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2002 ML500
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Does anyone know the difference between the European ML that is rated to tow 7,500 lbs. and the US version ML500 (mine) that is rated for 5000 lbs. Just bought a boat that will weigh in at 6000 lbs fully loaded and was wondering if there is anything I could do to get the Ml to pull another 1000 lbs. Thanks for your help.
 

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'00 ML320 Elegance
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Rhodry - 3/21/2004 11:26 AM

Does anyone know the difference between the European ML that is rated to tow 7,500 lbs. and the US version ML500 (mine) that is rated for 5000 lbs. Just bought a boat that will weigh in at 6000 lbs fully loaded and was wondering if there is anything I could do to get the Ml to pull another 1000 lbs. Thanks for your help.
The difference is that the European hitch is different than the N.American hitch. There are different tongue weight limits, and the 7500lbs limit is only applicable to certain motorway speeds in Europe.

You can tow up to 5500lbs, but I would not go over that as you may damage the frame crossmember.
 

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'02 ML 270 CDI
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Drew - 3/22/2004 9:01 PM
The difference is that the European hitch is different than the N.American hitch. There are different tongue weight limits, and the 7500lbs limit is only applicable to certain motorway speeds in Europe.
Actually, there is no set speed limit for towing in Europe: this is regulated per country.

In a number of countries (e.g.: Germany, Netherlands) there is a speed limit of 80km/h when towing anything heavier than 500kg.

In other countries, there is no speed limit for when towing, but there may be limits on specific roads, or in certain conditions. On the 'Route du Soleil' in France, there are a lot of hilly regions where trailers are limited to 80km/h downhill. In the Rhône valley, the same speed limit is enacted when the wind speeds are higher than a pre-set level (you can get some nasty side winds there).

Other than that, you can go (legally) just as hard as you would without your trailer. Use your common sense: being allowed to go 130km/h doesn't mean you have to... [8)]

cheers,
Bram
 

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Wish they had passing lane restrictions too.

How many times have I been frustrated on E411 in the Ardennes stuck behind a (NL) slow poke going to or coming back from vacation. By the Grottes de Han and Viaduc de Beez are by far the worse, the long uphill strech close by the European Space Camp in the Ardennes was painfull too, so much that I'd sometimes pick the Nationale 4 all the way from Namur to Arlon!
 

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I've used my ML and my Tacoma to pull our boat out of the water, weight is about 8,200 lbs. I've used the Tacoma to pull it around the lot that I store it in during winter, never pulled more than 100 yds (Tacoma tow specs 5000 lbs). I wouldn't pull it out onto the main road unless I had a bigger vehicle, usually borrow a friend's steak truck, double wheels on the back, and big V8 engine, 1978, but it works.

Good Luck.
 

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2000 E 320 Wagon + 2002 ML 500 SUV
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Hey Moderators:

I think we've got a BOT here that registered - don't know how I've never seen this before on our site.

But look at this post #7 posted just today 2-24-2020

Looks / Sounds like an 'automated post' - thats all we need here, right ?

David in Texas
 

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2001 ML430
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It may have something to do with lawyers. I do not suggest this, do not try this at home, but I towed an 11,000 pound dually dump trailer across town (5 miles) because I had to with my ML 430. It did not have a bunch of tongue weight, and it did have trailer brakes. I made it without any real fuss with the ML. Quit yelling at me, I knew there was no way it was rated for that weight. I took secondary roads and really paid attention. It actually towed it well. I think 6k would not be an issue at all. Despite being a Mercedes SUV, the W163 chassis is built to work.
 

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It may have something to do with lawyers. I do not suggest this, do not try this at home, but I towed an 11,000 pound dually dump trailer across town (5 miles) because I had to with my ML 430. It did not have a bunch of tongue weight, and it did have trailer brakes. I made it without any real fuss with the ML. Quit yelling at me, I knew there was no way it was rated for that weight. I took secondary roads and really paid attention. It actually towed it well. I think 6k would not be an issue at all. Despite being a Mercedes SUV, the W163 chassis is built to work.
That's a pretty impressive tow job !

I bet you went moderately slow.

Going gentle helps. Having a well balanced load also helps a lot.

Last year I maxxed out my 2500 4x4 Cummins Ram by towing a 15,000 # skid steer a Kubota SVL-90 on a heavy equipment trailer.

What made it hard was that it wasn't a gooseneck (load over axle) but a bumper pull hitch and my 'classic 97' Ram had a lighter duty 10k capacity standard 2" hitch.

Making matters worse, the trailer had non-functional brakes, so the Ram had to brake for 22,000# !

It did the tow job but too much tongue weight bent it down a bit !

I used secondary roads going 50 max.

I've towed that much using a gooseneck & it was a whole different ballgame in terms of ease & speed.

One thing is sure, in towing stuff, the only 'school' is EXPERIENCE, and you only get that by trial & error.

I've always owned at least 3 or 4 trailers of various types & capacities and each is a bit different.

Carnage of both vehicle & life can happen when towing unsafe.

Cheers - David in Texas
 
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