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Old 02-27-2014, 11:27 AM   #225
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Old 02-27-2014, 08:24 PM   #226
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We have cleaned up this thread and we are re-opening things at this point, but folks let's keep things on topic and show some respect for your fellow members. You don't necessarily have to agree with those sharing differing opinions, but we do expect you to do so with some degree of courtesy.

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Old 02-27-2014, 08:40 PM   #227
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I agree, to each their own. Let the tow chips fall where they may. I take the tow truck route, anyone that wants can take the passenger car route, your choice. All the best.
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Old 02-28-2014, 08:35 AM   #228
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I started with a 2007 Mercedes ML320 CDI diesel (the ML hitch and Hensley straight stinger were both modified at CanAm). All was well towing the new empty trailer home through the mountains from Los Angeles to Phoenix on I-10 at 55 mph both in performance and the CAT scale ticket.

Once the trailer was loaded for camping at 6,960 pounds, the CAT scale ticket showed the ML front axle was overloaded and the ML GVW was exceeded with just me, the wife and an air compressor in the car. The car actually groaned under load with a slight grade.

So we changed our tow vehicle to a 2012 Ram 2500HD diesel truck. The weight considerations are a thing of the past and the tow rating is adequate for our new trailer. Works for us.

The Mercedes is still my daily driver.
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Old 02-28-2014, 08:48 AM   #229
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As long as we're off-topic, we use a 2012 Ram 1500 light duty gas truck, probably no heavier running gear than ML320 CDI. I've never heard it groan under load with any grade.

It also works for us. I got a feeling the o.p.'s rig will work for him if Chrysler gets the engine problem sorted out.
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Old 02-28-2014, 09:05 AM   #230
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Load

I know I haven't put many miles on the 300/FC, but I want to point out that my first test was pulling the FC25 'ready to camp', and the scale tickets were within Chrysler's GVW ratings for both axles (I would not have towed a mile if they exceeded the ratings). The rig flew up the hill at the legal speed limit of 55MPH in 3rd gear at 3200RPM. I could easily have hit 65MPH on this steep grade. The 8 speed seems to have a gear for every condition. No groans of any kind.

That sort of power question I don't think is an issue. I think the more legitimate questions are about the overall "robustness" of the parts and systems, and how they will be at 110F. Those so-called "toughness" issues. For me, that's where the questions lie. Especially now that I know about these engine design issues.

I don't know much about the ML320.
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Old 02-28-2014, 10:30 AM   #231
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Load

I know I haven't put many miles on the 300/FC, but I want to point out that my first test was pulling the FC25 'ready to camp', and the scale tickets were within Chrysler's GVW ratings for both axles (I would not have towed a mile if they exceeded the ratings). The rig flew up the hill at the legal speed limit of 55MPH in 3rd gear at 3200RPM. I could easily have hit 65MPH on this steep grade. The 8 speed seems to have a gear for every condition. No groans of any kind.

That sort of power question I don't think is an issue. I think the more legitimate questions are about the overall "robustness" of the parts and systems, and how they will be at 110F. Those so-called "toughness" issues. For me, that's where the questions lie. Especially now that I know about these engine design issues.

I don't know much about the ML320.
The "toughness" issue is interesting. When I'm towing, I'm close to but within the axle and vehicle weight ratings so the suspension and tires should be fine. The weight I'm dragging behind me is the issue because it does put additional stress on the engine, the transmission and its associated cooling systems. Using my Scangauge I keep an eye on the (calculated) horsepower being developed at the drive wheels and obviously that figure is higher, by 20 to 30 hp, when I'm towing than when I'm running solo. It's always less than half of figure that Toyota claims the engine can develop and is normally below 100hp at 60mph on reasonably level ground. On that basis, the engine and transmission should be comfortably within tolerances and therefore sufficiently "tough" to do the job.

For me this year I did have a day where I was driving into a strong headwind all day at 60mph and the gauges showed increases in horsepower and engine temperature, running 110hp and at around 200F (air temp outside was a little over 85F), and that was for hour after hour. That's much higher than running solo, of course, but still with the manufacturer's limits. How tough are the engine components? Can I expect them to be OK when running at higher loads but within limits? On that trip, apart from awful gas consumption, the car showed no ill-effects but will the additional strain will result in a shorter life for the engine and transmission? It's anyone's guess, I think.

I think the 300 will perform, and perform well, once you get the current issues resolved; that swanky gearbox alone means you have the edge on our V6 3.5 litre so there's nothing to suggest that you'll have any issues at all.
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Old 02-28-2014, 10:39 AM   #232
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Using my Scangauge I keep an eye on the (calculated) horsepower being developed at the drive wheels and obviously that figure is higher, by 20 to 30 hp, when I'm towing than when I'm running solo. It's always less than half of figure that Toyota claims the engine can develop and is normally below 100hp at 60mph on reasonably level ground. On that basis, the engine and transmission should be comfortably within tolerances and therefore sufficiently "tough" to do the job.
FYI, auto manufacturers measure the horsepower at the crankshaft. The power delivery from crankshaft to the wheels is lossy (due to heat, friction, etc.). So, an engine with 250 HP (at the crankshaft) may have a max measured 150 HP at the wheels. I once saw a calculator online, which would give you estimated HP at the wheels given the vehicle drivetrain (2wd, rear or front, 4wd, etc.).
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Old 02-28-2014, 10:48 AM   #233
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FYI, auto manufacturers measure the horsepower at the crankshaft. The power delivery from crankshaft to the wheels is lossy (due to heat, friction, etc.). So, an engine with 250 HP (at the crankshaft) may have a max measured 150 HP at the wheels. I once saw a calculator online, which would give you estimated HP at the wheels given the vehicle drivetrain (2wd, rear or front, 4wd, etc.).
Yes, I'm aware of that; the Scangauge also gives only a calculated figure so has even more room for error. The point I was making, though, is that the modern V6 3.5 litre engines are more than powerful enough to cope with the biggest Airstreams but the drag created by the trailer's frontal area is the biggest cause for concern on engine and transmission wear.
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Old 02-28-2014, 11:22 AM   #234
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I guess I should look into this "scangauge" thing. I see it mentioned everywhere. I'll go do a look see right now. Maybe I need one.

EDIT: Ok, I looked. I am not keen on a two line LCD display at that price. I find LCDs very hard to read in cars.
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Old 02-28-2014, 12:08 PM   #235
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I guess I should look into this "scangauge" thing. I see it mentioned everywhere. I'll go do a look see right now. Maybe I need one.

EDIT: Ok, I looked. I am not keen on a two line LCD display at that price. I find LCDs very hard to read in cars.
mstephens, do you own an Android phone?

This app does the same thing the SG does, on your phone or tablet: https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...g.prowl.torque



I use it to keep an eye on my engine when towing, and like Steve has observed, hp output is well below stated engine capabilities, even in adverse conditions.
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Old 02-28-2014, 12:11 PM   #236
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For me this year I did have a day where I was driving into a strong headwind all day at 60mph and the gauges showed increases in horsepower and engine temperature, running 110hp and at around 200F (air temp outside was a little over 85F), and that was for hour after hour. That's much higher than running solo, of course, but still with the manufacturer's limits. How tough are the engine components? Can I expect them to be OK when running at higher loads but within limits? On that trip, apart from awful gas consumption, the car showed no ill-effects but will the additional strain will result in a shorter life for the engine and transmission? It's anyone's guess, I think.
Also, don't forget that when towing, we're driving really slow, oftentimes at about half the speed the vehicle is capable of - and is designed to achieve and maintain.

Yes, towing puts stress on an engine - but so does travelling at 180km/h, (110mph) and faster, on a European highway, something routinely done in Germany, Italy and France.
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Old 02-28-2014, 12:28 PM   #237
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mstephens, do you own an Android phone?

This app does the same thing the SG does, on your phone or tablet: https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...g.prowl.torque



I use it to keep an eye on my engine when towing, and like Steve has observed, hp output is well below stated engine capabilities, even in adverse conditions.
I have an Android Galaxy Tab 7" with OS 2.3, so it looks like that would work. $5 bucks is just latte money, so that's a no brainer. Thanks. Looks like it would be a great addition to our "tow instruments." We always have the Galaxy with us for towing if for nothing else, "Gas Buddy." It also is way easier for finding anything than our GPS, which has a horrible search engine (You must type the EXACT ASCII string value to find something).

EDIT: Whoops! Requires a $100 adapter! I spoke too soon about latte money.
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Old 02-28-2014, 12:56 PM   #238
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One thing to remember, no matter what one tows with, how the vehicle is driven can determine its lifespan. I have a neighbor that has had to replace two rear ends in a halfton truck. He accelerates and brakes with a trailer in tow asif he is not towing. A vehicle near its tow limit driven sanely and intelligently can last longer than a half ton or larger truck that is abused. Common sense is a wonderful thing! Jim
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