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Old 09-28-2020, 12:00 PM   #1
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Enough HP/ torque ?

I'm looking at a Mercedes GLE 350 to tow a Flying cloud 23FB. GVWR 6,000lbs.
It's priced very well at $63000. They say all GLE's tow 7,700 regardless of engine. The 350 has a turbo 4 that puts out 255HP and 273 torque. That's less power than a Volvo and other SUV's sporting similar turbo four-bangers that tow no more than 5,000 lbs. Will I make it over the mountains out west? I could go with a 450 for about $5,000 more. It puts out 362 HP and 369 ft/lb torque.
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Old 09-28-2020, 12:19 PM   #2
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350 or 450 Merc

Get the GLE 450. For only $5k you get way more power. After all, your only going to have the 23' AS for a year or two before going bigger. Get the more powerful TV now.
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Old 09-28-2020, 01:28 PM   #3
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450.
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Old 09-28-2020, 03:21 PM   #4
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That'll be tepid HP and TQ for a 23FB. It'll do okay. But it will depend on your expectations for power and performance. Perhaps also where abouts you live and if there are significant grades.

A larger engine will give you more flexibility and potentially more safety - when you consider that it'll allow you to merge more easily, stay at pace closer to the flow of traffic in grades, more engine braking too with the larger motor.
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Old 09-28-2020, 03:29 PM   #5
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You need HP to maintain a speed. Let the gears take care of the torque. For the weights you gave, you will need about 330 HP to maintain a 55 MPH speed up a long 4% grade. The 450 will give you some reserve power.
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Old 09-28-2020, 04:05 PM   #6
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Perhaps also where abouts you live and if there are significant grades.
We live in southern Wisconsin so we are almost Flatlanders but we intend to send a month or two each year out west. Thanks for the input.
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Old 09-28-2020, 04:09 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by uraljohn View Post
Get the GLE 450. For only $5k you get way more power. After all, your only going to have the 23' AS for a year or two before going bigger. Get the more powerful TV now.
REALLY??? I better start saving up. Are we thinking Classic???
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Old 09-28-2020, 04:29 PM   #8
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I ran into this while researching towing capacities. It came from the Volvo XC 90 manual. It may be obvious to many of you.

The maximum trailer weights listed are only applicable for altitudes up to 3280 ft (1,000 m) above sea level. With increasing altitude the engine power and therefore the car's climbing ability are impaired because of the reduced air density, so the maximum trailer weight has to be reduced accordingly. The weight of the car and trailer must be reduced by 10% for every further 3280 ft (1,000 m) (or part thereof).

I also found two other interesting topics in the Manual:

Alcohol Lock

and my favorite "Bypassing the Alcohol lock"
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Old 09-28-2020, 04:31 PM   #9
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I wouldn't tow with the DW's 550GLS. It's 'rated' to tow 7200 with a TW limit of 720lb, "Cloudsplitter" has a TW of 1200lb loaded for camping
Plenty of HP & torque, but it's limited to 10% TW and I wouldn't tow any AS at 10%.
Plus not enough room inside for 'Pirate' and his crew...but it is a HOOT to drive.👍

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Old 09-29-2020, 07:23 AM   #10
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GLE450 has EQ boost too

Go for the GLE450 not only does it have more standard HP and torque it has EQ boost which adds 180 lb ft of torque for short bursts. I have the GLS580 which also has EQ Boost and it works well and has no turbo lag. I tow the heavier 25FB and had the hitch set up at CanAmRV .
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Old 09-29-2020, 09:12 AM   #11
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450. Reason 1 - the words 'mountains out west' were key. Reason 2 - the turbo 4 on the 350 will act like any other turbo...HP doesn't hit until RPM has built sufficiently to spin the turbo assist - you'll notice that a lot with a 27 foot trailer starting at stoplights, moving forward on hills, etc. The 450 will be a better choice.
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Old 09-29-2020, 09:40 AM   #12
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Yep...Buy a new M/B and then have it modified in Canada. TETO

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Old 09-29-2020, 09:42 AM   #13
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Yep...Buy a new M/B and then have it modified in Canada. TETO

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Old 09-30-2020, 07:06 AM   #14
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Quote:
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Yep...Buy a new M/B and then have it modified in Canada. TETO

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Good thing I live 45 miles from Canam RV .

Canam will assist any Airstream owner with details so that other shops in the US can do similar set ups if coming to Canada is a problem. They have done hundreds of Mercedes set ups including my former ML350 diesel and I cannot think of anyone more knowledgeable on Mercedes SUVs towing Airstreams or SOB.
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Old 09-30-2020, 09:18 AM   #15
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I purchased a 2020 GLE350 last November in anticipation of getting my first Airstream. Picked up Tiny Cloud this past March, a 2029 19ft Flying Cloud CBB. Towing from Orange County to Temecula during a rainy day was not what I expected. The 350 struggled at high speeds and simple grades. Went on our first camping trip an hour away from home and the 350 performed substandard. Returned home and had a conversation with MB of Temecula. They graciously offered a GLE450 for a very reasonable price. So I traded up. And yes the 450 did far better with more HP and Torque.

BUT, the Benz was well aware that it was towing a trailer. The ride acceptable, performance equal to any 1/4 ton. And mileage at 15MPG. I shivered every time I hooked up to the hitch and watching the SQUAT until I hooked up the WDH, a Blue Ox Swaypro, 1000 bars. Also after heading to the scales, I was at MAX with the TV payload. So everything into the trailer. This wasn't what I wanted. A full tank of gas and 4 passengers and little room for anything else except a happy meal.

So we bought a second TV, a 2015 RAM 1500 Ecodiesel. Now I tow with that. Truck has longer wheelbase, better payload, and is equal in comfort to the Benz. And I don't have the occasional tugging and pushing which was common with the GLE450.

I use the GLE450 for short trips, less than an hour away, while the RAM is my new workhorse. HP on the truck is 100 less than the GLE, but the torque is fantastic. Climbing grades is weak, but I am not in a rush and don't mind throttling down to 45 behind a semi. 62mph is the sweet spot on the RAM, 18mpg with the diesel.

SUV's like the MB can do it. But a vehicle specifically designed for towing with the proper chassis, frame, axles and tires is far more superior. Scratching the truck bed is nothing compared to nicking a bit of paint off the GLE.
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Old 10-04-2020, 11:49 AM   #16
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enough power?

Quote:
Originally Posted by uraljohn View Post
Get the GLE 450. For only $5k you get way more power. After all, your only going to have the 23' AS for a year or two before going bigger. Get the more powerful TV now.

as someone who has towed a 23 foot, rear bed for ten years with an ML350 and logged 100,000 miles, if it fits you, you will love the 23 ft. I have the v-6 Diesel, and it pulls and handles great. I would be seriously concerned on the 4 cyl., the numbers are a bit low, but the towing capacity is fine. The big reason we stayed away from the GL at the time was that it had a third seat. I haven't look for a couple of years, but that was wasted space for our purposes. I wouldn't mind the slightly larger compartment, but without the seat. For the prices you quote, I would probably take the GL, just because a little more power is nice climbing long mountain roads. Good luck.
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Old 10-04-2020, 12:13 PM   #17
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Good thing I live 45 miles from Canam RV .

Canam will assist any Airstream owner with details so that other shops in the US can do similar set ups if coming to Canada is a problem. They have done hundreds of Mercedes set ups including my former ML350 diesel and I cannot think of anyone more knowledgeable on Mercedes SUVs towing Airstreams or SOB.
It's just a hitch reinforcement, which can be done anywhere. We drove to Can-Am for our first ML350 diesel, but as you say Can-Am will give details to the local shop of your choice.

Regarding "a vehicle specifically designed for towing with the proper chassis, frame, axles and tires is far more superior," that category certainly doesn't include modern half ton's. To get the equivalent strength and braking in a pickup, you've got to go 3/4 or 1 Ton to get the chassis strength and braking ability of a M-B SUV, and you'll never get the evasive capabilities. And shield your eyes at the hitch flex on those pickups - Ram is the only one with boxed frame behind the rear axle!

Payload is the limiting factor, whether it's a pickup or SUV. With most half tons, especially diesels, you may only get another couple hundred pounds payload.

We have just replaced our second 100,000 mile M-B ML turbodiesel with a GLE450. The GLE450, with its hybrid boost, has 558 lb-ft of torque, outpacing the 446 of our past diesel. We hope to do a trial tow in the next week.
I hope it does half as well. Here in the Rocky Mountains, the old puny 466 seldom down-shifted more than one gear, even on the worst pulls. Normal towing mileage was 15 @ 65mph, best was 26 @ 50, driving from 5,000 feet elevation to 7,500' and back.
We were able to load so that our 6,000 GVW Lance had 12% on the tongue, right at the limit of an un-reinforced hitch. With that tongue weight and a full load in the back of the M-B, we were over payload, but still had a couple hundred pounds leeway on front and rear axles.

It was an exceptionally capable combination.

I won't tow with a half ton, and I hope the GLE450 is as strong as the ML350 (chassis-wise as well as power).

Regarding the OP question about the 350 vs. 450, I have spent a few hundred miles in each. The 4 banger is surprisingly strong, and the low-end torque is impressive. But I think highway cruising with a trailer would not leave much reserve power for those moments where you need more - like passing that farm equipment on a two lane, or getting around the 20 mph convoy of semi's on Vail Pass. Skip the 350.

Oh and BTW our new GLE450 gets >30mpg on interstates and 25mpg 50-50 mixed driving, hand calculated - a pleasant surprise!
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Old 10-04-2020, 02:31 PM   #18
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Numbers check

[QUOTE=tlars;2415645]I'm looking at a Mercedes GLE 350 to tow a Flying cloud 23FB. GVWR 6,000lbs.
It's priced very well at $63000. They say all GLE's tow 7,700 regardless of engine. The 350 has a turbo 4 that puts out 255HP and 273 torque. That's less power than a Volvo and other SUV's sporting similar turbo four-bangers that tow no more than 5,000 lbs. Will I make it over the mountains out west? I could go with a 450 for about $5,000 more. It puts out 362 HP and 369 ft/lb torque.[/QUOTE


You are understandably looking at towing capacity but not the other very important numbers. Significantly is gvw of tow vehicle. If you add all your gear all your fluids, all your passengers AND then add your TRUE tongue weight i will submit find you have overloaded the tow vehicle. This is against the cardinal rule of towing. For one your insurance will be denied should you have an accident. You also will max out the important part of mountain towing which is braking! Your hp and torque, forgive me , are pretty wimpy to take on serious grades given that most travelers are pretty maxed out once fully outfitted. We pulled a 6000 gvw trailer with a diesel grand cherokee with towing capacity of 7600 lbs. we had 420 ft lbs torque! Pulled ok but exceeded my tow vehicle capacity Not to mention storage to carry all our camping gear was poor. A truck, honestly speaking is awesome for many reasons
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Old 10-04-2020, 02:53 PM   #19
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I towed my classic 30 through Yosemite 120. No issues whatsoever. I tow with an 08 ML320CDI. This has around 120 hp and 400 ft/lbs of torque. Hitch setup was done by CanAm.
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Old 10-04-2020, 04:17 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by mikapen View Post
It's just a hitch reinforcement, which can be done anywhere. We drove to Can-Am for our first ML350 diesel, but as you say Can-Am will give details to the local shop of your choice.

Regarding "a vehicle specifically designed for towing with the proper chassis, frame, axles and tires is far more superior," that category certainly doesn't include modern half ton's. To get the equivalent strength and braking in a pickup, you've got to go 3/4 or 1 Ton to get the chassis strength and braking ability of a M-B SUV, and you'll never get the evasive capabilities. And shield your eyes at the hitch flex on those pickups - Ram is the only one with boxed frame behind the rear axle!

Payload is the limiting factor, whether it's a pickup or SUV. With most half tons, especially diesels, you may only get another couple hundred pounds payload.

We have just replaced our second 100,000 mile M-B ML turbodiesel with a GLE450. The GLE450, with its hybrid boost, has 558 lb-ft of torque, outpacing the 446 of our past diesel. We hope to do a trial tow in the next week.
I hope it does half as well. Here in the Rocky Mountains, the old puny 466 seldom down-shifted more than one gear, even on the worst pulls. Normal towing mileage was 15 @ 65mph, best was 26 @ 50, driving from 5,000 feet elevation to 7,500' and back.
We were able to load so that our 6,000 GVW Lance had 12% on the tongue, right at the limit of an un-reinforced hitch. With that tongue weight and a full load in the back of the M-B, we were over payload, but still had a couple hundred pounds leeway on front and rear axles.

It was an exceptionally capable combination.

I won't tow with a half ton, and I hope the GLE450 is as strong as the ML350 (chassis-wise as well as power).

Regarding the OP question about the 350 vs. 450, I have spent a few hundred miles in each. The 4 banger is surprisingly strong, and the low-end torque is impressive. But I think highway cruising with a trailer would not leave much reserve power for those moments where you need more - like passing that farm equipment on a two lane, or getting around the 20 mph convoy of semi's on Vail Pass. Skip the 350.

Oh and BTW our new GLE450 gets >30mpg on interstates and 25mpg 50-50 mixed driving, hand calculated - a pleasant surprise!


There is so much misinformation here.

If this is your opinion, then itís 100% correct. But to even suggest a 1/2 ton truck is inferior to your MB is simply false.

Iím not dragging this into a 1/2 to vs .....
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