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Old 02-18-2017, 07:25 PM   #15
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The problem is the 1,000 lb bars. I use an Equilizer hitch with 600 lb bars with my 20' FC and they seem just about right.
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Old 02-19-2017, 08:59 AM   #16
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Don't let all the WD hitch aficionados frighten you with the unknown.
Your request for info indicates the subject is a big unknown for you...and we are all easily frightened by horror-tales of the unknown.
I've towed plenty of trailers that weigh more than your 19" Int'l and NONE of them needed weight-distribution hitches. (Of course, those that drank that KookAid are loathe to admit they either didn't try it without first... or loathe to admit to themselves they were so foolish as to spend a lot of money and trouble on something they didn't need...so they want everyone to follow in their footsteps.)

YOu likely do not need a WD hitch at all. Tow a trip or two and see.
You MIGHT need some rear suspension beef-up, such as airbag support, but unlikely on a MB, which has excellent suspension already.

You likely will find that a friction-type anti-sway device will make your towing more pleasant and safer, and that's a $50 add-on if you do it yourself, or $100 if you have someone else weld the small sway-bar onto your regular ball-hitch.

I'm standing-by with Nomex-suit on.
Mechanics and TV aside, I think your comfort level towing plays a part as well. We've towed our 19 for years with no add-ons. Not the case with our 23, WD a necessity.
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Old 02-19-2017, 09:56 AM   #17
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We tow a 2016 19' with a Silverado with towing package. We do not use either a wd or sway control. The truck and trailer specs say we don't need them and so far driving has confirmed that. You may want to read (a lot) about trailering, towing and specs. The chevy trailering guides are useful for definitions and explanations. I would also read and understand your suv's information as configured and the trailer's information, and understand it so you can make your own informed decision and feel comfortable doing so. Knowing Mercedes I would also go in and have their service people answer any questions you may have, and escalate if the person doesn't seem to answer appropriately. Best of luck with your adventure.
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Old 02-19-2017, 10:16 AM   #18
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Weight distribution and sway control definitely improve towing comfort and safety. I've towed trailers without them as well, and have experienced uncontrollable sway with a heavily loaded utility trailer. No thanks to that experience. I still tow our boat and utility trailers without w.d. or sway control, but the design, weights, and distance and speed traveled are quite different from our Airstream.

Some people have towed travel trailers without w.d/sway control and some have driven years without using seatbelts and had no problems. Same deal.
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Old 02-19-2017, 10:41 AM   #19
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Weight distribution and sway control definitely improve towing comfort and safety. I've towed trailers without them as well, and have experienced uncontrollable sway with a heavily loaded utility trailer. No thanks to that experience. I still tow our boat and utility trailers without w.d. or sway control, but the design, weights, and distance and speed traveled are quite different from our Airstream.

Some people have towed travel trailers without w.d/sway control and some have driven years without using seatbelts and had no problems. Same deal.
No. They're NOT the "same deal."

Again,...that's the fall-back answer so many use when they want to frighten people into making the same choice that some unknowlegeable folks have fallen for. You don't need a fire truck to put out a candle, and although if you can get it thru security... parachutes have proven helpful in some occasions...they are definitely NOT required equipment for airline passengers.
THAT ... is a similar deal in the case of small Bambi trailers with typical low tongue weights pulled by proper tow-vehicles.

The best way to determine if you need a heavy, expensive, complicated WD hitch... is to tow your own trailer with your own TV and then make an informed decision based on that experience.

IMO.
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Old 02-19-2017, 11:47 AM   #20
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The factory hitch weight of a FC 19 is 550 lbs. Loaded it may weigh 700 lbs which you are setting on the o.p.'s Mercedes hitch receiver. That will unload the steering axle significantly. Then you put another 100-200 lbs gear in the back of the Mercedes, maybe a passenger. That will unload the steering axle even more.

Chances are the Mercedes has a load leveling system so the tow vehicle levels itself and all looks good. But the load leveling does NOT distribute weight, the heavy load remains on the rear axle and the steering axle remains light.

Chances are the Mercedes electronic stabilization devices will help it feel okay on dry pavement at 55-60 mph with no need to steer suddenly, or brake suddenly, no gusting crosswinds on a steep downhill in a curve when a semi blows by. When driving conditions are good it may be okay, but in reality it's a dangerously unstable setup.
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Old 02-19-2017, 11:53 AM   #21
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$2500 for a hitch?
Leaving it attached to the trailer, then how does one person reattach the TV?
Eh, I'm skeptical.
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Old 02-19-2017, 12:04 PM   #22
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Sounds expensive and is, but that's minus the $700 I paid for the dealer-installed hitch which wasn't that great.

The ProPride/Hensley hitch head, mounting yoke, weight distribution bars, and w.d. screw jacks remain in the trailer tongue. The stinger unlatches from the hitch head and pulls out with the truck.
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Old 02-19-2017, 03:55 PM   #23
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The amount of weight taken off the "steering axle" as you call it, Doug, is minor. Think about it. The tongue weight of the trailer is no more nor any different than carrying a few hundred pounds of cargo in the back of the pickup bed...something which any pickup is designed to do, and more. When you are carrying a load of cargo or towing a trailer, it's just common sense to be a little more cautious...stay to the right when possible,drive a little slower, allow a little more following distance, keep your situational awareness turned up a little more. I'm certainly not advocating anything dangerous or unsafe.
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Old 02-19-2017, 04:27 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by dkottum View Post
The factory hitch weight of a FC 19 is 550 lbs. Loaded it may weigh 700 lbs which you are setting on the o.p.'s Mercedes hitch receiver. That will unload the steering axle significantly. Then you put another 100-200 lbs gear in the back of the Mercedes, maybe a passenger. That will unload the steering axle even more.....
So what? The tow vehicle is rated for that and more.
The tongue weight suggested by AS is average or design weight. Although each owner should load up his equipt and then weigh them...including tongue wt.... There should NEVER be allowed an overload condition.

Having said that, so what if the tongue wt is 700 lbs? As long as that is no more than 15% of Gross Trlr Wt ...that's fine ..and what's more... it has NOTHING to do with whether or not a WD hitch is required.

A WD hitch is required when TV rear axle capacity is neared, and that is dependent upon the rated load carrying capacity of the TV and if the tongue wt does not cause that excess a WD hitch MAY not be req'd at all.

The problem is you ...and I... and everyone else here isn't in a position where we can load his MB and AS up and tow it down the road like he's going to use it to test if it really needs a special hitch or not. Only HE can do that.
So any "requirement" that he have a WD hitch is pure speculation...and I doubt that's what he wants or why he's here asking questions.

There's simply no reason anyone should accept a "categorical/imperial" statement that he need a WD hitch on such a small trailer until he test drives it.
Your previous experience with a "utility trailer" that had sway issues has nothing to do with an AirStream which notoriously follows TV's better than utility trailers.

While I've strongly worded my responses, I do not do so irreverently. I only wish to counter the mass-mentality that everyone pulling travel trailers need WD hitches because the majority of people weighing-in on-line have them.

Respectfully,
George
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Old 02-19-2017, 04:40 PM   #25
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The amount of weight taken off the "steering axle" as you call it, Doug, is minor. Think about it. The tongue weight of the trailer is no more nor any different than carrying a few hundred pounds of cargo in the back of the pickup bed...something which any pickup is designed to do, and more. When you are carrying a load of cargo or towing a trailer, it's just common sense to be a little more cautious...stay to the right when possible,drive a little slower, allow a little more following distance, keep your situational awareness turned up a little more. I'm certainly not advocating anything dangerous or unsafe.
I have carried heavy weight in the back of our pickup, and towed our heavy utility trailer sitting on the hitch receiver. That demonstrates the point of using a weight distribution hitch perfectly.

Without the weight distribution, the truck is light in front, steering is vague, handling and braking are poor. Even in normal driving with no adverse traffic or weather conditions. With weight distribution (axles loaded evenly) the truck steering is positive and handling and braking are excellent. The trailer just follows.

Some larger pickups are designed for hauling heavy loads. Most half-ton trucks, SUV's and sedans are not. The rear suspension is too light, but it's capability and safety will be greatly improved when towing with a capable, properly set up weight distribution hitch so you can get some excessive weight off the rear axle, distribute it to the trailer axles and steering axle to keep it firmly planted for control in all weather, road and traffic conditions. A firmly planted steering axle will also help reduce the effects of trailer yaw movement and resist sway.
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Old 02-19-2017, 05:30 PM   #26
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I have already posted that I like having a Hensley hitch for towing our 19', but some of the discussion of hitch weight ignores something I think is important.

Having weight on a trailer hitch on the very back of a vehicle is different than weight in the load area of that vehicle. The latter is most often on top of the rear axle or even in front of it. With weight on a trailer hitch at the back end of the vehicle, the rear axle (despite springs) is a fulcrum for a lever lifting the front wheels.

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Old 02-19-2017, 06:04 PM   #27
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You not only have the 2500 for the hitch but you need a coupe strong people to lift it and assembly. Probably add $200 to find someone to put it together properly..

There is a reason that Equal-i-zer is the no one selling hitch according to trailer life maagazine.
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Old 02-19-2017, 08:16 PM   #28
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Weight distribution and sway control definitely improve towing comfort and safety. I've towed trailers without them as well, and have experienced uncontrollable sway with a heavily loaded utility trailer. No thanks to that experience. I still tow our boat and utility trailers without w.d. or sway control, but the design, weights, and distance and speed traveled are quite different from our Airstream.

Some people have towed travel trailers without w.d/sway control and some have driven years without using seatbelts and had no problems. Same deal.
Beetle,
As you've probably concluded by now, asking about towing on this forum brings a lot of different responses. You originally asked about whether you could tow w/o a wd hitch and sway control. You got opinions on what you should tow with if you do use them, and some answers about whether you need them or not. Of course, some are offered with sincerity and those offered by dkottum are offered with sincerity but are still basically what you might expect out of your black water discharge hose. Who knew one might expect that if you incorrectly load your utility trailer, it's going to sway. Great observation dkottum and we appreciate learning from your vast, stellar experience. But I especially appreciate knowing that wearing seat belts may keep us from experiencing the head trauma you've no doubt experienced many times. Shame. You may have actually been coherent at some time in your life.

Look at your specs. Ask questions and don't be swayed (pun intended) by the subjective. Make an informed decision. All the best Beetle.
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