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Old 01-07-2015, 05:05 PM   #1
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Interstate Towing

Taking a trip next week to pick up a car and trailer.

Car weighs about 3000 and trailer 1000.

Is this to much for interstate?

800 miles.


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Old 01-07-2015, 06:09 PM   #2
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My owner's manual lists gross trailer weight (GTW) as 5,000 lbs.

What type brakes does the trailer have?

Mine is non-extended. I believe the extended GTW is less.
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Old 01-07-2015, 06:16 PM   #3
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Is that for extended or non?


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Old 01-07-2015, 06:21 PM   #4
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Non-extended
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Old 01-07-2015, 06:34 PM   #5
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Braking will be your biggest concern, that and the turbo hose.
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Old 01-07-2015, 06:48 PM   #6
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You've got three towing limits on an Interstate.

1 - Hitch receiver capacity. You're good on that; the hitch receivers on Interstates are all rated for 7500 pounds.

2 - Rated towing capacity. 5000 pounds for an extended Interstate— or an older model on the Sprinter 2500 chassis— and 6400 pounds for a non-extended Interstate, if memory serves.

3 - Real-world weights. Your Gross Combined Weight Rating on the 3500 chassis is 15,250 pounds, or 13,550 on the 2500 chassis. Go to a set of public scales and find out the actual weight of your Interstate equipped the way it will be, with the same people aboard. Subtract that from 15,250 pounds. The remainder is your towing capacity.

Then use whichever of these three numbers is least. For example, if your 3500-chassis Interstate was loaded to its gross weight of 11,030 pounds, you would only have 4220 pounds of towing capacity.
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Old 01-07-2015, 06:53 PM   #7
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My 2012 (2011 chassis) standard length is rated for a 7500lbs trailer. I believe that was the first year they bumped the rating up from 5000 .... but I am pretty certain the only change made was in the manual and there is no difference in how mine is built compared to the earlier models .... so draw your own conclusion. The extended versions do have a slightly lower rating.

I have towed a 3000lbs car on an 1600 lbs trailer many miles and it tows perfectly. I recently upgraded to an 3500 lbs. enclosed trailer and a 2300 lbs track car plus a couple of hundred pounds of track gear (so about 6k all in) and that too tows very well, though you certainly know it's there when accelerating. I was prepared to install a sway control and weight distributing hitch with the new trailer, but after pulling it without it, I am convinced it is not needed. I am very careful about tongue weight though, I try to load it so that the AI does not squat more than 1 1/2" at the hitch with the full load on. All of my trailers have dual axle brakes and I make certain they are adjusted properly and provide significant stopping power. All that said, I have a lot of experience towing and am pretty accustomed to the driving adjustments one has to make to tow a large load safely. My old trailer (pulled with a dually pickup) was a two car 34' enclosed custom built rig that I probably logged 50k miles in with upwards of 10k lbs. in tow. Pulling a trailer safely is an acquired skill that requires constant attention.
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Old 01-07-2015, 07:03 PM   #8
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My 2012 (2011 chassis) standard length is rated for a 7500lbs trailer.
You're absolutely correct. I just dug out my manual and confirmed it. Guess my memory was faulty. But only the non-extended 3500-chassis model has that towing capacity. The 2500 chassis and the 3500 extended both have 5000 pounds rated towing capacity, as long as you don't exceed the GCWR of 15,250 pounds.
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Old 01-07-2015, 07:15 PM   #9
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Interstate Towing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Teamaron View Post
Taking a trip next week to pick up a car and trailer.

Car weighs about 3000 and trailer 1000.

Is this to much for interstate? ......

Depending on your Interstate/Sprinter's front axle rating the towing limit could be 5,000 or 7,500 lbs. Just be sure to stay under the combined load limits (GCWR) of 15,250 lbs. Trailer brakes are important when towing 4,000 lbs and likely required by most state laws. Hopefully the trailer has surge brakes that won't require you to have an electric brake controller in your Interstate.


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Old 01-07-2015, 08:02 PM   #10
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You can't tow a 7,500 lb. trailer with any Interstate without exceeding the GCWR of 15,250 lbs. since the Interstate weighs between 9,000 to 10,000 lbs. The real towing limit for nearly all late model Interstates is about 5,000 lbs.

The upper towing limit of 7,500 lbs is a Mercedes limit that applies to any Sprinter 3500 with 11,030 lbs GCWR and a front axle rated at 4,410 lbs. - doesn't matter if it is a normal length or extended.

I'm not sure when Airstream stated ordering their Sprinters with the 4,410 lb. front axle option. My 2013 interstate on 2012 Sprinter has it, but I noticed the older (2010-2011) Interstates list a front axle rating at 4,080 lbs., the standard front axle.

I highly recommend everyone gets their Interstate weighed so they at least know what weight they are carrying on each axle. My front axle was close the rated limit.


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Old 01-07-2015, 08:35 PM   #11
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How do you determine the front axle rating?
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Old 01-07-2015, 10:52 PM   #12
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Another data point. For one driving season I towed a 3700 lb car on a 1000lb trailer with 250 lbs of tires, jacks and tools. Back and forth to Watkins Glen and Flemington, NJ about 8 times. I spec'd the trailer with electric brakes and installed a prodigy brake controller to the factory brake system.

Slow and steady is the key. Expect lower than accustomed speeds climbing up inclines.

In my case the Sprinter towed way better than my f250. Getting to speed will take a bit but once you get the momentum rolling it's easy as pie. Never tow above the speed limit. No rush to get where in going. If you got a scan gauge try not to exceed 75% load. Use the gearshift to manage rev, load levels and speed.
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Old 01-08-2015, 09:38 AM   #13
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How do you determine the front axle rating?

You need a copy of your Sprinter's build data card that shows the options based on your VIN. You should be able to get a copy from a Mercedes dealer via their EPC.

I have a subscription to the Mercedes EPC (Electronic Parts Catalog). If you send me your Sprinter VIN by private message on this forum I can look up your data card and send you a PDF copy if you send me an email address. The private message systems doesn't allow attachments.


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Old 01-08-2015, 09:01 PM   #14
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My data card shows A50 Front axle w/ increased carrying load. Is that the 4,080 or the 4,410 axle?
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