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Old 04-23-2016, 09:13 PM   #1
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GL 450 Pulling Surveyor 247BHDS??

Advice needed. Interested in buying the Surveyor 247bhds and pulling it with my Mercedes GL450. Anyone done this? Yay or Nay? We are getting mixed advice on what's safe. Very honest dealer, no commission, stated not to go above 21 in length due to our small wheel base. Another said we could go up to 24 safely. He said 24 would be our maximum and that it would be safe with the proper hitch. Safety is our top concern and we don't want to experience sway. The weight and tongue weight all fall within Mercedes guidelines. I have read that Mercedes inflated these numbers and that the recommendations are lower. Any Advice or Experience towing with this vehicle? Thanks!!!
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Old 04-23-2016, 09:29 PM   #2
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I would not tow with it just because of the suspension.
Tires would be a second issue P VS LT.
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Old 04-24-2016, 12:00 AM   #3
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This guy pulls a 30ft airstream with his 320 Bluetec. Video below.

With the proper WD hitch and anti sway you can pull a decent trailer but watch the weight limits and I would think 24 or less overall. Your wheelbase is 124 inches so not to bad for the size truck.

http://youtu.be/Hmg3A5l9s0M
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Old 04-24-2016, 01:16 AM   #4
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Using an Airstream for comparison to a regular flat front non-aerodynamic TT, isn't an accurate comparison.

Plus Airstreams have much lighter hitch weights than conventional TTs.

Airstreams have less air resistance, lighter overall weight and lighter hitch weights, for the length.
So they are easier for vehicles like the GL to tow.
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Old 04-24-2016, 12:40 PM   #5
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Check your numbers

I suspect you'll be over you hitch tongue weight and over the GL payload...
That Surveyor model has a dry hitch weight of 581#. Add the weight of battery, propane and WD/sway system and whatever you load in both TT front trunk and GL's trunk and you'll be way over 800# before you even know it.

As for the length, the 247 has a total length of 29.4', so sway will be there unless you use a ProPride or Hensley hitch.

There are safe ways to do this but it will take time to figure out how to pack the TT and the driving experience will be a concern each time. I should know as a tow a Wildwood 264bhxl with an ML... It works for me but I know exactly what I have and what it is capable (or not) of doing.

Good luck and be safe!
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Old 04-24-2016, 01:15 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobBaron View Post
I suspect you'll be over you hitch tongue weight and over the GL payload...
That Surveyor model has a dry hitch weight of 581#. Add the weight of battery, propane and WD/sway system and whatever you load in both TT front trunk and GL's trunk and you'll be way over 800# before you even know it.

As for the length, the 247 has a total length of 29.4', so sway will be there unless you use a ProPride or Hensley hitch.

There are safe ways to do this but it will take time to figure out how to pack the TT and the driving experience will be a concern each time. I should know as a tow a Wildwood 264bhxl with an ML... It works for me but I know exactly what I have and what it is capable (or not) of doing.

Good luck and be safe!
Full propane is included in the published hitch weight since 2007.
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Old 04-24-2016, 02:55 PM   #7
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DO NOT Tow TT's with the Mercedes GL450

UPDATE and bad news if you are planning on pulling with a Mercedes GL450 (or similar Mercedes). A Mercedes Benz GL450 (and other GL models) use a self-leveling suspension that employs airbags and cannot be disabled. Any WDH hitch will cause a failure in that system and it's about $3,000 to repair. I did it. I paid it. Here's my experience.

This is an update to my experiences pulling 6000# Kodiac 242resl Travel Trailer with my 2010 MB GL450. The Andersen WDH I used performed flawless and I am still a recommender. It's Mercedes Benz that is sneaky and dishonest and for that I got to pay $2,800 in repairs to air suspension when their auto level suspension failed ($1,400 was the discounted repair for each airbag).

I didn't decide to tow with that car on a whim. I researched the MB forums and RV forums (including the Airstream forum, apparently a lot of MB owners like Airstream). In the beginning I also spoke to MB engineers and researched and understood the MB tow capabilities, the message was tow under the 7200# GVWR and keep the hitch weight no more than 600# (the particular Kodiak rear entertainment came with a very light tongue weight).

Lastly, I was made aware that MB is a European mfg and they don't offer different values when using a WDH. No problem, I stayed under those values and did multiple CAT weighs along the way. I used the Andersen primarily for anti-sway and it was great. So what went wrong?

I now know that the MB self-level suspension uses front airbags that monitor level and attempt to adjust on the fly. That system cannot be disabled. A WDH (like the Andersen and others) by design attempts to leverage weight back to the front axle and the Andersen did as it was supposed to, but unfortunately that overstressed the MB system which in effect, fought against the WDH.

From 2012 to 2015, the GL450 towing the Kodiak was a very pleasant experience. Sometimes, I felt like I hardly knew it was back there. As with many new retirees, when I retired in 2015 we decided to upgrade to fifth wheel and so after towing about 15,000 miles with the MB GL450, we stepped up and bought a 3/4ton truck and a 5th wheel (but we kept our beautiful GL450).

About 6 mo. later, the MB GL450 right airbag failed, 3 mo. after that the left bag failed. I am convinced, that though it was a very comfortable tow, it wasn't a good idea. MB should have been more explicit, if not in their ads, perhaps when I discussed my plans with their customer service engineering group BEFORE we bought the trailer!
It's behind me now. I still have the car and the airbags, brakes, differential and transmission have all been serviced and inspected. I am keeping the car cause it's a great SUV, just not a good TV.
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Old 04-24-2016, 03:16 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by llporter View Post
Advice needed. Interested in buying the Surveyor 247bhds and pulling it with my Mercedes GL450. Anyone done this? Yay or Nay? We are getting mixed advice on what's safe. Very honest dealer, no commission, stated not to go above 21 in length due to our small wheel base. Another said we could go up to 24 safely. He said 24 would be our maximum and that it would be safe with the proper hitch. Safety is our top concern and we don't want to experience sway. The weight and tongue weight all fall within Mercedes guidelines. I have read that Mercedes inflated these numbers and that the recommendations are lower. Any Advice or Experience towing with this vehicle? Thanks!!!
We purchased a 2016 FR 25 Xlite rear lounge with slide. We tow with our 2009 GL 450 with a 10K Blue Ox hitch with sway control. We use the Prodigy RF break controller. We had to switch fuses in our rear fuse panel to get power to the center contact on the 7 pin receiver. Our TT weighs 5500 (base). The GL tow capacity is 7500.
We have completed two short trips with no problems
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Old 04-24-2016, 04:22 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arnie View Post
We purchased a 2016 FR 25 Xlite rear lounge with slide. We tow with our 2009 GL 450 with a 10K Blue Ox hitch with sway control. We use the Prodigy RF break controller. We had to switch fuses in our rear fuse panel to get power to the center contact on the 7 pin receiver. Our TT weighs 5500 (base). The GL tow capacity is 7500.
We have completed two short trips with no problems
You are over the 600# hitch weight that is stamped on the receiver hitch of your 2009 GL450. Suggest you do a CAT weighing to confirm.

Its unclear how many miles you've towed yet, so just be aware of the likely hood that your auto-level suspension will fail. It took 12,000 miles towing before mine did. Others on the MB owners forum also now report failures of those airbags.

I really enjoyed the tow experience with my GL and if the repair costs are no big deal for you, good luck and happy camping. (I really hate to be the bearer of bad news, so just consider this just one users experience).
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Old 04-24-2016, 04:25 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DocGTO View Post
This guy pulls a 30ft airstream with his 320 Bluetec. Video below.

With the proper WD hitch and anti sway you can pull a decent trailer but watch the weight limits and I would think 24 or less overall. Your wheelbase is 124 inches so not to bad for the size truck.

http://youtu.be/Hmg3A5l9s0M
The Airstream GL crowd usually take their vehicles to a Canadian outfit that does a hitch weld modification to increase the MB published capacity (600#). In years prior to 2008 there were multiple reports of cracked hitch receivers. MB did address this in late 2009 and they changed hitch manufacturers. However, 600# remains as the capacity that on a sticker on the receiver itself.
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