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Old 09-22-2021, 11:02 AM   #1
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2008 25' Safari SS SE
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Thoughts about Mercedes as a tow vehicle

I've got a 25' 2008 Safari SE that I've been towing with an F-150 Ecoboost V6 for 6 years with no problems. I met a fellow who towed his 27' Airstream with a Mercedes GLE 350.

Anybody have experience or thoughts about the ability of the GLE 350 to tow my trailer? The GLE would be the AWD with factory trailer hitch.

The stated tow capacity is 7,200 pounds, which on paper is sufficient for my trailer plus its payload. But I'm wondering if anyone has actual experience doing it.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 09-22-2021, 11:36 AM   #2
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Welcome to the Forums!

The search function is your friend, but you have to add a few terms so that you don't get every thread where somebody lists their TV as a GLE in their profile.

Try searching for "mercedes gle 350 tow vehicle" and you will get a lot of hits.

Personally, I tow a 21' vintage trailer with a 2008 GL320, and really wouldn't feel very comfortable going with anything smaller.

good luck!
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Old 09-22-2021, 11:56 AM   #3
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Hi

At least according to this:

https://www.autoblog.com/buy/2020-Me..._4MATIC/specs/

Payload is 1,570 pounds. Like a lot of SUV's that's the gotcha. Weight of hitch + shank + driver + tongue weight come out of that number. Your trailer may well have a loaded / ready to camp tongue weight above 1,000 pounds. Hitch plus shank could be as much as 300 pounds if you get fancy.

Is the real door post payload 1,570 or is it something less. On pretty much every vehicle I've ever bought, it's been something less. Less by a hundred pounds or by quite a bit more? Who knows ....

Most like SUV's because they have a family. If you have a family of four, that's a bit more weight to deal with. One would guess that as the kids grow, they will get a bit bigger.

Can you hotrod this or that vehicle? Sure you can. There's quite a bit to it. Doing it on a DIY basis probably involves more than a little trial and error. Trial is ok, it's the error part that can get you in trouble There are indeed pros who do this for a living.

Lots of twists and turns. Can you is different than can you safely and should you ... I've seen folks pull 12,000 pound boat trailers with a Honda Civic. They made it to destination.

Bob
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Old 09-22-2021, 05:15 PM   #4
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OK I know it's just me but I wouldn't and we don't.

My dear wife drives a Mercedes Benz GLS 550 Biturbo V8. (me too but don't tell her,....it a Hoot to toss around)😇
I'm sure it could, but it never will, unless it's an unplanned extreme emergency.
It just doesn't have the room for the stuff we carry.

The 350 is much smaller with a lot less room than you might think once you're all packed up and loaded for camping.
It's a four-cylinder engine and no matter how Pepe it is all by itself just does not have the grunt to safely tow a 25 foot Airstream. IMHO
By the way, don't forget the short wheelbase.

TETO

Bob
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Old 09-22-2021, 06:35 PM   #5
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I tow my 31 with an 08 ML320CDI. No real issues to date. Been anywhere from PEI to California and Outer Banks. But it's a diesel. No sure how the gas version would work. Talk to Can Am RV in London Ontario as he's probably the only guy that would give you a proper answer.
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Old 09-22-2021, 07:16 PM   #6
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We thought about getting a 25, but ended up with a 23. I am glad we did not go with a 25. 2 things: the wide body on the 25 and larger which makes it hard to see around the trailer and the very heavy tongue weight of the 25, which for some reason seems to be the heaviest especially the front bed. If you are going to use a GLE/GLS to pull the trailer you will have to have the air suspension to give you the payload. I have no issues with our ML350 pulling the 23FB, but we got a diesel for the added torque and engine braking.
I get a lot of looks pulling into the campgrounds, people constantly asking how the Mercedes can pull the AS it is fun to watch their mouths when I tell them I have just as much payload as an F150.
If I were in your position I would stick with the F150 for towing the 25; there is a lot to learn when it comes to pulling the trailer with the SUV. It’s definitely different than pulling our 42 foot fifth wheel with the F450.
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Old 09-23-2021, 09:13 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 12PitchAtBat View Post
I've got a 25' 2008 Safari SE that I've been towing with an F-150 Ecoboost V6 for 6 years with no problems. I met a fellow who towed his 27' Airstream with a Mercedes GLE 350.

Anybody have experience or thoughts about the ability of the GLE 350 to tow my trailer? The GLE would be the AWD with factory trailer hitch.

The stated tow capacity is 7,200 pounds, which on paper is sufficient for my trailer plus its payload. But I'm wondering if anyone has actual experience doing it.

Thanks in advance.
I tow an AS23GT (6300 pounds)with a Mercedes GLS450. I would not tow any thing larger. Capacity of the 450 is 7700 pounds and payload 1250 with an EZ-Lift WDH.
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Old 09-23-2021, 09:25 AM   #8
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Mercedes towing an Airstream

Our 2016 GLE300d tows our 1966, 20' Globetrotter just fine. It is a diesel SUV and we have a much shorter trailer than you are considering. Personally, I think you would be better off with a longer and more powerful tow vehicle. Also, check the hitch weight with a full water tank, not just the towing weight. Ours handles differently when the tank is full - and we don't have kids in the car to add to the weight. Just my two cents worth.
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Old 09-23-2021, 09:32 AM   #9
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Not the 25'AS with the GLE 350. We also have the 4matic model, but the 25' AS is a heavy TT, with heavy tongue weight. The 4Cyl can surely pull it on flat ground, but I would not want to tow up/down/around on the highway...wasn't designed to tow a heavy TT. My son has one also, with trailer package, and he tows his Basecamp20X without an issue, but the Basecamp is not has heavy as a 25'.
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Old 09-23-2021, 09:34 AM   #10
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My concern has always been something not related to towing capacity. If it has a mechanical problem in a remote area of Texas, or Montana, or wherever, how quickly could you get it repaired compared to a Chevy/Dodge/Ford?
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Old 09-23-2021, 09:42 AM   #11
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Apparently your tow rating is 5950 lbs. if you have a new gle350. On my GL350 diesel, the tow rating is 7500 lbs. I've towed our FC 25 with it on one camping trip without issues. The prior owner of our FC trailer actually towed it with a diesel ML350 which is a lighter vehicle and without a brake controller through the mountains (LOL). So I paid Mercedes $1000 to install a controller in the GL. As you know the Airstreams have a high tongue load as well around 1000 lbs or just under. And their hitch ratings are "European" rather than American. Currently we last used our 2020 Silverado with the 6.2 litre engine to tow on a longer trip without issue and haul a generator etc. in the box as well. I tend to treat the Mercedes as a baby and don't like to over stress it with towing. Look into a base camp if you must tow an A/S trailer or a 21 footer with your Mercedes.
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Old 09-23-2021, 11:33 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBERT CROSS View Post
OK I know it's just me but I wouldn't and we don't.

My dear wife drives a Mercedes Benz GLS 550 Biturbo V8. (me too but don't tell her,....it a Hoot to toss around)😇
I'm sure it could, but it never will, unless it's an unplanned extreme emergency.
It just doesn't have the room for the stuff we carry.

The 350 is much smaller with a lot less room than you might think once you're all packed up and loaded for camping.
It's a four-cylinder engine and no matter how Pepe it is all by itself just does not have the grunt to safely tow a 25 foot Airstream. IMHO
By the way, don't forget the short wheelbase.

TETO

Bob
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I probably should've mentioned it in this post.

One of the things that we take into consideration, we do not rent.

Ownership would definitely affect on how you treat a TV/DD vehicle that you may be using only few years.

Bob
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Old 09-24-2021, 01:11 PM   #13
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More thoughtsÖ

Sorry but you obviously have the V6 diesel based on your stated tow rating. One way Iíve reduced tongue weight is to remove the spare from under the front and not to carry much propane. (Our tires are new Goodyear endurance). There is a lot of info here on the forum about tongue weights and Mercedes and the 10% of max tow weight used. It will continue to be done (towing with Mercs) and I know most donít realize our vehicles are quite heavy for their smaller size. Here is a pic for example only from the web and of my Mercedes with an aluminum rapid hitch to save weight. Ours is 26 feet from ball to bumper.
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Old 09-25-2021, 07:32 AM   #14
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Hi

Doing this and that to "fiddle" the tongue weight also impacts stability.... Any time you reduce tongue weight ( regardless of this or that magic number being met) that will be true.

Bob
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Old 09-25-2021, 07:42 AM   #15
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Quote:
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Hi

Doing this and that to "fiddle" the tongue weight also impacts stability.... Any time you reduce tongue weight ( regardless of this or that magic number being met) that will be true.

Bob
There are only a few things I like to fiddle with and towing isn't one of them.

Fiddling your load around is not the best way to get the tow vehicle into the realm of safe towing.
If you have to fiddle, maybe it's time for a more capable tow vehicle.

Did anyone notice in the above photo the very effective weight distribution that was being applied?

Bob
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Old 09-25-2021, 08:23 AM   #16
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The black TV pic. Look for the brake away cable attachment to the chain.
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Old 09-25-2021, 08:34 AM   #17
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Tongue weight

Yes I AGREE fiddling with tongue weight is prone to fiddling with stability. I had other constraints to meet … The Germans demand compliance in these areas: on the hitch is a sticker right from St. Egidien, Sachsen Germany, which shows (on my 2014 GL) wt. carrying is 7500 (ML is only 7200) and max tongue weight of 600 lbs. (ML only 576 lbs.). In addition to the conservative ratings for tongue weight, the distance from the perpendicular hitch pin to the center of the ball can only be 7.5 inches! Further, the ball can only be 2” higher or 2.75” lower than the top of the square channel receiver. Thus my use of the aluminum rapid hitch without equalizer to attempt to comply with these specs.

You can rest easy however as the good old fashioned American iron equalizer hitch is in use on our American Silverado with 6.2 for towing long distance ! (Dry 5681, gvw 7300 lbs for our Airstream). And yes the breakaway cable is properly attached to the hitch and not the chain (the other one was a quickee tow job pic)

I concur there are many who completely ignore recommended tow ratings with their TVS.
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Old 09-25-2021, 08:46 AM   #18
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[QUOTE=GCinSC2;2541023]The black TV pic. Look for the brake away cable attachment to the chain.[/QUOTE


Cheese and crackers got all muddy, you're right!!!!!!
I even blew the picture up and didn't notice that.
Plus the aluminum hitch to save what, 4 pounds?

GOOD CATCH.😲

Bob
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Old 09-25-2021, 04:22 PM   #19
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Can do

I towed my 25ft with a Porsche. I liked the set up but after a while I agreed with Donutboy or rather Lisa agreed with him; there isn't much service in the boonies and if you have a problem it could take awhile to get it fixed.

When I was buying, I looked at a 26ft trailer that the owner towed with a Mercedes. He went to the shop in Canada, CanAm if I remember correctly, and had them look at his set up. He liked it better after their tweaking.

He loved the combination.

Mike
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Old 09-25-2021, 04:37 PM   #20
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Anyone can do, it's a TETO thing. 👍
We all are free to do anything we want...until we aren't .

"The hardest thing about Airstreaming is clearing your head and accepting how others feel itís supposed to be done"
Amominus AS user.


Bob
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