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Old 05-26-2018, 01:03 PM   #1
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Can Mercedes ML350 tow a 25' Flying Cloud?

We are considering buying a 25' Flying Cloud and want to make certain our SUV can tow it. We have a 2013 Mercedes ML 350 with a towing capacity of 7200 pounds. The 25' Flying Cloud has a base weight of 5500 pounds. Think it will work? Thanks!
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Old 05-26-2018, 01:37 PM   #2
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My opinion and practice, your mileage may vary:

You should be comparing against the trailer GVWR. Airstream's base weights are essentially empty, no gas, no water, no waste, no food....you get the idea.

You should also compare tongue weight (I use 12% of GVWR, not the published number) added to ML passengers and cargo to the weight shown for same on the label in your drivers door. When considering the towing capacity I subtract the tongue weight from the GVWR since the tow vehicle is carrying it, not towing it.

Some tow over these limits as long as axle weights do not exceed axle ratings but I choose not to.

Al
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Old 05-26-2018, 01:58 PM   #3
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Look up Stitz's posts. He started with a 25 and now tows a 23 with his.

It depends on you. Do your research. It takes less that most believe, but there are limits, upgrades, and compromises. The 25 has a very heavy tongue. The ML likely needs a receiver upgrade to do the job. Pat
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Old 05-26-2018, 09:29 PM   #4
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DW's GLK350 could, but won't.😂

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Old 05-27-2018, 10:29 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by debbietaylor View Post
We are considering buying a 25' Flying Cloud and want to make certain our SUV can tow it. We have a 2013 Mercedes ML 350 with a towing capacity of 7200 pounds. The 25' Flying Cloud has a base weight of 5500 pounds. Think it will work? Thanks!
debbietaylor
You can tow it with a Ford Fiesta.
What you need to look at is travel ready Payload before anything else. Invest in a Surline scale and weigh the trailer tongue with it fully loaded to get a clear picture.
The actual tongue weight is never what is published by AS.
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Old 05-27-2018, 11:44 AM   #6
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We have towed with a ML 350 for ten years

and have had no problem. We have a 23ft. rear bedroom, and love the shorter length, but did look into the 25 ft, for various reasons before deciding to stick with what we have. I would recommend a good hitch, and someone like Andy from CanAm to make sure you are set up properly. Our original hitch had an inappropriate receiver, but a local shop found the proper one and we have put on 100,000 miles with no problems. Set up is crucial, and spending a little extra for the proper hitch will save you lots of worries down the road.
Happy travels.
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Old 05-27-2018, 12:11 PM   #7
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My ML350 tows better than any truck I have owned

debbietaylor:

I have an identical MB ML350 and have towed my 25' Airstream about 24,000 miles over the past 2 +years. It has towed better than I even imagined. My trailer has an empty weight of 5,400 lbs and actual weights of 6,200 and tongue wt of 810 lbs when traveling.

The towing capacity you quote is the same as mine, but if you read the manual carefully, you will see that you add the rated tongue weight to that for a total trailer weight, so the total maximum trailer weight rating is 7,776 lbs.

I have towed my trailer across the Rockies from Glacier NP to Seattle, including a long 10% grade at high altitude and had no problems. My average daily economy has ranged from 14 to 19 mpg when towing.

If you have the same hitch receiver as mine, it should work without failure. I have inspected mine several times and there were no stress cracks or looseness. My receiver has this information on the plate:
"Mfgr: Oris, St. Egidien, Sachsen, DE
Part No. A1663101137
Type: E473
Other:
V5
41
Wt Carry 7200 lbs (7500 lbs GL Class)
Tongue rating 576 lbs (600 lbs GL class)
Ball spacings: 7.5 inches from pin hole"
Your manual does not say anything about load-distributing systems because they are not used in Europe, according to Andy Thompson, a Canadian dealer. I use a Reese system.
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Old 05-27-2018, 12:41 PM   #8
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MB used for towing

debbietaylor:
I would like to clarify that my MB ML350 is the Bluetec diesel 3 liter. I cannot compare it to the MB gas engine because I have only owned diesel Mercedes (5).
But I can say this ML350 Bluetec tows my Airstream much better than my previous two V8 1/2-ton trucks. It has much more torque and a better transmission for towing.
You can find other treads about towing with Mercedes and VW diesels on the forums. You can also find helpful articles online by Andy Thompson, the Airstream dealer in Canada who does custom hitch work on smaller tow vehicles.

Jack
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Old 05-27-2018, 12:46 PM   #9
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Hi DebbieTaylor -



You'll get more ML TV owner replies at this thread:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f463...rs-134917.html


As others have said above, look at all the numbers for the various AS choices out there - since you're looking for a trailer, & not trying to match a new TV to a specific AS that you already have.

The factory listed trailer weights are dry & empty & usually don't include any options nor other stuff you &/or prior owners add on/in the trailer.

In all cases, as others have said, check it against all the limits of your ML350, beyond just hitch wt. (HW) & towing limit (GTWR) - to also include what you'll carry in/on the ML beyond it's curb wt. (which includes all fuel/fluids full & a 150# driver) plus the HW - vs. the ML's combined ML+Trailer wt. limit (GCWR), total vehicle wt. limit (GVWR) & that divided between the front & rear axles' wt. limits (GAWR F & R) - for any trailers which you consider.

You can PM some of the ML owners on that link above, plus Andy T. at CanAm RV for preliminary guidance on the sizes & layouts of the various AS's which will work with your ML.


PS - your ML's driver door jamb stickers &/or on it's hitch &/or in the owners manual may list a higher rating for weight distributing hitches - vs. weight bearing - for the HW &/or max. trailer wt. As someone said above, also check with Andy T. on what hitch receiver modifications & which WD hitches to use.



We got a Hensley Cub for our 1960 Avion T20 because we plan to get a similarly capable Porsche Cayenne to tow it ... eventually.


Happy Memorial Day & Good Luck!

Tom
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Old 05-28-2018, 09:05 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JLAbne View Post
debbietaylor:

I have an identical MB ML350 and have towed my 25' Airstream about 24,000 miles over the past 2 +years. It has towed better than I even imagined. My trailer has an empty weight of 5,400 lbs and actual weights of 6,200 and tongue wt of 810 lbs when traveling.

The towing capacity you quote is the same as mine, but if you read the manual carefully, you will see that you add the rated tongue weight to that for a total trailer weight, so the total maximum trailer weight rating is 7,776 lbs.

I have towed my trailer across the Rockies from Glacier NP to Seattle, including a long 10% grade at high altitude and had no problems. My average daily economy has ranged from 14 to 19 mpg when towing.

If you have the same hitch receiver as mine, it should work without failure. I have inspected mine several times and there were no stress cracks or looseness. My receiver has this information on the plate:
"Mfgr: Oris, St. Egidien, Sachsen, DE
Part No. A1663101137
Type: E473
Other:
V5
41
Wt Carry 7200 lbs (7500 lbs GL Class)
Tongue rating 576 lbs (600 lbs GL class)
Ball spacings: 7.5 inches from pin hole"
Your manual does not say anything about load-distributing systems because they are not used in Europe, according to Andy Thompson, a Canadian dealer. I use a Reese system.
You left out the most important data, your maximum payload capacity.
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Old 05-29-2018, 07:49 AM   #11
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FranklyFrank, you wrote:
“You left out the most important data, your maximum payload capacity.”


That is an important item of information, which the owner should know from her vehicle plate.
My 2013 MB has a GVWR of 6,504 lbs and the payload is 1,014 lbs. That payload is about 400 less than the difference between the GVWR and curb weight, so it seems another safety factor was applied. Individual axle weight limits are also important; all that data is on the vehicle plate on the door frame.
I did not exceed that GVWR or axle limits when towing my Airstream 14,000 miles to Glacier, Seattle, Yosemite and Grand Canyon while loaded with my 200-lb son, a 150 lb. generator, 2 bikes, two tool boxes and other stuff in the vehicle. One benefit on that trip was to have an honest person along to evaluate this old man’s driving!


I’ve been towing trailers since I was 19, 60 years ago. I knew nothing about towing when my wife and I bought a 27-foot 1949 Whitley, had a local welding shop fabricate a load-distributing hitch for it and drove away in our 1953 Studebaker. I’ve had 4 travel trailers since then and have learned enough (and prayed enough) to avoid any accidents or breakdowns, thank God. But before long, I may lose the cognitive ability to drive safely. My children know to tell me what they see troubling about my driving.


Some vehicles are so poorly designed that they are unsafe within a rated load. Many 15-passenger vans could fit that description when carrying 15 people. High accident rates with loaded church vans are one result. The four pickup trucks I have owned did not have great stability in emergencies or bad road conditions. I have learned to refuse to drive loaded unstable vehicles and to not even consider towing with them.


The Mercedes ML350 is well designed for safe towing at the given limits. I’ve towed this Airstream about 90,000 miles with three different vehicles, the stability and performance of this ML 350 is superior to trucks I have used previously with the same Reese system.


An important fact the poster has not given is which FC 25 they are considering. The tongue weights of different models do vary and, as others have suggested, that must be considered before the purchase. Learning the facts and staying within the tow vehicle manufacturer’s limits are important.
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