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Thank you for all of the great info on this thread. I am close to pulling the trigger on a travel trailer that weighs about 3500# dry. I had previously installed a Draw tite hitch receiver for carrying bikes etc. With it sitting lower etc would i want to replace it with the OEM unit or will it likely be okay for use in towing?

 

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@markkeefe the website you linked shows that Draw-Tite hitch can tow well over 3500 pounds. For reference the factory OEM hitch can support up to 5000 pounds (and 500 pounds of tongue weight).

Thanks @Lane on the fence for those points and @Vercingetorix for the picture. So the choice we face with the factory hitch installation is as follows: 1) install a washer (or even a washer on each side of each bolt as the kit comes with 12 washers) knowing the bolts are not long enough to also mount the backing plates, or 2) install the backing plates without any washers. I spoke with a mechanical engineer about it and he advised that option 2 is better: install the backing plates with no washers (which is also how the factory installation looks from @Vercingetorix). Today it took me just a few minutes to remove my washers and place the backing plates opposite the frame rails from the hitch mounts (while the hitch stayed in-place), and then I torqued the bolts back up to 90nm.

Side note: for my bike rack, the Yakima FullTilt 5, adding a hitch tightener has really helped to stabilize the system.
 

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Thank you for your response @birdboy. Despite the tow weight capability I know there has been some concern with the way the aftermarket receivers are positioned lower so I wasn't sure if this would be exacerbated by towing a trailer of the weight I am looking at, or if there are any features of the OEM hitch that make it superior to the point of me swapping it out.
 

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Thank you for your response @birdboy. Despite the tow weight capability I know there has been some concern with the way the aftermarket receivers are positioned lower so I wasn't sure if this would be exacerbated by towing a trailer of the weight I am looking at, or if there are any features of the OEM hitch that make it superior to the point of me swapping it out.
They both have the same mounting points; you may need a riser for the aftermarkets ball. They also provide only about 10" of clearance underneath so are prone to scraping things like short steep ramps
 

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Well, the deed is done. Had my dealer provide and install the trailer recognition unit and do programming. They supposedly do a bunch of metris hitches so the programming went perfectly. I had to shell out $500 for the labor which seems high, but I was just glad to put this project behind me and know that it’s done correctly. I also saved a boat load on doing the hitch install and wiring harness myself. I know it worked since I have the trailer backup cam option and the dash told me my trailer lights were out. I ordered a 7 pin to 4 pin adapter of amazon and works just fine.


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Hey Willapa, what dealer did you take yours to? I installed a factory hitch just the other weekend and am looking at options for wiring. I've got the Tekonsha aftermarket kit that just clips onto the wires that I'm waiting to install, but I'd like to do everything the right way. I'm not sure my dealer would have the know-how on how to flash and reconfigure the system considering they told me to go somewhere else when I asked if they would even consider install a hitch on a Metris.

Also if anyone else has had success with dealers through this process in the Central California/Santa Barbara area that would be great, thanks!
 

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Hey Willapa, what dealer did you take yours to? I installed a factory hitch just the other weekend and am looking at options for wiring. I've got the Tekonsha aftermarket kit that just clips onto the wires that I'm waiting to install, but I'd like to do everything the right way. I'm not sure my dealer would have the know-how on how to flash and reconfigure the system considering they told me to go somewhere else when I asked if they would even consider install a hitch on a Metris.

Also if anyone else has had success with dealers through this process in the Central California/Santa Barbara area that would be great, thanks!
At MB of Wilsonville up near Portland, OR. They seem to do a lot of them. Between the $500 labor and that control unit costing $362, it wasn’t cheap but glad I went this way to now have a full factory like install. It is nice having the camera zoom, trailer light detection, and whatever other magic that thing does. The MB of Riverside in LA area seems to be a large dealership. Maybe they would do it and be closer to you?


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My van was re-coded for use with the Trailer Recognition Module by Mercedes-Benz of Fresno. It took a few tries but they figured it out.
At MB of Wilsonville up near Portland, OR. They seem to do a lot of them. Between the $500 labor and that control unit costing $362, it wasn’t cheap but glad I went this way to now have a full factory like install. It is nice having the camera zoom, trailer light detection, and whatever other magic that thing does. The MB of Riverside in LA area seems to be a large dealership. Maybe they would do it and be closer to you?


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Thanks for the recommendations!

Another quick question (for anyone to answer..), I know that my van has the E58 option (pre-wiring) but I'm not sure if that includes that recognition module and the wiring harness. Are those bits already in my van? Or do I still have to get those to finish it all up? From scottmcdaniel1's post at the very beginning of this thread he mentions the E58 code and the Q24(?) code, and one of them needing to buy the additional electronic parts, but it's tough to decifer which code needs what. Sounds like the pre-wiring option (E58) would come with the socket, TRM, and wiring harness, but I've got the inkling that it doesn't. Any help would be great!

I would go to that back-right corner of my van and check it myself but I had wood paneling put up way before I even considered adding a hitch and would have to cut into it to check, so I'd rather just hear from y'all before I gut the thing. Cheers
 

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Thanks for the recommendations!

Another quick question (for anyone to answer..), I know that my van has the E58 option (pre-wiring) but I'm not sure if that includes that recognition module and the wiring harness. Are those bits already in my van? Or do I still have to get those to finish it all up? From scottmcdaniel1's post at the very beginning of this thread he mentions the E58 code and the Q24(?) code, and one of them needing to buy the additional electronic parts, but it's tough to decifer which code needs what. Sounds like the pre-wiring option (E58) would come with the socket, TRM, and wiring harness, but I've got the inkling that it doesn't. Any help would be great!

I would go to that back-right corner of my van and check it myself but I had wood paneling put up way before I even considered adding a hitch and would have to cut into it to check, so I'd rather just hear from y'all before I gut the thing. Cheers
If it’s a 2018 or earlier, I can guarantee the pre wiring just means the connectors for trailer wiring terminate in the rear jack compartment. No TRM or harness. From there, you connect the TRM then install a harness from that to the 7 pin trailer jack, which also needs to be purchased separately. I bought new harness and jack on eBay and had dealer supply TRM at coding and flashing. I didn’t want to connect TRM with fears of frying a 350 dollar part that takes a couple of minutes to connect.


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I just got finished adding all the factory hitch and wiring to my 2016 cargo that did not come with the tow package and wanted to update you all on the current prices they are charging and the what the current part numbers are that you need! All of the parts I ordered through MB of Oxnard in SoCal, and installed myself thanks to the help of everyone that's contributed to this thread. Programming was done through MB of Anaheim.

Trailer Coupling (447-310-04-00): $237.00. Came with the backing plates for mounting the hitch as well.

Bolts (910105-012001): $8.70 each. $52.20 for 6.

Nuts (000000-003276): $1.60 each. $9.60 for 6.

Socket (020-545-40-26-64): $69.00.

Wiring Harness(447-540-63-36-64): $36.00.

Trailer Recognition Module (447-900-49-10): $362.00.

Reprogramming: $424.05.

I called around to several dealers in the SoCal area and MB of Anaheim seemed to know what they were talking about over the phone -- they had knowledge about needing to request codes from Germany, whereas other dealers said they could bring the van in an have it just plug it in that day and add the new codes for only $200. I went with MB Anaheim and everything went smoothly. They wouldn't order the codes until I dropped the van off the for my appointment on a Thursday morning, and everything was finished the following day by noon. They said it all checked when they hooked it up to test it, and I even have the trailer back-up cam option when in reverse, so I'd say it all worked out. I haven't had the chance to trailer anything yet but I'm not worried about it not working when I first hook up the trailer.

All in all the total cost was $1,189.85. Happy I decided to do the install myself seeing as it wasn't that hard, just tedious and nerve-wracking taking the bumper off. Felt better not spending all that extra dough on having the dealer charge all that extra labor, and I feel much better with the factory options instead of just using an aftermarket wiring kit.
 

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I'll try to help where I can. Granted, I'm just a lowly sales manager for the Sprinter and Metris units, but I like to try and learn everything that I can to help not only current customers of ours, but also for people trying to figure these things out like the good people here. That being said, here goes....


Sprinter vans can indeed be retrofitted with trailer hitches and some, not all, come pre-wired. If an aftermarket hitch is installed on a Sprinter, MBUSA will ONLY allow the coding for the ECU flash to update software letting the van know that there is a trailer hitch for the trailer stability program IF it was ordered with the pre-wiring and/or factory hitch installed. If a Sprinter has a hitch and wiring installed, but did not have the pre-wiring already on it from the factory, then MBUSA will not allow a dealer the code to flash to the ECU. It has more to do with liability if something happens regarding the trailer hitch installation and if it was done incorrectly. What we, here at my dealership, have been told (because we asked) is that if there is no bulletin in WIS-NET on how to install/retrofit something to a particular model, then there will be no codes given to flash ECU's. That being said, the Sprinter vans that have a pre-wire should all have the code for trailer hitch already in the ECU...because it has wiring. This is also why when ordering all of my vans for inventory, I try to at least put pre-wire on the build. Being that there are no factory options for a trailer hitch AND rear bumper step, I get the pre-wire with bumper step and then an aftermarket hitch can be installed.




Now, on to the Metris. I had to do some digging for this from one document to another and one web page to another. For vans that have E58 (pre-wire) (standard equipment), but do not have Q24 (trailer hitch), there are some parts that need to be ordered. I haven't dug into one of the Metris I have here on the ground to see what all it already has in it, but I'm willing to bet that I'm correct in my assumptions.


With code E58, MB sells a US receiver trailer coupling (no electrical). Part number is: A 447 310 04 00 MSRP: $359
As for the additional components needed, they are:
A 020 545 40 26 -- Socket -- $54
A 447 540 62 36 -- Electrical Wiring Harness -- $57
A 447 900 41 05 -- Trailer Recognition Control Unit -- $306 (this is the successor/newest part number)
A 447 900 63 04 -- Trailer Recognition Control Unit -- $306 (this is showing as the predecessor part number, which tells me that once this stock is depleted, the one above is replacing)
N 0000 0000 32 76 -- Nut (6 of them needed) -- $2.40/each
N 9101 0501 20 01 -- Hexagon Screw (6 of them needed) -- $5.50/each


WIS-NET document number is AN31.10-S-8080EE Your techs should know what that means and be able to look it up.


Total suggested labor times for everything looks to be just under 4 hours according to our ODUS system. When requesting coding for XENTRY system, it looks like it's still referred to as Vito-Class or V-Class in XENTRY system. That will allow the code to be downloaded and then flashed to the ECU to ensure that trailer recognition control unit functions correctly (disables blind spot assist while trailer wiring connected, etc).


Oh, one other thing to note: when 2017 models were available for ordering, a note was placed on one of the first pages of the ordering guide that stated if a brake controller was planning to be used/installed, that a Parametric Special Module (PSM - option ED5) had to come ordered on the unit. While the Sprinters can have the PSM retrofitted because they come pre-wired for PSM install, the Metris vans do not.


Just from what I'm gathering by looking at everything, it looks like parts will run around $825 before tax, plus 4-5 hours labor time to install.


I hope that all of this answers your questions a little better. I've been a Sprinter/Metris manager now for just over a year and I'm steadily learning more things, as well. If there's anything else I can do to help, please do not hesitate to ask.


One last thing: I don't know why other dealers don't seem to order many with hitches, but I think I have 7 or 8 on the ground right now, 2017 models, with hitches installed already. I find it the be the most cost-effective route and even if not used or needed, getting it upfront sure beats having to pay $1,500-2,000 to have one installed later because you realize you need it.
I recently bought a used 2018 passenger van without a hitch. I worked with an authorized Mercedes mechanic and provided them with these instructions. They were very appreciative. They ordered the parts - about $1100 and charged me about $400 for install labor. Expensive, but I felt it was worth it to have a hitch mounted higher than aftermarket hitches. In the final bill I got a discount of about $100 because mechanic substituted bolts they had in stock rather than the superexpensive mounting bolts that came with parts. New hitch and wiring works perfectly.
 

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My van was re-coded for use with the Trailer Recognition Module by Mercedes-Benz of Fresno. It took a few tries but they figured it out.
Thanks everyone for the great thread. I finally took the plunge and have my hitch on (ordered from Pelican Parts). I am now trying to find someone to reprogram the trailer recognition control unit, but am struggling to find someone to do it in the bay area.

@Gottlieb I am thinking of driving out to Fresno to get my Trailer Recognition Unit programed since all the dealerships near me either have no idea what they are doing or want to charge $1400 just for the reprogramming. I called out to Fresno but they also seemed a little bit confused. Do you have a name or contact number of who you worked with in Fresno that I could reach out to or has anyone else had success getting reprogramming done in northern California?

Thanks everyone for all of the information. It was really helpful getting me this far.
 

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I recently bought a used 2018 passenger van without a hitch. I worked with an authorized Mercedes mechanic and provided them with these instructions. They were very appreciative. They ordered the parts - about $1100 and charged me about $400 for install labor. Expensive, but I felt it was worth it to have a hitch mounted higher than aftermarket hitches. In the final bill I got a discount of about $100 because mechanic substituted bolts they had in stock rather than the superexpensive mounting bolts that came with parts. New hitch and wiring works perfectly.
2018 passenger van. After reading all the posts, I decided 1) I didn’t want an aftermarket hitch that would bottom out; and 2) I didn’t want to do this myself.
I sent the instructions from scottmcdaniel1 to my Mercedes-certified shop (not a dealer), they ordered the parts, they installed it in about 4 hr, and all works great. $1500. Expensive? Yes. Well worth it? For me, yes.
The instructions were incredibly useful. Thanks.
 
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