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'07 R320
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone,
I am a new R320 owner here. We just got a 2007 Diesel model. It has 64k miles, P2 package + lots of more options. :D

I am wondering if anyone here is towing a travel trailer with their R. I have always towed small utility trailers with my cars. The car which was replaced by this R was a ’98 e320 wagon. Never had any issues towing with it. This car, being a diesel has a lot of torque...useful for towing.

We won’t be travelling a lot with this rig, maybe only a few times a year and that too not too far away from home. I do worry about the longevity of the engine and transmission. I guess a transmission oil cooler would be a nice add-on, right?

I have my eyes on a lightweight travel trailer like the ones from Casita or Scamp which weigh less than the 3500lbs tow rating of our R.

For example the Casita 16’ or even 17’ would be less than 2500lbs
Casita Travel Trailers - Our Showroom | The Patriot, Spirit Deluxe, Freedom Deluxe, Liberty Deluxe | Call 800-442-9986

The Scamp 16’ is even lighter at 1750lbs
Scamp Travel Trailers: 16 Foot Specifications

If someone here is towing a travel trailer with their R can they please advise me and/or share their experiences?
 

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'08 MY R320 CDi LWB, '86 Pontiac Fiero SE 2M6, '10 Ford Fiesta 1.25 82 PS Zetec for city driving
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I tow a 2900 lb travel trailer (in the UK) with my R320L. In Europe, we are required to have a homolgated tow bar that affixes to the car manufacturer's chassis fixings. Mine cost £600 installed, and has a detachable ball and hide-away electrics. It isn't integrated into the ESP - you need a MB bar and electrics for that at £1000 plus.

I can do 0-60 mph in about 12 seconds with the trailer on the back, if I ever want to. But driven sensibly, the R Class is great at towing my travel trailer - gives about 21 mpUKg at 60mph towing speed.
 

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'07 R320
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
thanks! Got a photo?

Thanks a ton for replying to my post here! :D

After seeing no responses for a good week I was pretty sad :crybaby2: I thought I would be the only one with a travel trailer hitched to the R…ha ha. I always was self-conscious putting the ugly utility trailer on my e320 wagon! But the travel trailer surely will look good :)


The electrics on my e320 were an after-market box which I spliced into the rear tail lights’ wires. It simply connected to the battery and only used the spliced connections for signal [no current was drawn] hence the Mercedes computer never complained!

And hey, I am surprised that you get 21 mpg even while towing! I get 20 [taken off the carputer] in regular city driving.

One question…any chance you have a picture of your R hitched to the trailer? A picture will surely get my family convinced.

Thanks again!
Any others out there towing a travel trailer / RV ?
 

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'08 MY R320 CDi LWB, '86 Pontiac Fiero SE 2M6, '10 Ford Fiesta 1.25 82 PS Zetec for city driving
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53 Posts
The R has an electrical distribution centre in the spare wheel well, RH side, low down. if you fit a proprietary relay unit inside the right hand tail light cavity, you can power it up direct from the bus-bar stud, which is long enough to take a ring terminal, washer and extra nut. You will need to run a cross cable to pick up the LH turn signal, otherwise all the cables you need to connect to are in the RH tail light cavity.

BTW - the UK gallon is 160 fl oz, whereas the US gallon is 128. I get 31 to 32 on a freeway run cruising at 80 mph, 27 to 28 on short trips and 23 around town. I tend to flick the drive to neutral in traffic hold-ups, at lights, etc, it helps a lot around town.

I'll post photos (in the next few days) of my tow ball installed and with everything hidden. I do not currently have a hitched up photograph.

Here is my towbar: -

http://www.tow-trust.co.uk/assets/uploads/pdfs/fitting_instructions/TM4VK.pdf
 

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06 R360, 06 F350 6.0, 04 CayenneS, 96 911TT 500HP, 86 928S, 74 911S, 73 914-4, 70 914-6, 02 Durrango
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Yea take some pictures!
 

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'08 MY R320 CDi LWB, '86 Pontiac Fiero SE 2M6, '10 Ford Fiesta 1.25 82 PS Zetec for city driving
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Pictures at last! Link:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/mayorofnewark/

All connected and ready to leave the secure storage facility. Also some shots to show the tow ball fitted and the rear end with it detached. My trailer sleeps 2 in comfort, has hot/cold running water, warm air heating, a shower, a cooker and a refrigerator. Fully laden at 1325 kilos, the R320 makes light work of it.
 

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06 R360, 06 F350 6.0, 04 CayenneS, 96 911TT 500HP, 86 928S, 74 911S, 73 914-4, 70 914-6, 02 Durrango
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Pictures at last! Link:

Flickr: mayorofnewark's Photostream

All connected and ready to leave the secure storage facility. Also some shots to show the tow ball fitted and the rear end with it detached. My trailer sleeps 2 in comfort, has hot/cold running water, warm air heating, a shower, a cooker and a refrigerator. Fully laden at 1325 kilos, the R320 makes light work of it.
What are the specs/options you have on your car?

1,325 kilos = 2,921lbs :thumbsup: Nice!!!! What is the trailer weigh on its own? I see that you previously said it was 2,900lbs.
 

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'08 MY R320 CDi LWB, '86 Pontiac Fiero SE 2M6, '10 Ford Fiesta 1.25 82 PS Zetec for city driving
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The all-up loaded weight allowed is 1325 kg. This is limited by the trailer's chassis. I used to tow with a B200 CDI, so bought a light trailer. The empty weight is 1215 kg, so the payload is 110 kg. I don't tow with water on board.

FWIW, given that the R320CDI can haul 2250 kg using the MB tow bar, or a homolgated one like mine, it might be able to shift a small Airstream. I could certainly shift a much bigger trailer but have no need to, as there are only two of us.

PS. I forgot to list the flushing WC amongst the equipment in my travel trailer.
 

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'08 MY R320 CDi LWB, '86 Pontiac Fiero SE 2M6, '10 Ford Fiesta 1.25 82 PS Zetec for city driving
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What are the specs/options you have on your car?

It is pretty much a standard ‘S’ variant, sold in the UK in late ’07 and early ’08. The standard spec includes the 7th seat, the AMG body kit, the 19 inch alloys, metallic paint and self-leveling air suspension on the rear. It has European halogen lights that I’ve upgraded with brighter bulbs, although I believe our light units are already superior to those permitted in the Americas.

Instead of Alcatara upholstery, it has black Artico throughout, except that the seats have black/silver woven cloth panels giving the interior a much more European look. In fact, it took me a while to find one with this trim which I bought because nothing ever came up for sale with black leather (inside my budget). No satnav, no DVDs, merely the ’20’ model radio/CD and an iPod interface that works through the steering wheel buttons.

Apart from the above, I have rubber mats for the winter, carpet mats for the summer and a rigid trunk liner.

I'll post some interior photos later.
 

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'07 R320
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148 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
food for thought

I found a handy online calculator:
Fuel Consumption Calculator

So your cars' 21 UK mpg = 17.48 US MPG

Is that 21 UK mpg on a highway?

I ask because we just came back from a 1700 mile trip and the car's computer says 23.8 US mpg [28.58 UK mpg] for that trip. Not bad....I was expecting 24 mpg.

If the number you mentioned is mpg on highway...that means towing the trailer may shave off around 6 US mpg.


But driven sensibly, the R Class is great at towing my travel trailer - gives about 21 mpUKg at 60mph towing speed.
 

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'07 R320
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
thanks!

Pictures at last! Link:

Flickr: mayorofnewark's Photostream

All connected and ready to leave the secure storage facility. Also some shots to show the tow ball fitted and the rear end with it detached. My trailer sleeps 2 in comfort, has hot/cold running water, warm air heating, a shower, a cooker and a refrigerator. Fully laden at 1325 kilos, the R320 makes light work of it.
Thanks a lot for the pics! I will show them to my wife.
Very nice photos...the trailer is actually larger than what I was thinking the R can tow. It looks very smart too. Much smarter than most travel trailers / RVs we see here in US.

It sleeps only 2? Looks pretty big.

Do you know what is the tongue weight of the trailer?

FWIW, given that the R320CDI can haul 2250 kg using the MB tow bar, or a homolgated one like mine, it might be able to shift a small Airstream.

Wow!!! Is the euro spec R class rated for that much?:eek:
2250 kilogram = 4960.4 pounds!!

Here in US, they are rated only to tow 3500 lbs [1587 kg]

I wonder if the euro spec R's engine / chasis different? :confused:
 

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'08 MY R320 CDi LWB, '86 Pontiac Fiero SE 2M6, '10 Ford Fiesta 1.25 82 PS Zetec for city driving
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53 Posts
I found a handy online calculator:
Fuel Consumption Calculator

So your cars' 21 UK mpg = 17.48 US MPG

Is that 21 UK mpg on a highway?

I ask because we just came back from a 1700 mile trip and the car's computer says 23.8 US mpg [28.58 UK mpg] for that trip. Not bad....I was expecting 24 mpg.

If the number you mentioned is mpg on highway...that means towing the trailer may shave off around 6 US mpg.
21 MPUKG is towing on busy, often hilly, backroads with frequent start/stops but reaching 60 mph when I can. If I towed long haul on our motorways (= Interstates) at 60 mph, I'd expect to get 2 or 3 mpg more.

On long motorway runs without the trailer, I get anything up to 31.5 mpg door to door, cruising at 80 mph. I'm running on Mercedes rated Bridgestone Potenza ER30 MO tyres that I think are more fuel efficient than Pirelli Rossos.
 

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'08 MY R320 CDi LWB, '86 Pontiac Fiero SE 2M6, '10 Ford Fiesta 1.25 82 PS Zetec for city driving
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Do you know what is the tongue weight of the trailer?

70 kg, and the R320/homolgated tow-bar arrangement is rated to take up to 80 kg.

Wow!!! Is the euro spec R class rated for that much?
2250 kilogram = 4960.4 pounds!!

Here in US, they are rated only to tow 3500 lbs [1587 kg]


In UK, I am only allowed to tow 2000 kg with a passenger car, even though the R320 is rated to tow 2250 kg using a homolgated tow-bar. It is the law. I would need commercial vehicle to tow heavier - say a panel van or a full-size truck. Perhaps your rating is the legal limit?

I wonder if the euro spec R's engine / chasis different?

Unlikely - looking at someone's photos of fitting a tow-bar to a R Class, you don't appear to use homolgated bars. Maybe seek advice from MB?
 

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'07 R320
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148 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
some questions

So I and the family went to a couple of RV dealers over this weekend. Both tried to sell me the pop-up campers first. We looked but my wife really wants a proper bathroom. She hates campground potties!

Both dealers insisted that our R class cannot tow travel trailers since they are too heavy. They both said one should keep at least a 1000lbs buffer between the max tow rating and the unladen [dry] weight of the trailer. That leaves us with [only] 2500 lbs.

But we looked at smallest campers they had anyway. The first dealer had a nice small one weighing 2750 lbs and she strongly discouraged us against it, quoting weight as the issue. The second one had two trailers; one was 2080 lbs and a 18 footer [which my wife liked] weighing 2380 lbs. This one would be just fine for us and the R.

The strange thing is … the decal on the trailer said 2380lbs; but if I go to the manufacturer’s website
the unloaded weight is 2725lbs! [model 186 on page 4]

There is however a problem, my wife always keeps referring back to your trailer photos, saying how much smarter your trailer looks !

Few questions:
  1. What make / model is yours?
  2. Does it have brakes?
  3. Did you have to add a brake controller to your R?
  4. How much is the hitch weight for your trailer?
  5. Does your R have airmatic?
I am worried about the rear end of the car sinking down excessively.

Interestingly, you mention that the the max hitch weight is 85 kg which is [only] 187.4 lbs. Here they rate it to 350lbs! That is quite a lot of difference.

How come the tow rating is higher there [4630 lbs, here it is 3500 lbs] but the hitch weight is actually lower 187lbs there vs 350lbs here! :confused::confused:
 
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