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Old 06-26-2016, 12:54 PM   #1
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2016 MB GLE 450 Coupe

Tow Capacity 7200, HP 362, curb weight 4894, torque 384, looking at a International 23fb dry weight 4806 GVW 6000. Do we have enough car to pull this trailer?
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Old 06-26-2016, 01:28 PM   #2
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I would think it might be worth a try. Over 300 hp will pull it. The curb weight is about right. What is gross capacity, 6K-7K? At 6K it's tight. At 7K it should work. The constraint is payload/weight capacity of the tow vehicle axles. Run the numbers. Define the weight of the gear and the people you will load. The hitch configuration is worth doing some research as well. The Mercedes platforms have been fitted with standard reinforced hitches. They are usually flat plate attachments with reinforcing arms to tie in the loads more forward than the rear bumper pads. See if one is available. You can always go to CanAm, but easier to install an off the shelf solution. A purpose built hitch can be added later if your requirement is necessary. Do expect fuel economy to suffer a bit. Should be a nice ride.

Travel safe. Pat
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Old 06-26-2016, 01:28 PM   #3
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I tow a 26 ft Avion with a 2012 GL 350 diesel and it does a great job. I suspect GLE 450 would also do fine with a 23 ft trailer. What you should be careful is the tongue weight. If you can manage that (and then your payload), you should be fine. Number wise you seem to be within range, which is good. You need a weight distribution hitch with sway control. Mercedes hitch has 2 large support arms bolted to the frame and unlike other German SUVs weight distribution hitch is allowed. Mercedes' AWD and cruise control will make for a very stable ride.
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Old 06-26-2016, 01:44 PM   #4
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I also use 2012 GL350 diesel to pull 23' international. So far has driven about 30,000 miles including road trip to Alaska. Use weight distribution hitch. Driven over 8,000 ft mountain pass and on 8% down grade with out any problem. Most of the time I use cruise control uphill as well as down hill. Use cruise lever to speed up or slow down the speed. Having 8 gear transmission you hardly feel the gear shifting.
High torque for diesel engine is very favorable to towing. I get 15 mpg average
Good luck
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Old 06-26-2016, 02:10 PM   #5
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GLE 450 probably won't pull as effortlessly as a diesel but you should be fine. Also, GL 350 is heavier and has a longer wheelbase so it's probably a bit more stable, but again you should be fine given that you are towing a 23.
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Old 06-26-2016, 03:31 PM   #6
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Suggestion - get the LTX 15 inch Michelins and Centramatics on your new 23 as soon as possible. The black and grey dump is a bit low and some additional clearance is helpful. Do not transition deep holes or driveways.

Travel safe. Pat
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Old 06-26-2016, 03:51 PM   #7
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Wrong statement.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rostam View Post
(...) Mercedes hitch has 2 large support arms bolted to the frame and unlike other German SUVs weight distribution hitch is allowed. (...)
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Old 06-26-2016, 04:32 PM   #8
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Wrong statement.
I'm not sure which part of my statement you are questioning.

If the first part: Please see the attached photo. Mercedes' hitch indeed has 2 large support arms (may be 2 feet long) that are bolted to the hitch at one end and bolted to the frame at the other end. This provide leverage for weight distribution and a stout hitch unibody connection.

If the second part: This is from page 163 of VW Touareg user manual: "Never install a “weight distributing” or “load equalizing” trailer hitch on your vehicle. The vehicle was not designed for these kinds of trailer hitches. The trailer hitch attachment can fail, causing the trailer to tear loose from the vehicle."

I'm assuming this applies to the sister vehicles (Audi Q7 and Porsche Cayenne). As for X5, I am basing it on this:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f238...ml#post1203449

"The dealer did print up the "BMW X5 (E70) Trailer Hitch Guidelines and Cautions". The third bullet states "Do not use weight distribution equipment"."

That wraps up all the German SUVs. I don't want to start a war here. I am not an auto engineer and I follow manufacturers advice.
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Old 06-26-2016, 11:29 PM   #9
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Off topic, but since you are repeating the same information again and again and again…

The fact that Mercedes has those 2 inserts does not mean anything. Do you know the design of other cars to say that those inserts improve the hitch setup? Wouldn’t it be possible that the hitch mounting points are just internally attached to such inserts by design, regardless whether or not hitch is installed? BMW X5 first generation had such inserts, second and third generation do not have the inserts and the towing capacity was increased to 7,700 LBS (some say E53 had also 7,7000 LBS towing capacity, but I am not sure).

VW Touareg and weight distribution – topic discussed over VW forums to death (but without conclusion). The same models had different recommendations from the manufacturer. In certain years VW was providing hitches with information on weigh distribution hitch weights. Suddenly they changed the stickers on the hitches, i.e. they stopped providing information on weight distributed loads. Even the hitches have the same part number, all other parts of the car are the same. Legal department decision?

BMW and weight distribution – as far as I know, the only place where BMW does not recommend to use weight distribution system is in the OE hitch installation manual. Based on the experience of other users, it makes sense not to use WDS with this hitch without modifications (drop plates are too long and may flex under load).

The point is that if you are bothered about the recommendation from the OE hitch manual, just buy aftermarket hitch and you will not be aware of any WDS warnings.
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Old 06-27-2016, 12:07 AM   #10
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Much of the misinformation (which is, unfortunately, repeated regularly by some posters) about German SUVs and weight distributing hitches has to do with German engineers, who rightly caution owners not to use WD equipment, given that German trailers typically use surge brakes and the two technologies are not compatible.

When those German SUVs are sold in North America, typically with receiver style hitches, the instructions change. The vehicles are the same, and it is not correct to say that the recommendation to not use WD equipment has to do with the strength of the chassis, or the vehicle. It has to do with the receiver hitch design, as noted above. If the manufacturer is recommending not to use WD equipment on a specific model of hitch, that has to do with the hitch they are selling, not the vehicle itself.

When BMW sold me the official original equipment receiver hitch for my X5, it included this label. The instruction to make sure to affix the label is included in the technical service bulletin, and the hitch had a BMW part number. Note the WD reference.

So much for no WD on German SUVs.
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Old 06-27-2016, 08:03 AM   #11
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More info on GLE 450

What a great resource this forum is and thanks to all the replays. A bit more info:
Trailering, Wt Distributing Hitch - Max Tongue WT 1080 and Dead Wt 720. The 23 fb International Tongue WT w/propane is 467...Just looked that up with all the responses.

All in all I feel we are fine with our vehicle and if not we will trade in for a good ole truck!
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Old 06-27-2016, 11:12 AM   #12
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I also enjoyed this link about the differences between towing in the USA vs towing in Europe from a shut down thread ...
http://oppositelock.kinja.com/tow-me-down-1609112611
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Old 06-27-2016, 11:21 AM   #13
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I have been towing with an ML 350 for years (8 plus) and have had no problems. Weight distribution recommended, it really gives a nice comfortable tow and ride. Great car for the 23 FT, works well, looks sharp and we have done over 75,000 miles with the ML 350 and no problems with the vehicle.
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Old 06-27-2016, 01:09 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elly Mae View Post
What a great resource this forum is and thanks to all the replays. A bit more info:
Trailering, Wt Distributing Hitch - Max Tongue WT 1080 and Dead Wt 720. The 23 fb International Tongue WT w/propane is 467...Just looked that up with all the responses.

All in all I feel we are fine with our vehicle and if not we will trade in for a good ole truck!
EM, the hitch weight will be around 600#s and can be a lot more if you do not carefully manage the gear load. The 467#s does not include fresh water. Bigger battery capacity can add weight unless you spend big bucks on Li-ion. A WDH weighs 80-100#s and that adds to the tongue weight. With a 720# capacity, you should be able the make it work. Just do not go crazy. The lighter, within reason, you stay in the ends, the better the rig will tow.

Travel safe. Pat
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