I haven't logged on in quite a while and I had several PM's asking about our experience with the ML350 as a tow vehicle. People also wanted to know a few details specific to the Seattle area. Here's my reply with the hopes that it's helpful:
The ML350 is a fantastic tow vehicle. The technicians at the Airstream dealer were very impressed with its power and its handling. On our first trip towing the trailer, my husband was able to do a U-turn with ease. The ML350 easily gets up to speed on the freeway with very little effort and it's a solid, powerful tow vehicle. Towing the Airstream is really easy with the Mercedes.
We experienced a lot of delays and difficulty installing the brake controller into this vehicle. The Mercedes dealer did not have experience with this and it was a time-consuming and frustrating process. My advice is to find someone knowledgable to assist you with this aspect of equipping the ML350 to tow. We ended up having a brake controller hardwired into our vehicle and it works well and is easy to operate. If you live in the Seattle area and you have questions about this, I recommend you contact Dan Lamb at Airstream Adventures Northwest in Covington. He understands what the ML350 needs for a brake controller and he will be able to point you in the right direction.
When buying an ML350, I recommend you try Barrier Motors or Mercedes of Bellevue. I do not recommend Mercedes of Lynnwood.
When buying an Airstream, the Covington dealership has the best prices around, not just in the state of Washington, but anywhere in the United States. I thoroughly researched the price on our trailer and this dealer can't be beat. Our saleslady, Kathie, was an absolute delight and anyone looking to buy a new Airstream will enjoy working with Kathie. The General Manager, Steve Perry, and the Sales Manager, CJ Clark, are also very helpful and easy to work with. Dan Lamb in the service department is extremely knowledgable and he goes above and beyond to give excellent customer service. The one word of caution I have is to avoid the Service Manager, Janine, at all costs; she is impatient, rude, condescending, and has an appalling lack of customer service skills.
I gave the information on covered storage in a previous post. If anyone else knows of good covered storage for RV's in this area, I'd love to hear about it.
In conclusion, I highly recommend the ML350 as a tow vehicle. It tows the 27' International with ease and it's truly a pleasure to drive.