Tow bar/trailer hitch for GLC SUV 220d premium plus

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SudsUK

New Member
Joined
Apr 2, 2024
Messages
6
Location
Merseyside
Car
GLC 220d Premium Plus
Hi, I have ordered a new 2023 GLC SUV (220d 4matic Premium plus) recently and awaiting delivery. Want to know if it has a tow/trailer hitch attached as standard ? If not where can I get this fitted ? My Mercedes-Benz dealer (Inchcape) says they don’t fit this in dealerships. My need is to attach a bike rack for which a tow bar will be useful. Do I need to get this factory fitted? If I fit this privately (for eg Halfords - who says they don’t do tow bars for a GLC), will it make the warranty void? Please let me know, thanks.
 
Welcome to MBClub and congratulations on your new car.

Factory fitted tow bars were not standard however as your car has already been built, then someone must have decided the spec at some point - even if it was ordered for stock - and so there is a small (but unlikely) possibility that they may have specified an optional factory fitted tow bar.

If you have ordered it from a main dealer then they will be able to confirm the specification from the VIN number. Main dealers can retrofit tow bars however they do very few of them as their labour rate and use of Mercedes original parts means that they cost much more than an independent tow bar specialist.

As a result it’s commonplace that main dealers who do fit tow bars actually subcontract it to an independent tow bar specialist to either perform at their premises or in the car park of the main dealer, but charge main dealer rates. This enables them to charge a margin and keep the workshop bay free for other work.

It sounds like your main dealer has decided not to do it at all. If you reply with the name of your nearest town then a member will advise you of reputable tow bar specialists in your area. In the meantime call some specialists in your area - based upon a Google search or yellow pages - and gather some quotes for them to supply and fit.

Personally I would only fit Westfalia tow bars, and regardless of the tow bar manufacturer I would insist on a wiring kit so that the fitter does not have to cut the cables in your car. Again personally I would insist that they only use a Westfalia wiring kit or one supplied by a Mercedes wiring kit supplied by a Mercedes main dealer parts counter..

This may be a little more expensive than cutting the wires or using a generic wiring kit but reduces the likelihood of the installer cutting corners and causing issues which affect your new car and void the warranty. In any case the warranty would only be void for any issues which could be caused by the tow bar being retrofitted.

Finally, and most IMPORTANTLY a car must be “type approved” for towing in order to legally use a tow bar in the UK Europe, even if only for the purposes of a cycle rack. If your particularly model has not been type approved then reputable tow bar fitters would not fit a tow car so you need to check ASAP.

Ask the main dealer to confirm whether your specific car is type approved for towing AND ask them to send you a photo of the VIN plate from your specific car which will show the type approved weights - it will look like the one below. If you reply to this thread with the details then a member will confirm whether it is type approved.

1712034469684.jpeg
 
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Hello and welcome, Sounds like a lot of faffing about for a few bikes , how about putting them on the roof ? has to be easier and cheaper .

Fitting an aftermarket towbar (or even having a factory one) could also possibly lower the resale value of the car.
 
Hello and welcome, Sounds like a lot of faffing about for a few bikes , how about putting them on the roof ? has to be easier and cheaper .

Not so easy lifting things up onto the roof of an SUV though, and you need to be careful about height barriers in car parks :D
 
AND ask them to send you a photo of the VIN plate from your specific car which will show the type approved weights
Its does directly actually show the towing weights........but it gives you the info to work it out. The highest weight figure will be the gross train weight (max loaded car weight added to max loaded trailer weight)....the next highest figure will be the max laden weight of the car.....subtract one from the other and that gives you the max technically allowed towing weigh....which still may not be a safe towing weight if that figure is over the kerb weight of the car. In the caravan trade we wont let anyone tow a caravan out of the gate that weighs more than the kerb weight of the car without signing a disclaimer..(85 %percent being the generally acknowledged sensible limit)....but many go to 100% on the right car)..whilst not technically illegal its not best practice, many insurance companies wont cover you towing at over 100% of kerb weight and you want the car to be heavier than the towed vehicle.....especially in adverse weather. The dog needs to control the tail....not the other way around. I always say to customers that the max towing weight in their handbooks is a bit like the top speed quoted in there....sure the car will so it.....but whether its safe, sensible of even legal to do it is quite another thing!!!
 
Welcome to MBClub and congratulations on your new car.

Factory fitted tow bars were not standard however as your car has already been built, then someone must have decided the spec at some point - even if it was ordered for stock - and so there is a small (but unlikely) possibility that they may have specified an optional factory fitted tow bar.

If you have ordered it from a main dealer then they will be able to confirm the specification from the VIN number. Main dealers can retrofit tow bars however they do very few of them as their labour rate and use of Mercedes original parts means that they cost much more than an independent tow bar specialist.

As a result it’s commonplace that main dealers who do fit tow bars actually subcontract it to an independent tow bar specialist to either perform at their premises or in the car park of the main dealer, but charge main dealer rates. This enables them to charge a margin and keep the workshop bay free for other work.

It sounds like your main dealer has decided not to do it at all. If you reply with the name of your nearest town then a member will advise you of reputable tow bar specialists in your area. In the meantime call some specialists in your area - based upon a Google search or yellow pages - and gather some quotes for them to supply and fit.

Personally I would only fit Westfalia tow bars, and regardless of the tow bar manufacturer I would insist on a wiring kit so that the fitter does not have to cut the cables in your car. Again personally I would insist that they only use a Westfalia wiring kit or one supplied by a Mercedes wiring kit supplied by a Mercedes main dealer parts counter..

This may be a little more expensive than cutting the wires or using a generic wiring kit but reduces the likelihood of the installer cutting corners and causing issues which affect your new car and void the warranty. In any case the warranty would only be void for any issues which could be caused by the tow bar being retrofitted.

Finally, and most IMPORTANTLY a car must be “type approved” for towing in order to legally use a tow bar in the UK Europe, even if only for the purposes of a cycle rack. If your particularly model has not been type approved then reputable tow bar fitters would not fit a tow car so you need to check ASAP.

Ask the main dealer to confirm whether your specific car is type approved for towing AND ask them to send you a photo of the VIN plate from your specific car which will show the type approved weights - it will look like the one below. If you reply to this thread with the details then a member will confirm whether it is type approved.

View attachment 155140
Many thanks for this detailed reply - very much appreciate your advice. I am based near Liverpool so can go to a reputable tow bar specialist in Merseyside/Manchester/NorthWest. I will enquire about the towing specifications as you suggested and try to get a photo of VIN plate. I have asked the dealer to enquire if I could get this factory fitted by Mercedes but this may incur time and some cost. If I were to retrofit at a local specialist, should I inform the dealer to make sure the warranty will not go void? Many thanks.
 
Hello and welcome, Sounds like a lot of faffing about for a few bikes , how about putting them on the roof ? has to be easier and cheaper .

Fitting an aftermarket towbar (or even having a factory one) could also possibly lower the resale value of the car.
Many thanks. It has a panoramic roof so I don't know if that will cause problems. Also the effort to lift the bike at cars height.
 
Its does directly actually show the towing weights........but it gives you the info to work it out. The highest weight figure will be the gross train weight (max loaded car weight added to max loaded trailer weight)....the next highest figure will be the max laden weight of the car.....subtract one from the other and that gives you the max technically allowed towing weigh....which still may not be a safe towing weight if that figure is over the kerb weight of the car. In the caravan trade we wont let anyone tow a caravan out of the gate that weighs more than the kerb weight of the car without signing a disclaimer..(85 %percent being the generally acknowledged sensible limit)....but many go to 100% on the right car)..whilst not technically illegal its not best practice, many insurance companies wont cover you towing at over 100% of kerb weight and you want the car to be heavier than the towed vehicle.....especially in adverse weather. The dog needs to control the tail....not the other way around. I always say to customers that the max towing weight in their handbooks is a bit like the top speed quoted in there....sure the car will so it.....but whether its safe, sensible of even legal to do it is quite another thing!!!
Many thanks. That's very helpful to know how to calculate the tow weight. Completely agree with your suggestions above.
 
Many thanks. It has a panoramic roof so I don't know if that will cause problems. Also the effort to lift the bike at cars height.

A panoramic roof isn't normally an issue for roof rails/bars. All cars will have a maximum roof load in the specs. though (i.e. total weight added) - this is often 100 kg and (I suspect) determined more by vehicle stability than structural considerations.
 
I put up to four bikes on the roof of a GLE, and I’ll be honest it’s not always straight forward. Some days they go on easily, other times not so much - a combination of weight, size, height and reach can make it it blooming awkward. It has a panoramic roof which doesn’t interfere at all.
 
can anybody recommend a reputable tow bar fitting specialist in Merseyside/Manchester/Cheshire please? (for my GLC 220d SUV). Thanks
 
How long ago did you order the car? If you haven’t been given a build date yet it may be possible to adjust the order
 
SIL had a quote for MB towbar for a GLE £8.8K FFS
 
Hi, I have ordered a new 2023 GLC SUV (220d 4matic Premium plus) recently and awaiting delivery. Want to know if it has a tow/trailer hitch attached as standard ? If not where can I get this fitted ? My Mercedes-Benz dealer (Inchcape) says they don’t fit this in dealerships. My need is to attach a bike rack for which a tow bar will be useful. Do I need to get this factory fitted? If I fit this privately (for eg Halfords - who says they don’t do tow bars for a GLC), will it make the warranty void? Please let me know, thanks.
Had a Westafalia tow detachable tow bar fitted to my GLC220D for our caravan.
No issues local auto electrician came to the house and fitted it and re programmed ar- no issues £680.00 all in
 
SIL had a quote for MB towbar for a GLE £8.8K FFS
Was that to retrofit the factory-fit electrically retracting towbar, or the Mercedes “aftermarket” accessory removable towbar?
 
Was that to retrofit the factory-fit electrically retracting towbar, or the Mercedes “aftermarket” accessory removable towbar?
Retro fit MB electric, and no they didn't do it
Did she accept? 😁
The answer was Foxtrot Oscar
 

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