Mersedes SUV Manuals

Notes on towing a trailer

Mercedes-Benz GL-Class / Mercedes-Benz GL-Class Owners Manual / Driving and parking / Towing a trailer / Notes on towing a trailer

Important safety notes


If you install a ball coupling other than the one delivered with the vehicle, the trailer tow hitch and the rear axle may be overloaded. This applies especially if the ball coupling in question is longer or angled differently. This could seriously impair the driving characteristics and the trailer can come loose. There is a risk of an accident.

Only install the ball coupling delivered with the vehicle or a ball coupling that is designed to meet your trailer towing requirements. Do not modify the ball coupling or the trailer tow hitch.


If the ball coupling is not installed correctly or not secured with the bolt provided and the corresponding spring cotter, the trailer may come loose. There is a risk of an accident.

Always install and secure the ball coupling as described. Before every journey, ensure that the ball coupling is secured with the bolt and the corresponding spring cotter.


If you rest your foot on the brake pedal while driving, the braking system can overheat. This increases the stopping distance and can even cause the braking system to fail. There is a risk of an accident.

Never use the brake pedal as a footrest. Never depress the brake pedal and the accelerator pedal at the same time.


When the vehicle/trailer combination begins to lurch, you could lose control of it. The vehicle/trailer combination could even rollover. There is a risk of an accident.

On no account should you attempt to straighten up the vehicle/trailer combination by increasing the speed. Reduce vehicle speed and do not countersteer. Apply the brake as necessary.

Depressing the brake pedal constantly results in excessive and premature wear to the brake pads.

Please observe the manufacturer's operating instructions for the trailer coupling if a detachable trailer coupling is used.

Couple and uncouple the trailer carefully. If you do not couple the trailer to the towing vehicle correctly, the trailer could become detached.

Make sure that the following values are not exceeded:
Х the permissible trailer drawbar noseweight Х the permissible trailer load Х the permissible rear axle load of the towing vehicle
Х the maximum permissible gross vehicle weight of both the towing vehicle and the trailer

The applicable permissible values, which must not be exceeded, can be found: Х in the vehicle documents Х on the identification plates of the trailer tow hitch, the trailer and the vehicle If the values differ, the lowest value applies.

You will find the values approved by the manufacturer on the vehicle identification plates and those for the towing vehicle under "Technical data"  .

When towing a trailer, your vehicle's handling characteristics will be different in comparison with when driving without a trailer.

The vehicle/trailer combination: Х is heavier Х is restricted in its acceleration and gradient-climbing capability Х has an increased braking distance Х is affected more by strong crosswinds Х demands more sensitive steering Х has a larger turning radius This could impair the handling characteristics.

When towing a trailer, always adjust your speed to the current road and weather conditions. Do not exceed the maximum permissible speed for your vehicle/trailer combination.

General notes

Х Do not exceed the legally prescribed maximum speed for vehicle/trailer combinations in the relevant country.

This lowers the risk of an accident.

Х Only install an approved trailer coupling on your vehicle.

Further information on availability and on installation is available from any authorized Mercedes-Benz Center.

Х The bumpers of your vehicle are not suitable for installing detachable trailer couplings.

Х Do not install hired trailer couplings or other detachable trailer couplings on the bumpers of your vehicle.

Х If you no longer need the ball coupling, remove it from the ball coupling recess.

This will reduce the risk of damage to the ball coupling.

When towing a trailer, set the tire pressure on the rear axle of the towing vehicle for a maximum load; see the tire pressure table in the fuel filler flap  .

You will find installation dimensions and loads in the "Technical data" section  .

The maximum noseweight of the trailer drawbar on the ball coupling is 600 lbs (272 kg).

The actual noseweight may not be higher than the value which is given. The value can be found on the trailer tow hitch or trailer identification plates. The lowest weight applies.

Please note that when towing a trailer, PARKTRONIC   and Blind Spot Assist   are only available with limitations, or not at all.

Driving tips

Observe the information on ESPЃ trailer stabilization   and on pulling away with a trailer  .

The maximum permissible speed for vehicle/ trailer combinations depends on the type of trailer. Before beginning the journey, check the trailer's documents to see what the maximum permissible speed is. Observe the legally prescribed maximum speed in the relevant country.

For certain Mercedes-Benz vehicles, the maximum permissible rear axle load is increased when towing a trailer. See "Technical data" to find out whether this applies to your vehicle  . If you utilize any of the added maximum rear axle load when towing a trailer, the vehicle/trailer combination may not exceed a maximum speed of 60 mph (100 km/h) for reasons concerning the operating permit. This also applies in countries in which the permissible maximum speed for vehicle/trailer combinations is above 60 mph (100 km/h).

When towing a trailer, your vehicle's handling characteristics will be different in comparison with when driving without a trailer.

On long and steep downhill gradients, you must select shift range 1, 2 or 3 in good time.

This also applies if you have activated cruise control or DISTRONIC PLUS.

This will use the braking effect of the engine, so that less braking will be required to maintain the speed, This relieves the load on the brake system and prevents the brakes from overheating and wearing too quickly. If you need additional braking, depress the brake pedal repeatedly rather than continuously.

Driving tips

If the trailer swings from side to side: Do not accelerate.

Do not counter-steer.

Brake if necessary.

Х Maintain a greater distance from the vehicle in front than when driving without a trailer.

Х Avoid braking abruptly. If possible, brake gently at first to allow the trailer to run on.

Then, increase the braking force rapidly.

Х The values given for gradient-climbing capabilities from a standstill refer to sea level. When driving in mountainous areas, note that the power output of the engine and, consequently, the vehicle's gradientclimbing capability, decreases with increasing altitude.

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