Sprinter NCV3 Trailer Hitch Options

Kgorman

Member
Mods, the idea is this can become sticky once all the info is filled out (if you agree). I have been reading about hitch installation until my eyes bleed so I figured a single thread with links would be helpful. I am hoping folks will chime in and I can update the orig thread with details to aid others in the future. This is correct as I understand it today, there are probably mistakes, please help correct them! I include links to vendors, but it's completely just for reference. If someone has other vendors please comment and I will update the thread. This is unbiased.

NCV3 Sprinter Trailer Hitch Options. (North America).

Factory Hitch with Wiring Harness:
If you have the factory hitch (PT1) installed then you are done. Good choice. Because it came from the factory you will have ASR for the trailer (called TSM), indication of bulb failure for the trailer, and a plug under the drivers seat (green) for an aftermarket brake controller.

Option PT1 includes:
PT1 Trailer Hitch Package: Trailer Hitch (NAFTA 2.0" x 2.0" receiver)
E40 Wire Harness with 7 pin round connector (NAFTA)
QA2 Trailer Cross Member 7,500 lbs. capacity (Note 7,500 lb. capacity is reduced to 5,000 lb. capacity for 170" wb EXTENDED Sprinters)
The entire PT1 Option Package installed by the factory at build time adds $395.00 to the cost of the vehicle.
You can not have the factory step and have a factory hitch they are mutually exclusive.

Factory Wiring harness prep, but no hitch:

You have a factory green connector under the seat.

It may be worth while (depending on your requirements) to upgrade to the factory trailer wiring harness and hitch. There is programming needed, so this is really a dealer thing. I have been quoted about $2000.00 for this work. You will get all the functionality of the factory system (TSM, etc).

If this sounds too expensive, then you essentially will want to act like you have no wiring prep. See below.

You can not have the factory step and have a factory hitch they are mutually exclusive. However, you could purchase an aftermarket hitch and mate that with the factory wiring. mofo989's setup:
https://sprinter-source.com/forums/showthread.php?t=22343 for example

This video is helpful: https://www.etrailer.com/tv-install...roller-2013-mercedes-benz-sprinter-90885.aspx. However, it would be nicer if the mating connector to the factory prep was identified for a cleaner install. If someone wants to take a picture of theirs I will do some research on the proper mating connector.

No Factory hitch, no wiring prep:

You do not have the factory green connector under the seat. A couple of options here:

- Upgrade to the factory trailer wiring harness and hitch. You will need to add the modules for wiring prep under the drivers seat too. There is programming needed, so this is really a dealer thing. I have been quoted about $2000.00 for this work plus the cost of the 'prep' components. Your parts guy will need your VIN to get all the parts correct. You will get all the functionality of the factory system (TSM, etc).

- Use an aftermarket kit. There is some debate about what kit is best. There is a Mopar Kit that vendors have been selling for some time, but it's for T1N sprinters. Newer, solid state kits exist from 3rd party vendors and should prove to be more reliable without significant costs, and fit our NCV3's sprinters better.

A decision to be made is between the 4 pin wiring or the 7 pin. The 7 pin allows for trailer brake controllers as well as 12v signal for charging any accessories the trailer may have. The 4 pin is just for lights, your trailer either has no brakes or surge brakes.

This is a 7 pin kit: http://www.sprinterworld.com/hitches.htm
This is a 4 pin kit: https://www.etrailer.com/Custom-Fit...nter/2015/119190KIT.html?vehicleid=2015304629

Aftermarket hitch vendors have hitches that work with and without a factory step. Choose the proper setup for your situation.

https://www.etrailer.com/hitch-2015_Mercedes-Benz_Sprinter.htm

If you don't want to DIY one of these solutions I have quotes for $550-$650 for a reputable hitch outfit to do the work. Unsure on what specific components they would use.

https://sprinter-source.com/forums/showthread.php?t=40893

No Factory hitch, no wiring prep, but you won't tow, you want the 2" receiver for it's utility

Just install a 3rd party hitch, choose the appropriate one for your application (step or no step, and type of van).

https://www.etrailer.com/hitch-2015_Mercedes-Benz_Sprinter.htm
 
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mofo989

Member
I added the MB factory wiring harness (and I have factory step), including TSA module and SCN coding. I did the wiring myself, and took it to the dealer for SCN coding. It cost less than 2k.. but it wasn't cheap. Search the threads, you will find my story.
 

RonR

Recovering Sprinter Owner
Get the Curt 13255 that I used to replace my factory hitch after it bent. Curt is superior both in design and construction.
Definitely get the 7 pin factory harness.
Ron
 

Rensho

Member
Get the Curt 13255 that I used to replace my factory hitch after it bent. Curt is superior both in design and construction.
Definitely get the 7 pin factory harness.
Ron
Ron, had you been carrying 2 motos on your factory, and now new Curt hitch? 2500 or 3500?

Do you have the factory step, therefore, extended hitch length?

Thanks.
 

RonR

Recovering Sprinter Owner
3500 now with the Curt 13255.
Carried two motorcycle (KLX250, KTM350exc) for over 10,000 miles on the factory hitch. Bent the hitch when I hit an unexpected water bar at night. Caught air on both ends.
In comparison to the factory hitch the curt is better designed, better built, stronger materials.
I used a heavy wall 2x2 bar in the center with a 3" riser to bring the ramp height to the bottom of the door. Aluminum Braces / supports on both sides attached to the hitch. This is an old picture. The current version has horizontal aluminum braces to allow for loading ramp storage between the bumper and first ramp. No movement of the bikes while traveling, don't notice that they are there on the 3500.
The only issue is that it is a bit tricky loading the second bike to clear the handlebars of the first.
Ron
 

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Rensho

Member
3500 now with the Curt 13255.
Carried two motorcycle (KLX250, KTM350exc) for over 10,000 miles on the factory hitch. Bent the hitch when I hit an unexpected water bar at night. Caught air on both ends.
In comparison to the factory hitch the curt is better designed, better built, stronger materials.
I used a heavy wall 2x2 bar in the center with a 3" riser to bring the ramp height to the bottom of the door. Aluminum Braces / supports on both sides attached to the hitch. This is an old picture. The current version has horizontal aluminum braces to allow for loading ramp storage between the bumper and first ramp. No movement of the bikes while traveling, don't notice that they are there on the 3500.
The only issue is that it is a bit tricky loading the second bike to clear the handlebars of the first.
Ron
Air on both ends! That'd wake me up.

Your custom rack looks very well thought out, and keeps the lever arm to a min.

I don't have two bikes to carry, typically, on my 2500. Wondering more if I can carry 450lbs on 1 tray, if I ever need to.

Thanks so much for the details.
 

4wheels

Member
I added the MB factory wiring harness (and I have factory step), including TSA module and SCN coding. I did the wiring myself, and took it to the dealer for SCN coding. It cost less than 2k.. but it wasn't cheap. Search the threads, you will find my story.
Almost 2k for TSA? IMHO that is too much . IMHO a sway bar control is cheaper and it works !
My brother and me went camping . He has 08. with an aftermarket hitch. I had 08 with factory hitch and TSA. Both pulled pop up trailers. When I told my DW that our Sprinter has TSA she was kinda laughing of me , but then I said look at our trailer - no sway , and then look at his trailer - there is sway . She was amazed.
Next trip to same camping spots - he installed a sway bar control - no sway at all .
:2cents:
 

Kgorman

Member
I have No Factory hitch, no wiring prep. So I did the full aftermarket kit from etrailer. I called them and verified all the bits. Here are the items for my length, with the factory step, and using a Tekonsha controller:

13358 2015 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 2500 Van, 170 inch Wheelbase, with factory step bumper Trailer Hitch
20127 Replacement Brake Control Plug-In Harness for Tekonsha and Draw-Tite Brake Controller 12" Long
ETBC7 Universal Installation Kit for Trailer Brake Controller - 7-Way RV and 4-Way Flat - 10 Gauge Wires
119190KIT Upgraded Heavy Duty Modulite Circuit Protected Vehicle Wiring Harness with Install Kit

I will post results once I install it.
 

Kgorman

Member
Hitch showed up fast! Etrailer really did a nice job, shipped right away with zero drama.

Installed just the hitch itself tonight. Fit was dead on, took 20m tops. Very very easy.

Now to get the 4 pin wiring setup.
 

sailquik

Well-known member
4wheels,
Did you have the Trailer Stability Assist (TSA) added to your 2008 Sprinter?
AFAIK it was not available until 2012 on USA/NAFTA Sprinters.
Roger
 

4wheels

Member
4wheels,
Did you have the Trailer Stability Assist (TSA) added to your 2008 Sprinter?
AFAIK it was not available until 2012 on USA/NAFTA Sprinters.
Roger
I bought my 08 back in 2012 from a dealer . Maybe they added it. I always thought that as long as you have a factory hitch - TSA comes with it.
 

sailquik

Well-known member
4wheels,
It would be interesting to see how they added the extra top rail in the driver's seat box and where they added the TSA module.
It could have been there all the time, or they just added the module and activated it in the ECM and ABS/ASR systems.
I did some looking and I'm fairly sure it was not offered until the 2012 model year.
Roger
 

mpjh

New member
Re: Sprinter Factory Trailer Hitch

Hello All,

I have a 2015, 2500 144 Crew with the factory ORIS hitch manufactured by BOSAL installed. According to the rating plate (see image) it has a maximum trailer weight rating of 5000 lbs and has a tongue weight rating of 500 lbs. I can find no information on whether it is rated for use with a weight distribution system, as most modern hitches are, and how that would effect/extend the rating of the hitch tongue weight rating if one were to be installed. For example, the tongue hitch rating of 500 lbs for many/most aftermarket hitches available for the van is extended to 750 lbs when a weight distribution system is installed. The factory ORIS hitch looks beefier that all of them, and I would hate to have to replace it. Can anybody help me with this? BOSAL refers me to Mercedes NA and nobody there seems to know a thing... Is this hitch rated for use with a weight distribution system? If so, would installing one extend the tongue weight capacity to 750 lbs?

Thanks very much for your time,

Martin
 

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18outrage

New member
Might want to mention 5-wire flat. Fifth wire is backup lights and is needed for boat trailers with disc surge brakes so the trailer brakes do not engage when backing the trailer. My sprinter came with a step bumper, Draw Tite hitch and 4-wire flat hookup that didn't work correctly. Brake/turn lights were fine, but when I turned on the headlights, I got a bulb out dummy light and the trailer running lights did not come on.

I'm installing the Tekonsha 118650 which will give a 4-wire harness. As I understand it, these types of kits do not draw power from the vehicle lighting circuits. Trailer lights draw from the starting battery and relays isolate the trailer lights from the vehicle lighting. I started the install today, but didn't get it completed. I'll post back in a day or so, once I have the kit fully installed.

Doug
 

alvz

New member
Re: Sprinter Factory Trailer Hitch

Hello All,

I have a 2015, 2500 144 Crew with the factory ORIS hitch manufactured by BOSAL installed. According to the rating plate (see image) it has a maximum trailer weight rating of 5000 lbs and has a tongue weight rating of 500 lbs. I can find no information on whether it is rated for use with a weight distribution system, as most modern hitches are, and how that would effect/extend the rating of the hitch tongue weight rating if one were to be installed. For example, the tongue hitch rating of 500 lbs for many/most aftermarket hitches available for the van is extended to 750 lbs when a weight distribution system is installed. The factory ORIS hitch looks beefier that all of them, and I would hate to have to replace it. Can anybody help me with this? BOSAL refers me to Mercedes NA and nobody there seems to know a thing... Is this hitch rated for use with a weight distribution system? If so, would installing one extend the tongue weight capacity to 750 lbs?

Thanks very much for your time,

Martin
Hi MPJH,
Did you ever get a response to your question? I have a similar question.
Thanks,
Adriaan
 

Aqua Puttana

Poly - Thread Finder
Re: Sprinter Factory Trailer Hitch

The question is over one year old. It was resurrected.

... Is this hitch rated for use with a weight distribution system?
...
I can't answer definitively, but all North American Sprinter hitches I've seen include a WD rating in addition to the dead load rating.

... If so, would installing one extend the tongue weight capacity to 750 lbs?
...
No. The mechanics/design of a WD hitch depend upon leverage that involves the trailer frame/wheels. That leverage cannot be properly attained if combined with an extended tongue motorcycle carrier.

There are some specific Sprinter models which list a 7500/750# tow rating. Unless specified otherwise, the Sprinter tow rating is 5000/500#.

:cheers: vic
 

sailquik

Well-known member
mpjh/alvz,
You might send an email to Daimler Sprinter engineering down in Ladson, SC (or ask your question through the MB Customer Assistance Center directed at the Sprinter Engineering folks on Palmetto Parkway in Ladson, SC.) (right next to the new Sprinter Assembly plant).
I'm reasonably sure they will come back with "Weight Distributing Hitches are not authorized for use on Sprinters as Sprinters do not have a heavy duty REINFORCED LADDER TYPE frame like American Pickups and some of the SUVs.
Since it's a pre-stressed UNIBODY exceeding the engineered (In Germany by Mercedes Benz and ORIS/BOSAL) towing weight rating risks damage to the rear of the Sprinter as the entire rear is built up of seam and spot welded sheet metal.
There is NO frame in a Sprinter and normally any sort of weight distributing hitch system uses both the trailer and the tow vehicle's frames to distribute/project the tongue weight forward (hopefully all the way to the front axle of the vehicle).
Use of a weight distributing hitch system will just bend the sheet metal of the unibody.
This is the reason that the 170" wheelbase EXTENDED Sprinters (even with the 519/3500 Rating and dual rear wheels) are downgraded from 7.500 lbs towed vehicle weight/750 lbs. tongue weight to 5,000 lbs./500 lbs. tongue weight from the 170" shorter back (NOT EXTENDED) 519/3500 dual rear wheel Sprinters like the one I have.
The extended rear Sprinters simply have too much rear overhang, and no way to increase the strength of the long overhang because it's
all made of light gauge metal seam and spot welded together.
Roger
 
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Andrew_T

Active member
What would be the easiest way to pull a crawler behind it?
Put in 2WD and pull on a dolly?
A 20 ft trailer and a Jeep would easily get to 5000#.
My 08 has factory hitch with factory wiring/green plug under driver’s seat.
A brake controller and I’m good to go but don’t wanna stress the sprinter too much. Mine is a 170 EXT.
 

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