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Old 09-06-2012, 12:41 AM   #43
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Hi, My Lincoln has a shut off switch for the air suspension. Instructions say to have it at driving height before turning switch off. [with the vehicle turned off, after the rear door/s have been opened and closed, the rear drops slightly] Don't open the rear doors. Adjust WD hitch. When finished, turn air suspension switch back on.
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Old 09-06-2012, 12:43 AM   #44
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Originally Posted by ROBERTSUNRUS View Post
Hi, My Lincoln has a shut off switch for the air suspension. Instructions say to have it at driving height before turning switch off. [with the vehicle turned off, after the rear door/s have been opened and closed, the rear drops slightly] Don't open the rear doors. Adjust WD hitch. When finished, turn air suspension switch back on.
Wonderful to hear that it's so easy
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Old 09-06-2012, 04:09 AM   #45
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Never Have Had a Problem With Rear Air Suspension

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I was wondering the same thing?...

Today I learned that most if not all the German SUV's have "air ride suspension" in the back which prohibit the use of weight distributing bars. The main reason is because these WD bars go into the shank and create issues with the air ride suspension thus voiding any type of factory warranty on the tow vehicle.

So, I'm wondering how Ddruker got around this?
My SUV has air suspension in the rear. All I do is turn the ignition off after hook-up (which disables the air suspension compressor) while the AS tongue weight is still on the jack; then I adjust the WD bars before raising the jack to allow the tongue weight to bare on the rear suspension, then if need be further fine tune the WD bars prior to turning the ingition on. In practice, I measure the Hensley "jack screws" after adjusting and then on subsequent hook-ups just adjust them back to that predetermined measurement (this assumes I have not shifted the weight and balance of the AS substantially).
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Old 09-06-2012, 08:19 AM   #46
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If you get the x5 without the 3rd row seats you can avoid the air suspension.
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Old 09-06-2012, 09:02 AM   #47
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If you get the x5 without the 3rd row seats you can avoid the air suspension.
Thanks Morgandc! Great to know that is an option
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Old 09-06-2012, 10:07 AM   #48
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With my GL 350, I'm not currently using a weight distributing hitch. I do know this is heresy for some folks on the forum.

The GL has built-in trailer anti-sway control and the air suspension is indeed self levelling. The truck also has relatively massive brakes and tires - 15 inch rotors and 275/50 R20 rubber.

When I weighed all of this against loading up another 100 pounds of WD hitch onto the receiver when Mercedes is already limited on tongue weight, I decided to forgo a WD hitch.

That's what I meant in my earlier post when I said my main complaint about the truck as the relatively low tongue weight supported - I do wish in addition to 7,500 pound towing capacity, the GL 350 also officially supported 1000 pounds of tongue weight -there is a big discussion about this on the Mercedes forums - if it did I would absolutely be using WD as an additional safety factor.

I also did get my hitch receiver reinforced - there are several stories on the Mercedes forums about factory hitch receivers on earlier model year (mostly 2009) GL's breaking off the truck under heavy tongue weight and WD. The hitch receiver was redesigned for the 2011 model year, but I still thought it was good insurance to get additional reinforcement done and it was not expensive.

My experience to date is that I've not had a hint of any control issues in over 5,000 miles of pulling the airstream. I was, and still am, prepared to go out an invest in a WD hitch despite the tongue weight concerns, but it's been towing so well so far I've not pulled the trigger.
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Old 09-06-2012, 11:30 AM   #49
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ddrucker, very interesting combo. Do you have any close up pics of your connection and receiver reinforcements? Thnxs.
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Old 09-06-2012, 11:41 AM   #50
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Here is a link to two of the main towing discussion threads on the Mercedes GL forum... Including pictures.

Anyone towing a big load? Did you reinforce the factory hitch? - MBWorld.org Forums

http://mbworld.org/forums/gl-class-x...ing-gl450.html
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Old 09-06-2012, 12:35 PM   #51
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Originally Posted by ddruker View Post
With my GL 350, I'm not currently using a weight distributing hitch. I do know this is heresy for some folks on the forum.

When I weighed all of this against loading up another 100 pounds of WD hitch onto the receiver when Mercedes is already limited on tongue weight, I decided to forgo a WD hitch.
With a WD assembly the additional nominal 100# tongue weight is really only ~35# on the receiver; the rest is "torqued" to the front axle, where you really want it for steering control, and the trailer axles. If you don’t WD your assembly your front axle is REALLY compromised in steering authority; so that 100# savings to protect the reciever MAY cost you the entire assembly.
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Old 09-06-2012, 12:41 PM   #52
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This is just plain incorrect. USA has been on ULSD (15 ppm) since Oct. 2006. This is identical to Canadian spec for diesel, only Canada mandated it in May 2006. For a little while after Oct. 2006 it was allowed to sell LSD (500 ppm) here in parts of Alaska but that has expired.




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The part you are missing is the USA's insistence on maintaining high sulphur content in their diesel. That is why you can't meet emissions standards... We have clean diesel in Canada, and can get such oddities as Jeep Liberty CRD's and such.

The high sulphur makes several extra add-ons necessary for US-spec diesels to meet emissions, if they can at all... and... all the noisy, smoky trucks running around doesn't make it an attractive option for those who know no different...
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Old 09-06-2012, 01:29 PM   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ddruker View Post
With my GL 350, I'm not currently using a weight distributing hitch. I do know this is heresy for some folks on the forum.

The GL has built-in trailer anti-sway control and the air suspension is indeed self levelling. The truck also has relatively massive brakes and tires - 15 inch rotors and 275/50 R20 rubber.

When I weighed all of this against loading up another 100 pounds of WD hitch onto the receiver when Mercedes is already limited on tongue weight, I decided to forgo a WD hitch.

That's what I meant in my earlier post when I said my main complaint about the truck as the relatively low tongue weight supported - I do wish in addition to 7,500 pound towing capacity, the GL 350 also officially supported 1000 pounds of tongue weight -there is a big discussion about this on the Mercedes forums - if it did I would absolutely be using WD as an additional safety factor.

I also did get my hitch receiver reinforced - there are several stories on the Mercedes forums about factory hitch receivers on earlier model year (mostly 2009) GL's breaking off the truck under heavy tongue weight and WD. The hitch receiver was redesigned for the 2011 model year, but I still thought it was good insurance to get additional reinforcement done and it was not expensive.

My experience to date is that I've not had a hint of any control issues in over 5,000 miles of pulling the airstream. I was, and still am, prepared to go out an invest in a WD hitch despite the tongue weight concerns, but it's been towing so well so far I've not pulled the trigger.
I came to the same conclusion with the math on my Sequoia... adding weight to the back to then shift the same weight to the front was redundant. However, I also have no sway control as a result...

I think in our situation where things are close to working already, the Andersen hitch is the lightweight way to get a bit of WD and sway for not a lot of money (or weight).
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Old 09-09-2012, 09:44 AM   #54
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Is it possible for you to post a readable image of the label next to your 2" hitch receiver? I would like to see what the official towing and tongue load ratings are. Thanks.
Sorry, I've just discovered this additional discussion. Others have already posted the correct answers of 600 lbs tongue and 6000 lbs max rating, which is what the label states.

On the subject of air suspension, we didn't get that option on the X5, so no auto-leveling issues expected. It will just take a Hensley bar swap to get the static height correct, but I expect weight distribution is something we'll need to tweak, given the new tow vehicle.

As others note, the European carmakers discourage weight distributing hitches simply because they don't use them over here. Based on considerable discussion in these forums and elsewhere, I don't think it's a major vehicle durability concern, just something untested by the factory.

Of course, until I actually get back, and get the trailer out of storage and hitched, it's all just speculation!
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Old 09-16-2012, 05:05 AM   #55
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In the "for what it's worth" department we drove the 2013 GL 450 yesterday and was very impressed by the ride and handling. The Bluetec version should be out within a month and with over 440 ft lbs of torque it will be an unbelievable TV. I almost bought the 2012 GL but went another direction because of the planned 2013 model refresh. Trust me, if you've ever considered a new TV that is upscale in many ways you should give one a try.
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Old 09-16-2012, 12:00 PM   #56
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Still looking for a capable and practical SUV to tow our Airstream 25'. One of the things I wish for is a "basic" vehicle without the bells and whistles. A work horse not a luxo limousine. The price would be better as well as the long-term reliability. What good is a 400k mile engine in a 200k mile car.

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