Towing a caravan with an E320 CDi auto saloon- anyone done it?

Fiona/Trevor

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Hi folks

We have the 2005 E320 CDi Avantgarde saloon, yes it's very powerful but not apparently heavy enough to tow the caravan we want, so we are looking at getting a smaller 'van....

I wonder how many people on here tow a caravan with this car, and how it manages, and if you've needed to fit a transmission cooler? Does the MPG plummet too?

Aiming for an 80% match, or lower, and the 'van we wanted was 91% so we are not going there....

Would be interested to hear your thoughts!

Thanks

Fiona
 

Naraic

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The E class is a big car for towing, I'd be surprised if there's a 'van it can't tow. And yes, MPG will collapse.
 

Naraic

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The E class is a big car for towing, I'd be surprised if there's a 'van it can't tow. And yes, MPG will collapse.
 

Craiglxviii

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You can tow upto 2100kg braked with a 211 E320 diesel. We have just bought a 1500kg MTPLM caravan (5 berth) to tow with our E320 estate.
 

EmilysDad

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91% match isn't too bad. As Craig says, you'll be able to tow 2100kg, but watch gross train weight & max axle weight that are shown on a sticker on the B post. I'd think there would be a factory fit AFT cooler within or in front of the coolant radiator.
I get around 20mpg towing my 1865kg caravan with my R320
 

Craiglxviii

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91% match isn't too bad. As Craig says, you'll be able to tow 2100kg, but watch gross train weight & max axle weight that are shown on a sticker on the B post. I'd think there would be a factory fit AFT cooler within or in front of the coolant radiator.
I get around 20mpg towing my 1865kg caravan with my R320

The extra transmission cooling is required for the ML/ GL-E but not the E Klasse for some reason.
 

EmilysDad

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The extra transmission cooling is required for the ML/ GL-E but not the E Klasse for some reason.

I suppose MB recommend extra ATF cooling for my R Class then .... :confused: So far it's holding its own with standard cooling :coffee:
 

alexander1954

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We're towing a twin axle with a 2017 E220d - no problems.
There's a gadget you can purchase - or use weighing scales - to get nose weight right on the van.
Don't be in a hurry from A to B but the E320 will tow a caravan with ease.
We previously towed a single axle with an ML350 - not made any adjustments to either vehicle.
Towing above 85% is fine depending on experience.
 

Craiglxviii

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I suppose MB recommend extra ATF cooling for my R Class then .... :confused: So far it's holding its own with standard cooling :coffee:
I’m not sure, I’d have to check. At a guess if your car is rated to tow >2100kg braked then yes.
 

oigle

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I know rules vary between countries but an Oz Ford Falcon since about the 90's, using a 6 cyl motor and weighing around the 1500 - 1700kg mark, depending on year model, was approved by Ford to tow up to 2300kg. With appropriate leveling gear, it did so quite well. Max ball weight was 230kg.
With suitable towing gear, I'd be very surprised if you couldn't tow 91% of your car's weight. Maybe an auto cooler might be required.
Ian.
 

Craiglxviii

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You're doing well in Blighty to get 100kg. Many cars are only 75kg, mine is 85kg but the ML its based on is 150kg :confused:
Yup. Was going to say, mine is 85kg also...
 

keefysher

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There is also the need to check the caravan chassis and hitch loading limit. The Alko stabiliser hitch commonly used on UK caravans is 100Kg. I run a balanced unit at 90Kg using the Milenco nose weight gauge. When stationary on the level it looks level too ;)

We could also get into the mass debate around measuring the noseweight and the varicous methods available. :cool:

Going to a caravan from a MH and the need to have my driving licence, I introduced the 1 bag rule. That is 1 bag for clothes for all 3 of us for however long the trip is. It focuses minds of the girlies to not pile in stuff that won't get worn. Took some harsh and blunt words, but we got there in the end :cool::cool:
 

EmilysDad

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.....

Going to a caravan from a MH and the need to have my driving licence, I introduced the 1 bag rule. That is 1 bag for clothes for all 3 of us for however long the trip is. It focuses minds of the girlies to not pile in stuff that won't get worn. Took some harsh and blunt words, but we got there in the end :cool::cool:
I gave up trying a long time ago ..... I dread to think what weight is in the caravan :coffee:
 

oigle

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You're doing well in Blighty to get 100kg. Many cars are only 75kg, mine is 85kg but the ML its based on is 150kg :confused:

You guys have a totally different system to us colonials. For any decent sized vans, we all use a weight distribution hitch capable of distributing 250KG back on to the tow vehicle, shared between the front and rear suspensions. We even have 350KG bars for larger rigs. I towed a van with my ML270 with 210kg on the drawbar, using the 250kg kit and it handled and rode beautifully. We have a golden rule here that says, for stability, one should always have around 10% of the van weight on the drawbar. Stops any sway in the van.
This website and builtin video should give you an idea of the system we use -
http://www.haymanreese.com.au/products/weight-distribution-systems
 

keefysher

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You guys have a totally different system to us colonials. For any decent sized vans, we all use a weight distribution hitch capable of distributing 250KG back on to the tow vehicle, shared between the front and rear suspensions. We even have 350KG bars for larger rigs. I towed a van with my ML270 with 210kg on the drawbar, using the 250kg kit and it handled and rode beautifully. We have a golden rule here that says, for stability, one should always have around 10% of the van weight on the drawbar. Stops any sway in the van.
This website and builtin video should give you an idea of the system we use -
http://www.haymanreese.com.au/products/weight-distribution-systems


Interesting to see different systems.

There is a rule of thumb of 7-8% of caravan mass on hitch here in the UK. The 85% 'rule' is also guidance based on decades old design. There is also height of ball limits. Stabiliser hitch heads are increasingly employed in concert with trailer stability control systems on vehicle and caravan that link the braking systems to control individual wheel braking as ESP on cars. Tow balls for stabilisers are a different beast requiring vertical articulation. Very few caravans have shock absorbers, even less have wheels balanced. Single axle caravans are generally below 2000Kg gross, with few twin axle above that, which are relatively light by Oz standards. UK caravans are lower to the ground too. Payloads are increasingly less, and the leisure battery, gas bottle/s, water and waste containers, motor mover eat into that allowance; which should drive the girlies to pack less crap for trips.

Unlike european 'vans, UK ones have full facilities on board. Washrooms, full size fridge/freezers, ovens, hobs, microwaves and wet central heating systems are becoming standard, then add air conditioning units and things are getting heavier.

The reduction in kerbweight of newer cars is becoming an issue for towing that will limit further use of caravans going forward no doubt. My W221 was heavy enough to tow my top weight single axle caravan, the W222 & W223 are now too light to do that. Hence changing to the full fat W166 GLE.

Its a bit more involved than putting a yoghurt pot on the back :eek:
 

grayb

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We put our heavy items in the car rather than the caravan - food, bottles, awning etc. Hence the estate car...
 

Craiglxviii

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We put our heavy items in the car rather than the caravan - food, bottles, awning etc. Hence the estate car...
This is our plan too.
 


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