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Old 12-13-2014, 04:50 AM   #169
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Originally Posted by switz View Post
<snip>However, I had a Shurline scale with me when I picked up the trailer and the tongue weight with the Hensley hitch head was attached was 1,150 pounds. Camping ready, the tongue weight was 1,175 pounds. These numbers crowd the limits of even the CanAm modified hitch receiver.

The liability of overloading the tow vehicle's rating to possibly void the remaining 7 year 100,000 mile warranty and more importantly cause a failure that could lead to an accident caused me to retire the car from towing our Airstream.

We acquired the current 2012 Dodge Ram 2500HD with Cummins diesel and the towing weight and driveline issues vanished and that vehicle tows the 31' 2014 Classic with a GVW of 10,000 pounds with no issues even in the mountains.
Did you consider loading your AS differently to get the tongue weight down, or were you just looking for an excuse to own a large truck?
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Old 12-13-2014, 04:59 AM   #170
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Originally Posted by Estoniankid View Post
Have an opportunity to buy a '12 ml 350 blutek

Seller doesn't have a print out of all the various options on the vehicle.
<snip>
Are there any options or add on that MUST be built into the vehicle to make it towing capable. Dealing with a private party and he knows less than me
A dealer can use the VIN to determine what options the vehicle has.
A factory hitch (from the factory, of course) has extra reinforcement built into the chassis, which is valuable. Aftermarket hitches won't have that - I doubt that even a factory M-B hitch installed later could include that reinforcing member.
The way Can-Am reinforces a hitch, if you go there or use a hitch installer that communicates with Can-AM, obviates the need for the chassis reinforcement, IMHO.
A CPO is a good idea - the warranties are great.
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Old 12-14-2014, 12:07 AM   #171
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Originally Posted by Tomzstream View Post
Just curious, but does anyone think a ML250 with 200 HP has the guts to tow an airstream? Sure the torque is great, but 200hp with the 2.1LBT is a pretty big step down from 240hp from a ML350 with the 3.0L.
Yes. The power required to move the ML/Airstream combination through the down the road at 60 mph would be around 70 hp. There is still plenty of margin for headwinds and moderate grades without downshifting.

Typical for highway towing would be an engine speed of 2500 rpm. Horsepower, assuming 325 lbs-ft torque, would be about 155 or more than twice what would be needed to keeping the combination moving. (325x2500/5252)

Even at the torque peak of 1800 rpm (369 lbs-ft), the engine would be producing 126 hp. Torque output at peak power (200 at 3800 rpm) would be 276 lbs-ft. Also, acceleration through the gears should be reasonably brisk, since the torque peak is already reached at 1600 rpm.

Yes, the old 3 litre would be better, but the 2.1 will get the job done.
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Old 12-14-2014, 06:59 PM   #172
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Originally Posted by switz View Post
I drove my Mercedes 2007 ML320 CDI from Phoenix in late October 2013 to London, Ontario in three days (including a stop at the Airstream factory for the afternoon tour) to have CanAm modify the hitch attachment receiver on the car. While there, they also shortened and slightly bent the Hensley hitch stinger. I returned to Phoenix three days later.

Since the 2007 Mercedes ML320 CDI (built October 2006) lacked a trailer wiring harness going to the front of the car, I had to use the Tekonsha Wireless trailer brake controller system.

A few days later, I drove to Los Angles to take delivery of and tow our 2013 25FB International Serenity home. While at the dealership, I had a Hensley hitch installed.

The new trailer was basically empty and I had no issues going through the mountains on I-10 east bound. The lowest gear on the steepest grade was fifth of seven at around 2450 rpm. I crossed the scales with the car and empty trailer a few days later and found all weights were within bounds per the door label. The trailer weighed about 5,800 pounds which just slightly exceeded the suggested 5,000 limit.

We loaded the trailer with all our stuff, full fresh water, full propane and the wife and I crossed the scales. There car was not as happy with the trailer at 6,900 pounds and seemed under strain on the very slight grades going to the scales. The scales reported an overloaded front suspension and maxed put rear suspension with no gear in the car (like a grill and propane chairs etc).

Later versions the ML had the towing limit raised to 7,200 pounds (the 25' series Airstreams have a GVW of 7,300 pounds and the 27' series have a 7,600 pound GVW) which could be doable.

However, I had a Shurline scale with me when I picked up the trailer and the tongue weight with the Hensley hitch head was attached was 1,150 pounds. Camping ready, the tongue weight was 1,175 pounds. These numbers crowd the limits of even the CanAm modified hitch receiver.

The liability of overloading the tow vehicle's rating to possibly void the remaining 7 year 100,000 mile warranty and more importantly cause a failure that could lead to an accident caused me to retire the car from towing our Airstream.

We acquired the current 2012 Dodge Ram 2500HD with Cummins diesel and the towing weight and driveline issues vanished and that vehicle tows the 31' 2014 Classic with a GVW of 10,000 pounds with no issues even in the mountains.
I traded a fully loaded 2012 Sierra HD Denali for our 2014 ML350 Bluetec for a host of reasons and would not go back even towing our new 2015 30' Bunk. I will admit the extra power is missed on the high steep Colorado passes but it is such a tiny portion of our overall trailering it just did not make sense to keep the truck which did not fit in my garage, my wife would not drive, is hard to maneuver, rough riding especially on concrete highways and not exactly fuel efficient. From Boise to Denver never dropped below 65 and averaged better than 16mpg.
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Old 12-15-2014, 09:01 AM   #173
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The dealership installed the Hensley Hitch head on our 2013 25FB International Serenity when I got there. The dealer had previously installed a 155 watt solar panel and street side and rear awnings.

The Airstream literature tongue weight for this model is 833 pounds. The Shurline scaled tongue weight was 1,150 pounds for the empty trailer before attaching to the Mercedes. The car numbers are surprising. There was only 140 pounds of capacity remaining on the front axle with only myself in the vehicle and no trailer. The factory air suspension kept the car level despite the trailer.

The numbers below reflect just myself both in the car empty and with the the new from the dealer trailer attached. The third column reflect my wife and I with the loaded trailer attached and a small air compressor in the back of the car - no camping equipment like chairs, grill etc.

Perhaps later year models had more payload capacity when the maximum trailer weight towing capacity was pencil whipped to 7,200 pounds from my 5,000 pound limit.
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File Type: pdf ML Numbers.pdf (26.7 KB, 67 views)
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Old 12-15-2014, 11:37 PM   #174
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Our '13 ML Bluetec has axle limits of 3100 / 3600; not all that much more than yours. It's been a champ so far towing our 27FB though, knock on wood. Denver -> Wyoming -> Utah -> SF -> Grand Canyon -> Dallas -> Denver (parked for some upgrades). That was all without the hitch reinforcement, which I just had done after dropping the trailer off. I love the Airmatic.
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Old 12-22-2014, 05:37 AM   #175
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I have a 1987, 34' Excella bought new. I am considering a MB GL 350 or 550 for next tow vehicle. Most of our TV have been 1/2 ton Suburban variants. We use a Hensley. I used a 2003 short wheel base Navigator for a few years with no drama. The new GL are larger and more powerful than the Navigator. I am looking for feedback on towing with a 34'. Also, are the new hitches ready to use? I see alot of comment about reinforcing. I'm curious why not just sway out hitch for a Curt that I see is a direct bolt on and has 900lb tongue weight for $350? Thanks for any insight


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Old 12-23-2014, 09:33 AM   #176
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Our Curt hitches bolted to the frame front and rear on the Dodge 2500HD. There is no frame per se on the Mercedes ML or GL so the Curt bolt on would be attaching to sheet metal.

CanAm dropped the tank and extended the receiver forward to a crossmember when they reinforced the hitch on our 2007 ML. There is a photo in the images area link below my avatar.
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Old 12-23-2014, 05:48 PM   #177
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walker,
2009 and earlier M-B factory hitches needed reinforcement, not in the chassis but along some welds in the hitch itself (OE supplier from US). That was corrected for 2010 and newer.
If the M-B hitch is factory installed, there are internal chassis reinforcements included in the package - it's probably not practical to add those pieces later.
For serious towing I would only use the factory-installed hitch. If you find a used ML/GL, be sure to have a M-B dealer check the VIN to verify that the hitch was factory ordered. It is possible to buy a hitch through M-B but I doubt it could include the internal chassis parts.
I would NOT use an aftermarket hitch like the Curt - it's generic and not engineered specifically for M-B.
The attachment for the factory hitch is remarkably stout - look at how the load is spread if you crawl underneath. Then look at how a hitch is attached to a pickup truck and compare. I don't like many hitches on pickups, but we all live with them.
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Old 01-29-2015, 02:22 PM   #178
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Lots of info in this thread.

Currently towing '73 Safari with 2008 Jeep GC with 5.7L V8, which is my wife's daily driver. I really do not like the way Jeep tows, hate the turning radius, the handling and ride are mediocre and it's become a pain to have to switch cars with my wife when I need to haul the Airstream on non-family trips.

I'm considering trading in my 2007 MB E350 wagon (love it, wish I could tow with it) to upgrade to '11 or '12 ML BlueTEC. Finding one with the right one with a factory tow package seems a bit of a more but I'm not in a huge rush.

Two questions/points:

-Though I know it's not going to last, the current gas prices have me thinking twice about getting a diesel. I've long wanted to switch and feel like diesel is probably better for towing while getting more efficient mileage. With the price dip on gas that could last a couple years, maybe it's not the best time to go diesel. Any thoughts on that?

-What is the palpable difference going to a 3L V6 when I am used to towing with a 5.7L V8?

I welcome any insight (especially from ML owners) and thanks in advance.
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Old 01-30-2015, 06:56 AM   #179
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MB towing

My experience with the Jeep has been the same. To much suspension travel with the off road capabilities. As to the MB my preference is the GL for storage and wheel base. As to 11 or 12 model, the 12 is the current model and has the upgraded trailer pkg. Most diesels have it. Hands down get the 12. The diesel and the 550 are the torque kings. In towing the MB diesel will out pull the hemi If I were towing alot the diesel will get double the mileage. Also, call Andy at CanAm RV. They are very generous with free advice. I trust them completely.
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Old 01-30-2015, 09:25 AM   #180
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I'm considering trading in my 2007 MB E350 wagon (love it, wish I could tow with it)

Hi Donny

We have done E class MB's before, it will tow the 23' very easily. Likely better than an ML. I would want to double check an 07 before you drove up here.

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Old 01-30-2015, 01:06 PM   #181
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First off, thanks for all of the input thus far Ive read and lurked for over 6 months. You guys have made me immeasurably more informed. I've seemingly reached the limits of the forum search engine on one issue

Were having a 1974 31ft RB restored to make it safe and functional. If we can keep it fairly close to the original spec weights: 490 lb hitch weight / 5035 lb dry weight. Were planning on using a Mercedes ML350 to tow it very infrequently. Maybe 2-3 times per year and around 100 miles total. Most of the year it will stay located at one campground. We wont be doing cross-country road trips (for the foreseeable future).

Weve been searching for a used 2012-2013 ML350 BlueTec, but there are so few used diesels available I'm wondering if the gas engine will suffice for limited towing purposes. There will be some moderate hill climbs as we plan to keep it in Vermont. If anyone else is out there is making a similar combination work Id love to hear your experiences. Ill table the hitch/sway discussion for later. Right now Im just curious about pulling power. Thanks kindly.
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Old 01-30-2015, 04:30 PM   #182
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When I ordered my 2007 ML320 CDI (built in October of 2006), the 3.0 liter diesel had more torque than the Mercedes 5.5 liter gas V8. Torque is what gets the show on the road, so to speak.

The diesel also had better than 30% better mileage (28.5 vs 22 for the 3.5 liter gas V6) and the V8 is lucky to see the high teens. All Mercedes gas engines use premium. Yesterday at a Shell station, I put diesel in the Dodge 2500HD diesel truck at $2.499 and premium was $2.899. First time in a long time that a over half tank fill up was under $100 (36.5 gallons for $91.21).

I believe the current 2015 ML V6 is still the 3.0 liter block with a hotter chip and still has more torque than the V8.
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