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View Full Version : My 2006 2500 can really tow this thing? Really?


BenJohnson
03-07-2016, 05:50 PM
I want to tow a 3500lb 4850lbs funrunner toy hauler trailer with my 2006 2500 which has 200k miles on it. We wont be adding much weight to the trailer, maybe 300-400lbs. No water or sewage to carry, small propane tanks only.

Before I start towing, I will finish my sprinter "refit". Tranny parts up to date (conductor plate, plug housing, a couple of tweaks to the valve body). Updated idlers, tensioner belt, alternator. All suspension and steering components have recently been done, etc.

I have read a lot of posts about guys hauling 5000lbs trailers all all over the country - no problem. But when I look at this thing - ay carumba - really?

Of course I will take it easy. Stay away from overdrive, not try to pass anyone on a hill into the wind.

But, really, can my old sprinter really tow this thing from Seattle to Phoenix?

BlackHawk
03-07-2016, 06:41 PM
Yeah, Why not? You'd be amazed what these vans will move when asked. Factory rating is 5000lb trailer weight. I've pulled my (empty) 8.5x28' long enclosed car hauler (with a small car inside) for a short distance once when my F350 was down. No issues.

The big thing to watch for is tongue weight! 500lbs! Do not exceed! DANGER! DANGER!

BenJohnson
03-07-2016, 06:55 PM
I just found out that the dry weight of the trailer is 4850lbs - with nothing in it. That's too close to the limit for me. Too darn bad. I really liked it.

BlackHawk
03-07-2016, 07:04 PM
Just a thought, throw your 300-400lbs of gear in the van and keep the trailer under your limit of 5000 lbs. Your Sprinter will happily take a ton or so of weight inside the van and still legally tow the rig you are interested in. With a tandem axle trailer you shouldn't have to worry about tongue weight that much.

israndy
03-07-2016, 07:04 PM
There are upgraded tow hitches I have seen for the original Sprinter with a 7500 tow capacity. I actually have a motorcycle lift on mine, I had the guy at the welding shop that put the extra receivers on the back also strengthen the hitch. He said he didn't want to go too far as you run the risk of bending the frame, but you should be able to get a little more strength back there. I am not exceeding the 500 lb. cause I want the front wheels to stay down, I just am getting close to I asked for a little more support.

I just looked and Curt has the a 6000 lb hitch (http://www.curtmfg.com/HitchLookup/find?mount=Rear+Mount&year=2005&make=Dodge&model=Sprinter+Van&style=118+In.+Wheel+Base+with+Single+Rear+Wheels) for the 2006.

-Randy

BlackHawk
03-07-2016, 07:10 PM
There are upgraded tow hitches I have seen for the original Sprinter with a 7500 tow capacity.

I was not aware of this, awesome!

BenJohnson
03-07-2016, 07:38 PM
I would like to do it - but I sure dont want to mess up the van, towing a 5000lb trailer up a long steep hill - even though I will take it easy, gear down and watch tranny temps - wont that just kill the darn thing?

MillionMileSprinter
03-07-2016, 07:44 PM
With the Maroon '06 2500 in the photo to the left, I towed a '04 3500 long/tall fully converted shuttle Sprinter. I guess it weighed close to #6000, because a stock long/tall 3500 is over #5100. I towed it 2-300 miles with no problems. I also towed our #4500 camper, fully loaded, with me, the wife and 7 kids and all our stuff for a month from Philly to CO, UT, AZ and back. And the van had 300+k miles when I got it. I just sold it and it was as strong as ever and still ran like a top. So yeah, I think your Sprinter can handle it. I don't recommend exceeding the weight limits, but my experience has shown that the Sprinters can handle it. I drove conservatively, keeping an eye on my LOD and MAP. I never went into 5th gear and kept my spee below 65. I always kept my eyes on the road ahead and anticipated slowing down way ahead of time. If you are rolling down the road with #10,000 at your fingertips, you have to drive smart.

Midwestdrifter
03-07-2016, 07:46 PM
I would like to do it - but I sure dont want to mess up the van, towing a 5000lb trailer up a long steep hill - even though I will take it easy, gear down and watch tranny temps - wont that just kill the darn thing?

:wtf:

Not to be rude, but sprinters are commercial vehicles. Using them for their designed and intended purpose will not "kill" them. If you are under the placarded limits and your sprinter is in good mechanical condition, you have nothing to be concerned about.

Now running with heavy loads and pulling a trailer regularly may reduce the service life of the vehicle somewhat. But you should not expect catastrophic failure from towing a trailer up a grade.

Dennis (lidenengineering) indicates that the I5 engine in these vans is quite robust. A common theme for major engine damage seems to be cooling system malfunction due to neglect.

Midwestdrifter
03-07-2016, 07:54 PM
There are upgraded tow hitches I have seen for the original Sprinter with a 7500 tow capacity.

It is important to note that adding a stronger hitch does not supercede the manufacturers towing rating in most cases. This rating takes into account vehicle stability, braking performance and structural considerations.

It is possible to safely exceed this limit with correct gear, including trailer brakes, hitch, and weight balancing. But this is the exception, not the rule.

Anyways, drive safe. :thumbup:

BlackHawk
03-08-2016, 02:14 PM
It is important to note that adding a stronger hitch does not supercede the manufacturers towing rating in most cases. This rating takes into account vehicle stability, braking performance and structural considerations.

It is possible to safely exceed this limit with correct gear, including trailer brakes, hitch, and weight balancing. But this is the exception, not the rule.

Anyways, drive safe. :thumbup:

You are correct, after reading the last post yesterday I went out and looked in the owners manual of my 3500; "5000lb Max." The 5000lb number is not a limitation of the OEM hitch, it is clearly a limitation of the uni body frame and not the running gear/hitch if Mercedes decided to rate them how they did.

All in all, I wouldn't worry about pulling that camper. If you're really worried, maybe you could use a weight distributing hitch?

sailquik
03-08-2016, 02:38 PM
BlackHawk,
The weight distributing hitch idea is not so good.
The towing weight rating of Sprinters is based more on what the uni body (it's all sheet metal and pretty thin at that) can handle, not what the
hitch can handle.
Weight Distributing hitch "systems" work well on vehicles that have a structural frame under them.
Not so much on a bent up sheet metal unibody structure with no heavy gauge frame.
For the OP, I don't think you would have any trouble towing the toy hauler in your first post, if you have some sort of performance monitoring
gauge system so you can see what the % engine load is and respond by downshifting.
As suggested, load your trailer so that you minimize the tongue weight.
I towed my 25' Jayco Jay Feather 25Z Ultralight (4,800 lbs. dry but a lot bigger than your toy hauler) from Columbia SC to Cape Hatteras, NC with my 2006 T1N 3500
and had no problems.
The trailer had electric brakes and the 3500 Sprinter had a VT Odyssey II electronic inertial brake controller.
I've also towed the same trailer, pretty fully loaded (probably > 6,000 lbs. off Hatteras Island a couple of times with the NCV3 3500's to escape
hurricanes. Again, no problems at all, but well within the Gross Combined Weight Rating.
Roger

Aqua Puttana
03-08-2016, 03:04 PM
My Jayco Kiwi 23b travel trailer is pretty much at the 5000# weight when loaded. By keeping my speeds down and using the transmission similarly to what Joel suggested earlier, my 2004 140 WB tows the 23b just fine.

The problems with weight/mass/wind resistance increase exponentially with higher speeds. Keeping the speeds down makes a big difference.

vic

BenJohnson
03-08-2016, 03:10 PM
Thanks all for the help.

Turns out the toy hauler has a tongue weight of 800lbs - completely dry. Even if I move the batteries and empty propane tank to the back of the trailer (while driving), I dont think it will lighten up the tongue enough. Too bad because it was such a good deal and suited our needs perfectly.

I need to find one of their ultralights. Same size, but 1000lbs lighter. 700lbs tonque weight, but then I can put a bike in the very back along with our gear and that should balance it out to under 500. If not, move the batteries and propane to the back when travelling. I dont want the front wheels in the air!

Aqua Puttana
03-08-2016, 07:11 PM
I agree that 800# is too far past recommended.

If you don't have the extended body (that puts the hitch ball further from the axle) you can probably hedge the tongue weight a bit on the heavy side. How much? :idunno: I recall reading that at one time the T1N's were rated 750/7500, but then were dropped back to 500/5000. I don't have the link.

I haven't found anywhere that MB recommends using a weight distribution hitch on T1N's.

From what I have gleaned the tow rating is 5000# all the time. I haven't seen a mention of deduction using a number of passenger chart, WDH, or other complications. As Boater indicated, you need to subtract the tongue weight from the tow vehicle cargo capacity and monitor Gross Vehicle and axle weights.

A couple selections from the 2006 T1N operator manual. (Around page 223)

"Vehicle and Trailer Weights and Ratings

Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) is the maximum
permissible vehicle weight: 8,550 lbs (3,878 kgs),
9,990 lbs (4,531 kgs) or 10,200 lbs (4,627 kgs).
NOTE: The weight of your Sprinter is indicated on the
type plate. For type plate, see Identification Labels.
Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW): comprises weight of
vehicle including fuel, tools, spare wheel, installed
accessories, passengers, cargo and trailer tongue. It
must never exceed the GVWR.
Gross Axle Weight Rating (GAWR) is the maximum
permissible axle weight: "

"Gross Trailer Weight (GTW) is the maximum
permissible trailer weight to be towed:
5,000 lbs. (2,260 kgs)"


"The tongue weight at the hitch ball must be added to
the GVW to prevent exceeding your Sprinter tow
vehicle’s rear GAWR."

That's what I have found. vic

P.S. - As an aside, I just calculated a bit over 19 mpg for a second trip while towing my approx. 2600# (all up) sailboat/trailer. I used the Ciprian Set Sixty CSS method except that I set the 60 using my GPS speed, not by the speedo.


http://sprinter-source.com/forum/showthread.php?p=245968#post245968
http://sprinter-source.com/forum/showthread.php?p=246472#post246472

vic

wrf
05-11-2016, 07:34 PM
Is there any difference between the Freightliner and Dodge Sprinter 2500 158" frame construction? The Curt Mfg website does not include Freightliner in their list of Makes for 2006 or older. When you select a 2006 or older Dodge Sprinter Van it shows a 13250 hitch, but when you click on "View Details" it shows a red X and "Does NOT fit your searched vehicle". I did bother to view the details when I ordered mine and when I tried to install it, I found that it was an inch shorter that the distance between the step bumper mounts. Any suggestions?

Aqua Puttana
05-11-2016, 08:01 PM
Is there any difference between the Freightliner and Dodge Sprinter 2500 158" frame construction? ... Any suggestions?
FL and Dodge are identical except for brand execution. That means all the decals/identifiers, and some trim (grill, headlight style, some other minor things) are different.

You need to heed any hitch specific/detailed comments, but Dodge/FL 158" WB are the same.

vic

Jodean
05-12-2016, 05:11 AM
the weight isnt my main concern, i have a 7x14 alluminum eclosed trailer dual axle, weight is about 1500 lbs and then some 500 lbs in it. When the wind is blowing, i can barely get to 55mph in a mile, the road i took was one mile stretches and a stop sign or light at each mile. No way i could put up with that on a trip......

Aqua Puttana
05-12-2016, 12:14 PM
the weight isnt my main concern, i have a 7x14 alluminum eclosed trailer dual axle, weight is about 1500 lbs and then some 500 lbs in it. When the wind is blowing, i can barely get to 55mph in a mile, the road i took was one mile stretches and a stop sign or light at each mile. No way i could put up with that on a trip......
My Jayco 23b is close to the 5000# tow limit. I have no problems getting to speed or pulling in the mountains.

You need to start your own thread in the T1N Talk section. It sounds like you may be in LHM aka operating as an normally aspirated engine (no turbo).

Maybe title it "No guts when towing 2000#" and copy/paste your above comment to the post. Include details like odometer miles, how long you've owned it.

In the past there have been a couple discussions here where people bought a Sprinter that was in LHM and just thought it was normal operation. If that is your situation then you need to clean the charge air system before getting the turbo to work. Otherwise the built up oil can move to the engine and cause runaway. That may ruin your day, not to mention your engine.

:cheers: vic

sailquik
05-12-2016, 03:27 PM
Jodean,
When you are having trouble getting up to speed in < 1 mile, which way is the wind blowing, and is there a slight gradient that you might be
climbing at the same time.
When I towed my big 25 ft. Jayco UltraLight travel trailer, the added drag of the wind over the front of the trailer made acceleration
pretty slow, but not as slow as you seem to be talking about. The Jacco 25Z weighed ~4,700 lbs. is 8 ft wide and 10 ft. tall
Which rear end ratio do you have? 3.73....3.92.... 4.182?
Are you running the OEM recommended tire sizes?
At how many RPMs is your transmission upshifting when you tow your trailer.
Your trailer seems awfully light for a 7x 14 tandem axle cargo trailer....have you weighed it on a truck scale?
Hope this helps,
Roger

Jodean
10-27-2017, 10:31 PM
guys im in South Dakota, wind could be anywhere from 35-50mph, side wind what was killing it, but that trailer pulls hard behind my duramax, trailer design, ive hookup up a 28ft 5th wheel that pulled better than this small enclosed down interstate

Aqua Puttana
10-28-2017, 01:44 AM
Windage can be quite a factor. That is especially true as vehicle speed or adverse wind speeds increase.

I've towed my J/22 sailboat (2500 - 2800# total weight including trailer) all over with different vans. No problems. Using the same vehicles I've also towed a very similar weight Corsair 24 Trimaran multi-hull sailboat. The Corsair design folds to become road friendly. The folded shape is not very aerodynamic. The load and getting up to speed is much less friendly towing the Corsair vs the J/22 monohull.

Your problems could very well come down to trailer design and windage.

My Jayco 23b travel trailer is close to the 5000# Sprinter limit. I have no problems towing that in level areas. I do sometimes find we're down to 3rd gear on some mountain grades.

vic