After the fact Tow hitch and harness questions


New member
Hey Everybody!

I pulled the trigger and pick up my '14 144 high top crew this week. I'm getting a great deal on one that is already on the lot so I did not order it to my specs. The only thing I can tell is missing is the tow hitch and harness I'll need to pull my trailer.

My question: Is the lighting harness a 'plug-and-play' type installation or does the MB dealer need to go in and reprogram the computer?

In other words, should I spend the extra cash to just have the dealership install everything or is that just a waste? I do have the skills and tools to put a hitch and harness on something like my old Jeep...

Re: Tow hitch and harness

If your do some searches on the subject here you will find that answer is: It depends...

The factory hitch is very high quality and control module are better integrated to the vehicle, so ideally that would be the better choice. However, a few owners in your position went this route and found the dealer installation of the control module left them with problems the dealer could then not correct. This is likely because of dealer inexperience installing them and the lack of training to do such things. Some dealers seem to be able to install it fine, some not so much.

My dealer was honest enough to say as much when I bought my '12 off the lot. Instead of pretending they could do such things, they had previously partnered with a local commercial van upfitter who did this regularly as well as installing things like partitions, and cargo area workspace fit out (shelving, benches, lighting and so on). They picked up my van before delivery and installed a decent aftermarket hitch and a suitable aftermarket control module for the trailer lighting as well as the wiring for the brake controller (which I already owned). I inspected the installation and found everything was done properly including proper wire taps for the control modules tie in points to sense lighting.


Well-known member
Re: Tow hitch and harness

I think that you will find you cannot get the TSA (Trailer Stability Assist) if you can find a dealer to install the factory ORIS receiver cross member and the factory wiring (has to be ordered from Germany I believe).
I've only heard of this being worked out completely once out of probably 5 or 6 attempts to install the entire wiring harness and cross member (by MB part number) by MB authorized Sprinter dealers or DIY Sprinter owners.
One of the posters here had it installed in Florida somewhere, and took it to Sun Motor Cars when the Florida dealer could not get it to work.
Other than that, just about everyone who has tried to install the factory wiring and cross member has had big problems. The cross member is easy, the wiring is not!
I would tell the dealer that you do not want the high top crew they have and they need to trade around with other dealers to find one with the factory installed trailer systems.
The trailer systems are NOT an easy plug and play type install. There are modules that must be added and programming that must be done if you want the complete trailer towing safety package including TSA.
If towing a trailer is a big part of what you intend to do with the Sprinter....even more reasons to refuse the one without the trailer package.
Hope this helps,
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