W124 E320 towing specifications

pookiebear

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Logging in as a newbie. Have just purchased a mint 93 E320 Estate. Is this vehicle up to towing a Horse float tare 890kg with 2 ponies of 300/400kg each All in 1700kg?

Have tried searching with no results. What are the towing specs? I contacted a towball manufacturer who tells me this vehicle cant tow anything... yeah rite! I need to have a towbar fitted and would like some advice on this please.

I would be disapointed as this was bought to tow on occasional weekends (need the extra 7 seats), my work Toyota 3.0D HiAce van could not handle the weight in terms of power, just far too slow.
 

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I have had two W124 estates : a 300TE and a 300TE-24 which is all but identical to your car as far as weights and towing limits are concerned . I towed a 1400Kg caravan without any problems , and others on here have also caravanned with similar cars .

The 300TE-24 has a kerbweight of 1570 Kg and , according to the owner's manual can tow a braked trailer weighing up to 1900 Kg . Permissible noseweight on the coupling is 75 Kg .

Notwithstanding the above , I would not reccomend towing such a heavy trailer for reasons of stability : the trailer really should not be heavier than the towcar - otherwise there is a real danger of 'the tail wagging the dog' .

There most certainly are LOTS of towbars available for these cars - companies such as Watling Engineers , Witter , Towsure , Brink , Bosal , Westfalia and others will have brackets available .
 
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pookiebear

pookiebear

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Thanks for that. Here in New Zealand we have different requirements , they also work on the manufacturers towing rates.

But i agree, the tail wagging the dog is not what you want.
 

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If you are going to do it , at least use a stabiliser .
 

bolide

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A 320 will tow 2100 Kg. Make sure you don't exceed the max nose weight

A 320 will tow that weight easily and will be stable so long as the trailer brakes are balanced properly, the weight distribution is correct, and you don't tow too fast

Nick Froome
 

Apial

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A 320 will tow 2100 Kg. Make sure you don't exceed the max nose weight

A 320 will tow that weight easily and will be stable so long as the trailer brakes are balanced properly, the weight distribution is correct, and you don't tow too fast

Nick Froome

50mph max is the recommendation by some horse trailer manufacturers. Auto would be better than manual as you might find pulling away up a slope a bit tricky with the weight behind. First gear will probably not be low enough.

If you venture onto wet grass then you would benefit from a more aggressive tread pattern.

Some trailers prefer a much higher nose-weight than might be permissable with the 75 kg limit. My trailer should run at 150kg nose weight under ideal situations. Generally the lower the nose weight the poorer the towing stability.

The problem you will have is adjusting the towball height to match the trailer and geting the nose weight right. Trailer manufacturers don't always follow the same heights as caravan manufacturers and often assume that you will be towing with a 4X4., ie the hitch might be too high for the ball on a normal car.

Adjustable hitch mounts exist, but generally they require a 4-hole bolt pattern. A lot depends on your towball mounting.
 

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How do you adjust the noseweight of a horse trailer?
 

Apial

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How do you adjust the noseweight of a horse trailer?

Horse trailer nose weight is adjusted by the ball height of the towing vehicle. Horse trailers have twin or even triple axles. By raising the ball height you effectively start to lift the weight off the front axle and transfer it to the nose. Zero noseweight is at the uncoupled height.

The ball height then is the thing that needs to be raised to increase nose weight or lowered to reduce it. With a 4x4, the towing hitch is usually of the 4 bolt type, and this gives a choice of 2 heights with approx 2" difference. A greater range can be achieved with drop plates or adjustable type hitches such as those made by Witter or Dixon Bate.

As an example, Equi-Trek say that on a Discovery with a long travel spring suspension, 20.5" would give the correct ball height, but with a hard sprung pick-up type vehicle 18.5" would be about right. The nose weight should never exceed the max figure given on any part of the hitch inc the towbar, and the coupling. Most cars seem to have a max of around 75kg, but 4x4s and commercial vehicles would usually have a larger maximum.

Car towballs are set at heights more suited to caravans and have a range of 14-16" approx. Swan neck types can not be adjusted, and 2-bolt types supposedly can only be adjusted by using a drop plate in the down direction.

The majority of horse trailers travel with the animal facing forward. They tend to travel with their bottoms resting on the rear ramp and with the weight transferred aft. This does not help nose weight, and the fact that the weight can move makes towing more difficult in adverse conditions.

A better solution is for rear facing travel or for a slanted herring bone loading trailer. Sharp braking does not then ram the animal into a breat bar or squish its face into a wall.

Stabilisers seem to be rarely fitted, but they really should be. Double spring bladed types suited for commercial towing are best but I can't remember when I last saw a stabiliser on any horse trailer.
 
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pookiebear

pookiebear

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Am having a towbar manufactured by a specialist firm to allow for ride height, so hopefully that should sort the issue out. a 2nd note, My E320 wagon rides on 17" AMG rims, wiht 215/50 x 17 W rated Bridgestones RE50 with weight rating of "99" , are these up to the job of towing the horse float? (pic attached of vehicle with rims)
 

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bolide

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If you keep within the max noseweight the tyres should make no difference so long as they are rated appropriately for the car & max load

Nick Froome
 

Roger Jones

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MB official figures are:

Trailer without brake 750kg
Trailer with brake 2100kg (auto), 1900kg (manual)
Roof 100kg with railing, 80kg with integrated luggage carrier
Permissible axle load 1000kg front, 1200kg rear
 
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pookiebear

pookiebear

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W124 E320 Towing

Just to end off this thread. I enquired about towing a horsefloat(Horsebox) with my 93 E320.

Nearly two years later I can say that this vehicle is incredible. I have towed almost every weekend wiht my daughters horse and float too shows all over the country side. I was aprehensive at first, but now have no issues with hitching up and scampering off. I have even done a few long 400km+ trips with no issues whatso ever, on occassion have been fully loaded with 2 horses and gear for a week long show(approx 2000kg behind car.)

The self leveling suspension has been up to scratch as has the transmission and cooling. My consumption while towing is approx 15L /100km. I did have the transmission serviced and had synthetic fluid installed, and also had the radiator flushed along with the brake fluid.

So in short what an incredible vehicle both to drive and to tow.
 

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