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Old 03-12-2016, 09:38 AM   #71
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How does it handle?
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Old 03-12-2016, 09:43 AM   #72
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1979 31' Excella 500
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Originally Posted by cameront120 View Post
How does it handle?

Good question. I haven't tried it with the trailer attached yet. I need to install the sway bar connectors to the trailer A-frame, then I'll give it a whirl.
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Old 03-16-2016, 09:23 AM   #73
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cameront120 View Post
How does it handle?
Just drove the rig "for real" for the 1st time taking it to a leak testing appointment (see this thread)... It was the absolute worst possible day to do a 1st run... 40 mph winds, raining cats and dogs. Horrible driving conditions.

All that being said, I was really happy with the R320's ability to handle this trailer in combination with the hitch installed by Can-Am RV. Don't get me wrong, you definitely know you're pulling a 31' trailer, but there was no issues with handling, accelerating or stopping. I even had to make one emergency stop (white-knuckled) and it stopped straight and quickly.

As a result of my 1st real-world towing experience with this setup I do think that I have some adjustment to do on my Weight Distribution bars...

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I tried it on the 1st and 2nd chain rings but I might go to the 3rd ring or maybe use some bolts to do half a ring between the 2nd and 3rd. It's hard to adjust the WD setup because the vehicle has self-leveling rear air suspension, so really I'm using a "rule of thumb" that the front of the vehicle should measure as somewhere between 1/2 and 3/4 of an inch lower when the WD is applied. Nonetheless, everything is pretty level when it's all hooked up and configured properly so it's just fine-tuning at this point.

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Old 03-16-2016, 10:17 AM   #74
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At least you know how it handles in inclement weather!
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Old 03-16-2016, 06:45 PM   #75
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Our Cayenne and the trailer are pretty much a straight line when self leveling is active. I hitch up at the correct ("low") height setting of the suspension (but I turn off the self leveling because it tries to "fight back" during hitching). I also just switched from the first chain ring (actually it was minus half a ring using a bolt) to the second ring. It took 15K miles of wear and tear to the WD chains and bars that made this necessary. Our 25FB is completely straight this way.

BTW, I would try to find an "independent" hook for your emergency brake chain. Someone once told me that it is not a good idea to connect it to the hitch connector - in case the whole thing fails (falls off), your trailer's brakes would not be activated. The person who pointed this out to me said that he learned this the hard way (and actually with his truck's hitch connector, so this is not an SUV thing).

BTW#2: She is a beauty!!!
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Old 04-17-2016, 06:38 PM   #76
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An update for those following this topic. We've done a few "test" tows just to get a handle on the rig and adjust the hitch. Handles great, especially once the WD hitch was fine tuned!

Normal MPG at 55 mph: 28-30.

MPG while towing our 31' AS: 13-16.
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Old 07-20-2016, 09:23 PM   #77
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Just returned from our 1st "Big" trip and the R320 CDI performed really well towing our 31' AS. Some stats from the trip computer:

Total Miles: about 4600
Average MPG: 14.5
Hours Driving: 111

I had to add oil at one point (evidently diesels drink oil!) but other than that we had no issues. We encountered some steep grades while driving in and through the mountains around Banff, and while I did have to put the accelerator to the floor to maintain 55 mph up a hill once or twice there was never a point where I felt there just simply wasn't enough power to climb a hill we needed to climb.

One interesting thing of note... while my wife was towing through Montana a big truck passed us from behind and the trailer began to sway (very scary experience for her)... I was sitting in the front passenger seat coaching her through the "oh my gosh, oh my gosh, what do I do? what do I do!?" panic when all the sudden the vehicle's Electronic Stability Control (ESC) kicked in and IMMEDIATELY killed the sway/oscillation. I knew the vehicle would correct excessive yaw rates in normal driving conditions (without a trailer attached), but I had no idea that this function would also effectively kill trailer sway. A really nice and unexpected perk.
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Old 07-21-2016, 05:48 AM   #78
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Glad to hear you had a good trip.

A truck passing should never cause sway so there is something out a little in the hitch set up. Likely you are carrying a little to much weight on the rear air suspension so you need to pull the torsion bars up a little tighter. If you were still on the same setting as you were when you left on the trip they would have worked in 2/3's of a link or so during the drive.

The good thing is your wife did not try and do anything it will take care of itself if you let it.

If you are heading by our way I would be glad to check it for you.

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Old 08-16-2016, 07:20 AM   #79
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Quote:
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Likely you are carrying a little too much weight on the rear air suspension so you need to pull the torsion bars up a little tighter.
Thanks for the tip Andy; we are going to stop by your place in the near future to get everything dialed in.

I thought that Trailer-Sway was an indication of not enough weight on the hitch? Not too much weight... In our case, after the sway event we pulled over, tightened the sway bars and put some more weight in the front of the AS. Seemed to help, but because we didn't make those two adjustments independently it's hard to tell which one actually "fixed it".
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Old 01-19-2017, 02:14 PM   #80
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I've been meaning to post what the class 3 hitch hardware looks like underneath our R320 for a while, but haven't had the opportunity to take the pictures until recently. For those who are interested how this kind of hardware is installed on an R-Class Mercedes....

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Old 05-18-2017, 01:00 PM   #81
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Just an update for those following this thread.

When we bought the car at the end of 2015 we knew it needed a new transmission. Car had 140,000 miles on the odometer at the time. Other than the transmission it was in showroom condition (very well cared-for).

Replaced #1 transmission with a used one (#2) that had 90,000 miles on it.

Transmission #2 just died with about 205,000 on the engine odometer (about 150,000 on the transmission).

So, now we are on transmission #3; this one is rebuilt, not used, all new parts.

Of the roughly 60,000 miles we put on the #2 transmission most of it was towing our 31' Excella 500. Sucks to replace a transmission, twice, but since we're full timers we're just taking it in stride. We absolutely love the vehicle and it tows like a dream, so not too upset about having to replace the trans given what we've gotten out of it.

1st Mercedes I've owned; not sure I'll own anything else now that I've had this one. But, I have to admit, they are expensive to maintain/repair. We've probably spent twice as much on repairs/maintenance as we did on the original purchase ($6k). I guess that's what happens when you have a lifestyle like ours!
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