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 > Seeking Advice from Mercedes ML350 drivers

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Vince_23Bravo

Calgary

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Posted: 08/22/19 03:40pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hello RV Towers... Looking for input from other drivers whos tow vehicle is an ML350 and/or GL350

I own a 2015 ML 350 4MATIC with BlueTEC - 3.0 Ltr turbo diesel.

I've had it since new, love the SUV for many reasons; comfortable ride, fuel economy, reliability, safety, etc.

We live in Calgary, AB and plan to explore the prairies, foothills and Kananaskis... maybe Invermere/Radium ... Idaho & Montana as well.

We're looking at Travel Trailers and have found a few we like. We're now evaluating the data (GVWR, GAWR, etc)

Trailer: Coachman 245BHS
Hitch Weight: 578 lb.
GVWR: 6500 lb.
Dry Weight: 4586 lb.
Cargo Capacity: 1914 lb.

I'm finding conflicting opinions online - go figure - about what I can and cannot pull... and in some cases, have no business in pulling with an SUV

If you drive/have driven an ML 350 like mine or similar (Merc GL 350) diesel, I'm looking for your input.

Here's what we know about the ML 350

3.0L CDI 24-valve V6 BlueTEC diesel engine
240 HP and 455 lb-ft

Vehicle Weight: 4,705 lb

GVWR: 6349 lbs
AARW: 3747 lbs

Tow Capacity: 7,200# - 7,700# Braked (my owner's manual shows 7,700# weight. The dealership shows the 7,200# weight.

Hitch Capacity: 575#
Yes, my owner's manual states: Max tongue weight 1,080 lb


QUESTION: about a WDH (Weight Distribution Hitch)

The ML350 has ESP (Electronic Stability Program) Trailer Stabilisation: If the vehicle/trailer combination begins to lurch, ESP assists you in this situation. ESP slows the vehicle down by braking and limiting the engine output until the vehicle/trailer combination has stabilised.

Thus, does this eliminate the need for a Weight Distribution Hitch?


BREAKING

I do know I need to be a Brake Controller Assist. Mercedes recommends the Tekonsha 90195 P3 Electronic Brake Control


Thoughts? Experiences? Thank you for your kindess and wisdom.

carringb

Corvallis, OR

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Posted: 08/22/19 04:07pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The stock hitch receiver is rated for 575 pounds. If you can find a heavier rated receiver for your application, then I would defer to the number in the owner's manual. But the sticker on the receiver is correct for the factory hitch receiver. Which means the trailer you are asking about is already too heavy, because its tongue weight rolling down the road will exceed that number.

ESP has nothing to do with weight distribution. The ML does not require WD, so it's up to you. If the rear end squats too much, or the headlights are pointing too high, then WD would fix this issue. Ditto any "porpoising" experience. The 575# tongue weight limit should keep you from overloading the rear axle either way.


Bryan

2000 Ford E450 V10 VAN! 450,000+ miles
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Bionic Man

Colorado

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Posted: 08/22/19 06:34pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

No specific knowledge on the vehicle in question but I would encourage you to investigate if weight distribution is even allowed on that suv. Many manufacturers recommended against it.

And as suggested, I think you are getting weight distribution confused with anti sway. The feature you are referring to on the Benz has to do with limiting trailer sway.


2012 RAM 3500 Laramie Longhorn DRW CC 4x4 Max Tow, Cummins HO, 60 gallon RDS aux fuel tank, Reese 18k Elite hitch
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blt2ski

Kirkland, Wa

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Posted: 08/22/19 10:17pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I drove a sprinter with that drive train for 200+k miles. Including a couple of trailers in the mid 3000 lb range. Pulled with out issues. I always felt it could have pulled a 6-7000 lb trailer. Yeah being the engine was a 200 HP 400 lb/ft of torque motor, it pulled well.
I've had the older ML320 version. It's rated to 5000 lbs no matter if you have the small V6 like us, or the turbo 5.5l V8 motor. I believe the new ones are around the amount you state. Again, engine does not matter. Smaller motors a bit slower, less performance than larger powered motors. For me, probably a mid 20' or smaller trailer, that I would max out with gear, water etc in the 6000-6500 lb range, an mainstream or equal that is reasonably aerodynamic would be better than a box. Get something with smooth sides, vs corrugated aluminum. Yes latter is lighter, bit the siding will cause mower use because of wind drag vs the 200-400 lb heavier option with smooth fiberglass walls.
My 02 with similar rigs driven.
Marty


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neschultz

Eastern Shore of MD

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Posted: 08/23/19 04:41am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I had a 2014 ML350 and you cannot use a WDH. I think it’s due to the way Mercedes mounts the trailer hitch frame. Sold it and bought a pickup to tow the travel trailer.


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Campfire Time

Wisconsin

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Posted: 08/23/19 06:40am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The 578# hitch weight is based on about 12.5% of the dry weight. No one owns or tows a trailer at it's dry weight. The factory installed options alone add at least 500#. At GVWR and 13% tongue weight, the tongue would be 845#. WDH will not change that. If indeed your hitch is only rated for 575# then this trailer should not be towed by the Mercedes. Shame too, I think otherwise this would be a pretty capable vehicle.


Chuck D.
“Adventure is just bad planning.” - Roald Amundsen
2013 Jayco X20E Hybrid, 2008 GMC Sierra SLE1 Crew Cab Z71


Vince_23Bravo

Calgary

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Posted: 08/23/19 06:00pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I really appreciate everyone's input above. Thank you very much. Very helpful insights!

I'll come back to this thread when I solidify my plan. Really excited to get out there and trave with the family.

In the meantime, I'm going to do some backcountry camping with my 11-year-old daughter.

GDWR (Gross Daughter Weight Rating) is 93 lbs, GDWR (Gross Dad Weight Rating) is 230 lbs ;-) Haha...

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