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Old 09-21-2012, 10:52 PM   #57
OrangeKid
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by REDNAX View Post
The manufacturer recommendation on towing is not a "legal" prescription. Falls outside what the law addresses.

Did you, in your last loss-of-control accident, provide certified copies of your tire inflation, rotation schedule and tread depth measurements for that week? If you want "manufacturer recommendations" that are more likely to lead to road mishaps look no further than this.


Setting up cars to tow heavy was SOP right into the 1980's.
I was foreman of a jury in a one week trial where a tire manufacturer was sued over a tire blowout that allegedly caused a vehicle to flip over 5 times and leave a trail of debris for several 100 feet. Luckily no one was killed. The lawyers for the tire manufacturer and the plaintiff certainly argued whether the tires were correctly inflated and whether incorrectly inflated tires were a cause of the blowout.
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Old 09-21-2012, 11:14 PM   #58
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Okay, how about "lifted" 4WD trucks? Or, superchargers on super Mommy commuter mobiles? The list goes on and on.

You'll get what you want (I'm not arguing it), but the idea that "Tow Ratings" are some sort of lodestone is mistaken. They are manufacturer guidelines, and that's it.

I work the oilfield and the number of guys running hotshot in 1T pickups/trailer with cargo loads, that, by themselves, exceed the the GCVWR is SOP. For 300k miles (if it's a Dodge).

The law addresses axle ratings and tire ratings. That's it (and only for commercial).

.
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Old 09-21-2012, 11:54 PM   #59
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2013 Mercedes GL350 BlueTEC

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I'm test driving one next Wednesday. I am also test driving the ML350 diesel. Both have Class 4 hitches.
Hi OrangeKid,

I spoke with the head mechanic over at Fletcher Jones Mercedes in Newport Beach, CA. and asked him if a Weight Distribution Hitch could be used with the 2013 Mercedes GL350 BlueTEC and he said he needed to read the manual to make sure and would get back to me. I heard back from him today and he said this:

"The new 2013 GL manual doesn't say anything regarding not using a Weight Distribution Hitch. So, if it doesnít specify that you canít, then there shouldnít be a problem, as long as you donít exceed the maximum allowable tow rating of 7500lbs."

Also, you are right that the GL's come standard with a Class 4 hitch but the ML's come standard with a Class 3 hitch. If you want a Class 4 hitch on the ML, you have to special order it that way.

I've attached the specs on the new 2013 GL's for you to check out. I'm still waiting for the 2013 GL350 BlueTEC to hit the dealer here in So Cal so that I can test drive one. They told me two months...

Hope this helps!
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File Type: pdf GL-1.pdf (1.54 MB, 74 views)
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Old 09-22-2012, 01:05 AM   #60
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Originally Posted by sierrafun View Post
Hi OrangeKid,

I spoke with the head mechanic over at Fletcher Jones Mercedes in Newport Beach, CA. and asked him if a Weight Distribution Hitch could be used with the 2013 Mercedes GL350 BlueTEC and he said he needed to read the manual to make sure and would get back to me. I heard back from him today and he said this:

"The new 2013 GL manual doesn't say anything regarding not using a Weight Distribution Hitch. So, if it doesnít specify that you canít, then there shouldnít be a problem, as long as you donít exceed the maximum allowable tow rating of 7500lbs."

Also, you are right that the GL's come standard with a Class 4 hitch but the ML's come standard with a Class 3 hitch. If you want a Class 4 hitch on the ML, you have to special order it that way.

I've attached the specs on the new 2013 GL's for you to check out. I'm still waiting for the 2013 GL350 BlueTEC to hit the dealer here in So Cal so that I can test drive one. They told me two months...

Hope this helps!
The local MB dealer told me that WD hitches are not necessary when towing up to the recommended maximum load. The ML 350 is rated to tow 7200 lb. Generally Class 3 hitches are rated for up to 6000 lb and 600 lb tongue weight.

Thanks for the specs.
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Old 09-22-2012, 01:28 AM   #61
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Mercedes Trailer Hitch Ratings

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Originally Posted by OrangeKid View Post
The local MB dealer told me that WD hitches are not necessary when towing up to the recommended maximum load. The ML 350 is rated to tow 7200 lb. Generally Class 3 hitches are rated for up to 6000 lb and 600 lb tongue weight.

Thanks for the specs.
Hi OrangeKid,

That's good to know about the WD hitches but if we get a GL or ML, I'd still like a WD hitch on ours.

I've attached another doc for you regarding Mercedes hitch ratings that I received from Mercedes. Granted this only covers up to 2011 so not sure what the ML's are rated at for 2012 & 2013 but just thought I would give you a heads up to check for yourself.
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Old 09-22-2012, 01:44 AM   #62
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OrangeKid View Post
The local MB dealer told me that WD hitches are not necessary when towing up to the recommended maximum load. The ML 350 is rated to tow 7200 lb.
Can this possibly be good advice? I tow a 23FB with a 4runner, which probably has a longer rear overhang than the ML, but without WD a lot of weight comes off the front wheels and it definitely affects the handling. The WD puts weight back on the front wheels and makes everything much more stable. (Yes, I also have sway control.) The fact that the ML has self adjusting rear suspension will prevent the rear from sagging without WD, but that doesn't transfer that much weight back to the front, does it? With 700lbs on the hitch the front would be almost as relieved of weight with our without stiff rear suspension, or am I missing something?
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Old 09-22-2012, 01:48 AM   #63
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BTW, something else to consider is vehicle width. I tow a 23FB with a 4runner. The 23FB is 8' wide. The larger trailers are wider. I use the Mckesh mirrors at full extension and I can just see comfortably behind the trailer. I don't think I would like the set-up with a wider trailer. Ok, I admit that I like to go into mountain and dirt roads and highly value the mirrors. If I were an interstate & pull-through RV park traveler I'd probably not care as much. I believe a pickup-truck tends to be wider and cause fewer issues with that.
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Old 09-22-2012, 10:59 AM   #64
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Guys, this is what I meant when I posted that Mercedes dealers are useless when it comes to towing. The head mechanic you spoke to doesn't know that tongue weight capacity and hitch receiver: torsion are the big weaknesses in the GL for towing- not towing capacity. My dealership is the same - this week they didn't know where the fuse for the trailer charging circuit is - nor did they know that the truck (they call it a car) actually provides power to the trailer. When i bought my airstream the dealer did not know what WD was - not even the shop foreman. My point isn't that the GL isn't a fantastic TV. It is. It is just you are going to find both your local dealer and MBUSA don't know diddly about towing - and they readily acknowledge this. Maybe one out of a thousand Mercedes owners tow. So take anything they tell you with a big grain of salt.
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Old 09-22-2012, 11:42 AM   #65
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Weight Distribution Hitch

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Originally Posted by ddruker View Post
Guys, this is what I meant when I posted that Mercedes dealers are useless when it comes to towing. The head mechanic you spoke to doesn't know that tongue weight capacity and hitch receiver: torsion are the big weaknesses in the GL for towing- not towing capacity. My dealership is the same - this week they didn't know where the fuse for the trailer charging circuit is - nor did they know that the truck (they call it a car) actually provides power to the trailer. When i bought my airstream the dealer did not know what WD was - not even the shop foreman. My point isn't that the GL isn't a fantastic TV. It is. It is just you are going to find both your local dealer and MBUSA don't know diddly about towing - and they readily acknowledge this. Maybe one out of a thousand Mercedes owners tow. So take anything they tell you with a big grain of salt.
Hi Dan,

Thanks for the info. Do you use a Weight Distribution Hitch when towing your 27' AS with your Mercedes GL? If so, what brand hitch?
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Old 09-22-2012, 12:08 PM   #66
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I am not currently using WD and I've had rock solid stability with the combo but I am likely to invest in the new Anderson hitch to add an additional safety factor. I am always cautious about tongue weight with the GL, so I like that this new option only weighs 60 lbs. I have also had my hitch receiver reinforced, again for extra safety margin.
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Old 09-22-2012, 02:04 PM   #67
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ddruker View Post
I am not currently using WD and I've had rock solid stability with the combo but I am likely to invest in the new Anderson hitch to add an additional safety factor. I am always cautious about tongue weight with the GL, so I like that this new option only weighs 60 lbs. I have also had my hitch receiver reinforced, again for extra safety margin.
Hi Dan,

The Andersen Hitch seems like a nice option.

Question:
Why are you concerned with the tongue weight on the GL since it comes with a Class 4 hitch that can support up to 1000 pounds? The 27' AS has a hitch weight of 770lbs + the weight of the WD hitch. Just curious, are you saying a Class 4 hitch is not sufficient? Or are you implying something else that should be considered?
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Old 09-22-2012, 02:27 PM   #68
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The Mercedes factory receiver on the GL is rated for 7500 # of trailer weight, but also has a placarded limit of 600# tongue weight.

If you overload the receiver without reinforcement, it will break eventually, and you won't get sympathy from your dealer.
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Old 09-22-2012, 06:19 PM   #69
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Here is a useful link that may be of interest on this topic:

Common Weight Distribution and Sway Control Questions | etrailer.com

Note the recommendation that "Weight distributing systems should be used any time the trailer weighs more than 50 percent of the vehicle's weight." While I personally think that is overly conservative, it is yet another "guideline" to consider.
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Old 09-22-2012, 06:29 PM   #70
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Originally Posted by sierrafun View Post
Hi OrangeKid,

That's good to know about the WD hitches but if we get a GL or ML, I'd still like a WD hitch on ours.

I've attached another doc for you regarding Mercedes hitch ratings that I received from Mercedes. Granted this only covers up to 2011 so not sure what the ML's are rated at for 2012 & 2013 but just thought I would give you a heads up to check for yourself.
Thans! I had seen the chart before but I could not locate it. Now I am really confused. According to MB you can tow a 7200 lb. trailer with a Class 3 hitch.
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