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Old 05-22-2020, 01:00 PM   #1
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WD Hitch | Mercedes GLE 350 - 1964 Globetrotter

The reno on our 64 Globetrotter is nearing completion but it looks like the old hitch is going to need replacement. Any advice for the following combo?

2020 Mercedes 350 GLE w/ factory receiver (7700 lb max tow capacity)

1964 Globetrotter. Stock weight = 2900 lbs but actual weight is likely more as we've upped the axle size, done extensive (although light weight) reno and added a small gray tank.

Stated hitch weight on this trailer is 385 lbs but we've added a spare tire/carrier to the tongue so it's likely a bit more.

Any suggestions?
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Old 05-22-2020, 01:39 PM   #2
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Almost any good hitch will work for your situation. The redesigned 2020 GLE is a very capable tow vehicle up through 28' trailers with some anti-sway assistance. the GLE doesn't like a lot of weight redistribution just a bit to keep the SUV level-ish and the handling crisp. So go with something with forgiving flexible bars but lots of sway control. I have a Blue Ox, I like it, but don't think its your best choice. The Reese Straight-Line or if you have switched out the Marvel/Atwood coupler, consider Andersen if you can get past the owner "ick" factor. I'd stay away from Equalizer for your situation, they are so stiff and for your situation you don't need that. If you have another brand in mind, ask, I'll let you know what I think.
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Old 05-22-2020, 01:53 PM   #3
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I have yet to tow with the mercedes. I recently sold a well worn and much loved 2008 Touareg. Hoping the replacement will do as well.

Staying away from Anderson...

The Globetrotter is just under 20 ft long and some sway control would be appropriate - lots of wind in my part of the world.

The original set up had parts dated 1967 on it aside from rust there was a stress crack in one of the of the mounting brackets.
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Old 05-22-2020, 01:55 PM   #4
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Hitch Advise

Hello! I wanted to offer up that we enjoy our Gen-Y torsion hitch. Folks have strong opinions on them either way, but we used it with our "SUV" tow vehicle and again when we finally purchased a truck. We have a camper that is right around the weight envelope that you're describing and we think the torsion aspect of the hitch makes more impact than weight distribution.

I should note that our torsion hitch is rated for our 31' airstream and not as much for our small camper, but it *STILL* has a better feel with the small camper. What we notice is the bouncing over rougher roads is significantly dampened. The porpoising you normally get over expansion joints is far less pronounced. The other part to this is that you can buy a torsion hitch that also supports weight distribution so you have the best of both worlds. That's what we run on our airstream. I hope this is helpful!
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Old 05-22-2020, 02:26 PM   #5
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Okay so no Andersen, that's fine. It's great on small light trailers because the tension is mostly parallel to the trailer frame so the stresses are much less. Then the Reese has excellent Anti-sway properties and are largely independent of WD tension.
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Old 05-22-2020, 03:10 PM   #6
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Brian,

Is there a potential conflict between the Reese's sway control and the MB's internal "Trailer Stability Assist" referenced in this Towing Guide?

https://www.fjmercedes.com/mercedes-...wing-capacity/

https://www.reesehitches.com/product...tion_Kit,66073
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000BJ0H8U...osi&th=1&psc=1

When we got a Reese hitch for our 2014 FC20, the AS salesman suggested not including sway control, due to our tow vehicle's internal sway control, especially for a short trailer being towed by our fairly robust E-350 Ford Transit van. [We had a Reese dual-cam hitch back in the 90's for our 25' Airstream, and it worked great FWIW. I was reluctant to "give up" that sway control, but the new hitch has worked out just fine, with lightly sprung WD, as you suggest, mainly for dampening hobby-horsing etc..]

Are there any similar concerns with Janet's setup, especially given that the trailer is quite short and light? Will the MB's brain handle the Reese's sway control OK, or will it "be confused" perhaps?

Thanks,

Peter

PS -- Possible background reading on this:

https://www.google.com/search?q=sway...=airforums.com
https://www.airforums.com/forums/f46...ol-139609.html
https://www.airforums.com/forums/f23...ca-178281.html
https://www.airforums.com/forums/f46...ll-200993.html

PS2 -- Janet is there any further language in your MB owner's manual, or perhaps in a separate pamphlet about the trailer towing package? Our Ford manual specifically says that WD hitches are not recommended FWIW.
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Old 05-22-2020, 04:08 PM   #7
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Generally Tow vehicle based Active Electronic Stability and Trailer Stability system complement passive systems. They generally do not conflict or override each other. In the specific case of the 350 GLE and all Mercedes Active sway stability logic, it activates braking on the front left or right wheel when the accelerometer detects lateral yaw and then activates all four brakes if the yaw is experiencing amplitude growth.

Passive devices including all anti-sway hitches increase yaw resistance and damping to prevent yaw acceleration in the first place and raise the critical speed where amplitude growth occurs. The computer logic has no knowledge of yaw damping characteristics, and knows nothing about the trailer or its propensity to induce sway, rather it simply applies braking force in proportion to the magnitude of yaw acceleration and amplitude.

I read a bit of the threads on active vs. passive sway control and was struck by the general lack of accurate information provided. There were some nuggets in there but that's all.

Summary: Passive sway control prevents sway before it starts. Active sway control detects sway and attempts to override it with active vehicle response. They complement each other but consider this, there is wisdom in the saying an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Now as to your AS salesperson.... He needs to go back for training. Quite simply he told you wrong. Perhaps the marketing people told the sales rep "small trailers don't require sway control hitches especially when the TV is large and also has stability control because the vehicle will simply out muscle trailer sway", and that would have been accurate. But by adding some sway control to your hitch , you aren't harming anything and rather than out muscling the sway by beating up on your trailer, you have muzzled and collared the trailer so it will gently and happily track with your vehicle.

I have not seen Ford say WD is not recommended in the sense that they specifically recommend against it. I have seen where they say it is not required and they are correct. For the vehicles and weight limits specified, WD is not required to pass the SAE towing tests. However that is not the same as saying "WD will not improve towing stability". WD, properly applied to capable vehicles always improves stability.

Great questions Peter.

Since I love a good debate, if anyone wants to put forth a contrary argument, bring it!
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Old 05-22-2020, 04:12 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OTRA15 View Post

PS2 -- Janet is there any further language in your MB owner's manual, or perhaps in a separate pamphlet about the trailer towing package? Our Ford manual specifically says that WD hitches are not recommended FWIW.
I saw an ad for the newer Ford trucks that was touting their heavy duty towing capability and said weight distribution was not required. I wonder how anything on the truck can reduce the torque applied to the hitch by tongue weight. Airbags won't do it. They level the truck but the weight shifted to the rear axle by the tongue weight is still there, I think. If that results in less weight on the front tires, then it would seem that there would be less steering force.

Al
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Old 05-22-2020, 04:22 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Al and Missy View Post
I saw an ad for the newer Ford trucks that was touting their heavy duty towing capability and said weight distribution was not required. I wonder how anything on the truck can reduce the torque applied to the hitch by tongue weight. Airbags won't do it. They level the truck but the weight shifted to the rear axle by the tongue weight is still there, I think. If that results in less weight on the front tires, then it would seem that there would be less steering force.

Al
Al, I like the way you think! Their marketing borders on deception. WD is not required to pass the SAE standards but a WD and sway control hitch on a setup with their vehicle will be more stable and more pleasant to drive than without and notice the marketing folks carefully avoided making that statement. It's as if they are trying to fool the buyer into thinking their active stability measures (costing more) is somehow better than purchasing a less expensive competitor vehicle and also a hitch that they honestly should be recommending for their vehicle as well. I feels slimy, I need to go shower now.
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Old 05-22-2020, 04:30 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OTRA15 View Post

PS2 -- Janet is there any further language in your MB owner's manual, or perhaps in a separate pamphlet about the trailer towing package? Our Ford manual specifically says that WD hitches are not recommended FWIW.
I would have to read fine print to be sure but really, it's a moot point. Setting the trailer on the ball w/o weight distribution (to move around the property) makes it clear that WD is needed. The tail end of the SUV sits down a little more than is optimal.
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Old 05-22-2020, 04:47 PM   #11
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Thanks Janet, Brian and Al for your thoughtful posts.

Have a great Memorial Day Weekend!

Peter
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Old 05-22-2020, 04:51 PM   #12
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. . .
. . . clear that WD is needed. The tail end of the SUV sits down a little more than is optimal.
Not looking to debate this, but shouldn't a tow vehicle, rated to tow 7700 lbs., be able to handle a little 3,000 lb. trailer without sagging unless it has WD?

You might want to measure the as-built tongue weight, with that added spare tire and carrier IMO. Maybe over 500 lbs.? Do the MB specs cover this? [edit --yes it looks like they probably do]

Peter

Quote:
Originally Posted by Janet H View Post
. . .
2020 Mercedes 350 GLE w/ factory receiver (7700 lb max tow capacity)
. . .
1964 Globetrotter. Stock weight = 2900 lbs but actual weight is likely more . . .
. . .
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Old 05-24-2020, 11:45 AM   #13
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I was thinking about having this Gen-X set up.
Thanks for your suggestion.
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Old 05-28-2020, 05:01 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by BayouBiker View Post
Almost any good hitch will work for your situation. The redesigned 2020 GLE is a very capable tow vehicle up through 28' trailers with some anti-sway assistance. the GLE doesn't like a lot of weight redistribution just a bit to keep the SUV level-ish and the handling crisp. So go with something with forgiving flexible bars but lots of sway control. I have a Blue Ox, I like it, but don't think its your best choice. The Reese Straight-Line or if you have switched out the Marvel/Atwood coupler, consider Andersen if you can get past the owner "ick" factor. I'd stay away from Equalizer for your situation, they are so stiff and for your situation you don't need that. If you have another brand in mind, ask, I'll let you know what I think.

Thanks for the thoughtful responses. After lots of mulling I ended up with a Reese Straight-line and light-ish bars. e-trailer got more of my greenbacks.

I found it super interesting that e-trailer and other sellers don't make it easy to find the weight of the component parts.
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Old 05-28-2020, 06:50 PM   #15
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Hensley Cub... no sway, no chance of incompatibility.🤓

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Old 05-29-2020, 03:42 PM   #16
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Hensley Cub... no sway, no chance of incompatibility.🤓

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Seriously heavy....
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Old 05-29-2020, 06:49 PM   #17
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A bit...if you consider 170lb heavy.
I'm sure it wouldn't make much difference to the MB.

Plus it stays on the AS.

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