Tow Question

Discussion in 'First Time & New Camper Owners' started by chrispt, Apr 16, 2019.

  1. chrispt

    chrispt Member

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    So, we are in the process of buying a 2007 Fleetwood Highlander Niagara like this one. We don't yet have a tow vehicle but have been looking around. We've been aiming for at least 5000 lbs of tow capacity, and came across a 2007 Mercedes-Benz M-Class ML 320 CDI with 4MATIC. According to the Camping World calculator this should be able to tow 5000 lbs. I checked on how much to get the hitch installed at Uhaul and it mentioned that the hitch it would use would be a Class 3 with Max weight: 3,500 lbs., Max distribution weight: 4,000 lbs.

    Given that the gross weight of this trailer is 3970 lbs, will this be an issue? This is our first popup and we haven't bough the tow vehicle yet, but just want to make sure we choose wisely.
     
  2. Eric Webber

    Eric Webber Active Member

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    As a tow vehicle it will be fantastic but not with an under-Rated hitch.

    Mercedes must offer their own hitch and often will have things like that at reasonable prices. Volvo gave me mine for my Xc90 for next to nothing and I have the price of mind knowing that I haven’t lowered the vehicle’s capabilities. Plus it looks like it was designed for the car - because it was
     
  3. chrispt

    chrispt Member

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    So, if it doesn't already have it it would be best to check with a Mercedes dealer around here to see how much for them to install?
     
  4. Eric Webber

    Eric Webber Active Member

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    And you can also ask them if they have access to a used hitch. Maybe you could get away with only paying labor
     
  5. Shaman1

    Shaman1 Well-Known Member

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    I think they gave you bad numbers. Most Class II hitches will max out at 3500 lbs, Class III at 8000
     
  6. chrispt

    chrispt Member

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    I called a hitch installer in my area who does Curt hitches. He mentioned that the model they sold was only rated for 3500 lbs. I guess my only alternative will be direct to the dealer. We haven't made any final decisions on the vehicle yet, so I guess that's good.
     
  7. Shaman1

    Shaman1 Well-Known Member

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    I checked several sites and Class III hitches that fit an M class Mercedes are all rated at 3500 lbs.
     
  8. jmkay1

    jmkay1 2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah

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    You also have to check to see if the vehicle is tow ready or not. A dealer can help you identify if it is or not usually by just providing the VIN number. According to my manual if my 4 runner was NOT tow ready I could only tow 3500, but if it was tow ready I could tow up to 5000. So you really have to read the manual and talk with the dealer. You will also have to go by payload in addition to the tow rating. Sadly with many vehicles the payload did not include your passengers or gear so that would have to be taken into consideration first.
     
  9. Eric Webber

    Eric Webber Active Member

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    I’d call the Mercedes dealer. Everything else we can find is by Curt, Reese, Hidden hitch, etc and is a generic fit.

    If the user manual says 5k lbs, there is a way to get there.
     
  10. chrispt

    chrispt Member

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    On hold with them now! I don't regret choosing the camper first and then finding a car that can tow it second :) Everyone is very helpful thanks!
     
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  11. Anthony Hitchings

    Anthony Hitchings Active Member

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    its not just the itch and electric plug-in - a tow package may include an upgraded cooling system (for tranny fluid) and a bigger radiator
     
  12. chrispt

    chrispt Member

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    So my local Mercedes dealer told me that parts alone would be $2K, and she did see one of the parts being a cooler. The one thing she couldn't tell me was what tow capacity it would be rated for.
     
  13. nhlakes

    nhlakes Well-Known Member

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    I would stay as far away from a Mercedes dealers as possible unless your prepared to pay the Mercedes tax. If you have never owned a Mercedes, think hard about maintenance cost, especially if the vehicle has close to a 100K miles. I had an SLK once. Put close to a 100K on it. It was a great/fun car, but as the miles ran up parts and maintenance got to be crazy expensive. It was OK when I just needed oil changes, tires, etc., since my mechanic worked on them, but they can be expensive to run. By the time I had 100K on it my early-onset-mid-life crisis was apparently over, so I sold it and bought a Subaru. ;)
     
  14. chrispt

    chrispt Member

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    Yeah, you don't have to tell me twice!

    So, I did have one other question. We went by a Camping World just to look at what was out there and the salesperson told us to plan on the weight of the trailer plus 2000 lbs to find an appropriate vehicle. Was it likely she was talking about dry weight or gross? My guess is dry.
     
  15. Eric Webber

    Eric Webber Active Member

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  16. Eric Webber

    Eric Webber Active Member

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    For sure dry. Nothing to add to gross, since that’s the upper allowable limit
     
  17. chrispt

    chrispt Member

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    You guys rock. I am trying to convince my wife to stay away from MB. Thank goodness for Consumer Reports. Her latest is a 2009 MB and I found this:
    upload_2019-4-16_15-56-59.png
     
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  18. Eric Webber

    Eric Webber Active Member

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    Volvo XC90. Trust me. Wife will love it and so will you
     
  19. chrispt

    chrispt Member

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    Any year in particular you'd recommend? It is interesting to see how the tow capacities jump around.
     
  20. Eric Webber

    Eric Webber Active Member

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    I’d avoid the 2.5T engine. The tranny was garage. The other ones are awesome. I have a 2007 v8 and it’s an absolute tank. Smooth and luxurious yet tows like the PUP isn’t there
     

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