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Old 04-23-2012, 08:12 PM   #15
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Check out the mantainence shedule for the Mercedes ML350 Bluetec. I believe they are very expensive to service.
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Old 04-24-2012, 04:16 AM   #16
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Thanks so much to everyone for your helpful advice. What a friendly community this is! I viewed all recommended videos on YouTube and I will contact Andy at Can-Am to get his recommendation. I did look briefly at the Porsche Cayenne with its impressive 7700 pound towing capacity but it feels a bit too manly somehow. Many thanks again to you all :-).
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Old 04-24-2012, 06:54 AM   #17
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Sounds Good Smom. Let us know how you make out. Always interested in Andy's comments and recomendations.
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Old 04-24-2012, 09:59 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Bigventure View Post
Check out the mantainence shedule for the Mercedes ML350 Bluetec. I believe they are very expensive to service.
That hasn't been our experience. The biggest service we have had cost us $350. It's less than the typical Ford/Chevy/Dodge diesel service, I think.
We are having our 20,000 mile service next week - it should be the same $350 but I will report back.
And we have a 115,000 mile bumper-to-bumper M-B factory warranty.
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Old 04-27-2012, 10:11 PM   #19
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While I await a response from Andy, I have an additional question. Should we store the Airstream in an outside lot with the dealer, or should we look for indoor or covered storage? We live in Seattle where it rains a lot and I'm wondering if it's safe to store the trailer outside - the dealer assures me it will be fine. We're supposed to take delivery next week and we need to make up our minds soon.

We ended up buying the ML350 Bluetec which has been a pleasure to drive the past few days. We're going to have a Mercedes hitch installed at the dealer (it has been ordered) and I'm hoping Andy will give us any additional tips needed to safely tow.

Thanks for the advice :-)
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Old 04-27-2012, 11:21 PM   #20
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Look for indoor storage or build a large exterior garage on the back of your property. I can't imagine anything else. No sun or baking heat damage while in storage more than pays for the extra $ it will cost. :-)
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Old 04-28-2012, 06:24 AM   #21
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SeattleMum, see my earlier post and congrats on the ML350 purchase. Agree with Chaps about the storage even though I lived in Seattle for the better part of 30 years (retired Boeing...go 787!) and he may not realize "sun" is kind of a scarce commodity 9 months of the year! We still do all the summers we can there, most gorgeous place on the planet in the summer. Let us know your towing experience, I'm still kicking the merits of GL vs. ML but our 28 International is a bit heavier than yours and definitely more tongue weight.
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Old 04-29-2012, 12:25 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by jmcarter View Post
SeattleMum, see my earlier post and congrats on the ML350 purchase. Agree with Chaps about the storage even though I lived in Seattle for the better part of 30 years (retired Boeing...go 787!) and he may not realize "sun" is kind of a scarce commodity 9 months of the year! We still do all the summers we can there, most gorgeous place on the planet in the summer. Let us know your towing experience, I'm still kicking the merits of GL vs. ML but our 28 International is a bit heavier than yours and definitely more tongue weight.
Oh how funny as we debated the 27' international versus the 28', as well as debating the GL versus the ML. My understanding is the difference in weight between the two trailers is about 300 pounds which seems insignificant (though admittedly I know next to nothing about these things). I believe the towing capacity of the GL is 7500 versus the ML at 7200, which again doesn't seem significant. I do like the third row of seats in the GL - I will miss that feature from time to time as I had it in my previous SUV. The main reason we chose the ML is that it's a little less expensive and the fuel economy is better. I absolutely love the larger fuel tank (25 gal I think) and I've been averaging 29.5 miles to the gallon on the freeway. I do a significant amount of driving so the fuel economy was a bigger factor in my own decision. Even with the large tank and the great mileage, I still refuel once a week Good luck in making your decision! If it's not too much trouble, would you mind telling me how to get to the more detailed post about ML towing you mentioned earlier? Thanks so much.
Lisa
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Old 04-29-2012, 01:09 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by SeattleMum View Post
While I await a response from Andy, I have an additional question. Should we store the Airstream in an outside lot with the dealer, or should we look for indoor or covered storage? We live in Seattle where it rains a lot and I'm wondering if it's safe to store the trailer outside - the dealer assures me it will be fine. We're supposed to take delivery next week and we need to make up our minds soon.

We ended up buying the ML350 Bluetec which has been a pleasure to drive the past few days. We're going to have a Mercedes hitch installed at the dealer (it has been ordered) and I'm hoping Andy will give us any additional tips needed to safely tow.

Thanks for the advice :-)
It's always easier on any vehicle to have it under cover... UV and rain cause wear and tear on anything. While it is not incorrect to say it is 'safe' to store an Airstream outside... you've got a forum here with 100's of discussions on finding and fixing leaks.

So, in one way, it might be better to weather-test your trailer while it is under warranty...

If you've got storage, covered or inside, available for a reasonable price - do it. In the long run it will save you money.
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Old 04-29-2012, 04:55 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeattleMum

If it's not too much trouble, would you mind telling me how to get to the more detailed post about ML towing you mentioned earlier? Thanks so much.
Lisa
PM Sent...
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Old 06-02-2012, 08:58 PM   #25
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Oh dear - I feel like a dork. We finally went to pick up our Airstream after having the dealer install the hitch on the ML350. After we attached the equalizer bar and backed up our SUV and got everything ready to go, the Airstream tech asked about our brake controller. My husband I looked at him blankly - we've not heard about needing a brake controller. I phoned the dealer to ask if they installed one with the hitch. They told me Mercedes doesn't make a brake controller and that we would need to have something after-market installed. I'm a little irritated because I specifically told the dealer I would be towing a 5500 pound Airstream and I said I wanted my vehicle set up to do so. However, I recognize it's my responsibility to have known.

I have to wonder why, if Mercedes makes a vehicle capable of towing 7200 pounds, they don't make a brake controller? When I asked the dealer service department, they said, "Some trailers don't have brakes". In any case, the Airstream people recommended the Tekonsha Prodigy Brake Controller 90250. Apparently buying this model will avoid having to mess with the wiring in The SUV. Does anyone have feedback on the Prodigy?

Thanks!
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Old 06-02-2012, 10:10 PM   #26
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Pics for jmcarter

The vehicle didn't appear to sink at the rear when we hooked up the trailer.
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Old 06-03-2012, 01:42 PM   #27
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No need for embarrassment SeattleMum..even the seasoned RV veteran got there by starting on a learning curve. The Prodigy they've recommended is a good one, there are more expensive ones that have some additional features ( such as the DirectLink controller which plugs directly into your OBD port ) and you can search other threads on the topic. Would also recommend you have your dealer give you a good tutorial on adjusting your hitch and learn how to redistribute your axle weights at the local CAT scales. Given the Seattle traffic I'd hesitate to jump on 5 or 405 with a simple "it looks fairly level" and you'll want to be certain your weight distribution is real close. You've got a great tow vehicle but you simple don't have the margin for error you'd have with a big Dually. Also be aware that the European manufactures approach towing completely different and perhaps that's partially due to the small RV's dominating Europe, and that carries over to vehicles produced in Alabama or South Carolina.
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Old 06-03-2012, 02:54 PM   #28
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I'd go with the Prodigy P3 for a 'wired' solution, but the 90250 setup is definitely the 'plug and play' solution for your rig. It plugs directly into the 7 pin harness at the back of your ML, and the controller is wireless and plugs into your 12v lighter outlet. The advantage is there is no need to wire into the ML harness like there would be with a traditional brake controller.

That said, it isn't hard to wire a brake controller... Tekonsha and others make plug in adapters for most vehicles so you don't have to cut anything... but, then you need to find somewhere on your dash to mount the controller... sometimes an issue with vehicles with lots of airbags and other gadgets up front.

The Prodigy RF (90250) will be the best... also the most expensive... but given what you've already invested, it will be a really nice controller.
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