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Old 08-05-2014, 07:59 AM   #57
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How about towing a Classic with a '14 ML350 Bluetec? GVWR goes up to 10,000 lbs on those... too risky (even with reinforcements if needed)?
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Old 08-05-2014, 08:37 AM   #58
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I ordered a '15 Classic and I would not have any hesitation pulling it with the ML350; but for better reassurance you could always call Andy


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Old 08-05-2014, 09:07 AM   #59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ciparis View Post
How about towing a Classic with a '14 ML350 Bluetec? GVWR goes up to 10,000 lbs on those... too risky (even with reinforcements if needed)?
I went through the analysis of the ML350 and ended up with an F-150. Couldn't be happier.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f463...3d-120003.html

The ML350 is definitely a nice car, but I think the F-150 will prove to be a better tow vehicle and all around vehicle in the long run.

This thread is also worth a look.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f238...-as-99815.html
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Old 08-05-2014, 09:17 AM   #60
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Depends on which Classic (25' to 34' over recent years), how you load it, and how you hitch it.
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Old 08-06-2014, 09:44 AM   #61
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Originally Posted by dkottum View Post
Depends on which Classic (25' to 34' over recent years), how you load it, and how you hitch it.
I'd be towing a 30/31 with a good WD trailer and Andy's reinforcement. Probably something around a full-timer load, using the SUV for excess when towing.
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Old 08-06-2014, 10:53 AM   #62
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I'd be towing a 30/31 with a good WD trailer and Andy's reinforcement. Probably something around a full-timer load, using the SUV for excess when towing.
GVWR for a 30 ft classic is 10,000#. That's heavy duty truck realm, and definitely out of scope for a short wheelbase SUV rated to tow 7200#.

Be careful...
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Old 08-06-2014, 11:32 AM   #63
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Our 2007 Mercedes ML 320 CDI had the hitch modification done at CanAm and they modified the Hensley stinger with a bend and cutting it 4" shorter. I showed up at the Los Angeles Airstream dealer and after installing the Hensley hitch, my Shurline scale reported a weight of 1,150 pounds at the jack stand on our 2013 25FB International Serenity. Pulling the mountains on I-10 going to Phoenix required dropping back to 5th gear but maintained 55 mph.

I crossed the scales with the new/empty trailer and all the weights were under limit except the trailer exceeded the 5,000 pound towed vehicle number. After loading the trailer for camping with stuff and full water, the jackstand weight was now 1,175 pounds. The scales reported that with just my wife and me and a small air compressor in the back of the car, front axle ratings were exceeded and so was the GVWR. Perhaps I could have moved the excess front axle weight, but the sounds made on a slight grade with the trailer at 7,035 pounds clued me in that it was too much towed load.

The engine in the new MLs is still the 3.0L V6 diesel I have, just with a different programming chip. Also, the towed weight rating is 7,200 pounds on the new models, no change of parts, just pencil whipped engineering for marketing purposes.

Having said that, I might have been able to start moving our Classic, but the jackstand weight of 1,345 pounds would, in a perfectly setup situation, mean we could barely put an overnight bag in the car. No McDonalds fast food would be allowed due to instant weight gain.

There would be no generators and gasoline, grill with propane tank, extra chairs, spare water etc that could be in the car.

The conversion to disc brakes on the Classic would have solved the braking issue as long as the system was operational. In the event of a brake hydraulic pump failure on the Classic, the Mercedes would have been challenged to stop the nearly 16,000 pound rig in a straight line let alone on a descending mountain road with curves.

Thus our move to the Dodge 2500HD diesel resolved the weight issues and towing capacity for us. The truck and trailer have nearly identical weights.

YMMV
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Old 08-06-2014, 12:24 PM   #64
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Our 2007 Mercedes ML 320 CDI
....Also, the towed weight rating is 7,200 pounds on the new models, no change of parts, just pencil whipped engineering for marketing purposes.
The hitch and chassis are quite a bit different from 2007 to current model. I referred to body shop chassis diagrams and the structure is different and there are a few significant differences in the rear chassis.
By the way, some of those structures would not be available even if a "factory" hitch is installed after it left the factory because they are internal to the "frame."

IMO, the rear "frame" / hitch is significantly stronger than a typical 1/2 T pickup, with less hitch flex. Especially if a Can-Am RV-style reinforcement is added.
I can feel the difference - perhaps that is why so many pickup owners complain of porpoising.
Maybe the new Ram 1500 will be different because they box the frame all the way to the end, not just to the rear axle.

Until all truck manufacturers adopt the new SAE 2870 tow ratings, the advertising department determines GCVWR.

My preference for towing stability, from lowest to highest, is: 1/2 ton PU, 1/2 ton van, ML350, 3/4 ton pickup, 3/4 ton van. I have towed big loads with all of them.

Add the huge ability of the 3.0 Bluetec diesel, it's hard not to like the ML.
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Old 08-06-2014, 12:54 PM   #65
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Until all truck manufacturers adopt the new SAE 2870 tow ratings, the advertising department determines GCVWR.
Toyota has been SAE 2870 compliant for a few years now. GM, Ford and Ram are also compliant on their new 2015 models.
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Old 08-06-2014, 12:57 PM   #66
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If you can get your hands on the latest issue of "Airstream Life" Andrew Thomson of CanAm Airstream (second generation Airstream dealer and hitch expert) explains all of the traits he looks for in a good towing vehicle. Using this criteria I think you would find the latest ML350 is a better Airstream tow vehicle than any heavy duty pickup.

Or you can read the same old arguments here and learn little. When all arguments run out of steam, we will see an insurance or legal opinion will nothing to substantiate it.

Call Andy as long as you plan to visit anyway.
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Old 08-06-2014, 01:42 PM   #67
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dkottum View Post
If you can get your hands on the latest issue of "Airstream Life" Andrew Thomson of CanAm Airstream (second generation Airstream dealer and hitch expert) explains all of the traits he looks for in a good towing vehicle. Using this criteria I think you would find the latest ML350 is a better Airstream tow vehicle than any heavy duty pickup.

Or you can read the same old arguments here and learn little. When all arguments run out of steam, we will see an insurance or legal opinion will nothing to substantiate it.

Call Andy as long as you plan to visit anyway.
.....What he said !!!
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Old 08-07-2014, 08:58 AM   #68
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We leave next month on a 4000+ mile trip pulling a 19" Bambi with my 2008 ML Mercedes diesel using a Hensley hitch. I can't imagine a more perfect setup. Hitch makes the trailer track like a train, diesel pulls like mule and fuel expense is as good as you can expect. we average right at 15 miles to the gallon. i have 100k miles on the Benz and it has been trouble free since new for the most part. Ride is excellent, and we have to keep looking in the rear view mirror to make sure the trailer is still there. great cruse control on the ML , holds a steady speed in mountains, wind , whatever. Navigation is weak and hard to use. i pull into my Benz service department and tell them we are going on a long trip pulling a trailer and they go over everything, change oil and get it ready to roll. I never was a Mercedes guy until this wonderful diesel. great choice for your airstream
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Old 08-08-2014, 12:40 PM   #69
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Toyota has been SAE 2870 compliant for a few years now. GM, Ford and Ram are also compliant on their new 2015 models.
Don't we all wish that were true, but Ford and Chevy ad departments keep finding ways to weasel out of the 2008 joint agreement.
See this link Ram goes all-in on SAE J2807 tow ratings [w/video] - Autoblog
Last year Ford said they wouldn't comply because their tucks weren't entirely new, whatever that means. I forget Chevy's excuse.

Although the J2807 isn't prefect, it's a big step forward. I don't understand the reluctance from the Big 3, because Toyota's sales didn't plunge when they adopted the standard in 2010.
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Old 08-08-2014, 01:46 PM   #70
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I may have to take my previous post back. Although this article http://www.autonews.com/article/2014...for-tow-rating is an earlier date than above, it may be more correct. Maybe ALL truck manufacturers will come clean next year!
How about that!
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