Can a Mercedes C 300 class tow a Trailer?

                                                   

This article will give information regarding towing capacities of the Mercedes Benz C 300 model series. And answer the questions, can a Mercedes Benz C 300 tow a trailer? What types of trailers can be towed? This article will also explain driver assistance systems available while towing and the process involved in attaching a trailer to a vehicle.

Can a Mercedes C 300 tow a trailer?

Yes, the Mercedes Benz C 300 can easily tow a trailer that can carry loads up to 1800 Kg with reduced speeds (less than 100 km per hour). The weight of the empty trailer together with the weight of the load must not exceed towing capacity.  The AMG models like Mercedes Benz C 63 are not recommended for towing a trailer.

The Mercedes C 300 has a braked towing capacity of 1800 kg. Braked trailers  have an independent mechanical braking system that applies brakes to  the trailer through linkage connected to the trailer hitch mechanism and does not rely on braking force from the vehicle.  Thus Braked trailer loads are always higher compared to unbraked trailers.

The towing loads also depend upon the minimum initial incline climbing ability of the vehicle, in this case,  it is 12%. The C class has 4MAtic only on AMG and AMG line models which are not recommended for towing a caravan.

The Mercedes C 300 has an unbraked towing capacity of 750 kg. Unbraked permissible trailer loads are lower compared to braked trailers as they must be slowed down with the braking force provided by the vehicle. If unbraked trailer loads are higher than the gross weight of the vehicle, there won’t be sufficient brake force available to stop and this will lead to accidents.

The permissible trailer loads also depend on the combined weight of occupants and cargo in the vehicle. There should be a safety buffer while towing a caravan, to avoid towing at the maximum limit.

Important weight terms to remember before attaching the tailor.

  • Gross weight – Total  weight of the vehicle with the weight of occupants and cargo in the vehicle. The permissible gross  vehicle weight rating (GVWR) is usually available on the Vehicle identification plate located on the B-pillar of the vehicle. The actual gross weight must not exceed this rating.
  • Nose weight of trailer– The nose weight of the trailer is the total weight  at the coupling head connected to the tow ball of the towing vehicle. This nose weight naturally affects the gross weight of the vehicle. The nose weight is between 10 to 15 % of the weight of the trailer and its loads. This is also known as maximum drawbar load.
  • MRO- mass in running order indicates the average weight of an unloaded caravan. Refer to manufacturing details before towing the caravan.
  • MTPLM- maximum technically permissible laden mass this is the total weight the caravan is rated for, generally the maximum weight of the loaded caravan.
  • Towing capacity- it is the maximum weight the vehicle can tow minus the gross weight of the vehicle. The higher gross weight reduces the towing capacity and affects the weight distribution.

Connecting a Trailer to the Mercedes Benz C 300.

If the vehicle is fitted with a trailer hitch mechanism from the factory, it is usually electrically operated from a switch in the load compartment. Pressing the switch will lower the towing ball of the trailer hitch. Mechanical levers can also be used to lower the towing ball. The trailer load must be entered in Vehicle documents; some countries can require a special licence to tow a caravan.

The ball neck must be pulled and locked into towing position, if the ball is damaged due to an accident it must be replaced, and the condition of the ball neck must be checked before attaching the trailer to the vehicle.

  • The vehicle transmission should be in P (parked) gear.
  • The electrical parking brake must be engaged to prevent the vehicle from rolling.
  • The trailer must be positioned behind the vehicle in a straight line before connecting the trailer.
  • The nose load of the trailer affects the position of coupling on the trailer; a trailer with height-adjustable drawbars helps to connect with the towing ball more easily.
  • Lastly, connect the electrical coupler for the lights to the vehicle.

C class is equipped with a trailer recognition control unit that controls the lighting system on the trailer.  The vehicle trailer socket is factory fitted with a permanent power supply. 

If the vehicle is travelling downhill with the trailer attached, selecting lower gear will use the engine braking effect on the automatic transmission. This reduces the load on the vehicle braking system, especially in the case of unbraked trailers and prevents brake fade due to overheating.

Engine and gearbox in the C 300.

The Mercedes Benz C 300 comes with a 2-litre inline turbocharged petrol engine. New models also have Mercedes Benz camtronic technology which changes cam profile and can shift to larger valve opening to produce more power. The M264 used in C300 produces 225kW 400NM torque. The M274 produced 200kW and 370NM of torque. 

The Mercedes Benz C class has a 9  and 7-speed automatic transmission. M274 came with a 7 speed 722.9 gearbox while the new M264 has a 9 speed 725 gearbox.

Driver assistance systems available while towing in a Mercedes Benz C class

  • ESP trailer stabilisation- ESP control unit monitors vehicle wheel speeds by wheel speed sensors and steering inputs with the help of a steering angle sensor. If the vehicle with the trailer starts to swerve, the ESP control unit will intervene by reducing engine power and braking at individual wheels to stabilise the vehicle. This is only active from 65km/h.
  • Crosswind assistance- While towing a caravan, the vehicle behaves differently. A strong crosswind can push a vehicle off the straight line and into a divider or oncoming traffic. Crosswind assistance integrated into the ESP control unit helps in keeping the vehicle in a straight line. The ESP control unit can brake individual wheels depending on the direction of wind hitting the vehicle. This function is active from 80km/h.

Types of the trailer and weight chart

The Following table contains types of trailers and weight that can be towed by a Mercedes C class.

Trailer typeEmpty weight (Kg)GVWR (total weight) Kg
canoe/ kayak 50 to 200 100 to 400
Jet ski trailer50 to 200300 to 1400
Motorcycle trailer150 to 350600 to 1600
Fishing boat trailer100 to 450400 to 1800
Tow dolly200 to 500400 to 1800

Conclusion

The Mercedes Benz C class has a towing capacity of 1800kg with a braked trailer, it will tow most types of trailers over long distances provided the max gross weight is within limits. AMG variants of the C class model series do not come with a trailer hitch and installing any aftermarket towing mechanism will void the warranty. 

FAQs: can a Mercedes GLA tow a caravan?

Can you fit a towbar to a Mercedes Benz C Class?

A towbar can be installed to the towing eye provided with the vehicle. But towing a trailer is not suitable for this method. A proper trailer hitch mechanism with a tow ball must be used to tow a trailer.

Which Mercedes can tow a caravan?

Mercedes Benz models can be retrofitted with a trailer hitch. Visit the nearest dealership to check if retro fitment for your Mercedes is available. AMG model services are not recommended to tow a caravan.

Does adding trailer hitch void warranty?

If the trailer hitch is available for the model and installed by authorised personnel at the dealership then the warranty is not void. Installing an aftermarket trailer hitch with modification to the rear bumper can lead to damages to the vehicle and void the warranty.

Is it hard to drive a car with a trailer?

Driving a car with a trailer is a difficult task. Stopping distances and turning radius are increased while towing a trailer. Always follow speed limits while towing a trailer.

References

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