View Full Version : Towing with a Sprinter. Is it gonna break?

03-16-2013, 02:53 PM
I tow my offroad truck with my Sprinter. If I recall correctly the Sprinter is only rated 3000lb towing. With the trailer (1400lb) and the truck (3600lb), I'm towing 5000lb, plus the shelving, tools, ladders and other gear we pack into it.

Can the Sprinter take the abuse?

Aqua Puttana
03-16-2013, 03:09 PM
The tow capacity should be 5000#. Were I personally towing near or just over the tow capacity I would keep my acceleration and speeds down and not worry about it. The engine temperature would also figure in to my driving operation. When/if I hit 215F or so engine temperature I would reduce speed to make certain that it didn't consistently run any higher.

Be certain the trailer brakes are working properly.

My opinion and worth everything you'll never pay for it. vic

03-16-2013, 03:36 PM
My GCVWR is 8550 (van) + 5000 (trailer) = 13550 lbs. I trust MB to know my van's limitations. Of course, there's bound to be more wear and tear - depending on how long you keep it, this may reduce your van's life.

03-16-2013, 03:44 PM
Get a ScanGaugeII (or similar performance monitoring gauge package) and use it to monitor the %LOD and the coolant temp.
Also, be ready to manually downshift (alot) to keep the engine up in the range where it makes enough horsepower to handle
the additional load.
The trick is to keep the revs up in the 2700-3200 Range and the % LOD @ < 75% (Not always possible, but do the best you can
by downshifting) to keep the best power to weight ratio.
I tow 4500-5000 lbs. quite a bit ( at least 5-10k miles/year and have never had any problems at all.
The T1Ns are all rated at 5,000 lbs. (including the 3500's with DRW).
The NCV3 2500's are also rated at 5k lbs.
The NCV3 3500 (DRW's) 144" and 170" short back Sprinters are rated @ 7,500 lbs.
The 170" wb extended is rated @ 5,000 lbs. due to the extensive rear overhang.
All the later model NCV3's that are ordered with the factory installed ORIS receiver hitch and factory
trailer light and brake wiring (no brake controller, you need to add that) come with the very functional
TSA (Trailer Stability Assist).

03-16-2013, 04:06 PM
5k capacity. The Sprinter isn't designed as a tow vehicle, if you are going to do a lot of towing, I'd get something else, like an F250. Occaisional towing shouldn't be a problem if you are a good driver; don't floor it, don't slam on the brakes, don't be rough on the tranny manually upshifting and downshifting abruptly. I've towed 12k with mine, but only for 25 miles or so.

03-19-2013, 03:15 AM
moderation, as with all things is good.

03-21-2013, 12:27 AM
Can the Sprinter take the abuse?

:rolleyes: :laughing:

03-21-2013, 09:32 PM
Ive towed stuff with no tow rated vehicles.
My advice is to not place the tranny in drive but back it down one gear.
I dont know how robust the tranny is on these but thats the part that will die first.
Over cool it with an aux unit.

Peter s
04-01-2013, 03:30 PM
Towed my caravan today for the first time with my Sprinter.

80 miles, very good stable tow indeed from my 208cdi Sprinter. The Sprintshift was ok, but found I preferred manual gears, to keep the revs in the right area.

For the last eight years I've been using Peugot 407sw for towing, the Sprinter was better, but I'm sure glad I avoided the narrow lanes!!

Peter S

04-01-2013, 04:57 PM
I have been towing with my Sprinter for the last 2 yrs. Its always seemed to do real well. I try keep it at about 2800rpms, 70-74mph, up hills it gets around 62mph and I will sometimes downshift. Slow starts and very careful not to put any extra stress on the rear differential.

All my trips are about 2hrs long with a few 4hr trips. We do have a couple trips this yr one is a 6hr one is a 9hr. These longer trips make me concerned.

04-01-2013, 05:10 PM
You need the means to know what temperatures is the transmission at when You tow anything, outherwise You are just guessing. Outside temperature can make a big difference too. A temperature reading from the transmission will tell You how far You are pushing it, then You can invest on a good cooler (T-stat controlled) if necessary. Too cold too hot fluid will eventually kill a transmission.