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Old 06-04-2006, 08:38 PM   #1
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1979 31' Sovereign
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Question How can I figure out the towing capacity of my 300TE?

I'm trying to figure out what weight my mercedes 300TE wagon (straight 6 3.0L gas engine) can tow (with an aftermarket hitch already installed), but I don't know where to find out that kind of information. Any hints?
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Old 06-04-2006, 09:18 PM   #2
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Hello davida -- People have proposed towing with all sorts of vehicles but I'm not sure I've heard many questions about this model. You could help us. What year it? I see a mid-size wagon listed for the early 1990s. I once imagined a really cool Volvo Cross Country could tow Airstream ultralights. Reality set in and physics ruled in the end.

I would suggest spending plenty of time researching what you might want in a trailer. New? Used? (Sorry, the Airstream website seems to be down. A common opinion is the webpage is getting a remake with the model year changeover happening now.) Size is important in how you want to travel. Research is almost romantic, so think about this first. I'd honestly guess that you'll need to be looking above mid-size SUVs for all but the smallest Airstreams.

Your particular tow vehicle seems to not have any current info at Edmunds or Kelley Blue Book. I have Consumer Reports online and fail to find any additional info. I'd suggest looking in your owners manual under towing. Also under capacities. You are looking for info on payload or load capacity. Payload is a particular weight of people and gear that cannot be exceeded onboard the vehicle; this includes weight of aftermarket hitch, people & luggage aboard and (the killer) tongue weight. Even the fancy SUVs like M-B GL450, Lexus GX470, Cayenne/Touareg, etc., can have their limits.

What did you have in mind?
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Old 06-04-2006, 09:42 PM   #3
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Tow capacity is shown as 4620 pounds (2100Kg). This is a ballpark, as there are many variables, such as optional equipment, drivetrain (conditon), etc. This seems a bit high, as I couldn't imagine that car towing a mid 70's Safari, at 3500 pounds dry weight.
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Old 06-04-2006, 09:48 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by overlander63
Tow capacity is shown as 4620 pounds (2100Kg). This is a ballpark, as there are many variables, such as optional equipment, drivetrain (conditon), etc.
This seems kind of high to me. Having been around Mercedes most of my childhood, and being a car nut, I can say that few Mercedes had the meat to tow much more than some jet skis, etc. I'm not sure the 300TE (I think that's the wagon) could even safely tow a 16' Bambi. You'd think the diesels would be great tow vehicles too (the 300d line), but they weren't. Barely could move a 17' SOB. Most Benzes are not really designed to tow, though the commercial truck line and that one that the German millitary use seem more than up to the task. Maybe the SUV line might tow a 16' unit, but I doubt the TE can safely.
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Old 06-04-2006, 10:06 PM   #5
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This web page states that the towing weight for the 300TE is 1500Kg or 3300 lbs. Only the smallest of vintage trailers come close to this number.
http://www.aa.co.nz/Section?Action=V...&Story_id=1581
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Old 06-05-2006, 06:07 AM   #6
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Quote:
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This web page states that the towing weight for the 300TE is 1500Kg or 3300 lbs. Only the smallest of vintage trailers come close to this number.
http://www.aa.co.nz/Section?Action=V...&Story_id=1581
That's closer to what I was expecting the tow rating to be. I was expecting the tow rating to be listed at 2100 POUNDS--maybe it was a typo.
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