TOW BALL WEIGHT QUESTION

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Mickey
C Class
Posts: 33
Joined: Mon 13 Apr, 2015 12:04 pm
Model you own: w164
Location: Sutherland Shire, NSW

TOW BALL WEIGHT QUESTION

Post by Mickey » Thu 27 Apr, 2017 12:13 pm

My ML350 CDI came with a Mercedes stamped towing pack. The towbar is of the Hayman Reese variety with the square tubular tongue that slides into the towbar. The thing I want to know is why there is a variation of the towball weight allowed for the various towing weights. The car is rated to tow 3500kg. The towbar has specifications that say from 0 to 2260kg the allowable towball weight is 226kg. This is normal. However it then says that for towing weights above 2260 and up to 3500kg the allowable towball weight is only 142kg. Can someone please explain why this is? Towbar specialists have said that this is set by Mercedes and not necessarily related to the towbar capacity itself. Is it to do with the suspension? And is there any way of rectifying this such as with weight distribution hitches, chassis strengthening , etc?

mattml430b
C Class
Posts: 44
Joined: Sun 10 Jul, 2016 6:52 am
Model you own: w163

Re: TOW BALL WEIGHT QUESTION

Post by mattml430b » Thu 27 Apr, 2017 8:51 pm

Have never heard of that. Generally the rule of thumb is anywhere between 5-10% of the gross trailer weight. What they are saying is not even 5%. A 3500kg tow bar should have a maximum of 350kg down weight.


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Mickey
C Class
Posts: 33
Joined: Mon 13 Apr, 2015 12:04 pm
Model you own: w164
Location: Sutherland Shire, NSW

Re: TOW BALL WEIGHT QUESTION

Post by Mickey » Fri 28 Apr, 2017 5:22 pm

Exactly. One would think that if the towbar is rated for 226kg at lighter weights, it would be rated the same at heavier towing weights, whether you have air suspension or steel suspension.

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Ivanerrol
Mercedes Demigod
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Joined: Sat 12 May, 2007 3:21 pm
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Location: Melbourne

Re: TOW BALL WEIGHT QUESTION

Post by Ivanerrol » Fri 28 Apr, 2017 5:37 pm

It might be EU regs.

It might be because that's what the self compensating rear suspensions can handle.

Whatever. I would stick to the Mercedes spec, because that's the one the insurance assessors and or police will stick to in the event of a mishap.
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Neo
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun 01 May, 2016 8:47 am
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Re: TOW BALL WEIGHT QUESTION

Post by Neo » Fri 28 Apr, 2017 5:55 pm

The Maximum Towball weight (that the stationary weight the trailer puts on your towball) is stated in your Merc manual. You can potentialy damage your chassis (over the cars rear axle) if you exceed that weight.

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Ivanerrol
Mercedes Demigod
Posts: 5552
Joined: Sat 12 May, 2007 3:21 pm
Model you own: w204
Location: Melbourne

Re: TOW BALL WEIGHT QUESTION

Post by Ivanerrol » Fri 28 Apr, 2017 6:32 pm

Here's the Mercedes haters take on the subject.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UTuNPuyfGSg
W211 - E240
W204 - C280
W202 - C180
W210 - E240
Departed
W202 - C200
W202 - C180 - On consignment to nephew
W126 - 380SE , 380SE (Ex SA Import), 560SEL
W124 - 300e, 260e (ex Japan)
W111 220s (Indonesia) 4 speed manual column shift
W123 230
W116 450SEL
W140 420SEL
W210 E240
W209 CLK 240
W201 190e 2.6 (ex U.K.)

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Starman
540 K
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Joined: Thu 31 Mar, 2011 11:39 am
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Re: TOW BALL WEIGHT QUESTION

Post by Starman » Fri 28 Apr, 2017 9:12 pm

He is not a Mercedes hater. He only hates any new Merc under $100k, I tend to agree.

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TroyNic
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon 28 Aug, 2017 10:24 am
Model you own: w164

Re: TOW BALL WEIGHT QUESTION

Post by TroyNic » Mon 28 Aug, 2017 12:11 pm

Mickey wrote:
Thu 27 Apr, 2017 12:13 pm
My ML350 CDI came with a Mercedes stamped towing pack. The towbar is of the Hayman Reese variety with the square tubular tongue that slides into the towbar. The thing I want to know is why there is a variation of the towball weight allowed for the various towing weights. The car is rated to tow 3500kg. The towbar has specifications that say from 0 to 2260kg the allowable towball weight is 226kg. This is normal. However it then says that for towing weights above 2260 and up to 3500kg the allowable towball weight is only 142kg. Can someone please explain why this is? Towbar specialists have said that this is set by Mercedes and not necessarily related to the towbar capacity itself. Is it to do with the suspension? And is there any way of rectifying this such as with weight distribution hitches, chassis strengthening , etc?
Hi Mickey, I've sent you a PM as I'm looking to work out similar questions with a Nov 2013 Bluetec ML350 W166 with a Hayman Reese tow hitch 02936R plated to 3500kg and 350kg towball weight. Perhaps we can share what we've each worked out as there is much discrepancy in the information MB provide from what I can determine.
My owners manual quotes different permissable towball weights than that you quote above. (140kg irrespective of model or load)

In relation your question on why the two figures - I did have an MB dealer say to me that the genuine tow hitch had to be 'inverted' above certain loads... and perhaps this explains that above a certain load the hitch can take a really high 'pulling' force, but not a 'downward' force? Odd, yes. Does your manual talk about inverting the hitch like this??
Troy

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TroyNic
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon 28 Aug, 2017 10:24 am
Model you own: w164

Re: TOW BALL WEIGHT QUESTION

Post by TroyNic » Tue 29 Aug, 2017 11:30 am

I resolved my query with Mercedes Australia today. The details are contained on the Caravaners Forum at this post.

Included here for benefit of this post trail.

Good Luck Mickey and others with your vehicle query,
Troy

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