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Tow Bar doubts

Discussion in 'Bodywork, Tyres, Wheels & Trim' started by David Hobbs, Oct 26, 2018.

  1. David Hobbs

    David Hobbs New Member

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    Your Mercedes:
    C class 2017 220d Sport Saloon
    Hi
    Am new to this forum and know this has been discussed before but as far as I can find without any definitive answer.

    I have a 2017 MB 2.1 litre C220d Sport Premium Auto Saloon. I have bought a small caravan and want to tow with it.

    I know from talking directly to MB that they do not do a factory fitted tow bar and are not willing to confirm that one can be fitted. Previous discussion seem to centre around 'no type approval' etc

    There is a local company quite happy to fit one and simply move over the 'boot kick opener' underneath the car. The VIN plate also gives a tow capacity.

    My question is, apart from the practical logistics of fitting a tow bar is there any other reason such as engine, gearbox, automatic transmission, cooling etc which would prevent this.

    Grateful for any definitive advice
     
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  2. Jimbo1959

    Jimbo1959 Senior Member

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    Your Mercedes:
    E350 CDi Blue Efficiency Sport Coupe, fast, smooth, comfortable, what more does one need?
    My last car had "No type approval" and the thing that stopped me fitting a towbar which, incidentally was only going to be used for a bike rack and two bikes, was my insurance company would not provide cover, due to the lack of said type approval and, this was despite me explaining that the heaviest thing it would be towing was two push bikes and the rack that they sat in.

    Check with your insurance company just to be on the safe side, you really don't want any nasty surprises.
     
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  3. Craiglxviii

    Craiglxviii Senior Member

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    If the vehicle plate shows a Gross Train Weight then it is type approved to tow.

    We have had issues- one member certainly- who bought a specific option fit of car which was not type approved, and had a blank on the GTW section of his vehicle plate.
     
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  4. davidsl500

    davidsl500 Senior Member

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    one of my longstanding clients before my retirement was a tow bar manufacturer. You can download specific fitting instructions for their bars as well... https://www.tow-trust.co.uk/ Their bars are also type approved.
     
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  5. EmilysDad

    EmilysDad Senior Member

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    But the car itself need type approval to tow.
     
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  6. davidsl500

    davidsl500 Senior Member

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    Yes I know, I was just pointing out that the bar was type approved as well
     
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  7. OP
    David Hobbs

    David Hobbs New Member

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    C class 2017 220d Sport Saloon
    Hi All

    Thanks for your replies.

    I guess what I actually need to know is
    1) Can I legally tow with this car?
    2) Is the car suitable for towing without doing any components any harm?

    I attach a photo of the VIN plate. According to the manual:
    1st number (2135kg) is the Maximum Gross Vehicle Weight.
    2nd number (4000kg) is the Maximum Gross Weight of Vehicle Combination
    3rd number (1050kg) Permissible front axle load
    4th number (1115kg) Permissible rear axle load

    Does this mean that I can legally tow 4000 - 2135 = 1865kg?

    Have phoned Mercedes who were useless.

    0.jpg
     
  8. Blobcat

    Blobcat Moderator

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    Your Mercedes:
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    The 4,000kg is the gross train weight (the combined maximum allowable mass of the vehicle and trailer)

    The 2,135kg is the Gross Vehicle weight (the maximum allowable mass of the vehicle including occupants, fuel and luggage)

    The 1,050kg and 1,1115kg is the maximum axle loads for the front and rear axles

    So taking 2,135 from 4,000 gives a maximum tow-able weight of 1,865kg working on 85% gives 1,585kg for a trailer / caravan.

    You shouldn't really be towing at 100%, 85% is the recommended limit
     
  9. EmilysDad

    EmilysDad Senior Member

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    85% is an arbitrary weight suggested by the Caravan Club for new tow-ers.
     
  10. OP
    David Hobbs

    David Hobbs New Member

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    Hi all, again

    OK, seem to be getting somewhere.

    The caravan is only 1150kg so well within the 85% recommended tow capacity, and the car can physically tow from the info on the VIN plate.

    Why then does Mercedes not do a factory fitted tow bar and why do they tell me that they don't recommend this car/model for towing?

    Maybe I need to speak to Mercedes again. Still think it may be something to do with 'type approval' whatever that is.
     
  11. Blobcat

    Blobcat Moderator

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    Does it have a different rear bumper (being “sport”) than the regular? If so that could be enough for Mercedes to say they don’t recommend it as the bumper might require slicing into to get a tow bar to fit.
     
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  12. ajlsl600

    ajlsl600 Senior Member

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    Your Mercedes:
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    blxxdy crazy .! second or third time i have read about this type of drama. think one guy even had to send the car back as benz sold it having advised,i believe , that it could tow , when in fact it was not approved to do so, which on a decently
    powered saloon,estate,car is just plain daft. i get the point with ABC equipped cars. and i think one would be a little daft to be trying to tow with an r230 for example.
    as for bumpers, on my clk w208 i was told no way to fit tow bar without bumper cut. i can assure you guys the bar was fitted and nothing like a bumper cut.....
     
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  13. Jimbo1959

    Jimbo1959 Senior Member

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    Any chance of a picture? Just curious to see how it looked, that's all.
     
  14. ajlsl600

    ajlsl600 Senior Member

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    will try today, never had much luck uploading pictures.
     
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  15. OP
    David Hobbs

    David Hobbs New Member

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    Hi
    No, no bumper cut required. Just needs the 'kick boot opener' moving to one side and straight forward job to fit tow bar.
    Problem is that the insurer requires it to be a 'Manufacturer approved modification' and Mercedes are non-committal.
     
  16. EmilysDad

    EmilysDad Senior Member

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    Surely a tow bar will be a 'manufacturer approved modification' if it's type approved which it will have to be to be on the market.
     
  17. keefysher

    keefysher Senior Member

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    I'm calling BS on the part of the dealer and insurer. Along with laziness.

    Change the insurer?

    Earlier in the thread you mentioned: 'I know from talking directly to MB that they do not do a factory fitted tow bar and are not willing to confirm that one can be fitted.' Do you have the original brochure for the car you bought? and the accessories brochure?

    Page 45 of the current brochure here: http://tools.mercedes-benz.co.uk/current/passenger-cars/e-brochures/new-c-class-saloon-estate.pdf
    says manual towbar available for £750 as a factory fitted option. It will be available as aftermarket purchase too, but probably 3x the price plus fitting.

    This well known tow bar supply co lists a fair few options:
    https://www.pfjones.co.uk/tow-bars/...edes-c-class-saloon-2014-onwards-towbars.html

    A factory fitted towbar on original build may well include an uprated cooling fan/pump so as not to overheat the gearbox. Your dealer will be easily able to confirm from your VIN number, unless they can't be arsed to help, or you don't ask the question.
     
  18. ajlsl600

    ajlsl600 Senior Member

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    read... downright blxxdy unhelpful.
     
  19. Craiglxviii

    Craiglxviii Senior Member

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    From what I saw when I looked into it, only the ML/ GLE in their 3 litre + engine config required additional cooling to be fitted for towing.

    I'm with Keith's BS-o-meter here. Don't talk to a dealer, they know nothing and usually can only barely be bothered to sell you a car, on a good day. Check the MB online vehicle configurator as that's kept more up to date than the e-brochure.

    Finally if a towbar is type approved for your car, regardless of whatever the insurer says it's type-approved. So question your insurer on what they know (or not).
     
  20. Craiglxviii

    Craiglxviii Senior Member

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