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Old 08-24-2015, 01:29 PM   #161
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Thank you very much for your honest report. Its great to read first hand experience of using both a modified underrated TV and a properly rated TV. Your observations about the truck's performance (which I am quoting) is the exact opposite of what the small tow vehicle folks on this forum claim.
As one who doesn't even own or tow an Airstream or anything else, how would you know this report is honest and the exact opposite reports are then dishonest?

I can assure you my reports are honest, what if everyone's are honest? What's your experience?
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Old 08-24-2015, 01:38 PM   #162
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Would you be so kind and check in the docs what kind of parts were replaced? Was the car under warranty?

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(...) Taking the new 30' over Raton Pass the ML350 suddenly went into limp mode. Per MB's suggestion I pulled into a station on the other side of the pass, shut it down, waited, restarted and all was fine until the next heavy pass. It was in the shop in Phoenix for 4 days. No big deal we had a very nice new MB loaner to drive. They replaced several parts and sensors stating it was good to go. Same thing happened twice on the way home. (...)
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Old 08-24-2015, 01:48 PM   #163
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A full and expensive 360:

I bought a 2012 25FB Twin and a new 2012 GMC Denali 2500 HD Duramax/Allison Crew Short Box with Reese Dual Cam. We towed with this combination for nearly 2 years. It was my biased ultimate choice. My wife got tired of driving the truck when needed so I researched and we drove all of the Diesel SUVs ultimately selecting a 2014 ML350 Bluetec. I promptly drove it from Denver to CANAM for receiver reinforcement, brake controller and hitch setup. We drove this combination for a year and this was my "new" biased ultimate choice. We upgraded the trailer to a 2015 30' Bunk with full awning package and dual AC. With this combination I went to a ProPride. Taking the new 30' over Raton Pass the ML350 suddenly went into limp mode. Per MB's suggestion I pulled into a station on the other side of the pass, shut it down, waited, restarted and all was fine until the next heavy pass. It was in the shop in Phoenix for 4 days. No big deal we had a very nice new MB loaner to drive. They replaced several parts and sensors stating it was good to go. Same thing happened twice on the way home. After much deliberation we decided it was not worth the risk of damaging the ML350 and each time I took it in MB they wanted to know what I was doing with it when it failed. After a lot of deliberation I bought a 2015 Silverado 2500 HD Duramax/Allison Crew Cab Short Box. It is now my Final Biased Ultimate Choice.

If I knew we would never need to pull more than a 3-4% grade with the ML350 I might not have traded up, but having done so I would not consider going back due to my feeling of overall safety with the truck.

If I am honest with myself the 2015 truck is safer, more stable, and designed to handle the load and pull the weight. Would I prefer the ML350 absolutely yes, but it is not the right vehicle all things considered and weighed for my family, not to say it is not for yours.

I can set the cruise at the published speed limit, put it in tow mode and enable the engine brake. Traffic permitting I can go up hill and down hill with out ever putting my foot on the throttle or brake. I never feel like the trailer is pushing the TV and panic maneuvers/stopping under all conditions is very solid.

I have panic stopped with all 4 combinations and the trucks under all conditions has been more stable. I nearly ran over a stupid kid that laid his crotch rocket down in front of me in Saint Louis during a motor cycle rally. I have often wondered if I had been pulling with anything other than the truck if I would have ran over him. I was within a few feet of crushing him. I could not see him from the cab it was not till it got out that I could see he was ok. He jumped up grabbed his bike over against the guard rail and took off. That was it!! It was the worst experience I have ever had driving and I can still see it replay just like it was yesterday. I am not an attorney but I know enough that had I been pulling my 8500 pound 30' travel trailer with a Doge Caravan and had run over the kid it would have been a liability nightmare.

With the ML350 especially on curves under heavy breaking you can feel the chassis load to the one side and you can feel it pushing it out. This is not the case with the truck especially since I only pull the bars up about half way leaving 700 pounds on the tongue.

We each have our own preferences, biases and ultimately choose what we feel meets all our various needs at a safely level that we can live with.

To each his own forever happy and safe travels.

On a side note I now have a Garmin Dash Cam mounted permanently in the truck.
Thanks for giving us an honest, detailed, direct-experience report comparing towing with a vehicle that was pushed to the limit (or beyond) its manufacturer design parameters to one which was working well within its design parameters.

It is amazing that one might question the veracity of your lengthy, detailed experience.

The stubborn defensiveness found on this forum, regarding using tow vehicles that are pushed to the limits and beyond the manufacturers stated design parameters, is absolutely incredible.
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Old 08-24-2015, 02:38 PM   #164
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Would you be so kind and check in the docs what kind of parts were replaced? Was the car under warranty?
Yes it is under warranty. Please let me know if there are any other questions I can answer.
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Old 08-24-2015, 02:39 PM   #165
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Originally Posted by DHart View Post

It is amazing that one might question the veracity of your lengthy, detailed experience.

The stubborn defensiveness found on this forum, regarding using tow vehicles that are pushed to the limits and beyond the manufacturers stated design parameters, is absolutely incredible.
I do not question the truthfulness of his post.
But to many, if not most of the members here having the financial ability to do that kind of experimenting is well beyond their means.
So for some, making do with the TV they have - even if that means fudging some on the "numbers" is the only way they can get out with their families and enjoy the great outdoors.
You may condemn them for their poor choices.
But I will commend them for living their dreams.
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Old 08-24-2015, 02:44 PM   #166
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Yes it is under warranty. Please let me know if there are any other questions I can answer.
Service report states there was an open circuit on the wiring to the oxygen sensor.

Not sure how that relates to towing a trailer.
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Old 08-24-2015, 02:50 PM   #167
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But I will commend them for living their dreams.
Living with the results of an accident by fault or otherwise knowing that perhaps it could have been prevented or lessened is the question each must answer on their own. I respect each and every individuals decision with regard to their TV and Trailer combination, selection of hitch, tires, pressure monitors etc etc.. I am not here to question, just reporting my experience. Perhaps it will be valuable to some who are considering future dreams and folly to others.
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Old 08-24-2015, 03:04 PM   #168
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Service report states there was an open circuit on the wiring to the oxygen sensor.

Not sure how that relates to towing a trailer.
Pulling a long steep grade with an overloaded TV has everything to do with it. Does it not?? What am I missing from your prospective?

What I was told quietly off the record by the service manager at the Chandler dealership was that it was turbo heat soak. Hence the erratic turbo temp reading and high soot content. On the second report they did not replace the oxygen sensor but the whole CDI engine control unit which was a wild guess that MB Germany recommended.

I could keep going. Please PM me with a phone number and I am happy to chat about it.
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Old 08-24-2015, 03:12 PM   #169
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I do not question the truthfulness of his post.
But to many, if not most of the members here having the financial ability to do that kind of experimenting is well beyond their means.
So for some, making do with the TV they have - even if that means fudging some on the "numbers" is the only way they can get out with their families and enjoy the great outdoors.
You may condemn them for their poor choices.
But I will commend them for living their dreams.
Ultra... no, I don't condemn anyone for their choices, though I may feel they are unwise choices. And I understand that if someone doesn't have the money to adequately equip themselves for towing that they might be tempted to fudge the numbers and hope for the best. But I think that's moving in the direction of reducing safety, rather than enhancing it.

What I condemn is the intensity with which some members of this forum go out of their way to constantly and repeatedly recommend to others that it's OK to blow right past manufacturer ratings for cargo capacity, GCVWR, etc. on the grounds that they have done it, or others are doing it, so that makes it OK. I don't think it's so OK to encourage others to exceed these ratings which are intended to help keep people safe-er.

Even if I made the decision to fudge the numbers a little myself, because I had no other choice, I certainly wouldn't be parading around trumpeting to the world wide web of newbies that it's perfectly fine to do so.
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Old 08-24-2015, 03:46 PM   #170
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Woiw! What a discusion... For the record last year a made 26 000 km across the Usa whit a 27 foot Airstream whit a gas Grand Cherooke. I did all the montain you can do whit my combo. Everything went very weel. I boot my 30 foot last november. I pull it whit my truck work a F250 and I can say the Touareg andel much better the the F250. SO FOR THOSE SPECIALIST HOW SAY IT IS NOT GOOD, FILL FREE TO COME TO MONTREAL AND TRY IT WHIT ME. AFTER THAT WE WILL TALK.. Like I say, when i pull my trailer i almost not notice is in the back. The Touareg is a exceptional suv for towing. I add and drive lost of truck i my live, and the touareg for me is the most well built suv.. Like I said sorry for my english....
Tino (O.P.), thank you very much for your honest report. It is great to read first hand experience of one who has towed with both a Touareg SUV and a F250 pickup. It is also great that you learned the Touareg is a much better tow vehicle than the F250.
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Old 08-24-2015, 04:23 PM   #171
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I lot of honesty recently on AS forum...

I am just curious - are those "only truck can tow" guys also making (small-scale) attacks when they meet owners of SUVs with larger trailers on the road?
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Old 08-24-2015, 04:25 PM   #172
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Ultra... no, I don't condemn anyone for their choices, though I may feel they are unwise choices. And I understand that if someone doesn't have the money to adequately equip themselves for towing that they might be tempted to fudge the numbers and hope for the best. But I think that's moving in the direction of reducing safety, rather than enhancing it.

What I condemn is the intensity with which some members of this forum go out of their way to constantly and repeatedly recommend to others that it's OK to blow right past manufacturer ratings for cargo capacity, GCVWR, etc. on the grounds that they have done it, or others are doing it, so that makes it OK. I don't think it's so OK to encourage others to exceed these ratings which are intended to help keep people safe-er.

Even if I made the decision to fudge the numbers a little myself, because I had no other choice, I certainly wouldn't be parading around trumpeting to the world wide web of newbies that it's perfectly fine to do so.

I think you've made your point rather clearly.
Such that newbies who read this thread might start thinking there's a bit of OCD involved.
Life is full of extenuating circumstances.
Many will look back wistfully and think about the woulda, shoulda, couldas and how they might have done things differently.
One man may look back and wish he had bought Firestones instead of Goodyears because of the blowout that ruined their plans.
Or one says, "We should have stayed on the main route instead of the byway."
Another may look back at an accident that MIGHT have been avoided with a heavier tow rig.
And another man may look back at all the overtime he put in trying to pay for a better TV. While his family fell apart.
And maybe he thinks that had he worked less and fudged the numbers they could have kept things together and had a happier life and went on some trips.
To the newbies here I say don't be stupid.
Don't grossly overload your TV.
But don't be OCD either.
Those numbers on your door frame are not magic.
They are good guidelines. But they are not absolute.
There is a pretty big safety factor built into them. And hitches and suspensions and vehicles can be upgraded and modified.
Fudging things a bit will not cause you and yours to go down in a firey crash.
Go have some fun and don't worry about the dire warnings here.
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Old 08-24-2015, 05:06 PM   #173
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Pulling a long steep grade with an overloaded TV has everything to do with it. Does it not?? What am I missing from your prospective?

What I was told quietly off the record by the service manager at the Chandler dealership was that it was turbo heat soak. Hence the erratic turbo temp reading and high soot content. On the second report they did not replace the oxygen sensor but the whole CDI engine control unit which was a wild guess that MB Germany recommended.

I could keep going. Please PM me with a phone number and I am happy to chat about it.
A long steep grade and a heavy load would result in overheating faults being logged. What failed were electronic components, sensors and/or computer, with no reported or logged overheating. Blaming it on heat soak sounds like a way of saying it got hot after it was shut down (not while operating with coolant circulating) so we don't have a log of any overheat events.

But it failed while you were driving, not after you parked it.

PM sent.

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Old 08-24-2015, 05:18 PM   #174
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What I condemn is the intensity with which some members of this forum go out of their way to constantly and repeatedly recommend to others that it's OK to blow right past manufacturer ratings for cargo capacity, GCVWR, etc. on the grounds that they have done it, or others are doing it, so that makes it OK. I don't think it's so OK to encourage others to exceed these ratings which are intended to help keep people safe-er.
The point has already been made that the number under discussion is the manufacturer's recommended tow rating. I haven't seen recommendations to blow right past ratings for GVWR, axle loads, or tire loads, which make a lot of sense, to me at least. And which are based on engineering design and testing.

GCVWR is just another way of listing tow capacity. It can matter for commercial vehicles, where it is a defined term.
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Old 08-24-2015, 05:21 PM   #175
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Data and accidents...

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Hank, I was a fireman as well, but I never thought it made me an accident investigator. Your two selected accidents don't represent data, just opinion.
Doug,

No problem. Data in the accident (I saw it, and did the work there), opinion of the cause (however, the opinions came from the investigating officers, not me)...

And I would submit they are data, since they represent the entire accident set for a month and a half! I left nothing out, and as such they represent the 911-related wreck activity on a 12 mile stretch of I-90 for 45 days...
Take it or leave it as your mind leads you.
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Old 08-24-2015, 05:24 PM   #176
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I further believe in conditional probability... The longer you do something the more likely it is to catch up with you. So I am trying to be more careful the longer I live.

And four accidents relating to vehicles and drivers caught my attention....
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Old 08-24-2015, 05:35 PM   #177
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Yes it is under warranty. Please let me know if there are any other questions I can answer.

I read the invoices.
Perhaps silly question - is it an automatic?
After leak checking the sooted turbo and finding no leaks, did anyone conclude the "soot" could perhaps be from overheating? Same with not being able to manually downshift? (due to overheating)
Having worked with various sized turbo diesels, mostly really big generators, the actual turbo itself is typically not cooled on purpose. So it is possible that the cooling system thinks things are okay but the turbo is overheated as indicated by the soot, inability to manually downshift (transmission overheated) and some of the failed electronics.
I'd open the turbo to inspect it for heat damage and send off an oil sample for analysis.
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Old 08-26-2015, 09:26 PM   #178
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oops - I am actually not the OP of this threat, but it is similar to one I started. Still amazed about the serious evangelism happening here.
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Old 08-26-2015, 09:43 PM   #179
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oops - I am actually not the OP of this threat, but it is similar to one I started. Still amazed about the serious evangelism happening here.
And how thick the uninformed opinions are here!
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Old 08-26-2015, 10:47 PM   #180
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DHart, your comments are really boring and annoying... we all know your opinion, a tank with WDS should be enough to tow a larger trailer (but without a lot of cargo!)... have some rest.

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And how thick the uninformed opinions are here!
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