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Old 11-01-2013, 02:11 PM   #661
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Thinking one of the problems is when we use the it's only for a night or two. Not sure if the charger on the camper is having enough time to even recharge the batteries. Just looking into options. Taking it hunting in 2 weekends and really need batteries. We are boon docking at deer camp.
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Old 11-02-2013, 05:41 AM   #662
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The converter should fully charge the house batteries in a day when hooked to shore power- just the same as charging a lawn mower/boat/motorcycle/car battery. Also, the batteries should be deep cycle marine type batteries, like a boat, that can be recharged over and over again.
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Old 11-02-2013, 09:13 PM   #663
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They were brand new 12 months ago. They are deep cycle batteries. So after reading post I noticed the electric tongue jack could draw power from the batteries. Should I place a disconnect on it. Or maybe is it possible the onboard charge quit working?
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Old 11-03-2013, 06:10 AM   #664
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The jack wouldn't draw unless you use it.
I am able to still use the house lights occasionally for weeks unplugged.
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Old 11-25-2013, 08:01 AM   #665
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Got my GL configured for the bunkhouse. The torque has me surprised, tows nice. Little tricky getting hitched up with the Airmatic suspension but really a nice smooth ride.

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Old 11-25-2013, 06:30 PM   #666
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Good lookin' rig!
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Old 11-25-2013, 06:39 PM   #667
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Indeed. Looks great, all in silver.
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Old 11-25-2013, 07:04 PM   #668
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Indeed, an excellent choice. Of course, I could be a tad biased. I've been happily towing with the same combination since 2009.
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Old 11-25-2013, 08:25 PM   #669
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The 350 GL is on my short shortlist for the next vehicle purchase. The diesel engine is fantastic, perfect for towing, and the interior space great for families.

Up here in Canada diesel is cheaper than gas, so the economics make perfect sense.
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Old 11-25-2013, 08:44 PM   #670
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This falls under the case of "If I knew then what I know now", but we have put in an order for a 2014 GL 350 BlueTec. Ordered a month ago for an April delivery. Apparently these things are quite popular. I took an ML for a test drive. Same motor, a little lighter, massive torque. The 7 speed transmission and a cruising RPM of around 1800, which is right in the max torque band should make pulling our 28' Serenity over the mountains effortless.

I was totally surprised when I found out that the "Little SUV", as labelled here on the Forums has more torque, bigger brakes, fully independent suspension, 21" low profile tires, seats 7 and can carry 300 lbs more payload while only weighing about 100 lbs less than my 4x4 Tundra. It is also 2' shorter and has a much less overhang which should greatly improve maneuverability, turning radius, while still minimizing any sway from passing vehicles. I can only speculate about fuel economy based on my research, but I anticipate great improvements.

This truck, (it's solidly built like a truck) will be our one vehicle once the wife retires, so it will do everything we need it to. I am very excited and can't wait for our first rip with this tow vehicle. She doesn't want to drive the Tundra, but this will be something she can get behind the wheel of.
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Old 11-26-2013, 04:18 AM   #671
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My curiosity was sparked about the Mercedes GL Blue Tec- until I visited Mercedes website and saw that it was $63,000!
It is a great vehicle, but I can't afford one.
For me, a tow vehicle that my wife will drive ain't gonna happen.
In 2-3 years from now we will get a Honda Odyssey van- maybe we"ll tow with it, maybe we won't- Can-Am is a bit far away for us...
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Old 11-26-2013, 05:45 AM   #672
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The Dodge Durango is built using the same platform as the MB GL series. You won't get the awesome BlueTec engine, but otherwise the cars are very similar - the NYT review called the Dodge the poor man's Mercedes and gave it top marks.

Worth looking into, especially if diesel doesn't matter to you.
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Old 11-26-2013, 09:02 AM   #673
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Many said on the forum that my car could do the job with our new trailer. In October of 2012, I drove to CanAm from Phoenix to get the hitch stiffened on my 2007 ML 320 CDI diesel before checking the scale numbers.

Before buying the Mercedes GL or ML, take a test drive across the CAT scales and compare the "actual" axle weights versus the door ratings. Weigh it without anyone in it and then with the driver and front seat passenger in the vehicle.

I was shocked at the very low weight differential on the front axle. There was less than 150 pounds available with just me in the car. There seemed to be adequate weight capacity on the rear axle, but the 1,200 pound tongue weight of our camping ready 2012 25FB International Serenity (and even with the adjustments to the Hensley hitch per CanAm), the front axle was overloaded and the GVW was exceeded.

The engine and transmission groaned under the load of towing the camping ready trailer to the scales on basically level roads in the Phoenix area to get the bad weight news.

YMMV
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Old 11-26-2013, 10:00 AM   #674
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what are payload specs on that GL blue tec? listed towing capacity?
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Old 11-26-2013, 10:04 AM   #675
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just read your comment switz.....did not see it before I posted.....
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Old 11-26-2013, 11:36 AM   #676
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From the Mercedes Canada website and the Toyota Canada and after some Kg to lbs conversions:

Tundra GL 350
Torque 401 lb-ft (3600 rpm) 455 lb-ft (1600-2400 rpm)
GVWR. 7099 lbs 7165 lbs
Payload 1410 lbs 1752 lbs
Tow Rating 9800 lbs 7500 lbs
Curb weight 5975 lbs* 5412 lbs (I will update this after we take possession of the GL)

* Actual scale weight with tow mirrors, running boards, bed liner, tonneau cover, me and a tank of gas. Which only left about 1125 lbs for tongue weight, wife, 2 kids under 10 and a BBQ with 2 bicycles in the bed. (We have scales that are en-route to any camping destination we seek, so I routinely stop for the 2 mins it takes to check our loading). I will undoubtedly spend lots of time at the scales with the GL to maximize weight transfer and loading to get as close to perfect balanced rig as I can without exceeding GAWR, (a concern that switz brings up).

A couple of reasons for the switch to the GL, we routinely weigh in at 100-200 lbs over the GVWR on the truck so a more payload is desirable. It doesn't really matter which direction I travel, I'm in the mountains for two days so the extra torque is welcome to climb the hills. I found the truck would downshift to 4th or 3rd to climb the hills even at less than posted speeds, I'm hoping with the max torque being available at cruising rpm in the GL, I shouldn't feel my engine screaming to climb hills. 7 passenger seating for the eventuality of the kids wanting to bring friends on trips, or just carpooling for school field trips. A much smoother ride in a more car like environment for daily driving, and while towing for that matter. Greatly increased fuel economy when not towing, and I hope increased fuel economy while towing. (Time and my right foot will tell on that). The big one, the wife hates driving the Tundra. She feels it is too big and difficult to drive. Happy wife, happy life.
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Old 11-26-2013, 11:41 AM   #677
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I hope my numbers are easily understandable. I tried to organize them into columns while drafting the post, but it looks a bit off once posted. Sorry.
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Old 11-26-2013, 01:24 PM   #678
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Quote:
Originally Posted by switz View Post

The engine and transmission groaned under the load of towing the camping ready trailer to the scales on basically level roads in the Phoenix area to get the bad weight news.

YMMV
Given the low horse power requirements of towing on the flat and level - I've repeatedly measured hp at the wheel while towing and have never exceeded 65hp on the level - I am somewhat surprised by that. I just can't understand how that would be possible.

Having said that, I've never driven a 2007 320, so unlike yourself have no first hand experience of that vehicle.
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Old 11-27-2013, 02:26 AM   #679
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Hi Stoker

In Europe where there is no weight distribution the Gross Rear Axle Rating is increased 500 pounds when towing if the speed does not exceed 100 KPH. The GL suspension components are very robust. Certainly beefier than many other vehicles with the same ratings. Of coarse they drive these things solo in Europe at 100 mph or more which is much harder on the vehicle than towing a 60.

I do have a concern about the hitch receiver in your applicaiton. The 28 has a pretty high hitch weight. Which weight distribution system are you using as some put considerably more strain on the receiver than others.

This is a picture of the weak point, they have strengthened the hitch since the earlier ones which fell off quite regularly but I would keep an eye on it. You will see the receiver start to twist up at the back end before it breaks so there are some warning signs. Good news is they never break at highway speed always as low speeds going through a dip or up into a gas station.


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Old 11-27-2013, 04:07 PM   #680
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Andrew

Thanks for posting, I was going to contact you anyway about some concerns you have for this vehicle based on previous hitch issues they have had.

I have a Reese Dual-Cam currently. I like it for its simplicity. I am open to other suggestions. I am planning a trip from BC to Ontario next summer to visit family and maybe hit Jackson Centre on the way back as it will be near the end of my 2 year warranty on the trailer. I was hoping to stop by your shop and see about getting my set-up "tuned" by your staff.

I'm not a big fan of the extra foot of overhang the current hitch ball carrier arrangement adds to the rig. I understand you do custom welded ball carriers which are significantly shorter than the adjustable one from Reese. Maybe at that time some hitch re-enforcement can be done on the GL, and/or a better WD system installed based on your experience with both TV and trailer.

I will be traveling east alone, straight highway and few stops. The wife and kids will fly in once we figure out time off from work/school so we can focus our time on the return trip and make the most of the limited time off for the wife.

With that said, do you feel I will have any issues towing my trailer the 5000 kms (ish) to you with the Reese and the un-altered GL hitch?

Sorry to the OP of this thread for the hi-jack. Maybe it would be better for Andrew to PM me, unless you think others may be interested in your answer.

Thanks

Stephen
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