the DEF tank on the GL. Search the forum for Mercedes, ML350, Bluetec, etc and you can see there is pretty much a consensus on the great towing capability of the M-B but the hitch structure needs to be addressed if you've got a lot of TW.
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Old 02-13-2013, 08:23 AM   #32
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The 2013 Mercedes specification for the maximum towable GVW trailer weight is 7,200 pounds for the ML and 7,500 pounds for the GL V6 diesel models. Thus the 25FB International GVW of 7,300 pounds would be 100 pounds too much for the ML but under the allowance on the GL.

I wonder what their V8 diesel ML and GL models, built only in Alabama and sold nearly anywhere outside of the US, ratings would be for trailer GVW towing capacity?

One needs to carefully utilize the scales to avoid over loading the front axle on these two models with weight distribution hitches. The door label on my 2007 ML 320 CDI stated the maximum front axle capacity is 3,086 pounds. With just me (225 pounds) in the car and no trailer attached, the scales reported the front axle was loaded to 2,940 pounds which left 146 pounds of capacity for the wife and her stuff plus whatever the hitch moved forward.

YMMV
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Old 02-13-2013, 08:49 AM   #33
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Hitch ability aside, I have towed our 23FC over the Rockies and frequent the Arkansas Boston Mountains. I know what my GL 450 is capable of.

Regardless of terrain (and a receiver that's been fortified to 10,000 pounds of tongue weight), I would NOT have much confidence in a 350 Blutec or gas engine to do much with a trailer longer than mine.

Good luck.
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Old 02-19-2013, 05:24 AM   #34
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Just concluded a 300 mile trip with our 2013 GL350 pulling a 2010 28ft International using the 3P. Took a stinger adjustment (the M-B air suspension is going to make the truck level, no concern there) to get the AS level and several bar adjustments and subsequent re-weighs at the scales to get her under GVW on both axles with the whole famdamily and full tank of diesel. 15.3 MPG matches what the Cummings dually did over the same loop and of course the M-B was much nicer for other duties. Not towing and over 70% highway/ 30%city mixed driving is yielding ~27 mpg so think I'm rounding the bend on getting a great combination. Next step is putting the old weight distribution hitch on her to see if I can get further under GVW on both axles. Recognize the thread concerns a ML & 23/25 AS combination but my experience may be helpful for those considering the M-B family as a TV.
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Old 02-20-2013, 06:46 AM   #35
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JM, thanks for your towing report. How much was your rear axle weight once adjusted?

Other thing I was wondering is Rich Luhr mentioned turning the car off when hitching then allow the car to level. Is this your experience?
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Old 02-21-2013, 04:42 AM   #36
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JM, thanks for your towing report. How much was your rear axle weight once adjusted?

Other thing I was wondering is Rich Luhr mentioned turning the car off when hitching then allow the car to level. Is this your experience?
I got the rear axle loading down to 100 pounds less than rated capacity with full fuel tank, dogs, gear and my wife and I in the car (350 pounds under capacity on the steering axle). AS had almost full load of propane but nothing in the tanks. That took 7.75 inches of travel on the 3P jacks and Sean indicated I could go more, which I may do but probably not till CanAm does a longitudinal brace on the hitch since you introduce a lot of twisting motion when you transfer that much weight. I'd prefer to have some extra margin but the 28 International is rated to have over 900 pounds of tongue weight plus the 3P mass so I'm going to keep experimenting with trailer loading to see if I can gain some more and put a bit more on the trailer axles (which showed only 5600 pounds). With the current setup my rear tire pressure grew only one PSI more than the fronts BTW.

I recognize that we should make the hitch hookup measurements prior to the M-B auto leveling occurring and I was able to do that but noticed during a subsequent hook that the auto leveling started working with just the Keyless FOB in proximity to the ignition which was turned off...just haven't read the manual enough to determine if I need to pull a fuse or just remove the FOB completely.

Going to be interesting to chase this rabbit some more, having to order the 7 pin adapter to eliminate the blinking AS LED taillights, to which I mutter about German Engineering but dang if they didn't design one heck of a vehicle, we love it.
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Old 02-21-2013, 07:59 AM   #37
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Here we go again with towing. The manufacturers give numbers for a reason. That is the safe towing loads recomended for that particular vehicle. You can always pull more weight that what is recomended for that vehicle but you are getting into alot of gray areas as far as the legal end of things.If you have an accident and someone is injured a lwyer will have a field day with you. He might not win but it is going to cost you alot of time and money and then you are alway going to wonder if you had not exceeded the recomendations would this have happened. We are not canada we are the US. Whatever they want to do up there they can do I wish it would stay there. I pull campers from the manufacturers to the dealers for a living. I see all these combinations on the road that everyone talks about and you really would be amazed at how much some wonder all over the road but I am sure they think they are in control because their vehicle rides great. I really wish the same rules applied to the general public as does to somone like myself that towes for a living. If DOT catches me even 1 pound over weight it is thousands of dollars in fines. "REMEMBER JUST BECAUSE YOU CAN TOW IT DOESN'T MEAN YOU CONTROL IT OR STOP IT.
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Old 02-21-2013, 08:31 AM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmcarter View Post
Just concluded a 300 mile trip with our 2013 GL350 pulling a 2010 28ft International using the 3P. Took a stinger adjustment (the M-B air suspension is going to make the truck level, no concern there) to get the AS level and several bar adjustments and subsequent re-weighs at the scales to get her under GVW on both axles with the whole famdamily and full tank of diesel. 15.3 MPG matches what the Cummings dually did over the same loop and of course the M-B was much nicer for other duties. Not towing and over 70% highway/ 30%city mixed driving is yielding ~27 mpg so think I'm rounding the bend on getting a great combination. Next step is putting the old weight distribution hitch on her to see if I can get further under GVW on both axles. Recognize the thread concerns a ML & 23/25 AS combination but my experience may be helpful for those considering the M-B family as a TV.
What load range tires do you have installed on the MB?
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Old 02-21-2013, 08:57 AM   #39
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SafariSS, you can PM me with any other questions. Thanks
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Old 02-24-2013, 12:27 PM   #40
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Made a Decision

After listening to all your valuable input for the last few months. . .

After talking to Andy and John at CanAM RV. . .

After talking by phone to several guys towing with the ML. . .

I made the decision to get the hitch on my 2012 Mercedes ML350 (gasser) beefed up at CanAM. I drove there Thursday and had the reinforcement done on Friday. These guys are pros and the work was perfect and $100 less than originally quoted. Andy also fabricated a new shank for use on my existing Reese WD hitch and explained how to best set my car up for towing. They were a great help. Thanks Andy, Kirk, and Andrew and Kim.

I may be under powered, but I'll see how it works in the flatter areas of the East Coast and if I find I need more power I'll consider another TV. (my ML350 actually has pretty similar hp and torque to my 99 ford f150 5.2liter gas)

The hitch modification/strengthening is quite simple, but elegantly done.

I plan to head to Florida in a week or two to pick up my 2007 25FB International.

One question though. . . there is some discussion about an adapter so that the lights in the Airstream work?? Does anyone know if this will be a problem with a 2012 Mercedes ML350 and a 2007 Airstream FB CCD??

And, again, thanks for everyone's help.
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Old 02-24-2013, 12:43 PM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vonzellen View Post
After listening to all your valuable input for the last few months. . .

After talking to Andy and John at CanAM RV. . .

After talking by phone to several guys towing with the ML. . .

I made the decision to get the hitch on my 2012 Mercedes ML350 (gasser) beefed up at CanAM. I drove there Thursday and had the reinforcement done on Friday. These guys are pros and the work was perfect and $100 less than originally quoted. Andy also fabricated a new shank for use on my existing Reese WD hitch and explained how to best set my car up for towing. They were a great help. Thanks Andy, Kirk, and Andrew and Kim.

I may be under powered, but I'll see how it works in the flatter areas of the East Coast and if I find I need more power I'll consider another TV. (my ML350 actually has pretty similar hp and torque to my 99 ford f150 5.2liter gas)

The hitch modification/strengthening is quite simple, but elegantly done.

I plan to head to Florida in a week or two to pick up my 2007 25FB International.

One question though. . . there is some discussion about an adapter so that the lights in the Airstream work?? Does anyone know if this will be a problem with a 2012 Mercedes ML350 and a 2007 Airstream FB CCD??

And, again, thanks for everyone's help.
If the AS has LED exterior lights then just call Andy, he can give you a simpler solution than using an adapter....if not LED's then you shouldn't have a problem.
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Old 02-24-2013, 12:58 PM   #42
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Just FYI that this was prior to one stinger adjustment and another 1.2 inches on the 3P jacks.
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