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Old 04-30-2015, 02:30 AM   #1
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Newbie Towing 25' FC with Mercedes GL450?

Hello Im a newbie here. I am on the verge of buying a 2015 Flying Cloud 25FB. I recently bought a 2015 Mercedes GL450 and I am reading around the forums that people are towing up to 30 footers with GLs. That seems like too much to me. My vehicle is rated with a max tow weight of 7500 lbs (not an issue pulling the 25FB) and a max tongue weight of 600 lbs. The AS I want is rated at a tongue weight of 837 lbs. Wow thats 237 pounds over the GLs max. I have talked to one dealer who said it isn't a problem using an Equalizer distribution hitch. Others on this forum have mentioned reinforcing the Mercedes hitch. I need to know if I am safe using the equalizer with a reinforced hitch. How and who can reinforce the hitch? Or should I just forget trying to tow with the Mercedes and look for something bigger to tow with.

Thanks in advance.

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Old 04-30-2015, 04:09 AM   #2
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Believe the majority of us towing the larger AS models are using the GL350 Bluetec. Pulling with a diesel GL is very nice indeed, far nicer I'm afraid than using your 450 since they switched to the 6 cylinder turbo for the 2015 MY. Remember torque is king for towing. Your GL would indeed need a good weight distribution hitch (I use the ProPride) so that you can transfer more of the load to the front axle and keep both axle loads well within limits. Myself and some others have reinforced hitches (mine done by CanAm RV in Ontario) but if you're careful about loading that wouldn't be necessary, just keep an eye on welds around the hitch area. My personal opinion is that a 23 footer would be a much better match for your 450. You may very well get several varied suggestions on this topic, just my 2 cents.

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Old 04-30-2015, 04:32 AM   #3
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That tongue weight is for an empty trailer, and will go up as cargo is added. Cargo includes water in the holding tanks, as well as your stuff.
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Old 04-30-2015, 05:39 AM   #4
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It won't be a problem. I tow a 25' with a Dodge Durango which is the same platform as the GL.
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Old 04-30-2015, 06:23 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by jonnie3 View Post
Hello Im a newbie here. I am on the verge of buying a 2015 Flying Cloud 25FB. I recently bought a 2015 Mercedes GL450 and I am reading around the forums that people are towing up to 30 footers with GLs.

Thanks in advance.
IMHO your Mercedes would easily handle the 25FB assuming it is properly connected (refer to previous post regarding Can Am set up).

You have the 7 speed tranny mated to a 360HP/370TQ engine. So much power you may consider a larger Airstream.
Airstreams..... The best towing trailers on the planet!
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Old 04-30-2015, 10:45 AM   #6
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Just my opinion as I'm no Benz expert, but I've done a lot of trailer towing in the past few years and I see here some potential for very white knuckle towing. First, you're totally maxing out your towing abilities. The TV is rated to tow 7500lbs, the 25ft AS's gross vehicle weight is just about that AND you're way over on tongue weight. I believe that it's safe to assume that if the Benz is rated to tow 7500lbs than the hitch can handle that amount of tow weight, but the fact that you're exceeding the tongue weight creates potential for hitch failure. Suggest you take the TV to a reputable hitch or towing shop to beef up that hitch. Also, a good WD Hitch like the Equalizer rated at 10K and careful packing so as not to add more tongue weight will make for a much safer towing experience.
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Old 04-30-2015, 12:38 PM   #7
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Towing Question

I suggest you call Andy Thompson, co-owner of Can-Am RV Centre (Can-Am RV Centre | #1 Airstream Dealer in Customer Satisfaction Worldwide | Your Full-Service RV Dealer), and discuss the situation with him. He is generally recognized as being the expert in this area.
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Old 04-30-2015, 01:53 PM   #8
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Yeah, it'll never work ...

To each their own. I'll just mention that we crossed 100,000 miles recently with our GL320 Bluetec (nearly all towing miles), towing a Safari 30 Bunkhouse.

I've discussed this extensively in my blog.

Since you are an admitted newbie, I agree strongly with the advice from the previous post to get a professional consultation.

Former full-timer | AIRSTREAM LIFE magazine | Tour of America (old blog) | Man In The Maze (current blog)

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Old 04-30-2015, 02:03 PM   #9
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My Opinion: TV weight ratings are manufacturer's CYA. Tongue weight with equalizers is a lot less than the stated tongue wt rating.

There are far too many people pulling more than the vehicle rating and having no problems at all. As long as the rig is set up properly and evenly loaded, you should be OK. I'm not familiar with the Benz but I would assume they have better brakes than similar sized North American vehicles. The shorter wheel base may be an issue from time to time in cross winds and passing trucks but entirely manageable. The 25 (all models) pulls like a dream.

Nice to hear some KUDOS for Andy Thompson. He really is one of the best!

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Old 04-30-2015, 02:34 PM   #10
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If you were to use this manufacturer tow rating of 7700# trailer with (only) 600# tongue weight you would be well below the generally recommended 10% minimum tongue weight for safe trailering.

Manufacturer tow ratings often make little sense in many practical applications, and this is one of them.

Good weight distribution hitches properly installed on upgraded or professionally reinforced factory hitch receivers add capability. It's being done successfully every day, as prior posters describe. Can-Am Airstream has the experience and knowledge to do it right, contact them for reliable advice.
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Old 04-30-2015, 02:45 PM   #11
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#1 on Andy at Can Am. He did ours on our ML 350 Blue Tec. It tows our SOB very safely.
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Old 04-30-2015, 03:26 PM   #12
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Another vote for calling Andy. Mercedes' two point hitch is notoriously weak. Andy adds a third point that can safely handle the rotational torque of a WD hitch like my Hensley Arrow. I tow my 30 Classic with my ML320CDI, and feel very safe doing so. I had an ML350 before the diesel and it didn't like pulling my old Classic 25. You may do better with the 450, but a test tow wouldn't be a bad idea before your final decision.
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Old 04-30-2015, 03:34 PM   #13
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BTW, make sure the GL has the factory tow package so you don't get stuck having the dealership reprogram the SAM. Also, MB had the pins and socket to adapt an aftermarket brake controller to plug into the plug hidden above the parking brake. Make sure you avoid the under dash airbags when locating it.
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Old 04-30-2015, 07:14 PM   #14
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we are pulling a 2015 25FC with twin FB. Our TV is a 2015 d GX 460. You almost don't know it's there.

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